Nine of Australia's top women pilots will fly in the Women's World Gliding Championships at Lake Keepit in January 2020. All have excellent soaring skills and experience at the highest levels. This speaks well for the standard of women glider pilots in Australia. Here you can learn more about the Australian Women's Team members.
The team members are:
Club Class: Kerrie Claffey, Jo Davis, Jenny Ganderton
Standard Class: Cathy Conway, Claire Scutter, Lisa Trotter
18m Class: Ailsa McMillan, Jenny Thompson, Lisa Turner
Club Class - Soar Narromine
Inspired by her first flight in a glider in Alice Springs in 1975, Kerrie commenced training with Southern Cross Gliding Club at Camden in 1981. Instructing from 1988 and competing since 1989, Kerrie’s 4000hrs include many state and national championships, becoming the first Australian to win the Tasman Trophy in NZ’s South Island and representing Australia at Women’s World Championships in France and Denmark. Kerrie’s passion for distance flying has produced 4 World records, 6 Australian records and an FAI 1000k diploma. Kerrie welcomes the world’s best women to share our wonderful home turf!
Club Class - Darling Downs Soaring Club
Jo’s interest in aviation started when a glider landed on her family property west of Dalby when she was a little girl. That early start has seen her take up the sport herself later, joining the Darling Downs Soaring Club at Jondaryan. She’s been a regular at the gliding club and competitions throughout the country since. Now with over 2500hrs, an Australian speed record for 500km out and return and having had the privilege of representing the country at the Women's World Gliding Championships in Denmark, Jo is looking forward to welcoming the best of the gliding world to Australia at the end of 2019 and going toe to toe with them with the rest of the Australian team.
Club Class - Lake Keepit Soaring Club
Jenny has been hang gliding since 1980, gliding since 1990, and flying powered aircraft since about 2001. She has flown in several women's world hang gliding competitions, and the Women's World gliding competition in the Czech republic in 2017. She is also a tug pilot, gliding instructor and Recreational Aviation instructor. Jenny is a partial owner of four gliders - need to rationalise! As you can tell, flying, particularly gliding is her passion! Career wise, Jenny has been a geologist, science teacher, chartered accountant, and finally flying instructor! (Guess which is her favourite!). Jenny currently helps out instructing and driving the winch at NT Soaring in Alice Springs, but Lake Keepit is her “home” club.
Standard Class - Adelaide University Gliding Club
Cath Conway joined the Adelaide University Gliding Club as a student in 1986 after being invited by a friend and learned to fly on the Lochiel ridge. She started flying powered aircraft in 1994. Her first cross country and competition flying was in an Australian built Boomerang glider which she still has a share in. Both of her sons grew up at the airfield, are studying aeronautical engineering and are junior competition pilots. She has been Australian team captain twice (in Germany 2005 and Lithuania 2016). Cath has 2600 gliding hours and 1100 power. She is still with the uni club as an instructor, coach and airworthiness engineer. In addition she runs AV8 motorglider school out of Parafield airport in SA.
After a career in defence and telecommunications engineering, Cath moved to the aviation industry and became a commercial pilot and flies the PC-12S. She usually flies a Ventus 2cxT. She also has a Kookaburra, Booomerang, Super Arrow and Super Dimona. In addition Cath flies and maintains the ECO-Dimona special mission motorgliders for Airborne Research Australia.
Standard Class - Gliding Now
Claire had her first flight in a glider in 2011 and has been eager to pursue gliding as a sport ever since. Claire has competed in multiple State, Junior and Australian National competitions over the past 6 years and competed in the 2017 Women’s World Gliding Championships in the Czech Republic. Gliding has now become a part of everyday life for Claire, taking on a management role at Maddog Composites. Claire now has ~500hrs of experience in gliding and is looking forward to developing her skills in preparation for the Women’s World Gliding Championships in January 2020 at Lake Keepit.
Standard Class - Kingaroy Soaring Club
Lisa’s fascination with aviation started as a child as a result of being around aircraft and in the cockpit on numerous occasions with her dad an airline pilot. She learnt to fly power aircraft as a teenager and graduated to flying gliders in her early 20s. Now she has 5500 hours gliding and 400 hours power. Lisa has won Gliding Championships at State and National levels. She represented Australia at the World Gliding Championships held in the USA in 2012 and at the Women’s World Championships in Germany in 2005. She also holds numerous National and World records. The upcoming Women’s Worlds gives Lisa another opportunity to fly with the best in the world. She is looking forward to being part of a top Aussie team who will showcase their high level skills, airmanship and sportsmanship to the world.
18M Class - Geelong Gliding Club
Ailsa has been flying for 10 years amassing 1200hrs in that time, and starting competing in 2011. Her international debut was at the 2013 Junior Worlds in Leszno, Poland. Since then, Ailsa has represented Australia a further three times, and is looking forward to the fifth being on home soil! Last year Ailsa broke the long standing Australian 100km record at an average speed of 205.04kph. This also made her only the third person in the world to have achieved a speed over 200kph on this record in thermal conditions! Ailsa also enjoys coaching other pilots, and has been the visiting coach for the Western Australian women in gliding week for the past three years.
18M Class - Darling Downs Soaring Club
Jenny learnt to fly with her father when she was 15 in Bathurst, NSW. Taking a 20 year break from gliding while raising a family, Jenny started flying again once her children were in high school joining the Darling Downs Soaring Club in 1999. She starting flying national competitions in 2002 and currently holds 5 Australian records. Jenny is also a power pilot, with 2500 hours gliding and 800 hours power. Representing Australia in Hungary in 2009, Jenny is looking forward to representing Australia once again, this time on Australian ground.
18M Class - Kingaroy Soaring Club
Coming from a gliding family, Lisa has a lifelong interest in gliding and followed her Father and Brother into competitive gliding flying her first solo competition at age 16 while still in high school. Lisa went solo and achieved her gliding licence at the minimum age of 15 well before she was entitled to a car licence. Lisa was the first Australian junior pilot to represent Australia at the World Junior Gliding Championships in the Netherlands in 1999 and represented Australia again at the Women’s World Gliding Championships in Germany in 2005. Lisa has over 1600 hours gliding, is a qualified instructor and sports coach and loves all aspects of gliding including competition racing. Lisa believes in the future of gliding and played a key role in initiating the junior gliding movement including the first Australian Junior Gliding Championships and the women in gliding movement in Australia. Lisa has a strong focus on safety in gliding and was the Safety Officer at the World Junior Gliding Championships at Narromine NSW in 2015.
Terry Cubley AM
Team Captain - Benalla Gliding Club
Terry started gliding when he was 15yo and has devoted much of his life to the sport. He has been a leader of the sport in Australia and Internationally, but his major passion is competition flying. He has been 5 times National champion and represented Australia in 7 world
championships. "Being the Team Captain of our very strong women's gliding Team is a privilege, hopefully my experience in international championships can support the skills of our talented pilots to help them produce personal bests and some podium positions."
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