Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Sailplane Grand Prix Australia - Competition wrap up.

The Australian heat of the Sailplane Grand Prix has wrapped up and the pilots are heading home or off to their next gliding adventure.

Congratulation to all those who took part, a big thank you to all those people involved in getting the competition off the ground and into the air. And finally a thank you to all the sponsors for helping to make it all possible.

The final results of the heat were:

First - Geoff Brown - Australia (Golf Papa) 35 Points

Second - Mark Tingey - New Zealand (Oscar Bravo) 29 Points

Third - Sean Fidler - United States of America (Seven Tango) 27 Points

Sailplane Grand Prix Australia - Day 7 Highlights

Sailplane Grand Prix Australia - Day 7 Summary

The weather today, coupled with the reality of our pilots having to pack up a glider at the end of the competition resulted in a shorter task for the day, with a total distance of 157 kilometers via Rupanyup, Minyip and North of Dimboola before returning home.

The shorter task resulted in all of our pilots staying fairly close together, and made for fantastic viewing at the finish line.

Check out the links below for more information and replays of the day.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Sailplane Grand Prix Australia - Day 6 Highlights

Sailplane Grand Prix Australia - Day 6 Summary

Day 6 was a hot and windy day, which provided its own unique challenges for our pilots.

This morning our briefing was quite short, as it looked like it was going to be another great day of gliding across the Wimmera. The task set was 328 kilometers in length – heading up to Hopetoun, West to Kaniva and then back to Horsham.

Today was the first day our pilots had the opportunity to gain some real height, with some of our pilots making over 12000 feet at points within the race, and travelling over 300km/h on the downwind leg.

Check out the links below for more information and replays of the day.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Sailplane Grand prix Australia - Day 5 Highlights

Sailplane Grand Prix Australia - Day 5 Summary

Following the cancellation of Day four due to poor weather, Day five was a fantastic day for gliding in the Wimmera.  

Today’s task was set nice and close to the town, to allow our pilots the chance to explore some different areas around the aerodrome. Today our pilots embarked to the East to Minyip, before heading directly south to Rupanyup before flying back across the Horsham township toward Mount Arapiles.

During the day a number of gaggles form and spectators at Horsham Aerodrome were able to see all the competitors flying together in the one thermal.

The top three placings for day 5 were Peter Temple with a time of 1:30:58 and a speed of 118.00 km/h. Peter was followed home by Geoff Brown and David Jansen.

At the end of Day 5 Mark Tingey leads the competition on 23 points, followed by Peter temple on 21 and Geoff Brown on 16.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Day 4 cancelled

Day 4 of Sailplane Grand Prix Australia officially cancelled due to poor weather. 

See you back at  tomorrow!

Sailplane Grand Prix Australia: ABC News Coverage

Sailplane Grand Prix Australia - Day 3 Highlights

Sailplane Grand Prix Australia - Summary Day 3

Today was a day of refinement for all of our pilots, with Day Three providing our pilots with a fantastic opportunity to take to the sky on a high speed race across the Wimmera skies.

Todays task took our sailplanes North to Nhill, East to Birchip before returning home safely – the better conditions resulting in no outlandings today.

First home was Mark Tingey in a a JS-1 with a scoring time of 2:24:35 and average speed of 124.0 km/h. Mark. David Pietsch and Geoff Brown finished second and third.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Sailplane Grand Prix Australia - Day 2 Highlights

Sailplane Grand Prix - Summary Day 2

Our second day of flying was once again a challenging day for all of our pilots. A similar task was set, which involved a trip for our pilots across to Jeparit, down to Marnoo before returning back to the Horsham Aerodrome. See below for the map of the day.

The eventual winner was Peter Temple, whose strategy allowed him a narrow victory over Sean Fidler. Todays task resulted in 4 sailplanes having to out-land.

Check out the links below for more information and replays of the day.

Sailplane Grand Prix Australia - Day 1 Highlights

Sailplane Grand Prix - Summary Day 1

Day One of the SGP Australia heat draws to a close. Due to weather, the day started late to allow pilots the best opportunity to complete the day’s task of a short run to Nhill, Minyip and back to the Horsham Aerodrome.

13 Pilots commenced the task, and only 5 were able to complete the entire circuit in today’s challenging conditions, including one out landing for the day.

We also had a visit from the ABC news crews with their filming helicopter, who were able to get some fantastic film which will feature tomorrow evening on national television.

Check out the links below for more information and replays of the day.


Preview of the Australian FAI Sailplane Grand Prix

The Australian FAI/SGP contest starts on December 14th 2016 only a few weeks before the 34th World Gliding Championships to take place at Benalla also in the state of Victoria. This presents an ideal opportunity for top Australian and overseas pilots to experience top level competition in Australian conditions and put in some serious practice...

The FAI/SGP will take place at Horsham in an ideal task area renowned for strong thermal conditions during this period of the summer. Pilots can expect some booming conditions in temperatures that regularly exceed 35 degrees Celsius, heights over 12,000ft are not uncommon and oxygen systems are strongly recommended.

In an area with very few airspace restrictions allowing races in almost any direction from the airfield over open large scale farmland. The Grampian mountains lie to the south, a range of low mountains rising to about 3000ft which will make for interesting racing when weather permits races into this region.

The very competitive Australian sailplane community is very well represented with 10 of the fourteen competing pilots but the USA and New Zealand pilots will ensure there will be no easy victory. 
There are no obvious favourites to win this SGP and predicting the final podium occupiers is not easy.

There are no obvious favourites to win this SGP and predicting the final podium occupiers is not easy.

The top Australian pilot Peter Temple flying an ASG 29 and World Ranking 103 looks like  a serious contender having won both the Australian 20m class and the Multiclass nationals in 2016 and 2nd in both these events in 2015. 

Andrew Georgeson (AUS) world ranking 103 flying a JS1 is very experienced competitor in this class but was 2nd to Peter in the 2016 multiclass and will probably be looking to reverse this position in the SGP

Possible the most experienced Australian pilot is David Jansen flying an ASG 29. Despite his lower world ranking at 154 he has flown a World SGP final in Germany and several World Championships. In the hot and very tactical environment of SGP racing his broader experience may well give him an edge on his fellow countrymen.

The local Australian pilots may find themselves pushed hard by the visiting pilots from USA and New Zealand.  Hot from the USA SGP in Michigan Sean Fidler will bring his recent experience to the races and is quite capable of beating his way to the final podium. Sean is flying an ASG 29 and his lower world ranking is mostly due to his lack of International experience.

There are several pilots with little recent track record who may surprise the top ranked pilots. Rank outsider Mark Tingey (NZ) flying a JS1 who has no world Ranking has only been flying contests for 2 years in a PW5 but is keen and talented. Whatever his result the racing in Horsham will certainly sharpen him up for the EGC in Benalla.

Saturday, December 03, 2016

New coat of paint for Pie Cart

After many years of loyal service the Pie Cart is getting a new coat of paint in the lead up to the 8th FAI Sailplane Grand Prix which is being held at Horsham Aerodrome from the 14th to 20th December. Wayne is pictured laying on the luscious yellow. It was pretty much a one man job. So thanks to Wayne for coordinating another great effort with the pressure washer, sander and brush. Michael helped out a bit until he got hungry and went home for lunch.