FSS 2 – Sat 3/6/10

The Gordon Report Saturday.

Great contest day where the landings were not just the deciding factor. Conditions were difficult for everybody except one only Rusty Carver who has simply been carving us all up now 3 contests in a row. The day started with a pretty cool Norwesterley blowing in spurts about 10mph which kept everybody in coats etc for the first 3 rounds. Air was smooth, light and enough going up if you flew in the right places. With honors callup it means that the top 5 pilots from the previous round have no choice of when they fly – so the day saw many honors pilots fall through the field when they launched into a large field of sink. Not Rusty though. He showed us all that if you know your airplane and fly it in the right places regardless of when you launch you can still make 8 minutes. He was the only pilot of a total of 20 who started the contest that got all his maxes. Well not quite – he was actually short by about 55 seconds on the 2nd round. The difference was that everyone else in the field got clobbered at one point or another with more sink than they could fight their way out of.
CD Tom Galloway called 7 minutes for the 1st round and we found relatively easy air with 3/4 of the field making their 7 minute max. Nathan Miller joined us to fly his new Xplorer and showed he meant business early to lead with a 6:59 and 100 landing.Kurt Carlsen hasn’t been with us for a while but flying a Supra-ish thing he also posted a great flight to start and hit the line for a 100. He was followed by Rich Kiburis, Rusty Carver, Ray Alonzo and Jamie Mercado. Some missing notables after round one who would figure in the leader board later were Gordy Stahl and Rick Eckel both leaving many points in the landing zone. Gordy had a good max in hand and succeeded in darting the landing line with great accuracy but our local rule makes that a zero landing score unless the plane is touching the ground elsewhere than the nose. Unfortunately in Rd one we lost one of our best pilots with Don Grishams Icon 2 suffering a radio failure at the top of the launch. The aircraft will live to fly again so we look forward to seeing his beautiful ship back at the next contest.
Round 2 began after some delay as our winch masters for the day Costa and Leif Francisco and Ed White tried to solve the problems with our retrievers which all seemed to mysteriously malfunction simultaneaously. Thanks to the generosity of Ed by bringing with him a Kawasaki Mule we were able to retire the retrievers and fetch the lines with the mule in later rounds. Some effort will need to be put into checking the retrieve equipment at a later date. CD Tom Galloway increased the max to 8 minutes for Rd 2 and the air was still favorable with just enough lift to go around and small areas of sink that could be asily traversed. In some areas the lift was in waves or “streets” where just flying pointed in one direction for 2 minutes gained altitude as the air was all up. Gordy Stahl and Rick Eckel redeemed themselves in this round with great maxes and accurate 100 pointers. Kurt Carlsen also scored well to stay on top while Nathan Miller strangely missed his landing points altogether. A really notable performer was emerging with new junior Andrew Porter from the Pompano gang scoring well with an Experience Pro.
By Rd 3 the air was a little more predictable with the honors flyers scoring maxes and most of the field following to get their times as well. Nathan Miller and Rusty shared the best score for top honirs positions going into Rd 4 by scoring just 1 second off the maximum available. Ed White was also in there flying his newly acquired Xplorer and was third in the Rd with a 8:01 – 75. But even with these good scores Kurt Carlsen retained the top spot on the score sheet with another masterful 8:03 – 75. CD Tom Galloway got Rd 4 underway as Rusty dragged the BBQ out to get his famous burgers and dogs cooking.
The wind was running around 10 mph with gusts of at least 15 to 18 as Rd 4 honors flyers were launched. They were Nathan, Rusty, Ed, Kurt and Rick Eckel flying a Perfect. The interesting thing was the lack of buzzards in these conditions because we would normally see many birds at most times through out the day. It seemed that today they were often entirely absent. Maybe didn’t like the gusty wind or had greener pastures elsewhere. In a strange twist Nathan who launched first found the biggest sink cycle of the day and unlike anything I’ve seen him do, was looking for the landing zone after just 2:58. Also unlike Nathan the landing zone evaded him after some low level scrambling to try to save his flight. The other honors flyers all found lift where Nathan wasn’t and proceeded to put a gap on him that would be hard to overcome. Kurt Carlsen also suffered in this round to slide down the leader board. When the dust settled Gordy Stahl found himself in 1st place with Rusty Carver hot on his tail.and Rick Eckel in 3rd.
Round 5 saw Rick Eckel hit the contest lead with a the best flight of the day for a Pike Perfect Perfect score of 8:00 – 100 compared to Gordy’s 7:58 – 0 as he flipped his Perfect in the landing zone. During this round Jim Blacketer became unsighted in the afternoon sun and his beautifully built Miles drifted away downwind to be lost. We saw it spinning down as I was flying my round and did not realize at the time that it was being spun deliberatly by Jim in an attempt to regain sight of it. This round was flown during a great lift cycle with nearly everyone achieving a max as we digested the Rusty BBQ lunch. Landings were tricky in the gusty wind which was mostly crosswind for the 4 landing lines that Rich Kiburis had set up that morning. Speaking of Rich – he was sort of out of sorts, which is unusual as he normally is right up with the leaders and showing us all how to score landing points.
At the start of Round 6 the contest leaders were Rick, Gordy, Rusty, Jody Miller and Ed White. Jody Miller also flying a brand new Xplorer was flying consistently and quietly working his way up the rankings. The honors flyers for the penultimate round called by CD Tom Galloway were, Rick, Ed, Nathan, Dan Johns and Jody. A great flight had been posted by Dan for his first honors callup of the day. As luck would have it the first 2 honors callups Rick and Ed found the worst of a sink cycle and showed those following behind where not to fly. The remainder of the field punched out to great lift on the east side of the field as Rick and Ed nursed their ships home for a couple of 3 minute plus times. This is really one of the great beauties of Ricks honors callup system because it does level the playing field somewhat. Ray Alonzo flying a V tail Esquire had been flying consistently all day and in theis round he shone to post a perfect 8:00 and 100 while Nathan Miller tried to redeem himself with a max and another 100 pointer.The flight of the round was put in by Andrew Porter who as our only teenage flyer in the contest flew his Experience Pro into an excellent 8:05 – 75. He is a great young talent fostered by Jamie Mercado and the Pompano gang and I am sure he benefitted tremendously during this contest with some extra mentoring as Gordy called his air and he timed many rounds for Gordy as well. We expect to see a lot more of Andy and mostly standing on a podium in the future I think.
CD Tom Galloway called Round 7 our last and the final honors flyers at the line were Ray, Nathan, Andrew, myself and Jody. This was my first honors appearance of a contest I just diodn’t get going in. I was back flying my trusty old Sharon after hanging the High End up for this contest and it was taking me a little effort to get the big bird to the landing zone. I will be better prepared next time. As we launched for the last time it looked pretty grim with a cold wind blowing and no lift indicators in sight. 1st up Ray was the only honors flyer to catch a sniff of lift and he managed to scrape home with a 6:30 – 75 while the rest of us were all down inside of 4 minutes as the sink crushed us. The rest of the field picked a good moment to launch, got their maxes and the contest was over.
Rusty Carver flew consistently all day for a deserving win. This would be his 3rd Unlimited contest win in a row. Congrats Rusty. You are Da Man! 2nd place was filled by none other than the intrepid Gordy Stahl who often pays us a visit in Florida and his experience and consistent flying paid off. Our 3rd place man was none other than Video Ray Alonzo flying an old Esquire. He will be a formidable oponent when he gets his Xplorer flying. The Sportsman class winner was of course Andy “The Great” Porter. Great effort Andy. Keep on practicing. Mike Naylor and his Shadow was 2nd Sportsman while Rick Horlander flying an Xplorer was 3rd placed Sportsman. This was really an excellent soaring contest where mother nature and her fickle conditions had a real say in who would win the contest. It was definitely not a landing contest and the winner was the pilot with the most air time on the score sheet. Rusty Carver dropped just 71 seconds in flight points for the day and 58 of those lost points were in Round 2. when he scored a 7:02 on an 8 min max. Everyone else suffered with sink cycles that were unforgiving. A memorable day and one where I personally learned a lot about soaring, scoring, landing and what I need to do to improve. Tomorrow is another day and another contest. CU there.

Leave a Reply