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On the grid for another great cumulus day.

The 24th Annual Regatta was held at Lake Keepit Soaring Club between 24 February and 2 March. A few dropouts at the last minute left us with 21 competitors.
The Regatta is run as a single class event primarily as a fun and supportive comp to encourage the newer members and lower hours pilots to develop their skills as cross country pilots in a friendly, fun and, yes – very competitive way. Our more experienced members share their knowledge acquired over many years while our less experienced pilots learn what not to do!

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Brad Edwards at briefing.

The week started on a somewhat sombre note. Our good friend and club member David Holmes was taken from us far too early due to a short illness. A lovely memorial ‘celebration of life’ was held in Grant ‘KeepitGliderTech’ Nelson's hangar on the evening prior to the start. The Regatta had been David’s favourite event. He loved the long flights and therefore, a new trophy has been created in his name, titled ‘The David Holmes Memorial Trophy’, for the longest flight in the Regatta.

The weather was an unusual mix of thermal and wave, and unexpectedly humid for Keepit. Gone was our lovely morning cool katabatic easterly, replaced by a somewhat oppressive stillness. Nonetheless, the days were very flyable without giving pilots an easy run for their money on every occasion. Throughout the week, the talk was of who would be the rooster today and who would be the feather duster as they jostled for position on the scoreboard.

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CD David Fagan on the launch line with Brad Edwards.

It was good to see so many early glider cross country pilots on the list. We have a recent cohort of ‘ex hangies’ making an excellent addition to the club. Cameron Tunbridge, Bruce ‘Wise Maggot’ Wynne, Mark Berry and Rick Martin are all fairly new to the joys of a rubber and metal undercarriage and slightly less wobbly wings.

Overseas members from the UK, task setter Ayala Truelove and weather guru Simon ‘I ate all the scones’ Harding, put on a good show for the Brits. Ghazi (Ando) Satriando from Indonesia has flown from LKSC five times and has the honour of being selected to represent Indonesia in the FAI Junior Worlds next year. I believe he is the first pilot to have ever been selected to fly for Indonesia.


Satriando Humaid from Indonesia on his fifth visit to Lake Keepit.

Everyone mucked in and helped out with the numerous tasks involved in running such an event. Patricia Healy fed us for the entire week with help from Marie-Christine Kop, so much so that there was talk of handicapping some who had taken on too much ‘personal ballast’ in an unballasted comp.
Huge thanks to all organisers, helpers and members for making it such a fun week.

Val Phillips

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Sunset at Lake Keepit club house.

The Lake Keepit 2024 Regatta kicked off with a heartfelt tribute to our dear friend David Holmes, who recently left us. Amid our sadness, we chose to honour and celebrate his life.

On the Friday before the Regatta started, we had 36 delightful Year 9 students from Carinya School in Tamworth. This is the second year Carinya has made the trip to LKSC as part of their studies in Aeronautical Engineering. The students were divided into three groups, rotating between the simulator, sitting in the gliders and some theory.

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From the cockpit of Andey Eveling who was flying hors concours.

They were shown Wise Maggot’s (Bruce Wynne’s) hang-glider, and one fortunate lad took the opportunity to experience what it’s like in the harness.
The Regatta was a week of fun and extremely hot temperatures. The spirit of the event is a melting pot of fun competition, valuable learning, hospitality and camaraderie.
The Regatta is one of the most loved events on Lake Keepit’s soaring calendar, where it attracts pilots of all types. It's like a magnet, drawing pilots of all skill levels, from fresh-faced XC rookies to seasoned world champions.

But, regardless of experience, we're all united by our love for gliding, sharing the sky and helping each other to share a common bond of gliding. That bond is strengthened even more at the end of the day, where the social connection among the competitors is built on conversations of the day’s flying over good food and a cold beverage.

Our precious David Holmes Memorial Trophy for the Longest Flight was awarded to Brad Edwards and Wayne Yeomans, for 421.66 km.
The Golden Towball for outlanding, which was tightly contested by several pilots, went to Ricky. Congratulations to all.

David Fagan, CD

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Lake Keepit member Bruce Wynne

Lake keepit regatta
24 February - 2 March 2024

1 Ayala Truelove Lasham LS 6 3,990
2 David Fagan LKSC JS1C TJ 21m 3,829
3 Matthew Atkinson LKSC Ventus 2cx 18m 3,641

Full results at Soaringspot


Matthew Atkinson

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Above: Ranjit Pheelan being bungee launched. Belor Ian McPhee in th efront seat.

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