Today was indeed a rest day – and very needed given the stress on pilots and their teams caused by yesterday’s 100% outlanding day. Tales were told of exceedingly long flights (some over 8 hours) and long retrieves. We’ve pitched the idea that this is a “marathon” contest – likely to favor pilots who take the long view and are not easily fatigued.
The 18-Meter class produced the best stories, due to a task leg that took them far west of home. Many 18-Meter gliders have engines, designed to carry them home if natural lift fails. It certainly did fail, but the hour was late and they were far from home, so even those who ran their engines came to earth well west of Lake Keepit. In one town, the (limited) local population can of a Friday night be relied on to be in the local bar, and well lubricated by sunset. The sudden presence of several female glider pilots, “dropped in from the sky” (so to speak) is a notable occasion. The pilots were shown as much (possibly more) hospitality that they really needed, but all ended well. Most were home before 3am, and presumably made good use of the rest day
Many retrieves extended well into today. In view of the high cost of shipping gliders to Australia (and the expected good weather) several teams shipped containers full of gliders (5 or 6 are possible, with care) and no trailers. This implies the need to borrow trailers when other teams at last return home. Thus it was that several retrieves from yesterday’s outlandings began this morning, and probably not all were complete much before noon.
The good news is that we have no reports of damage to gliders. The friendly landability of our task area means you can have a “mass landout” day with everyone ready to fly again.
International Night, postponed from yesterday, happened thus evening. Judged by the food and drink consumed, and the friendly atmosphere, it was a major success. With a large swimming pool just outside, it was perhaps inevitable that yesterday’s task setter and weatherman would be dunked. They came prepared, and vowed they would not be the only ones wet – which indeed they were not: perhaps half the crowd was included. I noted that our local Koala, happy in his tree just outside the building where this was held, during the event managed to make his way from a crotch less than 10 ft off the ground to one a good 35 ft up. He is apparently not a party animal.