Monday, 18 February 2013

The future?

Please post your comments below on this blog or contact Gliding Hawkes Bay & Waipukurau with your thoughts.

Central Districts Gliding Contest
The Central Districts Contest has been experiencing falling numbers of entrants over recent years. In 2013 we have had only seven competitors reduced to five by unforeseen events. The consequences devalue the contest and create financial pressures on the organising club.
Discussions to date have helped clarify issues and possible solutions.
Pilots enjoy flying from a new site that is surrounded by good land-out areas.
Flying conditions at Waipukurau are usually excellent despite the awful 2011 and 2012.
New pilots enjoy the support of experienced top level pilots who mentor the new competitors.
Cross country skills improve markedly whether the pilot intends to continue competing or just wants to extend their range. For the former, competing at a regional contest is compulsory before entering the Nationals. For the later, the skill level enhancement improves the safety and enjoyment of their personal and instructional flying.
The effort to create a welcoming social environment is appreciated and enjoyed by our regulars.
The facilities for the contest and for campers at Waipukurau are excellent.
There has been a lack of publicity and marketing. Word of mouth and direct approaches are not working.
The cost of modern technology inhibits the use of club gliders and older privately owned gliders.
1          Should we continue as a sanctioned contest? The consensus seemed in favour.
2          Should we move to Taupo or Masterton? The consensus was to stay at Waipukurau.
3          Should we fund-raise for portable GPS units that could be leased/lent to early stage competitors? This needs to be explored.
4          Can our small club continue annually without burn-out from our members? This year there was a huge input from the Waipukurau members. Their local knowledge is invaluable.
a. Retrievals take time and energy but with increased fields the other pilots can provide more assistance
b. We are very dependent on Graham White for weather and task setting. There is no obvious relief.
c. Neil Faulknor has indicated a willingness to adopt the Contest Director role.
d. Tow planes/pilots. We are fortunate that Keith Cammock has made DAL available as a back up towplane. There is no immediate need for more tow pilots as long as we have the support of Manawatu.
This is the key to success and has been neglected. We are fortunate that Trev Terry, who has had considerable experience, is happy to assist with this. It is important that our members learn from him to continue in the future.
There have been no Wellington or Taranaki entries for some years and it is their contest also. Marketing will need to concentrate on them while continuing to encourage other visitors from further afield. Pilots who have completed the Matamata cross country course would benefit from coming to Waipukurau. 

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