It rained hard last night for almost an hour. This morning most of the water had soaked into the ground. It has been dry this year and the ground is a long way from saturation. The weather forecast for today and Sunday is for chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon. At 11:00 this morning there are a lot of puffy clouds with bases at 2 to 3 thousand AGL. The winds are light. Some pilots are towing up to test equipment. Mark Mullholand has his new power pod on his swift. It is a lot quieter than I thought it would be. The cloud base was not very high today since the ground was wet from last night's rain. It will continue to rise during the week.
I did not fly today. I don't like to fly the day before a comp as there is too much risk of damaging something and no reward. The wind was light and the temperature close to 90 degrees. In the 1/2 hour I was watching gliders land, I saw two pilots take out down tubes. Rob Kells is here from Wills Wing. He brought a trailer load of gliders. He was selling down tubes at a brisk pace. Jim Lamb has been helping the rigid pilots tune there Atos gliders.
I had an interesting discussion with Johan yesterday about why the European comp pilots are so good (in the area of Germany, Austria, Italy, France). There are competitions almost every weekend. The top pilots go for broke every comp. If they bomb out in one comp, there will always be another the next weekend so they don't have much risk. They are used to flying very aggressively. We in the USA have only a couple of comps we can make every year. If we do poorly in just one comp, we can loose many places in the standings. We tend to fly more conservatively, making sure we make goal, speed over the course is secondary.
Phil Bloom arrived yesterday with 9 pilots from Kagel. I wish I could convince 9 pilots from my local club to make the trip. I would say that about half the pilots here are comps pilots, the rest are here to get 7 days of good flying and get a taste of what the comps are like.
The city of Big Spring fed us dinner today. It was good food and plenty of it. It's not very often I get served ice cream by the mayor of San Jose, but I got served ice cream today by the mayor of Big Spring. They really make us feel welcome. Their telephone book even has a picture of Kurt Warren giving a tandem ride last year.
The room filled up after I took this picture. Notice the table centerpieces (cowboy boots). There are two things that are sure to attract hang glider pilots, free food and free beer. They had plenty of food.
David Glover's brother is here. He looks like David after liposuction (or as David likes to say, his brother is bulimic). He even sounds the same. Actually, Dave has lost a lot of weight. He's much lighter than years past and still loosing weight.