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January 22, 2017

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

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 10:44 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As shared on several social media.

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

The soaring icons/ legends for ALL of us.


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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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