The Tennessee Tree Toppers 1996 Team Challenge was mostly a glide slide. Nevertheless, competitors were able to make four valid days from generally weak conditions. Katie Dunn reported three out of four days a lot of people were essentially diving for distance.
Sunday was pretty with wispy white cirrus against an otherwise azure sky, an indication of the widespread high pressure and stable air that would limit the longest distance to Larry Huffman's 7.35 miles.
Tuesday was the next valid day with 15 pilots flying from Whitwell to goal at The Hickory Pit Barbeque in Dunlap. The five that landed short at and near the high school included world class champion pilot Kari Castle. She commented on the turbulence and said she was "just happy to land."
Mark Furst reported wind Thursday was W at less than 10. The window opened at 1:30 and the first group launched around 2:00. The gaggle consisted of Terry Presley, Pete Lehmann, Patrick Brooks, Jeff Hannah, and Curly Dunn. Terry made it to goal at Standefer's field 19.7 miles toward Pikeville. The rest were spread out back to Curly at 8.7 miles. Nobody else got away, but some did avoid zeroing by making the three mile sled run. Friday was a glide contest at Whitwell. Saturday was called for rain. Final team standings for the '96 Team Challenge are:
1. New England Airheads 632.67 total score 2. Medi-Morphs 603.31 3. Dunn Deal 574.20 4. Nimbo Maniacs 570.7 5. Daedelus 533.32 6. Kahunas 499.42 7. Climb Idiots 406.91 8. Tailgrinders 384.61 9. Right-Wing Extremists 367.23 10. Cloud Hop Coop 340.27 11. WWB 312.44 12. Wankers 307.14
The top ten scoring pilots were Pete Lehmann, Curly Dunn, Mike Sylvia, Tom Lanning, Bob Shattleroe, Greg Dinauer, James Kolynich, Jon Woodruff, Terry Presley, and Patrick Brooks
The forecast calls for prefrontal cloudiness through Wednesday. Rain with the front Thursday. Partly Cloudy and NW Friday. If we're lucky it'll stay northerly through the weekend. See you in the sky!