Like this page? Then share it!
pete golden

World's Fastest Glider Race - 12 Lessons How To Win - Most Detailed Glider Race Analysis On YouTube

category: competitive
Duration: 02:36:24
It is Day 7 of the 18m U.S. National Gliding Championships in Nephi, UT and what is likely to be the world's fastest glider race ever is about to begin: the winner will finish with the unprecedented average speed of more than 190 kilometers per hour! The conditions are perfect and the task is aligned with the best lift lines. The task for the day is a 568 km FAI Racing Task with turn areas at Browns Peak, Bryce Woodlands, Burnt Mountain, then back to the finish in Nephi. Task distance is 568 km.

The video covers about 2/3 of the flight in real time and provides highly detailed in-depth analysis of key decisions that demonstrate how A8 won the race and where I lost the 22 minutes and 5 seconds that set us apart. We take a highly analytical look at the consequence of specific route choices, analyze key aspects of pilot skill such as thermal selection and climb performance, and we try to distill the impact of the winner's superior equipment for the day's conditions. I went to great lengths to understand the impact of all the various factors that distinguish good and great performance in a glider race. Anyone trying to learn how to fly farther and faster will benefit from the analysis.

I had a number of excellent tools at my disposal. Special credit goes to Jaques Graells who developed a tool called IGC-Spy, arguable the most sophisticated analysis tool for glider races available today. Jacques is an experienced competition pilot himself and a glider racing coach in Australia. If you would like to see what IGC-Spy can do, take a close look at this race in even more detail:

In addition to IGC Spy, I used the time-tested analysis software SeeYou from Naviter. I also used SeeYou to visualize the task in the video. For 3D flight visualization I relied heavily on Ayvri. You can see a replay of the entire flight in Ayvri here:

For number crunching I used Microsoft Excel based on data from IGC-Spy and SeeYou. Google Maps helped me measure specific distances where particularly detailed analysis was needed. The speed polars used are from the glider manufacturers Schempp-Hirth and Jonkers Sailplanes.

The inflight video was recorded with a GoPro Hero 7 Black. (It captures good video but is not very reliable - unfortunately it shut off unexpectedly two thirds into the race.) Screen capture video was recorded using QuickTime. The video editing was done in Final Cut Pro. The art work for the You Tube thumbnail was done in Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop. The music overlay for the final flight segment was sourced from Epidemic Sound.

This is my longest and most detailed gliding video and I realize that the length of more than 2 1/2 hours will not suit everyone. However, I hope that those who invest the time will learn something valuable to help them improve their own flight performance.

My glider is a Ventus 2cxT 18m high-performance sailplane from Schempp-Hirth. John flew a JS3-18 from Jonkers Sailplanes. The contest day was on July 7, 2021. Enjoy!

Watch my other videos:
Check out my Website:
Follow me on Facebook:

You can find a trace of my flight on WeGlide at or on OLC at

You can read the story of the entire flight on my blog at:

And you can find the contest results (plus links to the flight traces of all competitors) on the SSA Website at:
Dislike 0