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Region 3 Soaring Contest - Tue Aug 19 - FAI Day 3, Sports No Day

Summer is back in Upstate NY.  Today was warmer and decidedly more humid and hazy.

The forecast called for a good day if we could get enough heating and the high clouds stayed away.  But it didn’t quite happen that way. Early morning sunshine gave way to mid-level crud from the SE, gave way to hazy sunshine and weak conditions. We gridded at noon and waited an hour and a half before launching.

Sean Murphy [XC] was sent up as sniffer shortly after noon and struggled below release altitude for close to an hour before crossing over to the west side of the valley and finding lift.  He was joined by John Seymour [SM] at 1300 and not long after, they were both reporting 4000ft bases and at least a couple knots of lift.

For the most part, the FAI class had no trouble starting out, but at least a third of the Sports Class relighted, some twice.  Nothing was working below 3000ft.  By mid-afternoon, Jacquie decided that it would not be possible to launch the pilots on the ground and get in a fair/safe task, so she canceled the Sports task.  A few of the guys [H, FTW, DY, U] decided to stay up anyway and put in some nice flights.

Meanwhile, in the FAI Class, the 3 hr TAT was changed to a 3 hr MAT.  Andy Gough wasn’t able to get away and Hank Nixon landed out early, so those of us on the ground braced ourselves for the worst.  Six pilots made it back to Dansville, but it wasn’t pretty.  We thought we saw low speeds yesterday…that was nothing compared to today!
Hometown guy SM wins the day with a speed of 52.68/44.52 mph and takes the overall lead in the FAI Class.  He stayed to the south and west of Dansville, following the wind line.  Later in the afternoon, he noticed that a front/dry line had passed through the area (as we did on the ground) and took advantage of that by staying just behind the line, in the good air where there were still cloud markers.

CM Ann Lafford has been giving out her “Best Effort” Award - the dreaded hot pink Flamingo Hat – again this year.  Day 1’s recipient was Greg Delp [DY] for his excellent 5 mile lawn dart.  Day 2’s award went to none other than Uncle Hank for his blistering speed of 32/28 mph, the slowest of the day.  Hank also received the even more dreaded Whiner Award – a baby pacifier – for complaining about his speed all evening.  Hey, at least it’s speed and not distance points!  Ann noted that the pacifiers came in a pack of two, so pilots...you have been warned!

Janine Acee
SM Ground

Posted: 8/19/2014


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