The boys had a rough go of it today as they got hung up in the second turn. Their team flying continues to be exemplary, and it’s a very long contest. First day was an area task which works just like one in the US except for the start/finish line which hasn’t been too difficult for them to figure out.
One huge difference in FAI racing is that ground crews are allowed to help out by radioing weather reports, reports on what competitors are doing, etc. The whole team has found the ground based FLARM trackers in Poland to be klunky and mostly useless a majority of the time because of poor antenna coverage. We are all having to refer back to Glideport in order to see where our teams are 70% of the time. Thank goodness we have it too! Other European teams do not have this advantage as they are heavily reliant on the ground based FLARM system.
Once again, this is the start of a very long contest, and we will see what Boyd and Mike can really do. I joke with Mike that as soon as we get back, I will be flying the US Standard Class Nationals against him, and he should not expect wing wiping service.
It truly is an honor to work with these two very professional pilots who, I think did not show anywhere near their full potential today, but take this contest very seriously as representatives of the SSA and the US as a whole. Keep cheering for em, and I bet they blow your socks off!!
Leigh’s connection to soaring and competition is through her husband, SZ, for whom she’s crewed for 44 years. She’s a passionate supporter of the US Teams and loves contest reporting. She currently resides in both Steamboat Springs, Co. and Greenville, SC.