What a disappointing year for the 1-26 Sweepstakes program. Less than 100 flights were submitted by only 15 pilots. And there were ZERO Bronze entries. I don't know whether it was the weather or just a lack of interest in the Sweeps this past year.
The usual cast of characters in the Diamond Class improved their scores from last year with Ron Schwartz leading the pack at 2117 miles, followed by Hangman Levy with 1997 and Garry Dickson with 1626. Nice to see Cap'n Zap (aka Jimmy Zapata) logged a flight, too!
#1 Doug Levy
#2 Garry Dickson
#3 George Powell
#1 Bob Hurni
#2 Andrew Askwith
#1 Ron Schwartz
#2 Paul Leal
In the Gold Class, Western Division, Jim Neff continued his first place standing from 2015 and 2016 with 1,759 miles, up over 500 miles from what he flew in 2016 and at 18 flights, the most flights logged in the 2017 Sweeps. Lane Decker was the only other pilot to log flights in the Gold Class with two flights totalling 398 miles.
#1 James Neff
#2 Lane Decker
In Silver Class, Steve Barry continued as the only entry in the West Division increasing his total to 1019 miles for 2017. Pete Vredenburg led the Central Division with 270 miles while Dan Bryan had 118 miles for second place and Stephen Layton logged a 51 mile flight for third place. Robert Herren was the only pilot to log flights in the East Division this year for a total of 136 miles.
#1 Steve Barry
#1 Pete Vredenburg
#2 Dan Bryan
#3 Stephen Layton
#1 Robert Herren
There were no entries in the Bronze Class.
2017 was a very disappointing year for the Sweepstakes. The complete lack of any Bronze level flights is a reflection on all members. NOBODY took the time to mentor a new 1-26 pilot and get them to log any Sweepstakes flight. It is SO simple to log your Sweeps flight after entering your OLC flight!
The huge decline in Sweepstakes participation in 2017 is not a good sign for the program. I would be tempted to recommend cancelling the Sweepstakes for 2018 but Dan Nezgoda is preparing to announce a new trophy program that could re-vitalize the Sweeps. Stay tuned. To all who did participate this past year, Great flying! Let's be sure to have a safe and fun 2018 in our 1-26's!