Saturday, July 28, 2012

Good afternoon from Garner Field in Uvalde, Texas.  For those of you who don't know me, my name's Dennis Linnekin and I will serve the six pilots and eleven crew members of the US Soaring Team as their Team Captain for these 2012 World Gliding Championships here in Uvalde.  I'll be sending out blogs as often as possible to help keep you informed on the US Team as we progress through the contest.  I hope you'll enjoy them!

The US Team has been preparing for this competition literally since the close of the 2010 WGC in Szeged, Hungary.  Great effort has been expended in practice with an emphasis on team flying techniques.  Most US Team pilots met at the Chilhowee Gliderport in Tennessee earlier this year for a US Team Coaching Camp.  We were very fortunate to have Brian Spreckley as our coach for the week-long camp.  Brian was the 15 Meter World Champion in 1987 and did a fabulous job in mentoring, critiquing and improving our Team.

Our 18 Meter pilots, Bill Elliott (WE) and Gary Ittner (P7), arrived in Uvalde about six days ago and flew together several days during the unofficial practice period.  John Seaborn (A8) was next to arrive followed yesterday by Dave Leonard (ZL), so our 15 Meter guys are here, too.  Open Class pilots, Ron Tabery (SS) and Dick Butler (DB), have been practicing all week at an undisclosed location.  As you're probably aware, DB been in the flight test mode with his beautiful new ship, Concordia.  Well, today's the day he'll take off the wraps and introduce her to the world!  Butler and Tabery should be airborne now and enroute in their ships to Uvalde.  They are planning to land here together between 5 and 7 pm this evening.  As you can imagine, we're really excited to watch their arrival and have our Team complete!     

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