Day 1 Report

Day 1 in the can, and it was a long one. F3A flies in the morning this year so we were out at the site at 8AM and stayed for practice afterwards until after 9PM. Throw a judging assignment in the mix and, well, let’s just say that shower at the end of the day is heavenly.

I was on Site 3 today with Chip, AC Glenn, Don Szczur, Matt Stringer, and many other talented pilots. There was the usual first round jitters for just about everyone, I think. I had a great round going on my first flight and completely butchered the top hat with 2 1/2 turn spin. I still did OK on that round with a normalized score of 979.   Everything turned out all right at the end of the day for me and I am keeping my head in the long game. A lot of people don’t appreciate the mental game you have to play with yourself throughout a long contest like the Nationals. It’s important to peak when it matters most. I’m trying to stay calm, put up some solid rounds, and stay out of trouble. In that regard, I was happy with how the day went.  I got some practice with the Alferma in the afternoon and after some tweaking and recalibrating it’s feeling pretty good.  I will definitely need a few more flights to get in my happy place with her but it’s coming along.

Bryan and I have been very encouraged with the response on the Allure.  Most that watch it fly will tell us that they really like how it presents.  Constant speed, locked lines, and crisp rolls are this airplane’s forte.  As I’m writing this we’re talking about how astounded we are that the Allure is even here at the nationals and successfully competing.  With all of the effort put into the Alferma for South Africa the fact that the airplane even exists is pretty incredible.  Bryan puts his heart and soul into this and it has paid dividends.

The competition for the junior spot on the world team is pretty fierce this year.  Brian Strachan has kicked it up a notch and sits ahead of Joseph Szczur, but only by about 5 normalized points.  It will be fun to watch these two friends duke it out.  They sit 16th and 17th right now which puts them in good position to compete in the semi-finals, an accomplishment in and of itself.  Keep an eye on these two.

Tomorrow will be the end of the preliminaries, which means top 20 will be advancing to fly the finals pattern.  There’s still a long road ahead to earn the coveted spot on the world team.  Wish us luck…

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