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Challenging Course For Day Three Of World Champs

Challenging Course For Day Three Of World Championships

Omarama, New Zealand - A competitive day's racing at the FAI World GP Gliding Championship saw the third winner in as many days, reinforcing the tightly contested nature of the competition.

Mario Kiessling (GER) made a key break at the third turnpoint and flew superbly on the final leg reaching at least 235kph. He crossed the line in 2hrs 15mins 17seconds. There was a battle for second and third place and collecting the all-important points for the leader board. Sebastian Kawa (POL) finished in second place in a time of 2hrs 16mins 28 seconds with Steve Jones (GBR) 65 seconds behind him.

Kiessling was delighted with the win despite his slow start, "I was near the back of the field after the first turn point and got a huge thermal giving me a fantastic run up the Hunter Valley. I then decided to travel further north beyond the turn point to be well set up in a high position allowing me to soar along the ridgeline to the finish, and it paid off!" he said.

The 271.7km task had four legs, taking the pilots south-west to Goodger, then over lakes Hawea and Wanaka to Siberia, across many mountain ranges heading north-east towards Mt Cook before the return to Omarama.

Task setter, Gavin Wells of GlideOmarama, said today's course set a good challenge for the pilots, "The course was quite open as to how the pilots elected to fly it and there was definitely some bold decision making as they travelled around the course, with some routes paying off especially for Kiessling," he said.

The field stayed together during the first section of the 271.7km course, from the second turnpoint the pilots dispersed and chose quite different routes. Throughout the race the lead switched frequently as did the altitude and energy the pilots were gaining.

The overall score after three days' racing puts Steve Jones (GBR) in the lead with 20 points, Ben Flewett (NZ) second with 18 points, and Sebastian Kawa (POL) with 16 points. The six days of intense, high speed competition continues tomorrow.

Using the latest TV filming technology spectators around the world were able to watch the race live or delayed on the internet, following the glider's paths, speeds and altitude and also benefit from the live commentary provided viewers a fascinating insight into the tactics, decisions and consequences of each competitor. Viewers can sign up through

For full results and images, visit


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