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First competition day here at Wasserkuppe for the 4th FAI World GP Gliding Championship

The Grand Prix was born in early 2000, when the International Gliding Commission has created this new type of competition in order to make this wonderful sport more understandable to the general public, simplifying the rules and adopting a system of scoring similar to the F1. The maximum number of participants is limited to 20 and they use the same type of glider, with 15m wing span. Once in the air, all competitors start together and win the first that cross the finish line, after completing the assigned task.

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16th FAI European Gliding Championships in Nitra: Still soaked news...

Here in Nitra EGC2011 all tasks were cancelled today, in all classes, due to bad weather. Although it was still raining and the field soaked with lots of standing water, the Competition Director has set tasks and planned for a 12h45 launch for today with very faint hopes, but cancelled quite early, as the tasks set were only just over 100km per class anyway.

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16th FAI European Gliding Championships in Nitra: Who overdid the rain dance?

Well, EGC2011 is not airborne today! The quantity of water falling past the hangar doors had to be seen and heard to be believed. Yesterday, 20th July, was declared an official rest day due to the unfavourable weather conditions though the the sun did come out over the deserted airfield in the afternoon but today, the floodwaters gushing down and lying in deep puddles on the roads and fields rival Noah's. No flying today was announced at briefing and it seems it is all due to a phenomenon which occurs only once every ten to fifteen years in these parts when a cold air mass meets a warm air mass somewhere in northern Bohemia and dumps massive quantities of water across the area as well as on the neighbours.

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4th FAI World GP Gliding Championship: two days to go!

All the pilots are arrived in Wasserkuppe for the 4th FAI World GP Gliding Championship (FAI Sailplane Grand Prix Final) and we are just waiting for good soaring conditions to start flying. In July 2011 it is be exactly 100 years since the first glider flights were made here at the Wasserkuppe. In memory of these pioneers, IGC has organised the 4th FAI World GP Gliding Championship in this beautiful airport.

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16th FAI European Gliding Championships in Nitra: day 2

The last few gliders are being launched right now for Assigned Area Tasks with a time limit of 1 and a half hours. Though the sun is shining, the air is very humid and heavy with a lot of wet cloud giving a dull, milky look to the sky. Those already launched are bravely circling but low and close home. The starts for the four classes will open only 20 minutes after everyone is up as there is such a small window of opportunity to fly at all today and tomorrow is unlikely to be flyable due to storms and heavy rain.

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16th FAI European Gliding Championships in Nitra are airborne

Czech Duo Discus DL, piloted by Michal Lesinger and Danes Grula, was the very first glider whisked into the air by the big yellow, 800hp Čmelák at Nitra today. It was 12.30 local on the nail as all four classes set off on Area Assigned Tasks with a minimum time of 2 hours.

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Look out Europe, here we come, LOTS of us...

While looking forward to the FAI Sailplane Grand Prix Final starting on 23rd July, let us not forget all the other competitions in full swing in the northern hemisphere, where the motorways of Europe especially have seen large numbers of glider trailers trundling towards their various competition venues in recent days.

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FAI Sailplane Grand Prix final 2011, the countdown begins...

Just received from Germany, the following is the all but complete list of pilots competing in the FAI Sailplane Grand Prix which begins on 23rd July on the famed Wasserkuppe, acknowledged as a cradle of our sport and celebrating its 100th birthday in 2011.

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Three journalists team up to report ICG news and activities !

IGC has now three journalists scouting for news, information and stories about our World Championships and our elite pilots ! Angela Sheard, Marina Vigorito and Jill McCaw have joined forces to combine their talents for stories and their knowledge of who’s-who in gliding circles to write blogs for the IGC website. This is a great step forward and IGC President Bob Henderson's intention is that this starts IGC on the path of being able to have refreshing and up-to-date information available about IGC “heroes” and IGC competitions and activities.

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Call for bids to host the 2012/13 series of FAI Sailplane Grand Prix Qualifying events

IGC President Bob Henderson looks forward to an enthusiastic response to the call for bids to host the 2012/13 series of FAI Sailplane Grand Prix Qualifying events. The more the terrain and conditions vary between sites, the greater the challenge for the competing pilots, whether home-grown or taking up the 5 or so international visitor slots per contest. All of which produces a series where excitement and interest grow as the individual qualifying races single out the finalists to fly for the ultimate title.

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