A sports class glider during take-off.
A sports class glider during take-off. Madeline Grace

Gliders from across the globe competing above Kingaroy

GLIDING: For the next five days, high above in our South Burnett skies, an array of more than 50 gliders will be competing in the 2019 National Club and Sports Class Championships.

The Kingaroy Soaring Club is hosting the annual competition.

Competition director Greg Schmidt said there were two different competitions.

"The competition for the older airplanes is the club class. They're flying without a water ballast,” he said.

"The sports class are flying with one. So they're a lot heavier and a lot faster. They're a lot more modern planes, too.”

Mr Schmidt said there was a wide range of competitors.

"We've got a competitor from Serbia, about eight from New Zealand, an 18- year-old from Perth, and large group from NSW and Victoria,” he said.

"We also have a good age range with competitors as young as 18 up to some in their 70s.”

The first flight task of the week was on Monday, September 30.

"The Sports Class headed north towards Ban Ban, then they glided down to Kumbia, out on to the Darling Downs, and then just north of Dalby,” Mr Schmidt said.

"The distances for the first Sport Class task added up to approximately 400 kilometres of gliding. They'll probably be doing about 110km/h so it should take most of them a bit under four hours to complete.

"The Club Class is doing about 325 kilometres. Which should take three hours and 10 minutes.

"The Club Class is going via Murgon and then gliding to the Darling Downs that way. Both will of course then make their way back to Kingaroy to land.”

The flight conditions for the first competition task were far from ideal.

"Today's conditions aren't quite as good as yesterday which is a shame,” Mr Schmidt said.

"(Sunday) we had a practice.

"Today we are hoping for thermals up around seven thousand feet.

"Yesterday was better than that. One of them started at 12-and-a-half thousand feet. He had an absolute ball.”

The competition will run in Kingaroy until Sunday, October 6.

Here are some snaps:

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