World Class Soaring Contest Day one

Today is the first contest day here at the World Class regional Contest held at Bermuda High Soaring School. The weather is looking good so far, and the sun is shining bright. The official contest weather report says that a warm front has moved in from north Carolina. High pressure still dominates the area and the east half of north Carolina is still fairly quiet and there is less than 10 percent chance of rain. Winds are reported to be out of the south at five to ten miles per hour with a little increase with altitude. The best lift should begin about noon and be peaked from between the hours of one and two eastern. There is predicted possible lift to 6,500 feet with a thermal average of three knots.

Contest Task

The task is a turn area task. The turn points have imaginary cylinders around them which the pilot must enter to claim the turn point. These cylinders are actually quite large, so the pilot may not even be close enough to the turn point to see it when he is close enough to claim it. This is strategic for the task because the pilot can elect to go deep into the turn point area or just barley scratch it. This contest is probably going to be pretty heated, there are many excellent pilots here. There is one guy, who has been identified to me as “Bird”. This birdman is intimidating to the other pilots. He is said to have won many other glider contests and he is here for the true love of the sport. In the one design contests like PW5 and 1-26 the good pilots really shine and show us what can be done with these little birds. The launch occurred at around forty-five after noon and all gliders were in the air by fifteen after one.

Falling from the sky

Sitting around the retrieve phone we begin to get pilot reports from the gliders out on cource. The first call in is from Francois Pin. He has landed out near the city of Cheraw. The lift there is pretty weak, I believe it is because of the mix of the irrigated peach orchards, and the large lake over near the Pee Dee River. Francois is complaining of a sea breeze smell to the air, bringing in cool moisture to the area. Richard Kaleta phones in that he has landed out near the Wallace Ranch, just off of highway 1. He is watching the Vermont pilot (Kevin) overhead still hangine on by a thread. The Vermont pilot catches just enough lift to go another mile and a half toward home but eventually ends up on a field safely on the ground. Richard Kaleta is in no hurry to get home. Turns out the urban legend of the “farmers daughter” are true; Richard is greeted by the beautiful farm girl. She is working at the peach farm over at McLead peach ranch.

Richard with Amanda at the landing site.
After securing the gliders from the fields all the pilots get together back at the Bermuda High gliderport for some cold beers and chicken dinner. Scoring puts the pilot Wess Chumley in the lead, he made it all the way around the cource with excellent speed.

Charlie Sprat Report

the official report of the contest can be found from the ssa web site and on this link.
The results from the contest day are posted online as well.
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