August 20, 2014

CIM and several other comps and Nationals!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 5:12 pm

2014 started for us here in Holland with perfect ,  early summer weather. Nature was at least 2 weeks ahead of itself.
Unfortunately the summer seems to stop early as well. We have temperatures of around 17 dgr. C which is 6 dgr. lower than the normal average for the time of the year.
Yesterday we had the coldest day on August 19 since 1924 ; 16.9 dgr.!!!!
2014 in France and Italy was wet!!! Since ages they did not have such a wet summer.
Holland had some really rain as well [and damage]  and for that reason high damage bills and most probably for the future  higher insurance cost.
The weather is definitely changing.



The CIM, [ the Coppa Internazionale  del Mediterranio 2014, [ have been there a few times!] was flown between August 4 and 15 from Rieti in Italy.With 72 international pilots always a big event!!

The CD was a lady Franca Vorano, as we had here in Holland over the last couple of years during the Nationals, with Natasja.
No worries with ladies as CD!!!

Day 1 straight away was a good one! AND,…an interesting one as the racing task had 7 TP’s for open and 2-seaters.
356.  km. for club class was a nice racing task. 5 From 12 finished this race,  as the the so well-known sea breeze from the Adriatic Sea,entered the task area and scattered the nice clouds.
421.1 km. in standard class was a tough race as well.1000 points were for an Aussie pilot and 4 out-landed among them 2 toppers as Manuele Molinari and Corrado Costa.
421.1 as well for the 15 m. class pilots and in this class and 7 from 12 finished.
441 km. for the 18 m. pilots and a few of the normally- flying – CIM-pilots , were in Leszno as in open and 15 m. class.5 From 19 finished the best with a speed of 117.2 km./h.
355.4 km. in the 2-seater class was a bit too much. None from the 7 pilots finished.
355.4 km. in open was no problem for pilots as Bruno Gantenbrink , Alexander Mueller and Ezio Sarti but the other 2 in this class could not make it.

2.30 AAT’s for day 2 and 4 and 3 hours for day 3.
On day 5 another racing task, between 314 and 407 km. and a speed in open class for the EB 29 from Alexander from 132.4 km./h.and 120.3 km./h in the standard class by Rene Schneebeli in the Discus a.

After 5 days of flying , pretty intensive flying in those mountains, it was time for some rest, the weather was not good anyhow,  so time to look at the results after 5 days.
In club class Austrian pilot Jan Jagiello in the Libelle H 301, was on top with 4412 points. Always a lot of Austrian, Swiss  and German pilots in Rieti.
In standard class Italian ” speedy gonzales”  , Vitorio Pinni leads after 5 days with 4344 points,before Ben Flewett from N .Z.
In 15 m. Steffen Schwarzer in the ASW 27 from Germany leads with 4230 points before team-squad pilot Denis Geurin from France.
In 18 m. Austrian pilot Werner Amman leads with 4402 points in his ASG 29.
The Austrian Duo Discus leads the 2-seater class with 4008 and Alexander Mueller in the EB 29 the open class.

After day 5 they got more marginal weather, later -better-conditions and a tough wind. Lots of out-landings and then 3 cancelled days in st. class, 15 and 18 m. and open and the 2-seaters.
The club class however had a day 7 and Jan in the Libelle remained on spot 1. Good on him.Somebody to keep an eye on , as he is nearly 400 points ahead on the runner up.

Final results;
club class after 7 days; Jan Jagiello [RT] from Austria with 5939 points over 7 days in the Libelle H 301.
standard class after 6 days; Vittorio Pinni[GG] from Italy with 4786 points in the LS 8.
15 m. class after 6 days; Steffen Schwarzer [ L7] from Germany with 4892 points in ASW 27.
18 m. class after 6 days; Werner Amman [ WG[ from Austria  with 5179 points in ASG 29.
2-seater class after 6 days; Aldo Cernezzi [ 61] my colleague at the Gliding International Team with 4081 points in ARCUS M.
open class after 6 days; Alexander Mueller [AM] from Germany with 5065 points in the EB 29 , just 16 points ahead of Bruno Gantenbrink in the ETA.

Not the best speed ever during this competition, as I remember 165.8 km./h. in the past, was it Vitorrio?
Biggest speed in open class by German pilot Alexander Mueller on day 2 with 133.3 km./h. over 353.5 km.
In 15 m. by French pilot Denis Geurin; 120.2 km./h on day 5 over 375.4 km.
In 18 m. by Austrian pilot Werner Amman ;121.1 km./h. on day 2 over 316 km.
In st. class by Swiss pilot Rene Schneebeli; 120.3 on day 5 over 375.4 km.
In  club class by  German pilot Helmut Koelle;  93.3 km. on day 5 over 314.6 km.
The 2 -seaters best speed was by the Swiss pilots  Mathias Koch/ Reto Frei; 117.2 km./h. on day 2 over 297.8 km.

BY THE WAY: On August 15 Sandro Montemaggi flew from Rieti 805 km. in the 18 m. ASG 19. Another TOO late good day! 752.6 km. in a 15 m. Ventus 2 ax is not bad either [Luca De Marchi]


The German Championship for JUNIORS in Zwickau with 74 pilots.

ZZZZ jinors

They had some good days as well….finishes here.
As shared by the Dutch team.

NO doubt about “our”  future , as a total of  74 juniors entered in Germany [4 of them Dutch; Annemiek, Robin, Nick and Sander]  45 in the UK and 37 in France .
A GRAND TOTAL OF 156 young under -25-pilots, in only 3 countries.
Some of the Dutch juniors flew the Junior comps in Holland, others went to Germany to fly the Nationals over there. International experience combined with competition experience.
They flew 6/5 out of  12 days.
On the last but one day they stopped the launching for club class,  as the drop -off -point was in the rain.Then they cancelled the day.
As the forecast for the last days was not too good this was the last chance to get points. And indeed the last day was cancelled as well.


Rain in the drop-off zone.
As shared by the Dutch team.

In standard class Sebastian Naegel finished on a 3d place and Benjamin Bachmeier on a 9th.
They are the only ones I ” know” . Winner was Karsten Leucker in the Discus 2B , 22 points ahead of Simon Briel the runner up in LS 8.
34 Pilots in this class.

In club class 5 Dutch pilots from 40. A great 3d place for young Dutch  top pilot Robin Smit in the LS 4 a.
2 St. Libelles on spot 1 and 2 with young German TOP-talents Julian Klemm [ 3629] and Arne Roepling.[3627] For sure Arne would have loved to fly a few days more. TWO POINTS DIFFERENCE ONLY!!!!
The other Dutch pilots were on spot 4 Nick Hanenburg[LS1f]  and  Sander Luimes [ St. Cirrus AG] on spot 12. Annemiek [Koers] flew the other St. Cirrus [AU] to spot 35.

ZZ Annemiek in Zwickau ZZ Robin in Zwickau

Annemiek and Robin as seen by Robin’s dad, Martin Smit.
More of his GREAT pictures

ZZZZ prijzen 2 ZZZ prijzen

ALL young ones got a certificate and the numbers 1-2 and 3 a prize AND a certificate.
Pictures from club class and shared by the Dutch team.


ONE BIG lesson was learned by ALL the young ones; don’t underestimate your final glide certainly not over an un-landable part of the town and certainly not with 30 to 40  km. wind on the nose !!! .
2 Gliders landed in a SWAN-lake in town, not good but they only had wet clothes and luckily no real damage on their gliders.
The ASW 15 pilot [on the picture with his glider],  could  continue and finished the comps on spot 32 overall from 40
As shared by the Dutch team. Pictures via  FREIE PRESSE , picture by Ralph Koehler.


When the German Juniors finished the French and UK juniors were ready to start on August 16 [till 24.]  The UK juniors fly from Lasham combined with the 15m. Nationals and 65 participants have entered.
47 UK juniors that’s fabulous!!!!! 20 Pilots in 15 m. among them Leigh Wells and my mates Roy and Patrick.
In France 54 pilots started on the 16th in 3 classes for their Nationals combined with the 18 m. French Nationals.
37 in the French Junior league. And 14 French pilots and 3 HC [From the UK, Belgium and Italy] in 18 m.
Before that the 16 [ 2 HC]  Dutch juniors flew 4 out of 8 days during the Dutch Junior Championships in Venlo in the beginning of August. Thijs Bastiaanse from the Gelderse won. They were supported/coached in the air, by Dutch top pilots.
The 4 Dutch Zwickau junior pilots were not there, they represented Holland in an  international way.



The UK championship for juniors and alongside they run the 15 m. Nationals.

Day 1 started with 203 km. for the juniors and 267.7 km.  for the 15 m. class changed into a B and later C task.
A few DUO DISCUSSES fly HC, with the juniors with coaching pilots as Ayala Truelove , Liz Sparrow and Mark Holden. Also an ASK 21.
Junior coach Pete Masson is very involved,tries to do the meteo and fly in 15 m. class. AND he writes as well, keeping us informed. A buzy bee. So is his wife, she runs the office with a few others.

They are doing a great job in the UK with their juniors. In June they announced the creation of the first ever Juniors Development Squad, for the year 2014! I know countries as Australia, Belgium, Germany, France and Holland are doing a similar thing. The soaring world ALL over,  invests a lot in the future pilots and with that in the future of  the sport.

The British Team coaches and members of the previous Junior Team have selected a group of pilots that they feel have the potential to represent the British Team at future Junior World Championships. The idea is that the Squad gets brought up to speed with British Team ways of working in plenty of time, and that the internal competitiveness really drives them all on to become better pilots. ” 

Day 1 from the juniors;
a tricky one with many out-landings , ” all over the task-area” as Pete said, but also great winners!!!!
The line was open at 12.13 and pilots went around 12.30 ” en route”.

18 from 47 managed to finish and winner was Mark Holden in the Duo Discus with Piers Murray, flying HC.
The REAL winner of day 1 was pilot Luke Dale [852 points] with development-squad -pilot Sam Roddie on his tail.
Matt , also in the squad and the son from Andy Davis, who was 2d in Leszno, was on spot 5.[829 points]

In 15 m. 12 pilots finished with a ” low”  speed, [69.9 km./h]  telling us the day was difficult. The 227 km. C task was smaller but for some still to big,as 12 out-landings said enough as well.
Leigh wells and Steve Jones were among the finishers, Patrick just made it, Roy just not.

Day 2; briefing at 1.45!!! They expected a small window in the afternoon after the rain had passed, so everybody had to be ready. 87.9 km. was set for the juniors and 150 km. for the 15 m. class.
It turned out to be a tricky but flyable day WITH finishers but also LOTS of out-landings.
Not a lot of points to gain as the winner in the Nimbus 2,Stefan, was the best of the 14 finishers and  got 277 points, but…. he won the day. Good on him.

In 15 m. class all pilots finished, except for Steve Jones, who just landed after 181.9 km. from the Not too expensive, still 142 points,  as the winner ,Leigh Wells got 399.

Day 3 ;174.7 km. was the task and the best pilot flew 139 of them for 151 points. Pretty good certainly when you see the runner up flew 85.9 km.
In 15 m. the day was scrubbed/not valid, as the best pilots just flew over 60 km..from the 153.6 set km.

Day 4 yesterday;with 171.7 km. the juniors had a big day ahead again with forecasted showers.26 Pilots finished and this time the good old Libelle won the day with a happy Timothy in it.VERY happy as he tops the overall scores after 4 difficult days , with Matt Davis and Luke Dale as runners up.
In 15 m. a total of 16 pilots finished the 247.8 km. 3 Pilots flying a Ventus are in the top after 3 days of flying.
Derren with 1975 points, Dave with 1935 and Matthew with 1925, the only ones in the 1900 marge.Leigh wells is on spot 5.
More next week.


The French Championship for juniors combined with the 18 m. Nationals.

Their day 1 also on Saturday, started with a 213.2 km racing task in club and 261.9 km. in st./15 m. class.
Valentin flying the Pegase won day 1 and all 24 pilots finished in this class.
In 15 m/ st. class Simon , also in a Pegase, won the day and 4 pilots from 13 did not finish.

In the 18 m. class Gilles Navas showed he still belongs to the best pilots, winning day 1 with a speed of  105 km./h. over 307.3 km. 4 Out-landings all on the last leg.

Day 2 had a 3 hour AAT for ALL. He must be a talent as Valentin won day 2 as well in his Pegase; 1000 points;260 km. in 3.05.In st/15 m. it was Maximilian who deserved the 1000 points for 275 km. in a Discus 2A.

In 18 m. Gilles had NO problem to win again. He flew 288.8 km. in 2.55.

Day 3 was a marginal day with a 2 hour AAT  and the best speed was 51 km./h. so not a lot of points to earn;13/14 points for the 9 finishers.Among them…Valentin!
In st./15 m. NO finishers from the 2.15 AAT.

In 18 m. a 2.30 AAT and not a daily win for Gilles who belonged this time to the 12 out-landers and lost about 200 points.
5 Managed to finish.

Yesterday they had day 4 with 188 km. and 218 km. in St./15m . Another Pegase won the day in club and in 15 m./st. a new name Antoine Havet in a Ventus 2 ax. Overall after 2 LS 8 gliders on top after 4 days and Antoine on spot 3.Also 4 out-landings.

The 18 m. pilots had to go for 250 km. Jerome Renault won the day and leads overall after 4 days, before Gilles and Italian HC pilot Alberto Pozzi.


The Coppa City di Rieti

Straight after the CIM , a lot of pilots stayed for the the other Cup,  the one from the town of Rieti, always VERY supporting to gliding. Lots of Leszno -WGC – pilots entered this competition,  as they had time now.

They started on Sunday and on Friday they had that great 800 km.-weather. Just in between 2 comps. Not fair!
ONE MIXED class this time, with 40 participants and even Sebastian Kawa, now in a 2 seater , ARCUS M, with Lucasz Grabowski entered.

Day 1 , with a cloud base over Rieti from 2700 m. , was a prey for French topper Louis Bouderlique who won the 345.4 km. task with a speed of 137.8 km./h. in the ASG 29/18m. with handicap 119.

Day 2 had a 458.1 km. task and the 1000 points were for Luca De Marchi in the Ventus 2ax. The 2 ARCUS gliders M [Alberto Sironi] and T [Sebastian Kawa] were 2d and 3d. Not as easy day as 11 from 36 out-landed!!

Day 3 was scrubbed at 3.30 ; poor conditions.

To see how they all go over the next couple of days , you can look at the scores from all these comps at


Talking a lot about the ” young ones”  in this blog , an important new schedule is  the Preworlds in Narromine called JOEYGLIDE.
” The contest will be run from 5-13 December 2014, with the 5th being the official practice day. Unofficial practice will be run from 1-4 December.” 

Narromine skies Narromine

Narromine a wonderful soaring place.

Narromine from above


World wide on the OLC,  Mitch had a great flight again on August 15, this time from Parowan; a declared 1000 out and return. Here is his comment:
“Declared 1031.5 km out and return flight and completed it at 118.89 km/hr.
Will claim three U.S. national records in single-seat motor-glider category:
declared out and return distance,
free out and return distance ,
speed over a 1000 km out and return task.

Was one of the most difficult flights of my life.
Never got much above 12,000 feet for about the first three hours. Never got above 15,000 feet the rest of the flight.
Exhausted but happy!” 

Talking about an out and return; The FAI has approved the African Continental 1000 km.- O&R-record from Dutch pilots Max Leenders and Edo Kwant….145.37 km,./h. flown on January 19 from Douglas Backhouse.[SA]

Enough to read for you about last week, looking ahead at next week again. CU then,

Cheers Ritz on August 20 2014.

August 13, 2014

Keiheuvel as always great fun! Here is the annual KEIHEUVEL 3 day-diary.

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 6:29 pm

Looking back at the last 2 days from Leszno at

  2 Former world champions did it AGAIN!!

ZZZZ sebastian and daughter zzzzkatrin 3

Sebastian [with his daughter] and Michael [here without his son]
Both won several WORLD titles !!!
Pictures by Katrin from Pilotessa Design-com

A weekend at the KEIHEUVEL

Due to competitions everywhere, the amount of participants this year on the  KEIHEUVEL CUP 2014 was less than normal, but it was still a nice competition -day, though the weather did NOT really co-operate.

On Friday my friend Ans and I left for Keiheuvel. We both started our short soaring career with the ZES, in 1967 and still likke/love the soaring-atmosphere.
KEIHEUVEL is just over the border with Holland, about 20 km..
The weather fore cast was not too good, but catching up with mates is a lot of fun as well. And Keiheuvel just belongs for years already to my favorite airfields.
The Huybreckx family was so kind to offer us  their family caravan and Eddy put it for us on the camping area.

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As said not all of them were there. Bert sr. and Hilde arrived in the night from Saturday on Sunday so did Tijl. He came from home, Bert and Hilde from the 46th Klippeneck comps,[Germany]  where Bert was a participant and finished on a nice 6th spot from 23 in 18 m. class.
The 15 m and open class only had 3 out of  8 days, the 18 m and 2-seaters flew for 4 days.

Emiel de Wachter arrived with his wife in the middle of the night from Friday on Sunday to participate. They came from the competition in Bailleau.[France]  Out of 9 days they had 7 which is JUST GOOD!!!!.
One of the Juniors of ” my ” HusBos team Robbie Seton won the  comps in the LS 8 15m. For that reason he only arrived on Sunday morning, he had to keep the first prize above his head. Emiel was 10th in that class.
On top of that they were pretty tired as they flew 7 days in a row!!!!

Bert jr. , the fresh new WORLD CHAMPION from Rayskala, was in Vinon together with his partner Barbara. Barabara had done an intensive 8- flights- per-day course at Unterwossen flying from the winch , now in Vinon she learned how to fly behind a tow plane.
She went SOLO in Vinon and both were over the moon.


The Schmelzer family with Bert jr. and Barbara in the middle after Bert jr. won the WGC in Finland.
Shared by the family.

Other Keiheuvel pilots flew in Niedersachsen [Rotenburg] in Germany in the standard class.
—” Eight flying days, six competition days. Two teammates and some good rankings at Niedersächsische Segelflugmeisterschaft 2014. Now some food and a party with prize ceremony! Hopefully the team will always work like this week!” was the comment from Jeroen Jennen, who was there and won in his class with cousin Dennis Huybreckx on spot 2 from 23 in this class.
Jeroen  , who is in junior squad for Belgium [ they are hoping to find enough funds to go to Narromine with a few pilots as they have several VERY talented pilots in Belgium]  won 2 days , had one runner up day, was 2 times 3 and once 4.
Dennis just had 74 points less and the number 3 over 200 points, so the boys really did well.
Did not see them,  as they only arrived on Sunday later during the day,  when we had left already.

ZZZZ. Jeroen en Dennis    Belgium Juniors Jeroen


Winner Jeroen, here at the JWGC! and ….the 1 and 2d prize documents.

Not the 30 normally visiting- participants,  enough though for a competition, though only 1 in the club class.
10 in the Sport class, 4 in the Sport class with transponders and 5 in the transponder -open-class.

On Friday night we had a real tropical rain shower. You could not see the east/end of the airfield, it was all in ” fog”  from the rain.Our caravan had a real mud-swimming-pool in front of it. After this huge shower the  tugs arrived nicely in time before sunset and were marshaled into a dry big hangar. They had 4 tugs , 3 Pawnees and one Scout.

Saturday was the briefing at 10 for the Flanders Cup.
This is a competition flown on 3 weekends from 3 airfields in Flanders; Weelde, Hasselt and the last one from KEIHEUVEL. The winner gets ONE point in each of the 4 classes and you get penalty points when you don’t show up at one. So the winner cumulative is the one with the less points.
Each of the comps has prizes , in Keiheuvel one of the special prizes is an envelope with money donated by the Emsens family, who are sponsors for many years. They started that already years ago and I guess those were the first money prizes in soaring. We twice won an envelope in the far past.

2014-08-09 10.23.05

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Pilots paid attention to CD Stijn and got all info necessary.

Forecast was not brilliant , with 20 km. wind on the nose at the field but the skies looked good and the first launches with 3 Pawnees and 1 Scout started at 12.40, a bit later then hoped for as the lift was not good enough and the base still a bit low.

2014-08-09 12.53.45   2014-08-09 12.54.22

Horses along the airfield and the clouds not too good , not too bad.

Tasks were ;
85.7 km. long ,small triangle to the N. W and back to just 8 km. above Keiheuvel and home for club class.
113.8 km. polygon with 4 TP’s for the sport class without transponders
144.0 km. polygon with 5 TP’s for the sport and open class both WITH transponders.

2014-08-09 12.06.56

Jelle [ standing close to  the canopy] with the KA 8, on the first spot at the grid, waiting for departure.

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Wim Akkermans [ married to Sofie Huybreckx] and Jef Kell [married to Gitte Huybreckx] prepare the glider and are ready for departure.

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Dad Jef and son , TOP-junior Pieter Daems,  ready to send the ASW 20 in the air.
I know dad Jeff from the time he was ALWAYS at the field, a young man, not even married then.

After some delay to get a better base to send the pilots up, launching started. It was clear that the skies looked better than they were and certainly the KA 8 had problems with the 20 km. wind. He went over the startline, flew 2.4 km.  but was blown back again. He was not the only one who gave up and landed back at the field.

Some were brave and tried, 2 even finished. Wim and Jef in the ARCUS M and Sander [Heeren] in the LS 4 .GREAT EFFORT!!!!!!

2014-08-10 10.04.05

Sander before prize giving at the club house.

Whilst the pilots were trying hard Ans and I visited a beautiful church in Mol.

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Fabulous antique church in Mol.

Whilst walking trough the old part of the town my eye caught the next picture.
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The earl the Broqueville street with the history. Could not pass by without making the picture.
By the way Pierre and Arnaud flew back from Poland…courtesy DYNAMIC.


Still flying,…after flying!!!! Arnaud and uncle Pierre.
as shared by them on FB.

In between grand dad Eddy walked the latest “generation”  of the Huybreckx dynasty over the field. Little Emma. She is one of the 5 grand-children [ 3 boys 2 girls ]from the FOURTH generation, so the future from KEIHEUVEL is secure!!! Little as they are they ALL spend a lot of time at the airfield.

2014-08-09 12.11.47

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1. little cute and gorgeous Emma
2. and 3. granddad Eddy and his daughter mum Sofie and Eddy walking the pram.
4.Wim, dad of Emma prepares….no worries….. her bottle before ” jumping”  in the ARCUS M for the flight.

In the evening they had a nice spaghetti-night and the weather was good enough to sit outside.

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Along the runways , pure nature!!! The heather was in full flower, early for the time of the year.

Sunday morning we knew already that the afternoon weather would be rough with severe rain , thunderstorms and hail. We visited the briefing at 10 and waited also for the prize giving at 11.30. It would have been unkind to leave early as Bert sr. and Hilde arrived in the night to see us.So atleast we caught up with Bert sr. and Tijl.
It was also nice to catch up with Robbie [Seton]  and his wife and 2 kids.

We just made it in time before a tropical rainstorm hit Nijmegen where I wanted to enter the train to travel home.Then I found out I left my hand-bag with EVERYTHING in it , in the car from Ans. With help from the NS , [I was allowed to use their phone, to call my mobile in the hope Ans would hear it, mine was in the bag,]  I reached the neighbors from Ans, but smart as she was she drove straight away back to Nijmegen [from Malden] to hand over my handbag.In that tropical storm!!!!
We both passed , talking and laughing, about 8 poles to check in and just before the train went,  I realized I had not checked in. Senior moments!!!!
I did in Arnhem.

All in all a great weekend, not so much flying but still prizes to hand out to the best of the 21 pilots:
Open class;
Wim and Jef in the ARCUS T got the 352 points as winners, slow [81.2km./h.] but steady!!!
Johan Lemmens,  flew the old glider from Kees [Musters] the MS [Ventus a] to a nice 2d spot flying 109 from the 144 km.
It was the 32 d time he participated in a Keiheuvel competition.
Dennis and Jan Schouten flew the DG 500 over 104.5 km

2014-08-09 11.48.24

Kees’ old Ventus A.

In the sport class with transponders Sander [on the picture above] finished the 144 km. and won,[ 207 points]  the other 2 pilots flew 29.7 and 23 .5 km.

In the sport class nobody finished the best distance was 68.7 km. by Geert De Palmenaer in the Pegase.
Ken Evens the coach from the Belgium Juniors flew 30 km. and with that he knew already that he would win the cumulative cup later in the year.


Ken….As seen by Bram Fotografie.
Ken Evens in the discus 2CT/18m.  on tow. Cumulative winner in his class.
He ” loves”  flying this glider more than his Nimbus 4DM he said.

The tuggies “said” FAREWELL and till next year , so did we and a lot of  friends. On the back ground “DE KEI”  the restaurant with the great food at the airport and home for junior pilot Jeroen Jennen and his parents Rudy and Chrisje [....yes Huybreckx....2d generation]

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Till next year
Cheers Ritz

August 6, 2014

Back home ,…here is the full LESZNO DIARY !!!!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 6:40 pm

Z Poland



On Thursday  the INTERNATIONAL EVENING was a big success. A pity I missed that as it is a great opportunity to catch up straight away with EVERYBODY.I read that the German team had popular beer;120 liter has been “gone” somewhere???!!!!

ZZInt ev Australia  ZZint ev

The Aussies ,can’t miss that with the kangaroo in the middle. And the pilots lifting the Diana from Sebastian.
As shared on FB.

The day was cancelled, so time to go back to bed for those who were ” over-refreshed” and a good day for sight seeing. I am off now , as you know WITHOUT my laptop. Time for some fun.

ZZ grey field

grey skies today as seen by the South African team on Friday morning.

Here is the LESZNO DIARY;
It’s a bit long but a lot happened! Sunday  definitely belongs in my top 5 of “HEAVY” soaringdays.

FRIDAY continued;

I traveled by train and airport shuttle to Eindhoven Airport. I was amazed to see how it had changed. Some 30 years ago my dad and I went looking at planes , sitting there at  the balcony overseeing the field and day-dreaming how my kids Dennis and Inge would later fly in, with their passenger planes. My daughter does now!
The arrival /departure hall is brand new and looks great with mirrors all over…. brand new! Of course I paid tribute to the people who died in the MH 17 flight, as many did before me.

2014-08-01 14.50.43  2014-08-01 14.49.42

My daughter Inge found me a cheap and good flight with WIZZAIR, can’t say anything else then very effective, punctual and in 1.15 I was in Poznan.

2014-08-01 17.26.54  2014-08-01 19.05.11

Transavia at Eindhoven Airport with 3 planes Ryan Air with 2 and Wizzair also with 3 A 320′s.

The trip was fast and good and I arrived before schedule. Frans came all the way from Leszno to pick me up. He is the crew from Francois, but as there was no flying he could go.
Travelling by car in Poland certainly between Poznan and Leszno is a long sit. The distance is only 80 km. but with 2- lane- roads and lots of farmer- traffic, it takes between 2.5 and 3 hours.

The hotel AKWAWIT was perfect. I enjoyed being there. Inge had booked me a twin room and when I opened the doors I had some kind of executive room with coffee and tea,  vodka, 2 single beds a nice place to read, an office part, a cupboard part and a big bathroom. A nice balcony as well. The lady smiled when she said I had a special deal breakfast and dinner included!!!Also the spa, swimming pool etc was free.
WOW !!!!
Invited Frans for dinner as a thank you and when he left I dived in a good bed.

2014-08-02 18.27.40   2014-08-02 18.26.45


An early morning and a breakfast with hugs and kisses as I found out that Team members from the  USA, UK, Denmark, New Zealand, Greece, Belgium and others stayed there as well.
Never met Alexis from Greece but I had contact with him via my blogs as he contributed to my blogs in the past. Nice to get to know him.
His crew and he drove me to the airport.

2014-08-02 11.40.06   2014-08-02 12.36.14

Alexis and his crew and  his glider  decorated with sponsor stickers.

The CD gave me a VIP badge, so I could go everywhere.

And what an airfield it is HUGE !!!!!

 ” Leszno airfield is” , as Rick, one of the USA crew members mentioned ”  a grass square, roughly 4000 feet on a side. We’re told that this is the largest grass airfield in Europe. It is so big that the runways are not defined until after the cones are placed along their edges. For example, Runway 06/24 can exist in four separate places, of which two (left and right) are normally used. Similarly, Runway 15/33 could be anywhere, but they normally lay it out in the two “official” places.t defined until after the cones are placed along their edges. For example, Runway 06/24 can exist in four separate places, of which two (left and right) are normally used. Similarly, Runway 15/33 could be anywhere, but they normally lay it out in the two “official” places.” 

2014-08-02 09.44.53

I had a look at the tow planes before briefing and there was a lot of “old-fashioned” but still good tugs.

2014-08-02 09.47.33  2014-08-02 09.49.15

2014-08-02 09.49.40   2014-08-02 13.27.30

Briefing was a bit of a searching-game, as the day before all tables were moved to other places because of the International night. In the end they all sat  and the briefing could start. At the tables …apples from the local farmers and some info.

2014-08-02 09.59.04  2014-08-02 09.59.13

The meteo is in Polish but translated in English by a lady with a clear voice. Tasks were set , only small ones from 2 hour AAT’s changed later in 1.30 AAT’s.

Robert Danewid showed the pictures from the mid air in the UK recently and asked “: have you practiced to  bail out of a glider recently?
He mentioned that from 1974 till 2013 a total of 58 mid air collisions took place.Glider-glider 45 times and glider-tug 6 times. An extra warning specially in thermalling [ gaggles]  as that is the most dangerous spot in the air.
With the message FLY WITH YOUR HEAD he sent the pilots to their gliders.

It was great to see so many familiar faces again. The Crab boys from Ireland made me think straight away of Stan Witek, who worked for Bill Riley at Sportavia in Tocumwal. Stephen Crab is married to Stan’s daughter.
It is exactly 20 years ago this year [ April ] that Stan died of cancer!!
During the 1987 WGC in Benalla I organized Bruce Brockhoff’s glider for him and got some money from other teams to pay for his tows. That way he flew the WGC, which otherwise would have never happened.
I nearly regretted it as Stan and Italian pilot Leonardo Brigliadori had a mid air collision, but both could land back at Benalla.
Now Leo’s son Ricky is flying here in Leszno and visiting with wife and 3 kids. Good to see Ricardo’s call sign now is LEO.

2014-08-02 13.23.53  2014-08-02 13.00.53

It was nice to see Leighs dad , now as crew , in the past as pilot when ‘we’ attended WGC’s. Nothing changed, he still is the same running and rushing busy bee. From long ago it was nice to catch up with Jan Andersen and Henrik Breidahl, both lovely talented young men when I got to know them. Nothing changed ….still the same friendly smiles and Jan told me his oldest is already 24.Time flies.
The South African team with Laurens and Susie, Sven and Carol Clifford. Not to forget my Dutch mates all in good order with team huts, team- radio -center etc.

2014-08-02 09.42.59

2014-08-02 09.32.30  2014-08-02 09.34.05

The SA container and the Dutch fancy”  team hut”.

Maria Szemplinsky,who I got to know in Uvalde,  the great photographer was making pictures. Of course she supports her husband Jerzy as well. He flies for Canada, where they live. Did not know her roots were Polish!!
Do know now!

Nice to catch up with Walter Binder, Gerhard Waibel and his wife, Thilo and his wife! Most of them visited OSTIV. Also JS was represented by pilots Attie and Uys Jonker and DG by pilot Jelmer Wassenaar.
Loek Boermans is always a pleasure to talk too.
I was not allowed yet to tell you he is resigning as PRESIDENT of OSTIV, but it was on FB , that he has announced he is resigning end of this year,  during the briefing, so I can tell you too now. With pain in the heart , but he has done it many years. OSTIV is going to miss him, so are more pilots and friends and of course his OSTIV mates.

2014-08-02 11.45.00

Gerhard Waibel

Got to see the new jet- engine in the JS 1 from Simon Brown, flown here by Tom Claffey , who already won a day.I looked at the testing before start and that was quite special and behind the glider pretty noisy. Kerrie, Tom’s wife was so kind to inform me about this MND jet-engine which carries 42 liters of AVTUR  mixed with mobile jet 1 oil.
And Tom explained about the engine ;

“Use: easy.
Fuel: lots.
Speed: climbs at best 78 kts, cruises faster.
Noise: not too bad in glider, really noisy from behind!:) .
Distance: 150km retrieve with less than full tanks. ”
Note; On Sunday , the day of the storms he made it home and squeezed out all fuel to come in.

2014-08-02 12.39.52  2014-08-02 12.42.49

2014-08-02 13.36.27

The Aussies Ben, Matthew and Tom with ” import Aussie Mac.”

In the end the day turned out even weaker as hoped for and tasks were set for 1.30 hour. The skies were blue and the task was around Leszno. So 127 gliders in a small airspace, with blue skies. Not the best day for gliding. But off they went. They all flew in big gaggles first pretty low but then before the start line opened we heard 1100 m. up to 1300 m.

During the day the weather improved clearly as did the visibility.
Another devalued day but they flew and the scores showed that you could fly 165.9 km. as the Austrians did in 1.44 on a WGC in 15 m. class. Wolfgang and Andreas both got 494 points.
4 Out-landings in this class.

In 18 m.John Coutts flew 184.2 km. and won the day. 2 Out-landings in this class.

In open class it was Michael Sommer who flew 213 km. in 1.50. Only Andy [Davis] stayed also under 2 hours the rest needed between 2.03 and 3 hours.

Polish party; was a real party with long queues waiting for food and drinks. The drinks were too nice, apple juice with vodka, but the next day there was some head ache.
Saw Sebastians dad in a different way. A bit later in the evening he got the whole tent applauding him and cheering him on by singing all kind of songs. He has a remarkable good voice.
One of the local Leszno couples loved the apple juice as well. He had to keep her straight but in the end dumped her on the back seat of his car and drove very carefully away.
0.2 is the limit for driving and he was far over that.
By the way I heard that 2 crew members spend a night in jail after each 2 beers which was more than 0.2; 0.4
I had a nice evening talking to Gretha Musters and her partner Eric, who was there for OSTIV.
Around 11,  I left with the USA team members.


ZZ winners day 5

First the winners of day 5 as shared by the organizers.

Smiling faces after the winners were mentioned as the weather was supposed to be good. A tropical air-mass with hot temperatures, some wind from the S and possible thunderstorms during final glide!!!
No AAT’s but racing tasks from 356 km. for 15 m., 332 for 18 m. and 367 for open class.

It turned out a day to remember . It all started good with nice clouds popping up , but over -development was clearly seen on the radar and Top meteo. TC’s did not believe in a day, neither some of the pilots. The organizers were sure they had it right so the gliders were launched  NOT at 11.15 but at 12. Mark Keene [USA] was the first to go as I saw because I sat in the shade at the end of the LONG runway 06, used on 2 sites so launching goes quickly.

When the sniffer went up at 11, the skies were totally blue over the Leszno airport, but in a short time clouds were everywhere. Pilots went on track, some thought it would be OK,  others knew they were not coming back, though the tasks were set in the right direction. The over development went too quick, CB’s formed and the strong wind from the South brought it quicker than expected in the task areas.
TC’s looked outside and said to the crews to go on track already which they did.
That did not help either as roads were flooded by the heavy rain and police had to help to get the car and trailer via a more private road back on track. Others had to deal with collapsed trees and branches of trees on the road.
A disaster when you are on the way on a retrieve, but a story you never forget in your life.

2014-08-03 17.33.39

Crews getting fuel on the station in front of the airfield.

It was interesting to see how the social media help nowadays. Apps were send between pilots and TC’s and crews, as well as  text messages, as pictures from the radar.
That way the teams could tell their pilots that Ostrow which was closed that day due to the Polish Presidents visit , was open for landing and lots did so.

In between we heard over the radio that pilots had managed to fly or “motor”  back home. The first  just arrived when the wind from the S . was on it’s worst and black skies full of lightning were close to the NW.
Pilots asked permission to land on 05 the shorter ” overshoot-runway ” as they called it. All of them did a splendid job. The story from DB and his CONCORDIA is on

ZZZZ tent  2014-08-03 15.25.44

View to the NW of the field and at the same time looking at the East. Not long after it was dark there too, but we did not have a lot of rain over the field, only tough wind.

According to some pilots, SAFETY NEVER was an issue. But it is a hell of a responsibility to send 127 gliders out on a day the TC’s and pilots could see during the start already that they were not going to make it back. It means also that 100 crews had to travel by car  with trailer ,to paddocks over small Polish roads.
Some pilots on their way to TP 1 ,got over 40 % off track to avoid the storms , so the crews had to drive even further then the task kilometers.
Unfortunately one of the crews [Hungary] had an accident and had to go to hospital with a broken hand/arm.
I heard the doors from cars and rooms between 12 and 1 midnight, it was a long day!!! One to remember!


Flooded streets.
shared by the Dutch team

 Crew Rick from the CONCORDIA mentioned:” DB made a nice landing directly into the wind, more or less on Runway 15R, coming to rest about a third of the way down the runway. His measured wind speed on final approach was 38 knots. I raced out to fetch him, receiving my clearance to cross the airport diagonally while I was already halfway to the glider.

The next part was surreal. We were cleared to tow directly to the parking area via the grass between runways 15R and 15L. As we progressed on this route at walking speed, several gliders touched down on our left and right, with a groundspeed only a little bit greater than our own.”

dick butler edgar kremer 1000     rick sheppe 1000

Dick and Edgar Kremer and Rick.
Dick and Rick visited Poppenhausen on the way to Leszno .
Pictures from the Schleicher site.

And the stories from the flying Aussie pilots:

-–” Day 6 according to Craig 
World Gliding Championships 2014 – Leszno, Poland
Another stormy day. A convergence line was predicted and developed between Leszno and the first turn-point.
Running the storm line was a pretty amazing, albeit intense, experience. I was happy to have Tom Claffey and Ben Loxton with me to advise which side of the roll cloud to fly to get more lift and less turbulence. 15kts on the vario was common and I was afraid to fly slower than 85kts as the turbulence was very strong. 
OK, I don’t want to sound too dramatic, storms and lightening left and right, you get the picture. 
In the end all three started our engines 160km out. Ben and I started and shutdown our engines three times as avoid late storms to make it within 100km of home, landing at a disused military airfield. I was greeted by two guards who’s first words were “this is big shit”. It turned out to be no problem, but the adventures were to continue as we accepted a ride into town with a local…
Tom squeaked home using every litre of his jet fuel and a then a skinny final glide.
90+ gliders outlander, and late nights. All part of the fun!-–” 

ZZ ben and Greg

A selfie shared by Ben and Graig[to the left]  from the Aussie team after the landing.

AND day 6 according to Matthew;

“-—Rough day yesterday, for everyone .All~ 127 gliders in paddocks or with engine starts (mostly only to outland closer to home).
We thought it would be a fast and high day with storms later, so we’d planned to try and sneak away early and let everyone else play the start games. I started early and called the climbs and route to Mak and Craig hoping to let them catch up to me.
Unfortunately the storms blew up extremely rapidly and not more than half an hour into the task I knew it was going to be unachievable and called up Stefan to tell him to start driving east. Mak and Craig caught me up pretty quickly, not that it mattered with it being a distance day now. We managed to get around the bottom of the storm before it consumed the whole task area, and tried to glide east to the sunshine to pickup some regular convection to no avail, and outlanded shortly after. Craig, along with most of the other pilots with better scores chose to run up along the other side of the storm and were able to get another 100km or so for a lot more points.
At least the out-landing was into a good paddock with friendly locals, good food in a nearby restaurant, and even a spectacular roll cloud going over as we started de-rigging.”—


A glider coming in with the black skies behind.
As shared by the organizers.

The scores , 1000 points for the winners for only distance points were according to lots of pilots and TC’s too high. But they did well, they either took risks or were at the right time on the right spot.
Winners in 15 m. were the French, flying about 250 km. from the set 355. Anne Ducourage got the 1000 points and Jean-Denis and Christophe  both 992. They did very well under the circumstances and climbed on  the overall-score-ladder;Anne from 19 to 10, Jean Denis from 11 to 3 and Christophe from 3 to 2 whilst Mac dropped from 2 to 12. Sebastian is still on spot 1 overall.

In 18 m. it was John Coutts again who won the day. He flew 288.8 km. from the set 331.8 and got the 1000 points. The Argentinian crew , based in the camping as neighbors from the Dutch hopefully mentioned whilst the thunderstorm was to out NW that 2 of their pilots still flew. Javier did well and was 2d whilst Roman was 3d.
The 2 Polish pilots , Karol and Lucasz are still on top,but Russell is close by with only 4 points behind Lucasz.
John climbed from 17 to spot 4.
The Jonker brothers dived from 5/6 to 13 and 17.

In open class Swiss pilot Daniel Rossier was only 60 km. out. He flew 307.8 km. from the set 367.3. 1000 points for him!!
Uli flew 305 km. and was 2d and as I read on their site he climbed just before the first TP to 2000 m. , then managed to fly to the 2d TP with tail wind and minimal sink and found 1.5 m.  lift just before the 2d TP . He could round it and glided as far as possible  direction Leszno , to land there after using the engine of his EB 29.
On 3 the ‘the  Broquevilles’ with 243 km. so the numbers 1 and 2 had a read good day they flew more then 60 k further.
In the overall scores Daniel went from 25 to 12, Uli from 8 to 1 , so he is in the lead now and the Broqueville family from 16 to 11.

WOW….WOW what scores!!!!!

Monday August 4 2014 ;

On Monday  they had an official rest day so Frans and Francois and his 2 kids , brought Mathijs ,crew member from Ronald[Termaat] and me to Poznan.
Driving over the field to get Mathijs’  jacket I noticed lots of people ” working” on their gliders; rudders, tail slides, wing tips.
Not passing the office I forgot to bring my VIP badge back. Sorry about that guy’s. I had brought it back already, but they preferred me using it again to enter the camping site.
A fast flight again, without thunderstorms and at 5 PM we landed at Eindhoven. At 7.30 I was already home in Alphen.
There I read that the meteorologist , Zbigniew Siwik said  about Sunday:
” I’ve been working on weather forecasts for ten years during various kinds of competitions, and a situation like this one happened to me for the first time

It was a new dimension to just be on a WGC as a visitor. Of course I kept notes and made some pictures but it was all at ad hoc base, no pressure ,no time limits. Loved to catch up with so many and was pleased to hear how many read my blogs or columns. By the way I wrote yesterday one for  about the 38 kts wind-landing from DB.

Till so far the Leszno diary.

Tuesday August 5 2014 ;

Another cancelled day. Some were questioning the decision , now we will never know IF it could have been a day.
The next day the pilots mentioned ” it was a contest day lost.”
Look at the skies at 2.30 PM.


As shared by the Dutch team…no flying today!

WEDNESDAY August 6 2014 ;

Today no task set yet,  so only 3 days to go. It’s going to be interesting. I will look back on those days on Wednesday the 13th, as I leave for the Keiheuvel on Friday morning  again without my laptop.
Pilots however are putting their gliders on the grid.
As Matthew mentioned; “today looks like another difficult flying day with lots of cirrus and 3-4000ft cloudbase forecast.”
The Dutch TC mentions;” PC met shows good weather for Leszno. Let’s wait and see.

Open Class – 334.3 km.
18m. class – 313.1 km.
15m. class – 295.7 km.
The 18m. class are carrying the tracker units.


Start today from Arne . Arne’s wife and daughter send him off.
as seen by Meinte [Dutch crew/ brother from Jelmer ...71]

It’s already a long story , so I won’t add more,….. but Klippeneck is on and they have 2 days and 2 cancelled , the ladies still try to fly in Germany for the National title, they had 3 days and 6 cancelled days but try again today and there is more.
AND,….The new club class champion in the UK is Pete Masson….again. He is the very popular Junior Team Coach in the UK.

Cheers Ritz

August 1, 2014

The Leszno WGC ; continued stories….day 4 and 5! And other news from last week!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 5:01 am

Z Poland

Before I depart for Leszno tomorrow I publish already day 4 and 5 [today], as old news is no news. More next Wednesday in the regular blog.

WEDNESDAY  July 30 2014;
I gave you the tasks already in my last blog. 2 Hour AAT’ s for all classes , direction East . First launches at 11.45!
So another de -valued day and one with concern for some, as the last launched pilots had to start when it drizzled already. Unfair,…yes but part of soaring as well. The system rotates and when you are on a bad day on the last row, it ‘s mostly not too good. The other way around with good weather works too. A bit of a lottery for sure, as this way not everybody has the same chances!
I have seen it at several comps.

Anyhow 127 pilots were launched within an hour. That’s a COOL  result!!!!!

ZZ leeg veld

After the opening of the start lines the field was empty only trailers and not too bad clouds on the skies.
As seen and shared by the SA team.

As in the past the team members help each other, nothing new . So when the 15 m. starts they give info to the 18 m. and open class pilots. That way, as Sebastian mentioned, the Polish pilots fly so well. I know ALL countries fly like this and when you are the sole pilot of a country there are always mates you can count on.

In between the towering clouds disappeared for cirrus , so the expectation of thunderstorms was more or less past,  but still expected after the finishes.
The 10 km. finish ring on difficult days like this , is a perfect way for safe landings after the finish. Also the finish height was raised to 400 m MSL.

15 m. ; The French started together just after 1 , but lost each other and arrived as number 4 and 32.
A new daily winner ; young Radek Krejcirik, from Czech Rep. who flew already so well in Uvalde  where he was 3d in the final scores AND he was 3d on the last JWGC as well; good on him!!! He started as one of the last in his class [13.13] and flew 261 km. in 2.12 [speed 118.4 km./h].
A good day for Matthew from Australia this time [spot 5]  , as well as for Francois [NL] who was runner up!!
A less good day  for Wolfgang [Janowitsch] finishing as number 39, loosing just over 200 points on winner Radek.
After 4 days Sebastian leads with 3066 points , followed by Mac who keeps a good eye on Sebastian and started together with him. Mac has 3023 points and Christophe , the number 3, 2983.
Phil and Leigh are not far behind and Belgium pilot Emmanuel Litt is now on spot 7  . He was on an overall 20 th spot after day 2, so he is ” in good lift” !!

Here is the story from Matthew on day 4.

–” Two challenging days with storms forecast on both and appearing on neither – we played the gaggle game on both days to varying results, yesterday I was in the wrong cycle of the gaggle for the climb onto glide and had to take a (much) weaker climb to get home in the rapidly dying weather, but today I worked hard to make sure I didn’t repeat the same mistake and came home fastest of our gaggle.

The team flying with Mak and Craig is going well, we’ve had many hundreds of kilometers glued together, and on two days now we’ve managed to keep a pair together the whole flight, but we’re still working on the elusive triple tip-to-tip finish. With the wet ground the thermals are very bubbly and it only takes a 300 ft separation for it to be 50/50 if the higher glider climbs faster or slower in the next thermal.

We had at least 3 world champions in our gaggle today, which makes for a very punishing environment – if you do something slightly sub-optimal, a short lapse in concentration, one circle longer to center, one missed cu diversion in the glide, they’ll gain precious meters above and in front of you that takes lots of focus and often just luck to earn back. It makes for a very short feedback loop and I can already feel the effects on my flying – a couple more weeks of this and I should be ready to fly a world comps. ” —

Matthew keeps a very interesting blog , it is great to follow him. I do so already for quite a while.

18 m. ; Unfortunately a pretty bad day for Jerzy from Canada . For violating the airspace he got only 50 points. A good day for Louis Bouderlique , who was the daily winner and “got” 654 points; 268.2 km in 2.08 [speed 125.6 km./h.] Runner up was Robert Schroeder from Germany  with 2 points less and UK pilot Russell finished on spot 3, together with Roman both had 4 points less than Louis.
Overall after 4 days; still the same Karol now with 3061 points, Lucasz with 3012 and Peter 3002.
Here is part of Tom’ s story of day 4;

 Today was again mixed for the 18M team.
The day was 2 hr AAT with early finish and storms forecast.
We struggled for start height just as the gate opened after being at cloud base for an hour! As it happened we started a few minutes after the main gaggle just behind the Germans. We caught them and later Attie Jonker and gradually the day improved, speed increased until the bottom AAT turn where we just lost contact with the gaggle. After quite a struggle I was able to catch the bottom of the gaggle but the lift reduced and the higher gliders gradually pulled away. Ben was able to almost catch up by taking a different route. At about 20km to run we stopped to make sure we had the 400M finish height at the 10km finish ring, of course we over cooked it and ended up doing 120kts to get down! We ended up a long way down the list but not too badly for points. ” 

open class ;The “long-wings”  did not perform very well in the beginning. Today that changed. Uli and Michael flew their EB 29 to a 3 and 4th place behind the UK pilots in their JS 1-C, Andy and Pete.
Another long-winger, Dick [DB] was on a good 8th spot.
Not such a good day for Laurens finishing as number 16 and as said , a lottery-day unfortunately, for Ronald who had to start in rain , fighting to gain height, whilst the rest was on track already.  He finished, but was on place 30.
Overall after 4 days ; 1.Killian [3131], 2. Andy [3120], 3. Laurent [3107] Uli and Michael slowly found their way to the top [ on 7 and 8]

As was written on the official site:  The Tasksetter says, ‘According to the forecasts, we expected thunderstorms, and for this reason, I preferred being careful, to prevent landing in the rain, or in a field.’ The assumption has been implemented to the joy of the pilots.
Can only agree with that. In the end the idea that the day was too short , was changed into the idea that ” the window was perfectly chosen.” 

With day 4 this 33d WGC in Leszno is a VALID FAI WGC. But for sure there will be more days ahead. As said it is not over yet!!

ZZ final by Aussies  ZZ finish 2 by Marta

Great pictures shared by the Aussies.

What happened more today?
—- Prof.  Loek Boermans , president of OSTIV has spoken at the briefing and the opening of their meetings  will be that night.
—- Walter Binder got honored for ALL he did for soaring during the OSTIV evening.
—- I just miss out on the International Night, which will be on Thursday night. A pity as I will only arrive on Friday evening.
—- you all heard about the Perlan Project . Today I read that the Airbus Group joins in with the Perlan Mission  2 , as a partner , to explore “ the edges of space “and soar to 90.000 feet.
By becoming a partner in the project, Airbus Group will provide funding to complete the construction of the glider and two years of flight in Argentina. ”
—- the International /Amical Bailleau 2014 started their  competition after 1 cancelled day. This competition is in a long history very much ” liked  by the Dutch and Belgian pilots. 63 Pilots in 3 classes fly in Bailleau.
—-The Russian Nationals in Standard Class have been flown from Baltasi and 12 participants [one HC] were flying there, though better said waiting there as they had ONE flyable day and 6 scrubbed days.
—- some of my Danish friends are flying for the Sun Air Cup from Arnborg . They fly in 5 classes and had pretty good weather with 9 days out of 11.

THURSDAY July 31 2014 already the last day of July!!!!!;

The day-4 winners first. Here they are.

ZZ winners day 4

As shared by the organizers.

Looking at the European weather forecast this morning, the message was 27 dgr. and local thunderstorms for Poland. BUT,…I read it was “cold” and rainy in the morning with low grey clouds laying as a blanket over the field at Leszno. A relaxed morning, they called it.

No surprise,….no task was set in the morning briefing , TC’s would meet at noon  again and the message later was , that the open class should be ready at the grid at 1. According to the TOP-German- team- meteo- man Bernd,  there could be a window after 14.30 direction West.

The 15 m. and 18 m. was scrubbed /canned/ cancelled, BUT open had to be ready at 13.45. The weather looked ” reasonable”  to bring 1 class up in the air , so a 242.3 km. racing task was set.

ZZ day 5

Open class …….”ready”  to go!
As shared by the SA team.

Stress in the German Team as Michael had to be pulled out of the first row as he had a problem with the under carriage and had to look at that first with help of many friends and what kind of friends Walter Eisele and Walter Binder,experience ALL over and in soaring since ….god knows when! They fixed it and off he went…..
8/8 of clouds, the  ”  big wings ”  between 500 and 900 m [cloud base] and a wind up to 30 km./h. Not a real good menu for a soaring day.
When they were all in the air and   the start-line was about to open at 14.37 , the day was scrubbed anyhow, so time enough to have a good look at his EB. Also lot’s of time to prepare a great International NIGHT.

ZZ Michael

Michaels’ EB  and the “bad”  skies in the back.
as shared by the German team.

And to finish this day 5 , a non flying day , BUT they TRIED HARD, is here one of those nice pictures from the organizers.

ZZ no winners

What happened more today?

—- Packed my small suitcase and I am ready for departure tomorrow.

—- We had not 150 mm of rain here in Alphen, but 180 mm. meaning 18 full buckets of water poured on a square meter.

—- the OVSE finally reached the disaster-spot from MH 17. In the end the ‘we’  lost 196 people with a Dutch passport.

—- after 3 scrubbed days , the ladies FINALLY fly from Stolln/Rhinow and got straight away racing tasks from  417 for club [ 26 pilots] and a 451 km. task in the racing class  [8 pilots] and also in standard class.[ 6 pilots]
Kathrin [Woetzel ] and Swaantje [Geyer ]both participating in club class,  did well on this day certainly Swaantje after her very recent  operation . They both departed as the last ones in their class and finished as number 6 and 7 in the scores.
All scores on ;

—- Husbos unfortunately had a mid air last Saturday during their Husbos Challenge Cup.Pictures shared on FB are impressive/spectacular/dramatic …..but  for me JUST SCARY……  I did not particular like them, also not with the knowledge that 1 pilot landed safely and the other baled out and only had minor injuries. Yes I looked at them , because  the moment  is pretty special, but I felt cold and could only be grateful that nothing happened to both pilots.
I saw and heard it happen , long time ago, but then 3 pilots were killed.

—- the young ones travel the world nowadays. Nick, from  Alex and Nick’s Gliding Adventures living in New Zealand visited Lasham and as he said: ” I got the front seat of an ASH 25 for 2 & half hours loved it.” 

ZZ nick

Lasham weather looks nice.
As shared by Nick.

—- some of the Dutch young ones fly from Bronkow in Germany. Sander flew a nice 617 k distance in the St. Cirrus.

—– this date in history was important WHY?
The SSA shows us why:
July 31, 1964. On this date in soaring history, Al Parker makes the first soaring flight to exceed 1,000 kilometers.

Today is the 50th anniversary of Alvin H. Parker’s remarkable 1,042 kilometer (647 mile) world record flight in 1964, the first-ever in the world to break the 1,000 kilometer mark. Flying his American-built Arlington Sisu1A sailplane, Parker soared from his hometown of Odessa, Texas, to Kimball, Nebraska. That Sisu sailplane is on permanent display in the Smithsonian Air & Space Hazy Center near Dulles Airport, Virginia. A sister ship to the record breaking Sisu currently resides with Al’s son Steve Parker in Marfa, Texas.

In the July 2014 issue of SOARING magazine, the original article by E. J. Reeves was reprinted in its entirety.

You are up to date again with a lot of news.
Cheers Ritz CU on Wednesday with stories and pictures from Leszno and more on the Female Nationals in Germany with also 2 Dutch participants.

July 30, 2014

32 WGC in Leszno; looking at it day by day!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 7:38 pm

A-day-by-day retrospect on day 1 , 2 and 3 from the  Leszno WGC and other activities this week till today.

Z Poland

SUNDAY JULY 27 2014;
The first day of this wonderful big event organized under the FAI-flag by the Polish gliding community at Leszno, straight  away set the standard for great racing over the next 2 weeks.
Though they had ” only”  2.30 AAT’s in 15 and 18 m and 2.45 in open class , cause of expected showers , the pilots raced over the track as future champions.
The window was chosen VERY well, there was some rain over the Leszno field, for the crews and TC’s,  but the pilots on track had so to see, no problems .

In 15 m. the UK pilots were still in their ” flow”  and Leigh won the day with Phil just behind him.
From 46 pilots they had the best speed combined with the flown kilometers; 335.5 and 333.7 m. in 2.33.
Speed from 131 and 130 km. /h.
Points between 824 and 481 for the first and last pilot of the day.

In 18 m. the UK pilots had a less good day than during practice. They, one way or another “lost”  each other and  finished as 18th and 26 from 46.
ALL pilots in this class finished!!!!
A mixed top in this class lead by Polish pilot Karol Staryzak who won with 352.1 km in time 2.32 [138.8 km./h]
John Coutts from NZ was runner up and finished exactly in 2.30 but flew 10 km. less with Roman Mracek on spot 3.
BUT,..Roman in the end got only 72 km for an airspace violation at Poznan, where I arrive on Friday evening.
Points between 815 for the winner and 58 for number 46, Roman.
What a horrible start for such a good pilot. But they know the rules and the consequences.

In open class Ronald [Termaat]  from Holland flew himself with big speed , 139.5 km./h over 389.5 km. in time 2.47,35 and won the day. Followed by the French Killian and Laurent and Laurens from SA,  behind them.
In the top 10 ,5 x a JS 1-C and 3x a Quintus M , a Nimbus 4M and ASH 31Mi.
Points between 917 and 389.


As shared by the organizers.

What happened more on Sunday July 27:

—–Several over 800 km. flights from Fuente and a few 1000 k flights one by  Guy who  flew his 8th 1000 for the Fuente-season  in the Quintus M.
The first 17 flights on the OLC were all for Fuente pilots.
—–In Stoelln/Rhinow the German women started their Nationals with a practice day.The field they are flying from is the oldest airfield in the world. Otto Lilienthal jumped of the hill there.

MONDAY JULY 28 2014:

Tasks; 15 m….3.15 AAT, 18 m…….3 hour AAT and open class…..3.15 AAT.

ZZ tuggies day 2

 Tow planes ready to go for day 2!
As shared by the SA team.

During briefing the winners were honored with their daily prizes and they seem all happy/pleased with it.

ZZ winners day1

Leigh, Ronald and Karol
As shared by the organizers.

Day 2 turned out to be a difficult day…..  they talked about the heat, the showers , but also 2/3 m. average climbs and the tension” what will this day bring”? Some thought that the day would turn out better than predicted , so they left later.
In the end they had severe rain and a thunderstorm just after and for some during the finish.

Here is Matthew’s story, he says it all!!!;
” Disastrous second day...

Some mis-communication lead me to break from the pack around the middle of the task, and I had a low and slow point, but recovered quite nicely, expecting to be 20 minutes overtime with a lot of extra distance. Unfortunately the 20 minutes made all the difference, with a big storm directly overhead the airfield when I returned. Aussie base reported all clear on the other side of the rain with 20k to run and 2000ft over glide, so I switched to the CTAF and headed in, still without sight of the field. In the meantime the heavens opened up and the rain thickened and intensified completely covering the finish. I got to 800m of the 3k finish ring before bailing out because of zero visibility in the torrential rain, off the clock sink and uncontrollable turbulence. I turned around, still 1200ft over glide and tried to head a bit further north to come in from a different angle, but was dumped even harder and did another 180, clearing the heavy sink at 1000ft to fly as far as I could from the storm and turbulence before dropping it into a wheat field. Unfortunately lost an undercarriage door and a lot of pride to the crop (everywhere still has the crops in), but Mirek was kind enough to do the replacement before tomorrow’s flying.

Thanks to all for the retrieve in torrential rain...”

ZZ bliksem

lightning in the back ground, while gliders finished
Picture courtesy Gliding Sport.

The results were as the day…..changeable. A lot of expected TOPPERS are not yet flying at their standard, others are ” bloody good”. As those 2 Polish pilots but let’s look at it class by class.

15 m; Sebastian started at 14.15 which is looking at the times rather late. Together with him his mate Jacek went on track and Mac was with them, as well as the 2 French Jean Denis and Christophe and a few more.
They all must have stayed more or less together , as they landed about the same times, BUT in between  Sebastian flew the most kilometers; 442.9 in 3.20 so a speed of 132.5 km./h. in his Polish Diana over Polish soil. Could that go wrong???????
Sebastian in the Diana 2 had the first 1000 points for this comps. Mac had 940 and Jacek 875.
6 Outlandings, 3 real and 3 virtual by infringements.

Overall Sebastian leads with less than 100 points on Mac and about 120 on Leigh.

18 m; A great day for the Polish pilots with both Karol and Lucasz gaining the 1000 points in this class, flying 420 km. in 3.01 so a nice speed of 139.2 km./h!!!!
All pilots counted for…. so no outlandings no penalty points and no infringements.

Overall Karol is ,of course , on top of the list , winning 2 days, followed by Lucasz and Peter [Hartmann] from Austria.

Open class;a real FRENCH day as all 3 French pilots including the current world champion Laurent, flew in as the best.
485 km. for the 3 of them with a speed of  139 km./h. Laurent won in the Quintus M ,followed by Killian in the JS 1-c and Sylvain in the Quintus M.
Laurens was best of the rest followed by the 2 UK pilots Pete and Andy.
Good old Uli did well on 7 and good old Dick in the CONCORDIA was on spot 8.

Overall Killian leads after 2 days before Laurent with Laurens as great 3d. Ronald unfortunately dropped from 1 to 9 and equals that place with the , Broquevilles.
BUT IT IS NOT OVER YET, it just started!!!!!
3 Out landings, 2 real , one by infringement and 1 pilot got ZERO points as he missed the start line.

What happened more on Monday;

—–Got some lovely pictures from Anthonies mum Faye. Anthony aka, Fal, aka Tugger, is a dad now. He was one of our tuggies in the past in the Sportavia-time,  flying as as an airline pilot in Australia from Sidney now.
—–Very wet in Europe today. Guess Germany and Holland got the full load with extreme down pours up to over 150 ml. at places . The 150 ml. was here in Alphen and yes it was really wet here.
Amsterdam was like little Venice at some places.
Flooding-damage-bill ONLY in Holland and only for the houses; 10 million Euro!
—–still troubles to go to the disaster area, to find the last bodies from flight MH 17. It’s a shame they continue fighting there so nobody can do any kind of investigation.
—–it rained at the German Women Nationals.


Starting again with the winners from the day before.

ZZ day 2 winners

As shared by the organizers.Like the way they do this!!!!

Tasks for this Tuesday; 2.15 AAT for 15 m. and for both 18 m. and open a 2.00 AAT.
So another so-so-day, a look-alike from the day before with showers in the afternoon. Tricky but interesting … other day on which points can be very expensive, as there is no excuse for mistakes.
A misty morning with early low cloud which is slowly burning off. They expected again a tropical airmass with the convergence line to the north. Also Cirrus again…. expected coming from the south. Pressure had dropped and there was a chance of storms when the temperature reached 30 deg.C.
Gliders are put in the grid early again , as it is a bit cooler then.

On days like this with a short task and unpredictable  weather,  the start time/game is important and you should get as pilot ALL weather info , and on top of that you should look as  pilot EXTRA with your own eyes how this weather develops.

The first hour the clouds developed perfect and happy pilots send messages from good lift ; 2/3 m. average. In open class one of the trackers was given to Dick, so everybody could follow the CONCORDIA.
In the end,no thunderstorm in  the- end- of -day , so only 3 out-landings in total and one violation.

15 m.; The French had another good day and finished nearly at the dot with 247 km. Mac is still in winning mood and was 3d.Good to see Stefano more in the top now.
Points between 195 for the out-lander Olivier from Belgium and 708 for Christophe the daily winner.
Overall scores after 3 days; Sebastian [2429] , Mac [2389] and Leigh [2365].

18 m.; Tom Claffey flew 257 km in 2.11 [speed 117.7 km/h.] and won the day  [673 points]! Karol had 10 points less and Robert [Schroeder] from Germany was only ONE point behind Karol. 2 Out-landings in this class and overall it looks after 3 days like this;
Karol [2478] Lucasz [2430] and Peter [ 2371] The UK pilots Mike and Russell are following and then on 6 young Aku from Finland. Good on him!!!

ZZ tom

Tom Claffey as shared by the Aussies.

And HIS story.
Mixed 18M day. The forecast was for a fairly late start with strong risk of storms. Only a two hour AAT was set for 18M, 2.15hr for 15M. Once launched we went along the first leg looking at conditions, very weak and improving slowly. It seemed from the sky that the storms may not happen so we played the start game, wanting to fly with company. Anyway, our gaggle finally left 1hr-18mins after the gate opened! Good first leg with the Germans and others, then when they started a large deviation to fly around a big blue hole I went straight, risky move and Ben [Loxton] did the conservative thing and went with the group. As it happens it worked for me and I spent the next half of the flight largely alone. Ben had dropped back a bit but we were opposite direction not long after I left the last sector. I was in a great climb when a large gaggle passed by above and below me without stopping, I must have been in a bubble. I was able to almost get to the front of the gaggle with a good final glide while Ben got stuck with the weakening conditions behind. Great confidence boost to get a day win but I really would like a 1000 points some day. (In Uvalde the two days were penalized then devalued.) – Tom

open class; Andy Davis won the day with 264 km in 2.15 gaining the most points ; 703. Killian missed out on only 3 points on him and Laurent, Laurens and Uli  followed.
Killian still on top overall with 2602 points, followed by Laurent 2577 and Laurens 2528. Dick was only on spot 30, so having a tracker did n’t do the CONCORDIA much good.
The very long wings need more long distances. Hope they will come.
The first EB 29′s from Uli and Michael [Sommer] are overall on spot 7 and 8. The first 6 places are for the JS 1-C’s  and the Quintus M’s.

ZZ Dick

The CONCORDIA with Dick.
Courtesy Studio LTV Jacek Lewinsky, what a great picture!!!!

What happened more on Tuesday?

—-really bad and wet weather in the Alps. Still pretty good in Scandinavia and nearly a miracle that they have tasks in Poland. They are about the only ones where the weather is reasonable , in the middle of Europe.
—- the morning  briefing at 10.15 was in the presence of  Susanne [Schoedel] the FAI Secretary General who visits Poland for a few days.She participated first in the Red Bull Air Races , visited the World Gliding Aerobatic Championships and was then in Leszno, to also say hello to the glider pilots. Last WGC in Uvalde she still flew herself !!! A ” good ” lady for our sport!
—-Lasham had a good day with Dave Masson flying 570 [484 k. FAI]  in the LS6 WL.
—the women in Germany “tried” , but it did not work out. Another scrubbed day!
As Natasja our Dutch participant mentioned:
” Another cancelled flying day; third in row. Thunderstorms are haunting the area for days now. On the airfield ánd campsite we are fighting of the mosquitoes which are with thousands and weaponed with little stings that even goes through textile! Bastards! So this morning I marinated myself with Autan, Bugspray, Flyswatter and all other chemical stuff I could find in the shop.”
But she still has the right spirit: Let’s kick some ass. @ German National Championships Gliding Woman.” 

WEDNESDAY July 30 2014;

Yesterday’s winners

ZZ winners day 3

Tasks for today are “small” again; 2 hour AAT’s for all classes.

CU next Wednesday with news from Poland as I will travel to Leszno on Friday. Be there 2 FULL days and go back on Monday again, hopefully with some nice stories for you ,though I go this time as a REAL visitor, no laptop just looking at a WGC as a guest.No jobs.
Only making pictures , listening, and catching up with a lot of mates.

Cheers Ritz

July 23, 2014

MH 17!Retrospect on comps, comps in progress and final results from EUROGLIDE 2014 !

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 6:29 pm

TODAY Wednesday July 23 is a day of NATIONAL PUBLIC MOURNING for the first MH 17 passengers who arrive this afternoon at 4 at Eindhoven Airport. One minute of silence at 4 in Holland where ever possible,[ planes will not start, busses/coaches will wait a minute, so do the trains]!!!!
Flags half-mast.
A Dutch Hercules and an Australian Boeing C-17 Globemaster will bring the first bodies to Eindhoven.
It will be a tough day!!!!A day of National Mourning has not been set in Holland since 1962.
Our Dutch royals, government officials and families of the passengers will be at the tarmac when the remains arrive. After a solemn ceremony, the bodies will be taken in more than 60 hearses, to a military facility for forensic testing in Hilversum.
The main road from Eindhoven to Hilversum will be closed at that time.The airfield at Eindhoven will be closed for all traffic between 15.45 and 18.00.
Words fail……..a nation in mourning! A world in mourning, as ALL bodies will be going back home via Holland!


All around 1200 wind mills in Holland will be in mourning-stand/state.
Picture shared by the Wind mill association.

BUT<…life continues and it is good to go away for a couple of days to clear the mind, so I managed to organize with help from Frans and my daughter Inge to get a ticket and a room for Leszno flying to POZNAN on Friday August 1 arriving in the evening at Leszno and departing again on Monday August 4 in the afternoon.
Looking forward to that!!!!!!

More comps are on , a few have finished again. A short retrospect and a look at what’s going on at the moment.

During the SUMMER COMPS at Malden in Holland, the pilots had after a no-or-nearly-no-points-day-1, a long task on their day 2.
Though to be honest the 137.1 km . from Nick Hanenburg on day 1 you can only call GOOD; he deserved more than the  54 points he got , as the runner up ” only”  flew 82.1 km.
306 km. was set for club class and the winner was,….Steven Huiskes , [St. Cirrus] who flew in the past JWGC and WGC [ Uvalde] . Patrick [LS1f ....was Dutch National Champion and flew JWGC as well ]  was now the runner up with 988 points. Mind you Steven is still a JUNIOR .
In open class 364 km. was set and Steven’s dad, Harry [ Ventus 2CX/18m.] put the 1000 points in this class in his pocket.
Next day had a 3 hour AAT won by Steven in club class with 266.5 km. and dad in open class with 341.4 km.
They tried hard to add 2 more days but though they flew 1 more with best distance 50 km. in club  and 86.9 km in open, it was over and out after 3 days.
Results; Steven wins the club class with and Harry the open class with 2000 points.
By the way the club class podium was filled with 3 JUNIORS, Steven, Sander and Nick. Good on them!
2 Of them , Steven and Sander flew the identical -twin-Cirrusses, with call sign  AU and AG. These gliders belong to the Foundation Soaring Events Holland and are fully equipped by the sponsors Glider Equipment and Glider Pilot Shop.

Our TOP juniors!!
Picture shared on their FB site.

The female Nationals in Poland were won by Joanna Biedermann. The ladies were flying on 8 days and day 6 even had a set 500 km. ; unfortunately no finishers but still 474.3 km. by the best pilot of the day.With 2 more over 300 km. days this was a good competition and Joanna had a total of  7201 points and runner up Judyta 6824.

The French club class Nationals are in full swing in Vinon. FULL is maybe too much said, as the first 2 days were cancelled. Day 1 was won by Didier Hauss [Cirrus] and runner up was Gilles Navas.[LS4]  Both fly/flew already in the top for ages.
From the 19 only 6 finished.
The 3 hour AAT yesterday was won with 278.4 km. in time 3.18, by Yvon Puyou in a Pegase and with that  45 points more were scored  on Gilles and 100 on Didier.

In the USA pilots are flying the Club and Modern Class Nationals from  Midlothian in Texas and have flown for 5 days till now, with 2 days to go.
After 5 days Francois Pin leads the club class  in the SILENT 2a, before Danny Sorenson and Boyd Willat, both flying a DISCUS.
In the Modern Class the CD from the WGC in  Uvalde, Ken Sorenson,  nearly won every day and leads with more than 600 points .He flies his Ventus 2 cxa.

Z Texas

As shared by the SSA.

Yesterday started the official training from the WGC in Leszno. They had great weather!!
The Aussies were pleased with ” their weather”.

Z Excellent weather  ZSelfie by Aussies

Great skies and an  (unintentional selfie) after installing the KANGAROO.
Pictures shared by Aussie Team

Fixed tasks from over 500 km. were set;
610 for open, 500 for 15 m and 522.4 for 18 m.That’s called GOOD PRACTICE!!!
In 15 m. it was PHIL JONES, [129 km./h. in Ventus 2cxa] ] this time not Howard or Steve but Phil got the 1000 practice-points.
In 18 m. Mike Young [140.8 km./ ASG 29] and Russell Cheetham ALSO from the UK, were the best and in open class , surprise surprise AGAIN the UK with Pete Harvey in his new JS 1 C  [138 km./h.] and Andy Davis.
Dick Butler in the CONCORDIA was 4th.
Not all pilots did fly on this first official practice/training day.
28 from 47 went up in the air in 15 m. class and 8 outlanded.
In 18 m. 21 pilots had other important things to do, 25 flew and the 2 Belgium pilots Jean Luc and Yves,  out landed [in real or virtual] after 20 km. Werner Meuser after 30 k. Better now then during the WGC.
In open class 18 pilots finished after 606 km.  ,6 ” out landed ” and 13 were otherwise busy.

Today tasks have not been set yet.It looks like 2.30 AAT’s in each class.

They all departed on Monday June 23 and arrived as a team or as sole pilot in 4 classes on different days and times.
HERE are the results of the 2014 EUROGLIDE.

The PURE gliders; 14 teams or gliders
Number 1 and arriving on June 27 at 13.36 UTC, was team Sikko Vermeer, Bart Renckens and Hans Makkee in the DUO DISCUS. The next team arrived one day later on June 28 at 8.05 UTC . They, 2 pilots from Eindhoven Thom and Jacques  flew the LS 6 /15m.

The low turbo’s; 14 teams or gliders
Dirk and Joost Wolf [father and son] and friends Eric Borgmann and Max Bloch arrived on the 26th at 13.10 UTC at Malden in the ARCUS. 2 Teams in a Duo Discus arrived one day later 7 other teams only on July 1.

The high turbo’s; 12 teams or gliders
They did well as 5 teams arrived at June 26 and 3 one day later.
Best team was from Limburg, Robert Werts, Bram Winters and Mathilde van Lieshout. They arrived at 15.34 whilst the other teams arrived at 15.55 and 16.39 and 17.04 and 17.34. That was a real race!!!

The self launchers; 24 teams or gliders
Also here a REAL RACE, as  11 gliders arrived on June 26 at different times. The best time , 12.03 was flown in the Nimbus 4DM by Max Leenders, Wolfert Voet and Marc Ruhe.
Belgium pilot Geert Van Duyse arrived in his ASH 26 E, only half an hour later. Good on him.
3 German teams arrived at 14.36.

Now it is 2 years of waiting before they can all go again. They love EUROGLIDE those pilots.

CU next week,


July 16, 2014

What’s up? Fuente; place to be for a 1000!13x yesterday!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 6:18 pm

Unfortunately I had no time to see my friends in Finland but I try to be in Leszno for a couple of days! Working hard to organize that. A few pilots have arrived already in Leszno, some are on their way, some are unpacking containers and others are happy and ready  to participate in their 2d 33d FAI WGC. Picture below courtesy Walter Mirasso.

Z Poland

In between several international pilots flew, better said ” visited ”  the annual open Issoudun comps ,as they had BAD weather.
Also the Females had to deal with this weather during their nationals also in Issoudun. They all had only 2 days of soaring, whilst the 18 m. Nationals in Husbos were flown with better weather, which is pretty weird as normally France has the good/better  weather.

The UK Nationals were interesting till the last day! When you have read my last blog in SoaringCafe you know all about it.
Except for the last day as THAT day was last Sunday . Another spectacular last day, with  some unpleasant results for some.
A pretty marginal day with a late start , around 4 o’ clock, to use a ” window”  to the NW. For some a real bad day with finishes up to a quarter after 7 !
Pete Harvey outlanded in this  championship flying an 18 m. class glider, a JS 1 instead of  his open class glider [ he is a real open class pilot!] and dropped from 2 to 5 in the final scores.
Andy Davis had a really good run,looking at the 7 days and finished as the new CHAMPION,  in the JS1.[5439 points]
Russell Cheetham was a good runner up, yes also in the JS 1 ,[ 5268]  but the number 3 ,Stephen Ell flew an ASG 29 . [5239]
The “oldies…. WITH respect” are still doing well.

The 7 th edition of the Tropheo Dello Oltrepo, we are in Italy now [Terme], was won by one of my many Italian mates, Manuele Molinari. He must have been very pleased!
The 14 pilots had 4 pretty difficult days out of 6, not one with the real Italian racing weather and on day 3 Manuele was the only pilot finishing a 2.30 AAT , flying 192 km in 2.48.
Parallel with this competition 8 pilots flew for the National Standard Class title.  Congratulations to Manuele, who won in the Discus and is the new National Champion in standard class.


Manuele in MM, as some of you know “our”  callsign at comps for years.
Pictures courtesy Manuele.

The Dutch SUMMER comps are on and flown from Malden .Normally seen as an upgrade  for the best pilots with enough points,to continue with the Dutch Nationals next year.
Always a great week of soaring over there.
Close to Malden is Nijmegen and the 4 days-of-walking, called the Nijmeegse 4Daagse, with around 43.000 national and international participants  is there this week as well.They started yesterday and the last glorious day for those who make it will be Friday. They will be cheered on by thousands of people.
They walk through Malden as well.
The first soaring-day , Sunday, was cancelled , but the rest of the week looks very promising.It’s going to be HOT!!!
Monday a short task to start with from 150 km. for club and open went for 195 km.
Though short ,…it was still TOO long. No finishers in both classes.

Yesterday was cancelled due to showers [ mixed here with great clouds] and today they are surely flying, no rain, maybe no clouds either , [ it is VERY blue here] but dry thermals can be good as well.However during the day clouds popped up and over 300 km. tasks were set for both classes.


Malden from above.

The 21st Female Nationals in Poland, flown from Ostrow, parallel with Ostrow Glide , had a very difficult day 2 for 10 of the 11 pilots , but not for Joanna [Biedermann]   who was the only pilot to finish the 308.4 km. in the BRAWO.
2 of this kind of glider in this competition , 1 LS 1 f and the rest are St. Jantars.
Ostrow Glide counts 64 participants in 3 classes.
Yesterday the ladies had a 2.30 AAT and both Brawo’s were on the daily top-spots.Joanna leads the pact after 4 days with over 300 points on Judyta who flies the other Brawo.[a Polish glider from the SZD manufacturers]

Another great flight from Mitch Polinsky from Ely in Nevada. He declared a 1257 km. TRIANGLE, but had to abort this task just 35 miles short of the second TP due to a blue hole to reach and fly back from this TP.
He then tried for a large free triangle, but as he said “ I got greedy and went too far north. Difficult return home from Elko, as the day died. Got withint 35 miles of Ely and had to start my engine to get the rest of the way home.”
He still flew 1218 km.

On th 14th of  July Fuentemilanos spoiled it’s guests with great soaring weather over the mountains. Frequent Fuente-pilot Guy Bechtold from Luxembourg flew straight away a 1000 in his Quintus M  to set the level for the Spanish summer. Other guests from the UK and Germany flew over 700 km.
Yesterday it was only Fuentemilanos in the top of the OLC. It ‘s that time of the year again for our Spanish friends and all their guests.
13 x 1000 km. NOT BAD, a good day!
Guy had his 2d Fuente flight and another 1000, this time 1.132 km.[873 FAI]
” Klasse flug”  an”  dia completo’ were some comments; a total of 24 flights from Fuente from 150 km. in an Astir via 300, 500, 600 and 937 in a St.LIBELLE by French guest Pierre Roumet. Good on him!
Pepe nearly flew a 1000 FAI triangle.[1.028 km...939 FAI triangle]
Also Ocana and Villacastin  had super flights .
Spain is hot as I heard from my grand son who is looking for snakes and foxes on a father/son wild-nature -holiday.

When you live IN Australia or are planning an overseas trip TO Australia , this might be of interest for you.
It’s only in November but it seems fun to participate as last year was a great success,:the Speed Week organized by top pilot Paul Mander [ flew the WGC in Rieti in 1985] and attended by other toppers as Ingo Renner, Brad Edwards, both former world champions and Tony Tabart [flew several WGC's]
Last year Alland Barnes and Matt Gage practiced their pair-flying at West Wyalong. They used it in Rayskala this year.


From l. to r.; With Ingo, Tony,Paul, Brad, Tom and 2 others, in front of Brad’s jet.
Courtesy Paul Mander .

-—”Only 120 sleeps until SpeedWeek, and the good news is that we will again have both our world champions, INGO RENNER and BRAD EDWARDS, as our special guests. Participants will have a week of flying in Ingo’s company, and on our Meet the Stars evening in a casual environment have the opportunity to pick their brains on matters gliding. This is a repeat of the event of last year, which was a huge success thanks to these two legends of our sport. TONY TABART will be there too.

 If you meet the criteria and have an independent operators rating then you may like to consider furthering your cross country skills by participating in Speed Week.  This is run by Paul Mander in a relaxed and friendly environment. The aim is not to win but to improve your own performance.
The venue is West Wyalong, a glider pilot’s heaven. It has a marvellous airport with almost no traffic, a welcoming community and plenty of good accommodation, well priced.
The dates are November 9th to 15th inclusive.

You are up to date with the latest day-to-day-news, CU next Wednesday here, or earlier on Sunday on
Cheers Ritz

July 9, 2014

WGC’s and Norwegian Nationals!Interesting start of 20 m. in FAI-WGC’s!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 6:20 pm

After the exciting 33d WGC in Finland we are looking ahead at Poland where in Leszno the “other”  33d WGC will be flown.
The official training starts on July 22 and the competition on July 27. Last day is August 9 and prize giving in the morning from August 10.
The opening ceremony is in the evening of July 26 and the farewell party at August 9.
President of the jury will be Peter Ryder and he forms the jury with Fred Gai and Angel Casado .
Robert Danewid is the chief steward and Jaroslav Vach the steward.

Only a few days to go and  Leszno is the place to keep an eye on. Preparations are mostly done and several pilots travel straight from Rayskala to Leszno to participate AGAIN.
Open class has 37 pilots, 18 m. has 45 and 15 m. a total of  48.

The contest Director of the 33rd World Gliding Championships in Leszno 2014 is Dariusz Cisek.

ZLeszno 1




Z rayskala by Tijl

Once again,…..Rayskala airport as seen bij Tijl Schmelzer.

Wrote 3 blogs on  about the last days on Rayskala and I loved doing that, as after the rain and waiting and more waiting, finally the great weather gave pilots crews and organizers a better much better feeling. Me too.
Great winners in each class ;strong teams from France, the UK and Belgium and with a bit more luck the German pilots in club class would have been in the top as well.

The prize for the best team went as expected to the UK [6494 points] .They really had a GOOD competition with high places in all classes.
The second best country was France and Sweden,Poland and Finland followed with the Dutch on spot 7 and the Germans on spot 9.

I did not write about the very last day’s winner so here we are.
The last competition day last Saturday and the best one looking at the weather, was won in 20 m. by the French team Marc and Jeremy [Arcus S]  with 6 points ahead on the ” every-day-winners”  Steve and Howard.
Overall the Jones brothers were TOO good and for the first time in history 2 pilots in one glider got a medal.
The newest 20 m. class in our FAI-WGC sport was welcomed by many and it was interesting for us to follow.

In club class the USA pilots had a great run on the last day and our Dutch glider NL1, flown by Sean won the day with Garret on his heels/tail.[12 points behind]
Aussie pilots Adam and Eric, both spending a lot of time, money ,effort and fun in this competition for them so far from home, had mixed results. Eric helped Adam after his outlandings in the beginning and he ended on spot 23, Eric on 35. It might be a bit disappointing for them those places, but I know they had the time of their lives.That’s worth a lot too and experience helps for the next WGC.

ZAdam and Eric

Team mates Adam and Eric.

Adam mentioned after arrival on day 1 from the comps;
” 4yrs ago I set the goal to be here competing for AUS in Club Class, I then did 2yrs of qualification competitions (being selected at 94%), followed by the pre-worlds last year, & preparation plus to be here on every available weekend & competition in the lead up.Feeling good, positive & ready! ” 

In standard class a great result for Bert jr. and his family. He did NOT win the last day but Mario Kiesling from Germany did. Bert was 5th, Tijl 10th and Sebastian 12th that last day.In the end the difference between spot 1 and 2 was 31 points. Sebastian knows already the feeling from winning so well, I am pleased Bert won this WGC,  not taking away any of Sebastian’s skills during this competition. He WON 3 days, whilst Bert did not win one but over the 7 days flew more consistent.
He not only flies well, but makes great pictures which you can see in his book ONE YEAR OF GLIDING , combined with interesting text.
By the way dad ,  Bert sr. , wrote some kind of encyclopedia-book over the history of Soaring in Flanders.


Schmelzers at Rayskala

Bert en Tijl during the international party

Z Tijl 1  Z Tijl 2

2 Great pictures from brother Tijl this time, from his first landing after 5 years at Rayskala and during flight.

The Final party must have been a great success. I read on Eric’s site :
” I’m wondering just how many will be in fit state to attend considering the success of last night’s end-of-comp-party“.

In a thank you message Bert jr says THANK you and I share the message with you;
” Dear friends

I would like to thank every single one of you for your massive support during, and the uncountable congratulations after the World Gliding Championships in Räyskälä.

We had an amazing time in the “country of 1.000 lakes”: beginning with snow and antifreeze in the wings during the longest day of the year, many difficult flying days with lots of rain showers and unsuccessful fishing expeditions in the middle part of the comp, and finally we were rewarded with fantastic conditions and exhilarating final glides during the decisive tasks.

Without the help of my parents, Hilde and Bert Sr., and of course my girlfriend, Barbara, all of this would not have been possible. Thank you so much.
In particular I would like to thank my brother, Tijl: “Little brother, unfortunately, there can only be one person on the highest step of the podium, but this title belongs to the both of us !”


Z Bert en Tijl and dad

Bert jr. and Tijl and dad Bert sr. a combined effort even carrying the prizes !!!!
As shared by them.

Rayskala is back to normal and the local pilots fly from their own field again. Yesterday young Petri [tuggie and glider pilot] flew in an LS 6 500 km and another friend from Rayskala Hannu 488 in the ASG 29/18m. It looks like the weather is better now and that the real Finnish summer has started.
The day before German pilot Jan Rothhard flew a 1000 in Finland [508 FAI triangle] from Menkijarvi in the 16 m. Ventus BT.Good on him ! And a 976 km flight from Teisko was good too [Ventus 2C /18m]

The Norwegian Nationals are over and Arne Martin is the new National Champion in OPEN CLASS;

Z Norway Arne
Here is his story:

” After having tried my luck in the sports class of the Norwegian Gliding Championship, this year I was going to try my luck with the big boys in open class. Both classes allow all gliders, and uses handicaps to try to compensate for performance difference between the gliders. The difference being that sports class is more targeted at more inexperienced pilots, with shorter tasks and no water ballast allowed. Open class is where the most experienced pilots are competing, so for the first time I would go up against those. This is the elite of Norwegian Gliding! I wasn’t the only first time competitor to the class, in addition to me, Per Morten Løvsland and Kristoffer Samuelsen were participating. Not only where we less experienced than the others, we were also flying the lowest performance gliders (15 m unflapped gliders, Discus for me and Kristoffer, LS 8 for Per Morten) against mostly flapped competitors with 18 m wingspan and more. All 3 of us have been flying a lot of Condor: The Competition Soaring Simulator, which somewhat makes up for our less experience. But no doubt it was going to be a challenge to go up against the big boys in their big planes!”
He has made a great story with pictures and here are a few already.

ZZArne 3  ZZArne 4

After 3 cancelled days the pilots were preparing their glider for the first flying day and,…flying over the many trees in beautiful Norway.

ZZArne 2  ZZArne1

Not all went well, some had to out land, but others made it and finished.

The link to the full story AND 59 pictures;

More Nationals or other interesting comps are flown at the moment, and for the scores you can go to
Italy—- the Standard Class Nationals and 2 other comps from Terme
France —-the French Nationals for women
France—-the International Issoudun
Czech Rep —- 3 comps with a total of 76 participants
The UK —-with the 18 m. Nationals
Bosnie-Herzegovina—-with the LIVNO Adria Cup
And more.

The latest Gliding International, edition July-August, arrived from New Zealand on my doormat with lot’s of new news!
—Elke Fuglsang-Petersen shines her light over soaring in Germany and the USA looking at it from all angles.
—the tragic tale of Langley’s Aerodrome by veteran journalist and recreational glider pilot Rod Dew
—Aldo’s view on the ARCUS, specially on the ARCUS E over 8 pages including pictures
—the double spread picture in the middle is for another 2 seater; the ASG 32
—solving the problems for high costs in towing…the Beaufort Gliding Clubs [Australia] HORNET GLIDER TUG…
—AND  more news on tugs……the view from Bob Ward on alternatives for thirsty Pawnees

and much more as the SUNFLYER and SUNSEEKER…..the 13.5 m. Sparrow Hawk….a motor glider story about a brush with the law….and lot’s of world news and of course the quick 3-liners in  “things with wings”.

And to finish this great picture from Eddy from Sportaviation in Tocumwal.His hangars and the rainbow!

Z Sportaviation

CU next Wednesday, cheers Ritz

July 2, 2014

“A nap is recommended!”on another rainy day in Rayskala.

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 7:34 pm

Hi all,back on track after a short but good and relaxing break.No laptop and NO idea what was going on! Only soccer was updated via our TV in the house. And we did and are still doing well in that sport.

Z USA team

USA pilot Sean Franke is flying Dutch glider NL1 at the 33d WGC in Rayskala.
courtesy Wings and Wheels via FB.

With over 100 messages I needed the weekend to read it all and to be honest I was still busy on Monday. Had a quick look and analysed the first week in Rayskala  in my blog on SoaringCafe.

On Monday I followed at home the live stream on the WGC site from the briefing and could see Heikki as CD and weatherman. The last function is how I met him and he is a REAL good meteo-guy. It looks he is doing a great job as CD too.
Amazing to be sitting at home and be able to follow the briefing. CRAZY!!! BUT GOOD!!!

The weather unfortunately is this year not Heikki’s  friend but it looks better for the rest of the week and he hoped for a total of 8 days of WGC flying.So another 4!!!
Anyhow Monday was cancelled and the message was …..” TOO MUCH MOIST from a slowly passing low pressure system moving to the East.”
A nap was recommended! I guess under a blanket with only 10 dgr.


Picture courtesy South African team.

Tuesday…July 1
After the rest , the visits to cultural places as castles , fun places as the GO kart,[by the way I raced there in the past as well!!]  and a City tour,or looking at the World comps soccer, it was time for SOARING again!!! There ” could” be a small window to the W, depending if they ” could ”  launch and stay up at Rayskala. A and B tasks were handed out at the briefing but they decided already then,  that it would be task B …a 2 hour AAT for all classes.

Z castle   Z Go kart

The Hameenlina Castle and the Go Cart race court was visited by the Aussie team
Pictures shared by Mike Codling.

Z Tour   Z Soccer

City tour by Argentinian pilot Damian and his friends as shared by Marcelo Lanzinetti or looking at  SOCCER. Picture shared by the organizers.

What ever they wished and hoped for even the 2 hour AAT was not on. A pity. As they mentioned on their side this is the coldest summer since years!
” Past two weeks have been record breaking  cold in Finland – last time the end of June has been so cold is over 50 years ago.” 


Picture shared by the Aussie team.
Today We have patches of sun and the satellite picture is improved, with some generous optimism we may see some flying.”
by Adam.

Wednesday….today! Let’s see if that’s going to happen!
They set 300 km. A-tasks , for this flying day 5 , so that ‘s a good beginning;
331 km. for the dual pilots, 253.4 for club and standard pilots go for 314.4 km!!!
Unfortunately light showers postponed the first launches, but  they still have B tasks if necessary.
Whilst writing they changed to the B tasks ; AAT’s. First start should be at 1.15.
You can have a look at the scores on  or  at the WGC site.

Z Joke Finland

As you can see the Finnish spirit is still OK.

The weather however was no so bad in other parts of Europe.
P.E Holland had superb weather and pilots had placed their gliders upfront in the hangar to be the first to be launched on Tuesday morning.OVER 800 km. FAI triangle was flown in Holland in the Nimbus 4Dm and over 700 in the Duo Discus.
HOWEVER as Max the pilot from the Nimbus 4DM mentioned it was not as good as it looked and we were pretty slow , but we did it. They were in the air for under 10 hours .
6 Times 1000 was flown from Germany in different gliders from  Discus 2T/18m., to ASH 25 E/26 m. [ 1000 km FAI triangle!] and once from Luxembourg by kilometer eater Guy Bechtold in the Quintus M.
Over 800 km. [750 FAI] in a Libelle and St Cirrus are just GOOD!!!

The Norwegian Championships in open class  have started but the pilots did not fly till today.After 3 cancelled days it looks , seeing this picture shared by Arne Martin, that they are going to fly .

Z Norway

EUROGLIDE. As said in my soaring cafe blog the fastest pilots were back in 4 days and flew over 2000km.. The prize giving is in a few weeks .
The last ” heroes of the long distance”  are still flying in at the airports of Malden. Here is the team from Eindhoven , Deelen and Rotterdam as seen by Frouwke Kuijpers .What I heard they are tired but VERY happy.
Still a few flying  over France and Belgium, but the weather forecast  is GOOD!!! They are going to make it in time  as the last day is July 5.

z Euroglide Eindhoven   Z Euroglide R en D

Finish with SOCCER again.Loved the match between Belgium and the USA last night, but also between Argentina and Switzerland.It only does n’t give me enough  sleep.The quality of the games is higher and higher and it means that Friday and specially Saturday when the Dutch Orange Lions play against Costa Rica  and the Belgian Red Devils against Argentina  millions will miss out on  a decent night of sleep.But who cares,…the World-championships are only once in 4 years!

CU next Sunday in Soaring CAFE, cheers Ritz
On Wednesday July 2 2014 , the day my 10 year old granddaughter Indya is send off by all children and teachers from the school she happily spend 7 years on ,  ready to continue on grammar school [ still at age 10]  AND the day before our son/brother would have turned 45.

June 18, 2014

Crossing the Alps with the Eders! A gliders tale!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 6:45 am

TWO blogs today, my regular Wednesday blog , which you find below this remarkable story I got from Sebastian ,about  a mission he finally fulfilled AND …..together with his dad.

The links to the OLC  from the flights to and back and the pictures are going with it.
Those pictures are SPECTACULAR!!!!! And,…a short story goes with them!

As Sebastian said in the end;

” We made it.Till the last 2 hours I did n’t really believe it would be possible, but our team effort made it happen!!!
A truly wonderful moment!” 


A TEAM-effort!


There,….and back again ….a gliders tale!

—— I thought I would contribute to your blog and tell you about a mission I was looking forward to for a long time now.
As a junior I was in St.Auban for our national junior training camp with Karl Rabeder a couple of times. On two occasions I tried to fly from there to Austria at the end of the training camp instead of driving all the way.
2006 I got to Innsbruck, 2007 to Samedan.
Since then me and my dad were talking about doing a team-flight from our home-airfield at the Austrian-German-Check Republic-border (Schärding- Suben: LOLS) through the alps to the Provence and back.

10 days ago (07.06) we finally attempted this exciting adventure: Crossing the alps from Upper Austria passing Zell am See, Zernez, Ambri, Zermatt, Bardoneccia and landing in Puimoisson.
The conditions in Austria and Engadin were marvelous, but got worse all the way from there.
From Rheintal to Mattertal the air was getting more stable and warm which slowed us down and finally in the Aostavalley a thick overcast darkened the sky.
A friend of ours, Philipp Keller who started 100km west of us close to Unterwössen, sadly had to land in Aosta and we could just barely get to the last thermals above the ridges before they died down in the whole area.
After crossing into the Modane-valley we had one final thermal all the way to Lac de Serre-Pocon where we could find some lift at the ridges below Mount Morgon that got us to Puimoisson.
As my gliding-calculator finally told me that we would make it I almost couldn’t believe it after such a long time without sun, but the Provence is somewhat special. It seems to generate lift without any energy-input.
One just has to love the French Alps :)

Alfred Spindelberger, Helmar Gai and many others were extremely welcoming and helped us with everything we could possibly want.
As a bonus Swiss friends of ours (Felix Schneebeli, Stefan Sidler, Jürgen Haas, and others) came to Puimoisson that evening for a week of vacation. So the night got a little longer than we expected, but we were delighted to meet so many friends so unexpectedly.

The next day (08.06) we tried to do the exact same route back, but got delayed due to a late thermal-start in Provence and a warm airmass all the way north until Engadin.
After crossing from the Aosta-valley to the Rhonevalley , we allready heard our Austrian friends on the radio talking about the exciting conditions in Austria and Engadin.
While we were working thermals between 1,3 and 2,0m/s, which seemed to be determined not to be nice and round, we heard them talking about cloudbase above 4.500m MSL and thermals up to 6m/s.
As we finally reached the Engadin , there was a big rain shower in the area of Samedan, so we had to stay north and got the last few thermals with 3m/s. as the air was already dying and we still had quite a long way to go.

The high cloudbase helped us jumping easily over the ötztaler and zillertaler mountains to the Ennstal.
There we caught the last thermals of the day to prolong our glide east.
Together with an eagle I worked the last 0,3m/s thermal to get a final glide to an airfield in the Eastern part of the Alps to start my engine and also have an easy way out of the Alps heading north.

At 20:15 local I got to the airfield of Niederöblarn 130km South-East of my airfield,  where I started my engine to get home before ECET at 21:30 LOC.
After 9:30 hours of flight I got to Schärding-Suben (LOLS) where my dad already was having a cold beer while waiting for me, as he had to use his engine a little earlier in the Area of Dachstein.

The conditions were far from the great forecasts, but allowed us to do these two wonderful flights which I will look back to for a long time. Maybe even more so because of the unexpected difficulties and surely because of the wonderful sceneries we got to witness (Dom, Matterhorn, Ecrins, etc.). 
Most of all I value, that me and my dad, who will be my teampartner at the WGC in Leszno later this year as well, could experience this adventure together.

At I made an album with photos of the flight to Puimoisson ->
On the way back to Austria we didn’t make any pictures as we simply had no time to do so :))

OLC-Link Suben-Puimoisson:
OLC-Link Puimoisson-Suben:

Greetings from Austria,

Thank you SO much Sebastian and good luck together with dad in Leszno at the World Comps. They both fly in open class,  father Josef in the EB 29 [FJ]  and Sebastian in the ASW 22 BLE.[BY]

The Wednesday blog follows now. Enough to read when I am on a holiday.

Cheers Ritz

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