1997 1-26 Championships

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Practice Day -

Pilot Speed (mph)
1. Mockler 48.0
2. Tuckey 45.9
3. VonHellens 44.7
4. Ford 39.9
5. Keene 38.6
6. Cullis 37.8
7. Vickland 37.3
8. Hurni 36.9
9. Kuleza/Eptsok 36.7
10.Holloran/DeNaples 35.2
11.Clayborne/Michalck 34.4
12.Quas 34.4
13.Westbrook 33.3
14.Walker 33.1
15.Blomquist 32.8
16.Vredenberg 32.0
17.Bird 32.0
18.Gravance 32.0
19.Beatty 29.7
20.Hutchinson 27.4
21.Jousma/Schwartz 22.7
22.Havelaf 22.7
23.Peterka XX

Practice day results for 23 of the 31 contestants entered, courtesy of Mark Keene:

Here are Mark's comments:

It was a good day with lift as much as 8kt average to 7500agl. The day died somewhat early because of a windshift before a cold front passage. Not everyone attempted the 63 mile course and only one landed out.

Tomorrow is uncertain because of this front, but the weather personalities say scattered showers. We'll find out soon enough.


Day One -

Pilot Speed (mph)
1. Tuckey 47.6
2. Mockler 42.0
3. Keene 41.9
4. Von Hellens 41.8
5. Jousma/Schwartz 40.5
6. Willis 39.0
7. Vickland 38.0
8. Ford 38.0
9. Wrona 36.0
10. Gravance 34.0
11. Clayborne/Michalick 33.0
12. Peterka 32.0
13. CulwellL 31.0
14. Cullis 31.0
15. Hurni 29.0
16. Westbrook 29.0
17. Hutchinson 28.0
18. Quas 28.0
19. Walker 27.0
20. Blomquist 26.0
21. Hollaran/DeNaples 25.0
22. Barnett/Wynn 25.0
23. Bird 23.0
24. Beatty 23.0
25. Vredenberg XX
26. Kulesza/Sptsck XX
27. Havelaf XX
Well, the first contest day wasn't to be. On Wednesday the weather was marginal enough that it was declared a no contest day. High overcast, combined with a fairly dismal RAOB, and a good chance of thunderstorms, caused us to scrub the day at about 2:15. We launched the entire fleet (27 ships) for nothing. As luck would have it, after we scrubbed, the weather improved to flyable. Oh well.

Thursday's weather looked more promising, with lift forecast to be 3 kts average to over 4000' agl. Of course this turned out to be a pessimistic view of the day. CD, Charlie Spratt decided on a 90 mile course of Rio Vista, Maypearl, Frost, and return. The weather turned out to be 5-6 kt. average lift to 5500' agl.

Pat Tuckey was the last contestant through the gate at 2:53 pm. His average speed over the course was a blistering 47.6 mph. Second place was Dan Mockler at 42.0 mph and 12 seconds behind in third place is Mark Keene at 41.9 mph. Rounding out the top 5 are Bob Von Hellens at 41.8 mph and fifth is the team of Jousma/Schwartz at 40.5 mph. In the field of 27, only two did not finish the task.

The weather trend indicates hotter temperatures and improving conditions for the forseeable future.

Mark Keene #221

Here are the unofficial results for Day One: (Sorry, the FAX was smeared, some of the names were garbled and the miles per hour were illigible so I just guessed and rounded 'em down.) - Goerge Powell

Day Two -

Current Standing Cumulative Score Speed - Day 2 (mph)
1. Tuckey 1992 38.79
2. Mockler 1831 39.09
3. Keene 1792 35.66
4. Von Hellens 1777 35.00
5. Jousma/Schwartz 1773 36.11
6. Vickland 1675 35.16
7. Ford 1674 36.18
8. Willis 1602 31.00
9. Wrona 1578 32.00
10. Culwell 1464 31.00
11. Gravance 1457 28.00
12. Clayborne/Michalick 1421 30.00
13. Hurni 1413 31.00
14. Hutchinson 1369 29.00
15. Walker 1344 30.00
16. Holloran/DeNaples 1233 29.00
17. Beatty 30.00
18. Bird 1207 27.00
19. Blomquist 1028 XX
20. Cullis 1010 XX
21. Westbrook 965 XX
22. Barnett/Wynn 879 XX
23. Peterka 808 XX
24. Kuleska/Sptsck 687 XX
25. Quas 593 XX
26. Vredenburg 346 XX
27. Havelaf 163 XX

Another fine soaring day at TSA! Wind on the ground and at altitude is light. The RAOB says 5kt average lift to 6000 agl, and a possibility of no clouds. CD Charlie Spratt says it's time for a big task. The call is Hillsboro, Waxahachie dam, TSA, twice around for a total of 130 miles.

As grid time approaches, some nice clouds are beginning to pop and by launch, they're fed by 6kt thermals, but the day turns out to be more challenging than first thought. Large areas on course cycle and by 5pm a large blue hole appears midway between Hillsboro and Wax dam.

Dan Mockler had the best timing and won the day with a speed of 39.09mph. Pat Tuckey is second at 38.79. Rounding out the top 5 for the day are Kevin Ford at 36.18, the Jousma / Schwartz team (flown today by Schwartz) at 36.11 and Mark Keene at 35.66.

The weather has been unusual becuase of a stalled front sitting south of the contest area, providing east and northeast winds. We normally have south and southeast winds this time of year. The weather trend is for improving conditions and warmer temps.

Mark Keene #221

Day Three -

Current Standing Cumulative Score Speed - Day 3 (mph)
1. Tuckey 2833 36.12
2. Mockler 2824 42.68
3. Keene 2792 42.94
4. Von Hellens 2507 31.36
5. Ford 2476 34.46
6. Wrona 2470 38.29
7. Willis 2432 35.64
8. Vickland 2431 32.45
9. Culwell 2225 XX
10. Gravance 2218 32.69
11. Hurni 2184 33.12
12. Jousma/Schwartz 2095 XX
13. Hutchinson 2065 29.89
14. Beatty 2032 34.97
15. Quas 2023 31.96
16. Holloran/DeNaples 1946 30.62
17. Bird 1899 29.30
18. Cullis 1887 37.66
19. Westbrook 1709 31.54
20. Blomquist 1434 XX
21. Clayborne/Michalik 1421 0.00
22. Walker 1344 0.00
23. Peterka 1299 XX
24. Barnett/Wynn 1201 XX
25. Kuleska/Sptsck 1198 23.10
26. Vredenburg 752 XX
27. Havelaar 486 0.00

Well, day three is in the history books, and a good one it was. Lift averaged 6 to 7kts to about 6000 ft. Charlie calls a 115 mile, 4 turnpoint course with Cleburne, Ennis, Grandview and Maypearl. At the launch time of 12:20, lift is already 6kts.

Mark Keene is the first finisher, and the fastest for the day with a speed of 42.94mph. Dan Mockler is one minute behind at 42.68mph. Rounding out the top five for the day, first timer John Wrona at 38.29, Kevin Cullis at 37.66, and Pat Tuckey at 36.12 mph.

After three contest days, the top three positions are held by Pat Tuckey, Dan Mockler and Mark Keene respectively, with only 41 points separating them. As of day three, Pat has 2833, Dan has 2824 and Mark has 2792.

Day Four -

Day 4 scores were late being posted, because of the POST. The task for the day was a 3 hour POST with the first mandatory turnpoint being Hillsboro. The weather was the same as previous days, 6 to 7 kt lift to 6500 feet agl.

Most contestants started before 2:00 and soon disappeared to all parts of the task area. Dan Mockler wins the day with a speed of 42.6 mph. Pat Tuckey is close on his heels at 42.2 mph. This win by Dan changes the top two places. Dan is now in the lead by 1 point over Pat. Rounding out the top 5 for the day are: Jousma/Schwartz team (flown by Schwartz) at 41.7 mph, Bob Von Hellens at 41.5 mph, and Mark Keene at 40.2 mph.

Mark Keene #221

Day Five -

Current Standing Cumulative Score
1. Tuckey 4796
2. Keene 4614
3. Mockler 4596
4. Von Hellens 4366
5. Wrona 4243
6. Vickland 4240
7. Ford 4120
8. Jousma/Schwartz 4073
9. Willis 4052
10. Culwell 3790
11. Gravance 3767
12. Quas 3686
13. Hurni 3680
14. Beatty 3505
15. Cullis 3378
16. Holloran/DeNaples 3375
17. Clayborne/Michalak 3285
18. Bird 3251
19. Westerbrook 3113
20. Walker 3029
21. Hutchinson 3015
22. Peterka 2800
23. Kulesza/Spt'sck 2638
24. Barnett/Wynn 2567
25. Blomquist 2534
26. Vredernburg 1863
27. Havelaar 566

Day Six -

Day 6 is unanimous; we all land out. The call for the day is West, Maypearl, Rio Vista and return for 122 miles. Weather calls for 500 fpm up to 6500 and a slight chance of thunderstorms. At grid time there are only a few scattered CUs, but by launch, those small clouds are building into towering giants.

At task open time, there are rain showers scattered along the course line to the first turn. Some contestants leave early and are rewarded with fast runs all the way to West, thermalling only once. Others take the slow, roundabout way to the same result, a landout. Ships are scattered all along Interstate 35. The local law enforcement officials tell us they're not sure if it's an invasion or a mass crash. You know how stories get blown out of proportion.

As of 9pm, the winner appears to be Pat Denaples with a total distance of 47 miles. Since the scorer has gone home, the rest of the scores are uncertain, but these are close. Pat Tuckey has approximately 43 miles, Mark Keene 41, Jerry Beatty 40. Several contestants are in the 30s.

One note about today. Vern Hutchinson, flying #390, made a hard landing and damaged his ship. It has skin damage to the left wing and a twisted fuselage. Vern is complaining of some back pain, but is able to get around. He has been taken to the hospital for evaluation and observation. We'll have more info tomorrow.

Mark Keene #221

Day Seven -

Current Standing Speed - Day 7 (mph) Cumulative Score
1. Tuckey 46.03 6727
2. Keene 38.05 6317
3. Mockler 43.53 6245
4. Von Hellens 40.80 6080
5. Ford 38.24 5760
6. Jousma/Schwartz 33.48 5645
7. Wrona 38.17 5510
8. Vickland 30.68 5471
9. Quas 33.92 5387
10. Gravance 31.31 5271
11. Beatty 26.73 5250
12. Cullis 37.92 5010
13. Culwell 28.87 4980
14. Bird 28.18 4690
15. Willis 24.75 4590
16. Holloran/DeNaples XX 4520
17. Clayborne/Michalak 26.19 4300
18. Hurni 25.46 4260
19. Peterka 34.29 4250
20. Walker 21.06 4245
21. Kulesza/Spt'sck 33.76 4178
22. Hutchinson XX 3833
23. Barnett/Wynn 30.42 3813
24. Westbrook 30.26 3690
25. Blomquist 24.50 3622
26. Vredernburg 15.80 2143
27. Havelaar 16.68 1961

First things first today. Good news came that Vern Hutchison is OK. X-Rays showed no damage, but he is sore and stiff. He's on his way home.

We go into day 7 with three contestants racing for the top spot. Dan Mockler and Mark Keene are within striking distance of leader Pat Tuckey. The weather is a bit uncertain, but certainly good enough for a contest day. Charlie calls a 2 1/2 hour post.

As the gate opens, the sky looks strangely like the day before when the course blew up like a mushroom cloud and most contestants start within 10 minutes of the gate opening. It looks like a parade, but the gate works flawlessly, not missing a single one. The first group on course goes 12 miles without circling. Unfortunately, this great run is under building storms that soon shade the middle of the task area. Most run south and west to better weather, including 7kt lift to 7500agl., but it's inconsistant.

Pat Tuckey shows why he deserves to be Champion again this year, wtih a fast 46 mph speed. Conservative just isn't in his vocabulary. Second for the day is Dan Mockler with 44mph. Bob Von Hellens is third with 40.8, Mark Keene is fourth at 38.7 and Kevin Ford is fifth for the day at 38.24mph.

Final scores for the contest show a Texas Soaring Association sweep with Pat Tuckey first, Mark Keene second, Dan Mockler third. Rounding out the top five are Bob Von Hellens in fourth and Kevin Ford in fifth.

In the other award catagories, the Jack Green Award to the highest scoring contestant under thirty years of age, Kevin Ford takes the honor. The Dave Johnson trophy for the highest average score by a first time contestant goes to TSAer John Wrona. The Old Toad Trophy for the top pilot over the age of 70 goes to Jim Walker. The President's Trophy for the fastest speed goes to who else but Pat Tuckey for his blistering 47.64 mph speed on the 90 mile, first day task.

The Virginia Schweizer award for the highest scoring female pilot is not awarded this year since there were no women entered.

This year the team trophy was renamed The Mc Neill/Cuny Team Trophy in honor of Fred Cuny. Fred and Bob Mc Neill flew as a team for several years, before Bob's death. Fred was killed more recently while providing humanitarian assistance in Chechnya. The trophy was presented to the team of Jousma and Schwartz by Fred's parents Mr. and Mrs Gene Cuny.

The Spiffy Award was another hotly contested catagory this year, with four ships in the running. Bob Von Hellens with his beautiful restoration of 244, Jim Walker with "Blue Eagle" 357, John Wrona with a new "Gee Bee" style, scalloped paint scheme on 432, and Jerry Beaty with a factory original 655. In talking with the judges, it was obvious that minute details made the difference in the outcome. All four were fantastic!

This years "Spiffy" award goes to Jerry Beaty for his beautiful restoration work on 655, an E model. The restored ship looks like it just rolled out of the factory, complete with an original exterior paint scheme and original plackards. The instrument panel is beautiful too. Believe it or not, this ship was a wreck one year ago. The tail, the fuselage and one wing were badly damaged.

The contest was a great success. We had 7 days of outstanding weather that was challenging. No two days were the same. We had great task calling by the master of all CDs, Charlie Spratt. Above all, the organization at TSA, led by Marvin Willis and administered by Bick Humphries, was second to none. There are always lots of behind the scenes people that make it work. All were honored by the many comments about this being the most fun contest ever. Congratulations everyone. See you in Elmira, New York next year.

Mark Keene #221