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November 21, 2018

Namibia enjoys great weather,… so great flights. South Island Comps continued!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 6:58 pm

—-South Island Championships in N.Z.;

Ready for day 5 task 3.
As shared by South Island Gliding Championships

Day 5 ..task 3;
Racing class got a 3 hour AAT, so they could find out by their selves where the best options would be. Those options turned out difficult again, as only 3 from the 9 starters finished. Best result ;295 km. in 2.47 by David Jensen in the JS 1 who leads the pact now with nearly 500 points more than the Duo Discus pilots.
Sabrina Schels [Germany] was the 3d finisher and she called the conditions “much more complicated than expected“.
In open not a lot of finishers either. A 4 hour AAT ; Brett [Hunter] flew 515 km in 4.12 , speed 122 km./h. in his JS 3 and Keith [Essex] as runner up 501 with a speed of 107 km./h. in the ASG 29.
They were with Nick the only 3 finishers.[547 km. in time 5.39.]  Bit slower but HOME!!!!
Keith leads after 3 tasks with over 400 points. Nick is runner up now.

Winners David and Brett both in JS ; one in JS 1 B,  the other in JS 3. Each with a local wine from sponsors as Immigrants Vineyard [23 hectares] as prize.

Daily winner Brett in the majestic JS 3

Jet Power! Brett Hunter in XB does a jet assisted approach in his JS3.”
photo Alex McCaw
As shared by South Island Gliding Championships

NO task on the 16th. From a friend visiting the South Island at this moment I heard it was raining.
But,….on the 17th they flew,[last] day 7, task 4,…  but ONLY A FEW!!
In racing a small 2.30 AAT and 2 finishers whilst a few did not start anymore.
Those who finished task 4 did well; David who flew 222 km. in time 2.23 [89 km./h] for 167 points and Sabrina with 180 km. in time 2.32 [71 km./h] .[144 points.
RACING class was won by David 2.277 points . The Duo Discus pilots[1.624]  were 400 points ahead of Sabrina[1.422]  , after the last day a bit more than 200.
Open; fabulous day for Alex in his St Cirrus;1000 points for him!!!335 km. in time 2.41 [speed 124 km./h] He moved up from 12 to 7 !!! Well done!
I looked at his video, ridge-flying to and over the top of Mount Cook, [height 12.349 ft.] ..just spectacular.
His mate Nick who started nearly an hour later was runner up. Keith was 5th.
9 From 15 finished and Brett had another off day; he landed after 98 km.
Total scores; 1. Keith with 3.807 p., 2. Nick with 3.489 and 3. Peter Chadwick with 2.953 in ASG 29 es.

The 2018 South Island champions Keith and David.

As shared by  South Island GlidingChampionships


I give up on sharing the amount of 1000 km. flights,…. there are too many, but you can see it for your self at soaringspot. Happy however to see that November has exceptional good weather again.
Some  are very good and still worth mentioning, as the 1.260 k from Reinhard [Schramme] in the EB 28 , with 154 km./h. which was an 1000 FAI triangle as well. He flew with Norbert Siebert.
Bernd [Dolba] flew in the Twin Shark a 1000 FAI triangle as well from Veronica. The Twin shark had his first 1.100 km. flight as well.
Uli flew a 1.050 km up to 300 km to Botswana. Nearly no farms anymore and no secret,…..his trainee loved it!!!

Uli from Jaxida Cover Uli Schwenk shared this great picture.


The “coach- the- coaches- week” in Narromine is over and they had a fabulous week with great weather and good company, camaraderie and interaction. Look at this weather.

as shared by Brian Hayhow.


Ge Dale as super coach on day 3   and as said fun too; “Peter Temple and Arnold Geering are just about ready to roll under the watchful eye of John Buchanan at Coach the Coaches. Last flying day of a fantastic week. ”
by Brian Hayhow.

They straight away continued with the Narromine Cup where toppers and novices of CC- flying meet. I was touched by the next words by Roger Perett;
“Narromine Cup..
I’m here for the first time. Being mentored by a number of our experienced Cross Country SCGC members. Yesterday I had a area check, followed by a flight to Gilgandra and back in the 303. 168 km round trip 
My first time away from an airfield‘ .
And,…the words by the GFA;
The sport of soaring is more than just about being able to take off and land without an engine. A new pilot’s first time away from gliding range of the airfield is their second major milestone – and the one we all look forward to as we help new pilots to learn. From here, the pilot has learnt all the basic skills to be a competent at soaring and they can pursue whatever is of interest – distance flying for fun, competitions or even records. Congratulations to Roger on taking that first step away from the airfield!


—-Some good flights;

——What about a 750 out and return from Lake Keepit [Australia] to St. Georges in an LS 1f. Top job from Allan Barnes.
—–new Finnish record for Hannu Halonen on November 14; “Nice 750 FAI flight up to second turn point with average of 178. It looked so good, but third leg with mainly blue thermals made things difficult. Anyway, a new national record.” Over 471.22 km. he flew with a speed of 188,49 km./h in the Quintus M from Kiropitib.
—– First flight from Corowa [Australia] guest on November 17 by frequent flyer Hans Juergen; 707 km.
——Mannie, [Mc Lauchlan] …talking about South Africa now and specially New Tempe Bloemfontein …..; 1000 km. triangle in ASG 29 with 154 km./h.
—– 2 over 1.200 km-flights, one from Pokweni the other from Kiripotib , both in ARCUS M. AND,…also from Pokweni a 1.218 in the EB by Alexander Mueller with an FAI triangle from 1.137 in it!!.
—–On his first flight from Kiripotib and his very first flight in a SHARK, my friend Daan [Pare] flew 1.172 km.with a speed of 166.78 km./h.
—–and in between all this power-long-distance-flying we find Tobias Geiger flying a 15 m. Ventus 2ax from Benalla over 676 km. [600 Fai triangle]
—–Temora; Brian [Du Rieu]  flew 862 in his LS 10, last Sunday and Ingo in his Discus, 600k.  from Tocumwal.

—–some pilots from  Segelfluggruppe Donauwörth-Monheim  flew up to 4000 m. height in special wave over the Schwarzwald, the BLACK FOREST, last weekend. They called it a very cold, but unforgettable experience.


Last but not least,…never heard from them, maybe you neither, so some pictures and short story about “a winch” shared by Big Sky Soaring!!!


” Looks like the winter is here to stay for the next few months. So, Big Sky Soaring will go into hibernation for a while. But for all the folks who asked about our winch, here are some pictures. 
See you again next spring.”

I guess like hiring tugs and tuggies ,you can also hire a ” mobile ” winch with Dyneema rope AND a “winch-man”. Interesting.

Cu Next week,

cheers Ritz


November 14, 2018

Canterbury Gliding Club in NZ and the South Island 2018 championships from Omarama.

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 7:16 pm

—- 11th of November 11-11-1918 ,this year marks the 100 years since the end of the first world war !!!!
Impressive,… even to see it on TV, on CNN, Dutch, Belgium, French and UK TV.
More than 70 “hotshot’s” were in France as there was Trump,Macron,  Putin, Merkel and more. Hope they all got the feeling for NOT letting to happen the cruelty from the past again. A war in which millions died, men and horses and lots of innocent people.



—-Big news shared by many and specially by the Canterbury Gliding Club:
What an epic flight!
Mike Oakley has touched down safely at Springfield completing a 1,933km OLC flight!! Enjoying some jet planes at sunset after launching at 6.45am in Omarama, landing at Springfield 8 pm covering a whopping amount of the South Island!! Bravo Mike!!
That’s indeed EPIC . Nearly 2000 km. and 13 hours and 24 minutes up in the air!!!!

Mike after the flight a real happy chappie! In the far past my daughter Inge and Lizzy Wells visited the Oakley family in NZ.

He covered the S.Island….. WOW !!!!
Pictures courtesy Canterbury Gliding Club



Courtesy South Island Gliding Championships

In between his son Nick is flying the South Island Championships [racing and open class] and task 1 on November 11 was won by Keith [Essex from thew USA and frequent flyer in N.Z.] ,with a speed of 130 km. over 398 km. Nick was 5th in the Discus 2 and his mate Alex [Mc Caw] was 10th in a St. Cirrus.
Hard day for the Racing class with multiple factors causing the day to be devalued.”
5 Of these gliders returned back to the field after being launched, some stayed’home’ for the day.
Winners of day 1;

Keith as happy smiling winner in open [ASG 29  /18m] and in Racing Class – Duo Discus UO with Team: Nigel Davy/ Tim Austen; 170 km. with a speed of 116 km./h.
As shared by South Island Gliding Championships

Task 2 was cancelled.”Unfortunately we can’t get a big enough window for a competition task today so the day has been cancelled.”

Task 3 on the 13th was difficult for some, as the “easterly” came in,  but they flew.
Racing had 314 km. and 3 from the 10 who started finished with David Jensen in the JS B1 as daily winner gaining 1000 points.
In open a task from 401 k was set and as before Keith won the day with a speed of 122.59 km./h. for 1000 points. In this class 13 from 15 finished.
Some started early at 2 PM as did Nick, some later at 2.40 PM as did the Duo Discus being 6th for the day.
Bad/sad day for Brett Hunter loosing lot’s of points [ he got 227] in his JS 3, due to an outlanding after 273 km. dropping from 4 to 13.
Good day for Nick, he was runner up.

Ready to go for task 2.
As shared by South Island Gliding Championships

Task 4 was set but not flown in racing class. Open had 356 k, but no scores yet. Maybe cancelled as well.
You can see it on


—-The overseas-pilots in Africa are happy as well. Several 1000 km. flights from Namibia as Bitterwasser , Pokweni ,Kiripotib and Veronica . Even a lot 1.100 -plus -km.
Bitterwasser wrote;
After Bernd Mangold has unloaded all the planes from the container and set them up, he allows himself a longer flight with the bitter water Nimbus. 4500 meters cloud base and updraft lines are fun.
The operation in Bitterwasser has started fully.”
Last Sunday Kuruman added 1000 and 1.000 as well.
1000 km.-News from HPH Sailplanes  in the UK as well;
“Congratulations to Uli Schwenk and Steffi Keller on flying the first 1000km in a Twin Shark! And only one week into its Namibia expedition!”
The beginning of more long flights!!!
Dust devils mark the start of the thermals and here is one in Bitterwasser.
Just counted 18 over 1000 km. flights in Namibia yesterday.

with the remark;
Dust devil in Bitterwasser shows the thermal start. It does not have to come however so violently like this dust devil. But the day was again a thousand day. In the middle of November [ 12] it really goes off without thunderstorms and showers.”


AND then,..on the 12th there was Klaus Ohlmann flying from SPAIN. When he starts there must be something going on,…it was ……1.394,94 with 144.64 speed on the “clock”.
La Cerdanya , more correct the Pyrenees, was the place to be and the plane,..of course his Stemme S10.
AND,…a more than happy OLC comment;
“What a pleasure to fly with Gil. [Souviron] Hooked by waveflying like me, same spirit of exploring, but with very good knowledge of the Pyrenees. Thanks as well to Robert Prat, another expert of the Pyrenees. Application of his rules of thumb in dry waves…works great. Another big thanks to Control of Toulouse, Bordeaux, Barcelona, Montpellier and Marseille.
Great job….Last not least…Stemme… what a phantastic glider and plane….”
More W. from La Cerdanya [St Girons] was the start for a DG 800/18 m….bang 1.078 km.

These pictures shared by Gilles Navas in September when he was flying there, show the structure of the Pyrenees.


Courtesy Gilles Navas.


AND higher temperatures down under too with flights up to nearly 800 km. in a Duo Discus on Saturday from Warkworth in NSW. Flying a Speed ASTIR II over 622 [500 FAI triangle] is not bad either.[Lake Keepit… motivation for the ladies, soon to fly there the Pre Worlds]
And on Sunday from Lake Keepit where Allan [Barnes] and Harry [Medlicott] flew a declared 750 FAI triangle, in the ARCUS M.A total of 868 km. reaching a height of 11.000 ft.
David [Jansen] flew that day from Kingaroy 946 km in the 18 m ASG 29 E.

“Coaching the coaches” with Ge Dale in Narromine was in full swing last week and they had good weather. Not long and the Nationals will be flown there.[November 24-December 8]

As shared by Narromine Gliding Club Official


—-And the latest news letter from Schempp-Hirth is out. Love the PR from this issue.

Shared by Schempp-Hirth

CU next week

Cheers Ritz

November 7, 2018

All kind of news!!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 6:10 pm

—-This time Italy was “hurt” badly by the weather. Storms and heavy rain damaged 15 Million trees and even worse, 30 people died!!! 9 from ONE family stuck in a house in Sicilian, where the water reached to 10 meter. Sad , very sad.

Here we were back to 20 dgr. C. yesterday, but just for one day.Unbelievable , full terraces again and we were there too; Brutus , who visited me for the day and I . A lot of people ask me how Brutus[ Peter] is , here you can see it for your self. Driving a locomotive of a train now and visiting me yesterday on another record-high-day for November 6; 20 dgr. C !!!!!
For those who never met Brutus; he worked with and for us for over 5 years at the Sportavia Soaring Center.



Brutus in my house and with Brutus drinking a beer at our old market place.


—–Schempp-Hirth news from last Saturday evening:
Today the new “IYB” is presented at the Germans gilder day. The #Ventus3 T supersedes the #Discus 2ct from the DAeC. So the glider is reserved to support young and skilled pilots. We hope you enjoy the plane with lots of awesome flights!”
German Gliding remains on a super-high-level!!!!




—–Kiripotib looks ready as well for the new season.


Organizers Wolfgang and Ludwig in “full swing”  at the beginning of their season with FLYING WITH THE CHAMPIONS.
Courtesy;  Łukasz Wójcik for Kiripotib Soaring 

Wolfgang flew as CHAMPION with pupil Franz from Germany and the first  Kiropotib 1.000 k. was a fact.[794 triangle] They flew the ARCUS M.
On Saturday one day earlier the 1.000 k’s were already flown from Veronica with up to 145 km./h.[Namibia]
As well as one in Brasil from Crateus , an FAI triangle [1.012 km.] in an ASH 30.
By the way on the first day of November, a very high wave flight up to over 7000 m MSL, resulted in a 1.038 km.flight with a speed of 143 km./h in an ARCUS, flown in Europe from Mikulovice  in the Czech Rep. in an ARCUS M.
And Keith Essex from Minden is back in Omarama and ready for nice long flights. He started with a 500 k in an ASG 29 E.
Yesterday Königsdorf had 1000 km weather …. Matthias Schunk flew one in a Quintus;1.041 km. with a speed of 139 km./h in wave and with a late start and without ballast.
AND today,… daughters birthday, happy birthday dear Inge,….Keith flew a 1000 from Omarama ;1.017 km and look at the speed; 171.3 km./h!!!!
A wave day, difficult to get in he mentioned but once in there was lift everywhere!


——Ingo is also ready too for HIS season.

NOT BAD….. a check flight with Miro in a Calif.
Shared by Miro[slav].

So is Tocumwal, as you can see on the picture from yesterday .

As shared by George.

Not all weather down under is as good. Yesterday the headlines in the news were about a weather phenomena; Dust clouds. They are pretty normal in Australia but this was another story;
Massive dust cloud engulfs towns across outback NSW. There were apocalyptic scenes in western NSW on Tuesday when a giant dust cloud swept across the region.”
It scared the hell out of people near Broken Hill.


——And here is the Dutch “future” with the juniors for Hungary’s JWGC and 5 new aspirant members from the Dutch squad.

An enthusiastic group of Dutch junior pilots ;class  ’18/’19.With Lizzy as the only girl….AND among them a current JWGC champion [Sjoerd in Pocuinai] and a vice JWGC champion from Narromine, Robin.Mind you we had already 3 JWGC champions.


——–Matamata Soaring shared the next news:
The start of the Centennial Park competition has been a wave day. No contest day due to the extreme wind, so a number went flying in the wave. It took until around 5:30pm to climb into it, but we got there in the end. Just like Omarama, but in the North!”
One of my Aussie mates is flying there and he shared some pictures, also from Lake Taupo where I was a few years ago.

Matamata Soaring Centre


——Told you about the 1st FAI World Drone Racing Championships .
Here are the results.

Location: Shenzhen – China

Overall – F3U (RC Multi-Rotor FPV Racing)
1st: Rudi Browning AUS
2nd: Bastian Hackl AUT
3rd: Karlis Gross LAT

Women – F3U (RC Multi-Rotor FPV Racing)
1st: Wanraya Wannapong THA
2nd: Ga Yeon Mo KOR
3rd: Ting Yu Chao TPE

Junior – F3U (RC Multi-Rotor FPV Racing)
1st: Oscar Nilsson SWE
2nd: Qianti Hu CHN
3rd: Rudi Browning AUS

Team – F3U (RC Multi-Rotor FPV Racing)
1st: Australia
2nd: Sweden
3rd: Korea
The full results can be found at the following address:


Gliding International ;
The November-December issue, so the last one from 2018, with the PERLAN glider on the cover, is published and here are some of the interesting subjects.
—–all about the great flight from the AIRBUS PERLAN Mission 2 glider, climbing up to 76.000 ft. a fabulous new world record, even surpassing the height record of the U-2 Reconnaissance Plane. With lot’s of great pictures and the story behind it all.
—–90 years ago…..Germany’s gift to Sporting America….Flying planes without a motor….
—–Follow the leader,…is what a lot of pilots  did during the last WGC where Sebastian Kawa won [again] Sebastian is annoyed / frustrated about the lack of fair play in gliding and is pretty clear in his story. About tracking and and FLARM, who have changed the rules of the game completely. A very interesting FULL story to be read in this G I.
—–The possibility of Graphene as the skin coat to sailplanes; The Graphene discoverers from the Manchester University were the well deserved Nobel Prize Winners from this year. China is a big producer from graphene .
Graphene is a  super-strong material – 200 times stronger than steel and 100 times stronger than diamonds. A fraction of the weight of Carbon Fibre.”
Much more about it in the magazine or digital.

And a very kind offer to ALL  pilots new to soaring, who soloed in the USA, Australia and N .Z.;They are   eligible for a free subscription to Gliding International. You can read in G I how to do so.

Printed version airmailed:
1 Year (NZ Currency) $NZ96
2 Years $NZ190 or the
equivalent in your currency.
Digital version emailed
1 Year $NZ69,
2 Years $NZ130 or the
equivalent in your currency.
Personal cheques acceptable.

That’s it,…you are up to date.
Cu next week.
Cheers Ritz

October 31, 2018

Very active “young ones”!!!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 5:25 pm

—–Youth Glide in New Zealand;

As shared by the Wellington Gliding Club

As in Australia with Joey Glide, the young ones in New Zealand are very busy; fraternizing, soaring, socializing …making friends for life and maybe love gliding “for life”  as well.
In October they had  a fabulous long weekend  at Papawai Soaring Centre and they shared some lovely pictures.
Youth Glide is going from strength to strength in New Zealand


Fun and tension on the faces.

Guess first solo!!!


Great pictures of happy young pilots.



More young ones , in the UK!!

This is the class from 2018, but now  the Air League Scholarship Season 2019 opens on November 2 !!!

Did you know that every year the Air League, together with our sponsors, awards approximately 100 scholarships to our young members as well as disabled veterans through our various schemes and initatives?
Anyone can join the Air League and enjoy access to our scholarships which give you free flying opportunities across the country.




—And the French young ones too.

The future:  Hugo CorbilléAdrien DubreuilClément FlickCelestin GodardFlorian LabatutVictor MallickHugo RocheSofiane Scally
With coach Eric to the left and Jean-Marc to the Right.
Courtesy  Pôle France Planeur

Gliding Center ST Auban invited the young pilots from the French squad . Eric, the  French team coach spend time with them so did Jean Marc as trainer-in-charge for this hope for the future team.

Their JWGC team for the comps in Szeged in Hungary between July 28 and August 10 2019 has 6 entrees.
3 In Standard class; Hugo Corbille, Sofiane Scally and Aude Untersee.
3 In Club class;  Julien Duboc, Adrien Dubreuil and Clement Flick.



—–Bitterwasser is ready, containers arrived ,first glider is “out of the box”. The season can start and hopefully the weather is as good as last season.

The new VENTUS 3, good to see this glider in Namibia. First time ??
As shared by Bitterwasser Lodge & Flying Centre

First time??? Yes it is…what would we do without people as Wilfried ?!
“🇬🇧The first Ventus 3 arrived in Namibia! ✈️➡️🇳🇦 Wilfried Großkinsky is supporting the young pilots, who will be able to set records or simply have great flights in @Bitterwasser.
And it is also a endurance test for the new engine system😁🙌🌞”
AND,…..for those who ALWAYS wanted to go to Bitterwasser here is your chance, as you can rent gliders in the next time frame;
Arcus M
01.11 – 10.11.18
20.12 – 03.01.19
12.01 – 26.01.19

ASG 32
01.11 – 24.11.18
06.01 – 26.01.19

12.01 – 26.01.19

You can book those gliders at;

Great soaring weather in S.A. On the 29th Oscar [Goudriaan] started the new season with a 1.040.89 km. with a speed of 158.6 km./h. from Potchefstroom in his JS 3!!! It was a real FAI triangel from 1.013 km. ;speed 151.5 km.




———At the FAI Conference in Luxor, as always, awards have been handed over.
This time the  Gold Air Medal, the most prestigious FAI prize, was awarded to Hermann Trimmel, a glider pilot and a great meteo-guy!
The Diploma  FAI Angelo D’Arrigo was awarded to Klaus Ohlmann.

Picture 1 courtesy Visa -Matti on this pic with Klaus.    And picture 2 courtesy Marina ; Hermann to the r.

AND ,…..More EXCELLENT news!!!
Gliding has a strong representation in the new FAI executive board which was elected Saturday.
President is Bob Henderson, deputy president Alvaro de Orleans and Marina Vigorito is  executive director. And of course, Susanne as the secretary general.
Great team I have high expectations!!!!!

With Bob to the right.
Courtesy Stefano Dalai Flyer Bianchetti


——over 35 dgr. C. in Tocumwal,I heard…….
—— 1st FAI World Drone Racing Championships in Shenzhen, China is about to begin and according to Visa -Matti, the track is looking good.
—-NOBODY complained in Holland about this last season. A ripper-season. It finished last weekend, but still with OVER 300 km. in an ASG 29 from Soesterberg.!!!!!OCTOBER 27!!!!!!!


CU next week,
Cheers Ritz

October 24, 2018

Stendal prepares for 2020 WGC !

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 6:34 pm

The overseas weather starts to warm up. Gerrit flew from Mc Caffery [Australia] over 500 km. in his Quintus and his wife Pam 441 in her ASH 31/21 m.
Orient [South Africa] had several over 500 k’s in Ventus 2 CM and N.Z. … Omarama with Max Stevens in an ASW 27 as well. Last Wednesday Bob Gray flew 563 in a DG 100!!!!
Temora pilot Brian Du Rieu flew over 500 in his LS 10 .
Bitterwasser will be “hot” in several way’s from November onward. From November 3 they fly there the first week of FLYING WITH THE CHAMPIONS, as usual in co-operation with Rent-a- Glider, with Wolfgang, Ludwig and Dieter Schwenk.
2d Week will be between November 10 and 16.More later.
Omarama shared this fabulous picture;

They shared this text as well:
Mount Tasman taken by Gabriella Morton a few days ago. Spring flying is awesome! 
Milan and Gabriella were flying together in QQ and formated on Sabrina flying DD.”


The place to be for the next WGC and they work hard, very hard to get the airfield in the very best condition.


As shared by Segelflug-DM Stendal

The German Nationals will be there in 2019 for open and 2 seaters. It’s between July 8 and 19 in 2019.
There will be also a training-competition for 18 m.

The international Stendal-Glide will be your opportunity to get to know the airfield and the region of the WGC 2020. It takes place at the same time as the German Nationals.

Places are available for international guest who intend to participate in the WGC2020 as follows:

  • Open Class: 15 (+25 German Nationals)
  • 20m Doubleseaters: 10 (+30 German Nationals)
  • 18m-Class: max. 40

The 2019 German Nationals for Club and Standard class will be flown between Mai 20 and 31 from Zwickau  and the 2019 Nationals for 15 m and 18 m. will be flown between July 22 and August 2 from Marpingen.

The 36th WGC in Stendal will be flown in 18m ,Open ,20m between July 19- July 31 2020, so you are totally up-to -date now!


—— New representative for Benelux;
As good old Bert de Wijs is retiring , DG shared the next news in their DGAircraft News.
We are happy to now being able to introduce Peter Jansen, owner of Service Center Terlet, as our new representative for DG and LS aircraft. With his business background Peter provides a huge know how, a strong customer loyalty and an excellent service, which our customers will for sure be appreciating. He’ll start his job as DG-representative on November 1st. As Part-M maintenance organization the team at Service Center Terlet has for many years been taking care of customers’ needs in and around the Benelux countries. Their high level of quality and service matches DG’s trade name very well and we are really looking forward to cooperate with Peter.”
Indeed Holland is very proud on this Service Center.


—Believe it or not, but Sikko Vermeer, who works at the above service center,  flew last Monday IN Holland mid autumn most probably the longest flight ever for this time of the year;417 km. on October 22!!!!
When he arrived at Soesterberg airfield there was some drizzle , which quickly cleared and with the first thermal activity , he was on his way.Flying South, nearly to where I live and back North, then making the 400 km. Great job great FLIGHT!!Have a look at the OLC on October 22, number 4 on the list and I say it again flat country no wave!!!…


Pictures shared by Sikko.

In my last blog I wrote about our new World Champion Sjaak Selen. It seems I understood something wrong ,so here is the correction I got from Sjaak.
It was not “the father from the dad ” from Sjaak and Baer,  but the brother , so his uncle Jan Selen. And Jan was very involved and not “just”  a glider pilot .
He was Dutch National champion in 1955 and represented the Netherlands at the WGC in Argentina in 1963!!!
As said before a REAL soaring family!!!!
Thanks Sjaak!!

As shared by ZWEVERS[ Frits].

—-Just to let you know;
BIG FAI General conference is in Luxor [Egypt] this week on the 26th.
FAI Air Sport General Commission is on the 24th same place.

To finish this great picture by NZ top-photographer Geoff Soper. This one is on canvas and by the way, he sells his pictures.
Geoff Soper Photography

He took the picture at Classic Fighters, Omaka, “its ultra sharp and blew up well on a 1.5m canvas print“.

CU next week.
Cheers Ritz

October 17, 2018

Dutch celebrations for Ostrow-world -champion- Sjaak!!!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 7:06 pm

That’s what it was ALL about!!!!!

On the hottest EVER 13th of October with 28 dgr. C.!!!!!!! Max and Frida picked me up to travel to Venlo for celebrations around and with Sjaak [Selen] who became WGC champion this year in Ostrow in standard class!!
Also the day, that a rare weather phenomena happened ; a hurricane reaching Europe and damaging parts of Portugal and France suffered from terrible flooding.
We got hot air from the devastating Michael ruining parts of Florida.The depression now is nice to us with a week with temperatures between 20 and 28 in October…autumn.

But back to Sjaak and his well deserved special day.
It’s always nice to come back at Venlo where , as you know, my soaring- interest started and my first flight was a fact in 1967.
I straight away walked to the hangar, where “we” had our 3 gliders the Grunau Baby, KA 7 and Rhoenlerche. It looked as if time stood still but,…I heard the old hangar had collapsed under a load of snow damaging trailers caravans AND gliders!! That’s why it looked so fresh and “new”.
So they build a new one and as Venlo and Eindhoven are ONE club now, with a really pleasant atmosphere, they are building another new one at this stage at the opposite side of the old ones.


Not all gliders were in, as the weather was so nice that gliders went up, but back in time for the ceremony and party.



I know the Selen family from long long ago, but did not know that over -grand-dad was a glider pilot as well. I knew Baer and Sjaaks father was involved, as we spoke about it when we met in the past . Interesting as well ALL of them represented Holland at WGC’s.
So pretty normal that both brothers got involved. Not so normal ,….that they both won a world title and Baer even 2 , one in Chateauroux in 1978 in Standard Class and one in Uvalde in 1991 in the same class.That’s a TOP RESULT.
From the 4 WGC titles ever won for Holland, 3 are in the hands of the Selen family. What about that!!!
And when I tell you that Kees Musters when he became WGC champion in Hobbs in New Mexico in 1983 , was a member of the ZES , FLYING AT VENLO, you see that Venlo has some special ingredients to create champions.
And I noticed ,a lot of young ones there, so the future might bring more champions and looks BRIGHT!!!

The Selen family arrived at the airport in a bus with Sjaak and Baer coming out first and of course that huge CUP.

Sjaak repeated a few times; “I  was just lucky”

Club members and club president Yoeri welcoming their guests.

President of the club Yoeri welcomed everybody and the mayor arrived and it was great to hear that he had put some “work”  in his speech ,as it was a good one; well prepared.


Both Baer and Sjaak were happy with all what happened and posed for my camera as well.

2 brothers , 3 WGC titles in St. class in 1978, 1991 and 2018!!!!!
With their permission.

One of the presents was a CHAMPIONS-trophy “in blue”. Frauke [IGC member for Holland and working at the KNVvL  office] and Baer started years ago a coaching trajectory for cross country pilots. Baer thought it would be good , to grand winning pilots with a special CHAMPIONSHIP TROPHY, a challenge cup.
It exists now for 13 years and in that time 8 Dutch names were added; 4 European titles, 3 JWGC titles and now 1 WGC title. They never expected that. Not bad for a small country like Holland.
This time it was Baer handing over the challenge trophy to his brother.

The blue trophy and the cup, the WGC medal and a silver award from the Dutch Gliding Association to honor Sjaak.

He got as well a canopy cover in silver with his call sign 2S. And lot’s of flowers specially for partner Liliane ,who shared in all celebrations as his crew, who inspired and helped him. Liliane is in our female team, so  she knows what it is all about.

We also had a very nice 2-course-meal sponsored by Max Verstappen’s JUMBO supermarket. And as one of the speakers mentioned, Max , also from the province Limburg,is not even yet the best of the world, Sjaak is in his discipline and what huge difference in “wages”; too much for the one ,” nothing” for the other……??!!
By the way JUMBO sponsors cycling and speed-skating as well.

Conclusion; a great evening thanks to the combined Venlo- Eindhoven pilots now in ONE name; VEZC [Venlo Eindhoven Zweefvlieg Club] Compliments for all of them!!!!!
Great to see some faces I had not seen for 50 years, awfully nice to catch up with 4 pilots who flew with us in Tocumwal and I had not seen anymore after and sorry I cannot share pictures from all the visitors due to that stupid privacy law.



—–News from Team Uk.
The British Junior Gliding Team competing next year at the 11th Junior World Gliding Championships (Szeged, Hungary) has been announced!

Congratulations to Simon Brown, Peter Carter, Finn Sleigh and Jake Brattle and to reserve pilots Clement Allen and Henry Inigo-Jones.

We wish them the best of luck with their preparations and busy competition schedule for next year!

I wish them good luck as well.
Picture shared by British Gliding Team


———News from overseas destinations;
Bitterwasser shares, as the season has not yet started, a press presentation from the new Audi E tron. Proud that it happens at their Bitterwasser Resort.

As shared by Bitterwasser Lodge & Flying Centre


Tocumwal Sportavia shows most of their  fleet as they, Lumpy, started a new commercial  gliding center.

With their message;”Most of the fleet out today, when are you coming to TSC? 
We will be operating 7 days a week from November onwards.”
It’s a rent -out-fleet and the Nimbus 2 is “missing”.
As shared by Tocumwal Soaring Centre


AND,…yesterday dark clouds over Tocumwal as you can see on this picture by Donna Boaden.

Courtesy Donna.

This picture shared by Eddie from SportAviation Tocumwal shows why there were dark clouds.


—–News from Matthew and SKYSIGHT;
“We’d like to announce the imminent launch of a substantial refresh of SkySight (try it now at – we have been working hard over the year to improve the presentation of our forecast maps.

We are now rendering our plots with vector forecasts rather than raster forecasts, allowing us to show place names, labels and borders on top of the forecasts, helping to orient you better. The interface should be much faster and clearer, especially on mobile and tablet devices.

The efficiency of our new processing pipeline to generate the vectors is such that we hope to be able to increase the detail in our forecasts in some regions, and bring out our forecasts earlier in the morning in others.

Most importantly though, the new system is a better base to build new advanced functionality on top of, and we hope to bring adjustable scales, colours (colour-blind mode!), 3D interactivity and much more in the coming months.

We still have some optimizations to finish and a few bugs to fix before launch, but it will be launching on the main SkySight domain in the coming weeks.

We invite you to try it at and to please write us feedback at, or via the inbuilt Help functionality.

As shared by Matthew ‘s SkySight


Not so much soaring-news this week…By the way a great foehn -day last Sunday with strong wave and 994 km in an ASH 26 E starting from Unterwoessen [Germany] , straight S. to the mountains and  991 k. in a Duo Discus XLT from Wiener Neustadt in Austria  is “pretty good ” too!!!!
SO,…CU next week then

cheers Ritz


October 10, 2018

Kingaroy Formula 1.0 Gliding GP ! South African Nationals !And more….

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 5:45 pm

As shared by Kingaroy Soaring Club
Picture courtesy Peak Pictures


—–Kingaroy Formula 1.0 Gliding GP.
The Kingaroy GP, started task 5 when I left you and all day’s before in 15 m. were Adam’s.
So I was interested to see how he went, but it turned out to be the last flying-day, cause the weather turned poor and as far as they could see the fore cast there said; no soaring possible anymore .
Not unusual in this early spring time in the East of Australia.
15 m;
Task 5; 247 km…. and YES with 129 km./h Adam raced to another daily win. Lisa [Trotter] and her husband Peter, were runners up.
After 4 tasks Adam leaded with the max amount of 40 points, Peter was 2d with 26 and Lisa 3d with 21 points.
A happy and excited Adam;”Cracking day, 130kph and first across the line! Self, Trotter and Dalton got ourselves into a very good position for the start, which we were able to capitalise on. I took a go at the bonus point today, but was beaten to the post by Justin in his SZD55 – well done! Thanks to the task setters, it was super!”

“Adam and Lumpy do it again. Perhaps we need to increase their handicaps. Well done boys.”
As shared by Kingaroy Soaring Club

 the 15 m. champion winning EVERY day and winners.

Having fun at the QLD State Gliding Championships presentation dinner, we ended the comp today at briefing, as the weather is poor now until the end. I was fortunate to win all four days & be declared this year’s champion ahead of two of my idols, Peter & Lisa Trotter.” Adam.
As shared by the Kingaroy club.

Task 5 ;291 km….After 1 “off-day,”  Lumpy was back to his “good-day-style ” and won the last race with a speed of 122 km./h. Greg [Kolb]  in Ventus 2 CX was runner up and Brian Du Rieu in his LS 10 3d.
In the end a total of 36 points for Lumpy,Greg was runner up with 27 and Andrew 3d with 26. Brad [Edwards] had 25.

Lumpy won again!!!
As shared by Kingaroy Soaring Club

Lumpy as number 1 and Greg and Andrew as number 2 and 3. AND, the CD of the comps.
As shared by the Kingaroy Club.

After the final dinner there was of course the presentation……..AND time for Music.
Good “old” Brad [Edwards] still singing as at the WGC in  Uvalde 1991 !!!! Love it!!!

As shared by the Kingaroy Gliding Club.

And to finish my blog’s ” 2d FORMULA 1.0 edition”, another GREAT picture from Peak Pictures



——-South African Nationals;
they continued first with a cancelled day and then…they  flew 3 more tasks , so 6 out of 7 good day’s.
15 m;
task 5 ;308 km…and the difference in speed between the winner AGAIN Mark [Holliday] and the last finisher was 121 km./h for 84 km./h. His ASW 27 has a handicap from 104.
Task 6 ; 3.30  AAT….. 487 km. in 3.31 for Wayne [Schmidt] Chapeau !!Speed 138 km./h. So 1000 points for him.
70 Less for Mark who was runner up but still leads the pact.[4.291] Wayne as runner up has after 5 tasks 4.022.
task 7 ; 434 km…Another great win for Wayne with a speed of 126 km./h .
With 6 out of 7 days, Mark is  the 2018 S.A Champion in his ASW 27 with 5.239 points. Wayne was runner up with 5.022 points and Hanno Du Toit was 3d [4.404]

task 5 ;250 km.…same daily winner as every day before ; Jonathan [Cross] in his St. Cirrus. Speed just over 100 km./h. and all 7 finished.
task 6; 3.30 AAT…Jonathan performs and performs AND performs….402 km in time 3.33 so a nice speed of 113 km./h in his St Cirrus!!!Runner up Konrad Stark in a Cirrus flew 389 km in time 3.37 [speed 107 km./h.]
task 7 ;394 km.….NO,…it was not Jonathan who won EVERY day!!!  A pity, as he was runner up on the last day behind Jason Adriaan,but loosing 16 points did n’t hurt him. Jonathan is NATIONAL CHAMPION in club class ;5.430 points, quite a big marge. Jason was runner up 4.912 and 3d was French pilot Xavier-André Michalon with 4.521 points.

task 5;345 km….Klaus  [Kalmbach] flew around with 138 km./h. John Coutts in a JS 1 was runner up with 136 km./h. and Oscar was 3d with 132 km./h.
Task 6 ; 3 hour AAT….GREAT result for Natalie in her ASH 32 MI,; 480 km. in time 3.12 so 149.84 km./h !!!!!!When she starts and finishes with the “toppers”, she wins on handicap.
A pity she was “only” 15th on task 5.
Klaus was runner up with 153 km./h. and Oscar 3d for the day.
AND , after being sick, Laurens was back again at the field and in the air; 7th for the day.
After 6 tasks Oscar leads with 4.273 points, ahead of Klaus with 4.197 and John Coutts from N Z but living in S A. 4.117.
task 7 ; 509 km…...With the fastest speed for the day,149 km./h., Oscar won the day and with that the NATIONALS; 5.273 points. Runner up was Klaus with 5.072 and 3d was Couttsie with exactly 5.000 points!!
Natalie was 6th with 4.886 points.

A 2017 Nationals picture from Oscar in his JS 3, shared by Jonker Sailplanes.



—-News from HpH Sailplanes about the  Maiden flight 304MS SHARK S/N 100


304MS SHARK s/n 100 bij LKKO. …….at the airport of Kolin AND….. Instrument panel 304MS SHARK s/n 100 in retro style 

 Test Pilot Martin and Production director Jaroslav.
As shared by HpH Sailplanes



—–Great weather already in Tocumwal with high temperatures as well. Swiss Chris is back in Toc and shared this picture.

First short flight of the season. The winglets did not make it out of the paint shop yet  it was fun and the 27 flies also without them. Best climb 9kt. Lots of bugs. Need bug wipers tomorrow.”
As shared by Chris.

More  Australian early spring weather;  on the way from Narromine to Broken Hill as you can see, IN A CAR; 725 km.

Courtesy William Stalenburg.

By the way,…the LAKE KEEPIT WWGC [Australia; January  3, till  January 17 in 2020] will be flown in 3 classes; 18 m.,standard and club class!!!!! Just approved by the IGC.


And to finish a fabulous picture from N.Z top photographer Geoff Soper…Enjoy!

As shared by Geoff.     Geoff Soper Photography

Cu Next week,
Cheers Ritz

October 3, 2018

Brazilian Nationals ! Bahia-season started TOP !Potchefstroom…S.A. Nationals ! Strong wave in Europe yesterday!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 6:16 pm

As shared by Aeroclube de Bebedouro.


—Brasil Nationals from Bebedouro;
Day 4 with task 4 was challenging. AND,…in the end it turned out to be the last flying day!!After all the great weather it was an AAT -day.
2 hour AAT….. Not Henrique, who won every day till now, but 2 other pilots were the best on this AAT day;604 points both [on handicap] for a Nimbus 4 [266 km]with Alberto Kunath  and an Arcus M. [258]  with Claudio Schmidt. Henrique was 3d.
Day 5 was cancelled and there was no task on the last day.
So we have winners and a champion; Henrique Navarro in N1 a Nimbus 4T; 3.536 points. AND his 7th time!!
Runner up ;Alberto Kunath with 3.268 points…. 5 times Brazilian National Champion.
And Henrique shared a “story”  about these 2 Nimbus 4 -gliders.
“Nimbus 4 reunion! The last time these two N4 flew together was in the WGC in Makfing, South Africa, in 2002 maybe. They were flown by Alberto Kunath (TM) and Pete Harvey (N1).
Now we are at the Brazilian Nationals, and they seem to be having a good time together.

As shared by Henrique.

Racing; 1.45 AAT….196 km. in time 1.47, in a St Jantar by Guilherme Ribeiro was not bad;518 points for him.
Day 5 was cancelled.Day 6 had no task;
Champion; Itamar Lessa in ASW 20 B with  3.254 points. Runner up  Luis Affonso in St Jantar with 3.181 points.

Club;1.30 AAT and only 3 finishers. Valeria did not fly.
Day 5 was cancelled.Day 6…no task
Sérgio Bassi was the clear winner and CHAMPION. In his ELFE S4 he “got” 2.893 points. Runner up Luis Improta in St. Libelle with 2.678 points.

Open class AT the “podium”.Other classes around.
As shared by Henrique.


—-More news from Brasil as 3 pilots flew over 900 km. on September 26.
On the 25th of September the 2019 OLC started with lot’s of points for Brazilian pilots or pilots flying there.
On the 26th from Bahia 926 km in a Ventus CT/ 17.5 m, trying a 1000 FAI triangle!!!Pilot Pablo “got” 1.040,16 OLC points.
973 km. by Branco in the Nimbus 3T 25.5 m.His comment;
Tried a declared FAI 1000 with Tato. The first couple of hours was low and slow, but after that we got going. The second turn point was in a blue hole and we were behind the schedule, so we cut it short and moved the last TP to Barreiras. Going downwind to Barreiras was easy: all the Cu’s worked and we were able to utilize a number of long lift lines. At the end, I ran out of daylight, otherwise another 30 km was possible.

Branco and his mates;

12th straight day of great flying at Bahia Gliding!!! ”
as shared by Branco.



—On the 29th the South African Nationals started at Potchefstroom.
A lot of pilots in 18m./open; 22 to be correct and a few less in 15 m., club and 2 seaters a total of 38!!
They started last Sunday .For the 2 seater scores , only 4 gliders, please look at
15 m;
task 1; 325 km...with a speed of 125 km./h Mark Holliday [ASW 27] raced of the circuit and all others [ 6 ] finished as well.[844 points for Mark]
task 2; Maybe task 1 was too short so  the 7 had to fly 412 km!!!AND, except for one all flew the distance!!!Nice speed as well 113 km./h. so another win and now a 1000 points day for Mark .
Task 3; 315 km….Believe it or not but Mark won again, he seems to be a one-of-a-kind- 15 m. pilot! Good on him. AND,..look at the speed …140 km./h.
Wayne Schmidt also ASW 27, is mostly runner up for the day, BUT,  is about 300 points behind him overall.
Hanno Du Toit was runner up this day with 137 km./h on the clock. He is 3d overall.

task 1; 271 km….6 pilots in this class Dave Maver flew in his ASW 20 with a speed of 102 km.h but on handicap he was runner up as the St Cirrus from Jonathan Cross flew 97 km./h.
task 2; 359 km…..and Jonathan Cross was the daily best with 104 km./ his St Cirrus Well deserved 1000 points.
task 3;258 km….same story ,….Jonathan is the soaring-ace in club class winning every day till now. With 109 km./h he was the best.

task 1; 387 km….23 pilots in this class and an exciting class with real S A toppers participating. BUT, was a German pilot winning the day in a S A glider the JS 3. ;Klaus Kalmbach. He started together with Laurens and finished together both had the daily prize!!AND,..908 points.
Oscar was a tad slower, also in JS 3 ; 907 points!! Exciting finish.
task 2; 424 km……Good on he,r a powerful lady on top; Nathalie Lueben !!!In the ASH 32 MI, [handicap 116] she flew around with a speed of 131,42 km./h. good for 1000 points.
Not the fastest speed as 132.73 [Klaus] and 132. 85 km./h [Dawid Pretorius] was a tad better but their handicap from 120 and 121 gave them a few points less .[957 for 944]
Task 3;352 km.….Oscar was the “man-on-a-mission” this day. He flew faster than all others and by a big marge; 151 km./h. Runner up Martin Lessle in a JS 3 /15 m. flew around with 140 km./h and Danish Anders Andersen in his 18 m. JS 3 with 144 km./h.
One way or another Laurens did not fly!?
Oscar leads now with 3 day’s to go. German pilots Natalie and Klaus are 2 and 3 at this stage.


—-The Queensland GRAND PRIX is on at Kingaroy!! With other words the annual Queensland State Comps,with 18 participants in standard/15 m and 10 in open /18 m. and GP scores .
Adam won 2 day’s [310 km. and 160 km.] so 20 points for him in the St class/15 m and Lumpy did the same;  20 points for task 2 and 3 , no secret both lead!!![370 km. and 281]
Task 4 was for Adam again[297 km.]   but Lumpy “lost” from former WGC champion Brad Edwards , both in JS 3.-[348 km.]
After 3 tasks Adam leads in 15 m. with 30 points followed by Peter Trotter with 23.
In 18 m. Lumpy still leads with 25 points and runner up  Andrew Georgeson has 21. Brad is now 3d.[20 points]
How is this way of competition- flying different ???
They declare that as follows;”Conventional gliding competitions can require a huge financial commitment. Formula 1.0 is centred around the club class handicap of 1.0, which means that pilots can buy a competitive sailplane for less than $10,000. In the first running of the contest in the 2017 / 2018 season, the contest was won by Nathan Johnson in a borrowed 1976 Glasflugel Hornet



—–An end of a spectacular era!!! Frank Versteegh , former Red Bull Air Racer is selling his plane , EXTRA 300 L, ….a certified Aerobatic Aircraft…. to somebody who will fly it more than he does now , but treats “her” with the same respect. There MUST be somebody in this world who can do so.
Frank ‘loved’ his plane and did unforgettable “things” with it. Thanks Frank!!!!!
With the aerobatic coaching weekend run by Grant Piper in Tocumwal last weekend ,maybe Australia is an option??


Good luck to this little beauty!!!!
Pictures and message shared by Frank.


—-On the last day of September ,French pilot Philippe de Pechy , brought an ode / ballade sur le Golfe du Morbihan.
From Rennes Saint-Sulpice he flew West to the coast in his 21 m. JS 1,…..and what great pictures of fabulous isles,  he took. I share 3 of them.More on his FB site.



Commune de l’Ile aux Moines   and       Île-d’Arz.

Golfe du Morbihan.
All pictures shared by Philippe.


—–AND,… the British Gliding Association shared this news this morning:
“Another John Williams epic from Portmoak – an OLC 1.225 km at 128 kph… inc a trip to N Ireland!.
Wow look at his flight on the OLC. Lot’s of water!!!! And the Scottish wave was not always THAT high!! He took off  in his ANTARES from  Kinross.
John’s dry comment; ” Always wanted to try Ireland from Scotland (and back).”
Also Edward Downham flew over 1000 km.on this wave day from Kinross.[ASH 25EB 28] AND,…in a Discus with Santiago Cervantes,  970 k. is not bad either!!!!

And another LONG flight yesterday from Europe,..the Stemme with Klaus flew from La Cerdanya in Spain 1.300 km. with a speed of 116 km./h.!!!!Their wave went much higher .

And another one from France, I heard about the mistral and Robert Prat flew 1.203 km. at 127 km./h. from St Gaudens in the ASG 29 /18m.
Super flights.

Cu Next week.
Cheers Ritz

September 26, 2018

Summer is over. Memories…..back to the last day of the year 1989 and the first day’s of 1990 !!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 6:46 pm

We thought this 2018 -summer was never ending here in Holland, but on Friday , the day the astronomical autumn started, it turned into REAL autumn with wind BFT 9 , heavy rain and… a drop of temperature from 27 on Thursday to 15 on Friday.
Sunday was RAIN and more RAIN over 20 mm.
By the way it was the coldest EVER 23 d of September in history with a temperature of 10.9 dgr C. measured at the official meteo- station of De Bilt.
My friend Art in Canada suffered from the first snow in autumn and wind breaking trees. Ottawa was hit by a tornado and lot’s of houses an trees were ruined!!
My Aussie mates “splash” in early spring weather and fly up to over 600 km.!!!

Several “lucky ones” are looking ahead with great joy to their overseas trips. Most had a great European summer, but  also in the soaring-scene the grass is ” greener ”  on the other site.
It’s a bit like competition soaring ; a feast of recognition from friends with the same interest.
Sportaviation welcomed his first overseas guest already.

So I looked , as there is not a lot happening , in my holiday books and found a few interesting ,old pictures for you.

We are going back to the last day of 1989 in Tocumwal and the first scary day’s from 1990 with the huge fires around the Tocumwal airfield.
Most of you know and remember the day our Dennis crashed with the Scout between Tocumwal and Jerilderie close to Finley. That was on January 3 1988. So this was our first holiday , back to the place we loved,after this tragic event and our family was with 3 now; George and Inge and I.


mother and daughter.                     Stan Witek [RIP] with some Polish friends. Stan was then instructor at Sportavia.

After Dennis died the founder of Sportavia, Bill Riley,  did not want to continue. The story is that he said so at a bar in town. 3 Farmers Don Escott, [RIP]  Jeff Close [RIP] and Stewart Crawford heard this and after thinking about it they bought Sportavia.
Here at the picture Don and his wife Joan and Stewart, who was there only for a short while. Not at the picture but working very hard, Jeff and Margie. It was Don and Jeff  and Margie with CFI Eddie who ran the business.Not to forget David Riley, Peter Menhennitt and Corkey working on the gliders and planes.
Don sold his shares to us in 1995.

And then it was day 1 of 1990 and the party went on till the early morning.
Then disaster struck again !!!!AND,…again on January 3.
A huge fire , one of the biggest in Australia , hit Tocumwal too and the airfield was surrounded by huge fires and smoke. The worst inferno since 1983, ASH Wednesday, when 72 people died in Victoria.
At Tocumwal 6 houses burnt down including the Tocumwal Hotel and 1500 residents and campers at the Murray River were threatened. The fire even “jumped over” the river.
This all happened on January 3 and I wanted to be at the cemetery at 5PM, but was n’t allowed to go. Only the next day I saw why no…..t the fire just moved along the street there.

Scary moments we wanted to leave but that was impossible as the fire surrounded the hangar area.
We were lucky ,…the wind turned and the airfield was saved, not the forest on the East side and many animals died. SAD, very sad!!!!

My friends Gerrit [Kurstjens] and Geoff [Moar] looked at how close the fire reached to Geoff’s house. He kept the area wet by standing on the roof with a hose. The fire brigade was nor really happy with that.
Gerrit took Geoff’s wife and 3 children in the car to safety and went back later.

Shortly after the fires , happier times again, we moved to the NATIONALS in Benalla and caught up with Bertje [Kuypers ] from Holland and Wolfgang [Janowitsch] from Austria. YES with beautiful hair!!!

Bruce [Brockhoff] and George [Schuit] participated as well.

Another weird year full of stress but also fun. A memorable 1989 /1990. Hope you enjoyed the memories.

By the way Benalla was in the news this morning!!! GOOD news. In September 2015 the gliding club of Victoria  started negotiations with the Rural City Council:
“Three 25-year leases have been finalized for the Gliding Club and its hangars, the Aeropark for the accommodation area and the State Gliding Club for the clubhouse.”
Absolutely fabulous news!!!!!!!


—- Competition  in progress this week in Brasil from Bebedouro,September 22-September 29 in open ,[7] racing [10] and club [7] class!! They had great weather with good tasks till now.

60º Campeonato Brasileiro de Voo a Vela


Ready to go .
Courtesy Henrique Navarro.

Open; day 1 started with a 3 hour AAT and Henrique Navarro in the Nimbus 4T won the day with 392 km in time 3.05.1000 points!!! Only 4 from 7 finished!!!
Day 2; 440 km. was a prey for Henrique again ;speed 142 km./h.
Day 3; 485 km. Herique-time  again; 137 km./h.
With 3000 points he leads at this stage overall.

Racing;3 hour AAT and 10 participants . Luis Affonso flew in St Jantar 340 km. in time 3.05 and “got”  the 1000 points. All finished.
Day 2; 357 km. and Itamar Lessa was the next daily winner; speed 129 km./h in ASW 20 B.
Day 3; 405 km and the win from the day earlier tasted after more….Itamar won again now with 116 km./h on the ” clock”. 2836 points after 3 days for Itamar and 2.735 for Affonso. Everything is possible.

Club; 3 hour AAT and 7 pilots started AND finished. Winner was  Sérgio Bassi in and Elfe S4; 261 km. in 3 hours at the dot!!!!
Day 2; 288 km. and,…it’s getting boring but also here the same winner as the day before;Sergio flew around with 98.91 km./h.
Day 3; 2.30 AAT …also for Sergio with 237 km. in time 2.42.
One of the pilots in the club class is Valéria Caselato. She shared this picture and text to the groupe Female Glider Pilots. She flies a St . Libelle and was 6th. on day 1, unfortunately out on day 2 and 3 , but that’s practice as well .

My first experience as a competing pilot in the Brazilian National Gliding Championship: I and my Libelle! My goal is going to Australia 2020… maybe 🙋🏼😃😊”

Not only one lady but 2 and they shared more news from Bebedouro.
This is the first Brazilian championship that counts on the female participation of two competitors, Valéria Caselato and Carolina Foganholo. For 10 years there were no women participating in the national stage of the competition. Another important fact is the participation of the Air Force Academy, with a tugboat, 3 gliders and all its staff. For 17 years the Air Force Academy Sailing Club did not participate in competitions.”

Carolina flies in the KW 1 Class and is 5th from 7 participants. Good on her.



—-Whilst most gliders are on their way to overseas destinations, the S.A gliders just arrived back in time for the Nationals. They start on the 29th and “go” till October 6 with 37 participants in 4 classes from Potchefstroom.

As shared by Oscar.



——-And,…last Monday it was a long “sit ” again for Klaus Ohlmann and co pilot  Marcel Zemauli from France;1.268,43 km from Serres in his Stemme . A goal flight from one site of the Alps Serres in France  to the other Lesce Bled [Slovenia];
We are very happy!!! Weather exactly like in the forecast. We followed the windfield, used some thermals in the Pustervalley and then Karawanken Surf like planned.
Marcel first time from Serres to the end of the Alps, first time 1000 km, first time Austria. Total happiness…….” was the OLC comment.
Starting from Noetsch , to the West of Lesce , but in Austria, a 1000- up -and -down, was flown by Johannes Hausmann from Austria in an 18m. Ventus 2C.
And a bit later a flight from Noetsch was added in a KA 6; 693 km. good on you Dietmar Poll.

CU next week.
Cheers Ritz

September 19, 2018

Perlan doing a fabulous job!!! SKYSIGHT !!!!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 5:40 am

Shared by Matthew;”Low drag low lift configuration.”

——What about 1.749,93 km. with a speed of 206,99 km./h.?????? The Perlan Arcus J raced with this speed from Inyokern with Dennis Tito and Bill Hill.
They are doing an amazing job, those Perlan people!!!!!!!!
One way or another I heard or read that Matthew Scutter…[ JWGC champion in Narromine]  seems to be involved in the Perlan Project, so I checked with him:
My company, skysight, supplies perlan’s weather forecasts. So I came to visit to help out and see how it’s going“.
Not bad, not bad at all.
I get already for a long time, all Perlan-updates and part of the last one was about the flight from Jim and Morgan:
For Flight #53 the objective was envelope expansion and a functional check flight of some recent upgrades performed by the Perlan Team. The goal was to fly faster, not higher, to clear more flutter excitation modeling to the right. (More details below.) Our weather man Walt Rogers was joined by Matthew Scutter, founder of SkySight, to analyze the potential clouds and any possible stratospheric wave.  Lots of clouds and very little chance of lift was the verdict. Perfect for our purposes.”
Yes even written in part of an update by Jacky, Jim’s wife in the Perlan Blog after his flight with Morgan.[]

On September 2 Matthew shared this picture [ SkySight ]  :

Perlan has recentred into the best lift on the SkySight forecasts and has continued climbing through 73,000ft!
You can see the glider position on the “Perlan” region on SkySight, and the height at ”

All his data are from cloud computers via Amazon and Google!!!!!!
Great job!!!!
Of course I googled his business as well and found news on his own site[]  and  on one from the USA;
SkySight is the next generation soaring weather forecast service for Australia & NZ, South Africa, Europe and America. [ Japan as well] It was created by Matthew Scutter of Australia. It works great with SeeYou for PC to help you optimize your cross-country soaring and wave flying.”

  • 5+ days forecast range
  • Half-hourly time steps
  • High resolution forecasts
  • One price for access to all covered regions
  • Route forecasts
  • SkewT forecasts
  • Modern user interface
  • Phone & Tablet friendly


— September 13 was ,especially in the UK ,a top day. Roy [18 m. ASG 29 E] added his 570 k-flight to the BGA ladder and finished with the comment;”Probably the best September day that I have flown! Second leg of task at 146 kph so underset, an easy 500k day starting at noon.”
Also Gary and Andy flew a 563 k in an ARCUS T. Both flights from Lasham.



——Containers for Corowa were packed last weekend and the truck picked them up on Monday. As always it was a smooth and easy going “happening” under supervision of Francesco.
The containers ETA , is on November 11 with the 15th as the first possible flying day.
On February 15 2019 is the last flying day for the season.


Pictures courtesy George Schuit.



—-Of course I support ALL flying with and for women. I noticed a message from Aldo ;
The international women pilots’ meeting FlyDonna2018, hosted by ACAO Varese, has reached “top national TV news“. GREAT PR.
So I had a look at the short video and noticed ENOUGH female pilots and parachutists in Italy. As president of the ACAO Varese, Margo Aquaderni was making good PR as well. She is good for Italian soaring!!!
So is Aldo by the way. And not to forget Marina and Giorgio.


—–Tocumwal is a bit more in the news nowadays.The latest;
“The Tocumwal season has officially started today with Lumpy completing a flight just over 357kms in the LS4.
The day had a max temp of 16 deg with Cu’s around, going to 5000 feet.”
He took a few pictures as well.


The area around Tocumwal with the canola in full yellow bloom and the mighty Murray river with so to see enough water.The bridge is part of the Newell Highway.
Courtesy Lumpy Patterson.

Also Kingaroy had top soaring conditions early in the season and Adam’s dad Chris Woolleyflew 665 [500 FAI triangle] yesterday and from Mareeba not bad either, 455 in a PIK 20 by Geoff Pratt.


———-Bahia Gliding [Brasil] shows a great month of September-soaring with flights up to  819 km.!!!
They proudly shared a picture from the OLC from 2 day’s ago topping the list with 4 flights.
Branco[Stoikovitch] mentioned in his comment;
A complicated day with high clouds and OD. Still a lot of fun flying the Big Bird for the first time this season.”
The big bird is of course the Nimbus 3T/25.5 m.





——-Another extremely good day here in Holland , as well as yesterday! 30 dgr. C in mid September AWESOME!!!!
Cu next week, Off early in the morning, so an early publish of the blog.
cheers Ritz

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