Monday, August 4, 2014

rest day after two days full of emotions

The organisers arranged for a rest day today and this gives me some time to catch up with the blog. We have two very exciting days behind us. Both exciting for different reasons.
The day before yesterday was exciting because the whole team did well and manged to score good points. European conditions are really tricky for Australians and they are struggling trying to understand what's happening in the air. Having Mac in our team is of an amazing value. He is the most experienced one (with close to 13.000 hours in gliders!) and has flown numerous comps all over Europe. We can all benefit from the cooperation with him.

Ziggy riding Stefan's Junak

Stefan & Zig

Yesterday 100% of the fleet was washed down - not a single finisher among 132 gliders. Thunderstorms were predicted but none of the models showed them that early in the day and the degree of severity was underestimated. There was a huge fight at the Team Captain's meeting this morning and some Captains were blaming the organisers for opening the start gates yesterday. Some of them were very vocal, which didn't really help constructive discussion.

Diana lost tail water on the grid ...

Czech tuggies taxi in formation (they even have matching colored tow ropes)

I think that the truth, as always, lies somewhere in the middle and no one is to be blamed 100%. The organisers haven't watched the development closely enough to make safe decisions but pilots probably "went for it" for the sake of the competition possibly ignoring safety concerns. Our pilots kept it safe. Matt and Mac ended up in one paddock some 200 km away. Craig and Ben landed on an old military field in Olesnica. The security guys guarded the gliders really well so the pilots could go into town and enjoy coffee waiting for the retrieve crews to arrive.

before launch

Yanks keep stirring the s...

and they were leaving ...

All our pilots were back and safe well before midnight. Hungarian team was less lucky and suffered badly in a car accident. They wanted to brake for a dog that entered the road ... The car is written off, trailer as well and glider is damaged. Luckily people suffered only minor scratches. They had to borrow a trailer from other team to get the glider back to Leszno today.

briefing (by JM)

photo courtesy of JM

All results are available here:

We already booked a table in our hotel for another team dinner tonight. Good chance to talk about yesterday.