The 2017 Junior Camp and Contest has ended. It was run simultaneously with the Region 3 competition in Elmira.
The Junior event was for pilots under the age of 26, regardless of experience and if the pilot has a silver badge or its equivalent, he/she was eligible to fly in the handicapped sports class. The lesser experienced were welcomed to hone their techniques and fly in 2 seaters with some very experienced competition pilots such as Hank Nixon, Karl Striedieck, Andy Brayer, Dave Wells, Roy McMaster and Sean Murphy with Hank serving a chief pilot instructor. Tim Welles stepped up as the Competition Director the events. One of the goals of the junior program was to fund the entry fees and tows for the competitors. The Rick Walter’s Memorial Junior Scholarship fund, based in Minden, provided 2 tows per junior pilot.
“Over the first few days we have had enough mentors and gliders to fly almost all of the “2 seat” juniors each day. The way we do it is that we fly a short “contest” cross country flight of about 1-1/2 hours for each pilot. We do 2 juniors per mentor each day. Monday had 4 ASK 21’s and 2 Duo Discus’s. This is a great group and they are learning a lot. We do a daily training course on basic XC and contest flying. On July 4, 4 juniors stood up as having done their first ever cross country flights and 5 stood up as having made their first contest finish. We have 2 young ladies, one in 2 seat and one in the Junior Regional…….” Hank Nixon
“Each day ends with a bonfire or other group gathering to wind up a great day. These young people are having a great time. We’ll be doing this again – for sure.” UH, Hank Nixon
“The US Junior Team has been getting useful practice and is a major reason this event is happening.”, Uncle Hank continued. Organized by JP Stewart, fellow teammates Noah Reitter and Daniel Sahzin are team flying in preparation for their upcoming trip to Pociunai, Lithuania for the Junior WGC. Check out the score sheets!
Harris Hill boasts and very healthy Junior Program with a long history of involvement in competitions at its location.
From Janine Acee on the Region 3 contest results page:
“It is a decades old tradition for the Harris Hill Juniors to pull a prank on the Seniors during the contest. You might recall that two years ago it was hundreds of plastic spoons in W3’s and HW’s trailers. And of course there is the taping and toilet papering of Andy McQuigg’s trailer, a prank that will live on in infamy. But this year’s group of Juniors are not about to be outdone. This morning, John Bird’s Russia [AAN] was found assembled in the HHSC Flight Center! Quite an impressive sight and the pictures don’t quite do it justice. I think there is maybe a foot between the wing tips and the corners of the room. Take a look on the SSA or HHSC facebook pages.”
Indeed there is a lot of information and pix on the Harris Hill Soaring Corporation Facebook page. Enjoy these attached pix from the very talented Bo Michalowski who so generously shares her work with the soaring community.
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.