This is the blog for the USA Soaring Teams. Check here for the latest on-site contest reports from the team members.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Junior Team arrival

The US Junior soaring team arrived yesterday in Rayskala, Finland, to overcast skies and a quiet airfield. The organization was preparing for the upcoming world championships, but more importantly the midsummer eve party, to celebrate the evening before the longest day of the year. This holiday is the largest holiday of the country according to the locals. The party started at 9:00PM with refreshments, music, and dancing. At midnight all were invited to the center of the airfield where a large bonfire was lit and everyone gathered until around 1:30 or so. More dancing in the hangar followed until around 2:00 when the remaining celebrators moved the party to the Sauna for the rest of the evening. The interesting thing about this latitude is that it never really gets dark. The brightness of the twilight is about the same as most locations in the states one half hour after sunset (9:00 or so at this time of year). Then the skies start getting brighter again. Fortunately we have had no problems adjusting to the time change, and have slept well. It does make it hard to guesstimate the time using daylight as we do at home.

This morning we were awakened by a screaming, cawing and banging sound at all of the windows of our cottage. The owner of the cottage refers to it as the crazy bird. Our crazy flying friend likes to drop by in the morning and fly into the windows of the cottage and use the front porch as a bathroom. The cottage owner who is an avid duck hunter is currently outside stalking it with his pellet gun, after setting out what he described as the “last supper”, potatoes and salami.

This morning an LS-4 and a Discus B arrived for the US Team at the airfield. Corey and Devin are currently working on getting their panels prepped and gliders ready to fly. The overcast is scheduled to clear tomorrow.

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