The provisional Austrian Team for WGC 2017 Benalla has been announced. Austria will field five competitors in the three classes of competition.

Werner Amann will fly in 15m Class. Werner’s home club is SFG Hohenems near the Austrian border with Switzerland. He is 46 years old and his current IGC ranking is No.334 His best competition performance to date is 1st place at the 2012 Coppa Internazionale del Mediterraneo in 18m Class.

Flying in 18m Class are Wolfgang Janowitsch and Andreas Lutz. Wolfgang, 53, is an airline pilot with an IGC ranking of No. 14 and flies from Wiener Neustadt in eastern Austria, south of Vienna. He competed in the Benalla Multi Class Pre-world Championships this January flying an ASH25m with fellow team member Andreas. Wolfgang’s best performance to date was winning the 2003 World Championships at Leszno in 18m Class. He took 2nd place in 15m Worlds in Leszno 2014 and he came first in the 2015 European Gliding Championship Open Class in an Arcus M.

Andreas is ranked IGC No. 149. He is an Aeronautical Engineer, aged 34. His home club is Akaflieg, Munich, across the border in Germany. His best performance was winning 2015 Hahnweide in an Arcus M. He competed in the Junior Worlds at Reiti in 2007 and came 8th at the 2014 Worlds in Leszno flying a Ventus 2a.

Open class will be flown by Sebastian Eder and Ludwig Starkl. Sebastian, a 30 year old Civil Engineer ranked IGC No. 408. His club is Schärdinger Flieger Union on the Austrian-German border. His best performance was in 2013 at the Austrian Multiclass Nationals, where he came 5th in Open Class. He also competed in the 2014 Worlds Leszno.

Ludwig is a previous Austrian Champion. He has flown in three European Championships and the  WGC in Bayreuth 1999. He has flown in Australia and came 5th in the Nationals at  Gawler in 1999.

He was Austrian team captain when Wolfgang Janowitsch became World Champion in 2003 and at the last Worlds in Leszno 2014 where Janowitsch again stepped onto the podium in 2nd place.

For several years, Ludwig has spent the European winter flying in Namibia. So, perhaps unusually for an Austrian pilot, he has a lot of flat country flying experience, which may serve him well in the Riverena to the north of Benalla.

In Namibia he has concentrated on achieving 1,000km distances and has clocked up three such flights so far, with a fastest average speed of over 165 km/h. Ludwig will will fly an Antares 23T at WGC2017 Benalla.

Benalla and the WGC2017 organization will offer a big welcome to the Austrian team when they arrive in Australia. Keep looking at and for updates as the championships are fast approaching.