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June 28, 2017

Post 987! With nationals in the UK, USA and Germany and a SGP in France…AND 2 great 1000 k’s from Belgium.

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 5:52 pm

It was not a bad season till now, in fact just a great season, but the weather is “off” at the moment and will be off here till next week.
Last Monday, so 2 days ago,  was an extremely good day in this area.
On this day, June 26,  Tijl Schmelzer [ Ventus 2CT /18m.] flew a great 1000 km. from Keiheuvel in Belgium over a very small area AND,…mainly over our small FLAT  country The Netherlands!!!!! TOP JOB!!!!
Incredible day of an already incredible season. Unfortunately the weather area was tiny, but the airmass inside was fantastic. This flight would not have been possible to plan without Topmeteo. Astonishing how accurate it was today (as it was also most of the season).” OLC comment from Tijl.
The whole flight was under 1670 m. AGL and it took just over 11 hours ;1.023.7 km. speed 92.6 km./h.Good on you Tijl!!!!

Tijl at another occasion.

During my absence Tijl flew a 1000 as well this time with his mate Ken in the Nimbus 4DT;
Here is Ken’s story about that day with a free flight over 1.028 km.
“Well, I didn’t have to think long when Tijl called me on Tuesday June 13 at noon and asked, what about another 1000K together tomorrow? I called my dad and asked if the Nimbus was available for an early takeoff the next day. Around 11 o’clock at night, everything was ready and we all prepared to sleep at the airfield.

Night rest was short but good. We prepared on time, no rush. Wil, our towpilot also showed up on time and prepared the Husky. Last meteo updates still showed the possibility for a 1000km flight.

Goal was to break the Belgian Record for out an return with a turnpoint in Czech Republic near Karlovy Vary. Tijl checked all the loggers one more time and off we went. The Nimbus was fully loaded but takeoff was no problem for the Husky. Runway 09 also gave us that little extra obstacle clearance.

Wil towed us towards the Belgian border near Maastricht. Clearance to climb to 5500ft was already obtained from Kleine Brogel before the start and confirmed once airborne. When we released, a quick check of the turbo was done and we accelerated towards the startline into Maastricht airspace.

8:47, we zoomed the speed back to 120kmh and set course straight to Weisweiler. Headwinds were much stronger than expected, 17kmh instead of the forecasted 3 to 4kmh. Our glide ratio was only 40 where we wanted at least 50. Arrival altitude at Weisweiler was only 450m. Still, clouds were already visible and we discussed the outlanding possibilities in case the power plant did not work and the turbo would fail.

1,9m/s average was the first climb. Unfortunately we didn’t get higher than 1100m and our first try to reach Bergheim was abandoned. Headwinds were still too strong. On the second climb we got up to 1200m and with some indication of lift on our route we decided to continue.

Bergheim delivered as promised and we could quickly continue to Dormagen. The cumulus clouds developed nicely over the Sauerland but the cloudbase did not go as high as expected. Nevertheless we were almost on speed and progressed as planned.

Tijl and I changed controls every 45 minutes to an hour. The heavy Nimbus behaved perfectly. She climbs incredibly well although being filled to max takeoff weight. She really is a joy to fly.

Towards the Wasserkuppe the cloud cover changed from scattered, to broken and eventually overcast. We decided to fly a bit slower and keep high. Once past the high terrain it opened up and we increased our speed in between thermals again. Where were had to avoid some airspace in the beginning, we could now set course straight to our turningpoint.

But what happened then really caught us by surprise. In just 10 minutes time the sky turned from textbook soaring weather to blue. Did I fell asleep for a few minutes and missed something or did the clouds disappear just by a blink of the eye Tijl asked out loud. A warm airmass came in from the south and was not forecasted, at least not this far north.

We continued on course but with the first climbs in the new airmass it became obvious the goal of flying the out and return would be very difficult if not impossible. 30km north we could see the cumulus clouds over some higher terrain. 120km before Karlovy Vary, we decided to abandon the task and go for 1000km free distance.

Climb rates under the clouds were good compared to the blue thermals. But planning the new course to make the 1000km was challenging. Airspace, large blue areas proved to be a difficult at times. But we managed to plot the best course, especially when Tijl eventually had 4G coverage and could upload the last satellite picture.

Back over the Sauerland and to the power plants to complete the 1000 became the game plan. Unfortunately optimum distance of the LX9000 did not take departure from the start line of turbo test into account but calculated from Kiewit airfield. So we started to calculate ourselves.

Arriving back in Dormagen was uneventful and we could immediately continue to Bergheim. Tijl flew the turbulent thermals over the power plants and I performed the stretches in between the plants avoiding the area over Jülich every time. Bergheim proved to be the best with climbs of 7,0m/s and 6,4m/s the second time. Weisweiler seems to be much weaker, still no complaints with an average climb of 3,4m/s.

On our last arrival over Weisweiler we could not get a real positive climb, only an average 0. We waited for a few minutes but when it became clear the plants would not produce more we decided it was time to go home. We were convinced we already passed the 1000K mark and glided towards Maastricht again.

The turbo was started at 500m. Clearance to cross Maastricht was obtained. Kleine Brogel was already closed and we speeded up towards Kiewit. We had to postpone our arrival a bit for a late incoming ultralight but once he was on the ground we could make our low pass over runway 27 followed by a landing on 09.

Once again 1000. Number 6 from Belgium for Tijl (when writing this he is at 7!…June 26!!!) and he did not know how many total, 12 or 13 he thought. For me a bit easier to count with 4 in total and 2nd one from Belgium, also with Tijl. Passing the 1000K mark still remains magical, especially flown out of Belgium.

Tijl’s comment at the end was the perfect resume of the flight, that was a heavy one! 😉
Tijl’s comment;“Magnificent but not easy day for Ken and me. We had to cancel the original task since the good forecasted area turned blue. We then made the best of it.”

So, thank you Tijl for another wonderful flight together. Although the flight lasted again 12:53 (exactly same time as the one in 2012), I didn’t feel that long. Thanks dad for your help and the glider. Hilde for your help, what would we do without you. Wil for the tow and everybody who showed up and gave us a hand.

The evening ended with some delicious hamburgers, comfort food for pilots and crew after a long day!”

Good story Ken!!!


Selfie over the start line. ……..  Clouds over the WASSERKUPPE……….Tijl focused


Joining Wilfried Grosskinsky over Weisweiler…….Masks on over the power plants. …..   Almost sunset.
Pictures and text shared by Ken Evens.

Back home! 1025km OLC, 1028km Charron. Tired but happy 😊

Back to June 26.…..Dutch pilots ,who did not have to work enjoyed distances till over 77o km. even over 700 in the Pegase.
The USA had straight forward weather as well. Wave-Soaring-Mecca’s as Ely and Minden showed several over 1000 km-flights with Keith Essex topping the list that Monday flying 1.189 km in the JS 1.[145 km./h.] from Ely.
His OLC comment;”A manic flight. Few of the energy lines went to where I was going. Heartbreaking flying across cloudstreets instead of with them. Lots of time spent getting low. The last 150k were in the blue. Ridge soaring isn’t something you do in Ely but had to do a little bit to make it make to Ely“.
Mitch [Polinsky] is such a [wave]-kilometer eater as well; “Declared 752 km triangle. Completed at 157.04 kph. Challenging weather to the north and a big blue hole coming home from my last turnpoint. Fantastic lift along the ridge north of Mt. Jefferson. A fun flight with lots of variety of weather.” Mitch flew the EB 29  from Ely.

Most comps had till now , a good amount of flyable days, but you will see it is getting less.
There are still a lot of comps in progress at the moment so let’s quickly have a look.


Club and 18 m. NATIONALS in the UK.
June 17-25 2017

I left you after 3 good days “The soaring gods have blessed us with another cracking day for the comp”  and 2 cancelled days, so day 6 was on the menu for Thursday. BUT….”We’ve just announced that the day is scrubbed.”
After thunderstorms and heavy rain they could n’t do anything else. We expected those thunderstorms here as well last Thursday.They hit Holland but not us .
On Friday ,…no flying,…scrubbed.
On Saturday,….FLYING again !!!!
” The Strato-Cu sheet has broken up a bit in the last hour and the temperatures are increasing slightly quicker than expected.”
After 4 non flying days a short task number 4 , was set and with respect, the “oldies” are doing a great job in club class.
Brian [Spreckley] won in the St. Libelle and got the full 152 points for the day, for a speed of 66 km./h. over 122 km. Only 9 pilots finished the last finisher in a DG 200 with 53 km./h. TOUGH day!!!
No changes in the overall scores; Timothy still leads with 26 points ahead of Ian Macarthur and Brian is just 14 points behind!!!

18 m. started their day 4 before club , with 173 km.  and the 18 m. ASH 31 MI was the best with Tim Jenkinson flying it;97 km./h .for 575 points.13 From 25 finished, so a bit of a battlefield as Andy and Chris [Luton] and  Chris [Starkey] were “out.”
Changes here as Steve Jones [Ventus 3] moved to 1 overall, then 4 JS 1’s with Pete [Harvey] , Richard [Browne….3 points behind Pete], Russell [Cheetham] and Andy. Tim moved from 12 to 7.

There was NO day 7 so the overall scores after 4 out of 9 days stayed;
club; 1. CHAMPION Timothy with 2800 points. 2. Ian 2774 and 3. Brian with 2762 points.
18 m.; 1. CHAMPION Steve with 2943 points, 2. Pete 2863 and 3. Richard 2860 points.

I really hope the weather shows it’s best face at Lasham for the EGC !!!!!!


Club class Nationals 2017 in Hobbs USA.

Hobbs is a good “name” for us Dutchies as Kees Musters became world champion in Hobbs New Mexico.
Now the club class is on with 23 pilots.
They started with 2 practice days and on June 20 contest day 1 was on the program with an assigned task from 224 miles, won by Mike Westbrook in the Discus 2BW who put the first 1000 points in his pocket.
Day 2; with 210 miles was for the son from CD Ken in Uvalde 2012, Danny Sorenson.
Day 3; 193 miles. Mike Opitz was 3d but climbed from 3 to 1 and leads the overall pact now. Good on him!

No contest day on June 23 and 24!!!!

Day 4; They did fly on June 25. New daily winner Michael Marshall in an ASW 20 and he straight moved to the top overall.A 2 hour TAT was set and Michael flew 137 miles in 1.57. Danny had a less day being 13th and dropping overall to 6. 2 Mikes at this stage on 2 and 3…Mike Westbrook [daily 7th] and Mike Opitz.[daily 9th]
Day 5;a 3.30 TAT was set [distances between 179 miles and 317] and again changes in the scores. Mike [Opitz] won the day with 202 miles in time 3.49 and moved to 1 again. Mike [Westbrook, 5th for the day is at spot 2 and Bill Snead in an LS 8 is 3d now overall. Danny moved up from 6 to 4. Michael Marshall is 5th now.
All these scores are “fresh” so preliminary.


GERMAN 20 m. and Standard class NATIONALS 
Zwickau June 20 -30 2017.

On Thursday they started with day 3 with blue skies in the morning a forecast for thunderstorms in the afternoon, so A and B tasks were set …and they flew.
I just heard on the radio that Hamburg has been hit by violent weather after the heat, even a tornado.

Day 1 , 2 and 3 in Standard class;
Day 1 with 360 km was pretty straight forward for the 38 pilots as only 3 out-landed. Daily winner…. young Sebastian Naegel in a Discus 2T.
Day 2 got a B task so less straight forward weather and Robert Schroeder was the daily BEST in the LS 8 neo.
Day 1 had 3 Discus’ in the top day 2 ,3 Ls 8’s.
Day 3;Robert liked his win,  so he did it again!The 270 km A task was set and flown by ALL 38 pilots

Day 1 , 2 and 3 in 20 m. class;
Day 1 was good for the “dosis” as well;380 km. for the 28 pilots and their 28 team mates .Lot’s of ARCUS types in this class but also still the Duo Discus,  not to forget the new ASG 32 MI. Martin Theisinger won the day in the ARCUS T; 1000 points.
Day 2 with a 209 km.  B task and another ARCUS T. Markus Geisen was runner up and Serena and Claus Triebel in there fancy ASG 32 MI did not fly.
Day 3 with 287 km. was an ASG 32 -day both in the top.
On Sunday there was not much hope, but the “meteo” did not give up and kept hoping no gridding yet. So a new briefing at 11, and YES the weather was flyable and at 12 they had to be ready at the grid.Hurry up hurry up,……as a 2.30 AAT was set…..

And they flew last Sunday; day 4 had 237 km. as the best distance combined with the time[2.33.] in standard and 26 from 36 finished.
The “dosis” saw Markus and his mate as best with 285 km. in time 2.29.
22 From 26 finished.
Monday was cancelled, so was Tuesday.
No gridding at this stage in Zwickau, if they have “our”  weather …RAIN…., there will be no flying there today, but there might be a “window”, you never know!!!


SGP in France.
8th Series in Buno June 25-July 1-2017.

As shared by AAVE.[Association Aeronautique du Val d’Essonne]

With 2 practice days and a total of 17 pilots [2 from Belgium and 2 from Germany]  this race started last Sunday for another 7 exciting races.
Race 1; Christophe Abadie [ASG 29] walked away with the first 10 points. He flew the 179 km. in 1.58 [90.9 km./h] . His mate Frederic Hoyeau was runner up [8]  and from Belgium Daan Spruyt did well in the ASW 27 .[7]Four pilots did not finish.

as shared by AAVE.

Race 2; With 110 km. a short race. Christophe was still in the right groove and won again, [10] followed by Didier [Hauss….8]
13 Pilots finished.
A photo- impression from day 2 as shared by the AAVE.


Before,…during,….and after.

Race 3; The midday-message from the organizers was ” 1st launch not before 14:00 … sky is not really promising on the race area but all sailplanes are on the grid.”
In the end they had to cancel the day.
This morning no better news:” good morning everybody. As expected weather forecast is really rainy for today. Race of Wednesday is canceled. See you tomorrow.”

The face of disappointment!!!!!

Benoit-Jacques Pontanus chief pilot in Buno and so to see tuggy,…

and well known TC  and coach from the French juniors and now in the organisation Benjamin Neglais.


WGC 13.5 m. in Hungary.
Szatymaz, Hungary – Jun 29 – Jul 16, 2017

Preparations are in full swing and USA pilots Francois Pin and Tony Condo traveled all the way from the USA to Europe and then by car to Hungary. Francois will serve as Team Captain and competitor for team USA.In the previous event he was 3d.

Tony ready for a new adventure.

Never a boring moment whilst travelling. Unexpected Tony arrived in Spain instead of Italy. He had never been there, so “done that and ticked off’.
Unplanned layover. Missed my connection due to first airplane throwing a brake fault warning light the couldn’t clear. Took a couple hours to find another plane load it up and fill it with gas. So instead of direct flight to Milan I got to swing through here.”[Madrid]
More next week when the comps are in progress.

Now in progress;
Finnish Nationals 2017 at Rayskala with 22 pilots in open and club class from June 25-July 2 .
Czech open Nationals 2017 at Pribam , the PRE WORLDS for 18 m., with 64 pilots in 3 classes from June 25-July 5 .With pilots as Butch and Adam from Australia and Steven from Holland and Wolfgang from Austria [Happy birthday Wolfgang];
Writing to you all from Czech Republic atm, I’m here at the 18m pre-worlds. Naturally having a good time, for my gliding updates should you be interested can be found at Adam Woolley’s Gliding Adventures
More next week.

Both scores to be found at


Cheers Ritz

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