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Soaring to the top of the Gliding leaderboard

The 2024 Greytown Honey National Gliding Championship at Papawai Airfield has finished, and the winners have soared to the top of the leaderboard.

The competition, hosted by Wellington Wairarapa Gliding Club [WWGC] ran for a week, finishing on Thursday, with five out of the eight days being good to fly.

Organiser Grae Harrison said the flying was challenging, but the pilots flews extremely well.

“It was a huge success; we had a total of 16 competitors,” he said.

“We only had to cancel three days due to weather conditions; these were either low-lying clouds or low thermals.”

“Also, at the dinner on the final night, everyone was saying how great Greytown is, particularly the hospitality.”

Pilots flocked from all over the country, coming from Auckland, Hawke’s Bay, Omarama, Taupō, Waikato and, of course, Wellington and Wairarapa.

The event had two categories: the Club class, which is made up of older gliders 30 to 45 years old, and the Open class, which is more modern-day gliders.

Club class gliders navigated a 185km course, while the Open class went around a 200km course.

Each day, the pilot’s speed was averaged out and recorded as points; 150kph means 150 points.

The points for each day were then added up to arrive at a total number of points, declaring rank.

Harrison said that some higher-performance gliders received a handicap to make for a more fair race.

On the last competition day, the Club class winner clocked an average speed of 122.92kph, while in the Open class, the winner recorded an average of 150.77kph.

Results from the event, with each class’s placings and their respective total of points.

Ranking and points
in the Club class:

Third was James Austin with 2,448 points, second was Mark Wilson with 2,651 points and first was Dane Dickinson with 2,984 points.

Ranking and points
in the open class:

Third was David Todd with 1,969 points, second was Jason Shields with 2,019 points and first was Terry R Jones with 2,306 points.

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