Today (Thu) has been cancelled due to high overcast and increasing winds ahead of some more weather (see my link to the weather sites at right for the "aktuelles" forecast). I look forward to a trip to a big Russian groceery store later today, if I can catch a ride with someone.
We achieved task 1 yesterday, with a 165.5 km 3 turnpoint task. The weather was pretty good, although below average by local Russian standards. There were cumulus clouds, although not all were true lift indicators, and Tim fell victim to a "sucker cloud" that separated him from the top group and dropped him to 6th place on the day.
A pretty good showing for his first cross country day in a Jantar, though!
Things went pretty smoothly from an organizational standpoint, although there was some confusion about the start order. Before the first comp day, lots were drawn for line numbers, which is pretty standard in international competition, right? Then you take off from left to right by line, so your start order depends on when you get to the grid. Here, they were trying to take people in the order they had drawn the lots, which resulted in slight confusion (I think mostly on our part) but it all worked out.
We have ended up with 13 competitors instead of 15 - two had to withdraw at the last minute. Just to put this event in perspective, there are about 300 glider pilots in the country. There aren't any "modern" gliders herre yet, although people are working to change that. There are about 100 Jantars, 100 Blaniks, and 30 Lak-12s. Russian contest pilots are given different titles, such as Master of Sport and something else I can't understand when they say it in Russian.
This airport is pretty active all week long with helicopter training and aerobatic training as well. Of course, I am tempted by the go-kart track, but so far no one will race with me. Perhaps that falls under the "don't do nothing dumb" heading anyway.
The flying center, constructed for the 2005 World Glider Aerobatics Championship
A Wilga tow plane...with a pair of Antonov 2s - one in original Russian Airforce marking and one in more modern paint job.
Iakov Shrage, our host.
The weather man, Sergei Stepanov points at the less-than-promising forecast for today.