Reno Day 4 (Saturday)
Just a quick note to say that we are getting a great reception at the Reno Air Races. The multiplayer races being run every hour in the "public" booth are full every time with a crowd watching from the sidelines. I have primarily been working in the VIP area, but I went to the public booth today and it was great to see the users getting into racing so much. Later in the day we organized a "champions" race where the best of the best users got to race against Brandon and I. They had been practicing to try and beat my best time and one of them had done so the previous day (by .5 seconds) so he was very confident he could beat me in a race.
Ryan Leeward (grandson of Jimmy whose P-51 Cloud Dancer we modeled) and his mother and father attended the race with Ryan as one of the race pilots. This race was really close but I worked my way from fourth to first by the end of the race. What a close finish with Brandon finishing in second!
The racers desperately wanted to race again so we oranized another race. This time I was on fire with the best performance to date. I was a full 5 seconds ahead of everyone else on the course and set a new course record. Matt, the user that had beaten my previous best time was pretty upset at himself for not finishing better. The Leewards were very impressed with the performance and it was very cool feeling the comraderie they were sharing with us.
Interestingly the users that were getting most into the racing had never met before this event, but have become friends as a result. Eric has commented several times at how rewarding it is to see users enjoy what we have spent a year creating. It's also very rewarding to see people new to Flight Sim reacting so positively.
The VIP area has been getting more and more busy over the days with many of the race teams stopping by to try out the product. Brandon was working with a retired Navy pilot that nailed his first carrier landing attempt. He was pretty excited about it. We had a helicopter fan come in so I had him try the slingload tutorial and I was amazed at how well he handled the loads.
It was really important to me and I assume for the rest of the team to have a good day yesterday. Friday the races were suspended after a series of fatal crashes which is why I didn't make a Reno Day 3 post. The mood at the races was very somber to say the least. Yesterday helped turn that around.
Today we will run more races, and the Leewards are interested in having a Cloud Dancer team only race so I need to set that up. In the afternoon I get to watch the remaining final heats which is always fun.