Ascension Balloon Championship - Gonzales, LA
Sunday Morning 9/28/13
Sunday morning brought the most steerage of the three day Ascension Balloon Championship along with four additional tasks to compliment the previous ten.
First the pilots had a Gordon Bennett Memorial task to a cul de sac just east of the airport from the previous mornings first task. This task had the X at the edge of the grass and only the hard surface around the X counted. This was a very small target area and was originally a gravity marker drop but changed to a free marker drop to encourage more scores. Still this was a very difficult task and some baggies didn't end up on the hard surface. John Petrehn bested the field for his third 1000 point score in a row at the championship.
From here it was on to Judge Declared Goal one field to the east of the main fly-in field about 200m from the next two tasks. This task would require baggies on the ground within 50m for a score and to declare their Fly-on for the next task. Kevin Hershman was the first balloon across this target and the only baggie under 1m for the win!
The Fly-on was next and pilots flew to one of four Xs the next field over labeled A, B, C, and D. Scores were much tighter on this target because pilots were able to fly lower and slower coming straight from the previous task. Maury Petrehn beat out Chase Donner by .01m the win on the target.
The last GBM coincided with the previous declaration on task 12. Pilots would be scored to their declared Fly-on but had to put the baggie within one of two boxes on the field. Again scores were tight and Mark Yeakle won this task.
Overall it was Maury Pretrehn taking the win after a tough fourteen tasks over his brother John Pertrehn. Third was Nick Donner. From Gonzales most of the pilots will head to Albuquerque, NM for the largest competitive event of the year.
Final Scores are here.
Saturday Morning 9/28/13
Quicker winds and even more baggies greeted pilots Saturday morning in Gonzales, LA. Five tasks and baggies. Honestly, too many to list here, see the below task sheet. Limited scoring areas, lots of bags, and a complicated CRAT made this a very challenging and fun day.
Friday Morning 9/27/13
Friday morning brought steerable winds, four baggies and five tasks. The plan was for a Fly-In Task, Minimum Distance Double Drop, Hesitations Waltz, Maximum Distance, and an Elbow. The first three tasks were the baggie tasks and the last two GPS tasks.
Winds were generally from the east with a very low level current of maybe 15 kph. The biggest factor of the morning though was that the tasks were on the task sheet out of order and the minimum distance to the first baggie throw was irrelevant because the maximum distance task was based on crossing a gridline almost 6km to the east. This left competitors with the ‘sixth task’ of figuring out if it was worth it to fly 6+ km and maybe get five scores or take off outside of the 1km limit and have a better chance at the three scores. As it turns out there was only a few pilots who made all five tasks.