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Region 5 South - A Distance Day CD, Really

Usually on the last day, tasks are called to ensure everyone gets back early and the places on the scoresheet from the previous day rarely change. Well, today the weather threw us a curve ball. After the pilots left the gate, two important issues happened. First, there was rain that popped up between the first and second turn point that cooled the second turn point so much that soaring flight was not possible. Second, those in the FAI Combined and 18 Meter Class that had experience in distance days won out. The Sports Class had a difficult task due to the unforecast weather conditions and Eric Lambert and Tim McGowin were the only two pilots in the contest to complete their task for the day. 

At dinner tonight it was pointed out that I was one of very few CD's who had landed out the entire contest over a two day period. Unfortunately, the last day of the contest none of the 18 Meter or FAI Combined Classes made it around.

Weather plays a very important part in our sport. But what is more important is the judgement and aviation skill of our competitors. When faced with difficult conditions they know when to abandon a task and head for an airport or home.  During this contest everyone came home safely and all the ships were returned to their box undamaged. 

Sports Class was won by Tim McGowin who had his son Jack crew for him. In 18 Meter Class, Henry Retting not only flew a great contest, but also kept us entertained along the way. The FAI Combined Class had some heartbreak but a very capable and talented aviatrix came through and won. Sarah Arnold again proved determination with a smile on your face will always win out. Here is to our winners and all the contestants that joined us during this week.

It has been my pleasure to be associated with this contest staff. The kids who made up our ground crew were a joy to be around. The trips to lunch and to the Dairy Queen with them were a great break in the day. Our scorer, Larry Goddard, took great care of us and was very responsive to the many tasks that were generated during this contest.  Fernando Silva proved his worth as a weatherman and close friend again. It is always a pleasure to do a contest together, but let's plan to play golf next time FS.Our retrieve office did get a good workout and Chris Carter was more than capable to handle the task. We left no one in a field very long and aero retrieves went well due to our Chief Tow Pilot Martin. Zach, who ran operations, did a fantastic job keeping the ground crew safe while sending the grid into the air. And finally our Contest Manager, Andreea is a wonderful, energetic individual that makes my job fun. We have been around in the same circles for a number of years and all of us in Seminole-Lake absolutely love her and Sara. I'm truly blessed to be working with this group of professionals.

Tomorrow I will be heading home to reacquaint myself with my family but I will certainly miss all of you. Thanks again for a fun, safe contest!!


Rich, CD


Posted: 6/11/2016


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