FSS 5 Sat & Sun – 09-02-2012 – Kennyworld

The Gordon Report

This FSS contest was always destined to be a memorable one as it was the first after a long Summer “lay-off” and many of us were looking forward to a weekend away “on Kenny’s farm” in Ocala. The weather was exceedingly kind to us with above average temps in the 90’s and the lightest of winds for both days. With such stable conditions it was set to be a landing contest and that is exactly how the contest developed from the first launch on Saturday at 10:00am.
Though this is a contrst ran by the Pompano group – as they don’t own their own club equipment it is loaned by the Buzzards. We are extremely fortunate to have loyal and hard working people in the Buzzards who continue to support such contests and there is no doubt that Raed Elazzawi and Tom Galloway both deserve a special award for their personal effort to ensure the contest was well equipped for the pilots.
CD Mike Naylor gave us all a briefing re the boundaries etc and he set the task time at 8 minutes for the entire day with Open winch and a time limit of approx 45 minutes on the duration of each round. With 18 pilots registered to fly it was with good spirits that we took to the air just as the fog had lifted sufficiently to launch under the cloud. My first flight was spent in and out of cloud for a relatively easy max and by the time the second round began the cloud base was no longer a worry.
Dillon Graves started the contest on a mission with a 8:00 and 98 on the 0 -100 (3 inch per point) tape. As soon as he had returned from Sth Africa he was out flying his X2’s again and practicing for this event. The results as the day progressed reflected his practice as he began peppering the hunskie. Conditions were really very pleasant as light lift continued to build during the day and by lunch time after 3 rounds of flying it was really an easy job to find up air and get out. We had a couple of new comers from Gainesville with Jeff Duval flying a TopSky DLG in his first TD contest. Interesting idea and one that provided a certain amount of amusement as we tried to help him winch launch this tiny plane on our 300lb string plus retriever setup. Wasn’t an easy job byt Jeff showed good skills to get away and post some decent scores as he learned the ropes with a model totally not designed for this task. David Forbes also from Gainesville flew his pants off and we hope he is able to join us for more TD fun in the future. (We will be traveling to Davids DLG playground at Alachua in October for the FSS7 event.)
This contest also marked the first time Dillon’s father John was to fly in a TD contest and we were very excited that he just turned up and said OK I’m flying too! John has been watching Kris, Jody and I coach Dillon for 16 mths and it was evident during the day that he had absorbed a lot as he watched. I think he is going to make an extraordinary thermal pilot just like his son.
The air started slowly but only 5 pilots didn’t make the 8mins in round 1 and only 4 missed out in Round 2. Dillon, Jody and Rich Kiburis were punching out high landing scores and it was a real battle at the top with just a few points between them. Jeff Duvals efforts flying the Topsky were very challenging for him because the reality was with the gentle launches required and a heavy towline the launches weren’t much better than a throw. Kenny was flying an old Mantis which of all sailplanes I have ever seen it has to be the most grotesque.
Lunch was taken and Jamie Mercado who recently completed Level 3 LSF wanted to get his 2km Goal and return done for level 4 so we got him launched immediately at lunch time and proceeded to get him specked out. We really struggled to gain height though and even after we hopped in the back of John Graves truck and went to the road to make a start we could not as we continued to go up and down but never really get high. Eventually near the road at less than twice tree top height Jamie struck pay dirt with a good thermal and the decision was made to follow the thermal downwind for 2km and come back upwind. Though we had spent 15 minutes trying to get started – once we had height and got going the entire 1.35 miles out and back was completed without incident and Jamie returned triumphantly to the field with his cross country completed for Level 4.
After lunch the contest was restarted with 8min maxes being recorded on all sides of the field. The lift was light with no real strong boomers like we often experience in Florida. Rounds 4 and 5 saw many more strong landings also with a predictable breeze of about 5mph making the target easier. A couple of pretty good struggles were witnessed as Rich Kiburis worked very hard to achieve his maxes and some of us made fatal errors to fall short. In Rd 6, I chased a thermal downwind to the limit and never really hooked up to then find myself struggling home just above the tree tops and finishing up 90 seconds short. It was great to see the diversity of models flying during the day with a particularly nice Egida being campaigned by Art Scheurer, Al Parsons flying a quite rare AvaPro with ailerons and a couple of V tails like Jamie Mercados 3.5 X and Paul Mittendorff with his V tail Vulture. It seems though that the Xplorer is by far the most popular model with Dan Johns piloting one very well as well as Mike the CD.
During the afternoon John Graves made some miraculous and ballsy turns at low altitude over the LZ to make up a couple of extra minutes but the two good pilots got all their maxes and the landing shootout continued. Dillon had set the standard early and if you look at his LZ scores of 98, 99, 99, 83, 96, 97, 91 for an average of 94.71 and Rich’s of 75, 95, 96, 85, 93, 75, 79. for an average of 85 it was pretty clear who was going to be the wiiner if they got their maxes and so it was. Neither faltered and Dillon won his first unlimited contest in fine style with Rich close behind. Jody Miller made the 3rd place spot with an uncharacteristic 6.36 in Rd 6 in the same sort of air I had fell out of where he tried to work air downwind but wasn’t buying his ride in the light conditions and had to come home early.
The Sportsman class on Saturday was well and truly won by Mike Naylor our CD coming in in 5th outright and followed by Mike Williams in 7th outright and our newcomer Dave Forbes taking 3rd place Sportsman in 11th.
After the contest as is the custom at Kennyworld much flying was still done with Al Parsons and Ed White duking it out with their DLG’s and Dillon Graves relentlessly practicing with hand-throws of his X2.s He amazed us by hand tossing his X after 6:00pm and still getting it out for a long ride downwind.Rich Kiburis added to the spectacle and demonstrated his power skills with a perfectly controlled decent into the surrounding forestry with his foam Bearcat.
Though I didn’t mention it earlier Ed White had been at the contest all day but was unable to fly due to an accident with his fingers in the barn roller door on Friday night, creating a high blood pressure issue under three of his fingernails.
With some patient drilling and some paper towels to soak up the claret he relieved the pain sufficiently during our BBQ meal to possibly be a contender on Sunday.
Sunday was a real doozy with the fog gone, less humidity and really good thermal conditions from the get-go. We started at 9:00am with a short pilot meeting behind us and a glorious day ahead.
First round saw plenty of gentle but steady air as 11 of the 19 registered pilots found 8 minutes worth (mostly downwind over the barn in the 5mph breeze.). One of them was Rick Eckel who had joined us with his 2M Sprite. We also were visited from Jacksonville with Fred Cotton and Chuck McCann coming to play.
It was Jody and Ed White with his Supra Pro that set the standard this first round with Edie hitting the magical “hole in one” with an 8:00 – 100 and Jody close behind with a 7:58 – 98. And that’s the way it was all day with Ed and Jody trading punches and Dillon oh so close behind trying to bridge the gap after a poor first round landing of 83.
The lift conditions were excellent all day with a hot sun bearing down and just the most gentle of crosswinds making reads an easy thing for those that were paying attention. I nearly got caught out in Rd 3 being forced to make a low save overhead. The ground signs told us it was forming where we stood so I returned to the LZ where I circled on the upwind side of the trees for 2 1/2 minutes at less than tree height to start with. Some of the turns required truncating as the trees were cose but gradually the X2 rose above the trees with some help from Dillon and Jody running around in the LZ area breaking the bubble loose to carry me up and out for a memorable max.
Most flights on this day were not so difficult though as lift was truly abundant and many maxes were recorded. The LZ was not so easy as the variable wind sometimes was crosswind as you set up 30 seconds out to finish up downwind during the approach. This led to much lower average landing scores but in the end it was still a landing contest between Ed, Jody, Dillon and Enrico Parades. Enrico had purchased Jody’s Orca and he was always a skilled pilot before but now with a “real” sailplane he score beautifully in the contest.
The final result saw Enrico finish 4th but only just 30 points behind Eddie who though leading until the final two rounds slipped back 20 points from the lead with a couple of low LZ scores. Jody kept the pressure on Dillon and never really gave him a chance to catch up as he locked it up with a final 96 to make an average landing score of 91.8.
Dillons average of 92.2 was not quite high enough to overtake Jody and his second place score of 7627 was just 7 points behind Jody at the end.
The Sportsman class was easily won by Enrico in a fine display of maxing and landing with his Orca. 2nd Sportsman was a rapidly improving John Graves as he maxed every flight and added valuable landing points in only his second contest. Mike Williams made 3rd Sportsman with consistent scoring all day.
There has never been a Kennyworld contest that I have attended that wasn’t a lot of fun with memorable moments to keep you coming back. We can’t thank Kenny enough for allowing us access to the magic that is Kennyworld for the contests we do here each year.
We look forward to returning in November as this is the location for our Tangerine contest this year.
If you haven’t been to enjoy this place you must come.
Gordon

FSS 5 Saturday Final Standings

FSS 5 Saturday results

FSS 5 Sunday Final Standings

FSS 5 Sunday results

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