Glid­ers fly high

Southern Riverina news - - LOCAL CLASSIES -

Two mem­bers of the South­ern Rive­rina Glid­ing Club broke nu­mer­ous Dan­ish records over the past two months.

Bir­gitte Oer­skov from Hern­ing, Den­mark broke three records for two seater glider on De­cem­ber 13 with her hus­band Jor­gen. Those records were:

Long­est out and re­turn flight, un­de­clared, 896km.

Long­est out and re­turn flight, de­clared be­fore start, 884km.

Fastest 750km out and re­turn flight with 115 km/h.

Mrs Oer­skov last month broke a fur­ther eight Dan­ish glid­ing records, this time with fel­low Dane Christina Sol­berg from Aarhus.

On Jan­uary 18, the pair broke the record for fastest 300km tri­an­gle with 92 km/h.

The fol­low­ing day, an­other seven records fell, in­clud­ing:

Long­est out and re­turn flight, un­de­clared, 325km.

Long­est out and re­turn flight, de­clared, 322km.

Long­est dis­tance flight us­ing max. 3 way­points, un­de­clared, 428km.

Long­est dis­tance flight us­ing max. 3 way­points, de­clared, 421km.

Long­est dis­tance flight, straight line, un­de­clared, 166km.

Long­est dis­tance flight, straight line, de­clared, 161km.

Fastest 300km out and re­turn flight with 103km/h, a record pre­vi­ously set by Mrs Oer­skov in 2010.

All record-break­ing flights orig­i­nated from Tocumwal Aero­drome.

Mrs Oer­skov said one of the big­gest chal­lenges was find­ing a co-pi­lot.

‘‘I wanted to break these records so I needed to find a pi­lot, and reached out for some­one on Face­book be­fore com­ing to Aus­tralia,’’ she said.

‘‘Christina and I didn’t meet un­til she ar­rived in Tocumwal; she strug­gled a bit with the heat and jet­lag.

‘‘She only had two year’s ex­pe­ri­ence with glid­ing and didn’t know the tac­tics so I made the de­ci­sions but still did a fan­tas­tic job.’’

The Oer­skovs have been mem­bers of South­ern Rive­rina Glid­ing Club in Tocumwal since 2013 and have been com­ing to the re­gion since 2008 when they were mem­bers of the Aus­tralia Soar­ing Cen­tre in Corowa.

A typ­i­cal day for the cou­ple can start at late morn­ing and land just af­ter sun­set.

Mr Oer­skov said the re­gion’s ‘‘per­fect dry heat’’ is why the cou­ple comes for the Aus­tralian sum­mer ev­ery year.

‘‘It is very hot on the ground but we avoid the rice fields be­cause of the mois- ture so we avoid trav­el­ling near Grif­fith.

‘‘This re­gion has no air space so we can fly freely.

‘‘We av­er­age heights of 3000 to 3500 me­tres and last week went as high as 5000 me­tres.

‘‘Be­cause of the air, we can travel as far as Bro­ken Hill and back in one flight.

‘‘There are some ar­eas you can land and the farmer might in­vite you for din­ner.

‘‘The club here in Tocumwal is fan­tas­tic, the fa­cil­i­ties are great and it at­tracts many in­ter­na­tional glid­ers to the re­gion,’’ Mr Oer­skov said.

Mrs Oer­skov has been glid­ing for 47 years and Mr Oer­skov for 55 years.

South­ern Rive­rina Glid­ing Club pres­i­dent Ingo Ren­ner (mid­dle) with record set­ters Christina Sol­berg (left) and Bir­gitte Oer­skov.

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