ALSTONVILLE resident Makoto Ichikawa, 50, showed he knows how to ride a thermal when took out the silver at the 2017 World Gliding Championships in Victoria.
ALSTONVILLE resident Makoto Ichikawa, 50, showed he knows how to ride a thermal when took out the silver at the 2017 World Gliding Championships in Victoria. Courtesy Karl Phillipson

Alstonville's high flyer at world championships

ALSTONVILLE resident Makoto Ichikawa, 50, showed he knows how to ride a thermal when took out the silver at the World Gliding Championships in Victoria a few days ago.

Mr Ichikawa performed extremely well at 1500m above ground to take second to 10 time world champion, Polish glider pilot Sebastian Kawa in the 15m class.

He scored 5231 and was 130 points behind a highly-competitive Kawa.

Glider pilots rely on cumulus clouds to indicate the presence of thermals which allow them to manoeuvre, he said.

"I had flown quite a lot in Australia and in the region of Benalla and the Murray River and I thought I thought I was quite well-prepared," he said.

"Once the competition started we never had a cumulus, but this worked to my advantage as I knew terrain and the hot spots gave me equal footing with the Polish champion who had a better glider."

ALSTONVILLE resident Makoto Ichikawa, (centre) 50, took out the silver at the 2017 World Gliding Championships in Victoria.
ALSTONVILLE resident Makoto Ichikawa, (centre) 50, took out the silver at the 2017 World Gliding Championships in Victoria. Courtesy Karl Phillipson

Ahead of the world titles, Mr Ichikawa said he aimed to fly two days a week.

"I also cycled at the gym and got lots of sleep and keep my brain well-rested," he said.

He is now planning his campaign for the 2018 world titles in Poland.

"I was mostly practising in Kingaroy in Queensland and won the Australian National Titles last year," he said.

"But now I hope to fly more out of the club at Byron Bay."

Mr Ichiawa started gliding when studying pharmacy at university.

"There as there is a gliding club at most universities in Japan" he said.

"I was visiting Australia for gliding annually for a minimum of 10 days to five months and now I live here."



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