A SMALLER field is taking to the skies from Leeton as they seek to claim this year's Formula 1.0 Gliding Grand Prix championship trophy.
The COVID-19 pandemic has meant some pilots from across the country have been unable to attend the event, which is held at the Leeton Aviator Club's home base at Brobenah Aerodrome.
Several overseas pilots also had to forego their trip to Leeton in 2020, but do hope to return next year.
However, the 18 or so pilots in attendance have been getting into the groove of the competition, with the first day of competitive gliding taking place on Tuesday.
The second day on Wednesday took flight around 1pm, with participants completing a double triangle in hot and cloudy conditions.
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A bonus point was also on the line for the person who landed first after completing the course.
Organiser Nick Gilbert said while he had more pilots would have been able to make it, the ongoing uncertainty surrounding border closures and the COVID-19 cluster in Sydney, meant there were some late withdrawals.
"We're pretty lucky to have been able to go ahead really, there were definitely times during the year and even in the last couple of weeks where we weren't sure, so it's good to be here again in Leeton," he said.
The event has been gaining notoriety among the gliding community, with many who take part wanting to do so not just to test their skills, but also because of the friendly atmosphere that has been created.
Each day pilots are set a course to complete, pending weather conditions.
This year's competition will run until Monday where an overall winner will be crowned.
One thing that is certain is the fact a new winner will be crowned for the 2020-21 grand prix.
Ben Loxton has won the last two competitions, but having since relocated to America, is not taking part this time around.
It's a busy time for the Leeton airfield, which is also gearing up to host the Australian Junior Nationals Competition and Junior Coaching Program shortly after from January 7 to January 15.
Mr Gilbert said the event could not go ahead each year without the support of the Leeton Aviators Club and Leeton Shire Council.
He also encouraged residents to head out to the airfield to take a look at the gliders before competition starts each morning or later in the evening.
"Everyone here is always up for a chat and will answer any questions ... kids also love checking them out too," Mr Gilbert said.
For those who are interest, you can also track the gliders as they compete each day here.