Today’s forecast was for warm temperatures and absolutely clear blue skies, except for a small threat of thin cirrus clouds by late afternoon. Lift was predicted to be mostly weaker and lower than we have seen. In the face of this, the Club Class task of 205 km looked bold. Most thought it would be something close to a “survival” day, with speeds not much over 50 kph and a significant chance of outlandings.
It proved to be another very good day for the “loose partnership” of Sarah (FW) and Ailsa (75). They decided that an early start was best, and were the second pair to depart. They caught the lead pair on the second leg and were themselves caught by three others. This gaggle of 7 good pilots then made steady progress around the task. As compared to many others, they did not go into “survival mode” but kept on racing, albeit somewhat gently.
The result was speeds above 65 kph and times on course not much over 3 hours. This may sound slow, but to put it in perspective consider the other classes here: The winning speed in Standard Class – with meaningfully higher performance than Club Class – was just 57 kph (which would have been good for 12th place in Club Class). In 18-Meter Class – with dramatically better performance than Club Class – only three pilots were faster than the Club Class winner (Paula Drazul of Argentina).
“Czech Republic is OK.” This slogan, which I think would be endorsed by all here, can be taken as literally true: whereas US aircraft have registrations starting with “N-“, here, they all begin with “OK-“. What follows may be numbers (4 of them) or letters (three – e.g. one Zlin-226 towplane here is OK-MQT, which I take to mean “mighty quick tow”); so far as I can tell from the aircraft here, letters and numbers are not mixed.
A curious sight on the airfield today was a large pile of what I take to be firewood. I believe this portends a strange ritual, possibly scheduled for tomorrow evening. I will have a full report as this situation develops.
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.