Two Channel Contest #1 Report

Two Channel Contest #1 Report

The “new guy” Dion Dunn has written up an excellent report on the first contest of the year – the LASS 2-Channel #1, held yesterday, March 1st! Read Dion’s report below or check out the scores on the 2009 Club Contests page

As Gordy reported earlier (from the field), the first round is in the books! But first, a little narrative:

When I got up this morning and could ‘hear’ the wind, I had no intention of flying today. Not to mention my throat and head felt like crap. But since I’ve been prodding the email list to get out to the field for today’s first test round, I thought I would at least get out there and see if anyone showed up. Sure enough, folks started filtering in and the general consensus was to go somewhere for lunch, not fly today. But then Gordy shows up and starts heading for the far corner of the field to start launch preparations… read more after the break!

OK, I’ll go along. I’ve never flown anything in winds greater than 8-10 mph, but if Gordy wants to be a test pilot, so be it. Heck, I probably have less thumb time under my belt on sailplanes than most of you have in one good Summer weekend. But maybe this weekend I could watch and learn. So out we went setting up the full size high start and getting Gordy’s Marauder setup. What a beautiful big bird. After a test toss Gordy hooked her to the line and away she went. Straight up and at times pulling the line backward over our heads. Yes, the winds were making launches fun! Launch height looked like it was getting to about 500’.

So Gordy puts up a nice first flight, then a second and a third. He could have stayed up a lot longer on #2, but I guess we were running all 5 minute rounds. Lots of lift running fast through the field today, and lots of corresponding sink too with some very weird turbulence just for entertainment. The best air seemed to be over the valley where the big Marauder would just hang. A couple of times Gordy had it hovering about 15 ft. off the deck and it didn’t seem to want to come down.

By now, Gordy and the Marauder had my blood warmed up so it’s time to get out the Vista. After a trim test or two, we hooked her up to the line and away she went. I won’t bother you with the reasons for the ‘z-shaped’ run up the first launch, but at least I made it up the line. However, as soon as I did my best zoom off the line (my first one ever attempted by the way), the Vista immediately turned into a canard plane and start flying backwards. Not enough down trim to stay out in front. The poor little thing was getting blown every which way, but after putting in a little down trim and correcting the wing incidence (again) I managed to get in 3 good flights (good to my standards) and brought her home without a scratch. My right thumb still has a nervous twitch…..

Next up was Steven with his Bird of Time. Did I hear Steven say something like “for all I know, there could be a cracked spar under that covering”, or something like that? Well, the hand toss proved the ship to be trimmed nicely, so she got hooked up to the line. First launch was a beauty, straight up the line and arcing nicely. Boy those BoT wings look pretty. Time for the zoom – down, up – then BANG. The right wing tip landed in the field behind us, and the rest of it spiraled straight down into the ground sounding like a ducted fan engine towards the end. Best estimate is the nose made a 5-6” impact. There may have been a cracked spar underneath that covering after all…….

But all is not lost! Gordy hooks his Marauder back up and hands it over to Steven. With some launch and landing help, Steven managed to pull off 3 very respectable flights in the big ship, and in doing so takes the first WIN!

So all in all, it was cold, it was windy, and it was an absolute blast. I never thought my first contest would be with 3 people on a sunny, 18-20 mph wind-filled March day, but I will take it. Too bad we couldn’t have had more people brave the day, but this is one I won’t soon forget. The goal of any day is to become a better pilot, and I know I did after today’s rounds. You should have been there….

So the official contest results are as follows. Scores today figured in total seconds only.

Dion Vista 2m (I should have had another meter today)
1min 23
1min 42
1min 46
291 total

Gordy Marauder 3m
3min 41
5min 43
3min 43
787 total

Steven Bird of Time/Marauder 3m
4min 52
4min 30
862 total

Let’s target the next round on Sunday, April 5th at Noon. That will be the first official points round. And if you can, try to make the last club meeting of the season next weekend! Ed, please have my LSF paperwork ready for me……..


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