Another difficult day, this time with weather that actually beat the forecast.  We awoke to low clouds and overcast, which most forecasts said would persist though most of the day – probably too late for much flying.  The optimistic view was that it would clear from the southeast, allowing pilots to complete short tasks.

Tasks were indeed short (the tasking at WGC2021 has dealt reasonably well with notably difficult weather) – and located about where they should be to take advantage of the clearing, which arrived sooner than forecast, causing the overcast to break into usable cumulus clouds.  Thus did Club and Standard classes enjoy a day of mostly complete tasks (55 of 65 pilots, collectively).  The task for the 15M class had their final turn area located in what proved to be a bad spot, with the effect that most pilots flew a good distance but only 12 of 28 finished, 6 of which had low-finish penalties.

By any standard, this has been a stretch of difficult soaring weather.  The problems extend well beyond Montluçon-Guéret airport: during the past two weeks only southern France has seen much of what could be called good soaring weather.  A factor aggravating the problem here is that essentially all tasks head into lower terrain to the north, where the height of lift over the ground tends to be better.  This mostly works until it’s time to head home, into rising ground at the end of a soaring day which never was strong. Many flights have ended within 25 km of home (where the terrain is generally friendly for outlandings), and more than a few finishers have received penalties for crossing the finish cylinder below the minimum height.