BRITAIN’S best glider pilots are planning on soaring to success in the 20th FAI European Gliding Championships getting under way in Prievidza, Slovakia.

The British Gliding Team is fielding five of their best who have been familiarising themselves with the terrain during tasks set in practice ahead of official racing which begins this Saturday 6th July.

The European Championship is among four international competitions being fiercely contested by the GB squad this year with the forthcoming 11th FAI Junior World Gliding Championships getting underway in Szeded, Hungary, on July 28th and the Women’s World Gliding Championships being hosted by Australia at Lake Keepit in December.

The competition will see pilots from Team GB vying to fly the fastest around the course set each day to score the maximum points, using only invisible currents of rising air known as ‘lift’ to soar vast distances of hundreds of kilometres and at average speeds of around 100mph.

You can follow all the action on and keep up to date with all the latest Team GB news, scores and photographs by liking and following the British Gliding Team’s Facebook page.



Notes to editors:


For more information please contact:

Rachel Edwards on 07926 538413 or email

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Gliding – key facts


  • The British Gliding Association (BGA) is the governing body for the sport of gliding in the UK and represents more than 80 gliding clubs stretching from the Highlands of Scotland to the south-west tip of Cornwall in England.
  • A glider is an aircraft that doesn’t need power to fly. Gliders fly by gliding gently down a slope causing air to flow over the wings, which generates a force that supports the weight of the glider.  The steeper the slope, the faster the glider flies.  By flying in rising air, for example a thermal, a glider can gain height.
  • Using these invisible rising currents of air, known as ‘lift’, gliders can soar to great heights of up to 40,000ft, travel at average speeds of over 100mph and cover vast distances of more than 600 miles all within the UK.
  • The longest distance ever flown in a glider in one flight is 3,008km, taking 15 hours and eight minutes at an average speed of almost 200km/h in South America.
  • Gliding is an inclusive sport and enjoyed by people of all ages and physical abilities. Subject to completing the required training, you can fly a glider solo at age 14.  There is no upper age limit with some glider pilots still flying in their early nineties.
  • Gliding brings the science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) agenda to life to inspire the next generation of pilots, engineers and other aviation and aerospace professionals.
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