I flew a rescheduled contest two weeks ago and really had no business flying at the Cactus Classic last weekend. I wanted to be watching the Masters and we're buying a house this week and moving at the end of the week. My "to do" list before the move is very long.
I was asked to assist running the Cactus Classic for our friend and flying buddy, Rusty Fried, who is undergoing cancer treatment right now. He was the CD of record so I put him on speaker phone each morning to run the Pilot's Meeting from his house. Rusty, you have all our best wishes for a successful treatment and recovery.
We had a 5 pilot Advanced class with my flying buddy Craig Guest, everyone's friend Randy Wegner, super cool dude Jim McCall, and the life of the freestyle cheering party Randy Dreyer. All are great pilots with lots of contest experience.
I had a rough Saturday. During the second sequence of my first round I visually went right through another plane while I was on a downline.
I spent the 2nd half of the sequence running through all the questions of, "How much is this going to cost? How long would it take to get a new airframe? How bad will my engine be damaged? What equipment will I be able to send in for repairs? I'm moving this week so how long will it take to get a workbench set up?" Needless to say that sequence wasn't good.
The afternoon round had the wind unexpectedly blowing 10 - 12 mph from the Northwest. It was predicted to be blowing from the Southwest which is perfect for the normal direction I do my stall turn. As my plane is slowing down at the top of the upline I start to have a little discussion with myself about whether to pivot the opposite direction so the wind will help or go my normal direction. As I'm considering my options I pull off a nice tailslide.
It's a good thing we have throw away rounds.
At the end of a very competitive Day 1 three different pilots had won a Known round. I was very happy to be in 3rd place.
Randy Dreyer flies very smooth and very consistent. I knew I would have to win all three sequences on Sunday to have a chance to catch him.
With all the great pilots in this class the Unknown was no help in making any moves. For the 5 pilots there was one pilot with a zero on one maneuver. The other four pilots scored from 972 to 1,000. I won the Unknown round but the standings hadn't changed.
The sleeper in the class was Jim McCall. He was close to the top 3 even though he was carrying an 896 in his score at the moment. Watch out for those situations. At the same time I'm trying to catch the lead I need to try to protect 3rd place.
It was SO COOL knowing that the top four pilots after the Unknown could all finish anywhere between 1st and 4th place at the end. The final round was ON!!
I won the first sequence in the final round and Jim McCall flew a 998.9. That's a tie. I won the second sequence in the round to Randy Dreyer's 976.
It was just enough to get the win.
What a blast flying and competing with these good friends and great pilots. I know Randy Dreyer is a better pilot than me. I just happen to have a superior airplane. This plane flies awesome and even Unlimited pilots are telling me how strong the uplines are with this rebuilt engine. SO much fun to fly this plane.
Cayden Bruce got another win in the Sportsman class flying his Yellow Chequer Scheme
Extra 330SC. Congrats Cayden!!