"The US Open in Chelan, WA, USA opened with a 93km task. It was downwind with a short dog leg at Banks Lake and goal in the town of Wilbur. With organized climbs and long interrupted cloud streets the lead gaggle was on course and fast using the tail wind to hit speeds close to 90km/h.
Coming up on the turnpoint at Banks lake I saw a move to make and pushed hard. Coming in relatively low for the day at around 4500’ to be rewarded with a 7+ m/s climb back up to base. The cloud was dark and extended well over the lake downwind. As I left the climb on full bar I realized nobody decided to join me so I flew the last 40km by myself wondering if it was a moment of brilliance or a horrible mistake.
Only 3 or 4 climbs later I made it into goal and watched the rest of the lead gaggle come in about 8 minutes behind. My first 1000 point day and I thoroughly enjoyed the flight.
We finished the task with an average speed of 44km/h and task time of 2h04m.
Task 2 was equally exciting. With a cancelled task the day prior we had some high clouds to contend with and strong south winds ranging from 15-30km/h. With the wind direction consistently from the south, the task was set at 132km with goal only a few kilometers short of the border. The start wasn’t obvious with either Chelan Butte or the flats both viable. Challenging conditions and not much time to get established made the flats fairly risky with a few pilots landing early.
It was another day with great clouds and good climbs. With some cirrus doing some regional shading, climbs maxed out around 5m/s but the winds helped out reaching speeds over 100km/h. The course had pilots flying all different lines. Some in the mountains to the east and west and some zigzagging down the valley. Halfway down courseline a small gaggle including Donizete Lemos, Josh Cohn, Nick Greece and myself had pulled out in front flanked by some pilots further to the west off the optimized line.
Nearing goal and dealing with an increasing amount of shade, climbs became less abundant...” Photo and Text by the leader of the Chelan US Open, Owen Shoemaker @skyadventuresnorthwest
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