Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Start and Finish notes Seniors 2009

OK, now I have finally got a good internet connection and can go into alittle more detail about our new start and finish.
About the new start. What is really great about it is, when we decide to start, we drop below max start height for at least 2 minutes, then enter the thermal and then thermal up through the top and then below cloudbase head out on course. Gone are the gaggles that clang to the wisps of the bases circling and waiting for a top contest guy to head out on course and then leach out after him.
From the center of the circle you can easy see the smaller gaggles circling and planning their start. Its only a few minutes to get to them and then make your plans for start. No longer are huge gaggles circling at the exit point of the cylinder for the start. We found several strong thermals within the start area and when clouds would drift through we would plan accordingly. Most days the CD would call the MSH at 4,000 agl. One day it went to 4,500 agl. But 4,000 agl worked very good and would allow a climb up through the top and then up near cloudbase with then a departure out on course. Once you climb up through the top you need to get gone as sticking around waiting for others will cost you time or another start.
Also, what's great is, when you leave on course, you cruise at what your next expected MC will be. Most days I used a MC3.5 which on my glider dry is around 90 kts. One day I did drop back into the cylinder near the outer radius and was back in the cylinder for less than 2 minutes. But my speed was within reason and I didn't get a speeding ticket.
I do think after you start using this new start, you will see better benefits to it and it does relieve congestion near the cloudbase and spreads more of us out.

Now about the finish. On RAS I said """SLOW DOWN"" Man, like your driving down the road and see a sign that says SLOW DOWN and you slam on the brakes??? Make me a pancake at IHOP, for god's sake. You can no longer pull up into the bottom of the cylinder. When you cross the cylinder radius you must cross it at or above the minimum finish height in order not to get a penalty. OK, make it really easy on yourself, I am trying to help you, none of us are perfect, see, and when we are out on course we slip and skid and miss thermals and circle un-centered, so stop trying to be perfect on this finish crossing altitude. Slow the """Joe the sailplane racer""" down about 20 seconds before you get to the finish circle( just hold your altitude about 200 feet higher than finish and let your speed drop down. This will work. Your altimeter isn't a electric viabrator type, SEE, so its still going to lag. Your logger is what records your altitude and read the rules, as its different than the start rule. The scorer doesn't SEE YOUR GLIDER ALTIMETER which probaly hasn't been checked since it was made. We had more old folks dragging thier lower jaw about this than all the prunes that are sold at Wal Mart.

On the start,.... again some thoughts, most did start upwind ......when on a downwind first leg. When the first leg was into the wind, we looked to start closes to the whatever point you could get to making the first leg the shortest. You might wanta reread that, cause that's more important than this 130 kt king kong ""Joe the sailplane racer''' finisher.

I will try and bring you better updates on the Perry contest, BUT here's a great idea, if you have a favorite racer, why not call his cell at the end of the day and find out how he did??? Trust me, their's not a glider guy or girl around that won't talk your head off about how their day went.......................