October 2001

Sierra Cup

18/10/2001 The Sierra Cup had excellent weather for all three days thanks to the inversion that killed soaring prospects at Williams. There were decent model sized thermals and I don’t think any rounds flights went more than half a mile, with most going only 4-500 yards.

The first round on each day was flown from the top of the hill, so the usual easterly drift would not take models across Sunrise and into the aqueduct. This worked well and the organisation was excellent apart from the odd way we moved poles each round but nobody ever recirculated to the first pole. This happened on all three days of the event. Another niggle was the failure to provide printed results: even the results published in SEN are incomplete and apparently have not been published anywhere else.

I dropped 13 seconds in the first round, mainly due to having too tight a glide circle – about 33 secs, when 40+ seconds would have maxed. Then we moved down the hill to the main launch line. I maxed the 2nd round and then changed models due to d/t failure with DG44 (fortunately without model loss, but the thermals were small that round). Using DG82 (the Ikarex monster) I maxed the remaining 5 rounds for 21st in a field of 48.

19/10/2001 Sierra Cup – F1B. A nice, social day. I timed for Randy while he got his Xenon sorted out ready for the mini day. An amazingly potent model considering its age (13 years IIRC) and varnished TeeDee. He explained that it was originally a prototype for a flapped F1C (hence the V dihedral) and that he’d not persisted with the design because both models wandered out of lift.

Randy Archer and Xenon John Malkin, Alistair Mackensie

The second picture is of John Malkin and Alistair Mackenzie, the only NZ team members at the Sierra Cup.

20/10/2001 Sierra Cup – mini. Another nice, social day. The Xenon made the flyoff. The banquet and prizegiving was at a winery some distance from Rancho Cordova. The wine was good and plentiful, but the food was meagre. Fortunately we didn't notice this too much because a lot of wine had been consumed by the time the food appeared.