1. What are your training and preparation plans before attending the upcoming 2020 WWGC?
My main preparation activity for the Women’s World Gliding Championships has been to spend this season flying the same type glider that I will be flying in Australia. Sean Franke was kind enough to lend me his LS 1F, which he is saving for his son, so that I could train and become familiar the the new airframe. Sarah, Sylvia, and I participated in the Pre-World contest in January 2019 which was an incredible experience, and allowed us to fly nearly 60 hours over the 2 1/2 weeks and train in conditions that we can expect at the worlds. The pre-worlds was also an invaluable opportunity to work through logistics and other non-flying, yet important details that are required for a successful contest.
2. If you have participated in a previous WGC and/or pre-WGC what is the biggest insight you came away with, which you plan to apply to this WWGC? I participated in the junior world gliding championships in Rieti, Italy in 2007. That site is extremely technical and challenging and I found the flying there to be quite stressful. Between that and several other nationals that I’ve flown in the meantime, I found I am most successful when I can be relaxed and just have fun. Getting worked up, stressed and anxious about the flight or the competition generally results in worse performance and slow flights. My best flights are when I can get into the flow and enjoy the beauty and magic of a long distance, fast, cross country flight. (preferably with very little thermaling.)
3. Why do you want to fly for the US Team? Representing the United States in an international contest is of course an honor, but the best part about flying for the US team is sharing the time with the two other fabulous female pilots I’m honored to be on a team with as well as share this magical sport with people from around the world..
Melanie is strictly ground crew (N1K), but is an avid lover of the sport. She is the ussoaringteams.org web master and loves new ideas so feel free to ask questions, offer suggestions, and give her additional content!