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Jan 26, 2009, 03:11 PM
or GPS, F, J, K, or even TD
FLY F3B's Avatar
Whew!!! That was a lot of work, and of course, as usual the work does pay off. I really had a great time. I was always trying to make sure that the whole group was working to keep the contest moving and as I expected, everyone stepped in to help where help was needed. We flew a team style concept, but when you got right down to it, we all functioned to help the other teams where they needed it.

From the generosity shown by our official US F3B team mate Fred Sena (Selflessly contributing his time, and effort to roll out the culinary red carpet for us) to his, and now our, very good friend Andy Zepeda (Stepped in to act as the Contest Facilitator) and even the generosity of our host at the Hotel California....Valley the non-flyers really helped out to make this an F3B contest to remember. Next time though you two are flyers

Every flyer showed their true generosity as well. A comment I heard from an F3B participant from a while back who came out to watch a bit, went something like this. "At first, when I saw the birds nests of monofilament laying on the ground, I thought to myself 'what exactly am I doing out here?', but I noticed that the old exclusive team mentality thing didn't exist, and that everyone was helping out everyone else, and that everyone was smiling and competing, I really liked what I was seeing", followed by "so, what are the hot gliders out nowadays anyway?" This made me feel real good.

F3B is a lot of work, but man it is a lot of fun too. It is more fun than it is work for sure. Thanks to Dave, and Kyle, Tom and Thomas, and pretty much everybody, this group got into the swing of things so much that on Sunday with the changing wind directions, we got the winches and course switched 180 degrees in one hour, and started flying by 9:30am. We're all learning how to do this, and exactly where help is needed, and it really showed. I got to see some past teammates, Gordon Jennings, and Tim Renaud (my sides still hurt - thought is was from throwing gliders, but I think it was from laughing so hard Friday night) It was great to see Thomas Akers come out too. He has not lost his skills, and really put Dave Zucker's Ceres through it's paces. Great flying Thomas, and thanks again for the Wine (winner got a nice Zinfindel from Thomas' collection) I definitely see a theme forming for this contest

Don Barker, our 7th USAF3B team member, who graciously volunteered to come to the WC's and pay his own way, made the trip from Maryland to come to Cal Valley and fly with us. From the smiles and the wine, I am sure he enjoyed himself. Joel, and Jack were getting the hang of things with Joel handing Mike Seid his butt on a distance joust. Jeagerbomber Mike Murphy also had a darn good time...didn't you Smurf?

All in all, even with the weather that undoubtedly kept a few people away, this was a great event. It was the biggest F3B event in the country, even looking back at least 4 years!! I know it will grow. Likely this will be an annual F3B contest taking the place of the long gone Eloy AZ contest.

In closing, look for the pictures to be posted by Dave and/or Andy. There are some very nice shots in there. And keep an ear out for the next F3B effort. We'll send out the notice as soon as we can to make sure that people can block out those dates on the calendar.

Please go to and buy raffle tickets, and t-shirts. March 14th is approaching quickly, and we are only at the 1000 dollar mark. A big thanks to you guys for getting your money in, and your raffle numbers reserved. We have up to $7000 worth of fund matching that we really need to take advantage of. Please help support your team.

Cheers all....gotta get back to work

Mike Smith
Last edited by FLY F3B; Jan 26, 2009 at 03:18 PM.
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Jan 26, 2009, 06:05 PM
If it soars or sails, I'm in!
Kudos to you left coast guys for organizing and putting on a great contest. I've never been to any contest (TD or otherwise) where 3 fantastic meals were ready for you and you had to be careful not to eat too much. Fred you were fantastic, and Mike and Dave on breakfast were great too. Thomas I'll show up at any contest where you bring the wine!

Too bad so many of you guys wimped out. This was great weather - when it rained it was liquid and not frozen! All in all this was really very flyable weather and made for a fun contest. B'ers are such a great group allways willing to help, physically in helping make to contest run as well as with the true experts coming foward with constructive suggestions on flying style and set-up. Too bad there are so few contests, because so much is learned at each one.

Best on-field quote that I remember on Sunday in the wind to the question of how much ballast to use: "All you got, plus any extra you can find."

My planes all made it home safely in the SporTube, but TSA didn't like the 6+ lbs of ballast in my carry-on. For some reason the x-ray couldn't see through it. Funny they swabbed the ballast, but ignored the TX. They also swabbed the battery charger - probably due to all the wires coming out of it.

All in all a great trip and thanks again to all.

Jan 26, 2009, 09:42 PM
Registered User
tewatson's Avatar
Wow – another great F3B event! Big thanks go out to Fred, Mike S. and Dave for organizing this and pulling it off, again to Fred for the awesome food and hospitality, to the non-flying helpers that made everything run so smoothly, and to Ken – owner of the California Valley Lodge – who was gracious enough to allow us to completely take over the lodge and fly on his land.

It’s encouraging to see interest in F3B building and hopefully this will continue. Attendance for this event shrank to 14 pilots from the initial 30+ that signed up…and if you missed this event, you missed a lot of learning. Conditions were challenging, but not at all unflyable even though 99% of the usual TD contests around here would probably have shut down.

F3B has to be the most challenging soaring discipline, as it requires the pilot to master every aspect of the flight envelope…from proper launching mechanics, to searching air at min sink looking for 10 minutes, and to burning through it at Mach 1 for less than 20 seconds. B has taught me so much about flying and the learning continues with every flight.

The after-hours socializing is a big part of these events, too. Here, both nights we had Fred throwing down a tri-tip barbeque with all the good stuff, plus others brought a good variety of spirits and beer, along with cigars. Add in all the bench racing and stories from past events and WCs, and it just can’t get much better. Well, actually it can – as Fred also brought lunch to the field every day, plus Mike S. and Dave arose at 0-dark thirty Saturday and Sunday, to cook pancakes, bacon and eggs for all to enjoy. Name the last TD contest you attended where they provided three meals a day!

It was great to catch up with old friends and make some new ones, too. I can’t wait for the next event.

Jan 26, 2009, 09:46 PM
Registered User
Smurfmacaw's Avatar

what a fun event! Thanks to all and especially to Fred who was the hero of the entire weekend. This should be called the Fred Sena annual West Coast F3B Jamboree.

I guess I found out how much I need to practice on the events, I though I was doing ok on speed these days but boy did I blow it with two safeties and generally cruddy flying in speed. My favorite event by far though was the to watch and especially fun to fly.

Here's the pic's I got from the weekend.

thanks to all for the fun and comaraderie (hey Dave....did I spell that right?) .

Last edited by Smurfmacaw; Jan 26, 2009 at 11:03 PM. Reason: Spelling was almost as bad as Kleins
Jan 26, 2009, 11:19 PM
Challenge is rewarding
djklein21's Avatar

Cal Valley

Cal Valley, wow what a weekend. I want to start by calling out all the
pilots who chimed in they were coming than didn't do to concerns over
the weather. You are LAME. The weather was probably better than could
ever be expected for the forecast. For all of you that had jobs, I
totally understand. In this economy you have to have your priorities
straight. I hope to see you next time.

Thank you too all of you who did come despite the weather reports. It
was great o meet so many of you, new and old. It was a blast to have
all of the veteran F3b pilots from the SLO area. It was great to meet
Thomas Akers. That dude can fly. No F3b for 10+ years and he places
with a podium finish. I think you fly that Ceres even better than
Zucker (I hope you take that as a challenge Dave  ). It was really
great to get some of the veteran talent out to the field. Being able
to fly distance against accomplished pilots like Gordon Jennings and
Thomas Akers really helped add some depth to the field. Thanks for
coming out guys. I hope you had a good time, and I hope you come out
to some more stuff. Don Barker wins the commitment award, flying out
from Maryland to join us. I also want to thank every new pilot that
came out. From the SD contingent represented by Mike Murphey and Mike
Seid to the Ventura/SB contingent of Lex and Joel Cajnon, and Jack
Stone from NorCal, the F3b newbies picked things up fast. All in all
we had 14 pilots come out and tear it up. Thanks guys.

The Weekend breakdown-

Mike and I left San Diego early Friday and arrived at CV by noon. We
unloaded our gear and got out onto the field. We setup the winches and
course. We spent the afternoon helping pilots get setup, and tuning
our own gliders. We finished the afternoon by running speed practice.
We left the winches on the field, and packed up for the hotel.

The party really started then. Fred's already famous BBQ came to
reality, as he did a Santa Margarita style BBQ Tri-tip with all the
fixings. It was amazing. Mike Murphy (aka Smurfmacaw) brought the
Maker's Mark and the Jagermeister, laying the groundwork for all of
the private stories you will hear at the flying fields over the next
few years. It was really great to get to know all of the new and old
pilots that attended the event.

Saturday started off looking kind of gloomy. It was raining light and
steady, best described as misting. We ate pancakes, bacon, and eggs
in the rain. It cleared by 10 am and we had the course ready to go
with the matrix printed out. The weather turned out to be really nice
on Saturday. I thing that our cow pasture had the best weather in CA.
We flew 2 rounds that day, flying duration first, then two rounds of
distance, two rounds of speed, and ending with duration in the

Fred blew everyone away again with lunch. When I first heard that we
were going to have lasagna, I was a bit bummed. Fred's mother's
enchiladas were sooooo good last year, I was hoping for a repeat. I
was quickly shown that Fred's mothers Lasagna was even better. Mike
Smith didn't stop talking about it all weekend. It was just amazing,
goodey, cheesy, tasty, it made everyone foget we came to fly
airplanes. What made it even better was that Fred pulled a big horse
trailer out to the field, and prepared the hot lunch on site. There
is no glider comp in the country that can match Fred's spread. It was
over the top. To finish it off, Lex's wife baked us some "Death by
Chocolate" brownies that lived up to their name. After finishing the
day on the field we were pretty beat. The alcohol did not flow as
freely as the night before. It was a bit more mellow. It was a beer
and cigar night, spent BSing while standing around one of the two
fires. MMMM, BBQ, Fine Cigars, Red Wine…. A pretty cool night. The
stars were spectacular, reminding all of us city folks what the
milkyway is supposed to look like.

I got up eary Sunday morning to see Mike loading the weber with
charcoal, getting ready to do breakfast. It seemed that everyone
enjoyed their sleep a little more that night. We were out on the
field getting ready for the third round of duration fairly quickly.
The wind had come up and switched directions over night, so we swapped
the winches and course pretty quickly and were back to it. The large
head wind made for challenging conditions. It makes F3B really fun,
as the planes are just made for this kind of launch power. The launch
heights were amazing. Equally amazing were the number of cuts and
safety penalties. I had the worst. 

Anyway, the highlight of the weekend was Fred's food, hospitality, and
selflessness. Thanks Fred, we all appreciate every bit of work you

Also, thank you to Gordon's son Ian for all of his base B help, and
Andy "Zippy" Zepeda for running the flight line.

Here are the scores
Last edited by djklein21; Jan 26, 2009 at 11:43 PM.
Jan 26, 2009, 11:35 PM
mithrandir's Avatar
WOW!!! Look at all that carbon fiber!!! (So are V-Tails a trend or the final solution?)

I am gonna do a poll.....
Q: Who wastes more money on their toys?
a) F3B Commandos
b) Giant Scale Gas powered 3D Dorks

he he he he
Jan 26, 2009, 11:41 PM
Registered User
OK now it's my turn!!!

You missed it, you missed it - You really missed it; this time! Jack made it to the contest and finished!

I was really impressed with this experience!
First off consider the fact that I bought slim fast to keep up with my diet - forget that!!! Fred did me in. Oh too much and too good, from friday night thru Sunday lunch my palet was in heaven. Good food, beverages some I've never seen - yes these men know how to have a good time. F3B is more than flying I see - it's how to party have a good time, and put you in that collective spirit. Gosh I wish I had more to offer. I owe alot to all who were there. For any beginner or TD/F3J pilot think about this:
1) Over 12 years of not being on a winch and launching on mono!!!
2) Not flying except for one F3F contest where I landed in the trees on the first round
3) Maiden a Ceres which I rushed to build just for this contest. No excuses this time.
4) Solo trip to the unknown
Based on this you have no excuse not to come to the next event!
Well - Mike Smith and David Klein - whoa man this was the best. David help to sort out my screwed up setups and get the plane on track. Mike allowed me the time to get my act together. The patience and guidance was invaluable.

Then while attempting to fly:
Duration: Darn if I could see my plane at distance - Not used to it, first few flights but guess what Don, Tom, David all helped me keep my confidence to move on and keep a positive outlook.
Distance: Gessshhh - hummm balast - oh David how much do I need? He was the resident Ceres specialist. Yep and right on. However I was not ready to go all the way, but wish I did as it was really hard trying to drive into the wind with such a low wing loading. But I did it! To all the called for me I really appreciate your patience and guidance. Gosh it was great!!! Even landing downwind - flap up and boom on the nose - darn good design and durable. Not even I could destroy him
Speed: Now I really wished I had more ballast in the plane. But I tried my best and did reasonably well. Again everyone pitched in and provided guidance. I must say that Mr. Keisling is really a kick back kind of guy. Really quiet, soft spoken, but deadly! Really impressed. These guys have a great deal of pride, but not that Ego!!! Real down to earth folks!
It was really special to be around so many talented and kool pilots!!!
Now who can launch a fully loaded F3B ship -- Kyle man oh man could he get a grip to the possible last moment just when the winch is about to stall whoooshhhh off it goes ! He can really launch a plane. Now Kyler his son - wonderful experience to see such a talented young man. I've seen him fly at Thorton, but to see him launch in a cross wind is really a site. He went lower than anyone to get around into the wind while on tension; guess what "I did not do it on purpose" - just happened that way. And ended up sixth overall!! Now just think a couple of years from now! Will he be eligible - you bet!

Anyone who reads this thread needs to show their support! These guys would really appreciate it!
It helps alot and these guys are working real hard to represent F3B in the US.
These guys are really talented and they can win!!!! But we have to support them in any way we can. Go to the site, call, attend meetings, contests whatever you can do. Results programs, electrical wiring, calibration equipment you name it - it can be anything. Mlachow did a wonderful design for the timing/counter controller. If you have an idea share it with them. If you have a lead into sponsership share it with them.

The plan is to throw another event in May - you need to be there or be []!
Have fun - support the team, put some pressure on them. I doubt if I ever could do it, but I'm sure there are other talented pilots out there that can. Come out have fun, get drunk, get fat and have a good time.

Thanks guys!
Last edited by jgs99v; Jan 26, 2009 at 11:49 PM.
Jan 27, 2009, 12:24 AM
Albatross in next life
Toby W's Avatar


You guys are really into this winch thing, huh. I am going to have to give it a go. I'm fairly young (30 is the new 20) and can sprint like an olympian (potential helper alert)!! Torrey Pines Gliderport was as good as it gets Sunday into Monday. Excellent slope flying was had ... Europhias, Estrellas, HN Extremes, Crossfires, Ceres', and Predators were out in style. Ceres wins hands down!! The wind should remain good through April for anyone interested in a bit of slope solitude.

... I will be out at Poway with an old Estrella as soon as my transmitter is returned. Look forward to some of Master Fred's fine cooking
Last edited by themoth88; Jan 27, 2009 at 12:30 AM.
Jan 27, 2009, 12:27 AM
Registered User
Smurfmacaw's Avatar
Originally Posted by mithrandir
(So are V-Tails a trend or the final solution?)
F3B ships have V-tails because chicks dig them! Any questions????
Jan 27, 2009, 12:33 AM
Registered User
WOW that was cool. I had such a good time chilling with all you guys. It was such a learning experience. Guys i really enjoyed meeting all of you some for the first time others again. f3b rocks. Even though i do not currently have a plane i can't wait to get one. Thanx to all who came this was a weekend for letting me get so involved. Helping run things really taught me alot about how to be a better pilot "it also helps being surrounded by so much talent". I cant wait till the next meeting you can count me in. To all that did not make this one should definently attend the next event you will have a good time i promise. Fred the food always rocks kiss mom for me. I can't wait to maiden that LIFT Shaka con Oceano13 por vida

Andy Z
Last edited by zepher13; Jan 27, 2009 at 12:40 AM.
Jan 27, 2009, 03:22 PM
Registered User
I had a great time at this thing. It took about 6 launches to clear out the cobwebs (leaving only a thick layer of rust) and I was able to poke out a few flights that didn't suck.

Thanks to Fred Andy Mike DJK and all the rest who put this thing on. Big thanks to Tim Renaud and my son Ian who both endured rain, mud and cold so that I could go to F3B fantasy camp.

One scoring note: Watson and Kiesling had identical scores (7:54, 100 pts) in round 2 duration. Amazing coincidence!

Let's do it s'more,

Jan 27, 2009, 03:41 PM
Registered User
Originally Posted by F3Bozo
One scoring note: Watson and Kiesling had identical scores (7:54, 100 pts) in round 2 duration. Amazing coincidence!

That coincidence actually gave me quite a bit of relief! In that particular round it was down to Watson and myself. I had a notable altitude advantage over Tom since he had been circling in some lift that wasn't quite good enough to circle in. My timer suggested he stop circling and just fly in min sink. Once he did that he just hung there at the same altitude for a long time. While focusing more on Watson than my own model, my model was diving unexpectedly (still not sure why - may have been a hold or it may have just stalled). I got disoriented with the gray sky and it took me a few seconds to get it sorted out. By that time I had lost much of my advantage. Watson landed. My timer said I had him beat, so I came in for a comfortable landing. . . turns out I didn't have him beat. . .

Interestingly Lex had the same 7:54 and 100 in a different group in the same round.
Jan 27, 2009, 03:57 PM
Challenge is rewarding
djklein21's Avatar
They are not scoreing mistakes, just funny coincidences. All of which were noticed way before being entered into the scores.
Jan 27, 2009, 04:27 PM
Owner at JayDiz Fishing
What's with all the heavy coat and stuff? It's like you guys are in the midwest or something.

Looks like you guys had a blast and,,,, nice facial hair Mike!!

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