Saturday, August 23, 2014

SoCal XC League at Marshall

Andy Jackson LZ
I think this year SoCal XC League made a big step forward with longer, more interesting tasks and as a result I see pilot's skills really grows fast with a lot of pilots not only try to make goal, but also try to fly fast. This weekend was not an exception with task to Yucaipa. Aaron want to push it even to Little San Gorgonio, but wind was strong, gusting to 25 mph at Crestline when we was leaving LZ around noon, so we keep San G. for another time.

Task: MARSH->BADGER->DEVORE->STATLZ

Another new element was 2 km start around BADGER and then 400 m radius around same point, which is considerably into the flats. Most of the pilots was so used to starts on the ridge that they did not pay attention and pay the price. Hurrying and tagging it without topping out before cost some 20-30 minutes low saves and one pilot even landed.

DEVORE waypoint had a 2.5 km radius, so you can tag it back in the mountains or out front. That's where Jeff lost his pursuers by flying in front. One of the factors was strong wind, so it was easy to fly back toward Pine and climb there, but getting back upwind was hard and slow with a lot of altitude wasted. On another hand front points had less wind, but lighter thermals as well.

I was in the second gaggle at this point, but at Marshall ridge was able to pass few gliders. Marshall to Dam was uneventful as usual. Drmitry and Aaron was behind me, but they was reducing gap after each climb, because I have to spend extra time to find thermals for them. Eventually we all meet together at Harrison and then split again. Dmitry took direct line to Dam, me and Aaron took line slightly toward the valley and also took a climb in the middle. That cost us few minutes, but also peace of mind that we will not bomb out hear the Dam.

Jeff was first in the goal 14 minutes ahead of Robb who was second. I was pretty sure that Dmitry would make it third, but he did not follow Robb low and decide to tank up at mountains, which did not work out and he landed short. I was third and Aaron got to goal 20 seconds later, however he got more leading points, so in the score he is third. Russ and Greg also made goal. Joe, Tavis, Mark and Ziggy was just 1-2 miles short. They all try to leave Dam without enough altitude (except Tavis, he had enough).

Overall great race! And here is few pictures including new LZ.
Yucaipa Regional Park
STATLZ in Yucaipa
Good place to pack your glider