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The 1-26 Championships - Day One Report

Monday, 22 June, dawned as the first practice day for the 1-26ers here in Moriarty.  Prior to launch, late arriving pilots and crews “in processed” with Marty Hudson and Sylvia Szafarczyk in the beautiful brand new pilots terminal (the city of Moriarty is really big on soaring and really wants to be the soaring capital of the world, of course Sundance Aviation and the Albuquerque Soaring Club are trying hard to help with that designation.


Marty set up her “nest”, with Race Scorer Tom Presley, and quickly established the contest land out process.   Race Director, Mitch Hudson, gave the pilots, both PW-5s as well as 1-26s, a pre launch briefing that included a practice task of Moriarty, Claunch, Lamy Junction and back to Moriarty (a task of 300K) and them sent them on the way. 


The weather was perfect “Enchantment” weather, with cloud bases at 18,000 feet and working thermals to 17,500 feet.  As one pilot stated, it was “fan freaking tastic”.  Three 1-26s, and all the PW-5s, attempted the task, the remainder of the 1-26s, that launched, chose to explore and get a feel for the area.  I was told that the flights were nice and enjoyable, very relaxing.  Good, because in two days its aerial combat and the friendships, I have been witnessing, will dissolve as the contestants try winning one of the many trophies up for grabs and the position of having bragging rights for a year.


Between flights, Bulldogs pilot, Pete Vredenberg, could be seen patrolling the ramp in his bright orange flight suit. A visitor, to the ramp, asked what the traffic cone was doing moving about the planes.  Pete gets no respect, although he is the current holder of the Turtle Award.


The evening was capped with a safety briefing, before the pilots and crews departed to explore the exciting night life of Moriarty, as you can never experience enough safety. 


Tuesday is planned as another 1-26 practice day to ready the grid for the upcoming “shoot out.”

Posted: 6/23/2009


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