Our Teams

British Junior Team 2017

  • Finn Sleigh

    STANDARD CLASS

    Finn thinks about gliding alot.

  • Mike Gatfield

    STANDARD CLASS

    Mike started gliding as a 14 year old cadet working at his local club Booker and now has over 500 hours, much spent racing around Southern and mid England. He has spent 250 hours flying the ASW20 in which he won his first regional competition and enjoys chasing the tails of higher performance gliders when he can.
    Mike has recently graduated from Nottingham University and between weekends is a structural engineer at AECOM in St Albans. During the winter months, he also competes in the national leagues for kayaking and enjoys the thrill of whitewater paddling.
    The next World Championships will be Mike’s first and he is looking forward to the exciting opportunities and challenges of flying in Australia. He will be flying an LS8 in the standard class.

  • Tom Arscott

    CLUB CLASS

    Having experienced his first glider flight aged 12, Tom learnt to fly at the Surrey Hills Gliding Club, South London and soloed just after his 16th birthday. For him, nothing beats the challenge and adrenalin rush of cross country racing.
    Tom, 22, is currently in his final year of university, studying for a Masters in Mechanical Engineering at Imperial College London. Having already completed his silver, Tom’s flying really took off when he joined the Imperial College Gliding Club, based at Lasham. He became Captain of the club for two years, flew his first competition in 2012 and has since flown the Juniors and Club Class National competitions, winning a few days along the way.
    When not flying cross-country, Tom is also an Assistant rated instructor and can usually be found teaching other university students to fly. Aside from gliding, he is a big fan of anything automotive and enjoys competing in the British University Karting Championships and restoring a classic Mini.
    His most memorable experience has to be winning a day at his first Nationals competition, closely followed by enduring 5 hours and 140 kms in a club K8 for his first cross country. Tom is going to be flying in the Club Class at the World Championships and can’t wait to get racing in Australia.

  • Jake Brattle

    CLUB CLASS

    Jake has his ex-RAF pilot Granddad to blame for his love for flight. His passion to fly eventually led to his Granddad buying him a Trial Lesson at the age of 13 and ever since then, he’s never looked back. Jake went solo as soon as he could, on his 16th birthday, at Kent Gliding Club.
    When Jake started his Aerospace Engineering degree at the University of Bristol, he joined the Bristol & Gloucestershire Gliding Club and this is where he caught the bug for competition flying. He soon bought his first glider, a 1966 Ka6CR and learnt to fly it as far and fast as he could. His most memorable flight being an attempt at 500km, where he landed after nearly 9 hours flying time having completed 477km! This is Jake’s first year as part of the British Team and when not competing or practising in his DG101, he can often be found instructing in or working on gliders.

  • Shaun Lapworth

    TEAM CAPTAIN

    Shaun has been gliding for 15 years, has all three diamonds and is a keen club and Nationals pilot. With a background in IT and now the owner of a successful technical gliding business, he will be a great resource and asset for the team.

British Women's Team 2017

  • Ayala Truelove

    CLUB CLASS

    Ayala started gliding in 2001 hoping that flying in a glider will help her overcome her fear of flying…. After that first safe landing she joined Reading University Soaring Society at Shalbourne gliding club and went solo in 2002 and Silver a year later.
    Her passion is cross country and competition gliding and she flew her first Regionals at Dunstable in 2004 and her first international competition in 2009 where she came 4th in the Women World championship, narrowly missing top spot on the last day.
    Ayala won a silver medal in the 2011 WWGC in Sweden and again in France in 2013, narrowly missing out on gold after leading at the start of the final day. Her best result to date was winning the UK Standard Class Nationals in 2015.
    This year she will be flying in both the Women World Championship and the European championship.
    She is an Instructor at Lasham gliding club and when the weather is bad she flies powered aircraft from Brimpton.
    Ayala’s other sporting passion is football and she has played for Charlton and Southampton in the Women Premier League and earned 12 International caps playing for Israel.

  • Liz Sparrow

    CLUB CLASS

    Liz started gliding in 1990 and now has around 2000h. She flies from Lasham Gliding Society near Basingstoke and instructs at Shalbourne Soaring Society near Newbury. She also runs the women pilots’ development initiative, Women Glide UK.
    Liz’s competition career started 1999 when she entered her first UK Regional Championship. Since then, she has been a regular competitor in other Regional and National competitions and since 2002 has flown in the UK Club Class National Championships. Liz made her international debut in 2003 and has qualified for each Women’s Worlds since then – narrowly missing medals so far - and for the unrestricted European Championships in Ostrow Wielkopolski in Poland in 2013 where she came 16th.
    When not gliding, Liz is an engineer who runs a management consultancy. She is married to Alan, another glider pilot, and lives in Hampshire in a house they built last year, set in a garden they are still working on. When not gliding or gardening, Liz and Alan are keen hikers.

  • Claudia Hill

    CLUB CLASS

    Claudia is originally from Schleswig-Holstein in the far north of Germany, but now lives and flies in the UK. She started gliding while at university in Germany and shares an LS4 with her husband and crew, Nick. After moving here 19 years ago, she caught the cross-country bug and was eventually talked into flying her first regional competition in 2006 and her first national championship in 2010. A string of good results culminated in her qualifying for the Women’s World Championships in France in 2013, and again for this year’s Women’s Worlds in the Czech Republic. She'll be competing in the Club Class. Claudia is also a full-cat instructor and instructor coach, and to pay for her flying she works as a freelance technical translator.

  • Melissa Andersson

    TEAM CAPTAIN

    Melissa has been gliding since 2003 in the UK and on occasional trips abroad.

    She has been Team Captain for the Women's team at previous competitions in Sweden and France. Additionally she has developed software to assist with running and watching competitions and has contributed to OGN and XC Soar.

European Team - Lasham 2017

  • Tim Scott

    15M CLASS

  • Gary Stingemore

    15M CLASS

    Gary first started gliding at an early age, going solo at 16. He became an instructor at 19 and flew his first competition at 20. He joined the RAF and continued gliding throughout his RAF career flying Regional and National competitions. In the RAF he flew, and instructed on, the Tornado GR1 - he also taught basic students on the Tucano.

    On leaving the RAF he joined Virgin Atlantic and is now a Captain on the Airbus 330 and 340. He was Standard Class National Champion in 2006, and represented his country for the first time in the Standard Class, in Lithuania, in 2007. He changed classes in 2008 and now flies an ASG 29, which he won the 18 Metre Class at Hahnweide in 2010 and was 7th in the 2011 Europeans.

  • Brian Birlison

    18M CLASS

    Brian Birlison has been flying gliders since he was 13 years old, and a full category instructor since he was 20. He started flying annual national competitions starting in the British Junior Nationals age 18, moving on to the Standard Class and more recently the 15, 18 & 20m Multi seater. He is the current UK 18m champion, having dragged his 6 week old daughter Florence and very understanding wife Estela along for the week. This is the first time he has competed internationally and he is really looking forward to the challenge. Not only does he fly National competitions but for the last 7 years, Brian has been Director at his home club for various National classes.
    Brian flies at the Cotswold Gliding Club and shares his ASG29E with his father and their syndicate partner. He also has a share in a Duo Discus, which as well as competing in Nationals is often used for a more relaxing and enjoyable experiences of encouraging junior pilots by flying with them as part of the winter series.
    Like most British glider pilots, Brian doesn't always achieve as much gliding as he would like - work and weather in the UK seem to conspire against even the most dedicated pilot! Fortunately, his faithful dog Echo is always happy to use inclement weather as an invitation to stretch his legs instead of waiting on the airfield.

  • Mike Young

    18M CLASS

    Mike started Gliding in 1980 at the age of 15 and flew his first National championships at 19. He has won numerous national championships and was the first ever British junior national champion in 1988. He flew his first International competition in 1995, Europeans, Finland. He has flown in 6 World Championships and has collected medals in half of them, having won a silver and two bronze medals. He has also won a Silver medal in the European championships.
    At Lasham he hopes to finally collect that elusive gold medal, but would be quite happy coming 2nd to his team mate.
    Mike lives in the French Alps and enjoys cycling, ski touring, cross country skiing and hiking.


  • Pete Harvey

    OPEN CLASS

  • Russell Cheetham

    OPEN CLASS

  • Max Kirschner

    TEAM CAPTAIN

    Max Kirschner is acting as the interface between the Organisation and the Team.
    Max has spent eleven British winters at Benalla between 2000 to 2012 and ended up being the mid week manager of the Gliding club. The local knowledge gained over the years will be useful to the team.

European Team - Czech Republic 2017

  • Howard Jones

    STANDARD CLASS

    Howard Jones first flew in a glider as a three year old, when he and his brother Steve squeezed into a two seat Capstan with their Father in France.

    Born into the UK's foremost gliding dynasty, it is not surprising that Howard graduated into the league of top UK competition pilots. Gliding is a family affair for the 44 year-old graphic designer, their late father Ralph Jones was eight times National Gliding Champion and a member of the British team on a regular basis. Howard's older brothers Phil and Steve Jones have both secured World Championship wins in the past.

    As well as being a Graphic designer, Artist & Aircraft Engineer, Howard works on various projects

    Howard, of Bristol, fly's from Lasham Gliding Society and will be competing with his Brother in a Schempp-Hirth Arcus. The pair will be defending their World Title won two years ago in Finland. Howard has also been the British Standard Class Champion and is representing Great Britain for the eighth time.

    'I went Solo as a teenager but I really wasn’t that interested, it seemed everyone who told me what to do was gliding. I decided surfing seemed like a much better occupation – and that’s pretty much what I did for fun for ten years,' he said. 'After crewing for my brother Steve at the Gliding World Championships in New Zealand in 1995 I realised I couldn’t bear to watch people compete – I was itching to do it myself. I vowed I would start gliding again at the next opportunity, at 25 I entered the British Junior nationals for the first (and last) time'.

    Howard and his brother will be supported by their crew Max Kirschner in Lithuania. Max has crewed at many international competitions and will prove invaluable as ever.

  • George Metcalfe

    STANDARD CLASS

    George began gliding in 1976, entered his first competition in 1979, and in 30+ years UK Nationals has placed in almost every position in the results! He has flown extensively in Europe too, including flat-land and alpine comps, Euroglide, and for TeamGB at the Standard Class 2009 European Championships in Lithuania. George’s past experience includes instructing and examining and 5 years as chairman of his home club, Lasham. He is currently a member of the BGA Executive Committee. He met his wife Jane through gliding and they have two teenage sons - one a keen cross-country and comp pilot, the other has yet to get the bug!

  • Steve Jones

    20M CLASS

    JSteve’s first WGC was Omarama in 1995. He won the first ever 18m Class World Championships, which were held at Lillo, Spain 2001. At Leszno 2003, he took the Silver medal in 18m. He took the Silver medal in Open Class at Szeged, Hungary in 2010. At Räyskälä 2014, he finished in Gold position in 20m Two Seat Class, flying an Arcus with Howard Jones. He also flew at the WGCs in Sweden 2006 and Germany 2008. Steve has finished in the top eight positions in all of his WGCs. Of course, he has also flown many European Championships and British Nationals.

  • Kim Tipple

    20M CLASS

  • G Dale

    CLUB CLASS

    G Dale learned to fly at age 20 with the Dorset gliding club, going professional ten years later. He's worked with Lasham, Bristol and Gloucester, the British Gliding Association, Booker gliding club, Lake Keepit and out of Minden until finally discovering the mountains of New Zealand and starting to coach for Glide Omarama. Currently following the endless summer, working in New Zealand, at Lasham, and occasionally in Australia, he's also flying, racing and coaching as often as possible in other places. Having previously flown three internationals, this year he’s flying his much loved Striefenader - modified Libelle 201 with the GB club class team.

  • Ayala Truelove

    CLUB CLASS

    Ayala started gliding in 2001 hoping that flying in a glider will help her overcome her fear of flying…. After that first safe landing she joined Reading University Soaring Society at Shalbourne gliding club and went solo in 2002 and Silver a year later.
    Her passion is cross country and competition gliding and she flew her first Regionals at Dunstable in 2004 and her first international competition in 2009 where she came 4th in the Women World championship, narrowly missing top spot on the last day.
    Ayala won a silver medal in the 2011 WWGC in Sweden and again in France in 2013, narrowly missing out on gold after leading at the start of the final day. Her best result to date was winning the UK Standard Class Nationals in 2015.
    This year she will be flying in both the Women World Championship and the European championship.
    She is an Instructor at Lasham gliding club and when the weather is bad she flies powered aircraft from Brimpton.
    Ayala’s other sporting passion is football and she has played for Charlton and Southampton in the Women Premier League and earned 12 International caps playing for Israel.

  • Annie Laylee

    TEAM CAPTAIN

    Annie has been involved in gliding for about 30 years is a tow pilot and gliding instructor and has about 4000 hours in total
    She has worked professionally for 15 seasons at Omarama in New Zealand as a tow pilot and holds a commercial licence there
    In the UK she has worked for various advertising and design agencies in project management and new business development
    She has been crew at a number of National and International competitions for her partner G
    She plans on bringing the mixed skills from her background to the role of Team Manager

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