The second Sailplane Grand Prix 2016 will begin on 17 April in the beautiful valley of Cerdanya in the eastern Pyrenees.
The Cerdanya valley has a micro climate providing consistent and exciting conditions for gliding. At 3,000ft above sea level it is one of the highest airfields in Europe and the 9,000ft mountains on each side of the valley provide the pilots with potential for high speed racing.
The list of competing pilots contains several great names who are seriously competing for a coveted qualification for the FAI/SGP final, to be held at Potchefstroom, South Africa in November 2016.
WHO ARE THE CONTENDERS?
One of the favourites is Christophe Ruch from France. He was runner up in the last FAI/SGP in Varese, Italy, narrowly losing first place to his fellow countryman Maximilian Seis. He placed 3rd in the European Championship 2015, 2nd in 2013 and was the the champion in 2011. Christophe also won last year’s French FAI/SGP event and came second in the 2015 final.
Two pilots who will make sure Ruch has to perform well to take the top spot are fellow countryman Louis Bouderlique and Mike Young from Great Britain. Bouderlique is current French National 15m Champion and winner of the 2013 European 15m Championships. He has not flown an SGP event since 2008 but will no doubt soon be in the groove of SGP flying and pushing for a first place.
Mike Young has not been so active in International contests in recent years but his 3rd place in the 18m World Championships in 2011 is testament to the depth of his experience and talent. Young has more recent experience in SGP events, and took 4th place in the 2014 Spain SGP contest.
But in a race, the best pilot on the day wins and all of the contestants are champions. The competition is wide open and the results can be seen as they happen at http://www.sgp.aero/spain2016
There are several other pilots in the contest who are capable of a surprise top place. Philippe de Pechy from France is a very experienced pilot. Jorge Arias is the top Spanish pilot in the contest and will certainly be competitive in his Ventus 2. Fridolin Hauser from Switzerland is a very experienced mountain pilot and won a race day in the 2014 Spain SGP.
The races will be covered live using the excellent imaging of Silent Wings studio and the local team will be working hard to bring you all the news and action as it happens.
FAI WORLD SGP 2014 Sisteron youtube.com/watch?v=t9bdZCvkRuc