Both Mike and Kathy have gone through the start gate on this first competition day. They are on a 368 km racing task. First turnpoint, Trasacco to the south, and then north to Gualdino, south to Bgo S Pietro and then home. The weather is expected to be good, with some cumulus.
The trip to the grid today was a little different, as we all had to be weighed. There was a question during the Sabina Glide about this large hole located in the middle of the towout area with concrete poured around it. Well, that was the weighing scale. It was a bit chaotic, as overweight gliders were dumping ballast, causing the backfilled dirt to settle. And if you were a little to the right of the actual scale, your glider main wheel would fall through and hit the electronics. Fortunately, I don't believe this happened.
The launches here are spectacular. We have 12 towplanes, including three military planes, and they are efficient! Today 59 gliders were launched in 38 minutes. We are gridded 8 wide and each pilot has his or her own towrope which is dropped at the hanger for collection by crew.
At the pilot's meeting this morning it was finally announced that there would be only left hand thermalling prior to the start. This generated a little controversy as some of the team captains still believed that the rule would be changed.
Last night's opening ceremony was quite well done. I think that rather than trying to explain the event it would be better to post a number of the photos that we took during the event. I will do that as soon as we have combined the files from our three cameras.