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

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Heading Home

The US Junior Team is heading home.

The final two days left us first with a rest day on Friday. We all headed towards Helsinki and the guys joined in with other teams in a go-cart championship. Corey came in 5th out of 19 participants. Lighter wingloading (all up cart weight) gave much faster speeds unlike flying the gliders. A good time was had by all.

Saturday, the weather was marginal, but good enough for a 2:30 turn area task. Most made it home. Our guys came in a bit under time, but the weather wouldn't allow much more distance. The later turns were covered in overcast skies and led for long quiet glides home.

We are off to clean our cottage, and move towards Helsinki for our flights early tomorrow morning. I'll post more pictures, and notes when time allows.


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Day 8

The weather looked much better today as we gridded the gliders. By launch time the skies were looking real good. Standard had a 556km task, club task was a 340 km assigned task. A while after the start, the skies overdeveloped and we could hear people out on course having trouble. There were 22 landouts in the club class (more in standard), but still enough finishers in club class for a 1000 pt day. Corey had a good run and came home with 943 pts today and an 8th place finish.

Devin unfortunately was unable to connect with a thermal 35km from home and was forced to land out. He did have some company as Chris Gough, the Canadian pilot, had landed just seconds earlier in the same field. This made the retrieve easy as both trailers could go as a convoy.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Day 7

Turns out that today indeed was a flying day. Everyone on the US team here flew at Rayskala today. While the guys were out on task, Devin's father, David, took a flight in the club K-21 and Becky and I took a turn after he was back. As I said before the rental rate was cheap, 2 hrs in the air for 44 euro, which is about $60. I've included a picture from our flight so you can see what the area near the airport looks like. Many trees and lakes. The number of fields increases as you move away from the airport.

Corey and Devin had a decent run to finish in the middle of the pack today. They had more fun than yesterday as the weather was better than the forecast said. Task was a turn area task of 2:30 for about 280km mean distance.

Day 6

We have learned of the fatalities in Parowan and Ephrata. Our hearts go out to their friends and families.

We're waiting under iffy skies this morning. At the team captains briefing safety was discussed as yesterdays weather was weak, and the gaggles were large. There were many complaints from the pilots as to aggressive and dangerous thermal techniques.

Yesterdays task turned out to be a slow one. Most of the pack only did about 240 km or so in a 3:30 turn area task. It was definitely a day to hang in there and get home. A slow finish yielded just over 700 pts, while a landout of near the same distance gave close to 300. Both USA pilots made it back, and were pretty happy as the going was tough. They rarely saw an altitude higher than 1200 meters.

Looks like the possibility of another day off