By Dan G. / MVSA Webmaster
Rain cut short the July Hand Launch contest as five go home early today in O’Fallon, MO.
Five competitors stood around the seated CD (contest director), Robert S. who himself was sheltering under his car’s hatchback. The rain sprinkled for a time as they discussed the issue at hand – to continue or call it at 2-rounds. Phones showed the current weather radar and forecast. The radar picture showed a slow moving low energy front approaching. The decision not to continue had about the same energy and certainty as the pending weather. Click here for Hand Launch Results
Despite the contest ending rain, two rounds were flown earlier. Bill C. returned strong to the field for the first time this season winning round 1. Robert S. flew the longest flight of the day on his first flight but it was not enough to beat Will C. Robert would trail in round 1 by 112 points. Paul L. scored 769 points followed by Kevin C. (who landed out one flight) and Rich S. trailed in 5th with just 213 points. Rich S. only flew one flight in round one due to traffic to the field. He would not be down for long. Rich S. came back to win round two but the damage was already done. Bill C. takes second place for round 2 followed by Kevin C., Robert S. and Paul L.
At the end of the short day, Bill C. popped open a Coca Cola – may to celebrate scoring 1,000 points. Robert S. sat a few feet away and 5.3 points behind with 994.68 points.
Robert S. continued his run at the season title for Hand Launch being the only flyer to compete in all three contests this year. Before today, he was 400 points ahead of Dave Q and at day’s end it was nearly 1,300 points. After three contests Robert has a near perfect score of 2,925 points for Hand Launch.
In English – Robert S. is only 122 points from “perfect” for all of his 2022 contests thus far. This includes both Unlimited and Hand Launch.
After the contest was called, the second wave of flights began. Paul L. walked his plane back onto the field as the grey grew to pocked or dark blue. Rich S. followed suit. Paul found odd pocket of lift as Rich found ridge lift off of the cars. Soon their former competitors turned into fans and critics cheering from the sidelines.
The low energy front pulled air in creating a slow and steady airflow over the field from the northeast. Air is an amazing thing. Like water in a river, it creates ripples and waves. Unlike water it also moves up around pockets of heat or warm differences in temperature. The normally hot and humid air was instead cooler and steady – creating distinct columns of rising air.
Bob G. joined in with his Ava Pro launched from a hi-start.
Soon the inevitable happened – the rain arrived slowly peppering the field. Bob G. walked his Ava Pro back to his van, shook the rain from the wings, grabbed his umbrella and turned back to retrieve his hi-start. Rich S. was the last to leave the field as the rain built. He towel dried the wings of his DLG and made for home.
Next Saturday is the July Thermal Duration Contest.