Topic: Other Competitions

32nd World Gliding Championships Uvalde Texas

The competition is over for another two years and the next open class championships will be held in Poland. Here are some stats quoted by our comps director at the closing ceremony.

‘Now for some interesting statistics: I believe that the winning scores of this championships are more points than have ever been earned at a glider competition. The second highest scores were earned here at Uvalde in 1991. You pilots flew 13 competition days. Many of you also flew 7 official practice days. Some of you started flying here well before that. About halfway through the competition I mentioned that the total km flown took us the distance from the earth to the moon. You’ll be glad to know that we didn’t leave you hanging out there in low earth orbit. The total distance flown including the official practice period was almost 800,000 km, more than the distance to the moon and back.

Thank you for coming. Maybe, we’ll see some of you back here in less than another 20 years.’

Ken Sorenson – Championship Director

More interesting reading on Soaring cafe

It’s a crews day

15M & 18m and Open class world comp Uvalde Texas

The 32nd FAI World gliding championships in Uvalde Texas has been billed as the Olympics of Gliding with 120 pilots from 40 difference countries. All roads lead to Uvalde which is at the cross roads of two major highways.  Highway 90 runs east west from Florida to Los Angeles ; Hwy 83 runs from the Mexican boarder to Canada and to demonstrate the importance and the support for this competition they shut down Hwy83 for an hour. This enabled all the teams to take part in a pageant finishing with a parade around the Honey Bowl sports ground where we attend the official opening ceremonies; including a fly pass of the P51 Courages Glen piloted by 24 year old Conrad Huffstutler.

The town of Uvalde is certainly putting on a huge welcome for all the international pilots and guests. The hospitality of the Texans is overwhelming, they have opened up there homes for us to stay in, lent us their cars and opened up their pools for us to cool off and enjoy. Many of the businesses in the town are sponsoring an international team by providing us assistance with anything we need plus each team will have a special dinner function put on by our sponsors. The Australian team is being sponsored by Roadrunner Energy, suppliers of all propane needs for over 30 years.

Greg Jackson.


HORSHAM WEEK 5th February 2012

All gliders arrived safely at Horsham and were rigged and tied down by 1600. On arrival at our accommodation Cottage on Searle a traditional weather board house with Baltic pine floors and a very farm house feel to it. Just for a bit of fun and to add some random fairness (we were here to compete) it was time for a beer and a game of cards to select our pilot sleeping  accommodation.

The pre arranged traditional dinner was John Ridges Lasagne made from home grown beef and a vertical tasting of Bests Dolcetto 1988 1998 2010. Prior to that Craig produced a huge pie to be washed down with a bottle of 2004 Giaconda Chardonnay. Great start to the week.

Up around 7am on the Saturday morning with lots of details to be taken care of by the pilots. It’s mainly checking and rechecking to remember to find and take everything and then still forgetting to take computers, battery leads and sox out to the aerodrome. After briefing we find ourselves moving out to the grid around 12 noon and nervous tension is high, the old hands are acting cool. Task is a 3 hours AAT Beulah, St Arnauds and home to Horsham max distance 407k. Results for the day were up on by 2100 and we all logged our flights dutifully on OLC. Greg 2nd place Peter 6th place in Standard  – Craig 3rd place in 18M.

Horsham Week February 2009

Horsham Week Expeditions members

Peter Paine, Greg Jackson (Share LS4) Craig Vinall, (ASG29E) and crew Lesley Snell, John Ridge

Friday 6th

Arrived at Horsham around 1400 local time, we had planned to arrive earlier and rig the LS4 and ASG29E however we had a small problem with a trailer wheel in Murray Bridge – The Wimmera Flying Club locals advised it was going to be windy over night so we decided to leave the gliders in the trailers.

Saturday 7th

The wind was so strong from the South East all tugs where put into the Horsham hangers and the day cancelled at briefing.  We returned to the Wimmera Lakes Caravan Park for lunch and were trying to stay cool with temperatures around 46 degrees. The wind had swung around to the South West and smoke and fires were now all around us. John Ridge (CFS volunteer) said ‘right were leaving’. I exited the cabin with a few valuables only to see flames running along the fence line towards us. We stayed in town for the rest of the day drinking iced coffees and had the pleasure of Vicky, Terry Cubley, Sid Nankivell and Lyn Ritchie for dinner at a local restaurant.

Sunday 8th

Forecast was again windy and the day was tasked at briefing but cancelled prior to gridding; due mainly to CFA fire bomber operations.

Monday 9th

Forecast was strong winds. A large layer of cloud extending all the way south to the coast made for some interesting conversation, should we go truant and walk the Grampians. Pilot dedication prevailed and gliders were launched. Craig in the Open/18M class came second, great start for day 1. Peter also had quite a good day in new territory -Horsham Marnoo Brim Horsham 210k.

Tuesday 10th

The Standard class task was 272k Lacelles Rainbow but changed on the grid to Birchip Jepart . When the first 5 gliders launched, struggled and returned to aerodrome the day was canceled. Some local flying later in the day was possible.

Wednesday 11th 

The wind had strengthened or remained strong . A two hour AAT task was set for Standard – Minyip Ellam. It is possible they do not use many AAT tasks at Horsham as a few experienced pilots came home early. Peter managed 140k for an average of around 70kph on handicap. The into wind leg proving to be quite a surprise with streeting almost all the way home.

Thursday 12th

Looked promising with strong southerly winds and a temp of 23 degrees. Standard – Donald, Brim Arapilies. After almost a week Greg can now stop pretending to be a glider pilot. My plan for this flight was drift into the start point high and try and make some distance from the field before taking the first thermal. Across a blue hole the sink was high so stopped for a 3 to 4 metres per second top up and reached the clouds. I planned to deviated on the upwind side of track to Donald and picked up a nice cloud street in and around the turn. Again was determined to stay on the upwind side of track to Brim but ended up chasing some more clouds that took me a little too far off track, however once again picked up a nice street into the second turn. I was determined that I would not go into the down wind turnpoint low. Beating into wind I upped my speed to 85~90kts and headed on track into the blue. Some clouds and a few dust devils enticed me to fly slightly off track however I picked up a little streeting by turning into wind in lift and following a ZSD55 into the final turn, was great to see him pulling up. The last 27k final leg had a cross wind component and I was not confident of a final glide until I had taken a couple of turns on the way home, this messing around always slows you down and take time. I need to avoid this in future. 247k 2hrs 37min average 94kph on handicap 3rd place. Happy with that.

Friday 13th

Luck number;  Peters flying today and the wind has swung around to the East and blanketed the area with smoke, so visibility is not good but we grid on runway 08, start the launch and almost get sports class into the air and the Flying Doctor announces his arrival – now I know from experience this creats havoc. All the gliders and ropes need to be removed from the strip and usually only have enough bodies at these events to fly with a couple of organizers. We are all clear by the time RFDS turns final and then continue launching all other gliders it’s bedlam on the grid. Day turned out ok with climbs to 7000ft. Horsham Hopetoun Netherby Hshm  270k – 3 hours 15 minutes 75kph on handicap.

Saturday 14th   

Last day.  Organisers want to keep us close to Horsham so they set a two hour RUN task Horsham Minyip, Warracknabeal Antwerp and Horsham. Most pilots managed to round Minyip twice – Craig did two laps averaging above 120Kph. Winds had moderated to around 20kts and turned North Easterly with good 10 knot climbs to above 8000ft under very rapid cycling Cu.  The presentation dinner commenced around 8pm with a $12 cook your own BBQ in the hanger .  Entry fee $100 with tows costing $35. Lots of fines were handed out each day to support the juniors, all light hearted and good fun. The pilots gave generously to the local bush fire victims appeal, raising around $1200.00

Horsham week is a pilots run, good fun flying event with the organizing committee volunteers coming from various Victorian clubs. A varied mix of tugs Jabaru Callair Pawnee Citabria Scout managing to launch the 32 gliders in approx 80 minutes using the single rope per glider system (tug drops the rope in a paddock prior to landing)

The weather at the beginning of the week was extreme with Saturday bringing very strong winds that prevented flying. Horsham experienced it’s hottest day on record with a serious bush fire threatening the towns outer areas and burning down the Golf Club. Strong winds prevailed throughout the week however due to the highly unstable conditions some good flying (under Cu) days were achieved . For all of the daily results and information about the week go to.