After two days of flying, Alex and I have decided to stand down today to relax and re-energize. (I think Alex also wanted a day off after retrieving me twice this week! I’ll get to that.) It looks like we made a good call – the day was canceled due to weather at 1:15pm local time.
Wednesday (Official Training Day 1) started off looking like a classic soaring day with reasonably high cu. The CD called a short 2 hour turn area task. I figured it would be a relatively straightforward day – I was wrong! I had a good 1st leg, but made some tactically poor decisions on the 2nd leg that ultimately resulted in my 2nd safe outlanding of the week. At least I learned a few valuable lessons! As I was calling Alex to coordinate the retrieve, a 2nd Discus flew over head, made a few circles, and landed in the adjacent field. It turned out to be Swiss Standard Class pilot Jonas – it’s always nice to have company after landing out!
After Wednesday’s retrieve, I’ve been instructed to make the next one less interesting. The only way in and out of the field was on a very sandy road (think driving at the beach). Sandy road + front wheel drive car + heavy trailer (at least relative to the weight of the car) = we almost got the car stuck in the Hungarian countryside! Many thanks to Alex and Akos for coming to retrieve me!
A 350 km racing task was called on Thursday (Official Training Day 2). I flew with the gaggle into the 1st turn and onto the 2nd leg where conditions were booming – 5 kt climbs to a 5500 ft cloudbase! The weather weakened later in the afternoon as I crossed the Tisza river going into the 2nd turn so I downshifted into survival mode (and stayed there for the remainder of the flight). About 20 km from the 3rd turn I rendezvoused with JPA and RJ from the French team – without them, I wouldn’t have made it home! Over 4 hours on task, and it looks like only 7 of us completed it. Too bad it wasn’t an official race day! Scores here:https://www.soaringspot.com/en_gb/11th-fai-junior-world-gliding-championships-szeged-2019/results/standard/practice-4-on-2019-07-25/daily.
In other news, JP Stewart arrived yesterday and made his 1st flight in his LS-4. Everyone on the US Team is now in Szeged and ready to race!
Tomorrow (Saturday) brings the opening ceremony, followed by our first official race day on Sunday! There’s a lot of flying to come, but fortunately “DA” is now ready to rock and roll!
All the best,
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.