Wednesday, 23 June 2021

2022 Central District Regional Championships

These are scheduled to be held from Papawai Aerodrome Greytown with practice day Friday 18th February 2022 and contest days from 19th to 26th February 2022 inclusive. The contest was originally scheduled Friday to Friday to avoid conflict with the Vintage Aviator event at Hood Aerodrome on Saturday 26th February 2022.


Organisers: Wellington Wairarapa Gliding Club.

Contact: Brian Sharpe, phone (027) 248-1780, e-mail:





Sunday, 7 March 2021

Contest report - 2021 Central Districts Gliding Championships

The timing was ideal for the 2021 event with both ends bookmarked with increased COVID19 level restrictions and less favourable soaring weather.


Held from Waipukurau Airfield and hosted again this year by Gliding Hawkes Bay & Waipukurau, the event was run as a friendly, low key regional championships and used as a training ground for new competition pilots. With the final entry list totaling 47 gliders over the three classes, there was a wide range of gliders and a good mixture of regulars and new faces for the competition period of Sunday 21st to Saturday 27th February inclusive. Despite the COVID and associated challenges, 45 gliders flew in the contest. Chief tow pilot was Neil Faulknor who was supported by five other towplanes to give a total of six available to launch the largest field for many, many years.


John Etches again kindly volunteered to act as Contest Director and scorer and managed his role with aplomb although he did insinuate it was like herding cats at times. Graham White was weather man and task setter and the weather gave him challenging conditions to set tasks in.


The club secured sponsorship for daily prizes from Vineonline of wine along with food donations for the meals put on from Bidfood and McCain Foods plus fresh apples from an orchard.


Challenging soaring conditions were a feature of the contest with the first few days 100% blue and hot. However, tasks were set and completed in those conditions on the Saturday practice day and first contest day on Sunday.


It turned out that every day throughout the contest was soarable although three of the seven days were not taskable.


With the task setter aiming to get at least about 80% of the pilots around each day’s task, some landouts were inevitable. However, with plenty of safe landout options available in the task areas, this was not a problem. Some retrieves proved to be more challenging than others. Four pilots landed in one paddock and three of the retrieve crews were left behind in locating the paddock which made it a long day. One trailer drawbar snapped off due to rust on a one way riverbank track which needed a slow and long retrieve by tow truck just to recover the trailer. Luckily a suitable trailer was available to retrieve the glider while the trailer was being recovered.


On airfield meals were provided on the Sunday with a steak BBQ, Wednesday a steak BBQ or roast chicken, along with a Friday evening meal mains of ham or steak. With Brian Kelly managing the catering, all that attended were well fed with a good variety of options and great value. With many pilots and supporters camping on the airfield, this made the dinners something to look forward to and great social occasions with the opportunity to swap stories from the days flying.


Ian Sheppard from Gliding Manawatu, along with numerous volunteers, ran the grid efficiently which was much appreciated. Thanks must go to all who helped make the event a success.

Next year’s competition (2022) is scheduled to be held in the Wairarapa with the following year (2023) back at Waipukurau. Tony van Dyk noted that 2022 contest will be the 60th edition of this event. All pilots are most welcome to join us for fun and friendly contests.

 At the final prize giving after flying was completed on the Saturday, the top pilots were announced as:

 Open class:

1st - Tim Bromhead, Ventus cT 17.6m, 3,843 points

2nd - Pat Driessen, JS1, 3,759 points

3rd - Tony van Dyk, LS8, 3,545 points


Racing class:

1st - John Robertson, Discus 2b, 2,201 points 

2nd - Alain Marcuse, LS4, 2,175 points

3rd - David Moody, SZD 55-1, 2,111 points


Sports class: 

1st - John Carter, ASW15, 680 points 

2nd –Dennis Green, PW5, 609 points 

3rd – John Chittenden, ASW 28, 296 points


Full details of tasks and results can be found on Soaring Spot at



Monday, 15 February 2021

COVID19 update - 2021 Central Districts Gliding Championships

As long as Hawkes Bay is at COVID19 alert Level 1 or Level 2, the competition is currently planned to proceed as scheduled.  

The competition will not proceed as scheduled if Hawkes Bay is at alert Level 3 or 4.


The current plans for the Central Districts gliding competition being held from Waipukurau Airfield from Saturday 20th February to Saturday 27th February 2021 inclusive are as per the pilot’s information blog page

Pilot Information - 2021 Central Districts Gliding Championships

Saturday 20th February (practice day), competition Sunday 21st February to Saturday 27th February inclusive


Welcome to all. A very large field is expected so please be patient and considerate to others.


We thank our sponsors Vineonline, Bidfood Ltd and McCain Foods.


Daily briefings will be held in the club rooms on the aerodrome at Waipukurau (there is a map to the airfield on our club web site at


The draft programme is as follows:


1. 10:00am Saturday 20th February - initial briefing starting at 10:00am. All entrants will be required to fully complete and sign an entry form if they have not already done so including vehicle retrieve details and contact cell phone numbers.


2. Sunday 21st through to Saturday 27th inclusive - contest days. 10:00am daily briefing – every day Sunday through Saturday inclusive unless otherwise advised.


3. Planned Meals (subject to confirmation):

a. Sunday evening – our Club is running a BBQ at the airfield

b. Wednesday evening – our Club is running a BBQ at the airfield

c. Friday evening – meal at the airfield


Numbers will be requested and costs confirmed closer to each planned meal.


There are a number of supermarkets, bakeries and cafes in Waipukurau for other food requirements.


4. Further information will be given at the briefings each morning.


5. Glider trailers - the paddock next to the clubhouse is available for trailer parking. All trailers are to be parked in there or parked immediately to the north of the gliding hangar rather than scattered around in aircraft maneuvering and parking areas.


6. Please ensure that the area where aircraft cross the drive where the concrete pad is remains clear of parked gliders and vehicles at all times.


7. For those wishing to camp on the airfield at Waipukurau Airfield, please contact Ross Macdonald prior to arrival. His cellphone number is 021 262-9550, e-mail address and tell him you are coming for the gliding competition. The camping cost is $15 per night per person. Please complete the sheet provided in the club house with the number of people and number of nights you have camped on the airfield and the total cost will be added to the pilots competition account.


8. Tow fees, meal costs, camping costs and any outstanding entry fees will be invoiced by e-mail after the completion of the contest for prompt payment. Actual tow costs will be charged based on the costs incurred.


Enjoy your time in Hawkes Bay and further afield.


Keep the weather gods happy by having some refreshments for them each evening at the friendly aeroclub bar which is scheduled to be open at least from 6pm each night. Please note it is a cash only bar (no credit cards or EFTPOS available).


Competition Information

1. Grid lines will be allocated for Sunday and then rotated every flying day for fairness. First to arrive in each line is to grid on the far side of the runway so the next glider can go alongside.


2. Contest Director is John Etches, phone 021 980 610. Text landout co-ordinates to this number if possible. All co-ordinates are to be in Degrees: Minutes: Decimal minutes.


3. The Gliding Hawkes Bay & Waipukurau Club contact phone is 027-288-7522. This is for general club inquiries only.


4. The Waipukurau Aerodrome phone number is 06 858-8226. Note this is not always manned.


5. Within 5 nautical miles of the airfield all traffic will use 119.1

                           a. Outside this range use 133.55

                           b. In Napier Control call 124.8

                           c. In Hastings CFZ use 125.8

                           d. In upper airspace call Ohakea on 126.2

                           e. In the Dannevirke/Gorge airspace call Ohakea 125.1

                           f. Transponders are mandatory in Napier and Ohakea airspace


Refer to current airways maps for required frequencies and airspace requirements. These will also be covered in the briefings.


6. Normal thermal rules apply at all times; first into thermal dictates the direction.


7. Starts are to be given only on 133.55 within 30 minutes of starting.


8. Unless being SPOT or otherwise tracked by the competition director, Ops Normal calls on 133.55 hourly or on request in format “Yankee Papa, Leg Two, Ops Normal” are required.


9. Do not taxi or use a motor in rigging or tie down areas.


10. Pilots without a personal crew must have a vehicle attached to their trailer and keys identified and available on the designated boards.


11. Cloud flying is prohibited.


12. GPS tracks from a height recording GPS are the only acceptable soaring mechanism. More than one unit may be accepted at the discretion of the Contest Director. GPS units shall be handed in as soon as possible on return to the airfield.


13. Pilots shall announce distance and direction of finish at 5 nautical miles and at 2 nautical miles on 119.1.


14. Waipukurau Aerodrome is 430ft ASL, radio for circuits 119.1. All circuits (both left hand [runway 02] and right hand [runway 20]) are to the west of the aerodrome away from the town.


15. When landing, please consider other aircraft traffic and land to give maximum room to other aircraft and vacate the runway and surrounds as soon as possible.


16. Pilots may land straight in as far left as practical if required.


17. Because of poor mobile coverage, pilots should try to radio the planned out-landing site co-ordinates in degrees, minutes and decimal minutes.


18. Pilots shall complete and hand in land out sheets (see below) that include land out co-ordinates and landowner’s name, address and phone number when available.


19. All distances are to be given in nautical miles.

CD Gliding Contest Land Out Information

Please complete and return to the competition director


Pilot:……………………………..…. Glider: ZK-G…………….


Landowner’s name: ……………………………………………..


Address: ………………………………………………………….


Phone Number: …………………………


Latitude: ………………………  Longitude: ………………...…


Date: …… February 2021


Sunday, 19 July 2020

2021 Central Districts Gliding Championships

These are scheduled to be held from Waipukurau Airfield from Saturday 20th February 2021 (practice day) to Saturday 27th February 2021 inclusive.

Further information will be available closer to the event.

For any queries, please e-mail

Sunday, 26 April 2020

Report on Centralines Central Districts Gliding Championships 2020

Gliding Hawkes Bay & Waipukurau hosted the Centralines 2020 Central Districts Gliding Championships from Waipukurau Airfield from the 22nd to 29th February inclusive. The aim was to have a friendly, low key contest with tasks achievable for pilots of all abilities and glider types. Local airspace is unrestricted to 9,500ft which minimised potential airspace issues.

With almost 30 entrants, even after some last minute withdrawals, word must be getting around that the event is worth attending. Task setter Graham White did an admirable job with a field ranging from a PW5 to ASH25M.

Under the aegis of John Etches the contest director, things got off to an inauspicious start with practice day seeing just a ferry flight from Bridge Pa and a local area familiarisation flight by the Auckland Duo Discus. It did, however, allow pilots to arrive and get rigged and ready. Sunday then proved to be a damp squib with no flying at all.

With the positive attitude of the contest director helping the weather, the next seven days were all soarable even though it looked unlikely on some days. Pilots enjoyed thermals, convergence and wave at various times. Mike Strathern also reported doing some ridge soaring in a Libelle.

While there were just three contest days, local, no stress, flying was possible on other days with some notable flights. On the Wednesday with local conditions dying just after the start of the contest launch, conditions looked great on and over the western ranges. Taking a long tow in the ASH25M, Graham White and Jason Kelly were joined by Tim Bromhead in his Ventus CT 17.6m to explore the western ranges area south to in sight of the windmills and northwest past Taihape at heights of over 9,000ft.

There were only a few landouts during the contest with Derek Shipley taking the prize for achieving the most. He has written a separate article about his exploits. A longer task and the weather bluing out earlier than forecast on the Friday saw the most landouts in a day.

Youth pilot Kieran Cassidy, flying a DG 101 in his first contest, impressed with his flying abilities to finish 2nd on the 3rd day and 4th overall in the racing class.

A large contingent of pilots camped on the airfield and they were well fed with club run BBQ’s on the Sunday and Wednesday nights. The final dinner was held at a local cafĂ© on the Friday evening.

With a cold front approaching with predicted rain mid-afternoon, the contest was declared ended on the Saturday morning. However, as forecast, there was good, silky smooth, easy to get into wave ahead of the predicted rain which allowed climbs to 9,500ft (the local airspace limit) without problems. A number of pilots took advantage of this while most packed up and headed home after prize giving.

Congratulations to the winners:
Open Class:
1          GOP   Tim Bromhead                                    2,986
2          GDX   Nigel McPhee & Lucas Bottin           2,019
3          GVA   Stewart Barton                                    1,958

Racing Class:
1          GNM   Trace Austin               2,685
2          GHN    Mike Strathern           2,462
3          GKP    Steve Foreman            2,289

Sports 13.5m:
1          GNR   Grahame Player         1,637
2          GGN   Clinton Steele            1,479
3          GET    John Tullet                 1,414

Thanks must be given to all who helped run the event – contest director and scorer John Etches, weather man and task setter Graham White, BBQ organiser Brian Kelly, tow pilots, ground runners, radio operators and flight followers, time keepers etc. Without your help, contests cannot be run.

The 2021 event is currently again scheduled for Waipukurau in the last week of February so mark your diaries now and we look forward to seeing you then.