16th FAI European Gliding Championships in Nitra: day 2

The last few gliders are being launched right now for Assigned Area Tasks with a time limit of 1 and a half hours. Though the sun is shining, the air is very humid and heavy with a lot of wet cloud giving a dull, milky look to the sky. Those already launched are bravely circling but low and close home. The starts for the four classes will open only 20 minutes after everyone is up as there is such a small window of opportunity to fly at all today and tomorrow is unlikely to be flyable due to storms and heavy rain. Results were delayed for yesterday's efforts as many pilots landed out and by the time they arrived back from their various adventures, the computers had had to be turned off to protect them from a spectacular display of lightning accompanied by lashings of rain, so IGC files could only be read this morning. Soaring Spot also had some server difficulties but better links are being worked on right now so future day scores should arrive much faster. Those who did make it home spoke of a difficult flight which was still enjoyable and outlanders had mostly encountered heavy top cover which stole their chance of any lift. Setting out with the trailers on the sunflower-lined roads was also complicated by a little surprise the local town sprang on the airfield only a week ago: with no warning, the roadmen turned up and dug up the road from Nitra to the airfield! Right past the front entrance! So the tall lorries and buses have been diverted onto a narrow road that runs across the approach and club members have to be posted out there late afternoon to flag them down with warnings of low finishing gliders but without the authority to actually stop them. This is the reason for the minimum height having been increased to 250m. For everyone's safety. One noble mum set off to find her son with a trailer that refuses to reverse and once she realised that she had overshot his field by quite a distance, decided to unhook, turn the trailer physically and rehook. But the trailer also refused to turn for her. So while the pilot fumed in his field wondering where she was, she started to wave at passing drivers who, not surprisingly, accelerated away... until a Slovak hero stopped, a huge strong chap who flipped the trailer the right way round in no time, got her hitched up, pointed her down the right road and went off muttering into the night. I am told the storm she and her son drove home in around midnight was wonderful to see, brilliant lightning effects, the whole countryside flooded with light. I call that definitely looking on the bright side of life!