A warmer day today, with another dose of quirky weather. One feature near home was wave over cumulus clouds, which allowed many pilots to climb to their best altitudes of the contest prior to the start. Such climbs typically are slow, so not of great interest once on course, when the “clock is running”. But it’s undeniably appealing to start 1500 feet higher than thermal climbs alone will allow.
The Tisza River flows south from northeast Hungary to Szeged, and figures prominently in the JWGC task area; pilots have found that, as expected, it typically suppresses lift over a considerable distance. Michael Marshall encountered the effect today as he was crossing from west to east, and after a struggle below 2000’, eventually became one of its victims. Fortunately, the river valley is home to a great many good agricultural fields, of which he chose a prime example. Szeged gets excellent marks for the quality of its outlanding options.
Tonight was Hungarian Night at the airfield, featuring food, drink and music characteristic of Hungary. The collection of food on offer looked to be enough for a small army – for which in terms of appetite some 80 young glider pilots are a pretty good substitute. Leftovers were not a big issue.
An interesting small adventure this morning involved a trip to the Post Office, to buy stamps for postcards. We undertake to send thanks to all who support our US Soaring Teams, and we’ve had great support this year: the list has 116 names on it. It’s now clear it was naïve to think that a small branch Post Office would have that many – they recommended the main post office, deep in the city. Even here (explained the woman behind the counter) my order was excessive: she could offer about half the requested number; the others could be handled by attaching 3 stamps to each. It’s not easy to fit three full-sized stamps onto a postcard while leaving the text and address legible – you must attach them carefully, so they overlap but their denominations remain evident enough to pass the scrutiny of mail inspectors. Perhaps you are one of the lucky ones to whom a 3-stamp postcard is now on its way; if so, thanks for your support.