"Another Day To Race" shows you the ground action of a typical day at a national soaring championship racing event. Shot at the SSA Sports Class Regionals and 15 meter National Championships at Mifflin County Airport, Pennsylvania. Thanks to the Mifflin Soaring Association for field access and coordination. Didn't find a back seat ride to get some air footage this time.
Shot on a Canon XH-A1 and edited and graded in Final Cut Pro by Paul Naton of Radio Carbon Art productions. Visit radiocarbonart.com/
The Sports Class allows gliders of all types and performance potential to race around a closed course. Using a performance handicapping system, finish times are corrected to numerically equalize the final scores of the different glider types. The fastest pilots who can outfly their handicap penalty score well.
On a typical race day, the gliders grid up on the runway, wait for the 'sniffer' planes to find adequate lift, then launch towards the start area with tow planes as fast as possible. Gliders climb in thermals and wait for the start gate to open to begin the long cross country course covering up to 300 miles or more in one flight. The object of the competition is to fly around the assigned waypoints as fast as possible using thermal, wave, and mountain lift to provide additional altitude gain. After completing the task turns, the planes head back to the home airport and through an imaginary finish line to get their finish time. Often the lift gets weak late in the day and land-outs at other airports or farmers fields are common.