MAAA Wingspan - Quarterly Magazine

20 WING SPAN FEBRUARY SOARING SKY HIGH FOR WORLD MASTERS TRAVEL STORY: GPS TRIANGLE WORLD MASTERS A race against the clock, testing the most experienced pilots’ speed, precision and agility, attracted competitors fromacross the globe as they soared sky high for the 2017 GPS Triangle 4th World Masters- held in Gruibingen, Germany. This internationally renowned event was first organised eight years ago, providing a thrilling and challenging competition for pilots who use various types of scale gliders. Themain objective of GPS Triangle Racing is to fly a scale glider around a virtual triangle as often as possible within a 30-minute window. In order to accurately and fairly judge the event and obtain comparable results, themaximum starting altitude (usually 500m) and the maximum starting speed (usually 120km/h) when crossing the finish line, are equal for all competing pilots. The equipment required to compete in this exciting event is an airborne set of a logger and transmitter that records the aspects of the flight and a compensated vario. A ground-based receiver is also used to give the pilot all the necessary information (a visual map and audio positioning, including height and distance from the course) required for racing. This also logs the flight information and creates a scoring code. This unique code allows the competitor to upload the flight to an online competition web page. These flights are collated eachmonth for an eventual winner at the end of each year. Australian GPS Triangle Racing pilot, John Copeland is a skilled professional when it comes to this type of racing, competing online for four years, as well as winning the online competition in 2016 with 17 laps. After winning in the virtual world, John decided to spread his wings and try his luck face-to-face against some of the world’s best scale pilots at the World Masters in Germany last year. But for this feat to happen, he had to get a 7m sailplane to Europe- all in one piece. The only way he thought he could do this reliably was to build his own model, that broke down into an easily cartable size. After about a year of hard work, the ASH 31GPS was born. Excited for the thrills and camaraderie that goes with flying at the World Masters, it wasn’t long before John hit a bit of turbulence as he acclimatised to his new surroundings.