The Gordon Report.
The weather forecaster warned us that we had a better than 50% chance of rain for this day and he wasn’t wrong. Things started off great with Kris Van Nostran and Steve Formanek doing a great job early setting up the winches and tents and scoring. They had mowed a nice big strip for us so landings would be smooth though the tall grass just adjacent to the mowed area meant you had to be careful you didn’t touch a “ground based object” a little early on your approach.
Kris got us started on time and kindly also gave Dillon Graves permission to fly at the end of each round to get practice for the F3J with his Pike. It was a real disappointment to the IRKS stalwarts of Kris and Steve that more mebers didn’t come out and just 8 of us were there to start the contest. (This is the smallest field of any contest I have entered in 3 years.)
Conditions were really light but there was more than enough activity for us to get our 1st round 6 min maxes and set up for the runway landings. I managed to get top points in the 1st round with a 5:58 and 100. Jimmy Mac was in 2nd with a 5:58 and 50 and Rusty making another rare appearance managed a nice 6:03 – 50. The second round was called as an 8 min by Kris and once again there were plenty of markers for a fairly easy read to get our times. I finally learned the name of the bug eating birds that have been so helpful to us from Ray Alonzo. He told me they were purple martins. They are great air readers as they devour their lunch and they helped us a lot today darting and flicking around in great numbers as they followed the lift. Rusty shot the best score in Round 2 with an 8:00 – 50 while I managed a 7:59 – 50 and Jimmy Mac an 8:01 – 50. The heavens opened up and kept us all tent bound for about half hour and as soon as the shower had passed with more rain threatening Kris decided we needed to get Round 3 out of the way before the heavens opened up in earnest. (Lucky we did as the flying field was to become a lake shortly afterwards.)
We found the lift was certainly soft in round 3 with the whole area soaked with rain. Nevertheless there was lift available and John Kennedy, Ray Alonzo and I made our 7 minute maxes but Rusty found himself a little short on time but made a great 100 landing.
The final scores saw Jimmy Maclean in 3rd on 1289 points. Rusty Carver 2nd on 1405 and Gordon Buckland (that would be I,) in 1st on 1456. It was lots of fun in fairly light conditions but with lightning and thunder and more and more and more rain we decided to pack it in and enjoy a great lunch under the pavilion. Jerry O’Keefe brought the fixens and John Graves Fixed em into some great grub. Thanks so much guys.
The field was definitely a mess and after waiting a long time in the hope we could practice some more we eventually packed it in. In the process of packing up John got stuck in the truck and we needed a loader to drag him out of the sticky muck.
I hate it when I get a day off to go fly and the weather gods are nasty.
Doesn’t happen often though so we are pretty lucky. See Y’all at the next one.