Congratulations to Wolds pilot Sam Roddie who won bronze at the World Junior Gliding Championships in Narromine, Australia earlier this month as reported in the Pocklington Post on 17-Dec-15
This is based on Derrick Roddie's press release report which is reproduced in full below. You can also hear Derrick's interview on West Wolds Radio at
Here's Sam (right) on the podium with his bronze medal along with team mate Tom Arscott (centre) who took the gold, a great result for GB Gliding while German pilot Philipp Schulz (left) took the silver
Selby Pilot Wins Bronze Medal At World Gliding Championships In Australia
After a gruelling 10 days of flying in temperatures of up to 40C, 25 year old Selby glider pilot Sam Roddie has triumphed to win Bronze medal at the World Junior Gliding Championships in Narromine, Australia.
Over the 10 days, Sam has flown more than 3,500km (2,170 miles) in 35 hours 21 minutes of flying time and finished with a total score of 8,975 points, just 180 points behind the new World Champion, GB team mate, 23 year old Tom Arscott from Hampshire.
What makes this achievement even more fantastic is that before the start of the last day, Sam had fallen to 7th place overall, but a combination of brilliant flying and superb strategy, enabled the British team to completely outfly the 3 German pilots who had been beginning to dominate during the last few days.
25 year old Sam, an ex-pupil of Selby High School and Selby College, had his first glider flight at the age of 5, going solo at 16 and flying his first national competition at just 17 years old.
Although now living and working as an aeronautical engineer in Derby, Sam still flies alongside his father Derrick, as an instructor with the Wolds Gliding Club at Pocklington.
Dad Derrick (who was also Sam’s crew when he flew in the 2013 World Championships in Poland) said “I have been gliding for 35 years and this feels like the highlight of MY flying career, even though I’m 12,000 miles away. I can only begin to imagine how Sam, Tom and the rest of the team are feeling right now”.
All of Sam’s family (along with many in the UK gliding community) were up at 4am today, in order to watch the flights live, via a satellite tracking website. “I was living and breathing every moment of the flight” said Sam’s dad “and we simply could not believe it when the final scores started to come in. I can honestly say that there were tears and cheers in the Roddie household”.
“All of the family are extremely proud of Sam’s gliding achievements, but full credit must go to all the members and instructors at the Wolds Gliding, Pocklington, who have supported Sam to where he is today. Gliding is a sport which demands personal discipline, team work, and respect for those around you as well as basic flying skills and an ability for 3 dimensional tactical decision making. When flying in competition, you really do not spend much time thinking about the view!”
This will be Sam’s very last competition as a Junior pilot though he will continue to fly at senior level (where he has also been flying since 2011).
However, for the Wolds Gliding Club, this is neither the beginning or the end of the story, as the club has been the source of Junior pilots in virtually every World Championships since 2007 and has a real crop of talent snapping at Sam’s heels.
A recent law change means that the minimum age for solo flight has now been reduced from 16 to 14 years old and a number of really good pilots have already taken advantage of this at Pocklington. In particular, look out for Will Blackburn of Seaton Ross, Joel Halliwell of Wilberfoss and Lewis Kell from Driffield, all of whom look set to challenge for World Championship glory in the coming years.
The Wolds Gliding Club is always open to keen new members and for junior pilots in particular, there are numerous bursaries available to provide financial support to those who show a real passion for the sport.
Wolds Gliding Club Chief Flying Instructor John Norman added: "Sam’s achievement is a personal triumph and his selection to represent Great Britain is a positive reflection on the Wolds Gliding Club. I can't say how much this will inspire junior pilots who now realise that competition at World Class level is achievable and affordable. His own dedication over the past 20 years has been equalled by the support from his mentors and fellow gliding club members, we can bathe in his reflected glory. He is the fourth member of the Wolds to be selected at Junior level, and I suggest he won't be the last. I have no doubt he will continue to fight for a place in the Senior Team. We already have two Senior representatives at European and World championship level."