FSS 1 Sunday Gordon Report
Sunday dawned with a lot less wind – promise of a warm sunny day and what is normally soaring weather to die for in the Florida winter. Tom Galloway once again gathered us together for a pilot meeting at th IRKS field at 9:00am and a great group of 22 pilots listened to the new rule about sharing the IRKS field. We can fly our soaring events while powered flying continues as long as we don’t fly in the powered area at all. In other words that side of the field is entirely out of bounds while there are people flying models there. This is a great arrangement for the IRKS club and allows the combination of a soaring event and normal sport power flying to occur simultaneously. This contest was supposed to be a Buzzards event but due to the lack of a permanent home field right now we are grateful for the kindness of the IRKS club to allow us to run the event at there facility. Round one began with Tom announcing an 8 minute task from the beginning and the top pilots from Saturday to lead us off. I was first away with Jamie Mercado following and Mike Naylor the top Sportsman 3rd up. The air was soft but there was sufficient up to get the time and one third of the field maxed this early first round. Rich Kiburis made a rare appearance to show us he still has the skills and made a scored a terrific 8:01 – 97 matched by Ed White the FSS president also making a showing to demonstrate his skills. Ed’s 8:00 – 96 was flown with his light Supra while Rich was piloting a Supraesque thing?? It looked like was going to be a day of the oldies showing us how it’s done! Jody Miller also making a belated start to the season started off proceedings well with his V tail Xplorer and filled the 3rd slot in the honors callup for round 2.
The air was just a little fickle as the honors pilots got Rd 2 started and neither Jody or Rich quite made their times though Ed new where to take his Supra to post a good score. There was certainly enough good stuff to keep half the field afloat for 8 minutes as the round completed with 10 pilots maxing. The new honor bearers were myself with Ed matching my score and Dillon Graves flying his new 3.5 Xplorer for the 1st time in the 3rd spot. This round 3 saw us all really exploit the air as the local buzzard population marked it and we hitched a ride. It really looked like this Sunday event was going to be a landing contest. AS landings go Jamie Mercado showed us how to do it with a 7:58 – 97 with Dillon and I matching scores with 7:59 – 93′s to be 2nd and 3rd off the blocks for Round 4. Rd 4 ws more of the same with plentiful lift and an opportunity to make the LZ really count. More than half the pilots were achieving their maxes so form a soaring perspective life was good as the sun rose high and the ever so light variable breeze indicated the direction of the local lift.
Jody on the comeback trail stuck an awesome 8:01 – 97 to be top dog to start rd 5 while Paul Mittendorff made the Vulture talk with an 8:01 – 94 and Dillon was 3rd with a 7:59 – 92. The Sportsman were really putting in a good showing at this Sunday event also with 9 Sportsman starting the event. It is really great to see these guys getting out and flying the FSS events and with everybodys skills improving so much the cut – off from Sportsman to Expert is at a very high standard. In fact Mike Naylor was the 5th best Expert in the series standings last year yet he is now the leading ranked Sportsman this year because of the high standard of skill levels and the number of participants. We enjoyed a great lunch cooked up by Jerry on the BBQ before Rd 5 got under way. Thanks for all that you do on the gate Jerry and thanks for a great lunch.
The lift was simply spectacular after lunch with only 3 pilots not making the time in Rd 5 and the conditions were so perfect in the LZ that 8 pilots scored in the 90′s with Ray Alonzo topping them all with his Escape maxing 7:58 and a 98 landing. Jody and Dillon were the next 2 best so they started us off in Rd 6 with once again the sort of air that we all dream about as everyone bar 3 pilots got their times and setup to shoot landings. This time Jamie Mercado exhibited the great skills he has been developing with a 7:59 – 98 to take top honors spot with myself 2nd and Don Grisham made a great flight with his Supra to be 3rd away in the last round.
I had been watching the scores closely all day and it had been a neck and neck race between Ed White and I for the 1st position. For me it was an opportunity for an LSF V win and I really did not want this one to slip away so with one round to go I was 14 points ahead and had simply to make a good flight and hit the same landings I had been doing all weekend. The air was just as good as it had been since before noon and we all maxed easily so it was just the landing left to do. As can happen I approached a little low and left insufficient height to dork my landing as the Xplorer slid through for a horrible 84. It would take a 98 or better by Ed to take the win from me and when he touched down for a 94 another LSF V win was mine. Ed finished just 4 points behind me while Jamie Mercado finished the contest strongly to take third just nine points behind Ed in the tightest FSS event in years.
The Sportsman were led home by Mike Naylor on 3255 points while Chuck McCann was 2nd and a gallant Enrico parades flying a very heavy K2 came in 3rd. After the days awards were handed out by Tom Galloway we honored last years FSS winners with their end of year trophies.
2011 Year End FSS places from 1st through 5th were awarded in each class for the combined Sat/Sun Scores for the year and the very nice plaques were handed out by FSS president Ed White.
1st Place – Jody Miller
2nd Place – Gordon Buckland
3rd Place – Paul Mittendorff
4th Place – Dan Johns
5th Place – Mike Naylor
1st Place – Kris Van Nostran
2nd Place – Larry Squire
3rd Place – Don Grisham
4th Place – Jim MacLean
5th Place – Art Scheurer
A great day of soaring with simply awesome conditions was enjoyed by all. Looking forward to the next one already.