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2019 Region 5 South - How close can it get

We are still trying to find a way to effectively communicate with competitors via mobile devices.  A trial use of an application called What’s App may be a solution.  After 3 days we have about half of the pilots using the service.  It is free and relatively easy to use without having to ask my grand kids to help.  We distribute tasks, messages, grid sheets, and social activity reminders.  I woke up this morning to a question via the app of whether a rest day was in consideration for the day.  A quick scan out the window revealed a beautiful Cordele morning.  Remembering the advice from a relatively famous CD, Charlie Spratt, I responded “If it’s not raining, we rig and grid!” 
Walking into the contest admin trailer, Scott Fletcher our weatherman, was hard at work getting the latest information to form the basis of setting our tasks.  Of course, he was wearing headphones, with his back to everyone and fingers dancing across the keyboard deep in thought.  During the pilots meeting a question came up regarding the process of the soaring forecast.  He said that he tries to say a lot of things about the weather so that maybe some of it actually happens.  Scott is not only a great weatherman but his t-shirts and sense of humor are legendary.  He is a pleasure to work with! 
Speaking about the weather, it was looking like another rip-roaring day in Cordele.  However, some high clouds were threatening to dampen some of the task area latter in the day.  The satellite view showed high cloud cover and we were hoping that it would pass to the north.  After the 15 Meter Class was almost done with the launch, we decided to back off the 300k Assigned Task for a Turn Area Task of the same nominal distance.  Soon after we switched the 18 Meter Class to a TAT before takeoff.  Sports Class had a closer in TAT that would not be affected by the coming weather.  After the start the sky got better and the speeds were really starting to rise.  Changing to the TAT had the benefit of allowing the pilots to fly a longer flight in the 3 hours allowed.  Climbs in the 4-8 knot range up to 8,000 ft were being achieved by most of the pilots.   The 15 Meter Combined Class again ruled the skies by beating out the 18 Meter guys by a mere .04mph!  Fernando Silva won the day again with a speed of 77.13mph over 232 miles.  Francois Pin and Billy Kerns took 2nd and 3rd.  Jim Frantz put in a valiant performance covering the same 232 miles in 77.09mph with John Murray and George Green finishing 2nd and 3rd.  The top two in Sports Class are only separated by 10 points with Kevin Anderson finishing first today at 69.92 raw and 63.17 handicapped over the 178 mile TAT.  Jason Arnold finished second and maintains a slight lead over Kevin for the overall lead.  Wally Berry finished in 3rd for the day.  It is anyone’s race and there are a number of pilots behind them waiting for the first open door.   
Tomorrow is another race day and there may be a little more moisture in the air.  A chance of rain is forecast but it should not prevent us from flying.  Hope the boys are getting a good night’s sleep, they are going to need it tomorrow. 

Rich 

Posted: 6/4/2019


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