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2019 Region 11 FAI Class - Monday - Amusing ourselves while waiting for weather

In traditional fashion, the soaring weather as decided to take a vacation during contest week. The briefing suggested low thermal heights (for Truckee - 12,000 msl) and strong winds. The task committee consensus was it was unlikely there would be many finishers if the gliders were sent over the hill: Truckee is surrounded by mountains and higher thermals are needed to return. The alternative of a local cat's cradle or MAT was unattractive as well as the conditions even in the valley were questionable and these tasks are uninteresting. A No Contest day was declared. 

The contest has been given a waiver to try a GP style task which will count in the scoring. Such a task was run as a trial last year and was a great success, based on feedback from participants. We decided to give this task as a practice today, for those who wished to fly. The California GP task is an assigned task, with TP radii handicapped for each glider such that the handicapped distance is constant across the field. The start time is fixed for everyone, and first glider home wins. 10 pilots elected to participate including the CD, Mike Mayo (E5) flying as guest. To keep people close to the airport, the task was: Start, Verdi Peak, Martis Peak, Mt Rose, Donner Summit, Verdi Peak, Mt Rose, Truckee. Every turn point was handicapped, with a different radius for each glider. 

When the grid was launched, we discovered better than expected conditions, it was possible with patience to climb to 13,000, well above the 12,000 start cylinder top. A start time of 14:15 GPS was declared, and off we went. By the second turnpoint, there was a trend, with John Cochran (BB) setting the pace, hotly contested by Hal Woodruff (HW) and a few others hanging on. Conditions were a little more sparse going into Donner Summit and it began to look like BB and HW were going to be hard to catch as the field spread out. At the finish, BB led HW by 29 seconds, with Jon Fitch (L6) 3 minutes behind filling out the podium. The results:

California GP practice day results:


 Rank Elapsed   ID       Name                   Glider               Actual      Note

 ---- ----- -- ----            ------  ---- ------ ----- -------- ------

    1   0:53:17   BB      Cochrane, John      ASH-31Mi          77.20          

    2   0:53:46   HW     Woodruff, Hal         304S Shark       74.23          

    3   0:57:25   L6       Fitch, Jon              ASH-26E           69.16  

    4   1:00:34   2XX     Coleman, Sandy    ASG-29-18        67.11  

    5   1:01:14   9B       Blackburn, Andy    ASW-27            63.87  

    6   1:03:16   P9       Richards, Kerry      SZD-55-1         57.69

    7   1:04:14   LL       Cleveland, David    Ventus b-1        59.48  

         1:10:49   E5      Mike Mayo              Ventus b Guest

    8   1:13:45   J3       Herron, Matt          ASW-27            53.03  

    9   1:28:40   CBB    Bluedorn, Britton    ASW-27            44.10  

   10   53.71 mi 1A      Gaechter, Tony        ASG-29-18                       Missed TP 6  


Everyone that flew thoroughly enjoyed the task.

We intend to run this task later in the contest for points. The speeds are manually entered into Winscore, which will then assign points per the 1000 point SSA system and add to the cumulative score for the contest.

The weather for Tuesday looks slightly improved and we hope for the first official day.

- Jon Fitch (L6)

Posted: 7/15/2019


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