Friday, February 22, 2013

and now its over!

The final day was challenging!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Only one competitor made it around in both classes. GNV.
Its 9pm and GZO retrieve crew are not yet back from their 3+ hour retrieve journey.

One pilot (GKM) gave up heading for turnpoint two and headed off downwind, ending up in Hamilton airspace where he got clearance to climb to 5,000ft in  survival mode. Unfortunately this was not enough to get home and he landed at the Pureora strip.

Last Landout on the last day, GKT at Kinloch.

Today was the ultimate Competition Directors dilemma.  Launch the fleet in to the air knowing that many would potentially land out OR  cancel the day and remove the chance for competitors to improve their placings.      I chose the former. :-)  The lovely lads who landed out didn't give me any grief, so alls well that ends well.

The competition dinner was well attended  and the prizes were awarded.
Some trophies were ...virtual awards as they were not physically present!!!

Club Class Nationals.

The Lyons Trophy for winner of the Club Class - Steve Wallace
The Mike Rix Trophy for the Highest placed pilot under 30. Not awarded as no pilot was under 30.
The Veterans Trophy for the highest placed pilot over 60. Not awarded as no pilot was over 60.
The Norge Cup - awarded to the highest placed pilot in their first Nationals.
              Doug  Henry - GLL
The Masterton Trophy - awarded for the highest placed Club owned glider
              Maurice Weaver - GKM

Matamata Soaring Centre Competition.
Open Class Champion - Patrick Driessen - GOP
Highest placed 15mtr Glider - Tony Van Dyk - GTD
Highest Placed Standard class Glider - Tony Van Dyk - GTD

The Trophy for the Volunteer who helped make the contest successful - David Hirst - Weatherman.

So once again I retire from running Nationals as a Competition Director.
This is most definitely my last gasp, the brain and the body aint what they used to be :-)
While I find it very rewarding working with a great team, its A BIT exhausting keeping "this ageing brain on constant alert" for 10 hours a day!!!

So its goodnight & goodbye from me.

Keep it up!

for the final scores checkout

Matamata Soaring Centre.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

One big happy family

Copywrite Roddy Burgoyne

Day the last. (11th flying day)
After today no more,resting the eyelids, for a CD waiting for the fleet to come home

Before this happy competition family disperses back to their homes throughout New Zealand, its time to recognise the volunteers who gave up their time to make this a great competition.

Trev Terry - Chairman of the Organisers and tasking guru
Tom Anderson - Manager, tow pilot, launch master and a thousand other things
Bill Kendall - Safety Officer, tow pilot, Launch master and potatoe peeler.
Tim Norman - Radio man (with some help from Mavis)
Gordon Griffin - Grid Marshall
Ed Devenoges - scorer
David Hirst - weatherman extraodinaire
Steve Wallace - Task setting panel
Towpilots Iggy, Colin, Ron, Hugh, Rod, Martin, Brian, Rene
Helping on the grid.....John, Roddy, Peter, Sid, Denis
Feeding the masses..... Lois, Mary, Merle, Jill, Jenny

Yesterday the Tauranga Gliding Clubs Duo Discus Turbo achieved its first paddock landing and road retrieve.  The only challenge being to manoeuvre the trailer down a narrow farm race.

An interesting strategy was observed. A jet assisted glider(motor not on) called 22 kms out with a message he might not make the airfield.  The class leader heard this radio message and climbed an extra 1,000ft to ensure he would miss the presumed sink hole.  Result  Jetplane lands and wins the day, class leader comes second. Cunning people these glider pilots...:-)

Today we have a new airmass moving over the competition area bringing SE winds The sun has just started to shine at the clubhouse (10am). There will be two tasks today. Both AATs up north and then South west then home for tea and medals(Competition dinner and prizegiving).

Will be an interesting last day.

Local Media Coverage

They didnt land at Rotorua actually Tokoroa!  But otherwise good article

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Penultimate Day

Today Thursday, dawns similar to the previous week. A potentially great soaring day.
The sun is shining and the weather man is positive.
Thursday morning in the camping area

Yesterday saw all gliders arrive back home.'

The Hero of the Day was Tim (GXP) who showed that determination and tenacity are the characteristics of a competition glider pilot.  Time completed the 2.5 hour AAT in over 4 hours.
Caught in a 'bad patch'' near Tokora it took him some time to recover. We watched his SPOT pings wandering around Mangakino, retrieve crew on standby as the clock ticked on.  
But finally, with few thermals left he caught a climb to 5,500ft, enough for final glide, finally landing at 6:01pm to a large audience and a round of applause.

There I was with nothing on the clock other than the makers name and the trees  were THIS close...So I relaxed and waited for a climb :-)

Last a night was BBQ night with Trev & the Team from Taupo putting on a great feed of prime Angus Steaks.   If I haven't mentioned it before, Taupo has a great club spirit with a willingness of members to pitch in.

Today there will be two tasks.
A 2.5 hour AAT for the clubbies (273km point to point)
and a racing task for the Open class 329.2km
Both Tasks to the North east and South of Taupo.

It will be an interesting day with Taupo temperature forecast to peak at 29C.

Reminder about results
Tims track is available for download by clicking his rego (XP)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

And on the ninth day there will be flying.!!!

The weather man (David Hirst - GCS) says today will be much like yesterday.
This means sunshine and heat at Taupo.

The Cars hiding from the heat.

Yesterday we had a few pilots a little confused as to their responsibilities on use of airspace, so today the task from yesterday has been amended to make things a bit easier with the first turn being further East and a bit South. So another 2.5 hour AAT.

A club class pilot learned a valuable lesson about landing on a strip. Down hill, downwind is not the best way to land without a weeee bit of damage.  The glider is ok but might need a little cosmetic surgery to having it look pristine.

Today we are again blessed with a full complement of volunteers. Your competition Director is very appreciative of the Taupo clubs support with lots of high quality, enthusiastic volunteers.  From Mr Hump (Gordon Dawson) who sits and watches all the launches in case a mis launch puts a glider over the hump and out of view of the grid marshal, to Mr Retrieve(Bill Dawson) who is happy to take long drives in to the wilderness/back blocks to retrieved downed gliders. Only two of the many unsung heroes of the competitions.

The competition pilots meeting will be held after briefing this morning. Agenda items include airspace penalties and dropping the worst day when calculating final scores.  Should be interesting :-)
Radios - check, timesheets - check, Ipad for Spots - check 

We are preparing to launch at 1pm from the club house end (04)
Check progress on the SPOTS.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Summary Day 7
But first a quick summary of what its like to race at the Club Class Comps
A short Video of Day 5
ay developed a bit faster than forecast, with a handful of pilots staring at the sky and saying we should start at 12 noon. (this at 11:45) instead of 1pm.  Never the less first launches started at 12:50 ish, in to a lovely looking sky.

Some surprise then that an LS4 landed out at Pureora Turnpoint airstrip. An aero retreive was asked for.
Nearly an hour later a Pawnee headed off from doing a local tow.  Unfortunately the tow rope hooked the fence at the strip resulting in a heavy landing with a 'horn"' breaking on the undercarriage leg. This horn holds the shock absorbing bungees in place, so the Pawnee was unflyable.   The LS4 was then road retrieved.

A good news storey being that while waiting the two pilots(LS4 & Pawnee,) were

This morning a replacement 'structure'is being retrieved by Tecnam courier from Hamilton and should be fitted later this morning to allow the pawnee to 'self retrieve.

At around this time the Club Class leader (GGX) was dumped in to a paddock and incurred some damage to his main wheel. The retrieve team arrived back at 9:50pm.
Retrieve Crew for GX were rewarded with onsite restroom.

Today is looking not as good as yesterday with a high covering the contest area.
Task setters have a challenge with the current weather forecast so
Task A will be a 2.5 hour AAT to the NE, then across to the NW (Wharepapa South), then South and back via Mokai.  ion
A Task B in case all the weather information turns out completely different.

Hard to believe-but Lindsay at breakfast this morning playing with his electronic gadgets.