Here are Mark's comments:
It was a good day with lift as much as 8kt average to 7500agl. The day
died somewhat early because of a windshift before a cold front passage. Not
everyone attempted the 63 mile course and only one landed out.
Tomorrow is uncertain because of this front, but the weather personalities
say scattered showers. We'll find out soon enough.
Thursday's weather looked more promising, with lift forecast to be 3 kts
average to over 4000' agl. Of course this turned out to be a pessimistic
view of the day. CD, Charlie Spratt decided on a 90 mile course of Rio
Vista, Maypearl, Frost, and return. The weather turned out to be 5-6 kt.
average lift to 5500' agl.
Pat Tuckey was the last contestant through the gate at 2:53 pm. His average
speed over the course was a blistering 47.6 mph. Second place was Dan
Mockler at 42.0 mph and 12 seconds behind in third place is Mark Keene at
41.9 mph. Rounding out the top 5 are Bob Von Hellens at 41.8 mph and fifth
is the team of Jousma/Schwartz at 40.5 mph. In the field of 27, only two did
not finish the task.
The weather trend indicates hotter temperatures and improving conditions for
the forseeable future.
Mark Keene #221
Here are the unofficial results for Day One: (Sorry, the FAX was smeared,
some of the names were garbled and the miles per hour were illigible so I
just guessed and rounded 'em down.) - Goerge Powell
|Current Standing||Cumulative Score||Speed - Day 2 (mph)|
|4. Von Hellens||1777||35.00|
As grid time approaches, some nice clouds are beginning to pop and by launch,
they're fed by 6kt thermals, but the day turns out to be more challenging
than first thought. Large areas on course cycle and by 5pm a large blue hole
appears midway between Hillsboro and Wax dam.
Dan Mockler had the best timing and won the day with a speed of 39.09mph.
Pat Tuckey is second at 38.79. Rounding out the top 5 for the day are Kevin
Ford at 36.18, the Jousma / Schwartz team (flown today by Schwartz) at 36.11
and Mark Keene at 35.66.
The weather has been unusual becuase of a stalled front sitting south of the
contest area, providing east and northeast winds. We normally have south and
southeast winds this time of year. The weather trend is for improving
conditions and warmer temps.
Mark Keene #221
|Current Standing||Cumulative Score||Speed - Day 3 (mph)|
|4. Von Hellens||2507||31.36|
Mark Keene is the first finisher, and the fastest for the day with a speed of
42.94mph. Dan Mockler is one minute behind at 42.68mph. Rounding out the
top five for the day, first timer John Wrona at 38.29, Kevin Cullis at 37.66,
and Pat Tuckey at 36.12 mph.
After three contest days, the top three positions are held by Pat Tuckey, Dan
Mockler and Mark Keene respectively, with only 41 points separating them. As
of day three, Pat has 2833, Dan has 2824 and Mark has 2792.
Most contestants started before 2:00 and soon disappeared to all parts of the
task area. Dan Mockler wins the day with a speed of 42.6 mph. Pat Tuckey is
close on his heels at 42.2 mph. This win by Dan changes the top two places.
Dan is now in the lead by 1 point over Pat. Rounding out the top 5 for the
day are: Jousma/Schwartz team (flown by Schwartz) at 41.7 mph, Bob Von
Hellens at 41.5 mph, and Mark Keene at 40.2 mph.
Mark Keene #221
|Current Standing||Cumulative Score|
|4. Von Hellens||4366|
At task open time, there are rain showers scattered along the course line to
the first turn. Some contestants leave early and are rewarded with fast runs
all the way to West, thermalling only once. Others take the slow, roundabout
way to the same result, a landout. Ships are scattered all along Interstate
35. The local law enforcement officials tell us they're not sure if it's an
invasion or a mass crash. You know how stories get blown out of proportion.
As of 9pm, the winner appears to be Pat Denaples with a total distance of 47
miles. Since the scorer has gone home, the rest of the scores are uncertain,
but these are close. Pat Tuckey has approximately 43 miles, Mark Keene 41,
Jerry Beatty 40. Several contestants are in the 30s.
One note about today. Vern Hutchinson, flying #390, made a hard landing and
damaged his ship. It has skin damage to the left wing and a twisted
fuselage. Vern is complaining of some back pain, but is able to get around.
He has been taken to the hospital for evaluation and observation. We'll
have more info tomorrow.
Mark Keene #221
|Current Standing||Speed - Day 7 (mph)||Cumulative Score|
|4. Von Hellens||40.80||6080|
We go into day 7 with three contestants racing for the top spot. Dan Mockler
and Mark Keene are within striking distance of leader Pat Tuckey. The
weather is a bit uncertain, but certainly good enough for a contest day.
Charlie calls a 2 1/2 hour post.
As the gate opens, the sky looks strangely like the day before when the
course blew up like a mushroom cloud and most contestants start within 10
minutes of the gate opening. It looks like a parade, but the gate works
flawlessly, not missing a single one. The first group on course goes 12
miles without circling. Unfortunately, this great run is under building
storms that soon shade the middle of the task area. Most run south and west
to better weather, including 7kt lift to 7500agl., but it's inconsistant.
Pat Tuckey shows why he deserves to be Champion again this year, wtih a fast
46 mph speed. Conservative just isn't in his vocabulary. Second for the day
is Dan Mockler with 44mph. Bob Von Hellens is third with 40.8, Mark Keene is
fourth at 38.7 and Kevin Ford is fifth for the day at 38.24mph.
Final scores for the contest show a Texas Soaring Association sweep with Pat
Tuckey first, Mark Keene second, Dan Mockler third. Rounding out the top
five are Bob Von Hellens in fourth and Kevin Ford in fifth.
In the other award catagories, the Jack Green Award to the highest scoring
contestant under thirty years of age, Kevin Ford takes the honor. The Dave
Johnson trophy for the highest average score by a first time contestant goes
to TSAer John Wrona. The Old Toad Trophy for the top pilot over the age of
70 goes to Jim Walker. The President's Trophy for the fastest speed goes to
who else but Pat Tuckey for his blistering 47.64 mph speed on the 90 mile,
first day task.
The Virginia Schweizer award for the highest scoring female pilot is not
awarded this year since there were no women entered.
This year the team trophy was renamed The Mc Neill/Cuny Team Trophy in honor
of Fred Cuny. Fred and Bob Mc Neill flew as a team for several years, before Bob's death. Fred was
killed more recently while providing humanitarian assistance in Chechnya. The
trophy was presented to the team of Jousma and Schwartz by Fred's parents Mr.
and Mrs Gene Cuny.
The Spiffy Award was another hotly contested catagory this year, with four
ships in the running. Bob Von Hellens with his beautiful restoration of 244,
Jim Walker with "Blue Eagle" 357, John Wrona with a new "Gee Bee" style,
scalloped paint scheme on 432, and Jerry Beaty with a factory original 655.
In talking with the judges, it was obvious that minute details made the
difference in the outcome. All four were fantastic!
This years "Spiffy" award goes to Jerry Beaty for his beautiful restoration
work on 655, an E model. The restored ship looks like it just rolled out of
the factory, complete with an original exterior paint scheme and original
plackards. The instrument panel is beautiful too. Believe it or not, this
ship was a wreck one year ago. The tail, the fuselage and one wing were
The contest was a great success. We had 7 days of outstanding weather that
was challenging. No two days were the same. We had great task calling by
the master of all CDs, Charlie Spratt. Above all, the organization at TSA,
led by Marvin Willis and administered by Bick Humphries, was second to none.
There are always lots of behind the scenes people that make it work. All
were honored by the many comments about this being the most fun contest ever.
Congratulations everyone. See you in Elmira, New York next year.
Mark Keene #221