By Peter Kelly
The Chico/Doc Mayes Competition 2003 began on Friday, April 25 and continued through to Sunday, April 27. The longest single, handicapped flight was the winner of the Lee Peterson Trophy, and, the pilot who had the greatest combined handicapped distance on their two best flights was the winner of the Doc Mayes Trophy. There are two parts to this report: the photos and the narrative.
Our expert semi-professional VSA photographer Tom Jue provides us with another great collection of 26 wonderful photos.
See the photo album here… http://www.valleysoaring.net/pk/05-may/
On Friday I was there for the pilot meeting at 10:00 a.m. (which never happened), and it rained well past noon. We rigged about 2:00 p.m. and launched sometime after 3:00 p.m. I was first off, followed by Jim Darke in 1B and then Bob Ireland in MJ. No one else flew that day. I wandered southward, but couldn’t connect with any lift so I circumnavigated a rain shower, just north of Capay Valley. I went around the south and west sides of it, and made it back to the Charters Runway area where I chased after Jim, who had connected with wave and was already above 6,000 feet. I continued to chase Jim, but I was never within a few miles of him. Jim topped out at 12,500 feet, and I made it to 11,000 feet. I was trying to pick up some miles, but didn’t want to sacrifice losing the wave to make a turnpoint. The rules require that a pilot must pass within 0.25 miles of a turnpoint for it to count.
On Saturday it was a gorgeous day. Jim was jazzed, since he beat me the day prior, and he was first in line, launching at 10:29 a.m. We had two tow planes going, so I launched at 10:30. We all took low tows, so the other dozen or so pilots were in the air quickly. The gate was scheduled to close at 6:00 p.m., so as to force all pilots back on to the ground at a reasonable time. At about noon I was passing from south to north over William’s, heading for Chico, and at that point I had already been in the air for an hour and a half, but I still had six hours to go. It was going to be a long day! Somewhat fortunately, mother nature stepped in. I was returning south bound out of Redding when I heard JJ Sinclair heading to Nut Tree. Shortly thereafter, I heard someone else make a general advisory that high cirrus was moving in across the south end of the Sacramento valley – effectively shutting down all the lift. As I passed Red Bluff I could see it. I managed to get to Cal Worthington’s strip, and then to Willows. There I joined Bob K., 5K and Luke, C1 under the last dark cloud in the area. We managed to get up to 6,000 and headed for home. Meanwhile, Jim, 1B was at 3,000 over a pig farm at Orland (working the hot gasses, I guess). Jim limped back to Willows, and used that same dark cloud that we had previously used, and Jim too made it back to William’s.
Larry H, HD arriving late, and then going far and fast. Larry turned Redding, and was on his way out of the Chico area when he ran out of lift, decided to park it at Chico Ranchero, and called for an aero retrieve.
Sergio C. had chosen to fly near to the rain showers that persisted along the foothills on the west side of the valley. He made it back, had the most handicapped miles, and won the day – in fact it was the best score for the entire weekend.
On Sunday it started later.
BLIP Map said … lift to 5,000, strength at 500 feet per minute, with a B/S (bouncy/sheer) ratio of less than 8 or 9. That was accurate, I guess. After a while, there was strong lift in certain spots, but you really had to be in the center of the lift. The thermals were hard to work.
I was just north of Rumsey gap and looking west I could see the lift was as good there, as anywhere else. I turned Walker ridge and headed for Sonoma. I turned Calistoga, and was working a thermal just to the southwest of St. Helena. I had found lift. I was circling very steeply, trying to make the thermal look as good as possible, and I was going up at 6 knots.
An hour or two later, while I was coming back from Letz Lake towards Antelope Valley, Luke, C1 made a remark that the radio was very quiet. He wasn’t sure we were all still in the air. Most all us were either changing frequencies periodically, or turning the volume very low. Luke had a good reason to be making a query. He began asking about places to land, and wanted some information. Luke subsequently landed at Cal Worthington’s strip, and got an aero retrieve home.
Sergio had gone over to Calistoga just a bit after me, and returned to log some more miles before landing. He won the second day as well as the first day, thus Sergio will have his name on both trophies. Congratulations to Sergio.
Overall it was a very nice contest. We were blessed by the weather gods, and everyone enjoyed themselves, both in flight and on the ground.
The dinner was a BBQ of tri-tip, beans, salad, bread, and desert, along with beverages. It was organized and prepared by Williams Soaring Center. The food was delicious and plentiful. The conversations both before, during and after dinner were warm and pleasant, enjoyable and entertaining. There were lots of people. It was nice to see some veteran glider pilots and friends who attended the dinner. Some of the attendees were: Dick Carter, Dolly Frauens, JJ and Pat, Ray Gimmey, Bob Klemendson, Mike Green, John App, Chuck Griffin, Pete Alexander, and lots of others. I never have enough time to talk to everyone in those few hours after flying all day, but I always give it a try. It is so heart warming to visit with old and dear friends and acquaintances, as well as the “newbies”. There is never enough time.
Final results are: Sergio Colacevich won both trophies. Congratulations Sergio! Lee Peterson Trophy Best Day was Saturday with 260.95 SM, and the
“Doc” Mayes Memorial Trophy Best Two Days Saturday & Sunday 429.12 SM. Results for Sunday were: Sergio “C2” 168.17 SM Peter “PK” 164.90 SM Sinclairs “JJ” 113.60 SM Jim “1B” 91.2 SM Pete “98” 85.36 SM Bob “MJ” 48.04 sm. It was a really fun time!
A big thank you to Rex and Noelle Mayes – and the staff for hosting such a wonderful event. I am already looking forward to next year.