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21st World Precision Flying Championships - Day 11
An even earlier start to the day, because rain is predicted for the afternoon, so the organisers hoped to get the routes completed before the bad weather arrived. However, the judges had a flight over the route in the morning, and found that the visibility was not good enough, so the first take-off was delayed for an hour. Group 1 then took off, and completed their routes, although there was heavy rain between the Finish Point and the runway. Group 2 was then told to wait, and after a delay of an hour, the organisers announced that the entire day’s flying would be cancelled.
This was really bad news for the South African team, because Frank had done extremely well getting the best results ever, Hans had done exceptionally well.
The remainder of the day was spent debating whether the “rain day” would be used, scouring the skies for signs of the clouds lifting, and searching websites for news of the weather.
The organisers had planned a barbeque for the evening, and we had asked them if we could include what we call “The South African Party”. It started a number of years ago and has evolved into a “national drinks party” where each country brings its own national drinks and snacks. We and the other teams were anticipating a very quiet evening because we expected to be flying the next day.
At the team managers’ meeting just before the event, however, the organisers regretfully announced that they had made the decision to cancel any flying for the rain day because heavy rain and very low cloud was predicted over the area where the route had been planned, namely South of Bautzen, and over parts of Czech Republic. This is a very mountainous and picturesque area, but now conducive to flying when the weather is bad.
This means that the competition is now over, and the results from the First and Second Navigation Tests will be used. Had the Third Navigation Test been used, the pilots would have been able to discard their worst result. All of our pilots had been feeling very confident about flying the Third day, and are terribly disappointed that they will not have the opportunity to improve their scores.
There was nothing to do but accept their decision, and we spent a very good evening spending time with the other teams and the organisers. Team South Africa has a reputation for being friendly and tonight we did not disappoint in that area.