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San Felasco - 2017 Discus Launch Glider Event Coverage

On February 17-19, DLG (Discus Launch Glider) pilots traveled down to Alachua, Florida for the 10th Annual San Felasco Hand Launch Glider Competition. It's the first contest of the year and no one complains about being in Florida in February...

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10 Years Running and Still Finding Lift

On February 17-19, DLG (Discus Launch Glider) pilots traveled down to Alachua, Florida for the 10th Annual San Felasco Hand Launch Glider Competition. It's the first contest of the year and no one complains about being in Florida in February. There were several contests pilots could enter including a 1M glider and a One Design competition on Friday as well as the main F3K rounds on Saturday and Sunday where you could compete as a Junior, Sportsmen or Expert.

I was traveling down on Friday and missed all of the 1M rounds, but caught the last few of the One Design. 1M planes seem to be gaining some traction as a cheaper alternative to the full size 1.5M ships and I'll likely have to pick one up soon so I can participate. The new Go Mini from Armsoar took the top of the podium in the 1M contest. The One Design plane was the Faulke and I heard comments both good and bad about it's flying characteristics. It's a rudder/elevator only model so it could be challenging to control depending on the wind compared to a model with ailerons. Whether you liked the plane or not, these fun competitions before the main event are a great way to warm up and feel out the low level air as well as provide lots of trash talk before and during the event.

After a long day on Friday, most of us headed to New York Pizza Plus for some relaxation, story telling and good eats. We literally overwhelmed that poor staff taking over an entire room. One thing I noticed during dinner is how this is like one big club of flying buddies. Even though we all live in different parts of the country and only get together a few times a year, there is a camaraderie among DLG pilots that you don't often see. That includes anything from trash talking to helping with radio setup and repairs in the field. These are just a great bunch of guys plain and simple.

For the main event on Saturday we had 2 Juniors, 12 Sportsmen and 37 Expert pilots enter. It was great to see the Juniors out flying and to be a part of their "training." If this discipline is going to continue, we'll need even more kids to get excited about it so be sure to encourage any youngsters you see that show an interest. Saturday's weather was just plain crazy if you ask me. It started out pretty chilly in the morning, but after a couple of rounds the sun came out and warmed things up nicely and it looked like it would be a lovely day. By round 4 we saw some ominous looking dark clouds over the treeline and within a single group round those clouds completely filled the sky and brought along a descent rain shower with it moments later. After a couple of hours the rain finally stopped and the sun came back out allowing us to continue flying. The winds picked up though and brought along some challenging air with it. I have never seen so many land outs before, it was brutal to watch, but not as brutal as my standing in a fire ant mound and getting destroyed by angry ants defending their home. At least I was just timing and could take action quickly, but man those ants are no joke.

Sunday brought some interesting air where it was feast or famine. In the Last Flight 5 minute max round, one group would hit a massive thermal that seemed to cover the entire sky and allow for aerobatics while waiting out the timer while the next group could find nothing but sink. Due to the rain the previous day we only got in 13 rounds total to determine the standings. Oleg ran a near perfect contest taking the top spot with a low score of only 973 for his drop round, great flying! I was only a 180 points away from earning a glass cup that went to the top 5, but only 10 points ahead of Kyle. It gets very tight at the top and you have to be constantly better than everyone else in your group every time in order to earn a podium spot. Here's how things ended up.

Expert Top 10

  • Oleg Golovidov - 11982
  • Austin Sloan - 11879
  • Nathan Bartley - 11819
  • Gavin Trussell - 11720
  • Dillon Graves - 11437
  • Jason Cole - 11257
  • Kyle Clayton - 11247
  • Frank Dumas - 11211
  • Robin Hoon - 11146
  • Cory Shantz - 10874

Sportsmen Top 5

  • Tim Thompson - 10984
  • Traian Morosanu - 10941
  • Ian Baillie - 10124
  • Scott Myers - 10086
  • Michael Gardner - 10050

Juniors Top 2

  • Charleston Thomas - 3082
  • Kira Gibson - 1169

San Felasco is in the books and now we all look ahead to the next event and another chance to fly. More important than that is the next opportunity to get together with friends and enjoy this amazing hobby. If you missed it, you missed out. If you've never been to an F3K competition, you really need to get out and try it. You will learn so much from the other pilots and the experience is something you'll never forget. Throwing one of these gliders into the air and finding a thermal to take it skyward is a rewarding and challenging experience and one that should be shared. See you guys next time!

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Feb 21, 2017, 10:59 AM
Oleg Golovidov
olgol's Avatar
Jason!!!
Great pictures and thanks for the write-up!
I am stealing your photos to brag about this on FB.
Latest blog entry: DLG assembly service
Feb 21, 2017, 12:39 PM
iVoid Warrenties
flyinghedgehogs's Avatar
Was there a rule that Juniors could only fly 1 meter? I am thinking about going next year, and while I have an ELF, I also have a few 1.5 meters.
Feb 21, 2017, 12:42 PM
aka: Pauly Knuckles
plankaujr's Avatar
There was no 1M rule for juniors. Noah, Dillon and Brayden all flew 1.5M planes. The really young pilots, Charleston and Keira flew 1M.
Feb 21, 2017, 01:17 PM
I'm not as bad as they say.
Quote:
Originally Posted by plankaujr
There was no 1M rule for juniors. Noah, Dillon and Brayden all flew 1.5M planes. The really young pilots, Charleston and Keira flew 1M.
Dillon is not a junior.
Latest blog entry: AIrcraft I've built.
Feb 21, 2017, 01:41 PM
Registered User
ReidRoberts's Avatar
Great job down there and Congratulations to Nate, Oleg, Austin and all who participated!

It was really nice to see such a good turnout. In case anyone is missing it, r/c soaring is back baby! After all the regulatory drone frenzy and FAA/DOT imposed threat to our hobby last year, it seems that everyone is letting loose now that it is smooth sailing (for now.....). F3K, F3J and F5J are all seeing an uptick in participation (at least at the contests I'm going to). So hats off and thanks to all who fought so diligently on our behalf and lets go fly!

I have to say that I really enjoyed Kyle Clayton's live FB feed from the contest. Kyle, you've got a knack for video journalism AND you were calling air for a good portion of the feeds. I was flying an airline trip and the live feeds coincided with my time in the hotel so it was really enjoyable. It really did feel like I was there except I couldn't eat the BBQ.

The result? I now have a Stream NXT on the way from Oleg and I'm a Sniperson! It was great marketing. I posted to Kyle that I'd just placed an order and he then told Oleg whom he was timing for who then maxed the round with a Stream NXT....all live!

Anyway, VERY well done all around down there in FL. Hope to see you guys at the Blue Skies series out west here and Blue Skies Over Colorado specifically, Oct 7-8.

Reid
Feb 21, 2017, 02:42 PM
Registered User
Indgroove's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyinghedgehogs
Was there a rule that Juniors could only fly 1 meter? I am thinking about going next year, and while I have an ELF, I also have a few 1.5 meters.
Its easier for smaller kids to throw a one meter. No tip strikes.

Charles
Latest blog entry: Tuff season
Feb 21, 2017, 03:45 PM
It's not the thing you fling;
bwatkins's Avatar
And when a junior 1m is at the top of a stack of 1.5 during the contest...... impressive job Charleston!
Feb 21, 2017, 09:14 PM
Registered User
av8rga's Avatar
Nice article Jason. Good chatting with you Saturday and Sunday.

Thank you David for organizing things. Lunch on both days was really great.

Tim
Latest blog entry: Multiplex Solius
Feb 22, 2017, 05:01 AM
DLG Addict
Scrib's Avatar
Thanks for reporting on the event. Nice movie!

San Felasco was a well run contest and overall a lot of fun.

See you next time-

Jason


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