|Nov 19, 2012, 10:42 AM|
Sorry but I don't have a list of the winners, after the contest we were scrambling to get everything off the field and loaded in the cars for the trip home.
A new name has popped up on the "Soaring circuit" from Gainesville, Jeff Duval, He first showed up at FSS 6 (also at Kenny world) with a DLG! went home and bought an orange X2 3.8 (yes orange not red) and took first place in the flyoffs with a 15:00 flight and 97 landing!!! Guess who his timer was...yes thats right, the best timer in the southeast... me!
Kidding aside, an amazing flyer!
Your pears' only disappointment was you and Larry were not here, they took some wood home, Brad Baxter took first place in RES! Lance took second place in RES, he also was one of the five in the flyoffs!!!
|Nov 19, 2012, 06:11 PM|
The Gordon Report Fri DLG.
The Tangerine as is often the case provides weather that challenges sailplane pilots. I for one relish such conditions because when its lift everywhere as is so often the case in Florida than everyone is a winner and the soaring contests become landing contests.
With DLG that is a little different and with a cold Northerly forecast all day we set off throwing our 60" toys about 0:00am on Friday while the temps were still in the high 50's. Sort of cold for Florida but when you're running around the paddock chucking theses little ships you don't feel too much cold.
We had flown all Thursday afternoon in the same overcast, windy and chilly conditions and the amount of lift available was quite surprising. Friday seemed to be very similar conditions with lift cycling quite regularly and enough wind to provide very useful slope effect over the trees, house and barn as well as a nice area for pops off the rear plantation treeline.
CD Raed Elazzawi set us up with the self scoring system devised by Oleg G and we were quickly under way divided into two seeded Groups.
The early lead was established by Robin Hoon and Jeff Duval (both from Gainesville) as they worked together and made great use of the conditions. The 1st task was Ladder and only Jeff, Robin and wily Ray Alonzo could get the full 525 seconds of flight time as the rest of us succumbed to outlandings and missed thermals.
The wind was picking up to around 8 to 10 mph so ballast was necessary and there was quite a bit of lead being shoved in planes between rounds. I had an ounce that we had added to my model the last time I flew it at the 2011 Tangerine so I taped that back on to my old Vixen and found her much better to fly.
Rd 2 was 5 X 2 minutes and Mike Livers (working with Ray) and myself (working with Dillon Graves) managed to take our only 1000's for the round halting the momentum of the Gainesville duo momentarily.
The 3rd round was 1,2,3,4 and Raed took the 1000 in his group with Jeff Duval burying the rest of us. With time running out to get started with the RES contest Raed called the 4th Round as the last and it was an all up last down round. Raed once again showed his skills with a great 2nd flight outlasting the rest of us while Jeff Duval flew three maxes to bury his group.
The final scores were added up with Jeff Duval easily taking the top spot with 3927 points. Robin Hoon took 2nd with 3711 and I managed to pip Ray Alonzo by one point on 3408 for 3rd. As it happens though it was pointed out that I had taped an ounce of lead to the top of my wing which was against the rules and I asked Raed to disqualify me from the results making Ray our number 3 pilot on the day. It was a really fun contest with rather difficult conditions and I had a whale of a time trying to help Dillon Graves make scores with a very dilapidated, heavy and well worn DLG. Dillon has great skills and would easily be a junior F3K contender with a little practice and some good F3K models.
Thanks for once again organizing a fun DLG event at the Tangerine Raed.
|Nov 19, 2012, 07:35 PM|
The Gordon Report RES
RES got underway shortly after midday with 19 pilots registered and hankering to fly. We had two winches with retrievers set up and the format was to be "open winch." Raed announced we would be trying for 6 rounds during the afternoon and we would try to get through the rounds as quickly as possible.
The conditions had settled down quite nicely to be cool in the low 60's with a 10 to 12mph wind and the air was actually very bouyant a lot of the time. With the direction of the breeze straight up the slope to the top of the hill where the house and the trees and the barn were located, this was also very conducive to a surfing if you ended up low and in trouble.
The treeline at the back of the field was also generating a nice pocket with regular bubbles of rising air as the wind blew across the field warming to meet the plantation and rise up over it on its way further up the hill. We had been hand throwing during the break between the DLG and RES and I had thrown the SuperAva into one of these bubbles to take her out for a 30 minute LSF3 flight. While I was at it I asked John Graves to go down the road 1 km to sight my plane for the 1km G & R as well. He was kind enough to ride down and locate my distant RES ship and enable me to return to land her in time for the RES pilots meeting with 2 LSF 3 tasks accomplished.
Although only set as a 6 min max the 1st round of RES saw a lot of pilots struggle in the conditions as they tried to float upwind to find lift. The topography is all wrong for this to work but many pilots still tried to fly out forward over the valley and although this worked sometimes many of them finished with 3 and 4 minute flights as they sunk out. The better technique was to remain near the peak of the hill and wait there for a bump and take it back downwind. Lance Ropke took the lead after Rd 1 with a fine 6:01 - 83 to put CD Raed in 2nd.
The 2nd round was 8 minutes and I managed to post a 7:59 - 94 to take the round with Brad Baxter flying an AvaPro making a great 7:58 - 89. The conditions were not easy and did require working downwind a lot. Half the contestants were not making their time which is sort of unusual for Florida contests of this caliber but that was an indication of the wind and low temps requiring good reads and decisive flying.
Round 3 was more of the same with light lift requiring gentle flying in the windy conditions and smart decision making not to leave it too late to make it to the front of the slope if you were getting low. Once again I managed to get my SuperAva into the rhythm with an 8:0 - 99 to win the round with Peter Schlitzkus making a fine 7:56 - 85.
Round 4 saw tougher air with a little more wind and less temp providing less lifty air as the afternoon wore on and the temps got into the low 60's. Peter S once again made great time with an 8:03 - 96 and close behind him was Chuck McCann with a 7:57 - 94. The conditions were telling on the group though as only 6 pilots made the max.
Raed decided that Round 5 would be our last and strangely Peter's model launched straight into the ground with radio problem or he would certainly have been a contender. The cooling conditions found just two pilots make the time and that was the very experienced Buddy Bradley as he brought his ship home for an 8:03 - 73 and Joey Melchiorre 8:00 - 45. The rest of us limped in early and took our medicine.
Once the scores were totalled the winner was a steady pilot who scored well every round without starring in any. That pilot was a fast improving Brad Baxter from Pensacola. Brad is on a comeback after many years away from the hobby. He is clearly an excellent pilot and we are going to see a lot more of him in the future. 2nd place was Lance Ropke also from Nth Florida who brought his ship home a few points ahead of myself in 3rd place.
There is nothing better than a TD contest in tough conditions. It makes all the difference when we have to work and work to keep our ships afloat and makes a good result so much more satisfying. This was a terrific bunch of competitors and a terrific contest that we will all remember well.
Thanks again Raed for being the organizer and CD. You are an amazing worker. Thanks also to the ladies Sheralyn scoring, Kim Graves selling raffle tickets and preparing trophies and Tammy (Raed's better half) taking care of registrations, lunches and t shirt sales.
Looking forward now to the big one tomorrow. UNL
|Nov 19, 2012, 10:15 PM|
The Gordon Report Sat UNL
This promised to be a big day with more of the same weather forecast meaning we would be suffering in overcast conditions in the 50's to 60's with a 10 to 12 mph cold wind from the north. As the night turned to day and we rolled out of bed in the camper it was clear that the forecasters had most of it right. The wind was blustery and the temps were bloody cold enough to require layers, just to venture out with Ricky for his early morning toileting. It was also one of those mornings where us campers needed recovery liquids and a certain amount of aspirin just to function in a way that made us feel human.
We helped Raed set up the launch equipment and scoring tent and Raffle prizes display and we were finally ready for flying around 9:45am. The overcast was very interesting this morning because it was quite low. In fact it was so low that a launch was definitely above cloud base. By the time CD Tom Galloway got things ready to go the base had lifted and we began round one about 10:00am. The format was simple with a 6 minute task to start and a random order for round one. There after we would fly seeded man on man in groups of a maximum of 6 . With 29 pilots that meant we would have 5 groups each round.
With Rd one max set at 6 minutes the air was too easy and only two pilots failed the task so CD Tom increased the target to 8 minutes for Rd 2.
It was interesting to see Jamie Mercado spending quite some time flying around in the bottom of a cloud just a few minutes into his flight. I would say the base was barely 600 to 700 feet but it made for some exciting flying and just like previous days the early air was pretty bouyant - especially on the downwind side of our field. When I launched there was a blender of Buzzards off to the right and as I formed up beneath them they all disappeared into the cloud. A few clearly were without instrument ratings as they abandoned the lift and reappeared diving back to VFR conditions to continue their flights. I can't tell you what happened to the others but they certainly marked great lift as I enjoyed my ride. I finished my flight with a 7:58 - 97 to take the lead. Paul Perret posted the next best score with a 8:01 - 94 and Rick Eckel 3rd with a 8:08 - 95.
Round 3 was flown in changing conditions with increased wind speed and temps as warm as they were going to get in the low 60's. Many pilots struggled to come to terms with the wind and failed to take lift downwind preferring to try to ride the wave forward to sink well short of their max. Dillon Graves easily one his groupa and posted the highest round score with an 8:01 - 99. In the top group my entire competition group landed early leaving me surfing the treeline for a final 2 minutes to make the only max of a 7:59 - 96 which created a big reshuffle at the top. Leaders on the board were Ray Alonzo in 3rd, Jeff Duval in 2nd and myself in 1st place.
Raed and Tammy organized a terrific cooked lunch for everyone with lots of variety - no mean feat when you are 20 minutes from civilization!
Round 4 started after lunch with conditions still quite tricky. It really was essential to take every bump downwind in a decisive way as many were left hanging out to dry upwind and in sink. Some also didn't run far enough downwind to find the meat of the lift and found themselves too low to make it back with the trees claiming a few models as the day progressed. Once again the best score for the round was posted by Dillon Graves with a precise 7:58 - 99 and my 7:58 - 91 keeping me in the 1st position.
Round 5 was underway by 2:30pm so it looked pretty certain we would get 7 rounds completed for the day. The conditions remained overcast but the wind had continued as the day began to cool. Dillon Graves was really on a charge as he had taken a 3 1/2 minute hit after missing his ride in the 2nd round to push him back to 19th place. With his head now in the game he was out scoring the field every flight to rise quickly through the groups and once again he scored highest in Round 5 with an 8:01 - 97. Ray Alonzo was also making his mark as he scored well with an 8:06 - 94 in the top group to solidify his claim on 2nd place. At this point it was a real tussle between Jeff Duval and Ray for the 2nd place as I had quite a break on them both in 1st. Jeff Duval is amazing. This is only his 3rd contest weekend with big models and ionly his 6th week with his first F3J model - a SoaringUSA X2 3.8. He is a bright new face in Florida soaring and has been practicing with Jody and I to bring his skill level up super fast.
Round 6 saw a further deterioration in scores as the light lift combined with the wind made soaring a real balancing act especially the decision on when to start the homeward ride as sometimes it was just only possible to make it back to the field with no height to spare. I found myself surfing forward this round with no real read downwind and then being tailed by Dillon. Every turn I made he made for 3 minutes until he split to the left and began turning lift. I then joined him but the patch of air petered out to see both of us arriving back at the top of the barn with still 2 1/2 mins on the clock. I surfed the barn and the trees while Dillon elected to go to the back tree line (which is only 15 feet tall but is on a small rise.) Dillon somehow managed to surf the slight slope and those short trees for an unlikely max while the entire rest of the top group once again found difficulty in making the time. Dillons score of 7:50 - 97 and mine of 7:57 - 79 burying them all. This saw Dillon challenging for a podium spot in the final round at the expense of either Ray or Jeff who had both dropped time in Rd 6.
Round 7 saw a slight waning of the strength of the breeze and a return to the more bouyant conditions we had enjoyed on Friday. Dillons flight was perfect with an 8:00 - 92 while Ray managed to inexplicably flip his model in the LZ to take a zero landing score. The final math saw Dillon pipping ray at the post to take 3rd place on 7203 points after an amazing climb up the ranks from 19th in Rd 2. Jeff Duval showed what sort of a rising star he is with a fantastic 2nd place finish with 7232 points in his first major contest and I took 1st place with 7531 points at the Tangerine. I have been second many times and this is actually my first time as a winner in UNL at the Tangerine.
The Sportsman class had been hard fought with Jim Hartley taking the top honors with 6333 points, Buddy Bradley in 2nd place with 6230 and Mike Williams with 6180.
The contest was a ripper in changing conditions which challenged the pilots every single round. There were no gimmes and that makes a great contest.
See you all tomorrow for the Sunday UNL and the Big Fly off at the end of the day.
|Nov 20, 2012, 12:15 AM|
The Gordon Report Sunday UNL
During the night the wind did increase as per the forecast but when Sunday dawned on the Kennyworld hill in Ocala FL the sky looked just the same as it had all weekend with more overcast a real chill in the air and a 10mph breeze from the North. We started proceedings an hour earlier on Sunday with Rick Eckel rounding up the pilots for a meeting at 8:45. Rick announced we would be doing 8 minutes right from the start and the format would remain seeded man on man with ther 100 point tapes in the zone. One of the great things that the CD's allowed for this Tangerine was the ability of the pilot to stand where they want to in the LZ (FAI style). No safety line restricting the location of the pilot. Penalty for hitting oneself zero landing. Penalty for hitting someone else zero flight. A great move forward (literally) and happily embraced by all the pilots.
Dan Johns from Pompano started the day with the top score of round 1 with a masterful 7:59 - 96. Peter Schlitzkus also put in a great flight to set the scene for the day with a 7:51 - 94. Peter had been flying well all weekend and now his landings were really coming together. The remaining pilots in his group were buried with 5 minute times or less so Peter also made great use of his thermal experience. Just like Fri and Sat the air early on was tricky and some very good pilots like Ray Alonzo and Dillon Graves didn't make their times Rd 1 either.
Round 2 was a much easier round as the air improved dramatically and we could all relax and enjoy the thermals. I managed to hit the hundred in conjunction with exactly 8:00 to take a perfect 1100 points while Dillon had 2nd highest score with an 8:00 - 97.
Round 3 saw even more improvement in conditions with the rare occurrence of every pilot in every group making their time as the lift areas increased in size and frequency and the temps finally started to rise. All weekend we had been wearing jackets to stay warm but by the time Round 3 began there were many pilots in short sleeves. The highest score set in rd 3 was Don Richmond's 8:01 - 97 followed by Jeff Duval's 8:01 - 95. I had a landing shocker which took me out of immediate contention.
CD Rick Eckel announced that we would continue with Round 4 before breaking for lunch. It was about this time that the sun finally broke through and the overcast melted away to reveal a glorious blue sky. The 4th Round saw much more distinct cycles of lift begin with sink in between just like we usually have in Florida. This caught out many pilots as they failed to avoid the sink and missed their time. Those of us who consistently followed the lift behind and flew deep sorties to the south came home with enough minutes on the board. At the end of Rd 4 Peter Schlitzkus had hit the front with consistent times and landings. Jeff Duval had moved into second place and I was sitting a few points back in 3rd. Dillon and I both scored 1094 for the highest points for the round but that didn't move either of us up as the others also posted similar high scores in the easier conditions.
Lunch was a fantastic spread of various sandwiches and salads. Great job by Tammy Elazzawi and Raed and Tiffany.
Round 5 was flown in cycling conditions and as in rd 4 some pilots didn't recognize the sink adjacent to the lift and sunk out for some surprising low scores. We had two long streamers atop poles throughout the contest and they certainly allowed for easier reading of the downwind air. Much could be learned by many if they used this information more diligently. Jamie Mercados group two all achieved maxes with Jamie posting the perfect score of 1100. Lenny Strickland and Peter Schlitzkus both made scores of 1092.
With just one round to fly - Pete was in 1st on 5449 points. Jeff Duval was 2nd on 5435 and I was 3rd on 5430. Round 6 was fairly uneventful except for Jeff Duval making an uncustomary 67 landing letting me into 2nd place while Peter shot another 92 to hold the lead.
The Tangerine has a tradition of having a 5 pilot fly-off where the 5 best pilots for the weekend have a one flight shoot out for a nice trophy. The method of determining the eligible pilots is a combination of three scores. One normalized score from either DLG or RES on Fri plus the scores from Sat and Sun. We also have a Grand Champion trophy for the pilot who tops the combined scores. After a short recess while we determined the five pilots CD Rick Eckel announced that we would be flying one 15 minute flight. The top 5 pilots were Gordon Buckland, Jeff Duval, Lance Ropke, Don Richmond and John Kennedy.
The 15 minutes became a real easy task as two separate thermals 7 minutes apart were marked by Buzzards so it came down to a 5 way landing task.
I was first to land and really screwed it up with an 87. I watched then as the others landed and it was clear that Jeffs was very close to the hunskie. Lance landed short as did john and Don. Jeff let out a cheer as he had a 97 to take the Shoot out in style.
Before the presentations we did the big raffle draw and thanked the terrific sponsors for providing the goodies to make the raffle possible.
3rd place Sportsman was awarded to Mike Williams on 4833 points, 2nd place was picked up by Buddy Bradley on 5095 points, while 1st was won by Paul Sullivan on 5448 points.
3rd placed Expert was Jeff Duval with 6502 points, 2nd place was Gordon Buckland on 6518 points and 1st place award went to Peter Schlitzkus on 6539 points. Jeff Duval was awarded the nice Shoot-out trophy and I was presented with the Grand Champion Trophy.
The trophies were a fine effort by Jody Miller who created the wooden plaques and finished them for the club.
The Tangerine was finally over for another year and I will always remember it as a 3 day lesson in patience with light lift that was enough but required careful concentration to make the most of it. I was very proud of the Buzzards club led by president Raed Elazzawi his wife Tammy who organized a great event out of town and pulled it off as one of the best Tangerines ever. My wife Sheralyn also made it possible for me to fly well by taking on the responsibility of the scoring, For this I am forever thankful.
CYA all next year.
|Nov 20, 2012, 05:30 AM|
Thanks Gordon for the very nice report and pictures, I really appreciate all that you and Sherlyn did for Tangerine, scoring, hauling supplies, the raffle and ofcourse your enthusiasm for The hobby.
|Nov 20, 2012, 09:34 AM|
Again thanks to all that made the 14 hour drive well worth it....as i was on my long ride home i looked back at the weekend that was provided to me....from the time i signed in the ladies welcomed me as one of your own....as the weekend went along i met some new friends and linked up with some old ones. Ive only been flying competition gliders for a short time but it doesnt matter where ive been i feel at home with my fellow pilots.....again thanks for having us...well be back!!
|Nov 20, 2012, 01:44 PM|
Oh boy, sorry I missed it! I was all excited but family and work commitments are taking the best of me for the rest of the year
Thanks for the report Gordon, always looking forward to them!
|Nov 20, 2012, 05:26 PM|
Meanwhile you were a big raffle winner so stuff is on its way by mail. Thanks for supporting us and please thank our sponsors also.
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