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Old June 8th 21, 08:32 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Default US: 15M/Open Class Writeups?

On Monday, June 7, 2021 at 8:22:47 PM UTC-7, 7K wrote:
Howdy All,

Hopefully to clear some things up and quell the speculation, here it is from the horses mouth. Obviously I’m best to write these reports since I’m in the whole loop and I’m sorry I didn’t do better, so put the blame on me. I like seeing the daily reports just like everyone, and wanted to have daily reports like Charlie did but please understand there’s a lot going on here.

Many of you have been CD and know how busy things can be and Minden is very busy. As CD, the day starts at 0715 for a weather brief, then conferring with the scorer, followed by a 9am task meeting then a 10am pilot’s meeting. The conga line of gliders crossing the active power runway starts at 11:00 with the usual grid challenges, then launch starting as close to 12 as possible. During the launch, we’re coordinating with arriving and departing power traffic of every size from a C-150 to multiple corporate jets on a crossing runway, then relights and task opening thrown in for good measure. After getting tasks open it’s lunch at about 2 or 3:00 followed by a short break to decompress and get ready for the finish and recovery which usually takes over an hour or more. On several days, finishers were after 7pm with the latest being only 30 minutes before sunset (8:20). After that is dinner and back to the hotel around 9 or 9:30 then the cycle starts again. Not making excuses, just giving insight. Again, sorry. For the Soaring Magazine article we assigned each day’s write up to a different competitor. In the coming days I’ll write daily reports for the SSA contest page too.

Now, here’s the scoop on why we cancelled the last three days. We had a great run of six good weather days with several having unusually high temps in the low to mid 90s, which gave us the high thermals and great speeds. We decided to go six before a rest day because the rest day (Sunday) and the days to follow were looking to be high wind, and marginal wave, not to mention falling high temps and thermal heights. The high temp on Wednesday as I write this is predicted to be only 66F. (18C). Not very conducive to good thermals. All those days are predicted to have high winds which were also crosswinds not at all favoring “our” runway and, in reality, not even favoring the main runway, even if we could have used it. Today’s (Monday’s) max thermal heights (because of a double inversion) were predicted to be only about 4000’agl. which over the desert is extremely uncomfortable. On top of that, the winds at altitude were blowing over 35kt. Tuesday and Wednesday showed worse with higher winds at altitude (as much as 51kt), more broken thermals and marginal wave because of a non optimal wind direction. Bottom line is we used every good day we had and used them to the fullest. In the end, since the forecasted weakening trend was being verified by our ace weatherman Dan Gudgel, we decided that instead of sitting and waiting for the inevitable, we would pull the plug and call it good with six really good days.

As for the contest, it was a huge success. The contest organization, led by Reba and Alan, was to the letter complete and well run. The operation led by Mountain Mike was efficient and great to work with, in spite of meshing our ops with a lot of power traffic. Our tow pilots did a good job in density altitudes of nearly 8000’ too. All in all it was a pleasure working with and for a well run operation.

I’ll post again with some day reports and statistics that are pretty amazing.


Hi Mark,

I heard from one of the contestants yesterday, one that has been to a large number of contests, and his unsolicited comment was "Mark Keene did an excellent job as cd..." So as much as I'd like to see good daily write-ups, and look forward to some after the fact ones, it sounds like you had your priorities set correctly. Great job.