04 August 2012

The Gang's all Here

With the arrival of Joe Laposnyik last night, our team is now complete.  Joe will be crewing for me to take a lot of the load off Virginia during the contest.

We have three volunteer crew members, Joe, Dan Daly and Sonia Hildesheim who are all here to help support us, and they are all doing it on their own time and money!  Having these extra crew members is significant for us as it helps spread the work amongst many hands.

At past contests, Joerg and Virginia would sit in the tent all day to monitor radios and submit in start times, we now have the critical mass to allow everyone to get a break during the day, or even a day off to escape the heat.

Thanks crews!

XG Opening Ceremony

Today is the first day of Official World Championships
As usual during Worlds there is opening ceremony.
We had parade trough the streets of Uvalde instead of walking we
traveled very slow on the pick up truck to the local stadium where we
had official opening ceremony.
We use last free time to rest and be ready for demanding flying.
Race starts tomorrow and will last two weeks with one day of rest.
Jerzy XG

XG practice period

We are one week already in Uvalde.
I did 4 practice flights most of them in very challenging conditions on
the blue. I had opportunity to compare performance of my glider to
others and it looks that there is no difference.
There are very strong teams flying in our class with Australians and
South Africans very well trained like Uvalde weather. Poles and Germans
are very well prepared and will definitely working hard to be on the podium.
Last several days were very hot reaching records temperatures for the
region. We expect to have very good weather for a week but then there
is risk of hurricane reaching Golf of Mexico which can influence very
negatively contest area.
We finished practice period with Pre-Contest party with Texan food and

Jerzy XG

2012 World Gliding Championship Uvalde - Open!

With the roar of a P-51 Mustang, under a sky of puffy Cumulus, the 2012 World Gliding Championship is now open.

After a mile and a half/ 2 km parade through Uvalde, with many spectators supporting the teams, and floats for the larger teams, we met at the local football stadium for the opening ceremonies.  High school Friday night football is close to religion here, and it's a wonderful facility.

Here's a picture of the Distinguished Visitors, and the Team Captains and competing pilots.  There was a space left for Derek that doesn't show well from the distance...

There's a safety meeting tonight, and tomorrow - Official flying day 1!


03 August 2012

Nick, ST - Practice Day 7, 3 Aug

Today's weather was not optimistic, with a late start and less than half of the pilots electing to fly today. My main goal was to get a full flight log for a new back-up logger.

On release I couldn't believe how much sweat was dripping from my hands. I had the vent full open and the side window scoop open fully as well. Lift was only 1.5 kts to 5000, but it improved somewhat. I decided to start and by the time I crossed the gate I was down to 4500'. My plan was to go on course for a while and if it didn't look good, to simply return and hand in a good log file. Conditions in the blue improved on the first leg and I was in a group of 10 gliders or so.  Condition kept improving and I kept going around the first turn and then down the second leg. Lift improved some more and rose to 7500' near the second turn. After the turn, conditions were not as good, and I was having to glide a long ways to find decent lift. I stayed behind the gaggle to climb to the top and lost sight of them. I was joined by two 18m gliders. I needed about 2000' to get onto final glide and saw a couple of gliders ahead and detoured right. After unsuccessfully searching for the lift underneath, I decided to keep going and ran into the thermal finally. An enjoyable flight overall.

About halfway

According to the SPOT tracker, Nick's about halfway around the course.

I've had a chance to look back and see that I missed looking at Practice Day 4's results - Nick tied for fourth with the current World Feminine Champion, Susanne Schoedel, who flies a Ventus 2ax - that's great flying! 

There's a 2-33 doing rides at the airport between start and the time the fleet returns in the early evening.


Nick - ST - on task 1513

Blue and windy.  Many others abandoning task and landing back.  LAK 17bfes (b model; front electric sustainer engine) did a number of circuits after their aerotow launch.  Good salesmanship!

If it's as forecast, Nick will return after 6pm local.


Friday post-briefing

Today, the tasks are shorter (not many pilots were flying the assigned practice tasks).

Nick's flying a 332.1 km near-triangle (start line and finish ring are not co-located).  18m a 334.5 km near-triangle, and Open a 332.6 near-square.

Grid time is 1320 and 1st takeoff is expected around 1350.  There will be less baking in the sun waiting for the sniffer to find lift.

The thermals are a bit lower today - 6,500'.  Yesterday, this was also the height, but if you look at the log files, one or two got up to 12,000' up in the hills.

We're preparing for the parade (with marching bands, but no jugglers or dancing bears (the assistant CD John Good does juggle before briefing, though)) tomorrow, then the opening ceremony at the Uvalde Fairgrounds at 1000 am.  Metman says we might have clouds...

Low-level moisture is creeping in, and Metman Dan Gudgel says that more typical Uvalde weather - which is to say, with Cumulus marked thermals - is on the way.  This morning was blue, then we briefly had a low stratus deck... nice to work in the shade briefly.

First contest day is Sunday.

If you haven't been to Soaring Cafe to see Maria's pictures, do yourself a favour and take a look.  Beautiful, as usual!  http://soaringcafe.com/2012/08/2012-wgc-photo-gallery/


Last practice day - day 7; 3 August

First, thanks to the Austrian and German teams for the party last night in the big tent!  I survived the 92 gallons of beer all right, but the pancakes seem to have given me a bit of a headache!

On Practice Day 5, Jerzy came 4th, 460.4 km at 139.9 km/hr, and on Day 6, he came 2nd on a very blue day (two Cu all day); he flew 339.6 km, electing not to go over the hills on a blue practice day.

We've had some data logger challenges, but I think we have the pieces in place to sort that out today (just in time).  Electronics in a black cockpit in the sun at over 100F/38C are proving not to be very happy.  We're shading the pilots in the cockpits with umbrellas, and keeping canopy covers on until the last moment...

Weather - hot - abundant sunshine.

You can tell someone's serious when they carpet their tiedown spaces!  Note the abundant dust and the sparse vegetation in the tiedown area.

Two landouts yesterday, not our team.

More after briefing.  I believe Nick's flying and Dave isn't; I haven't seen Jerzy. 


02 August 2012

2 Aug post-briefing

Jerzy will fly today. Nick and Dave are taking a rest day.  One more day of official practice tomorrow, pre-competition party Friday night.

Yesterday, it was only 102F here, but all around us it was 104F.  Del Rio, Tx, on the border, beat a century-old record with 106F/41C, from 1912.

Today, Trigger temp is 97F/34.5C at 1300, climbs should start at 1315.
1300 - 2-3 kts to 4,000
1400-1600 3-4 kts to 6 to 7,000
1600 5-6 kts to 7,000.
 Cloudbase 7,000 at noon, 11,000 at 4 pm - few Cu expected.

Today's task for the 18m class is a 470.6 km racing task, going east, then south, then north-west (NW of Uvalde), due east, and returning.  So, last two turnpoints in "the hills" about 2,000' MSL, and with very few landing opportunities.  Many of the pilots have been avoiding going into the hills on blue days so far (there are "limited landing opportunities" up there); this will likely change in the contest proper, which starts flying Sunday (opening ceremony Saturday).

T-38 jets (we'd call them CF-5 dual seat) are doing low-level training 5 miles east, 3 aircraft going by at 3:44, 3:54, and 4:04 pm this afternoon, North-South, at 500-1000', 360 knots...  The fleet should be on task by then.

The German and Austrian teams are hosting a party tonight for those with any energy left.

The aircraft are flying with water ballast, to increase their mass.  Two identical gliders should go the same distance from a given altitude.  If one is heavier, it will have more potential energy to convert to kinetic, and thus can go faster. The extra weight improves efficiency of low-speed wings as well.  Therefore, when lift is strong - like in Texas - it pays to be as heavy as is legal to improve speed around a closed course.

During pre-contest inspection, very accurate weights for the glider/pilot/water/food/etc were taken, and on each day, gliders are weighed on their way to the grid, so they cannot exceed legal weight for their glider.

They dump water on return (to reduce landing speed and stress on the airplane, or if they get low (in order to turn tighter).  Dumping hundreds of litres of water is very pretty against a blue sky.

Dan Daly

Nick, Practice days 4 and 5.

Nick, ST - Practice Day 4, 31 July

The task was an assigned task of 545 km. The weather forecast was blue with thermal tops 9000 MSL.

The 15m grid is behind the 18m today and my take-off spot is 71st. The launch started late and my take-off was at 14:21, with a start just before 15:00. Finishing the task was going to be difficult and past 7PM. My PDA had a message on the screen indicating that I had no GPS connection. My secondary logger looked OK, so I continued on. There were sparse CUs on the first leg and part of the second leg and my speed was 133 KM/H on the first leg and 127 KM/H at the second turn. I was flying with a group of 9 gliders. The last 40 km of the second leg was in the blue and it was a very long glide before getting a thermal, down at 3600 MSL, and it was the same on the third leg. At the third turnpoint we got down to 2800 MSL before finding lift, I could see the Cus to the north, so it was a question of reaching these CUs again, and the glide to reach them was 50 kms. With a slight tailwind, my speed improved back to 133 KM/H. The group of gliders separated and I lost track of all when I stopped to climb to 9000' at 6 kts. It was looking quite blue to the north and the next Cu had only 4 Kts. With 85 Km to go in the blue to the turnpoint and then 75 km for home for a total of 160 Km, it would take 1 1/2 hours and it was already 6 PM. I decided instead to abort the task and head for home, 120 km away, with a few wisps along the way. I got back at 6:45 PM with an overall speed of 133 KM/H. I learned that most of the 15m class aborted the task as well, except for one pilot who actually completed it.  It turns out my primary logger died due to heat. I put it in the fridge for 20 minutes and was able to get it going again. Dan brought along a Volkslogger as a spare logger in case we needed it. It will be installed the next practice day since we need an official log before the actual competition starts.

Nick, ST - Practice Day 5, 1 Aug

The task was an area task with a nominal distance of 405 Km. The weather forecast was blue with thermal tops to 8500 MSL. I had an ice pack on the primary logger in the cockpit that was removed just prior to take-off.

I was first to launch in the 15m class with only the official sniffer in front. I was concerned about relighting and weighed my options for a relight procedure. After release, I lost 500' in sink before finding some weak lift, and eventually climbed to 6000 MSL. There were some wisps and I was able to climb to 7500 MSL in a gaggle. Everybody was milling around waiting, and I got back down to 6000'. Getting back to 7500', everyone was still playing start gate roulette, so I decided to go. I saw two gliders circling way out on course. It's best to start with a gaggle on a blue day, especially when the thermals are widely spaced as they are in Uvalde. If you miss one, you can find yourself quite low and have to take weak lift. On the first leg I took 4.6 kts to 6000' and tried to catch up to the two gliders in front. I got there at 3000' and circled with them in 4.6 kts. They kept going straight, and I detoured 30 degrees left to a nice looking CU. That was a mistake! By the time I got there, the Cu had gone, and I couldn't find anything. I saw the two gliders circling on the right. I pushed on in sink towards a fire, but it didn't work, and pushed on back on track. Found 3.5 kts for a few circles and moved on and finally found 5.2 kts, but the damage had been done. Given my speed and distance to go, I decided not the extend in the first cylinder. I had a long 43 km glide in sink and found 5.3 knots to 8000' then 6.6 kts to 9000'. I couldn't find better than 4.5 kts after that. I decided to extend in the last circle in case I found a good thermal and  also to avoid coming in early, but I couldn't connect. The last leg was a bit difficult, going down to 3600' and taking 3.3 kts to get close to final glide height. There was a lot of sink on the way in, with an L/D of  only 30, with a slight tail wind. I fell below glide slope but got a bump 2.5 km before the finish circle, but then fell back into sink. I pulled up sharply at the 3 km line and tapped the altimeter to see if I could make the 1600' minimum. It turns out I was 11 feet short on the primary logger and 8 feet short on the secondary logger. The Volkslogger worked well in its location in the cockpit, but the battery died 2/3 through the flight. We thought the flight log would still be OK since the security was good, but the Scorer needs a complete log showing the landing, so it was rejected.

Nick, ST - Practice Day 6, 2 Aug. A rest day today. Need to figure out a way to power the Volkslogger.

2 Aug wake-up weather

Blue sky.  73F/22.7C right now.  Forecast high 106F/41.1C.  Light SE winds at 11 mid-afternoon.  Stage IV drought in the area.  Morning briefing will be at 1015.  Practice day 6 today, I believe Jerzy is the only one flying today.

No rain forecast for at least a week.


01 August 2012

1 Aug - Dave's Practice Day 5

Conditions for today were blue thermals, except for a few wisps on the first and second legs.  The task was a relatively short 3:15, so I had planned to start around 3 PM to get home by 6:15.  Before the start, I had trouble finding an 18 m gaggle in the start area, the 18 and 15 gates overlapped slightly and I raced off towards a gaggle only to find it full of 15 m ships.  Eventually, a group of 18 m gliders joined me in a thermal and we worked our way up to 8000 ft sometime around 3:15 and I was ready to start, but no one else was making a move.  We circled our way down to 7500 ft and I finally had enough and left.

 I had planned to fly with a group today since it was blue, but decided flying a little slower by myself and getting home by 6:30 was a better bet than playing games at the start line and running out of day on the final leg.

I covered 435 km at 131 km/hr today, and that will be on the slow side of the scale for my class, but I flew relatively conservatively and saw only a couple of other gliders during the entire flight, and only one of them was marking a thermal.  My timing for the task was good, coming in 3 minutes 45 seconds overtime, but since I cut the 3rd zone short, I had no option but to go all the way across the 4th zone.  In hindsight, I would have been better off going a little deeper in the third, but at the time, the computer was showing something like an hour overtime if I went to the centre of the remaining turnpoints.

The Canada ground team had a good test run today with all three pilots flying, and we were able to do some ranging checks on the ground station.  With the antenna at the hotel connected to our main ground station, we were able to talk out to 120 km, so that will cover most of the task area.

Tomorrow will be another rest day for me, then one last practice day on Friday.


Post Launch

All three of the pilots are on task.

Nick, in 15m, started at 1507.

18m launched next, and Dave started at 1519; Jerzy at 1526.  On the SPOT tracker, they are around the second turnpoint. 

We're enjoying the cool of the motel with the new antenna.


Picture of "staged" gliders

I realized that the explanation might have been unclear.  This is a picture of the gliders staged on Runway 15 at Garner Field, wingtip to wingtip, waiting to be "gridded" at 1245 (about 23 mins).


OOOOH. It's hot! post-briefing 1 August

The briefings are held at South-West Texas Junior College gym - located on the airfield perimeter; probably they have a home-field advantage, since without air conditioning their opponents might wilt!

Today, all three Canadian National Team pilots are flying - Assigned Area Tasks; A task is 3 hours 15, B task is 3 hours.
15m task: min 329 km, nominal 404.6, maximum 490.
18m task: min 355, nom 431, max 511.
Open: 381 min, 475.6, max 580. 

Yesterday's winning speeds were in the high 140's.  This, for here, is "good, but not great".

Today, grid is at 1245, no launch before 13:15.  Tow heights are 2900 MSL, so a touch under 2,000'.

Each task is roughly clockwise, start with Uvalde at the top of the circle.  Turn areas are 10 km to 25 km, depending usually on airspace constraints.

The Uvalde - Garner Field airport is busy; for the contest, they're closing it from 1130-1500 daily.  Right now - 1154 - the gliders are "staged" along the sides of the runway, full of water (explanation tomorrow), with covers on against the sun - which affects the fibreglass construction and cooks instruments in the black panel (to avoid reflections in the canopy).  Covers come off at grid time, when the gliders are pushed to their pre-ordained grid positions ("gridding").  They're then compressed, once pointing all the same way - 100 gliders take a lot of runway.

On return around 7 pm typically, the gliders are recovered from the runway by crew, de-bugged, cleaned, put into the tiedown, and covered.  Log files are sent to the scorers within 30 mins of landing.  About 8 pm, our day, which starts at 7:15 am, is done, and off for a shower, dinner, and any prep for the next day (little blogging).  In 38-40C weather, it's tiring.  And it's humid, so we can't even say "it's a dry heat"!

Today, Nick is 2nd off; Dave is 42nd; Jerzy is 52nd.  The 15 and 18 m classes launch in turn (15 m first today).  Open is off the parallel runway.  An early departure gives you more time to assess the lift of the day, but you have to hang around for an hour or so before departing, which is tiring. If you launch last, the start gate opens about 15 minutes after you start rolling, giving less time, but you've flown an hour less (but sat on a 100F runway for an extra hour being sand-blasted).  Six of one, half dozen of the other...

With the lapse rate, at 6,000' it's about 17C, which the crew envy the pilots getting to experience.

Weather - max lift expected to 8,500'.  At 2 pm, it will be lower, and 3-4 kts, at 4 pm, 5-6 knots.

Trigger temperature - where the heated air has sufficient buoyancy to separate from the ground - occurs at 94F/34.5C, expected at 1345L CDT.  Winds will be SE 8-13 - yesterday, they were a little lighter.  Outlook for tomorrow - pretty well identical.  The weather channel says by early next week we'll be in the high 90's instead of mid-100's.  Yay.

We are testing our crew procedures on this launch, since all pilots are flying, and then we will be consistent for the contest, helping the pilots fly faster by vanishing into the background.

Two gliders from the same team (not ours) touched yesterday during thermal entry, left wing of one to underside of tailboom of the other.  Happily, there was no damage, and both gliders recovered to Uvalde without further incident.  This was the topic of the morning safety briefing.

Next update: start times and A or B task - inquiring minds will want to know!


31 July

Nick flew about 450 km of the course; where there were Cu, it was a good day, but in the blue it was very smooth, and each time the course went into a blue area, it was a sled ride.  With the late start of convection, and starting at 3 pm, with about 100km to go in the blue, and the last leg into wind, he decided that it wasn't worth the energy it would require on a practice day.
The heat of the day seems to have affected his primary logger, which we'll have to figure a way to protect better from the sun.

Today's high is forecast to be 106F; heat index makes it a bit higher than that, but at some point, hot is merely hot!

Our motel antenna has been tested out to just under 100 km, with great results, so we should be in better contact, and the crew can spend a little less time in the tent, which is nice, but still the heat starts to wear you down after a week or so.  Air conditioning is better.

Dave modified his PowerFLARM brick installation yesterday, and is much happier with the look.  Jerzy also did final tweaking on his ASG 29. 

Two more practice days, then on Saturday, the opening ceremony and parade.

We expect all three pilots to fly today.

The Open class launches off the taxiway, and 15/18m from the main runway. Here's pic of the two operations in action. The main (furthest away) eases left after takeoff, the taxiway eases right...  In this case, the Open class is a self-launcher.

 The Hunter becomes the Hunted!

Here's a picture of Maria taking pics - a hot, dusty job that she does exceptionally well (go to Soaring Cafe). This area is just north of the taxiway, about 100 feet from our tie-down area (we get an hour-long daily airshow).  The wispy Cu are a good indicator of yesterday's skies.

 More after briefing.


31 July 2012

ST back safe

Landed just after 6:30 pm.  More to follow after dinner.

NIck start time is 1458.

Sniffer launched at 1249, landed at 1303 - smooth air.  On re-launch, the air was better, and he reported 3 knots of lift through 3500' at 1317.  The grid started launch at 1335. Nick was #71, and left at 1428.  The 15m start gate opened at 1447, and Nick left at 1458.

He should be back about 6:30 pm CDT.


How Do Gliders Get Here?

Some of the overseas teams shipped their gliders in containers to Houston and then had the containers delivered to Uvalde.

The middle picture shows the Polish team's container and the rack that was used to support the gliders.  Some of these teams did not ship trailers, only gliders  - what happens when someone lands out?

Other teams shipped their cars and gliders and trailers.  I have seen quite a few German license plates on cars, as well as Swedish.


Post-briefing 31 July and sniffing explained

Today, Nick (ST) is flying.  Jerzy has taken the day to do detail work on the glider, and Dave (F1) is on a rest day.

15m task is 545.9 km, racing task (i.e., no large turn areas); the task setters are "setting short tasks to allow pilots to conserve energy before the contest)"!  First south, then a short leg to the west, north, then to directly east of Uvalde, and return. 

Start altitude is 10,000'.  Trigger temp is 94F, max 102F at 1730L.
At launch, they expect 2-3 kts; 14-1600 local, 3-5 kts, 1600-1800 5-7 kts.

Grid time is 1240, no launch before 1310.  Sniffer at 1230ish.  I see the Arcus rigging just outside the tent at 1130.

18m task is racing, 548.7 km, open class 593.8 km racing.

Here's the promised picture of our new antenna system:
 Also, in our mailbox this morning, we got a business card that you don't see everyday in Canada! Nice to see they have their priorities straight!

Sniffing - what the heck is that?

I wrote down the exchanges on the radio yesterday between the Arcus (high performance two-place glider) and Contest Director.  There were wispy tendrils of cloud not worthy of the name cumulus that were briefly appearing on the southern horizon.

1231  Launch from the front of 15 million bucks (might be 20 or 25) of highly polished glass
1236  Towplane to sniffer, still on tow - "not strong"
1237 "Good hunting" (sniffer releases)
1239 "Climbing thru 3900'; 1/2 to 1 kt"
1241 "3700' moving to racetrack" (the racetrack is a feature to the north of the airfield).
1242 CD to grid "1st launch remains 1300"
1245 "4500' 2.5 kt net climb"
         CD - "will stay with 1300 1st launch"
1246  "98 (sniffer) signing off"

The goal is to get the fleet into the air as soon as lift supports nearly a hundred gliders safely.  Brief, information filled exchanges.

 First launch was within 10 seconds of 1300 - just like yesterday.

Just thought you might be interested!

I watched the sniffer flying on ST's PowerFLARM screen back at the tie-down area - you could watch him move from thermal to thermal, and see his instantaneous climb rate, from several miles away.  I can't wait to install mine (technology can be a substitute for talent).  Collision avoidance and transponder warning - just other benefits.


wake-up weather Tues 31 July

79F, 79% relative humidity.  High, 104.  Tomorrow's high, 105 (near record high temp).  Winds SE 10-15 (it seems that's always the wind).  Probably gridding on 15 again. 

Team Canada base station antenna now installed at the motel; should increase our range out to about 100 km.  Pictures when it gets light... done at 10:00 pm last night (down to 36C).

First rigging at 0715.

Next report after briefing. 


30 July 2012

30 Jul - Dave's Practice Day 3

Today was a great day.  A 4:15 area task was called for 18 m with a nominal distance of 616 km.  The task took us SE for about 150 km, then to the west and back north in to the hill country and finally a leg to the east in the hills before heading home.

The weather guesser suggested we might see some cu, but thought it would be mainly blue.  As it turned out, the sky was full of cu based initially around 7000 and later rising to about 9000.  The lift was as strong as I have ever seen in Uvalde, I had one thermal where the window averager showed 14.5 kts for a couple of turns, and several where I saw 12 and 10.

At one point on the leg north, my task speed was showing 157 km/hr and I was pushing to try and get it over 160 to hit 100 mph :)  But the conditions to the north didn't cooperate as things weakened near the northerly turnpoint and I had to stop pushing.

For the day, I finished with a speed of 149.8 km/hr over 625 km, but came in 5 minutes early, so my scoring speed was reduced to 147 and this was good for fifth on the day.  The loss of almost 3 km/hr for 5 minutes undertime shows how critical it is to meet the minimum time on task.  That's the lesson for today!

F1 back safe


 Off to dinner.     
Many are aware that one of our WGC Team had a fatal accident during the Canadian Nationals during an outlanding.  Derek was our friend, and we miss his energy and humour terribly.  The Team decided that TT should be here and fly - he earned it.  Each of the Team is flying with "TT" decals on their tail as a tribute.  Here is a picture of ST's tail on the grid yesterday.

Photo by Sonia Hildesheim.


 Canadian Base - nice sunshade, and a lot better than the square ones usually seen.  We leave it up at night - secured with 12 pegs.  We see a couple of the others with ripped tops already, this one just leans a bit and distributes the load (so, in essence, we have a Sun Tzu tent, bending like a reed in the wind (last Sun Tzu quotation of the blog, I promise)).
 First time I've seen Dick Butler's Concordia - wow. Those wings just go on and on... This was, I think, 3rd to go on the parallel (open class) taxiway - the sky is just starting to develop. 15 and 18m launch from the main runway.  The launch operation is quite well done, the grid's gone in just over an hour.
A dust devil blew through as Nick and Christine were working on ST.  This was around 1400 local.  There have been a lot of these today - not so much the last two days.

Dave should be back around 1840 CDT.


F1 start 1441

launch in progress

Launch started 1300 ended 1408. 

F1 launched 1359.  18m start gate opens at 1426.  15m gate opened at 1401.  Open gate at 1400.

Waiting for start time.  Nice looking sky.

launch delay

1st launch now no earlier than 1250.  Max start height now 12,000 MST.

They are about to launch the sniffer - Arcus 98.

Dan Daly

Monday post briefing

Dave has one of the 15 satellite loggers today!  You will be able to track him around the course; this is a trial of the tracking system.  Go to http://www.wgc2012uvalde.com/, see - TRACKING - follow the race link near the top.  Fingers crossed that it works.

The task is 616.5 km Assigned Area Task (541 km min, nominal 616.5, max 694 km).  It runs southeast, west, north through 2 TPs, south-east, then home.  Grid 1200, earliest launch is 1230, Dave is #66 on the grid.  Max start altitude is 6000'.

Uvalde evevation is 941'ASL.

Weather - drying trend.  Possible sea breeze late in the day over the southern task area.
Lift trigger temp 92F/33.5C expected at 1230.  Starting 5 kts, building to 7-8 kts by 4 pm CDT.  Cloud base as high as 9500' MSL late.

At the Captains' meeting, folks were reminded they have to turn in igc files for all flights, so there should be more scores up tomorrow.  Pretty spectacular speeds - and I'm told "it's decent, but not great" weather!

Sonia says hi.

Tomorrow - hotter.  Oh boy!

Next report after the gate opens.


Nick, ST, Practice days report

Nick, ST - Practice Day 1, 28 Jul

Technical inspection at 11AM went OK, with no issues, except that I was 10 KG overweight on the scale, and had to dump. I'll need to fill ballast with 10 litres less than calculated. There was still time to get on the grid for a flight. Cloudbase was about 6000' with good cloud coverage, but the lift wasn't all that great.  After the start, I kept going looking for good lift and found myself at 2000' AGL with dying clouds all around. I decided to take a 1.2 kt thermal to get some manoeuvring height. It started to look better ahead, so I moved on and found 5 kts. After I turned the second turn according to the display on my computer, I checked my second computer and it was displaying 0.7 km. I had missed the 0.5 km radius. I turned around, in sink of course, to get get within 0.5 km. It turns out I had not changed the radius for one turnpoint in the task. The cloud streets were not lined up with the course line, so I followed the streets for a while, then crossed over to the next street a few times. At the 4th turn with two more to go, it was decision time. It was mostly blue to the north, cloudbase 7000', with deteriorating conditions, higher ground with few landout options in the "hill country". Keep going or go home? I decided to go home and abort the task. No point in taking chances on a practice day.

Nick, ST - Practice Day 2, 29 Jul

A blue day according to the weatherman, but there were a few CUs at the time of take-off. I found lift to 5500' in the blue, with up to 7500' under the short lived clouds. Before the gate opened, I explored the first leg and found nothing in the blue. I decided to wait for a while to see if CUs would develop.  A few gliders started but still no CUs on the first leg. I decided to get going anyway. I found reasonable lift in the blue and eventually met up with the Belgian 15m team that happens to be sharing our team frequency. I flew with them 3/4 of the task. Halfway on the second leg CUs were forming and with good lift, sometimes up to 8 kts average. The second turn was in the blue just beyond the clouds, and the first half of the third leg was on the edge of the CUs. I lost track of the Belgian team when they found 10 Kts average, and searching below I only found 6 kts. Halfway along the third leg, it was turning blue with just a few wispy CUs. Lift was still good, but I found heavy sink on the way to the third turn and found myself at 4000 MSL. I found 4 kt lift at the turn and decided to take it before moving on. Looking ahead, there were a few small CUs on the last leg. with a tail wind and a line of wisps providing reduced sink and some lift, I slowly got on the final glide path. A fun day overall, but my Flarm antenna, stuck on with double sided tape, fell off. The glue got soft in the heat!

Nick, ST - Practice Day 3, 30 Jul - Time for a rest day and for fixing issues such as figuring a way to keep the Flarm antenna in place.

Sunday wrap-up

Sorry for the late report, we had some internet problems.

Nick finished the 497.8 km task with a speed of 121.3 km/hr.  Today, Monday, he's taking a rest day.

Jerzy was first on the 18m/15m grid, and completed the 500.4 km task at 138.9 km/hr.  Today, Monday, he's taking a rest day.

The immediate area of the airport was blue, but south of the airport there was 2-3/8ths of Cu - more than forecast.

Open class had a 570.1 km task and the top speed was 143.5 km/hr.  Just another "normal" day in West Texas!

Dave is flying today.  Ed's LS-10 is undergoing scrutineering this morning.  Yesterday, Concordia and a modified ASW22 didn't fit in the hangar for inspection - when I was there with F1, the 18m ASG29 and another ASG 29 fit ok - kind of puts the size of open class in perspective.

Towplanes continue to arrive to increase the size of the fleet.

Weather - 74F right now, high 102.  Winds SE 10-15 kts.
Tuesday - "near record high temperatures - 104F"
Wed - 104 F
Thu - 102 F (might have to get a sweater in case I get a chill).

Next report after the pilot's meeting.

Dan Daly


29 July 2012

update - Sunday 29 July

Jerzy was on task at 14:03, Nick at 1438.  Jerzy was #1 on the grid of about 70.

The day is largely blue, and the wind just recently started picking up, giving some relief from the heat.

I'm told tomorrow should be more blue...

29 July - Dave's Practise Day 2

I am not flying today, but both Nick and Jerzy are.  It is a blue day here and the weather guesser suggested that lift should be in the 5-7 kt range up to about 7000 ft.

Both the 18 m and 15 m classes have 500 km assigned tasks down to the south and east.

The launch started around 1230, so Nick and Jerzy should both be on task now.  Me, I'm enjoying the AC in the RV :)


Uvalde email post

28 July - Crew report

Well, I'm in Uvalde.  Here's what the day of crew is like in Uvalde.

Wake early, when it's cool.  Look at weather:
84F at 9 am, 65% relative humidity.
91F at 1000.
98F at noon.
100F at two pm.
97F at six pm.  Humid, too.  "Abundant sunshine."  Yesterday, we had cloud until noon - blue and a million this morning.

First rig at 0715, water the gliders, tow to the grid spots, then off to breakfast (varies by glider, some eat earlier).  Set up Team Canada sunshade area - chairs, etc.

Pilots' meeting at 1000 in the gym; there will also be a team Captains' meeting.  Grid is about 1230 (to be confirmed) with a launch 1 hour later - yesterday's launch took about an hour (12 towplanes, some open class are self-launching).

We're having some coverage issues with cell phones - fixes in progress.  Today we set up the base station antenna at the hotel - once the Team's on task, we'll retire to the air conditioned comfort of the motel.

We're sorting out details on submitting start times and igc files on the internet and expect we'll have that solved today.

There will be 15 satellite trackers distributed randomly through the field of just under 100 gliders.  You can go to the WGC 2012 website to hit the tracker:  http://www.wgc2012uvalde.com  (tracking, follow the race link).  As the contest continues, the trackers will be allocated to the higher ranking gliders.

I met Dick Butler yesterday at dinner, the Concordia is now in Uvalde - can't wait to see it.

We'll have some pictures up later today, priority is to get the gliders into the air.

Dan Daly

Welcome party and first day practise

We had first party yesterday to meet old and new gliding friends from around the world including Uvalde girls.

Today we had first practice day . It was very demanding day as we had to assemble glider and prepare all before 9 am to avoid working in the scorching heat.

Task today had  high speed assumption by organizers and last turn area in the hills which are very unfriendly for land outs and weather is not the best in hills most of the time. I crossed start line two times as my first start was very slow and low. Second one was much better as I was able to connect with cloud streets and run very fast averaging 153km/h
30 km short of last cylinder I decided to  get home without claiming last turn area as chances for land out was high at the end of the day and retrieve could take 5 hours or more.

Tomorrow we have next practice day and it suppose to be hot and not many

Jerzy XG