CULDROSE PILOT SOARS TO SUCCESS AT NATIONAL GLIDING COMPETITION
A glider pilot currently serving at Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose has beaten his rivals to become the British Gliding Association National Club Class Champion.
Lieutenant Will Ellis, who is the Royal Navy's top glider pilot, dominated the field throughout the British Gliding Championships, this year held at Bicester Airfield in Oxfordshire.
So outstanding was Will's performance that he completely dominated the whole of the competition held over nine gruelling days. His achievements amounted to winning three of the six days flown and finished in the top five on the other three flying days.
In a competition where the top 20 out of 43 was dominated by the current British Gliding team, previous National and International competition winners and most of the British Gliding team coaches, the young Royal Navy pilot's success is even more remarkable. Will has established himself capable against the very best and has gained an enormous respect and proved a very popular winner.
"Will really dominated the competition, both airborne and on the ground at the daily briefings," said Capt Paul Jessop RN, a senior member of the Royal Navy Gliding and Soaring Association (RNGSA) who also competed but finished a more gentlemanly 30th. "This was no fluke, Will has previously represented Britain at junior level and I fully expect, based on this performance that he will be asked into the Senior British Team for next season."
Will was extremely pleased with his performance over the competition. "I managed to get a great start on day one and clocked up a good speed. This continued onto the third day and the fourth. Getting an edge over the opposition was key and I eventually scored 5,067 points overall, beating second place by 250 which in gliding is a substantial margin.
“It’s a culmination of over a decade of hard work, learning a complex three-dimensional sport and a reward for the effort put in. I’m now really looking forward, if invited, to represent Great Britain at World level, where GB is top 3 of the gliding nations.”
Along with two other members of the Royal Navy Gliding Team, Warrant Officer Andy Farr and Lieutenant Commander Chris Bryning, they are all set to participate in the Inter-service competition, taking place at Bicester Gliding Airfield. "The Navy team has won the Inter Service competition for the last two years with Will as a key member. Unfortunately this year we couldn’t make it a hat trick, the RAF prevailed but we ran them a close second.”
Lt Will Ellis flew another storming competition (noting that this was a high quality regional level competition, not just service pilots): He won the ‘Sport Class’ outright - 4650 points and with a significant point’s margin over
second. Will was also day winner on four out of the six days that were flown in the ‘Sport Class’, often reaching speeds at over 100Km/hour.