NICK Gilbert is no stranger to the sky over Leeton having spent time in town as a youngster with his glider pilot father.
Mr Gilbert is now one of the key organisers of the Formula 1.0 Gliding Grand Prix, which will be held for the second time in Leeton later this year and into early 2019.
Having been a glider pilot for more than 20 years, Mr Gilbert knows a thing or two about what areas are great for flying.
Earlier this year the inaugural Formula 1.0 Gliding Grand Prix was held in Leeton to great success.
So much so organisers have committed to holding the event in Leeton on a long-term basis.
Mr Gilbert said the Brobenah Aerodome was a perfect location to host the grand prix.
“It’s not a particularly busy airfield at all times, so we’re able to hold our event there without interrupting them too much,” he said.
Since the first event was held, interest has grown exponentially.
“This year we had 25 people taking part … the next one we’ve got 45 people locked in,” Mr Gilbert said.
“We’ve actually had to start a waiting list. Forty-five is the amount we can have and we’ve already got a fair few waiting to see if they can have a spot.
“Eight of those people are coming from overseas to take part. They heard about it and how good it was this year and wanted to take part.”
The increase in popularity can be put down to several factors, according to Mr Gilbert. He believes the area is perfect not just for gliding, but also for families to visit.
“In the past these kind of events were usually just about the glider pilot competing,” Mr Gilbert said.
“Now we’re trying to make it about families, wives and partners and including everyone. The Leeton area is a great place to come and visit. There’s plenty if places to stay, eat and things to do.”
With the grand prix dates already locked in for December 28 to January 6 it also gives Leeton shire residents something to watch and see during the Christmas/New Year break.
“We want this to be a permanent event in Leeton if the town is happy to keep having us,” Mr Gilbert said.
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