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Region 11 FAI Class - Race Day 3

Day 3 arrived with perhaps too much of what we wished for: Monsoonal moisture and unstable air returned, and our weather guru predicted an axis of impassible over development running from Mt. Patterson east to Mt. Grant and beyond by mid afternoon. With some optimism, the CD called for a task to Mina, which might allow a transit east of the convection. At grid time, towering vertical development could already be seen from the ground at Truckee, with two distinct anvils. 

From the air one could see a wall of over development south of the Pine Nut range, so a decision to change to task B was called: Topaz International Airport with 30 mile radius and Air Sailing also with 30 miles. Gliders gaggled at the edge of the start cylinder near Mt. Rose, and most left soon after the gate was opened to try to stay ahead of the advancing over development. Crossing the Carson valley to Mineral peak, the arrival altitudes were low and the thermals weak and broken, gaining strength down by Mt. Siegel where about 15,500 ft could be realized. Some turned there, but several pilots judged the cloud shelf on the storm cell at Mt Paterson should be soarable, and attempted it, running down the middle of the Walker Valley. No one found it to work at all, if you were high you could return from Walker with the hope of regaining the Mt Siegel thermal, if low there was serious work getting out as GW found out. 

Mt Siegel (or really Mt Baldy) continued to work with now a well formed cloud over it. Here the pilots split, with some using the 16,000 ft + height as a good opportunity to return to Truckee across Lake Tahoe, and another contingent heading around the east side of the Reno Class C to Air Sailing. The former found an easy return to Truckee, but weak conditions once there, the latter found an easy (and smooth) glide to Air Sailing, and weak conditions there. A couple of pilots went down at Air Sailing and another at Reno/Stead, but several fought it out and returned over Verdi ridge. 

The other contingent scratched at Truckee for some altitude, then flew up the Verdi/Loyalton ridge to clip the edge of the Air Sailing cylinder, and returned home. A few pilots found a third way: returning from Siegel to the Virginia range, they got a sufficient climb to fly straight in over Mt Rose. 

The day was again won by David Greenhill (16), with a raw speed of 75.91 mph. Second was Hal Woodruff (HW) with a speed of 70.46 mph. Both had gone around east of Reno. Third was Peter Deane (2T) at 60.61 mph, who had come back to Truckee first. 

Bill Gawthrop, flying for fun, braved the weather and flew south of Mina, east to beyond Austin, back through Gabbs and returned to Truckee late in the afternoon, his trace indicating well over 500 miles, proving what a spectacular flight a JS1C-21 - with Bill in it - can do. 

Reported by L6

Posted: 7/19/2018


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