The Willy Burhen Cup (WBC 2015) and the Joe Patton Milestone

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September 21 was the last day of the OLC year 2015 and it is time again to review the various soaring achievements of the past season.  This was the 11th year for the WBC, a simple decentralized contest for the best XC flights on the west side of the Cascades as evaluated by the OLC.  So here is a list of the 17 pilots who posted their best XC flights of over 100 points

ranking name OLC points date sailplane airfield comments
1 Ron Clark 549.6 Jul. 19 LS-3 AWO double Cascade crossing
2 Dan Housler 489.2 Jul. 13 Cirrus 17.7 AWO  
3 Fred Hermanspann/ 435.5 Jul.14 Chinook AWO double Cascade crossing
  Kathleen McCrary          
4 Brad Hill 424.9 Apr. 4 Tetra AWO skylines points
5 Noel Wade 405.3 Apr.4 ASG-29/18 AWO  
6 Kenji O,inato 325.4 Apr.4 LS-6 Bergseth PSSA
7 Kelvyn Flavell 305.4 May 2 ASH-31/21 AWO  
8 Tim Heneghan 302.7 Apr.22 ASH-26E/18 Evergreen PSSA
9 Kevin Finke 301.6 Apr. 5 ASW-24 AWO  
10 Thomas v d Velde/ guest 296.5 Jun.14 G103 AWO  
11 Dave Reusch 180.1 Apr. 8 Std. Libelle AWO  
12 Robert Spitzer 179.8 Apr.4 Std. Libelle Bergseth PSSA
13 Chris Young 176.2 May 18 Duckhawk AWO  
14 Bruce Byrkett 122.7 Apr.8 LS-6 AWO  
15 Zach Schrempp 113.7 Sep. 7 G102 AWO  
16 Cserfoi Guyula 105.6 May 27 Discus Chehalis  
17 Daniel Dyck 102.6 Jul.23 Std. Cirrus AWO  

Note, that quite a few pilots spend only a short time flying out of Arlington (AWO) and move east for thei main XC flying.


Once more Ron Clark in his LS-3 dominated the competition posting the winning flight with 549.6 OLC points. His winning flight on July 19 lasted 5.2 hours, went as high as 11,900 feet and covered 297.6 miles for an average speed of 57.1 mph.  This flight involved a double crossing of the Cascades and also the first 300+ km triangle flown from the west side, each an achievement in itself.  And this was just 1.6 points higher than his flight on July 5 which included the first 500 km flight from the west side!

Most of the above WBC flights were made from Arlington but Evergreen Soaring is not the only club engaging in XC soaring on the west side.  Three entries came from the Puget Sound Soaring Association (PSSA) flying from Bergseth and Evergreen and there was even an entry from the Willamette Valley Soaring Association – Cserfoi Guyula made a XC flight from Chehalis.

Arlington lost its number 2 ranking in Region 8 (behind Ephrata) to North Plains/ OR and Mackay/ ID in cumulative OLC points.  However, some Evergreen members only log their flights on “skylines_project” ; if these flights were entered in the OLC, Arlington would have stayed in second place.

Another XC soaring goal for pilots aspiring to get out of pattern range from Arlington (or other nearby airfields) is the Joe Patton Milestone.  This is a flight on the west side that includes a leg of at least 50 km (32.2 miles), somewhat related to the Silver badge distance requirement.  This year there were three new entries in this milestone list:

Several pilots just barely missed this goal.  Daniel Dyck came the closest with 49.0 km during his first XC flight in his Cirrus – he probably did not even know about this list.  Having made numerous flights with up to 421 points from other airfields, his goals are now considerably higher.

   Kelvyn Flavell on May 2

   Chris Young on May 18

   Thomas v d Velde on

As usual, a lot of XC opportunities were missed because of bad or stable weather conditions, poor visibility from the record wild fires and tow plane unavailability   However, XC soaring on the west side with all of its limitations offers also unique challenges and rewards and is now an established part of the Evergreen Soaring.