We held our annual Woody contest on August 15th after a postponement of the original June 27th date. As far as woody contest weather goes, it could only have been better had it been slightly cooler. The winds were low and the clouds were few, and although that makes for great flying conditions for our lightweight woodies, it also meant little respite from the mid-day heat.
We had at least 11 contestants, including four from the Greater Detroit Soaring and Hiking Society. This is a ladder format contest which means no waiting for the next round to start. People were able to fly as much or as little as they wanted. We had two winches and two hi-starts set up, and they were in almost continuous use. At one point I counted 5 planes up in the air at the same time, and there may have been more.
There were plenty of thermals to be found, but they weren’t hat suckers. You really had to read the air and your sailplane, and be patient to get to the higher altitudes. Tim Gess had a flight of 50 plus minutes with his stretched wing Sagitta 900, which earned him the award for longest flight. Jim Martin managed a 30 plus minute flight with his Bird of Time for runner up status in that category. John Winstanley took home 1st place honors with his trusty Windrifter sailplane with nothing but elevator and rudder. He managed to complete the 15 minute rung of the ladder, which means he put in over 63 minutes of flying time. 2nd place went to Mike Wade, and 3rd went to Barney Bauer, both from the Detroit club. Both gentlemen made it through the 13 minute rung, but Mike earned a few landing points to give him the edge.
A big thank you to everyone that helped, and to all of the contestants that participated. I can’t wait to do it again next year!