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Bright ideas on a MAT

Bright ideas on a MAT

A MAT task is a Modified Assigned Task, used at US contests. There are a lot of details and complexities that require reading the rules. However the basic idea is you get to choose the points that you can use, giving the pilot flexibility to avoid storms, bad areas,...
Hero to Zero

Hero to Zero

No matter how many times we talk about this, it happens. Some of you might be following the FCC contest in Slovakia that finishes today. A club class pilot did it again. Won a day, then well, then he didn’t win the next day, actually he didn’t make it home...
Lawn Darts

Lawn Darts

Based on the ancient Roman game plumbata, lawn darts was banned in 1988 in the US. Whoops, wrong Wikipedia page… What I actually want to discuss is a term we use in racing, lawn darting. You start and go straight into a field. Maybe you found a thermal. Maybe...
Wrong start gate

Wrong start gate

How many different ways can we make this mistake?   At the 15 m Nationals in Tonopah NV, I was in one start group for multiple days. The organizers warned us that they would be changing groups daily, however, when my group changed, I didn’t notice. I...
Leave First and Pray for Rain

Leave First and Pray for Rain

Dick Johnson got this to work for him much better than I did. Charlie Spratt told me that this was a tactic he saw work time and time again in Hobbs and Uvalde, when there was a big storm in the forecast. The idea behind this is a large storm is going to shutdown a...
Squeezing the last foot out of your start height

Squeezing the last foot out of your start height

Again I will start with a common theme to reduce the pressure of this one small part of the race. You have the next 4 hours to screw it up. Do not worry about a few hundred feet. When I team fly even being separated by a 1000 ft is not the end of the world, annoying...
Choosing your start gate wisely

Choosing your start gate wisely

Clearly the start gate that is closest to the line is the best one to use. The shortest distance makes sense. Problem solved, go there. If it was only that easy. It might be the shortest distance but it could come with a lot of disadvantages. Sometimes the best start...
Saving time on the grid

Saving time on the grid

This is the first part in a series of How to Lose Points. Bright Ideas that slowed me down, lost me points, or got me stuck. Saving time by writing over my previous days task. Sitting on the grid inputting the flight computer I would just click on the previous days...
Target Fixation

Target Fixation

Following along from last week’s adventures of lawn-darting. A topic to consider is you will hit what you look at. This goes back to when you learned to ride a bike, when you see a log on your path and you keep looking at it, you generally hit it. Those of you...