Thank you to Frans Guise for these beautiful photos. Spring is here and many are turning their attention to the coming Summer Comps. We hope these photos help get you in the mood. — the Editor
Tag Archive for 2012 WGC Uvalde
by Pete •
by Nick •
by Editorial Staff •
by Dave Springford •
Team Captain’s closing notes.
Now that we are back home again, but details are still fresh, I should add some thoughts to the blog.
As some of the pilots mentioned, the trip was long indeed and with all the driving around at the contest site we added about 6000 km to the Santa Fe’s odometer.
The contest was well prepared and plenty of US volunteer staff were at hand to get the job done in an orderly fashion. Some issues always surface last minute, but overall it ran pretty smooth.
The practice week proved that indeed practice is very valuable for pilots, crews and contest personnel.
The Canadian team had its own glitches as our pilots had their own ideas about practice flying.
Some preferred day on/day off, others 2 days flying and 2 days off etc.
As it turned out, there was always flying during the practice days, resulting in no rest days for the crews,
tiring them out even before the contest started.
Observing the first few practice days, I came up with a routine for all the crews and this was tested at the one day during the practice week that all pilots were flying.
It worked quite well and was maintained until all suffered from the heat at the field and it was decided that the crews spend the waiting time at our air conditioned motel room.
Scruteneering was as serious as it gets, with the FAA looking at all the glider and pilot’s documentation.
As it turned out this eliminated FAA checks on the grid.
All our pilots were flying their own gliders with familiar equipment, flight computers and back-up loggers. They still experienced glitches with SUA files and outright logger failures.
Jerzy’s ClearNav failed on the first contest day and his Cambridge back-up did not start until after take-off. Nick’s EW logger failed…. All this was due to extreme heat and added a lot of stress and distraction, costing valuable points.
As I mentioned earlier in the blog, pilot’s responsibilities have shifted. More attention is required during flying, but technicalities such as reporting start times and turning in flight logs is the Team captain’s responsibility.
Issues with procedures, changes and concerns are dealt with at the team captain’s meetings, which simplifies and shortens the morning general pilot’s meetings.
With all the up-to date available weather info it is also very important to have this passed on to the team pilots.
A good ground station with a tuned antenna that was erected at the Motel 6 resulted in an acceptable range. This worked quite well.
I was able to talk to most pilots up to about 120km out and this proved to be a big help.
On the first contest day heavy T-storms developed on course and I was able to advise the pilots of their locations, helping to avoid slowdowns.
On many contest days I advised on blue holes and cloud situations that the pilots could not observe from their own locations.
We have proven that the Canadians can and will be at the top and it was disappointing that during the closing ceremony no mention was made of the last day when Jerzy and Dave finished 1, 2 in the 18M, the best Canada has ever had at any previous WGC’s. Nick finished a very respectableble 10th for the day in 15M,
Dave and Jerzy flew together on several occasions, but on the last day it worked quite well, resulting in the top 2 spots in their class.
I am sure that with some more practice in team flying our pilots will be at the podium in 2014.
In closing, I would also like to recognise the volunteer crews. They showed up paying their own way to look after the pilots, relieving the pressure of the pilot’s spouses.
Joe Laposnyik, Dave Springford’s crew. Dan Daly, looking after Jerzy Szemplinski, skilfully updating the team blog and taking care of some team captain matters in my absence when I had to pick up Annemarie in San Antonio.
Sonia Hildesheim, looking after Nick Bonniere in her own quiet but very efficient way.
I am glad that Annemarie was able to join us during the contest and share some of the load.
Her observation from the 1991 contest was very valid…Bloody hot!
As a matter of fact, one of the local politicians admitted that if he owned both Texas and hell, he would rent out Texas and live in hell… but the flying is the best in the world!
by Dave Springford •
To start, I would like to thank Virginia and Joe Laposnyik who suffered through the heat on the grid each day making sure my glider was as clean and ready as it could be before the flight. Having two dedicated crew was a real asset and saved me f…
by Editorial Staff •
The 32nd World Gliding Championship has come and gone. For thirteen days, the best soaring pilots in the world enjoyed all-out racing in the unique and fabulous soaring conditions of West Texas. Uvalde offered up its best weather to the best pilots, but on Sunday, August 19th, the sky just couldn’t hold back anymore, and the rains finally came.
by wgcadmin •
It has been three days since the closing ceremony of the World Gliding Championships in Uvalde. I am now settling in at home, nearly 2,000 miles away from Garner Field. I think it is safe to say the same for those of you who were at the WGC…
by Dave Springford •
We are back at home in Canada after two and half day drive.
Our Uvalde hotel lost email connection in three two days.
I didn’t have full access to tasks results and possibility to
analyze opponents traces for last two days, I just used
information from others. I assumed that weather briefing is
The weather on the last day of flying wasn’t very promising as
high clouds were moving in and just couple short lived Cu’s were
Before start we had hard time to climb to start altitude as
fast approaching Cirrus from NW didn’t work in our favor, I met
with Dave and we started together at the same time.
When we were ready to start most of competitors were on course.
First leg with with low cloud base and fake clouds wasn’t good
sign , but deviation made to the North paid off and we had to
thermal just to improve our altitude.
At the end of the first leg, very dark Cumulus clouds under full
Cirrus worked and next leg looked better and better with
beautiful cloud street leading to the next turn area.
Then suddenly our cloud street merged with new cloud street
leading back to Uvalde , flying extra 20 km put us in to perfect
position to make the last turn .
Around 67 km from home I was able to center 10 kt thermal to
which Dave arrived just 1 minute later . Couple turns and I was
on final glide finishing task with average task speed of 150km/h
which gave me win for the day.
It was my second win in this contest, but mistakes in other days
cost me a lot and I finished 8 th after 13 days of flying.
I think it was the best day in history of Canadians flying in
World Championships, two Canadian pilots taking first and
second place of the day.
It was one of the most demanding contests for the pilots and
Pilots had chance to cool down under cloud base, but crews had to
stay on the ground in full heat till pilots were on the course
and then after couple hours of rest in cool hotel room they had
to work in heat and dust to help returning pilots.
Conditions were very harsh on our gliders and cars as well,
picture shows dusty engine compartment after 3 weeks in Uvalde..
Maria my wife/crew helped me with glider preparation and all
daily tasks. In addition I had comfort of second crew, volunteer
Dan Daly who helped me with glider preparation before and after
Ed Hollestelle our team manager took care of all administrative
and team related problems in addition he was working hard to
give the pilots current information about weather and position
of other competitors while we were on course.
Thank you All
Jerzy Szemplinski XG