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Senior Soaring Championship - Mar 10 Report

It’s the end of the practice period for the 27th Senior Contest. With the exception of today (the only semi-official practice day, with a scored task) the weather has been unusually good. We had three days in a row of fine cross-country soaring under beautiful cumulus clouds, occasionally with bases reaching 6000 feet (over ground that’s rarely above 150 feet). Task speeds near 75 mph and distances above 500 km have been recorded – Florida soaring rarely gets much better than that.

Today was different – and a struggle for most pilots: Winds were stronger, cumulus clouds much scarcer and lift much harder to find and work. On the day before a big competition, most pilots tend to take things a bit easy, which makes 14 outlandings an unusual result today. There were still smiles around the airfield this evening, but the faces of towpilots responsible for a dozen aero retrieves bore a disproportionate number.

Seminole Lake Gliderport is looking sharp and fully ready to host some 62 pilots, making this yet again a strong candidate for best-attended US soaring contest. The number of formidable RVs connected to electrical hookups here should be some sort of record (the collective electrical bill on a hot day surely has to be).

Posted: 3/10/2017


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