June 2009 contest

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Good evening TMSS!


We had our June club contest on Saturday.  John was the CD and we had a reasonable turn-out (6 total flyers).  The weather was nice and warm in the morning but it became pretty windy by noon (10 to 20 or 15 to 20).  The direction of the wind was a bit of a challenge to as it was at a large angle to the field.  We were able to launch into the wind (more or less), but the wind blowing across the top of the trees and the rather narrow part of the field we were flying over made lift very challenging, the sink spectacular, and the turbulence was pretty strong at times.


John called for 6 rounds.  In unlimited we were to fly a 8, 10, two 12s and two 15s in that order.  Two meter was less (I think it was an 8 and 5-10s). Nobody maxed a 2-m flight, so perhaps John can tell us exactly what the 2-m task was.  As a kicker, John called for ½ of one of each of the 12-minute and 15-minute flights to be performed on each side of the setup-road we have been operating from.  Okey-dokey.  That means that at the mid-point of the flight (say at 6 minutes in the 12-minute round) you had to go fly on the other side of the road.  We decided to time ourselves since we were low of numbers and wanted to fly more.  We also had 100-point FAI landings to work with.  I got out my zoom start since the red winch was having issues early, but it was fine late in the day.


I think it is reasonable to say that our new field is a tough one to fly at.  The combination of the two tree lines in close proximity make conditions very hard, especially below 300 ft on Saturday.  Making John’s tasks required some strategy.  One strategy would be to sky-out by 6 minutes down-wind, then just coast up-wind and run out the clock.  The other strategy was to try to fly 6 minutes (or 7.5 minutes for the 15 minute task) upwind and hope you had enough altitude to catch a thermal down-wind and get the rest of the time.  Neither strategy worked for me, or anyone else.  The down-wind lift was ragged and you couldn’t gain enough altitude.  The upwind lift was reasonable, but not strong enough.  It was also unclear that if you tried to do the ½ upwind/downwind flight thing and failed if you had to try it again on your other attempt.  I guess in retrospect, we should have had to do the ½ upwind/downwind thing on the second 12/15 flights.  That way you get one clear-shot at the task.  We would also need to try this again but with timers.  It was a lot to do by yourself.


Using my zoom start was a bad idea and I stopped doing it after 3 flights after getting hammered.  Giving up 300 ft on launch was a LOT, especially with the field and wind conditions.  On one flight, I hooked a thermal at 15 ft (seriously, 15 ft) and was up at 1,200 ft in a minute, then back down to 15 ft 2 minutes later.  Lenny did well in the longer tasks and showed us how to fly effectively upwind and ended up winning.  It was good practice to go upwind and fly there.  We thought that the trailer park was a good thermal generator.  I ended up 2nd.  Don Richmond was 3rd and Mike Mathews 4th.  Mike, Don, and Lenny had the only maxes of the day (8 minute maxes in round 1).  I had the longest flight of the day at 10:15 in my second shot at the 15.  While the ½ upwind/downwind task was challenging, it was still better than loops ;-).


John Moody won Sportsflyer class with a max flight time of 5:08 over his 6 rounds (conditions were tough). Bill Mims was flying his “Next Generation” sailplane which looks like a Supra, but was different.  Looked like it flew well for Bill, but he only got 3 rounds on it.  Hopefully the new plane is Ok and ready to come back out again. 


In 2-m, John Moody won unopposed with 74 total points.  He had an inadvertent pop-off that put his Aspire in the trees.  Don Richmond won 2-m expert 1397 points.  Don tore the rudder of his 2-m off on launch due to turbulence and was able to steer the plane around the high-value assets (my new Supra) to a graceful landing (thanks Don!).


We started wrapping things up around 2pm as it looked like we were going to get tagged by some thunderstorms.  After we had everything in the car, we decided to get the Aspire out of the tree.  I had some fish sinkers and John had some retriever line and me, Don, and John had a hoot getting the plane out of the tree.  After some throwing and pulling, and losing other things in the woods, the Aspire was back safely on the ground, but my sinkers are in the tree (long story).  


Next weekend is the Ft Lee contest.  I hope there is good weather for that.  I will be on Long Island at the LISF unlim, but please have a good time without me at Ft Lee.


Thanks,  Josh.


TMSS Secretary

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