The Gordon Report
To begin I must pay homage to the friends who responded to my call for pilots during the week. What a wonderful effort from Florida sailplane flyers. 24 pilots arrived at the Buzzards field today to fly the Rich Kiburis RES challenge. (More on CD Rich later. ) You all make us proud to be RC glider guiders. The youngest contestant was Leife Francisco at 15 years and the oldest was Hank McDaniel at 83 years.
I have publicly proclaimed my desire to get my final Level 5 LSF wins and I tried hard to get as many people to the contest today as I could so the contest would qualify. As a result many pilots flew in a duration contest today for the first time. Particular thanks to Mickey Nowell who brought his Gentle Lady out and brought with him no less than 3 other friends to help make the numbers. David Casey our new Buzzards student with just 2 days of flying a Radian under his belt and only 4 previous winch launches (on Thurs) with a new Spirit he bought just for the event also competed today. David, you achieved a fine 16th place in your first contest. Congrats Thankyou to the IRKS members who came from the Space Coast. Thanks also to Ray Alonzo and Vic Manget who came over from Tampa. Thanks also to Jerry Okeefe for rounding up local troops as well and bringing plane parts with him to help get others into the air. The spirit of the LSF and sailplane friendship is definitely alive and well in Central Florida. I was really excited to find John Vennerholm in attendance from the Space Coast. John is an LSF 5 pilot , aprevious LSF secratary and a terrific source of sailplane and LSF knowledge. Check out his writings on the LSF website.
CD Rich Kiburis began proceedings on time at 9:30 with the mandatory pilots meeting. One pop off allowed for the day. More for beginners at the discretion of the CD. Zero points for tree landings. Weather was as perfect as can be wished for with a light breeze and very warm dryish conditions with a high forecast in the upper 80’s.
As is the Buzzards custom Ed White began proceedings in Round one with a launch of his Gentle Lady for the 5 minute Round 1 max. Ed is an extra-ordinary pilot and he showed the field that he can win with anything, when not only did he get his 1st round max he achieved maxes through round 4 with excellent scoring landings eve to lead the contest easily going into round 5. (Makes those of us flying muscle like my Super Ava feel rather inadequate as pilots when someone uses a GL like that to spank us.)
My son Jamie also showed what can be done with an old bird as he flew a very old Bird of Time very consistently for 3 rounds and was a close 2nd to Ed White going into Round 4. As with all contests though you must be consistent for the entire contest to win easily and conditions were difficult at times with little lift in the immediate area. If you couldn’t travel a fair distance the sink was going to gobble you up. Some pilots including myself suffered badly at the hands of the fickle sink and found ourselves low and short on the clock. My Super Ava is a great floater and I managed a couple of saves in Round 3 and Round 5 from around tree top height to scrape in some decent times when I was in trouble but it was clear that I needed to fly much better if I was to have any chance of an elusive LSF5 win today.
This contest was the 4th and final round of the Bent Wing Series and coming into the event after 3 rounds I was in second position in points for the series with CD Rich Kiburis just 17 points ahead of me. My plan for the day was to fly consistently and get my landings. I did neither, but was still in the hunt for a series win as we started the 7th round. This was simply the result of difficult reads on lift today for everyone it appears except the canny Rick Eckel.
Rick’s local knowledge was a great asset as he showed all of us why he is so difficult to beat finding sufficient lively air in every round to spank the field. His final score of 3131 with an Ava was just 56 points in front of Ed White with his Gentle Lady. Ricks landing average on a 100 point tape was 73. Excellent mate!
Ed’s landing average with his GL was 70 points You are amazing mate. Neither missed a landing today. Great job from both these local old timer Buzzards.
The landing average prize belonged to Rich Kiburis though and he has been a master at the RES landings all year. His average today was 79. Great job Rich.
The rest of us were a long way behind you three.
The trees claimed a couple of victims today and one very unfortunate midair between my son Jamies Bird of Time and Vic Mangets brand new Art Hobby resulted in some serious damage. Some pilots were able to advance themselves on the LSF sheets with both landings and contest points. In general a great flying day was had by all who attended.
The main drama was really unfolding in the last round though, when the series win was to be decided. Rich and I had been 17 points apart at the start of the day abut by Round six my poor flying had left me nearly 300 points behind him going into the final round. As can happen sometimes, Rich launched into some horrible air in Round 7 and scored a 2 minute 10 second flight with a 75 landing. I knew at that point that a 7 minute max and a good landing would clinch my season with an unlikely series win and I set out to do it. The air was also a little unkind to me as I found myself not much over tree top height again with still a few minutes to get. As the S/Ava can though – she managed to float around on some very light lift to gain enough height to set up a good landing on max time. The landing was simply not to be though with a “come from behind miracle” as I steered my big ship off course in the last 10 feet to score a low 55 points on the tape.
The final result was a very deserving Series win to CD Rich Kiburis on a total of 11571 points and myself on 11541 points for second place. (Amazing to be just 30 seconds difference after 28 rounds of flying. ) Third place in the series went to Mr Consistency Rusty Carver (who promises to whip our butts next year. )
Thanks everyone for a great summer of RES flying Florida Buzzards style. This is my first contest series in 23 years and I have had a ball. Can’t wait for next year. Meanwhile I am going to keep practicing my landings.
3 round totals plus 4th rd score and final tally for entire series of 4 Rounds.
Kiburis Rich——–JYD——————-8701 2870 11571 1st
Buckland Gordon—Super Ava———– 8686 2855 11541 2nd
Carver Rusty——-Resolution———– 8275 2878 11153 3rd
Eckel Rick———–Ava——————7800 3131 10931 4th
Parsons Al———-Sunbird————–7068 2634 9702 5th
Jim Maclean———Chrysalis————6876 1578 8454 6th
Elazzawi Raed——JYD Kestrel———–4031 2635 6666 7th
Ed White———–Gentle Lady———-2719 3075 5794 8th
Ray Alonzo———Esteem————–5380 388 5768 9th
Buckland Jamie—–Bird of Time———-3402 2325 5727 10th
Kris Van Nostran—AvA——————4730 0 4730 11th
Jim Blacketer——–Chrysalis————2807 1503 4310 12th
Tom Galloway——Victory RES———–2076 2140 4216 13th
Costa Francisco—-Bird of Time———-2235 1749 3984 14th
Vic Manget———Art Hobby————2460 966 3426 15th
Jody Miller———-Sailaire——————0 3120 3120 16th
Grisham Don——-Crhysalis————-1679 1387 3066 17th
John Kennedy——Ava——————— 0 2864 2864 18th
Hank McDaniel——Lotus—————-1141 1606 2747 19th
Leife Francisco——Spirit—————-1627 1203 2830 20th
Jon Vennerholm—-Bubble Dancer———–0 2120 2120 21st
Kurt Carlson ——–???———————0 2009 2009 22nd
Mickey Nowell——-GL———————-0 1468 1468 23rd
David Casey——–Spirit——————–0 1431 1431 24th
Mark Edwards——-GL———————-0 1302 1302 25th
Chris Manley ——–???———————0 433 433 26th