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2017 15 Meter, Open, and Standard Class Nationals - Such a good day

We had a really good launch today with a great background of fluffy clouds. First launch was at 12:29 and by 1:40 they were all flying. Last gate opened at 2:04 for Open Class and off they went.

After the launch we welcomed some of our local sponsors for rides in the ASK-21 and they had a blast. It’s always impressive to see the smile someone has after their first glider ride!

Another great surprise for today came from two guests that arrived in Cordele and decided to help us with our operation: they are two great young men, 16 and 21 years old. One is from GA from the same club as our CD (Southern Eagles) and the other one is from Houston. Both of them are sailplane pilots and they decided to visit with us to observe the contest and give us a hand as needed.

It is so refreshing to see so many young people as we have here now taking an interest in soaring, absorbing all this information during our meetings and enjoying being around the more experienced pilots. We have 10 “kids”, all passionate about flying, either pilots or students themselves – they are either running the line or, the older ones, towing. Watching them these last few days makes me think sailplane racing has a future!

About 3:40 pm our retrieve office received a call from JA who landed out at Tifton. He was safe and his crew, 17 years old Gage, went to retrieve him.

In the meantime, his wife, Sarah, was flying with Mark Huffstutler (MH) in his very nice two-seater giving him some tips on how to fly and win in a world competition. Yesterday she flew with Pete Alexander who received some great instruction and we heard tomorrow she will be flying with Roger Buchannon (R9). It seems that it pays off to have a nice open class two-seater! 😊

As we were leaving after our very lovely dinner this evening we saw 8 colorful balloons ready to be launched in Cordele for the local Watermelon Festival. We drove across the street to check them out and we found one of our own handling one of these beautiful machines – Mike Solley (MS) was there giving some very interesting explanations on how they fly. We learned that they will be here for the weekend, either giving rides or anchored for visitors to observe.

All in all, today was a good day and tomorrow should be even better.

Don’t forget to check the SSA Facebook page for live updates from the grid, you can find the link on the SSA home page.

Good night y’all!


Posted: 6/9/2017


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