Report on the preparations
of the WGC97

16 June 97 : The Official Programme of the WGC'97 has been issued : you will find in it complete profiles of pilots and team managers of each national team, list of all past World Champions in the 24 first WGC since 1937, programme of 29 June airshow, acknowledgments to WGC Partners, Official Sponsors and other supports, etc.

25th Congress of OSTIV (Organisation Scientifique et Technique Internationale du Vol à Voile) will take place at Saint-Auban from 3 to 11 July ; everyone is welcome to hear latest developments in soaring research . A list of all papers in Technology session (aerodynamics, Flight Mechanics & Performance, Design & development, Structures, Motorgliders, Flight testing, Training an Safety...) as well as Meteorology session (Convection, Waves and rotors, Climatology, Forecasting...) is included here.

Unfortunately, we have received withdrawals of Polish Tomasz Rubaj and Czech Jiri Stepanek. At last we should have 92 pilots from 24 countries, with 40 gliders in standard class, 34 in 15 meters class and 18 in open class.

4-June-97 : Some late class changes have been accepted at the beginning of June (team captains and Jury members have been officially advised )

Entertainement on the field will comprise :

  • on Sunday, June 29th, opening ceremony, a major airshow with sky divers, kites and models flights, powered and glider aerobatics, ultra-lights, hot air balloons, ... and of course gliders.
  • of course, US official party on the 4th of July !
  • on Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th of July, glider aerobatics (European Masters final round), joy rides and a dance night
  • prizegiving ceremony on Sunday, July 13th
  • Some errors have been found again on the list of turn points or landing sites : please consult errata

    Transmission of results via SSA server has been tested with Günther Eichhorn ; you will find on the US side of the 'pond' the main results almost as quickly as if you were in Saint-Auban (every few minutes during arrivals). Günther will also post main results on rec.aviation.soaring newsgroup and on SSA e-mail exploder (as I will do to Cicadas' e-song subscribers)

    Each day the best flights of each class will be displayed on a map background to see through what mountain pass the winners of the task have flown...

    Many of you have asked me whether they could download GPS flight files ; unfortunately under IGC rules the data are to remain confidential thus it will not be possible (perhaps will it be allowed to publish flights - at least those of of willing pilots - after the end of championships)

    Bulletin 5 (the last one) have been sent out on May 13th, with list of final entries (classes are now frozen), a map to find Saint-Auban (beware, as said on r.a.s. there are many Saint-Auban in Provence....), the list of frequencies and mobile phones numbers allocated to each national team, oxygen filling procedures, last minute accomodation available, and so on.

    At beginning of May there was about 300 subscribers to Cicadas' e-song mailing list and the WGC website had been accessed 3000 times since its opening at end of January (with an ever growing number of visitors : 300 each week).

    New-Zealand, Sweden and South-Africa will provide WGC server with specific news from their teams ; ask your country's team manager to contact me if you want also your team special news !

    Modems will be available for rent with subscription to a local provider for 200 FF (without modem : on request) : ask WGC office.

    Bulletin 4 has been sent out mid-April with list of airfields and off-field landing sites, floppy with all coordinates for turn points, airfields and landing sites, in most of the known formats suitable for GPS flight recorders or flight computers, FAI Doping Policy and list of prohibited substances, and Airspace Rules.

    We have now 96 entrants from 25 countries. Since we had several no-shows, late entries are accepted until 29 April (but still 8 pilots per country).

    Everything possible has been done, as far as airspace is concerned, to ensure the smooth running of the Championships : due to arrangements with the Airspace Authorities, no clearance will be required for flights in the contest zone from ground level to FL 195 during the official training and the contest period.

    Catering arrangements have been made to provide simple food and drink, reasonably priced (an improvement to Lavender's - HTML Ed. Note) in the airfield restaurant in hangar Aniel, where results will be on display ; entertainment also is planned every night of the contest in the "Vol de Nuit" (night flight) corner of the restaurant hangar with National Parties organized by every volunteer team !

    "Cicadas' e-song" : first issue of our e-mail bulletin has been sent to our subscribers and will keep bringing them latest news of the preparation until end of June, then messages twice daily with tasks setting and main results will be issued during practice and competition period. Subscribe now if you haven't yet !

    "Mistral Whispers" will be the name of the daily bulletin edited by Janet Hider-Smith, who already was responsible for "Groundloop" at the last European Championships in Finland and is also currently editor of the European Gliding News. You'll find also an electronic version of ths daily bulletin on the Web.

    Flight recorders update : IGC announced approval of Print Technik GR1000 GNSS FR on March 20 ; on deadline March 31, the following flight recorders have been approved by IGC and therefore will be allowed at St-Auban, under Local Rule 21.2.1 :

  • Cambridge Model 10
  • Cambridge Model 20
  • Cambridge Model 25
  • Peschges VP8
  • Filser LX 20
  • Zander GP 940
  • Print Technik GR 1000

  • A major step forward has been achieved Saturday 15 March 1997 at Brussels with IGC delegates meeting (see minutes).

    Roland Stuck , Chairman of the Organisation Comitee, reported he and his team were working hard to solve all the practical problems, were doing their best to organise a fair and safe competition and to make the 25 th World Gliding Championships, for which 95 pilots from 26 countries submitted final entries, a memorable experience for all participants and their crew. He explained to the delegates why Jacky "Kiki" Clairbaux resigned at the beginning of this year and why the Comitee had to appoint new Championship Director Michel Fache .

    The scoring system has been improved since Lavender Glide and rigorous procedures have been set up to ensure a fast and reliable scoring. The system is currently being tested thoroughly through Lavender's data and real competitions.

    Monofrequency had been talked about for a while (although no formal proposal had been made) as a mean to provide higher safety levels, despite the fact that using a single frequency would cause safety problems by itself, and perhaps more than it would have solved ; but such a major change could not be imposed 3 months before the beginning of the Championships without prior experimentation.

    On safety matters, Organizers' proposals to extend the start zone to 6 km, to allow GNSS outlandings, to count only distance flown before finish line closing time (therefore well before sunset) and to impose bright color sticker markings on each competing sailplane were approved.

    Fairness of the competition have been another major concern and organizers reported that on competition days meteorological observations performed on each airfield in the contest area would be continuously displayed during the task to give each team access to the same complete weather information.

    Following request by IGC officials, distance tasks had been introduced, the rules of which being adapted to safety factors in mountain environment from initial EGC '96 ones, and barographs will have to be calibrated (including those of flight recorders)

    Finally the Official Rules for the 25th World Gliding Championships were approved by the plenary.

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    Visit Philippe de Péchy's "Vol à Voile" (Soaring) server : infos, ad's, glider pictures, GPS turnpoints coordinates, competitions results and an unofficial ranking of all glider pilots in the world.

    Other sites of soaring interest :
  • World Gliding Championships 1997, Saint-Auban, France (championnats du monde de vol à voile)
  • L'aéro-club du Bas-Armagnac, Nogaro (Gers, France) Aeroclub of Bas-Armagnac
  • Classement Vuillemot - French Soaring Pilots Permanent Ranking
  • Classement International - Results and Ranking
  • Fédération française de vol à voile - French Soaring Association
  • Les cumulus vus par satellite (Université de Strasbourg) - See cumuluses via satellite
  • NOAA visible

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    Certification d'audience E-Stat Web page by Denis Flament (from Nogaro aeroclub)
    consulted times since 17-mar-97
    updated : 4-jun-97