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Standard and 15 Meter Nationals - Contest Day 6 - Update

Friday, 31 July 2015
15m/Standard Nationals - Elmira NY
Contest Day 6
The day was forecast to be similar to Thursday: cloudbases 7000-7500ft, westerly winds, shear, good chance of OD late in the day.  We launched early as the day was expected to die early. About a third of the fleet relighted but almost all took another launch.  The task for both classes was a 3 hr MAT with turnpoints Prattsburgh, Swain, Cameron and a mandatory final turnpoint, Caton.
Rapid cloud cycling was the story of the day and patience and timing was key.  Staying high was also critical as getting below 4000ft made it harder to connect with the lift.  About half the fleet landed out on the way to the first turnpoint.  Good looking cloud streets quickly overdeveloped and rained on some pilots.  Eight landed at Hammondsport Airport.  Another half-dozen landed out not far from that area.  The guys who finished, or at least went further, flew to the left or right of this dark zone, caught another cloud street down to Dansville, and found 2-4kt thermals to complete the task (although not all the clouds worked).
Just enough pilots in each class finished or made minimum distance to make the day a contest day.  Hank Nixon [OH] pulls off the victory in the Standard Class with a handicapped 46.89mph/142.23mi.  Mike Smith wins 15m with 51.32mph/15.47mi.
Phil Gaisford and Hank Nixon are still duking it out for the lead in the Standard Class.  The 15m Class has been much more fluid, with different daily winners and overall leaders.  Fernando Silva currently has the lead with Mike Smith nipping at his heels.
SM Ground

Posted: 7/31/2015


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