After eight flying contest days, the hard fought Multiclass Nationals finished on 7 December.
Tom Claffey is the new 18m / Open Class Champion, flying a top class competition in his ASG29 beating Norm Bloch in a JS3 in second place and Geoff Brown in a J1C in third position.
Tom said, "The top three pilots in Open were 18m pilots, and I came out on top in my ASG29 after a mixture of blue and strong cumulus weather. In my case, as it was really my first major comp since the Benalla World Championships, I was pretty relaxed.
"It was also my first time flying against the new JS3. They are certainly a step up in performance and look fantastic, but the old ASG29 is still a great machine."
Tom Claffew winner 18m / Open Classes
Adam Woolley is the new 15m Champion with an almost flawless performance in his Ventus 2a.
Adam said, "My goals for this comp were to have fun, be confident in my decisions and to be inquisitive, followed by trusting my abilities and knowledge. I feel I achieved these goals, especially on the last day – a 3-hr AAT into a known slow spot for me in the south, then up to the north towards the moonscape of Nyngan, across the wettest place in Australia to Warren, and then a short run home."
Adam Woolley winner 15m Class
Tobi Geiger flying his Ventus 2a for the first time in a championship took second place after winning two days.
Tobi described his first day win on 5 December,"The day started out with early development of cu's but I found it tricky to get into good cores to climb to cloud base. I couldn't work out early on where the best lift was under the clouds. When I finally made it to cloudbase, I saw a nice street about 20 degrees off track and decided to use this opportunity. My strategy was to thermal as little as possible during this flight and rather try to stay in energy lines fairly close under the cu's, even if that meant slowing down a bit. The strategy worked very well for me and I managed to stay high pretty much all through the flight. With a very low percentage of climbing, my average speed over the task came out at 143 kph, which got me into first place for the day together with Scott Lennon.
On the very last day of the competition I decided on a very conservative and safe approach - no gaggles and trying to stay high in the blue. I cruised mainly around 90kts with a 3kt McCready setting. I saw a few gliders on track but flew mostly alone. The second leg was a bit slow over fairly desolate countryside south of Nyngan. I found a really good rythm on the third leg and when I arrived at my planned turning point in the last AAT circle, I climbed from a fairly low altitude and then a tailwind to start the last leg. The run home was pretty good but I must have caught the last stronger thermals, as later home comers all reported soft conditions on the last leg. I was very surprised that I won the last day as I had flown very conservatively."
Tobi Geiger, 2nd in 15M Class in his Ventus 2a landing at Narromine
Peter Trotter took 3rd place in 15m Class in his LS8 as well as coming first in Standard Class.
Alan Barnes came 2nd in Standard Class closely followed by Andrew Maddox, both also flying LS8s.
At the start of the Championships, following a very dusty start on the official practise day, a night shower provided some relief for the ground crew. The first two days looked promising for some substantial rain, but high cloud and the torrential rain that battered the coast only produced 20mm and stopped the soaring at Narromine.
The first seven contest days saw several blue days and difficult conditions but with some fast results.
Norm Bloch flying in 18m/Open Classes flew the fastest speed of the championships winning the racing task on 5 December flying 384km at 158.96 kph. Norm was flying one of four JS3s at the championships. These new gliders are now set to become a regular sight at gliding fields around Australia.
Final Contest Day
The eighth competition day arrived and again, the forecast was for blue skies. An AAT was set in 18m/Open Classes with a median distance of 3,334km. Geoff Brown won the day, securing his 3rd place, flying 373.78km at 121.92kph. Norm Bloch took second place, cementing his 2nd place overall and Terry Cubley came 3rd giving him his finish of the contest in his Ventus 2cxT, taking 10th place overall.
In 15m and Standard Classes, an AAT with a median distance of 336km was set. Tobi Geiger took his second day win, flying 343km at 114.43kph, knocking Alan Barnes into 2nd place and Adam Woolley into 3rd. However, Adam stayed in top position overall and Tobi took 2nd place, while Alan Barnes had to be satisfied with 4th overall.
In Standard Class, the results were a bit different with Alan Barnes taking 1st place, Scott Lennon 2nd and Michael Durrant 3rd. Andy Maddox came in 6th, but his solid performance throughout the contest was enough to give him 3rd place overall in Standard Class.
It was a tough competition with the usual mix of good, bad and ugly weather. But that is what National Championships are all about - testing the pilots to see who has the skill, stamina and aircraft - with a bit of luck - to be a champion.
You can read the full story in Gliding Australia issue 45 out soon.
The top placements were:
Multiclass Nationals Narromine
27 Nov - 7 Dec 2018
18 m / Open Class
1 Tom Claffey ASG 29 Open & 18m 7224
2 Norm Bloch JS3 Open 7007 18m 7012
3 Geoff Brown JS1 C Open 6970 18m 6971
1 Adam Woolley Ventus 2a 7268
2 Tobias Geiger Ventus 2a 7011
2 Peter Trotter LS8 6362
1 Peter Trotter LS8 6743
2 Alan Barnes LS8 6727
3 Andrew Maddox LS8 6634
NSW, Tom Claffey, Geoff Brown
and Brad Edwards
Norm Bloch 158.96 kph
Full results at