Open, 18m & 20m double-seater Classes
Szeged, Hungary 24 July to 5 August 2022
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Originally scheduled to be held at Kecskemét-Matkópuszta (Hungary) but due to unforeseen circumstances the championships was moved to Szeged (Hungary). The airfield at Szeged was made available for training flights from the 22 July.
All competing aircraft were at the field for a compulsory technical inspections that took place from Thursday 21st July to Saturday 23rd July 2022. The first official team captain's briefing took place on Friday 22 July and on Saturday 23rd July an impressive ceremony officially opened the 37th FAI World Gliding Championships for Open, 18m & 20m double-seater classes.
Contest flying started on Sunday 24th July with the final legs planned for Friday 5th August. The closing ceremony and prize giving took place on Saturday 6 August.
Eighty-three teams from all over the world had entered. The top eight teams as far as entries are concerned were: France 6, Czech Republic 6, Denmark 5, Germany 5, Hungary 5, Italia 5, Switzerland 5 and the UK 5.
South Africa was represented by Dawid Pretorius and Nico le Roux who competed in the 20m class in an Arcus M and Oscar Goudriaan who flew an EB-29 in the Open Class while brothers Attie and Uys Jonker both competed in the18 metre class in their Jonker JS3's. Riaan Denner who had entered the open class shared the backseat in Oscar's EB-29.
Jonker's Sailplanes at the championships.
This was truly the year of the Jonker Sailplane. No less than 37 of the 83 competitors flew a product of the proudly South African company based at Potchefstroom Airport. Jonkers' JS3 completely dominated the 18 Metre Class, the F1 Grand Prix Class in soaring, while it also featured in the open class. The company currently does not produce two seaters so it's only in this class that its name does not appear in the results.
It was clear from day one that there was not a sail plane at the championships that was going to beat the Jonkers in the 18 Metre class. It was also clear that the South Africans in the 18 Metre Class, the Jonkers brothers and Oscar Goudriaan in the open class were pulling out all the stops and were a force to be reckoned with.
Uys and Attie have been in the top ten consistently while Oscar, on his performance by then, was almost certainly assured of a position on the podium. However, the championship was far from over and any slip up during a day's task by any competitor could change the standings drastically.
Team Standings 4 August
On 4 August with eleven tasks completed the team results were as in the image above. The numbers behind the team names are the scores for each task.
Now in second place overall and with two more tasks the South Africans had only two options, play it safe and ensure a top three finish or go for it and stand on the top of the podium. Whichever way they went they have already done us proud.
Final Day Results
Then, at last, after anxious hours of waiting, the official results were announced and the joy of the SA Team at Szeged South Africans twice mounted the second place on the podium. Oscar was placed second in the open class and the team was placed second overall, the highest finish ever at a world championship.
Pilot's Post wishes to congratulate all the South African who took part and who flew the flag high. You made us proud!
The SA National dates and details are as follows:
15m, Club and 2-seater Nationals:
Location - Potchefstroom Airfield (FAPS)
Practise Day - Friday 30th September 2022
Competition Days - Saturday 1st October - Saturday 8th October 2022 (8 Days)
Prize Giving - 8th October 2022 @ 19h00
18m, Open and Sports Class Nationals:
Location - Welkom Airfield (FAWM)
Practise Day - Friday 16th December 2022
Competition Days - Saturday 17th - Friday 23rd December 2022 (7 Days)
Prize Giving - 23rd December 2022 @ 19h00