Benalla Storm

Benalla Storm

Saturday, June 28, 2014


I’m excited to say that we have had two official contest days!

You can follow my spot using this website:

To check out the scores and excitement at the end of the day, go to:

I'm pretty tired atm, so stories and photos to follow tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Practice Days

Welcome to another gliding contest, with rain, rain, and more rain!
The two practise days have both been rained out, with some exciting storms moving over the field and dumping heaps of precipitation over the flying area. Hopefully the system passes over us quickly, and leaves behind some good weather so we can get flying Wednesday or Thursday.

This has given me plenty of time to sort out my equipment that I’ll need both on the ground and in the air. The pilot’s meeting is happening tonight, followed by pizza and beer for all.

Photos and stories to follow once the contest really gets going.

In the meantime, follow the scores at the World Championships in Finland!

Australian Team Blog:

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Back in the glider seat!

Well, my season is off to a late start, but I am excited to say that I will be getting back into a glider in the next few days! I am planning to continue blogging the exciting flights and happenings at the airport(s) I get out to. This blog will be filled with stellar stories and photos in the coming weeks.

The Canadian National Soaring Competition starts on Monday and I will try to keep posted with details from the contest as much as I can. June 23&24 are the official practise days, with the contest running from June 25 - July 4. Full information, photos, and scores for the contest can be found at

I am registered to fly in Club Class and have been given a Junior (SZD 51-1) from the SOSA Gliding Club to fly for the contest. I am lucky enough to have the lovely Lynne Gough crewing for me, with guest appearances from my amazing glider-wives-duo Alec Shaw and Max Baru.

Monday, August 22, 2011

It's Over...

The final night party was a lot of fun. Then on Saturday morning came the closing ceremonies. I was so proud of everyone who made the top ten in each class. Tim Kuijpers looked thrilled and a little overwhelmed as he stood on the podium and we all listened to his national anthem being sung. And then it was over. People were packing everywhere, and many goodbyes were said. I already miss having breakfast with our Austrian neighbours, briefings in the big hangar, jokes and songs on the grid, flying with my dear Aussies, evenings with the Swiss and their pool, and most of all the flying! It's a little hard to believe that it's all over! So sad... I finished in 41 position (not last yay!). I will take a little while to digest before writing a formal article for Free Flight, but can definitely already say that I learned heaps! 

Chris and I have one more day in Germany before we head home. Chris will be helping for duration of the Eastern Junior Camp, and I will be helping a few days at both the Eastern and Western Junior Camps.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Day 8 Cancelled, Contest is over!!!

Selena was on the front of the grid today.  The weather did not look promising but the organizers wanted to wait as long as possible to allow the club class to get another day.  Tim Kuijpers from the Netherlands had only a small lead in front of the two German pilots.  The sniffer, Brian Spreckley, did not take off until one o'clock and kept delaying first launch.  A storm started growing just to the south of us and we felt a few drops but Brian still stayed up.  Shortly after the storm passed Brian was forced down and shortly after that the day was cancelled for both classes.  The Dutch camp was very excited for their victory.  Below is a photo of Tim being thrown into the Swiss pool.  Tim is a very friendly fellow and there were many people going up to congratulate him.  Tonight is the last night party and many people are getting ready for it.  There are many visitors here just for the party including our friend Jonas who is staying in our caravan.
The storm to the south
Tim from Holland in the pool

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Day 7

As Chris said, Club Class was pushed off of the side of the grid to give the Standard Class a better chance to fly. Chris decided to have a nap on the grid.
I really didn't think we were going fly. Storm clouds had moved through earlier in the day with verga, then some altocumulus came in, then dead calm air. Slowly though we started to feel a few thermals move through and they decided to launch the grid. I think people were still skeptical and I heard that one Standard Class glider dumped some water on the grid. Soon enough though they were getting pretty high! Cloud class got pushed on and we launched into beautiful air! I had forgotten what the ground looked like at 8500ft!!

Well, as much fun as it was to be in thermal wave to 2500m, the start gate opened at 2000m so I was forced to lose altitude, and much of the working band, to get low enough for the start. It was tricky because you didn't want to get too much below the working band or it was very difficult to re-connect with the clouds. I managed to find a few other gliders at the start and we flew south along a band of clouds to the first turnpoint. It was pretty fun, and I had to keep reminding myself to fly fast! Along the first leg we met up with some Standard Class gliders flying the other direction, gave them a wave, and kept on going south. As we flew south the clouds kept forming, although they got weaker as we got further south. I flew most of this leg behind Nathan Johnson, and let me tell you, he is an amazing pilot, and is especially great at finding energy lines. It was great to watch him!

We finally joined a gaggle "low" in the first turnpoint (by low I mean 1600m higher than we have been getting most of the rest of the comp!!). I was following behind a group of other gliders, and was hesitant because I was much lower than them. Nonetheless I managed to get final glide partway along the second leg! How cool. I realised I was going to be a bit over time so initially thought I would just clip the second circle. When I got there there was a massive cloud leading right on track into the turnpoint so I followed it further in, gaining altitude, speed, and distance (how sweet!). I then turned for home, still above final glide, and cruising along well. I reckon I still could have flown a little bit faster as I finished 300 feet high. It was a neat finish and I hope someone got a photo or two because I was on final with 5 or 6 other gliders! Just in time for a good landing and a cold beer. I finished the day in 15th place with 74kph (still 20kph slower than the winner, unreal!). I need to fly more consistently. (Although I have never had this problem before...) Unfortunately points from the day were severely de-valued due to the short task time and distance. Tim Kuijspers from the Netherlands has moved into first place ahead of the Germans so hopefully he can hold his lead today! Andrew Maddocks also had a great day finishing in 9th place!

Day 7

Today we started out with a 2.5 hour AAT and were gridded in front of the Standard Class.  The contest manager decided to allow the Standard Class to launch first to get in a longer day so we had to push all the Club Class gliders to the side and then regrid after they were all up.  The task was also changed from to a 1.5 hour AAT with minimum 69km, max 247km and nominal 154km.  The pilots were reporting the highest cloudbase of the contest and some reported wave.  The start gate was limited to 2000m to avoid any advantages/disadvantages of getting in the wave.  She is at the first turn now and after turning will have a nice tailwind for the second leg.