Engineered Systems Ltd

Programme and Project Management by Ed Johnston

Mobile +44 (0)7860 663886
Landline +44(0)1727 8561112

EGC 2011 Pociunai

Opening Ceremony 30 July

Well it is traditional that the best day of practice happens on the opening ceremony. The good news is that this time the organisers decided to extend the practice and allow us to fly.

Teams On ParadeJust as well as we not only rounded a turn point for the first time, we even completed a flight. Just Gary and me as Russell was behaving well as the loving husband on Helen’s birthday. The conditions were reasonably predictable. We also had a chance to test out some of the local knowledge imparted the day before and found some useful, other parts not quite so. Having set off well, following advice to stay north of the first track line worked well as did climbing to the base of 3500 or so at the first turn.

Then the run to the lakes was predictably poor, except when approaching (but not over) a good looking forest, we encountered easily the best thermal of the day while the forest itself gave nothing. Going East of the lakes would have been the best route, but it was masked by steamy thermals that tempted me back on track. The run home was good though, with good running down wind for a decent final glide with plenty in hand.

However our debate about finish procedures rages still. We have now had a second revision which means we are not allowed to pull up after finishing 3k out which defeats the object. Also the briefed landing procedure required all finishes to result in a down wind landing; straight in I understand, completing a circuit to then be asked to land down wind is just bonkers.The opening Parade

The opening ceremony itself was fine. A parade followed by speeches from the great and good and rounded off by some enthusiastic traditional singing and dancing. All good stuff which went on for quite a while, but not quite long enough to get rained on I am glad to say.

A sociable meal overlooking the river to round things off, with the added benefit of Gary, Russell and me chatting about tactics, codes and how to get the most from the completion which of course, starts in anger tomorrow.

A brief summary of the day. The weather was really nice, until the evening when it became very, very wet. A task was set and the pilots finally got airborne. The opening ceremony was held today, followed by a team GB meal in the open-air restaurant. As to whether the rain started before or after the opening ceremony finished will be revealed later, in order to create a small measure of suspense.

The good weather that came yesterday evening persisted and we woke to a bright morning, full of promise. First launch was at 1200 although only short task was set in order to allow everyone to get back in time to prepare for the opening ceremony.

Before the grid launched, one of the Antonovs took off and dropped some parachutists. I was surprised that any of them were airworthy. Or at least flyable … you could clearly hear some of the cylinders misfiring. It's an appropriate aircraft for sky-divers. I couldn't hesitate to jump out of such an aircraft.
An Antonov gets into the air
The opening ceremony was not too painful. The teams had to parade in uniform, with their national flags, in front of the town square. Then there were all the usual speeches from politicians and dignitaries while we sweltered under the strong sun. After that we had the entertainment of some traditional Lithuanian country singing and dancing. It was interesting to see, but went on a bit too long. Something to drink would have helped the proceedings. While the dancing was going on a great deal of attention was diverted to the two huge cumulonimbus thunderclouds forming either side of us and everyone was poised to make a dash for their cars.

Fortunately it wasn't until we got to the open air restaurant before the heavens opened. I didn't ask what the tip of the day was.