November 13, 2020
The World Gliding Championships are coming back to Uvalde, Texas!
In August 2024 the Uvalde airport (Garner Field KUVA) will be buzzing with the 38th FAI World Gliding Championships. This world-class event is organized by the Soaring Society of America, under the auspices of the National Aeronautics Association of the USA, at the direction of the FAI Gliding Commission (IGC) as hosted by the Uvalde Soaring Association. Soaring pilots in the Open, 18 meter, and Multi-seat classes from over thirty countries will compete for the coveted title of World Champion at this event. Uvalde is famous for its Texas-sized hospitality and some of the best soaring conditions possible.
World Gliding Championships (WGC) are the highest expression of the sport, with the best sailplane pilots worldwide coming together to determine a champion in each of the three classes. Championships typically last ten to twelve days, with courses of 100 to 400 miles (160 to 600 km) set each day the weather is suitable. Uvalde has hosted two World Championships, the first in 1991 and another in 2012.
Uvalde is located on the edge of the famous Texas Hill Country, where intense solar heating routinely produces superb thermal soaring. On a good Uvalde day, cloudbases might be 6,000 to 8,000 feet AGL (1,800 to 2,500 meters) with climbs consistently around 5 to 8 kts (2.5 to over 4 m/sec.). Prevailing South or southeast winds often produce cloud streets that extend over large distances – pilots commonly report covering 60 miles (100 km) without circling. On a strong day, winning speeds may approach or exceed 90 mph (150 kph).
See the Schedule for specific dates and events.
City of Uvalde
First settled in 1853, Uvalde sits at the crossroads of highways 83 and 90 the two of the longest highways in the country. These highways go from Canada to Mexico and Florida to California. Located 86 miles (138 km) west of San Antonio and 70 miles (112 km) east of Del Rio, Uvalde has always been “on the road” with Spanish trails running from Mexico through Uvalde to San Antonio and Native American trails running north and south along the rivers. Uvalde is a crossroads of cultures with the language and customs having a mix of Mexican, Spanish, English, and German elements. Covering a Texas-sized 1,588 square miles (4,112 sq. km.), Uvalde County is home to the City of Uvalde, which covers 5.47 square miles (14 sq. km).