Soaring Grand Prix in New Zealand

I remember hearing about the New Zealand Gliding Grand Prix a while ago, and it was one of those things that slipped into and promptly out of my awareness. They are trying to make a soaring contest more spectator-friendly by providing a stadium-style screen with live, in-flight video feeds froma helicopter on course, mixed with real-time GPS-powered graphics (presumably something like SeeYou animation and route plotting).

I dunno... for me, I'd much rather fly than watch others fly. On the other hand, I'd rather sail than watch others sail, and a lot of people watch the Americas Cup on TV, so maybe it will work. It would be cool to get some more media exposure for the sport.

An interesting twist to the contest is that Mette Pedersen (Current Women's World Soaring Champion) will be competing head-up with the best male pilots in the world... sort of like Anika Sorenstam playing PGA events. Soaring is a sport where male physical characteristics don't provide any advantage (except maybe when it comes to in-flight bladder relief), so it will very interesting to see how Mette fares.