Wednesday’s weather was forecast to be cold and windy again and when we arrived at the field we found overcast conditions with a lot of frost and winds of about 5 up to ten.
Darryl was up in the first group of the day at about 9:00am. The air was very bouyant and his first flight was maxed just floating forward to the area near the treeline. DP achieved a fairly uneventful max and nearly made the 100 landing.
Bob McGowan was next up in Round 6 with a light breeze blowing and a fairly low cloud base threatening. He flew his Icon 2 and joined a plane to the right in lift and although he didn’t get as high as the gaggle he made his time and shot another 99.
Tom flew 4th with his heavy Xplorer and hooked up to the left in good lift to get his time. Tom was a little late on approach so he hauled ass and made it on time but being a little hot, the elevator was a bit sensitive and he stuck it early for a 94.
Brendon was our next pilot up with Bob Mcgowan and Daryl calling. Flying his Icon 2 for an easy max and a 90 landing pushed him up the leader board a little more. (He spent a couple of hours last night removing and replacing fried servos in his center section.)
Cody was in the last group of round 6 and went to the left because the previous group had found buoyant air at the end of the tree line there. The strategy worked well as he found good air and his max yielded a sound score though with a fast landing approach he pushed a little early for a 94.
We had completed the juniors round 6 yesterday so we began with round 7 and Tristan was first up. Hs floated the Xplorer 2 forward for 5 mins before finding a small light patch if lift which he worked slowly back to make his max and a 99 landing. Dominic flight was with the X4.0 and he launched well and drifted left with the gaggle. He tried to turn a couple of pieces of buoyant air but was still slowly sinking and we had to relaunch his backup when he didn’t make it back to the LZ. he managed a 4 min flight and got valuable landing points. Dillon was last to launch and flying the X2 3.8 he floated forward to find a patch of favorable air with the others in his group. The air really improved as the thermal broke off the ground and Dillon took it downwind to complete the max and a 98 landing.
Rd 7 for the seniors started with the cloud base getting lower and Tom launched right into buoyant air off the tow. Before he was 4 minutes into the flight the 4 meter Xplorer was disappearing into the cloud. At least 5 models were flirting with the cloud-base for 5 minutes of the flight going in and out of the mist sometimes for as long as 5 seconds. It was very disconcerting for many of the spectators but apparently not for Tom as he maxed the flight and got a 97.
Bob Mcgowan flew in the next group and with light conditions he flew his 4.0 Xplorer. There was an obvious thermal to the left for Bob to make an easy max and shoot another 100 landing.
Brendon started in a weak thermal and then moved downwind to join the group in strong list to make his max and consolidate his gains on those ahead of him. With a couple more great flights he will make the finals. Daryl made an easy max and landing to maintain his position. Cody’s 7th round saw him take a left turn off tow to hook up while the rest of them went right. He made his max and took a 99
Round 8 of the seniors began with the temps really dropping again and everybody adding layers again like first thing this morning. Brendon was up for this the last senior round of the day and he flew in the same really light lift which he worked well and nailed his Landing with a great 100 to move him up to within 4 points of a place in the fly offs.
Tom flew his light 4.0 Xplorer for a easy max and in for a slider on the slippery grass and scored a 93 landing. This solid flight after the dropped round put him in third place.
Cody’s final flight was a classic and as Tom launched the Egida he went a little left and popped straight off at about 150 ft. His tow was barely a second while everyone else was on for more than 3. Cody floated about for about 2 minutes and the Egida just seemed to hang forever on nothing but he began to turn some really light air and maintained his height drifting slowly downwind until the pack consolidated to his right and he was able to join them at about 50 ft. It was simply an amazing recovery by an amazing pilot. (I’d say the resulting max was simply ballsy.)
Bob was next up and chose his Xplorer again due to the light conditions. After a good launch and drifting back in a light thermal for 5 minutes the wind came up to about 12 mph. This unexpected change taxed Bobs skills but he still manouvered the model to a 99 landing which completes 8 rounds of the worlds for Bob with 99′s or 100′s.
Daryl was sitting in second place in the contest before he took his last flight with solid scores for two days. This flight he went out to the left on his own and worked a light thermal for about 5 minutes before he started the trek home. He hadn’t really gained enough height for the ride home so he was looking for some help as he worked his way forward.
In the end he ran out of altitude before the clock ran down and scored about a minute shortage and about 50 feet short of the LZ. His placing slipped to 5th but clearly DP is in good shape to make the flyoffs.
The 8th and 9th rounds of the juniors was flown back to back before we finished for the day with Dillon up first and then Dominic and then Tristan back to back before Dominic and finishing with Dillon.
Tristan was ballasted with about 11 oz for his round 8 and it proved to be too heavy for the really light conditions and he landed at 8:30 and a 99. This was really the first blemish of an impeccable prelims for Tristan. He flew round 9 immediately after back to back and without the ballast he was easily able to float it out for a max and another 99 landing.
Dominic followed and Cody launched his model for a great tow to follow the pack forward and turned in the air he found to make an 8:00 min flight and a 100 landing at 7 cm.
With the Low temps decreasing to even lower temps as we launched Dillon it was pretty clear he would have to fly very well to make the finals. He didn’t disappoint with a fabulous launch on 1.28 line and a direct tow by Mark Browning and Chris Keller. He moved forward steadily into the wind until we found some really light lift and worked that without turning as we followed the markers in front. One pilot broke away downwind and after 3:30 minutes we decided to take Dillon there also as he was definitely getting away. Dillon ran back and back until he reached the light lift that was marked by the glider 150 ft higher and began to turn. He flew that light air better than I have seen him ever do and at 8 minutes into the flight we started the trek home staying well to the left to avoid the following sink we new was coming because the aircraft that we had been following upwind all landed in horrid sink at around 7 minutes. Dillon was too hot on approach and I asked him to slow so he popped the nose up with full flap and waited momentarily at 5 secs to go and then dove at the spot to nail a 100 with just .5 sec on the clock. I nearly fell over in the excitement as I new that lifted us from 11th to 10th and a possible spot in the finals.
It was a great day for the USA team as we finished with Tom Kiesling in 3rd just 31 points down on Joe W in 1st. Bob McGowan is in 5th, Daryl in 6th, Cody in 11 th and Brendon in 14th but just 3.7 points away from a flyoff position. If we can just gain 4 points for Brendon tomorrow we could have an unprecedented 5 pilots in the fly offs.
What a great day!