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World Gliding Championships Countdown Begins with Australian National Championships at Kingaroy

The top competition glider pilots from around Australia converged on Kingaroy, Qld, for two weeks of intense competition. New National Champions in four classes of competition were decided after ten competition days.

The competition marked the beginning of the lead-up to the World Gliding Championships at Benalla, Victoria 8 - 22 January

WGC Benalla Championship Director Terry Cubley said, "The challenging conditions at Kingaroy over ten flying days were perfect preparation for the World Championships in January. We were happy that the Chinese team, Japanese team and NZ team were also able to use the competition as part of their preparation for Benalla. They joined four of the Australian team pilots in vying for the top positions at Kingaroy. The competition was hard fought and brought many challenges to the competing Australian and international pilots, an excellent way to prepare for what they will have to face when 114 of the world’s best pilots meet at Benalla in January.”

In the prestigious Open and 18m Classes, John Buchanan and David Jansen, members of host club Kingaroy Gliding Club, took first and second places. Tom Claffey from NSW took third place. Tom is on the Australian International Gliding team that will compete in the World Gliding Championships Benalla Victoria in January 2017. Tom said, "The Nationals at Kingaroy brought challenging weather and a very high standard of competition for four of the team members training for the WGC in Benalla in January."

Bruce Taylor, who is also on the Australian Gliding Team was pipped at the post into 4th position in Open Class. Bruce said, "Kingaroy provided a wide range of conditions and tasks, and required excellent technical knowledge and tactical prowess from the successful pilots."

Flying Hors Concours in Standard Class, Makoto Ichikawa from Japan made top score. Mak has been a regular visitor to Australia and flown in many national competitions over the years. Mak will be representing Japan at WGC Benalla in 15m Class.

The 15m Class was dominated by local Queensland pilots. Adam Woolley took first place followed by Jim Crowhurst and Australian team member Steve O’Donnell.

Steve said, "After several months of glider preparation it was great to compete in a two week event where the competition was at a high level and the weather and tasking was different every day".

Makoto Ichikawa

Makoto Ichikawa from Japan took top score in Standard Class, and will be competing at WGC2017 Benalla in 15M.

 Adam Woolley

New Australian 15 Metre Class Champion Adam Woolley



The World Gliding Championships Benalla 8 - 22 January 2017

The World Gliding Championships for Open, 18m and 15m Classes is the most prestigious and competitive gliding competition in the world.

Opening Ceremony

The opening ceremony for the event will be on Sunday 8 January in the Rose Gardens Benalla, and the closing ceremony will be on 22 January at the airfield.

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This event is organised by the GFA (Gliding Federation of Australia) under the auspices of the FAI (Federation Aeronautique Internationale) which is the worldwide body for sport aviation.


The sport of gliding is an exhilarating, spectacular and serene flying experience. Gliders take to the air like birds with wings outstretched, soaring on rising air currents, immersed in three dimensional space and flying silently with an eagle’s view of the world. Men and women of all ages can learn to fly gliders. In Australia you can fly solo from the age of 15 and some pilots continue gliding into their eighties. It is never too late to learn to glide and many pilots take up the sport in their 40s, 50s or even 70s. 

The modern glider is a sophisticated highly aerodynamic aircraft without an engine, designed to travel at speeds approaching 300 kph and capable of heights in excess of 10,000 metres.

The GFA (Gliding Federation of Australia) is the national body for the coordination, management and promotion of gliding.


Benalla, Victoria, on 8 - 22 January 2017


Full details of the event are on the website at www.wgc2017.com/



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