Traveling from Pocuinai Airfield to Poland on contest day 1….
“Team IF and YU representing the USA on Day 1 of the WGC placed 18th and 19th out of a field of 49 competitors in Club Class. Only 80 points out of first, it is a great place to start the contest. Mike and Tim started at 1:50 only 3 seconds apart and the final score came to 222 km at 78 kph. The forecast we received in the morning indicated that a front would move across the task area near the Polish border in the afternoon. There were strong concern for rain and cloud cover to move in and shut down the task on our way home. With this in mind we planned to leave by approximately 2. Off tow we found good climbs and were able to sample a few thermals before deciding we had to move south across a dead zone created by high cirrus to climb back up. We got as high as possible before a committed dead glide towards the other side of the start line. We arrived to the next cu at a reasonable height and found gliders climbing about 2 kts to cloudbase. At the same time we saw Standard Class gliders landing out below us. We reached the top of the climb and decided to start at 1:43. We turned back towards our last thermal and found it was now 5 kts to a cloudbase of about 1,200M. We elected to restart and left with a gaggle of gliders in front and behind. We worked together down the first leg towards the Belarus border and the morane forest that provides stronger conditions. Once there we found stronger climbs and a beautiful street to run into Poland. We flew relatively conservative for the first day due to the weather uncertainty but felt our planning and team work paid off allowing us to complete a 222 km task within 11 seconds of one another!”
The featured photo shows Belarus in the distance off of Mike’ wingtip. Great team effort, fellas!
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.