By Jeff Struthers
The Electroglide Competition has returned after two months of rain delays. The weather gave us a beautiful blue-sky weekend. Wind was nonexistent at the 10:00 a.m. start, when 10 pilots launched into the pretty San Diego morning.
The lift was hard to find on that first launch, perhaps because of the lack of any wind. Arthur Markie, who just joined the Electroglide Competition this year, had the longest flight at 6:15 minutes and picked up a 20-point bonus landing. Scott Vance had a good flight at 5:15 minutes, also getting a 20-point landing. The rest of us had flights in the three- and two-minute range. Alex Sutton picked up a 20-point landing, George Sullivan and Dennis LaBerge both got 10-point landings.
Second launch again was into calm wind conditions, but Arthur Markie found the spot to fly with a time aloft of 6:10. Again hitting a 20-point landing on returning. Scott Vance came in second with a time of 4:45 and getting a 20-point landing. I came in third with a time of 3:15 and a 20-point landing. Alex, Stephen Treger and George Sullivan all picked up 20-point landings.
Third launch was into a slight breeze from the west and the flight times reflected more lift reaching us from Sea World’s parking lots. Arthur again had the long flight at 9:14 plus a 20-point landing. I came in second at 7:20 with a 20-point landing. Scott came back at 4:35 with another 20-point landing. Alex picked up a 20-point landing. Steve Godel and Stephen Treger both picked up the season’s first 30-point landings.
Forth and final launch was into a slightly stronger wind from the west. The lift was there but up high and in the far western edge of our flight area. I think all of us found it hard to maintain aircraft orientation at such a distance. When the event timer crossed eight minutes, Arthur, Scott and I started our descent back. We were able to time our landings such that we all made contact on the field at 10 minutes, the maximum flight time allowed. Because Arthur and I needed to quickly get on the runway, we did a short final turn, cutting off Scott approaching the target circles on a long glide from the east. Scott pulled away, lost air speed and landed short of the circles. Arthur’s and my Radian collided over the center circle and dropped right there, giving us both 30-points. Sorry Scott, we got carried away in the heat of the moment.
Alex scored a 30-point landing on that last round, Steve picked up a 20-point and Stephen earned a 10-point landing.
It was an enjoyable yet challenging start for the 2019 Electroglide season. Next Electroglide will be on April 20th, first launch is at 10:00 a.m.
A special thanks goes to Frank Sutton for taking the event pictures again.