Adam Woolley


Hometown:  Biloela, Central Queensland
Glider:  Ventus 3TS

How did you get started in gliding?     I’m a third generation glider pilot with a very supportive family, I was almost born at a gliding competition in 1984, so you could say I had little choice in the matter!  I still remember my first flight as a teenager though at age 14, overwhelming joy as I went up on the winch.  It was that very moment, that my true addiction and dedication to the sport overcame me 🙂

Who have been your most significant mentors or influences in gliding?    My parents, George Lee & John Buchanan.  These four have taught me so much over the years, gave me a great foundation with support to achieving my dreams, true belief in myself, glider tuning, finishing with dedicated, focused and motivated training.

My best mate, James Dutschke, who constantly challenges me, provides banter and who has generally been on my journey with me since meeting in 2006. 

What are some of the major competitions you’ve participated in, and how did you perform? Fortunately, I have a job that supports my gliding lifestyle, so I’m able to follow Summer all around the globe. I’ve represented Australia at 6 international events, starting at the 2005 UK Junior World Gliding Championships. I’ve won a handful of days at World Gliding Championships, with my best placing of 5th at the UK EGC, 8th at the POL 15m WGC; Of note, I achieved the fastest speed trophy over the longest distance at the CZE 18m WGC.

I’ve won 8 gliding nationals, which includes the Polish 15m nationals. Currently I have 1900hrs of in-competition time, with 800hrs of them in Europe. I have flown in the UK, Finland, Germany, Slovakia, Poland, Spain & Lithuania!

What’s your training routine like? How will you prepare for the upcoming competition? I have been training for World Championships since I had the amazing opportunity to fly with George Lee on his Plain Soaring course in 2004. He taught me many things, but the most important lesson he gave me was to believe in myself & that I truly ‘can’ win!

My training plan for this specific WGC includes flying in Slovakia at the FCC, Germany at the HWW, Crewing in Finland, Squad Week with my team mates, Uvalde pre-WGC, September for glider tuning, testing and free flying, finally with the Sports Class Nationals in October, then onto the big show!

If I’m not flying, then I’m just enjoying long walks when ever my work schedule allows. I use this time to visualise, think about logistics & how can I improve my chances of winning in Narromine!

What are your goals / aims for the upcoming competition at Narromine? “If you’re not at a competition to win, what’s the sense in competing?”, Gleb Derujinsky, the Sunship Game.

Clearly, this is my aim, I intend to achieve this by putting in my best flight every day, being honest and true to my teammates, supporting and giving my all to help them achieve their ambitions too – which I’m also sure, is to win!

How does it feel to be representing Australia on home soil, and at Narromine? It’s a huge privilege naturally, fortunately its at one of my favourite sites in Australia where predominately I’ve done most of my long distance and record flying from. The weather and location is perfect for such a championship, the area energises me and it suits my strengths as a pilot. So it feels great!

What’s something interesting most people don’t know about you? I share everything on my facebook page: Adam Woolley’s Gliding Adventures, so there is little that people don’t know about me ????

What advice would they give to someone interested in getting involved in gliding? If you’re interested, you’re interested, you’ll find a way to make it happen. After you’ve gone solo though, that’s when your learning and journey really begins. Gliding can take you on so many paths, from sharing your skills with the general public on joy flights; exploring your local area wingtip to wingtip with your soaring friends; flying further, faster and higher as a cross-country pilot; flying aerobatics for joy or to perfection; becoming a local, national or world gliding champion; there’s something for everyone, enjoy the journey and the people you’ll meet along the way 🙂

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