Really tough call on launch today. The forecast called for relatively strong winds out of the southwest, so we set up staging for towing that way. Unfortunately, as is often the case here, the wind blows 180 degrees off of the forecast before it eventually (often sooner than later) comes around and blows in the way we need it to. It was a little on the slow slide today so when launch opened we were really slow getting all the rigids airborne during their 15 minutes window. This caused a bit of whining amongst the flexies who were piled up behind them waiting not so patiently for their turn. To make matters worse, the sky was starting to blow up in various places out in front of us and everyone was a bit tense and unsure how it was going to develop. So, launch was stalled multiple times while we either sent a tug out to test the air out in front of us, or just waited to be sure everything was safe. More than a little grumbling in the launch line :-(.
The thing I want to remind people sometimes is that I (and probably many of us involved with the organization of these competitions) feel personally responsible for each and every pilot here. I recognize that every pilot is in command of his/her own flight and it's their individual responsibility to manage their safety. I also remind myself that I'm not legally responsible for anyone here. But, the bottom line is that we are all a big (totally disfunctional) family and I genuinely love and care about every pilot here. So, I hope everyone remembers that and remembers that we're doing everything in our power to make things run smoothly and make sure everyone has a great time.
Meanwhile, I said to few people out on launch today, "when I start talking about next year's event, just punch me in the throat!" ;-)
Here's the sky now as we get ready to head to goal...of course now everything looks fantastic!