All the elements for a great Midwest Slope Challenge were in place. Over 50 pilots, a great site, lots of planes. Only one real problem, not much wind on contest days. No matter, that did not keep the assembled slopers from having a great time, with most vowing to return next year.
Thursday, before the official start of the event, was great, 20-25 mph winds and lots of flying. I flew a ton of stuff. ‘Cuda, Erwin 5, Opus, RaceM and Fun-1 to name a few. Pat McCleave had his new LEG Reno Racer Mustang out and it looked great. The extra detail the sponsor words provide make it look excellent in the air. Todd had his LEG P-63 going well. Jack flew the heck out of his 72-inch design, the Corssover. Lots of other guys were out flying all day the lift was really working well and as the evening progressed the air smoothed out for a super finish to an awesome day.
Friday was a rain out with a few flights thrown in between the drops. Lots of building happened at the LEG shop. Electrics and DLGs were seen in abundance. Jim Porter got out his big, honkin’ bungee and was launching his X-21 into the thermal lift.
Saturday started with the Combat event. There was little wind at the end of Airport Hill but I like a low wind combat event. It keeps every one down low where Combat belongs. That said another 5mph would have been perfect. Somehow I managed to win with a CombatWings XL. Because the MWSC rules allowed for it I switched to a Weasel for round 3 to try it out! Pretty fun. Emil Weiler took 5th with his Weasel with which he flew every round!
Saturday afternoon we moved to a better hill and had the ODR competition. Light but flyable wind most of the time. If a thermal came through during your heat there was some pretty good racing. Other times it was a survival event. Again, I managed to win this one despite there being some really good pilots nipping at my heels. The light conditions favored lighter models and building straight and true is never more important than when the lift is light! Don’t worry, the winning Fun-1 will not be back in the same form. I folded the wing DSing it on Monday. The fuse survived though so Son of Fun-1 will return with a change I’ve been wanting to make anyway.
Sunday started out dreary with light wind so the Unlimited and Warbird races were cancelled. For those who stayed the wind turned on about 2 PM and the conditions were great!
In any case it was fun to see old friends and get to fly with them again. For me this contest is as much or more about the people as it is about the flying. That said I’d like to have had a shot at those other two trophies!
Monday was an epic day as we had 40mph plus winds hitting the DS slope dead on and then, after most of our planes became unflyable for one reason (tree) or another (stripped servos, etc.) we headed to a super secret slope on a private ranch that is 300 feet high with the last 100 shear limestone. Truly spectacular!