The Multi-Class National Gliding Championships will be lifting off with a practice run in Omarama today.
Thirty pilots will be taking part in the Open Class, 15 and 18-metre Classes and the Standard Class.
Contest organiser Max Stevens is looking forward to the top gliders coming together from far and wide to compete.
"It's going to be very competitive. Dane Dickinson is coming back from Europe and he's very good, he'll keep everybody on their toes," he said.
"It'll be a great event and everybody is really looking forward to it."
Dickinson has returned to New Zealand from his base in Belgium to compete. The ex-pat won the competition in the standard and 15m Classes in 2010 and 2011 and is eager to get started after missing last year's competition.
"It's great to come back. It's rainy at the moment in Belgium so it's nice to see the green hills and nice weather," he said.
"I think it'll be good fun. There's a lot of enthusiasm and a buzz around the place. We're just all looking for some good weather."
The contest days begin tomorrow and run through to January 12.