This past Saturday we held our first sanctioned contest since we lost our Sparta, Mi field about 4 years ago. John Winstanley is our CD. He contributed most of the effort making awards, scoreboards and the lion’s share of work that goes into pulling off a sanctioned contest. Thanks for all the work John. You did a wonderful job preparing for this woody contest!
The Clarksville area sod farm is an ideal location, far enough inland from Lake Michigan to develop very good thermal activity. This area is glider country. The setting is very rural, quiet, away from any traffic, homes, local/regional airports and most flight paths; it is an ideal place to fly RC gliders. On this day the winds were about 4-6 mph all day and the temperatures in the mid 70’s. Puffy cumulus clouds drifted over head throughout the day. My first flight was about 10:15 a.m. and lasted 19:37 seconds flying an Oly II wonderfully built by Ed Whyte.
Larry Storie drove down with his wife from Traverse City pulling his winch built on a trailer. Larry flew a stretch wing Sagitta winning first place in the ladder competition. John Winstanley took second place flying his beautiful Windrifter built by Cal Posthuma years ago. Cal is pictured holding his glider on the Skybench Aerotech website. Click on the Windrifter under the Nostalgia Contest kits. I came in 3rd flying the Whyte built Oly II. I also captured the longest flight of the day with it toward the end of the competition, 35:48 seconds, if memory serves.
We started off with 8 contestants. One dropped out early on with glider problems. We had two winches available with retrievers, a third winch without retriever and a powerful bungee cord. For some reason the bungee cord was very popular Saturday. I would say most flights were flown off bungee.
We appealed to flyers on RC Groups but without much response sadly…but their loss. This was a glider pilot’s dream day. The good news is one of the GLASS (Greater Lansing Soaring Society) members, Allen,from Lansing showed up after seeing our contest posted. These people lost their field about 5 years ago. Allen is delighted with our flying field. He spent almost the entire day watching, visiting and running the winch retriever. This sod farm is one of two the WMSS members register with the AMA and have exclusive flying rights. The other is in Hudsonville Mi. Please, any of you glider guys from Lansing, Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, MI. contact any of us listed on the “Contact Us” page for more information. Our goal is to increase members and become one of the strongest glider clubs in Michigan. Any glider flying is welcome. Larry Weller