PILOTS from across the UK flew as far as they could in a competition at Bicester Airfield.

Bicester Gliding Club hosted the Bicester Regional Gliding Competition last week - a nine-day contest in which entrants battled to fly further and faster than their fellows.

Competitors were set challenges where their every move was electronically recorded and tracked to ensure they reached set 'turning points'.

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They were also set a task where they were given an area to fly and had to cover as many miles as they could the quickest.

A total of 49 gliders took part in the competition, five of which were two-seaters.

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Bicester Gliding Club secretary Marie Mitchell said: “The weather was very hot so we couldn’t fly for all of the nine days, but people had a really good time – one man even signed up to compete next year.

“It’s pleasurable for all as gliders of all ages come together and it’s very sociable as everyone loves talking about gliding.”

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Despite the weather which was at times extremely challenging – hot, windy and sometimes very wet – competition flights were achieved on four days with winners flying distances of over 230 kilometres at average speeds reaching 75mph.

In the ‘Open Class’ group for the higher performance gliders, Mick Webb, a member of Bicester Gliding Club, was crowned overall winner.

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Gwyn Thomas from Anglia Gliding Club came second and in third, Dave Watt, another Bicester pilot and former World champion.

In the ‘Sports Class’ for the lower performance gliders, top place was taken by Bicester pilot Andy Elliott, with second going to Steve Codd from Surrey Hills Gliding Club.