First race day of the 2015 series was conducted on 3/ 21 and was a huge success for lots of reasons.
Prep by WSC Staff:
- Ships were ready to fly
- Three tow planes with tow pilots were ready to tow
- Line personnel had everything ready to go
- Briefing room, with snacks was ready for the pilots
Field and Weather:
- New parking and launch ramp made the positioning of ships much easier than in previous years
- Ramp was marked and organized
- Runway in good condition
- Soaring weather conditions probably had never been better – for this early in the year
CD had a clear concise briefing and (in hindsight) called the best task possible, given the conditions.
Participants were motivated , attentive and eager to fly.
The task for the day was:
Turn Area Task:
- Start #117 Walker with 5 mile radius
- 1 #5 Alder with 10 mile radius
- 2 #93 Rumsey Gap with 10 mile radius
- 3 #101 Stonyford with 5 mile radius
- Finish #1 Williams with 1 mile radius
Launch went smoothly with most all towing to the start gate at Walker, but once there the pilots revealed themselves. SD headed south and turned Bessa Towers, thus indicating he was more interested in enjoying the day, than going all out to win the race. 7V stayed a bit closer to the gate, while the others – G3, 1B, OJ, KF, C2, MG and myself (in 88) all started as soon after the gate opened as was possible.
Looking at the tracks, 1B led the way past Snow Mtn, with 88 and OJ approaching the south side of Snow Mtn.
But from there, 88 stayed in strong lift, remaining on the upwind side of all clouds, whereas those under the clouds (1B, OJ, G3) were not able to maintain higher speeds or achieve the higher altitudes.
It was an odd day in that the stronger lift was west side of the clouds, and not under the clouds.
The RASP forecast convergence line and forecast cu cloud bases appeared relatively accurate, but the clouds did drift east after forming.
Ray and I found out, the best lift was not under the line of clouds, but on the western edge of the clouds by quite a margin.