Montague xc 2014 - results - RC Groups
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Jun 13, 2014, 01:22 AM
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Montague xc 2014 - results

Day one Montague XC 2014

Task for today was a 23 mile, 4 turnpoint task. The weather started out looking very promising. Light winds with some early thermals. Most teams launched between 10:30 and 11:00 am and then struggled to get enough altitude for a good start. The teams that got away early did best. 3 teams managed to complete the task.

First place for the day was team 345 (Reinhard Vallant, Scott Meader, and Phillip Kolb) with an average speed of 28.60 mph. Close behind in second place was team 647 (John Ellias, Rick Shelby) with an average speed of 26.3 mph. Third place was team 593 (Larry Jolly, Steve Henke, and Bill Curry) with an average speed of 12.85 mph.

It was notable that the only teams to complete the course were high wing-loading modified F3J designs. Phillip Kolb and Reinhard Vallant brought 2 strengthened "Prestige" F3J gliders, Larry Jolly brought a modified Aspire, and I had the modified X2.

See file below for complete scoring summary of day one.

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Jun 13, 2014, 08:23 AM
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28 mph ! Wow, that's some amazing flying.
How does the scoring software deal with only three teams finishing?

Jun 14, 2014, 12:49 AM
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Originally Posted by ThermalSeeker
28 mph ! Wow, that's some amazing flying.
How does the scoring software deal with only three teams finishing?


The Rules for Cross country soaring mandate the scores be devalued devalued if a certain percentage of the contestants fail to complete the task. The precise formula is in the SSA rules.

Jun 14, 2014, 01:40 AM
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Day two scores

The weather simply does not get any better for enjoyable Cross Country Soaring than it was today. Very cool temperatures with the high below 70 degrees, about 60-70% cloud cover for most of the day, super clear air for easy visibility and very light wind most of the day. Cu's marking the lift with bases starting out around 5000 feet and getting higher as the day progressed. We even had some very light rain out on course. Lift started early with the first team on course around 10:30.

The task for the day was a 34 mile course which proved to be a good call for the conditions. 6 of the 11 teams completed the course with team 647 (Ellias, Shelby, Grindle) winning the day with an average speed of 26.7 mph. They actually completed the task twice with their best time coming on the second run when the conditions improved. Second place for the day went to team 345 (Kolb, Meader, Vallant) with an average speed of 25.2 mph. In third place was team 273 (Dean Gradwell, Ron McElliot and Roger Hebner) averaging 18.2 mph. Team 424 (Bruce Moore, Jim Rolle, and Marty Falarski) finished the course with a speed of 20.7 mph and would have finished third if not for a malfunctioning data logger that cost them a 50 point penalty. Complete detailed scoring breakdown is shown in the file below.

Overall standings are very close at the top with team 345 (Kolb, Meader, Vallant) still hanging on to first place with 1787 points, but team 647 (Ellias, Shelby, Grindle) close behind at 1776.

One more note is that Reinhard Vallant earned his 25 k pin yesterday, and Phillip Kolb earned his 25k and 50k pins today. Congratulations to both!

Jun 14, 2014, 07:15 PM
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Any idea what the orange and white glider is displayed on the hanger wall?

Interesting that the f3j gliders are showing how it's done.
Jun 14, 2014, 07:24 PM
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Jun 15, 2014, 01:49 AM
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Day 3 scores

Another 34 mile task today. Conditions were quite different from yesterday with a layer of high clouds until approximately 1:00 pm and light winds most of the day. The thermals started around 10:00 am but were weak and topping out at only 700 meters. Things got better around 11:30 am and teams began to get out on course.

All the teams had to struggle to stay airborne at some point during their flight. In the end only 4 team completed the task. Team 345 (Kolb, Vallant, Meader) won the day for their second win of the contest. They averaged 20.6 mph around the the course. Phillip and Reinhard are flying with incredible precision and skill, combined with Scott Meaders experience at XC makes them a tough team to beat. Team 593 (Jolly, Curry, Henke) had a good flight with an average speed of 17.6 mph good enough for 2nd for the day. In third place for the day was team 647 ( Shelby, Ellias, Grindle) with an average speed of 17.0 mph. The only other team to complete the task was 273 (Gradwell, McElliot, Hebner) with an average speed of 13.5 mph, good enough for 4th place.

After 3 days of racing Team 345 is still in first. Only one day left!
Jun 16, 2014, 10:51 AM
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Orange and white plane is an MXC. High wing loading is the key to success. Wait till you see speed results. INSANE....!
Last edited by Smeader; Jun 16, 2014 at 09:26 PM. Reason: more info.
Jun 16, 2014, 01:30 PM


Sunday was more like a NASCAR race than a cross county event.
Lift was huge and plane speeds where super fast.
I'll let others fill in the details but high wing loading ruled the day and the extent.
A telemetry unit helped too.
I want to thank Jim Rolle and Bruce Moore for being such great teammates and making the weekend so much fun and hope that after I get off of double secret probation they will still want me on the team.
Last edited by mrfski; Jun 16, 2014 at 02:31 PM.
Jun 16, 2014, 07:20 PM
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Those two dinners helped
Jun 16, 2014, 08:42 PM
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As others have alluded to, the final day of racing was quite exciting. It was great fun to watch the gliders and cars from miles away speeding toward the finish. Many of the spectators had timed each team as they left so they could track the time on course of each team. The weather was ideal, with mostly clear skies, a few cumulus starting to form early and very light wind. The task was a short 14 mile run to the school and back. The lift started around 10:00 and increased in intensity and the day progressed. All 9 remaining teams completed the task.

The top three teams broke all Montague speed records, with the top two attaining average speeds few had contemplated before. The previous speed record at Montague was 32.4 mph by Joe Wurts in 2007. 3rd place for the day was team 593 (Cury, Jolly, Henke) with an average speed of 34.7mph. Teams 345 (Vallant, Kolb, Meader) and 647 (Ellias, Shelby, Grindle) were unbelievably close with team 647 winning the day at 44.7 mph and team 345 at 44.5 mph!

Because of the high speeds and tiny margin between the average speeds, I thought it would be interesting to do quick comparison of the two flights on the soaring analysis software "SEEYOU". See the files below, my flight is on the left and Phillips is on the right. Our time was slightly longer than Phillips team but our average speed was higher because we went deeper into the turn-points to add to our mileage. Average Ground speeds between thermals (straight, non-circling flight) were 52 mph and 49 mph. We each did a total of 4 thermal turns for the entire 14 mile task. One additional thermal turn would have been the margin of victory for this flight!

See scoring summary below. My next post will have the overall results and contest summary.

Last edited by XC soaringpilot; Jun 17, 2014 at 12:22 AM. Reason: corrected the facts
Jun 16, 2014, 09:11 PM
launch low, fly high
This year sounds like it was the best ever at glider heaven. That is a really challenging thing to achieve as Dean is very well known for hosting a wonderful event. The variety of conditions makes it even more fun. Congrats to all that attended. The event is getting more oriented towards the racing aspect and less towards the endurance aspect which means that the skill and capabilities are improving. I have to just ignore life and make another pilgrimage to Montague....

14 miles is a scary short task! With that short of a task, you may become limited by the vehicle instead of the aircraft... Many years ago, there was a short course run at Cal Valley for just 15.8 miles. The CD declared during the pilots meeting that no time would be accepted that resulted in >55 mph average speed. We calculated this time "just in case"... Well, it was a good thing that we did the calcs. We ended up doing loops for about a minute just in front of the finish line before finishing the course at the exact time corresponding to 55 mph average speed on the course. The in-flight speeds on course, well, they were rather high. Considering that much of the short course was dirt road it was good that I was looking up rather than watching the driving as I likely would have been a bit frightened.
Jun 16, 2014, 09:24 PM
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If Jan was driving........ no worries
Jun 16, 2014, 10:20 PM
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I think Sunday was the best day and fastest I've seen at Montague since 1998 and to think the first two Montagues I flew my Olly II. I love being CD of this contest!!!!
Jun 16, 2014, 11:59 PM
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Overall results

The overall results are shown below. Congratulations to Phillip Kolb, Reinhard Vallant and Scott Meader for a well deserved win. They performed great in all different conditions. They were flying a Phillip Kolb designed F3J "Prestige" that other than having provisions for an insane amount of ballast and having the structure strengthened was unmodified.

There has been a clear shift in what is considered to be a competitive glider. No longer are we limited to large gliders specifically deigned for XC. The top three finishing gliders were F3J designs and all were flown at the maximum allowed 5 kg weight for the entire contest. The "Prestige" was the smallest( 3.65 meter wing I believe) and had a wingloading of 21 oz/sq.ft.. In second place was the modified Xplorer II with a 4 meter wing and a wingloading of 19 oz/sq.ft. Third place went to Larry's modified Aspire with a wing loading of 20 oz/sq.ft.. For those familiar with the typical 65 oz. F3J gliders, lifting up one of these fully ballasted led sleds is shocking! Larry Jolly had the best line of the day on Sunday. I had just set my ballasted X2xc on the roof of my jeep and a few of us were standing there talking when a sudden gust of wind from a thermal blew through. I immediately looked over at my jeep fearing the worst, but Larry said "Don't worry your jeep can't go anywhere with that Xplorer on it!

Part of what made Montague special this year was having world class pilots like Phillip and Reinhard attend all the way from Turkey as well as having soaring legend Larry Jolly competing. These guys have a huge amount knowledge they are eager to share and they are fun guys to hang around with!

Thank You to Ron for doing a great job as CD and to Dean for hosting what is without a doubt the best XC soaring event in the world.


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