I started the day by turning on the TV and checking the weather. It looks like we'll have rain showers until Wednesday. We arrived at the Ranch at 8:30 am. The task committee was meeting at the breakfast tent. My glider was still wet from yesterday's rain. Many pilots were towing up for tuning flights.

The pilots meeting started about 10:45. The task for the day was Coleman with start times every 15 minutes beginning at 1:00 and ending at 1:30. An alternate task was set up as the same goal, but flights ending at 3:00. That is, if you donít make goal by 3:00, you are given the distance to where you were at 3:00. The start circle was the Ranch, with a 5 mile diameter for flexes' and 3 mile for rigids. I guess since we rigid flyers have such a poor glide they decided for safety to keep us closer to the Ranch in case we sink out ;-) The meeting went very well with few questions. The tow area was designated in the new area that Malcolm cleared last year. Davis gave the weather report which was for weak lift, cloud bases a little above 2,000í and rain later in the day.

As soon as the meeting was over there was a dash to get in line at the tow area. All the tow carts were taken so I had to carry my glider there. I have never carried my glider so far. The Wills Wing aero down tubes are fine for standing on launch, but Iím sure I will have bruises from today. Everyone lined up in two lines, odd numbers on the right and even numbers on the left with both flexes' and rigids mixed together. At 11:35 some wind dummies were towed up. One disappeared for a few moments due to whiteness, in full view of everyone. There was obvious lift and they seemed to be staying up. Close to noon the tug pilots were reporting rain showers and for safety reasons the day was called. Time to carry my glider back. Thankfully the Ranch crew was bringing the carts back to the tow line and I was able to wheel my glider back.

The Launch line

I screwed up my GPS getting ready for the task. One of the good suggestions Davis had was to remove all your waypoints except for the ones needed for the task (If you have a way to reload them, which I do). So I deleted all of them except goal, then realized I needed the Ranch for the start circle and the one with my pilot ID (the scoring program looks for it to know whoís gps it is reading). My laptop is back in the car, and I am in line for the start. So now I am furiously trying to re-program my gps by hand, using the waypoint from a friend's gps. I got it all back ok, but it was a learning experience. I donít think I will do that again.

Malcolm had things very organized; there were lots of helpers going up and down the tow lines asking if anyone needed anything. The cart with the water supplies was a particularly nice sight for the eyes, but I failed to get a picture of it. With the day called, I decided to head back to Home Depot and get some more wood to repair my crate. When we got back to the Ranch, they were towing again. It didnít look like anyone was doing great. One thing that has impressed me here is the number of great landings. In the last two days I have only seen one whack (an Atos-C). I have read in the past that many of the comp pilots have bad landings, but I have not found this to be true. Most of the pilots run out their landings, which I donít see as often in the West. It never did rain here today (at 6:00 as I am typing).

The people in Florida have been very nice. I hear a lot of please and thank you's, yes sirís and the like. I have not spotted any alligators yet.


PS Rich got in a tuning flight today. Chris Arai is here as well.