A Lasting Impression

It has been three days since the closing ceremony of the World Gliding Championships in Uvalde. I am now settling in at home, nearly 2,000 miles away from Garner Field. I think it is safe to say the same for those of you who were at the WGC. And if you’re still trekking home, I wish you safe travels, safe gliders, safe trailers, etc. Updating here now feels a bit like walking around the airfield after everyone has packed up their gliders and are setting off with their trailers in tow. A bit of a sad feeling maybe, but this never lasts too long really – there are only two more years until next time…

Words About The Worlds

 Four days ago I was leaving Uvalde for Orlando via San Antonio. It was raining for the first time in a long time in Uvalde and everybody participating at the WGC was nicely dressed and ready for the closing ceremony and airshow. Although it was the same noisy and happy crowd as always, for the first time we were all kind of silent and saying good bye in lower voices. I hugged some (the ones I could spot) of my old and new friends and left for the SA airport. Everybody was crowded under the 2 tents as it was still raining. About 8 hours later I was in Orlando looking at my computer and seeing pictures of the champions and ceremony. It was wonderful to see such a beautiful end to this great WGC edition. Since I’ve been back I am only telling and re-telling the stories from Uvalde. And this got me to realize what a great experience this has been and how many wonderful people I’ve met and worked with.

Closing Thoughts

Congratulations to everyone for a great competition. Thank you especially to the many volunteers that have made this event possible. It has been my greatest pleasure to be a part of the large team that has done such a wonderful job. Most of us, maybe all of us, had no idea what we were getting into. In spite of that, you volunteers have all done a terrific job and have made me proud to be a part of the team. Thank you.

A special thank you to John Good, our Deputy Director. John and I worked together closely as a team throughout the competition and John was responsible for tasking.

Thanks to our chief steward Dick Bradley for all your help. Dick came last year as well and helped me tremendously this year by providing sage advice on many matters.

Al Tyler has already sung the praises of the Uvalde town people, but I can’t close without saying that this is absolutely the most soaring-friendly town I have ever known.

Now for some interesting statistics: I believe that the winning scores of this championships are more points than have ever been earned at a glider competition. The second highest scores were earned here at Uvalde in 1991. You pilots flew 13 competition days. Many of you also flew 7 official practice days. Some of you started flying here well before that. About halfway through the competition I mentioned that the total km flown took us the distance from the earth to the moon. You’ll be glad to know that we didn’t leave you hanging out there in low earth orbit. The total distance flown including the official practice period was almost 800,000 km, more than the distance to the moon and back.

Thank you for coming. Maybe, we’ll see some of you back here in less than another 20 years.

Ken Sorenson – Championship Director

Renault Kadjar Forum

Buoyed by the success of Captur, Renault is continuing its offensive in the world of crossovers with the launch of Kadjar, the brand’s first C-segment crossover. In a fast-growing and extremely popular area of the market, Kadjar will boost Renault’s ambitions on the international stage, as it is due to go on sale initially in Europe and in many African and Mediterranean Basin countries, followed by China. This sibling to Captur shakes up established thinking by bringing an innovative and attractive proposition to the crossover market. The Renault Kadjar stands out through its fluid, athletic exterior styling. Meanwhile, its interior is both sporty and refined, courtesy of the quality of the materials employed and the attention that has gone into its finish. Available with either four- or two-wheel-drive transmission, the Renault Kadjar encourages adventure while at the same time delivering easy manoeuvrability in town thanks to its compact footprint (4.45 metres long x 1.84 metres wide). Furnished with high-quality interior appointments and modern equipment, the Renault Kadjar offers advanced connectivity with the R-Link 2® multimedia system, along with a relaxed experience behind the wheel, courtesy of the latest driving aids. The Renault Kadjar also benefits from a range of particularly efficient engines which position it at the forefront of the segment in terms of low fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. The Renault Kadjar will be unveiled to the public at the 85th Geneva Motor Show which opens to the public on 5th March 2015. It will go on sale in the summer in both Europe and a high number of countries in Africa and the Mediterranean Basin region and is scheduled to appear in RHD form in the UK in the Autumn. Read More at our kadjar forums

BMW M2 Forum

The follow-up to the (sadly discontinued) mad, bad and most definitely delicious 1M Coupe couldn’t come a moment too soon for those who love a compact BMW developed by the M Division.

Prototypes of the 2-Series Coupe-based M2 have been caught both on track and the road for quite some time now. Today, though, BMW forum 2addicts revealed a US market built sheet showing that the M2 Coupe will enter production in November.

Expected to be unveiled as a thinly veiled concept at the Geneva Show in March and in production guise in Frankfurt in autumn, the M2 will be powered by a turbocharged 3.0-liter in-line six.

Mind you, this won’t be a detuned version of the new S55 engine that powers the M3/M4 but an improved version of the N55 straight-six from the M235i. Although power will be up, it will probably be kept in the 365-375hp (370-380PS) range to avoid stepping on big brother’s M4 toes.

Expect the M2 to come with all the mechanical, bodywork and interior M Division bells and whistles. Thankfully, BMW hasn’t ditched the manual transmission in its M models, so a six-speeder manual will most likely be standard and the seven-speed dual-clutch DCT an option.

Vauxhall Viva Forum

The new Vauxhall Viva city car will make its first public appearance at the Geneva motor show in March, Vauxhall has confirmed.

The new model will sit below the Vauxhall Adam and new Vauxhall Corsa in the British brand’s line-up, with prices starting from around £7,000.

The Vauxhall Viva name first appeared on a small saloon car in the sixties. It sold more than 1.5 million units worldwide, before it was discontinued in 1979. However, the new model has no link to the original (apart from the name) and should rival cars like the Skoda Citigo, Hyundai i10 and new Toyota Aygo.

The five-door city car will get the option of four or five seats and will be based on the next-generation Chevrolet Spark. It has been designed by a British-led team, but will be built in South Korea.

New Vauxhall Viva price & release date

Although prices are unconfirmed, we expect the new Vauxhall Viva to be priced from just over £7,000. That means it should cost around £1,500 less than a basic Volkswagen up! and Hyundai i10, despite having five doors and a reasonable-sized boot. It’ll go on sale next spring.

New Vauxhall Viva design & specs

The car will get a similar look to the Vauxhall Adam and new Vauxhall Corsa. Although it’ll be cheaper to buy, it inherits the Corsa’s swept-back headlights and Vauxhall’s new-look grille.

Vauxhall claims that, like its biggest rivals, the Viva will have more than enough space for five people inside. The Viva’s wheelbase (the distance between the front and rear wheels) is 100mm longer than that of the Peugeot 108, allowing extra rear legroom. It is 3.7m long, making it fractionally longer than a Fiat 500 hatchback.  Read more on our Vauxhall Viva Forum

Mercedes GLC Forum

Mercedes-Benz’s second-generation GLC SUV will be launched in the UK in the middle of next year and will come in a right-hand-drive configuration for the first time, highly placed company sources have confirmed. Find out more as it breaks on our GLC Forum