If you didn’t join us on one of the three previous Rallies, you’re probably wondering how it all works. Well, it’s not rocket science, but it does take a lot of coordination and a fantastic crew to make it all happen.
So it goes like this: Each day we’ll wake up, pack up, check out of the previous night’s hotel and meet out at the airfield (Quest on Day 1) where we’ll have a briefing with task and accommodation information for the next location. We’ll have someone on the crew that can help you book your hotel for that night – we all typically stay at a single hotel in the town where goal is that day – many airfields also allow us to camp (sometimes right next to the gliders) as well. Once all the pilots launch and are on course, the crew will pack all the launch gear (launch dollies, tow ropes, etc.) into a trailer, the dragonflies will fly to the goal field and the crew will drive there. We all meet at the next location where we’ll do downloads at goal and also at a local restaurant (announced to pilots and crew via text message) where we all eat and party together. We’ve found some amazing fun places to gather and eat/drink along the way in previous years and met so many wonderful locals tickled to have us coming through their little out-of-the-way towns.
Most (probably all) goals will be away (no triangles or out and returns – we are “rallying” after all), so this is not the kind of competition where you can get away without having a dedicated retrieved driver/team. However, since all of the launch crew must drive to goal each day, we normally have a plenty of retrieve drivers. We will be helping coordinate drivers, pilots and teams in the coming months, so if you need help with that, just contact us.
If it all sounds a bit like a traveling circus, it is! It’s full on, but loads of fun. During our last Rally in 2012, we flew from Quest Air in central Florida, up into and across Georgia, finishing just into the southwest edge of South Carolina. Who knows, maybe this will be the year we make that elusive goal at Lookout Mountain in Tennessee.