Line Line Line Line Line February, 2002

Status and Plans of the US World Class and WCSA

2001: A very good year

  • The number of PW-5 in North America continued its steady growth, now reaching more than 80 (70+ in US, 10+ in Canada). Two PW-5-B1 (the new model from Bielsko1) have arrived in the US. One of these will be exhibited at the 2002 SSA Convention.
  • Attendance at the US World Class National Championship, held in Cordele, Georgia, was the largest ever, becoming equivalent to, or exceeding, attendance at other US Nationals for classes such as 18m, Open, or Motorglider.
  • Sponsorship funds, mostly from private donations of World Class supporters and enthusiasts, were raised to support full entry fees, tows, and borrowed gliders for three Junior pilots to participate in the US World Class National Championship. A very laudable accomplishment demonstrating the strong spirit and role of the US World Class community in supporting Youth and in fostering access by more pilots to the Competition arena.
  • Two US pilots participated to the 3rd World Championship of the World Class and to the World Air Games in Spain.
  • WCSA has elected a new Board of Directors: Francois Pin (President), Gary Petersen (Vice-President), Arthur Kover (Treas/Secr.), Frank Reid, Bill Snead, Conrad Suechting, Charles Yeates (Canada, PZL-Swidnick dealer), and John Duprey (Bielsko1 dealer).
  • The regular newsletter has been continued and is now distributed worldwide by e-mail to anyone interested. The Website is being restarted and "rejuvenated."

2002: Already looking like a great year

  • WCSA will be at the SSA Convention, with several activities including a breakfast event, display of a PW-5-B1, information brochures, Board meetings, fund raising, and publicity for the first America's Cup of World Class Soaring.
  • The concept of supporting Junior pilots to attend national contests will continue this year. Sponsorship funds for this purpose are growing.
  • Funding has been raised to pay for the re-instatement of the Website.
  • The sites for the 2002 and 2003 US World Class National Championships have been selected and approved by SSA: Uvalde, TX in 2002, and Harris Hill, NY in 2003.
  • For the first year, two World Class Regionals are being organized, one in the western US and one in eastern US. The prime intent is to encourage intermediate pilots to fly cross-country and to provide them more opportunities to transition to competition flying.
  • The America's Cup of World Class Soaring is being organized, with the first competition planned for Uvalde, TX, in conjunction with the 2002 US World Class Nationals.
  • Notes regarding the America's Cup (see verso): Because most countries do not currently have any regular World Class contests, the America's Cup is intended to provide World Class pilots from all over the World with a World Class contest opportunity, as well as a World Class event to "look for" in years with no World Class World Championship. Open to all qualifying pilots (not just pilots from national Teams), and possibly "travelling" from country to country, the America's Cup should foster international interaction and friendship, as well as exposure and growth of the World Class. Being held in conjunction with existing national contests, it should require no additional burden or specific organization, beyond publicizing. An optional additional day with a short, close-in race can be organized to enhance spectator appeal and possible media coverage of the sport of Soaring.

Happy and safe flights to all,
François Pin,
President, WCSA

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