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Sports Class Nationals - Day 3 F1 Report

Good evening race fans.

The weather had a few more curves for us today. It has been slowly improving over the last few days but today was finally the day for it to get good enough to get out on task. Trigger temp was predicted at 85, and right before grid time some low level clouds moved in from the south, then burned off, and reformed shortly after grid time. The temp reached 86 at about 1 PM. I think the sniffer was on his second flight by that time, and not finding much lift. At some point later, Dick launched another sniffer who was barely able to maintain release altitude. Some of us on the grid took that as a sign of optimism and others were starting to talk about racing golf carts.

The temp stayed frozen at 86 until at least 2:30. Both classes were rolled back to the C task, a one turn MAT with Barnstormer to the Southwest as our first turnpoint and a required last turn at Maypearl. Modern Class had 2:30 minimum time and Club had 2:00. The Modern task opened at about 3:30 and Club was about 3:45. I'm pretty sure every thermal on the way to Barnstormer had one or two gliders in it at least.

Most contestants stayed along the I-35 corridor, picking up turnpoints ranging from Grandview and Luscombe Acres to the north and Hillsboro or Abbott to the south. I think I heard Ken Sorenson say that he went as far south as West. Because of the number of pilots who made this run, most of the thermals along the interstate were also marked.

Climbs were not very high for the day. Most of us were at 3600 or so at the start with the tops being around 4500 by the end of the task. Several pilots spent a lot of time below 2000 AGL. I flew very conservatively and therefore slowly in order to stay high and notch my first finish of the contest.

There were a few landouts in each class, surely due to the low altitude. There were still some strong thermals out there late. I found a 3 knot average climb at 5:30 over Grandview with JEN and UN.

The forecasts show a continuation of our trend lately. The soaring should get steadily better through Wedensday at least, and probably through the end of the contest. Most of us are ready for some strong lift, high cloudbases, and generally good "Texas Soaring"


Posted: 7/20/2014


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