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Standard and 15 Meter Nationals - Trivia...When Men Were Men and Crews Drove Fast

How many attempts at the task was a pilot allowed?
As many as you – and your crew – could fit in the day.  Didn’t matter if you landed out, you could try again.  Unlimited relights.
Back then every pilot had crew and they were on the road every day.  Crews would drive to the middle of the task area, or halfway down an O&R course, or follow along on a free distance run.  They needed to be as close as possible to their pilot so they could quickly retrieve him and get him back in the air asap.  For the 1970 Nationals, pilots were also allowed to relaunch from Schweizer Soaring School down in the valley, and many took advantage of that as it was quicker than driving back up to the Hill.
Each pilot had his own “secret” code for the turnpoints so he could radio back his position to the crew. (e.g.,  A2, Red5, BrownFox.)  If the crew lost radio contact with their pilot they would make a person-to-person call back to the contest office to check status.  If your pilot was down the office would accept your call and give you the retrieve info.  If your pilot was still in the air, your call would not be accepted.
You can imagine how tiring this routine would get after a few days.  Thus, the concept of a Rest Day, so both pilots and crew could recharge.
Next trivia question:
Name two physical fixtures that were part of Harris Hill during the 1970 Nationals but no longer exist?

Posted: 8/3/2015


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