FSS 2 – Sun 3/7/10

The Gordon Report Sunday.

Sundays forecast was for warmer in the mid 70’s and lighter wind so we looked forward to a nice day where we would not need the jackets and coats all morning. The weather men had it right too as the day started out with as nice soaring conditions as you could hope for. Bloody beautiful mate! Start time was set one hour earlier so we were having the pilots meeting at 8:45 for a 9:00am first round start. CD Rick Eckel gave us all a stern warning about flying over the horse barns no fly zone and made it clear that zero tolerance would be the rule. It was with good spirits that our CD declared the winches open on time and for a 1st Round 7 minute task. 14 pilots immediately went to work watching each other to see who would be first to test the air as is often the case though with an open winch contest. Finally Ray Alonzo and Rich Kiburis stepped up and got the show on the road. The air (like yesterday) was very smooth early and mostly up, so 7 minutes was not difficult if you watched your aircraft carefully and guided her in the bouyant parts of the sky. I personally was very disapponted with my Saturday effort and was determined to guide my Sharon to a better result today. I had added some Philip Kolb (European Champ) Turbulators on the upper surface of the wings as Philip believes they improve the handling of the Sharon and the efficiency of the wing at most speeds. I couldn’t really determine a difference though as my girl had suffered a slight flap twist while in storage over winter which with iopposing aileron was adding lots of drag in any case. I managed my max easily and started the day poorly again with a 25 landing.
Round one was completed fairly sedately as flyers got into the air like Browns cows. (That’s an aussie term for “slowly one after the other”.) When it was finally completed Rusty Carver was there at the top again with a 7:01 – 100. The air was so kind that everybody in the field got away in gentle lift and the 7 minutes set was easily accomplished. Honors callup was announced by Rick Eckel for Round 2 so Rusty, Jamie Mercado, Gordy, Mike Naylor and Ray Alonzo were launched in succession and both Rusty and Jamie succumbed to the sink goddess and showed those following where NOT to go. Gordy got his time as did Ray Alonzo but the others who launched and flew left in this cycle (including myself) found sink aplenty.The lift was to the right and many made it out and up to record good scores. Landings seemed very hard to come by this round with just 3 piots getting 100’s. Ray, Jamie and I hit the centerline but it was only Ray who had a max to go with it. Nathan Miller posted the 2nd highest score with a 7:58 – 75 and Rich Kiburis had a moment of fleeting brilliance to get his Borrowed Time in for a 7:58 – 25 to take 3rd spot. The other 2 honors pilots for Rd 3 were Jim MacLean and his Perfect and Dan Johns with his Shadow in 5th spot. Dan is a great pilot and showed today that he can score well when he is “on”.
Rd 3 was just one of those occasions where anyone could have been just about flying anything and still make a good score. The wind had died to barely a whisper and lift was abundant. The level of scoring improved tremendously as a result with the top four within 5 points of a perfect score. Nathan Miller showed his class in these conditons with the top score 1 second off and Ray Alonzo once again brought his Esquire in to a 100 just 2 seconds early. With the same score as Ray, Jamie Mercado got the Xplorer to the line and I manhandled my Sharon to a less than pretty 7:55 – 100. The final honors callup was filled by Rich Kiburis after another pretty decent effort with a plane that looks like it needs a mother. In Australia we would call it irreverently a “bitsa”. (Basically bitsa this and bitsa that.) At least thats what we call a dog with such a pedigree anyways.
As Round 4 began the honors callup system once again came to bite the leaders as Ray couldn’t find the up escalator during his flight and finished on the deck in 4:47. Nathan who launched in front of Ray did manage to find good air to score well again with a 7:59 – 100 as did Jamie Mercado with a 7:54 – 0. I also found a honey pot and made 8:0 – 75 while Rich and his bitsa fumbled to a 6:36 with an uncharacteristic 0 landing. The top score for the round was flown by Gordy Stahl with a perfect 8:00 – 100. Virtually everyone else got to feed at the honey pot in this round including Lewis Gray flying his own design woody Scimitar. A very graceful ship in the air but not quite the efficient molded wonders that we fly these days. Lewis made a good 7:31 and even slid her in for a 25 point landing.
Rusty began cooking burgers as Rick raced us into Round 5 and Gordy led us off to chase another excellent lift cycle. Nathan launched 2nd with Rick 3rd and myself 4th. We excused Rusty from the honors so he could get lunch ready for the hungry troop. 8 minutes later pilots and timers were scoffing down burgers and hotdogs and lunch was on in earnest. The attractive thing about a Buzzards FSS contest is the laid back attitude we have, and lunch time is always a great time to chat to folks we don’t see often or take a few photos of the beautiful ships that others fly. We ate bloody good burgers while we watched Lewis Gray wrestle the old Scimitar around for another 7:47 flight. It was also a good moment to take my 4 legged friend Ricky for a romp around the paddock. Seems that everyone wants to go home early on a Sunday so Rick soon had us hauling sailplanes to the flight line again for Round 6.
Consistent scoring by Nathan had really made it a tough one for anyone else to win and it would clearly take a big mistake by Nathan for him to lose his grip on this one. Gordy was 98 points behind and Ray Alonzo trailed Gordy by another 129 points back in 3rd. With 2 rounds still to go anything could happen – particularly withh the honors callup. Honors to start Rd 6 were Rusty (who had only just landed from his late round 5 flight), Ray, Gordy, myself and Rick. Once again the air was simply fantastic with abundant lift in more than one part of the sky. Everyone in honors got their max except Ray who decided to take an excursion downwind behind the no-fly zone. Too low to fly back across the horses he tried to go around and became unsighted briefly to find himself landing on the roof of a neighbors home. Hate it when that happens! Ray recovered the model and flew it in the contest last round so clearly his pride was hurt more than his Esquire. He was making that old bird do such great things that I am sure he will be able to whip up on us when he gets his Xplorer rolling. The Miller boys took the honors for the last round of the day with Nathan posting a perfect 8:00 – 100 to sit on an unbeatable lead while Jody brought his Xplorer in with a 8:01 – 100. Joining these two to start us off in Rd 7 were Rusty Carver, myself and Rick Eckel. Though I havd been trying for 3 rounds to lift myself above 4th place I kept posting 4th best score each round so thats where I stayed to the end. Nathan did not disappoint himself with a meticulous final flight to retain 1st place while Gordy for the 2nd day in a row posted another consistent score to take 2nd place. 3rd place was filled by Rusty Carver just about 30 points ahead of me with Jody Miller in 5th. Sportsman was won by Mike Naylor. Well done Mate.
Rick our illustrious CD called it a day and we were packing up before 2:00pm after flying 7 rounds. That’s pretty fast by any contest standards. It was a great weekend of winter soaring in Florida with conditions to die for. Everyone who attended got in plenty of flying and nearly every plane went home in one piece. A special thankyou is definitely in order for the tireless work of Costa and his son Leif on the winches. You guys are a great asset to the club and we are very proud to have you helping the contest run so smoothly. Let’s hope we can have you both flying in the contrest in 2 weeks time. Also a big thankyou for the two CD’s for the weekend – Tom Galloway and Rick Eckel. A huge amount of effort goes into planning, running and packing up a contest and the real heroes are those like these two that do this tirelessly year in and year out. Also a big thankyou to Ed White for bringing his Kawasaki Mule out on Sat. That was a great help when the retrievers were not co-operating.
See you all again at the Buzzards in 2 weeks for FSS-3. Those that didn’t come this weekend can maybe enjoy a great time with us then also.
 

Full Scores 2010 FSS2 Sunday

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