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18 Meter, Open and US Club Class Nationals - Contest wrap up


Thursday's launch was delay several times.  Opens and 18M's were launched first side by side so their start gate time was 15:08, then delayed to 15:15.  Several landed back including DB with his mega wingspan. There was much discussion about a growing cell up north on/near the first leg.  During the US Club Class launch, the day for Opens and 18M was cancelled.  Further discussion between the CD and his advisor in Clubs, their task was changed to a 2 hr. TAT with 2 turns, Tatum(20mile radius) and Seagraves(15 mile radius)

Although most Open and 18M's landedsome continued to fly around and per Sean Fidler(7T), "I flew up to the first turn with DL, YO, L (Open) and a few others.  It was fine but the storm did have heavy precip and lightning.  I only "got close" but did not push it.  It was a good decision in my view to cancel but I do think the task was "possible" to fly.  Messing with large and rapidly growing thunderstorms with Lightning is not smart."
CX, Bob Faris, won the day, just passing Garrat Willat.  Here are Bob's thoughts on the day, the call, and his flight:
"With the rapidly building storm to the North, my plan was to start as soon as the gate opened and push as far to the West side of the first turn cylinder as the cell would safely allow. After driving about 10 miles West of Tatum under the black cloud shelf, there was nothing but smooth air and I turned to the East. After a couple of miles, I found strong lift and took the climb to about 11,0000 and continued to the Eastern edge of the shelf. Pushing East to the second cylinder into the blue with only a few cloud wisps resulted in only broken climbs and I eventually caught up with a gaggle past Plains that was working some sketchy lift. Even though I was under time, I felt that pushing farther into the second turn area might result in a land out, with the marginal lift that was in that area, so I turned towards home. About 30 miles out I worked a good tight core with Garret and Daniel up to final glide altitude and headed to the finish. I took one more climb to buffer the finish altitude and ended up about 9 minutes under time. The task call seemed to be about right for the conditions and I don't think we could have had a much longer task, given the day and the late start. It was a fun flight with the contrast between the strong first leg and the weak conditions on the second leg making for a good ending for a great contest."


The medalists have been posted, photographed and congratulated, but another part of the final awards banquet is the presentation of memorial trophies.  This year's presenter was our SSA Chairman and Competition director of the Hobbs Contest, Richard Maleady
The Richard C. duPont Memorial Trophy awarded to the US National Champion in the Open Class(highest placing US citizen or permanent resident)
The trophy was presented to the SSA in 1947 by Mrs. Allaire du Pont in memory of her husband, Richard C. du Pont, US National Soaring Champion in 1934, 35, and 37, and who died in the crash of an experimental military glider on Sept. 12, 1943.  In addition to the permanent trophy, each winner is presented an engraved medallion as a permanent keepsake.
Prior winners competing in this year's contest and the number of times they have won the trophy:
Ron Tabery  8
Dick Butler 6
Ray Gimmey 6
Ken Sorenson 1
Garret Willat 1
Bill Gawthrop 1
Rick Indrebo 1
Dale Bush 1          The 68th winner of the trophy: Dick Butler
The Larissa Stroukoff Memorial Trophy awarded for the highest speed on any task in the US Open Nationals
This trophy was presented to the SSA in 1955 by the late Larissa Stroukoff, wife of Michael Stroukoff, President of Stroukoff Aircraft Corp, to assist young people in the aviation education and interests.  The trophy was designed by Mr. Stroukoff himself and was originally awarded for the best out-and-return flight for the first few years.  This trophy has been awarded 58 times first to Mr. Steven Bennis in 1955.  
Prior winners competing this year and the number of times they have won:
Ron Tabery 10
Dick Butler 5
Gay Gimmey 4
Garret Willat 2
Bill Gawthrop 1     The 59th winner: Dick Butler, 90.98 mph over 307.1mi. on Day 2
The Spratt 18 Meter Trophy awarded to the US National Champion in the 18 Meter Class (highest placing US Citizen or permanent resident)
This is the 17th 18M National Championship.  The first was held in 1999 at Mifflin, Pa, where it was won by our beloved Rick Walters who tragically died on June 17.
This trophy was endowed in Charlie Spratt's name by Ray and Ruth Gimmey, who found and purchased the eagle that sits atop the base carved by Kerry Huffstutler's brother.
Prior winners competing this year are:
Gary Ittner
Rick Indrebo
Tom Kelley        The 17th winner is:  Ken Sorenson
7 Contest Days for 18M/Opens and 9 for US Club. It was consistently flyable, tho without the usual mega fast days, but no truly blow-out T-storm days.  Hobbs continues to be a treasure of a contest site.
Leigh Zimmerman

Posted: 7/4/2015


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