7. 2010 in Review - LSF V finally accomplished - RC Groups
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Jan 13, 2012, 05:35 PM
Ricky Windsock
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7. 2010 in Review - LSF V finally accomplished


During 2009 a couple of events had occurred which provided me with some new models to pedal in 2011. At the Nats I had observed the soaring ability of the Lawicki Ducks and advertized here on the groups to find one for myself. I was fortunate enough to procure an old wood Duck which I got ready to campaign the Rich Kiburis 2M series in Florida during 2010. I also had an unfortunate incident where I accidently kicked a brand new “High End” belonging to Jack Strother during the Nats F3J and became the proud owner of a High End to fly as my primary TD ship in 2010. Some practice over the xmas break with the High End had me rather excited about the different speed at which it flew and it’s ability to range out further and I had high hopes for the season ahead. It was with much anticipation that the year began for me with the annual FSS series starting at our home field on February 20. This series of TD events is flown at multiple locations throughout the year and is generally a two day contest with winners in both Expert and Sportsman classes on each day. At the end of the year the results are added up and the best 4 or 5 scores are counted towards a year end total to decide an FSS Champion in each class. The number of scores dropped depends on how many contests are held or how many scoring opportunities are available. The first 3 rounds of the FSS series were so thoroughly dominated by Rusty Carver and his Onyx that it would be a tough job to haul him back in. Rusty is an absolute natural TD pilot with that inner instinct which tells him which direction is favorable and the ability to detect and make good use of the air available. By the end of the season with just one round to go I needed to beat Rusty on Saturday by about 45 points to win the Saturday series and I also needed to be ahead of Rick Eckel on Sunday by a similar margin to take the Sunday series. Neither was to be in the end with both pilots flying better than I and a 2nd place finish in the FSS for each series being my best effort.

I had discarded the High End after FSS1 (not because it didn’t fly well) but simply because it didn’t seem to suit my style where I liked to float more, land slower and work light air low. I picked up a used Xplorer 3.5 from a new soaring friend Brian Smith of Tullahoma and flew this model for the rest of the TD year using the Espada R as my back up.
In March the regular fronts flowing across Florida provided the perfect conditions to attempt an LSF V 8 hour on the slope with a forecast Westerly of 15 to 20 mph all day on a Saturday. I rounded up Gordy Stahl and John Vennerholm to be my witnesses and we headed off to Pompano Beach to "giterdun." As with many of these tasks there was far more in the preparation than there was in the actual doing of it and 8 hours flying my Super Ava with 4 C Cells strapped underneath was actually mostly uneventful. There was a couple of tricky moments when I did lose control of the ship with some Rx glitches but made recoveries to complete the task. The RCG thread on this task is here.

The 2010 Florida 2M series (a 4 contest challenge run by Rich Kiburis) was made for my Duck. 2 of the events were held in windy conditions which didn’t favor the light Sprites and other 2M birds being pedaled while my 50oz Lawicki Duck absolutely loved such conditions and I managed to take the series. The biggest accomplishment of 2010 was completing the LSF V journey as I made a goal at the beginning of the year to do what it took to get the wins. I finally cracked it at the Kennyworld contest in Ocala with my 2nd LSF V win and made it a great month by following up on the very next weekend with a 10km Goal and return along the new course on SR520 at my first attempt. I flew the old Vyger I had purchased off a local friend of Ed White. (Ed was the original builder of this 16 foot - 10lb monster.)
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The very next weekend after that I RV'd with mate Jody Miller to the Midsouth and I managed to complete the hat trick with a final LSF V win flying the Xplorer. Th MidSouth in Tullahoma was a great place to finsh my LSF journey as the contest was against 50 of mid USA’s pilots to make my LSF V quest complete. A 100 point landing on the last flight gave me the win over the current AMA National Champion Marc Gellart by a single point.

It was indeed an honor to be recognized at the Nats by a group of other LSF V’s with the traditional icing down. This Nats in July was my second and I was also asked to continue my relationship with the AMA by writing the Nats News once again and providing photos daily. I get a real kick out of doing this and I get to meet a lot more people as a result. The down side is it does take up a lot of time and my social activities are severely hampered in the evenings. This Nats saw me meet and develop a new relationship with the very talented Mike Lachowski. Not only did we work together somewhat during NOS and RES but Mike got my Espada launched with ballast to fly some real speed runs on an F3B course during the lunch break of 2M. What a buzz that was for me as after nearly 25 years away from the 150m course I tried to fly my old Espada R at breakneck speed. It was a real surprise that I was able to direct the Mueller ship well enough to make a 19:23 run and that was enough to get me hooked again.
Until you have experienced the exhilaration of speed it is impossible to describe. Whatever it is - makes it worth coming back to. Mike and I discussed ideas for rejuvenating F3B in USA and one of the requirements is opportunities for pilots to compete. So through this meeting at the Nats and many emails and phone calls later the Gator F3B was born where we conspired together to plan a fun F3B event in Florida in the early spring of 2011. The goal would be to raise funds for the USA F3B Team going to China in 2011 and to encourage other local pilots to join in the fun.

As 2010 came to a close and I reflected on the years efforts it was indeed satisfying to have finally completed an LSF journey which began on a different continent over a quarter of a century earlier.
Before even achieving that elusive 3rd win I had already set a goal to do it all over again and see just how fast I could become a 2 time LSF V er. The goal was to do the entire program in a 12 mth period. By the time 2010 had drawn to a close I had completed Levels 1, 2 and 3 and almost all of L4 as we began the New Year. I was on target for the goal but I would need to complete L4 quickly and make every contest opportunity a winner if I was to get the 3 Level V wins again before Saturday of the MidSouth 2011 which would be the 12 mth anniversary of my first LSF V.
Last edited by aussief3b; Jun 21, 2012 at 10:42 AM.
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