Thursday, July 15, 2010


World Gliding Championships


                The day started with a storm-like potential in the sky. The morning pilots meeting was delayed to ten thirty instead of the usual ten o'clock. Our theory is that somebody might have been a little bit hung over to start the meeting on time, but that's just a theory. The prizes were awarded for the previous day, and then they continued with the weather report. Although it didn't look exactly promising, the storms weren't supposed to form until much later in the evening.

                As usual, I headed out to the grid shortly before the launch began, and looked for ways to help out. I ended up doing a lot of umbrella holding. As the launch progressed, I headed to the back to wait with Mike, Sharon, and Lily. We watched a huge thunderstorm develop to the east of the airfield. As I was staring at this ominous, looming cloud, I saw a small funnel cloud slowly descend from the storm cloud. Fortunately, at the time I was holding Sharon's camera, so hopefully we'll have those pictures up on the site soon. The funnel cloud didn't touch down, so it wasn't an official tornado, but it was enough to worry me. As a Texan, I've had a few emotionally scarring incidents with tornados. Still, I spent the rest of the launch staring at the cloud with something like morbid fascination, watching more funnel clouds try and form. The real shocker of today was that it didn't even rain on the airfield.

                All of our pilots except for two made it back to the field, and fortunately neither of the crews had to go on an excessively long retrieve. We retain our hope for an even better day tomorrow, with no land outs and some high scores.