Friday, July 22, 2011

Spectator sport

The World Sailplane Grand Prix has started. This competition is held every two years, (under normal circumstances - the last one was one and a half years ago in the Southern Hemisphere).

This time the event will be held at the Wasserkuppe in Germany, where our sport originated.

The Grand Prix format is distinct from all other forms of sailplane racing. Its purpose is to promote gliding to the uninitiated, and it is the closest we ever get to being able to call soaring a "spectator sport."

Unlike in conventional races, the gliders all start at the same time, and whoever gets home first wins. The winner gets 10 points, second place gets 8, and subsequent finishers get one less per place.

The gliders carry tracking devices, and for the next seven days we can watch the races live on the web. The gliders will be in the air from 6 to 10 am EDT, roughly.

The races are narrated in German and English (although it seemed to be mostly in German today). When the narrator takes a break, they play soothing elevator music.

They have a good website, which includes a live webcam view of the airfield, and a twitter feed.

Today's weather was not so good, but the long term forecast is looking better.

1 comment:

Gregg Ballou said...

wonder how it will stack up to some of the best in alternative sports marketing: