PRESS RELEASE WORLD GLIDING CHAMPIONSHIPS JAN 8 Dense cloud has forced the cancellation of the first day of competition in the World Gliding Championships, giving competitors an extra day to mentally tune themselves for contest. Contest director Bob Henderson told pilots at this morningUs briefing that the slow clearing of cloud over the Lindis and St Bathans ranges would not enable a contest length task to be set. To qualify as a world championship day a task must be a minimum duration of three hours and a distance of 250 kilometres. TomorrowUs forecast is predicting a clear day with a southerly flow and good thermals. This morningUs briefing began on a sombre note with a minuteUs silence for the late Klaus Holighaus of Germany who was killed in a glider crash in Switzerland in August last year. Klaus was highly respected in world gliding as a leading German manufacturer and designer of sailplanes as well as a world champion class pilot. He flew in numerous world championships and, although never gaining the world title, he was several times holder of the German national title. Good news for the South African team came with news from home that Helmut Fischer had achieved a new world speed record over a triangular course of 1000 kilometres. Fischer flew the distance in a speed of 169.72 km/h, flying in one of South AfricaUs finest soaring centres in the Orange Free State, Hendrik Verwoerd Dam, adjacent to the Orange River. Former record holder over the distance was German, Hans Grosse in a time of 145.33 km/h, set in Alice Springs Australia in 1979. Grosse is a well- known world record breaker and still holds the straight distance record over 1460.80 kilometres which he set in 1972.
World Gliding Championships in New Zealand, 1995 on gei.geichhorn.com