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December 7, 2016

Not long and the WGC in Benalla starts!1.300 km. is the “new” 1000!!!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 5:50 pm

Today I start with the link to the 23 GREAT pictures of the 7000 m.- plus- height- flight from the Schmelzers.I told you all about it recently. Dad Bert ‘s final diamond!!!!

20.11.2016 /2Y above the Alps at



Benalla welcomes the WORLD.
Picture in front of the club house. To the left, the big building,…that’s the huge briefing-room/arena.Like in Uvalde in 1991.


Several pilots have arrived already in Australia, as have the containers.
The time difference , flying on the other site of the world, another metric system and sometimes very blue but very strong conditions are things you have to get used to.
On the last day of this year the pilot/team registration starts as well as the technical inspection.
The official practice period is  between January 5-7 and the big game starts on January 9-21, with the opening ceremony on the 5!!
The closing ceremony and prize giving is on the 22d at 11 AM and the evening before is the farewell party.

Bill Gawthrop from the USA choose Tocumwal for his practice period. Only 75 km. from Benalla so close enough to get used to the circumstances and as the N. will be a popular direction because of the higher temperatures,he is at the right spot.
On his first flight, he lost the navigation on his LX 9000, [better now than during the comps] so extra good practice, as he had to work out how to find the field .But,… The airfield is easy to find as the WW 2 hangars mark the field and the runways cross.Only with a low sun I always heard,… it is difficult.
As the US soaring team mentioned” US Team Open Class pilot Bill Gawthrop is currently in Tocumwal where he’s spending the week flying with 4 time world champion Ingo Renner. He is impressed with the conditions in Tocumwal.”
After he travelled to Benalla in the beginning of December,  he mentioned :“Nice to be back in Benalla where struggling is normal.


This is an older picture by Belgium pilot, Ronald Hermans who flew for  and worked with us in the past.
Pretty big field!!! Not easy to miss.

A few more pilots showed up in Toc. as Peter and Mandy Temple, John Buchanan, Tom Claffey and Mac.The Australian World team is training with as coach….Ingo. Ingo is BUSY but he loves that!!!

Corowa is a bit more to the E. from Tocumwal and another great practice venue.As the  containers have arrived there with several WGC gliders, WGC-pilots will practice there as well.


The 1.300 km. is the new 1000!!

With the much better gliders and instruments the 1000 k. still is a dream- goal, but for those who have it already the 1.300 km. is the new challenge and wow, it was flown by many last week in Namibia and from all the well known fields as Bitterwasser, Kiripotib and Pokweni. Even 1.421 with a speed of 159.82 km./h in the EB 28 by 2 pilots flying from Bitterwasser. One of the LONGEST flights ever from Bitterwasser on the OLC.
These EB-pilots,Tim Altmann and Frerk Frommholz,  flew during this flight, the always more difficult  FAI triangle as well and stayed high and flew fast;1.254.5 km. with a speed of 141.1 km./h.
Same day,[November 30]  same place; 1.384 in a Ventus 2CM /18m by Robin Foerster is GOOD!!!!!
The last day of the 2016 metereological autumn was a great one in Namibia.
So was yesterday with several 1000 km. flights during the 1000 km-camp ; 1.253 km….1.186 km….

One day earlier and now from Omarama in N.Z.,  by now wellknown USA – hot-shot-pilot Keith Essex, flew 1.316 km. with 158.9 km./h.
He says he still has a ” love-hate relationship with wave continues” , but he is doing well.[ASG 29]
And to top all of it when I was gone, Klaus Ohlmann flew on November 26, 2.068.69 km. from Zapala Neuquen in Argentina in his Stemme, on as he mentioned the first wave-day for the season.Speed;149 km./h.
A few days later on December 1 he added a 1.637 km. flight . “Slow” speed, “only” 113 km./h.
Klaus mentioned on the OLC the next about this flight:
Great day with difficult start. Wind only 15 km/h, but wave. In the South Wind up to 130 km/h.”
On December 5 another 2000 km. plus flight with a speed of 142 km./h.
Also in Argentina , on December 1,  from a place with the beautiful name Jose de Sant Mart,Jean Marc Perrin, one of the other wave-kilometer-eaters, flew 1.437 km in a DG 808 /15 m.!!!!


NSW State Comps from Narromine.

In 3 classes they “fought”  for the title of NSW champion; club, open/18m and Standard/15 m.
The most intertesting day’s were the last 2 days ; task 6 and 7.
Task 6 with a 2.30 AAT in open class was more or less defining the scores in the end. Toppers as Peter Temple, Paul Mander, Tom Claffey and Brian Durieu outlanded and those who finished raised in the overall scores. So after 6 days in this class Graham Parker topped the list, not a miracle as he did so in the past as well.
Interesting was the daily win from new Sportavia-hangar-owner Mark “Lumpy” Paterson, who bought the WW2 hangar for a rumoured ONE dollar from the last SOLE owner ,[ as we had to call him], R. Cawsey.
As far as I know he is relatively new in the soaring-competition-scene; in the HpH 304 “SHARK” he flew 232 km. in 2.26!!!
Tom and Peter “only” dropped to 3 and 4 as there were not a lot of points to hand out.
5 From 11 starting pilots finished.
In club Mark Barnfield had a top-day winning and finishing as the only competitor [from 8] in this class . A 2 hour AAT was set and he flew 159 km. in the SZD 55 in 2.32. Mark nearly topped every day of the total scores , though Jenny is always close!! In the end not enough pilots flew the distance-to make-the-day!So invalid!
St. /15 m. had a 2.30 AAT and 4 from 9 finished. 3 LS 6 gliders on the top-3-daily-list. Best was Justin Smith with just over 3 hours for 238.66 km.

The last day was a “hot” one ,…hot as in great distance and everything can happen.The day went up  to 10.000 ft. but it was windy [again].Some said , it looked better than it was.
In open /18 m. the pilots got another 3.30 AAT so off they went knowing that Graham was the man to beat.
BUT,…..neither Peter Temple nor Graham or Paul Mander flew on the last day.For some this is”only”  practice for a better goal…the WGC.
Andrew [Georgeson ] in his JS1 was the only one flying over 500 km. in 3.50. He had a late start at 14.10.
Lumpy started earlier at 13.42 and finished after 448 km. in 3.25.
Tom started for what ever reason very late at 14.49 and flew 247 km. before he had to start his engine.
So it was pretty clear in the end of the day that Andrew was the new State Champion, in this class[6268]  followed on spot 2 by Lumpy, [5.927] good on him!!! and still on spot 3, as he was more than 150 points ahead, Graham.

In club it was Mark Barnfield who was the runner up on this last day and even with loosing the task-6-points , he won the title easy; 5670. Jenny [Ganderton flying the Mosquito] was runner up with 5390 points.

In St/15 m.Ben Coleman [Hunter Valley]won the day after been in the top -3 -daily -best-pilots several times; 375 km. in 3.07.  Finally a win on the last day for him in his LS 6. BUT,….Not enough for the title he was 4th.
Lake Keepit pilot Jacques Graells [LS 6] won the title with 5943 points.Just more than 300 points over his club mate Justin Smith as well in an LS 6. The LS 6-CLUB, did well.
All pilots started within 16 minutes and Ben was the first to go on track.


63th Nationals in Argentina.
28 -11-2016/9-12-2016.

55 Pilots gathered at the San Francisco Airport to find out , over 14 days, who in 2 classes would be the National Champion.
Standard class has an international version as well but with only 1 French pilot ; Baptiste Innocent.
The weather went better and better, they started in St Class with a 2.30 AAT , then a 399 km set task and a 4 hour AAT. In those 4 hours a St Jantar pilot flew nearly 400 km.
In the combined class 4.30 km. was set and Damian Goldenzweig [won the day with 469 km in an ASW 20!!.He won the day before as well and on day 1 with a 3 hour AAT for this class he was 6th. So a great run over the first 3 days for Damian .
He won task 4 as well and…. on December 2 there was no flying.
In Standard Gonzal0 Riera [LS 4] was at spot 1 overal already for 3 days and he won task 4. Damian’s brother Lucas had a bit of an off-day being 15 on day 4,but remained on spot 3 overall. Looking at the international version of this class Lucas is behind French pilot Baptiste.

On Saturday December 3 they started for the 2d week of this competition!!
4 Hour and 3.30 AAT’s were set that day and the next . Then another scrubbed day.
More next week.


Matt Wright!!!!!
It’s not the years of your life that count, it’s the life in your years“……is one of his last statements.
Search “Balleka” on  you tube and you see what LEGEND he is/was.[more than 14.000 followers!]
The unexpected death after a crash, on Sunday afternoon,  has shocked ALL of us!!!!
SAD!!!!!! Very sad!!!!!
More sad news,…on the SAME day another pilot died in the UK, in the Cornwall area.
Got news from one of my UK friends about the 2d fatal accident [THANKS] and sorry for the wrong name….papers are not always correct it seems:
The second accident in the UK on Sunday 4th was not in Cornwall but in Leicestershire, near to The Gliding Centre at Husbands Bosworth.  It is reported to have been following a mid-air collision with a light aircraft (the pilot of the light aircraft was able to land safely).”


Our autumn period was one from EXTREMES!!!!
Colder than in the last nearly 20 years -minus 8/12 in the one but last night of  November and hotter at some places than ever before in history in the beginning.
The difference in temperatures was 40 dgr.!!!!!
You can call that a DIFFERENCE!!!!
Another phenomena here in Holland yesterday; “mother-of-pearl-skies.”

Cheers Ritz

November 23, 2016

Interesting 34th Aussie Nationals are history now!Excitement;20.000 ft. for Tony and 21.900 ft for for Randy! Father and son Schmelzer reach 7300 m.!!!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 8:31 pm

First real autumn- storms here in Holland last week .On Sunday we had gusting wind up to 110 /120 km./h.Pretty tough!!!Quite some problems, for car’s and trains and for walking people at the street getting debris on their bodies. Also planes at Schiphol Airport had problems and noticed some spectacular good landings.

A lot of TOP-wave flights this week with pictures. Enjoy!!!



Club and sport-class pilots continued their competition, whilst I was in the Southern part of Holland for 2 days.
By the way I am moving house in Mai, back to “the roots”, to the southern part between the Belgium border and Eindhoven , the Phillips-light-town .
November 17, race 5; 364 km. and 547 !!!!!!
A brilliant,  ” cracking” as Adam who flies from Kingaroy in the East,calls it, day and a new name on top in club class for the day; Leigh Stoke in the ASW 20 C.


Leigh, after his very first win in a National Championship. Good on him.
Courtesy Waikirie Gliding Club…Nationals.

7 From 14 finished and one of the “out-landers” was Bernie Sizer who was on such a great spot 2 overall. Now he was out after 247 km. and dropped to 6.
Ailsa ,Allan and Terry [Cubley] belonged to the finishers.
In sports class a real nice long task and 4 from 10 finished!
Peter Temple has no problem with such a task, as experienced as he is, he won the day with a speed of 112.85 km./h.
It took Grant Hudson more than 6 hours to finish,…. but HE DID!!!!
Scott Percival [ASH 25 M] out landed and dropped from 2 to 3 overall.Andrew finished and is 2 again overall.
Scott was only less than 3 km. out from the finish circle.Such a pity but safety first!!!!


Safely tied down. Ready to be picked up the next morning by aerotow-retrieve.
Courtesy Waikirie Gliding Club…Nationals.

November 18 ; scrubbed!
November 19 race 6 ;club 169.59 km and sports class 175.80 km.
After a non-flying-day, the pilots had short flights for their last day.In club another daily winner this time Steven Cesko in the St Libelle flying around with 75.13 km. /h. Allan was a tad faster but lost on handicap .
So pretty easy to say who is this years AUSSIE CLUB CHAMPION; Allan Barnes with 4.432 points.
Runner up Ailsa, mostly flying with Allan,[ as he said he had to hold her off as she was gaining on him since day 3,]  was runner up, [4.103] good on her!!
Her own idea:” ‘The Cirrus that doesn’t know it’s a Cirrus”. Took a few days to work out that it still wasn’t quite as good as an LS8, then started relentlessly following Allan around each task.
Jaroslaw Mosiejewski [PIK 20 B with 3.981] was the 3d on the podium.
Start times between 1.42 PM and 2.40 PM.

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Allan, Ailsa and Jaroslaw and Andrew ,Peter and Scott with ASH 25 team mate Mark “Lumpy”  for friends.
By the way Lumpy is the new owner of our old WW2 Sportavia hangar. The SRGC [with Ingo] seems to be back there.
as shared by the organizers.

In sports class Waikirie pilot Grant Hudson [ASH 31 MI] was the last-day-winner. Slow speed but good enough to win ;87.69 km./h.
As Scott was 2d for the day and Andrew 3d,  with Peter on a 5th place the final scores were clear!!!
New AUSSIE SPORTS CLASS CHAMPION is Peter Temple with 4.572 points. Runner up Andrew G. with 4.044 and Scott was 3d with 3.887.
Our Chinese friends practicing for the WGC had 1.569 points [Guangwei] and 1.494 [Andrew].
Andrew was so kind to inform all pilots about soaring in China.


“Andrew Du describing the recently set up China Loong International Soaring Centre to the pilots and crew this morning. Close to Gobi Desert, a 700km ridge and high mountain peaks. Retrieval options out of the Gobi Desert are somewhat limited.”
Courtesy Waikirie Gliding Club ..Nationals.



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“Congratulations to Bjoern Rechinger as the inaugural winner of the new Swaantje Geyer- trophy for best performance at the Australian Club and Sports Class Gliding Nationals. Presented at Waikerie which was a place Swaantje loved to visit.”
And a big thank you to Brendan for organizing the trophy![the Claffey’s]
Picture and text; Waikirie Gliding organizers and  Catherine Conway, she also hands over the prize to Bjoern.

VERY PLEASED!!!!! LIKE!!!!!!!!

By the way ,the day after the comps Bjoern flew 715 [500 km FAI triangle] from Waikirie in his 18 m. Ventus 2 CT.
As Allan mentioned;” We had a good mix of weather; cu, blue, strong, weak, windy, calm, but sadly no classic high Waikerie days. That was saved for the drive back home.” How often does that happen !!!???

HIGH Height excitement!!!


the view from 20.000 ft., south of Kiamichi Ridge

The first message on FB from one of my USA SOARING MATES was ;
“Diamond Altitude. Ft. Worth got me to FL200. OK state altitude record!” November 17; 6.112 m. MSL/5.870 AGL.
Tony Condon got his Diamond altitude; Well done Tony! Flown from Talihini Airport in the USA.

I straight away contacted him and heard in a first message that he flew it in the Silent Electro:
“My State Record only stood for a few hours, Randy Teel launched after I landed and worked up to 21,900 ft in the late afternoon. We’re pretty excited. Previous record was 17,900.”
After I landed yesterday, I told Randy to go catch that wave and see if he could go higher. AND HE DID! How cool!! Fantastic day of Soaring in Oklahoma!”

Here is his OLC comment, which says it all as Tony said;
Wow! Thank you so much to Leo and Jen Benetti-Longhini [ I met them as well in Uvalde and indeed thay are lovely people!!!!]for letting me use their glider. Dave Pauly loaned me his O2 bottle. Steve Michalik called the weather 4 days ahead of time.

Lucky enough to launch right into some weak rotor which put me in the secondary right away. 5000 ft there then up to Albion where the primary is usually located. It was and that got me to about 11,000 ft.
With the southwest wind I hypothesized that the east end of Tombstone would work best since it curves a bit southeast there. Found the big climb there. Occasionally spikes to 3 knot average but otherwise most of the climb was 1-2 kts. Slow and Steady.

Fort Worth Center was very kind and accommodating in issuing an IFR clearance up to FL200. Was still climbing about 1 kt at that altitude, but the diamond was in the bag and I wasn’t well equipped for a long stay at altitude.
It wasn’t cold! Temp on the surface was over 80F and the freezing level was around 15,000 ft. A nice comfortable way to get Diamond Altitude.
Looking forward to more flying in Talihina! This place has it all!”
“It was an incredible day and hopefully we can get back to Talihina on a wave day soon. It is about a 5 hour drive from my house in Wichita.Attached are a couple full size pictures for you. One is the view to the south from 20,000 ft and the other is me with the glider after landing. This is the same Electro (JEN) that Leo and Jen l loaned me for the World’s in Lithuania as well as the Nationals last summer in Uvalde. I owe them a LOT!”

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Tony “with his text;” Diamond smile!” and Randy with about the same smile but “different”.
Pictures shared by Tony.

And this is Randy’s FB story;
“What a great day of soaring in SE Oklahoma. I want to thank Dooley Rucker for getting me launched and for Tony Condon for showing up in Talihina and providing me with FT Worths Center Frequency 132.2. Todays flight would not have happened with out the both of you.
A couple more PENDING OKLAHOMA STATE ALTITUDE RECORDS. Absolute of a approximately 21,900 feet and Altitude Gain of approximately 20,500 ft. I have been trying to get Diamond Altitude 5,000 meters (16,404 feet) since we first doing wave flights in 2007. I knew it was possible. It was just a matter of being here at the right time.”



EVEN MORE HEIGHT GAIN…… the Schmelzers.

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Bert jr. and Bert sr. on these pictures at another occasion.
Bert jr flies in MILVUS clothes.

And up to 7300 m. this time!! Dad and son Schmelzer, both called Bert ,added  another awesome soaring day to their lives.
 A great Sunday afternoon with my dad”  was the short message:
7.000m and -25°C in the Schesaplana wave.”


After 700 km. driving from Belgium to Switzerland WITH a trailer on the back of the car!!!, Bert sr. arrived  and flew the next day with Bert jr. this great flight!!

Here is the FULL story, as I got it from Bert sr.: THANKS!!!!!!!!He was still excited , only wanted to share the pictures with me , but I loved the story with it,… so here you are.
—-On Friday evening Bert jr. called from Zurich to Bert sr. in Antwerp in Belgium. There would be Foehn on Sunday. Would he like to come to Zurich ??!!A storm depression in West Europe and foehn in the Alp,….a classic situation for November. Hilde and Bert had other obligations but decided at the spot to prepare and travel to Switzerland.

First to the Keiheuvel the home field from the Schmelzers,  where on Saturday afternoon quickly the transponder, just back from a repair-job, was installed in the Ventus by friend Jef Dekoninck. A check if all was OK, hooking on the trailer checking the lights ,….and off they went!!!!

At 8 in the evening they arrived in Zurich at Bert and Barbara’s place. During dinner ,…..preparations as, airspace, frequenties from Zurich info and Innsbruck and Vienna radar and a discussion about flying in wave,this ALL to keep EVERYTHING SAFE!!
I know the Schmelzers for a long long time and they REALLY PREPARE!!!!

At 4.30 AM, the alarm-clock  went off. Time to go to Hausen Am Albis where Bert jr’s 18 m. Discus 2T, was rigged as well as the 18 m. Ventus, 2CT. This all in the dark, early and coldest period of the day!!!
At 7 the tuggie was ready; daddy Schneebelie father of the young Schneebelies helped the early birds out. At 7 AM Bert jr , who wanted to start at first light, went up ,about half an hour later Bert sr.
Very turbulent weather but all went according to plan. At 3000 m. Bert sr put on his oxygen installation.
Though checked before ,….it did not work!!!!!Damm,……
He had to fly back and landed for a relight!!!!!!
Everything was tested and checked again  and one hour later he was up in the air .
Bert jr had flown back to catch up and as Bert sr. said “we had the most remarkable flight ever”.
Over the Schesaplana in the Montafon- mountains they climbed with support from Innsbruck radar to just over 7000 m!!!!
Overwhelming views from approx 150 km. were the present for all their efforts, as well as their best height ever.—-

In the evening after the flight Bert and Hilde de-rigged, packed and drove home again where they arrived at midnight after a fabulous day and even Hilde enjoyed it to the fullest!!!!On Monday they were back at work as usual.
Enjoying MINUS 25 and up in the morning at 4.30, CHAPEAU for the “old Bert” !!!
And how well knows young Bert his dad to call him. Chapeau!!!!
This is family soaring at his best!!!!

Here is a preview -picturefrom last Sunday’s wave flight “As seen from 7.300 m”


And here is already a the link to 4 of the pictures, more to come;



Norwegian pilot Arne Martin Guetler enjoyed a great time flying in Omarama in N.Z, making the most beautiful pictures.
Who is on FB can see them all under his name.
He wrote:
Omarama is Māori for “Place of Light”, a reference to its extraordinarily pure and clear sky.”
On November 11 “: Last day flying in New Zealand. And probably one of our most amazing flights, despite being probably our slowest and shortest!
Very difficult thermals, but we soldiered on regardless, and in the end was rewarded with some weak wave which got us to our goal of Mount Aspiring which we’ve been trying to reach for a long time!”


“We finally made it to Mt Aspiring!
At 3000 m it is New Zealand’s highest mountain outside the Mt Cook area.”

When they left the weather changed and on the 12th the South Island Championships 2016 started [November 12-19] at Omarama with 18 pilots. As far as I could see on  they unfortunately  had NOT ONE valid day.

Great picture shared by Milan Sawyer with the text:”YOU MUST COME TO OMARAMA.”
Yes this is OMARAMA too.



Interesting OLC flights.

Great to see the Corowa season has started as well. Good to see the familiar names on the OLC with their comments!!!Have a look when you have time.
Also Tocumwal has action and on Thursday all over Australia already nearly 50 flights .
My friends from Finland arrived in Tocumwal as well. Eddie,  from Sportaviation,  mentioned on the 18th:
“First Super day for Tocumwal 12.500ft”
Interesting wave-flight in an ASW 15 from Krnov in the Czech Rep by Jan Ratz; 530 km.
Temora in Australia is one of those underestimated glider fields. So early in the season Brian Du Rieu already showed the potential flying his LS 8 over a 800 km triangle !!![820 km./804FAI triangle] Good!!!!
He was pleased that “the day was exactly as forecast. Strong WNW wind on the 2nd leg, and final glide under complete overcast for the last 110km albeit with nice buoyant air!” Brian topped the OLC-day of November 18.
On November 19,  great flights from Veronica in Namibia N.E.  of Bitterwasser. Never heard of that airfield but 3 over 1000 km flights ,all in Arcus ,were flown from there.
One day later also Bitterwasser and Kiripotib, as well as Pokweni added over-1000 km. flights.
Gawler had a great flight on November 20;Philip Ritchie flew 792 km [743 FAI triangle] in a Mosquito!!! His comment on the OLC;
Classic trough day out of Gawler SA. Very long glides into wind heading north. Some strong climbs. Slow on final leg as the day went very soft.
Yesterday , “fresh champion”  Allan Barnes just back home as winner from the Australian Club Class Nationals in Waikirie[see above] in  the South  Australia , flew 717 km [500 FAI triangle] in his LS 8 from Lake Keepit this time  on the East side of OZ.
He topped the OLC list with this flight.



Not long and the Benalla WGC will be flown. I was amused and a little amazed to see that the USA added an extra pilot to their team. Here is the message I found on FB by Pete who I got to know in Uvalde. Nice fellow and already in Aussie atmosphere!!! Really hope it works out well and IN TIME!!! I know about customs , carnets and quarantine etc.
G’Day All,
I’m very pleased to announce Mike Robison’s addition to the US Team going to Australia in Open Class.
Mike will be flying N1K (JS1- CJ) which Steve Nichols very graciously lent to Mike.
Thanks to Fernando Silva for working behind the scenes to help Mike work out all of the logistics and helping Mike to find a good ship to fly in a very short amount of time.
Welcome to the team Mike!
Pete Alexander
US Team Committee Chairma

Miss Dick Butler on the list now. Does that mean NO CONCORDIA in Benalla???? Would be a great pity as those paddocks are huge even for those long wings and that of course only when Dick would have out-landed.I’ll check for you.

Between all men I only found ONE lady to fly there; Anne Ducarouge from France in 15 m. flying an ASG 29.
So many “strong” pilots in all 3 classes. It will be more than exciting. Such a pity I can’t be there.


I will be taking care of my grandchildren.
SO CU you on December 7.
Cheers Ritz

November 16, 2016

Holger Karow wins 7th FAI SGP FINAL! 36th Aussie club and sportsclass Nationals in Waikirie!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 8:07 pm

With 38 cm of snow in Stockholm on ONE day,  winter presented itself early in the Scandinavian countries. In 100 years there had been not so much snow as in the first week of November.On pictures last week we saw more early snow in Finland but not as much as in Sweden.
It caused quite some problems, even for a country totally used to lot’s of snow!
We had minus 5 and that meant “first-time-window-scratching”.Now it’s only raining!


WORLD FINAL OF THE 7 th FAI SGP at Potchefstroom.


On top and making the picture,…Sebastian.
Courtesy Sebastian Kawa and processed by the SGP media team.
” Next technology step is coming very soon and we will be able to get these beautiful footage live from the air ! Many thanks Seb.

Day 4 Race 4 ;
was cancelled due to thunderstorms so 3 days to go!!!
They tried hard . Here is their news;
” With the last sailplanes still launching, the thunderstorm announced its presence with  lightning and approaching rain. The entire area to the West was being closed down and now the question was whether we would have enough time to make the start. The twenty minute start procedure was initiated on the radio, with hopes that the pilots would be able to make their start on the right side of the line, but in the end the thunderstorm came in too quick, taking down with it the route to the first turn point.”


Gliders return to the field.
As shared by the organizers.

Day 5..Race 4.. 294.05 km.
with the early morning tweet AND picture;
“Today’s menu. You will find a “plan B” and a “plan C” on the picture but let’s be optimistic with a possible start gate opening at 11:30 Paris time (12:30 local time) for a just less than 300km race to go !”


So an early start at 12.40 and good speed to be back again. French pilot Christophe Abadie flew around with 146 km./h. Just a tad slower, 145.8 was to be seen at the log file of Oscar.So,….Oscar sees how his lead grows a bit with these extra 8 points. Now he has 25 ,just 3  ahead though ,on Sebastian ,who was 3d and gained 22 over 4 days.
Bad day for Mike loosing nearly 23 minutes on the toppers. I know he can race as the best, but sometimes has to dig himself out and that cost.
Here is part of the official review:
“With Oscar and Sebastian maneuvering to get the best possible energy lines, Christophe, who was lower, elected to fly straight on following the shortest possible path. This was a significant gamble, as he would have to slow down significantly and lose his position, should he encounter bad air. By the end, Christophe had managed to inch ahead and win the day, finishing with as speed of 146 km/h, with Oscar and Sebastian finishing seconds behind him.”


Christophe on his way to win the day after passing Sebastian who took the picture!!
146 and 145.8 km./h.

Day 6.. Race 5..169.03 km.

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The morning briefing looked very relaxed, but Brian is ,as long as I know him pretty relaxed, but the soaring- news was …..waiting;
“Briefing is postponed to 12:15 local time. Weather conditions were quite bad this morning but blue sky is coming now but competition direction needs to fine tune the task of the day. Pilots are heading to hangars to prepare the sailplanes. Wait and see.”
How bad you can see on the picture where Sebastian makes an African snowman from hail. Happy pilots whatever weather, as you can see on picture 3 throwing their hats in honor of sponsor Daly Land Rover. All pictures shared by the organizers.

So with a late start at 2.30 PM the pilots had ,after a lot of morning excitement, to go for race 5 with 169,03 km.
No start-games as they all start at the same time at the same place. Will be interesting with such a short race ,who keeps the calm.
It was a battle field!!!!! Holger [Karow] and Christophe were about “in”  at the same time, slow [83.8 km./h ]but finished!!!
9 points for Holger and 7 for Christophe. ” Poor”  Oscar out landed after 112 km and and even more “poor “Petr, as he was nearly back [163.4 km]
The full story is on but here is a little part ;” There could not have been two more different flights than Andy and John, one taking the high level wave route and the other pushing hard ow down and using thermals in the blue conditions.”
Andy was 4th John 3d this day.
At FB the organizers mentioned:”Andy Davis (GB) has been the hero of the day, definitely, just missing one good thermal but what a courageous move he made before turnpoint one ! Guest of yesterday was also Mr Wind, blowing the pilots away and killing efficiency. Impressive.”

Day 7 ..Race 6..205.89 km.
On the last day the weather did not co-operate as you would expect and hope for in South Africa. Not a “dream-day” ,but real European weather and that showed as Matthias Sturm won the day with a speed of  123 km./h. and UK pilot Andy Davis was runner up.
Matthias got the last-day-11-points and Holger who had that fabulous day earlier was 5th and got the 5 points added to his 30 which was enough to make him the CHAMPION!!!Well done Holger, congratulations!
Oscar was 3d and received 7 points , not enough for spot 1 but certainly enough to be RUNNER UP.
French pilot Christophe was the 3d at the podium. Good on him. He surely would have loved a better last day but with a 7th spot he was number 3 in the final scores.
Andy and Sebastian followed.

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The happy- chappie-CHAMPIONS ans Shaun talking with Holger .
As shared by the organizers.


A great race as expected with a top winner ,safe pilots and beautiful gliders. Here is one from the JS 1 flown by LucianoAvanzini . Picture courtesy Bertus Le Roux.


a GREAT one from Robert Atkinson from Oscars JS1 EVO TJ


After the race the 5 SA-gliders and 2 trailers went in the container in again a different way of “packing”.

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Staying in South Africa and Namibia.

When November starts and the gliders have arrived the “overseas-circus” starts straight away. Pilots rush to their destination and with mostly not too much time difference they hop in the glider and start aiming to fly as much kilometers as possible and to have a great time. Some just like the soaring in spectacular weather and do not need long distance flights. They enjoy it to the fullest.
So for all kind of pilots and their crew or family, there is something there.
Flying with the champions has started and top pilots fly again with upcoming pilots to show them “the tricks”  or to give them the boost to fly long distance or short distance in co ordination with looking at the weather.
Great concept from Ludwig and Wolfgang both from Austria and long time friends.
Mind you after they travel to Australia to get used to the Benalla weather and circumstances. Wolfgang flew there already many times and also last season as practice.
The first 1000 km flights from Bitterwasser and Kiripotib have been added to the OLC and we will see many more!!!!
Also Pokweni is busy and in South Africa the first long flights have been posted from Gariep Dam and Douglas Backhouse.


36th Australian Club and Sports  Nationals in Waikirie  .


Allan Barnes top-Aussie- pilot shared this picture from the practice day with :
” Big storms through Waikerie this afternoon. Nationals practice day called off – I was first launch and spent an hour below 2500ft in rough hot windy conditions.”
“Unfortunately after an interesting looking sky the practice day has been scrubbed. Heating has been slow after alto-cumulus popped during the morning briefing and virga has been evident.”

They started last Saturday with 14 pilots in club and 12 in sports class and a bit better weather, though very tough wind. Among them the 2 Chinese participants for this WGC in Benalla. They know they will not win there, but they practice as much as possible to have at least a few competitions under their belt. Good on them.Their promotion for soaring in China is a great effort.


Gliders ready for day 1, as seen by Robert Smits, who did not fly on day 1.

November 12 day 1;2 Hour AAT’s were set for both classes.
In club Allan [LS1f] was the best with 171 km. in 2.44; 655 points.
In sports class Peter Temple flew 233.33 km in 202.34;617 points.
November 13;no flying. Message from the organizers:
No flying today. We look forward to the comp continuing tomorrow.
A special mention by Peter Temple (our day one sports class winner) of the good job the Club Class pilots did in flying under very difficult and windy conditions yesterday. Couple of other lessons were; keep flying straight ahead into wind, don’t turn and ensure a safe final glide angle of something like 1 in 12.
November 14 day 2;it looked like another scrubbed day , but they started for a 2.30 AAT in both classes.As Grant Hudson one of the participants [ASH 31/18m.] mentioned:
A lot of cloud cover early made for softish conditions but as the day dried out cloudbase went up and so did the climb rates. Good fun but tough in places.”
Allan won the day again but he took 2 rides for the victory, here is his own OLC comment:
they launched us on a 2.5hr AAT when the first sign of lift appeared. I came off tow and ran to the only thermal in the sky, then struggled to get up. Made an early start, then after a long dead glide into wind found a weak climb and took it all the way back to the airfield. Restarted with a few others and had a much better run. Caught the first turnpoint just inside it at about 1400ft (they say to take into wind turns low, don’t they?), and got a good climb so decided that I would head for the second. Conditions soon improved and I ended up running to the far side, until I was 15min over time. Managed to pull that back to 5 min; it would have been less but I took a security climb halfway back just to be on the safe side.
9 From 14 finished Terry [Cubley] was runner up. Allan flew 219.49 km in 2.35.
In sports class Andrew [Georgeson] won the day in his JS 1 racing over 307 km. in 2.49. Peter was runner up.
November 15 day 3;the official morning message;
“Today we have Sports Class first off the grid with a distance task of 252.4km – Club class distance task of 205km. Light winds some small Q now but predicted to be a Blue day. Trackers should be working today.”
In club class I was pleased to see that young Ailsa won the day in the St Cirrus [handicap 990]. She started and finished in about the same time as Allan who was 2d in the LS 1 f[ handicap 1010].
As Allan mentioned ;” Bad timing – Ailsa who was with me recentred into 5kt just after I bailed. Flew hard to catch up and got a 9kt just before the second turn – hurrah! That turned out to be the thermal of the day for me – could not shake the gaggle and we all finished roughly the same time.”
In sports class Andrew [JS 1 c handicap 1075]won again with on his heels the ASH 25 [handicap 1065] from Scott [Percival] and the ASG 29 from Peter [handicap 1075]
Some called the day “underset” others “it was hard work.”
November 16 day 4…. today; 2.30 AAT in both classes.
Ailsa is in the right “groove” ,… she won AGAIN . Good on her!!!! Overall with 3 days to go she is now on spot 3 behind Allan [ nearly 300 points ahead] and Bernie who is doing a great job in his new glider; PIK 20 b. In the past he rented the club’s [SRGC] ASW 15 [Dundee is the owner of this glider] but he liked competition gliding so much, that he bought himself a more competitive glider, so he did well.
Today he called it an ” Interesting day, some big climbs but way apart. Had to dig out of two holes today.
In sports class Peter won again and leads the class with more than 300 points. GOOD!!!
As scores are very fresh they are preliminary.


Some interesting OLC news.

November 11 showed some great flights and very different. In the USA Baudouin Litt raced in his LS 8 over the mountain tops with a nice combined thermal, wave and ridge flight from Mid Atlantic Soaring; 919.2 km.!!!!
Same day but in the spring time in Australia Brian Du Rieu flew from Temora in the 18 m.LS 10 a 600 km. FAI triangle. He “went” for a 750 but as he said ” the cu in the NE was further east than forecast so most of the flight was in the blue. South of abeam Forbes to 50 km out from Temora on the last leg the ground generally is still wet and flooded around Lake Cowal.
On November 14 Dennis [Tito] this time flying with Bill Hill, nearly 2000 km. [1.985,94 km] with a speed of 206 km./h. From Chos Malal in Argentina. One day earlier Jim Payne and Morgan Sandercock flew 1.130 km. with a speed of 127 km./h. Both flights in the Perlan Project DG 1001 M.
It’s great to see how many 2-seaters  nowadays give joy to “teachers/champions and students”, to friends and family members. LIKE!!!!!!
As usual and as expected it starts to rain 1000 km flights in Bitterwasser, Pokweni and Kiripotib.Have a look at the OLC;
And Australia’s weather is top too, certainly in the East ; Today Chris Woolley , yes father of… flew already 820 km[600 FIA triangle]  in his 18 m.Ventus 2CM from Kingaroy. Former Sportavia instructor Alain Potier flew from there in the St Jantar 531 km. Adam flew too and called it an awesome day.


And to finish a great picture from Joke Termaat, [yes, Ronald’s mum]
Autumn in Holland.



Cheers CU next week.

November 9, 2016

Exciting final of FAI SGP.

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 7:45 pm

Our autumn , here in Holland, really has started now, not a lot of leaves on the trees anymore and 925 km. of traffic jam on the first rainy, windy day where it “snowed leaves.”The colors are/were just fabulous.
In Finland some of my friends shared pictures from the first snow!!

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As shared by Jorma and Antti.

And Art [Grant] and his wife, moved quickly from Canada to their summer residence in Texas.
Reinhard [Pankow] who flew in the past with us at Sportavia, is one of the first Namibia pilots for the season and settled down in Pokweni, as did Axel Nuss, who flew a 524 km. task with a speed of 151.88 km./h. in the Nimbus 3D ,… it’s all happening there as well.
Bitterwasser had it’s first flight for the season too; 400 km. to start with in an ARCUS. And yesterday a 1000 by team Reinhard Schramme in the EB 28; with 133 km./h.
Gariep Dam is unpacking and nearly ready to go.

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POTCHEFSTROOM is HOT in different ways, 7th SGP final!!!!


Last Friday practice for pilots and organizers as the official practice day on Saturday should be TOP. Important part; the scuteneering . Here is Mike [Young]waiting with the JS 1 for his turn.
AND,…..look at the skies!!!!!


Both pictures shared by the SGP organizers.

RACE 1;209.61
The very first competition day was last sunday and the regatta start was at 2PM.The skies of picture 1 were the skies from day 1.The practice day by the way, was scrubbed.
So not the very good SA weather,tricky, but very interesting for a first day.
Youngest participant and from Germany,Simon  Schroeder was the first daily winner. Well done !!!Even with some penalty points he got the 10 points for the day. A slow day as the top speed was 86.1 km./h.
As they said on the SGP site; “This was a day that called for conservative and quick thinking, but in the end it was won by the pilots who played their own game.
Can’t say it better!!!


Ready for race 1 as shared by Oscar.

RACE 2; 225.78 km.
Another day with difficult circumstances as there was a possibility for thunderstorms. 3 Tasks were set , in the end the weather held and the 225 km was flown .
This time the 10 points were for Sebastian flying around with a speed of 125.8 km./h. Simon only flew 2 km./h less but only  got 3 points. Oscar[Goudriaan] and Holger [Karow] arrived at the same time and both were called for a 3d- place- celebration.
Andy [Davis] was punished “hard”with 436 penalty-sec, mainly for a much too high start.
After 2 days the 2 German pilots Holger and Simon top the total list,but still enough time for the others.”it ain’t not over yet!”
RACE 3 ; 365.31 km.
the weather for race 3….;the picture says it all. Cloudstreets to follow, super conditions!


As shared by Philippe de Pechy from France .

Racing weather means ,….FAST,means……OSCAR!!!!! Yes he won the daily 10 points with a speed of 150.1 km./h and that was just enough as Petr Krejcirik was on his heel/tail!!! 149.9 km./h. So 8 points for Czech pilot Petr.
Andy and Mike were on spot 3 and 4 both flying over 146 km./h.
Oscar raced to the top with 17 points in 3 days , then 3 pilots with 15 points, Sebastian, Andy and Holger.


Race -3-winner OSCAR.
As shared on the news site from

Today; 324.64 km. and an early start.
Cancelled due to upcoming thunderstorms.


And last but certainly not least


The cover from the November/December issue is a glider half an hour before sunset in Germany in GOLDEN skies. Very appropriate for the Christmas season.The picture is by Tobias Barth. You can find his web page on ;
Much more in this last Magazine for 2016 as 2017 is awaiting.
— Aldo starts with a great story about flying in the  Pyrenees.
He flew himself during the Spanish Nationals in Santa Cilia and won in open class in the ARCUS. Great pictures as well.
—Why do so many [at least 5] military air forces buy/order the DG 1001 Club??? That’s what Myles Hynde wanted to know . A full story also about DG where Holger Back, who flew his first 1000 km. from Tocumwal after the Benalla WGC in 1987, is the president and one of my friends and in the past in “my”  junior team Jelmer Wassenaar ,is the chief designer.
—Gliding at the Olympics?? Why not yet? Already in 1936 it was a demonstration sport……
—another story by Aldo, about the first two seat electric sustainer, the new electric variant of the 20 m. 2-seater by Schleicher
—is the 13.5 m. class a success?
—the provisional entry list for Benalla 2017 and chief editor John Roake [already in his eighthies but forever young] will be there in the last week to make the full story for his magazine.
—my last ” Ritz reports from Europe” due to my health problems, sorry but doctor’s advice.So there is a vacancy for a European correspondent!!
You can contact the editor at

I will receive my Magazine in the future too, so I can keep you up to date.

Cheers Ritz
Not too much news today have been in bed with a real painful bursa inflammation of my right hip.
Still suffering , but the medicines help.

Worried as well about our WORLD. Populists are slowly taking the lead [ Trump now, Brexit in the UK and in March most probably an ultra right winger with the most votes in Holland]

November 2, 2016

Potchefstroom….. FAI- SGP- FINALS soon!!!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 6:39 pm

Now the time, here in most parts of Europe has changed back  to the standard time, we could sleep one more hour , which felt good.
Down under in most parts [not all] they had a shorter day ,but no worries their summer, is arriving reason for a good mood.
Have to get used again to the difference when sky-ping with my Aussie friends, as it is not 8 but 10 hours now!!!
Already  November …… time flies AND time for many to pack the suitcase for short, long or very long visits to overseas soaring destinations.

Not long anymore and the Benalla WGC will start as well. It was a huge happening already in 1987 , specially for me and my family.My ex flew with our son Dennis in the brand new [prototype] of the Nimbus 3D; first ever father son combination in a WGC. My daughter Inge was their crew together with George’s brother Adrian and I helped where ever I could ,also crew from team Gerrit [Kurstjens].
I opened my huge book full of papers and pictures from that year and straight away was back in good old Benalla. I will write a bit more about it during the WGC . From home,…. as I am still not fit enough to go myself.
Looking forward to the season.


South Africa.

Just ahead of the finals of the FAI SGP in Potchefstroom, Oscar [Goudriaan] started his season with a ” big bang “; 1000 km. FAI TRIANGLE with a speed of 154 km./h!!!![October 28]
The full flight was 1.122.5 km. with 153.7 km./h and the FAI triangle 1.064.4 with 154 km./h. Good on you Oscar!!!
He flew his JS 1 C TJ Revelation 21m. with OG as call sign.
Oscar is ready for the Grand Prix!!!
So is John Coutts;865.32 km [596.2 FAI triangle] with a speed of 141.11 on October 30 in an 18 m. LAK 17 flying from Orient.

FINAL of the 2016 FAI SGP Potchefstroom is  about to begin!


18 Top participants, 17 JS gliders [18 m] and 1 Ventus 2cxt flown by French pilot Phillipe de Pechy and 11 different nationalities .Here is an appetizer from the site about the side, the rest about the top-pilots,  you can read there:
This will be the 7th SGP final to take place since 2005 and the first to be held outside a mountain region which will certainly change the dynamics of the contest. Potchefstroom 120 kms south west of Johannesburg is situated in the vast high plateau of South Africa. The combination of high temperatures dry air mass and high altitude flying in this region should provide competitors with some excellent racing conditions.

The host airfield is the home of Jonker Sailplanes manufacturers of the JS1 sailplane, a new design in the world of sailplane racing which has established itself as a formidable competitive sailplane.

Most of the competing pilots have chosen not to ship their own sailplanes from Europe and will be flying JS1 sailplanes. This will make the contest almost a one design contest removing any controversy surrounding the performance of the machine and allowing a true comparison of the pilots abilities and performance.”

The first race is on Sunday the 6th of November, for live race coverage results and pilot interviews go to the event web site at

For the latest news of  race broadcast times, race progress and results follow us:-

On Twitter at

On Facebook at


Gliders for sale in Australia!

Checking the October-Alpine Flyer , the internet soaring magazine/news from the Mount Beauty club I noticed 2 adds . Specially the Cirrus 75 is here in Europe popular for the young [top]pilots.So for sure also in Australia or New Zealand;
Here you are, specially for those who are interested as I have space now and maybe there is space in the containers coming back from Benalla:
Airframe and wings professionally refinished by Rowe Aviation Services
 No crazing or cracking on the gel coat.
 New instrument panel with the following units:
 Xcom VHF radio with press to talk, rear speaker and boom mike.
 Swiss FLARM.  Tasman V1000 vario.
 PDA mount on panel with 20 cm extension.
 Tasman flight pack air data engine – coupled to Tasman vario, Swiss flarm, temperature probe, pitot and static vents and PDA.
 Mountain high oxygen, AL180 bottle with EDS oxygen regulator.
 Clam shell trailer with mechanical brakes.
Price $19,500 Contact Richard Todd

The other glider is a PILATUS B4 GLIDER VH-GCD
Currently airworthy with 40 yearly inspection completed in September 2015. Open trailer. Price $8,000 ono
Contact Andrew:

All the news on;


And news from the Tocumwal Residential Park


“Welcome to the Australian Aerobatic Club who are hosting the 2016 National Aerobatic Championships at Tocumwal commencing today and running until Sunday the 6th. We have turned the weather on just in time…we hope you enjoy your time here!”


Latest news from SEVENTY 2 ONE!



The first 50 Gift Certificates for €500 each.

The certificate entitles a glider pilot to experience the ultimate in cross country soaring, a day flying the magnificent Eta 70:1 sailplane with Uli Schwenk from Münsingen Germany.

To purchase your certificate email Uli Schwenk at . Once your payment is received your certificate will be posted to you.

You can use your certificate in the 2017 or 2018 season and you can share the experience with a friend where you can have two shorter flights on the one day.

Book now, don’t miss out on this fantastic opportunity.

#christmasgift #bucketlist#ultimateglidingexperience #70:1

On a question how many flights for the E.500, the answer was;”you get a full day. You can share it with one another pilot. It will depend on the day of course, maybe a 5 to 7 hour flying day. When you book email Uli and let him know what you would like to do.
Always interesting!!!!


Have a good week.
Cheers Ritz
Finishing with this awesome picture I got in my FB messages [zwevers] shared by Constant Godefroy on October 30.
With his text ;
This is gliding as well.  The DG 1001T from the  KZC, on final at sunset.”


October 26, 2016

Great Aussie Nationals with 10 out of 12 days and good practice for the Benalla Worlds!!!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 5:50 pm

Kingaroy …Australian Nationals….the end!!!!

Wednesday’s story from Bruce to start with, as it is always interesting.
Lots of stories to tell today. The weather was really interesting, with a high wave start from 11,500 feet. There was some strong shear wave, and the photos show some of the panel and a view of the Kingaroy location from about 10,500 feet. I was lucky to be at the top, and it was beautiful looking down through about 30 gliders to the ground. Our first leg was a very long glide to the north, and when we arrived under the clouds they were useless. Lift was very weak and broken, and it was not until half an hour later that things improved. The northern part of our task then became excellent, with good climbs to about 7,000 feet, usually at 6 knots or more. Then as we came south again it was slightly difficult to find the best climbs and to stay high. I was sure the wave was still going over the top of convection, so I worked hard at finding the influence of the wave by flying just upwind of the lines of cumulus, and it worked a treat! This air was good enough to get onto a final glide home from a couple of thousand feet low. Once again the big wings were beaten by the 18m pilots, and John Buchanan in particular, but it was a fun flight and interesting weather.
Washing the glider I was joined by George Lee for a nice chat about gliding, world comps, and the many great friendships we have made whilst doing this. What a gentleman George is, and what a wonderful sport we enjoy. Then when heading back to the clubhouse for dinner there was this super sunset.
All in all not a bad days work.”


As shared by Bruce.

Thursday flying day 9; 2.30 AAT’s for standard and 15 m and 2 hour AAT’s for the rest, with storms fore-casted .
Standard; Another great win , the 5th, for Allan [ Barnes]. It looks if he is on his way to be the Aussie Champion but it’s only over after the last pilot has arrived on the last day. Like Butch in 18 m. Allan is “in the right groove”.
298.45 km. in 2.34. Good on him. Mac [HC] was runner up. Peter [Trotter] number 2 for the Aussie-score-day.
Allan is so kind to always share his views on the day in his OLC comment;
Day 9 of KRY Nationals. A day that was forecast to storm early and become unsoarable after 3pm. Task was a 2.5hr AAT to the north then to the Downs in the SW. I came off tow straight into sink and eventually found a half knot to work for a long time in the widespread shade. Eventually got to cloudbase well after the gate had opened, so started pretty much straight away as there was shadow everywhere and heaps of vertical development. I ran NE towards the east edge of the first area, and it went well for a time – I found Mac Ichikawa but our line was soon spoiled by a large dead area. I deviated north, and got fairly low before finding a good climb near Windera lake. Decided to go as far as possible north, as the Downs was meant to be much worse. Found a good street, and turned just a couple of km before the circle edge. Had a fairly good run south, apart from being heavily rained on instead of finding the planned-for 10kt. Got a little low over the scrub and had to backtrack towards landable fields, but found a 6kt save just in time. Ran south again and turned in the second circle at 10min delta T, with 160kph required speed to finish. Pulled it back to 4 minutes over, and ran in at almost VNE in the end under a buoyant street.”
15 m; Adam mentioned that he loves  the challenge and race,even with only a 2 points lead. So will he keep his calm and not loose it???? It’s the first time in the ‘grown-up-world’ he leads a championship, reason enough to get “cold feet”.
BUT,….He did keep it at least for day 9 and won !!!339.85 in 2.44. Stephen was runner up but lost 56 points, so Adam’s lead is a bit bigger now 91 points.


Adam who shared this picture with the text:
A pleasure doing business with you Aaron, you’ve completed your first contract – my glider is now extremely clean & ready for tomorrow’s racing. AU$10 well spent.”

18 m.; a short task so what time to start? With storms up coming you would think early. That’s what David did at 12 , but Chris, Adam’s dad started an hour later. Local knowledge????
Anyhow David won the day with 266.58 km. in 2.11. Butch started at 12.30 and lost 27 points . No worries!Chris was on spot 7.
During the last 7 out of 9 days the overall scores have been the same. Butch, David and Tom , nothing changed today. Butch leads with nearly 200 points , but between David and Tom there are less than 60 points.Exciting!
open/combi ; Bruce won the open class day with 276.56 km. in 2.07 !!!
Here is Bruce;
Today was a tricky day, with very moist, unstable air. During briefing there was a shower on the roof, but we were reassured by Adam Woolley (the weather lad) that it would indeed turn into an “awesome day”. Maybe it didn’t reach awesome status, but it was interesting and a lot of fun. Already during launch, areas were overdeveloping and turning to rain, leaving some large dead spots. Starting was difficult, as everything within range of the start line had died, and a number of pilots had a real struggle to get away. Then through the afternoon things recycled, and parts of the task area were really good, with solid climbs to 7,000 feet or more. However it was always challenging, and the carefully set 2 hour AAT was right on the money. It must have been a long wings day, as the JS1 helped me around the task at a good speed, and I really managed to stay out of trouble the whole way. In a few places I used 2 or 3 knots to stay up high, but mostly I was looking for 5 knots, and even found one much stronger than that.” 


As shared by Adam,pilot and the meteo guy;
Raining at Kingaroy now, looks like we got the task about right & predicted the weather fairly closely due to

Friday LAST DAY;
So much to hope for,so much to gain,  so much to loose,…. what will bring this last day. Tasks were about the same as the day before so a bit of practice was in the system. 2 and 2.30 AAT’s.
Standard; Allan won the last day as well good on him,[ daily win number 6 in the pocket !!!!!!]; 250 km. in  2.04 same as Mac.
Here is his own story from the OLC and thanks Allan for your detailed reports!!!
— “Final day. Our task was a 2 hour AAT, similar to yesterday but with a TP at Kumbia to keep everyone away from the scrub. I had a problem-laden start, realizing at weighing that all my tail ballast had emptied, and discovering the valve was broken. I decided to dump half my wing water, and fill the tail halfway and plug it. That way I could still have he benefit of some ballast and be able to comfortably land with it on board if necessary. My task today was to ensure that Greg and Peter did not do anything much better than me – so I was going to follow Greg but saw Mac, who is ahead of me but not in the running for the trophy. He latched on to me and followed me through the start, and never let go. I was losing on glide but gaining on climb. We turned short of a big fire that was too far north, then had a good run back via Kumbia, and hit the Bunyas with about 30km needed to avoid coming home early. Fortunately there was a line of cu just outside the Oakey airspace, and we ran it down until we got pinched by the airspace then ran home coming in 4 min over. Good day, good enough to be champion!!!”


As shared by the 34 th WGC.

So Mac is the winner with 7686 points well done MAC, great practice for Benalla.
The AUSTRALIAN CHAMPION is ALLAN BARNES.He got the trophy for 7516 points.Congratulations Allan!!!!!
On spot 2 is Peter Trotter and Greg Beecroft was as well on the podium!!
By the way Kerrie was 3d on the last day so good on her!!
The official final scores in standard class;
Winner MAC flying HC        7686
1. Allan Barnes        7516
2. Peter Trotter       7344
3. Greg Beecroft      7269

15 m.; a “bloody good feeling”  was one of the reactions of the new AUSSIE 15 m NATIONAL CHAMPION Adam Woolley.
He first had to fly though, on that last day, but no worries, he was runner up behind Jim, who flew 250 km. with a speed of 124 km./h.. Adam “did”  236 km. in 1.58.
—” Well it’s official, I’m now the Australian 15m national gliding champion! It’s taken a lot of sweat over the years to achieve this life long dream, it feels as good as I dreamt it to be!
It’s not just for us, the champion names that live on the trophy, I must thank all those who have supported me through the years, those who have breathed deep when I got low, helped me get from A-B, leant me gliders, picked me out of a paddock, heard my sob & success day stories, coached me, shared laughs & shared days soaring with me!

You all know who you are, so thanks for being apart of my first senior Nationals win & hopefully one day a world title.”

Official 15 m. results;
1. Adam Woolley             7500
2. Jim Crowhurst           7333
3. Stephen O’ Donnell   7245



A REAL happy chappie.
As shared by Adam.

18 m. ;Geoff Brown was the last-day-winner with 322 km in 2.30 at the dot!!! The toppers did not loose too much or did not take too big risks so the overall scores stayed the same. Butch flew extremely well a deserved NATIONAL CHAMPION.
He did so already when I met him in Rieti 1984 and during the WGC there in ’85 he flew our glider and used our car.After more than 30 years he is still TOP!!!
Official 18 m. scores;
1. John Buchanan        7704
2. David Jansen           7575
3. Tom Claffey              7517

open /combi; For open class only as in big wings, Benalla 2016 WGC pilot for Australia ,Andrew won the day in the JS 1C .
Bruce for the last time from  the Kingaroy nationals.
—“All done and dusted. The last day turned out to be not totally straightforward, with a slowish start and poor visibility, which hampered our decision on how best to use the AAT we were given. Andrew Georgeson made the best of it, and I got caught flying into an area that wasn’t so wonderful. I have been feeling like I haven’t really flown my best this competition, but in hindsight I have managed to be consistent, and did win the three days which really suited the JS1. I slipped back one place yesterday to finish in fourth. As per the whole fortnight, John Buchanan outflew us convincingly. Congratulations to him for a great effort.
The photo is the sky today, the first really non-flyable day for the past two weeks. That says much for the Kingaroy site. We have had a variety of weather, and some tough, weak days, but could actually have flown 12 days straight. Thanks to all the organizers, super comp!” Thanks BRUCE!!!!!
The combi/open class was a bit complicated in scores. But looking at the combined scores,… the top 3 from 18 m, was also the top 3 in the combined class, so GOOD ON THEM!!!
Looking at open class gliders only, Bruce was the best followed by Andrew. Both represent Australia in Benalla,… so good luck guy’s.

No more pictures found so that’s all about the Aussie Nationals!!!!


Benalla here they come!


2 Trailers in one container , one the EB 29 with new wings, with Ludwig,??? Stefano , Wolfgang and Gagula
As they mentioned “loading of the Diana (with FES-system) trailer was very easy.”
Picture courtesy Goeran Karllson.


Courtesy Boerje.

The Dutch containers, with HUGE help of Grietje and Francesco from Soaring-Center-Corowa, left already in September

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Pictures shared by WK Gliding.


And…talking about containers….
ready for the season

Safe arrival from all containers at Bitterwasser.


As shared by Bitterwasser Lodge and Flying Center.


The Victorian Soaring Association.

The VSA Presidents Award recognizes the significant contribution Eddie Madden has made to gliding over many years through his SportAviation business.

Any aviation business is challenging and none more so than recreational aviation. Eddie has shown great perseverance in maintaining SportAviation as a viable operation which has introduced many people to gliding and thereby assisted membership growth in the VSA and GFA. Eddie’s operation has also assisted visiting pilots to fly at Tocumwal and contributed to Tocumwal’s ongoing reputation as a premier cross country site.

The VSA Committee also recognize the support Eddie has given the VSA by attending and contributing to our Club Presidents meetings every year.”

Good on you Eddie, congratulations !!!!!


Picture shared by Marsha from the VSA


Talking about awards…..


I got one too. At Terlet some pilots who have a gliders pilot licence for 50 years got flowers and little golden pin’s with a brilliant.
Robin Smit got  a Dutch bronze award for being such a great young pilot, Dr. Luuk Boermans for EVERYTHING he has done for soaring, too much to mention and for my contribution to soaring the Dutch Gliding Federation handed out a sterling  GOLDEN pin to me as well.
Love gold!!!!!
THANKS!!!!!!!Also a big thank you to the KNVvl for organizing such a nice day!!!
A  picture impression.

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Around 130 people cheered on the 10 pilots who got their pin for 50 years “glider pilot’s licence”.
For Robin, Loek and Me.

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Robin [to the left] waiting for his award, Loek WITH his award and Jan “decorating me.”


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With longtime friends Theo, Jan and  Mark-Peter , Reitze and Brutus and my daughter Inge with Bas.

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Pictures courtesy George.


My family. Maike [sister in law], Inge [daughter] Saf [sister in law] my ” little”  brother Piet.

both Inge and I got the chance to virtual fly in the Discus 2 C with FES. Thanks Sander!!!


the Thermiekbel one day later still gorgeous weather.



News from the British Gliding Team!

We’re delighted to announce our British Junior Gliding Team for the 2017 season:

Tom Arscott
Mike Gatfield
Jake Brattle
Finn Sleigh

First Reserve: Jordan Richards

“Congratulations to the guys for making the Team! We look forward to watching them in action in Pociunai, Lithuania, next year, including Tom’s defense of his Gold medal.”



Starting soon.
November 5 and 12 !!!!
More next week.


Cheers Ritz




October 19, 2016

55th Aussie Nationals …”under-estimated” task;194.14 km. with 158.63 km./h.!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 8:23 pm

Kingaroy !

On Thursday October 13 another good day at the 55 th Aussie Nationals, with nice long tasks.
Standard; 441 km. and HC [ not officially competing] pilot Mac was the best again [109.90 km./h.]  Great practice for the WGC in Benalla. He knows the area around Benalla very well as he flew many years with us at Sportavia and we were only 70 km. distance up to the N..
He and Greg Beecroft were the last to start [12.02]  and Greg won the day and the 1000 points.Systems often have problems with the scores for HC pilots , also this time; 1026 points for Mac. LOL.
5 LS 8 gliders in the top;Mac, Greg, Lisa and Peter [Trotter] and Ross [McLean]
Early starters [11.17]  as Allan [Barnes] and Brian [Hayhow] did not have the best day.
Allan mentioned on the OLC that ” from my evaluation of the weather it was a good possibility of being a distance day. So as I was in a good position to start just after the gate opened, I did so. Found myself with Bryan Hayhow and we worked our way around slowly in the blue, surprised that no-one else had started.
They got low on track and “the gaggle rolled us high and fast.”
15 m; 441 km. same as Standard. Only 10 pilots started AND finished. Best was Stephen O ‘Donnell with 1000 points for a speed of 11.29 km./ his Ventus 2cx.
18 m; 446 km. and another fast day for Butch;1000 points for him for a speed of 124 km./h. David was close with 966 points. 3 ASG 29 gliders in the overall top after 3 days and 3 very strong pilots; Butch , David and Tom, all WGC-material.
open/combi; 446 km. same top as 18 m., but on the next 4 places 4 JS 1c open class gliders. After 3 tasks the overall scores are ; Butch , David and Bruce [Taylor] In this combined class several types of gliders of course flying with the appropriate handicap.
And here is the daily report from Bruce:
“A much longer task today, 450 km to the north, then west. We experienced a bit of everything, some wave before the start, stronger blue conditions, then weak, lower blue conditions, then finally some fast running under cumulus to finish the day. It was fun, and a good test of skill. Once again John Buchanan came home in first place. He is flying very well, as I saw first hand today. We were together for a lot of the flight. In theory the JS1C with the long wings is a better glider than his ASG29, but we could not get away from him at any stage. Congratulations John! I arrived home slightly frustrated after a long stretch of the flight with a lot of company. All classes flew the same task, and the low, blue weather in the middle brought us all together, with plastic going in every direction. Plus I had a couple of small technical issues to keep me busy. The overall result for me was OK though, and I moved up a few places today.”

Friday;   day 4 and,….. according to some with another highly -under-set task, others mentioned ” Very windy day, and the task setters were not sure how it would turn out, and ended up undersetting it. ” Start games were played by many.
standard; 167.51 km., much better day for Allan who won the day with a speed of 124.5 km./h. So only 338 points for the winner. Mac was runner up. One out-landing.
Bryan [Hayhow] who flew with us at Toc in the past is one of the competitors in this class flying his Discus B. He is always good in comments so here is his on the OLC on day 4, on which he was 5th.
Very interesting task again with pre start wave, over development on the second leg, and very hard to find cores once back over the Bunyas… Had a good run to the first turn, but got left by the LS8 brigade and had to take a couple of weaker climbs in the over shadowing to stay in the band… the real problem started once back into the Kingaroy Valley, where I struggled to connect with anything, to get me onto final glide. I just watched the speed wind down, while struggling!
Very frustrating on such a short task, where every climb really counts. Fun day despite that though…”
15 m.; 167.51 km. So the same distance and ALL pilots finished. Norm , who had to travel from  West [Perth] to  East [Kingaroy] , to compete in Kingaroy, was the best in his LS 8 with a speed of 127.30 km./h. Norm is a 747 airline captain with Quantas so he might have flown . Nice young man who flew years ago already nationals [ where I met him] , stopped for a while and is back at his best.
18 m.; 194.15 km. It’s either Butch or David in this class this year so today it was David again . Speed 145.15 km./h. So not a lot of points to hand out.Same kind of story for these 2 men, who I know already for ages. Still nice and still great pilots as well as Bruce.
Open/combi; 194.15 km. AND ….BRUCE won the day with 158.63 km. h. for only just under 300 points.
Here is daily winner Bruce:
Today was short and fast! Everything fell into place for me: a good start in wave, spectacular glides and only a few climbs, all very strong, then a final glide which started well below height and just built up nicely. Couldn’t be better! Only problem was the elapsed time was too short and the day was heavily devalued. Super day, good JS1 weather. The photo is from up in the wave pre-start, always a beautiful place.”
Great short story and fabulous picture!


Courtesy Bruce.

Saturday ; nice day, great clouds with 7/8 knotters over the Darling Downs, good tasks and strong winners. Gerrit Kurstjens flew in his Quintus ,even a 757 km. flight, from nearby airfield Mc Caffery.[124 km./h.]  His wife Pam a 628 km task in the ASH 31/21 m.. Both flew a 600 km FAI triangle.
Standard ;427.10 km….and after one day with a more or less wrong decision, it seems Allan decided to go for it; he won AGAIN , so 2 days in row!!!And now it was a 1000 points-day!Mac was runner up  and Greg had another good day  after winning a day and 2 times a runner-up-spot.Also the Trotters did well with a 3d spot for Peter and 4th for Lisa.
After 5 days and still 5 to go Mac tops the list but for the Aussie championship it is for now, Peter, Greg and Allan.
15 m ;427.10 km….great day for Woolley winning the 1000 points with a speed of 132 km./h. All pilots finished and Adam was really happy :”Cracking day at the Australian Nationals, 430km at 132kph – close quality racing. I was lucky enough to get a day win & the overall lead (first for me in my senior career) by the slimmest of margins today. 5 more days to go, bring on more smiles & challenges!”
After 5 days so Adam on top ,only just , as he says with 7 points. Followed by Jim and Norm.
18m; 428 km…and Tom was in a hurry…..143.42 km./h. and won the day ahead of Butch and David.
Open/combi :428 km. Best open class pilot was Andrew who won the day. As open class pilot he leads the overall scores after 5 days before Bruce. AND, is Bruce…..

Longer day, and the best weather so far. It started early, first launch at 10:30am, but it could have been an hour earlier, and the day went quite late. The Open class task was 430 km, and as it turned out we had cumulus almost all the way. In the Kingaroy valley it was moist as always, so the clouds were large and a little spread out, and out to the west there were very few cus, but it was much higher. It was a fabulous day to be flying, with climbs from 6 to 8 knots, and heights over 9,000 feet in the west. Today it was my partner for Benalla, Andrew Georgeson who took the prize, with a smoking 151kph. Great to see. My flight went very well, right up until the final glide, which turned to worms for me. That is how it goes. Tomorrow perhaps.”

Sunday another nice and interesting day with ” very  different legs on task” , but also blue conditions .Here in Holland we had SUPER WEATHER  sunny not too much wind a few clouds and up to  20 dgr. C on October 16 !!!!!!!
Standard ; 399.53 km….Mac won but as he flies HC , Allan won the day. so 3 consecutive days as winner. Good on him!!! Local “hero”  Ross was runner up. Mac still leads ,but for Australian Champion you have to be an Aussie. As said before he will be the winner if he continues flying like this, but not the champion. Another local hero Peter Trotter is at this stage a potential champion.
5 Pilots in the 4000- range, so chances enough.
15 m ; 399. 53 km…And another HC pilot won the day. This time from New Zealand from that beautiful town Tauranga; Alan  Belworthy. ..1028 points. Loved it there in Tauranga!!
The 1000 points were for Kingaroy pilot Stephen O’Donnell in his 15 m. Ventus cxt. Adam still leads the overall scores with a better margin now;34 points instead of 7. And ,…” it ain’t no over yet ”
18 m. ; 482.62 km,….David Jansen is “HOT” or more polite, in great form [ speed 126.37 km./h.]  He won another day and got the 1000 points. 993 for Tom and 979 for Butch. Except for 1 day when David was on top, Butch has been overall leader for the rest of the week.
Open /combi;482.62 km…. Bruce had intentions as he said the day before and the best open class pilot today was BRUCE gaining the full 1000 points!!!Speed 131.29 km./h.
‘” I spent a big part of today with David Jansen in “4D”, and here he is up north between Biggenden and Mundubbera. We were the early starters, and it didn’t seem to hurt our scores, as we finished 1 and 2. I was concerned about the weather turning blue, which it did, but in the end most of the speeds were very similar. We did 480 km at about 132kph. Nice flight, with the last third all in the blue. Seems we have a day off tomorrow, partly as a rest day and partly because it might be raining!”


Monday ; after 6 pretty intensive days a rest -day with good clouds, but also a 30 kts wind and showers around. Perfect day for the annual pilot meeting. As long as I have been at Nationals , there was always, on a non flying day , a meeting. Sometimes they went for hours!!!!

Tuesday; decent tasks for 15 m and standard class;317.56 and a few more kilometers for 18 m. and open; 349.02 km.
Decent day as well with blue circumstances.  “They set a window close time which was 45 min after the window open.” So not too much time to hang around.
Standard; all pilots started between 12 and 12.17. Greg was the first to go on track at 12,  flew by himself and finished first..good on him. Most of the rest left 17 min. later and never managed to “catch”  him, though they did not loose too much points; 1000 for Greg and 988 for runner up Ray Stewart from Kingaroy. Nice to see that Lisa was faster than her husband Peter, but Peter is still on spot 2 overall , not counting Mac who leads HC with over 200 points. Greg still leads overall.
15 m ; Jim Crowhurst won the day and the 1000 points and with that he moved to spot 1 overall, only by TWO points. Adam was 5th for the day. 9 From 15 finished! Terry Cubley started rather late and just not made it  home; 308 km.
18 m.; Butch and David started together but Butch finished 8 minutes earlier. Good flights by the runner up Tom and Brian Du Rieu [LS10 st] from Temora. David was 4th for the day.Best speed for the day in ALL classes, was just over 100 km./h. in 18 m. class.
Open /combi; Andrew [Georgeson] was the best open class pilot just ahead of Bruce and 2 the NZ pilots Brett and Mark, all in JS 1C, but looking at a combination of 18m and open it was Butch who won and Andrew and Bruce were ” only” 5th and 6th.
Both Chinese pilots out-landed. Both are competing in the WGC next month,  so there is MORE to learn for them. Here is the news from the Australian home page at
Andrew (Peng) Du and Guangwei Shang, representing the People’s Republic of China (PRC), have arrived in Australia and are competing in the Australian National Gliding Championships now underway in Kingaroy, 10 – 21 October. They will also be among the pilots competing in the World Gliding Championships at Benalla in January. As far as we are aware, this will be the first international competition for China’s leading pilots since the WGC in Benalla in 1987.”
Some of the Chinese pilots flew over the last years in Tocumwal and their Chinese  ARCUS M arrived there last year as well. I wrote about it in my blogs. They flew first with Sportaviation, then with SRGC , then with Outback Soaring and left then for Narromine. Noticed how they operated, had dinner with them and conversations. Some are very nice, as the owner of the ARCUS M, Mr. Qing Gao, some a “bit complicated”, for some the language is a huge problem. They are all very enthusiastic though!
To be honest, from what I saw, I can not see them YET, as WGC material , but who knows!!! I told them last year, when they still dreamed of participating. We even took them to Benalla to the Pre Worlds for the day, to show them that a WGC is BIG and that you need a lot of [competition-] experience!!!!!Well, let’s wait and see how they go in 18 m and open class in January.

Wednesday TODAY task 8; 314 km. for standard and 15 m. and 400  for 18 m. and open. All scores at this stage preliminary.
I start with the OLC comment from Allan Barnes.Like me , you get an idea of the day.
“Very interesting day. Shear wave prior to start – I got to over 11000ft, but way earlier than I wanted to start. Tough choice – go early and take advantage of the height, or wait for the others and start lower after the wave had dissipated. I decided to go early, as I needed to do something different to Greg and Peter. The headwind on the first leg soon eliminated the advantage of the high start, but I found myself with Tim Bromhead and we spent the rest of the flight together. Lots of wave effect, and one ripper thermal on the leg out of Chinchilla was about a 9kt average. Will have to wait and see if going early was the right move.”
YES it was,…. he won the day.Allan started at 12.03 and Greg at 1 .06 PM, so ONE hour later. Greg was 4th for the day. NZ pilot Tim who flies HC, was runner up.Mac was 5th. Allan who lost some points on day 3 and 4 , won till now 4 days!!!!! That means at this stage that he leads overall, as Greg lost some points, he is on spot 3 now behind Peter. Of course Mac is still the winner at this stage with nearly 200 points on Allan.
15 m.; Stephen O’ Donnell was the best for the day and gained 807 points. Only 1 out-lander.Norm is really flying very steady and is on spot 3 overall at this stage [5995], behind Jim [ 6.047] and Adam [6.045]Look at the differences . Stephen has 5910 points.Everything is possible.
18 m.;Butch flew around with 134.06 km./h. and was the best. Tom was runner up David lost 50 points on Butch.
No changes in the overall top still Butch, David and Tom. Chinese pilot Guangwei finished, FIRST time during this competition good on him; speed 85.95 km./h.a bit slow but getting there.
open/ combi: Best open class pilot  was Kiwi pilot Brett with a speed of 135.20 km/h. Bruce followed with 133.55 km.h.
No story today but here is the one from the day before;
“Half of the grid launched, ready to go, and not a cloud to be seen! It was the story of today, a day that turned out to be very challenging. Climbs were never high, and never strong, and 350 km was simply a long, hard slog. Post-frontal blue days can be like that in South-East Queensland, but thankfully the wind didn’t blow too hard, or we would not have gone anywhere. About one-third of the field failed to complete the task.
For me, there were good and bad parts to the flight, but by the end of it I was happy to be home, at a neat 100kph. Once again John Buchanan took the honours. He is really in the groove.”

The last days in Kingaroy, you can read next week.



This year the 110th FAI General Conference  was at Bali between October 13 and 15.
Last year the annual meeting from the FAI was in Rotterdam here in Holland. I remember very well as I was honored with the Pelagia Majewska Award. This year this prestigious prize , world wide for a lady contributing to our beautiful sport,  was for Italian  Margherita Acquaderni, Margo for her friends.
Last year also Loek Boermans from Holland got a very prestigious prize, the   Lilienthal Gliding Medal, so Holland WAS in  the spotlight and great to see IS,  as  this year “our” Frits Brink was elected as the new president for 2 years as successor of John Grubbstroem  from Sweden. It’s only the 2d time in history that a Dutch president was elected  last time was between 1952 and 1954.

British Gliding Team.

Is not yet on its way to Benalla. But they are packing to leave soon. Here you are …nearly ready to go.

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As shared by the British Gliding Team
Gagula Darko shared a picture from the packing of the Slovenian, Italian and Austrian container.
They take the trailer with them as well.




Shared by Andrew Maddocks,with the message
Road tripping to Slovenia to pack number 6 & 7 Ventus 3 into the container for Australia WGC 2017



the travel- news from our USA mates, shared by US soaring teams.
34th FAI World Gliding Championships Benalla Australia here we come! “The US Team pilots are preparing for their trips to Benalla. Most of the ships are en route from the US; one has already arrived! The US Team extends very special thanks to Virginia Higgins of DJ Powers, our US Team Global Master Logistics provider, and Gary Brasher of AXIMA Logistics in Melbourne who handles all import logistics for us in Australia.”
Good old Gary helped us already with the carnets etc when we brought gliders to Benalla in 1987!!!

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In the past the Aeroclub from Stendal in co-operation with  the airport of Stendal- Borstel organized several comps ,  even Dutch  Nationals. To full satisfaction. Now they are going to organize the German Nationals in July [ 3-15 in open, 18 m and 15 m. class] 2017 and after they hope to organize a WGC !!!
Good on them ,…they have send out a bid for the year 2020.After the next IGC meeting we hope for them, to know more!!


Eagle strike!


One of my FB friends is Aussie John Welsh, who is a member from the Beverly Gliding Club, as is another mate Norm Bloch who flies at the moment the Kingaroy Nationals in his LS 8 and by the way won day 4!!!.
Bird strike!!! It is not something new ,it happened here in Holland to, but that was not an eagle, forgot what kind of bird it was, long ago.
This time John, who is a longtime instructor at Beverley,  went for a nice flight with a few others flying over Mt. Stirling starting from Quairading and in a flash second an Eagle flew through the canopy glass and was on John’s lap. Of course he was in shock but straight away through the bird out of the cockpit;”I didn’t know if the eagle was dead or just stunned, and I was very determined to get him out of the cockpit just in case he was stunned.”

As there was blood everywhere, John did not know exactly whose blood, he looked around and had to decide to jump out or fly back and land straight away. That’s what he did after he contacted his mates, over the radio and they organized an ambulance.


The broken canopy as shared by the Beverley Soaring Society.

This is the story he shared on FB; “Waiting for the retrieve crew in Quarading Hospital after an eagle strike in Mike Yankee at 4000′ over the wheatbelt. First thing I saw was a shape descending from above right, a bang taking out the right side of the canopy and an eagle landed in my lap. Tossed him out in case it was only stunned, landed safely at Quarading open cockpit. Only a cut over my right eye!”


Members of the Canberra Gliding Club mentioned :
Bird strikes are a real and serious threat; fortunately John’s ok and MY can be repaired.
I am glad he is OK .
This tells the full story


It’s not over yet!

Some air reconnaissance photo’s from Deniliquin to Tocumwal (Lower River Road) showing the extent of the inundation.
“Remember if it’s flooded forget it!
Never drive, ride or walk through floodwaters.”
How many times did I drive that road!!!

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As shared, this week,  by my friend Margie,
pictures courtesy NSW SES Murray Region.
BUT spring is arriving
look at the early -season- actions at the field in Toc at Eddies and at the SRGC.

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Dundee, after his trip to Brisbane, where he celebrated his 80 thiest birthday, YES 80, helping out at Sportaviation and SRGC .
Stu, who visited Europe incl. Amsterdam 3 weeks ago, takes his Musketeer now for a nice spring-flight .


Interesting OLC flights.

October 14; Dennis and Robert Carlton flew the ARCUS J [jet sailplane] for the very first long flight ;a flight of 1.175 km and speed of 153.1 km./h. They flew from Inyokern in California .
For more news on this flight you can read the OLC comment that day by Robert, who conducted the test flights in the USA…interesting story!!!
Also a nice 750 triangle by Egon Otto Rehn in the Quintus M flown from Fazenda Panambi [never heard from this field before] in Brazil  and one day later Luis Moares flew from Luís Ed. Magalhães a distance of 771 km [600 FAI triangle]

October 15 ; Dennis Tito and Aussie Morgan Sandercock from the Perlan Project , took the brand new ARCUS J [jet sailplane, ] out for a long and high ride starting from Inyokern [California] ; 1.726.4 km. with huge speed of 206.79  km./h.
Germany had a fabulous flight from Unterwoessen in the South of Germany close to the Austrian border.Jan Lyczywek flew in the Antares 18 T …934 km. into the Alps and had there some wave as well.

October 16;The fun is not over yet for the ARCUS J . It remains in the air, this time with Dennis and Cindy; 1.380.6 km with a speed of 152.2 km/h
New Zealand showed the first flight for the season from Finnish pilot Jyri Laukkanen and many will follow. Wave flight from 845 km with a speed of 157.6 km./h.

CU next week.
Cheers Ritz

October 12, 2016

S.A. Nationals finished with 6 out of 7 days! Queensland State comps over Aussie Nationals about to begin!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 6:02 pm

2016 JONKER SAILPLANES South African Nationals.


On final,…look at the height.
Courtesy Arne.

When I left you on Wednesday they were ready to fly for another day.Here are short reviews of the last days of this very interesting National Competition. They flew 6 days in a row with pretty good distances, day 7 was cancelled.For the full scores you can look back at 

Task 4 with speed tasks from 224 km….278 km….and 361 km.
Club;every day a different winner, also this day; Jean Du Plessis was the name, flying the LS 1d. Speed 102 km./h.
A total of 13 pilots started and the same 13 finished.

15 m.; 10 pilots started AND finished. Lovely day for Mr and Mrs. Schmidt as they were the daily number 1 and runner up. Wayne flew in his ASW 27 around with a speed of 124 km./h and Maneste in her ASW 20 with 113 km./h

18m/open ; another family-day as brothers Laurens and Oscar flew together to the best 2 spots; 862 for 861 points with a speed of  136.02 km./h and 135.95 km./h. Uys and Attie followed ,so really family affairs.
All 20 pilots started 18 finished.
After task 4 the preliminary difference in total scores between Uys and Laurens was 3 points!!!!!BUT,…the scores changed all the time.

Some impressions shared by Arne.

Morning jobs.

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and afternoon jobs with”  80 km out and no complaints“.

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and then there is  the evening…..with a  “braai”.


Courtesy Arne.

Task 5 with 343 km……459 km….and 505 km.!!!!!
A day with very strong wind and blowing dust.
club ; changed to 259 km. as B task and Jonathan was the daily winner with 98 km.h. in his LS 1f. 12 from 14 finished.  Tommie Grobler [ASW 19 b] is on spot 1 in the overall scores, with 3685 points. Jonathan has 3617 points.
Exciting last days to go.

15 m ;338 was the B task and out of 10 pilots 9 finished. Mark was the best with a speed 0f 132 km./h. With 2 day’s to go it looks like a battle between Dolf  and Mark.

18m./open ;Changed to 459 km. and 18 out of 20 flew the task and still start-or finish-altitude-problems. Also for the daily winners Pieter [Speed 141 km./h ]and Uys [].  The first 8 pilots overall are within 300 points.


The Line-up from today” as shared by Arne.
The fish line up….


Task 6 with 386.82 km….458.53 km,…..506.4 km. for open/18m.
It turned out to be the LAST FLYING-DAY [and not an easy one], as they did not fly on Saturday…..6 days consecutive flying in all classes GREAT but pretty HEAVY on the pilots.
club ;task changed in 343.95…but,…nobody flew the task . Some came far as Jaco Burger in his LS 1f. He flew 329 km. and “got”  the 1000 points. AP [Kotze] had only ONE point less . So the FINAL OFFICIAL SCORES ;
1. AP Kotze               4588
2. Jaco Burger          4583
3. Tommie Grobler  4500
A very close score and on 4 Jonathan Cross with 4490.

15m; changed in 392.47 and 3 from 11 pilots finished. Best was Dolf Pretorius who flew around with 115 km./h and received the 1000 points AND the CHAMPIONS TITLE. It was in the end not between Dolf and Mark,  as Mark lost over 600  points on the last day as he was one of the out-landers,after 194 km.
Official scores:
1. Dolf  in LS 8 with 4833 points.
2. Wayne in ASW 27 with 4314
3. Hanno du Toit in ASW 27 with 4126.
Mark unfortunately dropped from 2 to 4 .

18m/open ; Matthew said before start; “506km. Blue, expected to go to 15000ft… AGL! Wouldn’t be surprised if some do this in under 3hrs.”
Also a b task in this class with 458 km. and not as fast as maybe hoped for as it was close to 4 hours.
Except for 1 pilot, all flew the task and it was clear that the young JWGC Champions in the end got the “hang of the weather and circumstances” in South Africa. They were on spot 2 and 4 for the day behind Oscar who won; 1000 points and Laurens on 3.
Matthew and Tom were there on invitation from Jonker Sailplanes as present for their JWGC win, ” very generous” theboys said with a smile. They got a tour through the JS-factory as well.
A not too good day for Pieter who was only 14th for the day. And STILL a lot of penalty points influencing the scores.
So also here the final results changed ,they fought with “sharpened knives” have a look at these scores.
Official scores;
1. Laurens Goudriaan with 5526 points.
2. Oscar Goudriaan with 5065 points.[climbed up from 7 with his daily win]
3. Attie Jonker with 5061 points
4. Uys Jonker with 5050 points.
5. Arne Boye Moeller; 5001 points
6. John Coutts ; 4913 points.[dropped from spot 2]
7 . Pieter Nouwens; 4910 points


A great “bunch”  of competitors.
As shared by Arne.

A pity with all those close scores that the last day had to be cancelled.
But , looking at the picture, it is pretty clear why. All prize winners together. Arne won the The Airmanship award.

Picture courtsey Arne.




Queensland State Comps.

The 3 hour AAT last Wednesday in sports class was won by Andrew [Georgeson] in the JS 1. Brian[Du Rieu] in the LS 10 st/18 m. was a good runner up and Tom [Claffey] finished 3d in his ASG 29. 11 From 15 finished the task. Griffo unfortunately out-landed after 131 km.
The 2.30 AAT in club class showed 5 finishers and 3 out-landers. 796 points.Jo Davis [ASW 20] was the best and gained 796 points.
It was a blue and windy day.

On Thursday task 3/4 and according to Mark [Dalton] it was “Blue and low, but at least not too windy.. Challenging.”
Set task from 288 km. in sports class and Scot [Percival] was with his team mate[ ASH 25]  the daily winner with a speed of 86.51 km and that says enough of the day. Kerrie [ASW 28] did a great job in finishing the day in nearly 4 hours.
And what’s even more interesting she beat her husband Tom [ASG 29] with 16 points !!!
Club class had to go for their day 4 ; A 3 hour AAT and 268 km in a SZD 55 [John Orton] was the best distance. Time was 3.25,speed 78.07 km./h.He flew 10 km./h faster than Mark  .

Friday in Jondaryan and the last day, showed another 3 hour AAT in club class for day 5. As Mark mentioned on the OLC;
3 Hr AAT in the usual direction to the NW. Some high cloud toward the end put some in to a paddock. Otherwise, pretty good day with strong climbs of 5-7 kts up to 6,600 ft.
and after
“Final day of QLD state comp. Hot and blue again, but climbs to 8,200 ft, which made it more bearable. Some 8 kt climbs, but mostly 3-5 kts average.”
Mark won the day ;274 km. in time 2.57.
5 from 8 finished,… Jo unfortunately was not that lucky; 200 km. for him. With 2x a daily win and a 2d and 3d place Jo topped the overall list last days, but now he drops to 2.
Mark leads the overall scores by nearly 500 points now.
So the winners of the State Comps are 1. Mark 4215,….2. Jo 3723 and 3. Richard 3432 points

18m/open got on day 4 a set task from 305 km. and it was flown by 10 from 14 starters. The ASH 25 with team Scot Percival/Potter had the best speed; 115 km./h. Tom took revenge and was runner up, Kerrie unfortunately out-landed after 227 km.
Final scores;1. Percival /Potter regained the first spot with 3564,…2.Andrew 3533,… and 3. Tom 3243 points.

The next Aussie competition is a BIG one , the Nationals in Kingaroy
Here is a message shared by Adam:
“Kingaroy Soaring Club is hosting the 55th Australian national championships from 10-21 October and it is shaping as an excellent competition. Most of Australia’s top pilots will be competing, with a fair spread of talent in each class. For our Australian team this is the first major competition of the season that will culminate in the that will be World Championships at Benalla.

Southern Queensland can produce very strong conditions at this time of year – during relatively short soaring days. There have been a couple of competitions during spring in QLD that have produced legendary conditions but recent rain may result in softer conditions this year.”

Bruce [Taylor] arrived already and will share his news on Taylor Gliding Page.
His first news;
Here we are in Kingaroy, Queensland, for the nationals. I’m such a lucky boy… Brad Edwards has kindly made himself unavailable, and loaned me his JS1 C to fly in the Open class. Practice today and tomorrow, first comp day is Tuesday. Photos are west of Kingaroy, out towards Chinchilla, on a day that was good fun, but not always straightforward. ”


on his way to Chincilla.
Courtesy Bruce.

They have flown 2 days now one pretty miserable and one with great clouds:
Standard; tasks under 200 km and Peter Trotter won both days, though,…on day 2 with the 2 hour AAT Mac was the best but he flies HC.
15 m;174 km on day 1 won by Jim Crowhurst in the LS 8. A total of 5 pilots from 12 finished the task.
Day 2 had a 2 hour AAT and Adam [Woolley] flew 248,63 km in time 2.01 [ speed 123.18 km./h.] and was the best.All pilots finished.
18 m./ open; 142 km, was the task on day 1 and the fastest pilot was David [Jansen] with 78.78 km./h which says enough about the quality of the day.
The next day was better. The speed over the 2 hour AAT from Buch [John Buchanan] was 131.47 km./h.
Bruce mentioned on his Taylor’ s Gliding Page how day 1 was for him;
“Very difficult day . It was low, blue and inconsistent, with about half the field outlanding. I was within an inch of joining them, but snagged a saving climb just as the engine was coming out! The rest of the flight went well for me, but at that point I had turn back for some kilometres to stay over landable ground, which cost some speed. Points were OK, as the day was heavily devalued.
We’ll hope for better things today.”
AND,…..Quick as ever here is Bruce about today ,day 2.
The weather forecast today looked to be a typical heavy easterly flow system, with a lot of moisture pouring in from the coast. This usually means low cloudbases in the Kingaroy valley, with some of the clouds not working, and as you go west it gets drier and higher. Then coming home the Kingaroy valley is usually very soft, with all the thermals washed out by the sea air. HOWEVER….. it wasn’t like that at all! The wind was around in the north, the valley stayed good all day, and our task, a very short 2 hour AAT, took us out to the west, then some way south and home again. Under the cu it was pretty nice, with a bit of blue out to the west. I had a nice run for most of the flight, but dribbled a bit in one area just before we turned for home. I felt like I lost track of where the climbs were under the clouds, and John Buchanan cruised in ahead for a deserved day win. With perfect hindsight, we could have flown for another couple of hours today, but the forecast spooked us all a bit.” 

One of the other pilots mentioned in his OLC Comment:”One of the worst examples of undersetting a task I have ever seen. The day was superb from about 10am until probably 5pm and they sent us on a 2hr AAT, to the area that was actually rubbish.”
And another pilot:“Much better weather than forecast. Great big fat cu’s everywhere and 6-8 kt average climbs. 2 hr AAT only, so day devalued .” 

All scores at this stage preliminary. More next week.



Became FB friends with Keith Gately, who I met in Australia but also in Eskilstuna where he was the team captain of the Australian team and of course I liked his page  @Seventy2one and his news:
The day finally arrived I flew my Eta. If you have flying an Eta with Uli Schwenk on your bucket list, let me know. I am sure I can sort something out for you. Wonderful 4 hour 290 klm flight with much of the flight below 2,000 agl. Just amazing what this glider in the right hands can do.”
That all happened on the 9th of October in the ETA now owned by Keith.


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With Aussie mate Andy Maddocks ,German mate Uli Schwenk and Keith as “happy chappie.”
Courtesy Keith.

When I checked if I could use text and pictures the message came out of the sky!!!” Uli and I are currently flying. We both say yes!
So in the future more news about the ETA.

Tocumwal; specially for my readers who visited Tocumwal in the past.

Everybody who knows the “heart” of Toc , recognizes this picture with the Pavillion restaurant , bakery [with great pies] and the fish and chip shop opposite to the river. Never in my life I have seen the Murray so HIGH!!! Good there is the levy bank!!!!
Normally the market is just behind this levy bank. Hope the one meter which was still expected last weekend will not damage the street and /or levy bank.The Bureau for Metereology warned for more wind and rain in NSW.
All the best to ALL my longtime friends in Tocumwal, the place I visited over 25 times and where I lived with great pleasure for 10 years.
The situation is more serious than ever before!!!!!!


pictures shared on FB by Camping on the Mighty Murray River.

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The road is “gone”.
Most campings are flooded! Also Bushlands and Time Out .

image-1  image

Pictures courtesy Bruce Wilson.
and one more



The “old bridge” with TOO much water under it. Never saw this.
Picture shared by Mary Anne.

And last but not least a picture from Tove Heany last sunday. So SAD!!!
Hope the Kangaroo survived this ordeal.
” The kangaroo made the national news and got placed safely back in the bush! Good news for all!” from Tove.
The latest news on Sunday;”Major flooding is easing at Tocumwal, where the river peaked at 7.36 mtrs at 10.00 last night.”


I know, OF COURSE that  hurricane Matthew “racing”  over Haiti and killing over 1000 people is MUCH WORSE. Luckily the S East of the USA was not hit as hard as expected. Florida survived…….but still at least 4 people killed, which is 4 too many. A total of 15 people died due to Matthew on the East coast and for sure the damage will be huge.
The power of nature is beautiful/impressive, but can be SO deadly.Terrible.


Nice OLC flights!

Though cold, it was a beaut sunny day in Holland again for soaring last Wednesday OCTOBER 5!!!! I could see it on my way to Amsterdam.
From Malden 2 great flights; 548 in a Nimbus 4 and 459 in the Duo Discus XL by dad and son Ferdie and Tim Kuijpers. A day according to the happy family with great cloud streets , great visibility, but also pretty tough wind.


Not 3 but 4 visits in hospital this month. Busy!
Cheers Ritz

October 5, 2016

Potchefstroom , with 2 JWGC champions in 18m/open!! Jondaryan , State comps!And more,….

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 4:50 pm

Finally autumn arrived last Thursday,  that is,…as autumn belongs to be, though still not too cold , too windy or to wet. Straight away that day, heavy traffic -jam and due to the rain 450 km. with careful drivers , but also annoyed ones. The 2d heavy jam for this year!!
In midsummer,to be honest,  we had weather-wise worse days, with no” jam.”Another hick-up last Monday with 500 km.!!! Holland is [too] busy!!!



A well known glider pilot and chief instructor from Issoudun , Pascal Lefebre crashed last week in his RV 8 together with a passenger ,not far from the airport after start. They went for a short flight to do a radio check. Mr Vincent Ah Mook-Sihn, the passenger was  a glider pilot, radio technician and helicopter pilot and only 42 years old.
Very sad. It hurt many French , both students and “mates”, as Pascal was in the “business”  already for over 20 years; a real club icon .
He was only 58 years old. As one pilot mentioned; ” Issoudun will be never be the same again“. Pascal was Issoudun.
I wish both families and their friends,  all the best!!!!


The 2016 Jonker Sailplanes South African Nationals.

October 1 -8.

Just under 50 participants in 3 classes and the practice day was on October 1 with a 214 km. task for club [ 17 competitors] and 365 for 18 m. and open [20] .
Not a lot flew the task, Nathalie Luebben [Germany]  did in the ASG 32 MI and won with a speed of 130.38 km./h. followed by Arne Boye Moeller from Denmark in the JS 1 with 132.30 km./h.
No practice task for 15 m. But 11 pilots will fly in this class.
With the State Comps in Queensland these are the first comps of the overseas season.

Task 1 on Oct.2;
A day with many penalties in each class:”As Matthew said :””Start/finish heights had more than a few confused apparently! (m AGL, relative to the airfield rather than the start point, on a specified QNH)

213 km for club pilots. 13 Pilots flew the task and AP Kotze [ Cirrus] was the best for the day with a speed of 85 km./h. After the official scores he moved to 2 due to a penalty on finish altitude and Jacco Burger in the LS 1f ,was the happy-day-1- chappie.

298 km. For the 15 m. pilots and Dolf Pretorius in the LS 8 won the day before Wayne Schmidt in the ASW 27; speed 108 km./h for 109 km./h. All 10 pilots who started  finished.

In 18m./open  363 km. was set. Matthew Scutter , “our” Aussie Junior World Champion  traveled all the way from down under to SA to fly the JS 1 during this competition.So did , but then from the UK , the other JWGC  champion Tom Arscott.
It’s good to see how friendship starts on WGC’s, this time on the JWGC in Narromine where young Tom Arscott [UK] and Young Matthew [Australia] both were on the podium on spot ONE !
Now they are “mates” fly more or less together each in an JS 1,  to learn even more from each other. We will hear more from both of them in the future. Both had 893 points on day 1.
Preliminary winners of day 1 the Goudriaan brothers with Oscar a tad faster than Laurens. Arne left 1 min. later but finished a bit later as well.
In the end the preliminary scores changed dramatically ,due to low- finish– altitude- penalty-points and the daily winner turned out to be Marcus Nouwens, Laurens stayed on 2, even with his penalty.
Oscar unfortunately dropped to 10.
Then according to soaringspot,the [today]still preliminary scores[protests??] from Task 1;
1.Uys Jonker 1000 points, 2. Laurens with 952 and 3. Arne with 951.
Several penalty points disappeared but Oscar kept his but was not 10 but 6.


Arne on take off on day 1 in one of the 14 participating JS 1’s in this competition.
Picture courtesy Arne.

Task 2 on Oct 3;
Club got 213 km, again  different TP’s though. 14 From 16 flew and finished the task.A difference of more than an hour between the start times.First starters at 12.47.
Late starter [13.57.58] Jonathan Cross in LS 1f won the day. A difference of more than an hour between the start times as you can see. Runner up  Jean du Plessis in the LS 1 d;95.50 km./h. A total of 4 warnings and 5 penalty points, mainly start- speed this time.

In 15 m. set task of 250 km.All 11 pilots flew and finished.; Best speed 126 km./h by Mark Holliday.

In 18 m./open. a 303 km.was set and flown and finished by 17 out of 19 flying- pilots . Team Natalie Leubben/Klaus Kalmbach practiced well on Oct 1,  when they  won the day, now they were 2d on competition day 2 day in the ASH 32 MI; 129 km./h. [ handicap 116] Uys got the  winning 742 points in the JS 1[ handicap 111]  and Arne was 3d in the JS 1 [handicap 119] with a speed of 132 km./h.
Only ONE penalty point that day and not the best day for the young ones, Matthew , just “survived”and Tom out-landed. [15 and 18]

An impression by Arne. Thanks for sharing!!!!

Arne;” The starting game aka The waiting game. Who will start first in the forecasted weaker conditions? Who dares start last?”


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The briefing,….the fun,with Arne, Hadriaan ,Laurens and Sven……and an old goldmine in the middle of nowhere.
Or as Arne says it more poetic:
“An abandoned old diamond mine stares with an unblinking green eye to the blindingly azure vault above from the mottled brown crust of central South Africa”

Task 3 on Oct 4;
Club ; 344 km….was flown by nearly all only 3 out-landings. 1000 points for Wilhelm Moosehuus in the Cirrus. After 3 tasks Jean Du Plessis [Ls 1d handicap 98] leads 2247 points,  ahead of Tommie Grobler with 2214 and Wilhelm is on spot 3 with 2129 points. Everything is possible.

15 m.class ; 398 km…ALL pilots flew the 398 km. Best was Dolf Pretorius; 126 km./h in the LS 8. The first 1000 points in this class  for him.After 3 tasks he is in the lead with  200 points on Mark Holliday with 2205 and Wayne Schmidt is on spot 3 [2142].

18m/open ; 429 km… except for 2,  all pilots flew the distance. Pieter Nouwens was the best with a speed of 146.93 km./h.; 2 hours and 55 min.
Less good day for Arne ; spot 16. After 3 flying-days Uys leads [2652] with about 100 points on Pieter.[2565] on spot 3 …good old John Coutts from NZ.[2449]But,…it’s not over yet.

More next week.



Not long and the BIG FINAL from the 7th SGPseries  IS ON !!!!

November 5-12 in 18 m. class gliders.

By the way when you are interested ; “3 places left in the Australian SGP at Horsham with spectacular weather, flat and open farmland to race across. get your winter sun fix in December. ” more at

8th series of SGP races:
Australia ; Horsham Dec 14- 20 [2016]
South Africa; Magaliesburg April 17-22 [2017]
Spain; Jaca May 7-14
Poland; Wroclaw Szymanow May 27-June 3
Italy ; Varese June 10-17
France ; Buno June 25-July 1
USA ; Hobbs July 8-15
Slovakia; Partizanske August 5-12
Slovenia ; Celje August 19-26
Chile WORLD FINAL ; Vitacura beginning of January 2018.


The Queensland State Comps in Jondaryan.

They started with practice on October 1 as well and fly from the Mc Caffery Airfield. Sports class had a 2.30 AAT and only 7 pilots flew the task and some aborted, but 3 finished . Mark Tingey from Tauranga in NZ won this day in the JS 1 , followed by Brian Du Rieu in the LS 10 and David Griffin in the Duo Discus. Brett Hunter also from NZ [Tauranga] is in Jondaryan  as well to practice  for the WGC in Benalla. Both Brett and Mark fly there in open class. NZ has 6 pilots ready for the Benalla WGC.

Task 1; The first REAL day had a 2.30 AAT for sports-class and only 5 from 15 finished. Best distance and time was for Scot Percival in his ASH 25. Last year he flew the Nationals in Benalla together with Ingo.[Renner] That might have helped ,as he gained 864 points for 262 km. in time 2.39.
Tom Claffey was runner up  and Andrew Georgeson and team Griffith / Schmidt in the NIMBUS 4DM finished as well. Peter Griffith ” Griffo”  for his mates is a long time friend.Sadly enough , due to poor eyesight, he does n’t fly by himself anymore, but still loves his gliding.LS 6 pilot Ivan Evans was the 5th finisher.
The difference between a finish and an out-landing was just over 200 points. Kerrie knows, as after 193 km., she was number 6 on the daily list. She still did well!!!
3 From 7 starting pilots finished in club class. During the 2.30 AAT Richard [ASW 20], Jo[ASW 19]  and Mark ASW 20b]  flew 212, 199 and 185 km.
Speed  was “low” between 83 and 71 km./h.
The difference between coming in [719]  and landing out [356] was here even bigger and this time one of our former instructors Alain Potier was the unlucky one on spot 4.


As Kerrie said;” If you’re going to outland anyway, may as well be on a sealed runway!” She landed at a heliport , just not long enough to be towed out.
As you know it is pretty wet in Australia at the moment, even in the East, but specially in the South.Heavy flooding on the lower roads in Wangaratta not far from Benalla. One of the Corowa caravan parks is flooded as well.
BUT,…spring is arriving.
Courtesy Kerrie Claffey.

Day 2; no task ,…it was raining “cat’s and dog’s”.

Task 2; 194 km. for club class only, task for sports class.
2 Pilots finished , 5 out-landed one of them only just missing out on 8 km.
Jo Davis [ASW 19] and Mark Dalton [ASW 20b] were the finishers. Good on them !!
As Mark said on the OLC;” Day 2 QLD state comp at DDSC. Racing task (hoorah!) of 194 kms. Quite difficult again. Climbs of 2-4 kts topping out at about 5,000 ft. Ground soggy from yesterdays rain. Blue.

They flew again today; Sports class had for task 2,  a 3 hour AAT and club for task 3 a bit less; 2.30.

More next week.


The 36th Australian Nationals for Sports and club class.

The Waikirie Gliding Club shared the next news. Maybe interesting for WGC pilots on their way to Benalla:
“WE HAVE TWO ENTRIES IN SPORT15M CLASS – if you have a 15M glider this is a prime opportunity to fly competitively with a small group of 15M gliders. Another 5 or 6 (or 20) entries would be great.

36th CLUB & SPORTS Nationals – WAIKERIE 11-19 November 2016.
Entry fee for entries and payments received after 30th September $400.
Payment should be made to WGC
Preferred method is by EFT to
EFT BSB 105 048 ACC 203183340
Please include your name and ‘Club&Sports Nationals’ on the payment
If you are not able to pay by EFT credit card payment can be accepted at the Club office.

 Just to let you know!!



I know a lot of friends who LOVE the LIBELLE, but unfortunately this invitation is , because of distance, more or less, only for my Aussie mates. Sorry!
Libelle owners – come and celebrate this awesome classic glider at Bendigo Gliding Club in December 2016.

See the link below for details:

Anyone who hasn’t already notified us that they wish to attend should do so, then we can plan for numbers and keep you in the loop by email.


Hope to see you at Bendigo Gliding Club’s Raywood airfield for this unique event !”
When you are in the neighborhood,….?!


Mount Beauty News.

The ski-season is about over in Australia and one of those ski places is Mount Beauty, but it’s also a great place to fly from . Have been there in the past when Sportavia had camps there. Long ago.
In December there will be a Women Week, here is the latest on that:
The 2016 Women in Gliding gathering will be hosted by Mt Beauty Gliding Club at the Mt Beauty Airport from 3 rd to 11th December 2016. It is expected that 25 or more women glider pilots from all over Australia, with their gliders and crews, will attend to sample the excellent early summer soaring conditions, the great Mt Beauty Gliding Club hospitality and beautiful mountain scenery in the Kiewa Valley. ”
Andrew Evans is the president from the club as well as the editor from the Alpine Flyer.
I had to laugh when I got the mail:
—“My apologies for being 2 days late with this edition (first time late in 56 editions).
My excuse – I went camping in the torrential downpour last weekend to test my new grey nomad caravan rig. The good news is – it didn’t leak.”

Just read that Tocumwal was without power after extreme weather yesterday.

Some interesting OLC flights.

September is over,… October started …with some nice flights from the USA and Brazil.
Bahia had some great days with good results on Oct 2. Branco Stojkovic flew in the Nimbus 3 T /25.5  m. nearly 1000 km. ;951 km.Yesterday he flew 906 km [868 km FAI triangle]
Keith Essex added a new 1000 km. flight to his list. Flying from Minden in Nevada on a pretty good wave day , he called it ;” Slow, slightly unstable southerly wave.” ; 1.142 km with a speed of 151.82 km./h.

Branco shared some pictures on FB. Here you are.


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Courtesey Branco Stojkovic flying at Bahia Gliding.

On October 3, Holland had, pretty late in the season,  great autumn weather and pilots enjoyed flights from Malden [226 km.]  and Terlet [272 km. in a DG 500/22 m]
Further on great skies in Holland yesterday as shared by Martijn Alders . Excellent soaring- day for those who had the day off. Bas Seijffert was so lucky , went to Terlet and flew 419 km. in the ASW 28. A fabulous autumn day, with great visibility and nice cloud streets and that in OCTOBER!!!

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CU next week.
This month 3 visits to hospital, hope I will feel MUCH better after!!!
Cheers Ritz

September 28, 2016

OLC 2016 and now 2017!!! Aboyne,..again, now with an epic flight!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 6:49 pm

On September 20 2016, the new world wide OLC list 2017 started with 80 added flights and a top spot that day, for Bahia Gliding with a 776 km. flight in an ARCUS . 2 Toppers in it,Claudio Eduardo Schmidt and Jao Widmer. And straight away it was a nice flight as the comment was;”FAI 750km Record 149km/h.”
Good on them.One day later they flew 639 km. Topper on that day was the DG 1001 M flown by Dennis Tito;1.040 km. So the first 1000 km flight in the 2017 season was a fact as well.

Looking at 2016 worldwide ,..the CHAMPION is not Dennis, he was 3d on the list,  but who else than his mate  Jim Payne.Both belong to the Perlan Project as you know!!
In between on 2, was Keith Essex USA National Champion and pre-eminently- long- distance- pilot , not even that long busy with this kind of soaring.
But,…… Keith was the best in the other OLC discipline ; best 2016 flight 2.674 km. flown from Minden in the JS 1 C.
The stats looking at ALL OLC flights, show Keith on top as well;56.662,04 km. during 99 flights .
The busiest 2016 airfield was Puimoisson in France and very clearly; 838.619,57 km. was flown during 2130 flights by 316 pilots.
Runner up with 573.934,86 km. was Bitterwasser where during 765 flights , 127 pilots were active.

The Dutch OLC champion is Mark Leeuwenburg with 4067,13 points and good runner up junior pilot Robin Smit.[3426,52.]
All Europe; Guy Bechtold from Luxembourg; 7192,24 points. Germany;Matthias Schunk [6460,84] France;Robert Prat [6188.05]
South Africa had a Polish pilot as champion; Adam Czeladski with 7691,45 points.
Namibia; German pilot Wilfried Grosskinsky with 7527,35 points.
All North America; Jim Payne .USA; Jim Payne 9879,56 points.  Canada; Trevor Florence 4118.05 points.
All South America; Jean Marc Perrin with 7862,32 points. Argentina; Jean Marc Perrin. Brazil;Branko Stojkovic with 5120,28 points.
All Australia; Pepe Gresa from Spain 5957,52 points. Queensland;Geoff Pratt 4325,80 points. Victoria; Max Dolfin from Holland.
All Asia;Rafi Luski from Israel [3117.90] Japan; Shigeru Ishiama[ 2423,51]

For all the different countries and or states you can go to ;


Records and friends in Holland!

Records….. no not about gliding but about the weather. Last Sunday September 26, we had up to 26 dgr. C  in the southern part of Holland. Anyhow in Holland the hottest 25th EVER.
VERY unusual!!!
Of course another record!!
Great weather to catch up with my Aussie friends Chrissie [Tuck-Riley] and Stuart. They had a fabulous trip via Greece, France and Holland and we caught up for a drink,….bubbles OF COURSE!!!….in Amsterdam, our VERY INTERNATIONAL capital. They even were impressed with the many, many different languages and how busy it was!!!
They left yesterday but will be back.
Dundee leaves today first to Brisbane, to celebrate 3 birthdays [together 180 years and the 80 years are from Dundee himself ]  then Toc for his  “hibernation”.

chrissie-3   chrissie-1

Still not fit, but happy with my very-long-time-mates!


Interesting OLC flights!

And,…believe it or not , the Deesite Gliding Club in Scotland, you remember from the Mountain Wave Comps a few weeks ago,  was the place to be last Sunday. German guests were on the right spot on the right time and enjoyed great wave-rides .You have to look to the traces on the OLC that day. The comment from Christof and Thomas:
“Very cool flight. Skye is not the limit. Thanks to Deeside Gliding for the early tow and the fireworks for the landing! Wind was 200°, 60 to 80 km/h. Again spectacular cloud optics, as it seems to be common in Scotland. Unfortunately difficult to read, as rotor clouds were disturbed by towering cumulus and high lenticulars were absent. Lift was at best 4 m/s in the beginning, weakening to 2.5 m/s at maximum in the afternoon, with increasing shower activitiy. Daring the jump to the Hebrides needed some mental and physical effort, but once one has set off, second thoughts aren’t really helpful. I wonder how a retrieve from Stornoway would be like.”

I wonder too. But luckily it was not necessary a total of 719  km. in the ARCUS T from Aboyne. Well done guy’s!!!
Another great flight same field ,same wave , different  track,  was flown in the Duo Discus also by 2 pilots from Germany on the same camp in Scotland;735 km.
Their comment ; Scotland is amazing !!!
And OLC topper number 1 that day  was from Aboyne as well , a flight in an ARCUS T with 794 Timo and Bjoern-Christian.


Fabulous picture from the ARCUS T in the wave  from the Scottish Highlands .
As shared on FB by one of the pilots Soufian El Allouki flying in the Duo Discus T.

One day later Sebastian Kawa took an ARCUS M and flew from Kislovods in Russia [North Kaukasus]  over the  Kaukasus Area; 800 km. Height up to 7309 m MSL.


Another great picture this time shared by Sebastian.

That same day Tim Kuijpers , former junior world champion took an LS 4 out of the hangar for a nice , very -late -in -the- season-autumn flight from Malden in Holland ;366 km. [300 FAI triangle]


AND……don’t let them get away with it!!!

Schempp Hirth shared a message which I share as well;
Your help is needed:

Swedish registered Mini-Nimbus serial no. 121, registration SE-TVA, was stolen from its hangar at Älvsbyn airfield in Northern Sweden between September 5th and 18th with its Langenfeld trailer, registration CRM815.

The owner welcomes any clues. Please inform us via Facebook message – we will forward.

Please share where appropriate!



And to finish some pictures from “above” , shared by Swiss Chris, from my beloved Tocumwal, where after lot’s of rain the Murray has reached 6.8 m. and the flooding on the low-lands, is pretty bad but believe me in another 1 or 2 months, [depending on the weather]  it will be all dry again and there will be huge dry paddocks to land in,….. if necessary.
Look as well at this panoramic picture from Tocumwal’s Sportaviation. Eddie put a lot of effort in making the camping area green. With “help from above”  ,a  good drop of rain, it looks fabulous.


Recreational Area and Amenities.
As shared by Eddie Madden from Sportaviation.


Tocumwal Airport surrounded by acres full of  “canola” .





cheers Ritz

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