We had a great day for a contest yesterday. We found the A and B fields were saturated and even had some standing water in places so after a search, we found that field F was perfect and moved there. We used 3 winches and a High Start. So, even if you are uncomfortable with a winch or flying a Woodie, feel free to try it out!
I know we had 10 entries for Unlimited and 4 for 2M. Even starting at 10:15 after the move to F finding thermals was a little difficult as Bill C. had forecasted. Finding thermals became a little easier as the day progressed. Bill C. had a great day with his Supra and had a great flight and landing on one flight I got to see during the day.
Jeff Melly was doing great with a Woodie! and some direction form Bob Gill and I can tell is getting more comfortable all the time.
Here is the thing guys, we have a lot of helpful/friendly members that can help you out if you want to try a contest. Don't get worried about the word contest, because they are really a fun fly and we count points.
Essentially no pressure what so ever. All you have to do is make your flight in a one hour window of you choosing. It’s very laid back and since I started flying in contests, I believe it has helped me become a better pilot and thermal sniffer. Try it, we don't bite!
One funny note. Timing for Robert and having him timing for me, I found that we are diabolically different how we decide where a thermal is. I usually find when my right wing goes up and it gets pushed to the left, I will turn right to get into the thermal and I usually find it works. Robert does the complete opposite and finds lift all the time. I'm very confused now! We also had many of the usual experts with an eagle, hawk and many turkey vultures that showed us how it's done.
I look forward to pouching a thermal of yours soon!
Dave the Pres
Sorry for the delay on this report. Went to a Cardinal game on Mother’s Day and then came down with Dave’s creeping crud this week....
Well, as Forest Gump would say, “life is like a box of chocolates.” And for us, you never know what you will find when you get to the field.
When I arrived Saturday morning there were three winches out near the buildings pointed West. That would have been fine but we discovered a wet area out in front that hadn’t been mowed plus we would have been landing over the barns. So, we decided to move over to the right (North) and try again. All looked fine until we started to walk the turnarounds out and ran into more water. Field B just seems to have a harder time draining than the other fields. After scouting out the West side of field A and the North end of field E, we finally decided to opt for the latter. And it turned out to work just fine.
Once we finally got going things worked out well. I think the delay actually worked out better for some as the ones who flew early in the 1st round ran into cool air and were down early, and those with the patience to choose better air got their times. The air was definitely better in the 2nd round and by noon the balloon was full on. The air seemed great everywhere.
I think the concept of an ‘Open Winch’ is still a little new for some. I kept getting questions about whether Unl or 2M was going to ‘go 1st’ and I had to keep saying that you can fly ‘what you want, when you want’ until the hour is over. I trust that more will get it as time goes by, and start being a little more choosy about picking their air.
Since this was our first 2M contest of the year where we had enough guys to fly, I was really glad to have a new Sagitta 600 ready to fly. I had just bought this plane last month, newly built but never flown, with only a few items left to do to get it in the air. A couple of hand tosses before the contest and then away we went. It probably isn't fair to a new plane to maiden it at a contest but it worked out pretty well. It does need a bit more up elevator travel and a bit less nose weight but all in all it performed very well for a new maiden.
We ended up flying four rounds (could have probably flown five if we had an earlier start) and most were ready to be done when we ended around 3:00. The usual suspects ended up at the top of the sheet and the rest of us had better start practicing more if we want to move up. Note: that doesn’t mean go out and fun fly more. It means go out and practice more. Fly for 10min and land on a tape. Get a beeper on your Tx or get a talking timer so that you can time your approach. We all need more practice setting up the timing of our approaches and learning when to turn back to the spot, depending on the breeze, if we want to hit the tape more often. If you want to see what it takes, take a look at the round by round results for Bob Gill and Robert Samuels in the Unlimited posting. Bob had four great flights, Robert flew 10 seconds more, but Bob had the better landings overall, and that was the difference. (a one point difference btw!)
The best part was that everyone had at least one or two really good flights and could go home with a smile of their face having had a great time. (isn’t that what it is all about?) I was really glad to see Jeff Melly out doing well with his Gentle Lady and his Olympic II. I’m sure those planes bring back a lot of fond memories for us oldsters. Also, high up on my list was Bill Coalson and how well he flew his new (to him) Supra. Good Job Bill!
Well that’s it until we turn around and do it all again next month.
btw, here is how it all shook out when all was said and done:
# Name Raw Norm
1 Bob Gill 2740 1000.00
2 Robert S 2739 999.64
3 Dave Q 2354 859.12
4 Wayne W 2095 764.60
5 Bob W 1804 658.39
6 Bill C 1576 575.18
7 Jeff Melly 1479 539.78
8 Ed Rau 1435 523.72
9 Rich R 1432 522.63
10 Art F 1091 398.18 * only 2 rounds flown
# Name Raw Norm
1 Robert S 2202 1000.00
2 Bob Gill 1684 764.76
3 Wayne W 1669 757.95
4 Jeff Melly 1162 527.70