Day 1: June 24, 2002
After a good night's sleep in the army barracks on Eindhoven Airport, we woke up to a clear blue sky and a most promising first day. The briefing confirmed that our excitement was justified and all teams started to fill their gliders with water, including us. Today it was my turn to fly and after being towed up to 600 m, the first thermals took me rapidly to the cloud base. Then, on my way to the first turning point, Dahlemer Binz.
Somewhere around Aachen, I got into trouble with my GPS. After determining how far Aachen Airport still was, I couldn't reload the task. Pressing some of the buttons in random order on the Volkslogger mysteriously returned the task, so I could concentrate on flying again. After proceeding to Dahlemer Binz, I was again interested in the distance to some of the local airfields and I convinced myself that I knew now how to navigate through the GPS menu's. Alas, this time I wasn't so lucky and randomly proceeded to a menu, where I couldn't get out of. Fooling around with the GPS had in the mean time gotten me to a somewhat lower altitude and caused me to be "temporarily unsure of my location" (thanks Paul, for that brilliant phrase!). Since I was rather close to the Luxembourg TMA, I decided not to take the risk of inadvertently flying into the TMA, but land at a safe location.
On the ground, I found out rather quickly how the GPS really worked and have repeatedly cursed myself for not preparing a little better. After all, most of the other teams proved to have flown at least twice the distance that I travelled...
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