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2009 WWGC Szeged, Hungary
Liz (Schwenkler) Geiger
Liz is well respected by the soaring community for good reason. She has earned Commercial and CFI glider licenses in her over 850 soaring hours. Along the way she has achieved an FAI Silver badge and one Diamond. Not short on awards Liz won the SSA Bultman award and the SSA Kolstad award in 1995. She holds 13 New York State soaring records and has been Junior National Champion 1996 and 1998. An experienced international pilot, Liz has competed at European Junior Glider Championship in 1997 (Club) and again in the World Junior Glider Championships in 1999. (Standard). She is ranked 30th out of 533 on SSA competitor list and is the top ranked Junior pilot for 2002 and is the current Woman National Champion. Liz won the Region 3 Sports Class contest outright in 1996, beating seniors as well as juniors, a landmark event among young pilots. Since then, she has flown several more Regionals and the Nationals for Sports, Standard, 15 Meter, and Open classes placing in the top five at least once in each class and winning the Open Class in 2006. She has been President of the Harris Hill Junior Organization and has many fans at the nation's "soaring capital". Liz currently lives in Germany and works at the Schempp-Hirth Factory.
Feminine Class Background
As part of the International Gliding Commission's (IGC) strategy to build participation in the sport new classes have been recently sanctioned to participate in World Soaring Championships. The feminine class was created in 2001. The first World Women's Gliding Championship took place in the same year.
The 2001 1st Feminine World Soaring Championships was held in Pociunai, Lithuania. Twelve countries were represented fielding 41 participating pilots. There were three classes in this event, 15-Meter, Standard, and Club. Gillian Spreckley (GBR) won the World Champion title in the 15m Class, while Sarah Steinbeck (GBR) finished first in the Standard class and Tamara Sviridova (RUS) in the Club class.
In the USA the Woman's Soaring Pilots Association (WSPA) was founded in 1986. The charter meeting was the result of a year's effort and input by the pilots who attended the 1985 Women's Soaring Seminar at Airsailing near Reno, NV. Current membership exceeds 170 pilots including several International pilots.
See the Woman's Soaring Pilots Association (WSPA) Web Site here.