1-26 Championships Wrap-Up

No update for a few days, I know. I hate it when that happens, so here is the rest of the story.

Thursday was, I think, the 5th attempt at Day 2. The morning meeting wasn't very optimistic on the weather and Hutch called a 12:30 grid time. We decided to squeeze the annual 1-26 Association meeting in in the morning on the porch. It went well. Right about noon, we were wrapping up the meeting and Hutch came over with the intention of cancelling the day. The forecast was for 60% thunderstorms and generally cloudy weather. We had been given a 1 hour wide open MAT to give maximum flexibility and with the hope of getting a day in. There was a mild pilot revolt and instead of cancelling we gridded at 1 PM with the intention of sitting out there all afternoon hoping for a window to open. JimBob Slocum launched first, probably around 2 as a sniffer and found at best some zero sink. I launched next and found significantly more zero sink but never climbed. Cloudbase wasn't much above 2000 AGL. By then Dayton Wright airport was reporting lightning and the day was then called.

Friday was our last chance to make it a contest. We needed 3 official contest days to make an official contest and hand out the coveted hardware. The forecast was at least as bad as Thursday and maybe worse. The day was cancelled at the morning meeting. There would be no 2014 1-26 Champion. Lots of sad faces. Quite a few people packed up and left. Some spent the night but left in the morning.

Saturday the forecast was looking OK and we were optimistic about a return to northwest flow and the usual boost that gives to the atmosphere. By now it was just Curt Lewis and I on the grid. Everyone else had gone home. Region 6 had a mostly full grid for their last day. Curt and I had the same 1 hr open MAT and the soaring conditions were probably the best of the contest, although cloudbase was only about 3000 feet AGL, the lift was closely spaced and winds were light. I flew around 37 miles while Curt did 28. We both bounced around the local turnpoints and generally stayed within glide to Caesar Creek. More than 1/3 of the pilots who attempted the task had exceeded 30 miles though, so it was an official day. Finally, on the 7th attempt, we had a Day 2. Here is my flight: http://www.onlinecontest.org/olc-2.0/gliding/flightinfo.html?dsId=3820255

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Curt Lewis and I on the grid for the final day of the Championships

I must thank the folks at Caesar Creek for putting on the contest. They have a top notch facility. Leah and I stayed at the campground on the field in a rented RV and really enjoyed being able to live on the field. All the people hosting the contest put in a lot of work and it didn't go unnoticed. There was a lot of frustration as we saw the contest slip away. They did their best to make it happen for us. Also a big thanks personally to Wick Wilkinson who let me borrow his glider for the contest and to Leah for once again crewing. From here I'm going to be the CD for Region 10 North at my home club in Kansas and then will fly Sports Class Nationals. Talk to you then!

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