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February 15, 2017

Extreme heatwave in Februar in Australia! DG…LS1-f in a “new jacket” !St. Gaudens..WOW !!Benalla CD report !

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 6:32 pm

Post 975 , with what happened in our world last week!!!

Whilst we had over the weekend,  between 4 and 8 cm. snow [winter] …AND … TODAY up to 15/16 dgr. C. [spring] …… friends in Australia suffered.
welcome to hell on earth[BSCH with one of the quotes about the weather]

With temperatures up to 45 dgr. C the “poor people down under ” had to deal with another heatwave. They just had one broken by a dust storm and rain ,… now they have a new one.
As one of the weather channel’s [JWC] mentioned:
Large parts of SA, NSW, North western Victoria and will move into southern inland QLD on Sunday will be impacted by these extreme 45c+ temps including regions near Sydney on Saturday which may include the suburbs.”


As shared by Tammy, who used to live in Tocumwal and Mary Anne who lives in Tocumwal.

That does not only mean HOT, but also huge risk of bush fires and heat stress factors to people and animals.Some of my Toc friends struggled already with the heat last week, now this week they struggled again.
“Nice cool high up ” ,for Toc. glider pilot Terry , who flew in his ASH 26 an FAI triangle of 691 km and a total distance of 717 km. on Friday!!!!!
And Ingo , as you know not the youngest anymore but still going strong, did a test flight in the ASW 17, [yes the former glider from Dick Butler] , same day, same temperature ,…43 dgr C !!!!!…

The ASW 17.

It is 43 degrees in Tocumwal today & the ground staff has the course looking schmicko for the 2 Person Ambrose Championship this weekend! Well done boys, your hard work is appreciated!” by  #golfonthemurray #visitthemurray #golfcourse
And even with the heat the nowadays combined golf & bowls-club, is looking spiffy. As you can see on pictures shared by the Tocumwal Residential Airpark. Been there a lot!!!


With their message:”Can’t beat these greens, and the cool river too. How lucky are we to be here during a heatwave?

In between the west of Australia suffered from heavy floods due to torrential rain  and in Perth in the Swan Valley,  entire grape crops have been wiped out. It is not only bad in Australia, as the NE of the US suffered from heavy snow storms last Thursday hitting New York and surroundings and St Louis was hit by a tornado ruining houses over a line of 3 km. wide. And after a lot of rain , parts from California had to be evacuated due to an overfull dam ready to break….. 200.000 people were on the move.
The weather really has lost the plot and when “we” did that,’ we” better should do something against it ,…when it is still possible.


Talking about Australia ,……

Here is the Benalla report by Champions director Terry Cubley.

Terry,…As shared on the WGC site.

—“ In many ways, the Benalla World Gliding Championships were a big success. We had great support from GFA members with over 70 volunteers spending three weeks to ensure we could put on a good show. Another 30 spent two to five days helping out with a myriad of jobs.

Our focus was to ensure everything we did contributed to the pilots being better able to compete fairly without too many hassles. We all learned that 90% of the pilots were nice people just wanting to have a good time and enjoy some fast competition. A few others were a little tense and, therefore, more prone to complain or react. Our team quickly learned to keep smiling and to work with the pilots, which worked well.

The advice to “keep smiling” and sound positive also applied to how we worked with the weather. It was a terrible weather system that we had to contend with. The task area was still green from a very wet spring, we were constantly subjected to high cloud streaming over from WA, and temperatures were quite low. Not great gliding weather at all.

We had three really good days over the three weeks. Two of those days, occurring in the practice period, saw typical high speeds under cumulus, and the one good day during the competition featured good heights, although blue, with open class completing 750km and the other classes near 700km.

Most days had the same structure – thermals starting to 3,000ft between 12 and 1pm, with maximum heights expected from 4,000 to 6,000ft. The weather models showed thermals weakening from 6.30pm, although the pilots were regularly coming home at 7.30pm.

Race tactics are quite important if you want to win this event. The scoring system rewards people who don’t make mistakes, and does not reward people who try things differently. As a result, pilots were not prepared to start early and risk getting rolled by the gaggle. On many days, the large gaggle waited until long after it made sense to leave and, as a consequence, the gaggle progressed en masse around the course.

Pilots were complaining about the risks in the gaggle, but they all still waited for it and would not go alone. We had two mid air collisions. Two 18m gliders ‘touched’ (which means ‘crashed’) on day 2, but both were able to return to an airfield and both flew the next day. The other crash was more dramatic, causing both pilots to parachute. The injuries sustained appeared to result mainly from landing in the parachute with strong winds on the ground.

The task setting was very well done by Weather Lady Jenny Thompson and Task Setter Tobi Geiger. The weather was hard to predict, in particular at what time it would start and finish, but we had to set increasingly larger tasks to try to reduce gaggles before the start. A 30-minute delay in launching could make a task less likely to be achieved, so we had a fine balance between launching into low altitude or changing to task B. On one day, we had to invent Task C, sending a car carrying the new task sheets in a mad rush down the runway in time to meet the delayed launch time.

Tobi’s plan was to try and keep the three classes separated by setting tasks into different areas, so we often had one class heading west towards Bendigo, another class heading NW towards Hay, and the third class northeast towards Temora. Sometimes, a short leg along the edge of the hills at the start was needed for one class to give a separation in time, when they would then head north. This worked well and the separation was achieved on all days. The weather was not good enough to go into the hills to the south except during the practice period and even then, many competitors were reluctant to venture in due to the limited outlanding options available from the heights being achieved.

The last day was a good example of the comp. Launching was delayed for 15m class and heights achieved were under 3,000ft AGL. Gliders were dropping water and milling around in low gaggles. By the time we came to launch 18m class, the gliders were just getting to 3,000ft, and as we had a different launch area we continued to launch 18m class, who also milled around at 3,000ft in low gaggles. Heights slowly improved and the 15m class moved away towards their start line, allowing enough space to launch Open class, who then milled around in low gaggles at 3,500ft, slowly climbing to 4,000ft.  It takes 80 minutes to launch the fleet, but we managed to get them into the air in time to make their tasks achievable. It was all a bit low but a good opportunity to race for the final placings.

The tasks were difficult throughout the competition, but the pilots were better. At this level, small errors make a big difference and after seven or eight days of racing, a few pilots had slipped down the ranking due to outlandings or some slow speeds. But there were some familiar faces near to the top.

In Open class, Andy Davis and Michael Sommer, who fought out a close battle in Poland two years ago, were both again in the top three, with Michael in third place only 30 points behind Russel Cheetham in first, with Andy between. On the last day, Michael and his team mate Tassilo Bode started a few minutes after Russell and Andy. As we watched the tracking, they remained close to each other all the way around. It came down to getting a climb on the Warby hills 40km from home – who could get onto glide the fastest. They were all below glide, with half a knot climb rate. Tassilo headed off on final glide to see if he could pick up the height by gliding and therefore give Michael some advice. He didn’t, and had to fire up his engine 5km short. Russell achieved glide first and flew home to become world champion. Michael got home only a few seconds later, but not enough to bridge the 30 point gap.

Michael and Andy silver and bronze in open class.
As shared on the WGC site.

In 18m class, Killian Walbrou (France) was 70 points ahead of a group of two Germans and two British pilots. Killian was the first pilot home just before 6pm and was the new world champion, just ahead of Mario Kiessling and Mike Young.

Killian , French [military] helicopter captain. Lovely guy , had an interview with him in Rayskala.
Here trying out a 15 m. JS 3 RAPTURE, but flying during the comps in an 18 m. JS 1.
10 Years after he became JUNIOR WORLD CHAMPION in Rieti [ 2007,… I was there] he is senior World champion.
Very well deserved! Though I know Mike and Mario are toppers as well.
Picture shared by Pole France Planeur.

15m class was also quite dramatic, with Mak Ichikawa in the lead going into the last day, 33 points ahead of Sebastian Kawa and his Polish team mate Lukasz Grabowski. Mak and Matthew Scutter flew together, starting a little earlier than the Polish pilots, and were managing to say ahead quite well until the last turnpoint area. Mak and Matthew went much further into the turnpoint area, probably expecting some good air on the way home, but it was getting late with an expected finish time of around 7pm. Sebastian won the day at 81kph, but meanwhile Mak had got low on the Warbies coming home and arrived 40 minutes late at an average speed of 71kph. Sebastian was once again world champion with Mak Ichikawa in Silver medal position and Lukasz with the Bronze.

Picture courtesy Maria Szemplinsky.

So the weather wasn’t easy on the pilots or the organizers, but the pilots still had a very tough battle and the skills of the champions really showed through. Open Class had nine tasks, 18m Class had eight tasks and 15m Class had seven tasks. These tasks, with the three practice days, provided enough flying to make it a very viable outcome.” 

Nothing more to say,…clear and pretty straight forward as expected from Terry.
The first days of February showed flights from between 150 and 612 km. from Benalla. Mind you this is LATE summer.
[ ] At this site you can re-read all the official news from the WGC in Benalla.


DG Flugzeugbau GmbH !

Announced great news on February 8 2017!!!

–“ Today we assembled our new LS1-f neo the first time. With it’s new neo winglets, the wing-fuselage transition and a new paint shop this beauty could also be a new aircraft!
The upcoming weekend, we plan to conduct the first flights for certification. We are curious about how the modifications will influence flight characteristics!

This LS1-f neo will soon be a racing with a young talented pilot as a sponsorship.

How do you like the new look of our LS1-f neo?“—
I love IT !!!!!!!

As shared by DG.

test flight done.

“Yesterday, we were able to conduct the first flights with our LS1-f neo in Sinsheim. Thanks to the good weather, we were able to perform multiple flights. All pilots were very excited and loved the new flight characteristics. During the next weeks, flight testing goes on. Afterwards, we’ll hand over this beauty to a young talented pilot to support him season 2017.”


NZ…..Papawai…continued… .

The Central district championships in Papawai continued after waiting first, for 4 days and started ” carefully” with a 2 hour AAT in the combined class with the most participants.A 1000 points day for winner Stew Barton in the DG 400, with 187 km in time .1.58.
USA pilot Keith [ASG 29] was runner up with 240 km. [handicap 111] and Tim Bromhead [DG 300] 3d.
Keith mentioned on the OLC; ”  Good to the south. Overcast to the north made the flight scrappy and very slow.”
One day later another difficult day in this class now with a 2.15 AAT and,….not a lot of finishers.In the combined class, only 4 from 19 starters , finished. Among them good old Tony van Dyk in his LS 8. He was runner up with 255 km. in time 2.59. Daily winner Patrick Driessen with 246 km. in time 2.42 in an 18 m. Ventus 2C [handicap 110]. He moved straight up overall from 5 to 1 !!!!
Chapeau for Mike O’ Donnell who flew in his Libelle OVER 4 hours but he finished !!!! a deserved 4th spot.[273 km.]
Tim was on spot 8 and Keith on 7,  with as comment:
” High overcast snuffed out most of the thermals to the north. Kept optimistically thinking I would get a climb. Wrong!

On the last day this class got a 2.30 AAT and it changed the overall scores ; Tim flew 309 km. in time 2.26 and for him that meant 1000 points.He moved overall from 5 to 3.[2413]
Winner in this class after 3 days of soaring, Patrick with 2711 points and runner up Tony van Dyk, good on him…2573.

Looking at the  4 classes each after 3 out of 7 days;
Open 1. Tony van Dyk [2521] , 2. Tim Bromhead [2385], 3. Patrick Driessen [2370]
Racing; 1. Grae Harrison team in DG 1000S [ 2114]
Sports ;1. Richard Keir in PW 5 [1204]
Combined; 1. Patrick Driessesn [2711] 2. Tony van Dyk [2573] 3. Tim Bromhead [2413]
Keith did not fly on the last competition day for points,  but did a 586 km for fun.

One day later,Keith Essex flew on the N Island from PAPAWAI a 1000!!! I did in the past the A1 highway, going from N to S on the top island, he “took” the wave  between water to the left and the right;1.020 km. with a speed of 142 km./h.
His comment on the OLC;
“Was a challenge connecting to the wave off the winch, just 6kts of wind at 2000ft. Tricky semi unstable wave with lots of moisture. Fun to figure it out and put it all together.”
By now after so much time in N.Z. he has this wave in “his fingers”.
AND,…he proved that on the 14th ..VALENTINE’S day.. with another LONG flight from Papawai;
1.276 km. with a speed of 181 km./h.
Came to the North Island for thermal and convergence flights but found wave instead.
Same route and I guess same fun when you love kilometers in wave!!!!!


Australia….some nice flights and 2 seater Nationals.

Not far from NZ , Australia “suffered” as said  from a heatwave , but not all suffered.Matthew flew a 1000 last Saturday as well.1.099 km. from Pipers Field in his Discus 2a. A sort out and return direction NW, nearly 500 km. out.
His OLC comment;”Very straight forward day. Great streeting. Unfortunately switched off quite aggressively at the end of the day which hurt the speed a bit.
That speed still was 146.7 km./h.
Some more comment :”Probably should have done a declaration today, 1.250 k O/R or 1.100 k FAI would have been easily possible… but I wasn’t feeling in the mood for a long flight at launch, it just kind of happened. The weather was the easiest soaring weather I’ve ever flown. 13.000 ft cloudbase lifting to 15.000 ft, consistent climbs, solid streeting, early start, late finish.
Believe this is the longest flight ever out of Bathurst, and my fastest 1000 (148kph avg. when I crossed the 1000k mark, higher than I started too)”
So a pleasant day for Matthew.
The change arrived on Sunday and the fun and or heat-stress was over, temperatures from the low 40 thies to 22 dgr.C. though Lake Keepit still had a flight with nearly 800 km in the JS 1. And 542 in an LS 4 from Warwick is not bad either!!
Akemi, working hard as “crew” from vice-world champion Mac, in Benalla , now flew the LS 8 over 545 km. from Mc Caffery Field.
Good on her.

The 2 seater comps started in Narromine last Monday with 13 teams.
5 Pilots in open class , among them good old Peter Sheard from the UK, flying together with Ron Sanders in the Nimbus 3D. Peter was a” regular” at Sportavia in the past. On his way to Narromine he , of course, passed by at Tocumwal with his wife.
Female pilot Catherine Conway, flies the Stemme S10 VT and there is one more Stemme.
Further on 2 x Nimbus 3DM and an ASH 31 MI.
8 pilots in the 20 m. class with gliders as DUO DISCUS x 8 and an ARCUS M and T.
In the end they put all in ONE Class, much easier to follow!!

In the practice period great weather with an 800 FAI triangle for Attila Bertok and John Smith in the Duo Discus and 886 in total and Evelien and William flew an FAI triangle of 595 km. and a total distance of 755 km. with a nice speed of 143 km./ their ARCUS T.

According to Evelien and William day 1 of the 20 mtr. two-seater Nationals had ”  20-25 kts wind and in the blue with a cool southerly wind.”
Day 1 ; a set 244 km. racing task and Allan Barnes got the most out of the day, as so often. He  flew the Duo over the circuit with a speed of 76.63 km./h.  with David Holmes. They called it a ”  Very blue, low, windy day. Tough work. We were almost last off the grid but fortunately found a good climb that took us to the top of convection immediately.”
The rest of the comment on

A tough day as only 8 from the 13 [3 teams fly HC] finished. Catherine was unlucky as she only got 57 points for 23.5 km. and Terry Cubley had ONE more. It could be worse as the Duo Discus from the Hunter Valley, [hope it is not the one they bought in the past from us] only managed 19 km.;47 points.
Catherine’s comment; “Too optimistic about the conditions and flew too fast. Got low near the irrigation and had to start the engine. Bugger. Beaten by  Terry Cubley and John Orton by 20m and 1 point! ”
Tocumwal pilots Joergen [from Denmark but escaping the European winter-season  in Toc.] and Lumpy in the ARCUS M, managed to just make it in, after nearly 4 hours.

Day 2;
From Catherine first the next news , after she started and flew 52 km.:
Thought we were doing well today. Good start. Good climbs. Clearly we had the opposition worried because they sent an attack eagle against us along the first leg. Eagle hit the left wing about halfway out. Stemme 1 -Wedgie 0 🙁. Aircraft looked ok but prudent to return to base at slow speed to land and inspect the aircraft more thoroughly. Happy to say no damage.”

So with a 497 km. day , the pilots were looking at a fun-day, won by Bernard Eckey in the ASH 30 MI, [ speed 121 km./h. ], he flies HC as do the runners up Peter and Ron. Looking at points for the championship Davis Jansen won the 1000 points with a speed of 103 km./h in the Duo.ONLY 2 points MORE than Allan and David in the Duo T.
997 Points for Terry and John. All very close.

Nostalgia. …good old mate Peter with his hat from 25 years !!!
as shared by Sportavia.

Joergen and Lumpy had a reasonable day :”It was a hard work survival day. 3 times below 300 m, and the dry thermals dying at 1200 m agl. We are flying at max weight with no water to dump.”
They just missed out on 25 k , but started as last pilots as they hoped the day would get better. It did not.

Joergen and Lumpy from Tocumwal in Narromine.
As shared by Lumpy.

Today; day 3,  a 4 hour AAT with flights up to 558 km. and speed up to 138 km./h .
” what a day ! Cu’s and good lift in the task area.
More next week as all scores are not yet in or look for scores at


In between the Dutch Junior team is working hard on their gliders and Cirrus AG is ready for the 2017 [competition-] season, now only the weather has to be ready. Glider AU is still in the work shop. As shared by the team.


St. Gaudens!

The day-to-be-for-great-wave was last Sunday in the Pyrenees .  Some pilots must have known by studying the weather earlier, [as most good pilots do who when they want to achieve something] , that Sunday had the potential to be a TOP DAY with mistral. And it was!!!
WOW, WOW, great wave and super long flights for sure damn cold,  but the adrenaline “heats” .
Gil Souviron flew in a TAURUS ; 1.263,4 km. with a speed of 138.8. km./h.
He called the conditions “very nice” ,….understatement maybe ???But he was happy ;
I have realized a dream, more than 1000km with a glider.”
Robert Prat, already famous for his long flights from St Gaudens, had in his ASG 29 E/18 m. a “dream-flight” ;1.327,58 km. with a speed of 161 km./h. Well done Robert!!!
His OLC comment ;”Cold, but too warm when low in the strong wind shear.”
At one point he was ” low”  at 1980 m MSL [1218 AGL] , the rest of the flight was between 4 and 5000 m. up to 5803 MSL [4625 AGL]


on Februar 13 JAPAN topped the OLC list with a flight from TSUKB;376 km. in an 18 m. Discus 2 T.
That’s it for now CU next week.
25 blogs to go for number 1000!!!!!!

Cheers Ritz hope you a had a lovely VALENTINE.

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