I'm not going to be as coy as Bill!
Bill McLean WON the Sportsman Category competition at the Snowbird Classic. He did that in a RV-4, competing against a field of purpose-built aerobats, including an EXTRA (really two EXTRAS as it was being flown by two pilots). So, Bill went out and showed what an RV, flown by a well trained and well prepared pilot can do. There's just nothing like an inverted spin in a RV-4 to impress the judges! Congratulations Bill!
Here's a picture of Bill's ride on the line in Dunnellon.
Ron Schreck flew some amazing sequences and Miss Izzy impressed anybody that visited the flight line. I also owe a huge debt of gratitude to Ron for being my mentor before and during the contest. I doubt I would have entered a contest without Ron's help.
The two Primary category competitors, Curt Sullivant (RV-7) and Mark Wesson (RV-9) ruled the primary category. And, again, did so in a field of purpose-built aerobatic airplanes. I'm working on memory but I know that Curt won Primary overall and Mark was in the medals.
So, there you have it. RV's brought home FIRST PLACE in two of the three categories of competition at the Snowbird Classic! Congratulations again to Bill and Curt.
Snowbird was my first contest. It was an amazing experience. I was in pure learning mode practically every minute. I flew the Sportsman Known sequence three times (no Free), choosing to keep it simple. The weather, winds, and other factors made each flight unique. I was happy just to complete all three without getting kicked out of the contest! I also got great experience while assisting the judges and learned a lot about how a contest is conducted. It was, start to finish, a blast!
I'd want to encourage any of you reading this to give aerobatic competition a try. If you can fly the very basic aerobatic maneuvers in your RV, you can compete, AND be competitive. More importantly, though, you'll you meet some amazing people, learn a lot about how to fly aerobatics, and just generally have a great time. Don't let the appearance of complexity discourage you from giving it a go. Just take the first step. Once you sign up as a first timer, you'll get more help and assistance than you can imagine. Join the IAC, register for a contest, and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime. I'll be happy to give you the benefit of my experience and can help you get in touch with others, far more experienced and knowledgeable, that can fill in where I'd fall short.
Take your RV flying to the next level! Help us break the RV contest record set at Snowbird. We need at least SIX at the next contest! Don't let aircraft or equipment factors hold you back. I showed up without a parachute and with a carbureted engine. No problem. I borrowed a parachute (thanks Bill) and was the only contestant competing simultaneously in both the powered and glider categories! Seriously, you DO NOT need to do anything special to your airplane to give an IAC contest a try.
Hope to see you at the next contest!