A complex and difficult weather pattern in southern Lithuania today. A front lying east of us was marching north, creeping east, and threatening to overrun Pociunai with troublesome wind followed by rain, thunder and lightning. Ahead of this was warm air and cloudless skies. With luck, a small task might be possible before the bad weather arrived.
We mustered 70 gliders on the grid for a launch optimistically scheduled to start at noon. This was soon postponed to 12:30. The air felt stable and unpromising. A sniffer glider was launched, and promptly landed. Launch was postponed to 1:00. The task was shortened from 2.5 to 2 hours. Sniffer re-launched and found some weak, low lift, but eventually landed again. Task was cut to 1.5 hours. Our “grid squatting” exercise continued this way until past 2:30, when the task was cancelled (with dark clouds looming to the northwest). We will try again tomorrow.
This evening’s big event, organized by US Team pilots and crews, was a screening of The Sunship Game. This 1971 film covers the 1969 US National soaring championships in Marfa TX, and features a rivalry between George Moffat and Gleb Derujinsky, set to occasional ‘60s music. It’s well put together and gives a fascinating view of soaring competition nearly 50 years ago. It received an enthusiastic “two thumbs up” from the crowd of JWGC pilots (none of which is half old enough to remember that event).
John Good has been a member of the US Team at many World Gliding Championship events, serving as crew, Team Captain and report author. He was the Deputy Championship Director/ Task-setter at the 2012 WGC in Uvalde, Texas and brings a wealth of international rules knowledge as Captain.