Gliding Competition Orange Week 2023: A Soaring Success

The skies over Waikerie during Orange Week 2023 witnessed a spectacular display of skill and strategy as gliders took to the air in the much-anticipated Gliding Competition. Pilots from various backgrounds showcased their expertise, navigating through the challenges presented by the weather and the tasks set before them.


Entries and Pilots

The competition saw a diverse lineup of entries, each bringing their unique style and experience to the contest:


  1. Craig Vinall in the AS33 Es (18m class), call sign VNL
  2. Zenon Bussenschutt flying the LS4, call sign IIB
  3. Adam Stott at the controls of another LS4, with XOK as his call sign
  4. Sid Nankivell, piloting the LS3, call sign WUD
  5. Steve Jinks, maneuvering the Mosquito, call sign FQN
  6. David Pietsch in the JS1, call sign GZZ
  7. Gordon Trollip flying the LS6, call sign XJS
  8. Rodney van den Brink in the Astir 77, call sign IKS
  9. Graham Parker, handling the ASH25Mi, call sign XZZ
  10. Patrick & Haidyn Dunn teaming up in the Shark, call sign LPI
  11. John Orton, in the ASG29 18m, call sign ZDW


Weather Challenges and Task Enjoyment

The weather, though average, presented its own set of challenges, particularly with low days in blue conditions. However, this did not deter the pilots who took on the tasks throughout the week with enthusiasm. Their skills were tested against the elements, turning each flight into a learning and enjoyable experience. Notably, Keith faced a few hurdles, clocking up his traditional 5 hours, yet, like all participants, he found good times in the air.




Culinary Delights

Off the field, the event was just as engaging. The highlight was Chef Jinksies’ steak night, which became a topic of among the participants. The steak, cooked to perfection, was paired wonderfully with a selection from Craig’s wine club, adding a touch of finesse to the culinary experience.


Celebrating the Winners

The competition concluded with a celebration of talent and perseverance. The winners who soared above the rest with their outstanding performances were:


  1. Craig Vinall (VNL) – Champion with a score of 3,348 points
  2. John Orton (ZDW) – Runner-up with 3,093 points
  3. Adam Stott (XOK) – Third place with 2,754 points


Their achievements were a testament to their skill, strategic planning, and adaptability in the face of varying weather conditions and challenging tasks.



Orange Week 2023 was more than just a contest; it was a celebration of the spirit of gliding, camaraderie, and the joy of flight. Each pilot, whether in the air or on the ground, contributed to an atmosphere of enthusiasm and mutual respect. The event not only showcased the technical prowess of the pilots but also brought together a community united by their passion for gliding. As the gliders landed for the last time, there was a unanimous feeling of anticipation for the next Orange Week, where the sky will once again be a canvas for these graceful birds of flight.

Author: Rodney van den Brink

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