Waikerie Gliding Club celebrates the importance of oranges to the region with its Orange Week gliding competition, first held in 1962.The Orange Week trophy, awarded to the Champion Pilot, is adorned with many legendary pilot names; Moss Potter, Malcolm Jinks, Bob Martin, Sue Martin, Bob Rowe, David Jones, Bruce Brockhoff, John Holland, Haidyn Dunn, Ted Pascoe, Mike Borgelt and Rudi Gaissmaier to name a few. Most recently Craig Vinall has been the focus of the trophy engraver.
Orange Week is structured for serious pilots; that is pilots seeking serious fun both in the air and in the clubhouse. The competition offers three grades (“orange speak” for classes); grand prix grade, juicing grade and fresh grade. Grand prix flying is not handicapped, juicing grade offers conventional handicapped AAT and AST tasking, and fresh grade (also handicapped) gives the pilots who are willing to take on some demanding extra challenges the opportunity to come to distrust the task-setters.
Evening dinners, all of which feature oranges somewhere in the meal, play an important part in the competition as pilots are required to declare at the dinner which grade they wish to compete in the following day, whether they will fly wet or dry (and hence the handicap they will compete with), or if they wish to declare a lay-day or own-task day, and all this with only their own weather observations and without any knowledge of the task. This competition has the ultimate in task and pilot flexibility, and probably the ultimate in fun. Entrants who don’t have fun will have their entry fee refunded.