December 17, 2014

Welcome at the Welkom Nationals….775 km. task flown from Temora.

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 9:18 pm

They started last Sunday, the 37 pilots participating in 3 classes in the South African Nationals.
On flying-day 1 in club class 3 from the 6 pilots finished at Welkom, after a 2 hour AAT with as best result 198 km. in 2.25.
In 15 m. only 2 from 7 finished and one missed the start, ouch!
12 from 22 finished in 18 m./open class, but all in all it was more a practice day then a real good South African competition day. Though it hurts to loose a lot of points already on day 1.
On the other hand some interesting retrieves as I read and some colorful trailers and cars. Have a look at the pictures shared by Roland Termaat , one of the out-landers.

zzzzSA 2


With such pictures , there is a story to tell, here it is from their FB site, when you have not read it yet;
An interesting day yesterday with the positions as per my report last evening. Although none of the outlanders were more than about 50 km. maximum distance from the airfield, some of the retrieves were more than interesting with navigation along farm tracks, through the veld, locked fields, and following coordinates that do not advise about water hazards or hills in the way. One trailer has been totally ‘re-classified’ – it is no longer pristine white but totally brown with mud and ‘camouflaged’ and the car is also no longer maroon in color!
Some of the retrieves were relatively quick and easy and those pilots & crews were back at the airfield at a reasonable hour, whilst others were caught up in the heavy rains, which not only made derigging more onerous but also the rain was freezing cold. The latest/longest retrieve finally got back about 3 a.m.”
Well, that’s soaring too!
” An interesting day with those that made it home, those that didn’t and those that are out in various fields up to approx. 50 km. from Welkom. The overdevellopment when it arrived, came from the convergence line to the south and came as a very impressive line of cloud and dust and finally rain.” 

Arne out-landed as well, no wonder why, as you can see on the picture he shared.

zzzzArne 2d out landing

The weather was not good on the next day, this can happen also in South Africa.
After 2 scrubbed days in a row they hope to fly today 3 hour AAT’s in each class.
As they mentioned;” What a treat! To wake up this morning to sunshine and partly blue skies – there were scrappy looking small clouds and still a stiff easterly wind and the clouds are already burning off. The pilots are busy rigging, washing, and getting their gliders prepared so obviously eager to have a contest today.”
I can imagine their eagerness.

zzzz arne day 3

Today as shared by Arne,….for sure they are flying!!!!! Good luck all!!!


Temora had a great 2nd day of its NSW State comps.
He was the only one to finish in open 18 m. class; my good old friend Paul Mander who I met already during the pre worlds in 1984 in Rieti.In his ASH 25 he flew 775 km. in 6 hours and 45 minutes. A long sit on a State competition day ,but a great result on this SET TASK.
Dave Shorter in the JS 1 flew 733 km,. the rest around 3 and 400 km.
The 5 hour AAT in 15 m. was won by Matthew Cage in his LS 8; 634 km. in time 5.06.
The 4 hour AAT in club class had a winner as well;St.  Libelle pilot Les Kinsley from Canberra managed to fly 379 km. Less than Nathan who flew 419.7 km. but did not finish loosing a bit under 200 points.

About day 2 Matt said;” It’s what happens when we let the kids task set and then the pilots decide they want to do even bigger tasks ! About 1/2 the outlandings were back at the airfield.”
Young Ailsa just back from the Pre Worlds Joey Glide was one of them.
In 15 m. 7 from 15 finished among them Matt and Tom [over 600 km.]  but Mac  and Peter [Trotter] belonged to the out-landers after flying over 500 km..

After this BIG day the next  was scrubbed.STORM gusting to 35 kts.

Day 3 had an 3.15 AAT in club class and Anderson flew 311 km. in 3.44 in his LS 3a.
In 15 m. 5 LS 8 ‘s in the daily top and Matt Cage was the best flying the set  342.8  km. with 106.4 km./h.  and Mac followed with 100 km./h.Mac won day 1 Matt day 2 and 3 a few more days to go!!!
In 18m./open it was again Paul Mander who won the day, but this time all 9 pilots finished. Task was  a set 353km.



The Angle Sea

Got these great pictures from Rolf, one of my Aussie mates; Here is his story about the Bacchus March Activities.
THANKS Rolf for sharing!
” Pre Christmas greetings from the south of Victoria.
Due to our location handicaps of restricted airspace, closeness to the ocean and hemmed in between the great divide and the big blue water we don’t often fly great distances from Bacchus Marsh. Sometimes however these disadvantages can result in very memorable flights. One of those I had the privilege to experience last Saturday when myself and Alesh flew to the coast and a distance out above the water. The attached pictures don’t really do the actuals views justice.
Another proud achievement was the participation of 3 of our Geelong Gliding Club juniors in Joey Glide. Ailsa placed second less than 400 points behind Matthew in 15m. With that result she probably qualifies for the junior worlds in Narromine next year. Justin in his second competition placed in the club class top 10 and Andrew in his first comp achieved an 11th place out of 20.” 

View towards Port Phillip

View to wards Port Phillip


Since December 1 Guy Bechtold from Lux. flew 13 x a 1000 km-plus flight from Bitterwasser. As I told you a real kilometer eater.Best flight 1.321 km. with 148,33 km./h.
Another kilometer eater is Walter Binder who flew since November 18 a total of 15 till now with as the best flight; 1.344 km. with a speed of 156 km./h.[Pokweni]
Alexander Mueller flew since November 23 a total of 13 over 1000 km./flights also from Pokweni.Best;1.370 with 147.57.
The 1.831 km. [163.36 km./h.] by Jim and Dennis tops this list flown from Chos Malal in Argentinia.


How terribly sad to die ,when you are having a coffee with mates AND even worse  by someone [a raper and killer before]  , who had to be in prison, instead of killing people during a siege in Sydney. Australia mourns and I mourn with them.A young barrister , mother of 3 young kids, who tried to save her pregnant friend and the  manager of the business who wanted to get the gun out of the hands of the intruder,both heroes but they should be still alive!!!TRAGIC!!!!


Cu nex Wednesday
Cheers Ritz
on December 17 2014 one day after my birthday, so THANK YOU FOR ALL THE GOOD WISHES!!!

December 14, 2014

JOEYGLIDE …. great practice in different weather for the young ones! South African Nationals with many international pilots.

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 7:20 pm

Back on track again and one of the first things after reading my mails was to check and read myself into JOEYGLIDE.
It was  good to have just one week WITHOUT laptop, no news ,no gliding, just having fun and spending quality-time with my grand kids.

On the JOEYGLIDE site I found :

ZZZZJoey glide

” Pilots awaiting launch for the last day of competition.
Congratulations to yesterday’s day winners, Nick “Nuk” Oakley (NZ) in 15m and Ignas Bitinaitis (Lithuania) in Club class.

Today’s tasks are quite short, with a late start and an early finish, making it difficult for competitors who are hoping to pull ahead on the last day. A 2.5 hr AAT for 15m and 2 hr AAT for Club, both in a tight circuit around the airfield in the hope of getting everyone home for the presentation dinner tonight.”

That meant they had 6 days of good to very good soaring but also with a bit of a scary day for some . Look at this!
My opinion, but I am “old”  and not a real glider pilot; you should be better not in the air at such time, but running into a thunderstorm is not always avoidable,on the other hand ALL pilots know to fly around it ,when possible as far as you can,  or to wait when possible, when it hangs over a TP or just to fly back . Quite an experience for such young “kids”  certainly from Europe who are not used to this kind of storms, popping up at places as in Africa and Australia.

ZZZNarromine thunderstorm

Picture shared by  several enthusiastic followers; Danish pilot Frederik Noddelund in the ASW 28.
The picture surely has the WOW-factor!

Let me take you quickly through those days.

Day 1 was cancelled but then the pilots had to fly for 4 consecutive days ; a 2.30 AAT , a set 360 km. ,a 4 hour AAT and a 2.30 one.
Specially the 4 hour AAT was interesting and Queensland pilot, Ben  flew 507.2 km. in in 3.59.47 so a great speed over such a distance in and ASW 20 from 126.8 km./h. Not bad!
Day 5 a 3 hour AAT was a prey for Lithuanian pilot Ignas who flew in the LS 1 f 337 km. in time 3.03.
With one day to go , yesterday, the O’ Donnells from Queensland were up front in the overall scores with 3794, for Joseph, 3756 for Luke and Eric Stauss who flew JWGC already in Europe was only 30 points behind Luke.Don’t forget Eric out-landed on day 1, loosing 700 points, that ‘s not the best of starts !
As said the last day only had a small 2 hour-task, so what could happen????
Ignas got the hang of Aussie soaring and won the last day too.He finished on a nice 6th spot overall, after he out-landed on the the first day  as well, loosing quite some points as the winner James had 857 points , “poor”  Ignas only 124.
A pilot to keep an eye on next year!!!
The O’ Donnells went for the “win”  for Joseph, so Luke started first at 14.16 and Joseph followed at 14.22 . Knowing the experience from Eric they played on safe for the title.
Josph won ,…Eric got the runner-up-spot….and Luke was 3d.

In 15 m.  class it was Matthew Scutter and Matthew Scutter.[Discus 2a]  He of course is used to JWGC’s already but still you have to do it every competition.He won day 1,2,3 and 4, was runner up on day 5 and ” lost” 60 points , but he put that straight,  straight away by winning day 6 again.Of course he was far ahead on the rest with 5519 points. Good on young lady Ailsa [LS 8] who deserved the runner-up-spot 5161 points. Frederik, yes the one from the blitz-picture , was 3d.
Our KIWI friends out-landed on day 4 ,[ a day several pilots got caught by a thunderstorm]  and that cost !Nick won day 5 but it was just not enough to be on the podium.
The European pilots for sure must have learned a lot AND, that’s why they were there! All experience in the bag for next years JWGC.


As shared by the NZ team.

The overall results.

In the 15m class:
1st place: Matthew Scutter
2nd place: Ailsa McMillan
3rd place: Frederik Noddelund

In the Club class:
1st place: Joseph O’Donnell
2nd place: Eric Stauss
3rd place: Luke O’Donnell

The Joey Cup (highest placed pilot weighted by number of gliding hours): Andrew Grandja

Southern Cross Gliding Club Trophy (highest placed pilot at their first JoeyGlide): Ryan Griffin

The George Lee Trophy (highest handicapped speed achieved during the competition): Matthew Scutter, 137.4 km/h

Schempp-Hirth Trophy (voted by the competitors as the pilot showing the greatest airmanship and citizenship): James Nugent

The Catherine Conway Cup (highest placed female pilot): Ailsa McMillan

The Junior Tasman Trophy: Sam Schoneveld (AUS)

The State of Origin Plate: NSW

The JSR Soaring Trophy (highest placed Queensland Junior): Joseph O’Donnell

Australian Air Force Cadets Trophy: Mitch Turner

Congratulations to all of the trophy winners.
Narromine seems ready for the JWGC in 2015.About 120 people attended the farewell dinner, so it must have been a great night!


Pre JWGC /Joey Glide in Australia over and Africa started yesterday  with their Nationals flown from WELKOM.
38 Pilots , 7 in Club, 9 in 15 m. and 22 in 18 m. An international national competition with German, Dutch , Danish, Polish, Slovenian  and UK pilots. AND,…of course ” some ” top South African pilots.
In the land of the JS 1, an amount of 16 JS1′s perform,  in different configuration, both Jonker brothers fly the new JS1 b EVO.
The weather on the way to Welkom, looks as you can see on the picture, shared by the Soaring Society of South Africa perfect.Cloud streets enough , a pity this car could not fly.

ZZZZ cloudstreets Afrika

Talking about the evo,…2 of my Dutch friends own a JS 1evo now as well. Marco was as a club member of the EAC, often our crew in the past and is a colleague from my daughter now, Jeroen is an airline pilot as well and flew many WGC’s. They look extremely happy with their new toy!!! So they should.
Marco flew the JS from Potchef to Welkom, Jeroen flies the comps, starting today with ” only” 2 hour AAT’s.

zzzzJs1 evo 2   zzzz JS 1 evo

A happy Marco and Jeroen and their beautiful glider.[APU]


zzzAfrika via Arne

Uys,[flies the Nationals ]  Marco,[who is sad to go home , but will be back] ,  Ronald [who flies the Nationals ] and Arne, also flying the Nationals.
Clearly before the comps, they look like “trouble”!
As shared by Arne


The New South Wales Gliding Championships are hold in Temora a bit more NE of Tocumwal and for sure a place with good weather conditions.26 Pilots in 3 classes sort out this upcoming week, who is the best.Young and “old”  are flying, so a nice mix.
Former junior Nathan won the first 1000 points today. An AAT of 3.30 was set and he flew 340 km. in the Cirrus with a speed of 97 km./h.
Globe trotter and soaring fan[atic]  from the first hour, Mac from Japan won in 15 m. class, a set 406 km. task with a speed of 118.5 km. in his LS 8.
And in open/18 m. Brian du Rieu was the best on this first day flying his 18m. LS 10 with a speed of 126.4 km./h. over a set task from 396 km.


It’s high season in Africa, so pilots enjoy what they are coming for , good conditions and the 1000 km.- rain continued , also when I was not home.Specially Namibia “does what it should do” now after a slow start.
Kuruman is in the great weather-pattern as well, so it looks.

That’s it for now making up for not writing last Wednesday.
Back next Wednesday.
Cheers Ritz
On December 14 2014


December 7, 2014

Junior Pre Worlds / JOEYGLIDE;youngsters find out about soaring in Australia!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 7:14 pm

Enough ” reading-stuff” to share a blog with you today Sunday ,as I am leaving for a week. Next Sunday more about the JUNIORS.


The Pre -worlds , in Australia they call the junior comps JOEY GLIDE after a baby kangaroo, started for juniors in Narromine and the unofficial practice days were not really usable due to the weather.Look at this;


ZZZZNarromine JWG

GREAT picture!!
As shared by JoeyGlide on FB.

Time enough to “bond” for the young ones, whilst looking at the great lightning and for a beer for more ” bonding”.
On the  practice day  on December 5, everybody was ready for it and the weather forecast was looking better for every up- coming day.
This day could only ” handle ” 2 hour AAT’s.

ZZjoey glide

As shared by Joey Glide.

32 Participants in Narromine for this event and some of the European pilots are still saving money to get there in 2015. Others were so lucky to be there as pilots from Denmark and Sweden, from the UK and Lithuania.Of course living closer by but still a few kilometers away the 4 boys from New Zealand.

Day 1 still had some suspect influences so AAT tasks were set from 2 and 2.5 hour .
Both classes flew for a few kilometers the best up to just over 40 and aborted their flight to return “home” .
So a day to extra practice ,rigging , flying a bit ..checking all instruments etc.. de-rigging and back home for bonding.
This cloud was hanging OVER town and was not supposed to disturb the flying.
BUT……”A wall of rain before the first turnpoint caused the fleet to abort the task and turn for home. Despite a squall line going over the airfield, all pilots made it back and landed safely. Congratulations to all for sensible decisions and safe flying in difficult conditions.” as you can read on their live blog;

ZZZDAY in Narromine

With the message on Joey Glide;
A very large cloud building over Narromine township, fortunately not over the task. All competitors have been launched and the start gates are open, they’re off and racing!” 

Kiwi pilot ‘s Alex and Nick keep a blog and on this day 1 Alex wrote;
A big storm developed on task, with only the very brave trying to push through it. In the end everyone turned around and raced the storm back to the airfield. 
It was a mad rush to get the gliders in hangers in time, with lots of people holding gliders down as the gust front passed. A couple of poor chaps had to land in the storm but they pulled it off well. 
No one got a round so no scores for the day.”
He even had time to make some pictures.THANK YOU ALEX AND NICK for sharing.

zzzAlex and Nick 2

zzz alex and Nick 1  zzzAlex and Nick 3

Alex and Nicks Gliding Adventures.

After scrubbing day 1, day 2 was better and 2.30 AAT’s were set and on FB we could see ” flashing finishes” on a video from Andrew [Maddocks] So a better day with in club class 275 km. distance  flown by James Nugent with 97.3 km./h. in the LS 3a and in 15 m . 328.6 km. by Matthew Scutter, [Discus 2b] with a speed of 122 km./h.
Young female pilot Ailsa was runner up in the LS 8.


They are going for it!!!! They??? Pilots who are flying 1.100 -plus! Alexander Mueller [flying from Pokweni] one of the well known kilometer-eaters flew 1.320.81 [959 km FAI triangle] and one day later 1.337 km.[1.102 km. FAI triangle] and 2 over 1.200 -plus! All open class gliders .
Alberto Sironi from Italy flew 3 new Italian records from Bitterwasser. On a pretty blue day with not the strongest conditions he flew a declared 1075 km. FAI triangle with a speed of 140 km./h..
Our Dutch kilometer eaters Jos and Daan, flew another 1000 a total of 6 already.
One day later a total of 5 FAI triangle flights from over 1000 km.
And the ” SHARK” flew another 1000 km from Kiripotib , this time with a Dutch pilot. Another SHARK did the same with a German pilot from Bitterwasser.


Good news from Jonkers; “Another first for JS – the first flapped 18/21m high performance glider fitted with a manual hand rudder control for pilots with reduced leg functionality.

The MRC system has been desigend solely by the young JS engineering team over the last 6 months. According to Mr. Louis van der Walt, the project manager, the complexity was much more than intially anticipated. “The flap handle was modified into the manual rudder control, while the flap control was changed to a electrically driven system. Additionally the airbrake has 5 fixed lock positions, and the wheelbrake actuator is moved to the control stick. Although it seems simple, the complete design consists of more than 300 parts, 17 engineering drawings and more than 35 engineering documents…” This project surely kept our engineering team quite busy… With the flaps now electronically controlled, a fully redundant auto-flap system is being developed in co-operation with LXNav.” Over the next couple of days they hope to complete the certification process and once the certification process is completed, the MRC will be an option on the JS1. In the process they will have the help of the new owner Adam.

ZZZADAM AND UYS  ZZZUys and Adam and team

Adam , with Uys in the glider. AND… The JS Engineering and assembly team with Adam Uys. As shared by Jonkers.

Tocumwal had some thunderstorms but also some real nice lenties and cumulus clouds. Joergen was so kind to share them, as he and his wife Birgitte spend a few months in Tocumwal this year.They fly with the SRGC and they are specially pleased with the briefings by Ingo.
Not yet the super weather in that part of Australia.

ZZZ Tocumwal

ZZZWeatherToc   ZZZZ weather toc 2

Toc from above as seen by Joergen and Birgitte On the first picture you see the airfield , the golf club and where the trees are also the Murray River and in the back the good old town.

By the way I just published at the story about MILVUS, functional  clothes for pilots…..enjoy!


CU next Sunday cheers Ritz
On Sunday December 7 2014

December 3, 2014

Tragic loss of 2 KIWI mates!Narromine Cup Week.1.200 km. is the aimed standard now!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 8:12 pm

The gliding community in New Zealand mourns for the loss of 2 of their well known , well respected and very experienced glider pilots.

The tragic loss of 2 top pilots from New Zealand in Namibia shocked us all.

Bill Walker and David Speight, both of Queenstown, were as they mentioned ” shining lights”  in the New Zealand gliding community.
One of Bill’s  proudest moments was bringing the World Gliding Championships to Omarama in 1995.He then worked very closely together with John Roake .[Gliding International] Both are/were great mates.
Bill held numerous gliding world records and, in 2004, was named an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for his services to aviation and industry.
Also David was a record holder .
How tragic!!! On November 30 we lost some mates again!!!At around 5 PM, on their local reconnaissance-flight  , they lost their lives about 50 km. from the field.
Condolences to the families and close friends! R.I.P.


Narromine skies

Narromine, venue of the pre- JWGC in December.

The Narromine Cup-week
is by now very popular and stimulates pilots to fly with each other. Between November 24 and 28 this was all happening and some good flights were made as by Terry Bellair who flew in his 17 m. version DG 400 a nice 773km. flight .
All kind of gliders between Quintus M and LS 1f.
Talking about this  Quintus in Narromine, one of my friends Gerrit Kurstjens owns it and he flew a 1000 on November 27 with a speed of 143 km./h..
When I am correct,this is the first 1000 km. flight in Australia in the 2014 / 2015 season.

Terry mentioned in his comment on the OLC that day; ” when approaching Narromine, some hooked into a convergence which they flew along for 50 km. to the South and back, at between 9.000 and 11.000 without circling”  .
Brian added;
Very interesting day with convergence, late afternoon sea breeze at Wellington and long runs required in the blue to complete a 608 km. declared.”
Brian also flew one day with Ge [Dale ] in the back of the DUO DISCUS having a great time and a great final glide ” A couple of stonking climbs after the turn got us home”,
from a 537 km. task.

Next big event in Narromine is the PREWORLDS for the Juniors. Unofficial practice days  between December 1 and 4 and the comps start on Friday on the 5th with one official practice day and continue till December 13 with in the evening the Farewell dinner.


After they unpacked  the containers in Corowa , with a delay of just under 2 weeks due to ” massive delay”  in the Melbourne Harbor [that NEVER happened before in the 10 years Grietje and Francesco are shipping containers full of gliders] , the well rested pilots started straight away with long flights.Though,…. well rested might be too much to say as they all helped to rig 10 gliders the day before after the quarantine inspectors had left.
Several Dutch  friends over there  and Jos started with a flight up to over 700 km. Max flew for the first time his new ARCUS M and ” sounded”  more than happy with it.
Great to see Anders [Sweden] and Pepe [Spain] back there as well.

IMG_2755  IMG_2757

As shared on the Corowa site.


Young Nick and Alex arrived from New Zealand in Narromine to practise for the JWGC next year. This time they fly the Pre worlds starting next week. They straight away had to deal with ” tough ” weather.


For all the Adventures from the boys you can go to;


In America [ C.P. Rivadavia ] in Argentina 33 pilots flew for the National Clase Club Class title. They started with 2 scrubbed days but then 6 days followed, with 2 hour AAT’s , 3 and 3.30 hour AAT’s and set task with 340 km.
Well known pilot Javier Gaude won several days in his LS 4 , including the set task and the 3.30 AAT. On the last day he nearly ” lost”  it as he finished on spot 25 from 32, loosing nearly 400 points that day and he had to deal with 85 penalty points as well, due to a too high start. In the end he WON with just 40 points on another LS 4 .

Talking about Argentina, Jim and Dennis nearly flew 2000 km. from Chos Malal, with a speed of 163km. /h.[1.831,27 km. ] on not the easiest day they could wish.
 The forecast said that wave would develop in the morning with winds slightly more northwesterly than desired.
The day turned out to be highly variable with different cloud patterns on each leg…from about 0900 local we flew under a high overcast.” 


The S.A Championships in Australia finished with 4 days. Steve Jinks won the first 2 days but lost some points on day 3 and 4. In the end he was the winner in club class just 74 points ahead of  John Orton, who was runner up and daily winner on those last 2 days.
In 18 m. Terry Cubley won 3 out of 4 days and was the SA champion; 400 points ahead of the rest.

The W.A. Championship was a very clear  prey for Greg Beecroft in his LS 8.He won 4 out of 5 days and was nearly 500 points ahead of the rest in this handicapped club class with 13 participants.


A 1000 km. flight, when the weather is “on”  is no news anymore. They fly them in Africa as if they are eating a bread roll, they just do it. Nowadays it starts to get interesting when they fly 1100 km.-plus as many do,.. also my mate Daan Pare with his mate Jos Smit [ 1.176,98 with a speed of 145,56 km./h. in the ARCUS from Pokweni] , or even better 1200 km.-plus as a few did last week [as Reinhard Schramme  as well as Sebastian Beule did [ both from Bittertwasser and speeds around 148 km./h. both in EB 28 and ASH 25EB 28] and / or best 1300 plus as Walter Binder did in his EB 28; 1.344.09 km.from Pokweni. A good speed as well 155.57 km./h.
On the last day of November the first 18 places on the OLC were over 1.000 km. the toppers flew 1.200 plus.A total of 20 was flown, it’s really high season!!!!

My friends Rob and his sister Marianne flew a 1000 from Douglas on their last day in the Nimbus 4DM from Max and though they just missed out on their declared 1000 km. they had great fun.
”  Last thermal did not go high enough to close the declared 1000 km triangle…. Nevertheless a very nice flight ! ”
That’s what it is all about!!!

Kuruman had a few good 1000 as well even up to 1.150 km.

It’s weird “we”  loose some mates and live continues, so does soaring with new over 1000 km. flights. It is as it is, but it has changed the lives of the families.


Also Australia mourns;Really tragic,dramatic, heart breaking news from the cricket-world this week where young Aussie cricket player  Phil [lip] Hughes died after a ball hit the site of his head under his left ear.He was only 25 years old !!Last Sunday he would have turned 26!!!!
He  lost his fight for life in Sydney’s St Vincent’s Hospital.
Phil was a talented left-hander.
After living in Australia for many years you get a bit of the vibe from cricket as well, as it is SPORT NUMBER ONE , THE national Sport in Australia.Top cricketers are “sons of the nation” and such a freak accident turns Australia “black”  and united in grief.
Feel MORE than sorry for his family and friends but also for the young man, Sean only 22 years old, who was the bowler!!!!
RIP Phil.Some of my Aussie friends shared a picture from 9 News and I share it with you.


Phil will be buried today, TRAGIC for the global cricket community and many more in the world.
Even Queen Elisabeth send a message of sympathy  to the family.
Young as he was,he will be a legend for ever!


Our meteorological winter started with 3 dgr. C. pretty cold for the time of the year, but it is dry and sometimes we see the sun as well. Good start, that is,….when you like winter.



In my SoaringCafe -blog on Sunday December 13, I will have an article about functional clothes from MILVUS, for glider pilots. Have a look when you are interested on December 13 .

zzzzMilvus 4  ZZZZ MILVUS 1

Pictures courtesy MILVUS at the Swiss Gliding Converence in Grenchen in November this year.


CU next week, BUT not on WEDNESDAY but in the WEEKEND of the 13th.
Cheers Ritz
On December 3 2014.

November 26, 2014

Africa…Chos Malal…Namibia…Omarama …interesting flights enough.

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 8:20 pm



BUT,……first as promised in my last blog, 2 pictures from the 50thiest Southern Island Competition at OMARAMA and Geoff Soper gave permission to use them, so here you are.
The high-speed-finish from Derek Kraak in his ASG 29. He flew that day with a handicapped speed of 189.5 km./h. over 429.3 km. and ….won the day in OMARAMA.
The ” slowest”  pilot still had 134.5 km./h. and the pilot on a daily spot 10 flew around with  167.8 km./h.
Not too bad ,is it?  Just amazing!


courtesy Geoff  Soper.
And the one below I loved as well,

zzzz Omarama 2

Thanks to Geoff!


In Bitterwasser Reinhard Schramme and Klaus Reinhold, are ” eating” kilometers every day.Last Sunday they flew 1.122.19 km. [940 FAI triangle]
16 Flights that day from Bitterwasser only, so it’s really starting!The OLC shows lot’s of Namibia flights at the moment in the top and from all 3 of them also 1000 km.-flights.
Last Monday South Africa had the better weather, with a great flight from my friends Rob and Marianne again, from Douglas, this time 948 km.[710 FAI triangle] but yesterday Namibia topped the list  with flights from:1.244 km. by Juergen Wenzel from Kiripotib [750 FAI triangle and speed of 141 km./h.] in ARCUS  M and in the EB 29 Alexander Mueller flew 1.254 km. [1000 km. FAI triangle and a speed of 142 km./h. from
Lot’s of great long flights ,  declared and not declared, in  open class gliders but the Ventus 2CM/18m. flew from all 3 places a 1000 as well, so did the HPH 304 s/SHARK.


Jim and Jacky Payne have arrived together with Dennis Tito in Chos Malal last weekend ,for their annual wave holiday and this time Jim and Dennis are flying the new ARCUS M.
They are in Argentina for the Perlan Project Scouting Campaign IV and attending the 1st International Chos Malal Wave Camp.
On day 2 they “drove”  the brand-new ARCUS M with a speed of 122 km./h. over 1.207 km.Many more LONG flights hopefully will follow.
The wave on the first 2 days however was not yet too good.


The South Australian State comps in Waikirie …..ORANGE WEEK……finally had some flying after 3 cancelled days.Club class with 5 pilots had a 2.30 AAT and in 18 m. a 3 hour AAT, with also 5 participating pilots.
Terry Cubley from Gawler won, yesterday the 1000 points with 339.6 km. in 3 hours at the dot! In his LS 3,fitting him as a glove for years and years, he flew 113 km./h.
In Club Class Steven Jinks flew his St. Cirrus to a great handicapped speed of 103 km./h. over 259.2 km.
Cu’s were up to 6500 ft.
Both won day 2 , today with in each class a 3 hour AAT , as well.

The West Australian State Gliding comps in Narrogin, count till now 5 days.On day 1 only 2 pilots finished .Greg Beecroft [LS 8]  was not one of them, but he put that straight immediately by winning the rest of the days till now.4 Days with 3 hour AAT’s , one with 2 hours.

Just to let you know;The Victorian State Comps , rescheduled to Benalla , have been cancelled .There were only 7 participants, spread over 4 classes, not enough for  a valid comp.It looks they are going to run it in conjunction with Horsham Week in February. Will keep you updated!


And after the Norwegian pilots also the Finnish pilots are interested in the Uppsala Masters for 2015. You can’t start early enough with organizing.


A short blog today. When you have missed it,….. I published one last Sunday as I felt so much better, so in case of ….you can continue reading.

zzzz Omarama 2

Cheers Ritz
on November 26 2014.

November 23, 2014

QGP at Lake Keepit! HIGH SPEED RIDES on the South Island.[NZ] ..189.5 km./h. in ASG 29.

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 9:30 pm

ONE AND A HALF  week in ONE GO!!!!!On the bottom of the story a bit more about my eyelids and the operation!
2 weeks in one go would have been a bit too much, with all the news. There will be a new blog on Wednesday.

Winter did not yet arrive in Holland.15 dgr. at the moment and sunny.
These spring flowers just popped up in my garden, thinking spring has started already. Ouch,…… their “heads”  will be COLD soon, as in 2 weeks the temperatures are forecasted to drop. No worries we had a fabulous autumn!!
This time it was part of the USA [ N NE] having the extreme weather. They never had so much snow in November as this year. Specially New York and Buffalo look like hit really hard!
In Australia/Narromine I heard it was 40 plus and DRY. But,….kilometer -eater Terry Bellair flying at the moment at Narromine mentioned after his 800 km. flight in his DG 400/17 m. today; ” spent the last two-thirds of the flight dogging rain-but an interesting flight.”
So at least today they had some rain.


2014-11-19 14.32.26 2014-11-19 14.32.47

Spring flowers in my garden on November 19.



They started the Qualifying Grand Prix [15m. class] on November 17 at 13.40 with the first regatta start of the week.15 Pilots were flying from Lake Keepit and it was a challenging first day ; blue and with a strong inversion.
Even ABC news arrived and mentioned ; “ The Gliding World Qualifying Grand Prix has been dubbed the Formula 1 Racing of the sky.” 

The first 10 points were for Lisa Trotter. Good on her! She flew the 287.9 km. with a speed of 104.2  km./h.
Day 2 …blue as well….had 297 km. and LS 6  pilot , Jacques Graells, was the best , deserving the 10 points with a speed of 107.3  km./h.
Day 3 showed a distance of 324 km. on what they called ” a great day” and this time Andrew [Georgeson] got the 10 points flying his ASW 27 with a speed of 1327.1 km./h. over the NNE of the Lake Keepit areas.
Day 4 with 307 km. was a prey for Tom Claffey [ASW 27] ; 10 points for a speed of 129.4 km./h.over 307.7 km.
Day 5 had again another winner this time Craig Collings [ASW 27] winning with a speed of 109.6 km./h. over  237 km.
And Allan Barnes put his name on spot 1 on the last day; 141.3 km./h. in the LS 8 over 370 km. He got the bonus point as well so 11 points for him.
As he said in his comment:
” Final 6th day of the GP and I finally got my act together! I was determined to win the final day, and fingers crossed, barring penalties, I might have done it. The first leg I worked with Matt Gage; it was fun because we know each others’ flying styles well.  Great day to finish, 143km/hr for 370km!” They even found 12 kt.



Ready for another good day, with cloud streets. Young Ailsa finished on spot 13 with 4 points.
As shared om FB by the organizers.

A LOT of penalty points during this QGP, shaking up the preliminary scores all the time. Mainly for turning left before the start, or going too fast over it or by finishing too low.Rules are rules, fair enough and you know about it!!!
In the end the 3 pilots going to Italy for the WORLD FINALS are; Graig and Tom both with 41 points and on spot 3 Matt [Cage 33 points] not winning a day but consistent over the comps-period, except for day 1 when he got no points.
Allan, who flies a lot with Matt was on spot 4 with 3o points and by winning the extra point on the last day, he “beat” Lisa who had 29 points.


FINALLY good weather in Namibia !!!

On November 19 the weather improved so much that great long flights were possible in Namibia. Bitterwasser, Kiripoptib and Pokweni , all 3 of them had some great over-1000 km. -flights. A total of 9 , so that’s a nice beginning.
1.217 was the distance for Klaus Reinhold/Reinhard Schramme topping the OLC list that day. Nice speed as well with 141.38 km./h.

EVEN 2x 1000km.-FAI-TRIANGLES by Walther Binder in the EB 28 and 1 in a Ventus 2CM/18m. by Henning Winkelman both from Pokweni.
They still had great 1000 km.-weather on the days after.

From Douglas Backhouse , in South Africa ,2 Dutch pilots , Max [ I told you already Max loves this record-flying!!!] and Hermann flew a new Dutch -open-class- record;  a declared 1000 km. OUT & RETURN with a speed of 149.11 km./h.
From Douglas another nice flight from brother and sister Looisen from Holland in the Nimbus 4DM; 770 km.
But Rob mentioned;” Overdevellopment, challenging flight ! Even got a thermal of 8m/s! Found by Marianne ! Landed after lots of rain in Douglas.” 
Rob was in the past Dutch champion and flew with us in Tocumwal. His sister Marianne flew with us as tuggie in Tocumwal and is a light-plane- instructor and gliding instructor.
From November 18 onward KURUMAN  was close to as well. After a lot of  “lows”  with wet days, they finally got the REAL South African weather!!


The 50thiest South Island Gliding Championships, we are talking now of course about New Zealand, was attended by 34 pilots flying in 3 classes;club,15m/standard and 18m./20m./open.
After 1 flying day and one scrubbed day, day 2 was interesting when young Nick Oakley [ASW 19b]   flew with a speed of 160 km./h. over 320 km.!!! He started relatively early at 1 o’clock whilst the last pilot started nearly one hour later!
In open /18/20 m. class the speed in a DUO DISCUS W was fabulous as well on this wave/ridge day; 161 km./h. over 323.2 km.
” The wind is gusting quite strong here at the Omarama Airfield and the clouds are starting to form up into wave lines (a bit). ”
Day 2 was much slower in 2 classes they did not get over 100 km./h. and in open the best speed was 127.8 km./h over  290 km. in an LS 8 on a day with pretty marginal weather.
”  An AAT for all the classes with big circles around all the turnpoints as there is a very high probability of thunderstorms today. The air is very cold – not only do we have snow on the Benmores but on Little Ben and Horrible too! Combine the cold air with nice warm / hot sun on an unstable day and you get lots of clouds.” is what Lex mentioned in his daily blog.

On day 4 I nearly fell from my chair. It’s pretty unusual in the ” normal” soaring world to fly with a speed of 170 km./h in an LS 4b over 240 km. during a competition. But for wave and ridge comps surely different rules count!!!
What about 167 km./h. in an ASG 29 over 384.4 km. and last but not least  an average handicapped speed of 189.5 km./h. in an 18 m. ASG 29 over 429.3 km.
With a speed from 155 km./h. you were ” only”  12th.
Blogger Lex mentioned;” We have a quite moist westerly outside and the sky is full of nice looking wave (lenticular) clouds! Wave task for all three classes – very much an Omarama special task. Fuzzy turnpoints, 5km in radius and scored as an AAT but with an impossible minimum time of 1 hour. The larger turnpoints mean that there is less congestion at the turnpoints when gliders are high and fast in the wave. The tasks are going to the East as well to force pilots to jump forwards and back between wave clouds, so everyone is not zooming back and forth along the same cloud! Launch is set for 13:00 – it all depends on the weather.” 

Day 5 was one where you had to be careful to be on the right spots. Some aborted , some already after 40 km. , but George Wills flew with a speed of 170 km./h. over 339.3  km. in the Discus 2C.
The DUO DISCUS e with Chris Streat, even went a tad faster; 172.7 km./h. over 393.5 km.In this class several pilots flying back “home”  as well, one already aborted after 30 km.Of course I checked for you what they said about this day 5 on their site.
Here is Lex again:” For a contest that looked like it was going to struggle to get 3 days of flyable weather at the beginning, I think we have managed to do quite well. We have a task for today so that would make 5 competition days! Pretty much the same task for all the classes, including Club – an AAT that uses the, hopefully, clearer sky to the east and north. It is definitely a wave day today as well so the speeds could be quite fast like yesterday.”
and later;” Looks like a hard day today. A lot of pilots have abandoned the task and come back home. Lots and lots of cloud up there. The scorer went on a wee trip to Kurow this afternoon – if the wind was as rough in the air as it was on the road then it would not be fun up there. We are still getting pilots re-starting so it could be a long day for us in the radio room.”

On the last day it was raining cat’s and dogs, so day 6 was scrubbed,  but 5 out of 7 is good certainly when you fly with HUGE speed.

In the end Aussie pilot Graham Parker moved on day 5 from spot 4 overall to spot 1 in 18m./20m./open class, flying the ASH 25 with Keith Essex to a 2d place on that last day; 925 points.[163.2 km./h. over 326.3 km.]
Max Stevens in the Ventus moved on the last day from 1 overall to 2 by gaining ” only” 704 points that day.[ 113.6 km./h. over 233.4 km.]
Warren Dickinson [LS 8/ 18t] flew himself to a 3d overall sport coming from 6.[141.1 km./h. over 302 km.]

In 15m./standard George Wills won the comps just under 300 points above Nick.He was the daily winner on day 3,4 and 5.
In club class Brian Savage was the best. He was so on the first and last day!
Full scores at 

A big thank you to Lex for his reports, so we all know [again] how good OMARAMA is!!!
Hope to share some nice pictures later as they have copyright and then of course you ask the top photographer first, which I did.
No answer yet so I will add them hopefully later.



Just to let you know!
Changes in comps! The Victorian State comps from Bendigo/Raywood have been moved to Benalla , but the date is the same; November 29–December 6 included.


Benalla’s great conditions.
As shared on the Victorian Soaring Association-site.

The South Australian State Comps have been moved from Bordertown to Waikirie, from 22d to 28 th of November , so they should be in full swing now,with 12 participants in 2 classes but no flying yet due to the weather!
Both Waikirie and Benalla held a WGC in the past.
The West Australian State Championships with 13 participants in one [handicapped]-class started on the 18th from Narrogin. They had 2 challenging days the first one with many out-landings but today on day 3 they had a 3 hour AAT  and Greg Beecroft got the first 1000 points for a flight in his LS 8 from 302 km. with a speed of 96.8 km.h.


2 German pilots had great fun , on November 18, even using their motor temporarily, flying from Argentina’s Chos Malal. One of them the famous well known Klaus [Ohlmann] in his Stemme and the other one Wolfgang [Goering] in the Quintus M.
As Klaus mentioned in his OLC comment; ” Winds up to 140 km/h. and a lot of shearing. But despite the need for the motor in Quem Quem Treu we had a wonderful waveflight.” 
They flew all the way South passing Chapelco to Nahuel Nuapi and back over 6 legs a total of 1.310 km. [speed 154,76 km./h.]  for the Quintus and a bit less for the Stemme.[1.289 km. with 129.51 km./h.] 


The organizers from the Uppsala Masters are working already very hard. At this stage they have 13 entrees in open class, 27 in racing class and 4 entrees in a class to be announced.They got even more now, as I read. Quite some Norwegian pilots too, good!
23-30 Of Mai 2015 is the date, put it in your agenda when you are interested!!!


And it is OFFICIAL now. The Dutch Gliding championships will be flown from St Hubert in Belgium together with the Belgium and Luxembourg mates. THE OPEN BENELUX Gliding Championship will be flown next year between Mai 15 and 25. Will be great fun!!!Lots of top pilots and all lovely people. Hope to be there for a few days next year.


Back on track again. The operation took 15 minutes, the healing about a week, the full healing [disappearing from the scars] will take months.
As you can see I looked like an 80- year-old!
Most important is the result;ALL cancer cells are gone.
Happy, but I do realize that I am lucky and not everybody is so lucky. Feel for them.

2014-11-15 12.25.02

Cheers Ritz
On Wednesday November 26 2014

November 12, 2014

A 1000 in an LS 1f .in Austria; extra-ordinary!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 5:42 pm

I was wondering if the great flight in the LS 1 f , on November 4 ,was OK but it   turned out to be a valid /good one , so it needs for sure  more attention!!!It was a great , better said extra-ordinary effort from Austrian pilot David Richter-Trummer. Though it was a windy turbulent, bumpy day all pilots flying in the Alps loved the foehn that day!! David stayed high, his highest point was around 5694 m. MSL [4891 AGL]  but used the ridges as well.
A 750 FAI triangle in an ASW 19 from Mc Caffery Field in Australia , by Jo Davis, is worth mentioning as well.He even topped the OLC-list last Saturday.

Nice to see all those ” elderly –with respect—” gliders flying such great distances. Also in Australia was a great one in a St. Cirrus flown by top hang-glider-pilot Attila Bertok, who flew a 500 FAI triangle making a total of  619 km. from Lake Keepit.I told you already before that he converted to soaring with us in the far past.


The SE of France had the predicted terrible/extreme  bad weather, one day later  with wind up to 180 km./h. heavy rain and 1.5 m. of snow in 24 hours .
One person was killed.The South of the Alps had in 48 hours 3 m. of snow.
They even expected a meteorological historic amount of 5 m. in South Tirol and the Dolomite’s  last weekend due to this phenomena called ” Genua depression”!Don’t know if that happened, but sadly enough ,at least 2 people were killed in Italy.


One of the biggest ” DISASTERS ” in soaring  is,….. when you send your container to an overseas destination and things go wrong…… you are happy the container has not got lost on open sea, which is GOOD, as this happens quite often in heavy weather,…it arrived in perfect condition and then,…..the crane drops the container. I heard that story last week. Disaster for some , as gliders were of course damaged one at least had a broken fuselage. [ARCUS] Hope the pilots still can fly this season.


Not everybody flies to the other site of the world or to Africa for some good flying in winter-time.
Some stay close as some of the Belgian mates , who went to St. Gaudens in France to fly a 1000 over there, using wave.
As Jean Luc Colson did yesterday with a yo-yo-type of flight in the EB 28.


FLYING WITH THE CHAMPIONS  in Kiripotib 2014,   week 1, is” history”  and on the last days of this first week the weather improved, so ALL learned a lot ,first from the more difficult circumstances on the first days , some added their very first 1000 km. to their list enjoying the real African weather and  some just missed out on a few kilometers but still learned a lot.It’s all in the game.

zzzz Kiripotib 1 zzzzKiripotib 2


Only fun in Kiripotib either with soaring or on the ground. The outside dining area, not bad is it!?
Pictures shared on 

The second week started last Sunday with 3 new champions and 6 new guests/trainees.Surrounded by showers and thunderstorms to the East,  they were limited in setting a task on the first days , but Janusz and Uli each with their trainees managed to fly over 800 km. on day 2 and on day 1 over 700 km. was possible that was if you were flying with Janusz. He is there for the full 2 weeks and is not only a top champion but knows they area as the best.
On day 3 they flew 1000 km. flights again [ with Pete Harvey and Uli Schwenk] all to the W and S due to the weather.
To see how week 2 finishes you can go to ;


Bitterwasser started their soaring -season on November 4  with 2 flights , on November 8 this was already 6 and it will increase over the season.


Some of my friends have arrived in Douglas and are ready for long flights and good company. Max [Leenders] loves records, so I guess he will go for a few again this year.On the 7th and the 8th he flew already 707 and 791 km. in his own Nimbus 4DM. A good start!


Pokweni started with the first flights on November 2 with guests from Sweden and Germany . Axel Nuss flew  904 km. in the Nimbus 3 DM last Sunday.


Last Sunday some impressive events , the first one in memory of the beginning of the first world war .
REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY.This time 100 years, so extra special.
This all happened in London in attendance of  the whole royal family ,even the queen, who a few days earlier heard that their were plans to kill her with a knife. But as always she was there , very sophisticated, doing her duties. A remarkable 88 years old lady!!!
I was very much impressed with the 800.000 ceramic poppies!!!
In Berlin in Germany ,more than a million people remembered and celebrated the fall of the WALL now 25 years ago. Angela Merkel born in the former EAST, attended this remembrance, in the afternoon there was a big party at several places among them at the famous check -point -Charlie and in the evening 8000 luminous white balloons  went up in the air, one by one. These balloons marked the length of the wall and the fall.

ZZZZZBerlin wall

Picture from DAILY OVERVIEW and shared by KIKI.
Today marks the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. For the past two days, an installation of 8,000 glowing balloons titled ‘LICHTGRENZE‘ (meaning “border of light”), has traced an approximately 15 km long segment of the former course of the barrier that once separated the German city in two.” 

Many more places in the world remembered their lost ones in all wars over the last 100 years.
I was touched by this picture shared on FB by Sandy with the text :
” Incredible tribute to the 8 million horses, donkeys and mules that died faithfully supporting their respective armies. Faithful to the end.
We will remember them.” 

zzzzzPoppy Appeal

A touching picture, as shared by Sandy Griffin via FB.

On Monday “we”  remembered in Holland  in Amsterdam, the victims of the MH17. Not only the Dutch but all 298 victims.
The Royal family was there to support the nearly 1700 invited guests [family and close friends from the victims from all over the world, 18 different countries!]. A very beautiful , impressive , respectful , but also tragic/sad/touching event. All 298 names were mentioned by family or friends and only when you hear those names you realize how ,many kids lost their lives in that tragic accident on July 17 as well.
The whole ceremony,…I can only say,…It was HOLLAND AT IT’S BEST AGAIN!!!
Our prime Minister has visited Malaysia and Australia just before. They lost also quite a lot of their  loved-ones. The crew from flight MH 17 was Malaysian, all 15 of them.Aussie family members were easy to recognize through their language, the typical Aussie language, so were the people from Malaysia.
By the way ” MH 17″  will never be used again the flight is called now MH 19.

The November/December issue from Gliding International has very interesting stories again.
The Online contest and history by Elke—-the GPS system is to get a major upgrade, but, placing new satellites in earth orbit is horrendously expensive by aviation journalist  and glider pilot Rod Dew—-the French Alps  []Aubenasson] in summertime, a comparison to the N.Z. Southern Alps  by Omarama pilot Chris Street are a few of the longer stories. Also items as a warning for hypoxia, a smart skin for planes, the Vintage Glider Club Ralley in Arnborg Sweden , the Song 120, Gliding in Hungary and China and much more.
64 Pages of great reading.


Last but not least , something totally different; as a real fan from speed skating, I was pleased to see that Dutch speed skater Ireen Wust was honored with the ANOC [Association of National Olympic Committees] Award for best female athlete during the Sochi 2014 Olympics.
I presume you ALL must have heard her name at least once.
This ceremony took place in Thailand. She will attend in Asia the first 2 series of the 2015 WORLD CUP in Obihiro in Japan and in Seoul .


As shared by Ireen on FB.

NO NEWS next week.
Will go to hospital tomorrow where 1 malicious little spot will be removed from  my left eyelid and a beginning, not yet malicious one will be removed preventive from my other eyelid. On the 20-thiest they take out the stitches and then my eyes should be normally “open” again and  I should be new and fit ……I hope! At least I should be  in good hands over the next 5 years,  as they added me to the skin-cancer-program in Holland.

Cu in 2 weeks,

November 5, 2014

The Champions are flying with their guests!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 8:29 pm

We started November with a new record. It has never been so warm on November 1 as last Saturday; 21.2 dgr.c in the S of Holland and at 12 the new record since 1848 was already a fact; 18.5. Cars drove around in cabriolet -conversion and staff on the terraces were busy. Beer was still preferred over red wine, nobody needed to be ” warmed up”! After a few cold and rainy days, as we normally have in the end of October, the weather had improved again.
Temperatures up in the low 20thies are certainly NOT normal for this time of the year here in Holland, but welcomed with a smile.
Unfortunately only one and a half day as Sunday late , it was over again and in the end of the week it will be 10 dgr. lower.
By the way the coldest ever November 1 showed 3.1 dgr. C. on the thermometer  in 1993.

Not such great weather in Norway ; they had rain , too much rain and for that reason severe flooding, landslides and other damage.Code red was active in the ALPS and the N of Italy and parts of Switzerland had to deal  last night with rain and expected wind of 12 Bft.
BUT,… before that bad weather arrived a few pilots used great but bumpy/turbulent conditions to fly over 1000 km. Yesterday 5  1000 flights were flown one even , when it is correct in an LS 1f. That would be something. A lot of wind and turbulence and a day of less than 10 flying hours, but as one pilot said the exact mix of great soaring weather.Pilots flew from Innsbruck, St Johann and Koenigsdorf.
One of them was blogger Benjamin Bachmeier [] he flew the ARCUS T and was over the moon, exhausted , still enthusiastic and happy with this flight!![1.036,13 km.]

ZZZZZ Benjamin

Picture shared by Benjamin.

One day earlier on Monday Rainer Cronjaeger flew 1.083, 78 from the Swiss field Hausen Am Albis.

Tocumwal had some hot spring weather with an early  total fire ban  and longtime guests who are flying already at Eddie’s Sportaviation. Stephan and this time the youngest son Niklas and Ralph, enjoy the early good spring conditions.
The temperature last Friday went up to 34 dgr. C., top height was 5800 ft. and ” Stephan and Niklas tried to contact the wave that formed over the top as the airmass changed”  .
Last Sunday they both flew 300 km. with an interesting comment:” First 300Km, 1 day before 14th Birthday.”

zzzz toc 1 zzzztoc 2

” Lenticular clouds formed by thermal activity. Upper wind Westerly and lower convection Northerly.
The base estimated at 13,000 ft today . A classic case of pre frontal instability as the front is expected to pass Tocumwal”
as shared by Eddie

Dundee is already in Tocumwal for a month and I heard Joergen  has arrived  on October 8 in Sydney. After picking up his car who “stayed” with Harry and Wendy Medlicott both owners of an ARCUS as well, he is working on the Form 2 of his ARCUS at the moment at Bacchus March  where he organised work-shop-space , together with Roger Druce [another ARCUS owner] to then live and fly this season from Tocumwal . His wife Birgitte joined him in Tocumwal on November 1.

ZZZ sportaviation  ZZZZ RALPH

Niklas [14] son from Stephan [ both from Germany] Eddie and Ralph, [born Swiss but already living as long as I know him and that's a long time in Australia] who makes those beautiful paintings. Pictures shared by Sportaviation.

ZZZZstephan en Niklas

Stephan and Niklas AND some great looking skies. As shared by Sportaviation.

zzzz Arcus  zzzzArcus job

Joergen with his ARCUS in Bacchus March. As shared by Joergen.

And more Tocumwal as the SRGC had their wings night last Saturday . And before Ingo retires as interim  president of the club , presented the  pilots with their wings.The new elections will be in the annual meeting on November 22.


Ingo here with Bruce the tuggy and  [ interim ] treasurer of the club. Bruce got his wings last Saturday as he never got them in the past when he went solo.


Last Saturday was their first day; CHAMPIONS flying together, sharing a glider and their knowledge with pilots/trainees who want to improve their soaring by looking , listening and flying together.
It was not the same glorious weather as last year but they flew, even after arriving late for some of the guests due to a 14 hour delay of Air Namibia.
Here is a short note from their day 1 with pictures and text from their site.On the OLC you can see their distances and speed.
”  Then, after a while when all gliders where flown away, a huge storm arrived us from the north, big lightnings and thunders everywhere. After one and a half hour, the nightmare was over again, a few drops of rain were dropped, the sun came out again and the first machines also came back


Day 2 had a good morning but an overcast afternoon. They all started but ” one after the other also had to use their engines. Here in Kiripotib it was complete overcast very strong wind on the ground, we didn’t realize where the gliders would be able to climb. But then CS’s voice on the radio “We are flying in a wave above Kiripotib” In the evening they reported climbs up to 13200 ft. With these impressions, they had a sundowner out of the wave in Namibia, they returned from a very interesting flying day short after sunset.”

Day 3 , the opposite of day 2 , a morning with overcast and then nice African weather, but ,…a tough wind :” Only the wind was getting stronger and stronger, we reached about 25 kt at 11:00 o’clock increasing with the altitude. At about 12:00 the first starts and pilots reported good clims. Due to the forecast all gliders fly to the east toward the border to Botswana, on topmeteo it looks there very good.”
Holger [Karow] and Stefan [Krauss] even flew 710 km. and a proud Stefan mentioned ;” Holger is not for nothing double World Champion“.

Kiripotib 2

Day 4; ” Today a completely different weather to the days before, no wind and blue sky. If you think these would be good conditions, you are wrong. Only medium blue thermal with a maximum to 3100 meters, here in Africa not very comfortable. But we are here for gliding and that for we set a grand prix task, starting it at about 14:45.”

That’s as far as they are now. The full stories you can read under news at  ;

And the tracking at


Potchefstroom had some good weather and AP flew in the St. Cirrus a nice 624 km task [ 383 FAI triangle].
Talking about South Africa, the Qualifying Grand Prix will be flown  between January 4 and 11 2015, with January 4 as an official practice day. This all, according to their event schedule.Between January 1 and 3,  pilots can practice as well. Place to be; Worcester, mountain flying at it’s best! At this stage 6 pilots are sure entrees ,over the next weeks the rest ,20 in total, will be sure and published as well. You can find all the news on ; AND,…. before that the South African Nationals will be flown at Welkom and I noticed a few Dutch pilots as well on the list. Between December 13 and 22 , this is all happening. Enough to look forward too.


Just to let you know: Women in Gliding Week at Lake Keepit has started on November 1 and continues till November 9. It sounds fabulous as around 30 people are attending.
Jenny Ganderton flew already a 500 k triangle and a 536 km task.
Soon the Qualifying Grand Prix will be flown from Lake Keepit as well.


There was sad news as well, when the authorities mentioned that one person died and another seriously  was injured after  a Space Ship Two test from Virgin Galactic had failed.Richard Branson however does n’t give up on his ideas, as he said on CNN ; ” We’ve always known that the road to space is extremely difficult — and that every new transportation system has to deal with bad days early in their history.” 


  And last but not least  I share the  FIA SAILPLANE GRAND PRIX NEWS as received from Roland;   

FAI Sailplane Grand Prix news release .
The Sailplane Grand Prix management team are pleased to announce the dates for the 7th Sailplane Grand Prix series. The 7th series FAI Sailplane Grand Prix Qualifying events will take place between 31st October 2015 and 31st October 2016 The 7th SGP Final will take place between January 1st 2017 and June 1st 2017 Bids are invited from any interested National Aero Club, Gliding Club or other interested organisation. Bids must be submitted before the 31st of January 2015. Prospective bidders are advised to read “notes for bidders”. The official bid application form and notes for bidders are available at:- For further information or advice regarding organising an SGP event or the bidding process please contact


October 29, 2014


Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 8:00 pm

In the night from Saturday to Sunday we moved one hour  back in time  and most countries in Europe did so, even Russia. They experimented with an ongoing summer time , but after 3 years the people complained about the lack of light , so they are in the normal pattern as well now.
The difference with at least the Southern part of Australia, is 10 hours again,  so I have to keep that in mind, when I skype with my friends in Tocumwal.
Still pretty nice weather here, 18 dgr. C. , so nothing to complain.


Gliders, in containers, have arrived or nearly arrive at their destinations in South Africa and Australia.So it ‘s unpacking again and a new season starts.

The containers from Kiripotib have arrived already on October 24 as they start their season straight away.
The first week of FLYING WITH THE CHAMPIONS is from November 1 till 7 , the 2d week from November 8-14 2014.
And …it is great to hear that they are sold out both weeks.
They had a bit of a slow start but filled up all places! Good on them!! And ” them” , when you might not know,  are Ludwig Starkl and Wolfgang Janowitsch, both from Austria.
Do you still  remember their idea to found this company? Here you are;

” Most of us find the time to fly some 50 to 100 hours a year. Presuming an average airborne time of 3 hours for one take off, this makes about 20 to 35 flying days.
Some private owners of a glider spend several hundred thousand Euros for these few days. Money earned by hard work, reduced by tax and saved for years and years.

An example: An Arcus M costs almost a quarter million Euros, so if you save 1000 Euros a month, it will last 20 years to be able to buy one. That’s long! Besides that you have to spend time and money for annual inspections, maintenance, costs for insurance, maybe a place in a hangar… If I use the 12.000 Euros already in the first year, it enables me to use one of the best gliders around for at least one and a half month. Even with half the money – 6.000 Euros – I can spend three weeks of soaring with the best equipment.

Do you want to wait 20 years for it?

  • We want to give you the chance to fly the best gliders, even if you are not prepared to pay the price of a small house for it.
  • We want to give you modern double-seaters to exchange your knowledge and your experience.
  • We want to share the enthusiasm for thrilling soaring sites like Namibia.”

They had a very successful start of ” FLYING WITH THE CHAMPIONS”  last year , supported by fantastic weather as they flew 14 days out of 14 days .
Here is Ludwig about this year:
”  Our biggest problem in this time was to find Champions with free time in the first two weeks of November, but finally we made it and this year we will have for one week

Holger Karow, Germany

Markus Frank, Germany

Andy Lutz, Austria

Uli Schwenk, Germany

Steve Jones, England

Pete Harvey, England

and for two weeks

Janusz Centka, Poland

Olivier Darroze , France

Stefano Ghiorzo, Italy

Wolfgang Janowitsch, Austria

 ” All of them World or European Champions with a lot of experience trying to give their knowledge to our trainees, from Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Ireland. We hope the weather will be as good as last year, when we could fly 14 of 14 days.

As gliders we have again 4 Arcus M, 1 Arcus E, 1 ASH 25Mi and 1 ASH25EB28.
The first participants will arrive on Thursday, starting unpacking and rigging the eight gliders we need from Saturday on.
As forecasted 33 deg, it will be the first challenge for all of us.

Starting on Friday Ludwig  will write on their homepage a daily report about  their flying and whats happening.

So please keep an eye on what’s going on there in Namibia, it means THE OVERSEAS SEASON HAS STARTED!!!!
Here is the link


Gariep Gliding in South Africa  has a full container as well,  as you can see on this picture they shared on their site.

ZZZ container Gariep Gliding

On the DAL KAROO from Bremerhafen nach Port Elisabeth. 

Pokweni‘s 2 containers have arrived in October  in Walvisbai with the ” Yellowstone” , so they are ready to go for it.
Bitterwasser ‘s containers have arrived as well in Walvisbai and they are for sure going to have a BIG season again. Look at the amount of containers.


As shared on their site.


In Australia the season has started already for the locals , the gliders will arrive with 4 containers in Corowa, on November 6 and their first flying day will be on November 14.


Corowa with the containers in the past and great looking skies as shared on their site.

Great to see Stephan and his son Niklas back in Tocumwal at Eddie’s Sportaviation. We know Stephan already from before we owned it [December 1996] Their first flight this season was in the Twin Astir; 155 km.

By the way half of the blocks of land AT the airfield of Tocumwal have been sold already.

AND… the Wings Night  from the Southern Riverina Gliding Club at Tocumwal will be on November 1 in the hangar with a presentation of WINGS and AWARDS, some nice food and good friends.

And more news from Australia this time specially for the young ones;

” Hi All,

 It’s less than five weeks to go until JoeyGlide 2014 – aka the Junior Preworlds, to be held at Narromine from 5 to 13 December. We now have 30+ entries in the competition from all over Australia and overseas, as well as another 16 taking part in the coaching week making it the biggest JoeyGlide in years (if not ever?). A reminder that the $100 early bird discount on entry fees ends at the end of this week, so if you or a junior you know are thinking about joining us then jump on to our website and get your entry form (and payment) in. If you would like to come, but you’re having difficulties getting there for any reason, please get in touch and we’ll do our best to help you join us.

 We are also pleased to announce AvPlan EFB as the major sponsor for this years event. Sponsorship has been provided courtesy of Simon Hackett, one of the owners of the company and a long time supporter of JoeyGlide, and host of this list. Check out AvPlan’s website at for more information.

 More information on JoeyGlide is available on our website – If anyone has any more questions or wants any more information on JoeyGlide, then please get in touch.


Adam Webb  Contest Director   JoeyGlide 2014″

And flying in the mountains close to Melbourne is possible too. You can see all the news on the Mount Beauty- website and also  read the latest news letter , the October issue ” Alpine Flyer”   by Andrew Evans.


When the overseas-season really starts there is more than enough to write. This is an “in-between”  part of the season with not a lot of soaring, but I still found some nice flights, as the one from Minden in Nevada , where on October 23 Keith Essex flew with a speed of 145.22 km./h. over 1.505,42 km. in wave on a not even strong day, as he mentioned. He flew the ASH 31/21 m.
Keith had 4 great flights. One on October 14 [1.308, 93 with 151,65 km./h.] and 15 [ 1.110,44 with 173,75 km./h.]  and now on October 23 and 24.[1.176,06 km with 118,17 km./h.].
Only 25 registered flights on the OLC that day but the 5 wave and ridge-pilots had fun even with tough conditions and flew between 581 km. and 1.505,42.
Also the French wave was active with 4191 m. MSL [2856 m.  AGL] flying from St Martin de Londres and the Italian wave from Aosta went up to 7379 m . MSL [6441 m. AGL] .


The strike from the French pilots from Air France has NOT been good for the KLM/Air France combination.Today the employees will hear how many will loose their jobs. Rumors are about 7500!! Hope not only in Holland !!!!
That’s it for now. CU next week with more news . Cheers Ritz

October 22, 2014

Goondiwindi, keep that name in mind; an excellent place for soaring!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 7:23 pm

It’s definitely autumn NOW in Holland, rain wind [Bft 10 at the coast about 40 km. from here and gusts to 100 km.p/h. !] and 12 dgr. C.!!!!
But,……Last Saturday we had a new warm-record on October 18; 23 dgr. official and 24.4 in the South of Holland.It has never been so warm here in history. The last record was from 1921 when it was 22.9 dgr. C.
Very special to have had such a great and long summer after that horrible long winter last year, we still remember.

The last 2 days in Goondiwindi [ they had 9 in total!] were as hoped for; nice-soaring- conditions and pretty long distances with good speed.
Goondiwindi , with a population under 6000, is not so long known, as a good soaring spot, it even turns out an excellent spot as we saw already last year and again this year.
It’s on the way from Dubbo [close to Narromine ] to Brisbane [ about 358 km.SW from Brisbane] .Gliding Queensland was this years proud host of the Sport Class and Club Class Nationals there.

The name Goondiwindi derives from an Aboriginal word ,meaning “the resting place of the birds”.Just to let you know!

ZZZ Goondiwindi

Goondiwindi aerodrome and weather. As shared by Mike

On Thursday a set task in the sports class with 417 km. and all toppers did their utmost best with one day to go.
David [Jansen] won the 999 points with a speed of 139 km./h. Tom, David and Butch stayed on the first places overall and with one day to go the differences were still possible for some extra  excitement; 7333, 7276 and 7144.

As on the last day [Friday] a 4 hour AAT was set in the blue to finish these comps with 9 days!
Peter Trotter who had not won a day, set that straight on this day 9; 487.2 km. with a speed of 118.8 km./h. in his LS 8 gave him the 1000 points.
In the end the new CHAMPION  in Sports class was Tom Claffey with 8295 points followed by David Jansen with 100 points less.
Butch lost his 3d place to Andrew who had a few more points on this last day which gave a final result of ; 8082 and 8076.( Days of good soaring in Sports Class. Good to see young Andrew Maddocks on spot 7

In club class day 8 was again a prey for Benalla pilot Don [Woodward] Their set task was 401.2 km. and great efforts by Allan [Barnes] and young Matthew [Scutter] for flying fast on this day in their LS 1 f and Discus b.
Don flew with a speed of 123.7 km. /h. whilst Allan and Matthew followed with 116/117 km./h.
Bruce lost 140 points by being as fast,117 km./h but he has a higher handicap.
This is the view on the day by Allan;
” Day 8 of the CCN. Racing task just over 400km. Underset – everyone waited around at about 8500ft for an hour before starting. I was thinking about 100km/hr in the blue, but there were wispy cu and some very good climbs. Took the first turn into wind nice and low, but had an average trip across to the second, then hooked up with a good gaggle on the third leg and found a couple of great climbs. Overcooked the final glide and ended up coming in at 120kt for a task speed of 116.2. Very nice day.” 

Day 9 showed a 3.30 AAT with breakfast in the morning. Terry Cubley  [I can visualize him in his LS 3 without hesitation as I have seen him in his glider often]  had not won a day either and to do it he had to fly best on the last day. So he did!
With 422.1 km. and a speed of 116.9 km./h [yes in his " old"  LS 3] he “got” the 1000 points before heading home again to the Adelaide area , thousands of kilometers to the West. But they could travel in convoy as a few participated from that area.
Adam Woolley [Cirrus 75] had a good day as runner up and the ” old ” Libelle with Steven, was on spot 3 with 367.6 km. and a speed of 102 km./h.!!!!
CLUB CLASS CHAMPION; Jim Crowhurst with 8177 points. Runner up with 8027 was Bruce Taylor and on spot 3 Terry Cubley. The young ones Adam and Matthew finished on good spots 7 and 6. Allan moved up even higher again and finished on spot 8 and Lisa  moved up to 13.

Very kind of former junior pilot Adam to mention some of the awards with congratulations:
” To Dylan Lampard for taking out the GFA Club & Sports Class nationals – best place novice trophy. Many great names have won this trophy in the past & gone onto big things, well done mate”
” Matthew Scutter takes out the M.Bradly junior trophy, this is the 3rd time for memory that it’s been awarded since 2005. It’s awarded to the highest places junior, above 15th position – so not just a participation award.”


Benalla night 042 Benalla night 010

On these pictures The Trotters and Maddocks during the prize giving 2 years ago in Benalla.

Nice comps over there in Goondiwindi. keep the name in mind!

What happened more? A sand storm in South Africa on October 16! A weather-phenomena all glider pilots are interested in.
Great pictures , but for some more difficult circumstances.  I share a few shared by others as a reaction on this storm.
I remember them from Australia . Daan Pare flew in front of one and raced home to be back in the hangar just in time. More of my mates have flown over or along such a sand storm. A bit N of Tocumwal, Oaklands,  where you find big potato farms , they usually “disturbed” soaring as well. Most of you might still remember.

zzz Sandstorm by Free State

ZZZ sandstorm by Mako Mosotho ZZZ SANDSToRM by Shaum Mohammed

ZZZSAndstorm by Winnie Mafeo

Pictures shared by ” I love Free State” ,Mako Masoto, Shaum Mohammed and Winnie Mafeo.


More comps in Australia;Here is the latest. Just to keep you informed!!!
” Waikerie Gliding Club with the generous support from the GFA, SAGA, Banrock Station Winery and Coopers Brewery are hosting the 53rd Australian Multi Class National Championships from the 5th to the 16th January 2015.

The competition website is up and running and will continue to be populated over the coming weeks in the run up to the event.

We have managed to pull together a very experienced, professional team tomanage the competition who together with the enthusiastic members and friends of WGC should make this an event to remember.

I can nearly assure you all of at least a couple of big Waikerie days and we’ll do our best to minimize the amount of “classic” South Australian blue days thrown at us ;-)

On behalf of the members of the Waikerie Gliding Club and the competition management team I look forward to welcoming you too Waikerie MCN’s 2015.”
Waikerie had a good day early-spring-day yesterday with 500 km. flown by Grant Hudson, who send the invitation for the multi Class Nationals. CD there is Mandy Temple, known by most of you as TC from the Aussie team, crew for husband Peter ,[who is the task setter at Waikirie ] and more other jobs!!


And even more , this time the NSW State Gliding Comps flown from Temora one of those REALLY good soaring-spots as well.Here is the news I got:
The competition will cater for Standard, 15m, 18m, Open, and Club Class with classes combined for tasking based on entry numbers received.

The championships run from Saturday 13th December – Saturday 20th December 2014 with the first Saturday allocated as a practice day.”

Flying over the slopes of Porta Westfalica was “on”  last weekend  and some Dutch pilots drove to Germany ,  to enjoy this type of soaring over the slopes, using the uplift. One group with Martin, who flew with us in the past in Australia as one of them as well as Hinse and Jasper. Philippe [Hendriks] is as far as I can see one of the most enthusiastic pilots for this kind of flying, looking at the pictures he shared now and in the past.

zzzPorta1  ZZZ PORTA3


As shared by Philippe.


What happened worldwide as seen on the OLC?
Orient, in South Africa NE of Potchefstroom, had a great 500 km. [ 338.3 FAI triangle] day of soaring in an ASW 20 on October 20.
On the same day 710 k.[686.5 km. FAI triangle]  was flown in an ASH 31/21 m. in Brazil, from LEM.
Not an easy day as you can see in his comment;
” Good day to start with but over development and lots of CB’s and many rain curtains. I had to abort my final glide ! Landed with rain all over the place!
One day earlier the RIDGES were overly- friendly to Devin Bargainnier , starting at Ridge Soaring to mainly the SW and back; 1. 106,1 km. with a nice speed of 134.74 km./h. in a Ventus 2.
” Doing” 981.59 km.  in a Janus c FG is not bad either! Very good! Ridge soaring must be such fun! And you can do it in any glider.


That’s it for now . CU next week when the overseas season is about to begin. WINGS NIGHT IN TOCUMWAL by the SRGC is on November 1, opening the new season.Their Annual General Meeting is on November 22, with 14 points on the Agenda.

Cheers Ritz

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