Tuesday, August 08, 2006
August 8 Day Cancelled
When we woke up this morning, we saw this:
Although we were not quite sure what it was (apparently it was the sky), we took it as a sign that we might have a chance to fly today. Sure enough, two warring airmasses were doing battle right over our heads. Just to our northwest, there were cumulus clouds. Over our heads, the deck of clouds remained. We sat on the grid (change of pace!) until 3:30, when the sniffer reported that it was just "flat" so the day was cancelled. We have one more chance to fly, but the forecast for Wednesday looks slightly worse than today.
Tim considers the better weather to the northwest, just outside of the task area.
Someone was asking me about some of the Grand Prix rules, so here is a very short summary.
The contest is limited to 20 aircraft and pilots. Typically they are from one class. In this case, they are all exactly the same kind of aircraft. After the gliders launch, the start time is announced. Pilots must be behind the start line one minute before the start. These times are announced on the radio and in larger Grand Prix, announced over a PA system. Once the start line is open, the clock is running for all competitors, just like in auto racing. There is no penalty for starting late, but you have to find a way to get in front of those who have started before you if you hope to win.
With the start line and this type of "regatta start" the spectators below can really see the pilots as they get behind the start line and then start.
The tasks are all racing tasks. So how do you win? By making the best choices for that particular day.
The length of the competition period is shorter, the tasks tend to be shorter, but they do not have to be. Oh, and you don't get any real bonus or penalty for your speed. The first person to cross the finish line gets 10 points. The second place person gets 8 points and so on down to 9th place, which gets 1 point.
It doesn't matter if you beat someone by 15 seconds or 15 minutes as long as you come in first. Interesting, right?
In the Grand Prix rules, the task setter may also give bonus points for reaching a certain turn point first, which can change the game on a particular day.
If you really want to get into the rules, which are still featherweight in size compared to the Sporting Code Annex A, you can read them at