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1-26 National Champtionships - Day 3, Gonna Bring On The Clouds, a little

At the pilot’s meeting, Jimbob Slocum gave his winning solo report.

“It was quite a day. It was not so easy again, but it was a total dogfight of multiple contestants, which are really exciting. I think Val counted just up here, just prior to start or just after start, 19 of us within a thousand feet. It's pretty exciting. I did a usual, kind of a backside start, with a lot of followers for some reason. I was really using the wind a lot yesterday for drifting. So I tried to get in to a thermal, far side drift up, and when the start gate opened up, I would say we had five, less than ten minutes I was able to thermal to the top. At that time it was about 4500 MSL I think. I actually had to, I was out at the start gate, dove in, dove out, and back where I knew there was a big gaggle waiting in the middle.

It's really nice when, on a blue day, when there's a gaggle or two or three other people certainly because you don't have to waste time flying speed to fly, you just dive at them. So that worked out well. Maybe just a couple thermals going to Clinton. And again, the drift didn't help at that point, but we had to have, they were just huge gaggles every time in a thermal. At Clinton, we ended up probably with five of us, there were some guys circling up to the north, which was nice, we thought it was gonna go back that way. Went to the far side and outside of the Clinton cylinder, headed north west, saw some guys circling.

We all, it was just kind of dog eat dog going all the way there. We did kind of a side by side, using each other for lift markers and whoever got it first went over. Got up to, Frye and folks were circling, the thermals weren't so great and I left it really at about 3000 AGL to go as far as I could into Frye and back where I knew the guys would be circling again, which was handy. Only a little bit, wasn't so great headed towards Walmart where we had some good markers. I was getting sore and the day was starting to weaken up a little bit and I knew, I was so tempted at Walmart to head back, but I knew I'd get back probably ten minutes early. I could of had a really fast final glide from there, but I saw that everyone else was doing it, including Daniel. I saw him ahead and I knew that a whole bunch of us started almost the same time at the back, on the back side of everything, and I knew that was a strategy and was a good winning strategy, but I knew to distinguish myself from the rest was to attempt to head down to Firth. I was so tempted on the way just to head to Caesar Creek, it was just a little left turn and I would kind of go back and forth from what final glides to both Firth and Caesar Creek, but I just decided to go for it. Of course the first thermal I hit out there, Curt's right under my tail, along with Jeff Daye, he comes in just above it, and he was frustrating me cause he would always stay about 200 feet above me. Anyways we thermalled on up and got pretty much back up to 5000, 4000 AGL.

So, we thermalled, we got up and we just headed on in to, I was flying side by side with Jeff, Curt's right under my tail again. So anyways as we entered the cylinder there at Firth, my final glide back to Caesar Creek was 1500 minus so I knew that we had to have a good thermal to get back and we just weren't hitting it. I was really resigned to landing it at Firth and I saw, as we entered the cylinder, Jeff take this big wide circle and I though ah is he gonna head back and no he continued to circle, so I slopped on over and he had a whopping 2500 or 25 feet a minute. And was damn glad to get it.

We were at 1800 ATL and we ground and ground and ground. I suspect we did about 30 turns over 10 minutes and gained 100 feet. And all we were doing was just working on faith that it might turn into something cause sometimes if you just work and wait and wait, it'll develop and sure enough all of a sudden it just turned into 200 and then 400 feet a minute and up to 5000 at the top of the haze layer. We had it, all three of us left together. Jeff left that about 10 seconds earlier, and I just kinda followed behind him and I knew I had better penetration within the funnel.


As I passed by I smiled and I "whoop." Was able to finish up over here. We hit one good bump 6 miles south and I just kind of rode it at 70 and then I just pushed it over to 110 to come back over and land. So that was about it and since I was channeling Ron Schwartz for the happy dance, it's oogalacha oogalacha.“

Jonathan Leal of 008 gave the team winning report.

“Well, my report is almost the same as Jim Bob's because the flight started out the same. Actually, my flight started out realizing that I don't even have my cell phone with me. And that's not really a good place to start the flight, but I realized that we did a lot of hang gliding over the years and we can retrieve without cell phones. We know how to do that.

But I saw Jim Bob and Daniel out in the front and I figured, "well those guys probably know their way around here." I got a brand new logger, I'm not real good with it yet so I decided that I was gonna follow those guys. So I was one of the leeches. And I was always there when these guys turned around. And it was a big help. I followed them all the way until we got to Walmart and then I decided to come in and land just because I knew that I had made it back at that point.

Had a great flight, and thanks for all the help you guys. Appreciate it.”

It was Philip du Plessis’ first completed 1-26 task so we asked him to share his experiences.

“I was lucky enough to be the sniffer. So I just had to survive through the start of the race. And the whole time I was in that start circle I didn't even know how I was gonna get out, up wind. It just seemed like such a battle. Every time I caught a nice thermal up to the top of the thermal and went forward, I was back at the middle of the start circle, time to thermal again.

Eventually I worked by way out and I saw a big airport. I'm like, that must be Clinton. It was Wilmington, so luckily I diverted. I ended up at Clinton at about 1,200 feet. Getting the frequency right to announce my pattern, I heard a little bump and I thought, you know, I could do this pattern at 800 feet. Let me do one turn. I went around and I was 50 feet higher and I went around again, I was another 50 feet higher and then I worked my way up. And then the whole time I was flying I didn't see anybody. I'm like, where is this gaggle?

And then after that it seemed a little bit easier. And now I'm realizing that this is not just about survival, it's a sport too. I could've gone deeper. I literally just touched each little circle and I came back from Fry on the yellow, just between the yellow and the green, going as fast as I could. And I made it back out 3,000 feet and thought, Now I've learned why. You've got to go back of the circle while you enter the finish circle at the back of the thing to get that extra mile. But next time. Thank you.”

Contest Director, Bill Vickland had a few things to cover.

“One is, we're gonna send two sniffers, at 12:30 pm. The first launch may be as I mentioned, possibly, may be at 12:45 pm. We'll go with that unless we have another pilots meeting, depending on what the call is for the sniffers. In which case we'll probably launch maybe at 1:00 pm, but be ready to launch at 12:45 pm.

And we're calling tomorrow a rest day right now. So you can sleep in, go to the Dayton Museum. By the way if you haven't been to the Dayton Museum, you can spend all day there.

Dan Reagan gave the weather report.

“TopMeteo is saying that cloud base is 5000 feet at 1:00 pm and 6000 feet during the rest of the day. TopMeteo is saying blue, there'll be clouds out there about 10 miles further than you can get to, just tease you all day, right out there. Winds will be less than yesterday, according to them, at your altitude. The buoyancy/shear will be better today than yesterday.

The winds on the ground--National Weather Service here--is 2:00 pm at five miles and hour. So should be fine here. Dr. Jack somewhat agrees with TopMeteo.

Then we get to SKYSITE. At 12:30 pm, three and a half knots, AGL soarable height is 2200. At 1:30 pm, we've got four knots and then 3800 AGL, at 1:30 pm. And then it comes up to almost 6000 at 4:30 pm. And the day according to SKYSITE is gonna continue out until about 5:30 pm. We've got three knots at 5:30 pm, according to this. This is showing clouds developing at 2:30 pm. From what they're showing around 2:00 pm we should have clouds, and the clouds will be light on the edge of them and the clouds will be in that direction, so hopefully they'll get over us.”

Bill Vickland held a pilot’s meeting on the grid.

“We're gonna do a turn area task. We're gonna have a backup of turn area task, but three hours is the primary. If we find things are not as great as we think they're gonna be right now, then we'll revert to our backup. We'll call a pilot's meeting on the grid and we'll change it back to two and a half hours. We're gonna launch the sniffer at 12:30 pm. And we're gonna be ready to fly at 1:00 pm. So, let's be sure to be able to.

After the grid meeting I video taped Bill Vickland’s introduction and also here is Philip’s I didn’t publish yesterday. I still have a few of the CCSC team.

“My name is Bill Vickland, I'm from Arlington, Virginia. I fly 238 which I built as a kit in 1964. It took me two years to build it. I've been flying it ever since. I've missed probably three 126 championships in the last 44 years. This is about the fifth or sixth time I've been to Caesar Creek. It's one of my most favorite soaring sites.”

Hi. My name is Philip du Plessis and I'm with Aero Club Albatross and I'm very grateful to be with flying with Pierre and Team 686. This is actually my first contest and my first contest launch today. I'm very much looking forward to it. (See above, he finished the task!)

And finally I did a bit of reporting from my cockpit on the way back from Fayette, “Hello, this is Chuck Lohre, the Contest Reporter for the 1-26 Championships. I'm flying in the vintage class in my ASW-15 and I’ve just made final glide back to Fry from Fayette County. It's a really good day. Cloud bases are at 6500 feet over the ground. And really good strong four and five knot thermals. I’ll show you my aircraft’s instruments. I have an altimeter here. See, it's going up, flying straight. My air speed indicator and this is my flight computer then my radio. And this is my moving map that does my flight calculations and tells me what course to fly. So, what a tremendous day to be here in southwest Ohio, flying in the 1-26 Championships. We've had three great contest days and we'll have a rest day tomorrow. We're at the Caesar Creek Soaring Club near Waynesville, Ohio. Come on and check us out.”

Thanks for your interest in the 1-26 Championships and please call or send your comments and photos to Chuck Lohre, 513-260-9025, chuck@lohre.com.

Posted: 5/25/2018


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