Teenager soars to national gliding glory

Joel Hallewell is presented with the national championship award at Buckminster Gliding Club.
Joel Hallewell is presented with the national championship award at Buckminster Gliding Club.

A young glider pilot has soared to national championship success two years after taking his first solo flight.

Joel Hallewell, 16, took on the country’s best at Buckminster Gliding Club and was named the national champion at advanced level aerobatics.

Joel is pictured sitting on the Fox glider.

Joel is pictured sitting on the Fox glider.

The Woldgate pupil joined Wolds Gliding Club in February 2015 and flew his first solo flight on his 14th birthday.

Joel, who hails from Wilberfoss, said: “I had to take part in four flights at the event against some good pilots.

“We had some bad weather before the championship so I didn’t get much practice in.

“However, the competition days turned out well and in the end I did enough to win.”

Joel’s mum Andrea said: “We are immensely proud of him. Each victory is a step up the ladder, leading to bigger and better things.

“We were away for the start of the competition but got to Grantham in time for the final results.

“Joel has been selected for Team GB so he will need more training to compete in the World Championships next year.

“Unfortunately glider aerobatics is not recognised by the sports funding bodies so we are self-funded.”

Joel is looking for sponsorship as he continues to improve. There is an opportunity for companies to get their name emblazoned on the glider and trailer. Joel’s glider features on YouTube via a number of great film clips.

Any interested party can visit https://www.paypal.me/Joelsfund to support him. Alternatively, firms can contact Joel via email at joelhallewell@googlemail.com.