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March 22, 2017

Post 980….with the continuing story on seniors…the beauty of flying “a boat”…schedule for Aussie comps.

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 5:12 pm

Senior comps in Florida from Seminole Lake Gliderport.

It all started a bit slow , with less good weather than the practice days, but they continued with task 2 on March 15 and the weather man there, Fernando Silva, seems to be good or he “knows more than the rest “, or  he “reads his weather better than the rest”, as he won AGAIN. So 2000 points in his pocket.
Karl [Striedeck] showed his quality in the Duo with “maybe”  Sarah in the back again; 957 points [1942 total] for day 2 with a 2 hour TAT and as best actual  distance 112 miles in 2.03. All 62 pilots flew!!!


My Uvalde mates Chris and Gary Carter and senior soaring doggy “Mate”  .Chris and Gary have a SUPER “house on wheels”! Can’t call that a trailer, van, or caravan, not even a mobile home.
As shared by Leigh Zimmermann.

With 2 more days to go , I checked with Rick [Sheppe] who is there and writes about this competition, about those tuggies, here is what he had to say and it remains IMPRESSIVE!!
“We have six towplanes, three from here, and three from other clubs.  The expert tow pilots, combined with the 7 energetic youngsters on the line crew, have produced some very impressive launch times.  62 gliders in under one hour.
Our weather has not been outstanding, unfortunately.  It finally stopped raining two days ago, but now we have cold days with weak lift and no clouds at all.
They have a short Area Task today, and several departed under 1000m AGL.
It will be a struggle! 

Other than the difficult flying, this has been a delightful reunion of old friends, with parties every night in the Briefing hangar, and lots of story-telling.  Collectively, we have over 2700 years of aviation experience!”

What about that!!!!
So another difficult day on Thursday March 16  ; 1.45 TAT, [turn area task] but the 61 pilots launched for  the day, with a B task in the pocket. It seemed to be a good day for a glider as the SILENT 2A,  as the pilot Steve Arndt “got”  the daily 1000 points!!!
Weather man Fernando was 4th and Karl 2d , so in the top nothing changed AND Steve is on spot 3 overall.

LAST DAY with “back to normal spring conditions”-weather!!!!
A last day on a senior’s, is not so important as on a WGC or EGC , but still for competing pilots certainly those in the top, every competition is a competition ,with ALL what belongs to it.
Fernando won this day too , so no news there, but Steve Arndt in the Silent had a less day and finished on spot 24, not enough to keep his good 3d spot.
4 Days of flying and winning 3 of them ; 3973 points for Fernando in his ASW 27,   “pretty” good! Well done.
Karl finished on spot 2 with 3868 in the Duo Discus.
New 3d place for Robin Clark in the ASG 29 with 3658 and not far behind the CD of the Uvalde WGC in 2012 Ken Sorenson with 3647. ONLY one point behind…..for 2 teams/pilots; The Arcus M and Steve both with 3646 points.
Here is Rick;” The competition is over, and we had a nice awards banquet in a local resort.
Official as shared on the site;
The 27th Senior Contest is now in the books. Weather presented many challenges, but yielded 4 (of 6 possible) valid contest days in a variety of conditions. We had a damage-free week (the worst casualty was a flagpole temporarily flattened by a stray pickup truck). And Seminole Lake Gliderport renewed its reputation as the best place in North America for a March soaring contest.”

AND he send  a picture of the winners. Thanks Rick.

  From left to right;  Robin Clark (3rd), Karl
Striedieck (2nd), and Fernando Silva (champion).

Rick was so kind to send me a picture from ALL “oldies”  as well. Thanks Rick.

The 2017 SENIORS.
Courtesy Rick.


 2017 USA Sailplane Grand Prix.

From MARCH 26 the second ever   SGP in the USA will be flown from this airfield Seminole Lake,  as well with  John Godfrey (Scorer at Uvalde 2012] as CD.So one week rest ,……and interesting activities continue!!!!
This is by the way, the daily winners medal!!

As shared by the SGP.

If I remember well,  I might have written that this is the very first SGP in the USA. WRONG!!!!!Sorry about that.
I checked with Rick and OF COURSE I knew/should have known  ” the first USA Sailplane Grand Prix was in Ionia, Michigan last year.
The winners were Jerzy Szemplinkski, Jerzy Zieba, and Sergei Morozov.”
“Also, we have dropped the word “Qualifying” from the names of these events.  They are now called the National Grand Prix.  The next one is the “2017 USA Sailplane Grand Prix.

Good to know!!!More next week.And,…with only 4 days to go there is still only 1 approved entree; Tom Kelley a retired airline pilot flying an ASG 29.
At this stage 12 pilots; 1 from the UK, 2 from Canada and the rest is from the USA.
The official practice day is already this upcoming Saturday and then it is 7 days of hopefully great flying.
You can find in between all the news on or wait till I have done all research for you.


South Australian State Championships at Gawler.

Ready for the launches on day 3,
As shared by the Adelaide Soaring Club.

Between March 11 and 19 this Regatta was not blessed with good weather. There were some pilots elsewhere in the South of Australia [Victoria and NSW] ,flying  up to 400 km. The participating pilots however, had a reasonable practice day with a 3 hour AAT, on the 10th and then unfortunately , only 3 out of 9 days.
This is a “serious -fun”  competition with lay-days and coaching in 2 seaters, so very difficult to call winners but on the 3 days they flew they had a 2.15, 2 hour and on the last day a 3.30 AAT.
On this finally good day the 1000 points were for Paul Clift who flew his LS 3 over 353 km in time 3.38.
On March 8 , Matthew Scutter had a ” Cracking day out of Gawler exploring two convergences” . Such a pity this weather was not “on”  during the Regatta.
By the way Matthew started his world tour visiting interesting [soaring-] places and has arrived already in cold London.
Another young Aussie pilot Adam, arrived in Scandinavia.



And on FB I found last Friday the next news
“Shark eS (FES)… Born Today… Bound for Granden Lodge soon…”


NARROMINE 2018 and the announcement of more comps !

Looking VERY FAR AHEAD!!!!BUT…good to know….


 YES it’s TRUE! The Narromine Gliding Club is delighted to have been chosen for the 6th consecutive year to host the Two Seat National Gliding Competition in 2018.

 The competition dates are yet to be finalized but most likely the competition will be run at the same time of year in late February 2018

 The Competition will again be run in two classes, 2 SEAT OPEN CLASS and 20m 2 SEAT CLASS. Same Rules, same Tasks, same Starts, separate scores and winners and both classes will receive day prizes and winners trophies.

The Club and Sports Class Nationals will be at Goondiwindi later this year – dates to be confirmed shortly.

The Multiclass are at Waikerie in January 2018.

Dates for the following season should be known soon.
Lake Keepit will host a Nationals which will double as the Pre-Worlds for the Women’s World Gliding Championship the following year.


And news from France Bailleau 2017
Website is online …Hello ! From the 1nd to 11th of August, this summer, will be held the 43rd Bailleau International Gliding Contest, a classic flat-land gliding contest.
And like every year for 20 years now, Bailleau International will be accompanied by the now famous “Amical” Contest, one of the best ways for a pilot to take his first steps in competition …
The website has just opened, you will find there all useful information and the online registration form.


To finish this great picture by Bones one of our former tuggies.
He flew in his Sportavia period not only the Scouts, but also the Albatross and moved on to  flying Mallards [ Paspaley pearls] for 12 years up in the North of Australia, the -Territory-.
He now moves on to flying freight from Hong Kong with Air Hongkong.
He will meet Cameron there, also one of the Sportavia tuggies in the past.
Cam is now the chief pilot for the Airbus Fleet Freighters.

“The Pleasures of fly boating”

The Albatross at the Tocumwal Airfield. All nostalgia!!
As shared by George.


The Mallard as shared by Bones.

Cheers Ritz
Sadly enough,…The first incidents in soaring have happened already in this early spring. 2 German pilots in their early 50thies crashed in their 2 seater with engine,  after they departed Sisteron in France and are badly injured.
Blog 981 will be special.
On March 29 1967, I saw a glider for the first time in my life. How this day inspired me you can read next week.

March 15, 2017

Post 979…with active soaring seniors,….old timers as HP-10…..Duo Discus favorite club 2- seater….

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 5:55 pm

Active Soaring Seniors!!


With Gary in the middle , Karl [striedeck] to the R. and Ken to the left. …Dinner line on day off ..ready to go.
All pictures courtesy Jim Price.

Quite a few of the seniors , participating in the 27 th Senior comps in Florida from the airfield of Semininole, flew WGC’s in the past. Practice started on the 10th and the comps go from March 11 till 17 and 62 participants entered and with that ,…it was FULL.
I am sure there will be a lot of catching up . Good old John Good is the director! John Price the contest manager.
Other “rules”  as in “normal”  comps, as according to the rules of “The Seniors”, a crew day is mandatory so team members can enjoy some of the other attractions that are present in the Orlando area.
And,…..It is tradition at “The Seniors”, that final scores are not revealed until the banquet awards ceremony after dinner.

Talking about WGC participants/winners.When you look at the history of winners since they started in 1991, George Moffat won in 1993, Karl Striedieck in ’96,’97 ,’98 ,2005 ,’ 09 and ’13 and ’14.
Doug Jacob’s in 2004,’06 and ‘ 12 and Dick Butler in 2008 . Got to know George in Angers and Doug, Karl and Dick at WGC’s.
In 2015 Marvin “Bif ” Huss had his first win. He and his wife had to drive 3 days to get to Seminole [ from Colorado] but could go back with the trophy in the back of the car for another 3 days of driving home.

Male topper Karl Striedeck with female topper Sarah Kelly Arnold,
Picture shared by Walt Connelly.

So Friday was the more or less official practice day, but the day’s before certainly on Thursday , they had already a very strong day , with powerful cu’s with 5-6 kts and flights up to 500km.
Friday was less good but after 3 good days , most pilots took it easy though, there were 14 out landings!!
One of the pilots commented:
“Flight went great till the very end. Good out landing 1 mile from the finish circle. Hitch hiked back to gliderport, got my car and trailer and was back in 50 minutes from landing.”

Saturday March 11; Task 1. 62 Launches in ONE hour!!!! Pretty good, CHAPEAU!!!!!! Have to check how many tuggies they have.
The weather man ,Fernando Silva, predicted about the ” same air-mass as the day before , but winds much lighter. . Severe blue, light cirrus/no factor and no wave. Hi temps probably 81, tops of thermals at or below 4000 ft. winds 8-12 knots from NE Day ends early, around 5. “
So not a real flash day, but,…. HE, the weather man,  did well. He won the day, so he knows everything about weather in theory and practice.
They had a TAT from 1.45 and he flew in his ASW 27 133 miles in 1.50.
The first 10 pilots in the 900/1000 points range; 3x ASW 27, 2x LS 8 and 2x ASG 29 and a duo Discus with Karl Striedeck an Antares 20E and Ventus 2cxa.
March 12; love the REALLY easy- going- style and I copy and paste the news on Sunday March 12;
Overcast skies, intermittent rain, scoring anomalies, handicap issues, etc.  Let’s call the whole thing off.”
March 13; rest-day, “based on a hopeless soaring forecast.”[contest manager Jim Price] But with interesting news for the USA juniors. As in many other countries the established pilots help the young ones ,certainly when they attend a JWGC funds are necessary. Leigh Zimmermann, who is very involved in USA soaring not only because her husband Sam, belongs already for years, to the good pilots but also because she knows “our ” world so well,  wrote;
To benefit the US Junior Soaring Team, 3 of whom hope to fly in the Worlds this summer in Lithuania, Dave Nadler (YO) [ Arcus] and Roger Buchanan (R9) [ASH 30 MI] are offering their second seats for a day at Seminole Lake Glider Port this week.  For a $300 donation to the team.  ”
March 14 yesterday no news YET.

Ray Smith Chief Tow Pilot for 2017 Seniors

Courtesy Jim Price.[]


HP-10 !!!!!

Talking and writing fondly about the  “oldies”, made me think of old timers as well. It just happened that I got news from friends about an HP- 10?
HP- 10, I see already the faces of the young ones with a huge question mark! No worries I had the question- mark as well.
In 1961 this glider won several days of the US Nationals. It was designed by Dick Schreder has a V tail and an interesting construction for the wings, with many little bolts.
Wikipedia says; “The Schreder Airmate HP-10 is an American, high wing, single seat, FAI Standard Class glider that was designed by Richard Schreder. Airmate was the name of Schreder’s design company.”
Here you are….. the HP- 10.

As shared by George and Diana.

This aluminium glider , only 9 were built, was for more than 30 years “hidden”  in one of the old WW2 hangar’s in Tocumwal. Now they are planning on making it the one and only still flying HP- 10 in the world!!!
After that,…. the other unique glider the A -15 will be restored!! A very special Caproni.

As you can see these are the screws and bolts to keep the wings together and then some more [4] will keep the wings on the fuselage AND the old authentic instrument panel.


As shared by George and Diana.

Will keep you informed about these projects!!!


Interesting OLC news.

On March 10 the N of Italy had a great [wave]-day and Ugo Pavesi [ASG 29] flew 1.047,65 km from Calcinate and Alessandro Busca 1.058,17 from Aosta.[Ventus 2cxa / 18m.]
I remember my great holidays to Aosta, the boy’s flying , the girls skiing [ from Pila] and for apres ski, we all met again in the evening. Good times.
March 11 had some good flights in Tocumwal, with a temperature of 30 dgr. C. [autumn!!!] a bit windy and according to Swiss Chris the  day with “ the highest cloudbase for me this season.” [3539 MSL/3440 AGL]
 Terry flew in his ASH 26E , 653 km. and Chris 547 in his ASW 27.


Dutch gliding season started!

Courtesy Ilse Hiemstra from the Amsterdam  Aeroclub flying from the airfield of Soesterberg.

The season here in Europe is around the corner and most clubs here in Holland have started. We had a fantastic sunny weekend and only happy chappies at all airfields!!!
One of the Dutch clubs, the not even so big one from Veendam, starts this season with 2 Duo Discusses , a moment to look at with pride. Good luck with both gliders!! This one “comes”  from Deelen.

Courtesy Alexander Venema.


The club at the airport from Deelen has a new “toy” too a Duo Discus XLT. It will be soooo beautiful in the sky.

As shared by Patrick Hoeve.


 DG -LS 1 f-NEO -NEWS !

Last Friday, Holger Back took the chance to take the LS1-f neo out for a test flight. Wonderful sunny weather joined him on his one hour flight across the Rhine valley.”



As shared by DG Flugzeugbau GmbH


 That’s all for now CU next week. Off to Amsterdam, but first ELECTIONS.
With future important elections in Europe , France , Turkey and Germany, and after the mess created by populists in the USA and UK, the world press looks over “our”  shoulder to see what’s happening. 13 million Dutch people vote today and it is all VERY Close.

With the mean rewriting of history and other attack’s  by Turkey all  based on lies ,the new choosen Dutch parlement will have their hands full.On my way to VOTE!!!!!
Cheers Ritz

March 8, 2017

Post 978 …..with safety first,……Gliding International March/April……IGC-Plenary news!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 5:58 pm

Always good to keep in mind.
As shared by the GFA.

With the beginning of the new European season this article from the Gliding Federation of Australia , might be good reading for you, though  I am sure that EVERYBODY , ALWAYS tries to fly as safe as possible :
“The GFA Operations Panel is promoting a stronger safety message aimed at improving operational safety – “Target Zero – Zero accidents. Zero harm to people.”
Every pilot in-command must have this focus on every flight, plus all other people involved in gliding operations, maintenance and support must be vigilant about the safety standards and margins being applied on the day.
We have a collective responsibility for achieving an injury free outcome. We know that some human error is inevitable, so we must work hard to reduce the probability of these errors occurring and then limit the severity of the consequences.
Self-awareness of our own biases, fallibilities and limits of performance is critical to our safety.
Our operations feedback and occurrence reporting in Gliding Australia magazine is important reading for all pilots.
Remember, a good safety culture begins with you!
Happy soaring, and happy landings to you all



March started with great autumn flights in Australia.
From Ararat, Gary Stevenson, flew 773 [ 691 FIA triangle] in a Discus 2B. Ararat had a good week.
Bernie Sizer in his PIK 20 flew from there 630 [500 FAI triangle] .AND,…549 in a St. Jantar is not bad either.
Another 700 for Bob from Benalla, so a nice first day of autumn down-under.
On the first 5 days of March/autumn, Bob Nicholls flew a total of 3392 km. from Benalla. During the WGC, when there is not a lot of flying for house guests, and after the pretty poor summer , it is quality time now and he gets the best out of what’s left of the season.Good on him !!!

Over Yarrawonga not too far from Benalla, Corowa and Tocumwal.
As shared by Swiss Chris.

March 1 was nice for a 500- plus-one-way-trip- with- wind -in- the- back, for USA kilometer- eater Tony Condon; 531 km. direction SE from Sunflower close to Wichita in Kansas, to….. Paris, not in France, but in Texas about 15 miles over the border! So from the Mid West to the S. with tail wind all the way.
Parked on the compass rose in Paris, TX. Crew only 40 minutes behind when I landed. Quite the flight! First two hours weak and low. Then it popped and it was off to the races with a big hole near McAllester. Save off a hill with a cross.on it (hallelujah) then airport hopped to my declared goal of Paris. Quite surprised by the late lift. I was sure I was going to end up in Antlers or Hugo.
TopMeteo was pretty spot on with the distance prediction today, although they and most other forecasts were predicting better lift early.

as shared by Tony.

For March 4, a spring-foehn-storm was announced , so it was interesting to see if pilots would dare to use this as heavy predicted weather , for some long flights in the Alps.
They did both from Germany and Switzerland with flights over 1000 km.
Bert Schmelzer jr. flew the Discus 2T over 1.045,45 km. with a speed of 137.45 km./h. from Hausen am Albis up to 6023 MSL [4391 AGL]
He commented:
“What a wonderful start of the season…

03:00 waking up in Lenzerheide and telling Barbara that I will skip skiing today. Instead I will drive to Hausen am Albis to have my first flight of 2017. She mumbles something, gives me a kiss and falls asleep again.
05:00 arrival in Hausen
06:30 launch into the sunrise. Thank you for the tow, once again, Ruedi !
14:00 1000 km completed at a speed of 137 kph 🙂
14:30 snowshowers everywhere, from Arlberg until Geneva. The day was short but brilliant.
18:00 diner with Barbara in Lenzerheide.

I love it !!

What a day and Benjamin Bachmeier must have  thought about the same ; up early in the morning, quickly to his home-field Koenigsberg and up in the air; 1.007,93 km. with a speed of 96.06 km./h. in his Discus 2.He just celebrated his birthday so this weather , this power/force of nature, was a nice present for him. He reached 4526 MSL [ 2361 AGL] but flew most of the flight lower than that ,even 110 or 377 AGL, but he knows the area very well.

Also great wave in Omarama where Jyry Laukkanen flew 920 km. in an LS 3a.


The LAKE KEEPIT REGATTA is on as well and their task 5 was one with many over 300 km. flights!
They fly in a ” ballasted mono class” with between 23 and 30 pilots as some do not fly every day and have “lay-days”. So does Bruce Taylor  flying an ASW 24 this time, who when he flew, occupied spot 1 [twice] and 2 [twice].
Gliders as Hornet, ASH 25 MI  , JS 1, Pegase, St. Libelle 201B , Duo Discus and more each with their own handicap, between 980[ St Libelle 201B] and 1225 [ASH 25 MI].
On task 3 ONLY NZ pilot Lyndsey Stephens in his ASW 27 b, finished on a day with a 3.30 AAT ;5 hours and 20  minutes of flying over 366 km and ALL FOR NOTHING as the day was invalid.
The last day with task  6 ,was a not so good one for Lyndsey, as he missed the start point, so zero points, such a pity but also a nuisance.
Great last day for Bruce who “got” the 1000 points for 356 km. in time 3.05 [3 hour AAT] and won the REGATTA with 3982 points flying 4 tasks, followed by Dave Shorter in the JS 1 b, 3637.

indeed very nice weather.
As shared by Robert.



As every year Rick from the USA, was so kind to send me a great summary of facts so here you are ,…very easy and you know the most important things.Thanks Rick!!! For ALL the facts you can go to the site.

—–The 2017 IGC Plenary took place on March 3-4 in Budapest, hosted by the Hungarian Federation.  The Hungarian Delegate, Andras Gyongyosi, made the arrangements for our meeting and accommodations, and for the dinner cruise on the Danube on Friday night.

34 countries were represented, and the agenda was full.  There were some significant changes to the Championships calendar, and we approved the bids of Germany and France to hold the World Championships in 2020.

No changes were made to the class definitions, but we have made a commitment to move toward fewer and more exciting competitions, and this will probably mean that there will be only one pilot per country per class in certain World Championship classes, beginning in 2022.

Here are the decisions that will affect competitions after 2018:

2019 Pan American Gliding Championships will be held in Ontario, Canada

2019 WGC in 13.5m Class in Pavullo, Italy (LIDP) will use electric self-launch

2020 WGC in Open, 18m, and 20m Classes in Stendal-Borstel, Germany (EDOV)

2020 WGC in 15m, Std, and Club Classes in Châlons-en-Champagne, France (LFQK)

No additional invitations to reigning Champions, except Women and Juniors

Distance days will be devalued (e.g. 600 points for winner if no finishers)

New Ranking List rules, including elimination of the 20m Class Ranking List

Possibility to combine JWGC and WWGC beginning in 2021

Possibility to reduce number of entries per country, beginning in 2022

In other decisions:

Reform of scoring formulas was approved.

The use of airframe parachutes in place of personal parachutes was approved.

Certain anomalies in the Badge and Record requirement were removed.

The use of water ballast in the Club Class was not approved.


The Lilienthal Medal was awarded to Patrick Pauwels (BEL), for his many years of service to IGC and as President of the European Gliding Union.  The Pirat Gehriger Diploma and the Pelagia Majewska Medal were not awarded this year.


Eric Mozer (USA) was re-elected President of IGC, and the new Bureau members will be Alexander Georgas (GR), Brian Spreckley (UK), Frouwke Kuijpers (NED), Marina Vigorito (ITA), Rene Vidal (CL), and Terry Cubley (AUS).
The next meeting will be on March 2 and 3 in 2018.

I am still very proud on my Pelagia Majewska Medal from 2015 [international recognition] and the Golden Pin from the KNVvl in 2016!!![National recognition]



—-a long and nicely written report of the Benalla WGC with co-operation /assistance from Sean Young. 14 Pages of very pleasant reading!!!!!
—-the new Ventus 3,.. a story written by an old mate Gerd Marzinzik for the Aerokurier and translated by Elke Fuglsang-Pedersen.
The New Ventus can carry 180 litres of water that will boost the take off weight to 600 kg. The inner tanks of the wings can be dumped without emptying the tank in the tail.
—-the 2017 OSTIV congress…..The 2017 OSTIV Prize went to the sailplane ‘sustainer’ FES….Morgan Sandercock ‘s address “First year in Argentina with the Perlan 2 glider” was a success…
—-Virtual reality has arrived…
—-The JS 3 development story …a spectacular 10 years!!!
—-Veronica the new place to go to in Namibia as shared by Bert Schmelzer sr. who had a great time there.
—- a review; the Soaring Engine volume 2 a new book by G Dale….
—-Russia,…immeasurable opportunities,..also for gliding…an expedition to investigate the potential of  the Urals is the dream of  Dimetria Ivanichev.

To subscribe on the digital Gliding International you can go
It’s easy enough.


And to finish;
In Holland some clubs started the 2017 season already. Here a nice sunset with the last flight for the day from the FAC the Frysian Aero Club up in the N.
NOW today , it’s raining “cat’s and dogs” totally wet,… no flying possible but they had their first weekend good on them . A very enthusiastic club full of nice people young and old[er]!!!

as shared by the FAC.

Cheers Ritz looking ahead at a good and and safe new 2017 season.
In Seminole [Florida] in the USA,the oldies WITH RESPECT  and 60 of them which means it is full, are practicing and enjoying each others company ahead of the senior contest [ March 11-17]  lead by good old John Good!!!
Must be great fun!!! Will come back on that next week.

March 1, 2017

Post 977,…with all kind of news! Over 700 km. on last day of “summer” down under.

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 7:38 pm

It is MARCH 1 2017, the beginning of the meteorological spring here and autumn/fall, down-under.
It does n’t feel like it ,as it looks more  ,that the weather-gods  swapped the weather from them and us and autumn started here.
We had also a severe February-storm last Thursday  up to bft 11. Code orange was set for all coastal areas and that just reached us here too. Not long anymore as I am moving to the SE of Holland, but now I had to deal with it and I do not like storms. Lot’s of damage in the UK [and even 1 dead] , Belgium , Germany ,the Eastern countries as Hungary and Holland, but “our”  damage bill stays under  10 million Euro.Still sounds like a lot of money !!
Tomorrow looks bad again for parts of Europe.


Looking back at November 30 2016 in NAMIBIA !

As said they had an excellent season and I showed you the OLC stats on the 4 places, Bitterwasser, Pokweni, Kiripotib and the new place-to-be- Veronica.
Looking back at November 30 2016, even the organizers there, were stunned by the circumstances. Over all these places a total of 43 over-1000-km-flights on one day!!!! That had never happened before.
Weather wise it was special, no convergences only reliable and fabulous thermals up to 5000 m.
From Pokweni , they flew 11 x a 1000 and mentioned on their site:
in the entire gliding area of ​​Namibia there were good cumulus that were not overdeveloped and absolutely reliable thermal with high climbing values ​​and that at a high base. This day will certainly be remembered for a long time.”


NEWS from/via Schempp Hirth !

Congratulations to Luka Žnidaršič, founder and owner of LZ Design, who was awarded this year’s OSTIV Prize for the Front Electric Sustainer (FES) system designed and produced by his company.

OSTIV stand for Organisation Scientifique et Technique du Vol à Voile and is a body associated with the FAI Gliding Commission (IGC). The FAI IGC oversees the sport of gliding worldwide and is a department of the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI).

FES is an innovative, silent and user-friendly sustainer engine system and is available for various Schempp-Hirth models, including the new Ventus and the Discus-2c.


AND,…. Dave Springford who flew the Benalla WGC for Canada has news as well;
“I am happy to announce that I am now the Canadian Representative for #SchemppHirth and their line of amazing gliders, including the new Ventus 3, Arcus, Quintus, Duo Discus and Discus.”


NEWS from Waikirie!

The next Multi Class Nationals in Australia will be held at Waikerie .
Practice Day 8th January with a possible 11 competition days from the 9th January to the 19th January 2018.

By the way,….last Monday , pretty late in the season, 2 Japanese pilots flew 629 km [570 FAI triangle] from Waikiri in an ARCUS M.


News From FAI SPG in the USA.

Not long and the very first USA- FAI- SGP will be held in Orlando at the Seminole Lake Gliderport  in Clermont Florida;March 26-April 1. |As I read at their site they have grown ” to become one of the most active glider operations in the United States. ”
They are a commercial operation, but a private airfield,all to be seen at

One of the sponsors, USA dealer for Schleicher, Williams Soaring Center , shares some news and a link;
“Top US Soaring supplier Williams Soaring Center provides substantial support to the FAI SGP USA Orlando.”

11 Pilots have entered with their 18 m. gliders and at this stage , as far as I can see, nobody is approved yet. Gliders of less than 18M span are welcome too. A total of 20 is allowed.
Only know Tony [Condon], Pete [Alexander] and Jerzy [Szemplinsky from Canada]
Jon Gatfield from the UK will be there as well, [5 foreign pilots are allowed ]  so will be Sean Fidler [USA] who flew the WGC in Benalla.
Sean is the  FAI SGP USA Orlando Event Manager

They use IN-REACH trackers [GARMIN] and as I did not know them and you might not either, I share what they write about it,
InReach offers pilots, fans and commentators much more detail in the live sailplane tracking experience.  It also provides excellent signal reliability.  Unlike Spot devices which provide only 10-minute cycle, “location only” tracking data, InReach provides location tracking cycles of as little as 30 seconds BUT ALSO INCLUDE altitude, ground Speed and heading.  This critical data makes the experience of live sailplane tracking much more exciting for all involved.  For example, with a Spot device you might appear to be sitting in the same location for 20 minutes (2 cycles) on the tracking page (such as Glideport.Aero or the SSA tracker).  Fan’s viewing your flight live do not know if your climbing or struggling to stay up, over a field (or landed).  They also won’t know how you’re doing vs. other gliders in the same area.  With InReach we can see that you came in fairly low, found a weak thermal after a few minutes of scratching around and then climbed out from 1100 AGL to over 7000 MSL in a weak 2 knot thermal (all in great detail).  This data is amplified when other gliders around you provide the same tracking detail. There is simply no comparison, and the slightly extra cost of an investment in InReach is WELL worth it, not only for SGP purposes but in your normal flying.”
BUT, you can also use there mobile trackers
Android users can download the Android App ($10) – IGCDroid app.
iPhone owners can download the free tracking app GlideTrack app

AND in the past “we” were fiddling around with 1,2 or 3 instruments in the glider, camera’s, barographs and real paper maps! A lot has changed in the 50 years I “walk” around in this world!!!

Will come back on the USA SGP when it is on.
Seminole hosts, as every year  since 1991,the Senior Soaring Championship, the 27th version from March 10 onward !!!
“The Seniors” started almost 25 years ago when Tom Knauff and Charlie Spratt talked about a “fun” contest for seniors.
Good old Charlie , such a nice and colorful guy,who died after a long battle of kidney failure in 2009.[RIP]



We could not call this Aussie soaring season one of the best, no ….it was pretty “poor” , but after the WGC in Benalla was over the weather improved and in February , unfortunately with shorter days, the weather improved even more and mainly Aussie pilots could enjoy it.
End of Februar [23]  Ian de Ferranti still flew 806 km [600 FAI triangle] from Pipers Field in a Ventus 2C/18m.
One day later on Friday he improved this flight and how;1.022,85 km. with a speed of 141 km./h.
A flight up to 322 km. OUT from Piepers field passing Narromine and Gilgandra to the NW and back. Nearly up to 4000 m.[ 3980]  MSL [3052 AGL] Great weather ;February 24 ,…nearly autumn, there you go!!!!

Also from Narromine and already on February 11, a great flight, with a good video from the flight on, from young female pilot, Ailsa [Mc Millan] and Matt [Cage] during the 2 seater comps. On a 46 C. dgr. day, they went up in the Geelong Duo Discus  and attempted a new speed record over 100 km !!!
” We started our task at about 3500m, and finished a touch over 2700m, finishing with a speed of 163.11kph. The climbs went to almost 4300m, where we climbed to later on.
The record claim paperwork is in the process of being completed as of 24/02/2017 – here’s hoping everything’s ok!” Ailsa mentioned.
So do I. Well done congratulations!!!
A great video by the way, very good for seminars were also young [future] pilots visit. It’s also on FB .

And talking about young pilots,….the RAAF gliding club from Richmond [close to Melbourne] took their DG 1000/20m. to Forbes to fly there a 750 km …. more or less out and return with some added kilometers to reach 750!! Good on them.

They took an IS 28 as well with a .,………REAL GOOD trailer!!!! What an advantage to be a member of an RAAF club.
In the past [2004]  we had at Tocumwal the Australian Army Cadets from the Sebastopol Cadet Unit. They all learned to fly with us within one week!!

with the text;”Richmond Gliding Club with their unique IS 28 B2 glider at Forbes.”
The weekend of the 26th and the 27th was good in Benalla,  664 km.[500 Fai triangle] in Ventus 16.6 m, Corowa, 611 km. in ASG 32 MI,  , Tocumwal 628 km. [400 FAI triangle]  in ASH 26, , Temora 592 km. in DG 800/18m and Mount Beauty had a nice flight from 367 km. [300 FAI triangle] in the ASK 21.
It seems the day was MUCH better than forecasted .
Swiss Chris flew from his homefield Tocumwal and mentioned:
Tocumwal Sunday Feb 27: Better than Saturday and much better than forecast. Cloudbase 2000-2500msl, climbs up to 4.5m/s and nice CU’s. >555km with 110km/h and <14% circling. 🙂 Average L/D of 75 isn’t bad for an ASW27″
He shared some pictures as well.
The area around Tocumwal, the skies in the area and a fabulous sunset.
Courtesy Swiss Chris.
And the great weather was still there on the last day of “summer” in Tocumwal, now summer mmm….????? but a great month of February and the last day was good as well. Terry Ryan flew in his ASH 26 E , a 722 km.[ 689 FAI triangle] and topped the OLC.
From Temora Brian Du Rieu flew in his LS 10 a 751 km [651 FAI triangle] and what about  617 [600 FAI triangle]  from Benalla in a SZD 55 by Charles Day.
Today March 1 Bob Nicholls still flew 701 km.[500 FAI triangle]  from Benalla in his 18 m. Ventus 2CT.
One of the Corowa owners Francesco enjoyed , now all overseas gliders and most guests are gone, from a few nice flights around 600 km. in the ASG 32 MI.

Talking about Australia , they recently had to abandon the original GFA Facebook page .We were not at all amused,…. BUT ,…..they have recently created a new page to replace it. Good on them !!!!!! Have a look and enjoy!!!
The new page,  to put in your favorites , is at :


About AEROMODELLING. Don’t know much about that but they had their World Championships and what I know is the value for events like this for participating “pilots” and their supporters. So here are the results as shared by the FAI Championship Results Notification Service.
F3P – Indoor aerobatics
Title:  2017 FAI F3P World Championship for Indoor Aerobatic Model Aircraft
Type : World
Date:  19.02 – 25.02.2017
Location:Strasbourg France

Final Results :
F3P – Overall
1st: Gernot Bruckmann AUT
2nd: Janne Lappi FIN
3rd: Donatas Pauzuolis LTU

F3P – Junior
1st: Felix Scander SWE
2nd: Joseph Szczur USA
3rd: Mattia Zeni ITA

F3P – Team
1st: Austria
2nd: France
3rd: Finland

Congratulations to ALL.


And to finish;

news from HpH Sailplanes UK.

Shark eS (FES) on its Maiden flight over the snow-covered countryside.”
As shared by HpH

That’s enough again for today. Though,… in Budapest  the International Gliding Commission meeting starts soon and participants from all over the world are arriving at the moment in Hungary.
Cu next week.
Cheers Ritz

February 22, 2017

Post 976…..with 2 Seater-comps in Narromine !News from Italy ! Fires in Christchurch !

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 7:03 pm


2 seater nationals in 20 m. and open class !
7 days out of 7 !

Day 5;
Finally it was their turn to win a day and it will get them more and more excited for comps. Dutch Evelien and William had no clue about flying AAT’s when they started this competition in their ARCUS T, from their home-field, but they learn quickly.
The set task from 370 km. was won by them with a nice speed of 141.04 km./h. and the runner up, team David Jansen  ” only ”  had 135 km. p/h. BUT in a DUO DISCUS, whilst the Tocumwal team Joergen and Lumpy, flying an ARCUS M had 139 km./h.
So that shows that it was a good day for Evelien and William, spending more and more time in Australia at Narromine where they run their own business during the season. All 10 teams in this class finished!!
Looking at the combined class with open  Peter Sheard and Ron Sanders were just a tad better. In their Nimbus 3 DM,  they flew around with a speed of 141 .41 km./h. So close!!!!!
Bernard in his ASH 30 MI did not fly.
Storms as forecasted to the north, north-east and Cu’s in the task area.  But a great Narromine day ….A real good one.

Allan Barnes is SO good in describing a day, so I give the “word”  to him:
Day 5 of the Narromine 2-seater Nationals. The forecast was for 14-15000ft but strangely it turned out different. We had a lot of points to catch up on Dave Jansen so we had to leave later and catch him. We hid off the upwind end of the start gate until we were sure most of the pilots had started, then raced down the first downwind leg at 100kt. A few good pullups but the 10kt thermal just before the downwind turn never eventuated. Had to turn low, by which stage the trough line coming in from the west was shading the courseline. We found 5kt which got us to the second turn, and had a fairly good run north, making distance on most of the others. I left a 7kt when it turned to 6, in order to catch another one on the next downwind leg. But we never found one, and ended up taking a weak 3-4 to get the penultimate turnpoint. Almost on final glide but not quite, the final indignity was a 2-kt climb onto final glide. Then the really really final indignity was getting good lift from then on all the way back and finishing at VNE. Faster than yesterday but not much, and we had to be much.” [OLC comment]
The difference in points when they started that day was 169 points so their hope to catch up was reality.
After today it is 243. BUT,…that still means nothing……

Joergen in the back of his ARCUS M.
Courtesy Lumpy Paterson.

Day 6;
This day was for the “Tocumwal”-team, both import- Tocumwallers, but no worries and,…they were the only team finishing!! Joergen and Lumpy flew during the 2.30 AAT 253 km.  in time 2.35 .
Matt and Ailsa flew 324 km. but did not finish.
Allan gained a few points on David ; 631 for 562. Looking at the open 2 seater class, the only winner there was of course also team Joergen/Lumpy in the ARCUS M. Peter and Ron were runner up .
Day 6 as seen by daily winner Lumpy;
“Well what a mixed bag today. The WX was overcast and looking pretty ordinary this morning, so much so that we had the pilots meeting. The sky opened up very quickly and it was suggested the trough to the north would be working well if we could get to it…. 15kts from the SW on the ground. Engine away and we where struggling to get above 3k….finally got up and looked for wave …..and low and behold we connected, managed to climb up to 7500….about 3k above cloud base….(scattered Cu) massive wind change at height..15kt SW to 35kt NW… So picked this energy line for half to the first leg, mind you once outta that it was hard work to connect to the trough line….some did, some didn’t get there …..(landed out in paddocks) The trough line was so far to the east, it was almost out of the sectors…. We managed a climb to 8100 right on the edge of the line and set out for home needing 1800 feet with a 3kt ring setting…..we did not turn all the way home, 115 kms final glide with at 50 to 1 ….sweeeeeet
Yippee…..the only glider to get home today….and thus a day win 😀😀
Very happy day in the office….” 

Day 7;
LAST DAY on Sunday and it looks like Joergen and Lumpy finally had the right groove together in this beautiful ARCUS M. They won another day!!! Not enough to climb up higher than spot 5 overall but still,….a great result.
A speed task from 345 km. was set and flown with a speed of 122.45 km.h. and the max 928 points were theirs.
Here is Lumpy about the last comp day..
SW wind 15kts with thermals to 6k….4 to 6kts…345km racing task. The plan was to get out front of the gaggle and stay there….and it worked. Really good first and second leg, got bogged down a bit on the third as conditions softened again out around Nyngan (this place got me durning the NSW comps as well)….. Tip toed along this leg and managed to get a reasonable climb just before the last turn which gave us final glide …. Great way to finish the comp with another win…
Thank you very much to Birgitte and Jorgen for giving me the opportunity to fly your amazing Arcus M (JT) greatly appreciated.”

Last day winners Lumpy and Joergen with Beryl.
As shared by Lumpy.

Team David Jansen [Duo Discus] was only 5th on this last day , but there was room to fly defensive,…. though ….that’s not how I know David.
Anyhow team David and Lesley, are the new CHAMPIONS in the 2 seater 20 m. class and open!!!!6169 points.

The Jansen family; David, Lesley and Rebecca. AND,…June, David’s mum is there as well.
They were in Uvalde in 2012 as well,….. indeed a real family affair!!!

Allan was runner up on the last day  and  decided to defend his 2d place , which was necessary [ 3 points !!!!] and did that, they even got a bit closer to David; 6056 points AND…..he defended his 2d place as the difference was 34 points now with team Stewart  [6022]

David Holmes and Allan Barnes.
Both pictures courtesy Sharon Dennis and  shared by the Australian 2 -seater comps.

Looking at open,  team David and Lesley had 6038 points and team Ron and Peter 5983.
As Allan said;”Great comp – 7/7 days flying, good competitive spirit and a very challenging and entertaining mix of weather.

Some impressions as shared by the Comps organizers;


With Ailsa [ here without Matt] …. Good old Bob Ward , HI BOB,….Catherine talking to Ron [Sanders] with Bob’s son Andrew listening.


Catherine selflaunching the  Stemme S10…….Task setter “Rowy”, John Rowe …HI JOHN…..the all important briefing.


as seen by top photographer Geoff Soper, who lives in Christchurch.


TRAGIC, devastating, what can I say more…..

Talking about the weather phenomena last week, this week Christchurch was in “the sad picture”. Not because of an earthquake …yes they are more or less well known for them…but because of dangerous all overwhelming fires!! Geoff Soper , top photographer , shared a few with us and seeing that ,your heart breaks for the people living there. Quite some of our soaring mates  live there  or in the surrounding.

One of the fire-brigade- helicopter- pilots ,crashed and died, whilst helping out.He was a veteran pilot , as I read an hero in the past and…. NOW again. Too sad for words.


Heroes they are!!!!!! And what skills…..
What great coverage of these fires by Geoff, sad only is the occasion !!! Lot’s of native forest has been destroyed.
“Decades of conservation work has gone up in smoke as the Port Hills fire rages across some of the region’s last remnants of native forest.
While the fate of several important reserves remains hidden beneath smoke and beyond cordons, some reserve land has been confirmed destroyed.
The fire spread across the hills at a rapid pace, finding plenty of ammunition in the highly flammable gorse, broom and pine forests threaded across the hills.” source ENVIRONMENT.

Last Saturday ,the fires were not out , there was a bit of rain but not yet enough.On Monday they were still busy.



2 Competitions one in Santa Cilia and one in Rieti; this new  initiative ,called the N42 Gliding Cup ,is launched by Luis Ferrera and Aldo Cernezzi.
Currently Aldo is the Competition Director in Rieti for a full month between July and August and happy to help organize a new competition in early September as well.
Gliding races/ competitions on the parallel 42°N.

The final rankings of the N42 Gliding Cup are the combined results of the two competitions in the same year.
We love both these places and we wish to invite you to a new experience. And also, we want to provide the opportunity to extend your racing season for a couple more weeks.

When you are interested,….by the way both fields have a very nice swimming-pool for the family.

Coppa Città di Rieti, 14 – 20 August 2017…/coppa-citta-di-rieti-rieti-20…/

The grid in Rieti. Have been there many times!!!!

Copa Ciudad de Jaca, 3 – 9 September 2017

The grid in Santa Cilia de Jaca in the Pyrenees.
Pictures courtesy Aldo.


Interesting OLC flights.

I missed one on February 13 .A flight from an airfield I never heard from but not too far from Tocumwal…Weird! It is South from Swan Hill,… know that area and West from Corowa…. know that area even better. All in the game ,…Yando Airfield Boor is the name!!
Marlies Eicher flew in an Archaeopteryx, ….never heard from either,…some kind of goal flight without destination ,… guess flying with the wind as far as possible,…distance 586 km. in 9 hours and 19 minutes  68 km./h. BUT all under 2000 m!!!!!
The highest point was 1.714 MSL and 1.577 AGL.
Looking at GOOGLE;

The Ruppert Archaeopteryx (English: ancient wing) is a Swiss high-wing, pod-and-boom, single-seat, microlift glider that was designed by Roger Ruppert and is produced by Ruppert Composite GmbH.
The aircraft is named for the feathered Archaeopteryx dinosaur.
No idea if this was the glider but here is the picture from the standard version [from 2011]  I found on Google .

Never to old to learn something new. Very interesting!

On February 18 Benalla had a super -late- summer- day with flights up to 845 km. [ 800 FAI triangle]  in an LS 4 by WGC meteo-man Toby Geiger!
It seems there was an “excellent cold SW airstream with good cu’s” , so all good flights were flown direction West.
The Kestrel flew 577 km !!! 8 Flights between 500 and 845 km !!! Not bad!!!! Still wish they would have had more of this weather during the WGC, but what can you do.


That’s it for now.
CU Ritz

February 15, 2017

Extreme heatwave in Februar in Australia! DG…LS1-f in a “new jacket” !St. Gaudens..WOW !!Benalla CD report !

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 6:32 pm

Post 975 , with what happened in our world last week!!!

Whilst we had over the weekend,  between 4 and 8 cm. snow [winter] …AND … TODAY up to 15/16 dgr. C. [spring] …… friends in Australia suffered.
welcome to hell on earth[BSCH with one of the quotes about the weather]

With temperatures up to 45 dgr. C the “poor people down under ” had to deal with another heatwave. They just had one broken by a dust storm and rain ,… now they have a new one.
As one of the weather channel’s [JWC] mentioned:
Large parts of SA, NSW, North western Victoria and will move into southern inland QLD on Sunday will be impacted by these extreme 45c+ temps including regions near Sydney on Saturday which may include the suburbs.”


As shared by Tammy, who used to live in Tocumwal and Mary Anne who lives in Tocumwal.

That does not only mean HOT, but also huge risk of bush fires and heat stress factors to people and animals.Some of my Toc friends struggled already with the heat last week, now this week they struggled again.
“Nice cool high up ” ,for Toc. glider pilot Terry , who flew in his ASH 26 an FAI triangle of 691 km and a total distance of 717 km. on Friday!!!!!
And Ingo , as you know not the youngest anymore but still going strong, did a test flight in the ASW 17, [yes the former glider from Dick Butler] , same day, same temperature ,…43 dgr C !!!!!…

The ASW 17.

It is 43 degrees in Tocumwal today & the ground staff has the course looking schmicko for the 2 Person Ambrose Championship this weekend! Well done boys, your hard work is appreciated!” by  #golfonthemurray #visitthemurray #golfcourse
And even with the heat the nowadays combined golf & bowls-club, is looking spiffy. As you can see on pictures shared by the Tocumwal Residential Airpark. Been there a lot!!!


With their message:”Can’t beat these greens, and the cool river too. How lucky are we to be here during a heatwave?

In between the west of Australia suffered from heavy floods due to torrential rain  and in Perth in the Swan Valley,  entire grape crops have been wiped out. It is not only bad in Australia, as the NE of the US suffered from heavy snow storms last Thursday hitting New York and surroundings and St Louis was hit by a tornado ruining houses over a line of 3 km. wide. And after a lot of rain , parts from California had to be evacuated due to an overfull dam ready to break….. 200.000 people were on the move.
The weather really has lost the plot and when “we” did that,’ we” better should do something against it ,…when it is still possible.


Talking about Australia ,……

Here is the Benalla report by Champions director Terry Cubley.

Terry,…As shared on the WGC site.

—“ In many ways, the Benalla World Gliding Championships were a big success. We had great support from GFA members with over 70 volunteers spending three weeks to ensure we could put on a good show. Another 30 spent two to five days helping out with a myriad of jobs.

Our focus was to ensure everything we did contributed to the pilots being better able to compete fairly without too many hassles. We all learned that 90% of the pilots were nice people just wanting to have a good time and enjoy some fast competition. A few others were a little tense and, therefore, more prone to complain or react. Our team quickly learned to keep smiling and to work with the pilots, which worked well.

The advice to “keep smiling” and sound positive also applied to how we worked with the weather. It was a terrible weather system that we had to contend with. The task area was still green from a very wet spring, we were constantly subjected to high cloud streaming over from WA, and temperatures were quite low. Not great gliding weather at all.

We had three really good days over the three weeks. Two of those days, occurring in the practice period, saw typical high speeds under cumulus, and the one good day during the competition featured good heights, although blue, with open class completing 750km and the other classes near 700km.

Most days had the same structure – thermals starting to 3,000ft between 12 and 1pm, with maximum heights expected from 4,000 to 6,000ft. The weather models showed thermals weakening from 6.30pm, although the pilots were regularly coming home at 7.30pm.

Race tactics are quite important if you want to win this event. The scoring system rewards people who don’t make mistakes, and does not reward people who try things differently. As a result, pilots were not prepared to start early and risk getting rolled by the gaggle. On many days, the large gaggle waited until long after it made sense to leave and, as a consequence, the gaggle progressed en masse around the course.

Pilots were complaining about the risks in the gaggle, but they all still waited for it and would not go alone. We had two mid air collisions. Two 18m gliders ‘touched’ (which means ‘crashed’) on day 2, but both were able to return to an airfield and both flew the next day. The other crash was more dramatic, causing both pilots to parachute. The injuries sustained appeared to result mainly from landing in the parachute with strong winds on the ground.

The task setting was very well done by Weather Lady Jenny Thompson and Task Setter Tobi Geiger. The weather was hard to predict, in particular at what time it would start and finish, but we had to set increasingly larger tasks to try to reduce gaggles before the start. A 30-minute delay in launching could make a task less likely to be achieved, so we had a fine balance between launching into low altitude or changing to task B. On one day, we had to invent Task C, sending a car carrying the new task sheets in a mad rush down the runway in time to meet the delayed launch time.

Tobi’s plan was to try and keep the three classes separated by setting tasks into different areas, so we often had one class heading west towards Bendigo, another class heading NW towards Hay, and the third class northeast towards Temora. Sometimes, a short leg along the edge of the hills at the start was needed for one class to give a separation in time, when they would then head north. This worked well and the separation was achieved on all days. The weather was not good enough to go into the hills to the south except during the practice period and even then, many competitors were reluctant to venture in due to the limited outlanding options available from the heights being achieved.

The last day was a good example of the comp. Launching was delayed for 15m class and heights achieved were under 3,000ft AGL. Gliders were dropping water and milling around in low gaggles. By the time we came to launch 18m class, the gliders were just getting to 3,000ft, and as we had a different launch area we continued to launch 18m class, who also milled around at 3,000ft in low gaggles. Heights slowly improved and the 15m class moved away towards their start line, allowing enough space to launch Open class, who then milled around in low gaggles at 3,500ft, slowly climbing to 4,000ft.  It takes 80 minutes to launch the fleet, but we managed to get them into the air in time to make their tasks achievable. It was all a bit low but a good opportunity to race for the final placings.

The tasks were difficult throughout the competition, but the pilots were better. At this level, small errors make a big difference and after seven or eight days of racing, a few pilots had slipped down the ranking due to outlandings or some slow speeds. But there were some familiar faces near to the top.

In Open class, Andy Davis and Michael Sommer, who fought out a close battle in Poland two years ago, were both again in the top three, with Michael in third place only 30 points behind Russel Cheetham in first, with Andy between. On the last day, Michael and his team mate Tassilo Bode started a few minutes after Russell and Andy. As we watched the tracking, they remained close to each other all the way around. It came down to getting a climb on the Warby hills 40km from home – who could get onto glide the fastest. They were all below glide, with half a knot climb rate. Tassilo headed off on final glide to see if he could pick up the height by gliding and therefore give Michael some advice. He didn’t, and had to fire up his engine 5km short. Russell achieved glide first and flew home to become world champion. Michael got home only a few seconds later, but not enough to bridge the 30 point gap.

Michael and Andy silver and bronze in open class.
As shared on the WGC site.

In 18m class, Killian Walbrou (France) was 70 points ahead of a group of two Germans and two British pilots. Killian was the first pilot home just before 6pm and was the new world champion, just ahead of Mario Kiessling and Mike Young.

Killian , French [military] helicopter captain. Lovely guy , had an interview with him in Rayskala.
Here trying out a 15 m. JS 3 RAPTURE, but flying during the comps in an 18 m. JS 1.
10 Years after he became JUNIOR WORLD CHAMPION in Rieti [ 2007,… I was there] he is senior World champion.
Very well deserved! Though I know Mike and Mario are toppers as well.
Picture shared by Pole France Planeur.

15m class was also quite dramatic, with Mak Ichikawa in the lead going into the last day, 33 points ahead of Sebastian Kawa and his Polish team mate Lukasz Grabowski. Mak and Matthew Scutter flew together, starting a little earlier than the Polish pilots, and were managing to say ahead quite well until the last turnpoint area. Mak and Matthew went much further into the turnpoint area, probably expecting some good air on the way home, but it was getting late with an expected finish time of around 7pm. Sebastian won the day at 81kph, but meanwhile Mak had got low on the Warbies coming home and arrived 40 minutes late at an average speed of 71kph. Sebastian was once again world champion with Mak Ichikawa in Silver medal position and Lukasz with the Bronze.

Picture courtesy Maria Szemplinsky.

So the weather wasn’t easy on the pilots or the organizers, but the pilots still had a very tough battle and the skills of the champions really showed through. Open Class had nine tasks, 18m Class had eight tasks and 15m Class had seven tasks. These tasks, with the three practice days, provided enough flying to make it a very viable outcome.” 

Nothing more to say,…clear and pretty straight forward as expected from Terry.
The first days of February showed flights from between 150 and 612 km. from Benalla. Mind you this is LATE summer.
[ ] At this site you can re-read all the official news from the WGC in Benalla.


DG Flugzeugbau GmbH !

Announced great news on February 8 2017!!!

–“ Today we assembled our new LS1-f neo the first time. With it’s new neo winglets, the wing-fuselage transition and a new paint shop this beauty could also be a new aircraft!
The upcoming weekend, we plan to conduct the first flights for certification. We are curious about how the modifications will influence flight characteristics!

This LS1-f neo will soon be a racing with a young talented pilot as a sponsorship.

How do you like the new look of our LS1-f neo?“—
I love IT !!!!!!!

As shared by DG.

test flight done.

“Yesterday, we were able to conduct the first flights with our LS1-f neo in Sinsheim. Thanks to the good weather, we were able to perform multiple flights. All pilots were very excited and loved the new flight characteristics. During the next weeks, flight testing goes on. Afterwards, we’ll hand over this beauty to a young talented pilot to support him season 2017.”


NZ…..Papawai…continued… .

The Central district championships in Papawai continued after waiting first, for 4 days and started ” carefully” with a 2 hour AAT in the combined class with the most participants.A 1000 points day for winner Stew Barton in the DG 400, with 187 km in time .1.58.
USA pilot Keith [ASG 29] was runner up with 240 km. [handicap 111] and Tim Bromhead [DG 300] 3d.
Keith mentioned on the OLC; ”  Good to the south. Overcast to the north made the flight scrappy and very slow.”
One day later another difficult day in this class now with a 2.15 AAT and,….not a lot of finishers.In the combined class, only 4 from 19 starters , finished. Among them good old Tony van Dyk in his LS 8. He was runner up with 255 km. in time 2.59. Daily winner Patrick Driessen with 246 km. in time 2.42 in an 18 m. Ventus 2C [handicap 110]. He moved straight up overall from 5 to 1 !!!!
Chapeau for Mike O’ Donnell who flew in his Libelle OVER 4 hours but he finished !!!! a deserved 4th spot.[273 km.]
Tim was on spot 8 and Keith on 7,  with as comment:
” High overcast snuffed out most of the thermals to the north. Kept optimistically thinking I would get a climb. Wrong!

On the last day this class got a 2.30 AAT and it changed the overall scores ; Tim flew 309 km. in time 2.26 and for him that meant 1000 points.He moved overall from 5 to 3.[2413]
Winner in this class after 3 days of soaring, Patrick with 2711 points and runner up Tony van Dyk, good on him…2573.

Looking at the  4 classes each after 3 out of 7 days;
Open 1. Tony van Dyk [2521] , 2. Tim Bromhead [2385], 3. Patrick Driessen [2370]
Racing; 1. Grae Harrison team in DG 1000S [ 2114]
Sports ;1. Richard Keir in PW 5 [1204]
Combined; 1. Patrick Driessesn [2711] 2. Tony van Dyk [2573] 3. Tim Bromhead [2413]
Keith did not fly on the last competition day for points,  but did a 586 km for fun.

One day later,Keith Essex flew on the N Island from PAPAWAI a 1000!!! I did in the past the A1 highway, going from N to S on the top island, he “took” the wave  between water to the left and the right;1.020 km. with a speed of 142 km./h.
His comment on the OLC;
“Was a challenge connecting to the wave off the winch, just 6kts of wind at 2000ft. Tricky semi unstable wave with lots of moisture. Fun to figure it out and put it all together.”
By now after so much time in N.Z. he has this wave in “his fingers”.
AND,…he proved that on the 14th ..VALENTINE’S day.. with another LONG flight from Papawai;
1.276 km. with a speed of 181 km./h.
Came to the North Island for thermal and convergence flights but found wave instead.
Same route and I guess same fun when you love kilometers in wave!!!!!


Australia….some nice flights and 2 seater Nationals.

Not far from NZ , Australia “suffered” as said  from a heatwave , but not all suffered.Matthew flew a 1000 last Saturday as well.1.099 km. from Pipers Field in his Discus 2a. A sort out and return direction NW, nearly 500 km. out.
His OLC comment;”Very straight forward day. Great streeting. Unfortunately switched off quite aggressively at the end of the day which hurt the speed a bit.
That speed still was 146.7 km./h.
Some more comment :”Probably should have done a declaration today, 1.250 k O/R or 1.100 k FAI would have been easily possible… but I wasn’t feeling in the mood for a long flight at launch, it just kind of happened. The weather was the easiest soaring weather I’ve ever flown. 13.000 ft cloudbase lifting to 15.000 ft, consistent climbs, solid streeting, early start, late finish.
Believe this is the longest flight ever out of Bathurst, and my fastest 1000 (148kph avg. when I crossed the 1000k mark, higher than I started too)”
So a pleasant day for Matthew.
The change arrived on Sunday and the fun and or heat-stress was over, temperatures from the low 40 thies to 22 dgr.C. though Lake Keepit still had a flight with nearly 800 km in the JS 1. And 542 in an LS 4 from Warwick is not bad either!!
Akemi, working hard as “crew” from vice-world champion Mac, in Benalla , now flew the LS 8 over 545 km. from Mc Caffery Field.
Good on her.

The 2 seater comps started in Narromine last Monday with 13 teams.
5 Pilots in open class , among them good old Peter Sheard from the UK, flying together with Ron Sanders in the Nimbus 3D. Peter was a” regular” at Sportavia in the past. On his way to Narromine he , of course, passed by at Tocumwal with his wife.
Female pilot Catherine Conway, flies the Stemme S10 VT and there is one more Stemme.
Further on 2 x Nimbus 3DM and an ASH 31 MI.
8 pilots in the 20 m. class with gliders as DUO DISCUS x 8 and an ARCUS M and T.
In the end they put all in ONE Class, much easier to follow!!

In the practice period great weather with an 800 FAI triangle for Attila Bertok and John Smith in the Duo Discus and 886 in total and Evelien and William flew an FAI triangle of 595 km. and a total distance of 755 km. with a nice speed of 143 km./ their ARCUS T.

According to Evelien and William day 1 of the 20 mtr. two-seater Nationals had ”  20-25 kts wind and in the blue with a cool southerly wind.”
Day 1 ; a set 244 km. racing task and Allan Barnes got the most out of the day, as so often. He  flew the Duo over the circuit with a speed of 76.63 km./h.  with David Holmes. They called it a ”  Very blue, low, windy day. Tough work. We were almost last off the grid but fortunately found a good climb that took us to the top of convection immediately.”
The rest of the comment on

A tough day as only 8 from the 13 [3 teams fly HC] finished. Catherine was unlucky as she only got 57 points for 23.5 km. and Terry Cubley had ONE more. It could be worse as the Duo Discus from the Hunter Valley, [hope it is not the one they bought in the past from us] only managed 19 km.;47 points.
Catherine’s comment; “Too optimistic about the conditions and flew too fast. Got low near the irrigation and had to start the engine. Bugger. Beaten by  Terry Cubley and John Orton by 20m and 1 point! ”
Tocumwal pilots Joergen [from Denmark but escaping the European winter-season  in Toc.] and Lumpy in the ARCUS M, managed to just make it in, after nearly 4 hours.

Day 2;
From Catherine first the next news , after she started and flew 52 km.:
Thought we were doing well today. Good start. Good climbs. Clearly we had the opposition worried because they sent an attack eagle against us along the first leg. Eagle hit the left wing about halfway out. Stemme 1 -Wedgie 0 🙁. Aircraft looked ok but prudent to return to base at slow speed to land and inspect the aircraft more thoroughly. Happy to say no damage.”

So with a 497 km. day , the pilots were looking at a fun-day, won by Bernard Eckey in the ASH 30 MI, [ speed 121 km./h. ], he flies HC as do the runners up Peter and Ron. Looking at points for the championship Davis Jansen won the 1000 points with a speed of 103 km./h in the Duo.ONLY 2 points MORE than Allan and David in the Duo T.
997 Points for Terry and John. All very close.

Nostalgia. …good old mate Peter with his hat from 25 years !!!
as shared by Sportavia.

Joergen and Lumpy had a reasonable day :”It was a hard work survival day. 3 times below 300 m, and the dry thermals dying at 1200 m agl. We are flying at max weight with no water to dump.”
They just missed out on 25 k , but started as last pilots as they hoped the day would get better. It did not.

Joergen and Lumpy from Tocumwal in Narromine.
As shared by Lumpy.

Today; day 3,  a 4 hour AAT with flights up to 558 km. and speed up to 138 km./h .
” what a day ! Cu’s and good lift in the task area.
More next week as all scores are not yet in or look for scores at


In between the Dutch Junior team is working hard on their gliders and Cirrus AG is ready for the 2017 [competition-] season, now only the weather has to be ready. Glider AU is still in the work shop. As shared by the team.


St. Gaudens!

The day-to-be-for-great-wave was last Sunday in the Pyrenees .  Some pilots must have known by studying the weather earlier, [as most good pilots do who when they want to achieve something] , that Sunday had the potential to be a TOP DAY with mistral. And it was!!!
WOW, WOW, great wave and super long flights for sure damn cold,  but the adrenaline “heats” .
Gil Souviron flew in a TAURUS ; 1.263,4 km. with a speed of 138.8. km./h.
He called the conditions “very nice” ,….understatement maybe ???But he was happy ;
I have realized a dream, more than 1000km with a glider.”
Robert Prat, already famous for his long flights from St Gaudens, had in his ASG 29 E/18 m. a “dream-flight” ;1.327,58 km. with a speed of 161 km./h. Well done Robert!!!
His OLC comment ;”Cold, but too warm when low in the strong wind shear.”
At one point he was ” low”  at 1980 m MSL [1218 AGL] , the rest of the flight was between 4 and 5000 m. up to 5803 MSL [4625 AGL]


on Februar 13 JAPAN topped the OLC list with a flight from TSUKB;376 km. in an 18 m. Discus 2 T.
That’s it for now CU next week.
25 blogs to go for number 1000!!!!!!

Cheers Ritz hope you a had a lovely VALENTINE.

February 8, 2017

A New Zealand blog ;Matamata ; NZ club class Nationals..Omarama with great flights .. Gliding International January/February!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 6:55 pm

Matamata !
January 27-February 4 2017.

The Matamara soaring center,as shared on their site.

The airfield of Matamata , homefield of the PIAKO Gliding Club,  was the host for the club class Nationals in New Zealand with 10 competitors in 2 classes and reasonable weather with 7 days out of 9 .
I even think we passed this field when I drove around with John and Chris Roake [GLIDING INTERNATIONAL] in 2010/2011.

6 Pilots in club class,  each in a different type of glider as PW 6, Discus B, St Libelle, DG 100, LS 4 and DG 300.
And the same 6 pilots , with 4 other pilots/gliders in the open version; as Duo Discus, LAK 12 , Puchacz [SZD 50]  and  JS 1 .
With several AAT’s between 2 hours and 2.45 and set tasks from 244 km. pilots had up and downs, some real up and downs loosing days and winning days , as Tim Bromhead, just back from the WGC in Benalla. He flew an ASG 29 there and finished on spot 34 from 43.
Tim , flying the DG 300 and a member of the local Piako Glidingclub, was “out ” on task 1 and got 296 points of the 1000 available on a 2 hour AAT-day.Not good. The PW 6 pilot gained the 492 points as winner.
BUT,…Tim won task 2 [2.45 AAT] ,…1000 points in the pocket.
Task 3 was his as well [2.30 AAT] ; as there were only 5 finishers he got the 900 points available for the day.
Task 4 gave him a 3d spot as the St. Libelle was runner up and Bob Gray in the DG 100 won and task 5 with a set 244 km. was “out” again, and only 3 pilots finished; Bob in the DG 100, Bill Mace in the LAK 12 and Mark Wilson in the Libelle.
Tim was on spot 5 with 186 points from the 833 available for the day.
As I said up’s and down’s.
Another 2 hour AAT was set as task 6 but had to be cancelled.
They tried again last Friday with task 7, another 2 hour AAT and yes it was flown. AND, was a fast day ; in pure club the Libelle who won showed a speed of 120.65 km./h. over 241 km. AND,..the runner up in the DG 100 had 120.27 km./h. over 240 km.. !!
I checked for “maybe wave” but no, no wave.
Looking at the open version;  speed was 135.97 for Mark in the Libelle.
Saturday was the last day and task 8 was set ; 2.15 AAT and local, Bob Gray had his 3d win.

So the DG 100 with Bob was the clear NATIONAL CHAMPION in club class. He flew very consistent, won 3 days and had NO out-landings.
Look at the points; 5.730, whilst runner up Tim with his up’s [ 2 daily win’s] and downs [ 2 “out’s”] had 4.836 points.
Mark in the St .Libelle was on a good 3d place [4.650.]
The open version scores were a bit different; Bob won, runner up was the LAK with Bill and Tim was 3d.
Finally “summer”  in N.Z. with 30 dgr. C.


Omarama pilots from glider ZR and QQ enjoying /”playing in the wave after ridge soaring Mount Cook.”
Got the pictures from Glide Omarama on my FB site, courtesy Milan sawyer.

Trial flight(s) in a southerly wave – lee of the Hawkduns, with Dan (ZR).
Lake Benmore, and Pukaki in the distance.”

Talking about N.Z. is talking about wave and….WAVE  …… showed up at NZ ‘s top- mountain– mecca- Omarama. They had that Friday great [but a bit complicated] weather too. “A day of Awesome Clouds!” was part of the comment from Finish pilot, Jyri [Laukkanen], who flew in nice wave a distance of 722 km. in an LS 3 a.
A…”sky full of lennies” , was what Aussie Graham [Parker] said after his flight in the ASH 25. [612 km.]
Both Jyri and Graham are frequent flyers in Omarama.
AND,….last Saturday another great flight 771 km. in the LS 3 a , flown by Peter Mc Kenzie. A day with SW- wave according to Graham and ” a lot of cloud about.”
Like Australia they have a great after-summer-time.

As shared on the Omarama site.


Paraparumu Airport, New Zealand.

YES,…  I was at the North Island and we passed by Wellington about 50 km. from Paraparumu, but we did not visit this airfield, so like many aboriginal names in Australia sound intriguing, so do the Maori names;
Paraparumu means “scraps from an earth oven” in Maori: “parapara” means “dirt” or “scraps” and “umu” means “oven”. It is commonly abbreviated to “Para-Param”, particularly by longer-term residents of European ethnicity, and simply “Pram” by local youth.”[ Wikipedia]
The NZ Central Districts Gliding Championships 2017 started on February 5 , as I read on soaringspot, with a cancelled day.
The next day a task was set, only a ONE hour AAT,  but the 24 participants got the message , according to top USA pilot Keith Essex; “Day cancelled after launch. Increasing moisture through the day. Great cloudscapes.”
He must have thought , now I am here anyhow, I do a “bit of flying” and he flew 735 km. in the ASG 29/18m.!!!!!!!WOW!!!!!
On a cancelled day, bit embarrassing??
Keith flies already since the end of October in N.Z. first in Omarama on the South Island and very successful with 3 over 1000 km. flights, one with a speed of just under 180 km./h.  and then from Papawai, this 735 km. task, not too far from Wellington.
Other pilots flying this competition are Tim Bromhead yes from….and good old Tony van Dyk,

Whilst writing all this, I got totally confused. Tried to find out if Papawai was the same airfield as Paraparumu…???
Did some research,… found both names ….and some facts,…. but not where the comps exactly were.
So I contacted Jill [Mc Caw] who knows everything about NZ and even more about soaring in N.Z. and she wrote me back and the answer is clear; NO GLIDERS fly anymore from Paraparumu !!!
Here is what Jill wrote,…thanks Jill:
The Wellington Gliding Club used to fly from Paraparumu which is on the west coast just north of Wellington. Due to increased commercial use of that airfield they were forced to move. About two years ago they joined forces with Gliding Wairarapa based on an airstrip in Papawai, a small place near Greytown in the Wairarapa. The airstrip is now the Greytown Soaring Centre, and both clubs operate independently off it while cooperating to run youth camps, and this, their first competition. Greytown is in the Wairarapa, separated from the Wellington region by Rimutaka Range, and a steep, windy road. The weather conditions can be very different “over the hill”. It is a little further to go for Wellington people, but conditions are better and bunkrooms are being built.

Well after all this research I am still waiting for task 1…..the nice weather disappeared for a few days. No task today.Next week more.

More news last week from NZ.
Geoff Soper a fabulous photographer shared this great picture and news on FB and I share it with you non-fb-users. This NASA -DC 8 , a kind of flying-lab, arrived in New Zealand and landed at Christchurch .
 NASA DC-8-72 arriving CHC.
It has been highly modified to support the agency’s Airborne Science mission. The aircraft, built in 1969 and acquired by NASA in 1985, is 157 feet long with a 148-foot wingspan. With a range of 5,400 nautical miles (6,200 statute miles), the aircraft can fly at altitudes from 1,000 to 42,000 feet for up to 12 hours, although most science missions average six to 10 hours. The DC-8 can carry 30,000 pounds of scientific instruments and equipment and can seat up to 45 experimenters and flight crew


Talking about N.Z…..

The new Gliding International for March /April from editor John Roake is nearly out and I still have not given you details from the first issue of this year January/February.
It’s a bit more complicated now,as all overseas readers got a code to read the magazine digital. Of course that’s the future and I read it ,…but found it more difficult to skim through digital pages instead of paper pages. In the end I “got it”  and in fact ….it is easy!!!!
Here you are:
—–quite a few pages for Sebasian Kawa’s adventure in the Coucasus Mountains. His expedition to Russia covers 14 pages with great pictures and interesting stories but also tip’s what’s allowed and not allowed in Russia p.e about pilot’s license validation.
——Paul Remde shows on his page the latest soaring product news. P.e, news about the latest colibri x GPS flight recorder and the LX NAV NANO 4 GPSflight recorder and more.[]
——Aldo [Cernezzi] evaluates and comes with an explanation for poor handling on tow.
—– the ARCUS J as in JET; The ARCUS M airframe from Schempp-Hirth get’s a PBS-TJ-100 engine installed by Desert Aerospace of New Mexico….. More in the magazine!
—–the history of ” Wings & Wheels “.
—–Gliding’s best kept secret the JS 3 RAPTURE. We had already the opportunity to see how good this 15 m. class glider is as it showed it’s great performance in Benalla. Both gliders were flown by the Jonker brothers Uys and Attie.
—–all about a world map in 3D.
—–lot’s of world aviation  news for glider pilots.
And much more.
So if you wish you can read it digital now as well , in fact it is easy and clear.


Some more airfield ‘s..

And a few pictures from other airfields in New Zealand. I took them in the 2010/2011 year. I had the unique opportunity to see SO much from the fabulous North Island as my friends Tony [RIP] and Emily and John and Chris showed me the beauty from the N to the S of this N. Island .




AND my friends Tony and Emily and John and Chris who showed me the beauty from this N. Island.



Last but not least…
LOVE this picture

shared by Hans and with his permission.

This young man belongs to my long-time-friends and after 27 years of flying for KLM, he had a nice FAREWELL-flight to ST Maarten with his favorite crew. You would not believe he is a pensioner now [56] , would you?
More gliding time for him now????
No, not yet,…for a couple of years he shares another company.

cheers Ritz

February 1, 2017

Interaction! Bitterwasser had a fabulous season!Great late-summer-weather in Australia!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 7:45 pm

Interaction !
ANOTHER , ….this time Finnish …..FAMILY -AFFAIR!

When I wrote in one of my blogs about our “FAMILY AFFAIR ” in Benalla in 1987, I got a lovely reaction from Riku Rissanen.
I have been a few times in Rayskala and I am proud to got to know quite a lot of people there.
Here is the Rissanen family as shared by Riku, who wrote so enthusiastic about his family , that I asked him if I could share a few news items and here you are.

“Me [4 months old] and Markku ,my father in 1979 at the Finnish Nationals in the  “2 seater”  ASW-19 OH-592 “

His grandfather Pauli started in 1947, his grandmother Pirkko flew in 1965 , his own  father Markku started in 1966 and his uncle Sami in 1983. Riku himself had his basic course in 1994, when  he turned 15.
He was in the junior team 2000 and 2002.

Dad was best mates with Tapio Savolainen, the TOP-Finnish -TC I wrote about in my blog .They met in the 60thies  after Tapio started gliding in 1968.
The strings between the soaring families was strong, as Tapio was the godfather from Riku.
Last year they had an awesome flight, dad and son;
When I flew the 1037km with my dad Markku last year, we both said after the landing that it was so sad that Tapsa didn´t see this.”

Well ,so out of the blue from one of the blog readers with a comment, such a nice story about family-soaring.
As you know,  I know a lot of soaring families and they intrigue me.
Thanks Riku. AND,…he has children as well, the oldest is 13 ,so who knows the soaring-history continues.

Riku [to the r.]  in 2002   with a very well known soaring-face/crew  at several comps,  Mikko.
“Normally” at comps,  Mikko is dressed in Riku’s outfit
” For the last days briefing, we changed clothes with my crew Mikko.”
And about that competition.
“Nordic Junior competitions 2002 at Kronobergshed Sweden with NO contest days..ONLY RAIN”.



Here is the last news from this season and the first for the upcoming season from the Bitterwasser site:
The Bitterwasser season 2016/2017 is finished.
After getting the ok from the customs ladies, the containers with the gliders left Bitterwasser.
A fantastic, successful and accident-free season is over.
230 flights with more than 1000km.
780 flights with a total of 625 thousand km shows the high quality of the season.
At January 19 , the Namibian weather showed again his best side, with 1400km.;Reinhard Schramme made one of the biggest flights of the season.

From tomorrow on the preparations for the coming season 2017/2018 will start.
Those who wants to fulfill their dream of flying in Bitterwasser can make a booking under “

The 4 Namibian airfields did well on the OLC list looking at the stats of airfields after their season, with a 1st [Bitterwasser] , 2d [Pokweni] ,3d [Kiripotib]  and 5th place [newcomer Veronica]
On spot 4 was Gariep Dam in South Africa.
Bitterwasser;118 pilots flew during 781 flights a total distance of  625.356,35 km.
Pokweni; 58 pilots flew during 448 flights a total distance of 344.633,04 km.
Kiripotib; 78 pilots flew during 395 flights a total distance of 275.423,88 km.
Gariep Dam; 64 pilots flew during 437 flights a total distance of 240.538,71 km.
Veronica; 45 pilots flew during 231 flights a total distance of 184.608,56 km.


Interesting OLC flights last week!

It’ s a great after-season in Australia !!!
one of the great spots in Australia to fly from had some friends/guests using the very nice weather for some exciting and great flights. Arne from Denmark moved there after the WGC and flew on January 27  with dad and son Woolley and Butch and Ben Loxton and some Temora “locals” as Brian, Nathan and Graeme .
Brian nearly flew a 1000 in his 18 m. LS 10;  955 km. [750 FAI triangle! ]
Nathan in his LS 3 a 865 km [667 FAI triangle]
Ben in his St Cirrus flew 721 [600 FAI triangle]
Arne flew a 750 FAI triangle and Adam 725 km. One day later they all had such a good day again and Adam flew then 850 and Arne 875 km.
Adam tried out his new 15 m. Ventus 2ax and loves it “Fantastic day running up and down the trough line with my mates.

All places in Australia were pretty good this late in the season and good old Richard was back  in Benalla after the comps, for his annual soaring holiday and enjoyed 524 km up N. with “ Wind nw/5-10 kts. Mainly Cu except later on to the west.”
Kilometer-eater Stefan flew his LS 4 from Tocumwal over 603 km !! Corowa had several over 700 km. flights .
After all the stress from organizing a good WGC , competition director Terry relaxed win the sky with a 500 k in his LS 3 from Benalla. Maybe his last as I just read he bought himself a new toy and he is now the proud owner of a Ventus2cxt.

It can always be BETTER, I mean with the weather!!!! Bathurst was according to Matthew Scutter, the place to be on January 29. Pipers Field hosts the Bathurst Soaring Club , one of the largest gliding clubs in NSW, only 2.30 driving from Sydney.
Matthew flew from there 1.018.05 km. in his Discus 2 A with a nice speed of 115 km./h.. Good on him, after a pretty frustrating WGC, he deserves such a great flight to feel again how nice soaring is!!! Well done!!!
On the OLC he commented :“Today was the approximately 1 day a year Bathurst was the best place to be. First thermals, the last thermals and a marginal seabreeze convergence let me just squeak out a tonne.”
In his 2017 WGC recap he mentioned;
I’m now going to take a break from high-level competition and do some more distance, adventure and generally ‘fun’ flying for a while. I hope to come back to a different landscape, hopefully with some different rules that make for safer, more enjoyable racing.”
Right he is!!!!The full recap was on FB at Matthew Scutter’s Gliding.
And Matthew has made some firm decisions:
It’s finally happening. Just booked Adelaide->London on March 17, to build a campervan, then travel Europe.”
Always welcome!
Also Tocumwal had a great day with a 700 FAI triangle in an ASH 26 E [ Terry Ryan.]

Not long and the doors from the hangars in Europe will be opened again. I noticed already the announcement of opening- parties to see each other again and to just talk SOARING after winter , till they can all go UP again.
AND…the temperatures here in Holland will rise to 12 -plus in the weekend.


AND as you can see Corowa has started preparations to send all incoming gliders “out” again, destination Holland.


Beautiful Corowa, it will be less busy in the pool over the next months.Looking at the skies,…great day for packing!!
the message from Francesco and Grietje:
Everyone, really everyone helped packing today! The weather has not been that good this season but it did not kill the “Corowa family” spirit!!!!”


And to finish this perfect picture from Wolf Herold, shared by
Soaring News by Paul Remde of Cumulus Soaring, Inc.

“Waterbomber – here comes the force…. Antares 23”

CU next time
Cheers Ritz

January 25, 2017

Back to normal !? VERONICA…. the place to be in the future?!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 6:54 pm

Benalla …the day after!!

No blue skies in Benalla on the day everybody departed. The Usual….!
The normal weather is back.
as shared by the successful team UK.

One of the worse things of a WGC is packing at the end and going home. Of course you are happy to see your family again when they are not with you, but you step out of a bubble back in the reality.
Containers have to be packed, tickets to be found again somewhere under in the bags/suitcases and you have to be in time at the airfield. Now is Benalla only a 2 hour drive, so not much can go wrong there.
Glider pilots often are airline pilots and they have the time to fly the comps ,but have to return back to work straight away, so the “heavy jobs after” more or less waits  for the TC and crews. No worries part of the job!!
I guess a few pilots will maybe still have nightmares of the gaggles and see everything in  BLUE .
BUT..they also go back with great memories on a fine well organised competition …forget about the weather for a moment….and on great friendships ,lovely get-to-gethers and unforgettable moments.

Life continues so do we, but there is not a lot happening in our world at the moment. Gliders will take a few weeks to be shipped home again also from Namibia and South Africa where they had a great season . In S.A they still fly around 819 km. in a Duo Discus [Gariep Dam]
From Corowa not far from Benalla, they flew last Monday 750 in an ARCUS M, but with pretty strong wind and a drop of rain more N.
Stefan Soell in his LS 4 flew 500 from Tocumwal. Swiss Chris flew again from his homefield in Tocumwal and mentioned :
“2 days after WGC 2017 the good weather is back.” Grrrr……
Chris did a great job in sharing news and fabulous pictures over the last 2 weeks. Thanks again Chris!!

Got some new Polish FB friends, so I do receive some more nice pictures. Here is one shared by Maciek Labno ;

Sebastian now has eight FAI World Championship gold medals across different classes and is the most successful competition glider pilot in history.


Time to look at VERONICA in Namibie. I did not know a lot about it, so I asked Bert Schmelzer sr. who flew there with his wife Hilde for his impressions and as you can expect from Bert he did this detailed and with a lot of pictures!!


Veronica Flying Lodge Namibia


The well-known spots in Namibia as Bitterwasser, Pokweni and Kiripotib are for sure on the “to-do list” of many gliderpilots. A brand-new destination for friends of “long distance flights” with gliders is available since November 2016 in Namibia.

Veronica is a big farm of 180 km² with a huge animalstock of all sorts, including black rhinos, giraffes and all those African animals. Besides a farm, it is also customized as a Game-drive lodge, and during Namibian winters as a hunter lodge.

Bernd Dolba, a real seasoned maker, started Kiripotib already more than 10 years ago and was the responsible CFI of flying there. Under his watchful eye Kiripotib flourished, and is still a nice place with high activity.

Bernd gets intrigued by the Veronica location, laying at the Olifant-“river” in a beautiful surrounding with lovely red Kalahari-sanddunes. Close to Kiripotib direction ESE and NE from Bitterwasser, meaning excellent located in the morning when heading to the east to find good thermals during the first hours when long distance flights are planned. The imposing Lodge and the luxury Bungalows are located on the top of the dunes and one can watch the animals at the watersources, and admire the real African wide scenery. And belief it or not, Bernd realized in a mum of time an airfield with hangar, two outstanding runways (RW 08-26 / 2000m x 90m and RW 02-20 / 1600m x 60m) and one short emergency runway for landing of 700m, a powerful radiostation and an automatic weather-information-service every hour at the airfield, all readable over 100km.


How did he do it? With bulldozers, the right people, and an incredible energy, the untamed will to do and the talent of persuading the right people. The whole project was created from zero until the first take-off in less than six month, chapeau.

That first season, November 2016 until end of January 2017, was a rehearsal. Many plus thousand kilometer flights were made with only six self-launching gliders type Arcus M and one ASW-22.  More wasn’t scheduled but all went perfect and showed that next season twelve or thirteen self-launchers will be welcome.

Bert Sr. Schmelzer / Antwerp-Belgium

 Bert, with  Jaroslav Potměšil Czech owner of  the SHARK manufacturer and Dr. Med. Juergen Koch , a wellknown German long distance pilot . Juergen was so kind to send me lot’s of fabulous EXTRA pictures about Veronica. TOO many to publish now, but I keep them in my file.They are made with a CANON Power Shot SX710 HS.
Thanks Mr. Juergen Koch.

Flying in Africa must be awesome!!!!

See you in VERONICA!!!


CU  next week
Cheers Ritz

January 22, 2017

Last 1987 and 2017 -WGC- blog !Back with the regular blog on Wednesday!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 10:44 pm

Flying over a lot “of nothing”.
As shared by WGC champion Sebastian.

Listening to a lot of pilots,  the last day of this 2017 competition was a terrible one. Some even mentioned they should not have started but, they did .
2000 ft. over the field, over 100 gliders many dumping water mostly in 15 m. class as they were up first.

As I was not there I can not ” feel” the atmosphere so I stay out of that.
From 1987 I know the task setters had a hard time. And then they even had 12 days out of 12 with one compulsory  rest-day.
For both comps counts that the weather was not really Aussie weather. Both times cyclones up N had influences ,this year even worse than in 1987.

During both comps the Benalla people and the town were more than supportive, warm and friendly as I noticed .Town people invited teams for dinner or a real Aussie BBQ and shops made PR for soaring.Lot’s of pictures from happy people in town.

At both comps ” friends-for-live” were found or re-found. That is such a beautiful aspect of our sport!!! I relighted my enthusiasm by looking back at the pictures.
I can be honest or polite about 1987; when I am polite  I loved every minute there as anyone else did,  but when I am honest ,  we and a lot of others thought…. everywhere in Australia is good for a WGC , but not in Benalla anymore.
After 30 years they were back just there.

New gliders as EB 29R, JS 3 RAPTURE and VENTUS 3T, all of them showed their potential and will be seen even more on the next WGC’s. The DIANA 2 did a superb job.

What struck me most, creating this combination blog is that so many people are not with us anymore!!! All those nice friends so many gone due to illness or accidents.
Who could have ever thought that both Kees and Dennis would die within a year!!!! Tragic and unbelievable!!!! Kees during a hang glider accident in France and Dennis in his tug on a retrieve in Australia. Already………30 years ago this year.

Gaggle flying!!!! A hot item this year but also 30 years ago. The comps were pretty similar.
In the blue you stick together,…yes but with so many and some only looking at their instruments and relying on their FLARM , it is more and more dangerous. A mid air in 1987 and in 2017 with some near misses as well.
Also one in Uvalde in 1991 with a fatal accident involving Anssi Passila from Finland and one in 2012 with one pilot landing the other bailing out.[Peter Hartmann]
So in 30 years nothing changed. About time it does. We do now have the “intelligence” of trackers showing exactly what’s going on. Ask the pilots involved for a comment first, if that is not good enough …..disqualification.
That’s my humble opinion.

As shared on several social media.

I will continue with my Wednesday blogs now again. Mac has promised already to shine his light over this WGC. He did a great job. Being on that important spot 1 overall for a few days , but with “Sebastian and Lucasz on a mission” , it was nearly impossible to win, but he showed how good he is and I was surprised when Sebastian straight after finishing got a “mike” under his nose and said when he heard Mac was not yet back ; ” Mac not yet back?” He was some kind of surprised as well, so Sebastian had his doubts too, he proofs he is  “just a normal guy” but a very TALENTED new icon/ legend Ingo has quit competition flying already for a while.
The new Ingo.

The soaring icons/ legends for ALL of us.


Different times, different gliders [no engines], different instruments, but both more-than-once-WGC-winners.


For the last time back to 1987.
Here is the material I used ;my photo book and some papers I kept.


The book and papers and the book front and back with stickers from that time.

THE WW 2 HANGAR in Tocumwal from the in and outside in 1987.
About 10 years later we bought Sportavia including this hangar. Around 2006 the then sole owner R.C sold everything on an auction. As said before the SRGC “lives” in it now, with Ingo as their president.

Dutch pilots; Kees with his mate Bruce and Gerrit talking to the “red men”/helpers.
We always had MM, this time SX,  Kees always MS and Daan NL and Baer SB
Bruce later bought this MS.

USA pilot Eric Mozer ” Herbie” for friends  with his crew and the very involved French TC Jackie Clerbaux “Kiki”  for friends.

My friend Sue and I  and Inge, me , Giep and Kees….. just looking around the corner.

PARTY TIME after the comps. First a dinner together with the team, then drinks at the pub bar or the other way around.

Adrian,  Jo [from Tocumwal] and George enjoying drinks
Baer Selen ,2 times WGC champion and his partner Chris, Adrian ,Kees ,Giep and Daan , Gerrit, David and Robyn Riley ,George and Dennis and Piet all relaxed and in our hotel the Executive Hideaway for dinner and ” words”.

Great memories.
MUCH more work than I thought,… but I loved it.
CU on Wednesday.

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