How did you get started in gliding? I was introduced to gliding through my father who was a long time instructor and competition pilot. Much of my youth was spent on the home airfield and at the odd competition. Entering my teenage years, I found myself getting more flying time in the ever-busy club Blanik. I went on to solo on my fifteenth birthday and flew in my first competition six months later. After first attending JoeyGlide as a coaching participant, I came back in subsequent years to compete in Astirs. The friends I met and the network I made through the Australian Junior Gliding scene undoubtedly meant that I stuck with gliding amid other interests including Cricket, Golf and model RC aerobatics.
Who have been your most significant mentors or influences in gliding? I have been fortunate to have a number of mentors throughout my gliding ‘career’. Their influence has sometimes very subtle or even vicarious, ranging through to direct coaching and traditional ‘mentorship’.
Adam Woolley has long been a source of motivation and enthusiasm. I was fortunate to have been coached by John Buchanan (QLD) during my first handful of competition outings. I benefited greatly from the time and generosity of Adam Webb within the junior community. In a competitive sense, I’ve been fortunate to fly alongside world champions Matt Scutter, Tom Arscott and Simon Briel, each outing being rather formative and inspirational. Finally, my father was obviously a huge help in telling me how to fly a glider – and how not to!