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Gliding Season Begins following World record Week

Gliding New Zealand Press Release

New Zealand Competition Gliding Season Begins following World record Week.

The New Zealand competitive gliding season gets underway this week with the South Island Regional Gliding Championships in Omarama from November 17th through to the 23rd. The contest is one of the three major contests this year including the North Island Regional Championships and the New Zealand Nationals.

Competitors are in outstanding form with South Island pilot Terry Delore flying with American Steve Fossett breaking the world record just last week over a 500-kilometre triangular course in 2 hours 42 minutes breaking the previous record by 12 minutes.
with an average speed of 187 kilometres.

Competition classes represented are the big wing Open and 18M classes and the small wing 15M, Standard, & Club Class. The Metservice long range forecast for the South Island is for good gliding conditions with the possibility of some deterioration toward the end of the competition week.

The next major competition will be the Northern Regional Gliding Champs in Matamata from Dec 1st till the 7th then the New Zealand Nationals again in Omarama from January 6th to the 17th.

New Zealand's plans of hosting the World PW5 class glider championships this February have been dashed with the announcement of the events cancellation due to the small number of overseas registrations and the last minute decision of the Russian team to pull out. The derailment of the PW5 class champs in New Zealand that were three years in planning could signal the demise of this new class of sailplane originally intended as an easily accessible international competitor. The event will still be run, but as a local New Zealand event rather than international from February 6th to 15th 2003 with overseas pilots invited to participate.

Stephen Tollestrup
Gliding New Zealand Press Officer
021 483273

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