The Gordon Report – GL+ and 2M UNL
Bloody Hell it was hot! You shoulda all been there to enjoy the 94+ temps we endured. And just when we thought it was all over the CD calls a meeting and everybody votes to have 2 more rounds
Bloody crazy these beach floridians are.
Now I was late getting there and they sent a man to the gate to get me in. At 9:45am when I was sitting there I didn’t see Rusty pull up and get locked out. You be pullin some legs there mate.
What a great soaring flying site the IRKS have. It is simply a magnificent thermal farm. CD Kris Van Nostran got things underway on time after a quick pilots meeting and first launches were in the air right on 10:00am We were flying two classes of 2M at the same time. – Gentle Lady Plus which required Rudder Elevator control only and no landing management devices like spoilers etc. The second class was 2M Unlimited where anything 2M or less was OK.
We had a pretty good turnout too with 9 pilots flying UNL and 7 starters in GL.
As always the Buzzards, Cranes, Hawks and other feathered friends were at the IRKS in force to assist with the thermal detection.
With a gentle breeze blowing from the North east the farm was generating new lift cycles pretty well every 7 minutes or so. 1st round flyers found the air fairly generous with all but a couple making the short 5 minute max set by Kris in both classes. The separation at the top of the leader board today looked like it would depend on landing points.
The landing task was an L5 landing which requires a touchdown along a 10 foot long line with scoring measured with a colored stick as 100 at 6″ to 75 at about 12″ and 50 up to 24″ and 25 points up to 48″ from the line.
We Orlando Buzzards have been practicing landings a lot so Jody Miller and I had an expectation of scoring some serious landing points today. And so it was…. As we timed for each other and both made good piloting decisions to get our maxes we swapped the lead each round based on our landing scores. It was lots of fun as Jody was flying an old Laser built by a local orlando flyer Scott Krogman and I was flying a very old Lawicki Wood Duck. 2M are far more difficult to handle than UNL but they are heaps of fun and with close landings scores looking like deciding the winner today we were trying hard to zero in on the line.
We certainly didn’t have it all on our own though as Rick Eckel also flying his favorite 2M Laser kept us honest with consistent scoring as did a slightly sore Rich Kiburis flying a gorgeous molded Sprite. Rich was really a bit more than slightly sore as seemed to find standing out in the sun rather tedious compared to last nights fun. One of the prettiest sailplanes I have ever seen was being campaigned by Kris Van Nostran. Somehow or other he managed to talk Skip Miller out of his personal ship and this Espadita is something to behold. It just looks right in the air and is clearly a great 2M sailplane. Another nice V tail ship both in the air and on the ground was being flown by Jim MacLean. I wish I had of asked him what it was.
The Gentle Lady class was finding scoring a little more challenging as the landings with these R/E 2M ships are far more difficult than anything else we fly. In fact my Sagitta 600 got the only landing points scored all day in the GL class with a slight crosswind making it tough to get them to the line.
The rounds were flown very quickly and after 4 rounds (including 45 min lunch break) Kris declared we would fly 3 more for a total of 7.
The leader board after 4 rounds showed Jim MacLean in 3rd on 1561, Jody Miller was 2nd on 1628 and I was just ahead on 1685 (due to scoring one of those elusive “perfect” flights of 7:00 – 100.) GL+ had Jim Williams in 3rd with 983, Al Parsons 2nd with 1285 and myself in 1st with 1539.
The final 3 rounds were also flown quite quickly with Kris pushing us along to complete each round as fast as possible. During the 6th Round Jody followed some lift that Raed was marking just a fraction too far downwind and suffered a nasty tree top outlanding. He recovered the Laser from its jungle nest with no damage so she will fly another day. Rich Kiburis recovered from his early lethargy to post some great landings in the closing rounds as did Rick Eckel.
As the afternoon wore on the lift became stronger with cycles further apart and the sink also became harder to escape. Especially with the GL class where launch height is limited and penetration is difficult.
In Round 5 I had the inglorious opportunity to record the shortest flight of the day with a stinking 1:22 and zero landing from a launch which I thought was pretty good. What a disaster for a TD flight- but another learning experience in my book. This particular round humbled many but Chris Manley improving every contest won the round with a great max.
The final standings for 2M Unl were Jody Miller in 5th with 2147, Raed Elazzawi 4th with 2338, Rick Eckel 3rd with 2857, Rich Kiburis 2nd with 2953 and myself hanging on to 1st with 3013 points.
GL saw Raed in 5th place, Jim Williams 4th, Chris manley with a great 3rd place on 1689 points, Al Parsons 2nd with 1793 and yours truly in 1st with 2453. It was an exciting day as working with these small ships is an entirely different task to flying a big unlimited ship. We all enjoyed the great soaring that IRKS field produces and the IRKS Club put on a great contest with Steve Formanek doing a terrific job scoring, Gerry worked the gate and helped out as always and John Vennerholm was always there to assist with the retrieve pickle and timing etc when he wasn’t flying.
After the contest was concluded we got Jody Miller in the air for his 1Km goal and return for the LSF 3. Rick Horlander had come out to assist and he drove to the starting point of our course to signal when the sailplane was overhead while John Vennerholm drove my truck with Jody and I on the tailgate to head down the course. Jody got his Xplorer very high and we set off. It was really an uneventful flight as we quickly went upwind to the 1km mark did a U turn and returned to the other end at about 35 mph. The entire flight from launch to completion of the 1Km up and back was just over 9 minutes. Jody kept the X high as he decided to go for his final 30 minute TD while he was in the air on the same flight. Meanwhile we launched Raed and got him on the course to get his L3 1 Km as well. This time we didn’t have quite the same success with Raed running out of altitude and options near the 1km mark and having to land out. We recovered the aircraft and made several more attempts but really the days good thermal activity had dissipated and it wasn’t easy to speck out at all. Kris Van Nostran also tried to get on course with his ET Pike Perfect to no avail so we decided to make another LSF day at this location where we could do the flights earlier in the day when the Thermal activity was more condusive to getting high. It was disappointing but we did get one G & R done. Next time we will be more prepared.
I am sorry I do not have photos up with the report yet. Unfortunately my camera fell off the truck and got run over as we were doing the LSF tasks. As soon as I can figure how to get my photos D/L from my SD card I will post them.
Now to MY rehydration with some Bundy and coke.
PS. Thankyou Rick Horlander for coming out to help and supplying some great photos as well.
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