Region 5 World Class 2003
Rain, Rain, Rain - Frank Reid
SUNDAY – PRACTICE DAY
This is the first ever sanctioned
World Class regional totally dedicated to just the World Class gliders.
We originally had 9 sailplanes flying but two people backed out at the
last minute for personal reasons – or they were smart enough to
look at the weather forecast.
We also had a couple of club members who wanted to fly with us so we have coupled an unsanctioned fun sports class contest on top of the world class meet. That is, all PW5s will also be scored in the fun meet along with Jay Campbell flying a standard Cirrus and Doug Hazard flying a Russia.
Sunday night we had a welcoming dinner of lasagna cooked by Sally Campbell. Now we just need some flying weather.
MONDAY – DAY 1
RAIN, RAIN AND MORE RAIN! The saying “all dressed up and no where to go” comes to mind
TUESDAY – DAY 2
Finally a break in the weather. Richard Maleady, our CD (and weather forecaster, and scorer), calls a MAT with four turn points. The day develops nicely and all are out on course shortly after the task opens. Cloud bases are only 4,000 feet so everyone tries to tiptoe around the course. Jayne Reid wins the day flying 96 miles @ 31.5mph. Richard Kaleta is second at 30.9 mph. Jim Gager had a good flight but for some reason that even he does not understand decided to fly his own task. We called it his Chinese task. He chose two turn points from task A, one turn point from task B and one turn point from task C. Unfortunately, his score only reflects those turn points from task A.
Tuesday night we had prime rib of beef, baked potatoes and the trimmings. Plus everyone is happy because WE GOT TO FLY TODAY!
WEDNESDAY – DAY 3
Wednesday morning is totally overcast with the weather people calling for showers throughout the area for most of the day. However, there is hope as the showers are coming from the northwest we may have enough time to have a short task to the east. I get to be the sniffer today and launch with cloud bases at 2300 feet. As luck would have it there is a small amount of lift and the overcast is slowly breaking up and sun is actually hitting the ground south and east of Bermuda High. The clouds slowly move up and Richard launches the fleet when cloud bases hit 2500 feet. Now we wait until the bases reach 3,300, as Richard will not open the task until we have at least that height. Richard calls the only task possible - a short 42 miles due east to Hartsville and return. Finally, we have 3,300 feet. And where am I as the task opens - 2000 feet and sinking. Everyone rushes out the gate to try to beat the approaching showers - everyone, that is, except me and I later discovered, Jayne. 30 minutes after the task opens I hear Jayne announce that she is on course. And where am I – 1,500 feet and holding. I cannot find lift to get up and on course. How can this be happening to me? I think about just landing and giving up for the day. Mr. DNC. The overcast is getting worse around the field and for sure the bad weather is moving in. I try one more “fake cue” and lo and behold there is lift. Not much but I slowly climb up to 3,500 feet and head out on course, 40 minutes behind everyone else. As I announce that I am on course I hear Jim Gager announce that he is on the way home. Not good news. I lower the volume on my radio and just start going. The further east the better the weather. One thermal 6 miles away from Bermuda High takes me to 5,000 feet but I’ve lost valuable time climbing and have only gone 1.5 miles from the start cylinder in 15 minutes. However, I have final glide to the first turn point so I say the hell with going back for a restart. One thermal at Hartsville to 5200 feet takes a long time but I now have final glide back home. What luck. On the way back the sky is getting darker and I’m sure the lift is dying too. Pass one glider down low and see another in a field. I’m not last any more. Wes Chumley, who landed out on day one, goes from goat to hero and wins the day at 37.3 mph and can you believe it I’m second at 33.5 mph. 30 minutes after I landed the overcast is all around and the sky is dead. Many thanks to Richard for making the only call that would get us a contest day.
For me the lesson learned here is never give up, just keep trying. You’ll never know what can happen if you quit. The score sheet for the day shows that I’m now in first place by 13 points over none other than Jayne. Unbelievable.
THURSDAY – DAY 4
Rained all last night and then all day. We have one more day to try to fly. The weather forecast is for rain tomorrow morning then maybe some sun in the afternoon. Having never been in first place much less first place going into the last day I have mixed emotions. Certainly I want to fly and have fun but the only way I can go is down. This adds a new dimension to ones thought process. I’ll just wait and see what happens tomorrow.
FRIDAY – DAY 5
Rained last night again and overcast this morning. Richard calls for grid at 12:45. We wait and see if the weather will improve.
No contest today. Richard calls the day off around noon. The final top three are:
Richard Maleady did an excellent job of being contest director, scorer, and weatherman. Also thanks to Don Horton and Lewis Diera for being operations managers and “do whatever else is needed” persons. Bermuda High Soaring looks forward to hosting the second annual Region 5 World Class Contest in May 2004.
2002 US World Class National Championship
The US World Class National Championship this year was a story of contrasts. During the first week, the wetness left-over from two weeks of rain led to “low and slow” flying, eastern US style, while the second week, with the ground slowly drying up to desert conditions, progressively brought the great weather, booming thermals and fast tasks, so typical of Uvalde. This made for challenging and varied tasks that tested all racing skills, in particular the ability to “change gears” to adapt to changing conditions. Winning speeds varied from the upper 20’s mph (really tough days) to the mid-50s mph. Very complete day-by-day reports and scores are on the SSA Website at: http://www.ssa.org/contests/ListContest.asp?id=122
An impressive line of 15 PW-5s formed the grid at Uvalde.Most noteworthy this year were:
and Sebastian Kawa, Poland’s Champion,
Eastern US Regional Championship