The Gordon Report
The best thing about this weekend was the announcement by Larry Squire that the FSS may run another contest at KennyWorld in the Fall. (We just need enough committed pilots for this to become another memorable event.) It’s such a picturesque flying site and the facilities, host and the lift are marvelous. What a great weekend we had! I for one have my hand up for another event there, along with my son Jamie. We will be there! I hope the organizers post a new thread here to publicize the event well.
Since I have a few moments I would like to write a quick report on the weekend we just had. There is no doubt that everyone had a lot of fun as can be seen by the photos in this thread. 23 flyers contested the event on Saturday and another 23 on Sunday. Our contest CD Mr Larry Squire started the event with a 6 minute max each day and the remaining rounds were all 8 min maxes. The flight times were normalized and landing points added on. Landings were on a graduated tape from a max of 50 down to 20. Therefore each round provided an opportunity for each pilot to score 1050 points. In Expert class Ed White was masterful in a display of excellent and very consistent flying with a very pretty “old school” Fusion. His Sat tally of 7242 was only 108 points short of a perfect score for the day.
Our CD used an excellent starting system for each round where the best 4 scores from the previous round would lead off the next round and then Open winch once they had launched. A great format which by it’s nature assists up and coming or lesser skilled flyers to find good air by watching the experts launch first.
This was my first visit to KennyWorld but there certainly seemed to be plenty of lift available on all sides of the field. Two boundaries of the field are designated by a young tree plantation. Most of these trees are less than 10 feet tall but they did manage to claim one “victim” on landing approach during the Sat event but being low to the ground little damage resulted. I believe the only major loss for the day was Kevin Eckel’s Organic which became a free flight missile when a transmitter battery came unplugged. Great to see Kevin flying with his dad Rick too. I can attest to the fact that much enjoyment is to be had from seeing your kid do well. too. My son Jamie entered his Rudder Elevator TellipSoar in the contest. He has only been flying for a couple of months and this was the Tellipsoar’s second outing after the RES contest in Orlando 2 weeks ago. Jamie simply was not happy to fly this old bird when he knew I had brought with us to “test fly” his next step up (an old Icon.) After much argument and heated discussions on and off the field I finally relented to let him try out on his first moldie. (You gotta remember he only winch launched for the first time 2 weeks ago. He has had a total of 2 practice flights and 11 contest flights off a winch with an old R/E ship and he thinks he is ready for a 3.3 m moldie????) I launched the Icon beater during lunch for it’s maiden and punched a few clicks of trim into her so she flew pretty straight and handed him the transmitter. A few minutes later he had landed his first full house ship in one piece (with me throwing flying instructions at him non stop.) I could not argue any more that he was capable of flying it, so fly it he did in the rest of Saturdays contest and for 6 rounds on Sunday. He amazes me. He got 4 or 5 maxes and some landings and finished 15th out of 23 starters and was ahead of many very experienced flyers on Sunday. Congratulations Jamie. You deserve the recognition because you have have earned it. (Jamie has also been my timer/spotter for 4 or 5 days of contest flying and has developed into a very accomplished “lift finder” helping me improve my scoring at every contest.)
Saturdays 7 rounds of flying was done in almost perfect conditions with a gentle but consistent breeze and a temps in the high 80’s. The flying was complete by around 3 pm with the sounds of thunder in the distance so the planned mini handlaunch contest didn’t happen. And I was looking forward to throwing a few DLG’s. Overall Saturdays event saw consistent scoring with all rounds flown in great conditions allowing maxes. It pretty much came down to a landing contest which Ed won with a precision display. I stuck my Sharon twice right near the spot with low angle dorks – the resultant zeros for landing points taught me something new. A nose skeg seems to stop her digging in and I will wear one from now on. Lesson learned!! There is so much to learn in this wonderful hobby and so many people offer so much help and support it is overwhelming. The sharing of ideas, tips and strategies makes each of us better every contest we attend.
Sunday was a new day with some new faces but 23 flyers set out to do battle for 6 rounds again. In the end Ed White was way too good again with a flawless display of flying and proved to all that the old bagged wing “Fusion” is as good as anything out there in the hands of an expert. The lift was a bit more patchy than Saturday and many maxes were missed by pilots flying in the wrong places at the wrong times. (Particularly by myself.) I was very humbled in the final round when I launched through lift on tow and then nonchalantly circled up for a couple of minutes overhead in the sun – only to realize I had been circling in sink and descending at an alarming rate. Meanwhile Rusty Carver launched behind me and shrewdly flew downwind to find the lift for his max. He saw the signs, read the air and I did not recognize the signs and paid the price. A great lesson for both me and my son.
The landings on Sunday were very challenging with Power lines in close proximity and both landing circles on the downhill side of a knoll. Many experienced pilots were caught short for the “walk of shame” (me twice) and one adventurer rubbed wingtips on the power lines as well.
All in all a very enjoyable contest with many challenges and much new stuff learned. Thankyou to the Pompano lads for organizing it and providing the great camaraderie when flying was over as well. (The rascals barbeque was bloody fabulous.)
See you at the next KennyWorld classic.