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Doug Flockhart

As I watched the golden hues of the Australian sun set over Narromine on the final day, I found myself reflecting on the monumental achievements of our Australia Team at the 37th FAI World Gliding Championships. It was a moment of pride, a testament to the spirit of Australian gliding.

With the jubilant cheers for our champions still echoing, I am thrilled to acknowledge our prestigious wins. Our very own James Nugent, a prodigious talent, soared to victory in Club Class, etching his name as one of the youngest open World Champions in history. Greg Beecroft, at 71 years young, showcased his exceptional skill, clinching 2nd place in Standard Class in his first world competition. Also, let's not forget Australia’s impressive 3rd place finish in the Team category. Of course, it takes a team to deliver these outcomes and I congratulate all involved – you know who you are.

I also extend my deepest gratitude to the astute Miles Gore Brown, our Aussie team manager, and coach Peter Temple. A heartfelt thank you also goes to contest director Mike Durrant, Beryl Hartley and the army of volunteers whose tireless efforts made this event a resounding success. To those clubs and individuals that hired their gliders to international pilots, and the clubs that loaned their tugs – thank you!

The success of this event is a collective achievement, a blend of skill, dedication and an indomitable spirit.

In This Edition

Our Gliding Australia Magazine editor, Sean Young, was on-site throughout the event, capturing every thrilling moment. His detailed coverage in this edition is a journey through the eyes of those who lived it. Dive in with childlike inquisitiveness and relive the excitement through interviews, photos and insights.

Age is Just a Number

In life, ageism is rife – claiming, for instance, that we’re too young to do this or too old to do that. The contrast in age and experience between James Nugent and Greg Beecroft beautifully illustrates the timeless appeal of gliding. It's a sport that transcends age, where passion, skill and the joy of flight bind us together. Whether competing at the highest level or soaring for pleasure, the message is clear: in gliding, there's a place for everyone.

Shaping the Future of Aviation

Gliding Australia’s recent submission to the federal government's ‘Aviation Green Paper – Towards 2050’ outlines our vision for the future and potential contribution. We are not only custodians of Australian gliding heritage, we're also participants in the aviation narrative and pioneers contributing to shaping its course. Our unique blend of tradition and innovation positions us to significantly contribute to a future of sustainable aviation.

That said, the following idea comes to mind – that the species that survive aren’t the strongest or fastest but the most adaptable, which is complimented by a statement from Peter Drucker who said, “Invest in your opportunities, not your problems.”

I invite you to read the full Gliding Australia submission, which is available on the Gliding Australia website at Aviation-GREEN-Paper and contribute to this exciting journey.

Looking Ahead

As we are now well and truly in the season for gliding, I encourage each of you to seize every opportunity to take to the skies and to also enjoy the camaraderie of your club. Let's make the most of these hot, thermal-filled flying conditions while also enjoying the personalities and characters that add to the cultural compost of ‘the doing’.

On behalf of the management and executive team here at Gliding Australia, I extend my warmest wishes for the Festive Season. To all those that volunteer their time and expertise across our sport Australia-wide, thank you for all you do!

May your flights be filled with adventure, joy, laughter and safety. Remember, my door is always open, so let's keep the conversation soaring.

Until next time… Stay safe, stay connected and continue to push the boundaries of what's possible in the world of gliding

Ciao and warm regards,

 Doug sig 3

Doug Flockhart
Chief Executive Officer
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Club Dog cartoon Dec 23



PS… In early 2024, I’ll start sharing with you a series of podcasts to assist clubs with their relevance and appeal. Get excited, because they will be both fun and informative.