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1st Annual Sylvania Soaring Adventures Regatta

Last updated 01/26/06

The weather was great, the food excellent, and the company incredible at the 1st Annual Sylvania Soaring Adventures 1-26 Regatta held at Beloit Wisconsin, June 17,18 and 19, 2005. A total of 6 1-26’s were on the field, and 13 contestants. This was not your “normal” contest, where cross country flight at the highest speeds won, but 4 events, each with a 1st and 2nd place, plus a “Best of Regatta” award (like the Spiffy award at the Championships). Based on the feed back we have received, fun was had by all, and after the cookout, I would guess that a few pounds were also added.

The event, held over 3 days, plus a “practice” day on the 16th, was organized where you could try your hand the 4 flying events basically when you wanted to. The events were greatest single flight distance, duration, altitude gain, and short field landing. The events, with the exception of the short field landing, were basically your best score of any of the days. The short field landing was a one shot deal, where you had to declare your record attempt. But, you could have as many practice attempts as you liked.

The practice day dawned cool and dry, with uncharacteristic low humidity. The lift was very good, but the wind was rather strong and caused the thermals to be broken up somewhat. Bob Quas in 440 had an excellent flight of over 5 hours, exploring the area around Beloit and racking up a few XC miles. The other contestants had very good flights, with lots of smiling faces all round.

The first contest day, Friday June 17, started with a 10 am pilots meeting to get a safety and weather briefing. We relied heavily on Dr. Jacks Blipspot for Beloit and the predictions were pretty accurate. Again, the wind was an issue, as was a high overcast that moved in from the east. But, under the overcast Cu’s were popping and lift was reasonable. Lots of local flights were made. But, it seemed that everyone was waiting on the first pilot to attempt the short field landing, but no takes on that day. Most pilots stayed in the local area.

On Saturday, the overcast stayed to the east, but the day over-developed, the lift was predicted to be better than the days before, and this was correct. 3-5 knots were common, and there were short periods of 6-8 knot lift (and 6-10 knot sink!). At the pilots meeting, it was decided that all the ships would head out on one task, proposed by Mike Peterkin, from Beloit to Delevan, back past Beloit and over to Alburtus and back to Beloit. But, even thought the lift was good at times, it was unpredictable, so most of the pilots again stayed in the local area. Well, except for Bob in 440. His first land out was at a local grass field so he was able to aero tow back into the air. I said air, as Bob again head out to gain a few more miles. You guessed it, 440 ended up in a field later on that day, some 15 miles from home. Bob was able to get a ride back to the airport, and get his trailer for a retrieve. Everyone made it back in time for the cookout, sponsored by Sylvania Soaring Adventures, and no one went away hungry. There were a few short field landing attempts, and the favorite pastime of pilots and ground crew was being the line judge. It was a tough crowd!

By this time we were wondering about scoring, as no one was turning in their traces or logs. We did have logs of flight times, so at least we were current on that part. And, we had a few landing distances. But, the fear we had was that all data would come it at once, late Sunday, with everyone staying around waiting for the scores. But, as it turned out, we were able to start gathering data from the contestants late Sunday afternoon and still make the awards ceremony timing.

Sunday dawned the best day of all, with the bouincy shear ratio of over 60! The winds were predicted to be 2-3 knots all the way up to 5-6000 feet, with lift in the 4-5 knot range. Again, thanks Dr. Jack! Art Silverman in 286 proposed a Silver distance flight to East Troy and back, and all were in agreement that this was the way to go. The cu’s started popping early, and there was a scramble to get to the flight line. Bob Quas in 440, after his pattern tow to try for the short field landing, headed out on course, along with Art in 286. Kurt in 448 was next. All was well for the first 15 miles or so, and then the sky, which had beautiful Cu's everywhere, suddenly went blue. Bill Bently in 470 also headed out but since the day was blue, stayed in the local area. Bob made it to East Troy and beyond, and also returned later that day to Beloit without having to meet any of the local farmers. Kurt made it to Delevan just as the clouds disappeared, and then turned for home. Art was no where to be found, until a faint call was heard on the radio that he was down in a soybean field. He was all set up to put 286 on its trailer when he discovered he was about ¾ mile from a small farmers “airport” that could be used for an aero tow retrieve. So, Art and Phil, one of our loyal ground crew, pulled 286 across a couple of fields to the runway and aero towed out. The best distances and altitude gains were made on this day, and it was a fitting close to a fun event. The results were:

1st Place Flight distance- Bob Quas 440- Plaque plus $100
2nd Place Kurt Strong 448 -$50

1st Place Duration- Bob Quas 440- Plaque plus $100
2nd Place Dick Weston 635 -$50

1st Place Altitude gain Bob Quas 440 -Plaque plus $100
2nd Place Dick Weston 635 -$50

1st Place Short Field Landing Kurt Strong 448 -Plaque plus a new laminated wood skid donated by Fox Rivery Framery and Wood Creations
2nd Place Mike Hurd 251 -$50

Best of Regatta (as determined by popular vote) went to Bill Bently for his very pretty ship, 470. He received a very nice Plaque for the wall in his den. We think that his trailer also had something to do with the award. What a really neat set up, with close to one person rigging. We bugged him to draw up plans for this well thought out trailer. I don’t know if he will do this, but he should.

There were lots of very good feedback to help us with the next Regatta, planned for the spring of 2006. The unanimous consensus was that it was a very fun low key contest, and that it needs to be repeated again next year.

Many thanks to all the ground crew and tow pilots who made this event a success. Without these enthusiastic people, it would not have been possible.

Contestant List:

  • Art Silverman
  • Bill Bently
  • Bob Quas
  • Dick Weston
  • Don Corronas
  • Geoff Weck
  • Judy Ruprecht
  • Kurt Strong
  • Mike Hurd
  • Mike Peterkin
  • Pat Osbakken
  • Ray Fanchamps
  • Scott Manley