Xmas Eve Race- 2016

Today looked like a good day for racing.  If we had planed to race and if we all went to WSC, and if WSC were open, and if, and if, …

The Weather

Looking at the RASP for today, the sounding looked good, with good cu markers. Wind at BL top strong from the north on the valley side of the Mendos. I snapped a few photos of the day from Vacaville to substantiate the conditions.  Also have screen shots from the web cam.

Here are some of the Dr Jack RASP charts for today, and Web cams:












Cloud Bases:



















Surface winds were fcst to be strong from the N at noon, but they were not bad, with peak gust of 11 MPH at 3:21 PM.  Winds were calm by 4 PM.11-ph-gust-at-3-pm


Weather Summary: We could agree at the pilot meeting to plan to launch at 12 noon and land at 15:45. The optimum scheduled landing time, considering soaring conditions for the day.

The Task

The Task might be:  An assigned area task (TAT) with three turnpoints.  Start at Goat (5 mi/ 10,000 max), Blk Butte (25 mi radius), Bessa Dam (25 mi radius), Knocti (25 mi radius), Finish at WSC (1 Mi/ 1,000 min).





Min and max distances are 77 miles and 352 miles, with a nominal 211 miles.




The Planning Discussion

One optimistic sequence of events might be as follows:
We have two tow planes and four competing pilots in the race.
First two pilots launch at 12:00
Tow planes go out to Tree Farm and return, landing at 12:35/ 12:40-ish.
Pilots 3 and 4 launch at 12:40 and 12:45.
The last/ fourth pilot is off tow at 13:10, gate opens for all at 13:15
The agreed landing time is 15:45, based on the wx.
We have 2.5 hours as a minimum time.  (13:15 to 15:45)
Pilots can fly a raw speed of as slow as 31 MPH or as fast as 140 MPH and finish at the end of 2.5 hours.  If a pilot chooses to fly the min distance and land after only a one hour of flight, then his speed will be 31 MPH (raw).

If the first couple of pilots are slow to launch, or pilot number 4 is behind schedule when getting off tow, and we have agreed that we will not change the optimum landing time once we start the launch, then the min time needs to be decreased to something less than 2.5 hours.  The min time on task will be reduced, based upon the amount of time remaining between the last pilot release from tow and the scheduled landing time. One of the first two pilots will be tasked with the job of recomputing that new min time and announcing it to all pilots.

Do you think this looks like a realistic race for today – 12/24/2016?

It’s almost 4:30.  Here is the actual sky on the web cam.  I hope everyone is on the ground, or at least on final glide.


The following snapshots were taken in Vacaville today, north end of town.
Photos snapped between 12:30 and 1:30 PM, Saturday 12/24/16 ……

View from my driveway – looking west at the Vaca ridge

Looking north along the Vaca ridge

Zoom into Bessa dam area

Top of Wykoff hill looking south.  You can see tower on Lagoon Vly Hills (left of center)

Near the corner of Alamo and Buck, in direction of Mt Diablo, well over the horizon
5-vaca-at-alamo-and-buck-clouds-over-travisCertainly a nice cloud street.


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