The 34th FAI World Gliding Championships in Benalla (AUS) was officially opened on Sunday, 08 January 2017, by Jaclyn Symes MP, Member for Northern Victoria on behalf of the Victorian Minister for Sport, The Hon. John Eren MP and Rick Sheppe from the FAI (pictured).
Presented by Championship Director Terry Cubley (pictured on the left), all 116 competitors from 27 nations paraded with their flags into the Rose Gardens of Benalla, cheered on by a local crowd and an international gathering of past world gliding champions, team members and glider pilots from all over Australia.
The World Gliding Championships for Open, 18m and 15m classes is the most prestigious and competitive gliding competition in the world.
Jaclyn Symes (pictured on the left) lauded the economic boost that the championships are now bringing to Benalla and North East Victoria.
Australia’s successful bid for the World Gliding Championships is giving a major boost to Benalla and the surrounding area, hosting competitors and their crews who are now staying in accommodation, renting cars and bringing extra trade to businesses throughout the region
The President of the Gliding Federation of Australia Mandy Temple and Championship Director Terry Cubley spoke on behalf of the organizing committee welcoming the competitors to Benalla. On Monday 9 January, the flying begins as competitors take to the sky. After two weeks of intense competition, World Champions in three classes will be declared.