The Gordon Report
What a great day for Thermal Duration in Florida with high cloud to keep it cool and tame the lift we usually experience throughout the morning here in summer. The RES contest (3rd in a 4 event series) was contested today by 17 flyers. Bloody annoying for me as I am chasing 3 LSF5 wins and we need 20 contestants. Nonetheless a quality group of 17 fliers were at the Buzzards for the 9:00 pilots meeting conducted by our resident RES connoisseur CD Rich Kiburis. Flying got under way shortly afterward with a 5min max first round and 7 min for the rest of the day. A total of 7 rounds were flown with a short break for lunch after 4. Rich set a L6 landing task like a short runway and the scoring was not normalised with 100, 75, 50 and 25 points available for the landing using a graduated measuring stick.
It was great to see some new faces with long time Buzzards flier (Vic Manget) returning after an absence and John Kennedy from up the coast also travellling 2 hours to fly with us.
Lift was very light for the first 2 rounds which made maxes harder to come by then normal. With virtually zero breeze and a high cloud the sun was slow to warm things up but plenty of buzzards were out thermalling by the 3rd round and maxes were easier. The top 5 pilots duked it out for landing points the entire day with CD Rich Kiburis leading the way with his JYD until the last couple of rounds. Fast improving Jodie Miller flew his beautiful Sailaire with great precision and consistency to maintain 2nd place for most of the day.
It was great to see the improvement of our youngest flyer Leife Francisco and his Dad Costa and clearly their practicing is paying off with more consistent scores.
My son Jamie flew a very old (Older than his 25 years) Bird of Time originally owned by the late Bud Moore and kindly donated by Buds widow recently. Today was Jamie’s first day out with the old bird but he flew well and was in 6th place after 2 rounds before the BofT decided to roost in a very tall tree a long way from home. Jamie is an expert climber (oh to be young again ) so he managed to retrieve the bird with zero damage. Jamie’s bird was not the only one to taste the woodwork today though as Jim Blacketers Chrysalis suffered major damage to the right wing during an unsuccessful roosting attempt.
By lunchtime the high cloud was gone, temps were climbing toward the 90’s and puffy cumulus were every where. Lift seemed to form sometimes in giant bubbles over 200 feet across with buzzards and RC Buzzards enjoying the ride in large groups. As always though with great lift comes patches of sink and some flyers found themselves short of time and height when they didn’t catch the cycle. The final round 7 was completed with thunderstorms threatening and CD Rich called it a day around 3:00pm.
Final results found yours truly in the winners circle with my Big Bird. Lots of practice at the Nats Glider Camp has seen much improvement with my flying and I had a very consistent day of maxes with only one landing missed and three 100 pointers. (My birthday prsent from last weekend ala Dennis Hoyle. )