The Gordon Report – Very belated
The 3rd ALES contest in this Central Florida Series was held at the Buzzards Oviedo field on July 30. The soaring conditions were virtually perfect even if more than a little hot. (96 in the shade to be exact.)
8 UNL pilots signed up to fly along with 10 flying 2M. Some contestants were flying both classes but in all there were 15 pilots in attendance. The 2M pilots were split into Group A and B while the UNL all flew together. CD for the day was Rich Kiburis and Rick Eckel did a fine job of the score keeping. (and horn blowing when Rich was otherwise occupied.)
I personally made an absolute nuisance of myself again with these wretched Electric planes turning up to fly unprepared and getting my just deserts not being ready when UNL kicked off so I missed the first round. We all have some learning to do with these new “winch in the nose” ships but I seem to be taking longer than most to get acquainted with my equipment.
The air was really very good when we got underway at 10:00am and John Kennedy flying his Ava showed everybody how easy it was with a fine 7.01-25 to take the 1000 points in UNL. Ray Alonzo won A in 2M with a 6:54 – 25 and Rusty Carver B with a 7:00 – 0 The landing zone was a simple IN/OUT with a short tape about 4 feet long. This was not an easy target with foam like the Radian.
Round 2 saw me finally get the S/Ava ready and I joined the fun with a 7:00 25 for a 1000 as did a very consistent John Kennedy. All but one UNL got the max in air that was stupid strong and heat that was already wearing on us.
The 2M Rounds were won by Ed White and Rick Eckel. Once again the landings were tough in 2M with only 2 pilots finding the zone.
Round 3 was almost a repeat of Rd 2 with lots of big air and nearly a full score sheet of maxes. (Only two of the 18 flights missed.)
John Kennedy moved to a defining lead on 3050 point with a great 7:00 min round in UNL. Rich Kiburis posted the best 2M score in A with a 6:53 – 25 while Rick Eckel won Group B with a 6:58 – 25 to take the lead in the 2M contest on 3026 points.
A break for lunch was had as everyone plonked down anywhere a little shade could be found. The sun really was beating down hard on one of those days where most people would prefer a cocktail in the pool rather than fly sailplanes in the middle of a field in the hot sun. Sheees it was hot.!!!
Round 4 got underway with lift to burn and once again John Kennedy got his max to maintain his lead in the contest on 4045 points. His nearest competitor was a very consistent Enrico Paredes on 4006 points.
The 2M rounds were won by Rich Kiburis and an unstoppable Rick Eckel who managed another 25 point landing with his Radian. Ricks score of 4051 was more than 2 landings ahead of me on 3990 with just one round to fly.
The UNL final round was in more cycling conditions where heavy sink was lurking for the unwary. For the first time in the contest a number of pilots found bad air and missed their maxes. Rich Kiburis wasn’t one of them as he finished the contest with a 6:55 – 25 to win with 4995 points. Don Grisham flew well all day to finish in a close 2nd on 4948 points. Consistent John Kennedy went the wrong way in Rd 5 but still hung on to finish 3rd with 4617 points.
The 2M contest saw Rick Eckel and his Radian easily take the honors with 5044 points with Rich Kiburis 2nd on 4895 and Rusty carver 3rd on 4726. I made the rookie mistake of launching my Radian with my TX still switched on the S/Ava. The result was a 3 second flight into the deck with a reversed rudder to end my day (luckily without hitting anyone.)
It was really a very good soaring day even if conditions made it rather unpleasant for the pilots. The ALES format is definitely a success and is here to stay without doubt. Congrats to the winners.