Our Team in Rieti

Our Team in Rieti
The US Team and Crew




Saturday, July 12, 2008

July 12, 2008 Official Competition Day 6

It's Saturday afternoon here in Rieti and Day 6 is officially underway. Giorgio conducted our task briefing this morning after the Pilot's briefing in the hangar. We do these briefings in our "office" which is located in one of the hangars.
The heat there is unbearable after noon, but it does work in the morning. Unfortunately, the heat is not the only problem. The office has neither internet reception, nor the ability to use the radio.

All of our pilots are out on course. I just heard a radio transmission from Francois and it appears that he and Pat may be just over half complete with their 305km task. The Standard Class is on a 419km speed task and the Club Class is on a 3 hour TAT. Chip had a relight today and left the start line 27 minutes after Mark. He was in good company though, as a number of gliders went about the same time. From the ground, the weather looks pretty good. It was predicted to be a blue day, but we have seen a number of cumulus. Pilots were reporting altitudes of 10,500 ft prior to the start. Unfortunately, once the pilots leave the Rieti valley we no longer have any communication with them. On their way back to the north we can hear them for a brief period as they cross through the valley again.

Concerning Jonathan's 12 points for day 3: On Day 4 Jonathan took a relight because his wing tape had come loose and it was making a great deal of noise. He relaunched late and went through the start gate and traveled about 12km before deciding to abandon the task and return home. He was originally scored with 0 points. We put in an official query and discovered that he had e-mailed both the flights. The scorer was using the first flight in the e-mail, which showed no valid start. Using the second file--which took some work to change in the scoring computer--Jonathan was given the 12 points he earned for the flight.

I've received a comment from one of the readers asking for more information about the pilot's flights. I would like you to understand that the flying here is extremely technical and consists of thermal flying, ridge flying, seabreeze fronts and wave flying. Any day can bring any of these conditions, and reporting on the flights by someone not familiar with the flying here just isn't possible. As I've said previously, the Ritz Corner is an excellent resource to use, as it covers the activity here on the ground and in the air. We have 21 trackers installed in gliders and the flights of those people are online--with a 15 minute delay. Most of our pilots have flown with a tracker, and Mark is flying with one today. So if you want real time commentary and visuals, just go to the online tracking on the WGC website. In fact, Ritz has just been writing some commentary on the progress of Mark's flight!

Yesterday our newest crew member, Bogdan (Bogie) Szager arrived on site.
He is replacing Jacob as Pat's crew. We decided to break him in right for Rieti and asked him to help with Manfred's retrieve last night. These are the before and after photos.
Jet lag, high temperatures and a lot of work can cause this condition.

I've also included two excellent photos taken by Mark showing the sea breeze front pushing against the mountain, and the mountain terrains.

Tomorrow is an official rest day and their will be no grid and no flying. Giorgio's son Edoardo and his friend Cristiana arrived last night and a number of us will accompany them to Cantalice for what has always been a wonderful meal. I think we're all due a day of rest as some of us have been here for over two weeks.


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