| Dear Steve,
We did it; we actually had an ESL contest without your presence. I've always appreciated your efforts and now even more so. It took 3+ of us to do what you normally do alone. I had a list going of the folks who abused the winches and broke lines but as soon as I had to add my name to that list I threw it away! Everyone was a big help and chipped in when needed. Thank goodness Joanne was there to keep score otherwise I'd have been in big trouble.
Friday could have been a contest day. I left home in the rain but by the time I got to HorseFeathers it was clear and very flyable. Pilots started showing up at 12:30 and my pop-off winch got a workout! There was about a dozen people flying tuning up the planes and skills. The yard is in great condition, thanks Neal.
On Saturday if someone told you that we would give you 88 points for every landing I bet you would have taken it, too bad you still wouldn't have won! Great air but there were groups that no one got the full 10 minutes, Not the top groups of course they mostly got it done. Some groups found planes chasing lift far from the field and it wasn't because of the wind. The wind didn't show up until Sunday. Daryl made it look easy except when he had a malfunction and popped off, yep, that Daryl. After some discussion we decided to give him a re-flight taking pilots from the top of the list to fly with him. He kicked butt. Remember that 88, well you would have needed better than 91 on every landing to beat Daryl.
During the lunch break we had a rocket glider demo. I missed getting the young man's name. In the interest of time he kept the flight shorter than he could have. He wants to get into TD and had a new Explorer with him and was looking for help setting it up. Randy spent some time with him and after the contest he flew the new plane and did a darn good job of it!
Not much carnage, no off field landings, there was one landing in the staging area; flying low and slow where he shouldn't have been, no injuries so the pilot was warned and given another chance. Our one Novice was doing pretty well until he popped off and took a re-launch. He threw the plane sidearm and performed a wingover into the ground and totaled the Big Bird. I was beat at the end of the day 10 rounds of 10 minutes! This is the ESL we come to fly. Landings were added on as a bonus on Sat.
Saturday evening there was some conflict about the wind forecast for Sunday. 6 to 10 or 15 to 20? They were both somewhat right. There was a breeze starting for the first round and we were a bit surprised to find that it was fairly strong at launch height. I started with a plan to have landings as a bonus again but by the middle of the first round Neal and I switched to the C-delta because the conditions were very different group to group. Ballast or not? If you found lift you had to stay with it and follow way downwind to have a chance of winning the group. No one ended up in the trees but there were a lot of us getting exercise walking the runway. You [Steve] are pretty good at keeping the winch lines from backlashing when launching in the wind but us less experienced were not quick enough and we spent time undoing rat nests. The winch breaks were not up to the task.
By the last 2 rounds of the contest the wind was calming down and consistent from the ground to altitude. This change in conditions found normal pilots finally getting the required 10 minutes and landing points in the same flight. We completed 7 rounds on Sunday by the way.
Duane in addition to all around helping managed to take a few pictures: https://plus.google.com/photos/116572840978793689866/albums/6015715946454226737?authkey=CK2O9q_Vpu_VBw
See You Soon, Good Lift,