South African National Gliding Championships 2019 - Part 2

By Bennie Henning

The 2019 South African National Gliding Championships for 18m / Open and Sport Class was held at the Welkom Airfield at the Goldfields Gliding Club Hangar / Club House from the 14th of December to the 21st of December. An entry list of 25 glider pilots all but guaranteed a tight and fierce contest for the second national gliding competition of 2019. This year the annual national glider competition was wisely split into two events to get the advanced glider pilots to compete also in the hotly contested 18m / Open Class. That accounted for 64% of the total entries received.

Welkom Airport - Control Tower

The second national gliding competition was divided into two main categories namely:

18 meter class, where the wingspan of the glider may not exceed 18 meters with lift-enhancing devices allowed and a maximum all-up mass of 600kg. Dry weight = 300 kg.

The Sport class places no restrictions except a limit of 800 kg to the maximum all-up mass, it may be one- or two-seater and disposable ballast is permitted in this class. Dry weight = 450 kg.

Pilots Group Photo - Club House

The competition was held over an eight-day period with each class being given a task to complete for the day. The tasks differ slightly in distance and /or route for each class or might be the same. A task is points on the geographical chart which the pilots have to follow by using warm thermals for energy / momentum and lift / gliding ratio to reach those designated points efficiently and come-back home with enough thermal- and momentum energy and height conserved to land safely at the airfield on the designated runway. Tasks can range between 200 and 600 kilometers, depending on the weather for that particular day.

All classes have minimum altitude limits for the finish, which is normally in the vicinity of 150m above the airfield for the Sport and 18m / Open Classes, but does vary from task to task; penalty points are incurred if the height restriction (QNH) is broken or flown in forbidden airspace. Each competitor carries a primary and secondary GPS logger so all altitudes, speeds and flight path can be accurately logged. Each day a shorter task is also published and the judges can decide to use the "B" or "C" or even "D" Tasks if the weather or other conditions are not favourable for Task "A" on the ground before the day's launching commences.

Open and Double Seater gliders in the Sports Class flew exactly the same routes. This enhances the IGC Pilot Ranking List of glider pilots even more when more gliders fly together to compete in a combined group, albeit for a short period of the task. Double Seater is usually much faster than Open Class gliders. This being a category 2 glider competition, all glider pilots scored IGC points in each class.

Task A, Day 1, 14 December:
Sports Class: 277.85 km (AAT). Welkom Start 004 - 14Streams 113 - Welkom 001

18m / Open Class : 369.42 km. Odendaalsrus 011 - Britten 084 - 14Streams 113 - Welkom 001

Task A, Day 2, 15 December:
Sports Class: 131.49 km (AAT). Welkom Start 004 - Greylingsdrif 042 - Bothaville 041 - Welkom 001

18m / Open Class : 288.38 km. Welkom Start 004 - Wolmaranstad 062 - Vierfontein 055 - Welkom 001

Task A, Day 3, 16 December:
Sports Class: 121.15 km (AAT). Welkom Start 004 - Allemanskraal 034 - Attie 046 - Control South 005 - Welkom 001

18m / Open Class : 374.51 km. Welkom Start 004 - Senekal A/F 056 - Koppies 075 - Control South 005 - Welkom 001

Task A, Day 4, 17 December:
Sports Class: 229.84 km (AAT). Welkom Start 004 - Makwasie 053 - 14Streams 113 - Control NW 003 - Welkom 001

18m / Open Class : 594.15 km. Welkom Start 004 - Kingswood 061 - Koopman 191 - 14Streams 113 Kingswood 061 - Control NW 003 - Welkom 001

Task A, Day 5, 18 December:
Sports Class: No Task - Inclement Weather

18m / Open Class : No Task - Inclement Weather

Task A, Day 6, 19 December:
Sports Class: 130.11 km (AAT). Welkom Start 004 - Bothaville 041 - Bloemhof 063 - Control NW 003 - Welkom 001

18m / Open Class : 401.21 km. Welkom Start 004 - Leeudoringstad 050 - Amalia 117 - Makwasie 053 - Control NW 003 - Welkom 001

Task A, Day 7, 20 December:
Sports Class: 199.76 km (AAT). Welkom Start 004 - Wolmaranstad 062 - Britten 084 - Control NW 003 - Welkom 001

18m / Open Class : 348.89 km. Welkom Start 004 - Makwasie 053 - Christiana 096 - Control NW 003 - Welkom 001

Task A, Day 8, 21 December:
Sports Class: No Task - Inclement Weather

18m / Open Class : No Task - Inclement Weather

After many hours of flying in highly favourable flying conditions albeit mostly blue skies during the eight day period, the glider competition was concluded except for two days of the competition, due to inclement weather conditions. According to FAI rules, if there are four days of results the competition is valid, for a day's task to be valid only one aircraft has to complete the task. In this case, the eight days of the competition that the given tasks were completed; counted overwhelmingly not to enforce the rule.

Uys & Maarten Jonker walked away with the honours in the Sports Class with 4622 points followed closely by Attie & Tienie Jonker with 4182 points and third was Arjan Schaap & Riaan Denner with 4180 points respectively.

The 18 meter Class was won by Oscar Goudriaan with a total of 5005 points , the battle for second place was taken by John Coutts followed in third place by Arne Boye-Moller with 4714 and 4639 points respectively

This event was well organised and handled professionally by all involved. Running cost was kept down to the minimum and efficiency was of the highest standard. The next glider competition event will be the Sailplane Grand Prix to be held at Potchefstroom from 4 to 11 January 2020.

For more information visit the website at under SGP Series or on the local Facebook page Sailplane Grand Prix South Africa.

Events 2019

Copyright © 2024 Pilot's Post PTY Ltd
The information, views and opinions by the authors contributing to Pilotís Post are not necessarily those of the editor or other writers at Pilotís Post.