Today was declared a rest day, in part due to the assumed effects of the Baba Yaga ceremony (the novitiates were not the only consumers of schnapps) and partly due to a forecast of difficult weather. As before, we awoke to bright sun (it rises before 6am here) but by mid-morning low cloud had moved in and the decision to rest looked like the right one.
This being the final day of May, it will presumably be the final day for the maypole, a feature of the Zbraslavice town square since we arrived here. This consists of a large wooden pole (the trunk of a single tree, probably 60’ long) supporting a pine tree (now quite bare, having shed all its needles) decorated with ribbons from which hangs a large wreath fashioned from thin branches. Googling suggests it may be necessary for a Czech village to guard its maypole against the possibility that men from another village will try to cut it down. We’ve seen no guards, nor any evidence of raiding parties.
The only hotel in Zbraslavice is the Hotel Hubert, about a 1-minute drive from the airfield. It’s been doing fine business throughout the WWGC, much helped by having one of the few restaurants anywhere near here serving good food in generous portions at attractive prices. The small dining room’s decoration scheme can be called a bit quirky: it consists of well over a hundred animal skulls mounted on the wall, ranging in size from elk and moose to tiny deer. Also present are a few stuffed animals, including a capercallie (a very large – almost turkey-sized – grouse). In the lobby are more, including a large bear.
An impending complication is that more than a year ago the Hotel Hubert was booked for a large wedding party this coming weekend. All hotel guests associated with the WWGC must thus move out on Friday. The single exception (so we’ve been told) will be Sarah in her penthouse at the converted mill building; my room (one floor below hers) will not be spared from the mass exodus. We’ve been assured that comfortable alternative rooms will be supplied to all, some 4km further from the airfield.
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.