The 1998 'First Annual' RES Contest
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[Pictures courtesy of Beran Peter, text courtesy of Dick Williamson - August 1998]

*** These are thumbnails of larger images for faster loading.  Click on any thumbnail to see the full-size image. 

At one of the CRRC board meetings this spring, Les Gerhardt casually mentioned that it might be enjoyable to hold a contest for gliders with only rudder, elevator and spoiler controls. Sounds good! Who is going to be the contest director? The one who spoke up, of course. So the stage was set for a small, relaxed, fun contest on July 26 at Davis Field. "Relaxed" and "fun" are appropriate adjectives, but to our surprise, the event was not "small".

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One of a few gaggles of sailplanes awaiting pilots
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A mid-day shot around the main tent

Sunday, July 26 dawned with fabulous weather, pleasant temperatures and light lift. The surprise was the number of cars rolling into the parking lot. The final total of competitors was 23 and several were entered in both 2-meter and open-class competitions. Three pilots came from New York, New Hampshire and Vermont. In addition, we had a large number of CRRC volunteers and friends who deserve a lot of credit for their help in running a fabulous event.

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Another view of the main tent area
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Mission control - 6 flight groups
ready to go!
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A future soaring enthusiast surveys
the flight line looking for lift!

And there were many spectators! Some came as a result of short articles highlighting the contest which appeared in local papers. A news photographer showed up to take photos. Because of the great weather, many cars were sightseeing along Route 117 and some stopped to see what the action was all about. I ended up handing out all of the CRRC business cards that I had in my flight box and many club application forms ended up in the hands of spectators who were turned on and serious about getting started in the hobby.

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... and it's away ...
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The line-up at the winches (everyone sandbagging like crazy!)
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A side view of a gentler winch launch
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A shot of Pete Young with his open class Meteor

The lift was light and variable so that on most flights, it was a struggle to make the 7-minute goal for flight time. That kept the event quite interesting with at least as much emphasis on soaring as on landing. My enthusiasm for the contest is partially explained by the fact that I was lucky to get good lift on many of my flights and thus kept in the running. My only previous contest was last summer at the Soar-In when my arm was twisted to enter. Previously, I viewed soaring as a pleasant hobby, which I did for fun. Competition was only for those who were "serious". I have changed my mind. Competitions are fun!

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Dick Williamson with his Paragon
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John Hayes' Aquila Grande
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Chasing the same air... no midairs!


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