The British gliding team took a brilliant one-two in the world junior gliding championships with 25-year-old aerospace engineer Jake Brattle winning the gold medal and becoming the new world champion.
Teammate Finn Sleigh, aged 22, took silver in the events which took place in Szeged, Hungary.
Jake, who has won the UK Junior National Championships for the last two years, said, “It’s an incredible feeling to win a gold medal for the team and my country. I’m so proud.”
Finn said, “I’m lucky to be part of an amazing squad and would like to thank everyone who has supported me and my team mates on our journey to reach the Junior World Gliding Championships in Hungary and played a part in Team GB’s phenomenal success.”
Photo top: Golden boy Jake Brattle (left), with team member and silver medal winner Finn Sleigh (right) and team captain Matthew Scutter.
The competition to find a junior world gliding champion took place over thirteen days with points awarded daily to the fastest pilots to fly from point to point around each day’s set cross country task. The competition was fierce from day one with just points separating the top five places right up until the last day’s racing.
The British Gliding Team’s success in Hungary was a huge team effort that started twelve months ago when Finn and Jake first visited the country to learn the conditions.
Jake, from Charlton, Hampshire, added, “From our tireless families supporting us as crews to the coaches we trained with and to all of the generous crowd funding donors, glider donors and our sponsors that helped us to maximise our training schedule this year, it really could not have happened without everyone’s help and so we are very grateful.”
The new world champion is now encouraging others to try gliding. Jake said, “It’s a very accessible sport with clubs all around the country for all ages and backgrounds. It’s how I started with an introductory flight and just kept going. You could end up in Team GB!”
Team GB’s Peter Carter from Norfolk and Simon Brown from Nottinghamshire also had a great competition with strong final places.