Greetings from the Parowan, Utah airport! Having arrived among the early birds on Friday, it has been fun to see so many friends roll in over the weekend. This Sports Class Nationals includes one world champion (Doug Jacobs) and many legendary pilots, U.S. Team members, national champions, etc. It’s clear that Sports Class isn’t just an “entry class” any more. And don’t forget all of the Club Class ships – Uli Neumann with GM Libelle 301, the Frankes LS-3s (are they twin ships? I haven’t looked up closed yet), a Jantar Std., our SZD-55, and more.
Many of our great friends are already here, favorite SCUM members, and more are expected over the next days. So when I tell my co-workers that I am spending MY summer vacation camping on a dusty airport in southern Utah, I suppose that is not the whole story. This is a camp of soaring gypsies, some of whom spend nearly all summer on the road doing just this. Some of them are new at it, just figuring the whole thing out. Some have been competing since the 60’s. It’s hard to explain why any of us (but SCUM in particular) want to do this – spend our free time on some remote and often dusty airport, supporting pilots who think racing engineless aircraft around all afternoon is the best fun there is. Apparently, I agree with them. This is a great sport, because of the great people in it.
We also remember and carry on in memory of those friends who are no longer with us, from Charlie Spratt and Lite, to many pilot friends we have lost due to illnesses or accidents. No contest will be the same without them, and we keep on racing with them in mind and heart, always.
We will have our first practice day on Monday, though many flew today. My pilot had a good flight on Saturday, so we took today off to get ourselves organized.