Tuesday, July 13, 2010


World Gliding Championships


                Today saw the beginning of another good soaring day. Launch went relatively smoothly, aside from numerous five minute delays. We finally began the launch at about 12:05, after forty-five minutes on the grid. After we sent the pilots off the crews began preparing for international night. Nancy and Sharon headed to Tesco to pick up some Coke, while the rest of us slowly cooked in the office. If it hadn't been for Nancy, the American team probably wouldn't have had a table at International night. She was completely prepared, with a American Flag table cloth, USA bracelets, glider themed stamps (where she found those, I have NO idea), stamp ink, red, white and blue candy, maps of Texas, and books of the flora and fauna of Texas. So, thanks to Nancy, the USA team did not go unrepresented during international night.

                One of our pilots landed out almost at the far end of the course, making for a long (2 ½ hours each way) retrieve for his crew. We sent them off with wishes for good luck, and promises to take plenty of pictures of international night.  Fortunately, there weren't any other land outs for the US team, so once everybody had landed we began to set up for the much anticipated evening.   Our pilots had some very good flights.  Francois Pin came in third place for the World Class and Sean Franke was 13th, making his total standing 10th place in the standard class.

I wish I could claim that we had an elaborate plan, but as we had to bring everything we required in our luggage, that was not the case.  However our friends from down under, the Australians, had a pretty elaborate spread, which included stuffed animals and interesting hats.  The Poles started setting up about noon, and by eight they were passing out plates with enough sausage and sauerkraut for a full meal.  The Belgians also worked most of the afternoon preparing, you guessed it, Belgian Waffles.  I'm not sure where they came from, but the program also included scantily clad female flaming baton twirlers who showered the crowd with sparks, a dancing Doberman, and some rather primitive looking gentlemen making music with long horns made from wood and leather and more.  The pilots shut down and headed for home by about 11:00, but the crews stayed longer, more to the tune of two in the morning.  Incredibly Nancy Snead's simple preparations drew a lot of folks. For one thing it was the only place anyone could get a cold non alcoholic drink (Coca Cola) and her large map of Texas highlighted three World Championship sites.  Her husband Bill was a very busy greeter, but Nancy was the real crowd pleaser, giving free gliders "tattoos" (also known as stamps) which were popular with people of every generation.


Blair and Dick Mockler