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Region 11 FAI Class - California Grand Prix

As promised, one day would be a trail of a new racing format: a simultaneous start, handicapped turnpoint, first to finish wins the race. The results from this race would not count in the Region 11 FAI standings. 

The forecast was only slightly better than the pervious day, and an elaborate BBQ (put on by Dodo) was planned for the evening, so again a task going not to far afield was called: Mt Rose, Hallelujah Junction, Squaw Valley VOR twice around, followed by Mt Rose and then finish. In this task, all elapsed times are calculated from the gate open moment, regardless of when a competitor starts. There are penalties for early starts. Each glider has a unique turnpoint radius proportional to its handicap, such that the distance flown for each represents its handicap. Since the handicap correction is distributed over the course (combined with a simultaneous start), one can fairly assume if you are ahead of another, then you are ahead - no complex scoring needed. This real racing, not time trialing!

A large start cylinder was used to spread the gliders out a little, but on the day there was only one thermal inside it so a gaggle collected there waiting for the green flag. Everyone behaved themselves and they were off. The ceiling of the start cylinder allowed a quick trip to Mt. Rose, then the gliders began to spread out a bit. Similar to the day before, the lift on the Verdi/Loyalton ridge was absent, but found to the east. Only today was blue. There were enough gliders on course to effectively scour the area though, and even though the last few miles into Hallelujah were lift free, one could return and pick up a marked or previously used thermal. Then it was back across Truckee to the Squaw turnpoint - its radius had been set to require only flying a bit past Mt Pluto - then repeat again. The second time around the gliders had spread out considerably, and now one had to find the thermals with few markers. There was a final run to Mt Rose and then the finish. 

Everyone that participated enjoyed the format and we are hoping to refine it further to be able to run a week long contest in this way. Results are ranked simply by elapsed time (with the start time the gate open time), corrected by any penalties for early start, low finish, or missed turnpoints. Those that missed a turnpoint by more than the allowed (but penalized) grace limit were ranked behind the finishers by distance flown until the missed point. The results follow:

2018 California Grand Prix Results:

1) L6     Jon Fitch              2:40:26 elapsed time*     56.80 mph raw speed

2) HW    Hal Woodruff       2:48:29 elapsed time        55.43 mph raw speed

3) 8K     Sandy Coleman   2:51:42 elapsed time        58.05 mph raw speed

4) XC     Mike Mayo          2:52:47 elapsed time        48.15 mph raw speed

5) GW    Steve Koerner     2:52:51 elapsed time**    55.01 mph raw speed

6) 16      David Greenhill   3:29:25 elapsed time       43.42 mph raw speed

7) 6AF    Micheal Marsh     78.02 handicap miles (missed turnpoint 5)

8) 4AF    Charles Kaiser     32.64 handicap miles (missed turnpoint 3)

9) 1A      Tony Gaechter     29.62 handicap miles (missed turnpoint 3)

10) 7AF   Mason Dean       12.56 handicap miles (missed turnpoint 2)


* (60 sec penalty for missing turnpoint 1 by 0.06 miles)

** (including 60 second penalty for 8930’ finish)

Posted: 7/18/2018


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