SA State Gliding Championships STONEFIELD MARCH 2020
The State Championship at Stonefield in March 2020 was eventually conducted on five days over a two-weekend period, due to members’ unavailability to maintain a continuous weekly activity. The airfield has massive runway proportions with safe options to suit the Formula 1 style event and competition finishes. Good hangar space and accommodation was also available on site.
Participants were Craig Vinall, ASG 29 VNL; Leigh Stokes ASW20 OTR; Sidney Nankivell LS3 WUD: Phillip Ritchie GRY Mosquito; Peter Cesco GZ Libelle; Heath L’Estrange TX Libelle; Sam Woods KYR Speed Astir; Dereck Spencer (Coach) VU Janus and Michael Scutter IZE LS4 – with Pawnee Tug HZY. Missing were Jenny Ganderton and Robert Smits, who had trailer towing problems from Lake Keepit to Stonefield.
The competition was handicapped using the F1 trackers in each glider and the results followed on livetracking.com from the start line until all crossed the finish 1km circle. Livegliding.com provided the daily winning results. Each evening became a sociable occasion when all could discuss the day’s challenges and enjoy appetizers, Craig’s fine wines, some beers and club dinners.
Day 1. Task C: Stonefield, Farrel Flat, Burra, Stonefield 176.4km. Placings – Craig VNL, Sidney WUD and Heath TX.
Day 2. Sunday was cancelled when the trough line came early with increased winds gusting above 25 knots and lines of raised dust.
The remaining three days were completed successfully, tasking 102.6 km, 136.6 km, 124.6 km
Day 3. GZ, WUD, TX – winning order.
Day 4. VNL, OTN, TX – winning order with one outlanding.
Day 5. GRY, OTN, WUD – winning order.
Tasks were of modest duration due to the cooler weather in the tasking area and late afternoon starts to use the strongest conditions available. Launching nine gliders with a single tug in an hour was a tug pilot challenge, followed by a delayed start of 20 minutes from last release to start line opening by 3pm. The performance gliders managed the windy conditions and low heights more favorably and most days were challenging to task fairly in the remaining afternoon conditions.
Phil Ritchie excelled, winning the last day after making the wrong turnpoint on the previous day. All completed the day and presentations were made for daily winners with a State Trophy awarded for the outright winner.
Final results were Craig Vinall in 1st place with 20 pts, Leigh Stokes 2nd place with 18 pts, Sidney Nankivell and Peter Cesco made 3rd place with 17 pts. I thank all participating pilots and crews, tuggies, organisers and helpers for their commitment, as without them there would not be a competition.
Brian Rau: Competition Director