Tobias Geiger Australia Ventus 2ax

The forecast weather was blue skies with the possibility of cumulus to 8,000ft. Strong 4 - 5kt thermals and southwesterly winds. In other words, a great soaring day with the promise of better soaring conditions to come during the week.

After two years of above average rain, followed by a very dry winter and spring, the subsoil condition is still full of moisture. Over the last two weeks in the run up to the championships, there has been widespread rain throughout the region leaving the paddocks (fields) damp and waterlogged in places.

The country around Narromine is crossed by shallow inland running river systems. The terrain may seem flat, but the paddocks drain, sometimes very slowly, to the lower ground and feed into the rivers. This moisture will affect the thermal strength because the ground radiates less of the heat from the sun as the water absorbs the heat.

So, although the forecast was for blue conditions, cumulus formed early, perhaps fed by the moisture in the ground. The sky looked perfect, filled with cumulus, but conditions may have proved weaker than expected for the  contestants.

Nevertheless, it turned out to be a great soaring day with fast speed over long racing tasks. The first race of the championships is now over and winners in all classes declared.

Kawa 2

Sebastian Kawa Poland Diana 2

15m Class

15M Class was set a racing task of 558.83 km with seven turn points forming a cat's cradle, eventually feeding the contestants into a final glide on to the southerly runway 22.

The Dutch and Australian teams vied for the top three places with Jeroen Verkuijl,  Netherlands,  winning the day in his JS3 at a speed of 128.88 kph, gaining 1,000 championship points. 

Australian Adam Woolley was beaten into 2nd place by the thinnest of margins completing the task at 128.78 kph.  In joint 3rd position Tobi Geiger, Australia and Erik Borgmann, Netherlands finished the course at a speed of kph (to two decimal points).

The rest of the class were very close behind. Current World 15m Champion Sebastian Kawa came in 10th place just 30 points behind Jeroen at 126.94 kph. It was a very close race.

Philip Jones

Philip Jones Great Britain Ventus 3TS.

Yves Gerster 1

 Yves Gerster Switzerland JS3.

15m Class

1. S5 Jeroen Verkuijl Netherlands JS3 15m               128.88 kph           1,000
2. G1 Adam Woolley Australia Ventus 3TS 15m         128.78 kph             998
3. JG Erik Borgmann Netherlands JS-MD 3               128.50 kph             994
3. Tobias Geiger Australia Ventus 2ax                        128.47 kph             994

Standard Class

The Australian team continued its strong performance with Greg Beecroft winning the day in Standard Class and Bruce Taylor in 4th position. Mac Ichikawa, Japan came 2nd and Sjaak Selen Netherlands took 3rd place. New South Wales is Mac's home turf, and he is very familiar with Narromine. Greg Beecroft is from a continent away in Western Australia, but he too is an old Narromine hand. So perhaps the Australians are benefiting from a home country advantage. We will see if the Europeans, South Africans and Americans can learn quickly.

1. HCB Gregory Beecroft Australia LS8                    128.91 kph          1,000
2. PB Makoto Ichikawa Japan LS8-t                         127.54 km/h           979
3. 2S Sjaak Selen Netherlands Discus 2a                 124.22 kph             927
4. WB Bruce Taylor Australia LS8a                            123.51 kph             916

Club Class

Germans Stefan Langer and current World Club Class Champion Uwe Wahlig took the top two positions followed in 3rd place by Australian James Nugent. Perhaps once again local experience gave James an advantage. Or perhaps this is a sign of the true talent of this rising star. The next two weeks of world class competition will let us know.

Uwe Wahlig

Uwe Wahlig

James Nugent

 James Nugent

Club Class

1. SF Stefan Langer Germany LS3                           117.42 kph           1,000
2. SN Uwe Wahlig Germany LS3                              117.23 kph              990
3. Q1 James Nugent Australia LS3                          115.45 kph              975

Full Results at Soaring Spot