Introducing the pilots representing the British Gliding Team in the 9th FAI Women’s World Gliding Championships at Zbraslavice. They are (L-R) Ayala Truelove, Claudia Hill and Liz Sparrow. All three are competing in the Club Class.
Club class – typically older, lower cost gliders with 15m wingspans and no additions (flaps to adjust wing profile, carrying of jettisonable water ballast and so on) to improve or enhance performance. Racing performance is handicapped to even up the competition between the pilots. This is the purest of all the glider classes. There are 24 pilots from 11 countries competing in the Club Class this year.
Two other classes are being contested – Standard (15m wingspan, no flaps, but can carry water ballast) and 18m (up to 18m wingspan, flapped, can carry water ballast). 14 pilots from 6 countries taking part in the Standard Class and 11 pilots from 5 countries taking part in the 18m Class.
17th May – Official practice begins
20th May – Opening Ceremony
21st May – Earliest possible competition day
3rd June – Last possible competition day
4th June – Closing ceremony
Rest day – unpredictable and weather dependent (which also applies to competition days!)
International Contests are organised and governed by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) International Gliding Commision (IGC). They usually take place over about three weeks – starting with unofficial practice, then official practice before a formal opening ceremony on the first Saturday of the competition proper. At this contest the Opening Ceremony will be taking place in the nearby town of Kutna Hora. You will see from the competition website new page that there is quite a welcome! Zbraslavice (pronounced sprasloveessa, and said quite quickly) is in Central Bohemia, somewhere near the middle of the Czech Republic.
Once underway, the flying days will depend on the weather. There will be no more than 6 flying days on the trot, but organisers have the discretion to call a rest day whenever they see fit. The first possible flying day will be the day after the opening ceremony. No competition flying takes place on the day of the formal closing ceremony on the last Sunday.
Numbering of ‘Days’: only days that were scored as ‘contest days’ get numbered. The day number sticks until it becomes a contest day. In competitions with a week of mostly bad weather, ‘Day 2’ can sometimes feel worse than Groundhog Day.
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