| The ESL flying circus came up to Rhode Island once again, this past August, for the Mid Season TD contest.
22 Participants attended, which included 4 in the Sportsman class whilst a surprising number came by on Friday afternoon for some practice. With the weather looking to be sunny with some cloud cover and winds no higher than 10 to 15 mph, we where all expecting a fun weekend. Formidable Steve Lucke, set up the gear Friday afternoon and we all had opportunities to abuse his lines when he wasn't looking.
Saturday was a bit slow to start and finally got moving well by 9.30. Wind was North Easterly around 8 to 10 mph with some heavyish cloud cover. As usual, the first 2 rounds unseeded, sorted the prepared from the unprepared and put us all in our pecking order. Not much has changed in this regard, but of notable exception was Tom Broeski who seemed to have been flying better than his recent contests. There was some heat coming from the Long Island gents, with Pete Nicholson and Frank Strommer putting in some good scores, whilst the neighbours from Massachusettes and New Hampshire, David Walter, Lincoln Ross and David Beach where also making sure that the rest of the crowd didn't get much of a chance to climb up the scoring sheet. However the usual suspects from New Jersey, Mike Lachowski, Lezsek Zyga, Steve Lucke and Luis Bustamante, put their stamp on the proceedings and held off any other outsiders.
The day went smoothly with out too much of a rush, we had nearly an hour stop for lunch, see attached menu....., and completed the day with 8 rounds, with Mike, Tom and Leszek taking the top spots respectively.
In the Sportsman class, Jim Otis, Mark Higgins and Maarten Broess,(in his very first contest), took the honours.
Sunday turned out to be an even nicer day, with a slightly gentler breeze also from the NE, much less cloud cover and temperatures in the high 70's. The fact that the winches could stay in the same direction from Saturday meant that Mr. Lucke could get an extra hour of sleep and hopefully improve his performance. 7 rounds were flown, with a short 30 minute break in between. There was quite a reshuffling of the pack at day's end, with Steve moving up a spot to 4th,(so much for a sleep in!) whilst Luis and Frank took 5th and 6th repectively. Alas Tom must have had a late night and only managed 7th place. Of notable improvement from the previous day, was Dennis Phelan of the small Connecticut contingent, who took 8th place just behind Tom, whilst flying a very pretty moulded Thermal Eagle from the early 90's. The top 3 spots were carved out by Leszek, David Beach and Mike Lachowski, taking 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively,however one must note that Leszek's first place was a substantial 529 points clear of second.
Once again in Sportsman, Jim Otis took first place, AGAIN!, followed by our regular John Pinho in his first season and finally Maarten Broess.
All in all a great weekend, superb camaraderie, and first class soaring. Thank you all for making the effort to come to RI and even though I might keep repeating this, you're all a great bunch of folk.
Finger sandwiches, cherries and muffins