Sunday, June 30, 2013

First day win for US Team in Issoudun

Below is a photo of the Day 1 winner in Club Class.... Yope, our very own Sarah took the day.

The preliminary results are out at
This is Sarah's first Day win at a World Championship, and we hope she will repeat this feat many times here at this WWGC.
The weather forecast shows three more good days coming our way. Stay tuned for more racing news in the coming days...

They are on course on a Day 1 task of 269 Km

Weather forecast for Day 1 looked promising. All three classes were assigned AST. The Club Class in which Sarah flies has a 4-turnpoint 269 Km AST. Take off was at 12:30, and the gate for Club Class opened at 13:16. Convection was a bit slow to develop and they milled around the field for about an hour in blue thermals reaching about 2600-2700'. Cumulus started forming toward the East, where the first two turnpoints are located, and they headed on course around 14:15. The sky toward the North, where the last turnpoint is, now looks wonderful, with about 2 octas of Cu with bases around 4000'. From the reports, most are approaching the third turnpoint now and will soon turn South toward the home field, the fourth and last turn point being a steering point about 15 Km out. We are expecting them around 6:00 if all goes well during the final hour. More later after the arrivals.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

The opening ceremonies are over

After a drizzly morning and a cloudy afternoon, the sun kindly decided to come out for the opening ceremonies that took place at the field at 6:00 PM. The weather for tomorrow looks good, so we will have an early dinner and it will be early to bed tonight to be ready for the first race.

The Team is on-site and (almost) ready

The Team members, Sarah, Joy, and François, met at the Paris Charles De Gaulle airport on Tuesday morning, arriving from various places in the USA. The four-hour drive to Issoudun went uneventfully and we were able to meet the owner and collect the glider, a Standard Libelle 201B, right at our arrival at the Issoudun field. Despite the long trip and jet-lag, we started working on the glider immediately, as several instruments had to be changed and connected.
We worked until sunset, then happily retired to our wonderful lodging quarters, a "Rural Gite" that is run like a bed and breakfast by a farming family. The place is a little bit farther than most from the airport, but is very quiet, which is a definite plus for the rest and sleep that we will be looking for after the expected long days at the airport.

We continued our work on the glider and other preparations on Wednesday, and managed to get the glider ready just in time for Sarah to take a first test flight at the end of the day. A few more tweaking after her Wednesday test flight and we were ready for the mandatory practice day on Thursday. The practice task was to the North and West, and revealed the two major issues that the contestants will face: A very difficult airspace structure, and the near-zilch outlanding possibilities aside from airports and strips. Although the task area is agricultural, with non-stop field after field to the horizon, none have been harvested so far. The poor weather in the area during the Spring has delayed the local harvest that typically takes place in June. After talking with a few local farmers, including our hosts at the "Gite," the landout situation is not expected to improve any time during the period of the championship... These two issues have already led to some "mishaps" during the practice days, with a few airspace intrusions and some bruises on a couple of gliders, fortunately repairable. Sarah flew well on the practice day, finishing second in her class.

The rush to get the glider ready by Wednesday evening was due to the forecast of poor weather for Friday and Saturday and our desire to get at least one or two flights in before the first contest day. Indeed, the weather turned rainy on Friday, which allowed us to focus on all the other needed items, such as scrutineering, final registration, input and familiarization with the new airspace file issued Thursday evening, maps, SIM cards for phones, radios and antenna, etc. We continued preparations today, Saturday, which is a no-fly day, and are now almost ready, with only a few minor items to wrap up tonight.

I am just being reminded that the Opening Ceremonies will start in about half an hour, so I will close this post now and go get "uniformed," and will report some more at our return.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The US Team at Issoudun will include:

Sarah Arnold, Pilot
François Pin, Team Captain
Joy Mckee, Crew Chief (and nutritionist, media relations, activity coordinator, and many other functions...)
Arnaud Lerude, Crew and Local Logistics Support

All are still feverishly working on completing the (long) list of essential preparatory items before heading out on the journey to Issoudun on June 24.

Follow us on this blog. Back in touch when we get closer to the event.


The 7th Women's World Gliding Championships will be held in Issoudun, France June 29 - July 13.

The Soaring Society of America is sending US Team member, Sarah Arnold to compete in the Club Class.  Sarah has been busy recently.  She competed at the 32nd World Gliding Championships, the 18 Meter US Nationals, and the just-concluded Region 5 contest.

At Region 5, she flew a Libelle, which will be the type she will fly at Issoudun.

For the next three weeks or so, this blog will keep you up to date on the news from the WWGC.