After the Czech National Championships

I'm home now after 10 days on site at Nové Mesto nad Metují and there is 4 weeks until WPC.

The first two days were excellent weather and we managed three tasks each day. After that we had very high winds and rain and managed only one task in the next four days. I am confident we will be able to do 3 tasks a day at WPC though if we have continuously excellent weather then after a while we might have to take a short rest to recover; 6AM to 9PM is a long day.

Despite the weather, the National championships were a really good test of our systems. Some things worked well, some not so well, and in the next few days there will be some detail changes to the tasks and procedures already published on the WPC intranet to reflect what we found.

I can report that the airfield is really great, there is a good team of marshals, the surrounding area is a beautiful place to fly and the map is excellent.

The intranet worked flawlessly and those with laptops found it very convenient. You can take a look at the mirror at For those without a laptop, we printed one copy of everything to the official notice board but people found this to be much less convenient and timely. Teams MUST come to WPC with a wireless-enabled laptop and printer or they WILL find themselves at a significant disadvantage.

The Czech National Championships intranet will also give you an idea of how the latest news, tasks and scores at WPC will be presented. One big difference will be that notice of changes or additions to the WPC intranet will also be (already are being) distributed in short messages via Twitter and you are encouraged to discover for youself a good way of receiving these messages on your mobile phone. The simplest possible way to do this is to just enter in the web browser of your mobile phone and refresh it whenever you want to check for new news; for this you don't need a Twitter login or anything. If you want to be a bit more sophisticated, join up with Twitter, and 'follow' 2009WPC. Someone at the Czech Nationals showed me a perfectly good implementation of a Twitter client on an iPhone but there are literally hundreds of softwares out there for all sorts of mobile phones. Take a look at for a list of possibilities.

A Bulletin 2 will be published here in the next week or so with the latest information from the organizers and answering some of the questions which have been asked lately on the mailing list. If you haven't already joined the WPC2009 mailing list, please do as this is where things are being discussed before you arrive. Equally, if pilots and team leaders haven't already pre-registered online, please do, as this list will form the basis of what will be used in the score sheets because we trust your spelling of your name much more than if someone else does it. If you don't do it before you get to Nové Mesto nad Metují you will be asked to do it once you are there, so you may as well do it now.

One last thing. The whole point of publishing all the tasks on the intranet in advance is so ALL the problems are ironed out of them BEFORE you get to Nové Mesto nad Metují and we can have VERY short briefings. Some of these tasks (though of course using different turnpoints and things) were used in the Czech National Championships and we did find one or two problems. These I will be fixing in the next few days, but there may be flaws in other tasks I haven't spotted yet and I may publish a few more navigation tasks. Comments on ANY of them by people coming to WPC have been conspicious by their absence so far.

In case you hadn't realized, this championships is for your benefit, not mine. the championship organizers and I have put an enormous amount of effort into making a good championships for you, so basically, if we get to a briefing for a task at Nové Mesto nad Metují and you start finding flaws in stuff which has been published already for weeks, then I will hold YOU equally responsible, because your only possible excuse is you were too ******* idle to have read it before.

I have NEVER claimed to be perfect, so please make it your urgent priority to help get all the tasks into a bullet-proof form before anyone gets to Nové Mesto nad Metují, life will be so much more pleasant for everyone.

Richard MH. 28 June 2009

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