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Air Sailing Sports Class - Air Sailing Sports Class Day Five

Air Sailing Sports Class Contest Day Five

The weather forecast said to expect more of the same, scattered thunderstorms and that the storms would not have steering from winds aloft. The storms were going to start south of Mono Lake today and then build on the Sierras. That left the area east of the Sierras open, maybe, until things started cooking.

The trigger temperature was 84. As we reached that we were launching the fleet to the Dogskins (or Dognuts, as one unnamed pilot said). It wasn't a strong day on the Dogskins and we had a couple of relights, I think the first for the week. It was one of those days where you had to be skilled AND lucky to get out on course. Today we called a 2 hour TAT so that we could get everybody back for the meal and awards. The first turn point was Mineral Peak, which is close to Minden, with a 25 mile radius. Then it was on to Tiger Field with a 10 mile radius and then to Nixon with a 7 mile radius before the finish.

It wasn't strong enough to open the start gate on schedule according to JJ and 22T so we waited another 15 minutes and then decided to go. There was lift to the south on course, but the problem was reaching it. Three ships never started the task but the other nine made it around. Before the last finishers one of those static thunderstorms decided to send a wall of virga eastward across most of Warm Springs Valley (where we are located), but south of Air Sailing, so the late starters had to stay to the east and away from the storm as they finished.

The early finishers could select any runway in the calm winds but when we started to get storm gusts the late finishers had to land on runway 21.

Because JJ had a difficult time getting on course, he said that the task was "The task from Hell," for him.

Bob Mercier from Alaska won the day in the Duo he was flying. That gave Bob wins in four of the five days that we flew, so he won the contest.

We placed most of the gliders in their trailers and then had a great meal provided by USAFA grads from the Reno area. By the time we ate, the winds were calm. Bob got his trophy. I'm certain that we'll see him next year in his Genesis 2.

As always, it was great having the Air Force Academy Sailplane Racing Team at our contest. Lt. Col. Bill Gagen was the officer in charge this year.

Rob Stone, the contest manager, and Marye Anne Read, the scorer, worked out all sorts of issues as the contest progressed and did a great job and we survived the week. Thanks again to all of the great volunteers who helped get the Air Sailing contest off the ground!

Lee Edling CD

Posted: 7/20/2014


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