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Region 10 North - Day 1 Evening

Greetings Race Fans,

The promised front and wind shift has so far not reached Sunflower. As most of the forecasts predicted it laid just off to our west today. The day was slow to start, I think we finally started launch about 2:00 after our sniffer (an ASH-26E) made at least one extra motor run to stay aloft. But by the time we started the launch he had 2 knots to 5000 ft in rapidly improving lift.

The tasks were a 2.5 hr TAT for both classes. Kiowa, down on the Oklahoma border was the first turn with a 20 mile circle, followed by a 10 mile circle at Norwich.

Lift pre-start was abundandant and I think most pilots started out the top of 6000 ft. The first leg started out blue with enticing clouds in the distance to keep us moving. I found myself in a nice hole near the Kingman Airport but got away and made it west to a line of building cu. This line seems to have marked the wind shift/front as I found a very strong thermal there and got to 8000 ft then ran into the wind under the line for many many miles without circling, into the first turn area and back out.

The turn at Norwich required leaving this wonderful line of lift though, and while there were cu to the east, there did not seem to be lift. Furthermore the wonderful line I had just left seemed to be casting a shadow that extended all the way to the Norwich circle. Another big gear shift!

Just knicking the Norwich Circle I was back in the sunlight but low, then found a good climb to get final glide and raced home. Upon landing I found out that several Sports Class pilots had already landed and so had Mitch Hudson. So I hooked up Mitch's trailer and started a caravan south with Vicki Chounaird following me. Lou had landed at the Norwich airport, in the same direction as Mitch's field.

Not too long after heading south from Sunflower I saw a lone squad car in the distance with the lights flashing, but no pulled over car nearby. Interesting and strange, I though. Upon getting a little close I saw the reason for this State Troopers roadside vigil. Ron Leonard in his HP-18 was in the wheat field right by the highway! I'm sure Ron will have another story to add to his collection of Soaring Lore, and I hope he'll share it at the meeting in the morning.

So all in all it was a tricky day with some good areas and some bad. Tomorrow we will all be back for more.



Posted: 6/11/2018


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