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Region 5 South - R5S Day 6 Another Great Cordele Contest

The 2018 Region 5 Glider Contest is in the bag and we have had six great days of racing at Cordele. The contest was superbly organized and run. We all owe a tremendous THANK YOU to the contest staff. Chris Carter and Lyn Forbes stepped up as Contest Managers and put on a truly great contest. Robin Clark did exceptionally well in his first stint as Competition Director. Dennis Linnekin also did exceptionally well as Weatherman for the contest. Dennis hit the happy medium for just the right type and amount of information and his forecasts were spot-on. What’s more, he never once forgot to report the freezing level. Murray Forbes ran Flight Operations and, as always, made it look easy. The tow and recovery operations were the best I’ve ever seen. All efficiency, no drama! The same goes for the excellent group of tow pilots: (Franklin Burbank, Martin Hollatz, Zach Kessler and Tom West). Their skill, professionalism and efficiency would make the Thunderbirds or Blue Angels envious. A soaring contest cannot happen without a scorer and oh, what a scorer we had in Sandra Danoff.  She would download a chip and have the scores updated before one could make it out of the scoring office!  And of course the retrieve desk run by Paula Mittell.  While we took advantage of less as the week progressed (thank goodness_, but who stayed on stand-by each day with dedication..?

 Today looked like it might not happen. The forecast was for a significant possibility of rain in the afternoon. Our CD wanted us gridded by 11:30 and for an early launch. Unfortunately, lots of fairly thick high clouds had us shaded out during the morning and much of it was still hanging around when the pilots meeting got underway at 10:00. Our weatherman, Dennis Linnekin, informed us that temperatures were not coming up as expected, so we fell back to gridding at the usual noon hour. By grid time, sunshine was hitting the ground over much of the task area and cu’s were seen to the east, west and south. The launch got underway at 12:30. Task advisors Joe Reeves and Wally Berry reported back that there were cu’s in all quadrants, but towering buildups and rain could be seen to the south and west. The original 3 hour TAT that would have sent everyone south was discarded and an entirely new task, a 2 hour TAT sending us east then north was called (Rochelle to Perry with 10 and 15 mile radii respectively). This turned out to be an excellent task call as it kept us out of the rain in the southern and western quadrants. Cu development rapidly became cu overdevelopment. Good looking dark, flat bottomed clouds promised great lift, but were often found to be secretive about where they were hiding the thermal core, or were outright lying. Even so, weak lift was reasonably abundant up to 4000 feet with the occasional 4 knotter going to 5000 feet hiding amongst the dross. It was not the easiest day we’ve had, but there were no landouts and no one seems to have had to struggle unduly.

 In Sports Class, the podium for the day was: Tim McGowin 1st; Wally Berry 2nd; and Joe Reeves 3rd.  Today’s win cemented the overall win for Tim. This is his second consecutive overall win at Cordele and at least his third time as Region V South Sports Class Champion. It was not an easy win by any means. Tim really did have to fight for it. A newcomer to Cordele, Sylvia Grandstaff took the early lead in the contest. Only 105 points separated Tim’s and Sylvia’s scores going into the final day. Sylvia finished 4th for the day, placing 2nd overall for the contest.  Keep an eye on Sylvia, she’s relatively new to racing and already winning days. Our 1st place winner from Day 5, Joe Reeves, made it onto the overall podium in 3rd.

 The day podium for the 18 Meter Class was Gary Carter winning the day, Dennis Linnekin 2nd, and Michael Solley, 3rd. Gary’s winning speed was a remarkable 61 mph. That was the fastest speed in any class and over 5 mph faster than his nearest competitor. The overall winners in 18 Meter are Sam Giltner 1st, Dennis Linnekin 2nd, and Mike Solley 3rd.

 The FAI Combined Class podium for day 6 was: Francois Pin, 1st; Mike Smith 2nd, and Billy Kerns, 3rd. For the overall FAI Class Championship, the podium lineup is Francois Pin, 1st; Billy Kearns, 2nd; and Mike Smith, 3rd.

 Congratulations to all the day winners and our new champions! Let’s do this again next year and don’t forget to bring your soaring friends!

By Wally Berry

Posted: 6/9/2018


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