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Region 2 North - Day 3 report

Hey all,

There hasn't been much of an update other than scores on the SSA Website.   Here's a quick update for the curious.

ACA is well-represented, with Gregg, John Y., Boris,  Chip B., Bill H., Alain, and me in the field.  All of us except Alain are in the "high performance sports class".   Insert jokes here.

Day 1 (Friday) we were right on the edge of thick cirrus to the south.  With relatively good air in place, it was just a question of getting the sun on the ground.  There were periodic breaks in the cloud, and I launched as sniffer around noon.  Pretty weak locally but a few miles north it got better and better.    I ran out to the Catskills and was able to consistently climb to 5,000 - 6,000 feet under fairly honest Cu.   Meanwhile,  guys locally were struggling to get above tow release.  Eventually the call was made to go with a reduced TAT using the usual turnpoints up and down the Wurtsboro/Ellenville/Otisville corridor.  In the end, only about 1/3 of the fleet got away.   Boris and Gregg managed to get points.  The rest of the ACA crowd scored goose eggs.  I had to backtrack 20 miles to get to the gate.  Should've just nipped it and run,  but figured somebody circle in the gate had a decent climb. Nope :-)

On a more serious front,  Alberto Recchi had to crash-land his Shark in a swamp.   He let himself get into a situation where the engine had to work, and it didn't.    Glider is still in the swamp pending a plan to retrieve it.  Looks like moderate damage, but should be salvageable. 

Day 2 (Saturday) was predicted to be blue except for a few Cu in the mountains.    The day actually was about as forecast, maybe a bit better with some good climbs up to 5,000+.   Gregg got over 6,500 down toward Port Jervis.    It was a good racing/tactics days, with decisions to be made on where to go deep and where to cut corners.  Most of the ACA contingent got around,  with Yorston topping the ACA team with a solid second place.      Overall for me, it felt like a really fun day and one which rewarded “sporting risk” appropriately (i.e. landing out as opposed to risk of life and limb).      This was also the first day for the “Low Performance Sports Class”,   and Hank won the day in the ASK-21 flying faster (unhandicapped) than most of the rest of the fleet.  Some days it all just works.

Day 3 (Sunday) was again predicted to be blue and a bit weaker.    With southeast winds, there was a chance that the backside of the ridge would work.  Unfortunately, there isn’t much of a backside near Wurtsboro.    Chip was defacto sniffer and immediately got a couple of good climbs above 4,000 which was at the higher end of forecast.   The rest of the fleet launched, and most everyone stuck.    Most folks stayed on the high ground to the NW of the field,  but Boris snuck over to “the ridge” side.   Sure enough,  lift was good there as well, and I came and joined him.  We went through the top of the gate and headed SW.   I figured we’d go a few miles in the first turn (huge circle around Dingman’s Ferry).    We hit good thermals every 5-7 miles and were making good progress when we crossed Interstate 84.     With a big cirrus shadow encroaching, I thought it was time to reverse course and make miles in the sun.  Boris had other ideas, and he disappeared past High Point.  Turns out he flew the Blairstown Backside ridge all the way to the DWG;  amazing flight.       I had an easy run back north and went around the ‘Gunks to Mohonk house.  Beautiful (short) ridge there but really spectacular.     Meanwhile, the rest of the fleet was starting to get shaded out,  and folks started to get low.   There was a 30 minute period where the only tactic was to stay airborne;  I took every scrap of lift waiting for the sun to come back.     When it finally did, the day cooked off again,  and about half the fleet completed the task,  though it was a real struggle.   All of us were on the ground back at Wurtsboro by around 4:30-5:00, except Boris.   A quick look at the spot tracker showed he was still in the air.   A couple of radio calls confirmed “still flying”.     Finally, around 6 p.m. he showed up in the pattern with a complete task.    A true iron-man day.   

So, at the all-star break,   ACA is occupying 3 of the top 5 positions, with none other than XA, Boris Kubrack in first.  No, that’s not a typo.    It’ll take a mis-step from any of the top 3 for either Gregg or me to make a big move, but with more fluky weather you never know. 

Posted: 6/11/2019


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