Eleven sailplane pilots are fighting it out in the sky over the Wimmera this week in the Australian leg of the 9th World FAI Sailplane Grand Prix over a series of seven races over as many days.
Each race commences and concludes in the vicinity of the Horsham aerodrome and cover a distance of between 200 and 400 kilometres which takes between 2 and 3 hours and starts with the opening of a 5km long start line which provides an exciting spectacle with all competitors streaming through the start together.
A different route is set each day, with a circuit via Murtoa and Antwerp on Monday, via Arapiles, Wallup and Jung on Tuesday and Nhill and Brim on Wednesday.
The route for Thursday covered Horsham to Cope Cope, south of Donald, north to Birchip then Beulah and back to Horsham, but despite near perfect conditions when the sailplanes were launched, this race was cancelled soon after the start due to lighting towards the first turning point.
Unfortunately the scheduled fifth day of competition on Friday was also called off due to unsuitable conditions.
The event is to continue with another race today before concluding with the last one on Sunday.
Every state in Australia is represented in the eleven pilot field with all competitors either a current or former national champion.
With 10 points awarded for a race win down to one point for the ninth competitor to finish there are seven pilots in the running for the title.
After the first three races Pete Temple from South Australia is leading with 27 points ahead of Graham Parker also from Adelaide only one point behind.