The Vintage & Classic Glider Club of New Zealand Inc

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Vintage Kiwi National Rally Taupo 2014

Taupo was the site of the VK first National Rally. Once again there was a very good turn out of aircraft with members staying for the full seven days. Gliders represented were a number of KA6’s, Standard Libelles, one Open H301 Libelle, a BG12/16, a Slingsby Dart 15 meter, and a Slingsby Dart 17R a SH Discus, and of cause a Schleicher KA8. Next year there has been a promise of yet another KA8 attending and a Silent, self-launcher. Several more members arrived later in the week to check out the action.

    We flew four days out of the seven. The thermal conditions however were at times ‘ trying.’ Although cloud base was at a good height, the thermals did not always develop well enough to give an easy and consistent climb. However we all perservered and were rewarded with some good flights. This year it was decided to have some turn points set up so our aircraft could ‘ stretch their legs a little‘ as the days allowed. The ‘team’ certainly gave them all a good ‘going over’ during the flying week. Such was the appetite that two more turn points were added later in the week, which took us over some of the ‘ Bigger Country’ about Taupo. Every morning we would hold a briefing fronted by the Taupo C.F.I Bill Kendall or their Club Manager Tom Anderson, and also listen attentively to Malcolm Wright, our ‘ in house ‘ and highly technical weatherman, who would give us a wonderful presentation of what to expect. Considering that he only got fired twice, but got reinstated three times indicated his performance was in the plus category most of the time. Well-done Malcolm

    On the Monday morning after briefing a Foker DV11 and a Foker Triplane full size replica’s arrived on route from the Tauranga Air show for refueling before departing on their long journey south to Masterton, their home base. What fabulous aircraft they were. Authentic in every detail except for their self-starting motors. After a refueling and group photograph they were on their way. Fabulous.

    Last year everyone enjoyed the mid week Lake Taupo cruises, so this year, Tom Anderson once again organized another lake cruise. High light of the evening cruise was the playing of a ‘ Pocket Trumpet by Kevin Clark [Open Libelle OS]. The melodies were such that it ‘dragged ‘ in some other boats that were also out on the lake so as to enjoy the music on the water. It really was a great night.

The camp evenings were filled with either impromptu safety presentations, classic archived gliding films from the 1950’s – 1970’s or just good old gliding gossip.

Taupo can be a windy place during the night at times with both the lake breezes and the land cooling down. But with winds surprisingly gusting to 30knots had a number out late one evening and once again in the early hours checking and re securing as required our pride and joys. No damage – all good but a number of rather tired pilots arrived at briefing the following morning I have to say. Two tents got ‘ bowled’ by the winds.

    V.K member Greg Douglas [Slingsby Dart 17R] enjoyed a very happy belated birthday dinner out at a Taupo Restaurant with most of the camp attending. Why cook, when it can be cooked for you seemed to be the thought, and, to also give Greg a birthday to remember. I believe we were the last people to leave the premises that night.

    Our Club host organized a BBQ dinner on the last night, followed by a mini karaoke session, but the highlight of the night had to be an impromptu jazz session, not by the Dave Clark Five, but by the Kevin Clark One. Playing the piano with one hand and playing his Pocket Trumpet with the other, he gave a spectacular display of Jazz / Blues duets to finish what was a another great night but also another very successful Vintage Kiwi Rally at Taupo. Our thanks to our host club, The Taupo Gliding Club for allowing us once again to hold our V.K rally on their patch. They have proved again to be good friends and great hosts to this organization.


Roger Brown VK Chairman


Ka 6CR with Lee Middleton

Dart 15 with Mike Smith

Ka 6CR with Bright Colours

Rally  Photos