Minden Soaring Club wins world competition

Gliders in line at Minden Tahoe Airport taken by Nicholas Thomas.

Gliders in line at Minden Tahoe Airport taken by Nicholas Thomas.

The Minden Soaring Club “Cowboys” are first in the world again for the fourth year in a row in the On-Line Contest. 

The OLC is a summer, 19-weekend contest between soaring clubs around the world. Club members are scored on the fastest 2.5-hour portion of glider flights with three turn points recorded by GPS recorders. 

The combined individual pilots’ handicapped speeds are tallied and determine the winning club’s speed. In a typical week-end pilots must fly 300-500 kilometers during the 2.5 hours to win a round. Individual pilots receive a handicapped speed based on the performance of his or her sailplane.  The club speed is the sum of the three best speeds.

This year’s contest is complete and the Minden Cowboys have kept their esteemed position. The Germans named the Minden Soaring Club “Minden Cowboys” since that identifies everybody from Nevada.

The Club won the first round of 2023 and led the contest for all 19 weeks. At the end, their winning score was 41 percent greater than the second place score.

The Fédération Aéronautique International, International Gliding Commission, sponsors the OLC League Contest for clubs around the world. This year 902 clubs competed in this event. Our own Jim Payne, (Perlan Chief Pilot, temporarily in Argentina for world altitude attempts) acts as coach. 

With Temporary Flight Restrictions in place during President Biden’s visit during the final days of the contest, our pilots were forced to fly elsewhere and still managed to score the big win for the Minden Soaring Club “Cowboys.”

Again, Minden is taking the envious position largely because of its phenomenal world class soaring conditions, and highly skilled pilots.

Congratulations to our own Minden Soaring Club again for achieving world recognition.

Linda Mae Hivert is past president of the Sports Aviation Foundation. For more information visit www.sportsaviationfoundation.org


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