Closing ceremony today, on a very hot day under a broiling sun. Mercifully, the JWGC2019 organization knows the value of brief meetings. It probably helped that the presenter (Andras Kerekes – contest weatherman) stood before us in a thick black suit, giving us confidence that he understood our plight and didn’t wish to extend it further than necessary.
The Club class champion is Jake Brattle of Great Britain; his teammate Finn Sleigh took second. The two Brits were occasionally threatened by the Germans, but rarely wavered. They were the only pilots who chose the flapped ASW-20 – the highest-performance glider embraced by the class rules, and thus the one with the least favorable handicap. This meant they could not succeed with the popular “hang with the group and let the handicap do the work” approach – they would at times have to pass gaggles and make their passes “stick” with a combination of glider performance and soaring skill. That they made this contrarian approach work may attract the attention of other teams in future contests.
The German team was not to be frustrated in both classes: Simon Schroder and Simon Briel took the top two places in Standard class by fully convincing margins. The “best standard class glider” question remains unresolved, with the Discus 2a grabbing five of the first six places but the LS-8 finishing on top.
Yesterday evening’s farewell party ran late and apparently got a bit rowdy. I heard reports of dancing on top of vehicles, with certain large potted plants asked to participate. At one point the Championship Director understood that a Lada (Russian Soviet-era copy of a Fiat automobile) belonging to one of his tow pilots had been stolen for a wild ride on the airfield grass. He duly gave chase, eventually determining that the tale was mostly true, except for the “stolen” part (towpilot was found in the passenger seat, encouraging the automotive aerobatics).
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.