Just as with any activity, competition RC soaring in the upper Midwest had gotten a bit stale and enthusiasm was pretty flat in the late 1990s. In the fall of 1997, an idea started brewing to tie together the AMA sanctioned contests that clubs held in Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky to try to produce an increased interest and attendance in these major contests. The motivation was to have contests that had a higher plane of competition, give fliers a chance to get more League of Silent Flight (LSF) contest achievement points, as well as help the clubs with increased revenue. Thus in June of 1998 at the LOFT Weekend soaring contest in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, the Ohio Valley Soaring Series (OVSS) was born.

That first year, five clubs participated in the OVSS: the League Of Flight by Thermals in Ft. Wayne, Ind.; the Louisville Area Soaring Society in Louisville, Ky.; the Dayton Area Thermal Soarers in Dayton, Ohio; the Bluegrass Soaring Society in Lexington, Ky.; and the Cincinnati Soaring Society in Cincinnati, Ohio. The idea was to use each of these clubs' major contests as a stop on the Series, and include the AMA's Nationals Unlimited Class contest, as it is held almost in the middle of the OVSS's area of operation. At each stop, a pilot's score was based on "normalizing" his or her day score relative to the winner of that day of the contest weekend. If you attended both days of a contest, your best score of the weekend was your final score. Just as in FAI competition, the winner is awarded 1000 points, and from then on each flier is given a proportional score from the 1000-point perfect bases relative to their final score in the contest. That first season, a pilot's best four scores counted toward the Season Championship.

The first Season Championship was won by Don Harris of Westerville, Ohio. Don is a double LSF Level V pilot and one of our true ambassadors of soaring in the Midwest. Since then, Mike Remus of Ft. Wayne, Ind., Karl Miller of Geneva, Ill., Paul Siegel of Cincinnati, Ohio, Jim Bacus, of Downers Grove, Ill. and a member of Team JR, and the following two years, Rich Burnoski of Chicago, Ill. have been the OVSS Season Champions.

In 2004, the OVSS grew to include seven soaring clubs, including the Silent Order of Aeromodeling in Chicago, Ill. and the Mississippi Valley Soaring Association in St. Louis, Mo. Additionally, LOFT/MIST started holding a finals event called the Fall Round Up that is held at the International Aeromodeling Center in Muncie, Ind. in October.

Also in 2004, JR Radios came on board as official sponsors; this was facilitated by Peter Goldsmith and John Diniz and comes with a great thanks to all those at Horizon Hobby who support RC soaring.

The schedule is ready and the clubs are planning for their OVSS events; they are the benchmark of the contest season and all look forward to participating. Good Lift!

History of the OVSS

Back to the OVSS Main Page

Bluegrass Soaring Society

Cincinnati Soaring and Electric

Dayton Area Thermal Soarers

League of Flight by Thermals

Louisville Area Soaring Society

Mid Indiana Society of Thermalers

Mississippi Valley Soaring Association

Silent Order of Aeromodeling by Radio

Member Clubs