7th FAI Junior World Gliding Championships 2011

06th - 20th August 2011

Back at Musbach! It’s great to be back here.

The year has gone really fast, last year we had the PreJuniors here and now it is time to do “real stuff”.

Saturday 29th, Sunday 30th July 2011

People started to arrive here today. Even training flights are still forbidden, several pilots are here already. I think it is because there were European championships in Nitra, which ended just last Friday and several people from there are coming here as well. I guess some of the teams are driving straight to Germany, instead of going several hundreds of kilometers first home and back just after couple of days. I also spent good 12 hours in a car from Nitra to Musbach with our task setter Christof.

Sunday morning I had a walk to the airfield and found Lithuanian team sitting under blankets and having breakfast in the brisk morning weather. Just few days ago I saw Greta and Marius enjoying a dinner in beautiful sunshine in Nitra (somehow I end up meeting them always when they are eating).

This day was time to learn the tracking, setting up the computers (thank you Benjamin) and picking up Hannah from Strasbourg. Still it is a surprise that we are ahead of the schedule. Of course things for the competitions are done during the last days before the competition actually starts, but still it looks like we are ready sooner than we thought: campground is ready, competition website is changing to “competition mode”, club house has a new nice design, furniture and surround-system and after the last year’s safety flash the shower container is getting new design as well.

The weather has been really cold on Sunday, I don’t know the temperature, but I had my scarf, gloves, fleece and jacket on, and still it wasn’t too warm. We looked in the morning with Greta that somehow the sky looks too similar as last year. Sun started to shine in the afternoon, and Berndt has been promising good weather for the coming days. Only problem is that the forecast is changing few times a day…

Let’s see what weather will bring tomorrow, my job continues: editing competition website, setting up Wlan and LAN, and setting up the container when it arrives.

Monday 1st  August

All shops are closed here on Sundays, and I wasn’t the only one who got surprised that I couldn’t do grocery shopping yesterday. Benjamin Neglais (French team captain) had a good timing…he has been helping me with the computers past couple of days, and he came to see how things are going. It was right then when I had spend few hours with computers and felt like it would be great to have a break.

We decided to go with Benjamin and Hannah to Kaufland to do some shopping. French team was coming in the evening so Benjamin had to load the fridge for the evening and breakfast. Hannah and I bought only the necessary stuff such as feta cheese and red wine…

After shopping we went to the house where Team France is living. It is just in the end of the runway, close to the restaurant Schinken Stüble. And I must say that they have found really nice place, huge house with Jacuzzi, sauna, gym, solarium… also their dining room and kitchen looks like being in a restaurant. You can ask Benjamin how expensive that all is (it isn’t).

Well, I am living also in a nice apartment with pink bathroom and view to the airfield, and Hannah is staying at the same house, but only on upper floor. Axel told me that due to the competition, all guesthouses around Musbach airfield are full. There are quite many of those, some are only rooms with bathroom and some are separate apartments like mine (and French team).

During the day weather started improving and it was warm enough to put a skirt on :-) In the evening we had first organization meeting, Karl showed a schedule for our “junior team” who are going to do almost it all: field running, blocking the roads which are crossing the airfield, being in the bar, hosting the club house in the evening, setting up the opening party etc.

Tuesday 2nd August

I woke up when sun was shining on my eyes, and realized this has never happened here before. It was beautiful morning and really warm already at 9:00. We had a walk with Hannah to airfield and bumped into Karl and Consti who were just coming to pick us up for the breakfast.

But I didn’t have time for sunbathing, since I had to continue working on computers which should be ready for the scoring on coming days and installing the wlan and my computer. More teams arrived and people from the local aero club continued working on the airfield so it would be ready already on practice days. Still most of the teams are flying somewhere else, since practice flights are not allowed because there aren’t enough people to block the streets which are crossing the runway. So I guess most of the teams will arrive on Wednesday and will fill up the campground.

Website is going to change more there is “Guestbook” link on homepage menu, which takes you to the Facebook page where you can see all the comments plus our competition news. Good news for those who don’t have Facebook profile, you can see all the comments anyway. Also you might find interesting links if you are going through the picture which

Wednesday 3rd August

Today I don’t have anything new to tell, since the day has gone again with few computers and WLAN questions. The thing I’ve been struggling with is the German language Windows. There are all possible versions, XP, 200, Vista and Win7 to be updated and set for the pilots and organization. I won’t tell about the details, but sometimes it feels like it would be best to go to a shop and buy new computers. Nah, just kidding, we’ve managed to build and update several computers so it looks like we are able to provide three computers for the public (=>pilots).

Many familiar faces came today – there are several pilots and crew members from Räyskälä, DSMJ2010, Nitra etc. And it’s great to see everybody again.

Including this JWGC2011, I’ve been in 8 gliding competitions this year only (working on 5 of those).  It’s like a disease: remembering the faces but can’t connect them to places where I’ve met them before, and remembering the name is even harder.

In the late afternoon we enjoyed handmade ice cream, French fries and of course Alpirsbacher (beer :-) There is a restaurant – or “gastro” as the local seems to call the place, where we can get basic stuff such as fries, beer, wine, sausages etc. Having beer and sausages turned into ex tempore party with some of the pilots. There was some kind of “male bonding” going on, as Andy, Devin, Teemu and others were climbing on each other backs or carrying each other head down. I don’t know how late it continued as I left at 23:00, at least I had my keys with me and didn’t leave those on the back seat of anybody’s car (as certain girl from organization did).   

Thursday 4th August – first flying day, unofficial practicing

In the briefing our met man Berndt got a good applause before and after his weather show. I guess it’s better to give good attention to meteorologist and keep him happy, perhaps that will affect on the weather as well. :-)

Today was the first day when pilots were able to fly. Luckily the weather was again warm and sunny. Towings started at 13:30, and we had really nice cumulus clouds all around. The tasks were 2 hour AAT tasks. I had a walk in the grid and took some photos. Several planes had difficulties at start, and few immediate releases were seen. I guess if the lower wing hits the soft grass it’s not easy to get it up again. This was relaxed flying day, some pilots waited without any hurry that others were towed first and went flying later.

Andrej Kolar “the SeeYou guy” came today to help us set up the scoring. We are still thinking whether we are going to use Soaring spot or do it “traditionally”, meaning having the results on our own server.

Sorry if this blog has been so far about computers and preparations, but that’s what I’ve seen so far :-P Friday should be the day when everything is ready. So still I couldn’t give my full concentration to the pilots, but this is going to change. Luckily the WLAN problems seem to be solved, big thank you to Czech team (I would say that organization owns them few beers).

In the evening we had informal welcome party, with some snacks and free beer. Few welcome words were said by the mayor of Freudenstadt Julian Osswald and Hans-Joachim Fuchtel from the labor ministry. We also enjoyed the music played by Acoustic Vibes. It was really nice, but it felt like that people were still tired from yesterday’s party, and obviously some of the pilots were dragged to bed quite early by their team captains (certain brothers had to go as their mom and dad told them to leave).

At 21:00 First Team Captains meeting took place, it seemed that there were quite many things to be solved, as the meeting ended 2 hour s later. In the evening it started to rain, I left at 01:00 (I wasn’t partying that late, but working instead), and some of the crew members (never pilots ;-) were still playing table football and hanging out in the bar.

Friday 5th August – first official practice day

10:15 Day starts gray and clouds are really low, if I use my imagination I can see blue sky between the clouds. I’m glad it’s warm – now gloves needed.

In the briefing Christof told to pilots that if the wing hits the grass in the beginning of the towing, it is best to release the rope immediately, as the grass “sucks” the wing in and it’s really difficult to get the wing up again. So that was what we saw yesterday during launches. Berndt told that we are under cloud mass and the air is pretty moist. I would say it’s really moist since I need my umbrella as I don’t want to get wet, also rubber boots would be great to have. I can see many girls here walking here in their rubber boots (and shorts). Good packing, have to say.

12:00 In the briefing teams were asked to put their flags on the poles by themselves and UK team raised their flag with proper ceremony - with of course their national anthem. Also Christof and Bernd had an intense conversation over the forecast maps and they decided that the day is cancelled. The sky most probably won’t clear on coming hours at least not enough for us to have gliding weather, besides the air mass is still very humid.

In the afternoon I could see pictures of a beer in people’s eyes, and dark clouds were building up around Musbach. Then we got official weather warning of heavy rain and thunderstorms. We were in Shinken Stüble with Marina, Wojciech, Andrej and Brian, when really heavy rain started. Also thunder was just above us and we were thinking if the antennas on the campground are still up. It might have been interesting holding tents down in pouring rain and hoping that the thunder wouldn’t hit on the antenna.

Saturday 6th August – last practice day and opening party

The day started inside the cloud, it was really foggy. Axel told that it was nice and sunny in Freudenstadt. Brian talked to the pilots about safety in the briefing, first he asked how many of them are flying in the world championships for the first time. I saw quite many hands rising up. Brian reminded everybody that even they are now flying in World Championships, it doesn’t mean that they have a mysterious new skill which would make them better pilots. That’s a good point actually.

In the Team captain meeting they decided that day starts at 10:00 with team captain briefing, the main briefing and grid closes at 10:30 and towings will start at 12:00. Today towings were first postponed to 12:30 and then again to 13:00.

13:30 we went flying with Axel on Dynamic, and saw our stage on Freudenstadt marketplace, also I took some photos of the grid. It was great to go flying, last time I flew to Vienna with airliner and before that in Räyskälä on HK-2 couple of weeks ago. I should go flying more often but sadly my license isn’t valid at the moment.

Towings then started at 14:00. Few gliders were towed but they all landed back. Tows were stopped for awhile but the day was cancelled after all and soon it started to rain. Let’s hope it will go over so we will have a nice opening party.

Opening party

The party started around 19:00, the teams walked to the marketplace with their flags like in the Olympics, and people were cheering to everybody. Of course proper music was played on the background, such as the theme song from Pirates of the Caribbean, Learning to fly etc.

Then we heard few short(!) speeches and our Jury President Marina declared the championships officially opened. Right after the aerobatics show it started pouring rain and people disappeared to local bars and restaurants, I tried to stay dry under my small umbrella. It was only a short shower, but made everything so wet that people wouldn’t even mind if someone spilled beer on them, since they were wet already. Music was provided by the radio station SWR3, first we heard latest hits selected by DJ and after that the SWR3-band started. The atmosphere in front of the stage was absolutely great. I couldn’t anymore tell who was from which team, as pilots had exchanged t-shirts with each other and also flags weren’t anymore on the hands of the original owners. Most important thing was that the flag was higher than the others. Everybody danced together, and we felt ourselves just a big tight group. I saw couple of girls walking around in the crowd with the competition booklet and asking for the autographs from the pilots. Girls weren’t that old and everybody was nice to them and told where they could find the pilot whose autograph was still missing.

Dancing continued until sudden power cut. Other side of the Freudenstadt marketplace was totally dark and of course everybody cheered loudly. The band was good in improvising and they just continued singing without microphones and played acoustic guitar. After some time lights came back and dancing continued again. In some point I realized it’s getting late, as on other direction I saw guy crying and on other direction people were fighting. Perhaps wrong girl was talking to wrong boy or something like that…hopefully that won’t affect on anybody’s flying.

In some point rain started again and that wasn’t just a short shower but really pouring rain. And it kept raining and raining. Christof took me home at 00:30 with the van we have here for the organization.

Despite of the power cut and raining, this was really great party. Or perhaps the sudden darkness and rain made it special. Nah, it just was a Good Party (good thinking Axel). But if this is the opening party, what will be the closing party?

Sunday 7th August – first official competition day

Sunshine didn’t wake me up this morning, and again it was a gray morning. My clothes and shoes which I had on yesterday are still wet.

Brian was kind enough to pick me up from the house. Bernd told me that even the sky looks depressing at the moment, the day isn’t over yet and that there is a small chance for flying in the afternoon. But actually until now, Bernd has always been talking about humid or moist air, but this was first time I heard him using term “wet”. It’s really wet and I miss my rubber boots.

I’ve received an email where I was told by somebody that my grammar (and vocabulary) isn’t very good and it’s something which could be called as “Germlish”, a mixture of German and English. That’s fine, but actually I would call it “Finglish”, since I’m Finnish. So don’t use this blog for teaching English to anybody. And if you didn’t know it yet, I can’t understand German. So all comments you are writing to me in German, are translated by Axel, Christof, or Bernd.

The briefing was at 13:00. At that point day for Standard class was cancelled, and Club class would get a task at 14:00 in the grid. Towings were supposed to start at 15:15. Then towings were postponed to 15:45. Christof told me that they have to make a decision at 16:00 if they will start the towings - or not, as after that there won’t be enough time for flying the task. At 15:45 clouds were still low and it didn’t look like the weather would improve enough, so finally the day for Club class was cancelled as well. To me that meant laundry, nap, washing dishes and taking out the garbage.

In the evening the weather was still bad, but Bernd was very optimistic and he told me that he can see a lot of sunshine on coming days. Hopefully that is based on the weather charts and not on some kind of magic. (Bernd has said that predicting the weather more than 48 hours in advance is pure voodoo magic ;-)

After having Chinese in Freudenstadt with Brian and Wojciech, we came back to the airfield. I found Axel from the container doing some cleaning. There was also a good pile of tracking devices. Those are really exciting, but I will tell more about them tomorrow (or whenever is the next flying day).

Then we had few beer (or G&T) in the hangar and I had nice time with Csaba and Milán from Hungary who were thinking how to succeed in aviation business. Also I saw a table football match, it seemed that Tim (and his team from Netherlands) was doing really well, but in some point they were beaten by the French guys. Finnish team tried to teach some important Finnish words to Swiss brothers, words like k*rpä (if you understand Finnish I think you know what I am talking about, but I won’t write that word here).

I can feel certain atmosphere here, since every day someone asks me things like “how old is she/he” or “were does she/he come from” or “is she/he married” etc. Hmm…come on guys…if you have any intentions, I would suggest that you try to put those into action now, instead of waiting for too long ;-)

Monday 8th August – second competition day, with strong winds!

In the morning I heard familiar sound from the sky: Junkers 52 flew just over us, but it was a shame that it didn’t do a low flyby like last year.

I have been here more than a week and I’ve seen only one (good) flying day. I think it would be great if we could get into action finally. The normal briefing time was postponed to 12:00 and soon after that grid was ready but wind was getting stronger and stronger. Grid was closing at 14:00, but around one o’clock Bernd got again an official weather warning of strong winds blowing around 70 km/h. The warning was valid until the evening. I went outside to take some “wind-photos” and Hubi (our “video guy”) noticed that one of the flagpoles was already fallen down. Quite soon other flags were taken down so that there wouldn’t be any more damage. Also some of the tents were put down, just as a precaution. Right after that day was cancelled for both classes. Later I was sitting in not-so-warm container and watching how people were securing their gliders into ground, it was raining and the wind was really strong and shaking the container. That felt like a proper storm.

Some might think why the day wasn’t cancelled earlier. Perhaps in Nationals the decision would have been made earlier, but this is World Championships and the organization can’t cancel the day too easily. And we still have to have four flying days to have a valid competition, so we have to try every day.

In the afternoon we borrowed Axel’s car and went to Freudenstadt for a lunch and to do some shopping with Hubi and Hannah. We had lunch at the marketplace, very close to the area where we had the opening party. We ended up in very German restaurant with “biergarten”. If you have been in such places you might know what the waiter was wearing - proper lederhosen of course! Food (and beer) was anyway great. In Kaufland we saw quite many faces from the airfield. We didn’t have that much to buy; I found one nice cucumber and Hannah was happy with her 5 bananas.

Rest of the evening went at the airfield. First hanging out in the hangar with Kathy (USA Team Captain), Hubi, Brian, and Marina, we were talking how weak the flag pole  must have been since it broke just like that in the morning. Of course it had nothing to do with the magnificent USA flag and its size ;-)

Later we enjoyed the warmth of the club house. Obviously quite many had found their inner child… soon I would have found myself playing that table game as well but I felt like going home early.

Last year we had bottle of Jägermaister in the container - hmmm…should I bring one there and give some (or lot) of that to Bernd. Would that make better contact with God of the weather?

Tuesday 9th August

The weather was followed really closely this morning by Bernd, Axel, Brian and Christof. They even got one digital weather station in use. In one point Axel was looking out from the window and said with happy face “oo, it’s getting better”. We asked him what kind of mushrooms or happy pills he is eating since we couldn’t see the situation as positive as he did. Well, to be honest, at that point clouds looked quite good, but the situation was changing all the time. I overheard Bernd saying again something about weather warnings…this time the winds will blow only 40-60 km/h here in the area of Freudenstadt. So wind isn’t as strong as yesterday :-)

Briefing was postponed to 13:30 and the day was again cancelled. After that there were discussions what would be more interesting to do than spend the day at rainy airfield. Choices were French house and Jacuzzi, panorama bad in Freudenstadt or Go Kart racing. We went Go Kart racing in Sulz, just half an hour drive from Musbach (it would be half an hour drive, if there wouldn’t be any road construction works on the way there). Our drive took one hour or so…we saw interesting landscape and beautiful scenery anyway.

It was a surprise to me that there were so many people (both pilots and crew) driving. I could count around 40-50 persons listening the drivers briefing. So the group had to be divided into teams, not by country of course, but mixing the countries instead. Each team drove 20 minutes, and the winners of each team drove against each other.

We left just when second team started, Nikke (from Finland!) was leading then, his best lap time was just over 38 seconds.

In the evening we had dinner again in the Schinken Stüble with Marina, Chiara, Wojciech, Hubi, Brian and Hannah. I was really happy that I had only this blog to write in the evening, as Hubi had to edit his video for tomorrow. I don’t know that much about video editing, but I am sure it’s not an easy job to make a nice video with nice music for the next morning. But he can do it, I am sure of it, besides the result is always great.

In the evening we were chatting with Hanna (from Finland), she sent her greetings from Glider Aerobatics Championships where my friends were flying as well. We were talking about the atmospheres on competition sites, and we noticed that things are going pretty much the same style on both places. Except that nobody is singing serenades to me.

Aaah…by the way, it seems that some of you have found each other and are having fun in the tents. You should remember that the tent walls are not soundproof ;-)

Wednesday 10th August - fourth competition day, finally flying!

Sun is shining and it was a flying day finally! Towings started at 12:00 and start line for club class opened 13:08 and for Standard class one hour later at 14:03. At that time we followed the sky of course and it became clear to us that it might be not very easy for the pilots. And it wasn’t. Clouds were quite low in the morning but in the afternoon clouds were disappearing and weather was getting warmer and some high cirrus clouds was appearing to east and west. Too soon we received first outlanding reports, followed by several others. Even some of the Standard class pilots landed back to Musbach, it wasn’t because they would have finished the task but because they had a retrieval tow instead. Some pilots had to wait for their crew quite a long time and I guess they learned that they should have a book or some other entertainment with them.

In the evening there was the first international evening, German night with title “Handkäs mit musik”, I think you could translate like “hand cheese with music”. We were confused what that might mean, hand shaped cheeses and music will be played when you have a bite? Or cheese which you will eat from your hand with some music on the background? It was much more: take a slice of bread, spread butter on it, put a special small round cheese on it, and pour chopped onion with vinegar and oil on top of everything. Eat with knife and fork and music is played (by pianist) on the background. I think I would have enjoyed it if I could taste something – now I can’t because I have a cold.

Because of the outlandings some of the pilots were still “out there” late in the evening, and one crew experienced what it feels like when the mobile phone wouldn’t work, it’s dark, and you don’t know where the pilot is. The story ended well, so don’t worry.

To summarize this day, it was really necessary for everybody that it was a flying day, after all that is the reason why we all are here. It wasn’t easy for the pilots, but most of them enjoyed it anyway. And I think we all are ready for some more.

Thursday 11th August – fifth competition day – big gaggles

Weather didn’t look that good in the morning and after a cold night the outside temperature was only +8 C. Again I thanked in my mind that I have a proper apartment with heating, so I send all the sympathies to those who are staying in tents. Hopefully everyone has proper sleeping bags.

Weather was quite clear, but a bank of cirrus and altocumulus was obviously affecting on the weather. Bernd showed few satellite and radar pictures to us, and a big gap was coming towards us. So we were hoping that the gap would come here and it would be possible to have a competition day. After the sniffer (DuoDiscus) had flown more than hour, towings started at 13:30. After the club class had been towed, it was obvious that the weather wasn’t very good. Few large gaggles were right above the airfield. I counted 10-15 planes in each gaggle and they didn’t were that high at all. Towings stopped for awhile and we followed if the gliders would stay in the air. They did, but they weren’t able to get any higher.

The gap on clouds didn’t come here as it looked on the satellite pictures, and it even looked like the clouds were changing direction or even stopping. So the day was cancelled. I was expecting everybody to land at the same time so I waited for them with my camera on the roof of our container. But as usual, the weather got better right after the cancellation and I heard that longest flights were more than 4 hours. Standard class gliders had to stay in the grid, as some of the club class gliders were landing back. But as we will use the same grid order tomorrow, they could park the gliders in the grid. How convenient!

So again it was time to do something else than have a normal flying day. I decided to have a nap, I have been quite sick past few days (just a normal cold).

Some were doing dinner and having barbecue. Team Finland had few torches in front of their caravan, and lots of people were sitting around in a big circle. People were really relaxed – and pretty quiet and having normal conversations. As we have been advised, noise has to stop at 23:00, so evening continued in the club house.  And I heard it continued quite late...

Friday 12th August - sixth competition day, AAT tasks

Main briefing was postponed to 12:30 and towings were supposed to start at 13:15. Both classes got AAT tasks, task time for Club class was 3:00 h and 2:30 h for Standard class.

Before towings Brian went to fly on Duo Discus with Hannah and he told that thermals are "lousy" up to 1500 m MSL. That is just 800 m above Musbach airfield (we are here on high altitude camp :-)

And again all the times changed, so towings were postponed to 13:25, and Club class task time changed to 2:30 h. Soon Standard task time changed to 2:00 hours. Perhaps Christof and Axel just wanted to collect team captain signatures...

During the launches clouds looked really good in south and pretty good in east. That was a miracle, since both tasks were going on those areas. Usually it is totally opposite...at least in some competitions. We decided not to look anywhere else but where the clouds looked fine -just to stay happy.

Before the launches Bernd said that the sky looked chaotic and the day will be tricky. And to give you some more numbers, task distance in Club class was 119.1km/267.1km and for Standard class 111.2km/271.1km. First it seemed that Denmark would have daily winners on both classes, Mads Linaa Larsen in Club class with 200,4 km distance and average speed 75,6 km/h. Kristian Larsen was leading the Standard class with 158,7 km distance and average speed 75,7 km/h. By the way, these two Larsens are not brothers even they have same last name. But in the end Kristian got 10 penalty points for being too low on finish ring. That was just enough to change the Standard class results, so again there is a familiar face from JWGC09 on top of the list as Felipe Levin was just 10 points behind Kristian.

Many pilots landed out and some of them had exciting moments (no names!) but after all they all are safe and there aren’t any unfixable damages.

One thing has not been told, and that is the secret of stolen FAI flag. Truth is that Axel lost the FAI flag already during the opening party. He should do what some competition directors do, and that is having the FAI flag always under the pillow :-) This morning Axel got an email from mysterious (Argentinean) address where disguised person held the flag in front of him. Axel asked them how much they would want if they would return the flag…

Saturday 13th August – seventh competition day more happy pills

Briefing was postponed until 11:30. We went to do some groceries with Hannah, as we remembered that tomorrow is Sunday, and shops won’t be open. What can I say about the weather, except that the clouds are really low and there isn’t even a hint of blue sky in sight. Perhaps Bernd, Christof and Axel had their daily dose of happy pills in the morning - or they know more than others.

The story of stolen FAI flag continues…

Axel got message from the group who stole the FAI flag and the answer was:

*****

We return the flag under conditions that better weather is coming and better tasking set for all pilots!!! We suggest you look please under the trailer for the Duo Discus "AF"

From the revolution alliance against flags!

XXX

*****

So the flag was found.

Weather was getting better while launches were postponed, also task times changed – finally Club class got 2 h task time and Standard class only 1:30 h. At 14:00 weather was good enough and it was possible to start launching. Tasks were going (surprisingly) to south and east. Christof tried to explain that even tasks are going in the same direction every day, tasks aren’t the same as the weather is always different. I guess he didn’t remember that the weather doesn’t change the landscape.

The airfield was very active as there were model planes, couple of skydivers and Extra doing aerobatics. Launches and landings and all this extra program was followed with great interest by big group of spectators.

If this blog would be traditional story of gliding competition, now it would be the time to tell how fast and long distances winners flew. But those details you can see from the results, so there is no point repeating them again. Not today, as there are more interesting (and funnier) things to tell. And that is outlanding stories.

In the afternoon one local had called police as somebody had landed on the field close to Dornstetten. He didn’t call them because the pilot would have ruined his crops or stolen the chickens, but just because he was scared that it was an emergency. Well, we all know the tabloid headlines “Wind stopped - sailplane fell out of the sky”. So no wonder he was scared.

Other outlanding story is about getting in contact with the nature. Martin (from Germany) told that unfortunately he didn’t realize early enough where he was going to land. He saw farmer with the tractor on the edge of the field doing something, but he didn’t realize that it would be anything abnormal. (and it wasn’t…) On final glide he started smelling that everything isn’t quite right. The farmer just had finished spreading fresh, moist, nutrient rich, brown - there isn’t nicer way to say this – animal poo. And you don’t need any wild imagination to figure out what that thing does to your shoes and those places where you walk (trailer, car…). So I know one glider and trailer which might have certain “natural scent” around them.

Ok, back to the airfield, I think it would have been my turn to eat those “happy pills” which Axel and Christof had in the morning. I would have never believed that the weather would be as good in the evening as it was. Actually Axel admitted that he didn’t either.  The day ended well anyway, it was third competition day. We need one more day to have a valid competition.

In the evening we had pizza in Freudenstadt with team Canada (thank you Selena!), also UK, USA, Germany and Finland was represented.

Sunday 14th August – eighth competition day - wishes and sun

Wishes for the day have been as simple as having normal gliding weather. I mean it would be great to wake up having blue sky and normal cumulus, instead of gridding under the gray sky (or in the fog).

Today was like that – almost. We could have normal schedule (briefing at 10:30, launches at 12:00), obviously it has been something else than normal on previous day, as Hannah couldn’t remember what “normal timing” meant. Launches started as planned, there was a short gap between Club and Standard class when Standard class task was changed from normal Racing task to 2h AAT task (same waypoints anyway).

In the weather briefing Bernd said that there is a possibility that weather will overdevelop and we might have showers and even thunder. In the afternoon the horizon looked blackish and that meant one thing only: really heavy rain fell down. Four pilots managed to finish the task, only one in Club class and three in Standard class. That was valid competition day for Club class, but not for Standard class. Scoring team told me that we needed 11 pilots who would fly more than 100 km, but now only 8 managed to do that. So even they fought in the air, some longer than others, it was only for practice. Many landing pilots (some gliders came back with retrieval towing) were surprised how slippery grass can be in the rain (or after heavy rain). Glider won’t stop as easily as on dry grass.

In the evening we were hanging out in the hangar and Ali (UK team crew) had his moment with Lady in Red on the podium. He was playing his music (and making some preparations for Wednesday) and obviously

Somehow I can’t realize we have been here more than a week, actually it feels longer than that. Perhaps it’s because I’ve been away from home two and half weeks now. Things are going fine, but there are hints in the air that we have been here too long, so let’s see how our heads (and hearts and minds) are in the end of next week.

Are we able to get back in normal life? Now it feels possible, but I feel like this group of people and the place is holding me tighter and tighter. Anyway I miss home - especially that certain someone.

Monday 15th August - ninth competition day - official resting day

New morning, same gray weather. Daily prizes were given to Tim Kuijpers (Netherlands), he was one of the few pilots who managed to finish the task yesterday. Martin Jurovic (Slovakia) received a prize as well. It wasn’t valid day for their class, but prize was given to him for finishing the task. I think that was fair thing to do (giving the prize I mean). Both of them got loud applauses which started when they stood up, got their prizes and cheering lasted until they went back to their seats. Because of that, the atmosphere was really great in the hangar. Even yesterday was really tricky (=difficult) day.

Bernd showed the satellite photo in met briefing, the edge of the front was “just” 124 km from us. It was too far away and we weren’t going to wait for it to arrive here. The day was cancelled in the briefing at 12:00 and it was announced as official resting day. Hopefully following days will be flying days.

At 19:00 we had international evening party. In the briefing hangar were several tables full of food and drinks. I tried cucumber sandwiches with Scottish whiskey followed by scones, Austrian “pasta” dish with Hungarian wine, Italian pasta with Slovenian wine, Lithuanian bread with their vodka, Salmiakkivodka from Finland, USA fajitas (didn’t know that those would be American) and did one smore, had other vodkas (Finland, Slovakia) some other wines (Slovenia, Hungary, Italy) mixed with other drinks (orange bitter from Netherlands). I’m glad that the portions were fairly small…

My stomach was full of food and drinks, and I felt like a ball. But as the food (and drinks) was there, of course I had to taste (almost) everything. We found similarities on Finnish and Polish food cultures. Except that I don’t know if I want to admit that we would have something similar as their bread with pig fat on top of it, but the pickled cucumber (or gherkin) was the same as we have.

There was some t-shirt swapping again, and new couples were born. Let’s see how long those will last…

Tuesday 16th August – 10th competition day – birthday and tricky weather

Yesterday Andy (Australia) was thrown in Swiss Team “pool” as a result of a water war. Andy didn’t go there easily and of course he wanted to take in some audience as well. In the evening Brandon (Australia again) was thrown in the same pool as it was his 18th birthday – in Australian time zone.

Today, after the briefing, we saw a presentation of Leszno (Poland) which will be hosting the next JWGC in 2013. And after that it was time for Brandon to go in the pool again, since it was his birthday in German time zone. Brandon went there much easier than Andy did.

Launches were postponed until 13:00, both classes flew racing tasks. It was pretty warm day, with some high clouds and cumulus as well. But the weather wasn’t good enough so it was yet another tricky day and you could call it as ”let’s fly and outland” –day. Only one pilot managed to finish the task and that was *surprise surprise* Felipe Levin from Germany. Actually four other pilots finished the task, but they crossed finish ring too low and got only distance points. All from Club class landed out. Many of the outlanders ended up on Winzeln airfield and came back with retrieval towing. That seems to be easiest (and pretty cheap) way to get back to Musbach.

I could sense how some people were really frustrated (=angry) when they filled outlanding reports. It was quite busy day in the competition office as well. (Well done Hannah!)

Because most of the people were out on fields, Brandon’s birthday party (or Australian night) was quite peaceful party. And I heard that party ended quite early – next morning I mean.

Wednesday 17th August – 11th competition day – nice cumulus

The day was what we have waited for past two weeks: beautiful blue sky with few cumulus clouds. This was hot day and I kept thinking if this will be my last summer day before the winter, since I don’t believe weather will be this hot in Finland when I go back home.

Towings started at 12:15 followed by few relights. Only 12 outlanded and average speeds were much better than on previous days, you could even say that those were normal average speeds. Łukasz (Poland) was first one to finish and he also was the daily winner. We were laughing with him that he was the winner just because I was saying “bye bye” to him when he started, so it was good luck ;-) Or it was just his day.

I went to the end of the airfield hoping that I could get some finishing pictures. Aaah…of course those aren’t finishing pictures as we are using finish ring which is four kilometers from the airfield. So let me rephrase that: I went to the end of the airfield hoping that I could get some landing pictures. Result was 510 photos, and couple of those are quite good, twenty are normal and rest of them just unusable. I got really nice suntan, I mean if you like having right side of the body darker and left lighter. There must be few fat horseflies after all that meat they ate from my legs.

In the evening we had “bring your own barbecue”-party in front of the briefing hangar. Tables were out from the hangar, there were few fireplaces and lots of food. This was the idea of British guys, Ali and Ben. I think it was perfect idea, as people are anyway going to eat in the evening, so why not doing it together. The evening was perfect for this, weather was warm and people were happy after good flying day. After eating it was time for Sing Star contest. I don’t know who won, if anyone. We heard some absolute classics such as Lady in Red and Britney Spears and Ronan Keating by UK boys and some heavy performed by German girls. Hmmm…perhaps UK boys are just softies ;-)

The moon was full few days ago, which ruined our possibilities to follow the Perseids meteor shower. I walked home (too) late (and alone), and the moon was and still moon was so bright that I could see roads just perfectly. No shooting stars – no wishes – what a shame.

Someone (no names mentioned :-) asked me after reading my blog if I am really homesick. Well, I don’t actually know if am I or not, as it comes and goes. But to be honest with you, I have to keep in mind that eventually I have to leave. So more I keep my home in my mind, easier it is to go there.

Thursday 18th August – 12th Competition day – hot day

The day was really hot already in the morning. Bernd told in met briefing that instable air mass was coming from the west, which could mean thunderstorms in the afternoon and even at following night. Sky was first blue, and then a big blob of alto cumulus spread over us, killing all thermals. We all had our radios on and some entertainer wanted to keep the mood up and played on the frequency once in awhile short samples of few well selected songs. Some of them reminded me of UK boys’ performances on Sing star contest.

Launches were postponed, and even sniffer had to relight. In some point Christof wanted to give something to do for the Club class and so they were removed from the grid. Later we were still waiting in the grid, and because of the heat we felt like melting and were lying around gliders. Some of crew (Canada) were even snoring, some of us enjoyed the sun and some (from southern countries) stayed under the wing (wisely). We told stories how great it would be in Räyskälä right that moment and sit in Särkijärvi instead…that would be nicer place to wait in the heat for the towings to start.

At 14:15 standard clsss was towed (towings were postponed 2:15 h after all) right after when Brian told that thermals are about 1 m/s.

I totally forgot to mention that finally we got valid championship for both classes (=4 valid days), so even day’s headline says that it is 12th competition day, Club class has now 7 valid days and Standard class 6 valid days. Unfortunately God of weather hasn’t been very friendly with us, and pilots have seen quite many tricky days. Of course it would be great if all days would be perfect gliding days. But after all (I like to say this in the competitions) this is World Championships and pilots must be able to fly in different conditions.

It was really hot day and sky was blue until the evening. When we were running errands with Axel in Baiersbronn, the temperature was 31,5 C. We had to do some shopping, we got samples of competition t-shirts and also chose trophies for prize giving ceremony. That’s why I didn’t see any finishes, as all had landed when we came back.

During the evening (and while scoring is running) we have results on big screen in the briefing hangar. Team Netherlands was cheering when Tim Kuijpers went on top of the Club class results. It’s nice to have some other flags on top three than only German (sorry Uli :-). German team has done really good job anyway, as all of their Club class pilots are on top of the results with 200 points differences only. And familiar face from JWGC09 is leading the results in Standard class, as Felipe Levin is leading. Łukasz is already 500 points behind him…

It was quiet evening, organization had “Pizza Thursday” in the hangar and we went home really early. I saw only few people in the bar. I think everybody was resting after yesterday and getting ready for Friday.

Friday 19th August – last competition day & farewell party

We expected that this would be busy day with flying, last day chores in the office and preparations for tomorrow. But it wasn’t. Oh well, of course we had lots of things to do as it was the last day, so mostly we sat inside the container.

In the morning the weather was really warm and sky was blue, but after 10 o’clock dark low clouds crawled over us from the horizon while wind was blowing stronger. Bernd saw positive things on his satellite photos (those happy pills… :-), so grid was ready and tow pilots were called to Musbach. Towings were postponed several times and after 1,5 hours of waiting, the sniffer (Brian) went to see would the weather be any good for gliding.

If we were sitting in the container, competitors and crew were sitting outside in the grid. We had really nice show (performed by nature) as big thunderstorm passed us from the south side of the airfield. It was far enough so the sun was shining at the airfield, but still close enough so we could see the lightings and of course hear the thunder.

While we were following the thunder, I felt how excited everyone was - tangible atmosphere would perhaps describe the situation best (sorry, it’s my Finglish). I don’t know was it because of the storm, which colored the southern sky dark lilac, or was it because Axel, Bernd, Christof (nice alphabetical order by the way) were standing in a circle and pointing on the sky. When Brian landed, he said few words to Christof and again those men were standing in a circle. We wanted to hear with Hannah what the decision will be, and I felt how Netherlands team was staring our backs with hopeful looks on their faces. Well, I have to say that in this point I hoped the day would be cancelled, as the weather didn’t look good at all, for gliding I mean.

Finally the decision was made, and people were cheering when Standard class day was cancelled. After couple of minutes the day for Club class was cancelled too. That meant loud cheering on campground, in the grid and of course the Netherlands team was pretty loud as well. So in my words, first launch was postponed to Leszno, Poland, 2013

I was too busy to start partying in that point, but many of the pilots tested if the water was warm in the Swiss team pool. Of course they went there with their clothes on, and perhaps with a help of their team members.

We were ready around 17:00 and party started, and what can you tell: we had some boiled meat (or was it a big sausage) with potato salad, and my wine accompanied that meal very well. Then we danced and hugged and danced. I left after 3:00 in the morning (thank you Axel for the ride) and Tim was still playing his guitar and people were singing around him. Unfortunately somebody (no names mentioned) had to go to hospital at night, because of the broken arm.

Saturday 20th August – prize giving ceremony

I think I am too old for late evenings – or early mornings - as I couldn’t sleep very well. Also those horsefly bites on my legs are now quite nice: hot, itching and huge, red, swollen bruises, so I spent most of the night scratching them (I know mum, I shouldn’t do that). All I could see in my dreams was FAI diplomas which I was going to print this morning. (It all went well, all names were correct and on right places).

Prize giving and closing ceremony was what you can expect: little bit late, few not-too-long speeches, hugs and kisses, so many trophies and prizes that pilots had difficulties to carry those away, national anthems and of course loud cheering. Congratulations to the winners, well done Tim, Alexander, and Tobias and Felipe, Łukasz, and Jon.

Now I am sitting in the container, and trying to hold my tears – not succeeding on that very well - as there are several people coming to say good bye, and they can find me even I am hiding here. Who is the softie now…hmh.

Past four years I have done websites for Junior World Gliding Championships, starting 2007, first JWGC2009 and now JWGC2011. Website project for one JWGC took two years - from the beginning until the end. One question came to my mind: what am I supposed to do next winter…if not planning and updating competition website? Perhaps I’ll learn how to drive a car with trailer and start crewing for my friends. Or perhaps I will go to Australia to meet all the lovely people I know, or why not USA or Argentina. Or perhaps you will come to Räyskälä…or perhaps we will meet in Leszno, for the next JWGC…so many possibilities, all you need is a flight ticket.

Anyway, nothing can keep me away from gliding airfields, and you might feel that as well. So I hope that we will meet somewhere again in the future. Loved the time here and it’s really sad to say goodbye again. Again, thank you Axel for asking me to come to Musbach, it has been absolutely great.

This is the end. This is good place for what Marina said in the closing ceremony: “On behalf of FAI, I declare this 7th FAI Junior World Gliding Championships officially closed”.