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Photo Essay: Gliding Grand Prix Above Mt Aspiring

Photo Essay: Gliding Grand Prix Above Mt Aspiring

Patience was the winner on the second day of the New Zealand Gliding Grand Prix with pilots waiting several hours for favorable soaring conditions to develop. The race finally started at 3.30pm with a modified task that took in some of New Zealand’s most spectacular scenery.

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The task was altered to take into account the good soaring conditions in the Lake Wanaka/ Mt Aspiring area with Mt Aspiring acting as the second turnpoint. The third turnpoint was brought south from the Mt Cook area due to cloud cover to the eastern arm of Lake Ohau before returning to Omarama airfield.

Despite his lack of local knowledge of the terrain, Giorgio Galetto (ITA) took first place in a time of 2:27.54, one minute ahead of world champion John Coutts (NZE). Third place went to Ben Flewett (NZE) in 2:30.50.

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USA pilot, David Mockler, was not so fortunate, landing out at Wanaka Airport after rounding the Mount Aspiring turnpoint. He was retrieved by tow plane returning to Omarama in the late evening. The general public can witness the thrill of Grand Prix racing this weekend (27-29 January) when the races will be displayed on a giant screen using the latest helicopter filming technology and graphics from Animation Research of America’s Cup fame. For further information and tickets visit


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