Fri Jul 11 Pre contest Day 1

We all breakfasted early and were at the field by 7:30 for an unhurried start to the first contest day. We have the 6 Team pilots plus Frankie Burnoski and Gordon Buckland registered for the contest and it was scheduled to start at 9:00am.
Chris, Daryl and Jody practiced off the bungee for 30 mins and tested the “early” morning air. (The sun rises at around 4:45 so 9:00am is not really “early morning.”) The air was definitely just active even though it was fairly cool with overcast skies.
The first round saw Chris up first and he walked out to lane 12 only to discover we were supposed to be in lane 3. Dillon quickly ran to the Towers and informed them so Dave and Phil could quickly re set themselves. With just 4 minutes of prep time to do it Phil got one line out in time and then watched the pilot end to see if they were ready to launch. Meanwhile Tom and Daryl were talking with the organizers to find out why we did not have our pilot cards or the correct matrix with the correct lane identified. We assumed they would delay the start as they sorted this out. Phil began back to the pilots end to string a second line only to get halfway and see throwers tensioning line. He was unable to make it back for the Tow so Dave towed Chris up on his own. Chris was late away also because it wasn’t until the final count that the team realized they were not delaying the start while Tom was off the field talking to the CD. In the long run Chris made a 9:50 with a 100 and though the Cd offered him a reflight Chris kept his score. It was great that we got this lane mishap out of our system early. Daryl was next and after an uneventful launch he found positive air to the east and made a good 9:56 plus and 100.
Jody was next up and he flew his beater to save his good models for the Worlds. His beater was an old X2 with clipped tips and a fuse repair. 2 seconds into his launch the boom went CRACK and his model fell onto turn landing zone like a wounded duck. It was a nine second flight and actually would have scored landing points if the official had measured it. Jody had the model repaired again in less than an hour so no harm done.
Dillon was next to fly in Group 6 and his flight was an easy ride and a textbook landing for a score of 9:57.89 and 97.
Dominic flew a great flight in Group 8 with his model sinking slowly to be over the tent area at around 100 ft with 4 mins to go. He found a little bubble and made it work to hold until the end finally landing about 4 seconds early for a memorable save.
Frankie flew next and during pre tension the line broke forcing a fast change for a late launch but Frankie did a stellar job completing the flight with a 9:27 – 99. Tristan made a great launch and did well for 6 minutes but flew through a lot of sink on the way home and was finally just short of the landing tape when he made it back.
Gordon was last to fly and made his time but was a little short on landing for a decent score.
Round 2
Chris was away first and had a read downwind where he hooked up initially but lost contact with the small thermal and had to return early through atrocious sink to finish just inside the mandatory 75 m for a short time.
Jody’s 2nd round launch saw his tail boom repair hold together for the launch and he flew an uneventful flight to hit a 99 with a 9:55.
Dominic’s flight saw him fly his 2nd round in reflex and was unable to return To the field for a score. Dominic is really flying well though and it was great that he got this simple mistake behind him early in the campaign.
Tristan was up next and flew a perfect flight for a 1000 point score with a 99 landing.
Daryl launched accidently In reflex to see his model “fall off” the line at about 100 ft to leave him stranded. (Says he has never done that before in 30 years.)
He tried valiantly to save the flight in the 12 to14 mph wind and looked like he might get away with it but a long way downwind and not quite buying his ride he eventually succumbed and landed the model safely for a zero.
Gordon flew next And also ha a launch mishap to see him off first but very low. He initially tried to surf the tree line upwind but after a couple of minutes came back to relaunch. He flew out the rest of the round for a 7:21 and outlasted everybody in the round except for one pilot who made the 10 mins in stiff wind very little lift conditions. Dillon was up next and once again flew a great round to make his time with a 9:55 and another good landing.
Frankie flew last in Round 2 and did a great job to make a 9:55 and a landing.
The start of Round 3 was quite a mess for our team as Chris was up in Group 1
and missed his launch. The organizers specifically told us we would have a 5 min break between rounds and then a 5 min prep time for the 1st group. they didn’t do this and continued with the next group and we were not prepared and missed the launch. After our protest Chris was awarded a reflight.
Frankie flew next and although he got out in weak lift he was a little low near the end and to protect his landing he came in a little early for a 9:37 -98.
Jody got off tow a little early and using a read overhead he flew the thermal out and returned for a good 9:55 – 99.
Gordon made a good launch and flew forward to the left very deep to make his time without turning in bouyant air out over the valley that seemed to be at worst neutral and at best helped him easily climb for 8 minutes before returning for a 9:55 – 97
In constantly improving air with just a meek 4mph wind Daryl short towed and took great air out downwind for a 9:57 – 99.
Dillon was next and became the last USA pilot to fly on the first day.
He got off early and went left to a read we had from the many flags and airport windsock. He easily made his time along with the pack and landed a little early for a 9:54 – 99.
The organizers called it a day and we assembled the team quickly for a few Team photos before returning to the Hotel after 8:00pm.
With such long days in Europe it sure is tiring from a 5:45am start to having dinner after 10:00 at night. Nonetheless lots if flying can be done and that’s a good thing.
Looking forward to some nicer weather tomorrow for day 2 of the pre contest.

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