Glider tournament wraps up in Minden |

Glider tournament wraps up in Minden

Staff Reports

Participants in a weeklong glider tournament were literally riders on the storm this week as they rode the winds ahead of Carson Valley’s thunderstorms.

Gardnerville resident Gary Swift said 18 pilots competed in the annual 1-26 Championships which were held for the first time at Minden-Tahoe Airport.

Unlike the gliders Carson Valley residents are used to seeing, the Schweizer 1-26 gliders were all built between 1954 and 1979 and have short, stubby wings and conventional tails.

Swift said they are built from steel, aluminum and fabric, and are quite often painted in colorful schemes.

The last day of competition on Wednesday started well, Swift said.

“Everyone was up against cloud base with full spoilers, just waiting for the task to open,” he said. “Once it opened, they quickly shot to the first turnpoint on the Pine Nuts, then headed north to the second turnpoint at Rabbit dry lake (just west of Silver Springs on the south side of Highway 50).”

By the time they were heading for the final turnpoint over the Pine Nuts the storm had developed over the airport.

Only two people squeaked in after completing the entire task,” Swift said. “Six people ended up landing away from the airport – three at Silver Springs, one at Rabbit dry lake, and two in Smith Valley when they got stuck on the east side of the Pine Nuts. The rest landed back at Minden without completing the task.”

The group held its awards breakfast at the Carson Valley Inn on Friday.

The team of Daniel Sazhin and Ron Schwartz took first place in the tournament. Second place was C. Robert von Hellens.

To learn more about Schweizer 1-26 sailplanes, check out