Monday, July 12, 2010


World Gliding Championships Report


Day 5-6 (Day 6 for the Club Class and Day 5 for the other two) began as a very promising day.  The bright blue sky was littered with cumulus clouds, which were forming over the high ground. The task areas were especially busy and our guys were raring to go.  However one of our pilots, upon seeing the score sheet for the previous day became quite upset to learn that he had been assessed a small penalty for his landing and the resulting dust cloud. Because it was within the 3k finish circle it was witnessed by dozens of people standing on the airfield.  We agreed to pursue it with Contest management so that he would be in a positive frame of mind for today's flight. Eventually we were able to get the penalty removed from our pilot. As it was not long after launch, a message was soon delivered to put his mind at rest.  Our logic behind the reasoning was irrefutable.  There were 45 off field landings fleet wide for the same day, all without official scrutiny.  Some of them may have been hair raising events and none were penalized.

The day turned out to be the best day of the contest so far with only 6 landouts in the whole contest.  In the Club class a French pilot Jeremi  Badaroux's 1,000 point win was  68 points higher than the pilot in second place, a huge margin.  It was the first day our team had not had a single landout.  Our Standard Class pilots did about 100kph, our Club Class pilots were in the 80's and the World Class in the 60's and 70's.There were plenty of smiles around the US team tie down area.

As our team was out staying high and cool we had our feet firmly planted on the ground and were sweating out a miserably hot day. There were very few breezes coming through our tiny office, even with every window and door propped open.

While the pilots were gone, the crews began discussing plans for International Evening. International evening is the night when the teams that choose so can set up a table with food and other goodies that are representative of their country. As a team we decided to grace our table with some good old American candy, along with lots of stars and stripes. We also intend to purchase some Coca-Cola at the nearby Tesco and just say it's American. This will give some of the younger generation (like me!!) something to drink, as every other country is bringing some form of alcohol. I'm not sure how this will work out, as the Slovakian police have no tolerance for drunk driving.

On a different note, we went out to eat at a new restaurant last night, again within walking distance of our hotel.  As usual, the food was excellent, but it wasn't the restaurant that I found amusing. As we walked back to our hotel, we passed one of the many outdoor cafés clustered on the street, which featured a television that was tuned to the World Cup final game. Seated around the TV was the entire Spanish team, complete with a flag taped to their dinner table. In case you haven't heard, the Spanish did win, a fact which we were all made aware of at about midnight that night when they started celebrating. The residents of Bojnice are probably wondering whose bright idea it was to host the Word Gliding Championships during the soccer World cup. Way too much partying from those glider pilots.