I took my sweet time getting out to the Air Races today. I awoke fairly stiff from marching around the pits all morning Friday. I blew out of the DaveCave before 9AM, to pick up a package from the Post Office, pick up some vine-ripe tomatoes from Spud’s Fruit Stand, and hit the hardware store for some nuts and bolts for my camera shade thingy.
As luck would have it, Mr Landlord was in town and we spent a half hour talking all things digital…cameras, iPhones, iPods, mothers who resist computers even though they’d find them right up their alley once they learned their way around the things.
I was kinda worried because the wind was ripping in Truckee…I could only imagine what was happening out at Stead.
I put all the pieces together and took the new unit up to the street where there was full sunshine. My gizmo worked like a charm. I wouldn’t need the black veil as long as I kept my cowboy hat shading my bright, smiling face.
Even though my results were better than expected, I rigged the black cloth with black duct tape and stick-on Velcro…call it a contingency plan…I was headed out to the High Desert after all.
I loaded up the ice chests (Grocery shopping before the Gold Heat) packed the car, and showered before heading down to the library to check the winds at Stead via the library’s free WiFi…SW winds at 18 MPH…the races were a GO, so off I went.
I had travel time plus an hour and a half before the Gold Heat began, but given the wind, I thought I ought to get close enough to hear the FM broadcast of the show, so I crested the hill into the Valley Of Speed and hit the new Taco Bell drive-thru.
While I enjoyed my crunchy tacos, I listened to the show commentators and compared the goings on to the schedule I printed from the RARA website. They were wrapping up the Jet Heat, which was on the schedule after the Unlimited Gold Heat…adjustments were made…I postponed the grocery shopping and headed out to the Fenceline.
Things were a little more crowded than Friday, but not as bad as I expected. Luckily my timing was perfect…I set up my 6ft step ladder, rigged my tripod, and watched the F-18 demo and the NAVY Heritage flight.
My neighbors who were by now well done from baking in the high desert sun since Wednesday, had too much fun catcalling me…”Down in Front”, “You’ll blow over, Dave”.
They weren’t kidding, the wind was fierce, though not enough that I was in any danger of being blown off my perch. I ran some test video, and everything looked A-OK. I would have used the black veil if the winds were reasonable, but I thought the flapping material would screw up my sound…as it turns out, the stereo microphones on the new camera picked up the wind noise in a big way.
The Gold Heat didn’t disappoint. Strega lead from Rare Bear, who lead September Fury. Strega was really pouring on the coal, and the three leaders didn’t back off until the fourth lap. Precious Metal lead the also-rans, but sounded as awesome as ever.
Strega won it going away, posting an average speed of 472.642 MPH. I expect Sunday’s Breitling Gold Race to be a barnburner. I don’t know if Rare Bear was sandbagging…or if the Bear knows he’s got nothing for Strega. Professional courtesy perhaps? Team Strega announced that they’re retiring the multi-time Reno Gold Champion after this year’s races.
I don’t have a favorite, all I want is a hard fought race with zero maydays, that has a pass for the lead.
Gentlemen, Have A Race!