South Africa produced an outstanding all-round performance at the 37th FAI World Gliding Championships, held in Szeged, Hungary in August.

The daily grid before launch.

THE WORLD Gliding Championships produced an outstanding standard of flying. Writing from Hungary, Jason Adriaan reports that, “The level of flying here is on another level totally, the smallest mistake drops you down 10 or 20 places, and to make this up is almost impossible, as the other pilots just don’t make mistakes. So hats off to our pilots for keeping up to the pace and doing so well.”

The South African Proteas returned to SA with the following achievements:

  • The Silver medal for Team SA’s overall performance across all three classes
  • 11 individual podium finishes across all three classes over the 11 days of flying
  • Two top 10 finishers, earning a silver medal in the Open Class for Oscar Goudriaan and fifth place in the 18m class for Uys Jonker
  • The Fair Play trophy for Uys and Attie Jonker’s excellent sportsmanship for repairing a competitor’s glider overnight.

And of course – friendship between the world’s best gliding teams!

Thanks to the European heatwave, the weather was excellent with most days giving very good gliding conditions. The Championships was held over 14 days of which 11 days were flown.

‘forecasting was exceptionally accurate’

A big help was that the weather forecasting was exceptionally accurate and the tasks were very well set.

The competition task area was in the south of Hungary, close to the Serbian border, over very flat terrain. A complication was the forbidden airspace, which varied daily, as well as areas with height restrictions.

The gliders built by the South African Jonkers Factory dominated, with half of the Open Class flying JS1C’s (with four in the top ten) and more than half of the 18m class flying JS1’s or 3’s (With 12 in the top 15).

‘South African Jonkers factory dominated’

The South African team performed excellently, despite many of the challenges faced. These included: Limited training beforehand due to a less than average gliding season. Uys and Attie Jonker’s own gliders did not arrive in time for the competition. Oscar Goudriaan and Riaan Denner had undercarriage issues on the second practise day, and only got one short practise day in on the (new to them) EB29DR racing ship.

Given their success this year the South Africans are looking forward to taking the gold medal for 2024 in Uvalde, Texas with a fleet of Jonker JS5’s.


18m Class results (Total of 42 Pilots):

1. 8957 Pts – Christophe Abadie (FRA) – Flying a Jonker Sailplanes JS 3

2. 8865 Pts – Riccardo Brigliadori (ITA) – Flying a Jonker Sailplanes JS 3

3. 8843 Pts – Davide Schiavotto (ITA) – Flying a Jonker Sailplanes JS 3

5. 8784 Pts – Uys Jonker (RSA) – Flying a Jonker Sailplanes JS 3

12. 8537 Pts – Attie Jonker (RSA – Flying a Jonker Sailplanes JS 3

Two-Seater 20m Class results (Total of 19 Pilots):

1. 8898 Pts – Ivan Novak/Peter Krejcirik (CZE)

2. 8783 Pts – Jakub Barszcz / Lukasz Kornacki (POL)

3. 8666 Pts – Steve Jones / Garry Coppin (UK)

14. 7607 Pts – Dawid Pretorius / Nico le Roux (RSA)

Open Class results (Total of 22 pilots):

1. 9088 Pts – Felipe Levin (GER)

2. 9016 Pts – Oscar Goudriaan (RSA)

3. 8646 Pts – Radek Krejcirik (CZE) – Flying a Jonker Sailplanes JS 1C

Team Cup results (Total of 24 Countries):

1. 912.38 Pts – France

2. 902.85 Pts – South Africa

3. 898.32 Pts – Italy


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