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2019 15 Meter National - Day 1

How do you call a Task when the forecast is for a day that starts late, ends late, and is supposed to overdevelop in between? I’ll get back to you when I know.

Fernando is an outstanding weatherman. Everything he says comes with a level of certainty. Early in the day, the uncertainty is high, but the information is still valuable. Later in the morning, he becomes more confident with the general trends, and at the very last moment, which is usually during the Pilots Meeting, his various weather models either converge or they don’t, and if they do, you can pretty much bank on his synopsis for the day.

So today we left the Pilots Meeting in no particular hurry, believing that the weather would be good for soaring late in the afternoon, with unpredictable cycles of overdevelopment and very little wind. It all came true.

The Task was a 164 mile chevron-shaped AT to the east. We got everyone up without any problem and the Task opened 13:50. It didn’t seem to matter when you departed. Everyone had trouble.

The run to the first turnpoint, Darlington, was quick, but that’s where the fun ended. The 40-mile second leg was covered by a big shadow, and nobody reported having an easy time of it. Everyone got low, and a few landed or started their powerplants. The ones that survived until the sun came back out were able to tiptoe to the second turn and then head back toward home. The third leg required some big deviations, and the final downwind leg to the finish was relatively easy, at least compared with the rest of the flight.

Jerzy Szemplinski was the winner, at nearly 70 mph. He said it was “very difficult,” which immediately causes one to wonder what his speed would be on a day he considered easy.

Photo #15112 | XG Flight 07 May 201

Jerzy was followed by Sergei Morozov and Henry Retting.

There were five incompletes, including three outlandings. The farmers around here are universally friendly, and John Mittell came home with a pint of moonshine he promises to share at the next party.

Another excellent dinner in the Briefing Hangar featured chicken, veggies, peach cobbler, and more of the finest homebrew in all of gliding.

-Rick

Posted: 5/7/2019


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