Monday, June 27, 2011

Rat Race Sprint Day 7 (Task 6) - JK

The last day of the Rat Race was set up to land in the confluence of valleys at the preferred LZ, Longsword Winery. This held the Sprint course close. The Race course went deep up one valley, back to the confluence, out another valley and back again to land at Longsword LZ as well. Overall, the plan was to reduce retrieve times and get the GPS turn-in done as quickly as possible. There was an awards ceremony, party, and some planned to leave that evening.

Rat Race Sprint Day 6 (Task 5) - JK

It was active on launch with wind blowing up from all directions and dust devils (dusties) spawned regularly during prep. The task started over launch with an exit cylinder, NW to Burnt, back to Woodrat (WR), Burnt again, then NNE to Cemetery and goal ESE from there at Donato LZ. The start was staggered with 15 minute spacing (1400/1415/1430).

The dusties told everyone it was going to be active air. Prior to the start window, one pilot got a frontal, then a cravat, and was stuck in a high-g spiral and threw her reserve.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Rat Race Day 5 - Nick

We woke up to a heavily overcast sky. I was thinking it would be a bad day, but Paul was excited. The task committee was excited too, because they put up this crazy 13 turnpoint, 154km task (at least according to the GPS … it will be about 70km due to the large waypoint cylinders)! It was basically 4 loops around the valley. It would definitely be good for spectating.

Rat Bait: Never Say Never

My first trip to the Rat Race was several years ago when I was not a pilot, nor even thinking of becoming one. I thought anyone who jumps off a launch called Crazy Mans, well, is crazy, and I am not doing that; no way. I followed Big Island Ike over to Oregon just to hang out with a great group of pilots who were also eager to have me there … for retrieve.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Rat Race Sprint Day 5  (Task 4) - JK

The day began overcast and cool with a forecast of good conditions by late morning. The task was a circuit around the valley. Race was outer loop/4 circuits, Sprint inner loop/3 circuits. The Racers were lapping Sprinters. Really unusual task. Many were in the air for 5+ hours.

Rat Race Sprint Day 4 (no task) - JK

After the Race gaggle launched and tanked up over Woodrat, the Sprinters began launching. Conditions were getting strong on launch. Cycles were mixed with wind and ragged thermals. It was more ridge soaring than thermaling over launch. The gaggle was especially disorganized.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Rat Race Sprint Day 3 - JK

Tuesday's task from WR launch was an "exit in" start with a 2km cylinder over Burnt, west across the valley to Rabies, return to Woodrat Peak, back to Rabies, further west to Well's Ridge and then back east with a tailwind to Longsword winery.