The third SGP in Series 10, 2019-2020, has begun with great pilots and amazing terrain for racing at Vitarura on the edges of Santiago de Chile. Located in the country’s central valley just an hour from the Pacific Ocean, Vitacura is surrounded by the Andes, a classic mountain site that once again hosts a qualifying SGP.
The contest began on 18 January followed by a no-fly weather day.
The first race was short but critical. If the pilots made even one mistake, it could cost them valuable places, so the pressure was on from the start. Italian Thomas Gostner won the day. He has vast experience in gliders, which he loves above all, but also in powered planes and jets.
Marius Pluscauskas from Lithuania took 2nd place. Frenchman Giles Navas came 3rd after having so much fun winning the final day at the SGP Finals last year in La Cerdanya. German Jurgen Wenzel came 4th followed by the seven Chilean pilots competing in this qualifying Sailplane Grand Prix.
Race Day 2 was flown on Monday 20 January. Race Director Alfonso Soto explained that the weather meant setting two tasks, A and B, and that the tasks to be flown would be decided in the air. At the end of the race, Jurgen Wenzel came in 1st, saying simply, ‘ I was able to find the right place and the right height on the ridge in wonderful soaring conditions.’
The scoring system is simple. The race start line is opened at a specific time, and whoever finishes first gets 10 points, the next receives 9 points and so on. The overall winner is the pilot who accumulates the most points over the race days.
After two races Thomas Gostner is in the lead on 17 points, with Jurgen Wenzel in 2nd on 15 and Lithuanian pilot Marius Pluscauskas in 3rd with 13 points.
The final race day is Saturday 25 January and lots of action is still to come. Keep watching this spot for updates as the contest unfolds.
Follow the racing asction with live tracking at SGP Chile