The U.S. Team was elated on 17 August when Dick Butler posted the fastest speed in the open class and won the day—for the second time in this contest. He was obviously delighted with his flight, as was his teammate, Ron Tabery (SS), who ended up a mere two points behind Dick and in second place for the day.
The weather was classic Uvalde with cumulus fields covering the task area and long streets developing from the southeast. As Ron Tabery said, "If you don't like today, you don't like gliding!"
Dick completed the 685 km (425 mile) task in 4 hours and 21 minutes for an average speed of 157.5 km/hr (97.8 mph). Click here to see the open class results for Day 12.
After Dick landed, well-wishers gathered round as Dick's expert crew rolled into action. Heinz Weissenbuehler and Karin Schlosser from M&H Soaring were there to help and to congratulate Dick and Ron, as was Sherman Griffith, a former U.S. Team open class pilot and long-time friend of Dick's. M&H applied the beautiful finish to Concordia at their workshop in Elmira just a few months ago, so they know every square centimeter of this magnificent glider.
In this morning's U.S. Team pilots' meeting, Dick was greeted with a standing ovation. He then thanked his teammate Ron, who, Dick said, had sacrificed speed points throughout this competition to help Dick fly faster. Dick said, "I'll never forget it, Ron."
Here's a video of Dick and Ron celebrating the victory with friends, family, and crew.