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Jul 09, 2019, 12:23 PM
Westranm's Avatar
Hey Rick. Do you have a recommendation for the best source for weather forecasts for the flying site?

Thanks! -Randy
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Jul 09, 2019, 03:56 PM
Lover of fast slope gliders!
glasairIII's Avatar
Should be there by noon on Friday. Plan on camping as well. Seems its gonna be a bit on the warmish side. I hope to see a few other join as well.
Jul 09, 2019, 08:06 PM
Westranm's Avatar
I am planning to be there Thursday afternoon/evening. Will we have access to the field at that time?

Jul 09, 2019, 08:18 PM
NorCal Electric Soaring (NES)
SoaringDude's Avatar
Hi Randy, yes. I'll be there around 1pm.
Jul 09, 2019, 10:05 PM
Registered User
Thread OP
Bob- We will be taking orders for lunch both days for SubWay $5.00
The field will be open Thursday 8:00 AM
Jul 09, 2019, 10:16 PM
Original Bloody Spadder
proppy jon's Avatar
I’ll be watching from the couch on this one
Jul 09, 2019, 10:38 PM
a.k.a VintageFan
Originally Posted by proppy jon View Post
Ill be watching from the couch on this one
Sorry to hear that

Jul 10, 2019, 02:19 PM
Registered User
Thread OP
We are 15, Ali signed up.
Jul 12, 2019, 01:02 AM
NorCal Electric Soaring (NES)
SoaringDude's Avatar
Got to the field around 3. Rick and his guys already had things set up. I noticed the nicely mowed "grass" is noticeably greener than last year. Birds and thermals were abundant. Fri should be a great day for practice. --Chris
Jul 12, 2019, 02:01 AM
Registered User
Thread OP
As Chris pointed out to me at the field this afternoon we plenty of room for more launch lanes and pilots, so we will be accepting walk-ons as late as Saturday morning. If your on the fence, it's not too late, come on down.
Jul 12, 2019, 11:30 PM
NorCal Electric Soaring (NES)
SoaringDude's Avatar

Fri Low Launch Challenge results

Interesting practice Friday. Thermals early were nice and smooth if not narrow at times. Then mid day the thermal-driven breezes kicked in. Things got choppy and harder to turn in when down low. You would get a big bump and think you're in a good low bubble but when you tried to turn you often hit a thermal cliff.

We waited for Lou Fox to arrive and then started (~3pm). 9 guys kicked in $5 each for a winner-take-all deal. Review of the rules: in a 1 hour window do as many 5 min flights as you can while trying to get your lowest F5J start height. Everyone self-timed. Your flight had to be between 4:50 and 5:10 to count. You also had to land in the field's mowed area for the flight to count. No landing tapes. So guys spread out all over the mowed area to do their flights.

The Results

Ali Khani won today after winning the Low Launch at F5J in Sac. However Rick Johnston was on his tail and missed winning by a mere 0.5mtr. So close Rick! Bob McGowan placed third with another height below 20m. Not easy in today's choppy conditions. So Ali walked off with all the dough this time.

Ali Khani - 15.1 mtr
Rick Johnston - 15.6
Bob McGowan - 18.4

Chris Bajorek - 20.1
Steve Wilcox Sr - 24
Steve Jr - 27
Justin Riser - 37
Lou Fox - 37
Randy West - ?
Jul 13, 2019, 09:12 AM
Original Bloody Spadder
proppy jon's Avatar
Now that’s a funny picture. It appears bob is fitting in well to the group
Jul 14, 2019, 12:53 AM
Soaring CD - AMA #7639
nodlehs's Avatar

Day 1 - 2019 Central Calif F5J @ Santa Margarita Ranch

I was surprised that I was unable to find an existing thread on the F5J USA Tour Contest held July 13-14, 2019 at Santa Margarita Ranch in the Central Calif Coast. Well, my bad, CB told me there was a thread, and I finally did find it, so I'll have to go remove that other thread I created.

So here it is now, right from the CD. My thanks to Rick Johnston for asking me to come down and CD the event, as well as Scoring, which freed up Tim Johnson to fly as well as help others out! Day 1 is in the "flight log" and you can view the results on However for those that want instant gratification, I've uploaded the Overall Results for Rounds 1-8. Conditions today became "interesting", but I get ahead of myself. Congrat's to Rick Johnston and crew for getting the field setup ahead of time, allowing plenty of practice time for those that wanted it. Day 1 started out nice, with mild temps, and light winds, but the J-God wasn't satisfied and decided to wreak hovac with Tim Johnson's computer that we were going to use for Scoring. After two attempts to correct the issues, we used my computer and transferred the database to it, which worked flawlessly for the remainder of the day. On with the contest...Light winds, clear skies, and all was right with the world. Then things got "interesting" as the temp increase to about 94F around 1pm, and winds increased, to about 10-14 with gusts to appx 20. Some folks got really brave and went downwind to pickup lift from the hills there during several Rounds/Groups...Some of them didn't make it back, and a few with disastrous results! Ali Khani was overheard to say that even a 1mph difference in the air could make or break you, and he knew what he was talking about, as several pilots soon learned. I won't mention any names but several pilots made the walk of shame, sometimes bringing back a plane that was relatively intact, and sometimes not so relatively intact ! Bob McGowan flew like Bobby ALWAYS flies, and at the end of 8 Rounds leads the pack, however not so far behind were Team Willcox, both showing that they could fly with the best of 'em! Yes, there's tough competition between all the pilots, but it appeared to me that everyone ended the day feeling pretty good overall . They'll get another go at it tomorrow, when we'll fly either 4 or 5 more Prelim Rounds, then the top 6 pilots will vie for the honors with 4 Flyoff Rounds. Day2 is forecast to be very much like Day1, and one thing is certain, both the remaining Prelim flights, as well as the FlyOffs will be both interesting AND exciting ! Stay Tuned ....In the meantime, enjoy the pics I was able to catch on my phone.
Jul 15, 2019, 01:35 AM
Soaring CD - AMA #7639
nodlehs's Avatar

Day 2 - 2019 Central Calif F5J @ Santa Margarita Ranch

It's 10:30pm, and I finally made it home after a 5-1/2 hr drive...BUT...It was DEFINITELY worth the trip! Congratulations to Rick Johnston and all those that helped him in organizing & setting up such a sweet event...GREAT job guys! Day 2 was much like Day 1 as far as conditions, although the temps were cooler, and while we didn't quite get the higher gusts of wind, it was challenging for ALL! My congratulations to ALL the pilots, they ALL showed some great piloting skills throughout the event. We had pilots at all skill levels, from well-experienced to somewhat new to F5J, and they all did a great job, helped one another, and applauded each other on various flights. Every pilot was challenged at one time or another, having to decide their strategy , and working the air they were given (as all Soaring pilots must do) . I don't think ANYONE went away less than satisfied with the event overall, as well as the general experience of being part of the F5J community, whether old hands or not-so-old hands at it! I recognize all of them for having the confidence to get out of their "comfort zone", at one point or another, and we saw a lot that! Throughout both days Bob McGowan and Ali Khani flew as you'd expect, battling one another, Tim Johnson was right in there with them for awhile, with Team Willcox Father & Son) steadily moving up and maintaining through the standings. Stephen Jr flew his heart out, made it to the FlyOffs, and placed a very respectable 4th, not too bad for a 14yr-old (?), beware guys, he's definitely an up and coming contender. Randy West quietly flew his own game and took 3rd Place, as did Lou Fox, who placed 5th. Ali Khani did some spectacular flying to take 2nd Place, but couldn't quite outfox Bob "Crafty" McGowan who placed 1st! As I said earlier everyone showed great flying skills at one time or another, and both Bob and Ali showed the consistency that we're used to seeing from them.

I consider it an honor to have been asked to CD this event, to be able to be a part of F5J and the F5J USA Tour, as well as take over the Scoring duties, so Tim Johnson could do what he came there to do, which was fly, and help others as needed, instead of having to split his time between flying/helping/scoring. At an F5J USA Tour event everyone flying, knows what to do, how to do it, and when to do it, which makes the contest run with barely a hiccup! Put this one on your calendars for next year...Better yet, don't wait, find an F5J contest this season, and go have a great time, with some really great people!

I'll post pics from Day 2 sometime tomorrow, as well as share the special LLA program, that I all F5J pilots become part of, as they gain experience in F5J...More on that tomorrow!

Sandy Smith - CD
Last edited by nodlehs; Jul 15, 2019 at 01:37 AM. Reason: Add reports
Jul 15, 2019, 05:40 PM
Lover of fast slope gliders!
glasairIII's Avatar
Big thank you to rick, sandy, chris and everyone else who helped to put this contest on. This was our first time flying at this field. We arrived on Friday around noon and setup camp. Proceeded to setup planes and do a bit flying. Temps were reminiscent of being in Arizona in August for most of the weekend. Did cool off in the afternoon and made it an enjoyable camping experience.

Saturday and Sunday days flying weather were near identical. Calm in the morning , building breeze by 12-1, that let you take advantage of the local hilly terrain😬. Thanks go to Bob for showing us new to the field the places to find the lift generators!

Sunday was abit of a rollercoaster for my son. Had a bad round and zeroed a round. Hit him pretty hard. He was in second place at the time. A few rounds later I was talking to my timer about keeping a distance from my sons plane (both in the same round). Not more than 15 seconds later Murphy struck. We hit leading edge to leading edge. Took my right tip off of my volo and cracked the boom. His precision lost radio contact and went in hard. He loved his precision. Gonna take awhile for that sting to subside. Everyone helped and graciously paused the contest while we recovered the planes. Never did find my right tip.

Once my son recovered for a bit, I had him fly my windy volo for the rest of the rounds. He ended up in 5th and in the flyoffs! He flew two nearly perfect rounds. The last round we went to the hill to slope and find thermals as they rolled through. Never really developed. He did make it back and got a landing.

Hes stoked that he made it into the flyoffs and was able to compete against some world class talent.

Both of us are looking forward to the next event we are able to attend.

Thanks again to the local club for hosting the event.

Steve sr. and steven Jr. (Or woody as the sound file kept calling him)

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