2014 WGC in Leszno, Day 7

At pilot meeting today, MikeYoung of the UK seemed to speak for many when he asked, “Did you set the tasks last night?”

Perhaps because the organizers did not want to face the wrath of those who believed that canceling Tuesday, 5 August, was a mistake, there was no captains’ meeting scheduled this morning. Several pilots expressed with some vigor that yesterday was a contest day lost–it could have been flown, successfully, for several hours. A European team captain commented, “I have been comparing the meteogram the organizers provide, the weather we see, and the tasks we are given. I can find no correlation among any of the three.”

Although the meteogram given the pilots today predicted strong weather, the tasks were short racing tasks. Looking at a task of 234 k, one pilot said, “Here’s my strategy: start early, fly the task, then try it again.”

Another pilot suggested the devalued day might yield no more than 600 points, so brief were the tasks. To which a team captain responded, “They can probably get it down lower than that.” At this stage of the contest, devalued days pose a serious problem to any pilot not at the top of the scoresheet. The only 1000 point day of this race was Sunday’s, Day 6, on which no pilot in any class finished. On such a day, the winner’s distance is worth 1000 points and every other score is proportionate to that. With highly devalued racing tasks, it will be tough to diminish the spread between the top scores and the rest. Organizers are obliged to devote at least one-third of the tasks to one type or another; since six of the seven tasks so far have been Assigned Area Tasks, it seems likely that the days remaining will be racing tasks. Over short distances, racing tasks are likely to result, daily, in what amount to huge ties.

When pilot meeting began at 10:15, questioning became pointed and the discussion lively. Arne Boyer Miller (AB, Denmark) asked why, with less than a two-hour task, and with launch set for 11:15, the organizers limited re-launch to one hour after the last launch.

Several pilots asked why tasks were so short and the launch time set for 11:15 when the meteogram showed five hours of soarable weather.

Even the captain of the Polish team questioned the sanity of the organizers.

Organizers admitted some re-thinking might be in order and called for a Captains’ meeting. The next set of tasks was delivered to pilots on the grid, with a new launch time of 12:15. Open class gained 100k, from 228.6k to 334k–not much for World-level competition.

Winds are from the northwest today, so pilots are launching from runway 24 today, used only once before in this competition.