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aeajr

476 Posts

Posted - 08/14/2008 :  07:49:36 AM  Show Profile
The weekend was forecast as beautiful with sun, light wind, moderate temperatures with a slight chance of a thunderstorm Sunday afternoon. On arrival at the field for setup Saturday morning there was a low overcast and light fog.

Setup and registration went briskly and we ended up with a bigger crowd than we have had in many years: 21 experts, 15 sportsmen and one novice.

Edited by - aeajr on 08/15/2008 1:26:17 PM

aeajr

476 Posts

Posted - 08/14/2008 :  07:50:05 AM  Show Profile
The official contest report from the CDs:

Leading up the 35th annual Soar-In, much work had been put into refining the dolly-based parachute-retrieving system that we use to facilitate man-on-man competition. As a final test, it was used for the Easy Glider contest two weeks before the Soar-In and it performed flawlessly.

We always go to the field Friday afternoon to assemble the monster awning for the score keeping tables. When we got to the field, there was a large contingent of weekend contestants fun-flying. They had been doing this since noon, using Dimitri Katramatos’ winch and retriever. We got the awning raised, stored a few items under it and retired for the evening.

The weekend was forecast as beautiful with sun, light wind, moderate temperatures with a slight chance of a thunderstorm Sunday afternoon. On arrival at the field for setup Saturday morning there was a low overcast and light fog.

Setup and registration went briskly and we ended up with a bigger crowd than we have had in many years: 21 experts, 15 sportsmen and one novice.

By the time we were ready to fly the overcast was still very low, about 400’, and the CD, Anker Berg-Sonne, decided to start with a six minute task. The first group discovered that the lift was great under the clouds and they easily made their times. A full zoom on launch would put the plane deep in the clouds and out of sight. The best action to take is to loop the plane or put it in full landing mode. Letting it fly causes it to pop out of the clouds at an unknown point and unknown attitude. It only takes a second for a plane in a full dive to cover the distance between the cloud base and the ground. In these conditions the lift is under the clouds and the sink is in the light areas between them. Later groups that flew after the ceiling cleared had much worse air, but the man-on-man format ensured that the first groups didn’t have an “unfair” advantage.

Equipment gremlins were out in full force and we had to deal with a number of line tangles and various other equipment problems. By the time lunch arrived we had only managed to complete 2 ½ rounds.
After lunch we announced resumed flying by firing a mini-cannon Miner Crary had brought with him. No missing that signal. The afternoon went much smoother than the morning and we held to 8 minute rounds in order to maximize the rounds. Also, by popular demand, we continued flying until 5PM, which allowed us to complete 7 rounds total.

Competition was intense with landings making the difference. At the end of the day the two top experts had identical raw scores and a tiny difference in normalized scores. The 2nd and 3rd place experts had identical normalized scores with the tie broken by raw scores.

The final results were: Novice winner: George Messer. Sportsman: 3rd place: George Hill, 2nd place: Ed Anderson and 1st place Dimitri Katramatos. Expert: 3rd place: Luis Bustamante, 2nd place: Dave Walter and 1st place Steve Lucke.

A large group dined together at Papa Razzi in Concord after hastily showering and putting equipment on charge. Dinner was delicious and we had a great waitress. A superb time was had by all.

Sunday looked like a repeat of Saturday, weather wise, but the low ceiling cleared just as flying started at 9AM. The CD, David Walter, decided to start with a 7 minute round followed by 8 minute rounds the rest of the day. The equipment gremlins had taken Sunday off and flying went smoothly all day.

There was zero prevailing wind and all breezes were thermal-driven, so when there was one, it was a matter of figuring how far downwind the current thermal was. If there was no breeze you got no help from a cloudless sky. Almost all day we were in the middle of a blue hole surrounded by towering cumulus clouds.

As always there weren’t as many pilots as Saturday, but still a large group of 21 experts, 12 sportsmen and 1 novice.

Again, landings made all the difference with the majority of the experts getting all their flight times. The final results were: Novice winner: George Messer, Sportsman: 3rd place: Michael Moore, 2nd place: Robert Buxton and 1st place Dimitri Katramatos. Expert: 3rd place: David Beach, 2nd place: Dave Walter and 1st place: Steve Lucke. The grand champion mug for the weekend went to Steve Lucke. Great flying, Steve!

About an hour after we finished cleanup the skies opened.

We had invaluable help from a number of dedicated helpers: Rick Penzick, Steve Young and David Spielman manned the turnaround end of the dolly system. That end of the field was very muddy and this job is the least attractive because you are removed from the action. Steve Young also provided delicious lunches both days, and finally Dave Marshall and Les Gerhardt took care of scoring. Without these dedicated helpers we would not be able to run this event.

Anker Berg-Sonne and Dave Walter

For more reports of this and other contests visit the contest report forum.


http://forums.flyesl.com/forum.asp?FORUM_ID=15

Edited by - aeajr on 08/14/2008 07:58:34 AM
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