Highlights Wednesday 12th August

Today's weather was a spectator's delight with towering cumulus, showers and sunshine. With the added ingredient of a force 3/4 wind, the scene was set for a real soaring competition after the launch-and-land contest yesterday.

We weren't disappointed. The first group to fly treated us to the sight of three of the world's best pilots landing well short of the field after following their thermal too far downwind, and the stage was set to sort the men from the boys or - as we say in UK - for "slot slaughter".

Strong contender for Best Flight was Joe Wurts in the fourth round, where he recovered from a poor start to follow a thermal downwind a very considerable distance. Perfectly judged up-wind leg and landing provided 1000 score, with 2nd placer "only" managing 748.

Placings after five rounds (of eight scheduled)

Individual Seniors:
1. WURTS Joe (USA) 4994
2. HOEKSTRA Alex (NED) 4988
3. HOFFMAN Peter (AUT) 4983
4. TEUNCKENS Jean (BEL) 4970

Team positions:
1. USA
2. GER
3. CZE
4. GBR

British placings:
Simon Thornton (9th)
Peter Cubitt (18th)
Dave Charles (25th)

For official scores please go to the BARCS site.

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Typical British conditions. Towering cumulus proved something of a honey trap for some.

Dave Charles (GBR) looking happy flying in round 4. Holds 25th place after five rounds.

The Slovak team in the ready box, prior to being called to the flightline. Don't look ready... but they did wake up in time.

Uri de Swan (Israel) with dazzling "Starlight".

Whoops! Dutch pilot gets into trouble after following a thermal too far downwind. Fortunately for some, the River Severn was upwind...

Joe Wurts having trouble keeping his pants up - launching for Ben Clerx.

Larry Jolly lives up to his last name. Big hat hides a big smile, co-manages strong and confident US team - must be the favourites to win, but anything can happen...

Zvika Nave (Israel), Stuart Blanchard (GBR) and Michael Volz of Germany speaking a common language - "servos".

British team helper Brian MacDonald dreaming of a white Christmas... or something... "British" conditions suited the team.

The French are out in force - here are some of the twelve members of the official team. Not as big as the Czechs though, who have nineteen.

Plastico Bellissimo (with apologies to any Italian readers).

Danish team manager Erik Christensen and senior pilot Morten Christensen pose with Trinitus design. 3.2m span, HQW 2-8 section, 2.5 kg.