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March 14, 2018

Soaring…..and more newsy news !” Heaven on Tswalu – earth” .

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 6:54 pm

—— Heaven on earth;
As every time after a WGC has finished, some of the best pilots are invited to South Africa for the Helli Lasch event. As I told you earlier ,Mac was one of them and he wrote an article about it, which I am allowed to share. The Great pictures accompanying the story are from his wife Akemi, who flew JS 3 too. THANK YOU BOTH !!!

Tswalu airport and surroundings taken from above

  “South African friends organized 8th Helli Lasch Challenge (HLC) at Tswalu, about 100km west of Kuruman near Kalahari desert. This special event is by invitation to the selected top World’s pilots only.  I had never flown in this part of South Africa before, (we did not go to this area during the WGC 2001 in Mafikeng) so was very excited to go.

For this particular event,

7 South African team pilots were invited:  Laurens & Oscar Goudriaan, Attie & Uys Jonker, Nico Le Roux, Dolf Pretorius, AP Kotze.

Additionally, following 5 international pilots were invited.

Katrin Senne, Louis Bouderlique, Killian Walbrou, Peter Szabo and myself.

We were asked to give a speech of about 30 minutes on various topics of competition gliding, in the mornings.

Andy Davis was invited as facilitator/coach this time. (He was previously invited before as World Champion, too.)

“Super Team Captain” Carol Clifford was busy organizing everything, Martin Lessle from Douglas Soaring Center was the key person on the operation side of things and Rowan Hill was busy towing us all up in the Cessna from Potch.

Altogether we transported 3 JS1, 3 JS3, ASG32Mi, DuoDiscus T, Ventus 2cT, Janus, and ASH25 to Tswalu from different locations of South Africa.

Andy set us tasks every day from Sunday 25 Feb to Saturday 3 March. Task length varied from 218 km in the blue to 433 km with Cu and showers, and a few AAT’s were added to the menu towards the end of the week. The start was normally Grand Prix start. It was an extremely high-level racing environment, and we all learned from each other. It was great FUN!


Everyone getting gliders ready together in the morning.            and     …after [Mac’s] landing.

My  takeoff in JS3-18.

The evenings were busy with a sundowner and game drives and special dinners (We were even invited one evening to the new residence of the Oppenheimers!). Some people went to game drives starting 5am or so in the morning! So we never had enough time!!

It was a week of gliding paradise. I must confess that we felt all the hard work of Benalla WGC (which was mostly weak blue and lots of gaggles) was more than rewarded by this fantastic week.

There was a very special camaraderie amongst all participants. We all got to know each other much deeper during this event, which is unfortunately difficult these days during serious Internationals.”

” Morning briefing. Everyone listening seriously to Andy Davis, the coach for the week.”

Thank you Mac, [he was runner up at the last WGC in Benalla !] for sharing your thoughts with most of us who will NEVER be there. Now we have at least a bit of an idea!!

According to Uys from Jonker Sailplanes ,Katrin Senne was the very first woman to fly their JS 3.
Katrin Senne, current Women’s World Gliding Champion 18m class, had the opportunity to fly the JS3 Rapture during the recent 2018 Helli Lasch challenge in Tswalu. She is also the first women to fly the JS3 and we hope she is the first of many .”
I hope so too!!!She loved it….fantastic!!!Her first cross country flight , years ago, she was 17 then,  was in a Club Libelle and the handling of the  JS 3 with the “small and high  wing’s” like a Libelle was easy and she flew the glider with a smile from ear to ear, she said to Uys.


—–Seminole Lake Gliderport; As every year the “oldies” [with much respect !!! ] fly their competition and more and more toppers from the recent past, but also from the far past, participate . The far -past as in Doug Jacobs and Karl Striedeck and from Canada Ed Hollestelle with a Dutch background.
It ‘s a feast of recognition !!!
And there is still fire in these pilots, as some only go “for the win”.
60 Eager entrants [ the max for this competition]  and  25 of them are flying the more modern motorized glider, even  with jet engines !!
They started on March 8 with a 2 hour-practice task won by the champion from last year Fernando Silva
Task 1 was cancelled due to the weather after launch. So till now March 13 they only flew one day won by the SSA chairman Ken Sorensen, [15 m. Ventus 2 cxa] who was the 2012 CD at Uvalde. Fernando was runner up in his ASW 27.
They continue till March 16 so more next week.


—–Stonefield  in South-Australia, about 110 km. North East of Adelaide as well of course as North East of Gawler and South West of Waikirie, is a for most of us ,  relative “young” airfield [ with an elevation of 350 m. MSL] and home of the Adelaide University Gliding Club.
Konrad Maierhofen from Germany started a few years ago his own operation there; Fly Down Under.
In the past I wrote about it when young German pilots visited to broad their horizon and they loved it there.   [Soaringcafe 2013]
Not a lot of good landing-spots in this pretty rural/remote area, but serious fun when you “cross” along the hills.
Last week Konrad flew in the NIMBUS 4d with Aussie Leigh Stokes during a nice “ride” over 622 km. they even “visited the beach” from high up in the air.
On Thursday they did it again now with 708 km.
They nearly topped the OLC list  that Wednesday, as the ASH 31/21 m.with James Cooper, flying from Cunderdin in Western Australia flew a 778 FAI triangle [ extended to a total of 824 km.]up to over 3000 m. MSL .


——Aussie Adam Woolley,  I got to know, when he was still a very active junior. He even worked a few months for us at Sportavia as tuggie, but left when he got a job-offer. Nowadays he is an Airline pilot based in Japan and he has the best contract ever!!! He can take off when he wants to “soar” instead of flying intercontinental.
Now he has time off for 7 months!!!
“This year I’ll be flying 3 big practice comps, then representing Australia at both World Champs! First comp will be in Slovakia in a months time – to watch my progress it’ll all be found at Adam Woolley’s Gliding Adventures  ”
So you can follow all his actions in his blog.
Before he left ,he flew from Kingaroy together with his mate Jim Crowhurst and another mate Mark Chambers, made this great “bye-bye-Australia- ” picture.

Picture courtesy Mark Chambers.


——-Gliders from Kiripotib arrived safely in Austria. Lucky the weather was sunny to unpack as a day earlier there was still 10 cm. snow I read. So after a great successful overseas winter ,the season can start here now.
hopefully as good and as successful.


As shared by Kiripotib Soaring.


———-Another 2 great wave flights by the Perlan Project pilots. 2 Gliders this time and flying from Minden [Nevada] with Dennis and Tim Gardner in the ARCUS J [156 km./h.] and Jim and Alan Coombs in the ASH 25 [ 170 km./h] ; distances…..1.760.22 km. and 1.681,47.
Aussie pilots Morgan and guest Matthew Scutter [Junior World Champion in Narromine at the 9th FAI JWGC] flew a shorter run over 540 km. but with with a speedy-speed of 170 km./h in the ARCUS J.
Guess the fastest flight for young Matthew, who lives his life to the fullest. Talking to the guests at the Reno SSA conference a couple of day’s ago and now visiting  good old Minden. Later he travels to Europe again.

Matthew in Narromine after winning the JWGC in 2015.

Talking about the Perlan Project, ….just got the message that  the “ Perlan Project has been nominated for the Smithsonian Air and Space Trophy, and was recently named a finalist for the Collier Trophy “for the greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America in 2017.”
“Perlan 2 reached 54,000 feet pressure altitude (52,221 feet GPS altitude) in September of 2017 on a research flight over the southern Andes. This is the highest altitude ever reached by a glider.”
There are 10 nominees in total.


—–Remember Brad Edwards? An Aussie who won the 1991 Uvalde WGC in Texas. Great guy, and playing then nearly every evening the guitar , surrounded by many who loved the relaxing music as well.
Just read in the “Armidale Express” , that his business, Edwards Aviation, saves lives !!!
Brad was in the buss-business before. He bought the Citizen Jet from Mr Terry Snow , bought more jet’s and started private flights. NOW he is doing organ retrievals and helps to save lives !!!!!
There’s only four hours that the heart has to be transplanted so we have to move pretty quickly, that’s why they use private jets.
Brad mentioned in the article, that “Aeroplanes with organ donations are given priority at airports across the country.”
Of course I would say !!!!
They transport transports livers, lungs, kidneys, “nearly everything these days” and work together with  St Vincents Hospital or Westmead [in Sydney].
Fabulous job , as said I know [ already for many years ] Brad as a lovely guy!!!

It seems Brad [to be honest I guess it is this Brad]  bought a JS 3 and at this stage John “Butch” Buchanan is flying this glider in Potsch. Butch has one himself already ,but was more than satisfied with this one as he mentioned in his OLC comment;
“Hey Brad. Your glider is amazing. Not great wx, 250 kms in the blue and still 131 kph for 620 kms. Go Js3!


And to finish 2 very great pictures from Roy Pentecost, who flew with us at Sportavia in the past with some of his Lasham mates as Patrick and David .

As shared by Roy,who just stood  on the Roof of Africa, around 0815 Thurs 8 March accompanied by my Nordic Walking friends Steve Ellis, Dave Myers and Dave’s delightful children, Charlotte, Lily & Ben.
Hardest thing I have ever done, climbed 1200m in 7.5 hours, mostly in the dark.
Could not have done it without the fantastic guides and porters, who carried my rucksack from the mid-point and kept us motivated with some fantastic singing.
The 4 hour walk down to Base Camp was nearly as tough with lots of snow. Kili weather is also challenging, from blue sky at the summit to heavy continuous hail for the last hour of the descent.

As shared by Roy second left above.


AND,.……..R.I.P Professor Stephen Hawking. A truly inspirational man, died at age 76 !!!!!!

Cheers Ritz

March 7, 2018

It WAS cold, but getting better now….from minus 10 to plus 10!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 6:05 pm

——The first day of the new meteorological spring, March 1, was here ,in Holland,….. the coldest EVER.
The last day of February had great and already warm sunshine from a strong shining sun, but my goodness me, it was still SO cold. It was “only” minus 10, sunny,  but the feeling temperature with the 6 Bft NNE wind,[wind chill factor]  made is feel up to minus 20 and even 27 in the N. That IS cold for Holland.
Ye,…. I know not for the Scandinavian countries .
So finally some marathons on natural ice here, which is special and as long as there is no “11-town-tour” , this is the second best in Holland and from all directions enthusiastic people go to these events…3 days in a row .
Europe ,all over , suffers from the cold and some countries even more than we. I feel for them !!! Several people died from the cold specially the older ones.
A German weather station on the highest mountain in the N. of Germany [1.141m.] showed MINUS 55 on the thermometer !!!

Down under, I heard,[ in Toc. ] it was still around 30 when autumn started.
Autumn in Lake Keepit started on the OLC with a 555 km. by Allan [Barnes] and Harry [Medlicott] in the ARCUS M. On march 3 still over 500 km. flights/triangles in the BCT triangle.
Europe started the OLC list in freezing conditions with a 232 km. wave flight from St Girons An Gld in France in a Pegase.
And Africa with 490 km. by Mac in the new JS 3 . He was one of the 2017 WGC- champions, who were invited to Africa for the Heli Lasch event flying from Tswalo Game Rese.
“Fantastic day. We saw giraffes on the way to airfield, we flew very fast race of 2:30 AAT close to 160kph, and then saw lions on the way back home. Special thanks to South African friends for inviting us to such a special place. And the new glider goes super fast.”
On March 3 a very fast day at Tswalu from Oscar in the JS 3; the actual speed was 175 km./h.


—–The last day’s of the 2018 Lake Keepit Regatta were GOOD, but I read, some not as good as “advertised”.
Task 5 was set last Thursday ;3.30 AAT.
Dave Shorter [JS 1] won the 1000 points with 448 km. in 3.30 at the dot  [127.52 km./h.]!!! Great result as well for Speed Astir pilot Jason Kath who flew 365 km. with a speed of 102.52 km./h. He was 3d.
Jenny [Mosquito] was 7th and Kerrie [ASG 29/18m.] 12th from 27.
Out-landings as well; Robert [Smits born in Holland] flew 316 km. in his St .Cirrus ,but then as he said:”Under cooked the final glide…. Went a few extra km’s in the time soak as I was just a little early….. And then I didn’t find the expected lift and just didn’t make it...”

“Bugger….. Same paddock as two days ago….. What’s wrong with me?????”
as shared by Robert.

Task 6 ; had another 3.30 AAT. Bruce Taylor [ASG 29/18 m.] showed up and straight away showed his class AND how to do it; 436 km. in time 3.42 [speed 118 km./h.] He flies HC.
Runner up and overall number 1 Dave flew 394 km . Jason in his speed Astir earns extra credit flying 368 km. in 4.05 , slow with 90 km./h. but with this glider against the hot-shot-gliders he did well; 3d. AND,….on spot 2 overall with one day to go.
Task 7 and last day; with a 3 hour AAT and …ouch…it was a difficult day. I am not sure if it was real courage or maybe a problem, but Jason in the Speed Astir started last and nearly 20 minutes behind Dave !!!
The ASH 25 /26 m. won the day,…but Dave and Jason were 2 and 3. Only 10 finishers.
Winners from this fun but still serious competition;
1. Dave Shorter 5.764 clear win. 2. Jason Kath 5.280  3. Alan Wilson in the LS 8 with 4.982 points.
The “girls” practicing for the WWGC were on spot 4 Jenny in the Mosquito [4.563] and spot 8 Kerrie in the 18 m. ASG 29 [3.675]

As said the next WWGC will be in Lake Keepit but more  news!!!!
“Great news!! The BGA Women Gliding Project has won the bid for the 2021 Women’s Worlds – looking forward to welcoming you all to HusBos any time between now and August 2021.”
We are looking forward to welcoming women pilots of all nations to the UK in 2021. If your nation doesn’t usually take part, please contact Womenglide now and we’ll work with you to help you get a team to the competition.”
I was in Hus Bos in 2005 for the JWGC and that area is just beautiful ,so is the airfield and the people!!


——-Matamata Nationals; you remember I wrote about these NZ Nationals a few weeks ago. I was impressed with the young ones winning the title in racing class in the Duo Discus.
Matamata shared some more news which is, I think, very inspiring for young pilots.
Allie, Alexandra Thompson is only 15 years old and still a school-girl in year 12 at the Sacred Heart College!!!!.
Here are parts of it:
“Thompson had flown with 22-year-old Auckland-based McIver as part of Youth Glide New Zealand (YGNZ) – not-for-profit organisation that provides under-25s with education, tuition and training in the skills necessary for gliding in New Zealand.

It all started when she was gifted a flight in early 2015 at the Hawke’s Bay and Waipukurau Gliding Club at Hastings Aerodrome in Bridge Pa – and it almost instantly became an obsession. Before then, the Taradale family had no contact with the world of flight but just hours before she turned 13, Thompson took to the air on her own.

Now 15, she has lost count of how many hours she has spent in the air – well over 100, she reckons.

“I love the whole uniqueness of it and the fact that when I get up there it is a completely different world and I can be myself,” the keen flyer said.

“Once you’re up there you can pretty much do anything in your limits and it is a whole different side to the world that you never really get to see from the ground and it is quite stunning when you are first up there.”

Allie with  principal Maria Neville-Foster .
Courtesy Paul Taylor for


———More and more pilots/clubs are finishing the last “bit”  of the winter maintenance on gliders ,instruments and trailers.In the middle of March these gliders will have their last check ready for hopefully a fine summer and great spring.
Here are some pictures from February 25 in Germany.


Still very cold, but gliders “sniff” already some fresh [Siberian] outside air.
Segelfluggruppe Donauwörth-Monheim


—-SSA convention in Reno in the USA;

As shared by US Soaring teams.

As shared by Jonker Sailplanes with up front the Perlan Project glider.

with many, speakers as Tony Condon  speaking about Downwind Dashes and Sarah Kelly Arnold US team committee and WWGC silver medalist in 2017.
Tony also got 3 Awards for one of his “dashes”  AND for the story he wrote about it in the SOARING. Love those great looking awards and to see them well I enlarged them all 3.

as shared by Tony and CONGRATULATIONS!!! It looks like the Tony show as he got ONE more!!

As shared by Tony.

Karin Schloesser [in the past like me a member of the ZES] and her husband Heinz showed together with Benjamin [Neglais] and Biko [Berger] the new Ventus with the FES. Sarah tried it out.

Sarah and Heinz


Biko [Berger] , who I have n’t seen for ages and Benjamin [Neglais] explaining .
Pictures courtesy Karin.

More news from Reno; Paul Remde [ Cumulus Soaring Inc.] well known for his books , video’s and other soaring related objects, added a new “wing”  to his business.
“I am very excited to be the new DG Flugzeugbau representative for the USA and Canada. They make DG and LS sailplanes. This photo shows me with Stefan Göldner from DG in my booth at the Soaring Society of America Convention in Reno, Nevada yesterday.”

as shared by Paul [to the left.]

And last but not least RENO ,of course showed the JS 1C /21 m. too ,with “eye-catchers”  as Jennifer [Benetti-Longhini] and top kilometer eater Keith [Essex].

As shared by Paul.


——More meetings ;the IGC meeting in Freudenstadt where it, so to see, was COLD.

As shared by Marina Galetto.


——An interesting international OLC top on March 4:
1. Damian [Goldenzweig] in a Ventus CM with 534 km in Argentina.
2. Jiri Fousek from the Czech Rep, flying in Narromine [NSW]Australia …590 km. in Discus.
3. Ramy [Yanetz] in the USA with 562 km. from Byron CA in a Discus
4.Claudio Eduardo Schmidt in the ARCUS M with 465 km in Brasil.
6. Mark [Bland] instructor at Mount Beauty in the Victorian mountains in Australia 415 in an ARCUS.
7.  Yves Gerster from Swiss in Europe in a DG 400/17 m. with 347 km.


——And to finish this great picture ” FINAL APPROACH” at Sculptures by the Sea shared by John Welsh.
March 2 – March 19……Cottesloe Beach, Perth.

Photo: Davis Walmsley
#sculpturesbythesea #finalapproach

And during the opening it was busy from morning till evening with fabulous glorious autumn weather.


pictures shared by John Welsh.

More next week, also about the “oldies” [seniors] and their annual competition in Seminole Lake in the USA
CU Ritz.

February 28, 2018

In Memoriam Goeran ….New season carefully started !!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 7:38 pm

R.I.P Goeran…another legend gone…..

A recent picture from Goeran in the ASH 31 Mi.
Courtesy Robert Danewid.

—-I start this blog with sad news ,very sad news.No details yet , but a car accident has cost the life of our mate Goeran Ax.
Who does not know Goeran?? Twice World champion, friend, IGC member for Sweden and passionate glider pilot and competition pilot. I am sad , very sad!!!
Goeran [1943] started his career flying Saab J 29 and 35 in the Swedish Airforce . Then he flew years for SAS as airline pilot. I got to know him at several comps and WGC’s, my first acquaintance in 1981 in Paderborn where he won in 15 m. class in an ASW 20. Ake was runner up then and “our” Daan Pare 3d.
Already in 1972 he was world champion in open class in a Nimbus 2 in Vrsac .

2 Pictures from the past;
Paderborn in 1981 with Goeran again on the TOP SPOT !!!

  Goeran in 1993 in the briefing room during the Borlange WGC. He was runner up behind Janusz Centka.

R.I.P. Goeran ,you will be missed by many not only in Sweden but far beyond.


——-The last comps for this season down under are in Stonefield in the West . A GRAND PRIX WEEKEND on February 24 and 25 ,with 8 participants in one class.
Cathy [Conway] had an interesting and enthusiastic opinion about  day 1 of 2 from this GP -weekend, which was cancelled in the air;
“Best no-contest day ever! Convergence over the airfield. 3 1/2 hours. 500km without a thermalling turn. SeeYou reported L/D of 495 for the flight 1% circling. Ridge in the sky. We wouldn’t have done the task though.”
Day 2 had a 221 km. set task won by Heath L’Estrange in the St Cirrus ;5 points. Cathy had 1 point.


As shared by Catherine who flew 289 km. along the convergence line in the Ventus 2CT/18m..

And,…in the East,  the Lake Keepit Regatta [February 24 -March 3] with 28 pilots, also in one class with handicaps. This 2018 Regatta is a fun and informal competition to learn more and test your existing skills.
So coaching, team flying ,mentoring it’s all available.
Lake Keepit is the venue for the next WWGC ,so Aussie female pilot’s ,Jenny and Kerry are there to practice.
AND,……Keepit had, as often, very nice weather. Last Sunday they flew over 300 km. in an LS 6.
Monday was cancelled.
2 more days with today a 3 hour AAT won by local pilot Justin Smith in a Discus 2.
After 3 flown day’s out of 4 he is on spot 3 with 17 points less than Jason Kath [Speed Astir…2678 points] who is runner up and Dave Shorter in the JS 1 leads the pact with 2.789 points.
A pity there are only 2 “girls” practicing in this event.

Talking about this WWGC , Marina vice president of the IGC , just shared this picture and message this week.


Lake Keepit, Cumulus Skies, Orange Sunsets, Boundless Wildlife, Great People, Starry Nights and Gliding!
as shared by the 10th WWGC.

And don’t forget the great lake, you mostly have to pass , sometimes low, on final.



——-Very carefully the first over 200 km. thermal-flights have been flown in Germany. GOOD!! This week however it seems,  new cold-records will be broken with the fresh, NNEasterly bringing clear Siberian air to Europe. Quite a phenomena this late in the winter season.
YES,…tomorrow the meteorological Spring starts here in Europe.
the Beast from the East takes aim sweeping across large parts of Europe!
With the windchill factor it is easy about minus 20.
With some wave , German pilots could fly already over 700 km. from Offenburg Baden [ Württemberg] in an 18 m. ASG 29.
Also some  Belgium pilots flew yesterday and it was so cold that the tube of the camel-bag full of water was frozen!!!
Here is the OLC comment from Niel Deijgers [St. Libelle…364 km.]  who started with his mates Bert Van Eyken [Ventus CT /17.6 m…..464 km. ] and Daan Spruyt [ASW 27….393 km.] for flights up to nearly and over 400 km. in thermals and freezing cold conditions!!!
 Nice way to start gliding season 2018! 
Very cold underneath the cloudstreets but it felt so nice to be in the air again!
Temperature in the cockpit dropped to -15ºC, the tube of my camelbag froze so I was happy I had an extra bottle with me.
Good airmass but with 35-40 kp/h of wind with an empty Libelle it was really the limit…
Excellent forecast by SkySight.”

They started at Brasschaat not too far from the Belgium border where I live all the way to East of Terlet in the middle of Holland.
Flying between shiny ice-crystals is for sure special in Holland and Belgium. Heroes!!!!Respect.

——-“So the Adventure Trip HELLI LASH CHALANGE has startet with all the world champions. So after I bursted Uys Jonkers tire of the trailer and after we all got stuck in the sand with cars and trailers Laurens Goudriaan has done a wonderful job pulling us all out again with his 4 wheel drive. now al the gliders are rigged ready to go.”
This was the FB message from Katrin Senne, German’s female TOP PILOT. She shared some pictures as well.


After some “minor”  problems the real fun can start. Mac is there as well and promised to update me.


——-Ballooning; Don’t know a lot about it , but got this message so we can see how good Germany is in this sport.
Title: 10th FAI World Hot Air Airship Championship
Type : World
Date: 15.02 – 22.02.2018
Location: Tegernsee (Germany)
Final Results :
1st : Andreas Merk GER
2nd : Ralph Kremer GER
3rd : Juergen Huetten GER
The full results can be found at the following address: FAI congratulates the Winners and thanks the Organizers of the Championship.


—–Schemmp-Hirth news
 “Schempp-Hirth CEO Tilo Holighaus used the great (but cold) weather conditions for a longer longer flight over the winterly Swabian Alb with the new Ventus-3M, and he was excited. For a (German) report, please check…/gliding/flightinfo.html….

Such a new glider doesn’t stay undetected for long, however – Lars Reinhold from aerokurier spotted him soon and shot some great photos that we are glad he shared with us. Thank you!
here are a few.


Picture1 1; Inside the cockpit of Ventus-3M
picture 2; Finding Lars Reinhold in the blue sky with Ventus-3M
Picture 3; Ventus-3M showing the Hahnweide airfield with its left wingtip
Picture 4;Time to land with Ventus-3M


——Olympic’s are over ! Another 4 year waiting now ,before China shows what they have done to entertain the world’s best winter sporters and all of us. With 20 medals [4 less than 4 years ago] the Dutch team [33 performers]  was very happy; 8 gold, 6 silver and bronze, for a no-winter-sport- country, a very good result.
Some of the Dutch speed skating trainers moved away and got gold for Korea, Japan and Canada. They are heroes there now.
The only thing “we” can do is  skating both on short track and long track and it seems we are still good in it, though the concurrence opened their eyes and come closer.
Looking at the medals the best country is Norway , then Germany and Canada and The USA and on 5 our totally NOT winter-sport country Holland.
Though,…it’s so cold that tonight the first marathon will be skated on natural ice!!!


——Last but not least. After TOO many years the Sportavia area looks good again. A big clean up shows that all dead trees and all rubbish is gone. Look also at the tie-down area, no grass to be seen anymore, excellent. They started that already when I was there.
Now some [big]  repairs to the hangar and all is in good order again.

We’ve had a very big clean up around the old hangar lately…… must say it’s looking awesome…. big thanks to Peter Wright and Jorgen Thomsen…..
Picture courtesy Joergen Thomsen.


Cheers Ritz

February 21, 2018

2-seater Nationals at Narromine continued !

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 6:49 pm

The over-seas-season is nearly over. Last Monday only 19 flights were added to the OLC.
Still some very good flights from Worcester were the “Worcester-magic” still seems to work; Marcus Geisern …736 km. with a speed of 155 km./h. in the ARCUS M.
And ,…for some still  “huge”  achievements in the after-not-too-busy- season, as FIRST SOLO in the IS 28 and  “2 follow up flights of 1 hr duration today. great effort“.

Celebrating first solo from Jackson ,…. congratulations Jackson….with Ingo and SRGC – tuggy Bill.
as shared by SRGC.


—–2-seater nationals continued;

Narromine Airport.

—–Narromine; ONE day it looked that they did not start, but ….OUCH,….they still had the start point from the day before in the logger , so the start on task 3 was not registered; TRAGIC.They then won 3 days; David and Harry. So no champions but great pilots. They won 4 from 7 tasks!!!!!
And,….. only the first two place-getters will be eligible to represent Australia at the World 20m Two Seat Championships,of course subject to ITC approval.
Since Wednesday , when I left you, they had a 3 hour AAT [task 4] won by David and Harry [ARCUS M] with 340 km. in time 3.02 so a nice speed of 112 km./h.  The Duo Discus ,Brad [Edwards] flying with his brother Bill , was  runner up;104 km./h.
AND …they have to be much faster ,otherwise they loose on handicap.
By the way a day on which they changed the task from 450 km. racing to a 3 hour AAT.
Task 5 , another low blue day, but no worries for ARCUS M-team UHM, it was a prey for them again; 2.30 AAT with 278 km. in time 2.32.
Task 6 ,with a racing task from 349 km. and …yes…it’s getting boring, but Harry and David won again, SO sad they lost one day due to a mistake, but it’s all part of “the fun”. Runner up was the other ARCUS M with Lumpy and Joergen who top the overall list after task 4.
Another blue day but with a few clouds to be seen and not to be really reached.

“Day 6 20 Meter Nationals… look two Cu’s”
as shared by Bryan.

Task 7 and LAST DAY :at last,…a CU-day.Not too much to gain or loose anymore….. or ?
Allan and Matthew won the last 1000 points with 550 km.during a 4 hour AAT in 4.02.
Though Lumpy and Joergen were 5th on the last day gaining 843 points ,they did not get into trouble and are the NATIONAL CHAMPIONS in the Australian 2-seater class; 5.914 points and not winning one day,..but flying very consistent AND making NO mistakes and they were not  troubled by bad luck either . Congratulations!
Due to the 1000 points on the last day Matthew and Allan moved up from 3 to 2 …good on them; 5.878 points. They won 3 from 7 tasks. Would they not have had an under carriage problem which dropped them 400 points,”if”they would have been…?????
My friend Brad , worldchampion in 1991 in Uvalde was 3d with his brother who as far as I know is not a real glider pilot; 5.817 points !
Harry and David missed out on ONE point to be 5th so ended overall on spot 6.[5.423] Add 700 points for a pretty average day and USING the logger correct ,”if” …..?????
Well done for Toc. mates Lumpy and Joergen. Their club [with Ingo] the SRGC was as happy;
“Congratulations for winning the Narromine 20m Two Seats Nationals 2018! Jorgen Thomsen and Lumpy Paterson your triumph will ring through the history of our club. WE ARE PROUD OF YOU!


——-Glide Omarama shared the next news last Friday;
A possible new WORLD RECORD was flown today!
Keith Essex – 500 km, 15 m glider, 255 kph, Omarama.
Subject to verification. Fingers crossed!”
Also on the 16th Jyri Laukkanen from Finland,who flies a lot in NZ, flew in an LS 3 a, 1.037 km. from Omarama. A fast and high day; speed 154 km./h.
A few day’s later,…same place ,same glider, same pilot…another 833 km.


—-Tocumwal Residential Airpark news;
“The Councillors of Berrigan Shire Council would like to invite you to join us in opening the Tocumwal Aerodrome Subdivision (officially)
Friday 23 February from 11am at the Tocumwal Aerodrome.
There is a lot happening at the airport. Great news!!!

On January 30 the last news was :”Things are ticking along with deposits now being held on Lot 42 and Lot 37.”

This all happens on the South side of the old WW2 airport and Sportavia hangar, for those who know Toc..


——-Corowa containers are about to leave after a nice season. Under supervision of Grietje and Francesco,they pack the containers tomorrow and then the 2018-season is over .On the OLC  they finished this year [on February 20] on spot 12 .
They flew mainly on very good day’s, in spiffy gliders and still made quite some kilometers; 132.746,96 in 242 flights. And that with only 18 pilots. Good result.
They changed their set up a bit, selling the 2 Pawnees and hosting pilots with self launchers. Those pilot’s bring their gliders in the 2 Corowa-containers or have the glider already in the hangar.


——-AND,…the season here nearly starts ….. what will it bring us. We have had some glorious day’s already with nice cu’s but very cold, so only to wet the appetite !!Next week we really will have FROST,…brrr…. too cold for me.Up to minus 10 again , so it looks “we” can “skate” on natural ice again.
Preparations for the new gliding-season however are in full swing , cleaning, repairing, checking, form 2 etc., AND  if you don’t have them already think of Jaxida covers for gliders ,trailers etc. Have a look;

“Jaxida Covers keep your glider dry in the trailer.
For all who have no space in Hangars an important advantage ”
Jaxida Cover Uli Schwenk



——Talking about the new season   Aussie pilots Adam “Woolley” and John “Butch” have practiced flying together already for the WGC.
So did Brazilian pilot Henrique Navarro and he shared a nice picture about his practice from Bebedouro in Brazil, also for the next WGC .  They all start early so will be there very well prepared!
Next WGC’s are in Poland [15 m. standard and club] and Czech Rep [.[Open, 18 m. and 2 seaters]

Training for the next WGC. Czech Rep., here we go!!”


——AND,…to finish this great and HAPPY picture shared by Gagula Darko. You know him from the fabulous real leather inside of gliders. Here on the picture with Scottish  wave specialist, John Williams.

Big privilege for me. Scottish gliding king John Williams.


CU next week, one more week of Olympic Games, love it.
Mind you some of the new Olympic Champions in speed skating, who are not Dutch ,are trained or have been trained by Dutch trainers!!!! They all speak some Dutch too.
We still try to keep to therms with the loss of the 10 K from Sven, though he is more than disappointed he is  very realistic, so he helps”us”.
Cheers Ritz

February 14, 2018

Matamata;done and dusted! Aussie 2-Seater Nationals !Olympic Games!!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 6:44 pm



Day 11, task 8.
Pictures shared by the Piako Gliding Club

—–The NZ Nationals on the N.Island of NZ are over and the winner in standard class was clear from the beginning. Auckland team Thompson&McIver , in the Duo Discus, showed their supremacy with a total score of 1000 points MORE than the runner up. What about that?
They were runner up on Thursday on task 9 the very last day, but NOBODY finished the 2 hour AAT!!Best distance , 68 km,., was not good enough to make it a valid day. They called it a ” day with an uninspiring sky!”
So 8 out of 12 day’s in this class and TOPWINNERS/champions; Thomson & McIver with 6.270 points in the DUODISCUS.
Runner up Steven Care in the ASW 20 had 5.211 points.

In open/18 m. the battle was going till the end. Keith [Essex] came closer and closer to Pat [Driessen] who leaded from the beginning, but in the end, with 1 day to go the difference was only 45 points and that’s NOTHING !!!
Task 9 was valid in this class but also here NO finishers !
Pat flew 166 km. for 337 points and Keith just 100 for 203. Matthew was in the middle with 112 km and 229 points.
Champion; Pat Driessen in the JS 1 with 7.797 points.
Runner up Keith Essex from the USA in ASW 27 18E, with 7.618 points.
Steve Wallace was also in the 7000 marge as number 3 ,he had 7.196 points.
Matthew finished this new adventure on spot 9 with 5.172 points.


Packing up another competition “done and dusted”.
As shared by the Piako Gliding Club.

The farewell words by Matthew:
Had a great time at the Matamata Nationals in NZ. This part of NZ doesn’t get many tourists, which is not surprising as it is a very challenging place to fly, but after two weeks I have left with an appreciation of the diversity and complexity of conditions it serves up which makes for very interesting flying. We set tasks on the ridges, in convergences, in wave, and in thermals, all in a single competition, and many days relied on starting in one and transitioning to another.
The conditions well and truly had me beat, with local expert Pat Driessen taking out the advanced class, but I think I discovered a new bottom gear to my gearbox and am well prepared for another season in Europe!”

With not a lot of tourists Matthew for sure means soaring-tourists, as the N island is absolute gorgeous one of the most beautiful places I have seen.

The organizers shared this last news and I was a bit puzzled by the VERY young ones winning the racing class in the Duo Discus. Mind you with over 1000 points so they must be young aces.TALENTS !!!!!
What a final night dinner! Quite a spectacle. Congrats to Campbell and Allie for winning the racing class in DX, and to Patrick for winning the open class. Very tight race with Keith Essex, and it came down to a few points. The dinner was amazing too. Thanks to all the helpers from the MSC for making the contest a big success.”

The Champion’s.


Allie and Campbell “Two weeks of hard competition and a lot of focus brought them fantastic results.” and Pat.

During the comps the news JS 3 was introduced, so there is one now in NZ too;
“Look who got a new glider! Brett is a little chuffed after a quick test fly. Introducing XB the JS3 18m. She even has electric pedal control (to move it forward and back) and foot warmer. The wings are higher than normal, and look at that wheel brake. Plus, someone almost 6’4” can fit!



As shared by the Piako Gliding Club.


——-One of my Aussie mates shared this news and like her I looked at the BREAKING NEWS on CNN to follow the launch. Exceptional /unbelievable, specially that the 2 outer boosters came back at nearly the  same spot !!!
Screen shot taken by me today from the livestream of Elon Musk’s SpaceX Tesla Roadster cargo in space with ‘Starman’ at the wheel. Falcon Heavy successfully launched from Launch Pad 39A overnight (yes I didn’t get much sleep) and returned the two outer boosters safely to Cape Canaveral. The centre booster didn’t quite make it but I’m sure they will have that sorted out soon. Falcon Heavy is the most powerful rocket to ever launch from Earth since NASA’s Saturn V rockets during the Apollo program. The 27 Merlin engines generate more than 5 million pounds of thrust (equivalent to eighteen 747 aircraft). Today’s successful launch is a huge step forward in the space program.

As shared by Lesley.


—–The Diana 2 New Generation production is in full swing as you can see.


——-The OLYMPIC GAMES have started and the Dutch straight away did well!! In 2 day’s we had 5 medals 2 gold, 2 silver and 1 bronze and topped the medal list. Not for long as Norway, Sweden, Germany and many more are the REAL winter-sport- countries, but we have been always good in speed skating. With a “clean sweep”  the ladies on the 3000 m. set the high standard for these Olympic Games.
Sven Kramer of course is an ACE and well known over the world, but the pressure on his shoulders to ALWAYS do well is enormous. He handles it well and is a real nice guy too.
Irene Wust is now after another gold and silver the best ever Dutch Olympic sportsperson  male or female, summer or winter games inDutch history; 5 gold medals since Turino in 2006 and several silver and bronze that I lost track.
Both Sven and she are ICON’s and I do understand the frustration of the skaters performing in the same era.

by bthe way ‘WE’ have 10 medals now after 4 day’s. 4 gold , 4 silver and 2 bronze and we hope for more as we still have some potential medal-winners.

Today there is STORM, so bad that even the journalist -tents outside the skating hall are closed. For skiing it is another day of waiting.

This upcoming Friday, one of the daughters of my Aussie friend Bruce, Belle Brockhoff, performs in snowboard cross, yes a girl from sunny down under in winter sport!!!
Looking forward to her race.


—–Two-seater Nationals in Narromine in Australia;
Matthew, yes just flying in Matamata, was back in Oz and straight away hopped in a Duo Discus with Allan Barnes to practice for the 2-seater Nationals at Lake Keepit. Unfortunately storms on Sunday stopped practicing, but the 9 teams flying in Duo Discus variations and 2 x an ARCUS M are all familiar with the area.

Australia is still HOT. They suffer from heat waves and it’s nearly “normal”  to have 40 dgr. C.
294 km. was set as task 1 and only ONE team finished!!!
Good old Harry Medlicott and David Jansen, good combi, won the day in the ARCUS M and were the ONLY finishers. Team Miles Gore Brown/Andrew Ward, Bob’s son,   was runner up with 286 km,. and Allan and Matthew were 3d.
Heard from Bryan that it was a “ Tough, tough day today, with high cirrus overshadowing the whole course.”
He mentioned that the best part of the day was the stunning sunset!! I totally agree only seeing the picture.

As shared by Bryan Hayhow

Task 2 was flown by all. A 4 hour AAT was set and Allan and Matthew did very well this time; 464 km. in time 4.03. It looked like Duo Discus-weather as the Arcus from Joergen and Lumpy was on spot 4 and the one from Harry and David on 6.
Lumpy shares his thoughts on this day 2;
Day two….. well every one got home today which is a big plus on yesterday ….. mixed tales told during tea about the conditions. 4 to 5 kts to around 5500 feet with a few getting higher on occasions, with some very sink in between. The thermals were a little all over the show, some good cores but you needed to continually re-centre. 
We had a pretty good run for most of the day but “fell in a hole” after the 3rd turn and ended up at 1000 feet…… which cost us 15 mins 😔 we finished with the second fastest speed for the day but in 4th place after the Handicaps…..”

Task 3 today; another 4 hour AAT , so still great weather in Narromine though “ Very windy and blue again” , AND Allan and Matthew did it again; 1000 points for 469 km in time “at the dot!!!” 117 km./h.
Runner up the Tocumwal team Joergen and Lumpy in the ARCUS with 487 km. in time 4.03.
So to see team Harry and David did not start, have to find out why.120 km./h.


—–Worcester in South Africa is still good too; February 10….Marcus [Geisen] and Karin [Wiesenthal ], calling flying there ” Worcester Magic” ,…. showed this was true with an over 700 km. flight, late in the season, in the ARCUS M.
Tocumwal is good as well. February 13 …Chris Davison in JS 1 C /21 m…..,625 km.[614 FAI triangle]
And whatabout Omarama; February 12 ….Max Stevens…..742 km in Ventus 2C/18 m. …speed 142.40 km./h.


——Carnaval this last weekend, so I did my best but it was COLD ,WET and CROWDY. No worries though. My daughter arrived with a colleague from Amsterdam and we had great fun. I went home in the early evening , they in the early morning.


CU next time, ALAAF,…. Ritz

February 7, 2018

COLD !!!! Recent superb wave flights from Greece ! NZ Nationals. Horsham Week !

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 6:44 pm

We thought spring was around the corner ,when we had just over 14.5 dgr. C., a few weeks ago. My garden thought so too, but King Winter has arrived [again] with this week up to minus 10 !!! I know,….. “nothing”  for my Scandinavian mates and even for my USA friends who have been hit hard by “the king ” this winter, but still,…..
Also the people from the Mediterranean area, so the South of Europe, as Spain and Portugal, are cold and  have SNOW!!! Very unusual.
The good side; ice-skating is on at least for one week!!! We here, are not only born on a bike, but also on [speed-] skates!!! There is a hurrah mood at the moment.

—–When I was down under ,I missed a few interesting and as they called it “groundbreaking mountain wave flights. Flown from Kopaida Air base, by Legend Klaus Ohlmann and Greek co-pilot Alexis Anastasiou in the Stemme.

Klaus and Alexis.

SO , here you are, better late then never!!!! With some great pictures;
Two groundbreaking mountain wave flights with the legend, Klaus Ohlmann.
The first one was 1083km OLC / 1052km Free 3TP up to the northern border of Greece and crossing the gulf of Corinth to Argos.
The second was to the southernmost point of the Balkan Peninsula and second southernmost point of Europe, Cape Tainaron. Many thanks to the ATCs who made this possible
You find the flights on :…/gliding/flightinfo.html……/gliding/flightinfo.html…


Greece and wave flying at their best !
Pictures as shared by Alexis.

So when I asked Alexis, if he could add some personal touch with this great flight he wrote :
“Yes, that all my records were broken and I was very happy for this!
And the day of the long flight was by no means exceptional.
Also, that Klaus is not only an amazing pilot but also an amazing person.
There is great potential for very long flights in Greece and I have a lot of “work” to do.

So we will hear more from Alexis and soaring in Greece in the future.Looking forward to that !!!


——-EUROGLIDE 2018 !!! The 14th edition !!!
Some hearts are banging loud , now EUROGLIDE 2018 is nearly “on” .
Never heard of EUROGLIDE???
In short as written on their site;” Contrary to a standard gliding competition, when each day a task is flown from the same airfield, Euroglide has only one task of approximately 2000 km:”Depart from Venlo airfield,[in the S of Holland]  round the turnpoints and return to Venlo as soon as possible, but at latest on the last competition day.”

Each day, after landing (out) the teams have to find a suitable airfield for the next day and arrange take-off facilities themselves. To a certain extend, it is allowed to travel towards a turningpoint with the glider in the trailer.

The registration is closed now and 81 teams have announced their participation.Some teams exist out of 4/6 pilots so a “huge bunch” of happy chappies!!! Many are longing for 2 years for the next edition, after they were part of it  .
Pilots are from the UK, Germany, France, Belgium ,Poland ,Slovenia , Swiss and Holland.


——The NZ Nationals in Matamata [27-01/10-02] continued and after the first week with 5 out of 9 days and one week to go , the DUO Discus in the racing class with 10 pilots was better than good, winning 4 day’s one even as sole finishers; their total after week one is 3.652 points and looking at the runner up with 2.581 they are 1000 points ahead.No reason for team Thompson and McIver to forget about week 2 ,…but they could ; at least they want, take it easy and fly on safe.
In open class the first 5 pilots ,after one week, were between a total score of 4.555 and 3.926, so a lot can still happen here.
After the first week those 5 first are Pat Driessen, Keith Essex, Steve Wallace, Tim Bromhead and Tony van Dyk, more or less as expected.On task 5 the last day of week 1 , Pat lost over 300 points and Keith won the 1000. The day was lower and tougher than expected, but no worries for Pat , his lead was substantial.
Unfortunately Aussie Matthew Scutter [Discus 2] outlanded on day 1 loosing 905 points in his first NZ comps and then it is a bit difficult to motivate again, but he got the feeling for NZ soaring, which is of course  different to Aussie soaring,[though flying on the S island with all the mountains would have been REALLY different]  and slowly he found his way up.From spot 14 [from 16] to 10, 7 and spot 9 after the week, as he lost some points again on task 5; 1000 for Keith  and 160 for Matthew .He even was runner up one day.
Here is what Matthew wrote in his Matthew Scutter’s Gliding blog about day 1.
“Day 1 of NZ North Island Nats… needed a relight, got sent to the back of the grid but conditions deteriorated with the sea breeze coming in and some cu nims shading big patches of the first leg. Took 1kt to an altitude I thought would let me make the jump across a tongue of sea air and shadow but just short of the other side the landing options ahead looked terrible and if I missed the climb I’d be landing in a postage stamp on rolling hills. Deviated to a couple of wisps in the sea air but less than minimim sink. Paddocks were all terrible and the airfield database airfields either didn’t exist or I couldn’t find them. I did find an unmarked agstrip nestled on top of a hill made for an easy outlanding. Wheelbrake appears to be U/S so tonight will be busy too.”

AND that he learned every day is written as follows; “Low and slow, but not low enough to see the hobbits. First time racing on a ridge, two laps for 340k with almost no turns. This is what I came to Matamata for!”
That day [task 4] he was runner up!!!

What happened more with from today on only 2 days to go?
The new week on Monday started good with task 6 for Pat who won and Keith [from the USA] as runner up. Not so good for Tony as he outlanded.  Matthew did not start ,maybe more job’s on the glider.
Also a few outlanders in racing class .
Yesterday showed over 300 km. flights  and Matthew was runner up loosing ONE point to Steve.
The DUO-team lost 10 points but who cares; now 5.398 for 4.273 points.
Today; task 8 with a 2.15 AAT in racing class and only 8 started now in this class with 5 finishers one of them ,on spot, 4 team Thompson&McIver. They were the first to go on track.
In open same task different winner; Keith was the best again for the day. One outlanding and Pat was runner up. Matthew was 4th. He seems to have problems with this glider as now his battery was dead and he could not make any radio calls whilst landing.
More next week!

With these words Matthew shared his “learning curve” to cope with the weather in NZ;
Weird easterly wave at Matamata today. 35kts on the ridge, 2kts at 5000ft.”

As shared by Matthew in Matthew Scutter’s Gliding.


——–Horsham was very busy with the Australian FAI SGP  , then with Horsham coaching week 2018 and now with the annual and very popular Horsham Week; February 3-10.
30 Competitors in 3 classes and in open straight away a 300 km and 490 km. Not super-doper- hotshots at this competition, but pilots who love competition soaring and some still learning to get more practice to be a future “hotshot”.
Great weather as expected this time of the year in the W of Australia with AAT’s from 4 hours and pilots flying 605 km. with a speed of 146.70 km./h. in a JS 1 in open class.
Another good day yesterday , 37 dgr. C. with a 3.30 AAT for club class won by Bernie Sizer in his PIK 20. He goes like a rocket in his own new glider!!! 403 km. in time 3.42.
In open/18 m. Scott [Percival]  arrived for the last few days, with his ASH 25 /26 m. and straight away won the day; 325 km. with a speed of 136 km./h.
Horsham TODAY had 3 ,3.30 and 4 hour AAT’s so a long day and no scores yet. But some flights were over 500 km.
To be found at


——-Looking at the OLC, some great recent flights from Australia in the after-season time.
Last Monday 830 km. from Tocumwal by Chris Davison in his JS 1cTJ. The B-C-T triangle did well as from Benalla over 700 [ASG 29/18 m] was flown and from Corowa 834 km in the ASH 31/21 m.
A day earlier Milan Petcovic flew in his DG 100 519 km. from Toc. and on February 3 Tobias Geiger flew in his LS 4 a distance of 970 km [840 FAI triangle] from Benalla.
Also Narromine had great flights by Tomas Suchanek; all around 800 km.
On February 2 Stefan Soell topped the list with an LS 4 flight from 741 km. WITHOUT water!!
Great Aussie weather also yesterday when Eddie from Sportaviation wrote;
All gliders off and racing with the best set of weather for the season cloud base 10,000+ nil wind .”
Mind you day’s are REALLY getting shorter there as they are slowly getting longer here as well.
Today; Tomas Suchanek flew from Narromine 822 [ 800 km. FAI TRIANGLE], Bendigo much more to the W. showed a good flight from Terry Bellair in the DG 400/17 m. 760 km. Benalla same distance by Bob Nicholls.[Ventus 2C/18 m.]
Showing from W to E ,…..Australia is still good!!!

——-The Bitterwasser containers have left on February 5 ,….the Namibia season is definitely over …..and it was a superb season!!!The gliders arrive in the Rotterdam harbor around February 25.

You are up to date,…… Struggling with my internet connections,  but they check all lines this afternoon.
Cheers Ritz

January 31, 2018

Fair ??What to do with a TOO short AAT,… on a booming day ,…during a NATIONAL competition!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 8:01 pm

—–The Argentinian Nationals continued;

With 7 out of 12 days this 64th National Competition is over. Chaves was the host for 70 pilots  in 2 classes;
a combined standard and 15 m./open.
In 15 m./open the battle was mainly between Sebastian Riera in the ASW 20 and Damian Goldenzweig in the Ventus 2CM/18 m. Both won 2 day’s and flew pretty consistent. BUT,…On the last day only 8 from 30 finished and Sebastian belonged to the lucky ones, Damian not and he lost more than 200 points.
Champion; 1. Sebastian with 5.834 points. 2. Damian with 5.409 points.

In the combined standard class several LS 4 gliders with several daily winners and in the end close final scores.
On task 4, only ONE finisher, Tomas Soler and he got the 1000 points and NO…… he did not win in the end.
Javier Sondon won task 6 and 7 and,…NO he did not win either.
Manuel Darrain was the winner with 5.475 points. He did not win a day but flew very consistent. The scores from the number 2  Santiago Demodena and 3 Lucas Goldenzweig were close;5.422 for 5.413.
Javier finished on spot 6 and Tomas on 11.

Champion Manuel with Lucas. Good mates!!
As shared by Manuel.

—–Horsham FAI Sailplane Grand Prix…. is done and dusted!

The First FAI SGP from the 2018 season ,the Australian SGP had a few tricky day’s to start with,then 2 non flyable days due to and electrical storm just after launching ,so they had to cancel that day and another poor day. Specially the last 2 races , 4 and 5 were good with speed over 140 km.h.
Pete [Temple], just new Aussie champion in 18 m. won race 4,[310 km.]  on which he flew mostly by himself and added a few more points to his total; speed 143.4 km./h. He won already race 2 and 3.
They had hot days [around 40 dgr.C] and the last day was won by Andrew [Georgeson] in his JS 1C; speed 145.5 km./h. over 302 km.
Final score; 1. Pete Temple [ASG 29] with 42 points. 2. Graham Parker [ASG 29E] with 37 points and Andrew [JS 1C] with 32.
I heard it was fast , ….indeed,…and great fun!!!

In just over 50 day’s RACE 2 is in the USA, hosted by Seminole Lake Gliderport and under supervision of event manager Sean Fiddler , who flies himself in this SGP between March 26 and April 1 ,…no joke. Class??? 18m.


——JoeyGlide in Narromine;
NOTHING is TOO difficult for the young pilots from Australia and as you can see there are quite a few of them; 30 to be precise. CD was young Ailsa,  who flew JWGC’s  and WWGC’s already.
Through the years and ,Paul Mander who sadly died last week, was one of the initiators, the young ones set up such a comp by their selves. Adam in the past was very involved too. So CD, task setter [sometimes with help] etc ALL done by the young ones.


As shared by JoeyGlide. Ailsa “lifts” the nose.

Here is a short review of the comps

With 5 out of 7 days the 30 young pilots flew in 2 classes to see who was the best “Joey”in Narromine where the weather had been great , but that week a 3 hour AAT was the best they could do.
Club had 13 , 15 m had 17 pilots.
In 15 m. the already strong ones from the past as James [Nugent] and Dylan [Lampard] were the best now too. James won 2 day’s . On task 3 nobody finished.
On task 2, the  3 hour AAT ,James in the LS 3 won the day with 397 km. in time 3.19 so a good speed ;119.23 km./h.
The runner up that day had 332 3 hours at the dot ; speed 110.35 km./h. Dylan flew the Ventus 2A around over 395 km. in 3.18.
So to see the boy’s , who know each other from several comps, flew together.
Total points for winner James; 3.735 and runner up Dylan had 3.518.

In club David Collins won 3 days and indeed on the 3 hour AAT on task 2 he got the 1000 points as well in his LS 3a. A crucial day!
3.508 was his total in the end.
Runner up with 3.443 points Andrew Grandja.[DG 300]


No words needed!!! As shared by Gosoaring.
We are excited to announce the JoeyGlide 2018 OUDIE IGC Winner is David Collins.
NAVITER and GOSOARING Congratulate David on winning the bery popular OUDIE IGC Flight Computer valued at over $1500.
Photo – Comp Director Ailsa Mc Millan congratulating David on winning the OUDIE IGC.”


—–Told you last week about the speed on the last day of the Australian Nationals and the final scores.
This is the story and I let you be the judge of this .
On the last day both in open and 18 m. a 3.30 hour AAT was set ,The highest speed of that day was for Norm Bloch flying his brand new JS 3 to 179 km./h. over 600 km.
Unfortunately the circles were too small and Norm was home 15 minutes before time ,as there was no way to make more kilometers!!!
The numbers 1-2-and 3 were slower but got the 1-2-3 daily best scores . According to some, Norm lost this way the championship and quite a few were unhappy with that.
NOTHING against champion Pete Temple, we all know that he is a great and consistent pilot.

Looking ALWAYS at 2 sides of a story,  I checked with my former TC-colleague Mandy, till last August the  President of the GFA and quickly got an answer;
“So to Waikerie,…. yes this is a very bad situation. On the last day it was very hot over 40 degrees celsius and they had to change the task on the grid  when we saw the task we realized straight away it was too small and we calculated maximum possible speed about 170 kph.

For that reason Peter and Terry picked furthest start points even though in blue area. If you check the traces you’ll see they flew maximum distance in the early circles. Peter even went outside the Circles to be absolutely certain of the distance. If you look at the trace of Norm you can see he turned early in every Circle including the last Circle when he knew for sure that he would be early.
So Norm made a protest. For this Peter is very upset of course if it was perfect the task would have been longer and we are now working and ways to rectify this.

Of course the organizers are volunteers so they do the best they can.

Norm did not fly the maximum distance  – he flew the best course to get the best speed.
Facts ;

Pete flew 601km but turned early in last circle
Terry flew 609km also early in last circle.
Norm flew only 587km”

BUT,…..Norman was the fastest pilot for the day and it remains weird that he “only” is on a daily spot 4 . That’s for sure not meant how racing has to be.

So difficult to re-set the situation. Even with the last gorgeous soaring day cancelled, Pete would have won.
Reason for the IGC meeting in March to check how this can be avoided in the future????
For quite a few pilots in Waikirie this gorgeous soaring day leaves a bad taste and it should have been the best National soaring-day in their lives.
When they would have changed the AAT AT the strip,  nothing would have happened. It’s true  what Mandy said that most job’s are done by volunteers who do their utmost best and by years of experience I know THEY DO,  but on the other hand it IS a National Championship.
It turned out that after an earlier A and B task which were in the mountains and did in the end not seem the best idea, they set the C task A  3.30 AAT. A ” normal” 600 set task would have done the trick, BUT it is easy to say so in hindsight.
“Feed for soaring- psychologist’s”.

——-News from Greece;

Very honored to receive the FAI Ann Welch Diploma for our Ultralight Altitude World Record. Even more honored to receive it at the ceremony for the 90 years of our National Aero Club.
As shared by Alexis Anastasiou.
Congratulations again to both pilots. As you can see the flight was already in 2014.

——Rieti  with the TERMINILLO covered with snow;
Good old Rieti!!!!Have been there many times. Always saw the mountain at the airfield, drove up to the highest part and walked there over green fields…. NEVER EVER saw snow on it and look at this …..SNOW  on the Terminillo. Love it!

Picture shared by Guglielmo Fioramonti.

——The NZ Nationals have just started in Matamata and will proceed till February 10.More next week. With USA pilot Keith Essex and Aussie junior world champion Matthew Scutter “performing” in open class along longtime NZ aces as Patrick Driessen, Tony van Dyke , Brett Hunter , Steve Wallace and more.
After 3 day;’s Pat[rick] in the JS 1 leads with 2.988 points for Keith with 2.746 in the ASW 27-18E and Steve in the Mosquito [handicap 98] with 2.477 points …good old Tony is at 4 with 2.330.

CU next week.
Cheers Ritz

January 24, 2018

173.77 km./h. on last day of Aussie Nationals over 608 km. in open class and 15.000 ft. cloud base! Exciting final SGP !!!!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 6:24 pm

—–R.I.P. Paul and Tomas.
Before I share my latest news, still fully euphoric from the GREAT last day at Vitacura , I received the tragic news about a good friend, Paul Mander, [ a young 75]  who crashed his ASH 25 close to Bathurst flying from Pipers Airfield last Sunday afternoon. He was alone in his glider.
NSW Rural Fire Service Operational Officer Brett Taylor said the powered glider was on fire when it crashed ,which then ignited a small grass fire
“The wreckage was located in a field not far from the airstrip.”
I know Paul since the 1984 pre- worlds in Rieti! We were both TC’s/coaches from a junior team in Hus Bos in the UK during the WGC in 2005. Paul loved gliding, but also sailing. I feel for Sandy and the [grown-up] kids and their grand children.
Lost for words!!!!VERY SAD !!!!!He was one of my mates!

The official news;”
We regret to advise our GFA members and colleagues of the death of Paul Mander on Sunday 21 January 2018.  Paul was flying solo in his ASH-25M Jet glider, and crashed at Pipers Field, home of Bathurst SC.  Some witnesses reported seeing smoke was coming from the fuselage while it was descending in the circuit area in a steep nose low attitude, but all else is speculation.  The glider was destroyed in a fire at the point of ground impact.  Emergency services attended the scene.

GFA and BSC members are assisting ATSB, who have investigative lead authority, as well as NSW Police and Coroner in investigations. You will appreciate that this investigation will be difficult.  ATSB now have control of the accident scene.
Paul was a very well known competition pilot and coach, who has made great contributions to gliding in NSW and Australia.
Our sincere condolences go to Paul’s wife Sandy, sons Mike and Henry, daughter Susie, family, friends and his many gliding colleagues.
Peter Cesco
GFA President
And a THANK you from the young ones;
On Sunday afternoon the Australian Junior Gliding movement lost one of its most valuable contributors, Paul Mander. Paul was heavily involved in the running of the first few JoeyGlides, and was bullish in his fundraising efforts, ultimately enabling a handful of juniors to attend the Junior World Gliding championships.Paul was made an honorary life member of the Australian Junior Gliding club at the 4th JoeyGlide held at Gawler in 2007. It is not overstating the point to say that the Australian junior gliding movement wouldn’t be what it is today without his efforts.On behalf of every past & present JoeyGlide attendee, we offer our deepest condolences to Paul’s family.”

AND THEN,…… more sad news on the same day, it’s getting TOO much;
The official news;
“Sad news from the last race day;

Local Chile pilot Tomas Reich had an accident on the ridges south of Santiago. The Chile SAR recovered Tomas and took him by helicopter to the hospital in Santiago. Unfortunately Tomas died during the evening from the injuries he sustained during the accident. Our thoughts and prayers are for his family and friends during this tragic time.”
“During the last race day the tracker signal from GN Tomas Reich was lost whilst he was flying along the ridges south east of Santiago.
An aircraft was dispatched from the airfield and the Chile search and rescue were alerted. They found the glider on the hill side and Thomas was found to be alive but injured. Once he was stabilized by the paramedic crew he was taken aboard the helicopter to Santiago hospital.
Unfortunately Tomas died during the evening from the injuries he sustained during the accident.”

R.I.P. Paul and Tomas.

Picture shared by Bryan Hayhow on the last glorious- trough-day at Waikirie. I found this picture appropriate for my sad feelings. I asked Bryan permission first.

Back to the regular blog.

—–Last Thursday we had a scary and extreme storm here. The official meteorological termination seems to be  ‘bombogenisis’. A Bom-cyclone….pressure that drops dramatically in a short time [as a bom]
I noticed Ireland and the UK had it already before us. They not only had storm with terrible gusts but also a full pack of snow.
Also Germany was hit, as well as Belgium.
In Holland we had gusts up to 143 km./h. [bft 11] in the coastal areas and that is NO fun!! I expected/hoped it would not be too bad in Brabant where I live but in the end we were hit as well with Bft 9. Nearly the whole country had code red!!
Schiphol was “closed”, so no departing air-traffic and those on their way to Amsterdam from far away, tried several times but in the end overshoot and  did not land. No trains in the country , no trams in Amsterdam and the question to not go on the road if not necessary.
This storm created chaos…. total chaos!!!Fallen trees everywhere ,66 trucks were blown away at the highway causing severe traffic jam’s and roofs from schools and houses blew up high in the air. At least 2 casualties here, 8 in Germany where the force of the wind was less than here and 1 in Belgium.
Pffff,…. put on my FB site a video from Stuff Dutch People like,…. NOT in this case!

By the way the damage bill will be over 100 million and that’s for small business and private insured people at this stage only !!!!


EXCITING FINAL of the SGP in Vitacura.

——Race 3 even brought excitement for Sebastian Kawa, who nearly “lives” in his glider and has had/done it all. His comment on the day; “What a race“. And others even commented with words as “insane race” or “impressive final“.
I could not follow it due to other business, but you get really curious reading those words , so I sat down and looked.
Luckily on you can find everything when you miss out.
Sebastian K. said in his comment,  that lift was better than expected and noticed that some pilots stayed longer than necessary in the lift.” When we did not need any more altitude they still were climbing ” , which in his opinion was a mistake, whilst he followed the slope, to win in the end the day just before Tilo and Bostjan.
This means that we have 2 Sebastian’s with 25 points and on 3 Werner with 18.

As shared by Sebastian K.

Race 4; 339 km. to go and Mario Kiessling was this time the best. [speed 149,5 km./h.]He was already once runner -up, but got some penalty points for a too low finish.This time he got the 10 points ,and he was even 3km./h. faster than runner up Rene Vidal also in the Ventus 3T.
Sebastian K was 3d flying very precisely , but with all the high technique gathered over years of flying, he just did n’t manage to pass Rene. He leads the SGP- final now , with 2 races to go, as the “other”  Sebastian was 8th for the day with 2 points.
Mario took his own decisions going more N., found there thermals bringing him up to over 4000 m. which separated him from the group. Rene got him nearly close to the 3d TP, doing better over the ridges , but in the end it was all ridge flying with 220 km./h on the “clock”.
Sebastian K 32 points, Sebastian N 27 and Mario 21.

Mario and Rene as shared by

Race 5; one but last race. with start problems and for that reason penalties for some up to 186 seconds, because it was difficult to fly back to the start line and they started from the wrong side of it. To manage the start height and speed was difficult this day.
It ‘s all about decisions in these Grand Prix’s, going right , going left and lot’s of ridge flying.
” Fight ” was between the 2 Sebastian’s and it was VERY close!! Sebastian N won  [10] just ahead of Sebastian K [8] who still leads with 3 points now. Both had penalty points too; 2 and 6 seconds for a too low finish.
Thomas was 3d today.
In the end another very exciting race with 4 pilots fighting for the honors..2 Sebastian’s and Mario and Thomas.. , that adrenaline in those bodies must be sky high.

Friday’s heroes!!! As shared by the organizers.

And what about this picture, “white ants on a pile of sand”????


With as text:”#CHILE2018 #RACE5 Tilo Holighaus gave us this morning this amazing picture of the first thermal he was on the top with almost all the other pilots in the picture!!! And yes he took the picture from outside the cockpit!!!!! This is what we will watch live in less than 3 hours now on !!! — metFridolin HauserRene VidalJon GatfieldThomas GostnerMark TingeyRoman MračekŁukasz WójcikYankee GalettoSebastian NägelSebastian Kawa en Schempp-Hirth.

Race 6 LAST DAY; In fact it’s between the 2 Sebastian’s [40 p. and 37 p.] and Mario [27 p.] .So 2 Ventus’3 T and a JS 1c.
When Sebastian N does not start and Mario wins the day he get’s 11 points [1 bonus point for the last day] and that way he could achieve 38 points. NOT to be expected!!!
When Sebastian N wins he will have 48 points and  Sebastian K as runner up would get 8 points, so equal.
What will happen???

It turned out different than I thought.
Mario indeed was still keen to be in the top 3 so he started straight away with Tilo each on one site of the track.
May be they were helping their Sebastian.
Not the best day weatherwise but the heroes managed to deal with it.
Mario won the day and the 11 points so a well deserved 3d place for him. Sabastian N and K looked of course at each other and both made no mistakes though Sebastian K lost a point to Sebastian N. 5 for 4 daily points.
No worries the glory and honor were for him. 44 points and only 2 points more than Sebastian N.;42. Mario got 38. Great effort from all. Didier was runner up on the last day and had 19 points in the end and Werner 3d; 27 so 4th overall.

As shared by the organizers.

Great races, superb pilots and absolutely GOOD fun to follow it. Well done to all !!!!!Congratulations!!!!

Time to go home for pilots and gliders as you can see on this picture shared by Sebastian K.
The tragic death on this last day of Tomas Reich overshadowed in the end all euphoric.

——On Monday started the first SGP for the 2018 season in Australia at Horsham; Jan.22-28. Quite a bunch of Aussie toppers so again fun to follow it.
Graham [Parker] got the first 10 points ahead of Brad Edwards and Pete Temple.
More next week, when I try to be in a better  read more enthusiastic mood again.



——-The Nationals at Waikirie have finished;
The one but last  day showed a 4 hour AAT for open class and Andrew Georgeson won the day with 580 km. with 143 km./h. Scott was “only”  on spot 6 with 115 km./h. loosing nearly 500 points,…BUT, he had such a big lead, it did n’t hurt him.
18 m; also had a 4 hour AAT and the JS 3 from Norm was “on the go”!!! He won the day with 583 km with a speed of 144 km./h and that was “much” better than the runner up for this last day; Adam had 561 km and a speed of 139 km./h.
15 m.; 345 km for the “boy’s” and an Adelaide pilot Leigh Stokes in the ASW 20 won the day;125 km./h.
Standard; Tobias Geiger from Benalla won in his LS 4 the  day with 476 km. and a speed of 127 km./h. He jumped from spot 5 to 3 overall. Great job!!

Adam about this one but last day :“Great day racing around outback Australia, check out the terrain I was flying over! Didn’t really make any mistakes today, nice glides in good air, looking for 6kt climbs, tactically well around all the turns, nice final glide – all felt easy & good.
The JS3 that won flew a great flight too of course. However at 59kg-sq.m on my final glide with him (first sighting all comp), the glider was clearly better than the G29 – I was using him & a JS1c to improve my glide & still he was getting away, both in normal glide & in the dynamic pull ups.
Tomorrow maybe we’ll have 15,000′ CU – so our first good look at how it really hums under the energy lines against the G29. Still wish I had the new Ventus though – it would’ve been the top performer over the whole comp here I’m sure;

Still very happy with my performance today though, bring on tomorrow!

The last day was on Friday Jan.19 and a real classic Waikirie day.
AGAIN good tasks were set and HUGE speed was flown and what about 15.000 ft cloud base;
open; 3.30 AAT…Andrew won again with 608 km so a speed of 173.77km /h.
18 m; Terry [Cubley] showed he “masters” his Ventus 2cx, as good as his LS 3 in the past. He won the last day flying 609 km. with a speed of 170,78 km./h. “Slowest ” speed for the day 150 km./h.
Peter and Adam followed with just 1 km. over and one under 600 km.
15 m; O’ Connell-time….with Joseph in the LS 3 winning the last day before Stephen.
What about this LS 3 flying 447 km with a speed of 147.92 km./h.!!!!!
Standard class; 3 hour AAT and flights over 500 km.!!! Speed for  winner Don over 509 km. ;166.63 km./h. and Allan [Barnes] 493 km. with 164.51 km./h. in the LS 8.

The O’ Donnell’s!!! 4 Brother’s and Stephens son Joe. And good music taste as well !!!
As shared by the Waikirie Gliding Club.

Looking at the final results and the new CHAMPIONS after 8 out of 11 day’s ;
open;1.Scott Percival – ASH 25[7.168 ] 2. Andrew Georgeson- JS 1 C/21 m. [6.809] 3. Benno Beesten- ASH 25 E [6.697]
18 m; 1. Peter Temple – ASG 29E[7.466] 2. Norm Bloch-JS 3 /18 m. [7.366] 3. Adam Woolley-ASG 29 e [7.043]
15 m ; 1. Stephen O’ Donnell -Ventus 2A[7.715] 2. Joseph O’ Donnell -LS 3[6.989] 3. Tom O’ Donnell -LS 7 [6.739]
Standard; 1. Don Woodward-ASW 24 [7.610] 2. James Nugent-Discus A [7.052] 3. Tobias Geiger -LS 4 A[7.007]

Straight after it was a big rush to get the gliders in the trailers as a sand storm was approaching.And indeed a micro burst arrived and NOT all gliders were in their trailers yet.

——-Tocumwal, had on the same Friday [Jan.19] glorious weather as well ; Eddie from Sportaviation wrote;
“Big flag, Big tasks 1000km (2 X 500) for team Japan🇯🇵 
Mamoru Shinohara & Shinji Asakura . A first for both
Congratulations to both with their first 500 km. .
Ingo flew in his Discus 700 km. and Bernie [Sizer] in his PIK 20 719 km.

More good news from Tocumwal that day ,as the Danish “girls” Brigitte and Christina flew 7 Danish records;
“Happy girls  Birgitte Ørskov and Christina Solberg Hansen . 7 new Danish records on this flight 

As shared by Joergen.

Birgitte’s comment;
We did it!!

Yesterday Christina and I declared a 421 km task with 3 turnpoints. First leg was 161 km to the west. 2nd leg was back to Tocumwal. 3rd leg was 50 km to Jerilderie and then back to Toc

First leg gave us 2 Danish Female record in Two seater glider. The longest free distance straight out and the longest declared distance straight out

When we returned to Tocumwal, we got further 3 records:
Longest out and return, free distance and the longest declared out and return distance
AND the fastest 300 km out and return task with 103 km/h

Continuing to and returning from Jerilderie gave us 2 more records:
The longest free distance, 3 waypoints and the longest declared distance, 3 waypoints

Yes, it WAS good weather for soaring yesterday but you also have to be prepared. This task I made in the Danish summer so I was ready when we got the conditions.

It was 40 degrees on the ground before takeoff and we were struggling in the heat for almost one hour before coming up in cooler conditions. It was hard work but it was worth it  We are so happy


With “icon”  Ingo Renner and Birgitte’s partner Joergen Thomsen, both very proud on the girls!!
as shared by Birgitte Orskov.

  • D2F A: Free distance, straight line, 161 km
  • D2F B: Free distance, out and home, 322 km
  • D2F D: Free distance, 3 turning points, 421 km
  • D2F E: Target flight, straight line, 161 km
  • D2F F: Target flight, out and home, 322 km
  • D2F H: Target flight, 3 turning points, 421 km
  • D2F Q: Speed, 300km out and home. 103 km / h


—–The Nationals in Argentina flown at Chaves;
36 Pilots in the combined standard class and 32 in the combined 15m./open class. In both classes one “Goldenzweig”.
The weather was not really flash as most tasks were 2, 2.30 or 3 hour AAT’s in both classes. Still day’s with sometimes ONE finisher. In the end [ last day at the 26 th, ] they will have enough days to see who is the best pilot in each class.
At this stage after 8 days they flew 5/6 days and it is still to close to call future winners as the differences in st class are small. Between 3.532 and 3.693 points for the first 6 pilots.
In 15m/open it looks pretty good for Sebastian [ Riera ] with 4.016 points and runner up Damian [Goldenzweig] with 3.831 .

—-On January 20 the fabulous flying  season in Namibia was over .Time for packing containers. Namibia had out standing weather!!
On the OLC the difference is visible;
160 pilots made from Bitterwasser  1056 flights, making a total of 883.255,82 !!!!! In 2016/17 that was 118 pilots with 781 flights and a total of 625.356,35 .

81 pilots made from Kiripotib 458 flights and a total of 318.853,00 km. In the last season it was 78 pilots, with 395 flights and 275.423,88 flights.

53 pilots made from Pokweni 466 flights and still 377.274,59 km. During the last season 58 pilots made 448 flights and 344.633,04 km.

58 Pilots visited Veronica  with 328 flights and 255.538,89 km. Last time; 45 pilots with 231 flights and 184.608,56 km.
A few flights still might be added!!

Great picture;” In January rain season sets in. Farmers in Namibia are looking forward to it. So they can feed their animals. 
For glider pilots it means you have more difficult tasks. Often you have to fly a detour to avoid that rain in your way. But still it is fun. And it just looks great
As shared by Bitterwasser Lodge and Flying Centre.

Cu next week.

Cheers Ritz,…very sad week, but life goes on and sometimes the weather helps; already at 8 AM 12.2 dgr. C the warmest January 24 ever and we expect 14!!!!!!!!!!!



January 17, 2018

It’s the year/season of the declared 1.250 km. FAI triangles!!! Some “bloody good flights” during my absence!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 7:49 pm

—–Back on track with the regular blogs from now on again and,….looking at a pretty white world. Horrible weather with thunderstorm, strong wind, big hail stones and wet snow, which disappears today as quickly as it drops, but the expectation for  tomorrow is snow everywhere and it STAYS.
Our hot family holiday was exciting , healing and awesome, so I guess this tells you we had more than fun.

—–My flight back home was uneventful, which is what you like whilst flying . The 777  and the Boeing 787 on the way home, are comfortable planes.

—–Of course I looked back at what happened over the last couple of weeks and a few flights were really remarkable
First of all the claim for a new world record flown from Potchefstroom on January 6 .
4 South African pilots , Oscar, Pieter, Attie and Uys ,each in a JS 3, declared a 1.250 FAI triangle and Pieter, flew it with a speed of 166 km./h. which was not done before;  a WORLD RECORD over this triangle and it “smashed” the old one with more than 15 km./h..
The boy’s flew OVER 1.300 km .Attie 1.259,53 km.
All 4 flew the OLC distance with a speed of over 153 km./h.
Congratulations to these friends!!!!

As shared by Bertus Le Roux. Absolutely love the African language!!!

It’s an extremely good season which means many happy pilots. I resume again..
On December 25 my friends Karin and Marcus flew in the ARCUS M from Worcester  a yo-yo flight from 1.259 km. with a speed of 157 km./h.
On December 27 the Kiwi-friends Dane and John flew from Bitterwasser a declared 1.250 Fai triangle with a speed of 140 km./h.
On December 30, Keith Essex flew in the ANTARES 23 a distance of 1.358 km [1000 FAI triangle] He gave up on his declared task.
On January 13 Max Leenders from the Netherlands flew the JS3 in 18 m. version over a declared 1.250 FAI triangle from Douglas Backhouse!!! Good on him, congratulations!!
Jonker Sailplanes reacted on the flight from Max;
“Max Leenders, one of the Netherlands’ top pilots showed today why he such a great record flying pilot.
Max completed a 1250 km task in conditions less optimal for big tasks. The day started very slowly – his first leg of 464 km took him 4hrs 22 mins, with average climbs below 2m/s.
Max never gave.up, completing the 1250 FAI triangular task 5 hrs after reaching the 1st turnpoint! Amazing what can be achieved with only 2.5m/s climbs..
This is only the 5th 1250 km FAI declared task completed this year. And all in the JS3.,,, makes you think! Well done Max!”

My Lasham friend Roy set a 1.270 km FAI triangle but the weather spoiled his plan. He still flew 1.178 the 20 m. Antares from Bitterwasser.
The day before he flew with Chris Starkey in the ARCUSM an 1.100km FAI triangle declared and completed.
Another stunning Namibia day with Chris Starkey in the Arcus M.
We declared and completed an 1100km triangle @ 149kph then extended after the finish to make 1.212km OLC distance.

Roy had a fabulous time with his Lasham mates;
“The sixth ‘holiday of a lifetime’ is over.
13 possible flying days, 12 days flying, 88 hours of flying, 11,424km. Average flight 952km @ 129.8 kph,” GREAT EFFORT!!!!
On the same day Tobias Welsch set an even bigger triangle but also his plan was disturbed by showers. He still flew in the ARCUS M a distance of 1.364 km!!!!

The weather in Namibia holds on, though the showers start to win terrain, but there are still  many 1000 km. flights .It’s an unbelievable and long  season  there. Also South Africa was blessed with SUPER -weather during this season!!!!

Picture shared by Roy; “But a few showers on the homeward leg were not a problem.”

On January 15 Worcester had 5x a 1000 km with as Sven mentioned;
“ridge – thermal (4m/s from 2500ft msl to 7500ft  final glide onto Klawer ridge – down to 1500ft from 7500ft – weak ridge in the east – drop water and scrape away  connect thermal wave to 8000ft to make it back to Kleinfontein and Worcester.”

—-With 7 out of 8 days the 56 Campeonato Nacional y 13 Andes Open, was flown from Municipal de Vitacura in Chile between January 2 and 10. Sebastian Kawa won the comps in a JS1 C with 5.929 points.
Runner up was Rene Vidal with 5.899 points in a Ventus 3T.
Several European pilots flew in Chile during these Nationals, as practice for the FINAL OF THE SGP.

As shared by Sebastian on FB.

—–Straight after the Nationals on January 14 the SGP WORLD FINAL started in Chile as well. First with 3 practice day’s from which the last one was cancelled ,as the weather was not strong enough.
During practice one of the German pilots had a lucky escape after he crashed his JS 1 on a mountain. He was OK,… the glider a mess.
” We are delighted that Klaus is ok and recovering, probably partly due to the safety cockpit structure of his JS1 sailplane and the bushy area he hard landed in.”
There is a video from the recovery of the plane by an helicopter on You Tube.[]
7 Days are scheduled for all the toppers, winners from qualifying GP’s in different parts of the world.
Race1; was won by young German Pilot Sebastian Naegel. He received the 10 points flying over 266 km. with a speed of 143.8 km./h in the Ventus 3 T.
A real race “foot on the floor”,  as Brian said in his competition comment. Sebastian had wave [2100 m.] before the start and departed at the maximum altitude!!
Werner Aman from Austria was just a tad slower with 143.4 km./h and Sebastian Kawa was on spot 3 with 139.6 km./h.
The next day was cancelled.
Race 2; 305 km. and a scoring speed from 144.7 km./h…..and again young Sebastian was the fastest. Good on him!!!
Just a tad slower was the “other” Sebastian [JS 1C] ; 144.5 km./h. and German pilot Mario Kiessling was 3d flying a Ventus 3 T.
6x A Ventus 3 in this final Grand Prix and 3 other Schemmp-Hirth gliders.
So a total of 20 points now for Sebastian N. and 15 for Sebastian K. 14 For Werner, who was 4th with 142.6 km./h.
More next week.

As shared by the organizers at

—–The 56 th Australian Nationals In Waikirie continue till the 19th . Not the very best weather and till now 2 cancelled day’s and one task scrubbed.
Task 3 was long and created problems for many. In open 488 was set and 1 from 8 finished.
In 18 m. it was 480 and 2 from 14 finished, one of them Norm in his brand new JS 3.
15 m. Had a 488 as well and NOBODY finished though Stephen O’ Donnell and Brian Hayhow managed to fly 433 km. still receiving 1000 and 999 points.
St class with 426 km. had Lisa Trotter as winner and with her 2 more pilots finished from 14.
A tough day special for the scores of some.
Then 2 day’s off and 2 day’s of flying with hotter , higher [5000 ft.] and blue conditions with between 300 and 400 km. tasks.
Yesterday and today flights up to over 500 km.
St class…475 km and Don Woodward won the day in his ASW 24.His 3d daily win and he leads at this stage this class with 5.668 points. the Runner up James Nugent has 5.244 and not far behind young James, is Peter Trotter who is “an old hand” in the Aussie soaring scene.[5.201]
15 m class ; 475 km. and the daily win was for Danish pilot Bjoern Rechinger. Stephen, who was in the unlucky mid-air at the Benalla WGC  was runner up but leads the group with 5.754.
No idea if all these O’ Donnell’s are family but there are 5 in this class!!!!!
18 m.; 517 km for the 10 starting pilots in this class and Norm in his brand new JS 3 won the day. After he arrived back from an intercontinental flight, Norm who is an airline pilot, had only one or 2 days I heard, to sit in the new glider look at it and,…off he went.
Peter Temple another “old hand ” in Aussie competition soaring is at this stage leading the class with 5.612 points with Norm as runner up with 5.401 points. Adam is 3d; 5.115
Open; 517 as well and winner was Scott in his ASH 25. Diana did well, she flew the distance and finished too. Scott leads this class with 5.685 points and runner up is Andrew in the JS 1C./21 m.[4.918]
More next week.

—–The 64 th Argentinian Nationals are flown as well between January 15 and 26 from Chaves with 70  pilots, in 2 classes; 36 in the combined st. class and 34 in the combined 15m/open class.
Not the best weather yet, but it will surely improve. They started with 2 hour AAT’s ,
More next week.

That’s all for now still a bit wobbly on the legs due to jet lag.

Cheers Ritz

January 15, 2018

Pictures for those who remember Tocumwal from longer ago and have n’t been there anymore.

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 8:14 pm


The main street starting with the post office….The Palms hotel-motel…The antique shop.

The big fish…The glider at the tourist information center…the new boat ramp.

The Mighty Murray River.


The river….the fish in it….the mighty trees.

Practice at the river with lot’s of fun, different than normal when the fire brigade has mostly a tough job.


And last but not least great colorful trees.

And of course good food and yummie drinks.



This upcoming Wednesday the regular blog again.
CU then
cheers Ritz

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