The 2017 Willy Burhen Cup (WBC)

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

September 24 marked the end of the OLC 2017 year and thus the end of this year’s WBC competition.  This is the annual competition to prove that XC soaring is possible and actually quite competitive on the “wet” side of the mountains.

Generally soaring on the west side of the mountains in 2017 was somewhat disappointing – first we had record  rains during spring time, then a very hot summer with unusually stable conditions, and finally extensive forest fires with firefighting TFRs and badly compromised visibility.  All these combined to make the 2017 flight season less impressive than in previous years.  This applied also to the east side and made this a less rewarding year for XC soaring in the whole state of Washington.  Now, that the OLC 2017 is closed it is time again to compare the best flights from the west side, i. e. the Willy Burhen Cup..

Despite the less than optimum conditions some remarkable flights were made. Once more, Ron Clark confirmed his leading position by winning this year’s competition with another pioneering flight – the first soaring flight from Arlington to Walla Walla (including another Cascade crossing).  He carefully prepared this flight with SPOT tracker, several GPS loggers, enough water and survival gear and sleeping bag? and made the flight in 5.5 hours.  It was a boost for the newly started Walla Walla glider operation that hopefully helps to establish it as another Washington state gliding center.

Phil Rose and Paul Adriance also made it over the Cascades on the same day and got almost the same OLC points.  Actually, the OLC gave them more points but this was another case of the OLC flight optimizer mistaking the takeoff point for the release point so the quoted OLC points below reflect an adjusted value.

The best flights of each pilot are summarized in the table below (for flights with over 150 OLC points).  It shows that May 26 was one of the few days with good thermal conditions – 5 of the pilots got their best flights on this day and there were three Cascade crossings (the only ones from the West in 2017).  Most flights originated in Arlington and despite the poor weather Arlington regained its position as the number 2 XC soaring center in Region 8 (behind Ephrata and ahead of Twisp).

 

place

name

OLC points

date

glider

dist -mi

tri -mi

1

Ron Clark

459.2

5-26

LS-3

304.5

3.0

2

Phil Rose/ Paul Adriance

448.3 x

5-26

DG-1000

305.3

4.0

3

Dan Housler

378.9

5-26

Cirrus 17.7

202.0

111.7

4

Movses Babayan

336.1

5-7

G102

200.4

75.8

5

Kevin Finke

322.8

5-6

ASW-24

194.4

67.6

6

Brad Hill

3.22.4

5-6

Tetra-15

170.9

152.8

7

F. Hermanspann/ K. McCrary

321.4

5-26

Chinook S

191.2

15.4

8

Chris Klix

317.8

5-7

LS-7

176.3

89.4

9

Kenji Ominato

289.0

7-16

LS-6

173.8

85.1

10

Thomas V d Velde

284.1

5-26

Discus

162.6

87.6

11

Tim Hennegan

283.6

5-7

ASH-26E

174.4

38.1

12

Gyula Cserfoi

259.5

5-20

DG-400

161.3

104.5

1`3

Dave Reusch

220.6

4-15

Std Libelle

117.0

58.0

14

Paul Adriance/ Kensley Diehl

191.6

4-21

DG-1000

125.8

17.2

15

Henry Rebbeck

176.2

5-9

LS-8/18

103.1

72.3

16

Bill Ling

161.8

5-22

DG 303

96.8

86.5

17

Rita Edris/ Ron Bellamy

155.7

4-15

DG 1000

85.9

66.5

18

Marty Gibbins

155.3

5-9

ASW-19

83.9

41.9

19

Heinz Gehlhaar/ Phil Rose

150.4

5-9

DG 1000

92.9

33.3