A challenging day today, with post-frontal weather that produced some very good lift and some difficult areas, with spreadout, light rain and then dead skies on final glide. In the face of a complex forecast that mentioned various sources of possible trouble, the tasks looked long-ish: 342 km for Club class, and 388 km for Standard (whose start always opens about 45 minutes later than Club class).
It proved a frustrating day for J.P. Stewart and Noah Reitter, who achieved excellent speeds and got very close to a solid final glide, only to find nothing during a 40-km glide, leading to outlandings (safe, but disappointing) about 6km from the finish. With a warning of trouble from those ahead, Daniel Sazhin was able to get the height needed to glide through the dead area, finish (just barely high enough) and arrive safely home.
In Standard class, Michael Marshall had an excellent day, starting at about the right time with a strong gaggle (of French and German gliders) and marching smartly around the task. The result was a fifth-place finish, just 4 points out of first. The game of starting at the right start time – with the right sort of company – is always important at WGC events and has been especially so at JWGC2019 given the way weather has played out most days.
Tonight’s airfield social event was a screening of the classic soaring movie The Sunship Game, sponsored by the US Team. This 1971 film by Robert Drew focuses on the rivalry between George Moffat and Gleb Derujinsky, finishing at the 1969 National Soaring Championships at Marfa TX. The film has acquired near cult status among soaring pilots. If you haven’t seen it, you should certainly track down a copy and do so soon.
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.