By Dan G. MVSA Webmaster
Updated: Sun 10:00am – Corrected – Updated year end for RES and UNL.
The 2021 soaring season in St. Louis ends with a cold blustery three round battle against the elements. The contest tipped the scale for the year end results.
“We had 8 macho participants in our TD contest today,” Rich R, CD for the contest said in the Google Group. “To say it was cold would be an understatement.”
The cold temperatures caused issues early on beginning with the first ALES flight. Wayne W. and Bill O. experienced battery issues on launch.
“Bill O and I had to drop out of ALES early because our batteries were too cold to support the required motor amp draw,” Wayne W. said in the Google Group. “Ran about three sec and then the voltage sagged to the cutoff point. I should have taken a battery warmer with me. Some pocket warmers could have helped me with the cold as well. Will know better next time.”
ALES was left to Larry A. and Bill R.. Today was Bill’s second TD contest and his first ALES. Bill would fly for 4 minutes 15 seconds in round 1, just 28 seconds short of Larry. One of the later rounds Bill would fly for longer but lost his plane’s rudder in what looked like a low-level micro-burst. Larry would have his own issues, damaging a flap. Larry would win today’s ALES and Bill would bring in 294 points.
““Almost lost feeling in both fingers and toes. Everyone voted to quit after 3 rounds. Best call of the year in my book.”
– Wayne W.
Larry and Wayne had been vying for the ALES title all season, sharing every class win. Wayne’s early departure today followed by Larry’s win would not be enough. Wayne will take home the ALES class title for 2021.
In Unlimited, a few weeks ago Wayne W. and Bob G. were in a statistical tie for the season title while the same went for a “cold rivalry” for 3rd place between Robert S. and Dave Q. Enter today’s events. Bob G. was nowhere to be found – he had a previous commitment with the Carlyle Sailing Association. This left the opportunity wide open and Wayne walked in. His flights would be markedly shorter – with a 7:13 in round 3 and two in the 4-minute range.
“[I] Flew my Xplorer3 in Unlimited but it was mostly launch and land,” Wayne said in the Google Group. “Did find some spotty lift in the last round to extend the flight, but for most, flights were over quickly.”
This would be good for 1st place today and for the Unlimited class title for 2021. We will have to see how this plays out next season.
Dave Q. would make one sortie in Unlimited in round 1 with a 1 minute 56 second flight. His telemetry system warned him of a lower receiver battery and he forced the plane down cutting short his flight and his chances at class glory today. The absence of flights would open the door for Robert and Dan to move up in the class rank for the season. Robert would move up to 3rd and Dan would take 4th.
Today’s biggest class would be RES with five flyers. Dan G. would take the first round with a 6 minute 35 second flight and 72 landing points. This would be 3-minutes longer than the rest of the squad. Bill O. would take round two. Round three – Bob W. could be seen soaring above for what promised to be the flight of the round. He was not happy with is off field landing. This left the door open for Rich who pushed through hard with the longest flight of day at 8 minutes 16 seconds. This flight also assured the win over Dan G. by only 18 raw points and 20.2 in the normalized. Rich wins RES today.
On the season, Bob G’s absence opened the door for a change at the top. Dan G. has been knocking at the door all season and gladly took the opportunity today but it would not be enough. Dan G. will finish 2nd in RES for the season.
In 2M, only two participants braved the cold to meet on the field, Bill O. and Dan G.. The two would pass along their flight times and landing times throughout the three rounds. Hearing Bill’s time in round two, Dan flew for 13 seconds longer and nearly the same landing, winning round two. Bill would win two rounds, the first by 88 points – a large part of his 90-point win in the raw score. Bill took home the win for 2M today.
The flight for 2M and the season came down to a phone call between the new Contest Coordinator and today’s CD.
“We had only 2 participants in 2M and there was a question as to whether this was enough to be a contest,” Rich said in the Google Group. “Bob [the Contest Coordinator] said this was up to the CD and that sometimes we have made an exception and made a contest with just 2 participants. I decided to call it a valid 2M contest since Bill O. and Dan G. had gone to the trouble of bringing and flying a 2M in these difficult conditions. Another consideration was the fact that Bill O. and Dan G. were neck and neck in the 2M standings.”
The decision cleared the way for the results to feed year end results. Bill and Dan were in a fairly tight fight against Bob G for the year end. In Bob’s absence today, Bill O. pulled to within 100 points but falls short. Bill will finish 2nd and Dan will take 3rd for the season in 2M.
Rich would call the question after two round – fly three rounds or four. It was unanimous. Three rounds would be enough for the last contest of the year. – One voice called out – ‘I wish this contest was on Tuesday. It’s going to be 70.’ On the Google Group several flyers are planning to fly on Tuesday.
“It was a great day for a contest, except for the part where I about froze,” Wayne said in the Google Group. “Almost lost feeling in both fingers and toes. Everyone voted to quit after 3 rounds. Best call of the year in my book.”