The Tangerine as is often the case provides weather that challenges sailplane pilots. I for one relish such conditions because when its lift everywhere as is so often the case in Florida than everyone is a winner and the soaring contests become landing contests.
With DLG that is a little different and with a cold Northerly forecast all day we set off throwing our 60″ toys about 9:00am on Friday while the temps were still in the high 50’s. Sort of cold for Florida but when you’re running around the paddock chucking theses little ships you don’t feel too much cold.
We had flown all Thursday afternoon in the same overcast, windy and chilly conditions and the amount of lift available was quite surprising. Friday seemed to be very similar conditions with lift cycling quite regularly and enough wind to provide very useful slope effect over the trees, house and barn as well as a nice area for pops off the rear plantation treeline.
CD Raed Elazzawi set us up with the self scoring system devised by Oleg G and we were quickly under way divided into two seeded Groups.
The early lead was established by Robin Hoon and Jeff Duval (both from Gainesville) as they worked together and made great use of the conditions. The 1st task was Ladder and only Jeff, Robin and wily Ray Alonzo could get the full 525 seconds of flight time as the rest of us succumbed to outlandings and missed thermals.
The wind was picking up to around 8 to 10 mph so ballast was necessary and there was quite a bit of lead being shoved in planes between rounds. I had an ounce that we had added to my model the last time I flew it at the 2011 Tangerine so I taped that back on to my old Vixen and found her much better to fly.
Rd 2 was 5 X 2 minutes and Mike Livers (working with Ray) and myself (working with Dillon Graves) managed to take our only 1000’s for the round halting the momentum of the Gainesville duo momentarily.
The 3rd round was 1,2,3,4 and Raed took the 1000 in his group with Jeff Duval burying the rest of us. With time running out to get started with the RES contest Raed called the 4th Round as the last and it was an all up last down round. Raed once again showed his skills with a great 2nd flight outlasting the rest of us while Jeff Duval flew three maxes to bury his group.
The final scores were added up with Jeff Duval easily taking the top spot with 3927 points. Robin Hoon took 2nd with 3711 and I managed to pip Ray Alonzo by one point on 3408 for 3rd. As it happens though it was pointed out that I had taped an ounce of lead to the top of my wing which was against the rules and I asked Raed to disqualify me from the results making Ray our number 3 pilot on the day. It was a really fun contest with rather difficult conditions and I had a whale of a time trying to help Dillon Graves make scores with a very dilapidated, heavy and well worn DLG. Dillon has great skills and would easily be a junior F3K contender with a little practice and some good F3K models.
Thanks for once again organizing a fun DLG event at the Tangerine Raed.