Posted - 05/27/2014 : 10:42:04 AM
| Contest Report � ESL ALES Contest Saturday 5/24
Prepared by Ed Anderson
John Jenks opened the field on Friday for practice. The weather was perfect for doing last minute adjustments and getting used to the field. Every field has its unique character and the locals know where the typical thermal generators reside. Friday gave the out of towners a chance to take a look and get a feel for the field. There were about 6 pilots who took advantage of the opportunity to fly.
Saturday greeted the pilots with a very cloudy and overcast sky along with gusty winds. I did not measure them but I would guess we were running in the 7-14 mph range with a lot of swirling wind. We had some periods of relative calm followed by strong gusts. At times it was difficult to know how to land as the winds were swirling quite a bit during the flight and on approach. You could start your approach into the wind but land with a tail wind, so conditions were interesting.
Twelve pilots showed up on Saturday to test their soaring skills against other Eastern Soaring League pilots. John Jenks was CD and David Beach was handling the scoring.
We would fly 3 flight groups of 4 pilots each. To promote safety John recommended that pilots launch in sequence with a small relaxation of the usual 10 second launch window to promote a very safe and organized launch line. The only launch issues were due to motors that did not start. None lead to a damaged plane or plane to plane incidents. As desired, the launch line was run well all day. Thanks John.
The task would be 10 minutes all day. Landing tapes were 5 meter tapes marked in 1/2 meter 5 point increments from 5 to 50 points. First two rounds would be flown random and then seeding would take over. The goal was to fly 8 rounds. First flight was around 9 am.
John Jenks won flight group A with a 10:04 and a 35 landing, Don Richmond took group B with a 9:51 and a 40 landing. Group C got some challenging air. Dave Reisinger took group C with a 6:09 and no landing. The clouds were thick and there did not seem to be a lot of thermal lift, mostly wave lift.
Leaders after the first round were John Jenks, Don Richmond, Pete Schlitzkus, Mark Kotov and David Beach.
Group A launched into the same tough air that the last group saw. Tom David won the group with a 7:02. John Jenks won group B and Paul Sullivan won group C. with Kerry Cochrell, also in group C, just a few points behind.
After 2 you have Jenks, Sullivan, Cochrell, Schlitzkus and Anderson in the top 5 spots.
Round 3 � Beginning of seeded flight groups.
David Beach won group A by a substantial margin. Group B was taken by Tom David with two others also scoring over 1000 points. John Jenks again won his group but 3 of the 4 pilots were also over 1000 points. There were some really good pilots on the field for this contest.
Leaders were Jenks, Cochrel, Schlitzkus, Sullivan and Anderson in the top 5 slots.
David Beach took Group A with a 9:44 and a 50 landing crushing the rest of the group. Group B launched into some ugly air with the group being won by Ed Anderson with a 6:20 and a 45 landing. The good air returned for Group C with John Jenks winning the round but all Group C pilots scored over 1000.
After 4 the leaders were Jenks, Cochrel, Schlitzkus, Sullivan and Anderson in the top 5 slots.
In round 4 we had our first case of aircraft encountering a land based object earlier than the pilot had intended. While setting up for approach, Bob Anderson clipped a tree and ended his flight about 25 feet up in the branches.
John brought in Chick-Fil-A and everyone ate well. The sky was getting brighter but still very cloudy. Wind had settled some but the gusts were still there, right when you didn�t want them.
The Rescue Mission
After a brief lunch break Bob Anderson and a team of supporting pilots, lead by John Jenks handling the 50 foot pole and Ed Anderson with the 30 foot pole, managed to get the Bob�s Egida electric down. Damage to the plane was minor but it was retired for the day and Bob went to his Radian as back-up for the rest of the contest.
Such incidents are always unfortunate but many of us have been there ourselves so we share the pain that Bob was feeling as he looked at is Egida up in the tree. I guess it wouldn�t be a true ESL contest if we didn't have at least one plane in a tree.
Round 5 � After lunch
Dave Reisinger crushed group A with the next closest pilot more than 4 minutes behind. David Beach won group B. John Jenks won group C, but Pete and Paul where just a few points behind John.
Don Richmond had a launch problem in Group B, taking a zero and Kerry Cochrell had a problem with his plane that took it down off field, rendering it unflyable. Kerry called it a day after that.
The leaders at this point are Jenks, Schlitzkus, Sullivan, Anderson and Beach.
Group A hit some tough air with Don Richmond winning the round by a significant margin with an 8:27 and a 35 landing. Group B was a 3 man group with Kerry out. David Beach had the best time in B but Tom David won the group with a 45 landing. Group C, the leaders group, was won, by John Jenks, again, but Paul Sullivan was only 1.6 points behind and Pete .02 behind Paul.
The Leaders were John, Pete, Paul, Ed and David after 6 rounds.
Round 7 � The last round.
Group A was won by Ray Forceno with a 9:55 and a 20 landing. Group B was taken by David Beach with a 9:59 and a 40 landing. Group C got interesting.
The plan was for 8 rounds. And the weather had been cooperating all day but our luck was running out. As Group C, the leader group, was preparing to fly dark clouds started forming in the distance. Our CD, John Jenks, pointed out that there was a column of rain coming our way and was hopeful that we could get the round in. It looked like round 7 would be the last of the day.
Group C launched into darkening skies. Ed Anderson had a poor flight and fell well short of time at 6:09. As he was walking toward the cars the skies started to open up and the rain came. Sometimes coming down early is not such a bad thing.
The other pilots were still in the air and no one was going to give up the round or the contest just because of a little water. Despite the rain, which became heavy and gusty, the group was was taken, again, by John Jenks who was hot all day, now soaking wet.
These guys are real competitors. Despite the rain, which started to fall around 7 minutes into the round John turned in a 10:07 with a 40 landing, Paul turned in a 9:52 and a 40 landing and Pete Schlitzkus a 9:47 and a 45 landing. And I suspect the planes were carrying some water ballast upon landing.
As the skies opened and the rain came down hard people scrambled for cover under the canopies, under lift gates or just tried to get their stuff out of the rain. It came down hard for a good 20 minutes.
As it rained the scores were finalized. When the rain passed, John called a pilot�s meeting and awards were handed out. After all was totaled up:
First place � John Jenks with a 7266.64 out of a possible perfect 7350.
Second Place � Pete Schlitzkus with a 7186.97
Third place � Paul Sullivan with a 7174.96
Just off the leaders were David Beach in fourth and Ed Anderson in fifth.
Sportsman � There were two Sportsman
First Place Mark Kotov
Second Place � Bob Anderson � Note this was Bob�s first ESL away contest. We hope he enjoyed it and will plan to attend more away contests in the future.
Note that Dave Reisinger shows as sportsman on the score sheets but he flew expert.
All in all it was a great day. Many of the pilots would return for the second contest on Sunday. Unfortunately I would not be able to attend so I won�t be turning in a report for Sunday.
Long Island Silent Flyers