Race 2012 Apr 14th

A posting that was placed on The Forum – Williams Today, the day after the race was concluded.  That same posting is now placed here, and images have been added to the story.

Re: Race Day – April 14th

Quite a fabulous day.
Nearly everyone showed up early and ready to race.
Unfortunately, the weather was a challenge – (what’s new?)

Rex rigged most all of the ships with FLARMs.

We had the good fortune to have Ray-7V to offer advice and contest guidance to me.  As CD I was bent on launching as soon as conditions permitted completion of a task.   RASP and BLIP both said it was a good day. According to the models it was good NOW! (at 11 AM),
Cu were forming and (then disappearing) over three sisters – the first ridge.

I held off on starting the pilot meeting until Ray took off to test the sky.  Rex opened the meeting, Ginny organized the dinner, Stelian agreed to do the scoring and I laid out the task, that Jim and I had devised.  Gate was going to be open and closed in a 30 minute period.
Gate to be opened at 12 and closed at 12:30.  Everyone racing the same course at the same time.   Jim D was the Task Committee and between the two of us we decided to call a 106.2 mile task of…

3 sisters
crazy creek
bessa dam
3 sisters

before the pilot meeting was over, Noelle came in with a Pilot report (PIREP) from Ray.

  • Lift was not good.
  • Terrible with a capital T
  • More sink than lift
  • Wind was strong.

I announced new gate times of open at 12:30 and close at 1:00

Ray landed
we all waited

Scott Doctor launched in the ASW-27 – JH

New gate time announced of 1:00 to 1:30

Scott stayed up ok.

New gate time announced of 1:30 to 2:00
Tow pilots were all ready…
And yet another new gate time announced of 2:00 to 2:30 as the takeoffs began with…

C2 – Sergio
SD – Luke
1B – Jim D

OJ – Jim W
me in PK
Ginny in G3
P1 – Marianne
DDS – Guy
YE – Larry
and finally 43 – Martin

Ray once again advised me that it would be difficult for 43 to get a good start, since it it was past 2:00
and 43 was just taking off, so I extended the start window to close at 2:45, to accomodate Martin and JJ in
case he needed it – since they were the last to launch.
As it turned out, the three of us started within a minute or so of each other me, 43 and JJ,at about 2:20 ish,
and we promptly found ourselves struggling on the east side of Walker ridge trying to fight the wind and
get back up above 4,500 ft.

DDS – Guy landed at Antelope and
OJ – Jim W had to go home early due to scheduling conflict,
P1 – Marianne took a relight, and
YE – Larry started a conversation with Jim at Crazy Creek and seemed to be lured to the pattern and eventually landed there.

The remaining racers were totally disheartened when SD- Luke called a good finish when the rest of us were barely half way around the course.

Then 10 minutes later Luke asks the question…
was the task to go to bessa Towers or Bessa Dam?
Ah hah!
Luke had gone to Towers and NOT to the Dam.
Damn – he replied.

so Luke did not complete the task.

That left only the six of us on the task….
me, Peter – PK
Martin – 43
C2 – Sergio
1B – Jim
G3 – Ginny

We all completed the course but it was a struggle. With the wind as strong as it was, the heavier ship had the advantage of penetration into the wind from the north.  Everyone reported having a good flight and Martin was especially pleased with his performance.  The final placement was in the order listed above, with the handicapped speeds averaging about 50 MPH. A  good show by all. Stelian used both See You and Winscore – both for the first time, and remarkably seemed to master both in only a few hours. Thank you to Stelle from providing that expertise.

The dinner was a huge success – with Jim W. manning the BBQ grill and Nina, Cora, Noelle, Ginny, Marinne all organizing snacks, salad, beans and other food(somehow it is a a gender related thing).

Nice day and a big success my all measures.

Big thank yous are in order to all who contributed to the success of the day – which includes everyone on the field.  Management, all of the staff, and I do mean all – everyone made a contribution.  And of course every pilot and all the crew that showed up as well.  Another great gliding adventure to add to the history of WSC and the VSA

Images from See You of the six racers on course at various times.


The Gate opened at 14:00 and closed at 14:45

Three minutes after the gate is open here is where the racers were in relation to each other  – in real time…..  These are the stats at 14:03…  Note the altitude on 1B reports over 12,000 ft. – obviously a malfunction of the equipment.


Note that Martin (N2943) and JJ are still on tow, and 1B appears to be entering the cylinder for a start.


1B had good start and is on his way. Ginny in G3 is just starting as she leaves the cylinder in this next image….





At 14:44 1B is already past Crazy Creek, and C2 has returned to the start gate for the last start of the day….


14:44 Gate closes in one minute C2 has the last start.


15:30 Some racers are coming out of, while others are heading into the last turn at the Bessa Dam




15:55 the first racer crosses the finish line



16:14 Three racers have completed the task and the other three are heading for the finish.



Categories: 2012, Flight Report, Lesson, Races, X-C

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