First Contest of 2022 – Lift, Light & Variable

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By Dan G., MVSA Webmaster

UPDATED Monday May 16th:
Saturday, eight members flew in the first contest of 2022 braving light and variable conditions with temps in the low 90s.

Despite a forecast of overnight rain today’s CD Bob G. pushed on for a contest today. Light and variable conditions today brought at times downwind winch launching and “sandbagging” (waiting for the right conditions). The mix of downwind launching and upwind landing made for an interesting contest where the landing direction was not known at the launch. Contest Results are available on the club’s Contest Page


Rich R. (left) and Robert S. (right) fly between the winch to the right and the landing area to the left.

Unlimited saw the most flyers with six and like RES lead to a fierce battle for 2nd place.

UNL – Round 1

Four of the six sorties in round 1 returned with nearly full 10-minute flights. The first flight in UNL turned into a ground battle. Bob G. would make is worst landing in UNL with 72-points. Dan G. stepped in with a 68-point landing good for 2nd place for the round (a mere 3 points behind). Rich R. and Robert S. would begin their battle with only 5-points between them scoring 50 and 41 points at the tape.

Dan G. working on a elevator issue with his Aspire ship before the contest.

UNL – Round 2

Rich R. continued his fight for 2nd with a 10:09 flight and 46 landing. Robert S. landed at 8:47 but scored 75-points on the landing. At the end of round 2, Rich R. lead Robert S. by a mere 11-points. By this point they saw a 97-point lead over the next flyer – Bill O..

UNL – Round 3

Rich R. and Robert S. flew identical times in the air but Rich R. scored 8 more points than Robert S. on the ground – increasing his would be margin for 2nd place by 5-points – a 16-point lead.

UNL-Round 4

Bob G. walked up the winch with 4-seconds off a perfect time (plus a penalty for going slightly over in round 1 – 10:06) held a 116-point lead in 1st place. He would finish the flight at 10 minutes 6 seconds and 85 landing points to secure 1st place honors and 679-points (losing points for going over time). However, that is not where the story ends. The flight was “no slouch” but Larry (who finished in 5th place) flew for 10:02 and score an 87-point landing – for 685 points.

Meanwhile the fight for second place would take a turn. Rich R. continued his “red zone flying” – going into the round 9-seconds away for a full-time day (+ a penalty in round 2 for going 4-seconds over). This would be no different. Landing at 9 minutes 58 seconds would put him only 6-seconds out from a perfect time day (again the time penalty in round 2). Robert S. cheered from his umbrella seeing the landing but the cheers soon as Rich R. dropped his head. On a light and variable wind day when the wind could switch by 180-degrees – could he have aimed for the wring end of the tape? His 99-point potential had melted into a 1-point landing. Would it be enough for 2nd place?

““It was my best landing of the day by far,” Rich R. said on the phone, “but it was the wrong end of the tape. It cost me dearly – it cost me nearly 100 points.”

In his final flight of the day, Robert S. would fly for 10:08 and score an 84-point landing. By the time he was shading watching Rich R. make his final flight – it was his lead to lose from the shade of his umbrella. The landing would be more than enough for second place by 61-points.

Bill O. walks his unlimited ship back to the ramp.

PS: On a day rife with wind shifts and plenty-o’-lift for many and scarcity for some – one man dominated the lift – this man was Bill O.. Often could be heard this man from shout from the field as his place flew high above his secret thermal generators. Piloting a state-of-the art flying machine his times would be “too much”. While Rich R. flew for a time penalty for 10:09, Bill O. did one better – try 10 minutes 22 seconds – the longest flight of the day. In round 4, he would do the same  – 10 minutes 15 seconds. In another class he could be heard saying ‘I’m diving with full flaps and it’s still going up.’ (sigh)

Bob G. (left) waiting for favorable conditions to launch. The light and variable conditions led to downwind launching at times and an opposite launch – land direction.


Bob G. – sweep by flying 39 minutes and 46 seconds out of 40. The result was a 334-point win over second place. Despite the changing conditions he scored a 98-point landing in round 3, the best in RES with a day average of 86.5, nearly 30 point ahead of the next best, Bill O. His performance earned him first place honors for the day.

In our contests the rounds are flown with points added after the contest. We can look at the points later and see what happened on the field.

RES-Round 1

Rich R. at the end of round 1, was 2 points out of first with a 9:51 flight and 78 point landing. Dan G. followed 75 points behind with a 10:06 flight and no landing points. Bill R. flew for 9:25 but his 0 landing was not enough to overcome Bill O. and a 8:08 flight but 85 point landing – the best landing of the round. Bill 0. would take 4th and Bill R., would be 5th.

Rich R. measuring back for an RES landing.

RES-Round 2

Bob G., yes, would win round 2 as well followed by Bill R. who lost points for going 20 seconds over and 29-points behind on landing. The margin between the two would be 30 points for the round. Dan G. pulled into second place in cumulative points with a second 10 minute + flight and 48 landing points. At the end of round 2 – 1st Bob G., 2nd Dan G., 3rd Bill R., 4th Bill O. and 5th Rich R..

Rounds 3 and 4 flip the competition shifting Dan G. and Bill R. to the bottom and leave Rich R. and Bill O. to slug it out on the field. The top 3 all scored full-time on their flights leaving it to a landing contest. Bob G. won this with a scorcher – 98 points. Bill O. beat Rich R. at the tape 56-30. Their scores lifted them to a 67-point battle for second place with Bill O. leading. Dan G.’s 6:23 and 97 landing was no longer enough as he fell to 4th in the round and 4th place at the end of the round. Bill R.’s red zone (9min+) flights took a pause for the round as well with a 4:23 flight and zero landing points. I remember seeing him stop his plane at the edge of the field boarder – a foot or two away from losing all points for the flight.

RES – Round 4

Bob G. walked up to the winch with a 200+ point lead and 14 seconds from a perfect flight time day. The real fight played out some 100 feet to the south at the tapes. In the air, Bill O. held 2nd place by 67 points. He would need to get in a good flight with a good landing to hold off Rich R. He flew for 10 minutes 8 seconds but missed the tape. This was Rich R.’s chance to pull ahead. Rich R. flew for 9 minutes 49 seconds and scored a 73 for landing. His landing would move him just 3-points ahead of Bill O. in cumulative points and a mere 1 single point in the adjusted score.

Bill R. puts his RES plane away after his best contest to date.

Despite a strong start Dan G. and Bill R. were struggling by round 4. Dan G. lead this flight for 4th by 188 points. In round 4 Dan G. would find nearly no lift while Bill R. nearly returned to his round 2 self. He would fly for 9:46 and score a 50-point landing. His flight vaulted him ahead overcoming the 188-point difference and securing 4th place by 192 points.

Bill O. (left) on a rapid spiral descent for his 2M glider.

2 Meter

Statistically, the 2-Meter class was the roughest place to be last Saturday with two rounds showing sub-3-minute flight times and one round with no landing points.

As in UNL and RES, Bob G. was a “man on fire” in 2-Meter as far as round one was concerned. He flew for 5:45 with 74-points for landing securing a 90-point lead over Bill O. Round 2 would be tough for all with the longest flight being 2:49 and the shortest a mere 48 seconds. Let’s just fast forward to round 4.

‘It is going up with the flaps out,” Bill O. shouted from the field. He was having trouble getting his plane out of lift. Soon his plane could been see in a whistling spiral 150 feet over the landing area. The flight – 6 minutes 23 seconds with no landing points. Bob G. flew for 6 minutes and 3 seconds with no landing. Bill O. found himself a perfect flight and perfect landing away from 1st place.

“It was a great day!” Bill O. wrote on the club’s Google Group. “Lift was everywhere! At times it was tough finding enough sink to land! Not a big turn out. But I think we had 8 or 9 pilots. Cant wait to do it again… soon!”

Today was not without incident. As with any contest, there are casualties. John H. mistakenly throttled up on approach missing other flyers and safely brought his E-Ava down. Flyers gathered around his area on the ramp. He expressed his appreciation for their concern and support and then withdrew from the contest. The initial word is that the damage is repairable.

Early word from Dave “The Pres” Q. is that May 28th will be the postponed Hand Launch contest. Next Saturday will be the “Food, Fold and Flying” monthly social.

Saturday’s contest brought excitement and flying to a season postponed by 2-months of rain and high winds.