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Notes of insider. Part ninth.

August 11 Report

After the storms of two days ago and a pleasant rest day yesterday, we are back to racing.

The forecast was for good soaring conditions (but only to 1500 meters) and a long day, ending around 1900 local time. The Task was a 6-leg Racing Task that sent the gliders south across the border with Poland, then north to a point just west of the Kaunas airspace, then back toward home. Once again, the steering Turn Point had a very small effect on the total distance, which was 341 km. Interestingly the 13.5m Task was longer than today’s Club Class Task, by a little bit.

The launch was quick, as usual, and the Start Line opened at 1255. Anticipating a long day, the pilots delayed their departures until after 1400. This turned out to be a mistake for most of them! After 4h17 on course, Stefano Ghiorzo (Italy) arrived home, the only finisher in the Class. Weakening lift and a headwind prevented the rest of them from finishing.

Morgan Sandercock (Australia) was second with a landing only 25 km from the finish line, and Antoine Havet (France) was third, just 7 km behind Morgan.

In the overall standings, Stefano Ghiorzo has increased his lead over Vladas Motuza (Lithuania), and Morgan Sandercock is holding on to third.

As the sun sets behind the clubhouse, Italy celebrates the day.


[Photo credit: Organizers]

Rest day !

Today is a rest day for all pilots and their crews. Please enjoy your day off !
Tomorrow briefing at 10:00 as usually.

Notes of insider. Part eighth.

August 8 Report

The low-level inversion gets deeper every day, and despite the fact that today was the hottest day so far, we spent a lot of time on the grid waiting for the first thermal of the day. The waiting was not unpleasant.
GridCollageFinally, at 1345, the launches began. Once again there was an aborted takeoff, without any serious consequences. The Wilga pilots are fond of saying that towing a 13.5 Metre Class glider is “like towing nothing.”

The pilots departed on a 316 km Racing Task to the south, into an area that is becoming very familiar to them. Nobody objects to the repeated use of this quadrant: the Tasks have been consistently toward the better conditions and away from the problematic airspace.

Local hero Vladas Motuza described his flight as difficult at first, with improving conditions toward the end of the flight. He found a 4.4 m/sec climb to 2600m on the last leg. But after that climb, in order to stay connected with the clouds, he made a big deviation to the south. This cost him about five minutes, which was the difference between his time and that of the winner, Stefano Ghiorzo. Stefano won the day with a speed of 98 kph, compared with second place Vladas, at 95 kph. Third place went to Morgan Sandercock, who has now secured a solid rank of third in the overall results.

It isn’t clear whether Vladas will catch Stefano for the title of Champion. We have six more racing days to find out.


[Photo credits:]

Notes of insider. Part seventh.

August 7 Report

For the first time in the competition, the day began with a few clouds in the sky. The morning altocumulus and the light wind indicated that the ridge of high pressure is directly upon us. At Briefing we learned that we can expect a shorter day with slightly less heating than yesterday. A mid-level inversion was expected to keep us below 1400 meters. At this competition, we have had two meteorologists, Natalija Anochina and Viktorija Lieguviene. Both have done an excellent job.

Big Al called a 256 km Racing Task of 4 Turn Points. The “steering turn point” at the end of the Task did not have much effect on the final leg.

Launches began at 1330, after a small delay.VS Flight

A combination of a short towrope and a sudden prop blast resulted in Stefano Ghiorzo (Italy) losing control of his glider on takeoff. He quickly released, and there was no harm done. During the preparation for his second launch, somehow his tracking device was left behind. So those of us on the airfield did not know how he was doing until he flashed across the finish line, ahead of everyone else. His speed of 103 kph made him the winner of the day, with 795 points. His barogram confirms his report that it was a struggle until he reached the forest in the south part of the task area:

Vladas Motuza (Lithuania) had a similar experience and was second across the finish line, earning 783 points. Third place went to Frederic Hoyeau (France), with 636 points.

The southerly wind will return tomorrow, and it will likely be the hottest day of the competition.

Notes of insider. Part sixth.

ConcertAugust 6 Report

As we enter the middle of the competition, the pilots, crews, and Organisers are now very familiar with the daily routine, and we are all enjoying a well-run international event with the highest quality glider racing. At Briefing today, there were no warnings – only praise for safe flying and normal procedures.

The weather continues to be hot and mostly free of clouds. The launch was again delayed until the first cumulus appeared, low on the horizon. The Task was a six-leg zigzag across the southern portion of the Task Area, 362 km. There was a small trough in the west that caused some trouble, but all the pilots made it home again today.

The first across the finish line was Alberto Sironi (Italy) who had the second fastest speed for the day. The winner was Luka Znidarsic (Slovenia) at 97 kph, and Antoine Havet (France) was third. All three are flying the Silent 2.

At the end of five days, the overall leader is Stefano Ghiorzo (Italy) in the Versvs, and the Team Cup leader is Italy.

The day ended with a fine “International Night” party in the main hangar. We sampled delicious food and drink from around the world, and enjoyed a wonderful concert performed by Ugne Lyberyte and her talented group of singers.

[photo credit:]

Notes of insider. Part five.

August 5 Report

For the fourth day in a row, the sky was mostly blue with temperatures in the 30s. The forecast supported a long task, and again the best conditions were expected in the south. Task Setter Algimantas (“Big Al”) Jonusas gave the class a 346 km Racing Task with four legs. Heating was slower than expected and the launch was delayed by 30 minutes. After that, the day developed without problems and even included some cumulus clouds.

Pilots reported over 3 m/sec to 2400 meters MSL. The day became weaker at a 17:00 LT, but by then, most of them were on their final glides. The winner of the day was again Vladas Motuza (Lithuania) at 119 kph, followed closely by Stefano Ghiorzo (Italy). Third place went to Francois Pin of USA.

There were no outlandings in any of the classes. The forecast for tomorrow is for more of the same!