Wednesday, September 29, 2010

BAPA Comp - Owens Valley - Sept. 2010 Day 3

Paiute Launch - Click on photos for larger version
Another great day in the Owens.  To be able to fly three straight tasks is a treat, not often experienced here, due to the areas sensitivity to winds.  The ridge has brought us sweet conditions and high temps at the surface - GREAT racing weather!

This was the last task of the 2010 Nor-Cal League and it was fitting that there were pilots from all over the country in attendance.

Many pilots who started their XC comp 'experience' in the league have moved out of the area and it's great that they traveled as far as they did to experience 3 straight days of perfect flying.
Jug leading the pilot meeting

Jug Aggarwal has done a great job of organizing the league events and we acknowledged his contributions to the league.  Without him at the helm the events would not be nearly as easy to participate in.  This weekend, in particular, highlighted the generosity and selflessness of many of the pilots and their partners, who served as indispensable drivers, fluffers, and just generally spiced up the landscape.  Thanks everybody!  Seeya next year.

My track on task three
Since most of the pilots would be heading home this afternoon, we called a short task of 30 miles to goal in Benton.  Conditions were similar to prior days, but the lift improved during the short task.  Today I had some serious fun since I was in the hunt for much of the race and, in the last two thermals, managed to put myself in a position of contention with Kansas, Jug, and Arnie.  I was very fortunate to find a nice core and roll out just at the right moment and altitude to allow me to use full speed-bar all the way to goal.  Kansas, who was on a superior/faster wing, wasn't able to use full bar due to the turbulence, and this allowed me to hold him off to goal.

Dean Stratton won the day, but I was second - First among us mortals ;-)  It was a really fun day.  I think this flight was the most 'racing' I've done on an XC task.  There were more than 20 in goal again today so there were many pilots who had fun.   A great way to end the weekend for many of us.

On a more somber note, we had one pilot go missing.  He had crashed at 11,000' in the White Mtns. and was extracted by Mono Co. volunteer SAR crews and a NAS Fallon helicopter early the next morning.  His injuries are still being addressed and our thoughts and prayers are with him. My write-up on the rescue of this pilot is HERE.
Fly Safe,

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