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2019 Region 11 FAI Class - Weather turns good enough for MAT task

The weather was slightly improved from the dismal Wednesday, it looked possible to leave the valley to the northeast. The task committee decided on a MAT with Air Sailing and Pond Peak manditory and a two hour minimum. There was fear that it would wash out in the afternoon and no one would get home later. Slower pilots could stay in the Air Sailing/Reno Stead area, all near airports, and faster pilots could go south to the Pine Nuts (the forecast said...). 

After the launch it became apparent that there was much more cloud than predicted, though the bases were lower at around 12,000. With cloud markers, most of the fleet went straight from Mt Rose at the edge of the start cylinder to Peavine Pk overflying the Reno Class C (we are allowed to do this by waiver). Then on to Air Sailing which was blue. Hal Woodruff (HW) led and found the first thermal on the Pond Peak ridge which was quickly joined by 6 more gliders. Around the Pond Peak turn point and back to the clouds further west you speed depended on which thermal you happened to blunder into, or leached from. 

The leaders went back to Peavine, then it was decision time: choices where back to Air Sailing in the blue, or north and west where there were clouds towards Sierraville and Hallelujah Junction. Andy Blackburn (9B) and a few others opted to repeat the lap around Air Sailing and Pond Peak as it was known territory. Others tried Sierraville and Hallelujah Junction and reported it pretty soft as the clouds ran out before the turn points. Still others turned at the White House under good clouds, then returned to Truckee to find themselves early enough to have to take a few local turn points to get to minimum time. 

While not a great day, it was relative to the last three and everyone had good fun. Noel Wade (98) again won the day, with a raw speed of 82 mph. John Cochrane was again second with 76 mph raw, and Andy Blackburn (9B) 3rd at 72. 

It looks like a much better day tommorrow!

- Jon Fitch (L6)

Posted: 7/19/2019


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