Superfinal Practice Day

For the official practice day maybe 2/3's of the pilots showed up...the rest were either taking a rest day or busy being sick :)

Race is on!
Given that there was the opening ceremony this afternoon, the task was pretty short: about 50km in total, heading over the back to the Monarcas and then back to St. Augustine, before tagging Torre launch and landing at the lake LZ.

The convergence was well-setup by the time we went over the back so it was pretty easy to run the clouds to the Monarcas.  It was pretty interesting to watch the wind...on the east side of the convergence it was SE, and on the lakeside of the convergence it was west.  There was a lot of shade on the west side of the convergence line so many (including me) took the sunny side. I did an awful lot of weaving around clouds as 'base kept changing depending where in the convergence line you flew.  Lots of pilots got to practice their spirals and big-ears on their fancy new gliders as the cloudsuck was significant at times.

Coming back from the Monarcas was a bit tougher since the SE wind was pushing us into the shade so we had to fly cross-wind to stay in the sun.  But once achieving St. Augustine it was time to venture into the shade where it was easy sailing to Torre launch and the end of speed section.

So I made goal (albeit last!); I did see some pilots land out on the way back from the Monarcas where the shade got them before they could escape to the sun.

Flight is here, and photos are here.

This afternoon was the opening ceremony, which reminded me (a lot) of the 2009 World Championships opening ceremonies, except without the parade.  Lots of speechifying, presentations, and then cultural events including some maypole dancing/spinning action.  (According to Zack who watched them do this, a couple of days ago they dug a 12' hole and put a live chicken at the bottom.  The chicken was then annointed with wine and blessed, and then a 60' giant log was upended into the hole, crushing the chicken.  The hole was then sealed up to keep the log upended for the maypole dancers.)

Oh yeah, all the pilots were also blessed, although in a more benign fashion!  We were all given wreaths of flowers and bread which supposedly blesses and protects us during the comp.  So we were all walking around town this evening with giant wreaths around our necks :)

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