Monday, July 5, 2010

Day 1

The fourth of July began with overcast skies of cirrus clouds. The weather wasn't looking too good for any of our pilots, but we headed off to the airfield anyways. While Grandpa and I were tidying up the office prior to the team captain meeting , I noticed Manfred Franke standing outside the door to the British office. When I walked outside, I saw that he was taking a picture of their office door, and it was soon clear of what. Manfred had taped a tea bag which read "Happy Fourth of July" to the United Kingdom door. It was a big laugh, not only for us Americans, but also for the British team. Although we fully expect retaliation in some form or another, it was well worth it. In addition, the American team was recognized in appreciation of our national holiday. I lined our open office door with American flag bunting, which caused every passerby at least to do a double take. Some just stopped and stared at our patriotic door. We even had one guy stop and ask for a small American flag, which as you can imagine, we happily gave to him.

From the beginning of launch until all of the pilots landed, the USA ground team was plagued with a static loving radio. The only solution was to turn the radio down so low where it wouldn't drive every resident of the office completely insane. Towards the end of the day it slightly died off, saving our frazzled nerves. Even without the various radio problems, all of the crews were on edge because it was the first day, even the championship officials barely managed to deal with the normal first day issues with a smile.

By the end of the day, the results weren't as good as we had hoped. Our highest scorer was in 13th place with 736 points on a devalued day. With two land outs, we hope for better luck and weather for tomorrow.

-Blair Mockler