South African National Gliding Championships 2018

By Bennie Henning

The 2018 South African National Gliding Championships was held at the Potchefstroom Airfield from the 30th of September to the 6th of October. An entry list of 41 glider pilots all but guaranteed for a great annual gliding competition.


AKAvlieg Gliding Club House

Gliding competitions are divided into four categories namely:

Club Class, allows a wide range of older small gliders within a specified range of performances, with the scores being adjusted by handicapping, disposable ballast (water) may be installed but must not be used in this class with a maximum all-up mass of 350kg.

15 Meter Class, where the wingspan of the glider may not exceed 15 meters with lift-enhancing devices allowed and a maximum all-up mass of 500kg.

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.

Double Seater Class, places no restrictions except a limit of 800 kg to the maximum all-up mass, may be one- or two-seater, disposable ballast is permitted in this class.


Starting Grid

The competition was held over a seven 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. 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 and come-back home with enough energy 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 1506m or 5020 feet above sea level for the Open and 15m Classes, but does vary from task to task; penalty points are incurred if the height restriction is broken. 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" Tasks if the weather or other conditions are not favourable for Task "A".

Club and Double Seater Classes flew exactly the same routes. This enhances the IGC Pilot Ranking List of glider pilots, as 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 Club Class gliders.

Task A, Day 1, 30 September:

Club Class: 275.9 km. Gypsum Dam - Makwassie - Werda - Gypsum Dam - Potchefstroom

15m Class : 328.7 km. Gypsum Dam - Kingswood - Werda - Gypsum Dam - Potchefstroom

18m Class : 390.1 km. N12 Traffic - Bloemhof - Bamboesspruit - Gypsum Dam - Potchefstroom

Double Seater: 275.9 km. Gypsum Dam - Makwassie - Werda - Gypsum Dam - Potchefstroom

Task A, Day 2, 1 October:

Club Class: 359.89 km. Gypsum Dam - Kingswood - Ottosdal - Skandinawiedrif - Potchefstroom

15m Class : 412.66 km. Gypsum Dam - Bloemhof - Gloudina - Skandinawiedrif - Potchefstroom

18m Class : 424.39 km. N12 Traffic - Bloemhof - Gloudina - Skandinawiedrif - Potchefstroom

Double Seater: 359.89 km. Gypsum Dam - Kingswood - Ottosdal - Skandinawiedrif - Potchefstroom

Task A, Day 3, 2 October:

Club Class: 258.14 km. Gypsum Dam - Lichtenburg - Intersection - Boskop - Potchefstroom

15m Class: 315.82 km. Gypsum Dam - Bakerville - Boons - Boskop - Potchefstroom

18m Class: 352.36 km. N12 Traffic - Springbokpan - Koster - Boskop - Potchefstroom

Double Seater: 258.14 km. Gypsum Dam - Lichtenburg - Intersection - Boskop - Potchefstroom

Task, Day 4, 3 October:

Club Class: No Task (Inclement weather)

15m Class: No Task (Inclement weather)

18m Class: No Task (Inclement weather)

Double Seater: No Task (Inclement weather)

Task A, Day 5, 4 October:

Club Class: 250.20 km. Gypsum Dam - Clearance - Lichtenburg - Boskop - Potchefstroom

15m Class: 308.47 km. Gypsum Dam - Intersection - Dudfield - Boskop - Potchefstroom

18m Class: 345.02 km. N12 Traffic - Intersection - Springbokpan - Boskop - Potchefstroom

Double Seater: 250.20 km. Gypsum Dam - Clearance - Lichtenburg - Boskop - Potchefstroom

Task G, Day 6, 5 October:

Club Class: 321.56 km. Gypsum Dam - Dudfield - Sannieshof - Buckingham - Potchefstroom

15m Class: 424.53 km. Gypsum Dam - Madibogo - Migdol - Boskop - Potchefstroom

18m Class: 421.92 km. N12 Traffic - Bakerville - Delareyville - Buckingham - Potchefstroom

Double Seater: 321.56 km. Gypsum Dam - Dudfield - Sannieshof - Buckingham - Potchefstroom

Task A, Day 7, 6 October:

Club Class: 394.78 km. Gypsum Dam - Dudfield - Migdol - Boskop - Potchefstroom

15m Class: 341.12 km. Gypsum Dam - Itsoseng - Migdol - Buckingham - Potchefstroom

18m Class: 509.94 km. N12 Traffic - Dudfield - Schweizer Re - Boskop - Potchefstroom

Double Seater: 394.78 km. Gypsum Dam - Dudfield - Migdol - Boskop - Potchefstroom





















After many hours of flying in highly favourable flying conditions albeit mostly blue skies during the 7-day period, the competition was concluded except for one day that was cancelled due to inclement weather. 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.







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Jonathan Cross walked away with the honours in the Club Class with 5430 points followed closely by Jason Adriaan with 4912 points and Xavier-AndrŤ Michalon with 4521 points respectively.

The 15 meter Class was comfortably won by Mark Holliday with a total of 5239 points, the battle for second was taken by Wayne Schmidt followed by Hanno du Toit with 5022 and 4405 points respectively

Top position in the 18 meter Class was highly contested with Oscar Goudriaan that took the number one spot with 5273 points followed by Klaus Kalmbach with 5072 points and John Coutts took third place with 5000 points. With 273 points separating the top three it just proved how competitive the 18 meter Class was.

Double Seater Class was won by Jonker & Jonker with 4925 points; follow by
Ronald Taljaard Arjan Schaap in second place and Cameron Ireland Nicky Oberhofer in third place with 4401 and 2287 points respectively.

This event was well organised and handled professionally by all involved. Efficiency was of the highest standard. For more information about the 2018 South African Glider Nationals, visit the website at www.sssa.org.za or on their Facebook page.

SSSA
Events 2018
Gliding








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