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Photo #14287 | Ostrow 2018 narrow

Boyd Willat - Club Class

Photo #14294 | Willat BoydBoyd Willat was born into soaring at Sky Sailing in Warner Springs California where his parents have been the owners since 1979. He soloed 23 different gliders on his 14th birthday and started racing on his 16th birthday. Continued in the family business and got his Commercial and Instructor ratings on his 18th birthday and flight instructed in gliders and towed full time for several years. Since has flown in 10 US nationals and 3 Junior World Championships. The Last being in Narromine Australia whe he placed 9th. Outside of soaring Boyd is an Airline Captain and skydiver.

 Mike Westbrook - Club Class

Photo #14290 | Mike Westbrook vertMike is a third generation pilot that grew up around the Texas Soaring Association and currently works as an instructor for FlightSafety International. First soloing on his fourteenth birthday, earning his Silver Badge in a 1-26 that same summer and then flying his first competition in the 1-26 Championships at sixteen, the hook was set young. With over 1,500 hours in sailplanes, Mike is a Kolstad Scholarship recipient and currently holds several Texas state records and the US National Multiplace record for Free Triangle Distance with his father, Mick Westbrook. Mike won the 2017 US Club Class Nationals and his previous experience at the international level includes the 2005 Junior Worlds in Hus Bos, England, 2007 Junior Worlds in Rieti, Italy and the 2016 Worlds flying Club Class in Pociunai, Lithuania. Mike looks forward to teaming with Boyd Willat in Ostrow, Poland where Mitch Hudson will be acting as his crew.

Bif Huss - Standard Class

Photo #14291 | Bif HussMarvin ‘Bif’ Huss began his flying career in 1974 flying hang gliders. In 1978 he was a member of the US Hang Gliding Team at the American Cup. In 1979, he joined the US Navy attending flight school in south Texas. While in flight school, he obtained his commercial glider rating at Refugio, TX. In 1982, he reported to Fighter Squadron Two, based at Naval Air Station Miramar, CA, where he served as a fleet F-14 ‘Tomcat’ aircraft carrier pilot attached to the USS Kitty Hawk. After his active duty tour, he spent 10 years serving in the US Navy Reserve as an air combat instructor pilot flying the A-4F and F/A-18. While at Miramar, he graduated from the US Navy’s Fighter Weapon School, ‘Topgun’, Adversary program. After his retirement from the Navy, Bif returned to his first love, gliding. Racing sailplanes was a natural progression from his hang glider and fighter pilot experience. He flew his first sailplane competition in 2000 and in 2002, he purchased his Discus 2b. Bif flew out of the Philadelphia Glider Council glider club until 2005 when he moved back to Colorado and now flies with the Black Forest Soaring Society.  In 2015 he won the US Seniors Contest in Seminole, FL and in 2016, won the US Standard Class Nationals in Nephi, UT with his exceptionally supportive wife and crew Ceil. In 2017, he placed 2nd in the Sports Class Nationals in Mifflin, PA. Bif currently is a 787 international Captain for American Airlines based in Los Angeles. He also is an elected member of the SSA’s Competition Rules Committee.

Jim Lee - Standard Class

Photo #14292 | Jim Lee

Jim soloed a Cessna 150 on his 16th birthday and received a private SEL rating on his 17th birthday. Flying light planes became boring, but fortunately hanggliding came along and competition provided the excitement and challenge of soaring flight for 30 years.  Then the ole landing gear got worn out. So he went to work for Knut and Ingrid at Seminole Lake Gliderport, where Knut taught him everything he needed to know about sailplanes. The Seniors was his first contest in 2012 and when he placed 6th in a Cirrus on the first day, the hook was set.  His wife Kathy loves the comp scene too, and it gradually became possible to fly in several comps each summer.  He loves gaggle flying, and can’t wait to mix it up in Poland with his teammate Bif. Jim is the importer/dealer for the Phoenix motorglider from the Czech Republic and the Jonker Sailplanes JS1 and JS3 from South Africa.  He and Kathy live in Minden, NV. 

Fernando Silva - 15 Meter Class

Photo #14262 | Fernando SilvaFernando Silva recently retired as a partner of a global management-consulting firm where he led the strategic planning and corporate finance teams for North America.  He transitioned to gliders in 1978 and started racing in 1996. Fernando has served as the US Team Captain at the 2014 WGC in Finland and the 2016 WGC in Lithuania and the 2017 Junior WGC in Lithuania. As a US Team pilot, he flew in the 1st PanAmerican Gliding Championship in 2015 and will fly as a 15 meter team pilot in the 2nd PanAmerican in Argentina in December 2017 and at the 2018 World Gliding Championship in Poland. He organized and led the 2017 US Team Camp and he serves as a member of the US Team Committee. In the past, he has served as Competition Director for the Georgia-Tennessee-Alabama club race series and as the weatherman at many Regional and National contests.

Tim Taylor - 15 Meter Class

Photo #14288 | Tim TaylorTim began flying gliders in 1988 at Lagoon Valley Soaring near Vacaville, California. His early years were spent flying a Std. Cirrus from Lagoon Valley, Truckee, and Minden. He has lived in California, the Mid-West and currently lives in Logan, Utah. He has become one of the most experienced mountain soaring pilots in the US and has taught cross-country and mountain soaring courses. He entered his first soaring contest in 1990. Tim has over 2100 hours in gliders and flown in many regional and national championship contests. He has won numerous regional contests and at the national level has been the US National Champion in the 15M class (2011) and second place (2014). In addition he was the recipient of the Joe Giltner Memorial Trophy for the fastest task speed during a 15M nationals (2014). He and his wife, Denise, have two children, Elaine and Clark. Tim is a Professor of Biological Engineering at Utah State University.

Colin Mead - US Team Captain

Photo #14293 | Colin MeadeColin grew up in Vermont ski racing in the winter and racing sailboats in the summer.  He began soaring in Stowe, Vermont during his freshman year in college in 1980.  After graduation from college and a six year hitch in the US Navy joined a small telecom startup which was successful enough to allow him to earn his power rating.  He returned to soaring in 2000. In 2004 he purchased his first glider and began racing in 2006. He regularly competes in SSA Regional and the GTA Racing Series in the eastern USA. He currently is a member of North Florida Soaring Society flying out of Herlong Airport in Jacksonville, Florda. In 2015 he Colin served as assistant to Team Captain Dennis Linnekin for the 2015 WGC in Leszno, Poland. A year later was appointed as Team Captain for the 1st Pan American World Championships at Chilhowee, Tennessee.  He currently is a member of North Florida Soaring Society flying out of Herlong Airport in Jacksonville, Florida.



Posted: 2/7/2016

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