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Region 11 FAI Class - Race Day 1

Race Day 1


Another year a the Truckee FAI races, 19 official entrants and 3 flying as guests, the largest turnout yet for this contest!


The practice day on Sunday had been plagued by monsoon moisture, thermals were weak and disorganized, only getting strong just under clouds. The day had blown up at the end with lightening and rain cutting off most of the turning circle to the south (Hawthorne, 30 miles) and the circle to the west (USMC base, 15 miles) was largely obscured by smoke, making the return to Truckee challenging. There were several landouts at Carson city, but a number of gliders completed the task, with Thomas Greenhill (5T) turning in the fastest handicap speed in his Std Cirrus. 


The weather report for Monday was for monsoonal moisture that we have had, drying out as the day went on. Thermal heights were predicted to be around 14,000, some clouds but a lot of blue. An ATT task was called with large circles due to the uncertainty, Sweetwater with a 30 mile radius and Adams Peak with a 28 mile radius. The launch began at 12:15 and the gate opened at 2:05. 


Climbs to the 12,000 start ceiling were easily had and most of the gliders started immediately. The usual route to the Pine Nuts did not work, in fact very little was usual about the weather today. The front of the Pine Nut ridge had only sink, but spotty lift could be found in the valley beyond. As pilots went south to Mt Siegel, smoke obscured any view of the weather further south. Some went as far south as Mt Patterson and reported it very murky.


The north turnpoint could be reached by going back to Truckee and then north, but most opted to go around to the east of the Reno Class C airspace. It was blue but with some decent climbs near the Tracy Power Plant, and good clouds near Air Sailing and further north. The leaders extended into the circle north of Air Sailing to get to the minimum task time. Clouds marking the return to Truckee began to dissipate as the contestants returned, though thermals could still be found in the blue. 


There were still a few landouts, mostly at Carson City by gliders on the way out, confused by the unusual conditions on the Pine Nuts. 


Luke Ashcroft (LA) won the day with a raw speed of 70 mph, followed by Peter Deane (2T) and David Greenhill (16) at 65.73 and 65.35 respectively. 


Prediction for Tuesday is much the same, perhaps a little higher and drier.


Reported by L6

Posted: 7/16/2018


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