|The 5th Annual ICOA Winter Weekend Rendezvous
was a fabulous success! No fewer than 23 ski-equipped Challengers, for
a total of 33 skiplanes, flew to the Chateau Vaudreuil Resort, just west
of Montreal. In fact, the turnout was so good that two attendance records
Dave Goulet, President of Quad City, confirmed that a world record was set for Challenger skiplanes. The only larger Challenger gathering of any sort occurred when 29 Challengers showed up at Oshkosh.
An all-time skiplane attendance record also appears to have been set! Frank Hoffman, Vice President of the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association, requested his staff to research their extensive historic files and they reported that there is no record of anything bigger than the total of 33 skiplanes. Not anywhere!
Challengers arrived from such diverse locations as Kirkland Lake (Northern Ontario), Ottawa, Trois Rivières, the Laurentians and the Eastern Townships. Automobiles attended from Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Northern Ontario, Toronto and New York City!
The banquet was attended by 86 people including 43 Challenger owners. Don Sampson won the "Farthest Flown" award for flying in from Kirkland Lake, a round trip approaching 1,000 miles. Mike, Tanya and Nadine Buckley won "Best Show Plane" for their beautifully detailed Challenger II. Major Claude Roy earned a special award in recognition of his dedicated leadership, having been the principal spark plug of the Challenger Owners Association in Canada. As well, a number of tongue in cheek awards were given out by long time Challenger flier Paul Embury.
The gathering was honored with the attendance of Frank Hofmann, VP of COPA, and Doris Ohlmann, Editor-In-Chief of Canadian Flight magazine. There is no doubt that the Challenger is not just the most popular ultralight in Canada but also one which has the respect of the aviation community at large.
(Summary compiled from reports in Challenger News issues 20 and 21.)
(Close-ups of many of the attending Challengers are in the Family Album.)
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