8/11 After trying to get a Contest Day
We may not have had a contest day today but we had a pretty cool time!
First order of business was a Wilga flight.
It’s a really neat looking airplane that flies and lands quite well. The panel is a bit hard to read though and the radial needs compressed air to start – but it’s super cool! 😉
After that, Tony Condon and I flew the 13.5m mini-lak. It’s a really smooth flying and responsive glider.
It was at the end of the day but I found some weak thermals and played around with ~0.5 kts to climb a few hundred feet. Overall, I’m really impressed with the mini-lak and hope to try one with FES next time
8/9 Big landout day for most
Welllllllllll Team USA is all down safe. The winds were pushing 20 kts of with weak climbs and we had a 270k task. The first leg was straight into the headwind and we made good time sticking with the gaggle. I got separated in a bubble at the first turn.
I finally got connected with some good lift and dug out of a field. I joined up with EKP (British team) and he came on freq. We team flew into the downwind leg and got to fly right over Trakai castle (where we toured a few days back). We pushed pretty hard to catch the gaggle and climbed above them as they were coming out of the turn. After poking the cylinder, we headed back into the wind and felt the day really starting to soften.
We heard Daniel and Noah land out on the radio ahead and started looking hard for a climb. After digging out from the first set of fields, we yo-yo’d along the wind line and made it up to ~3000 ft. We poked out and bumped along to the next town. We had to dig out of another set of fields but as we were topping the climb, a huge standard class gaggle joined us. It was pretty clear that we weren’t making it home but hopefully we could get pretty far with them. Unfortunately… we couldn’t make it too much further and I landed with the British team (club and standard)
Tony left early and made great time to the field and we’re headed back now. JP
From JP’s cockpit 8/9
Hard day in the cockpit 8/9
Lots of friends 8/9
Landing field and sky 8/9
JP Tony took this pic 8/9
8/8 a long day in the cockpit!
Team USA had a great day!
We launched right after 12 with a 300k “banquet” task for international night. Unfortunately… the bulk of club class spent the next 2 hrs playing start gate games while the cumulus field thinned out.
We finally made it out of the gate at 2:30 (just as the standard class was crossing into Poland…) and had generally 3-5 kt climbs. Unfortunately there was a radio mixup and we couldn’t pick each other out of the 20 other gliders so we were separated on the first leg. Thanks to judicious use of team code position reports, we managed to rejoin in the first turn point.
From JP’s cockpit
Good thing too – the first half of the second leg was still good but as it was approaching 5:00 PM, the sky really started to soften. We had a really great second leg were we worked our way to the front of the gaggle. After a few weak “climbs”, we and made the leap for final glide before the bulk of the group and made good time. I kept a bit too much height on final glide and came in a bit later but the team really finished together very well.
The sky was now very dead as we landed at 7:00 PM…. a bit more and we would have been in fields. JP
End of the day
8/6 Attempt at Contest Day which started too late, but great stuff from JP
“It was a pretty cool day! We started under an awesome street which quickly turned to rain and shortly after – dead sky in all directions. The lift was bubbly and weak and one by one “everyone” fell out and landed but after doing a bunch of yo-yos in the 20 kt headwind I finally got connected enough altitude to poke the upwind turnpoint.
Now heading back (drifting downwind) to the gaggle field, I was pretty convinced I’d be landing there next. Fortunately, the day was starting to cycle and I managed to climb near cloud base there. I then bumped along to poke the second and third turns while making huge deviations to stay upwind and in the sun.
Right about the time I’m climbing to final glide I hear from US Team ground that the day is likely not going to count. I had the energy to finish so I went ahead and completed the task.”
There weren’t enough people over 100km so it’s not going to count but it’s pretty cool to be one of three finishers.”
The Day wasn’t a valid contest day, but the 3 finishers were appropriately recognized at the next briefing.
7/28 Last Official Practice Day & 1st flight for JP
Hello from Pociuani! Tony Condon and John Good had the glider almost completely ready (after having to build the panel too) when I arrived yesterday. I slept well last night and after a few hrs of final touches, I made my first flight in the Jantar I’m flying this week. On a scale of 2-33 to a semi… it’s approaching a freight train – that’s to say: it’s happiest going straight. (Ok… it’s not that bad) Overall, it’s actually a pretty nice glider and should be fun. I flew about 2.5 hrs scouting local field options and figuring the glider out. Tomorrow is the opening ceremony but we hope to do some team flying practice.
Here are some pix from JP’s cockpit today
Leigh’s connection to soaring and competition is through her husband, SZ, for whom she’s crewed for 42 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.