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New Zealand is sending six pilots, two in each class, to WGC 2017 Benalla. Team Captain Julian Elder said, “It’s great to be bringing a full team to Benalla for the Worlds – a first for NZ in a long time”

New Zealand is Australia’s closest gliding neighbour and the NZ team are no strangers to Australian conditions, having in flown in many competitions here over the years.

Coutts copy

John Coutts

15m class will be flown by Alan Belworthy and Steve Wallace. Alan has a current IGC Ranking of 706 up 69 places on last season. His home club is Tauranga, south of Auckland on the coast of New Zealand’s North Island. You can get an idea of conditions at this coastal site here. Taunanga Gliding

An airline pilot by profession, 54-year-old Alan’s best result to date was 3rd place in 15m at the 2015 Queensland State Championships at Kingaroy. He flew in the Pre-Worlds (Australian Multi-class Championships) at Benalla in January where he finished 11th in 18m.

Steve also flew at Benalla in January. His best performance was 6th place in the 2015 Australian Sportsclass Nationals at Lake Keepit. He flew at the Leszno Worlds 2014 in 15m class.  His home club is Aviation Sports Whenuapai, Auckland.

Alan Belworthy copy

Alan Belworthy

Steve Wallace

 

18m Class will be flown by John Coutts and Tim Bromhead. John has the highest IGC Ranking of any entrant so far, holding his position from last season at No. 4. We keenly wait to receive entries for WGC2017 from the few pilots ranked above him.

At only 40 years old, John has a highly impressive gliding career behind him already. He has been flying WGCs on the NZ team since Bayreuth in 1999 where he finished 2nd in Standard Class. Since then he has flown numerous World, European and South African championships and the FAI Sailplane Grand Prix Final at Sisteron 2014. At WGC Leszno 2014 he again finished in 2nd place, this time in 18m Class.

Tim’s best performance to date was at the 2013 Australian Multi-class Nationals at Benalla and he also flew at Benalla in January. his home club isPiako Gliding Club inland from Tauranga on the North Island.

Tim Bromhead copy

Tim Bromhead

The Open Class team members will be Brett Hunter and Mark Tingey. Brett also flies from Taruanga. He represented NZ at Leszno in 18m Class in 2014. He has flown in several Australian national championships including Benalla in January. His highest place so far was 6th place in the 2015 Queensland State Championships in Open Class.

We will bring you more soon about Mark Tingey and the New Zealand Team for WGC2017 Benalla.

We will bring you more soon about Mark Tingey and the New Zealand Team for WGC2017 Benalla.

Keep looking  here wgc2017.com and facebook.com/WGCBenalla for updates.