Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Task 1 - Chelan Open

Good flying conditions today gave us a 58k task out to Sims then to with goal at Leahy. Gotta love these 2 waypoint tasks!

The view over the butte looking back at lake Chelan was priceless... One day I want to fly the mountains here, but yesterday we flew out over the flat, dry wheat fields which are famous for their huge dust devils.

The sky got shaded by high cirrus at the Sims waypoint and a lot of us got low for the first time on the course and the wind was strong down low so it was a slug fest for those of us not shifting gears or just getting lucky.

If you got to Sims high, you turned downwind and had goal on glide... If you got low at Sims, it called for some desperate and creative moves, as Josh Cohn demonstrated by turning towards goal without tagging Sims and getting a low save that put him back up high but half way to goal, so he had to slowly push back into the wind for a long time to get the Sims turnpoint and then blast downwind to goal... Desperate and creative and in goal...

Results are here

Shifting gears was the game at Sims.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Four Brett's in Chelan

Check out the pilot list for the Chelan XC Open - there are four pilots named Brett entered! At last! Some anonymity!

Between the four of us, we can easily say "Are you sure it was me that flew straight through your gaggle? -- You must be confusing me with one of the other Brett's"

I am looking forward to 100km tasks with 2 or 3 waypoints...

Stay Tuned!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Rat Race 2008 Final Task

A tough start for this 33km task that ended at Donato's. The conditions were weak, but Burnt was working really well, especially later on, which was what fooled a lot of people into thinking it was a stronger day.

Patience was key - 49 out of about 90 pilots sunk out, most trying to get to Rabies or because they followed the lead gaggle to Burnt without enough altitude. I tried but couldn't make the first turnpoint at Rabies, I had to fall back to the spine on Burnt just behind HQ and was able to save myself. That spine was the best place to get up on this day.

After tagging the last turnpoint at Cemetary, I flew in under the lead gaggle as they went on final glide, Dean and Phillip Russman were with me and we climbed in the left overs of their thermal. We left the lift with a 10:1 glide and a nice tail wind. Dean and Philip made it in, I took a different line and even though I had a 10:1 all the way until the last ridge before Donato's, I didn't hit one bug fart along the way and landed 3k short.

This happened on one other task, and I think I am getting "tunnel vision" on my final glides - I am watching my instruments too much and not using the same "power of observation" that got me that far around the course. I am going on final without enough height to slide straight into goal - I am typically thinking that there has to be at least one climb between me and goal, and if there isn't, I'm stuffed...

Tragically, Dean Stratton got only 5.8km worth of tracklog even though he made goal, if his tracklog would have worked, he would have won the comp. Marty Devietti took top honor - nice flying Marty!

Results are here.

Stay tuned for the Chelan XC Open and Canadian Nationals which starts on July 28th.


Friday, July 11, 2008

Rat Race Day 6

The task board had 3 tasks on it before the day was canceled - NE winds are not the best direction for Woodrat and it was a little too strong.

After the day was canned, we flew around and found good convergence over the Longsword LZ. It might have been taskable, but I think the day was canned due to safety concerns.

The Rat Race is very different from any other comp out there in that every night, one of the masters of the sport gives a presentation about a crucial subject that took a whole career of flying to perfect - this knowledge transfer is worth 10 years of trial and error in the air. This is is a real "value add" for a comp and you won't find it at another comp.

the last day of the comp...

Stay Tuned

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Rat Race Task 4

Much better conditions today - pilots were getting up to 7000 feet, and much cooler temps on the ground too. The race was a 47.2 km task ending at Donato's Goal. Brad Gunn got 1000 points for being in goal first. 29 pilots in goal!

Paul Murdoch was second in goal on his DHV 2-3, very impressive considering the next 10 gliders in goal were comp wings (Len's wing is incorrectly listed as a Boom Sport).

There were 3 gliders in the trees today - no one got injured, but I wonder if people are flying to aggressively?? Personally, I don't think it's worth gambling for the points...

Two more days to go.

Results are here.

stay tuned

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Rat Race Task 3

Tough conditions today. 54 pilots got minimum distance. 18 in goal. 12 somewhere in between. This type of spread across the course is what makes the winning pilot get only 461 points - the scoring software recognized the day was tough.

Pilots got very high today, over 7000 feet, but it was tricky finding the climbs. Hayden won the task, I think a first for him.

More hot weather coming our way, but not as hot as the last two days.

Results are here.

stay tuned

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Rat Race Day 3

Day canceled, not enough lift in this extremely hot weather.

stay tuned

Monday, July 07, 2008

Rat Race Task 2

It's getting hotter everyday - and more stable, but conditions were good enough for a 31km task that saw 21 people in goal. Pete Schaefer won the task today on a DHV 2-3.

The task was just under minimum time and quite a few pilots hit the dirt early on so the top score was just under 900 points. I came up 2k short after taking no risks, except a little one on the final glide and I got no love...

Yesterday we had a reserve deployment - but Cherie was back in the air today and made goal ...

It's going to be 100+ degrees for the next couple days, which should make for some interesting conditions.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Rat Race Task 1

Good conditions today - we got a 35.5km task zipping around the valley and with goal up the Applegate Valley at Purcell.

There are 85 pilots flying, and 38 made goal. I tried to race with the lead gaggle which is a mistake I keep making. This got me coming into Mid launch from the first turpoint really low and I came very close to sinking out at this point - I wasted a lot of time crawling my way out.

Sam Mulder won the serial class (DHV 2) today, this is only the second goal he has ever made, way to go Sam!

Results are here.

Stay Tuned.