Gliding the redline | WeCoach Worcester, 2022

15.000 km and 130 hours of air time were the results of WeCoach 2022 in South Africa. Karol Müller talks about his adventure in Worcester.
Gliding the redline | WeCoach Worcester, 2022

For two weeks long, Julia Steinle and Karol Müller had the chance to push the limits out of the gliders while flying along the slopes of Western Cape - an unforgettable experience!

At first, our stay in Worcester was a bit disappointing. The two Arcus V8 and V9 gliders from the Achumer Störche were still stuck in the shipping containers at that time. Luckily, there was the ASK 13 glider available from the local club. On the second evening of the WeCoach training camp, we finally got to unload the Arcus gliders, and our excitement for the well-forecasted upcoming days grew.

First Fights

On November 22nd, the coaching began, and it was immediately clear to us what potential this flying area had. The first two days could be described as an orientation phase, although impressive flight distances were already achieved, and we were able to gather incredible impressions. On the third day of flying, everything came together, and we flew along the "Eastridge," the slope that stretches east from Worcester. We flew the slopes with incredible speeds, especially for me as an ASW15 pilot, an amazing experience. By evening, it was clear that we had broken the 1,000km mark. The next day, the weather conditions were similar to the previous day, and with the knowledge from the last days, we were able to optimize our flying. Julia flew more focused on speed with Reinhard Schramme, which caused them to run out of turning points early. However, Uli Gmelin and I dared to fly further away on the last leg to the east, resulting in an incredible 1,180 km by the end of the day.

The next few days were comparatively relaxed. The weather was moderate but not exceptional, yet Worcester did not disappoint. A few days later, the weather report promised something special.  Wave day ahead! With Sven Olivier and Uli by our side, we had probably the two most experienced pilots in this wave area as trainers. After an interesting introduction to the lee wave of the Cederberg Mountains, we flew impressively over the Karoo at heights of up to 4500m. Later, we descended and flew along the Front Ridge, the north-south orientated race track.

Of course, the WeCoach experience wasn't just valuable in the cockpit. The conversations during the pre- and post-flight briefings were also informative. I can confidently say that a significant part of the valuable experience was gained at the dinner table.

Unfortunately, our time in Worcester was coming to an end, but there was still one item left on the checklist. Luckily, the weather on the final official day of Wecoach allowed for a flight beyond the mountains into the highlands. This flight was very instructive, as we had to use thermals and convergence in challenging conditions to make it back home.

On this day, the incredibly instructive character of the Western Cape as a flying area was revealed. The unique mixture of ridge, wave, thermals and convergence enables one to focus on different aspects and priorities while flying. Above all, recognizing the thermals and their structure is crucial, not to mention how to integrate them into a flight as quickly and efficiently as possible.

In summary, I can say that Worcester was an immensely valuable experience for me. Not only due to personal learning progress coupled with breathtaking landscapes, but also because of the great acquaintances and the shared fun of flying.

We would like to express our heartfelt thanks for all that we have been able to learn. The greatest gratitude is, of course, owed to WeCoach and the Achumer Storks for providing the two Arcus gliders and covering the expenses. Special thanks go to our trainers Sven, Uli, and Reinhard, with whom we had a great time, and to everyone else who made this experience possible for us.

Are you a junior pilot looking to fly in the mountains with some of the best trainers in the world in a two-seater? Then head to the airfield and secure your ticket to Worcester 🇿🇦 or Puimoisson 🇫🇷 with five big flights. You can find the rules here.