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Pan American Soaring Championship

Posted: Fri Aug 16, 2019 2:24 pm
by Ivor David
I would like to recognize Jim Fryett and Stan Martin for their efforts competing in this international contest at SOSA over the last couple of weeks. Unfortunately, neither reached the podium, but that does not diminish the efforts they made to represent the club. I'm sure a contest at this level is a costly and grueling affair and we should all be thankful that they were there

Jim and Stan - well done, and thanks.

Re: Pan American Soaring Championship

Posted: Fri Aug 16, 2019 5:39 pm
by Rainer Zimm
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Re: Pan American Soaring Championship

Posted: Fri Aug 16, 2019 5:42 pm
by James Kingdon
Well said.

Re: Pan American Soaring Championship

Posted: Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:35 pm
by Jim Fryett
Thanks Ivor for your comments. Both Stan and I enjoyed the opportunity to compete in the Pan Am, it is rare that we would be able to fly in an international competition and the close proximity at SOSA made this convenient with the added benefit that we were flying tasks in an area that was familiar to us.

The competition was extremely well managed and well attended with a total of 40 pilots from Argentina, USA and Canada. Most pilots in attendance had substantial competition experience. This was a great advantage given the challenges of long racing tasks and variable weather from day to day and over the task areas. The example of these experienced pilots was a good learning opportunity and I am still digesting many of the lessons and observations. Competition requires a great deal of preparation, planning & support with each day keeping us fully occupied from early morning to evening. Preparation of the glider; gridding; pilot meeting; task analysis; launching and positioning in the start gate; flying the task; hopefully avoiding a landout; arriving back at SOSA; turning in the score file; dinner and social time; we were ready for a good night's rest as the sun was setting.

I flew 2 practice days and 9 competition days, some of which last 5 to 6 hours. Early launching in the grid often meant 40 minutes before the gate opened. With 4 pawnees, including EBI from York, the grid was usually launched in under an hour. Typically, the lift around SOSA at the start of the tasks was marginal either due to weak lift, low ceiling, high winds or a combination of all three. On a couple of occasions I was thru the start gate at 3400' MSL. Worked out a couple of times, but twice I either landed back at SOSA or lawn darted to Reid's Field where I did my own retrieve.

We appreciated the help from Dave Bax, Cole and Bruce Bishop, Mark Lightfoot and John Brake with their support as we were otherwise without crew.

Re: Pan American Soaring Championship

Posted: Sat Aug 17, 2019 9:34 am
by Jim Fryett
Special thanks to Tony Firmin. Tony was the official weather man for the contest. Every morning we received a thorough overview of the general weather conditions and specifics related to our task area. This was done through comparison of a number of sources and weather models, very helpful given the varying challenges and differing opinion in the models.

Thanks Tony

Re: Pan American Soaring Championship

Posted: Sun Aug 18, 2019 5:40 pm
by Tony Firmin
Thanks to a fast computer and Internet I was able to review several models and different analyses first thing in the morning. God forbids that any of these agree with the other, hence the need for a 'forecaster'. I gave an interview on the last Saturday of the contest to the CBC 'Fresh Air' program which I will attach for anyone who would like to hear my dulcet tones ;)

Re: Pan American Soaring Championship

Posted: Sun Aug 18, 2019 7:34 pm
by Wayne Hewison
Hi Tony;

I heard your interview live on the CBC Saturday morning. Can I have your autograph!!!

...Wayne