Monday, July 7, 2008

July 7 - Day 6

Good Evening Race Fans:

Day 6 of the 2008 US Sports Nationals has come and gone. After a well deserved rest day yesterday, all competitors were ready to get back to racing for the national title. We’ve lost the Region 11 Sports Class competitors (their comp is over) so the grid is down to 31 competitors. With the very efficient line crew and great coordination with “Siskiyou Tower”, the field is getting launched in well under an hour now.

The weather situation for today was for completely blue conditions with the possibility for some small wisps if the temps got high enough. The west coast is seeing a large ridge of high pressure build in with rapidly increasing temperatures for the next 3-4 days. What this means for us here at the contest site are predicted highs of 100 (today), 101 tomorrow), 103/4 Wednesday, and then upper 90’s for Thursday. As a general rule the locals say that the first day or two of a building ridge make for very stable and erratic flying. But that with the passing of a couple days, the conditions should really begin to cook and get some great soaring in. We’ll see.

Gary Kemp, CD, called for a TAT “A” Task consisting of China Start (5 miles), Dry Lake (15 miles), Butte Valley (7 miles) and Mt Hebron (5 miles). With the day totally blue and many of us experiencing difficulties just getting to around 8-9,000 msl in the start cylinder (and that after many struggles to make the “commute” to Gunsite Ridge), it was looking like the day would be very difficult.

With Rick Walters (88) taking over as task advisor from JJ Sinclair (JJ), both 88 and the other advisor, Walt Cannon (NT), prevailed upon the CD to change the task to the backup – our old favorite this year of a 3 hour MAT, China Start as the first and only turn. This looked a lot more fair from my short-wing perspective.

This was actually a pretty fun task for me as I got to get a great view of the mountains in the western task area AND I was actually able to see the terrain out ahead of me for leg planning purposes. My day was pretty much a three lap race of China Start, Duzel, Lefko, and then back to China Start. I threw in one extended leg to the Scott Valley airport after a 6-8 knotter at Duzel, and then eased out of the mountains to get Grenada and then Montague to add a few miles before coming back to the field. The day was basically spent shuttling from the thermals at China Start (on the ridge) and the thermals around Duzel Rock. For me, the thermals just appeared at the right places at the right times and I never got stuck and just flew fast all day.

After taking a quick glance at the score sheet, it looks like the Sparrowhawk, or to quote Roy Cundiff “the little yellow rabbit”, took 3rd for the Day. That will earn some points back!

In a recap of Day 5, once again I gave up another 93 points by missing a TP - only my second penalty I’ve ever gotten in a soaring contest, the first being a couple days ago. Winpilot apparently does not use attributes given to turnpoints in a logical way. One would think that the waypoints designated as FINISHES, would be the only ones to have a 2 mile radius drawn around them. Ah… but one be wrong about that since apparently if you have any TP as the last TP in the task, then that will be marked as a finish, and therefore Winpilot will draw a 2 mile ring around that TP. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!

Gee, if I had the 204 points for missed TP’s back, then add another 300-500 for my boneheaded Day 1 landout, where would that put me???… and the Sparrowhawk???

And in closing, Team EY’s thoughts are with our US Club Class Team (and Standard Class/World Class) competing on Day 1 of the World Championships in Reiti, Italy.
GO Team USA!!!

See Ya,

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