With strong windy conditions forecast and arrival at the field finding it blowing at 10 and gusting to 15 we had a Team meeting and decided to do direct tows as often as possible to practice for the possibility of using them in the worlds.
Dominic was first to fly and took a great launch and went left and sloped the upwind tree line and picked up a great thermal to follow downwind while everyone in his flight group was relighting. Dominic crushed his entire group competing the flight with a 9:54 – 98.
Tristan was next up and after a great start on his launch his model appeared to pop off just before he pushed for the bucket and he got a very poor launch. Though he worked hard to make the flight work he finally landed out and his dad Paul retrieved the plane and threw it forward for Tristan to relaunch. Unfortunately as we went to hook the model up we couldn’t find a hook. Apparently the “pop off” was actually the tow hook ripping itself through the floor of the fuse. The hook was found later right on the starting line and was actually broken in half. The force also shredded the parachute into 3 pieces.
Chris was last up with his reflight. Being his first direct tow Chris was a little apprehensive on the tow and after the launch said, “that was scary as $&@&!”
The wing bend was a little more than he usually experienced with the Aspire. Chris went right and Daryl called him further and further right. Eventually the quote from Daryl was, “OK it’s obvious you don’t want to go to the good stuff so go over there!” which created a lot of laughs. Chris made his time 9:52.9 and missed the landing in a strong gust for about an 85.
At the end of Rd 3 Dillon was our highest placed pilot in 2nd with Frankie next.
Round 4 finally started with Chris up first again in back to back flights. He went really deep downwind in a stiff 15 mph wind and spent 2.5 minutes in reflex coming home with doubts sometimes that he was going to get back on time. Eventually he made it home to score a fine 9:56 and 97.
Frankie was next up and had an uneventful flight but crowded himself a little on the landing to finish with a score of 9:46 and a 99.
Dominic had good air to the right but had a little too much rudder action going on during his flight and didnt quite make enough height in the thermal to buy his ride home. As a result he finished with a 7:40 – 97.
Gordon was next and took a pop off starting his flight at under 200 feet. Though he tried hard to make it work in pretty decent lift he never quite made enough height to buy his ride and finally succumbed on the ride home to finish off field 8.5 minutes in for a zero.
Tristan was next up and we made a great read to the right into an amazing piece of air which had him specked out in 4 minutes to make an easy ride. He made a great 9:54 -98
Jody launched with full brass on board in 15mph plus and found an excellent thermal over the corn to take a long ride downwind returning for a 9:54 – 97.
Daryls flight was another short tow in the howling wind but he easily read the air for a good trip out and back to score a granny with 9:57 – 97
Dillon was last up and with such strong wind decided to fly the FS4. He didnt get the best launch with a little snap on the way up and then got off early. The model was specked out in 5 minutes and Dillon could move around at will to stay out of sink on the way home. He scored a 9:53 and managed to spike a 98 landing to finish our flights in Round 4.
After 4 rounds the leader board showed Dillon as still the highest placed US pilot in 2nd with Frankie Burnoski continuing to move up with consistent piloting.
Lunch was enjoyed before we began our round 5.
The matrix had us flying Jody, Chris and the Dillon and Daryl in lane 11 in the first 4 groups.
Jody’s flight saw lighter wind conditions at about 12mph so he removed 2 of the brass ballast and flew with just 12oz. It was the perfect choice with just enough legs to move around and not too heavy for the much lighter lift conditions now available . With a short launch and a well timed landing to get a 9:57 it should have been another granny but Jodys landing unfortunately didnt stick, became a slider and he finished with a 96 to add to his max.
Chris and his callers had a “go left/right” miscommunication during his Rd5 which caused Chris to fly away from the best air and finally finished up short of the field in the wheat with 3 or 4 other pilots. It was very tough air but just enough if you were in the right place. As a team we are glad that Chris and his callers got this sorted during the Precomp.
Dillons flight was a struggle from the beginning because we went left with 2 others as models on the right were sinking. The right side started working but we were too far left to get there and we had to work what we had. Dillon tried very had to make three separate very light thermals work but in the end had to return to the field for a 6:22 -0. It was a big disappointment as prior to Rd 5 Dillon was in 2nd place in the contest.
With nothing to lose Daryl launched with a 1.5 sec tow even though he didn’t have a read. He flew with 8oz of ballast in calming wind of approx 8-10 and found light air to take downwind and make his time. His landing yielded a 9:55 – 98.
Gordon took a short tow and worked the clock for 8 minutes never getting higher than a couple of hundred feet and perilously far enough downwind to not get home. He did make it back in time but wasted the short start landing 4 secs early for a 9:53 – 95.
Frankie has been really consistent every round and he didn’t disappoint in rd 5 with a perfectly executed foray with the pack to score a 9:51-98. This score would put Frankie in contention for a spot in the finals with a good Rd6 score.
Dominic took a full tow and went right with the pack found a bubble and took it downwind while the entire pack kept going right and sank out. By the time Dominic was halfway through the task all his opponents had relaunched so he worked his way back to the field and landed safely at 7:40 with a landing to take an epic 1000 points.
Tristan was out last pilot for Rd 5 and was a little late to the flight line and in the rush was thrown early.
The relaunch was taken about a minute later and Tristan found lift to take his model out. The entire group meanwhile was sinking out downwind and most relaunched while others landed out for Tristan to triumph with 1000 points and a score time in the 8:40,s with a 100 point landing.
With the sun hiding behind thick cloud deep in the west Tristan was also first up in Round 6. Daryl sent Tristan into good air and he worked it well milking tough conditions to get his time. He left the good air a little early for such light conditions and finally landed 10 secs early for a 9:35-98.
The sun came out a few minutes before Chris launched high and he found two thermals to complete his time and made a good landing for a 9:54-99.
Daryl flew his light 3.7 (50oz) and took a medium length tow and went back to find soft workable lift and make his time. He completed the contest with a great 9:56.1 -99.
Dominic was the last pilot up for Day 2 and followed the pack upwind to slowly sink down with them returning to land early.
The team finished the day in great spirits with Frankie in 15th requiring a solid flight tomorrow to make the finals.
Tomorrow is forecast another great soaring day.