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Willowtree Green Swamp Sport Klassic


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The James Kolynich Report

2019 Green Swamp Sport Klassic
Baby steps, baby steps. That is what I kept telling myself lying in the Launch cart waiting at Paradise Airsports Willowtree Park in Groveland Florida. After quitting the comp scene many years ago due to poor results and Work commitments, I was getting bored flying locally all the time. Reading Sarah Weavers many fine articles in Pilot Magazine Raving about the sport class comps encouraged me to give it another try. But what am I doing here? I have only flown this new flex wing twice, The previous day in light conditions. Previous flex wing flights were from Mountain sites six months ago. No towing of flex wings for four years. Well I'm here now and committed to fly. Make the best of it! Task One tow takes my mentor Pete Lehman and team mate Michael Duffy to 4 K over Willowtree. The task is North to Williston Airport via Dunnellon Airport turn point for a total of 109.3 kilometres. Winds are ESE at 10 mph. We lost Mike after getting out off the flight park. Pete and I were doing great Until we encounter a great blue hole about 20 km on course. Pete hung back and chased three bald eagles that flew by him finding lift under a cu allowing him and two other pilots to continue another 15 km. My landing In the huge cow field was not the best since I did not read my instrument Wind indicator and landed cross wind. Jeremy our driver arrived before Sunset with an ice cold beer. One third of the way to goal on the first day. Not bad. It was reassuring to have Pete coaching us via our own radio frequency. Task two takes us 20 km to turn 33 then 13 km down wind to Gators airstrip. I was second to go and had an averted lockout due to bullet thermal hitting the left wing of the tug then my Right wing. I Pinned off without a problem. Waffling down I decided not to fly Again due to my improper attitude. Not many pilots made it to the first turn point as recall. Task Three. Tuesday was chill day for me as the task was called for Wallaby Ranch via turn point of Rt 33 and Dean Still Road. I volunteered my services as A Skydogsports photographer at launch as the pilots were yanked into the air. Only about seven of the mentors and mentees made it to goal in the strong west crossing wind. Wednesday and Thursday resulted in strong frontal winds which grounded us. Task four on Friday called for a westerly zig zag course 52.5 km to Chin airstrip. I switched HG and brought out the heavy hitter Atos VRS which is my usual ride towing here in Florida. Winds were easterly 10-15 mph today. My tow was uneventful. Large cuís filled the sky as I topped out at 5.7K. Pete and Mike went into land at Willowtree. I was next until my sojourn over To Groveland where the sun was shining. I was rewarded with a low save from 1200 feet to Cloudbase. The clouds were big and dark with good lift. I followed other pilots who looked like they knew what they were doing. Circling in lift, getting high and flying towards the next turn point until my Flytec told me to change direction to the next TP. My 5030 showed 3 miles to goal with 3-4 K in the bank. As I approached the large green area ahead the airstrip and surrounding fields popped into view. Oded Kalir in his Atos VQ ( winner of the day), Mic Howard, and Mitch Shipley were already there. They indicated the wind direction by bending forward with their arms to the back. My first goal ever! 52.5 Km. Yea! Life is good! Talk about drinking beer and babbling on the way home. The last day, task five 62.5 Km downwind up the turnpike, past the villages, to Leeward airstrip. Ken Kinzie from Canada was my new mentor today. We get to Cloudbase after the 4 K tow in the light SE wind. Heading out we all have good lift until we are down to about 3-4 K over the prison facing the big blue hole again. Mike goes down just before arrival. Ken and I try to find and work any significant lift as we inch our way north just west of the huge residential expanse know as the Villages. Ken was telling me when to hold and thermal and when and where to go next. We are finally past the blue hole and heading down the highway. Ken tells me to go for the goal directly ahead as we have it by about 3K and are 7 km out. I loved watching the kms wind down as we are racing toward goal. I arrive at 2.5 K. but get caught in a cloud street which takes me up another thousand feet. Circling in a holding pattern above the glider LZ, I watch private aircraft do touch and goes in the landing strip beside the upscale residential flying community which has taxi ways instead of streets. I follow Ken who shows me his perfect landing approach and landing. Upon landing I am told I won the day. Jeremy and Oded arrive a bit later with much appreciated help and beer.
Points to ponder.
1 If you want to challenge yourself without pressure to go XC,
This is the venue to sign up for.
2 The staff and mentors make it as stress free as possible by being helpful And accommodating. They show you step by step how to program your instrument, adjust radios, and prepare for launch. In the air they lead you by the hand telling you when to stay in lift and when and where to the next cloud. A post flight debriefing is held discussing what you did right and wrong. 3 Each day has the same routine with pilot briefing, weather report followed by the days task with Google map overlay on the big screen. The route with obstacles and landing areas are show in minute detail. 4 The awesome tug pilots take you to 4K, to place you with your mentor and Other team members. 5 There are landing fields almost everywhere. 6 If you bail for a day, it is OK.

In summary, The GSSK is a HG competition 101 college course with on The job experience. This meet exceeded my expectations! What I enjoyed the most was meeting new pilots and the comradeship We shared. That is what it is all about in the air and on the ground. Thank you to my mentors Pete Lehman and Ken Kinzie. Thank you Davis, Belinda, Kate, Spinner, and all the volunteers. Also a Big Thank You to Eric for keeping things running smoothly,
See you next year! James Kolynich

Photos Below The Stories

The Skydog Report

Saturday March 23, 2019 Willowtree Flight Park and the Green Swamp Challenge 2019. Oded and Jimmy are entering the Green Swamp Challenge and the three of us drive to Willowtree Saturday morning which is a warm up day for the comp which starts on Sunday. Looks like at least thirty pilots are wanting to fly and the sky is all blue and the temperature rises to 75 degrees F. Oded and Jimmy take two flights each and Jimmy has his new WW Sport 3 and finds it real nice to fly. Oded has a 35 minute flight and a 18 minute flight and I think Jimmy had two 25 minute flights. The good lift just wasn't there today. I took four flights totalling 1 hour and 28 minutes the longest being 28 minutes. The atmosphere was great with many fairly new pilots flying and getting help from the more experienced pilots.

Sunday March 24, 2019 and the first competition day. Oded and Jimmy report a great day of XC where only one mentee made goal along with six mentors. Cloud base was around six grand. Oded made it to 40 miles and Jimmy made it about 20 miles. I am hoping that Jimmy will do a full report later.

Monday March 25, 2019 And no report from Jimmy but I got the scoop from Oded and Later Jimmy. Oded broke a tip wand on set up so no go for him and Jimmy had a lockout at 1,200 feet so he was not pleased. Most others did OK.

Tuesday March 26, 2019 First thing in the morning I went with Jimmy and Oded to Willowtree and checked out the action. Lots of pilots getting ready to get into the air. I left and got back to Wallaby in time to catch a late tow along with Rick Mullen. We both boomed up to base at 5,085 feet ato and after an hour a big blue hole appeared and we sunk out. After we landed there were about ten pilots from the Willowtree comp floating in so nicely. My flight time was 56 minutes. Strong thermals and big sink. Oh what fun.

Friday March 29, 2019 I waited at Wallaby but nobody showed up so I did not fly. Oded and Jimmy flew the comp at Willowtree and Oded and Jimmy both made goal at 40 miles.

Saturday March 30, 2019 I went to Willowtree flight park with Oded and Jimmy. Jimmy made goal at 40 miles while Oded decked it at 20 miles. I took two tows at 3 pm and 3:30 and the first one only lasted 16 minutes but my second one Jim Prahl took me to a good one and I went to base easily at 6,722 feet ato and I lasted 2 hours and 11 minutes landing at 5:45. The highlight of my flight was that Mikey Barber flew in from Wallaby and joined me in a great thermal which I have on Video. Mikey headed back to Wallaby and I followed for two miles but chickened out and came back to Willowtree. It was great to fly with you Mikey.

Sunday March 31, 2019 The Awards Ceremony and Brunch.

Jimmy Kolynich will give us Report real soon.

Photos Below

"THE Practice Day VIDEO"

**** Saturday Practice Day ****

A Beautiful Day





James Kolynich Lift Off





Photo by Oded Kalir


Pete Lehman - Mentor


James Kolynich



James Kolynich





# 2


# 3





Skydog Bob


Bobby Bailey


# 4


Greg Dineour and Son on Right



# 5


Jimmy Ready To Launch


Oded Kalir - Skydog Bob Below


# 8


# 8


Jimmy Kolynich and Mentor

# 10


# 11


Jimmy Kolynich


James Kolynich - Comp Day One


Stephan Mentler

Stephan Mentler


Jimmy Flies Again


# 15



Jimmy WW S-3


# 16


James Kolynich and Mike Duffy


# 17



Chris = Retrieval Driver


# 19


**** Day Three ****

Photo Shoot by James Kolynich

Belinda and Davis

John Alden


Tim Etheridge


Jim Prahl





# A5


Oded Kalir

Bobby Bailey


Oded Kalir


Pete Lehman Mentor

Gregg Dinour


# A6


Soham Mehta


Oded Kalir



Jim Prahl


Ken Kinzie


# A11


A Shady Spot

Oded Kalir


Mark Dowsett


Stephen Mentler


# A14


# A15

# A16


Mitch Shipley


# A18


# A19

# A20


# A21


# A22


Attila and Oded

Pete Lehman and Larry Bunner


# A25


Rich Westmoreland


Spinner Launches # A26


# A28

# A29


Pete Lehman


Davis Straub


Richard Milla from Great Britain

Richard Milla from Great Britain


# A34


# A35


Riley Agudelo

Soham Mehta


# A37


Landing Close To Home

Saturday Final Competition Day

Bobby Bailey


Tim Etheridge


Jim Prahl


The Start Line


# A40



Soraya Rios


# A42

Erica and Chris


Mitch Shipley - Mentor


Bobby Bailey Takes Skydog Inverted


Fabiano - Mentor



Mark Bourbonnais


Oded Kalir


Mikey Barber Joins Skydog For a Few Minutes at Cloudbase


Lana Bourbonnais



# A46

# A47


I Really Enjoyed The Flight With Bobby


Oded Kalir


Jimmy Kolynich

# A48


Bobby Bailey


Pete Lehman - Mentor

Attila Plasch


Mikey Comes in Close and Waves


# A51


Richard Westmorland


# A53

# A54


Bobby Waits


Jon Irbeck - GSSK 2019 Winner


Steve Benn



Let's Go




Oded Kalir

# A57


# A58


That Was A Blast Bobby - Thank You

Sunday March 31, 2019 Awards Day

Davis Straub

Mick Howard


Spinner, Fabiano, and Eric

Sue Bunner and Friend ?


Kate, Mitch and Mick


Eric and Jim Messina

Richard Caylor


Ken Kinzie - Mentor and Jimmy Kolynich

Lana and Mark Bourbonnais


Eric, Ken and Belinda and Friends


Abhishek Sethi

 Phillip Newman - Germany


Tony and Family


Soham Mehta

# A63



Richard Milla


The Awards


Mark Bourbonnais

Larry Bunner


Richard Milla

Belinda Boulter


Davis and Belinda


Kate and Mitch




Logan Strickland




Matt Pruitt

John Alden



Jeremy and Riley



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