The Gordon Report – San Felasco DLG Practice Contest

A small but dedicated group of glider guiders arrived in Alachua this morning to contest DLG style and test the new equipment and scoring in preparation for the big February event. The San Felasco venue is a great site for soaring and always seems to provide challenging conditions for pilots no matter what the season. Today was no different with wind around 8 mph most of the day with gusts sometimes well above that. Lift was available in regular cycles but was always fairly small tight bubbles that required considerable finesse to take out high enough quickly enough not to be too far downwind too low. Pretty common problem with RC soaring in general and the decision always has to be made when to break and get home. A couple of times today that decision wasn’t made early enough and pilots found themselves hopelessly downwind and low and going backwards as the strong wind swept them into the rotor behind the trees. Made for a very interesting day.
We flew 5 rounds of casual competition and all the equipment worked very well. Ed was very pleased with the new software for scoring and did a great job as always managing the business end of the contest. At one point during the AULD round the volume was too low on the PA and 2 pilots missed the launch. Eventually it was decided to re-fly the round and the volume was fixed so all could hear the count-down.
Tom Shupe’s better half once again organised a great Sonny’s BBQ lunch for all and I must say the the San Felasco guys just do a super job of organising their contests and making every participant feel very welcome and taken care of.
The final results were determined after 5 rounds with everyone dropping their worst score. It was with great surprise that I learned I had won my first DLG contest with a score of 3872 flying my tired old Vixen. Wasn’t a win against a huge field but it was a win and I think it made me more happy than any other RC Soaring win has before. Thank you to my timers today who were a terrific help – Tom Shupe, Ray Alonzo and Ed White. Thanks guys. 2nd place was Ed White on 3844 flying a Taboo GT and third was Tom Shupe close behind on 3831 also flying a slightly battered Vixen. I think the most consistent flyer for the day was “never say die” Ed White. If it wasn’t for the dropped round he would easily have won the contest and I had the pleasure of timing for him and watching him do some magic things with his Taboo GT. That included one period in AULD where everyone was down and Ed was trying to bury them from 20 feet up. He spent nearly a full minute surfing the “wave” off the bodies of rest of us standing there, at no more than 15 to 20 feet above the landing zone. Fantastic stuff and rewarded him with a great score. Tom Shupe also flew really well today and I really enjoyed working with him in the first 2 rounds. He is a great pilot and I think will be hard to beat when he gets his new Vixen. Ray Alonzo flew consistently all day and it is just amazing how well the Blaster 2 flys. The only real blot on his copy book was an “out landing” beyond the trees which zeroed a round for him. Dave Forbes – the father of our beautiful Vixens scored well in every round bar one when he in-explicably got caught way downwind and had to go fetch beyond the treeline for a zero. Raed Elazzawi – as always supporting RC DLG Soaring, flew his Falken today and like all of us found the conditions very challenging. I am sure he would have faired much better if it wasn’t for a broken fin mounting he suffered in the first round. Everytime I go DLG flying with this great buch of guys I have a good time. It is just soooo much fun. Some of you other RC pilots should try it. DLG is just awesome. When I crank that little craft over and yank back on that elevator and she rockets up in a tight corkscrew it still always gives me such a fantastic thrill because I know I threw it up there. No better feeling …………… in soaring that is!
Thanks for a great day guys.
Looking forward to the next one.

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