Dear Fellow Soaring Pilots,
The 2015 Junior World Gliding Championship at Narromine, Australia was a pivotal point when the US Juniors finally became a competitive team!
Consider the fourth contest day: Team USA is lined up three abreast, ready to start. We shoot out of the gate, driving hard toward the beautiful thermals over the higher ground. We are pushing our Standard Cirri up to 90 knots, working the good air and avoiding the need to thermal. Boyd gets out a little ahead. No matter, he goes half a mile further into the turnpoint and we reconnect heading toward the second turn area.
The sky darkens - cirrus clouds set up ahead. Will we be able to make it around today? We tighten up our formation, gingerly considering every nibble that comes our way. By the time we make the final turn area, the gaggle coalesces. Garret and tells us on the radio that the pilots ahead are coming in hot. We drive lower onto final glide, passing others along the way. We hit large swaths of good air and finally we are redlining the gliders to scoot into the finish. We finish within a minute of each other, all within the top of the scoresheet for the day. Rock on!
Team flying is so incredibly exciting and we learned so much from the 2015 Junior Worlds! We were finally 100 percent competitive. We learned how to play the game like the top European teams and we saw how successful we can be at it!
Flash forward two years: we are now preparing for the next 2017 JWGC in Lithuania. To develop the skills we learned in Australia, we will follow a vigorous training schedule this summer that will make us the most prepared US Team to ever go to the worlds.
We will go to the US Team Camp in Cordele, and will compete in the Standard Class Nationals. In July, we will be team fly at the Junior Camp at Harris Hill. We will arrive early in Lithuania to get even more practice flying together and get used to the sailplanes.
Our goal is to put a US team member on the podium in 2017:
In order to make our goal a reality, we appeal to the soaring community to help us with the funding. We are desperately short of funds. We need an additional $12,000 to make it possible for all three of us to compete at Junior World Gliding Championship in July 2017.
Please make a contribution to the US Junior Soaring Team at www.ssa.org or by mail to:
Soaring Society of America
℅ Kathey Pope
PO Box 2100
Hobbs, NM 88241-2100
Noah Reitter Daniel Sazhin JP Stewart