Bruce Taylor

Hometown:  Armidale, NSW
Glider:  LS8a, “WB”

How did you get started in gliding?  I was always interested in anything that flew, right from when I was a toddler, but for some reason gliding became a fascination. I flew a lot of models, mostly gliders, starting with simple balsa wood “chuck” gliders and moving up from there to more sophisticated radio control models. One of my modelling buddies was an instructor at Lake Keepit Gliding Club, and I forced him to drag me along! A few days later I paid for a training week, and away we went.

Who have been your most significant mentors or influences in gliding?    Brad Edwards is my best mate, and we met very early in my flying days and hit it off straight up. About 10 years later he won the worlds in Texas, so I figured I should pay attention. We have had huge fun flying together over the years and still do. Ingo Renner was also always very supportive through my early competition days, and he was definitely the one to beat. For many years we were racing for second place! He was a fantastic benchmark and taught me a lot about racing.

What are some of the major competitions you’ve participated in, and how did you perform? I’ve participated in 12 World championships all over the place. I’ve had a fifth, a sixth, an eighth and many others all the way down the list! There are two I should have won, but hey, it was fun trying!  I also have 18 National titles here in Australia.

What’s your training routine like? How will you prepare for the upcoming competition? I like to fly as much as I can, and to make that training as real as possible… not just admiring the view! I’m flying the 18m nationals in Uvalde, Texas in August, plus the state comps and nationals in Kingaroy in October.  I also like to keep reasonably fit, eat sensibly and I basically don’t drink any alcohol any more.

What are your goals / aims for the upcoming competition at Narromine? Do the very best flight I can every day, and see what happens…

How does it feel to be representing Australia on home soil, and at Narromine? I still love it! World comps are always a great event and everybody there is good so you have to work hard at not making big mistakes. But there are so many people there who I have known for years and the social connection is always fun.

Apart from the fact that flying in your own country is so much cheaper, and figuring out how everything works is easier at home, the home advantage is minimal. The overseas pilots are pretty fast at figuring things out and they are very professional.

What’s something interesting most people don’t know about you? I enjoy motorcycles and in particular adventure riding. I’ve been doing it longer than I’ve been gliding! I love the challenge and we live in such a beautiful country to explore on a bike. There is a lot of crossover between bikes and gliders flying cross country and you use very similar techniques to cover ground quickly and safely.

What advice would they give to someone interested in getting involved in gliding? Gliding requires some dedication, so prepare yourself for helping others and understanding that you might need to be patient. See if you can ensure your instructor starts heading away from home on short cross-country flights while they are teaching you how to fly. This will give you a great step into the really interesting part of gliding. Going solo is not the end of your training… it’s the very beginning of a whole new world that has opened up.

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