Recap of USNS April series | Best Virtual Racing Ever!

April has undoubtedly been the most successful month in US virtual racing ever! Every night there has been around 50 pilots racing in exotic places all around the world.

Many pilots came back from a long hiatus from Condor to enjoy the high level racing again. Over the course of the past month, 193 pilots had registered on US Nightly Soaring. And there are many new faces, including many pilots who have little or no real life cross country/racing experience.

Many new pilots have now become acquainted with the wonderful scenery in Slovenia. And Slovenian fields have even become acquainted with Schweizer iron too!

We had flown in the Nephi, Blairstown, Montague, Truckee, Mifflin, Driggs, Omarama, Alps, Slovenia, Southern Norway, and Southern France.

We had flown gliders ranging from 1-26s to EB-29s!

It is quite possible that the Coronavirus had actually allowed us to promote the sport of soaring more over the past month than if it hadn’t come to pass. Many of the new pilots had little or no formal advanced training and little prospect of receiving it in their clubs even in the best of times. While they may have been familiar with the idea of cross country soaring, they had not actually done it themselves. Over the past month, we have seen pilots who were vaguely aware of “thermals” become competitive virtual racing pilots and eager to pass on their enthusiasm into real life flying!

My club’s Condor nights have also been very successful. We have flown over 10 tasks out of Blairstown airport, exploring the wonderful ridge and thermal conditions our site has to offer. Pilots were introduced to cross country techniques, such as speed-to-fly, thermal selection, efficient centering, final glide optimization, and field selection. Pilots learned about different tasks, such as FAI assigned tasks, records, TATs, and MATs. We played with varying ridge conditions and toured the whole length of our local mountain.

Between ACA and PGC and others who have joined our server, we now have a large group of pilots who are up to speed on Condor flying and enjoying virtual soaring. And now these pilots know what soaring is all about and are looking forward to flying cross country in real life.

We are looking forward to May and continuing this wonderful run! Be sure to register on Condor Club!


Contest info:

  • Condor tutorial for detailed instructions/FAQs.
  • Teamspeak: channel: ts3.virtualsoaring.eu:9982 | password: ask13 | Channel- MNS/USNS. (Note, please go to Settings and set up “Push-to-talk” for your mic.)
  • Register (for free) here to receive briefings two hour before the race and to submit your log for scoring.
  • Scenery Download: Use Condor Updater. (Best to subscribe for more bandwidth!)
  • Find “US Nightly Soaring” at 9pm Eastern (0100 UTC) here or here.
  • Monday Night Soaring at 7/10pm Eastern (2300/0300 UTC)

I’ve had many folks contact me through social media, email and through the blog contact with questions of how to set up Condor for their personal use, racing and for their clubs. Keep it coming; I’m happy to help!

Several folks have been doing paid one-on-one Condor coaching with me. If you would like to schedule a time to work on advanced soaring concepts in Condor (thermal selection, racing, centering, racing strategies, speed-to-fly, landouts, spins, risk-management, ridge soaring, wave soaring, etc. etc.), feel free to contact me through the Soaring Economist contact.

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