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Jul 18, 2019, 10:50 AM
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Randy Reynolds's Avatar
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Who is the Champion Sailplane Flyer of the Year?


Watching the British Open this morning and the commercial certainly glorified the "Champion Golfer of the Year" and immortalized that person as a legend. Ok, that's golf with a lot of money on the line. But it caused me to think that the world of R/C sailplanes has splintered into so many venues that it isn't possible to identify one person in the US as the Champion of the sport. I'm only talking here about a National US Champion not the FAI World version.

Also our own Soaring Nationals has become watered down to the level of a fun fly ....maybe I'm wrong about that. However I have attended one Soaring Nats and more recently I competed in a Free Flight Nats in Muncie. In Free Flight they seem to honor the Nationals Champion much more than we do and the winner in certain events carries some real prestige. I would admit that the FAI world events are certainly prestige worthy however we seem to be missing the R/C Soaring Champion here in America that might energize our sport.

Part of the issue is that there are too many venues to allow us to crown one individual as champion. How about if we selected one open/unlimited Non-FAI class with mixed launch permissible and title it "The American Open". The winner is Champion. I wouldn't know about location; length of contest; administration , etc. So likely it isn't a practical idea but let me ask: Wouldn't the sport benefit from identifying a National R/C Soaring champion ??
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Jul 18, 2019, 11:31 AM
Sagitta Fanboy
Well, first you would need to define what Champion means. RC Soaring is far too broad a community to select a single guy winning a single discipline as a national Champion.

The reality is that if you crown a TD guy Champion, that's meaningless. Same if you crown a guy for DLG or slope racing.

To be a real Champion, you would need to find somebody who is at the top of multiple disciplines, be it thermal duration, electric launch, hand launch, slope, GPS Triangle, etc.

PS, the contest you suggest is a Nationals. More than anything you're asking why the winner of the Nats in a given discipline doesn't get respect as anything other than the winner of a single large contest.
Jul 18, 2019, 11:43 AM
Registered User

Interesting


Hello:
I am not sure there is a good answer to your question.
On MANY different levels.

(1) We are a BIG country, unlike Europe.
(2)Going to an event costs lots of money.
(3) Most of us have families and vacation time is for family
(4) Most of us have full time jobs
(5) Ray Hays (Wood Crafters) did a fantastic job of trying and succeeded. LOTS OF HIS TIME/EFFORT INVOLVED
(6) I know of one individual who made the "World Scene" in the 70's and I've been told, it probably cost him his marriage.
(7) It requires a LOT" of friends to help out.
(8) I think the Free Flight guys at TAFT, many years ago, came as close as any groups ever came to pulling your idea off.
(9) There are the issues of Classes, Types of Contests (TD ALES, etc). Finding CDs and scorers, etc,

I feel the best "judge" of "# one" would be the ranking of your LSF Level. I knew many years ago, there were two or three individuals (ECSS/ESL)who were working on LSF V for the third time. That is, they had completed LSF V and started over from scratch. THREE TIMES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

LSF IV and V have their own sets of issues. You need witnesses who have attained similar levels of LSF . They may not live in your area, or do not have time to witness, your local contests may have less contestants than required for that LSF Level., etc.

And this is just IMHO!
cheers
Jim




Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Reynolds
Watching the British Open this morning and the commercial certainly glorified the "Champion Golfer of the Year" and immortalized that person as a legend. Ok, that's golf with a lot of money on the line. But it caused me to think that the world of R/C sailplanes has splintered into so many venues that it isn't possible to identify one person in the US as the Champion of the sport. I'm only talking here about a National US Champion not the FAI World version.

Also our own Soaring Nationals has become watered down to the level of a fun fly ....maybe I'm wrong about that. However I have attended one Soaring Nats and more recently I competed in a Free Flight Nats in Muncie. In Free Flight they seem to honor the Nationals Champion much more than we do and the winner in certain events carries some real prestige. I would admit that the FAI world events are certainly prestige worthy however we seem to be missing the R/C Soaring Champion here in America that might energize our sport.

Part of the issue is that there are too many venues to allow us to crown one individual as champion. How about if we selected one open/unlimited Non-FAI class with mixed launch permissible and title it "The American Open". The winner is Champion. I wouldn't know about location; length of contest; administration , etc. So likely it isn't a practical idea but let me ask: Wouldn't the sport benefit from identifying a National R/C Soaring champion ??
Jul 18, 2019, 12:09 PM
B for Bruce
BMatthews's Avatar
Mawz raises a very good point. In the NFFS free flight nats the Grand Champion is a person that gets multiple wins or near top placings so their scores add up over a variety of cross interest categories to become "Grand Champion".

So to do something similar in RC soaring the folks that administer these events would need to identify a number of consistently held "national level" events in each area off the annual contest calendar and make such known so folks could plan and travel here and there.

With the FF nats all such events are held concurrently on the same field over the same days. That's certainly not so with soaring events. So a more distributed approach to identifying the events that would count would be needed.
Jul 18, 2019, 10:40 PM
Registered User
Avaldes's Avatar
There used to be a Hi Johnson trophy to the Nats participant with the most points in 2m, Unlimited and HLG.

There also used to be a Masters of Soaring event, that was very prestigious.
Jul 18, 2019, 10:54 PM
Registered User
I think John Ellias who has set several cross country soaring records in recent years would be considered a Champion. He has achieved goals few have attempted or would have the courage to try. The Muncie “Nats” are anything but a “Championship”. They are at best an eastern regional competition.
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Jul 19, 2019, 02:38 AM
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Randy Reynolds's Avatar
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Our local free flight club does crown a Grand Champion in their two major meets....and nobody has more event types than free fighters! I realize there are many classes of sailplanes and it would certainly be impractical to select just one. Also Joe Wurts has emigrated out of the US :0)

If we had the Nationals as it used to be it might have been possible to name a Grand Champion. I suspect our sport would benefit from that..
Jul 20, 2019, 08:08 AM
The Mr. Rogers of RC soaring
rdwoebke's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Reynolds
If we had the Nationals as it used to be it might have been possible to name a Grand Champion. I suspect our sport would benefit from that..
Why do you think the sport would benefit from that (and how) and what do you mean by nationals as it used to be?

Ryan
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Jul 20, 2019, 06:03 PM
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Randy Reynolds's Avatar
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Ryan I think the answer to the first half of your question is self evident.

The Nationals as it used to be meant that if you were a National Champion back in the day you were held at a level of respect and had some notariety. Itís not the same any more and perhaps this is associatedre well with the decline of LSF and NSS as well. To a degree that has been replaced by the winners of FAI world champions in various events and of course their attainments are worthy of respect. However with some exceptions those events take place in other countries and in many cases donít get the national coverage they deserve.

I suppose my position is one of nostalgia that is impractical these days. Just the same as other posters have mentioned past comps that might have signified greatness at a national level have faded away perhaps for good reasons. Iíll just keep building my little F3-RES sailplanes to fly in an event developed in another country.

Randy
Jul 20, 2019, 07:19 PM
Registered User
R.M. Gellart's Avatar
Randy, I totally agree with ya! Our lives sound on the same track, I built my first F3RES a bit back this spring. It is the first 2M I have enjoyed in decades.

Marc
Jul 20, 2019, 07:20 PM
turn, turn, turn.
A national champion today should be held in just as high a respect as a national champion from any other year.

It is an open competition and anybody can enter.
Jul 21, 2019, 07:59 AM
The Mr. Rogers of RC soaring
rdwoebke's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Reynolds
Ryan I think the answer to the first half of your question is self evident.
Letís pretend for a moment Iím not smart enough to see something self evident (for most of your opinions of me that isnít much of a stretch). Why/how do you believe our sport would benefit from naming a single grand champion?


Quote:
The Nationals as it used to be meant that if you were a National Champion back in the day you were held at a level of respect and had some notariety.
When was this day and why is it different than today?


Ryan
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Jul 21, 2019, 11:44 AM
Registered User
Larry Jolly's Avatar
Ryan
The Fact is what is different today is the lack of acknowledgement of achievement by the LSF. We have wonderful awards established by the founders of our Hobby. By my interpretation the Soaring Champion is the winner of the Hi Johnson Award.
The issue is that for Too long the LSF management did not promote the Champions of the sport. To the point that a former LSF President referred to Achievers as Elitists. It would be worthwhile for the LSF- Nats Management to revive the practice of the Awards Banquet and Promote the Nats Champions and the already established Special Award categories.
Larry Jolly
Last edited by Larry Jolly; Jul 21, 2019 at 12:16 PM.
Jul 21, 2019, 01:20 PM
Registered User
I'm with Larry and S 2000.

So, a former LSF pres referred to Achiever as Elitists? I guess that makes me an old Elitist! And here I thought I was just an old fart.

JDK
Jul 21, 2019, 01:34 PM
Registered User
, I remember early on that large scale sailplane Pilots were labeled elitists. Some thought we poo poo’d anything under 4 meters as not worthy.
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