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May 26, 2009, 10:22 PM
Ricky Windsock
aussief3b's Avatar

The MidSouth Gordon Report (Saturday)

Hey Guys, heres my take on a great weekend soaring adventure in KY.
Gordy convinced Jamie and I (and I eventually convinced my wife Sheralyn) to drive up to Louisville from Orlando over the Memorial day weekend to attend the OVSS Midsouth Soaring contest. It is a 14 hour drive according to Garmin and the earliest I could get away from work and go was 5:00pm on Friday so it was going to be an all nighter for us with a contest day arrival at abouit 7:00am. My son Jamie helped with the driving as did Sheralyn and after a tiring drive we were checking into the Holiday Inn at 7:00am as per plan on Saturday. A quick shower, change and breakfast had us at the Hayes-Kennedy Park field at 8:00am to join about 40 other diehard pilots for the Saturday contest.
I have never flown MOM so I was asking a lot of questions about how it worked so I could get it figured. Jamie was also only in his 3rd contest ever and only his second with the ICON so we listened intently at the pilots briefing. The way I saw it the best strategy for MOM was to stay away from the other flyers get my 10 minutes of air, make a landing and hope that the others in my group did not. This strategy worked great for both Jamie and I, as we each had more than one turn at burying the the rest of our respective flight groups. Alas - neither of us could do it every time and we each finished one or two flights short by a minute or 2 when others in our group did not. I found MOM to be an exciting format because it is simple to see how you are progressing. Just need to beat the others in the group. On many occasions we could tell during a round whether we were succeeding or not as others were landing early or everyone was maxing out.
The lift was very light for the entire day on Saturday with many flights spent gradually descending from launch height to treetop height in fairly neutral air. When lift was stronger it did not last for very long and it was a rare sight to see more than a couple of gliders at much better than 600 or 700 feet. We had a couple of rounds in very good air where everybody pretty much maxed but most of the flying was spent scratching around in multiple bubbles for the 10 minutes. My son Jamie really "came of age" during the Saturday where twice he totally dominated his group with some great treetop flying to outlast them all. His father was at times extremely concerned about the danger to the airplane but Jamie proved that he is an incredibly fast learner with many minutes spent very low flying flat turns just above the trees. To put his progression in perspective - his first launch on Saturday was only his 13th flight with the old beater ICON he has. It was also only the 29th winch launch of his model flying career. He hasn't crashed a model yet either. I am his Dad and I am biased - but I am very impressed. Gotta keep him focussed. I must confess that both Jamie and I have been overwhelmed with the mad support, advice and assistance other flyers have freely given us. Bloody Fantastic!
The greatest joy to be experienced at the MidSouth was the miriad of new friends we met. It was great to meet "little" Lee Atchison of whom we have heard a lot. A fine young man he is too. I can see that he has the real potential to be a champion as he flys (and lands) with a calmness that is way beyond his 13 years. As newcomers pretty much everyone we met were new to us except Gordy and Jack Strother (who sold me my "Wood Tool" Sharon Pro.) Jack is a true gentleman and flies a mean TD task to boot. We had a whale of a time during and also after the contest was over with Jack and Karen and friends at the party tent - while we flew on for some hours with Chris Lee, Gavin Trussell and the other talented young fellas from St Louis.
It was a long day but in the end the day the highest score was posted by a Sportsman - Mike Johnson (who I am sure we are going to hear a lot more from in the future.) That meant that the Expert win was taken by Louisville's own Ben Wilson. (Another fine young flier who I must thank for his interest and assistance with helping my son learn the craft.)
I managed to earn some wood with consistent scores to finish second in Sportsman on Sat while Jamie came in at 6th in the Sportsman category. I made some serious errors including clouting myself (and Jamie) really hard with a missed downwind landing causing the Sharons 1st bit of damage with a creased trailing edge. I will continue to work on these bloody landings and I promise I will get better.
We completed the day with dinner at Rafferty's with a great bunch of flyers including our winner Ben Wilson, CD Ed Wilson, Gordy and his wife and little Lee. Sorry I can't remember the names of all who were there. A great day and another to come. Final scores can be seen here. Louisville MidSouth Final Scores.
Last edited by aussief3b; May 27, 2009 at 08:26 PM. Reason: Add link
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May 27, 2009, 08:52 AM
The Detritus of Rcgroups
rdwoebke's Avatar
Nice write up and images, Gordon. Wish I could have been at the Mid South over the weekend. Here is my write up from Friday:

As food for thought I bet you would get better traffic on your write ups if you posted them to Thermal or the Talk forum.

May 27, 2009, 09:45 AM
LSF V-117
Jack Strother's Avatar
Tnx for the kind words,
Me and my High End, really enjoyed the 1000 point rounds!
However, it only takes 1 to hose you.....and it did !!
May 27, 2009, 06:51 PM
Downwind, I mean DOWNwind
Brendan Miller's Avatar
Hey Gordon it was nice to meet you and thanks for timing me for a round, your son is a great pilot and so are you. I hope you can make it to the Gateway open here in St louis.

Got a couple of pictures for you, I have larger sized images as well.

If you ever have any questions PM me or Email me at
May 27, 2009, 07:20 PM
Registered User
David Forbes's Avatar
Good work, do post them on Sailplane talk or Thermal, I almost missed this.
Will you be flying hand launch at the Buzzards field on the 6th?
Whatever you do don't let Jamie get his hands on a DLG or we're toast.
May 27, 2009, 09:18 PM
Ricky Windsock
aussief3b's Avatar
Thanks for the great shots Brendan. I really enjoyed meeting you and your Dad also. You have a nice brace of Espadas.
I will be at the DLG David. I don't have a glider for Jamie but if you know of anything el cheapo out there I know he would join us. Any used DLG would do!! I'm happy to be toast at his hands It would be great to get 15 pilots for the contest so it qualifies as a Level 4 LSF points contest
May 27, 2009, 11:02 PM
Registered User
R. Carver's Avatar
Great write ups and pics, Gordon! Wish I coulda been there........
May 28, 2009, 02:14 PM
Ricky Windsock
aussief3b's Avatar
Originally Posted by R. Carver
Great write ups and pics, Gordon! Wish I coulda been there........
I wish ya coulda been too mate. It was quite an adventure.
I think we might go to the Nats too in July.
Can make room if you want to come along. A trip to remenber.
Jun 01, 2009, 11:27 AM
MVSA, St. Louis, MO
Gordon and Jamie - I just found this post. Great photos. It was nice meeting you two and I hope to see you around again up here, it's quite a haul from where you're at. Maybe some of us could get down there and fly in your neck of the woods sometime.

Mike Johnson
Jun 03, 2009, 08:50 AM
Ricky Windsock
aussief3b's Avatar
Hey Mike,
You guys from St Louis fly hard. You have a great attitude too - where you understand that through practice comes perfection and that results in contest wins. Congrats on your win on Sat. Loved flying with you guys after the contest too. It was funny watching my son out there flying on his own for the first time. (I had been beside him yellng instructions on every flight he had up to that point.) Makes a Dad proud when the "training wheels" get taken off.
We would love to see you guys visit the Orlando Buzzards for some of our contests in Florida.
Check out our event list here. You might like to come to the Tangerine in November? Bring your mates as well. We'd love to have you. I have never flown at a Tangerine before but it is a well known contest with some of the best flyers around.

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