(OPENSOARING, 11. March 2019, Tonci Radmilovic, photo: Niko Slana)
/Gliding camp Sinj: 03.08. – 09.08. 2019, Croatian State Competition: 10.08. – 18. 08. 2019/
The people, living in the vicinity of mountains, personalize their rocky giants, even, adore them as deities. In that sense great Kamešnica mountain, which has “fortune” of being split by an international border between BIH and Croatia, watches with interest every summer soaring events. This summer, ten years after Croatian pilots organized first soaring camp in city of Livno (BIH-2009), there are planned, on the both sides of the Kamešnica mountain, attractive soaring events. On Livno airfield will be organized the first qualifying competition of the world class soaring cup series X. for Grand Prize (SGP). On the western side of the mighty mountain, on the Sinj airfield, it will be organized, adjoining the Croatian State Championship and friendly flying week on behalf on memory of young Air-club Split flier Ivan, who unfortunately, did not come back from ridge flight to the big mountain.
Air-club Sinj, also decided, during this summer flying season, to organize something different.AK Sinj and AK Split, both clubs utilizing airfield Piket, in city of Sinj, which from the air looks connected with hippodrome and stands as an amazing oasis of medieval city with an old fortress, already are engaged last few seasons . With new coming season, leaders of both Air-clubs made an arrangement to enhance flying activities, among which sailplane flying takes significant part. Just a quick look at the neighboring flying center at the eastern side of Kamešnica mountain, which is getting more and more recognized as sailplane flying center, gives them a thought that there are no any obstacles to get recognized as an equally eligible center for sport flying activities.
For this, airfield Sinj has all requirements set. First, sailplane pilots, parachutists and modelers are numerous, young men and women who are active in their respective clubs during whole year. When speaking of extraordinary position of the center, we have to mention a lot of young and old jogging or walking to improve heart condition, on the very nice and extensive trek around the airfield. This is a trek open for everybody (not only for club members). Also there is a path for horseback riding. It is utilized for alkars (medieval knight reinactors). Horses can be rented from Alkars’ Club Sinj. At the airfield there is coffeehouse Boss, with the best and the cheapest coffee in the city and is a favorite gathering place for locals. For those who like to vigorously stimulate their hearts, more than with the help of famous Mr. Kneipp, there is a wild beach at the nearby cool Cetina river, not more than a couple of kilometers from the airfield.
Returning to soaring, we need to emphasize that attention of sailplane pilots in Sinj is not only aimed at the east ridge of the Kamesnica mountain, but also to the western ridge of Visoka mountain. Thermals in that area could be so strong even in September that Nediljko (air tow pilot) was in bad mood, as after only three-four minutes of tow the sailplane pilots would release the string and continue climbing in strong thermals. Last year pilots started more seriously exploring the possibilities of wave riding during northern wind situation. Exploration in the area of wave gliding will continue this year. Ales Maraz has in recent letter shown the possibilities for long reach soaring flights. Related issue of air traffic control is resolved through the cooperation of Flight control center Split (SPU), and last year during flying season they allowed flights up to 9000 feet.
Jakov Matković, the flight instructor in Sinj, who from the very beginning believes in natural possibilities for soaring there, is really glad for both competitions planned for this summer. “I trust that the world class championship QSGP in Livno, at which we shall participate, will trust a positive light on Sinj which is looking forward to friendly soaring competitive events. We have enough of recent experiences of how to organize such championships as is LX Cup, in Livno, which started as Alps-Adriatic competition. Pilots do remember such events and I deeply believe that they will keep a very pleasant memories of our companionship during the event,” concludes Jakov.