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Region 9 North - Final Contest Report

Racing Fans,

The week is finally over, and many of us don't want it to end.  We have had a SAFE and fun time racing the area around Logan and the Wasatch Mountain Range.  We also had fireworks, carnivals, and celebrations in the city to coincide with our awards banquet.  Logan, Utah was celebrating their "Pioneer Days", and we had a lot of visitors to the gliderport to watch our last day of the contest.  During the pilots meeting in the morning, we had a local Utah Pilot, Dr. John Ackerson, with a day job as an opthamologist;  arrive in time to administer the Soaring Court ordered eye exam to HH1 Patrick McLaughlin.  This order resulted from closely missed turnpoints on two days in a row!  HH1 Patrick McLaughlin then proceeded to put the eye exam tool up to his ear, and then we knew why he had the problems.

Yesterdays task was challenging.  My advisors and I sent them up and back on a simple TAT with a nominal mileage of 177 miles.  The weather forecast called weakened conditions all around, and this proved to be true.  Lynn Alley has turned out to be a very accurate weatherman.  The turnpoints were Meade Peak and then south past the airport to Monastary.  It is an actual monstary with chanting several times a day.  We were hoping that would create additional lift. 

The launch proceeded slowly as weak conditions forced us to tow to 2500ft. again.  The pilots were finding little pockets of 1-2kt thermals and scratching for all they were worth.   By the time the sports class opened, we shortened the task to 2 hours and 15 minutes.

Despite the weak conditions, most pilots prevailed and made it back home.  We had a few relites and only one early landout.  Most pilots reported that the lift quit near the end of their task, and were challenged to get down on the ridge and make it back home in time for the filet mignon final awards banquet.

It was so much fun watching the battle for top finishers at the contest.  In the FAI class, ZL David Leonard and TT Tim Taylor kept switching out for the lead.  After the last log file was entered, Tim Taylor won with David Leonard coming in second.  It was educational learning how these two great pilots made their strategies work for them, and many pilots will be watching their flight logs for a long time to prepare for future soaring at this location.

In the sports class, there is so much to report and many great flights.  However, at the end of the day, Jim Frantz quietly burned up the tasks called and proved his skill by winning over a great field of competitors.  6B never faltered, and kept in the hunt for the championship the entire week. 

The second place in sports class is worth special note.  SSB was flown by Alfonso Ossario and his students, Will Mathews, and Robert Kirmse.  The Boulder club has been the BEST about sending their club DG to Region 9 contests to "grow" the sport.  Alfonso is a great instructor, and he allows pilots to learn, and compete.  With this racing instruction going on, it is totally amazing to realize that they placed second in such a well attended contest.  If it weren't for Adam Kite flying the Jantar, the new pilot Robert Kirmse, would have won the newbie award!  (the award I give contest pilots flying in their first contest, with the most points).  Robert has been flying gliders most of his life, but only the last year in America.  Let's hope that we can keep him in America.  Make sure that when you fly with or at the Boulder club, that you tell them how much you appreciate their fostering and educating our future racing champions.

I HAVE to tell everyone about the GREAT job in sports class by another first time racing pilot, 52 Adam Kite.  The last time I saw a first time contest pilot win a place in a region 9 contest, was in 2006.  Adam worked as line crew last year, gained a partnership in a ship and his CFIG this year.  He also trained the FBO, Leading Edge Aviation owner, Scott Weaver, and the Leading Edge Mechanic and tow pilot, Kim Hall.   Imagine  going to a contest where the FBO and mechanic are both glider pilots!  Adam flew like a seasoned veteran, and proved that he is here to stay and will only get better.  All of you National contest pilots, watch out for this fellow, he will be hot on your trail.

The award for the first time contest pilot with the most points went to Adam Kite, and it was funny to have him holding two trophies at the same time, however, neither of the trophies were as big as his smile.  I also handed a trophy to the Boulder soaring club for the most attendees at the contest.  We had 10 members of the Boulder club (not including tow Pilot and Safety Officer, Bob Lynn) attending the contest.  The second club with the most attendees was Morgan Utah's Elk Mountain Soaring.  They are a small club that works really hard (and it shows) to grow the sport, and foster education.

See you at the airport,

Charlie-"Lite" Minner

Competition Director

Posted: 7/25/2010


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