Sunday, June 22, 2014

Day One Cancelled

WGC2014 – Rayskala, Finland
22 June   (First scheduled competition day)
By John Good

Our contest begins “not with a bang, but a whimper.”  This should have been the first race day at WGC2014, but Finland weather wouldn’t have it.  A large low-pressure system, centered a short ways northwest of Rayskala, is moving slowly – too slowly – southeast.  Thanks to this we didn’t get even a short window of soarable weather today – it was uniformly grim, and seems likely to stay that way for a while.

The first sign of problems came around 5am, when a few minutes of hail preceded about an hour of significant rain. Rayskala airfield features sandy soil, which allows water to drain well.  But it’s showing some strain from all the rain we’ve had: the well-traveled roads within our campground now have numerous areas of standing water, and ample mud.

At the 10am pilot briefing the weather was formally declared hopeless and tasks for the day were cancelled.  This sort of “clean kill” is better than having to assemble gliders in rain and then wait around for a forlorn chance at a task.  But we are being told to expect a couple more days of this - not what anyone wants to hear.

Phil Gaisford reports having inspected a cut log he found near the lakeside cabin where he, wife Pat and Bob Fletcher are staying (about a kilometer from the airfield).  He counted nearly 100 annual growth rings in a log about 14 inches in diameter – which argues that the campground trees that surround us are older than I’d been led to believe.

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