The 2017 Willy Burhen Cup (WBC)

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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).


 


WBC 2017


 


takeoff in Western Washington


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


no


name


 


OLC points


date


sailplane


dist.-mi


tri-mi


 


 


1


Ron Clark


 


459.2


26-May


LS-3


304.5


3.0


CC


 


2


Phil Rose/ Paul Adriance


 


448.3


26-May


DG-1000


305.3


4.0


CC  x


 


3


DanHousler


 


378.9


26-May


Cirr. 17.7


202.0


111.7


 


 


4


Kevin Finke


 


322.8


6-May


ASW-24


194.4


67.6


 


 


5


Brad Hill


 


322.4


6-May


Tetra-15


170.9


152.8


 


 


6


F. Hermanspann/K McCrary


321.4


26-May


Chinook


191.2


15.4


CC


 


7


Chris Klix


 


317.8


7-May


LS-7


176.3


89.4


 


 


8


Kenji Ominato


 


289.0


16-Jul


LS-6


173.8


85.1


from Bergseth


9


Thomas V d Velde


 


284.1


26-May


Discus


162.6


87.6


 


 


10


Tim Henneghan


 


283.6


7-May


ASH-26E


174.4


38.1


from Evergreen


11


Gyula Cserfoi


 


259.5


20-May


DG-400/17


161.3


104.5


from Chehalis


12


Dave Reusch


 


220.6


15-Apr


Std. Lib.


117.0


58.0


 


 


13


Paul Adriance/ Kensley Diehl


191.6


21-Apr


DG-1000


125.8


17.2


 


 


14


Henry Rebeck


 


176.2


9-May


LS-8/18


103.1


72.3


 


 


15


Bill Ling


 


161.8


22-May


DG-303


96.8


86.5


 


 


16


Rita Edris/ Ron Bellamy


 


155.7


15-Apr


DG-1000


85.9


66.6


 


 


17


Marty Gibbins


 


155.3


7-May


ASW-19


83.9


41.9


 


 


18


Heinz Gehlhaar/  Phil Rose


150.4


9-May


DG-1000


92.9


33.3


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


CC  - Cascades crossing


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


x  - adjusted for release