Our Team in Rieti

Our Team in Rieti
The US Team and Crew




Wednesday, July 16, 2008

July 16, 2008--Competition Day 9

We're into Day 9 of the Competition right now. Yesterday evening Mark, Francois, Manfred and Jonathan returned to the field--all completing their tasks. Pat landed out about 60km north of airport, and as you know Chip landed out earlier in the afternoon. Bogie was on his way to retrieve about 6pm and they returned around ten. I had reported that Mark was venturing off into the blue earlier and that he would tell us later what happened on course. Well apparently there was a short stretch of blue to the north and then some good cumulus as he proceeded further north. The Standard Class was pretty tightly bunched on the scoresheet with Mark right in the pack.

Manfred and Jonathan finished 24th and 29th and apparenty had tougher flights. Manfred commened that he was at Terni airport at 400 meters and was thinking of just landing. But then he said "I saw someone else thermalling 200 meters below me, and I just had to continue". Mark took this photo showing the end of a competition day on the grid, with things winding down. His other photo (above) is of Terminillo partially obscured by clouds.

And the big news of the day was Francois' win in the World Class! He had quite a good run and edged out his Polish competitor by 1kph. Francois was ready for some celebrating. So a group of us went to a restaurant a short way from the field and had an outstanding dinner. It is located in an old farmhouse and Mark and Quay had been their earlier in the trip. When you walk in and sit down the wine is served, and the food starts coming. Antipasto, more antipasto, pasta and more pasta, meats and desserts. No one went home hungry. Quay bundled up the pastries we hadn't eaten and I delivered them to Pat and Bogie who had just arrived back from their retrieve.

Today's tasks--Competition Day 9--were all Assigned Speed Tasks. The weather was predicted to be blue with little wind The launch was scheduled for 1200 but was delayed till 1335. There was a TC meeting on the grid at 12:35 and all classes had changed and shortened tasks. All the pilots are currently on course and we've heard of altitudes between 8000 and 9000 feet. There are a few clouds to the south, but the the Rieti Valley and north are quite blue. We also have some heavy cirrus moving in from the west. Hopefully it will not interfere with today's tasks.

More Later

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