Home' The River News : September 13th 2017 Contents The River News, Wednesday, September 13, 2017 — 3
WAIKERIE’S nine-year-old Olivia
Ebert will travel to Sydney Olympic
Park later this month to compete in the
Dance Life National Championships.
Olivia, a Rosie Clark School of Ballet and
Tap student, was selected for the elite level
national championships over thousands of
entries from Australia and New Zealand.
She has qualified in the petite category
for the genres of tap and hip hop, where she
was placed within the top five for both.
Olivia has been dancing since she was
three and was first interested in dancing
while watching her siblings at lessons.
“The dance teacher Miss Jan let me join
in instead of just watching when my big
brothers and sisters danced, that’s how I
first became interested,” she said.
“The best part of dancing is being on
stage, and although I am nervous about
competing in the Dance Life National Cham-
pionships I am happy at the same time.
“At the competition, even if I don’t get
the big prize, I know that this is my first
time, so just getting into the nationals was
a big win for me.”
Olivia will also compete against 25 other
hopefuls for the prestigious dancing model
title, Face of Capezio.
If she wins, her face will be placed on
billboards and posters within dancing com-
munities, catalogues, websites and schools
Olivia’s mother, Robby Ebert, said Olivia
will have a tight schedule as the Rosie Clark
concerts will be held within the same week.
“The national grand final will be held on
Sunday, September 24, the same day as the
Rosie Clark Senior Concert this year, which
meant Olivia, had to choose – just in case
she progressed to the grand finals,” Mrs
“Olivia opted to forfeit the senior con-
cert, but in its place, qualify her senior hip
hop routine to perform solo at nationals.
“Olivia will fly out on Wednesday, Sep-
tember 20 to compete in the minor nationals
round on the Thursday, fly back to Adelaide
on Friday, and then perform in the Rosie
Clark Junior concert held at the Bonnie The-
atre on Saturday, September 23.
If she progressed as a grand finalist, she
will fly straight back out to Sydney after
the junior concert to perform again on
Olivia first started her dancing journey
with the Riverland Youth Theatre where
teacher Jan Cerlienco picked up on Olivia’s
natural gift and spoke to Mrs Ebert to seek
formal lessons for Olivia.
Olivia then went on to dance at Rivmics
Waikerie for three years where she was
further taught by teachers Miss Jan, Carole
Walker and Kira Mader.
Olivia now dances for Rosie Clarks
Dance School in Glossop where she travels
three times a week to take formal lessons
in tap, jazz, contemporary, acrobatic dance,
musical theatre, technique classes and
ballet exam classes.
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LOCAL sailplane flier John
Copeland recently took his
gliding skills overseas for the
first time to compete in the
World Masters competition,
where he was one of few
competitors to fly a plane he
made himself from scratch.
Mr Copeland said he has been
building and flying model aircraft
for just over 30 years.
“I have been building and
flying radio controlled scale sail-
planes for about 28 years,” he said.
“About four years ago, a friend
of mine introduced me to GPS
“GPS racing is the use of a
large-scale remote-control (RC)
sailplane with a wingspan typi-
cally of six to nine metres.
“On board, there is the normal
radio control gear to enable the
pilot to steer the sailplane around
the sky, and an on board GPS
system that the pilot uses to race
the sailplane around a 2.4km
“There are rules, such as the
start must be less than 500m and
slower than 120km/h.
“Then you have 30 minutes to
fly as many laps as possible.
“After the flight, the on-board
system logs the flight info and cre-
ates a score code.
“This code and other informa-
tion is then uploaded to a website
for competing (online) with the
rest of the world’s GPS pilots.”
Competitions are held in
Europe during their summer
(Euro Cup) for local pilots to
compete in, and every two years, a
World Master is held.
This year, the World Masters
was in Gruibingen, Germany.
Mr Copeland said he had been
competing online for the last three
years, and won the online competi-
tion in 2016 with a flight of 17 laps.
“In early 2016, I made plans to
compete in the World Masters of
2017,” he said.
“Logistically, it is difficult to
get a seven-metre sailplane to
Europe, so I made one that could
be broken down enough to get it
on an airline as checked baggage.
“It took about one year to con-
struct, and when finally finished,
the sailplane flew very well.
“So August this year, I packed it
up with a few clothes and went to
Gruibingen Germany to compete.
“There were two classes to com-
pete in, and I flew in both.
“With 45 pilots in each class,
the competition had the most en-
“So when we flew, each round
had up to 15 sailplanes in the air at
once flying the same course.
“This was a new experience for
me as I had only ever flown either
on my own with a few other pilots.
“The two classes were a self-
launch class, where the sailplanes
launch under their own power
using an electric motor.
“The second class was a scale
class, where the planes use a 240cc
tow plane to tow the sailplanes to
“Every three rounds of the
scale class, there was a speed
round where the pilot does one
fast lap to see who is the fastest
around the course.
“My sailplane touched 230km/h
on one leg of the course at one
stage, which was a high point for
Mr Copeland said the competi-
tion was tactically difficult, as
pilots had to judge weather and
manage the other pilots.
“I flew for 10 days straight,
from 9am to 5.30pm with around
four to five flights a day,” he said.
“I thought my sailplane per-
formed well compared to the
‘off the shelf ’ items other pilots
had that could cost as much as
“Due to the high amount of
sailplanes in the sky at once, up
until about day six, there were
four crashes per day, which is a
very high attrition rate.
“Sadly I didn’t have a lot of
luck in the first few days of the
competition, with a technical
failure of the GPS gear twice.
“It put me down the ranking
at the start.
“But as the competition went
on, I was finishing mid-field in
“All in all, it was a great experi-
“It was a big effort to get every-
thing over there, but well worth it.
“One of my team mates had
come from New Zealand, so he was
“I couldn’t have competed
without Graeme Ziegler and the
Ziegler family, as they have sup-
ported my flying for many years,
and Mark Morgan and co were a
big help for the technical support.
“Without local support, some-
thing like this wouldn’t have been
To find out more visit www.gps-
John’s gliding around the world
JOHN Copeland (left) with his New Zealand teammate Rob Johnston and
their sailplanes at Gruibingen, Germany, for the World Masters competition.
THE sailplanes and their pilots
waiting at the take-off field for the
World Masters competition.
Olivia to compete in Dance
Life National Championships
will head to the
Dance Life National
held at Sydney
this month after
over thousands of
Australia and New
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