The Gordon Report – Sunday FSS5 2010
Those of us that camped at Kennyworld on Saturday night had enjoyed a great evening of flying entertainment provided by one Ray Alonzo as Al and Rich cooked up a storm on the BBQ. As always Ray had brought with him an arsenal of electric mischief that he flew until it was too dark for anyone to fly and then he accepted the challenge thrown at him, to fly some more at a time in the evening when the addition of some LED’s may have enabled mere mortals to see the thing. Somehow Ray got his B27 up and down in one piece in spite of this handicap of not being able to see whether it was coming or going. Ed, Ray and I also had an “AULD” DLG contest going which started pretty even while there was a bump or two around but soon became the ED affair with his Taboo chewing Ray and I up every single launch.
Sunday dawned in Ocala with a gentle breeze blowing more from the south than it had on Saturday. This necessitated a change in the layout for landing as well as the winch direction. The new landing direction required an approach over power lines , over a sharp rise in the terrain and down a slope to the landing zone in a small valley. Didn’t look like much but added an interesting extra degree of difficulty to the landings. We were joined again in Kennyworld on Sunday by some great pilots we don’t see so often. Mike Popescu came to fly with his new Orca as well as Chuck Mcann, Bill Grier and Bernie Coleman. Many of these pilots travel a long way to fly at Kennyworld – such is the lure of a beautiful flying site and idyllic conditions to enjoy soaring.
A short pilots meeting was held before 25 pilots were given the order to “go fly” in Rd one. 15 minutes later still nobody had flown as with an earlier start and cooler conditions nobody wanted to be first away to maybe miss their time. CD Mike Naylor had asked once again for 8 minute maxes all day. Eventually the round began and once a couple of sailplanes showed lift others were encouraged to fly also. It wasn’t easy air though as some very experienced pilots tried the “wave” upwind and failed to find it to land way short of their target 8 minutes. Others did find weak lift and managed to scrounge out their max. This first round found my Xplorer sinking too and with only 4 minutes completed at about 75 feet setting up for a landing I hit a bump just upwind of the landing zone. I tried a turn and maintained. One good turn deserves another so I kept the Xplorer floating and after what seemed an eternity of circles at 75 to 150 feet (ala DLG) the clock was used up and I finally made my time. It is saves like this that really make RC soaring such a satisfying experience. Winner of the round and 1st away in honors for Rd 2 was Jody Miller with a 8:03 – 100. Rusty was 2nd with a 8:03 – 50, I was 3rd with my 7:58 – 25 and Raed followed me also with a 7:58 – 25.
Round 2 was much easier air with an abundance of thermal activity and 20 pilots made their time. The winches were in demand as the open winch format saw everyone wanting to get aloft at the same time to enjoy the conditions. The breeze was still brisk and with the winches lined up into the south we were getting much better launches than Saturday as well. With Rd 2 completed our 4 honors leaders for Rd 3 were Dan Johns with a “perfect” 8:00 – 100, Rusty scored great again with a 7:59 – 100, I managed my 1st 100 point landing for the weekend along with an 8:01 to be 3rd away and Jamie Mercado flew his 3.8 X to a 7:56 – 100.
This 3rd round was a real “stinker” for a few of us as we launched into what seemed to be an endless sky of sink. A couple of minutes in my timer pointed out that Dan Johns had found lift way to my left so I decided to try to get across but failed miserably to reach him and had to scoot for home or land out as the sink sucked my X to a miserly 3:07. Another learning experience to gain from. Rusty also found the same air I did and landed short of his max. The good fliers found air though (as good fliers always seem to do) and most pilots made their times and scored great landings as well. Enrico Parades had joined us today from the space coast and it was great to see him fly his K2 to a perfect score of 8:00 – 100 to lead off round 4 honors. Dan Johns scored a well again to be 2nd away with Rich Kiburis and Jamie Mercado following. Jamie has really blossomed as a pilot since last year with very consistent performances every time he brings his stretched Xplorer to the game. If it wasn’t for his selfless and tireless efforts maintaining the winches this weekend he could easily have been on the podium on either day.
Good air was available again in Round 4 but it was still easy to launch during a poor cycle and that was the fate again of the honors group as all four failed to seek out the lift and landed short of their time. We all now what follows a sink cycle so it wasn’t long before the remainder of the field were airborne in much better air and some maxes were coming. Many pilots fell short this round though as the lift cycle was short and strong. I decided to “turn and burn” and found with the help of my great caller Jody Miller a boomer to easily get my time. John Kennedy, Jody and I had worked together all weekend and as a team we were successful in helping each other find the good air nearly every flight. We were 3 of only 7 pilots to get maxes this round.
CD Mike Naylor called Round 5 as the last round for the day. The honors pilots were Ed White, Myself, Jody Miller, and Ben Carroll. Once again the air was fickle but lift could actually be “seen” at times as hundreds of dragonflys were lifted up above the winch launching area to indicate bouyant air in our vicinity.
Once again Jody Miller got his time to join Rick Eckel as the only two pilots to get 5 out of 5 maxes on Sunday. Rick could easily have been our winner but his landing program wasn’t functioning quite right this day.
It was a pity the contest was over because it is such a great place to fly but all good things must come to an end and we packed the field up as Mike tabulated the scores to announce the winners.
3rd place in Sportsman category was won by Art Miller, 2nd Sportsman was Art Scheurer, and 1st Sportsman was our CD Mike Naylor. 3rd Expert was awarded to Rich Kiburis who flew consistently all day to sneak into 3rd. 2nd was awarded to fast finishing Ed White and the stirling thermalling effort made by Jody Miller gave him his first FSS win. Great job Jody – winner at last!
Much thanks to Kenny Goodwin for providing such wonderful facilities for us. Thanks also to the OWLS club for organizing a great BBQ lunch and drinks each day. Thanks to Raed for bringing all the launching gear and helping set it up and thanks to the Pompano Flyers for hosting a great contest and looking after the winches and scoring all weekend.
Great job done by everyone and all who flew here in Ocala this weekend left with a smile on their face and the vow that they will be back in September to enjoy another classic Florida soaring contest.
FSS 5 – Sun 5/16/10
The Gordon Report – Sunday FSS5 2010