Saturday, 15 February 2014

Day Seven – Saturday 15th February

The weather played ball today with a RASP forecast for high cloud base and good thermal strengths. It didn't turn out quite as good as the RASP predicted but thermal and convergence distribution was accurate.

An AAT task was set of between 110km minimum and 366km and maximum. The northern turn point allowed for some use of the high country while the southern turn point was out towards the south coast with a good amount of friendly terrain in between. The pilots were given some pointers at briefing about the possible location of convergences and the advice to stay on the hills and off the flat Ruataniwha plains.

The convergences weren’t in the best places for high speeds but by following them later in the day, pilots were able to complete the task. Jason Price and Alaine Marcuse, both in LS4s, were 1st and 2nd for the day in the club class and Graham White and Trev Terry 1st and 2nd in the open class.

Overall, the Open Class was won by Graham White with Trev Terry 2nd. We missed the presence of Tony van Dyk who couldn't fly but hope he'll be back next season eager to make amends. Ross Taylor came third flying Discus PV in his first trip to Hawkes Bay.

Club class was won by Alaine Marcuse from Wellington with Jason Price 2nd and Team Wellington in the 18m DG 1000 3rd. Martin Cook and George Rogers flew the DG with different pilots from the Wellington club and made that glider go pretty well. We couldn't get a trace off Michael O'Donnell's GPS otherwise he would have scored more points.

Vaughan Ruddick and Ross Anderson turned up for the last day and elected to soar the Kaimanawhas and rather than do the task in Manawatu's DG 1000, they were rewarded with a pleasant trip over to Turangi and return, a trip Peter Lyons and Graham White have done many times but which is not suitable for a regionals task.

Gliding Hawkes Bay & Waipukurau club captain Mike Richardson, who has been flying for just over a year, set off before midday in the clubs PW5 and achieved his five hour duration and Silver height gain of 1,000m.

Overall we had four flying days but only two days in the contest due to the unseasonable weather. However, those two days were good and everyone left with a smile on their face including Hugh de Lautour who had to miss the last day to go flying his other toy - an Air NZ 747-400 - some have it tough.

Thanks to the sponsors – Centralines, HBS Bank, Pask Winery, Trev Terry Marine, the support crew on the ground (contest director Neil Faulknor, rope and wing runners, grid master etc) - without all that effort the contest can't function. Thanks also to met man, task setter and scorer Graham White.

The winner of the Trev Terry Marine Yamaha water vehicle free for the day prize was local pilot James Forman.

Scores and task details are available at

We hope to see everyone back next year and some new faces as well.

Friday, 14 February 2014

Day Six – Friday 14th February

Strong winds on the ground today kept everyone tied down on the pickets. While “hurrying up and waiting” to see if conditions improved, various aviation related videos were shown to keep the pilots amused. Flying was abandoned for the day around 1:30pm. The airfield then emptied as everyone went off to find some form of entertainment before the dinner held at the local Leopard Hotel. This was well attended with great food with plenty of ballast added for the predicted strong thermals tomorrow.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Day Five – Thursday 13th February

After a good contest day yesterday, the prognosis was for some wave today. Well, there was some wave but the sky was changing every 5 minutes so we had to declare it a no contest day. Most pilots launched for some local flying. Hugh de Lautour got to 9,500ft twice and James Foreman headed up to Napier to make up for a lousy day yesterday. Team Wellington got into wave in the DG-1000 and was there for some time with a total flight of just under three hours. We hope for better conditions tomorrow but at least we could fly and no rain!
Hugh de Lautour at 9,500 feet in wave. As you can see from the airspeed, he was TRYING to go down!

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Day Four – Wednesday 12th February

The forecast was for reasonable conditions but with overdevelopment in areas so we made good use of the convergences around to set an AAT task. The speeds were good for the winners at over 100km/h but it was not an easy day even though it was a short task. As it was, everyone thought we had made the best use of the day possible. There was a bit of difficulty in places and 6-7 knot climbs in others (and that’s off the averager). Everyone was really happy to be flying a contest day at last.

Results are at:

Another club organised BBQ followed in the evening which all enjoyed.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Day Three – Tuesday 11th February

With the rain having ceased and the sun appearing, the airfield was alive with gliders being rigged out of trailers and pilots with smiles on their faces. This, combined with one of the competition sponsors, SBS Bank, arriving with flags and prizes, morning briefing was delayed a little. Once briefing was underway, met man Graham White suggested the forecast may dampen spirits. While some thermals were forecast, so was high cloud and overdevelopment. Conditions were predicted to be untaskable but flyable so a free flying day was declared. The sky was soon filled with gliders with all pilots flying. The sky cycled with some areas working well, then poorly, then reasonably then well again. Good climbs were found in places, as were areas of heavy sink, with cloudbase topping at less than 4,000ft. All gliders returned to the airfield and while conditions exceeded those forecast, the “no task” task was a good call for the day.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Day Two – Monday 10th February

The most talked about issue was the BBQ last night put together by the club president Gerrit van Asch. While the weather had improved a little with the possibility of some local flying later in the afternoon, the day was again cancelled. However, the weather later in the week holds some promise. Pilots staying around were invited to use the left overs from the BBQ for lunch.

Glider trailers awaiting action at Waipukurau

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Day One – Sunday 09th February

Yesterday’s briefing turned out to be a good practice for today as the rain and drizzle continued. Thanks were given to the sponsors of the contest, namely Centralines, HBS Bank, Pask Winery and Trev Terry Marine with competitors encouraged to support them where possible. After contest director Neil Faulknor covered the formalities of circuits, radio frequencies and basic flying etiquette, met man Graham White could only again confirm the weather and give some hope it would improve and may be flyable tomorrow and hopefully taskable for the rest of the week after that. A further overview of the RASP and what it means was then given. Flying was abandoned for the day with a BBQ held in the evening.

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Practice Day – Saturday 08th February

The morning briefing saw contest director Neil Faulknor welcome the pilots to the contest. With rain falling steadily, met man Graham White could only confirm the weather and give some hope it will improve to be flyable in the next few days. A brief overview of the RASP and what it means was then given. With flying abandoned for the day, pilots went their own ways.

Entries to hand are:

Kelly, Jason
Gliding Hawkes Bay & Waipukurau
HB, Grob 103C Twin III SL
Sharpe, Brian / Rogers, George
Wellington Gliding Club
GR, DG-1000
Foreman, James
Gliding Hawkes Bay & Waipukurau
MF, LS-3a
Price, Jason
Gliding Hawkes Bay & Waipukurau
O'Donnell, Michael
Upper Valley Gliding Club
HF, Libelle 201B
de Lautour, Hugh
Taupo Gliding Club
SW, Ventus CT
White, Graham
Gliding Hawkes Bay & Waipukurau
Marcuse, Alain
Wellington Gliding Club
Rogers, George
Wellington Gliding Club
JJ, Standard Cirrus
Taylor, Ross
Auckland Gliding Club
PV, Discus B
Terry, Trev
Taupo Gliding Club
TT, Duo Discus
Elder, Julian
Piako Gliding Club
ZT, DG-808b

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Contest details

2014 Central Districts Championships
Sunday 09th to Saturday 15th February 2014 inclusive with Saturday 08th available as a practice day

Welcome to all

We thank our sponsors Centralines Ltd, HBS Bank and Pask Winery and recommend them to you.

Check in and daily briefings will be held in the club rooms on the aerodrome at Waipukurau.

The draft programme is as follows:

1. 10:30am Saturday 8th February 2014 - check in and initial briefing starting at 10:30am. All entrants will be required to fully complete an entry form.

2. Saturday 8th Feb – practice day.
Sunday through to Saturday 9th inclusive - contest days.

3. 10:30am daily briefing – everyday Sunday through Saturday inclusive.

4. Grid placings will be drawn out of a hat for Sunday and then rotated every flying day for fairness.

5. Club contact phone is as above i.e. 027-288-7522.

6. Aerodrome number is 06-858-8226 Note this is not always manned.

7. Contest Director is Neil Faulknor - 027-496-6372. Text landout co-ordinates to this number if possible.

8. 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.

9. Gliding frequency is 133.55

10. Hastings Aerodrome frequency is 125.8, Napier Tower frequency is 124.8

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

11. Planned Meals:
a. Sunday evening – our club President is running a Gourmet BBQ
b. Wednesday evening – our Club is running a BBQ
c. Friday evening - at a location yet to be confirmed

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

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

13. Free apples will be available each day for all to enjoy.

14. For those that wish to have a filled roll or other items from the bakery orders will be taken at briefing.

15. Tow fees, meal costs and any outstanding entry fees will be invoiced at the completion of the contest for prompt payment. Actual tow costs will be charged based on the costs incurred.

16. Enjoy your time in Hawkes Bay and further afield. Keep the weather gods happy by having some refreshment for them each evening at the friendly aeroclub bar.