Series 12 FAI Sailplane Grand Prix qualifying contests, dates Announced
The venues and dates for the 12th series of FAI Sailplane Grand Prix (SGP) national contests have been announced. The national contests are qualifying events for the 12th Sailplane Grand Prix final which will be held at St Auban in France 24 to 30 August 2025.
The top pilots from each event will qualify to fly in the final contest with the victor being declared World SGP Champion.
SGP is the most exciting and widely followed sailplane racing event in the world. The first FAI World Sailplane Grand Prix was held in 2005. Since then 11 series of SGP series have been held and 11 World Championships declared. The reigning World SGP Champion Stefan Langer will be looking to defend his title from many of the best pilots in the world at SGP Final.
FAI/SGP 12th Series Final
St Auban in the 18m Class from 24 - 30 August 2025.
FAI Sailplane Grand Prix Qualifying Events
Spain Venue – Santa Cilia 15m Class 5 to 11 May 2024
Santa Cilia is a dedicated gliding airfield located on the south side of the Pyrenees north of Huesca. Races will take place in an impressive flight area with dynamic thermal and wave conditions on the sunny side of the Pyrenees. Santa Cilia boasts excellent and consistent soaring conditions in a very beautiful location with very few airspace limitations. Come discover the Pyrenees! (Powered By Nature@Pyrenees)
Norway Venue – Starmoen 18m Class 19 to 25 May 2024
Starmoen is the location for the Norwegian national gliding centre and was the site of the very successful WGC 2004 in Club Class. Each year, the centre organises one or two national cups in the GP format.
To the south of Starmoen, the race area is rolling flatland with great outlanding options. The terrain is more mountainous to the north and north west with spectacular views and mountains of over 2,000m. Tasks normally follow the two long south-north valleys, which also have good outlanding possibilities. The area makes safe, easy flying possible.
Germany Venue – Aalen-Elchingen 15m/std mixed classes 26 May to 2 June 2024
Aalen-Elchingen is one of the best competition sites in Southern Germany with very good thermal conditions, as evidenced in the WeGlide sections titled ‘Franconian Jura’ and ‘Linsen with Spaetzle’. All the super flights during the Juniors Nationals can be seen on soaringspot.com. It features a highly motivated and experienced team of young and older competition pilots and an outstanding infrastructure looking after all airport and camping facilities.
Italy Venue – Varese 18m Class 16 to 22 June 2024
Calcinate is a well known airfield and region to many grand prix pilots, having hosted several great SGP contests including an SGP final. The scenery and flying conditions of the pre Alps region in Northern Italy make it a great destination for racing pilots. The organiser for the Italian SGP will be Aero Club Adele Orsi (A.C.A.O.) operating out of Calcinate del Pesce Airport (LILC)
Slovenia Venue – Lesce 18m Class 29 June to 6 July 2024
Lesce airfield is located on the sunny side of the Alps in north-western Slovenia. It is surrounded by mountains, which makes it a perfect place for alpine soaring and for hosting gliding contests. A pleasant airfield vibe, friendly local gliding community and well developed infrastructure are its strongest advantages for organising a Sailplane Grand Prix.
If you are a pilot who enjoys flying in mountainous terrain and would like to experience the friendly atmosphere at Lesce- Bled airfield during the SGP qualifiers next year, be kindly invited.
France Venue - Saint-Sulpice 18m Class 21 to 28 July 2024
Saint-Sulpice near Rennes will host the French Qualifying Grand Prix for the fifth time since 2013. The 2024 edition will take place during the season with the best weather. The competitors will enjoy flying over the flatland of Brittany with remarkable convergence lines, allowing the pilots to enjoy racing near the Atlantic Ocean!
Australia Venue - Gawler 18/15m mixed classes 5 to 11 January 2025
Adelaide Soaring Club at Gawler sits at the southern end of the Barossa wine region and has ample accommodation in the town of Gawler and local area. A large caravan park in Gawler has air-conditioned units available to hire, and accommodation and onsite camping are also available at the Gawler airfield.
Tasking will be predominantly over flat farming country with low hills to 2,800ft in the northern task area. The task area covers the Barossa Valley and extends north from there, as well as east over the Murray River to Waikerie. The area mainly supports winter crops with grain crops harvested before the competition providing good outlanding options throughout the task area.
The contest period is in the peak thermal soaring season of the year. Variable medium to strong thermal conditions are expected with mixed cumulus and blue days, and heights typically between 4,000 and 14,000ft. We have an experienced team to run the event and look forward to welcoming you to Gawler for a safe and fun week of flying.
Netherlands Venue – Terlet 18m Class 10 to 17 May 2025
Terlet, home of the first ever Junior World Championships in 1999, is situated close to the German border. The organising club, Gelderse Zweefvliegclub, is ranked second in the global OLC with more than 350,000km. The club’s team running this event has plenty of experience, as they also organise the annual Dutch Nationals with over 50 participants.
The airfield, a pure glider location except for the towing aircraft, has excellent meteorological conditions for flights within the Netherlands as well into Germany. It is situated just north of the major city of Arnhem, with lots of restaurants, hotels and museums. The airfield itself also has a nice restaurant with a large terrace for spectators and a well-equipped camping facility, and is surrounded by a large nature reserve.
USA Venue – Estrella Sailport Classes 18 - 24 May 2025
The organisers of the USA FAI/SGP will be AZ Soaring at Estrella Sailport in Arizona, the location of the first Masters of Soaring contest and the great film of the event ‘Running on Empty’. Estrella offers a combination of excellent soaring conditions for flatlands and mountain racing. Located just south of Pheonix, pilots are assured of great weather and exciting racing from Estrella.