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Sports Class Nationals - Day 6 F1 Report

Good Evening Race Fans!

Today we had a good old fashioned Assigned Task for both the Club and Modern Classes. There had been plenty of rumbling among the pilots and I think most were excited to get the task. Both classes first went west, then north, back south, and back east to TSA. Club had 200 miles and Modern was around 230.

The day was forecast to start early and cu were popping already during the pilots meeting so we pushed grid time and launch up half an hour from our usual. We also lowered the maximum start height to 5000 feet  to try to keep us out of the clouds, although the top of climb at start time was just below 5000 anyway so I don't think anyone started out the top.

The cu today were thin and high, and hard to get to. However they almost all had a good thermal under them so at least we weren't distracted by liars today as we were on previous days. I started right away in consideration of having the slowest glider in the contest. I wanted there to be enough day to make it home if I fell in a few holes and was slow. The run to Stephenville was pretty good for me, usually I had a good path of clouds ahead and if not it only required a small detour to stay with them. I started with EY but we shortly departed ways and didn't see each other until after the second turnpoint.

Several pilots waited a while to start which explains why I was nearly to Stephenville before The first one caught me, Andy Brayer in ND. We had a good run together and not too long after that on second leg he was out of my sight. I saw a fighter jet fly high over me, rapidly heading north and descending fast. Andy said that the jet was an F-16 that came pretty close to him and turned out to be an old friend of his who had first learned to fly gliders on Harris Hill!

The leg north and back south featured a sizable blue hole that presented some mild tactical challenges to the pilots but was not insurmountable. After reaching Pecan Plantation and turning east though, we were done with clouds and depending on blue thermals and help from our friends. There were several groups of 4 or 5 along the path and luckily I had been picked up by Sarah Arnold, Francois Pin, and Danny Sorenson.

Some high cirrus was moving in at the very end of the day, a result of thunderstorms in northeast TX, which was an ominous sign as we tried to make it back in the blue.

There were no landouts in the Club Class. Unfortunately the combination of being at the back of the grid and a little longer task coupled with the challenging conditions proved too much for several of the Modern Class contestants.

Tomorrow is the final day of the contest and we expect similar or slightly better weather for the last day. Should be a great end to a great contest!

Posted: 7/23/2014


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