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November 23, 2016

Interesting 34th Aussie Nationals are history now!Excitement;20.000 ft. for Tony and 21.900 ft for for Randy! Father and son Schmelzer reach 7300 m.!!!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 8:31 pm

First real autumn- storms here in Holland last week .On Sunday we had gusting wind up to 110 /120 km./h.Pretty tough!!!Quite some problems, for car’s and trains and for walking people at the street getting debris on their bodies. Also planes at Schiphol Airport had problems and noticed some spectacular good landings.

A lot of TOP-wave flights this week with pictures. Enjoy!!!



Club and sport-class pilots continued their competition, whilst I was in the Southern part of Holland for 2 days.
By the way I am moving house in Mai, back to “the roots”, to the southern part between the Belgium border and Eindhoven , the Phillips-light-town .
November 17, race 5; 364 km. and 547 !!!!!!
A brilliant,  ” cracking” as Adam who flies from Kingaroy in the East,calls it, day and a new name on top in club class for the day; Leigh Stoke in the ASW 20 C.


Leigh, after his very first win in a National Championship. Good on him.
Courtesy Waikirie Gliding Club…Nationals.

7 From 14 finished and one of the “out-landers” was Bernie Sizer who was on such a great spot 2 overall. Now he was out after 247 km. and dropped to 6.
Ailsa ,Allan and Terry [Cubley] belonged to the finishers.
In sports class a real nice long task and 4 from 10 finished!
Peter Temple has no problem with such a task, as experienced as he is, he won the day with a speed of 112.85 km./h.
It took Grant Hudson more than 6 hours to finish,…. but HE DID!!!!
Scott Percival [ASH 25 M] out landed and dropped from 2 to 3 overall.Andrew finished and is 2 again overall.
Scott was only less than 3 km. out from the finish circle.Such a pity but safety first!!!!


Safely tied down. Ready to be picked up the next morning by aerotow-retrieve.
Courtesy Waikirie Gliding Club…Nationals.

November 18 ; scrubbed!
November 19 race 6 ;club 169.59 km and sports class 175.80 km.
After a non-flying-day, the pilots had short flights for their last day.In club another daily winner this time Steven Cesko in the St Libelle flying around with 75.13 km. /h. Allan was a tad faster but lost on handicap .
So pretty easy to say who is this years AUSSIE CLUB CHAMPION; Allan Barnes with 4.432 points.
Runner up Ailsa, mostly flying with Allan,[ as he said he had to hold her off as she was gaining on him since day 3,]  was runner up, [4.103] good on her!!
Her own idea:” ‘The Cirrus that doesn’t know it’s a Cirrus”. Took a few days to work out that it still wasn’t quite as good as an LS8, then started relentlessly following Allan around each task.
Jaroslaw Mosiejewski [PIK 20 B with 3.981] was the 3d on the podium.
Start times between 1.42 PM and 2.40 PM.

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Allan, Ailsa and Jaroslaw and Andrew ,Peter and Scott with ASH 25 team mate Mark “Lumpy”  for friends.
By the way Lumpy is the new owner of our old WW2 Sportavia hangar. The SRGC [with Ingo] seems to be back there.
as shared by the organizers.

In sports class Waikirie pilot Grant Hudson [ASH 31 MI] was the last-day-winner. Slow speed but good enough to win ;87.69 km./h.
As Scott was 2d for the day and Andrew 3d,  with Peter on a 5th place the final scores were clear!!!
New AUSSIE SPORTS CLASS CHAMPION is Peter Temple with 4.572 points. Runner up Andrew G. with 4.044 and Scott was 3d with 3.887.
Our Chinese friends practicing for the WGC had 1.569 points [Guangwei] and 1.494 [Andrew].
Andrew was so kind to inform all pilots about soaring in China.


“Andrew Du describing the recently set up China Loong International Soaring Centre to the pilots and crew this morning. Close to Gobi Desert, a 700km ridge and high mountain peaks. Retrieval options out of the Gobi Desert are somewhat limited.”
Courtesy Waikirie Gliding Club ..Nationals.



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“Congratulations to Bjoern Rechinger as the inaugural winner of the new Swaantje Geyer- trophy for best performance at the Australian Club and Sports Class Gliding Nationals. Presented at Waikerie which was a place Swaantje loved to visit.”
And a big thank you to Brendan for organizing the trophy![the Claffey’s]
Picture and text; Waikirie Gliding organizers and  Catherine Conway, she also hands over the prize to Bjoern.

VERY PLEASED!!!!! LIKE!!!!!!!!

By the way ,the day after the comps Bjoern flew 715 [500 km FAI triangle] from Waikirie in his 18 m. Ventus 2 CT.
As Allan mentioned;” We had a good mix of weather; cu, blue, strong, weak, windy, calm, but sadly no classic high Waikerie days. That was saved for the drive back home.” How often does that happen !!!???

HIGH Height excitement!!!


the view from 20.000 ft., south of Kiamichi Ridge

The first message on FB from one of my USA SOARING MATES was ;
“Diamond Altitude. Ft. Worth got me to FL200. OK state altitude record!” November 17; 6.112 m. MSL/5.870 AGL.
Tony Condon got his Diamond altitude; Well done Tony! Flown from Talihini Airport in the USA.

I straight away contacted him and heard in a first message that he flew it in the Silent Electro:
“My State Record only stood for a few hours, Randy Teel launched after I landed and worked up to 21,900 ft in the late afternoon. We’re pretty excited. Previous record was 17,900.”
After I landed yesterday, I told Randy to go catch that wave and see if he could go higher. AND HE DID! How cool!! Fantastic day of Soaring in Oklahoma!”

Here is his OLC comment, which says it all as Tony said;
Wow! Thank you so much to Leo and Jen Benetti-Longhini [ I met them as well in Uvalde and indeed thay are lovely people!!!!]for letting me use their glider. Dave Pauly loaned me his O2 bottle. Steve Michalik called the weather 4 days ahead of time.

Lucky enough to launch right into some weak rotor which put me in the secondary right away. 5000 ft there then up to Albion where the primary is usually located. It was and that got me to about 11,000 ft.
With the southwest wind I hypothesized that the east end of Tombstone would work best since it curves a bit southeast there. Found the big climb there. Occasionally spikes to 3 knot average but otherwise most of the climb was 1-2 kts. Slow and Steady.

Fort Worth Center was very kind and accommodating in issuing an IFR clearance up to FL200. Was still climbing about 1 kt at that altitude, but the diamond was in the bag and I wasn’t well equipped for a long stay at altitude.
It wasn’t cold! Temp on the surface was over 80F and the freezing level was around 15,000 ft. A nice comfortable way to get Diamond Altitude.
Looking forward to more flying in Talihina! This place has it all!”
“It was an incredible day and hopefully we can get back to Talihina on a wave day soon. It is about a 5 hour drive from my house in Wichita.Attached are a couple full size pictures for you. One is the view to the south from 20,000 ft and the other is me with the glider after landing. This is the same Electro (JEN) that Leo and Jen l loaned me for the World’s in Lithuania as well as the Nationals last summer in Uvalde. I owe them a LOT!”

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Tony “with his text;” Diamond smile!” and Randy with about the same smile but “different”.
Pictures shared by Tony.

And this is Randy’s FB story;
“What a great day of soaring in SE Oklahoma. I want to thank Dooley Rucker for getting me launched and for Tony Condon for showing up in Talihina and providing me with FT Worths Center Frequency 132.2. Todays flight would not have happened with out the both of you.
A couple more PENDING OKLAHOMA STATE ALTITUDE RECORDS. Absolute of a approximately 21,900 feet and Altitude Gain of approximately 20,500 ft. I have been trying to get Diamond Altitude 5,000 meters (16,404 feet) since we first doing wave flights in 2007. I knew it was possible. It was just a matter of being here at the right time.”



EVEN MORE HEIGHT GAIN…… the Schmelzers.

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Bert jr. and Bert sr. on these pictures at another occasion.
Bert jr flies in MILVUS clothes.

And up to 7300 m. this time!! Dad and son Schmelzer, both called Bert ,added  another awesome soaring day to their lives.
 A great Sunday afternoon with my dad”  was the short message:
7.000m and -25°C in the Schesaplana wave.”


After 700 km. driving from Belgium to Switzerland WITH a trailer on the back of the car!!!, Bert sr. arrived  and flew the next day with Bert jr. this great flight!!

Here is the FULL story, as I got it from Bert sr.: THANKS!!!!!!!!He was still excited , only wanted to share the pictures with me , but I loved the story with it,… so here you are.
—-On Friday evening Bert jr. called from Zurich to Bert sr. in Antwerp in Belgium. There would be Foehn on Sunday. Would he like to come to Zurich ??!!A storm depression in West Europe and foehn in the Alp,….a classic situation for November. Hilde and Bert had other obligations but decided at the spot to prepare and travel to Switzerland.

First to the Keiheuvel the home field from the Schmelzers,  where on Saturday afternoon quickly the transponder, just back from a repair-job, was installed in the Ventus by friend Jef Dekoninck. A check if all was OK, hooking on the trailer checking the lights ,….and off they went!!!!

At 8 in the evening they arrived in Zurich at Bert and Barbara’s place. During dinner ,…..preparations as, airspace, frequenties from Zurich info and Innsbruck and Vienna radar and a discussion about flying in wave,this ALL to keep EVERYTHING SAFE!!
I know the Schmelzers for a long long time and they REALLY PREPARE!!!!

At 4.30 AM, the alarm-clock  went off. Time to go to Hausen Am Albis where Bert jr’s 18 m. Discus 2T, was rigged as well as the 18 m. Ventus, 2CT. This all in the dark, early and coldest period of the day!!!
At 7 the tuggie was ready; daddy Schneebelie father of the young Schneebelies helped the early birds out. At 7 AM Bert jr , who wanted to start at first light, went up ,about half an hour later Bert sr.
Very turbulent weather but all went according to plan. At 3000 m. Bert sr put on his oxygen installation.
Though checked before ,….it did not work!!!!!Damm,……
He had to fly back and landed for a relight!!!!!!
Everything was tested and checked again  and one hour later he was up in the air .
Bert jr had flown back to catch up and as Bert sr. said “we had the most remarkable flight ever”.
Over the Schesaplana in the Montafon- mountains they climbed with support from Innsbruck radar to just over 7000 m!!!!
Overwhelming views from approx 150 km. were the present for all their efforts, as well as their best height ever.—-

In the evening after the flight Bert and Hilde de-rigged, packed and drove home again where they arrived at midnight after a fabulous day and even Hilde enjoyed it to the fullest!!!!On Monday they were back at work as usual.
Enjoying MINUS 25 and up in the morning at 4.30, CHAPEAU for the “old Bert” !!!
And how well knows young Bert his dad to call him. Chapeau!!!!
This is family soaring at his best!!!!

Here is a preview -picturefrom last Sunday’s wave flight “As seen from 7.300 m”


And here is already a the link to 4 of the pictures, more to come;



Norwegian pilot Arne Martin Guetler enjoyed a great time flying in Omarama in N.Z, making the most beautiful pictures.
Who is on FB can see them all under his name.
He wrote:
Omarama is Māori for “Place of Light”, a reference to its extraordinarily pure and clear sky.”
On November 11 “: Last day flying in New Zealand. And probably one of our most amazing flights, despite being probably our slowest and shortest!
Very difficult thermals, but we soldiered on regardless, and in the end was rewarded with some weak wave which got us to our goal of Mount Aspiring which we’ve been trying to reach for a long time!”


“We finally made it to Mt Aspiring!
At 3000 m it is New Zealand’s highest mountain outside the Mt Cook area.”

When they left the weather changed and on the 12th the South Island Championships 2016 started [November 12-19] at Omarama with 18 pilots. As far as I could see on  they unfortunately  had NOT ONE valid day.

Great picture shared by Milan Sawyer with the text:”YOU MUST COME TO OMARAMA.”
Yes this is OMARAMA too.



Interesting OLC flights.

Great to see the Corowa season has started as well. Good to see the familiar names on the OLC with their comments!!!Have a look when you have time.
Also Tocumwal has action and on Thursday all over Australia already nearly 50 flights .
My friends from Finland arrived in Tocumwal as well. Eddie,  from Sportaviation,  mentioned on the 18th:
“First Super day for Tocumwal 12.500ft”
Interesting wave-flight in an ASW 15 from Krnov in the Czech Rep by Jan Ratz; 530 km.
Temora in Australia is one of those underestimated glider fields. So early in the season Brian Du Rieu already showed the potential flying his LS 8 over a 800 km triangle !!![820 km./804FAI triangle] Good!!!!
He was pleased that “the day was exactly as forecast. Strong WNW wind on the 2nd leg, and final glide under complete overcast for the last 110km albeit with nice buoyant air!” Brian topped the OLC-day of November 18.
On November 19,  great flights from Veronica in Namibia N.E.  of Bitterwasser. Never heard of that airfield but 3 over 1000 km flights ,all in Arcus ,were flown from there.
One day later also Bitterwasser and Kiripotib, as well as Pokweni added over-1000 km. flights.
Gawler had a great flight on November 20;Philip Ritchie flew 792 km [743 FAI triangle] in a Mosquito!!! His comment on the OLC;
Classic trough day out of Gawler SA. Very long glides into wind heading north. Some strong climbs. Slow on final leg as the day went very soft.
Yesterday , “fresh champion”  Allan Barnes just back home as winner from the Australian Club Class Nationals in Waikirie[see above] in  the South  Australia , flew 717 km [500 FAI triangle] in his LS 8 from Lake Keepit this time  on the East side of OZ.
He topped the OLC list with this flight.



Not long and the Benalla WGC will be flown. I was amused and a little amazed to see that the USA added an extra pilot to their team. Here is the message I found on FB by Pete who I got to know in Uvalde. Nice fellow and already in Aussie atmosphere!!! Really hope it works out well and IN TIME!!! I know about customs , carnets and quarantine etc.
G’Day All,
I’m very pleased to announce Mike Robison’s addition to the US Team going to Australia in Open Class.
Mike will be flying N1K (JS1- CJ) which Steve Nichols very graciously lent to Mike.
Thanks to Fernando Silva for working behind the scenes to help Mike work out all of the logistics and helping Mike to find a good ship to fly in a very short amount of time.
Welcome to the team Mike!
Pete Alexander
US Team Committee Chairma

Miss Dick Butler on the list now. Does that mean NO CONCORDIA in Benalla???? Would be a great pity as those paddocks are huge even for those long wings and that of course only when Dick would have out-landed.I’ll check for you.

Between all men I only found ONE lady to fly there; Anne Ducarouge from France in 15 m. flying an ASG 29.
So many “strong” pilots in all 3 classes. It will be more than exciting. Such a pity I can’t be there.


I will be taking care of my grandchildren.
SO CU you on December 7.
Cheers Ritz

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