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October 19, 2016

55th Aussie Nationals …”under-estimated” task;194.14 km. with 158.63 km./h.!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 8:23 pm

Kingaroy !

On Thursday October 13 another good day at the 55 th Aussie Nationals, with nice long tasks.
Standard; 441 km. and HC [ not officially competing] pilot Mac was the best again [109.90 km./h.]  Great practice for the WGC in Benalla. He knows the area around Benalla very well as he flew many years with us at Sportavia and we were only 70 km. distance up to the N..
He and Greg Beecroft were the last to start [12.02]  and Greg won the day and the 1000 points.Systems often have problems with the scores for HC pilots , also this time; 1026 points for Mac. LOL.
5 LS 8 gliders in the top;Mac, Greg, Lisa and Peter [Trotter] and Ross [McLean]
Early starters [11.17]  as Allan [Barnes] and Brian [Hayhow] did not have the best day.
Allan mentioned on the OLC that ” from my evaluation of the weather it was a good possibility of being a distance day. So as I was in a good position to start just after the gate opened, I did so. Found myself with Bryan Hayhow and we worked our way around slowly in the blue, surprised that no-one else had started.
They got low on track and “the gaggle rolled us high and fast.”
15 m; 441 km. same as Standard. Only 10 pilots started AND finished. Best was Stephen O ‘Donnell with 1000 points for a speed of 11.29 km./ his Ventus 2cx.
18 m; 446 km. and another fast day for Butch;1000 points for him for a speed of 124 km./h. David was close with 966 points. 3 ASG 29 gliders in the overall top after 3 days and 3 very strong pilots; Butch , David and Tom, all WGC-material.
open/combi; 446 km. same top as 18 m., but on the next 4 places 4 JS 1c open class gliders. After 3 tasks the overall scores are ; Butch , David and Bruce [Taylor] In this combined class several types of gliders of course flying with the appropriate handicap.
And here is the daily report from Bruce:
“A much longer task today, 450 km to the north, then west. We experienced a bit of everything, some wave before the start, stronger blue conditions, then weak, lower blue conditions, then finally some fast running under cumulus to finish the day. It was fun, and a good test of skill. Once again John Buchanan came home in first place. He is flying very well, as I saw first hand today. We were together for a lot of the flight. In theory the JS1C with the long wings is a better glider than his ASG29, but we could not get away from him at any stage. Congratulations John! I arrived home slightly frustrated after a long stretch of the flight with a lot of company. All classes flew the same task, and the low, blue weather in the middle brought us all together, with plastic going in every direction. Plus I had a couple of small technical issues to keep me busy. The overall result for me was OK though, and I moved up a few places today.”

Friday;   day 4 and,….. according to some with another highly -under-set task, others mentioned ” Very windy day, and the task setters were not sure how it would turn out, and ended up undersetting it. ” Start games were played by many.
standard; 167.51 km., much better day for Allan who won the day with a speed of 124.5 km./h. So only 338 points for the winner. Mac was runner up. One out-landing.
Bryan [Hayhow] who flew with us at Toc in the past is one of the competitors in this class flying his Discus B. He is always good in comments so here is his on the OLC on day 4, on which he was 5th.
Very interesting task again with pre start wave, over development on the second leg, and very hard to find cores once back over the Bunyas… Had a good run to the first turn, but got left by the LS8 brigade and had to take a couple of weaker climbs in the over shadowing to stay in the band… the real problem started once back into the Kingaroy Valley, where I struggled to connect with anything, to get me onto final glide. I just watched the speed wind down, while struggling!
Very frustrating on such a short task, where every climb really counts. Fun day despite that though…”
15 m.; 167.51 km. So the same distance and ALL pilots finished. Norm , who had to travel from  West [Perth] to  East [Kingaroy] , to compete in Kingaroy, was the best in his LS 8 with a speed of 127.30 km./h. Norm is a 747 airline captain with Quantas so he might have flown . Nice young man who flew years ago already nationals [ where I met him] , stopped for a while and is back at his best.
18 m.; 194.15 km. It’s either Butch or David in this class this year so today it was David again . Speed 145.15 km./h. So not a lot of points to hand out.Same kind of story for these 2 men, who I know already for ages. Still nice and still great pilots as well as Bruce.
Open/combi; 194.15 km. AND ….BRUCE won the day with 158.63 km. h. for only just under 300 points.
Here is daily winner Bruce:
Today was short and fast! Everything fell into place for me: a good start in wave, spectacular glides and only a few climbs, all very strong, then a final glide which started well below height and just built up nicely. Couldn’t be better! Only problem was the elapsed time was too short and the day was heavily devalued. Super day, good JS1 weather. The photo is from up in the wave pre-start, always a beautiful place.”
Great short story and fabulous picture!


Courtesy Bruce.

Saturday ; nice day, great clouds with 7/8 knotters over the Darling Downs, good tasks and strong winners. Gerrit Kurstjens flew in his Quintus ,even a 757 km. flight, from nearby airfield Mc Caffery.[124 km./h.]  His wife Pam a 628 km task in the ASH 31/21 m.. Both flew a 600 km FAI triangle.
Standard ;427.10 km….and after one day with a more or less wrong decision, it seems Allan decided to go for it; he won AGAIN , so 2 days in row!!!And now it was a 1000 points-day!Mac was runner up  and Greg had another good day  after winning a day and 2 times a runner-up-spot.Also the Trotters did well with a 3d spot for Peter and 4th for Lisa.
After 5 days and still 5 to go Mac tops the list but for the Aussie championship it is for now, Peter, Greg and Allan.
15 m ;427.10 km….great day for Woolley winning the 1000 points with a speed of 132 km./h. All pilots finished and Adam was really happy :”Cracking day at the Australian Nationals, 430km at 132kph – close quality racing. I was lucky enough to get a day win & the overall lead (first for me in my senior career) by the slimmest of margins today. 5 more days to go, bring on more smiles & challenges!”
After 5 days so Adam on top ,only just , as he says with 7 points. Followed by Jim and Norm.
18m; 428 km…and Tom was in a hurry…..143.42 km./h. and won the day ahead of Butch and David.
Open/combi :428 km. Best open class pilot was Andrew who won the day. As open class pilot he leads the overall scores after 5 days before Bruce. AND, is Bruce…..

Longer day, and the best weather so far. It started early, first launch at 10:30am, but it could have been an hour earlier, and the day went quite late. The Open class task was 430 km, and as it turned out we had cumulus almost all the way. In the Kingaroy valley it was moist as always, so the clouds were large and a little spread out, and out to the west there were very few cus, but it was much higher. It was a fabulous day to be flying, with climbs from 6 to 8 knots, and heights over 9,000 feet in the west. Today it was my partner for Benalla, Andrew Georgeson who took the prize, with a smoking 151kph. Great to see. My flight went very well, right up until the final glide, which turned to worms for me. That is how it goes. Tomorrow perhaps.”

Sunday another nice and interesting day with ” very  different legs on task” , but also blue conditions .Here in Holland we had SUPER WEATHER  sunny not too much wind a few clouds and up to  20 dgr. C on October 16 !!!!!!!
Standard ; 399.53 km….Mac won but as he flies HC , Allan won the day. so 3 consecutive days as winner. Good on him!!! Local “hero”  Ross was runner up. Mac still leads ,but for Australian Champion you have to be an Aussie. As said before he will be the winner if he continues flying like this, but not the champion. Another local hero Peter Trotter is at this stage a potential champion.
5 Pilots in the 4000- range, so chances enough.
15 m ; 399. 53 km…And another HC pilot won the day. This time from New Zealand from that beautiful town Tauranga; Alan  Belworthy. ..1028 points. Loved it there in Tauranga!!
The 1000 points were for Kingaroy pilot Stephen O’Donnell in his 15 m. Ventus cxt. Adam still leads the overall scores with a better margin now;34 points instead of 7. And ,…” it ain’t no over yet ”
18 m. ; 482.62 km,….David Jansen is “HOT” or more polite, in great form [ speed 126.37 km./h.]  He won another day and got the 1000 points. 993 for Tom and 979 for Butch. Except for 1 day when David was on top, Butch has been overall leader for the rest of the week.
Open /combi;482.62 km…. Bruce had intentions as he said the day before and the best open class pilot today was BRUCE gaining the full 1000 points!!!Speed 131.29 km./h.
‘” I spent a big part of today with David Jansen in “4D”, and here he is up north between Biggenden and Mundubbera. We were the early starters, and it didn’t seem to hurt our scores, as we finished 1 and 2. I was concerned about the weather turning blue, which it did, but in the end most of the speeds were very similar. We did 480 km at about 132kph. Nice flight, with the last third all in the blue. Seems we have a day off tomorrow, partly as a rest day and partly because it might be raining!”


Monday ; after 6 pretty intensive days a rest -day with good clouds, but also a 30 kts wind and showers around. Perfect day for the annual pilot meeting. As long as I have been at Nationals , there was always, on a non flying day , a meeting. Sometimes they went for hours!!!!

Tuesday; decent tasks for 15 m and standard class;317.56 and a few more kilometers for 18 m. and open; 349.02 km.
Decent day as well with blue circumstances.  “They set a window close time which was 45 min after the window open.” So not too much time to hang around.
Standard; all pilots started between 12 and 12.17. Greg was the first to go on track at 12,  flew by himself and finished first..good on him. Most of the rest left 17 min. later and never managed to “catch”  him, though they did not loose too much points; 1000 for Greg and 988 for runner up Ray Stewart from Kingaroy. Nice to see that Lisa was faster than her husband Peter, but Peter is still on spot 2 overall , not counting Mac who leads HC with over 200 points. Greg still leads overall.
15 m ; Jim Crowhurst won the day and the 1000 points and with that he moved to spot 1 overall, only by TWO points. Adam was 5th for the day. 9 From 15 finished! Terry Cubley started rather late and just not made it  home; 308 km.
18 m.; Butch and David started together but Butch finished 8 minutes earlier. Good flights by the runner up Tom and Brian Du Rieu [LS10 st] from Temora. David was 4th for the day.Best speed for the day in ALL classes, was just over 100 km./h. in 18 m. class.
Open /combi; Andrew [Georgeson] was the best open class pilot just ahead of Bruce and 2 the NZ pilots Brett and Mark, all in JS 1C, but looking at a combination of 18m and open it was Butch who won and Andrew and Bruce were ” only” 5th and 6th.
Both Chinese pilots out-landed. Both are competing in the WGC next month,  so there is MORE to learn for them. Here is the news from the Australian home page at
Andrew (Peng) Du and Guangwei Shang, representing the People’s Republic of China (PRC), have arrived in Australia and are competing in the Australian National Gliding Championships now underway in Kingaroy, 10 – 21 October. They will also be among the pilots competing in the World Gliding Championships at Benalla in January. As far as we are aware, this will be the first international competition for China’s leading pilots since the WGC in Benalla in 1987.”
Some of the Chinese pilots flew over the last years in Tocumwal and their Chinese  ARCUS M arrived there last year as well. I wrote about it in my blogs. They flew first with Sportaviation, then with SRGC , then with Outback Soaring and left then for Narromine. Noticed how they operated, had dinner with them and conversations. Some are very nice, as the owner of the ARCUS M, Mr. Qing Gao, some a “bit complicated”, for some the language is a huge problem. They are all very enthusiastic though!
To be honest, from what I saw, I can not see them YET, as WGC material , but who knows!!! I told them last year, when they still dreamed of participating. We even took them to Benalla to the Pre Worlds for the day, to show them that a WGC is BIG and that you need a lot of [competition-] experience!!!!!Well, let’s wait and see how they go in 18 m and open class in January.

Wednesday TODAY task 8; 314 km. for standard and 15 m. and 400  for 18 m. and open. All scores at this stage preliminary.
I start with the OLC comment from Allan Barnes.Like me , you get an idea of the day.
“Very interesting day. Shear wave prior to start – I got to over 11000ft, but way earlier than I wanted to start. Tough choice – go early and take advantage of the height, or wait for the others and start lower after the wave had dissipated. I decided to go early, as I needed to do something different to Greg and Peter. The headwind on the first leg soon eliminated the advantage of the high start, but I found myself with Tim Bromhead and we spent the rest of the flight together. Lots of wave effect, and one ripper thermal on the leg out of Chinchilla was about a 9kt average. Will have to wait and see if going early was the right move.”
YES it was,…. he won the day.Allan started at 12.03 and Greg at 1 .06 PM, so ONE hour later. Greg was 4th for the day. NZ pilot Tim who flies HC, was runner up.Mac was 5th. Allan who lost some points on day 3 and 4 , won till now 4 days!!!!! That means at this stage that he leads overall, as Greg lost some points, he is on spot 3 now behind Peter. Of course Mac is still the winner at this stage with nearly 200 points on Allan.
15 m.; Stephen O’ Donnell was the best for the day and gained 807 points. Only 1 out-lander.Norm is really flying very steady and is on spot 3 overall at this stage [5995], behind Jim [ 6.047] and Adam [6.045]Look at the differences . Stephen has 5910 points.Everything is possible.
18 m.;Butch flew around with 134.06 km./h. and was the best. Tom was runner up David lost 50 points on Butch.
No changes in the overall top still Butch, David and Tom. Chinese pilot Guangwei finished, FIRST time during this competition good on him; speed 85.95 km./h.a bit slow but getting there.
open/ combi: Best open class pilot  was Kiwi pilot Brett with a speed of 135.20 km/h. Bruce followed with 133.55 km.h.
No story today but here is the one from the day before;
“Half of the grid launched, ready to go, and not a cloud to be seen! It was the story of today, a day that turned out to be very challenging. Climbs were never high, and never strong, and 350 km was simply a long, hard slog. Post-frontal blue days can be like that in South-East Queensland, but thankfully the wind didn’t blow too hard, or we would not have gone anywhere. About one-third of the field failed to complete the task.
For me, there were good and bad parts to the flight, but by the end of it I was happy to be home, at a neat 100kph. Once again John Buchanan took the honours. He is really in the groove.”

The last days in Kingaroy, you can read next week.



This year the 110th FAI General Conference  was at Bali between October 13 and 15.
Last year the annual meeting from the FAI was in Rotterdam here in Holland. I remember very well as I was honored with the Pelagia Majewska Award. This year this prestigious prize , world wide for a lady contributing to our beautiful sport,  was for Italian  Margherita Acquaderni, Margo for her friends.
Last year also Loek Boermans from Holland got a very prestigious prize, the   Lilienthal Gliding Medal, so Holland WAS in  the spotlight and great to see IS,  as  this year “our” Frits Brink was elected as the new president for 2 years as successor of John Grubbstroem  from Sweden. It’s only the 2d time in history that a Dutch president was elected  last time was between 1952 and 1954.

British Gliding Team.

Is not yet on its way to Benalla. But they are packing to leave soon. Here you are …nearly ready to go.

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As shared by the British Gliding Team
Gagula Darko shared a picture from the packing of the Slovenian, Italian and Austrian container.
They take the trailer with them as well.




Shared by Andrew Maddocks,with the message
Road tripping to Slovenia to pack number 6 & 7 Ventus 3 into the container for Australia WGC 2017



the travel- news from our USA mates, shared by US soaring teams.
34th FAI World Gliding Championships Benalla Australia here we come! “The US Team pilots are preparing for their trips to Benalla. Most of the ships are en route from the US; one has already arrived! The US Team extends very special thanks to Virginia Higgins of DJ Powers, our US Team Global Master Logistics provider, and Gary Brasher of AXIMA Logistics in Melbourne who handles all import logistics for us in Australia.”
Good old Gary helped us already with the carnets etc when we brought gliders to Benalla in 1987!!!

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In the past the Aeroclub from Stendal in co-operation with  the airport of Stendal- Borstel organized several comps ,  even Dutch  Nationals. To full satisfaction. Now they are going to organize the German Nationals in July [ 3-15 in open, 18 m and 15 m. class] 2017 and after they hope to organize a WGC !!!
Good on them ,…they have send out a bid for the year 2020.After the next IGC meeting we hope for them, to know more!!


Eagle strike!


One of my FB friends is Aussie John Welsh, who is a member from the Beverly Gliding Club, as is another mate Norm Bloch who flies at the moment the Kingaroy Nationals in his LS 8 and by the way won day 4!!!.
Bird strike!!! It is not something new ,it happened here in Holland to, but that was not an eagle, forgot what kind of bird it was, long ago.
This time John, who is a longtime instructor at Beverley,  went for a nice flight with a few others flying over Mt. Stirling starting from Quairading and in a flash second an Eagle flew through the canopy glass and was on John’s lap. Of course he was in shock but straight away through the bird out of the cockpit;”I didn’t know if the eagle was dead or just stunned, and I was very determined to get him out of the cockpit just in case he was stunned.”

As there was blood everywhere, John did not know exactly whose blood, he looked around and had to decide to jump out or fly back and land straight away. That’s what he did after he contacted his mates, over the radio and they organized an ambulance.


The broken canopy as shared by the Beverley Soaring Society.

This is the story he shared on FB; “Waiting for the retrieve crew in Quarading Hospital after an eagle strike in Mike Yankee at 4000′ over the wheatbelt. First thing I saw was a shape descending from above right, a bang taking out the right side of the canopy and an eagle landed in my lap. Tossed him out in case it was only stunned, landed safely at Quarading open cockpit. Only a cut over my right eye!”


Members of the Canberra Gliding Club mentioned :
Bird strikes are a real and serious threat; fortunately John’s ok and MY can be repaired.
I am glad he is OK .
This tells the full story


It’s not over yet!

Some air reconnaissance photo’s from Deniliquin to Tocumwal (Lower River Road) showing the extent of the inundation.
“Remember if it’s flooded forget it!
Never drive, ride or walk through floodwaters.”
How many times did I drive that road!!!

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As shared, this week,  by my friend Margie,
pictures courtesy NSW SES Murray Region.
BUT spring is arriving
look at the early -season- actions at the field in Toc at Eddies and at the SRGC.

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Dundee, after his trip to Brisbane, where he celebrated his 80 thiest birthday, YES 80, helping out at Sportaviation and SRGC .
Stu, who visited Europe incl. Amsterdam 3 weeks ago, takes his Musketeer now for a nice spring-flight .


Interesting OLC flights.

October 14; Dennis and Robert Carlton flew the ARCUS J [jet sailplane] for the very first long flight ;a flight of 1.175 km and speed of 153.1 km./h. They flew from Inyokern in California .
For more news on this flight you can read the OLC comment that day by Robert, who conducted the test flights in the USA…interesting story!!!
Also a nice 750 triangle by Egon Otto Rehn in the Quintus M flown from Fazenda Panambi [never heard from this field before] in Brazil  and one day later Luis Moares flew from Luís Ed. Magalhães a distance of 771 km [600 FAI triangle]

October 15 ; Dennis Tito and Aussie Morgan Sandercock from the Perlan Project , took the brand new ARCUS J [jet sailplane, ] out for a long and high ride starting from Inyokern [California] ; 1.726.4 km. with huge speed of 206.79  km./h.
Germany had a fabulous flight from Unterwoessen in the South of Germany close to the Austrian border.Jan Lyczywek flew in the Antares 18 T …934 km. into the Alps and had there some wave as well.

October 16;The fun is not over yet for the ARCUS J . It remains in the air, this time with Dennis and Cindy; 1.380.6 km with a speed of 152.2 km/h
New Zealand showed the first flight for the season from Finnish pilot Jyri Laukkanen and many will follow. Wave flight from 845 km with a speed of 157.6 km./h.

CU next week.
Cheers Ritz


  1. Hi Ritz.
    Nice to see you are able to write again!
    If you want to LOL about scoring systems handling HC pilots like Mac, you must do it to whoever make the rules, because the scoring is by the book!
    They have decided, that the best “Australian” pilot is awarded 1000 points;consequently Mac will get more than 1000.
    It also happened in Hungary last summer.
    I really look forward going to Oz soon. The weather here in Denmark is now “autumnlike” and getting worse.
    Keep on writing!
    Best regards.

    Comment by Ole Arndt — October 19, 2016 @ 10:33 pm

  2. Thanks Ole, I know that for scorers it is sometimes difficult, but at least we know for sure that the number 1 if he is HC ,will be the winner and I hope WITH a prize!!!! The Aussie champion [in this case ] will be the Australian pilot with the most points.
    It happened as well when George Schuit won the Leeton Nationals a few years ago. He was the winner not the new Aussie champion which is as it should be!
    Wish I could go as well to Toc and Benalla. Writing is ok every day a bit , but my health is still poor. 2 More visits to hospital next week. Today was dermatologist. Little operation in January. Not too bad.
    All the best and keep reading and when you have advises please share them with me. Thanks!!!
    Cheers Ritz

    Comment by ritz — October 20, 2016 @ 7:08 pm

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