Monday, July 19, 2010


The World Gliding Championships

The last day and the Closing Ceremony

July 17 and 18

Dawn broke on the last day looking a lot like the day before. The day's forecast didn't look much better.  The tasks for the day recognized the potential for overdevelopment late in the afternoon as they were all 2 hour area tasks.  On the day before one of our pilots had been harassed by leeching members of another team so we decided to file a complaint seeking their disqualification.  This is not a simple process and kept us busy right up to the beginning of the pilots meeting.  We studied the "roach race" of the three gliders, ours and two of theirs using "See You".  At times they appeared to be superimposed over one another.  The complaint was not accepted but there was no more leeching on the last day, possibly because our pilot kept quiet over the radio, not even announcing his start time.  The launch began at its appointed hour without the standard 30 minute delay.


Once the launches were complete and each and every start time was turned in, we went to work taking down all the reference material, score sheets, flags, antennas, and devices to hold the windows open, etc.  We had already gotten rid of our printer and about 100 lbs of other stuff when Tom Kelly and his crew Bob Carl came through on their way to Hungary for the other half of the WGC.  Still it's kind of sad.  There is nothing drearier than an airport at the end of a contest.


The weather, which looked so bleak in the morning gradually improved, finally producing a pretty good soaring day.  Our guys all made it home, ready for the end of the contest. That evening the WGC hosted a party for all of the pilots, crews, and administrators. Food was provided, along with free beer for everyone who had their name tag. The party lasted long past midnight, but we left before then and watched the lightning fork across the night sky as the storms rolled in.

                The next morning was the day of the closing ceremonies, and a dreary day to behold. The clouds sank to brush against the low Tatras, and the entire valley was covered in mist. We got there a bit early, and spent the morning beginning our goodbyes, both with our own team and with others. The actual closing ceremony began at ten thirty, and was inside the largest hangar. Each team stood behind a sign bearing the name of their country, and after some short formalities the awards were presented. We had two pilots, Sean Franke and Francois Pin who placed in the top ten, and received some sort of award. After the ceremony, we ate a last lunch at the airfield, said goodbye to our team, and started on the long road to Prague.


Blaire and Dick Mockler, signing off