Registration day at the HQ of the Pan American Championships
Registration day at the HQ of the Pan American Championships

Today (Saturday 7th) marks the start of the official calendar of events for the 2020 Pan-American Championship in Baixo Guando, Brasil. Many pilots who’d never flown here expected to familiarise themselves with the area today, but that is not going to happen. A jump straight into the deep end shall be.

For others, the bad weather and delay may be a blessing.

Two pilots got badly intoxicated yesterday trying a local iced delicacy, Acai. One of them, Federico Rodriguez (ARG) ending up in hospital past midnight as his condition deteriorated meaning he needed intravenous hydration and drugs to stop being sick.

Açai
Açai, guilty of sending one pilot to hospital

Thanks to Frank Brown for his assistance late at night, sorting out prompt medical assistance to the poor pilots.

On the other hand, the delays should help some of the favourites like the charming Joanna di Grigoli (VEN) and Michel Guillemot (ARG) who made it overnight and late morning respectively. Pope from Chile was also amongst the late arrivals.

The spirits are high in HQs as pilots greet each other and gather for the usual registration and the, now mandatory, Coronavirus health check. I was happy to get the ‘all clear’ although most of us were left feeling a bit cheeky keeping quiet about our impressively low body temperatures. The nurse didn’t seem suspicious of our readings around 34ºC… Good time for hypothermia as this means no signs of CONAVID19 😉.

Those who passed the health check got a big red ’X’ marked on their forearm. For once, a red X was good news.

Interesting also to see a mandatory Airspace knowledge check to comply with ANAC’s requirements, good stuff!

Unfortunately, the weather forecast is not looking kind to us.  I could share the ECMWF model run animation by Windy.com but that would make a grown man cry. Rather we focus on the more optimistic guess by the GFS model. It will still give you an idea of what lays ahead for us this week.

Source: Windy.com
Most takeoffs around this part of the world are red clay dirt tracks.  Once wet, the clay is slippery as anything making it very difficult for vehicles to go up.

But only a fool would worry.  We are in stunningly beautiful and mega cool Brasil after all. Life feels good just by being here. The Opening Ceremony Parade is scheduled for this evening whilst flying legend and event organizer Frank Brown is already warning us over the WhatsApp Group.  “Live Rock&Roll and free Caipirinha tonight…”  In case you were wondering why the early update, well…that’s the reason. I know myself too well to know tomorrow, I’ll be glad is raining.

Registration queu
Registration queue at the Pan American Championships

Time to get those dancing shoes out of the bag…empolgante!!!