Monday, July 19, 2010

Arrival Szeged July 19, 2010


We’re all  here in Szeged at last, and ready to go.


What they don’t tell you (well, maybe I didn’t listen) about a world contest is the enormous amount of work it takes just to get here. There’s lots of paperwork and arrangements, and then finally getting everything over here. Whew, that’s done! With some minor mishaps we’ve all made it and we’re all up and flying.


Today was an unofficial practice day. Cloudbase started around 3,000’ and rose to 4,000’, with 2-3 knot thermals. The day overdeveloped a bit so we had to dodge showers, but nothing huge. It’s really pretty. I went to one thermal marked by a huge gaggle of birds, and found they were storks! I’ve never seen that before. Unlike our hawks though, they get spooked by gliders and left before  I could find the core.


The terrain around Szeged looks very comfortable to our pilots. It’s  flatland, with mostly big hay fields. You can land anywhere. It feels a lot like Illinois to me, like Perry to Al, or even like Texas, though a bit weaker so far.


I owe a big thanks to a very large number of people who have helped with the big job of just getting here. In particular, Hubert Elsen and Maria Woerle and Mid-America Overseas got all my shipping arranged, Herbert Pirker spent a whole morning installing my bugwipers, Hendrik Hoeth set up a blipmap page for us, John Leibacher and Chip Garner have sorted through the inevitable turnpoint and SUA file problems, and of course we pilots benefit from our devoted captain, crews, and the US team organization at home that has been working tirelessly to set up a first class operation over here. My crew is Adnan Mirza, who some of you may know from his time in the US, who has flown several worlds as Team Pakistan, and really knows how to pamper his pilot.


Now we’re getting the team organization set up, as well as trying to do some more flying to get in the zone for the first contest day on Sunday.


John Cochrane BB