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Womens World Team

Photo #13806 | Womens WGC 2017


Sarah Kelly Arnold

Photo #12793 | Sarah Kelley Arnold

Sarah Kelly Arnold was raised on a farm in British Columbia, where, as a 13-year-old, she learned to fly in a single seat Quicksilver ultralight. She was instantly hooked, and thus began a lifelong passion for aviation.

In 2004, Sarah became the owner-operator of Chilhowee Gliderport in Benton, TN where she eventually met and married her husband Jason. Together they’ve worked to improve the airport, train a new generation of pilots, and host soaring camps, seminars, and contests. Sarah organized the 1st FAI Pan American Gliding Championships in 2015, and serves as treasurer on the US Team Committee. She will be a 2017 inductee into the Tennessee Aviation Hall of Fame.

Sarah’s first competition was the 2006 Perry Regionals with Charlie Spratt as CD. Five years later she won the Sports Class Nationals and earned a position on the US Soaring team in Club Class. She was the first woman to represent the United States at a WGC event in Argentina 2013. Later that year she flew the Women’s World Gliding Championships in France and took home a bronze medal.

 Team Captain and Crew

John GoodJohn Good will be in Zbraslavice as Sarah’s captain and crew.  John has tirelessly served as a member of the US Team at many World Gliding Championship events as crew, captain and as the US  team reporter.  He was the Deputy Championship director/Task-setter at the 2012 WGC in Uvalde, Tx. and brings a wealth of international rules knowledge to our teams.  John has served as a member of the rules committee and presently is a member of the US Team and contest committees.  John is an active competition pilot and flies a Discus 2 and Duo Discus.



Feminine Class Background

As part of the International Gliding Commission's (IGC) strategy to build participation in the sport new classes have been recently sanctioned to participate in World Soaring Championships. The feminine class was created in 2001. The first World Women's Gliding Championship took place in the same year.

Photo #12794 | 01 W2The 2001 1st Feminine World Soaring Championships was held in Pociunai, Lithuania. Twelve countries were represented fielding 41 participating pilots. There were three classes in this event, 15-Meter, Standard, and Club. Gillian Spreckley (GBR) won the World Champion title in the 15m Class, while Sarah Steinbeck (GBR) finished first in the Standard class and Tamara Sviridova (RUS) in the Club class.

Photo #12795 | 01 W4In the USA the Woman's Soaring Pilots Association (WSPA) was founded in 1986. The charter meeting was the result of a year's effort and input by the pilots who attended the 1985 Women's Soaring Seminar at Airsailing near Reno, NV. Current membership exceeds 170 pilots including several  International pilots.

See the Woman's Soaring Pilots Association (WSPA) Web Site here.


Posted: 4/12/2017

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