Monday, January 11, 2016

the "really?" moment

Really? This was the most common expression this morning when we got the task sheets handed out. No early briefing, no early grid, first launch as usual 12:00 with possible delays. And the tasks were:

task A

task A - check the distance

You would think, luckily there is task B if things don't develop as predicted. So here it was:

task B - seriously?

Long term forecasts were predicting a big day today. Already yesterday though, the models started changing showing an early arrival of the predicted front with thunderstorms and gusty winds.

The sky was full of high cloud moving in from early morning and it certainly didn't look like the predicted big day. The task has been changed to B on the grid, launching delayed and we were told to finish early because of the change coming through. Yeah right ... we'll launch you at 12:30, open the gate around 2:00 pm, send you out on 600 km racing task into the unlandable desert and ask you to finish early before the arrival of the front at 5:30 pm. Can you do some maths on it?

10 minutes after the day has been cancelled. No task C handed out. The task setters didn't have a plan for a short task, lets say a 300 km racing or 2 hrs 30 min AAT for the unpredictable weather developments. So we ended up not flying at all on a day that had about 3-4 hours of really great conditions with cloud bases reaching 14,000 ft (!). We could have roared around a 300 km triangle in less than 2 hours today. The change came through around 5 pm and shut it all down.

Still the all or nothing approach was hard to grasp and certainly can't be repeated next year during the worlds. If that's the case, there will be endless protests. People felt like the task had been set on yesterdays weather and noone looked out of the window.

I hope we can expect a better weather judgement tomorrow and in the following days. Not that I care that much about it but there is people fighting for the words qualifications and they do seriously care a lot.

We used the day to do laundry, have a nap and go out for a great dinner with Brian and Miles.

Good night!

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