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January 25, 2017

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

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 6:54 pm

Benalla …the day after!!

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

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

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

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

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


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


Veronica Flying Lodge Namibia


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

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

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

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


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

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

Bert Sr. Schmelzer / Antwerp-Belgium

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

Flying in Africa must be awesome!!!!

See you in VERONICA!!!


CU  next week
Cheers Ritz

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