During the fist week of June, twelve 1-26s, thirteen eager pilots and fourteen loyal crew-persons rendezvoused
at Jean, Nevada for Goal Strike 2000. This was the eleventh year that the friendly folks from the Las Vegas
Valley Soaring Association have hosted this fun event. Goal Strike provides a unique opportunity to earn FAI
badges, complete long distance cross-country flights, team fly, gain valuable crewing experience and share in
the camaraderie of 1-26ing. Other inducements for pilots and crews to attend abound, such as: the Vegas Strip,
Boulder Dam and the historic Pioneer Saloon at Goodsprings. This year Goodsprings was awash in movie folk filming
a movie called The Mexican with Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts.
With the exception of a couple of windy days during the middle of the week and one small incident on Haul Road,
this year's meet was a success. One silver badge was earned, hundreds of sweepstakes miles were logged and a good
time was had by all. Here are just a few of the highlights:
SATURDAY, June 3:
Doug Levy, Garry Dickson and Joedy Gregory set the pace by flying 113 miles northwest of Jean. All three 1-26s
landed at Fran's Star Ranch (currently under new management, doing business as "Angel's"). Meanwhile, back at
the airport, Wayne Walker and Merle Clements completed their BFRs in the LVVSA 2-33 with Ralph Biesmeyer
SUNDAY, June 4:
Jim Sweet earned his silver distance badge in 1-26A #446 which he rented from the FBO. Jim flew north from Jean
across Mt. Potosi to a private strip near the Chicken Ranch in the Parump Valley. Jim enjoyed flying #446 so much
that later in the week he bought the bird from the FBO.
Doug Levy and Garry Dickson flew southeast toward Arizona, crossed the Colorado River at Laughlin and landed at
the Kingman airport, 96 sweepstakes miles from Jean. Because of their deep concern for the health, well-being
and morale of their crews, Jimmy Zapata and George Powell flew to Laughlin, took turnpoint pictures and returned
to Jean, thus eliminating the inconvenience of de-rigging in 100+ degree temperatures. Altitudes above 14,000'
were reported during these flights - just to keep cool. As the swarm of four 1-26s was approaching Laughlin, Bob
Hurni and his crew, Jim Armstrong were crossing the Colorado River driving toward Jean. They were given a hearty
welcome and were able to provide valuable advice and guidance over their crew radio.
MONDAY, June 5: (First official day of Goal Strike).
Each year our fearless leader and Goal Strike organizer, Del Blomquist, designs the official shirts. It is his
tradition (often for good reason) not to disclose the color of the shirts until he hands them out at the first
pilot's meeting. To the relief of all present, this year Del chose sensible and patriotic colors: white shirts
with red and blue trim.
Garry Dickson won the coveted "Captain Monkey" trophy and "Hang In There" certificate which are awarded to the
pilot who makes the longest flight of the day. Garry flew northwest 162 miles and landed on a road north of Lida
Junction near the east rim of Death Valley and west of Area 51.
Lane Decker was the first winner of the "Downed Duckling" award. This cute little yellow duck is awarded to the
pilot who makes the off-field landing closest to the airport. Lane took one and a half hours to fly #050 to Haul
Road -- a distance of approximately 5 miles (do your own math).
TUESDAY, June 6
Garry Dickson won the Captain Monkey award for the second day in a row with a 176 mile flight to a road north of
Goldfield. Bob Hurni made it as far as the Goldfield airport.
Wayne Walker and Steve Whiting engaged in a stiff competition for the Downed Duckling award They both landed on
the Jean Dry Lake, which is just over the ridge about a mile northeast of the airport.. Through clever maneuvering
and some crafty tactical advice from his crew, Merle Clements, Wayne managed to land a few feet closer to Jean,
thus edging Steve out by a few feathers. Both took aero tows off the dry lake. Later, Steve set a new Goal Strike
record by landing out again without an intervening landing at the airport. His second off-field landing of the day
was on Haul Road.
Another of Del's traditions is "Shirt Night," where all hands are required to appear wearing their new Goal Strike
shirts. This year "Shirt Night" was held at the Pioneer Saloon where Goal Strike history was made when it was
discovered that Goal Strikers had drunk the bar dry.
One possible explanation for this unprecedented happening is that earlier in the day, Del tried to high jump #144
over two gate posts alongside Haul Road and landed on a large rock which punched a huge hole in the middle of
144's right wing. Nothing like a dinged wing to create a powerful thirst, eh Del? Repairs are currently underway.
However, chances are slim that #144 will be seen at the Y2K Championships in July.
WEDNESDAY, June 7
A frontal passage caused strong winds to blow through on Wednesday which made it difficult to get out of the Las
Vegas valley. Jimmy Zapata confronted this problem head on by taking a 6,000' tow (the norm at Goal Strike is 2K)
to the top of Mt. Potosi, where he immediately plunged to a landing on the desert floor below, thus distinguishing
himself as: (a) the only pilot to leave the valley; (b) the only pilot to land out; (c) the only pilot who
caused everyone on the grid to gnash teeth while waiting half an hour for the tow plane to return; and (d)
the winner of three awards: (1) Captain Monkey, (2) the Downed Duckling and (3) an Upgrade from AC (Airline
Captain) to CA.
THURSDAY, June 8
Powerful west winds made Thursday a perfect day for sightseeing. Jim Sweet was the only Goal Striker to fly that
day. Jim outfitted his newly acquired #446 with an oxygen system and made two valiant attempts to earn an altitude
badge. In spite of his heroic efforts and the application of vast local knowledge on the part of tow pilot, Al
Gough, Jim was unable to contact the elusive wave.
During an earlier visits to the Pioneer Saloon, the Unofficial Mayor of Goodsprings, Tom Bean, presented Goal
Strikers with a bright orange windsock beautifully decorated with a Chevron logo for our use on Haul Road. The
remainder of Thursday was well spent erecting a suitably engineered support for our newly acquired meteorological
marvel and quenching thirsts at the Pioneer Saloon.
FRIDAY, June 9
Garry Dickson and Jimmy Zapata probably would have made it to Tonopah and beyond on Friday, if Hawkeye hadn't
gone down in the boondocks. I got low between the Sandy Valley airport and Hidden Hills and had to land #198 on a
small dry lake in the middle of nowhere. Thank heaven for GPSs and good radio communications -- or I might still
be sitting out there in my glider. Garry was heading north toward Beatty when he relayed my coordinates to my
crew, Jim Sweet. Jimmy Zapata landed Tweety on Highway 160 and he and Ron Crawford derigged and came to help
with the rescue. The retrieve took well over three hours, much sweat and Jim's expert 4 wheel driving where no
roads existed. Many thanks to all. After turning around at the Cinder Cone Mine, Garry still logged
a flight of 157 miles, which again made him "Sky King" and the Captain Monkey winner for the day. Bob Hurni and
Jim Armstrong headed home toward Phoenix and flew #382 as far as Kingman. Lane Decker flew #050 toward San
Diego. He made it as far as California, landing on the dry lake about 6 miles south of Whiskey Pete's. Wayne
Walker recaptured the Down Duckling award from Jimmy Z by landing at Haul Road -- allegedly for the purpose of
testing the accuracy of the newly installed wind sock.
SATURDAY, June 10
With the wind blowing from the south, Garry Dickson decided to fly home to San Diego via Tonopah and points north.
This was his longest flight: 213.7 miles. He landed 20 miles north of Tonopah where he surprised two antelope
leisurely grazing beside the road. Garry had flown over 900 Sweepstakes miles at Goal Strike XI. He arrived home
in San Diego about 3am on Sunday.
SUNDAY, June 11
Jimmy Zapata was the last Goal Striker to leave Jean. Conditions had deteriorated causing him to land on
Interstate 15 between two 18 wheelers - but that's another story -- for another issue.
Thanks again to all you wonderful folks at the Las Vegas Valley Soaring Association! You are the greatest!