This year’s edition of the Belgian Gliding Championship took place from 23 to 30 May at the National Gliding Centre (CNVV) http://cnvv.be. The weather was not very cooperative and after an entry event on Sunday 23 May, the competitors had to wait until Friday 28 to take to the air again. In total three tasks were completed, which allowed the championship to be validated.
For this edition, a total of 39 machines were competing in the three classes (Club, Combined tandard 15M & 20M and Combined 18M & 20M & Open). This year’s event was of course influenced by the COVID-19 epidemic as Michel, in charge of the CNVV, explains: « The COVID conditions had a big influence on this event. First of all, there were self-tests, no more gatherings, everything was done in the open air with video-conference briefings, … the only authorized gatherings are those like today around a glider with the mask, before the departure of the flights with a limited number of people. We have also carried out a risk study as requested by the authorities. All of this was done in order to obtain the agreement of the local authorities to carry out this activity. In reality, we are subject to two protocols: the first is the protocol for aerial activities, which is managed by the DGTA (General Directorate of Air Transport), and the second is the protocol for sports activities, which depends on the Minister of Sports Valérie Glatigny of the Wallonia/Brussels Federation. We put them next to each other to look at all the constraints and see how to organise a championship. Finally, the project was submitted to the communal authorities, who made their analysis. There were quite a few discussions. As this championship is also a qualifying event for the European and World Championships, it is considered a professional type championship, which is authorised. This was not the case last year. This championship is very important for the riders because it gives them the possibility to get back in control of their riding.
On 8 May we had some flexibility which made it possible to envisage this event. We had already prepared the files, which were submitted to the municipality fairly quickly and around 14-15 May we received the agreement. Fortunately, the preparations (including the airspace applications) had already begun a year in advance. We had put the pilots on notice while waiting for the final go. Now everyone here was delighted at the start of the event. We had created the conditions for this championship to take place. Moreover, this competition takes place in the open air on an area of 85 hectares and this gives us certain guarantees that it can take place in good conditions. The conditions for accommodation and catering are also special. The prize-giving ceremony on Sunday will be held outdoors with COVID measurements. Everything has been formatted according to the measurements ».
Gliding has been a passion for some for a very long time. It gives a feeling of freedom and challenge to the fine and sharp piloting. CNVV Chief Pilot Manu tells us: « I have been working here for 33 years and I have also done various national and international competitions. My job is to instruct and train tug pilots and glider instructors. I also organise everything that happens at the CNVV. My hobby is mainly competition. I have been selected for more than 10 World Championships and I have been everywhere, for example in Texas and Australia. It was fantastic.
As for today’s event (Friday), we’re going for a 350km run. And we hope that it will be OK with the weather conditions. It’s the second race of the championship and we need three of them to be valid ».
Manu will finish third that day after a few hours of flying.
There is no doubt that this 2021 edition will have left its mark on people’s minds given the conditions due to the pandemic, but it will have been held without a hitch and in a very good atmosphere.
Class OPEN :
Name Club Glider Total
1 Thomas De Bruyn BZC LS4 2062
2 Frédéric de Groote BZC Std.Libelle 2052
3 Jelle Vandebeeck BZC ASW 24 1935
4 Stouffs Patrick ACRA Janus C RG 1885
5 Robin Selfslagh ACRA LS 1 1675
6 Benoit Evrard CNVV LS4 1640
7 Henri Philippe ACRA LS4 WL 1545
8 Edwige Colson CNVV ASW 24 1387
9 Peter Bertels BZC Std Libelle 1379
10 Bernard Botman VZP LS4 1025
11 Pieter Lievens VZP LS1 1005
Class Combined Standard, 15 M & 20M :
Name Club Glider Total
1 Dennis Huybreckx KACK LS8 2155
2 Jeroen Jennen KACK LS8 2154
3 Daan Spruyt VZP Ventus 2 ax 2013
4 Tim Huybreckx KACK Discus 2bt 1850
5 Pieter Daems KACK Discus 2bt 1770
6 André-Emmanuel Litt CNVV Ventus 3T 1770
7 Robbie Seton KACK LS8 1730
8 Nick Fremau BZC LS8 1702
9 Geert De Palmenaer VZP Ventus 1C 1166
10 Nick Redant Lille Planeur DG400 1108
11 Maxim Alexandre ACRA LS8 1075
Class Combined 18M, 20M & Open :
Name Club Glider Total
1 Jean-Luc Colson ACRA ASG 29 2195
2 Geert Van Duyse EZAC ASH 26 2017
3 François Delfosse ACUL JS 3 Jet 1989
4 Tijl Schmelzer KACK Ventus 3T 1987
5 Christiaan Bielen KACK Arcus T 1971
6 Pierre de Broqueville RACK Binder Eb29 1919
7 Thomas Leduc ACRA Lak17 1846
8 Vladimir Foltin Nitra Js3 Jet 1838
9 Bert Schmelzer KACK Ventus 3T 1831
10 Billuart & Patureau ACRA ASH 25Mi 1817
11 Billuart & Patureau ACRA Arcus 2T 1753
12 Wim Akkermans KACK ASG 29 1737
13 Hanssens & Fassin ACRA ASG 32 Mi 1632
14 Jean-Louis Cornez AVRA ASG 29 1608
15 Bert sr. Schmelzer KACK Ventus 2cxT 1473
16 Antoine Keller CNVV Arcus T 1212
17 RENARD & DE CONINCK ACRA ASG 32Mi 606