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Posted - 09/28/2009 :  10:29:16 PM  Show Profile
Eastern Soaring League Newsletter – September 2009


President – Ed Anderson
Secretary/Treasurer – David Beach
Scorekeeper – Luis Bustamante & Anker Berg-Sonne
Contest Coordinator - Jose Bruzual
Web Master and Publisher – Jose Bruzual
Quartermaster – Steve Lucke
Newsletter Editor – Ed Anderson
ESL Historian - Anker Berg
Hand Launch Director – Doug Harnish


On Saturday 10/2 we will hold the ESL League meeting, right after the Saturday EOS contest at the Daniel Boone Homestead near Reading PA. Will you be there?

Every year the League invites all members to discuss the past year and to look forward to the coming year. Are there things that could be done better? Are there things that were really good that we should continue?

Even if you can’t be at the meeting you can make your voice heard. Send a note to one of the club officers, or speak to one us. Or make your feelings known to someone who will be attending the meeting.

This is your League. Help us make it the best it can be.

– Do you have your dates reserved?

Jose Bruzual, our Contest Coordinator, is working on the 2010 ESL contest schedule. If you are responsible for your club’s ESL contest schedule, you should have already contacted Jose to reserve your contest dates. Jose will be presenting the 2010 schedule for approval by the League on Saturday 10/2 during the ESL League meeting. Be sure you have spoken to Jose this week. jebnet@bruzual.com

THE ESL CALENDAR – Remaining Contests


10/17 - 10/18 SJSF: ESL HLG EOS (HLG) - Hagerstown, MD -


10/03 - 10/04 Reading ESL TD EOS - Reading, PA

CONTEST REPORT – SKSS/ESL Hand Launch Contest – 9/12,13
Submitted by Mark Hafer

I awoke Saturday morning to completely overcast sky, but took comfort in the promises of the Friday evening weather caster that it would improve around noon. This was to be the Silent Knight#146;s first ESL hand launch contest, and with all the planning that had occurred, I didn#146;t want to see it wasted by Mother Nature. We had 15 or so competitors pre-registered and were hoping for more.

Not being a hand launch flier myself, I scoured the Internet for contest formats and read many a thread on RC groups to get an idea of what would make a good contest. The AMA rules for soaring didn#146;t seem to fit, and with the level of chatter about F3K decided that was the route to go. Walt Leipold had spent a great deal of time playing with scoring programs and had settled on a Java based program that was written for man on man F3K. This program would automatically drop rounds, randomize groups, and allowed assessment of penalty points. Since scoring is the heart and soul of the contest, this allowed us to follow the official F3K format as closely as possible with the limited number of volunteers we had. Eric Teder took on the task of setting us up with a sound system, and Walt downloaded and burned timing files that could be played for each round.

Only two experts had registered, so in the interest of convenience everyone was scored together, including our resident novice. The first couple rounds were uneventful - with the exception of Phil Abatelli launching several times in a looping lawn dart trajectory. We later found out his receiver switch was turning off from the force of the throw. The ceiling continued to drop and by round three we were dealing with an intermittent and annoying mist and a 200-300 foot ceiling. Despite the deteriorating conditions, there was lift and the competitors were turning in respectable times. We continued to fly, occasionally taking a few extra minutes between groups to allow the rain pass. We took lunch following round four in hopes the weather would clear and allow a better ending.

After having lunch and watching the buzzards soaring IFR in and out of the low ceiling we pushed on into round 5. First two groups in round 5 put up with varying degrees of precip, but the third group had it the worst. In hind site, I don#146;t think I would have flown #147;my#148; plane in that weather but everyone in the group marched on to the field as if defending their honor. After hearing some grumbling of #145;water in my transmitter#146; and seeing that the rain had no intentions of slowing down any time soon, I called the contest at 2:45 p.m. before starting round six. Shane Spickler took first, with Todd Demarco and several other sportsman falling in behind. Following the awards ceremony the rain let up and several stayed a while longer to fly for fun.

Sunday was much better. Started with a high overcast, but was bright and sunny by round 2. As the day progressed the sun came out in full force and the winds slowly picked up out of the north. This led to some low level tree line surfing, and some spectacular low saves as the thermals broke loose. Remarkably I only recall one plane going into the trees on Sunday, but there were several close calls. A few even made contact and flew on. The winds continued to increase after lunch, and though challenging for the competitors, it never reached a level in which we couldn#146;t comfortably fly. Shane Spickler once again won the day after 6 rounds, with Rob Sabatini and other sportsmen following in the top four.

I think everyone had a great time despite Saturday#146;s weather, and the Silent Knights look forward to hosting a hand launch contest next year.

By Anker Berg-Sonne

ESL Scoring, Classes and Advancement

The ESL scoring, classes and award rules are fairly complicated and I regularly get questions about them. This missive is an attempt at describing them all comprehensively and, hopefully, understandably.

The ESL membership is divided into expert and sportsman classes. New members are free to decide which class they will start in. After that, members must follow the ESL advancement rules which are as follows:
A member competes in one, and only one, class during each contest season. You cannot change classes from contest to contest. The score keeper (me) will keep track of the class of all contestants for each contest and will correct the class if a CD submits scores for a member in the wrong class. If this happens the results reported by the CD may be different from the results posted on the web site.

Any sportsman can decide to advance to expert at the beginning of a contest season. To do so, simply register as an expert at your first contest of the season and continue to register as an expert. I will pick up the change in class and assume that it was a voluntary class change.

The ESL score keeper (me) will keep track of "advancement points" for all members. If a sportsman accumulates 20 or more advancement points over two consecutive years, the sportsman will be advanced to expert class at the beginning of the following season. The advancement points accumulated from all contests will be used. Year to date advancement points are posted on the web site.

Advancement points are given according to the overall finishing position in a contest. The first place winner will be awarded 10 advancement points, second place 9, and so on down to the 10th place, who will be awarded 1 point. For the purposes of advancement points, all contestants are ranked, regardless of class. This ranking isn't normally published. I plan to change the web site contest scores to include both the overall position and the advancement points.

To move from expert to sportsman class requires permission of the ESL board and is normally granted only when the person consistently scores in the bottom 25% of the experts at contests. Any member desiring a move from expert to sportsman class should submit a request to the ESL board at the end of a contest season.

Ranking the contestants is easy for regular contests where everybody competes against everybody else. The contestants are simply ranked by their normalized scores as submitted to the score keeper by the CD.

Man-on-man contests are less simple, because experts only fly against experts and sportsmen only fly against sportsmen. To generate an overall ranking, the score keeper will perform the following calculation: The experts' normalized scores are used directly. The sportsmen’s' normalized scores are adjusted by the ratio of the best sportsman's non-normalized (raw) score to the best expert's non-normalized (raw) score. This normally results is a downward adjustment of the sportsman scores, and is as fair a system as the ESL board has been able to come up with.

For the purposes of the end of season awards, the 6 best normalized scores will be used. For each contest the experts will be normalized to 100 points, with the expert winner receiving 100, and the rest 100 points times the contestants’ final score divided by the expert winner's final score. The sportsmen will also be normalized to 100 points, with the sportsman winner receiving 100 points, and the rest of the sportsmen receiving 100 points times the contestant's final score divided by the sportsman winner's final score.

Improvement compares performance from year to year. It is only calculated for members who have a minimum of 6 contest days in each year. For each year the performance is calculated as the sum of the contestant's best 6 scores as a percentage of the leading pilot's best 6 scores. Improvement is simply the first year's percentage subtracted from the second year's percentage.

That was the formal part. Now for some discussion:
I record and publish advancement point for both experts and sportsmen. I do so because advancement points show how "winning" a contestant is. It is possible to have a very high normalized score and no advancement point, and it is also possible to gain advancement points in spite of having a low normalized score.

Sportsmen are often confused by the fact that advancement points are computed from the overall position and not the finishing position in sportsman class. Since the overall positions aren't announced at the contests, nor published on the web site or the newsletter, this requires some sleuthing.

If you have any questions about your scores, or some other contestant's scores, please contact me as quickly as possible. I do make mistakes every now and then, and I do like to correct them as quickly as possible.

Have a great - fun - contest season.


Some of you may recall that David Beach set up an ESL logo site a couple of years ago. The host site is on Cafepress. They have t-shirts, sweatshirts, mugs and mouse pads. So if you would like to show off the League logo, you can order whatever you like. There is no minimum order. T-shirts start at $9 and sweatshirts start at $33.

Thanks to David Beach for setting this up for us.


I just posted information for a $55 motel available for the EOS contest in PA. A special rate has been arranged for ESL. Just call and ask for the ESL rate or mention Ed Anderson of the Eastern Soaring League. http://www.flyesl.org/forums/forum.asp?FORUM_ID=17

If you have a local motel near your ESL contest, why not stop by and check them out. Many offer good value but don’t have the chain backing. And since they are usually small, they may be willing to offer us a special rate to attract business. If you find one, post it in the forums so ESL members can take advantage of a good room at a good price. And send me a notice so I can include it in the newsletter.


RC Soaring Digest is a must read for anyone who loves soaring. Bill & Bunny Kuhlman do a terrific job of publishing it each month for our enjoyment. RC Soaring Digest is free. All you have to do is download the file. And consider making a donation to help support the magazine.


Photos from the September 19, 20 ESL contest at the LISF field on Long Island.

- AMA Class C Sanction #09-0218

The Orange County Silent Flyers of Pine Island, NY AMA Club #2481, will host a one day “Sailplane Workshop” on Saturday, October 10, 2009. Our flying site is located in Orange County, NY and is a huge “World Class” sod farm.

For registration information, please go our web site, www.orangecountysilentflyers.org or contact me. Registration is open at this time.

Bob Crane – CD AMA 7667 avapilot@gmail.com
484-225-6720 – Cell #
Wayne, NJ 07470


www.geniebuild.com/harleys_genie.html" target="_blank">http://www.geniebuild.com/harleys_genie.html

www.tailwindgliders.com/Files.html#Articles" target="_blank">http://www.tailwindgliders.com/Files.html#Articles


DLG Launch Preset for Optic 6
www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1103448" target="_blank">http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1103448

www.modelaircraft.org/files/events/rulebooks/RCSoaring.pdf" target="_blank">http://www.modelaircraft.org/files/events/rulebooks/RCSoaring.pdf


I hope you have enjoyed the ESL Newsletter. The format is simple but hopefully the content is worthwhile. If you have ideas or input for the next Newsletter, please feel free to let me know.

Perhaps you have a quick tip to share. These little gems can make a big difference in competition. Why not pass them on. Extended length articles are always welcome and I would love to include your photos.

Send your notes, photos, compliments or complaints to Ed Anderson, ESL Newsletter Editor, at aeajr@optonline.net
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