Sportaviation Reception Area on Saturday January 19 2013.
Welcome to the Benalla prize-giving and party.
This morning at 7 AM, I was ready to leave the Glider City Motel in Benalla again , as Lisa and Peter Trotter were so kind to take me with them to Tocumwal, where they had to be on their way to the Sunshine Coast, for a “pick-up” .
I was a bit worried, as the terrible smell of the bushfires in Gippsland in Victoria , had reached Benalla as well. This deadly fire storm hit several small places in the South of Victoria killing one man  , who tried to escape in his car, but sadly enough was too late and destroying homes and land [50.000 hectares at this stage and the blaze continues!] with wild life.
No fire smells in Tocumwal, where we arrived nicely at 8 AM. I felt very privileged to drive with the Trotters , both in their class the new Australian champions. Peter drove upfront with his glider on tow , I drove with Lisa behind him, with her glider on tow. When I jumped out they still had 10 to 12 hours to go before reaching Anita and Bruces place at Kentucky and then one more day of driving to make it home. That says enough about distances in Australia.
Not a lot of sleep after a real nice party where old times revived with friends as Griffo [with Monica], Brockie [with Christine and daughter Brooke] , Terry [with Vicky] and so many others. The prizes were ready to be handed over and the food smelled delicious. After the beef/chicken the fun teams were mentioned first by Competition Director Peter Gray, who in the end got a huge applause for “a job well-done”. Tim Shearly was the well respected task setter this year, so not the CD as mentioned yesterday , sorry about that.
Bruce , Griffo and Tony and with Vicky
Bruce, Terry and a friend from Griffo and Peters wife Monica
Griffo [Peter] and Bruce! Nothing changed!
As said the fun teams were announced first and the winners were; “ Gun’s & liquor” formed by Tom Claffey and Lisa and Peter Trotter with 956 points.
The winning STATE team was Queensland with Andrew Maddocks and again ,…Lisa and Peter Trotter. They took the beautiful GFA shield home.[picture below]
Then there was the record presentation for a new Australian 300 km. triangle record flown on November 26 by Jenny Thomson in her ASW 27 from Narromine 144.34 km./h. a record in 15m., 18m., and open class.
German pilot Swaantje was the highest international ranked pilot with her 5th place and TEAM NEW ZEALAND won the Tasman Trophy. This prize goes to an upcoming pilot from Australia or New Zealand flying the nationals in alternate countries and not having flown world comps before. For Australia it was Ian Mc Callum for NZ Tim Bromhead ,who won 2 days and he takes the trophy back home to NZ. Nice young lad and like Australia, they have a few young and upcoming pilots!
Swaantje and Tim
Lothar Arndt , flying in Tocumwal was the highest novice pilot . He flew his glider back to Tocumwal after the cancellation and was nicely back in time for the party.
The highest- raw -speed –prize the Taylor &Kauffmann Speed Trophy was for Tom Claffey.
Lothar and the SPEED TROPHY.
It was good to see Norm Bloch back in competition soaring after more than 25 years and even better,…he ended on a 3d place in his first Nationals, after the break.
The winners in each class were cheered on; Peter, Lisa, Lars and Tom. They all said a word as well and I was pleased to hear that Lisa mentioned “young blood” in the comps with a lot of young ones and SEVEN Lady pilots, one of them the very young Ailsa Mc Millan , being 2d on the last day in standard class. In her opinion, it “enriches” the comps and I totally agree.
Brian surrounded by ” new blood” as Andrew and Nick Maddocks and Ben Loxton who as I heard flew VERY well.
And kilometer -eater Matthew Scutter with 2x 1000 km. under his belt in an LS 4.Story about him will follow soon!
Australian [ competition] Soaring is doing well and that is great to see.
The next Nationals will be in Kingaroy in Queensland from October 14-24.
This years winners;
Tom [18 m.]and Lars [open class].
A scoop as well; There was NO bid for the 2016 flapped class,… so Australia said they wanted to go for it. Out of Lake Keepit , Corowa and Benalla , the final choice was Benalla! [ as you know the WGC was in 1987 in Benalla as well.]
They have however to compete with the UK , where Lasham will send their bid and it seems also Austria has showed interest now.
In the end of February the IGC will decide where it will be. That IGC meeting will be in Holland, and I play a very small role in the organization as well. All credit goes to Frauke.
It was great to be back in Benalla.
The Peters [Trotter and Temple] and Shinzo with crew.
and to finish the gorgeous wife from Bruce Christine and their daughter Brooke.
See you hopefully tomorrow, library will be closed, so we will see.