Sunday, January 6, 2013

Good report - Cuatro

WGC2013 report – 06 January

Yesterday was a no-fly day, to accommodate the Opening Ceremony.  Morning weather looked grim for flying (windy, low overcast) but by mid-afternoon had evolved into a sky with (tolerably low) cumulus and moderate wind that probably would have supported a reasonable task.   This led to rather good weather for the ceremony, which featured all teams marching into the Chaves town square (about a mile east of the airfield) then standing around for various speeches, dancers, gauchos on horses, singers, and a release of pigeons.  Today, at the airfield just prior to the morning pilot briefing we had a grand flag-raising event – on signal, each Team Captain raised his country’s flag (I count 24 in all).   With due ceremony has thus having been observed we can now proceed with the official competition.

Today’s weather forecast can be summarized as good lift, few clouds, too much wind.  As I write this all launches are complete and pilots are struggling with blue conditions in winds that are easily 25 kts on the ground, and substantially more aloft.  The World Class was first to launch and had to strain mightily just to stay within reach of the field.  We watched a gaggle of at least 20 gliders climb high while drifting rapidly downwind, then top the thermal and head upwind, arriving back at the airfield around tow release altitude – lather, rinse, repeat.  We were told that lift should improve and cumulus clouds might develop later in the afternoon.  It looks as if significant improvement will be needed for today’s tasks to have a high rate of completions.

4pm update:  Wind has strengthened a bit. A number of pilots have given up the fight and are back on the ground at Chaves.  Perhaps a dozen trailers have hitched up, though it’s not clear whether this is because of a landout or simply in anticipation of that possibility.  (Team Captains are required to report landouts to the Scoring Office, but there currently seems to be no way to see that information.)  US pilots appear to be doing okay, though it’s unclear whether speeds are sufficient to allow task completion before the day dies.


  1. Good luck to all of you

  2. Thank You John,

    Checking it multiple times a day for updates!

    Scott Alexander


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