It was relatively easy to get started today. Our gliders were already assembled at their tiedowns, full of water. The only thing easier would have been to tie them out on the grid last night, which probably would have been allowed.
We’ve had a temporary change of accommodations. Five of us have been staying at a ranch house 5 km north of the field. At the time of our original reservation, we were told that it had been booked by another group for this weekend. No problem. I am typing this report in a very familiar place, the Hotel Paris cafe, in downtown Chaves. The last time we were here we held morning team meetings over coffee and evening team debriefings (okay, story telling sessions) over beer and pizza.
The day started, yet again, with a weather briefing that featured the possibility of storms. This time it was airmass thunderstorms, not a squall line, but who’s keeping track? Trigger temperature was to be 27 degrees, and if it reached 33, the sky would blow up. The time of first launch was optimistically set at 1100. We have not seen 27 degrees at such an early hour since we’ve been here.
For the second day in a row the Tasks for the two classes were the same, except for the different start points. This is allegedly done to separate traffic, but as was the case yesterday, the start lines touched each other. The Tasks were 2-hour AATs, with the first leg into wind.
The grid squat lasted until 1300, and the 15 Meter Class was first to go. Our guys started early, before the Standard Class had finished launching. There was a problem with towplanes, and the Standard Class gate opening was finally set for 1438. With eight minutes to go, their Task was cancelled, for reasons that have not yet been officially stated. Ryszard and Al landed and got their planes into the trailers.
The 15 Meter Class could not be recalled, of course. Juan, Robin, Fernando and Phil fought their way upwind to the first circle, which they barely touched. While they were deciding what to do next, they blew all the way back to Chaves, and the path across the wind to the second Area looked hopelessly blue. All four landed back home, with several others.
The Argentine team took a run at the second Assigned Area and disappeared. At least that’s what our friend Sergio Reinaudo said when he came by our camp while we were submitting flight log files.
We assume that they’ve been located by now, and that crews are on the way. This will definitely delay the “International Night” party this evening.
The scores still aren’t posted, so we don’t know if we have a valid day. Some have suggested that the Scorer went on a retrieve.
Rick has been flying gliders since 1967 and divides his interest between the Open Class and the 13.5 Meter Class.
He flies with the Post Mills Soaring Club in Vermont and serves as the US Delegate to the International Gliding Commission.