The Gordon Report Indian River contest results
The Shuttle launch was scrubbed but we spent a very enjoyable evening under the stars in Cocoa and a leisurely drive down to the field on Sat morning for the soaring contest. A great day was had by all who attended the contest except for a couple of mishaps. The bad news first. We had a landing approach close to some trees and one sailplane didn’t make it through the base turn as it become engaged in a losing tussle with the tree tops. We also had something rather unusual happen to Jim Maclean’s AVA. Clapped hands during launch. No apparent reason – just folded it’s wing. I haven’t seen an AvA do that before.
Now for the good parts. An enthusiastc IRKS team set-up and ran a very good contest that was fun for everyone. They are a great bunch of flyers willing to go the extra mile to make sure that everyone has a good day and they as a club have been extremely helpful with LSF task attempts also. The contest format was very laid back with Open winch and a choice of tasks over 5 rounds. 5,6,7,8,10 minute maxes were required in any order with a precision strip landing with points at graduated intervals measured with a stick. Approx. landing points were 100 within 6″ of the centerline, 75 points from 6′ to 15″ away, 50 points to 24″ and 25 points from 24″ to 48.” (I did this from memory but that is pretty close I think.) 2 classes were contested with 15 entrants in Unlimited and 8 entrants in RES. (15 entrants also meant that this contest qualified as an LSF4 contest and it so happens I just needed one such contest to complete my Level 4 requirements.)
The IRKS soaring facility is nothing short of magnificent with a huge grassy field allowing winch setup in any direction and surrounded at quite a distance with a road and then trees. At one end of the facility about 1km away is the actual dump site where hundreds of buzzards soar – eyeing off the trash etc. During the contest on many occasions groups of buzzards spotted lift for the contestants. There were occasions during the day when sink was prevalent but almost all rounds were flown with more than enough lift to achieve the required maxes. It was bloody hot all day with temps in the 90′s. Sometimes the lift was so strong that you could speck out within 3 minutes into the flight. At other times you had to scratch for it and I must admit that I achieved all my maxes in each class until it came time to get my last flight in UNL class and you guessed it I needed the shortest max of 5 minutes. I scratched around in weak lift and finished up doing 5 or 6 turns below fifty feet to post a just a few seconds over 4 minutes. That was my one bad flight that we all dread during a TD contest and the lost 50 seconds of air time dropped me out of contention in UNL.
All day Rich Kiburis of the Orlando Buzzards kept putting his OnyxJW right on the spot with an almost perfect and truly awesome landing display to take the honors with 475 landing points out of a possible 500. His total winning score was 2629. In 2nd place was our own Eddie White with 2426 points flying his “old school” Fusion. Ed has been almost unbeatable in recent contests and it took an almost perfect score from Rich Kiburis to take the honors from him this time. 3rd place was filled by VC Al Parsons from the Buzzards (2411 points) with Rusty Carver’s Onyx in 4th (2404 points) , myself (Sharon Pro) with 2380 points and my son Jamie (just failing to beat his dad for the first time,) flew the old ICON beater to 6th place just 4 points behind me with 2376. Raed was next in 7th flying a Thermal Dancer (I think) with 2224, then 8th was Don Grisham and his Supra on 2210, 9th was Tom Galloway and his Compulsion with 2118, 10th Enrico Parades with 1936 points. (Welcome back Enrico- great to see you again). Kris Van Nostran came 11th with his Perfect on 1919 points, Baldwin 12th with 1823, Jim Blacketer 13th with 1802 and Jim Maclean and Charles Gray both dropped out with damaged models.
The RES rounds were flown alternately with the UNL so for those of us flying both classes there was a lot of hussle to get through but lots of flying practice was the reward. I flew my SuperAva and got close to all my maxes but the landings were simply dreadful. Apparently landings were difficult to come by for all the RES contestants though as to my surprise I placed 1st with 2152 points. Kris Van Nostran was a very close 2nd flying an AVA with 2141 points, Al Parsons flew his JYD to 3rd place with 1906 points, 4th was my son Jamie flying the old Tellipsoar again (No spoiler) with 1846 points, 5th was Tom Galloway on 1816 points, 6th was Enrico Parades on 1359 points, 7th was Don Grisham on 1253 and 8th place was filled by Jim Maclean who had the unfortunate hand clapping AvA early in the contest and couldn’t continue. (Jim won this contest last time.)
The CD John Vennerholm did an awesome job as did Kris Van Nostran on the winch and Jim Maclean and the other IRKS volunteers that helped organize, set-up and time etc. I think we might see this venue on the FSS calendar for next years series. Thanks for a terrific contest guys. I hope some of the other Florida pilots who couldn’t make it this time might come along and enjoy the next IRKS soaring contest on August 19th. I have just a few photos below. More photos still to come courtesy of Don Fourson and Charles Gray.
PS. A couple of us stayed to fly after the contest and attempt some Goal and Return flights for LSF. I will write up a report on that shortly.