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Gary Ittner Spotlight

Gary Ittner Spotlight


Gary Ittner will complete in the 18M Class in 34th FAI World Gliding Championships Benalla Australia Gary brings the most international competition experience to the team and his knowledge will be invaluable to the rest of his teammates. Go Papa 7!

The Journey to Benalla for our competitors not only includes travel for themselves and support crew, but transportation of their sailplanes. All of our pilots this cycle are sending their ships rather than renting ones at the contest. This eliminates their need to reequip rental gliders to suit their needs and the time one must take to get familiar with rental aircraft. Flying their own ship ensures the confidence needed for the long event. All of this takes planning, efforts, and of course, expense. Team Captain, Fernando Silva facilitated much of the bureaucracy. Papa 7, Gary Ittner explains part of the process and attention to detail in his note on Oct. 25 and his photos included in this post:

“I loaded my trailer into a container this morning at Western Shipping America in Long Beach, a small warehouse that specializes in shipping motorcycles. The whole process took 2 hours, with about 1 hour of that consumed in securing the trailer solo.”

Everyone certainly wants to ensure that all equipment arrives in good shape, damage free and in a timely manner. Mother Nature, however, does not alway cooperate. 7T was en route during Hurricane Matthew and because of hurricane damage to the port at Fremont, XC and 5E are delayed a week for departure. Also P7 on the west coast was rescheduled on another ship due to operation issues. The term the shipping company uses for changes is that the cargo is “rolled” to another ship, another departure date, etc. “Rolled” that’s a scary term!

The US Teams really appreciate all of the support, financially and in-kind, that they’ve received and continue to enjoy as the journey continues.

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Leigh’s connection to soaring and competition is through her husband, SZ, for whom she’s crewed for 42 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.

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