Problems again today, this time in the form of a good soaring day collapsing sooner than forecast.  All classes were given long tasks to the north (where essentially all flying has been done); these had to be shortened when slow-developing lift delayed the launch.  But once flying began conditions were good and it looked like another solid day.

For the 15M and Standard classes, decent altitudes and speeds persisted for about 70% of the tasks, but the final leg south toward home became a serious struggle, with lift declining and wind increasing.  Many gliders came to earth just one or two climbs shy of what was needed. Standard class had just 9 finishers; 15m had 10, of which five incurred low-finish penalties.

The Club class had no finishers at all.  With a first task leg well to the west, and in the face of a forecast calling for weakening conditions moving west to east, the entire class spent about an hour circling near their start line, waiting for someone to finally set out. The first leg became a brutal struggle, with no one making progress at a rate that offered hope of finishing.  A number of pilots called for trailers to be sent out early.  About half the fleet managed to get within 50km of home, but none made it back.

We had International Night this evening, at which teams are encouraged to present food & drink emblematic of their country.  The US table offered Jack Daniels, Coke & s’mores – which got good attention and certainly set us apart from Europe.  The selection at the French table was characteristically notable: wine, cheeses, and some truly outstanding cured ham, sliced very thin.  Britain offered fish & chips.  The German and Czech beer offerings were excellent and popular.  Poland had vodka, and Ukraine offered an orange liquid that sensible people should consume only in small quantities. This lasted several hours and I think it’s safe to say that those who left hungry or fully sober have only themselves to blame.

We have a cold front approaching, bringing wind, low cloud & a good chance of rain.  In view of this, a rest day has been declared: no pilot briefing or flying will happen tomorrow.  Crews – and probably a good many pilots – were happy to hear this. Long days, a good number ending with trailer retrieves, have taken a toll.  I expect there’ll be lots of late sleepers tomorrow morning.