August 14 Report
A useful part of every weather briefing is a thermal forecast for the afternoon, based on an actual sounding from a station upwind of the home airfield. Today the wind was from the east, and we learned that there are no radiosonde stations east of here. Something to do with politics. Instead, metorologist Viktorija based her cloudbase forecast on a sounding from Latvia, to our north, and her forecast was “no clouds all day.”
It turned out that the air to our east was not as dry as the air in Latvia. As Tony and Leah Condon brought JEN to the grid one of them took a photo through the windshield of the crew vehicle. By the time launching began, we had 3 octas in all directions.
Big Al sent everybody on the second longest Task of the Championship: south to the border with Belarus, then west along that border, then south again to Sztabin, Poland, and finally back home, for a total distance of 348 km.
We have become familiar with the pattern of progress that such a task produces – slow at first, then good conditions in Poland which usually follow the gliders back to within final glide range.
It was a good day for the French team. Antoine Havet was the day winner, with 100 kph, and Frederic Hoyeau was not far behind at 98 kph. However, the two leaders of this competition, Vladas Motuza and Stefano Ghiorzo were also very fast, creating a virtual three-way tie for first that pushed Frederic into fourth place.
In the overall race to the podium, not much has changed from yesterday. The first two places belong to Stefan and Vladas, and the third one is still undecided. Tomorrow is the last day of the competition.
[Photo credit: Organizers]