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Region 5 South - A Good Cordele Day

As the pilots entered the lobby of the Best Western for breakfast, hopes were high for a great flying day. Early weather forecasts spoke of high cloud bases and no cirrus to interrupt the afternoon heating. The high temperature of the day was reported as 97 degrees which normally means good lift and long glides. As the time for the pilot's meeting approach, forecasts were modified slightly encouraging a long task. Several options were explored but we decided to wait until after the meeting to plan the day.  

At the pilot's meeting George Vakkur did a very good job on his winners brief.  He is the one pilot at Seminole-Lake that is always trying to get the maximum out of the day.  No matter what the weather, George is out to fly as far and as long as he can! This was the first day win in a number of years for George and we all applauded his accomplishment. Jason Arnold, in his first contest win, also did a wonderful job highlighting all the pilots that helped him achieve this milestone in his soaring career. Not to be outdone, Henry Retting brought up my good friend Mike Solley who finished third for the day. Henry gave him wing tape, a hydration gauge (half empty bottle of green tea), and a doggie poop bag with unwrapped snicker bars in it. All things a good glider pilot should have available. He also donated his daily prize to Mike.  

After the meeting, all the task advisers adjourned to the contest trailer to discuss the days task. Fernando gave his presentation which hinted at a long day with potentially very good conditions. The grid time was set early with a launch soon to follow. The 18 Meter Class was launched at 12:10 and it was very soon after we had our first relight. Seems like one of our competitors had an inadvertent tow release that occurred at 1,000 feet. We were able to get him airborne again by using his CG hook at the end of the class. The ground crew did an outstanding job!  

Once airborne it became evident that the day was not as strong as originally thought. Again the Walmart parking lot was saving the gaggle from an early landing.  After 30 minutes, tasks were adjusted, task advisers were happy with the changes and everyone handled the subsequent roll calls in minimum time. The lift finally got a little better to send the group out into the unknown.  It wasn't long after that cu formed out in the task area and speeds started to soar. In FAI Combined, Dennis Linnekin scorched the field with a 201 mile flight at almost 75 mph.  Robin Clark was close behind at 74 mph.  The 18 Meter Class almost ran out of distance but John Murray did 70 mph over a 200 mile track. Sports Class rebounded well after the mass land out yesterday with Jake Alspaugh posting a 61 mph flight over 161 mile course. All in all it was a good day. Tomorrow looks like another good day and with the contest so close, it will be interesting. No banquet task tomorrow!

CD Rich Owen ZO

Posted: 6/10/2016


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