R4S Contest – 2019

Monday Sep. 16th to Saturday Sep. 21th, 2019

(Practice Day Sunday Sep. 15th)


For more than forty years, pilots have gathered at New Castle International Gliderport (NCI) in New Castle, Virginia to enjoy the challenge of flying its impressive Appalachian ridges, and the warmth and hospitality of the Blue Ridge Soaring Society, which is again hosting this wonderful contest.

Our CD is Richard Kellerman, who is an experienced NCI pilot who is committed to setting tasks that are safe, fun, challenging, and rewarding for both experienced and new-to-NCI pilots. Richard and his task advisers set a variety of tasks that gave pilots the option of staying relatively close to home field or challenging themselves to fly much further afield within the nominal time set for the task. the goal is that everyone gets home, everyone completes the tasks, and everyone gets speed points (albeit not many for some). Richard is also a firm believer in site mentors and will assign to newcomers, an experienced NCI pilot to act as mentor. Richard provides some perspective on flying at New Castle in this 2007 article from Soaring (Reprinted courtesy of SSA). Kellerman article Soaring 2007

With Standard, 15-meter, 18-meter classes, and an OLC guest group, the 2019 contest promises the opportunity for everyone to have fun and to compete with great pilots. The contest usually coincides with the fall raptor migration to the south – expect to share the sky with kettles of broad wing hawks, plus golden and bald eagles. The social calendar is also filling out – with food, music and entertaining company.


  • Practice: Sunday, September 15
  • Contest: Monday, September 16 – Saturday, September 21
  • Cost: $370 plus $20 guest BRSS membership (includes 2 non-refundable tows); additional tows are $55
  • Deposit (refundable until August 15): To hold your place, send $150 check payable to: Region 4 South Contest c/o Lorie Smith 3647 Kenwick Trail Roanoke, VA 24018
  • Contest Managers: email us at [email protected].

Registration procedure:

You must register online at the SSA website: SSA Contest Registration Online.

In order to complete registration on site, you must provide the signed waiver form, along with a valid pilot license, proof of current SSA membership, and proof of insurance (See Regional Class Rule 5.5.3 for specifics).

Other: We fly without water ballast, unless blessed with extremely strong conditions and a long ridge mission. Due to field conditions we do not permit self-launching. If we do not have enough entrants for any specific class, we will combine “adjacent” classes into a FAI Handicapped class.

Social Calendar

BRSS is famed for its inviting social environs, prompting one regular to opine that “bringing a glider to the contest just complicates the experience.”

There are several evening meals planned along with nightly impromptu music (bring your instrument) and bonfires to complement the open air “fine dining” experience:

  • Saturday night — Judge John’s spaghetti dinner (free)
  • Sunday night — welcome dinner (free)
  • Monday night — Dinner on your own / open grill.
  • Tuesday night — BBQ chicken ($15/person)
  • Wednesday night — Low country boil ($15/person)
  • Thursday night — Leftovers / potluck /open grill night (free)
  • Friday night — Glenn Maxwell’s famous BBQ chopped pork ($15/person)

Camping/Housing Options

Camping and bathing facilities are available on site. There is a $5/night fee. If you plan to camp, please let us know in advance so we can arrange to have a spot held.

In addition to camping, a number of homes and campers are available for rent, as well as hotels within 20-30 min drive time. A list of options is available by emailing [email protected].

Contest Team

The contest team is an amazing group of volunteers. We are extremely grateful to everyone who helps make this such a wonderful event!