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Senior Soaring Championship - Mar 11 Report

“If you liked yesterday [we didn’t], you’ll love today.” That was the introduction to today’s weather report from ace weatherman Fernando Silva. His point was that we’d have much the same airmass (so weak, blue thermals) with less wind (meaning those weak thermals might actually allow semi-decent progress). It seemed likely the day would die early – perhaps by 4:30. In the face of this, a fairly wimpy task was set

It didn’t work out as the forecast predicted – and (for once) in a good way. An area of cumulus clouds, predicted to stay tantalizingly out of reach to the northeast, instead developed nicely and overran the gliderport, giving good pre-start climbs to over 5000 feet. Task areas to the south stayed blue, but gave some pilots good lift to 6000 feet and above. Heading north, pilots connected with the clouds for (mostly) problem-free flying. Lift was available at least until 5 pm. In sharp contrast to yesterday, all pilots landed at home.

Fernando has talents that extend beyond weather prediction. In this case he grasped the real weather better than any other pilot and flew 133 miles at a speed over 72 mph, good for first place. A total of 7 pilots had raw speeds above 70 mph, on a day when before launch most would probably have settled for 50.

Posted: 3/11/2017


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