Thursday, May 7, 2009

Space City RC 2nd Annual Pattern Classic

Pattern activity in D6 appears to be thriving. This is based on the recent attendance at my clubs 2nd annual pattern event recently held May 2nd and 3rd. This year’s event we had 3 more in attendance than last year, 29 in all. The surprising thing was 1/3 in attendance this year were not at last year’s event. That being said if personal schedules permitted there is the potential to have near 40 in future events.

Texas weather can be brutal and unpredictable. Monday before the event the Northwest and West Houston areas received 11 inches of rain in an 8 hour period. Tuesday morning the news was all about roads and homes that were inundated with flood waters stranding motorists in high water on Houston roads. The club field is located in Katy, TX an area hit hard by the rain. The surrounding area mainly cow pastures is very flat which drains very slowly. I planned to meet Jim Sheffield Wednesday evening to setup the center poles and paint the box lines. As I drove to the field the drainage ditches along the road sides were filled to the brim some were spilling over onto the roads even though it was 48 hours after it had rained. I was certain the flying field would be under water and unusable. To my surprise all the hard work the club membership had done in the past to facilitate drainage worked optimally. The runway was wet in some areas however there was no standing water. With no additional rain forecasted before the weekend, the runaway had the opportunity to dry out by Saturday morning.

There has been chatter on the NSRCA list recently about how to manage time especially with a high number of Masters entries. We had 8 Masters this year. What worked for us was dedicating a resource to run and maintain the flight order and judge assignments. This ensures you keep a plane or planes in the air throughout the contest. Both Saturday and Sunday flying started around 10am four rounds were flown on Saturday with a finish time of 6ish. Two rounds were flown on Sunday and including the awards ceremony attendees where on the road around 2:30. Other tangible elements that impact the flow of the event is the great job our area of D6 does in training contestants to judge any class, (thanks Don Ramsey). This reduces unnecessary time spent negotiating whether someone feels qualified of judging when asked. In addition familiarization and preparation of the scoring system, we used PACSS. Contestants are there happiest and most cooperative when raw scores are available soon after their flight and the round status is posted in a timely fashion.
Special thanks to:
Leonard - field preparation
John Underwood - chef
John Blackmon - line chief
Kyle - score runner

The Space City Club is looking forward to hosting a bigger and better 3rd annual event in 2010.