Folks, if you ever get the chance, stop by and fly with this group. The soaring was great and even what was better were the folks from the club and the young folks who helped put on the contest. They have a very modest $30 guest fee for private owners and you need to show them your insurance before you get a tow. El Tiro is an old Stearman training base and has many runways.
The surrounding areas vary from flatland soaring conditions to mountain flying. Varied conditions can test your soaring skills. Lift can run as high as 6-8 kts on the average with lift to 17,000 ft. plus. See the SSA web page for Region 9S contest with tasks called and winning speeds. Below link is great video from Bruno who came down from UT. for a ride with US Soaring Team member Garrett Willat
During the Region 9S contest I would like to share with you the folks who came forward and really helped the US Soaring Team raise funds for the World Soaring Championships this summer. The US Team held a beer, pizza and dessert feast on Tuesday evening, May 11. John Seaborn, Gary Ittner and Garrett Willat all gave presentations on different subjects about the past Worlds. Many question were asked and a good time by all was experienced.
Wednesday morning, contest pilot Bob von Helens, came forward at the pilots meeting and offered to match up to $1000 in donations from the pilot group to the US Soaring Team fund. Thursday morning came and we had only one donation. This is where contest manager Micki Minner came in. She approached me and had an idea. See, since we didn't fly on Tuesday, she was going to refund the daily tow fee to the pilots, but what she did instead was talk to the pilot group and see if they would use those tow fees as an donation to the US SoaringTeam fund instead. Well, it appears close to 30 pilots made that donation and what a great surprise. Many thanks to all that did. Micki, thank you and Charlie "lite" for your time in helping the US Soaring Team raise needed funds.
The Tucson Soaring Club also came forward and really helped us with the beer and food feast on Tuesday night. Many thanks again to all of them. It wouldn't of happened if the club members didn't step forward. El Tiro is along way from the food stores but Tony Smolder and his trusted set of helpers stepped up to the plate for us and really helped out. Thanks TS 1. Mike, the towpilot, chef, cook and all around great guy came forth with a big effort in helping out. Many kudoos, Mike. Many kudoos to everyone at El Tiro.
Now, the final story is about a young boy. See, his father is on the World Team, Sean Franke. His son, Alex, whos 10, came forward. He helped his father crew, he helped on the line and also one other place. On Thursday morning we had only 4 Clear Nav raffle tickets sold. Well, Alex took over the sales, and by the end of the contest on Saturday, we now had 34 Clear Nav raffle tickets sold. Yep, all in cash and not one dollar lost!!! His award winning smile and smooth sales approach won everyones heart and the great Region 9 contest pilots one more time stepped in to help.
Even if we had not raised any funds, we still would of claimed success. In having young folks at our contests and having them help out and be apart of our sport is the best thing that could ever happen. See, the late Charlie Spratt, still has his golf cart with kids smiling and ridng around the airport. This is a good thing, a very good thing.
Thanks again to all who came out and helped, raced and was apart of the Region 9S contest.