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Local pilot wins Junior Nationals

Local boy Jake Brattle won the Junior Nationals gliding contest at Bristol and Gloucestershire Gliding Club. He scored 3,518 points to beat Tom Arscott (Lasham) with 3,403 and Finn Sleigh (Cambridge) with 3,112.

Flying a DG101G Elan 3caxj, Jake, from Bristol, was in the first three on most of the eight days of the contest.

He had returned earlier in the month from coming fifth in the World Junior championships in Lithuania,  and was among 55 competitors from all over Britain in the Junior Nationals. The pilots were all under 26 and were set tasks that took them over much of southern Britain. 

The small 100-acre Bristol club coped with the 55 competitors and several two-seater gliders which were being used to train younger pilots to take part in a future event.

In a year where the weather has not co-operated with the competittion calendar, the Junior Nationals team worked hard to get some competitive gliding out of the available weather.  Days 1 and 2 yielded a couple of challenging short tasks, with around half the field finishing each day and a number of landouts. 

Days 3-5 saw competitors sitting out the day on the airfield or getting in a bit of local soaring. Day 6 yielded another challenging short task with only eight finishers. Day 7 (Friday) at last gave a racing task of over 180km with the winners exceeding 90kph.

Saturday saw Jake slip to third but on Sunday he won to clinch his victory during a 196.21km flight. He was presented with the champion’s trophy by former World gliding champion and Bristol club member Andy Davis.


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