achieved a fantastic result at the WGC 2010 in
Szeged, Hungary. Uys Jonker was second overall,
Attie Jonker was fifth overall, John Coutts won Day
5, and four JS1's attained top-ten positions.
fully met the Jonker Sailplanes' objective of a JS1
podium place and several JS1's in the top ten. The
overall result is statistically significant
considering a total of six JS1 Revelations competed
in a field of 50+ sailplanes flown by the world's
best 18m pilots.
The "WGC Six" are, in order of final overall
position: Uys Jonker (RSA), Attie Jonker (RSA),
Ronald Termaat (NL), Russell Cheetham (UK), John
Coutts (NZ), and Bill Elliott (USA).
The top five
JS1 pilots had previous world competition experience
while this WGC was the first for Bill Elliott, who
performed better than several former WGC champs.
Uys Jonker (South Africa):
Runner-up in WGC2010, Szeged, Hungary
Winner in 2009 SA Nationals, Welkom, South
Attie Jonker (South Africa):
Fifth place in WGC 2010, Szeged, Hungary
Winner in 2008 SA Nationals, New Tempe,
Winner in 2007 SA Nationals, New Tempe,
Ronald Termaat (Netherlands):
Eighth place in WGC 2010, Szeged, Hungary
Runner-up in 2010 Dutch Nationals Open
Class, Twente, Netherlands
Runner-up in 18m Class in WGC 2008, Lüsse,
Russell Cheetham (United Kingdom):
Tenth place in 2010 WGC, Szeged, Hungary
Winner in 18m Class in EGC 2009, Nitra,
Winner in Open Class in EGC 2004, Pociunai,
John Coutts (New Zealand):
Fifteenth place and day-winner in 2010 WGC,
Winner in 15m Class in WGC 2003, Leszno,
Runner-up in Standard Class in WGC 1999,
Bill Elliott (United States):
Thirty-first place in 2010 WGC, Szeged,
Winner in 2010 US 18m Nationals, Caesar
Winner in 2008 US 18m Nationals, Mifflin,
This is the full report from the World Gliding
Championships, a personal account from Uys and Attie
Preparation and Practice days
The WGC in Hungary was my 5th WGC and Uys’ 4th. In
preparation for this championship we did not feel
very confident, as our previous experiences had
shown us how difficult it is to do well in a Worlds.
Small mistakes that are forgiven in an SA Nationals
can cost dearly at this level and all the other
pilots are very good or even brilliant.
We had decided that this might be our last
competition – it is very hard work to attend and to
stay focused. However Uys remembered asking Michael
Sommer some time ago if he enjoyed flying in the
Worlds, even in very poor weather: ‘ I love it, I
just love it,’ was his response. That got us
thinking and we decided that we were going to try
and enjoy every minute of this contest. If we
couldn’t enjoy it, then it will be our last comp.
With the many international pilots visiting the JS
factory, we had a special opportunity for some
practice. Uys made a point of flying with all the
top pilots during their visits. One of the important
lessons I learnt from flying with Ronald Termaat,
was to immediately put any errors behind you. Don’t
beat yourself up about it, it’s wasting energy.
Focus to do well with the rest of the day. It’s easy
to recover from an error by flying well during the
remainder of the same flight. If you keep worrying
about it, you lose concentration and start to get
anxious and lose even more concentration - soon you
Once again we realised that the mind game in
competitive gliding is far more important than the
simple business of using stick and rudder. So before
leaving for Hungary we decided two things were
Firstly, to enjoy every moment of the experience
and not allow anything or anyone prevent that.
Secondly, to prepare properly so that the
distractions during the contest can be minimised.
The preparation for a Worlds starts many months
ahead, with organisation of gliders, cars,
accommodation, airline tickets and visas. There were
also six JS1 Revelation gliders to be finished for
the Worlds, each with the latest competition
modifications and fine tuning of details, even down
to the shape and thickness of the Mylar seals. There
was also the logistical challenge of coordinating
the movement of six gliders, six trailers and a
whole load of spares across two continents.
Two weeks before our departure I took a two week
camping holiday to reset my brain and Uys took off
the last week before we left. We left on 11th July,
two weeks before the start of the contest partly
because of cheaper tickets, but also to allow
ourselves time to get properly organised before the
We arrived in a very, very hot and humid Hungary.
The temperature was around 38°C. We got a black hire
car and set off for Szeged, about two hours drive
from Budapest. We arrived around 5pm at Szeged, just
in time to follow a JS1 on final glide to the
airport. It was Iain Evans in WZ (JS1B-013). Iain
and Rose were flying their JS1’s in the Flatland Cup
in Szeged and afterwards we would be flying them in
When we arrived at the field, we were met by Zolt,
the owner of our accommodation and base for the next
four weeks. After a 20km drive, we arrived in the
next town of Mórahalom and stepped into the houses -
and were immediately very depressed. The
accommodation was very expensive, and it was very
hot inside without any air conditioning. We were
very tired but could barely sleep that night - it
was too hot to keep the blankets on, but if you
didn’t then the mosquitoes tried to pick you up and
fly you outside to their waiting comrades. The next
morning we went to the local hardware store and
bought a mobile air conditioner. That really saved
the day or at least the nights - half the night I
would take the aircon and the other half Uys got it.
The first couple of days Iain and Rose were still
flying the gliders so we spent the time getting to
know our way around town and getting everything we
needed for the comp. Hungarian is unlike any
language you have ever heard. It’s impossible to
understand a single spoken word or recognize a
single written word. We bought a dictionary but that
was utterly useless. Everything has to be done
without saying a word - trying to change money,
getting a cell phone, recharging the cell phone and
buying special stuff needed for the glider, all
without saying a word - quite a challenge.
By the time the rest of the team and our crews
arrived, we were pretty well versed in the business
of living in Hungary. In the end we loved it there;
the roads are good, the food is very good and
affordable, and our accommodation was two minutes
walk from a really great thermal spa with hot and
cold swimming pools. This turned out to be very
important for our daily after-flight de-stressing.
Sitting for two hours after a flight in a nice spa
really is a great way to relax and to get ready for
the next day.
As for the flying, Iain and Rose kept us updated on
the flying conditions and we discussed their flights
with them every evening. It soon became clear to us
that the weather was not going to be easy. They
talked about weak conditions, low cloud bases, large
blue patches without lift and very poor visibility.
The more we talked, the more we realised that the
weather was going to play a major part in the
outcome of this contest.
Finally the Flatland Cup was finished and we got our
first flights in Hungary, a week after leaving South
Africa. We decided to fly around and check out the
borders with Romania and Serbia (countries which
were part of the WGC task area). The visibility was
very poor and we nearly landed out three times
during that first flight. We flew about 150km and
landed a bit shaken, very unsure of ourselves and
our ability to fly in this weather.
The next day we flew again and ventured to the east
this time. The country is flat with farmland as far
as the eye can see - which was not very far in the
humid and murky conditions. The weather was slightly
better, but on returning nearer to the field it
suddenly switched off and thermals were nowhere to
be found. I battled to get onto final glide. Below
us was a lovely unfinished highway with no other
roads to the airfield. I scraped back to the
airfield and was sure Uys was going to land out. He
found a thermal at 200m and got in about ten minutes
Landing out was something we really wanted to avoid
as our trailer was a special one that can carry 2
JS1’s simultaneously. So if we did land out we would
have to land close to each other to prevent
difficult retrieves. Also our tow vehicle was not
really suited to driving through rough fields, so we
were a bit anxious about the out landing
possibilities. Furthermore we’d heard rather scary
stories about retrieving from Romania or Serbia.
We had already flown three times before the practice
period, and then flew all three practice tasks.
Slowly we got used to the conditions and got our
minds around the weather. We noticed some of the
good guys only flew one or two practice days. By the
start of the competition we had six flights in the
bag and were feeling much better.
To reduce distractions we brought a really
experienced crew along. AP Kotse was responsible for
our gliders and we also hired a local guy called
Antal who spoke very little English, but was hard
working and a great help. Having someone who could
communicate with the locals proved to be very
convenient. Ronald Taljaard came along as technical
representative for JS. We did not want the other JS1
pilots to bother Uys and me with technical issues
that would distract us. Ronald did a sterling job of
sorting all technical problems and keeping the other
guys from distracting us.
We soon got into a daily rhythm. We would get to the
field at 8:30. Antal and AP would prepare the
gliders and get them to the grid. Uys and I would
help, but only checking critical items. Off to the
briefing and then to the gliders and fly. After
landing the crews would take the glider to the tie
down area and we would get the log files uploaded.
Once this was done Uys and I would check on the
gliders and then set off to Mórahalom to relax in
the spa and then get something to eat and off to
bed. The crews would arrive at their leisure and eat
with us before setting off to the local night life.
When the contest started we were mentally on top of
things. All technical issues were sorted out. The
gliders performed really well. This was the first
Worlds where we had the distinct impression our
gliders were better than the other gliders in our
class and that gave a real mental boost. We enjoyed
everything and every day I made a mental note as I
got into the glider, ‘This is a really great and fun
thing to do’ which got me into a positive frame of
It started raining during the opening ceremony and
continued for four days. In hindsight this was a
blessing for us, as we had probably flown too much
during the unofficial and official practice days. It
was bad news for all the other pilots who hadn’t
flown enough and were eager to get on with the
contest. Many of them got frustrated with the poor
weather and immature organisation, wasting mental
energy. Conversely we felt relaxed, calm and
confident, better prepared for the competition than
Contest Day 1: Finally Day 1 arrived for the 18m
Class. It was a 337 km polygon with 5 waypoints.
John Coutts, Attie and I started together at 14:24.
(Couttsie was an integral part of the Team JS. He
might be a Kiwi but we regard him as an honorary
South African. With his Worlds experience, his
special ability to interpret the sky and translate
it into smart tactical and strategic decisions, then
team flying between the three of us was always going
to boost our chances.) We decided before the contest
not to get locked into in start line roulette games
so we started after milling around at cloud base on
the start line after only ten minutes.
The gaggle started approximately four minutes after
the JS1 trio. The first leg was good, with climbs
averaging 1.8m/s up to 1350m (AGL) and we felt we
were slowly pulling away from the gaggle. After the
first turn towards Serbia the weather became much
weaker and lower. The huge 18m gaggle found a better
climb behind us, and by the time we reached the
second waypoint, we were swallowed by the gaggle.
The leg towards the third waypoint,
overhead Szeged. Climbs only averaged 1.2 m/s to
1100m in blue conditions with awful visibility. The
Open, 15m and 18m Class tracks converged toward
Szeged, resulting in gaggles exceeding fifty gliders
at one point. The weak thermals were fully packed
with glass ships waiting for one pilot to make a
false move….all very inefficient. It was impossible
to maintain team flying in these over-packed
thermals; the trio was split up, while late starters
caught up with the slow climbing gaggles.
Overhead Szeged a decision was needed; maintain a
heading towards clouds slightly left of the waypoint
or go towards a small, single good looking cloud
right of the waypoint, possibly in the restricted
Romanian airspace. It was difficult to judge the
distance to the isolated cloud. It might have been
far beyond the waypoint. The 18m gaggle decided to
head on slightly left of track, but I broke free to
head towards the lone cloud. Halfway towards the
waypoint I found another glider climbing – it was
Attie, and Team JS was partly restored.
Reaching the cloud at 750m, we were relieved to find
that it was fortunately outside controlled airspace.
It peaked at 2.8m/s near the 1600m base, while
gently drifting towards the waypoint – exactly what
was needed! As we left the climb at cloud base the
18m gaggle arrived, at least 500m lower!
Flying toward the fourth waypoint required much
patience. There were two more clouds ahead, and then
a long blue stretch towards the control point
before the finish line. The first cloud only
produced a weak climb of 1.3m/s. After the previous
miracle it was hard to keep climbing to the top with
the gaggle now slowing catching us up. The last
cloud was even weaker, only 0.9m/s and worsening
nearer the top. The gaggle now had us in their
sights, but still well short of final glide, they
also had to struggle in the weak climb.
The final glide felt marginal, with a slight
headwind and a glide angle in excess of 55. However
thanks to good carrying air and a few weak bumps, we
reached final glide and were quite relieved to
finish. The gaggle left the last climb slightly
lower than us and had to take some very weak climbs
to make it back home. Some landed out and others
finishing more than fifteen minutes later.
Day 1 was great for the JS1 pilots with Ronald
Termaat (Netherlands) second, Uys fourth, Attie
fifth, Bill Elliott (USA) seventh, and Russell
Cheetham (UK) eleventh. Russell was particularly
unlucky as he lost a bug wiper before the start, a
distraction for him and affecting the performance.
Apart from John who had got stuck on the final leg,
all JS1’s finished in the top eleven!
Iain (Baker) had always wanted to use this Worlds as
the international launch-pad for the JS1 Revelation.
Day 1 achieved this impact in a dramatic fashion and
other pilots began to take a particular interest in
the JS1. There’s a special aura around JS - the idea
that two brothers who shared a boyhood dream of
competing in their own design sailplane is truly
Contest Day 2: Day 2 was a 2˝ hour assigned
area speed task, with the first area a circle
overhead Serbia and the second area northeast of
Szeged with the centre over the town
was one of the few waypoint names that we would
attempt to pronounce. Only Carol Clifford
confidently pronounced town names like
The JS1 trio started again together at 14:15 with a
respectable 1450m. Climbs towards the first sector
were initially weak, around 1m/s, but slowly
improved to 1.3m/s, operating between 700m and
After turning in the first sector a small gaggle
formed including top pilots like Werner Meuser,
Reinhard Schramme, Ronald Termaat, Olivier Darroze
and Wolfgang Janowitsch, and for a short period we
raced hard in respectable weather conditions. The
leg towards the second sector became progressively
weaker, with climbs decaying to 1m/s. High level
cirrus was cutting off all sun on the ground and the
clouds disappeared in the second area. It looked
impossible to both reach the area and make it back
to the clouds nearer the control point before the
We found the first climb only after thirty
kilometres at best glide speed in absolute dead air.
The gaggle started milling in a 0.3m/s climb for
200m before the rest of them left, continuing a
seemingly hopeless glide into the sector. Only Attie
and I kept on searching and the climb slowly
improved to 1m/s. This extra 400m enabled us to
glide to the northern edge of the sector and
maximise our distance as we thought it would be
impossible to get back to Szeged.
The only clouds near the designated area were almost
thirty kilometres north of the Békéscsaba, well
outside the area and taking us further away from
Szeged. We reached them 400m above ground,
desperately hoping for a survival climb. After
milling around for more than twenty minutes and only
climbing 600m, the thermal suddenly kicked and we
climbed at 1.6m/s to 2000m, a mere 300m short of
final glide! Bok-Base (the South African ground
radio station) was following me on the Yellow Brick
live tracking system and they thought the tracker
had failed because we were so far off track and
going the wrong way!
John Coutts had selected a different routing into
the sector, turned and headed back to Szeged, aiming
for a small stubble fire. He arrived at the fire at
300m, just too early for the thermal to recycle and
give him the sorely needed last climb to final
I headed back home straight on track, but then
deviated with Attie to a cloud street about 45° left
of track, in the hope of staying at cloudbase until
final glide height was reached. This was a crucial
mistake, as this detour only cost precious height
and nothing was found under the promising-looking
We headed back to yet another cloud street right of
track – also in vain! The only climb was a 0.2m/s
climb drifting us away faster than we were climbing.
We decided to throw the towel in and flew towards
John’s stubble fire. ‘Let’s see if we can make the
fire and land with John,’ I remarked.
We arrived at the fire at 18h15 at 300m under
completely overcast skies. I made a few turns and
then aimed for an outlanding near Hódmezővásárhely.
Attie, staying above the stubble fire, called me
back as he believed the fire was kicking again. I
reluctantly turned back after wasting another three
kilometres and reaching the fire below 200m, started
climbing at 0.3 m/s. After more than half an hour,
losing and finding a number of small weak bubbles, I
managed to climb to 1100m, needing just 300m to
complete the task.
Attie had a slightly higher minimum wing loading
(due to pilot weight difference according to Uys),
and struggling to keep up with me, missed one
bubble. Eventually he landed out at near
Hódmezővásárhely, still giving him a respectable
tenth position for the day and a veritable
It was close to 19h00 when I started flying towards
the control point, threatened by a thunderstorm just
to the north. Realising the only way to complete the
task was to climb near the storm, I headed towards
the dark black clouds and was amazed to find strong,
smooth lift ahead of the storm at only 400m. The
wind changed direction and increased to more than
40km/h and I managed to climb 300m alongside the
cloud, probably in wave over the storm.
have put me on final glide, but after setting off, I
flew into heavy turbulence and sink, forcing me well
below glide once again. I just thought this task was
maybe not meant to be completed, when I encountered
lift near some rotor clouds. This time I ensured
that I climbed enough to make it back home!
I landed at 19h23 – to the unexpected relief of Bok-Base
- having completed the a 2˝ hour assigned area task
in 5 hours 8 minutes, but still enough to give me a
massive 911 points for the day. Only ten 18m pilots
got back. Attie slipped to eighth position overall,
but I held on to fourth position.
Contest Day 3: Day 3 was another 2˝ hour
assigned area speed task, with the first area a
circle west of Szeged and the second and third areas
east of Szeged.
A cold front was approaching from the west, and
Iain’s weather forecast predicted that the cloud
base would lower in the first sector, especially
around the Danube. We discussed tactics with Iain
and John, and planned to only clip the first sector
to minimise the time in the poorer weather, then try
and maximise the distance in the second sector. We
also wanted to start early, both to avoid the
frontal weather and to escape the gaggle.
Although the JS1 trio planned an early start, we did
not coordinate it well. John was much lower at the
start, unable to connect to cloud base, he elected
to go back and restart.
Attie and I just clipped the first sector, exactly
as planned, and gliding slowly out of the sector
eventually found the first weak climb at 550m. The
sticky patch between the first two sectors only
produced maximum lift of 1m/s up to 1000m. The
weather in the second sector progressively improved,
with the cloud base lifting to 1600m and 1.5m/s
climbs. Towards the last sector I found climbs of
averaging 2.5-2.8m/s, progressively reeling in and
passing a gaggle ahead.
However Attie struggled to climb and complained that
the aileron hold-off in the turns was excessive.
This misery was only solved a couple of days later,
costing Attie valuable points. A main water valve
not closing completely after partial dumping
resulted in Attie losing all the water in the right
tank. Adjusting the valve miraculously solved
Attie’s sudden inability to climb to the left!
With the overcast conditions moving in, John
struggled to get to start height and subsequently
struggled up to the second sector in the
I finished fourth for the day, moving up to the
overall third position, while Attie hung on to his
Contest Day 4: Day 4 conditions would
normally not be regarded by glider pilots as fun!
The passing cold front resulted in stable blue
conditions. A task was set to the west, crossing the
Danube. The second leg ran north over the river
valley before heading back east.
The JS1 trio started half an hour after the gate
opened. The conditions initially were average with
climbs between 1m/s and 1.4m/s up to 1500m. The
climbs deteriorated near the Danube river valley to
less than 1m/s and the top of climbs lowered to
Except for a couple of early starters who managed
the furthest distance, the rest of the 18m Class
gaggled up and battled for survival. It was clear
that a finish was not on the cards and all the
pilots seemed to progress nervously ahead, using
climbs weaker than a ˝m/s! It was torrid stuff.
I managed to find a climb of 1m/s taking me 300m
above everyone else, but made the mistake of flying
off-track towards a gaggle ahead, just to find no
Attie landed out in a field near Szentes, next to
one of the Tisza tributaries, where he received a
warm welcome from a million mosquitoes and an
extremely friendly farmer and son. After a struggle
of 5˝ hours I landed 15km further on in a field with
Wolfgang Janowitsch and Walbrou Killian from France.
While waiting for the JS1 double trailer, the three
of us enjoyed a beer in Lapistó, a small town with
four houses and a pub. The JS retrieve crew had some
challenges to reach Attie, as the river crossing
required a ferry – which was too small for a trailer
and car! The double trailer only arrived back in
Szeged after midnight, where hungry crews and pilots
enjoyed food at the well-known 24-hour burger shop.
Uys remained in third position overall, 150 points
off the leader and Attie’s eighth position was also
Contest Day 5: Crews and pilots woke up on
Day 5, still very tired. Ronald and AP, the JS
technical support and crew members, prohibited the
pilots from getting up early to help with the
rigging. When Attie and I eventually arrived for
briefing, both gliders were rigged, ballasted and
ready to be towed out. This really allowed us to
rest enough for another challenging contest day
The task set was a three hour assigned area task
with four sectors and a control point.
The JS1 trio planned once again a co-ordinated
start, but with the only clouds well to the west of
the start line, it was difficult for us to be at the
ideal start height simultaneously. Each time one
pilot fell slightly below, he had to fly back west
to gain height again. Attie and I started with John
not being ready. The first climb at 1.7m/s was found
in the first sector. With no more clouds ahead in
this sector, everyone turned towards the second
sector. Only 1m/s climbs were found and the gaggle
John, in the meantime, started ten minutes later,
just clipped the first sector and had good climbs
going to the second sector. Drawing on all his
skills, he caught up and then pulled away. Even as
he fed weather information from ahead, he gradually
gained more and more over the rest of the 18m Class,
who were not able to connect with the good climbs.
Attie and I got split up towards the third sector. I
finally found myself alone in the third sector, with
Attie further to the east in a small gaggle. I
connected a 2.3m/s thermal out of the blue in the
blue – the best climb of the day - taking me to
1700m and giving a good run into the sector.
On the way back Attie and I met up again, had a good
run, but finally struggled in a 0.6m/s thermal to
gain the last few hundred metres required to finish
John won the day with his superlative performance –
the first day win for a JS1 Revelation in a World
Championships - and jumped up to twentieth overall.
Uys was still firmly in third position, while Attie
moved up one position to seventh place.
Contest Day 6: A 330 km speed task. The
weather looked good and the JS1 trio discussed start
synchronization to avoid reoccurrence of previous
mistakes. Once airborne, we decided on an early
start – to avoid gaggle traffic and the possibility
of an early weather cut-off near Szeged, as seen on
The start went smoothly, almost half an hour before
the large gaggle. Our gaggle was a lean, fast
gaggle, only consisting of three JS1s. By this stage
we had honed our team flying skills, sharing
information and decisions and felt we were ‘in the
Climbs consistently exceeded 1.5m/s with maximum
climbs of 2.3m/s towards the end of the flight.
However there were lots of bugs, and John’s arm
became tired of all the winding. Attie and I had
electrical winders installed and wiped after every
thermal. John was just too tired to wipe before
final glide and as a result, finished a minute after
The JS1 pilots were chuffed with their performance
and finished second, third and fourth for the day.
Only Wolfgang Janowitsch prevented us from taking a
1-2-3 finish; he started much later with improved
conditions all over the task.
This performance moved John into fifteenth position
overall and Attie to fifth. Uys was in a solid third
position, well clear of the fourth place and within
striking distance of the leaders. Everything to
gain, nothing to lose.
Contest Day 7: After another rain-out day,
Day 7 arrived – a 289km racing task.
The JS1 trio raced to the first turn point, with
some climbs exceeding 2m/s. Towards the second turn,
the cloud base started dropping annoyingly, and it
seemed that the sun was blocked out by high level
cloud over the rest of the task.
Coming closer to the second turn, we slowed down,
desperately trying to get to cloud base, before
setting off into the bleak weather towards the next
turn. We decided to track back into the approaching
gaggle to get a much-needed climb and as a result,
got stuck in the middle of the big gaggle.
Progress towards the next turn was extremely slow
and we once got as low as 350m before finding lift.
Bok-Base reported that Karol Staryszak (the contest
leader) seemed to have landed out as his Yellow
Brick track had stopped – and then when his crew
left with the trailer we knew that the leader of the
18m Class had landed out early and I could get into
second place overall, possibly even first if Karol’s
Polish team mate (in second overall) also landed out
early. Back in Bok-Base, Iain was making frantic
calculations to predict how far I needed to go to
overtake Karol overall, and the tension at Szeged
We carefully continued, while the climb rates
dropped from 1m/s to less than 0.5m/s and the top of
lift dropping from 1000m to 600m. An outlanding was
inevitable after climbing only 0.1m/s at 18h00, just
500m above ground. I covered 22km with my last
precious 500m to land just past the fourth waypoint,
Makó not far from Szeged.
Uys finished fourth for the day and moved up to
second place overall as Karol Staryszak dropped from
first to third place. Attie remained in fifth
overall and John remained in fifteenth position.
Final Day: The final day arrived with severe
risks of overdevelopment and storms. Tasks were set
for all classes, but by 11h00, all tasks were
cancelled. I finished the 31st World Gliding
Championships in second place, eighty points behind
the winner, while Attie finished in fifth position,
a mere thirty-nine points behind the third place.
The winner, Zbigniew Nieradka from Poland, later
emotionally explained to Uys that he and his team
partner, Karol Staryszak, struggled for a long time
very, very low on the third leg. Karol was only a
few metres lower and unfortunately did not manage to
stay airborne. At this competitive level small
differences such as a few metres can have a dramatic
effect, and Zibi managed to climb away to secure
The JS Team was ecstatic with the performance. (Uys
was grinning like the Cheshire Cat for days!) Of the
six JS1 Revelations entered in the contest, we
achieved one podium position, and four in the top
ten. Nothing had gone wrong and apart from replacing
Russell’s lost bug wiper, all the spares carefully
transported from South Africa proved unnecessary.
And the pilots, crews and backup team all had a
Upon reflection, there were a few aspects that
really transformed our performance:
had absolute confidence in our gliders, knowing
they had the latest performance enhancements
such as the extractor and with competition
tuning in all the minor details such as Mylar sealing. This was only
reinforced by the first day’s results which
demonstrated resoundingly that the JS1 is an awesome
had a fantastic crew who allowed us to
concentrate on the flying and they took care of
all the distractions of rigging, grid positions,
and the other nausea.
were backed up with technical support taking
care of diverting issues with any of the six
were shielded from any involvement with JS back
home in Potchefstroom, with no work-related stresses. In
fact we only felt encouragement from the team back
started the contest feeling well prepared, in
practice and without any burden from unresolved
There was actually little pressure on us to do
well, as we were the lowest ranked pilots flying
JS1’s in the contest and expectations were not
During the whole contest we were ready for fun
and determined to enjoy ourselves.
Team flying with John Coutts was invaluable, not
only drawing on his superlative skills but also
giving us the confidence that we really are top
class pilots, able to compete with the best.
Staying so far away from the airfield meant we
got clear of the oppressive intensity of talking
about gliding 24/7. And having a spa for
post-flight relaxation was really beneficial.
Even now, we remain delighted and proud with our
performance in Hungary. We exceeded our expectations
and are looking forward to the next Worlds in the