This is Frank Paynter, reporting from lake Mifflin, site of the 15m water gliding nationals, with the Rain Day 1 results. We started the day with the morning pilots meeting at 0930, with gentle rain pattering on the roof of the maintenance hangar. After a few announcements from CM Brian Glick, including a short reading from Charlie Spratt's "See Ya at the Airport" and a belated birthday card for Heinz Weissenbuehler (man, that is a *hard* name to spell!), weatherman Richard Kellerman defended his weather call from yesterday. In his defense, he did get the shape of the lift curve right, and he *did* say that he was pretty sure of its shape but not of its position on the time axis, but we all booed him anyway - its tradition you know ;-).
After the meeting broke up, the real Rain Day 1 activities commenced, with many and varied tasks. Two pilots had wings laid out on tables in the maintenance hangar (aka pilot meeting room) doing minor maintenance under Hank and Heinz's supervision, and Hank Nixon (UH) was seen performing a delicate tuning operation on a TE probe. However, the real action was in the main hangar where Dave Nadler, in his role as FLARM representative, had set up a production line for installation of the 'brick' FLARM units. As I have mentioned before, the FLARM team has been very aggressive in getting units into the hands of U.S. pilots, and very proactive in pursuing the detection range/sensitivity issues many of us have experienced. IMHO, unless the range problems prove to be completely insurmountable (which I now doubt), FLARM is here to stay in the U.S. competition fleet, and I also predict that FLARM will become a requirement for U.S. competitions within the next three years. I would hope that the requirement would be instituted for Nationals first, followed by Regionals.
For myself, I had a somewhat different set of priorities for the day. I have been doing some work with ClearNav, inc - creating a PC-based configuration utility for their new vario, and Richard Kellerman took the opportunity to get a number of us together to hash out some last minute details so the configuration utility would be well integrated into the overall vario system for initial customer deliveries. In addition, I had a minor skin cancer removed from my back about 10 days ago, and Erik Nelson (5E) volunteered to remove the stitches. So we converted the Micro-Castle into an impromptu Micro-Surgery, and Erik arrived complete with sterile gloves, a "suture removal kit" (which he maintains is available from any drugstore for a dollar or so), and steady hands. In short order Erik had the sutures removed, and then we proceeded to talk shop and trade lies for a while. I predict Erik will be on U.S. team (again - he was a junior champion in a previous lifetime) one of these days, and then I can say that I've had stitches removed by a Soaring Champion! Hmm, maybe I should have had him autograph his work ;-).
There was also a rumor about a painting party, but I didn't see anything develop - maybe tomorrow. Speaking of tomorrow, the popular weather forecast is for 70% chance of rain, and even Wednesday is looking a bit iffy. I suspect I will be reporting on Rain Day 2 results tomorrow at this same time :-(