The 2017 version of our West Michigan Soaring Society Woody Contest was a success for sure, albeit a very windy one. Morning broke with several campers having overnighted at the field and the wind building. The sun shone upon us as 17 contestants turned out on Saturday for the contest. “Downwind” was once again our CD for this AMA Sanctioned event which was held at Walter RC Park in Saranac, MI. This is a dedicated RC park operated by Dave Walter and should be the envy of everyone in any aspect of the hobby.
The pilots meeting began at 9:30 am with many pilots eager to get their planes up as soon as possible as the winds were in the teens already and promising to build under a beautiful, cloud dotted sky. Launching was fast and furious with a lot of folks lining up for the high start given the conditions, although the club winch and a OneWinch were also in use. With the “Ladder” starting at three minutes, given the wind no one was guaranteed making times. Throughout the day as the winds continued to build no one was able to get more than their 9 minute task although there were a few close to the 12 and the longest flight of the day being a little over 11 minutes. Dave Walter fired up his grill and prepared some burgers and dogs along with all the trimmings, sides and beverages for lunch. After the impromptu lunch people continued to launch with the wind building and gusting into the low 20’s. Around 3:00 we shut down for the day and awarded trophies (pretty cool if I do say so myself, with thanks to Randy Johnson for his help in providing them) for the day with winners in both Open and Senior classes as well as longest flight. At that point lies were exchanged and planes were packed for the day.
Sunday morning dawned and was particularly cool for the end of June, definitely cooler than the day before and the wind was building over what we had on Saturday. The turnout was smaller but we had enough brave souls to continue with day two of the event. The “Ladder” started and as the day progressed so did the wind. I don’t believe anyone was able to get beyond their 3 minute task and due to the ever increasing wind, the contest ended around lunchtime and again trophies awarded.
Overall we had a great turnout, a lot of fun, and a lot of flights. The carnage was kept to a minimum despite the wind. This style of event is proving to be popular and we were able to draw in pilots from the surrounding area, next year should certainly improve upon an already awesome event.
Thanks to everyone who participated whether it was flying or shagging and retrieving chutes, and to those who traveled to be with us. SEE YOU NEXT YEAR!!!