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16th FAI European Gliding Championships: a contest day at last!

With no flying since Tuesday of last week - you cant count the 40 minutes or so that some were in the air on Sunday - there has finally been a contest day at the 16th FAI European Gliding Championships in Nitra this 26th July.

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4th FAI World GP Gliding Championship - First (valid) competition day

After one week of rain and strong wind, eventually we have had a valid competition day here at the 4th FAI World GP Gliding Championship in Wasserkuppe, with sun and cumulus.

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As long as a wet weekend in Nitra

No flying Saturday at the 16th FAI European Gliding Championships in Nitra. Cancelled almost from Briefing. On Sunday, there seemed to be a slim chance so all classes went to the grid and the biggest, the 20m two seaters, and the smallest, thePW5s, were launched. The Club and Standard classes were held on the grid until it could be seen if they could stay up.

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First competition day here at Wasserkuppe for the 4th FAI World GP Gliding Championship

The Grand Prix was born in early 2000, when the International Gliding Commission has created this new type of competition in order to make this wonderful sport more understandable to the general public, simplifying the rules and adopting a system of scoring similar to the F1. The maximum number of participants is limited to 20 and they use the same type of glider, with 15m wing span. Once in the air, all competitors start together and win the first that cross the finish line, after completing the assigned task.

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16th FAI European Gliding Championships in Nitra: Still soaked news...

Here in Nitra EGC2011 all tasks were cancelled today, in all classes, due to bad weather. Although it was still raining and the field soaked with lots of standing water, the Competition Director has set tasks and planned for a 12h45 launch for today with very faint hopes, but cancelled quite early, as the tasks set were only just over 100km per class anyway.

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16th FAI European Gliding Championships in Nitra: Who overdid the rain dance?

Well, EGC2011 is not airborne today! The quantity of water falling past the hangar doors had to be seen and heard to be believed. Yesterday, 20th July, was declared an official rest day due to the unfavourable weather conditions though the the sun did come out over the deserted airfield in the afternoon but today, the floodwaters gushing down and lying in deep puddles on the roads and fields rival Noah's. No flying today was announced at briefing and it seems it is all due to a phenomenon which occurs only once every ten to fifteen years in these parts when a cold air mass meets a warm air mass somewhere in northern Bohemia and dumps massive quantities of water across the area as well as on the neighbours.

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4th FAI World GP Gliding Championship: two days to go!

All the pilots are arrived in Wasserkuppe for the 4th FAI World GP Gliding Championship (FAI Sailplane Grand Prix Final) and we are just waiting for good soaring conditions to start flying. In July 2011 it is be exactly 100 years since the first glider flights were made here at the Wasserkuppe. In memory of these pioneers, IGC has organised the 4th FAI World GP Gliding Championship in this beautiful airport.

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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.

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16th FAI European Gliding Championships in Nitra are airborne

Czech Duo Discus DL, piloted by Michal Lesinger and Danes Grula, was the very first glider whisked into the air by the big yellow, 800hp Čmelák at Nitra today. It was 12.30 local on the nail as all four classes set off on Area Assigned Tasks with a minimum time of 2 hours.

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Look out Europe, here we come, LOTS of us...

While looking forward to the FAI Sailplane Grand Prix Final starting on 23rd July, let us not forget all the other competitions in full swing in the northern hemisphere, where the motorways of Europe especially have seen large numbers of glider trailers trundling towards their various competition venues in recent days.

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FAI Sailplane Grand Prix final 2011, the countdown begins...

Just received from Germany, the following is the all but complete list of pilots competing in the FAI Sailplane Grand Prix which begins on 23rd July on the famed Wasserkuppe, acknowledged as a cradle of our sport and celebrating its 100th birthday in 2011.

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