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Air Sailing Sports Class - Air Sailing Sports Class Day One

14 July

We've had day one at the Air Sailing Sports Class and it was exciting to see the finishers streaking in from the north at the end of the contest day. It gets to you. You stand there and listen to the radio calls as each of the ships call four miles out and then when you pick them up visually you are amazed at how fast they are flying.

It was easy to pick up JJ Sinclair's Genesis as he approached Air Sailing because of the distinctive planform. So far it appears as if JJ finished first for the day with a speed near 80 mph. Go over to the preliminary score to see the speeds.

Kerry Richards is in second in his SZD 55. Robert Mercier is in third in a Duo Discus.

At the start of the day JJ and 22T, my task advisors, thought we should go for a three hour TAT to Hilton Ranch and then to Flanigan. A 30 mile radius was set for Hilton Ranch and a 15 mile radius was used for Flanigan. The forecast discussion said to expect storms south of US 50. Later we changed the time to 2.5 hours due to build ups that JJ and 22T could see to the south.

USAFA Cadet Sarah Sill led the contest launch in 6AF, a Discus 2B. The sniffers said that it looked good on the Dogskins. The start gate opened at 1400 hours and Cadet Sill was the first through the gate.

The launch was accomplished in exactly one hour with our NSA Pawnee flown by Dave Swoboda and a tow plane from NCSA, a Cherokee 235 which was flown by John Scott. It is always difficult to tow here in the summer but especially so today because of the high density altitude.  Air Sailing is at 4,300 feet and It got up to 104 degrees. Throw in a few Duos in the launch line and it can take a while for the tow planes to get off of the ground and to altitude.

Out on course the weather threatened and there was over developement along the Pinenuts.  The clouds normally move east in this part of the world, but today they moved to the west.  In places you could see plenty of virga.

At the end of the task, Kerry Richards said that he found too much lift and was 1,700 feet above the finish altitude because he couldn't get down while running as fast as he could. Very nice!

Three USAFA ships landed at other airports. We expect to see more precip during the contest with the most moisture expected on Wednesday. Maybe that will be our rest day?

Lee Edling, CD

Posted: 7/15/2014


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