Back in the US from his participation in the PreWGC/Champagne Cup in France, Mike shares these thoughts and pictures:
The last day of the competition served up many challenges, with half of the Champagne Cup landing out on the first leg into a 28 knot headwind. Barely avoiding this fate, I was able to complete the task and placed 13thout of 45 for the day.
I have to say that this was one of the most challenging contests I’ve flown with weather, complex airspace and a new glider. I learned a lot during the competition, which I hope will transfer to the US Team’s WGC effort in 2020. The conditions were tough with the average task being just over 2 hours long and the daily winner receiving an average daily score of only 600 pts. We often launched into a sky that didn’t look very hospitable, but we were able to squeak out a task on 5 out of the 7 contest days
I would like to thank my wife, Virginia for supporting me during the contest, Robert Koralewski and Lukasz Grabowski from the Polish team for giving a helping hand throughout the contest, Didier Leonhart for providing his beautiful ASG-29 to fly and the US Team for allowing me to represent the United States, along with everyone at home for providing support and following along.
Leigh’s connection to soaring and competition is through her husband, SZ, for whom she’s crewed for 44 years. She’s a passionate supporter of the US Teams and loves contest reporting. She currently resides in both Steamboat Springs, Co. and Greenville, SC.