12th World Glider Aerobatic Championships Opens Today

The 12th World Glider Aerobatic Championships (WGAC) opens tonight in Niederoeblarn, Austria. This will be the third WGAC held in Austria since the event began in 1985. 51 pilots from 12 countries are competing. While most are from Europe, an American team is also entered in the competition. Pilots are from Austria, Czech Republic, France, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Switzerland, and the USA.


Leboulanger Captures European Advanced Champion Title

Alexandre Leboulanger won the title of European Advanced Aerobatic Champion in the Championships recently concluded in Joensuu, Finland in late July. Leboulanger flew the CAP 231 to victory. In second place was Tamas Illes of Hungary flying the Edge 540T and in third, Jean-Emmanuel Antal of France in the CAP 231. Team Champions were France followed by Finland and Poland. Altogether, 30 pilots from 9 countries competed in the Championships which was directed by Matti Peura. Chief Judge was Graham Hill of Great Britain. Complete results can be found at http://civaweb.mwebservices.net

Ramon Alonso Captures World Champion Title

Competition flying concluded at the 24th World Aerobatic Championships in Granada, Spain at 20.56 on Tuesday, 3 July, with the final flight of the 2nd Unknown. Because the scores had to be manually entered into the scoring computer on the airfield, final results were not available until after midnight. Ramon Alonso of Spain became the World Aerobatic Champion and captured the Aresti Cup for the first time in his long aerobatic career. The competition was very intense all the way to the end of the event as his victory over Renaud Ecalle of France was by a 16 point margin out of nearly 10,000 points. Alonso flew a Sukhoi in the competition and was formerly a European Aerobatic Champion as well who has been on the competition scene for nearly two decades. A pilot for Iberia on the Airbus A-340, he is one of the most popular personalities on the aerobatic circuit whose warmth and generosity are well known (photo by Graham Hill). The Nesterov Trophy, awarded to the men's winning team, went to France with Spain in second place and Russia in third. The top women's team was Russia followed by the USA. Full results can be found at http://civaweb.mwebservices.net/

WAC Final Freestyle Won by Zach Heffley

Zach Heffley of the USA won the FAI Gold Medal yesterday in the Final Freestyle event at the World Aerobatic Championships in Granada, Spain. Heffley flew a Sukhoi SU-26 to a decisive victory with a 135 point lead over second place winner Ramon Alonso of Spain. In third place was Renaud Ecalle of France. Normally, the Final Freestyle is flown at the conclusion of WAC but CIVA approved the organizer's request to fly it on Sunday, 1 July, as a part of the airshow. The airshow attracted over 30,000 spectators according to local officials who enjoyed the fine showcase of pilot's talents.

WAC Final Freestyle Results Delayed

The results of the Final Freestyle, flown yesterday, have been delayed due to paperwork issues. The International Jury is verifying that the scoresheets are properly identified with each pilot as this information was missing on the sheets. That will be completed this afternoon and the scores will be entered into the computer as soon as possible. It may be tomorrow morning before publication.

WAC 2nd Unknown Published

The sequence for the 2nd Unknown has been selected by the International Jury from the proposals received from Teams this morning. It is attached here for download as a PDF and GIF file. Protests will be accepted on this sequence until 14.00, 2 July.

WAC 1st Unknown Results Final

The results for the 1st Unknown at WAC in Granada became official at 10.30 today, 1st of July. Ramon Alonso of Spain has taken the FAI Gold Medal in the flight, followed by Renaud Ecalle of France, and Mikhail Mamistov of Russia. In the overall results, Renaud Ecalle retains a lead of only 16 points over Alonso. Team results are also very close so it will be a "photo finish" at the end.


Free Programme Finishes at WAC

Programme 1 -- the Free Programme -- finished today in Granada with Renaude Ecalle of France in first place. He was followed by WAC first-timer Olivier Masurel of France. Svetlana Kapanina of Russia was in third. The results became official at 14.15 local time. However, three protests have been filed and remain to be decided by the International Jury at the time of this writing. Results may change as a result of these protests.

WAC First Unknown Continues into Second Day

The 1st Unknown programme of the World Aerobatic Championships in Granada was not completed last night and continues into Friday, June 29th. The surface wind and the 500 meter wind exceeded the limits toward the end of the day and flying was called off. Italian pilot Sergio Dallas (number 42 in the flight order) was the last to fly. Alexander Krotov resumed the programme this morning in his Sukhoi 26 (RF00665) and it is expected that the Unknown will be finished this morning and before lunch.


First Unknown Announced for WAC

The International Jury announced the 1st Unknown for WAC. This aerobatic sequence was chosen by the Jury from 8 proposals submitted by Teams. It is anticipated that flying of this Unknown will begin on Friday, June 29th. It is available for downloading as a PDF and GIF at the link below.

Programme Q Completed at WAC

Programme Q at the XXIV. World Aerobatic Championships completed last night with Castor Fantoba of Spain winning first place followed by Renaud Ecalle of France and Oleg Shpolyanskiy of Russia. Programme Q is the "Known Compulsory" sequence, the results of which are used to determine Order of Flight for Programme 1, the Free Programme, and to provide familiarization to the pilots of the aerobatic box and to "warm up" the International Judges panel. The results of "Q" are not included in the results of the Championships but still is regarded as an important flight by pilots.