Preview This weekend's event, the 2010 MidFirst Ohio Challenge, features one of the deepest fields for any competition we'll see all year. Middletown, OH has been host to National Championships in the past and similar competition will be held this weekend as it is very likely that Event Director Maury Sullivan (also our National Championship Event Director) will look to test the pilots, his staff, loggers, and scoring system as they all prepare for the National Championship in another five weeks.
The MidFirst Ohio challenge will feature a variety of events including skydiving demonstrations, tandem skydiving jumps, festival food, helicopter rides, and more. For a full schedule of events check out the MidFirst Ohio Challenge website here.
The field will feature two of the top three pilots from this event last year in Mark Frazer and Mike Emich, the latter having finished in the top five in all of his events so far this year. Other top pilots include two-time National Champion Paul Petrehn, two-time winner this season Jeff Pestun, and a host of other top pilots from across the eastern U.S.
You can find the rules, the map, and the pilot list for this weekend in the pilot section of the Ohio Challenge website.
Friday Evening The 2010 Ohio Challenge started off this evening with a double hare and hound sponsor flight. The flight was not included in overall weekend scores. But the big news of the day is that Matt McClinton turned 21. He celebrated the big day with skydiving during the day, ballooning in the afternoon, and various parking lot games deep into the evening. Happy Birthday Matt!
Saturday Morning Competition was scheduled to start this morning in Middletown. Competition Director Maury Sullivan called a four part task, a Fly in, Judge Declared Goal, Multiple Judge Declared Goal, and a Land Run Task. A threatening line of thunderstorms about 20 miles south of the flying area forced Sullivan to put the field on hold and a supplemental briefing at a school south of the targets. The flight was cancelled when thunder and lightning was witnessed from the supplemental briefing point. The morning proved just a good practice for the 40 competitive teams. Pictures of task planning at the supplemental briefing point are below.
The next flight opportunity is Saturday evening. .
Saturday Evening Lingering storms and high winds forced the cancellation of tonights flight (radar picture below). Pilots were able to glow later in the evening in front of a large crowd at the Middletown airport. The final chance at competition will be Sunday morning. .
Sunday Morning Pilots woke up to fair weather this morning in Middletown as they prepared for the final flight of this year's event. Director Maury Sullivan called an aggressive three part task for a Sunday morning: Hesitation Walz (multiple judge declared goal), Judge Declared Goal, and Hesitation Walz. Early pibals showed a low left wind and a faster hard right wind a bit higher. As balloons started to launch clouds began to develop in the area which made the winds variable and unpredictable scattering the field and made it very difficult to achieve all three targets. A few pilots who fought to stay with a small layer of wind heading for one of the third targets got very close, but in the end nobody could achieve a score on all three tasks.
Congratulations to David Troutman, of Louisville, KY, for winning the MidFirst Ohio Challenge. David navigated the wind shifts with supreme skill and patience that team Troutman Thunder is known for. Henry Rosenbaum, of Richmond, VA, and Mike Emich, of Akron, OH, round out the top three with second and third place finishes respectively.