Presidents Report; 2012-2013
A look back at the past year in the MHGC, and another great year for the club with lots of successful events throughout the year – both flying and non-flying.
The membership has grown from around 55 last year to its current number of around 70 – an increase of over 25% which is great news. This was really evident at the most recent event at Boort over the Queen’s Birthday weekend as it was really well attended with lots of new pilots. This is great for the club and sport. Turning up on the first day in the tow paddock I thought I was attending a competition there were that many gliders set up!
Here’s a brief round-up of the events we held this past year;
The awards night last year was really well attended and was a fun night. The awards went to:
Peter Bachelor award for outstanding service to the MHGC went to Pete Cass as well as an honourable mention to Peter Holloway.
MHGC Encouragement Award for a new and enthusiastic pilot went to Neale Halsall
Whitey Whiteman award – presented by the grand master himself Rob Wenban for an incident resulting in the maximum damage to equipment with the least damage to the pilot went to Hugh Alexander (A.K.A. Hughbert)
Last winter saw plenty of flying activity – particularly out in the flatlands with many weekends flying at both Locksley and Wahring. We were thermaling while in the distance, people were snowboarding! A big thank you to both Peter Holloway and Neale Halsall for their time and effort in running these regular events. There was also plenty of flying action on the hills over winter with regular flying taking place on the local sites.
The annual emergency parachute repack night was held in September and run by Darren Morgan. Lots of members in attendance for this very important safety event. This was a great opportunity to hang in the harness and have a go at throwing your reserve whilst being thrown around the place, before a very informative talk from Darren, followed by a repack demonstration. We’ll be looking to run the event again this year so watch out for that one.
During November we had a long weekend up at Yea during the Melbourne Cup weekend. There was flying in and around the local sites such as Thistle Hill and 3 Sisters. The event was well attended, with a combination of people staying up there in the campsite and others driving up from Melbourne and there was a BBQ at the Yea camp ground. All in all a very successful weekend with everyone getting a decent fly in.
Also in November was the Big K week. Not an official MHGC event but there were lots of pilots from the club in attendance – some staying the whole week and others the days they could afford. A great week of flying, although some days proved to be way too hot to even set up until late in the day – even then we flew good distances. Never the less, lots of cross country kilometres were flown with some pilots (not to mention any names) flying 100km’s + most days and flying up to 10,000’. We look forward to next year’s instalment!
We had our annual Christmas BBQ in December which again was well attended, and a great social event. Tim Lead had the hang gliding simulator set up which was fantastic. Needless to say the kids loved it – Cheers Tim!
Lots of flying activity by our members during the Christmas and New Year period. Peter Holloway headed up to Forbes for the World Championships along with Noel Bear, which meant there was no towing out of Locksley during that time. There was a great deal of good flying to be had in the Alpine region with many members heading up there for a period of time and making the most of it. A number of newly qualified pilots were flying up there for the first time, with Kevin and Gabriel offering their support – thanks Guys! There was also some great coastal flying going on over that period around the region too.
Then of course there was Corryong in January. This was really well attended by MHGC and by all accounts it was a fantastic comp with lots of personal bests and great flying. Special mention to Col Jackson and James Atkinson – for 1st and second place respectively in the floater class – well done guys. This comp is well known for being a fantastic event – great flying in a really supportive and safe environment, as well as a great social event and just a great spot to be and to camp. Tales of flying followed by cooling off in the river with a beer come to mind.
Also in January – over the Australia Day Weekend – was the Ride the Spiral Festival of Flight in the Alpine region. This event was organised and run by Will Faulkner – the man behind Ride the Spiral. This year the event was based in Mt Beauty with nearly everyone staying in the campsite in Mt Beauty. This was a very successful event with flying every day from the sites around Mt Beauty. On-route back to Locksley, Peter Holloway dropped in for the weekend so that there was aerotowing on hand from the strip too, although Peter acted as a full time air traffic control for most of the time due to intense activity on the airfield with not only us, but fire bombers and winch towing gliders all competing for space! Will ran a great event this year, helping and encouraging new pilots new to the region and supplying beer and goodies over the weekend. Thanks Will and Peter
There was some attempts and successes on the famous coastal run in February by a number of MHGC pilots – some landing just shy of Apollo Bay and others making it all the way in. Great effort – most of us were hard at work that day!
In March we had a towing extravaganza at Locksley. This was a great weekend and the conditions were perfect all weekend. There were excellent cross country tasks set from the airfield which were triangle tasks which took us back to the airfield (if you made it). Many of these were over 100km’s. Lots of people gave it a crack, some made it all the way round and others fell short but we all got picked up in the end and made it back to the club house for a BBQ in the evening on the Sunday. An awesome weekend – thanks once again to Mr H.
Over the Easter weekend there was the annual Birchip towing competition which was well attended by the MHGC. This proved to be a very successful event again this year with every day being flyable. Lots of pilots in goal every day with a number of personal bests and first timers into goal. A great competition and a very friendly and fun event to attend if you haven’t been to this before – stick it in the calendar for next year! There was also plenty of flying activity up in Bright over that time period. Easter is always a busy time of year up there for flying and the conditions are often very good and this year was no exception. Thanks to those who were there on hand to offer support and advise to those less experienced. It makes a huge difference.
As you can gather – there’s been lots of activity at Locksley over the last year, with a total of 27 flying days at the airfield and there have been some fantastic flying days up there. Peter Holloway has been going strong logging 39 days as an instructor and has started training new students from scratch this year. There have been 2 new tug master endorsements – Rob Wenban and Nick DeLaulx, as well as 7 ground tow endorsements and 6 aerotow endorsements. So it’s going great guns up there! Peter also ran tow endorsements during the ANZAC day weekend and was on hand for aerotowing over the full 4 day period and, again, there was lots of great flying up there.
As mentioned earlier – we had another great weekend up at Boort over the Queen’s Birthday weekend. We had ground towing on every day and aerotowing for those endorsed from the Eicher’s trike on the Sunday and Monday. Great winter flying for the whole three days as well as a fun social gathering. We had a BBQ funded by the club on the Sunday around a big fire at the back of the Eicher’s place. Another fantastic weekend!
On the non-flying side, we’ve had some great speakers at some of our club meetings – Rohan Holtkamp kindly dropped in to give us a talk on landings which was fantastic and very well attended. Peter Holloway and Noel Bear gave us a run through their Florida trip to Wallaby Ranch back in March – still very envious. Johannes Straub gave a talk on the rigid wing glider he designed and built as part of his thesis whilst working for AIR which was excellent, and Will Faulkner gave us some very good information on editing video which again was excellent and well attended.
Speaking of Will – he’s recently updated the club website. The URL is the same, just a new look and feel. There’s also an embedded Google Calendar which we’ll be updating as and when events are locked in which will make planning the brownie points much easier. If anyone knows of where you can buy them let me know.
Merv Dannefaerd did some great work in organising many of the speakers for our club nights and put some great thought into events so a big thanks to Merv for doing that. A big thank you also to Scott Rawlings who is the man behind the text messages and keeping everyone informed of flying activities as they come about. I’m sure you’ll all agree that Scott’s unique slant on things adds some much loved humour which is greatly appreciated. Also a big thanks to the committee members who’ve put some hard work in this year and offered their support.
All in all; a great year for the club. The membership has grown, with a number of new pilots coming in to the sport which is great to see. One of the main focuses of the club is to provide a supportive, safe and fun environment for pilots of all level to develop their flying and to enjoy this incredible sport. I think we’re achieving this and hope we continue to do so.
This has been my first year as president and I’ve really enjoyed the challenge and I’m happy carry on next year. I’ve got so much out of the sport over the years so it’s great to be able to put something back in and I hope we can continue to run successful flying events again next year. See you in the air!