(German Junior Gliding Nationals - Deutsche Segelflugmeisterschaften der Junioren)
18:10 So I landed on Stuttgart airfield yesterday morning and Axel brought me here to Musbach. Now starts fifth gliding competition where I have been during this summer...this summer has been different compared to the previous years, since this year I’ve been as a crew for my friend who was competing, not in the organization as usually.
This means that here we go again. Now it is to do “the real thing”: working in the organization as a webmaster – and of course taking photos and writing some (short) stories.
Our "junior team" has been working really hard and since yesterday there has happened a lot around the airfield. Also most of the organization members have arrived and started their work, as first competitors has registered already, also caravans and tents are slowly filling the camping area.
21:00 Time to go shopping and have a dinner. There is only couple of pictures from today, and those are taken when Christof was digging a huge hole for the water supply system for the airfield.
10:20 This morning the sky didn’t look that promising, as it was really grey and the ground looked like it had been raining at night. But quite soon blue sky appeared and sun started shining. I got a nice picture of the airfield in the morning fog.
We just looked the satellite pictures and the front is coming from West and moving to East quite fast. There might be some rain and even thunder, but dry air is coming after the front. Anyway it seems that local flights might be possible today.
14:40 We have rain showers, and registration continues. Technical inspections have started in the hangar. I was just editing pictures when Axel told me that he wants me to sit on co-pilots seat and that I should take my camera as well. So we went for a short flight over the Freudenstadt. We saw the showers coming, so the weather wasn’t the most clear for photographing. Anyway, there are few photos from our flight.
11:59 Weather looks good, and launches have started. Today is training day for all of us, and I hope I can put the task information on the website as soon as possible.
19:09 Today has been again quite busy day in the container, since registrations are still going on and settings for the SeeYou had to be done today, as this was first flying day. Only practicing of course, but anyway flying day. We got few outlandings, but otherwise the weather seemed to be ok. Speeds on task today were less than 100 km/h. Tomorrow we are about to install a script on scoring computers which sends results automatically to the server, so then you are able to see how things are going here.
10:50 Gliders are ready in the grid and sky looks promising with quite nice cumulus, our weather man Bernd told me that it should be pretty good flying day. Still, from west is coming a bank of high cirrus clouds which will pretty much kill the thermals, and that we are expecting to happen around 17:00 o’clock. This is why we are trying to start the day early.
Let’s hope that our pilots will have a nice flying day.
14:00 Towings lasted for 1h 20minutes, altogether we had 75 tows. You might have seen from photos that today we had 6 Robins and 1 Rallye as our “towing slaves”.
We can see the cirrus clouds already on the western sky, this mean that those are coming faster than we expected. Task time for Standard class is 2h 30 min, this means that first finishes might be already after 16:00 o’clock.
21:30 Some of the pilots arrived from the task much sooner than we expected, I heard that we got only one outlanding. 2A, Morten from Denmark, told me that it was quite nice flight. In the evening we had the opening ceremony at 20:00 with couple of short speeches, and Axel introduced with Christof the organization - and the pilots - one by one. Opening ceremony was followed by the first briefing.
This morning Wednesday’s weather looked liked it will be hotter than today, but now in the evening it looks a bit different as there might be only short weather window for flying. Anyway it seems that the coming front with cirrus will still affect on the thermals, so it might not be as easy flying day as today.
At this point Thursday looks like rainy with thunder but Friday should be again good flying day. But that we can’t say for sure now, so we will follow the situation.
18:45 This morning’s weather didn’t look that good as the front with thick cirrus was above us. Launches had to be postponed until half past one, and task was shortened in both classes.
After the launches we were looking how the weather improved and Bernd said that the weather was surprisingly good in the task area. Unfortunately weather looked better than what it really was, as there were quite many outlandings. We are still waiting for pilots to finish, let’s see if they still can find flyable weather.
19:15 Tomorrow looks really difficult because the cold front with rain and thunderstorms is arriving. So perhaps we will get a resting day, and time for fixing things. There has been a few “car casualties” because of the martens, a small animal which enjoys the rubber used in pipes of the cooling system, and somehow martens like to have this rubber as their night-time snack. This means that the coolant runs out and the motor overheats mysteriously. Keep on eye on those creatures!
10:00 Briefing is going to be today at 12:00, there is no grid before the briefing. Clouds are hanging quite low, and it just started raining. Of course I’ve seen the satellite pictures with Bernd, and I have to say that it doesn’t look that promising, as heavier rain is arriving here soon. Good news is that the front might pass us today, so for now, the weather for tomorrow looks better.
Yesterday’s flying weather was really difficult as there were only few who finished the whole task. Also on Standard class we didn’t get official competition day, as only four of the pilots flew over 100 km, when it should have been at least nine. On Club class we congratulate Fabian, FH, who managed to finish the task with average speed of 51,4 km/h. It wasn’t a 1000 point day, not even close but in the end every point counts.
13:00 Spokesmen of both classes (LG and ALB) had asked if organization could speak English in briefings from now on, so everyone will understand, especially our international guests. We saw a safety flash of flying with others, since we want everyone to leave this competition in one piece. The day was cancelled on Club class, but not yet on Standard class. This is because we have to have four valid competition days so that we can declare the champions. So we are going to fly whenever there is a even small possibility for that.
Today’s briefing was exciting to me as well, as we also saw my first “movie”, not what Hubi is doing (some of you might know him), but with still pictures instead and some music. Sorry that I can’t put it online, because of the copyright in the music. You just have to come here to see it. :o)
But what comes to the pictures, I think we will give them to all our pilots in the end of the competition.
13:55 The day is cancelled, so I guess I am going to do my laundry, and perhaps having good dinner in the city in the evening.
00:00 It was a great day for resting, first having a nap and then dinner with Christof and Axel in Freudenstadt in a restaurant called Schlupfwinkel, pretty difficult to pronounce - at least with my Finnish mouth…but anyway dinner was great. Jägerstüble at market square was excellent as well, that I tried on Saturday. They both serve good German food.
So if you are not asleep yet and if there aren’t any clouds on the sky, go outside to see if you can catch some of the meteors, as today should be the maximum of Perseid meteor shower. Unfortunately the sky is covered here in Musbach, so I can’t see anything. So I am off to bed. See you tomorrow.
15.50 It is a new flying day. Clouds seemed quite big already before the launches and we thought those would spread out as Bernd told us in the briefing. But still now we can see blue sky here and there, although the sun isn’t shining anymore. It’s getting cold actually.
Organization decided that we won’t take the start times at all, so this is why we don’t have them in the internet either. So you just have to wait for the pilots to arrive back to the airfield. Now I can hear finishing announcements on the radio, so it is time to take the camera and go for a walk.
18:40 It is a beer-time in the container :-) I have lots of new photos from the finishes. Today I borrowed a 100-400 mm lense from Axel, which was perfect for my “paparazzi” purposes. While I was taking pictures of finishing gliders, ML, Robin Foerster, walked by and told me that it was a bit frustrating as he had landed just before the finish line. So it was an outlanding, even he was so close to the airfield. Also SI, David, told me that weather was quite interesting, as there were strong thermals, but quite low cloud base.
Nice surprise was JU-52, coming from Zürich and going to Bensheim for the weekend. Their route obviously went by Musbach, so they “had” to do the flyby on their way. If they are coming back on Monday, perhaps then we will see this nice plane again. Also an Extra 300 came here for a short visit, it is going back tomorrow. Lothar went for a short aerobatics flight and Axel borrowed my camera for taking photos of this special event.
The daily routines are well established, and I have lost the count of the days. Because of the routines one day follows the other, without me even noticing it. I’ve been here for a week, another week still left.
Today has been really difficult looking weather, as the cloud base was again quite low when we started the launches. Actually those weren’t that low if you compare to the sea level, but as we are 700 meters above it, here the clouds are quite close to the ground anyway. Now as I am writing this, whole sky is covered with overcast and weather is a bit windy and colder than days before. Even we have today several outlandings, this will anyway be valid competition day. So we need only two more days for the standard class and only one for the club class, and then we can relax as it will be valid championships as well.
There isn’t much to tell about yesterday’s flights, as it was complete outlanding day. Of course some of the pilots arrived to the airfield and were saving the strength of their crew, but most landed out.
Perhaps this was the reason why I didn’t hear any comments about yesterday. Hmmm…of course someone would have told me, if I just would have asked. But since all landed out, I didn’t want to ask about their feelings. And besides, I am sad to tell you that we had some unfortunate landings, as couple of gliders was damaged during their landings. This is why MG is leaving us, as they can't repair the damages. Luckily nobody was hurt. Also it was great that we got one competition day more.
Bernd has been looking maps and satellite pictures with worried face, and he is really hoping that there would come one competition day when he could say to everyone in the briefing “go, fly, have fun”. But he still has to wait for that to come, as the weather on coming days looks really unstable.
Today we saw a presentation of Dr. Stiletto from the project called Luftikus. They are raising money for children and teenagers who can’t manage without artificial breathing devices and 24h care, and their goal is to build a house for these kids with special needs. So we had a buffet with really nice home-made cakes and coffee, where the money is going to this project. All income of today’s sightseeing and aerobatic flights is donated to them as well.
Since it's raining, there aren’t any photos of today - yet. But as there isn’t task for today, Axel decided that we should have a Sing Star-contest in the evening. Let’s see if he is going to be the warm-up singer…and if I will be there with my camera...
Last night’s “Sing Star contest” was a great success, and some of the pilots might be happy that today isn’t a flying day. I left after the “Sweet Home Alabama” just after one at night, but I assume the party continued a bit later than that. So there isn’t even slightest chance for flying today, as there is massive low pressure very close to us and because of that we are already having strong winds (in 1500 metres 45km/h). We are waiting for heavy rain to start on coming hours.
I noticed that some of you might be wondering why this competition has a webmaster from Finland…well, it isn’t that long story. It is because Axel asked me :-)
It started last year in Räyskälä, where we had JWGC2009. Axel was there as a chief steward and I worked in the organization as a webmaster - and took photos as well. So I remember it when I saw Axel for the first time, right after we had said “hello, nice to meet you”, he asked me if I could come to Musbach as well for the JWGC2011. I thought it was some kind of a joke and replied with a smile and some short comment.
But when competition was coming to its end, Axel came to see me in the container, sat down and asked if I could really do it. At that point the JWGC09 had gone very well and we had about 9 competition days with only one resting day, so I remember feeling a bit tired, because of the work during the winter months and of course during the competition. And in that point I was already prepared that my work would be done when the competition ends, and then I would be able to concentrate on other things. So when Axel asked me this, my mind went through the work load which would be waiting for me if I would say yes.
But since I love gliding and all the people I have met in the competitions, idea of working in the competition organization somewhere than in Finland, was really tempting. At first point the idea was that I would come here only on 2011. I think Axel knew that I have been working in competition organizations since 1998, so I have been working in the competition office, doing scoring as well and the websites of course. Anyway Axel told me that I could be good addition on this organization and that I might get "fresh ideas" for the next year. So I was introduced with the idea that what if I could come to Musbach for the German Junior Nationals. I said yes.
I have been asked how I have time for all this. I have my own company with my husband, I am a website designer, among all the other things what comes with having the company. We have three planes which we rent at Helsinki-Malmi airport. Invoicing and book-keeping can wait until I am back in Finland, and the websites I can do wherever I am with my laptop. These two weeks are anyway dedicated to the DSMJ2010 – and a small part of it to qsgp2011.fi.
I haven't taken any pictures today, as the weather is so bad.
Tuesday was so depressing with bad weather, so I didn’t take any pictures or didn’t have anything to write. Christof and his wife Gabi took me for a little sightseeing, lunch and shopping, and after that it was almost time to come to the airfield for a dinner and to be social with the pilots and their crew. I had great time – again until one o’clock, and had a walk in the dark to the house with Bernd.
I think all these rainy days has affected on people, at least in the container mood is a bit “crazy”. It is time to do the competition T-shirts, and instead of making T-shirts with serious printing, Martin introduced the design with a logo and raining cloud. Well, I guess it might be a good inside joke. I just hope that we will get four competition days for both classes, so it will be a valid competition. Now we are just waiting for the front to go to the east, as the weather should improve after it. Meaning that tomorrow and Friday might possibly be flying days. If we are not flying tomorrow, we will use the reserve day and fly also on Saturday.
Today I had my 15 minutes of fame, as the Schwarzwälder Bote published the short story (with a very nice photo) of me, which was written by Lothar. Here is the story, you can read it yourself. Of course it is in German.
Finally, after four days of raining, we could set a task and send the pilots to fly. So we got back to our routines, organization breakfast, briefing with a slideshow (problems with the sound), Bernd re-booting his computer while the slideshow was running, then grid, taking photos in the grid and then finishes. Also I got some photos from Lothar and Anne-Marie, so I was occupied with photos almost all day.
Actually something funny happened, as Christof came to me and asked me to show one of the photos which I had taken in the grid. Someone had seen my detailed photo of an engine, and Christof had a message that there might be something wrong with the engine, as it looked like if there would be a small crack. We looked the high resolution photo with Christof and he thought that it would be better to see the engine “in real life”. Of course I couldn’t remember which plane that was, but of course I remembered who had been close to the plane (making jokes as I was photographing that engine…). Problem was solved, no crack or other fault in the engine, flying continues as usual.
I heard that the flying day wasn’t that easy, and several outlandings confirmed that. Our pilots here are somewhat quiet types like Finnish F-1 drivers, saying only “it was bad” or “it was good”, so this is why I can’t tell you any details of the flight.
The day started as usual, after the briefing we had to say good bye to Bernd, as he went to do the weather for the hot air balloon competition to Köln. I hope he can tell them better news than in here.
Getting pilots to the sky was quite difficult today. We started as usual, towing the club class first at 12:00 o’clock. But thermals weren’t that good, as most of the first 15 towed planes landed very soon back to the airfield. I think the high cirrus cloud was big reason for that. So we waited, and waited, and waited. This was good thing, as weather improved, also pilots got a shorter B tasks. Then competition organization made a decision that club class will be taken from the grid, and the standard class will be towed first. Club class day wasn’t anyway cancelled, and they were towed after the standard class. I took photos of all pilots and their crew members, but sadly I was a bit late when towings continued again, so this is why few pilots are missing from the gallery.
In the evening we had a dinner and prize giving ceremony in the hangar, which started bit late because there were missing some of the igc-files. The pilots remembered the organization, Havana Club rum to tow pilots, Jägermaister bottle and magnifying glass to Axel, Safety Flash 5 for Christof together with two big framed “photogalleries” with photos of all of the pilots. Sorry that I can’t tell you more detailed reasons, as the presentation was made in German. Then Martin got a bottle of vodka and six-pack of Red Bull so he wouldn’t be that shy. I got a bottle of sparkling wine, Finnish-German dictionary and Lilliput Schwäbish-German dictionary. They said that with those I will be able to manage next year here even better. It was really nice gesture. I assume Bernd (aka Bööörndt) is getting his T-shirt afterwards. Böörndt’s t-shirt design and the Safety Flash 5 are available in the gallery.
Quite soon after these ceremonies everyone found their way to the “kantine” where are no web cams and warm and cozy atmosphere. I had really fun time with dancing with few dance partners, and I was glad that I managed to get Christof and Axel to the dance floor as well. At some point I found myself dancing to the German version of Finnish song “Daa dirlan dirlan daa”. My evening ended after 5 in the morning.
Now only thing what I have to do is finalize the website - and the toughest thing of all, saying good bye to everyone, the pilots, crews and especially the organization. I want to say my thank you for the “junior team”, as they did almost everything possible, helping with the starts and tow ropes, doing the food, the bar, playing the music, sometimes cleaning as well, and you were always so nice. I hope you all can now sleep longer in the mornings. Thank you Lothar for writing so many stories of the competition, and taking photos, especially in the prize giving ceremony. Thank you Karl and Thomas for taking care of that my stomach was always full.
Thank you all working in the container, we had great time in our little box. Thank you Bernd for the weather reports, and walking with me to the house at night(s). Thank you Martin for being so nice even the script didn’t work perfectly and for bringing me refreshing drinks sometimes. Thank you Christof for taking care of my safety and helping me when I needed that and being my taxi driver sometimes. And last but not least: Thank You Axel for inviting me here. I just loved it.
See you next year!