2011: Horsham gliding pilots keen for better forecasts

This article by Leigh Rogers was first published in The Wimmera Mail-Times on the 9th of February, 2011

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ORGANISERS of the Horsham Gliding Week Competition are hoping for better weather conditions for the rest of the week.

The 44th annual competition had an interrupted start, with competition on just two of the opening four days.

Competition director David Cleland said poor conditions on the opening day on Saturday meant no gliders took to the sky.

"It was a great day on Sunday though," he said.

"Everyone had a wonderful flight, with our standard and performances classes travelling 171 kilometres to Goroke, Dimboola and Jung and the other classes travelling 231 kilometres to Kaniva, Diapur and Murtoa."

Craig Vinall from Waikerie in South Australia took the honours in the open section, and Jarek Mosiejewski from the Geelong Gliding Club won the 15 metre class.

Warrnambool pilot Buzz Bailey took out the performance section and Matthew Scutter of Adelaide was first home in the standard class.

Mr Cleland said several gliders launched on Monday, but thermals were too weak for competition.

"We had a task planned that would have taken the pilots over Nhill, Netherby and Jung for the open and standard classes, and one for Nhill, Antwerp and Jung for the performance and 15 metre classes, but it was not a good day for gliding," he said.

Mr Cleland said yesterday's conditions were slightly better.

He said the gliders were able to get to 3500 feet, which was just high enough for them to compete.

"We've had peculiar weather this year, yesterday morning it was 10 degrees celsius at 2000 feet and jumped to 16 degrees at 2500 feet," he said.

Horsham Flying Club vice-president Michael Hogan said organisers were pleased with entry numbers.

He said they had 28 gliders from Victoria and interstate competing.

"Numbers are not quite as big as some other years, but I think the weather has had a bit to do with that," he said.

DON'T miss Friday's Mail-Times for more news, results, profiles and photos from the 44th annual Horsham Week Gliding Competition.

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