The Gordon Report – Sunday
Sunday dawned with a heavy layer of fog blanketing the picturesque Kennyworld field. The ground was very wet with a heavy dew but it didn’t take long for the sun to burn off the fog to reveal a cloudless sky for the second day of FSS 6. CD Mike Naylor got the pilots meeting underway a few minutes late but we were ready to start round 1 at 9:00am with the sun already starting to bite. Wind was non existent but just like Saturday steady bubbles of lift were popping off the top of the hill and in what is pretty much a first for me as a contest reporter the entire field of 19 pilots got to soar for approx 6 minutes to post close scores after round 1. Just like Saturday the LZ was on the top of a knoll and landing points were not so easy with the 5 foot tape. Kris Van Nostran (who just completed his LSF Level 3), has been impressive with his consistency and he nailed a 100 pointer to lead the 1st round. Rick Eckel also showed he meant business today with a great 75 point landing. Kurt Carlsen flying a 2M Banshee hit the 50 along with Rust Carver and Jeff McComb flying an Xplorer. Bernie Coleman also showed he can hit the spot with a great 75 but was a bit short on his time.
It looked like once again the lift was going to be endless on a day forecast to be in the 90’s and the LZ would sort the men from the boys. Round 2 saw the same small birds we had yesterday congregating in groups to feed on the insects indicating areas of lift. I followed a read from a wind shift to “turn and burn” downwind from the launch and was rewarded with a strong ride deep downwind to the east. Most pilots took advantage and made the 8:00 max set by CD Mike Naylor. This was a round that Rusty (who can normally sniff lift out in any conditions) just didn’t find the sweet spot with his Onyx and finished up well short on time.
Small cumulus clouds were also beginning to form as the rising air really started percolating. The LZ was proving very tricky again with variable wind on top of the hill. It was Kris Van Nostran who once again showed us how it’s done by setting his Perfect down for a nice 75 to go with his max. Allan Parsons also hit the 75 with his Shadow while Jamie Mercado and Fred Cotton scored 50’s Going into Round 3 the leader was Kris Van Nostran with Rick Eckel 2nd and Jeff McComb 3rd. Kurt Carlsen was doing a great job with the 2M Banshee to be in 4th place.
Round 3 saw strong lift early in the round with a gaggle of sailplanes skied out getting easy maxes as the sun really started to warm the rolling hills up. It wasn’t all easy air though as I was to find to my chagrin as I scored a 6:37 to spoil my day. Jamie and Kris also felt the wrath of the sink gods and fell short by a couple of minutes also. Rusty made up for his earlier short flight with a great 8:01 and 75 with Rick Eckel right behind him with a 8:01 – 50. The leaderboard really took a turn with Rick taking over the lead and Kurt Carlsen who continued to get his maxes with the screaming Banshee moving into 2nd. Kris Van Nostran dropped back but held onto to 3rd with his short flight by virtue of another great 50 landing.
Round 4 was announced as the last round before lunch. Once again Kris Van Nostran showed great consistency to find lift – fly for 8 minutes and hit a landing – and a 75 landing at that. There is a lot to be said for the LSF program and I am certain that much of Kris’s new found form is a result of his efforts to complete this great achievement program. Rich Kiburis also hit finally got another one with a good 50 to make it two in a row and Rusty Carver stuck the onyx on the spot for another 50 too.
As we broke for lunch the score sheet showed Rick on top with 1971 points and Kris Van Nostran in 2nd on 1929 with Rich Kiburis 3rd with 1893.
Lunch was provided by the good folks from Kennyworld’s Owls club as they cooked up a storm on the BBQ at the barn. The temps were well into the 90’s as the pilots returned from the barn to begin round 5. As soon as CD Mike announced the Round was on, I helped John Kennedy get his Supra into the air and we chased a great column of lift downwind to record another great max. Congrats to John for great flying. His landings weren’t quite so consistent, but there is no doubt the guy knows how to fly in lift. (John was to give up just 55 secs in his 11 flights for the weekend of which 23secs were in round 4.) As we thermalled back a huge group of the insect feeding birds clustered below us to mark what was a huge thermal. The round saw half of the field find the strong lift that was available, but as with strong lift there is always sink too and 11 fliers didn’t make the time. I finally hit a landing to take the round with a 75 on a day I would rather forget as my landings had been atrocious. Rich also hit a 50 to stay I the hunt and Jamie Mercado and Chuck McCann scored 50’s to go with their maxes.
Mike announced that Round six would be our last so we could be packed up by 2:00pm and in almost unbearable heat we climbed the knoll to the winches one last time. The birds were still finding dragonflys to feed on and once again the lift was what I would call easy as nearly everybody checked out and up to record their 8 minutes. Not everyone found the good air though and at least one sailplane didn’t make it home. The LZ was where the points were scored though with Jamie Mercado hitting a great 75 to take the round with my 50 hot on his tail.
As with Saturday an approaching storm saw everyone packing their gear as quickly as possible at the conclusion of the round while the scores were entered. CD Mike Naylor announced the winners just as the rain began to fall.
2nd placed Sportsman was Chris Manley. Well done Chris. Keep it going mate.
Art Scheurer of the local OWLS club took top Sportsman.
3rd place Expert was awarded to myself with Jamies great final landing jumping him into 2nd place. Rick Eckel was the best pilot on the day with a fine 1st place award. Once again the Kennyworld site lived up to it’s reputation providing some of the best soaring conditions you could hope for and making the scores really interesting with some awesomely difficult LZ locations. I for one can’t wait to go back there again next year and I do hope the Pompano guys can figure 2 dates in the 2011 schedule at this magnificent venue like we have enjoyed the last 2 years.
CU all in October at the Buzzards.
Until next time Adios.