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April 9, 2015

RIP BILL RILEY! Pribina cup !Great Easter-Sunday for some…! Top soaring in Italy, France , Holland and Minden !

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 3:58 am

It does n’t often happen that I forget to publish my blog!!!!Maybe Easter Monday is debit to it. Anyhow SORRY!!!!!



Sad , very sad news to start.
BILL RILEY died today at 5.30 Australian time . Bill was a real entrepreneur, started SPORTAVIA, was mentor and supporter from  Ingo and followed him at several world comps.
He was an heroic RAF pilot in war time and since we met a FRIEND FOR LIFE OF OUR FAMILY!!!!
Next week he would have turned 91.
It was not meant to be, but a great age for such a vivid man
R.I.P. Bill.

Bill Riley and Ritz

R.I.P Bill.


Forgive me my enthusiasm, but on Easter Sunday APRIL 5, it felt if the soaring season had REALLY started here. I had my breakfast outside , mind you at 10 in the morning ,which is a sun with 9 summertime strength and I looked at the most gorgeous clouds. THAT early!Not yet the nice sharp lines around them, that happened at noon, but flat dark bottoms were already clearly visible.
In the evening I looked straight away at our Dutch OLC list and YES ,Sikko [Vermeer] flew 721 km. in his Ventus BT 17.5 m. and 701 km. [after Easter breakfast] for Mark[ Leeuwenburgh] in the ASG 29. Lot’s of just under and just over 500 km. flights. Have a look!What a fabulous day!
Only in Holland 98 flights were added to the OLC list,  5 in the top 10 in club class gliders and a total world wide of 1437 and it is only the beginning of April.

My garden looks fresh and new, after a great day in the fresh air.That was good too!
AND,…it was SUPER-weather at a lot of other places!!!!


SPEED 249,83 over 2.907, 47; 

An epic Easter Minden Wave day along the Sierra.
The day played out as forecast…blue in the south and too much moisture in the north…Minden had a 40% chance of rain after 11 am.
Declared a 1,018 km Out & Return…completed the task in 3 hr 59 min 27 sec for
World, North American, and US record claims of 255 kph.
Also beat the US 750 km O&R speed record plus the North American and US 500 km O&R speed records and US 300 km O&R speed record.

How can I say it better than Jim himself in his OLC comment.
Congratulations to Jim Payne and his co Alan Coombs.


Alan [to the left] and Jim and Jackie.
Picture shared by PAUL REMDE from Cumulus Soaring Inc.

For more details and photos see Jackie’s blog at

With 2.181 km, with 186,84 km./h in the DG 1001 M from Inyokern and 1.127,73  km. with 171,74 km./h in the ASW 27 , from Minden, indeed a fabulous wave day.

A day earlier Minden was a fun day again for Keith [Essex] What great wave flights he has had till now.On EASTER Saturday he flew in his ASH 31/21 m. another “fast and furious” wave flight in blue conditions;speed 168.24 km./h. and distance 1.606,21 km. Since mid-March he flew between 1.336 km and 1.907 km. during 4 flights!!!!


Early soaring action in Italy.

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BEAUTIFUL picture!!!!!
Courtesy Walter Giordani.

” 1010 km declared task; Italian record ” was the comment on the OLC on April 1 and no it was not a joke!!!! Knowing what a good pilot Alberto [Sironi] is, I straight away had a look at his flight [ARCUS with Albero Consolini]  from his home field Calcinate del Pesce;1.217.04 km.  was the total distance.
Also good old Luciano [Avanzini] had a wonderful flight in his ARCUS M;726 km. whilst from Trento Walter [Giordani] flew 876 km. in the Ventus 2CM /18m.
Good spring conditions now in Italy, though tough with strong turbulence and still SNOW!!!!!
Also Giorgio [Galetto]  took his glider for a ride , his second flight of the season and flew from Bolzano; 543.2 km.


Alberto here at the SAP last week.
Picture one of 35 as shared during this height- performance- camp at

Walter shared some fantastic pictures from his flight on March 29, here you are and above;

zzzzWalter 3 zzzzWalter2


Staying in Italy, as the 43d Trofeo Internazionale di Citta de Torino, started on Good Friday with 16 participants in one mixed class.One of them my collegue at Gliding International, Aldo Cernezzi in the ARCUS.
On the first day they had a 2.30 AAT but 55 km. was the best distance. The weather was just not good enough. Also the days after,  the weather did not co-operate with the wishes of the pilots and organizers though all tried hard.
On Easter Sunday they cancelled at 3PM as it started to rain. I could see rain in Rome as well, when the pope said his Urbi at Orbi to the world.

Easter Monday the weather improved and a 331 km. task was set for the 16 pilots.Unfortunately the full task was not possible but some pilots reached 297 km!!!!After this weekend ,they continue again the next weekend, so on Friday April 10 .




Lovely to write about comps again!!!
The weather was n’t the best to start the Pribina Cup,some drove to Nitra through SNOW,  but after the rain the pilots could fly on the first practice day.
” Although the weather was not ideal (very strong wind and showers) we had a flying day.
Thursday was n’t too good, but on Good Friday the 123 pilots  [ club class, 15 m. class, 2-seaters and open class] hoped for a start on day 1.
BUT,…it rained, the sun came, it rained , there was hope,….. but in the end the day had to be  cancelled, as they could not get all pilots airborne in time, it was just too late. At least they tried hard; some started after 3 and flew the set task as extra practice.

On Saturday , still some showers around, but THE PRIBINA CUP 2015,  had started.AND,…it turned out a really nice CU -day!

zzzNitra 1 zzzNitra 2

Courtesy Toni Sibanc flying in the DUO DISCUS!

In all classes a different length racing task for flying day 1.
club class;176.7 km.—15 from 25 finished the task.Till spot 8 it was Poland, Germany, Poland and Germany.Interesting to see that some pilots started just before or after 1 PM , the winner , Marek Niewiadomy, in a St Jantar 2 however,  started at 3 PM.More than 1.5 hours after the runners up. The right decision! Easy to say after the race, I know.

15m class;189.3 km.—German pilot Patrick [Puskeiler] beat with 3 points the 3 Polish runner up’s; 3 Discus 2A and an LS 8.
12 From 30 finished in this class.

20 m. class;191.6 km.—16 x 2 pilots in this class and the Germans [6 teams] did very well on this difficult first day.From the 16 gliders only 4 did not finish.Most started at around 1 PM and the German DG1000 and DuoDiscus topped the list ahead of the ARCUS from Wolfgang [Janowitch] .

open class;223.4 km.—Another German topper, Matthias [Sturm] won in his ASG 29 /18m.this class, just ahead of 2 Polish pilots.Matthias started at 2.26 PM, whilst the number 3 in his LAK 19/18m. started at 1.18 PM and still made good speed.Matthias flew with 121.9 km./h. Fastest of the day!
Only 25 from 35 finished.
In this class Swaantje, who has been VERY sick, flies with her mate Helge Liebertz in the ASH 25/26 m..Great to see her back in the air!!!!

Elfo is making his fantastic pictures again, so I share a few he shared on the site.

zzzzElfo 3

zzzzElfo 1   zzzzElfo 2

Flying day 2 was very promising!!! With longer tasks , the pilots were send out for their Easter Sunday-outing, with the message good weather over flat areas,cold and humid unstable air —GOOOOD!!!!—-and  local showers in the mountains.
Like we ,they had early clouds popping up!!!So for that reason, early starts at 12.
AND,…at 12.51.50 all 123 pilots were airborne. VERY good!

club class;—248.6 km. In his St Cirrus Roman [Mracek– CZE] finished as 11th on day 1. He knew he could do better , so he won day 2!!!Good on him.16 From 25 finished. Blogger Benjamin [Bachmeier] just missed out .He flew 244 km!
by the way out-landings were sometimes difficult.  After the rain and snow some fields were really wet and muddy.

15 m. class;—302 km.I remember Miloslav [Cink –CZE] as a young promising pilot.On day 1 he was unfortunately the first out-lander, but on day 2 he set that right and WON in his LS 8 /15m. Only 5 out landings in this class and all pretty close.

20m. class;-–332.7 km. Best speed of the day in this class; 125.2 km./h. 5 ARCUS gliders in the top, not bad!Only 2 from 16 did not make it home.

open class;—340 km.5 x An 18 m. glider in the top 5 before on spot 6 the EB turns up with Bostjan [Pristavec–SVN] The 5 were from Poland ,Denmark and Austria.

Nitra seen trough the eyes of ELFO

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zzzzELFO 5    zzzzElfo 6

Early Easter, so just COLD.
Courtesy ELFO.SK

Flying day 3, looked better again, with early clouds, but also the message “ there is quite a lot of mid-level clouds coming from the north which can have a badly influence on soaring conditions in our area as well.
Launching started at 11.30.
It turned out a difficult , windy and VERY cold day! Some out-landed after 7 km. some flew the task. Here is what happened!

club class; —227.6 km.From the 25 pilots 7 finished , in the top 4 German pilots among them Benjamin [Bachmeier] . 2 Flying St. Cirrus and 2 LS1f. 9 From the pilots landed just after they started within 16 km. of the field.

15 m. class; —274 km.An early start at 1.21 PM looks like the right decision. The more early birds finished, others starting after 2 or even at 3.25 had no chance.9 From 30 did not finish, 2 of them by entering forbidden airspace[vertical].

20 m. class; —279.5 km.From 16, 10 finished in this class.4 ARCUS gliders in the daily top.Best speed 105.6 km./h.

open class; —328.5 km.A 1000 points day in this class and Matthias [Sturm] already once WGC winner in Rieti in 2008 in club class, won another day.17 From 30 finished.

Peto Hubka shared on the official site some interesting lang pictures ,here you are and all 14 of them at ;

zzzzPeto Hubka3 zzzzPeto hubka2

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Courtesy Peto Hubka

Flying day 4; The weather turned out worse than hoped for.

Club class;—245.7 km—nobody finished but some did a great job missing out on only 10 km.2 Pilots from Czech Rep. in ASW 19 and St.Cirrus and 2 from Germany both in the H301, formed the top 4.That was good for 761 points up to 823.

15 m. class;—333.1km.—16 from 30 in this class finished. 5 Germans in the top with one pilot from Slovenia on 3 in the middle. A 1000 points-day, so expensive for the out-landers!!

20 m. class ; —314.2 km.—only 2 finishers , with former world champion Wolfgang [Janowitsch] and his co pilot on number 1. Another 4 teams flew over 300 km.

open class;—342.4 km.—Also in this class only 2 finishers and on spot 2 we noticed Helge and Swaantje. Good on them!13 Pilots managed to fly over 300 km.

zzzzELFO 8


Not too many finishers but great pictures from them  AGAIN by ELFO.


The pilots from Rencontre ASK 13, [Aerodrome St. Crepin] shared some great pictures . Look at this;

zzzzzWave zzzzWave 2

Talking about ASK 13 I think of years ago and whilst doing that I had to go back to Angers in the early 70thies. The French team had a BBQ and was busy to “create” onion soup. One of them Bernard Balay, what a gentleman. We, the Dutch team , were sitting downwind,in the smoke of this BBQ and were invited to come and see how they made REAL onion soup. We did, a night to remember. Forgot how many bottles of white wine went into the soup and how many fresh onions. A great night, a bad morning for some. Not me I was a “good girl”!
RIP Bernard!

I guess it’s that time now that soaring mates just a bit older than I am, say farewell to live. A Dutch LEGEND ” Nemy de Vin” , died age 88 . RIP Nemy .



HOT!!!! Not as in warm ,[ some really had cold feet] , but in exciting good; that was the weather in Serres and Puimoisson last week. After a bit of an off-week a bit earlier now it was SPOT ON.
What fabulous mountain-training for the German pilots!!!Told you in my last blog already that Uli [Gmelin] is not only a top TC but also a great coach/gliderpilot. With another topper , a bit younger though, Mario Kiessling, they raced the ARCUS over 1.225 km. flying from Puimoisson.
When the weather is good and you have enough pilots to fly, they can all have a booming day; the OLC top ten was for Serres and Puimoissin, where between 701 km. was flown in an ASW 27 and 1.225 in the ARCUS with 3 more 1000 plus flights and several just under 1000 km.

Serres La Batie topped the list with 3 flights. One by topper Klaus Ohlmann in the Stemme, flying 1.430,80 km.with a speed of 121 km./h. , one from 1.388 km in the DG 800/18m. and one from 1.366 km. in the ARCUS. The whole area over France and Italy was  ” rocking”.

From Austria good news too. Johannes Hausmann, started his 2015 season with 2 far over 1000 km. flights in his Ventus 2C /18 m; 1.337,19 and 1.127,85 flown from Noetsch.Good on him!

Mind you on April 3 Geoff Prat flew DOWN UNDER still 500 km. in his PIK 20 E!


The First PAN AMERICAN GLIDING CHAMPIONSHIP started on Monday with an opening and unfortunately, a first and second non flying day. More about this competition in my next blog.
Canadian -team-crew [from JS] Dan Daly shares a blog as well;

zzzPANAM 1

As shared on their FB site.
Courtesy to top photographer Maria Szemplinska, who’s husband Jerzy is one of the pilots.


When I have time I will be back on Sunday with the latest on the Pribina Cup, the PAN AMERICAN CHAMPIONSHIPS and the Tropheo in Torino.
Cu then.

April 1, 2015

Flight 4U9525 , a tragedy within a tragedy! HAPPY EASTER-days.

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 4:27 pm

MORE THAN TRAGIC, that was the accident with 4U9525, but I was even more shocked to hear that the 28 year old co pilot , ALSO A GLIDER PILOT!!!, made,…. according to the French prosecutor,…. a deliberate attempt to crash into the mountains.
My goodness me!!!! Why!!! Taking 149 people with 18 different nationalities with him!!!
Bizarre, ….. does it mean that,when the captain had not gone to the toilet/ out of the cockpit, NOTHING would  have happened???!!!
Yes maybe the next flight …..other passengers… another crew….  too bizarre for words!!!
It remains in my brain.Black box 1 shows already all kind’s of evidence, BUT we have to wait for confirmation from the 2d black box, the flight data recorder!!!
Still too early ,…and till now , in fact, these are ALL conclusions ,but still premature conclusions.
What’s sure is that it is HELL ON EARTH for the rescue people AND I feel for ALL the [grand-] parents who lost their loved ones, also from the co pilot!!!
Also a bit weird is the speed of the results of this voice recorder, within 48 hours, very unusual in aviation.


In all countries the young pilots are trying to find funds to help them to follow their dream; flying the JWGC in Narromine in Australia.
I know the Dutch , UK and Belgium young ones are working hard to fulfill this dream.
Here is the latest message from the Belgium juniors via Jeroen Jennen and TC Ken Evens and I share it with pleasure;
-—” Hi there,

I’m reaching out to ask for your support for the “Belgian Juniors to the World Gliding Championships” campaign on Indiegogo.

There are two ways to help:
1. Contribute – even small contributions raise their popularity and give them more visibility on the site.
2. Post to Facebook – in the end, the more people hear about them, the more likely they are to meet their target.

Thank you!

Jeroen Jennen—”

The Dutch Juniors ; Latest news Tulipe Bulletin March [in Dutch] 2015 at

The UK juniors:

The UK team has their first team-training between April 3 and 6.[Lasham Gliding Society…. Hampshire]

On the Aussie FB site the next news was mentioned;
“FLARM will be mandatory for the competition and we understand that European PowerFLARM will NOT work in Australia. Those with these units in their gliders will need to have an alternative for the competition.”


767 km on MARCH 28 , in their autumn period, the day the time changed [so 8 hours difference with my Aussie mates]for Allan Barnes in his LS 8!! Good on him. He called it an amazing day . After he set himself a task and flew it he wanted to explore the weather a bit better, here is the story;
“There was meant to be a convergence line out west, according to RASP, so I headed west looking for it. I found the edge of the cu and ran it north back to Jandowae, and then home to DDSC. On the way home I spied what looked like a seabreeze convergence near Oakey, but not a lot of height tot get there. I headed off anyway, and managed to find some lift just east of Jondaryan, which became better established as I headed south. In the end I was doing 80kt and climbing in 4kt netto just belting along the convergence line. I had a huge grin on my face – the sun was going down, the convergence cloud was orange and there was lift everywhere. In the end I turned just as the sun was going down and got home just before last light. Fabulous day!”

BUT,…..EUROPE is doing well in it’s early spring period. Gerard Lherm had a good wave flight from St Martin de Londres in France in the Ventus ; 864 km. and the members of the Akaflieg Frankfurt Wave Research Camp had great wave in La Cerdanya in Spain; 824 in the Duo Discus and last Monday even 923 the ARCUS T.
A great week for them.
On March 28 and 29 German coach Uli Gmelin showed in the ARCUS how to fly long distance from Puimoisson;949 km. and 871 topping on each of the days the OLC list. Not only a good TC but also a good flying-coach.
By the way the German team stopped their National training- camp in Puimoisson after the crash with 4U9252 out of respect for the victims and their families. Guess a few of the young ones knew the co pilot as well.

The SAP 2015 an HIGH PERFORMANCE  STAGE,  has started and finished, in Calcinate del Pesce.The SAP aims to offer sport pilots the opportunity to face the 2015 season with a good practical and technical training, assisted  by toppers as Giorgio Ballarati and Alberto Sirone between March 24 and 28. The weather was n’t too good but they still flew up to over 450 km in several two-seaters! Being together , sharing ideas and talking-soaring is in case of also good!
Also good soaring news from wave in Notodden[Norway] from Arne Martin:
“The Notodden easter never fails! Even on a day which looked like it would rain away, and at best give a short glide, we got thermals, ridge lift and wave, for an almost 5 hour flight!

ZZZ Notodden  zzzNotodden2

With the text;” Racing along the ridge at 200 km/h. ” and Hardangervidda in sunset.
Courtesy Arne Martin Guettler.

The last day of March was for Jim and Dennis , Jim in the ARCUS and Dennis in the DG 1001 M flying from Minden;1.886,45 km. with 166,99 km./h on the clock and 1.207,45 km. with 125,86 km./h.
Gen Shybayama declared and flew a 750 in this great blue-wave-weather in the ASH 26 e.[964 km. in total]


The last 2 days of March,several parts of Europe suffered from a Westerly Spring storm gusting to 120 km. /h. here in the N of Holland. Trees over roads and houses, trains and planes had problems , some were cancelled and the Tuesday morning traffic here in Holland was tough due to trucks ,[around 350 km. traffic jam] which were blown over by the gusts.
A 300 m. container ship got stuck on the beach of Vlissingen, but it was  towed away  by several boats with high tide and one boat sunk, luckily the 2 men aboard are safe.
In the evening we heard one man [45] had died and one badly injured when a roof from a business-hall for construction material fell on them.
It’s still a bit wild today on APRIL 1 but they promised better weather for the Easter weekend!
We should not complain as Germany even had gusting winds up to 150 km./h….. hurricane-power and later I heard even 192 km./h. gusts, low pressure system ” Niklas” was there!!! The damage and problems on water, roads and air were even bigger than  here in Holland. The damage bill in both countries  and also in other countries, will be in the millions!
Lives however are more important and sadly enough 4 died in Germany and 1 in Austria as far as I read.

zzzzLasham  zzzzLasham2

The worst spring storm since 2002 also in the UK.
Lasham on March 29!!!
As shared by UK Junior Gliding


From since I arrived for the first time in Tocumwal, in 1985,  I know Ray Waller. A great , pretty quiet guy ,a real gentleman, who loved his vintage car and glider. He has been part of Sportavia /Sportaviation as long as I know him.Always ready for an early flight in his ultra light and a long flight in the afternoon, when all pilots had left in his Boomerang.Mostly till sunset and mostly with his mate Greg who had a Boomerang as well.

He died after a short illness and will be sadly missed not only by his family and close friends, but also by ALL Sportavia/Sportaviation fans. It will be “weird” to not see him at the airport anymore, he just belonged to it!!!!

Ray Waller

As shared by Sportaviation.


The MAIDEN VOYAGE of an A 330 flying from Atlanta to Manchester turned out EXTRA expensive.Instead of the usual water ballet on arrival the fire brigade used FOAM and,…this can damage the engines so the whole plane had to be cleaned and the 250 passengers had to spend an extra night .


On April 3 , this Friday the Pribina Cup starts at Nitra and goes till Saturday April 11.
Between April 6 and 17 the PAM will be flown in Tennessee. Will come back on that next week.Most Canadian pilots arrived already. Practice starts this upcoming Friday.


From the IGC meeting I copied a few changes for those who have not read them. ALWAYS good to know!!


The following changes were made to the main section of Sporting Code Section 3:

  • Only the Start Line will be used (no more OZ starts).
  • Barographs will no longer be used at all.
  • The 10 km Turn Point separation rule has been deleted.
  • A Silver Distance claim will require a fix at least 50 km from home.
  • The World Class record category is replaced by the 13.5 Metre Class record category.

These changes were made to Sporting Code Section 3, Annex A:

  • The Finish must stay open until sunset.
  • Club Class handicaps will be adjusted for very lightweight pilots.
  • For scoring, the optimum (not necessarily last) Start will be used.
  • The distinction between primary and backup Flight Recorder is deleted.

And these proposals will return for voting next year:

  • Increased maximum takeoff mass in the 20 Metre Multiseat Class
  • Devaluation of “distance” days
  • Changes to Team Cup calculation
  • Legibility of Contest ID on gliders

The 2018 World Gliding Championships were awarded to Czech Republic in the Open, 18 Metre and 20 Metre Multiseat Classes; and to Poland in the 15 Metre, Standard, and Club Classes.  There was no discussion of whether this re-grouping of classes will be temporary or permanent.

You can find ALL the news from the last plenary in Lausanne at;


And to finish some great pictures shared by Sven [Olivier] at Tsalu and I share them with you.

zzzzzZswalu1 by Sven

zzzzTswalu4 by Sven   zzzzSwalu3 by Sven

The JS 1’s C with the jet engine.

Wishing you all happy Easter days!
Cheers Ritz

March 25, 2015

Flight 9525 !Phenomena ! 7th Helli Lasch ! Seniors in the USA !

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 5:52 pm

HAVE to start with the huge tragedy in the South French Alps.
How very , very tragic to hear that an A 320 from German Wings [daughter from Lufthansa] crashed in the French Alps, on it’s way from Barcelona to Dusseldorf,  in the area from Barcelonette, an area where so many  glider pilots flew/fly with such great pleasure.How close can be happiness and sadness.
Now it looks that the slopes in this remote area, are a grave-yard  for the 150 people [144 passengers and 6 crew] who died, in this crash, among them 16 grammar school children with 2 teachers on their way back home from an student-exchange program in Barcelona. SO SAD!!!
Weird that the very experienced pilots, dived for 8 minutes and NEVER said that something was wrong.Were they unconscious???
Hope they find out quickly, such accidents are nerve-breaking for everybody, certainly for pilots flying the Airbus 320, [ some did not want to fly for personal reasons yesterday evening]but also for all of us as we mostly fly to our destinations!!!And for me personally with a daughter as airline pilot.
At least they found one of the black boxes, pretty amazing when you see the millions of little pieces, so hopefully we should know something soon.
I feel for all my friends in Germany, Spain , France and Turkey and my thoughts are with all who lost a loved one.
Life is tough!!!!!
But it continues,…I know so well!!!!! So I leave what I had already even about the mountains.


As I read on the DG site they had some “sparkling” spring weather in Austria as well. They shared some pictures I like to share with you as well;

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In Niederoeblarn/Austria they had a beautiful season start this year with their DG-1001Club!
Thank you Lukas for sharing these nice pictures! [DG] 


Last week we had some interesting and pretty unique phenomena.
First there was the northern lights , which you can’t see often in Holland. Very special and some managed to get a picture from it.
And then there was of course the total solar eclipse, not seen here since 1999…but ,…we had FOG here and due to the eclipse the sun-heat was not strong enough to burn away the fog in time, even if it was “only”  80 % here . The full 100 % was on the Faeroer Islands ……and on a population of 48.000, around 10.000 visited extra to be part of this phenomena.
A bit later the full 100 % was to be seen at Spitsbergen as well, but all who went there had not the best weather either.
We could see it however a bit on TV 8 seconds!

I wrote a lot about record -chasing- pilot Max, last winter in South Africa. He is a colleague of my daughter at Transavia and he was the lucky one to fly the 737 full of eclipse-lovers. They looked at the eclipse FROM THE AIR!!!!!What do you want more, above the clouds so 100 % chance to see it. 2 People won a prize and had a free flight/”ride”  to the eclipse.

The combination ECLIPSE and the start of the astrological spring is another unique co-incident.


Max was so kind to share some pictures on FB as well. Here you are when you are not on FB!




Time for the SENIORS Championships in Seminole Lake , the 25th version. They started on March 14 and had some pretty good days and with one day off/rest day,  the 60 [55 plus 5 guests] pilots flew every day , so 6 out of 7 days.
Winner was Bif Huss,[5785]  in a Discus 2 b. Bif , who is a “young”  senior and a former Navy Fighter school instructor, won day 3 ,4 and 5 and was with that about 140 points better than Robert Fletcher in the 15 m. ASG 29.[5643]. Good “old” Karl Striedeck was on spot 3 with 5630 points in a DUO DISCUS.
Baude Litt [LS 8 15 m] finished on 6 and Ken Sorenson[Ventus 2cxa]  on 8, Dave Nadler in the ANTARES 18, on 18 and Tom Knauff in the DUO DISCUS on 20.
Bif and his wife had to drive back 3 days to go home,[close to Colorado Springs]  but it was all worth it.
As the daily reporter , John Good mentioned in his last blog;
“Today was the 12th straight soarable day in central Florida, which is possibly a record for Senior Contest weather.  It is certainly remarkable for 2015, which until pilots began assembling in earnest for this event had seen about the worst winter soaring weather in anyone’s memory.
Scorer Rick [Sheppe] says about this competition;
The Seniors contest is the happiest contest of the year.  Everyone is glad to get away from the winter conditions up north, and it is a great reunion of the most experienced pilots.”

zzzz semimole 3 zzzzseminole2

Pictures shared by Seminole Lake Gliderport and courtesy Bozena Michalowski.[great pictures!]


 Told you about the course at Mount Beauty. Here is the latest shared by the Gliding Federation of Australia.

—-“We have just finished the fabulous Mt Beauty/Victorian Soaring Association Alpine flying course. Standard Mt Beauty weather of course – thermal, ridge, wave and convergence lift to 10,000 ft and above in wave. Lots of flying hours. Excellent coaches and instructors.—-“
The participants lined up for the class photo.

zzzzzMount B.



Between May 30 and June 7 the ” OPEN FLY-PINK CUP ” will be flown in Italy. Location ; Ferrara in the North of Italy not too far from Bologna, not in a mountain area but flat country.
When you are interested and there should be ladies enough in Europe, willing to fly there,  you can contact the CD  Giampietro Magri via

By the way , Holland will be represented by 4 ladies during the WWGC in Arnborg in Denmark. VERY good!!!!
They can start with their training straight away, now the season is getting slowly more active.
RASP is up and running again,  which gives them a good idea about the soaring possibilities. [Regional Atmospheric Soaring Prediction]
It gives pilots a potential flight distance, strength and height of the thermals, cumulus clouds and wind over 3 days.

zzzzz Natasja

One of the Dutch WWGC womenen, Natasja, here on her first flight for the season , last Sunday.


Except for one day , they could fly till now, every day from Tswalu over the fabulous Kalahari Desert, the SA soaring paradise. Michael [Sommer] even topped the OLC list on Friday with a 757 km. flight [700 FAI triangle and Bert [Schmelzer] flew  678 km [500 FAI triangle]. They share gliders there . All JS 1 types as A, B, C and C-TJ and a DUO DISCUS T. It’s already the 7th Helli Lasch .
—-Since 2003 this biennial event has seen reigning World Champions and the South Africa Squad sharing 2 weeks of intense flying and moving experiences in an exclusive setting in the spirit of Helli Lasch.—
As said before it is an exclusive, invitation-only, all-expenses-paid event, as a tribute/ living memorial  to pilot Helli Lasch,to foster international relations,  to promote South Africa as a gliding destination and  to develop the competition skills of the South African gliding team.
More reasons to become a WORLD CHAMPION, when you are not a South African squad team member.

—-Tswalu Kalahari is South Africa’s largest private game reserve, covering an area of over 100,000 hectares. Owned by the Oppenheimer family, Tswalu takes conservation as its absolute priority; our vision is simply ‘to restore the Kalahari to itself’. No more than thirty guests at a time can discover the beauty of this landscape, its diverse wildlife, and the serenity of what may well be South Africa’s last great wilderness.–
more on

Young Bert , here in his MILVUS outfit, shared some pictures as well. AND,….last Sunday he flew a new Belgium record over 300 km. out and return with a speed of 158.55 km./h.
By now he has gone back home after an excellent gliding holiday.

bert jr in Milvus

Tswalu 1 by Bert  Tswalu by bert 2

courtesy Bert jr Schmelzer.


Preparations are in full swing for the very first Pan American Championships and some pilots are already practicing. As is Tony Condon who participates in his St Cirrus and is proud to represent the IOWA STATE AEROSPACE ENGINEERING department.

zzzzSt Cirrus

Chilhowee was the place to be,…. but Rick Sheppe who is the director of this new event, had to write a letter to all competitors . Here are parts of it:
—” As you probably know, the Chilhowee Soaring Association has been working hard for at least two years to prepare for this groundbreaking event. Part of that preparation included some actual groundbreaking: the regrading and reseeding of the runway at the gliderport last fall. You may also be aware that the Eastern USA suffered an unusually cold and snowy winter this year. The result has been that the new grass has not yet taken hold, and the runway will still be too fragile to use on the first competition day. This possibility was anticipated from the beginning of our planning for the event. ”
With the approval of IGC, we have moved the contest operations to McMinn County Airport (KMMI) in the town of Athens, 12 miles north of Chilhowee Gliderport. It is a much larger airport, with a 6000 foot paved runway with grass on both sides. We have the full cooperation of the airport authority (McMinn County) who have agreed to close the airport for our gridding and launching, and have provided permissions for all the necessary access, trailer parking, etc.
The competition Organisation will still be based at the Chilhowee Gliderport, where many of us will be staying. The opening and closing ceremonies, and the social events, will take place there, as originally planned. Perhaps we will be able to have a ceremonial glider launch at the closing ceremony! “

Practice days for the 27 pilots from the United States, Canada, Brazil and Argentina are set for April 3-5, and the competition will run April 6-17. That allows for rainout days, but the nature of the sport requires a good deal of time anyway.
Seven current or recent national champions from the four countries represented ,will be in East Tennessee for the first Pan-Ams!


2 Of my USA friends Pete [Alexander] and Rick [Walters] flew the ARCUS around, better said up and down,  over 350 great wave, on March 20 from Minden with an excellent speed of 188 .5 km./h. Not bad.
On March 23 another straight-forward-wave-day!!! This time for speed and distance.
Jim and Tom Payne flew 1.841,89 km. in the ARCUS M with a speed of 163,5 km,./h.
Even faster was Keith Essex  ;1.689,37 km. with a speed of 183,5 km./h. in his ASH 31/21m..
To show how good that day was Dennis {Tito} and Ron [Greg] flew 1.275,48 km. in the DG 1001 M.


Latest on the UPPSALA MASTERS, here is your chance;
-” There have been a few late cancellations so if you have considered entering the competition now is a good time to give us a heads up! Perhaps you are coming but have a friend that is still on the fence and needs a gentle nudge?–”
This National/International gliding competition held in Uppsala, in  Sweden in Racing (handicap coeff. 107-114) and Open class is set for May  23-30  2015.
At this stage there are 36 competitors in racing class among them my friends Teresa [Toivonen] and Ake [Pettersson].
In open class 14 ,with Goran [Ax] and Martti [Koivula].


Had a great Sunday afternoon, with Isabeau, the daughter of my good friend Lynn who lives in Sydney. Bowie is part of a 17-member-crew  on a 70 m. yacht and loving her life on the boat and outside of it. As they had to be in Holland for some maintenance we had the chance to catch up in Amsterdam and it was great to see, how this young girl   I met when she was a todler [ Lynn, George and James the rest of the family were my neighbors at the Tocumwal caravan area] grew out to a very  level headed gorgeous looking young lady with a warm open character.
For sure she is living the life.
By the way dad George , who died a few years ago, owned in the past the yellow hangar on the South site where Eddie runs Sportaviation now.He and Chris [Corrigan] owned a few Caproni gliders and build in one of them a jet engine!!!!
My very last flight at Tocumwal was in that Caproni with the jet engine flown by Ingo.

Isabeau en ritz 2 Isabeau en Ritz

That’s it CU next week,
cheers Ritz

March 18, 2015

Solar Impulse !Results hang gliding worlds! WSPA News!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 6:52 pm

Oh, has just been such great weather most of last week. A bit of rain here in the weekend, but who cares after such early lovely days, certainly when you could sit outside of the Easterly wind. After the 300 k by Bas [Schellenberg from Lemelerveld]on Tuesday,  it was on Wednesday another 166 km. Cross Country from Hoogeveen and mind you …..over flat as a pancake Holland and with a tough Easterly.[Ventus 2ct/18 m.]
On Friday , using his  LX 9070  pilot Maurits [Dortu] flew east into Germany  and back ; 237 km. in an ASG 29/18 m.
Also, in such a Ventus, a lovely flight in Germany from Burg Feuerstein; 431 km.[400 triangle]
Very nice to see that one of our former Sportavia guests Klaus [Warnke] had his first season -flight as well,  from his home-field Boberg. After Gariep Dam his first European flight again.
Many German pilots are in France [Serres , Puimoisson or St Auban] and the French mountains were good for up to 500 km. and not even with the best wave on Wednesday.And 401 km. in an LS 1 f by Benjamin is just good , I like the way he calls the south of France ” a wind museum”.He is not only good in soaring but also with words/blogs.
In the US Tony [Condon] had a lovely beginning of his season 255 km. in the St Cirrus;” Blue day, fun flight. ”
Down under,  George Lee still flies 500 km. from the field with his name  in his Nimbus 4DM,  whilst a bit more to the SE,  Alan Barnes flew 772 km [500 km. FAI triangle] from Mc Caffery Field in his LS 8 following a good convergence line.[March 14]
On March 16 another great day for him ;627 km.
“Always someone better” …….yes,…. also last week; A good wave flight from Minden [Nevada] 1.336 km. mainly between 4000 and 5000 m. AGL.
Young Bert Schmelzer is enjoying flying from Tswalo in SA in an JS 1;509 km. Flying at this resort is on invitation only this week and top-pilots as WGC champions get an invitation for it, as well as family and crew. Oscar [Goudriaan] and Michael [Sommer] are there as well

Tswalu 1   Tswalu2

First official flying day at Tswalu. Cloud base estimated 15000 ft with just over 500 km task set. 36 degrees @13h00.



Around the world in a solar plane; The SOLAR IMPULSE 2 left last week from Muscat (Oman), piloted by Bertrand Piccard in the direction of Ahmedabad (India).
It was a provisional world record for distance traveled in a solar plane.
Bertrand is a descendant from a very well known and famous  family. He himself, was the pilot from the first around-the-world balloon flight in 1999. His dad helped with the design of the submarine that was the first ever to hit the earth surface and his grand father piloted the first air balloon into the stratosphere in 1931!!!
More on


As shared on FB by Kiki.


One of the icons of British Gliding , Wally Kahn, died last Sunday. Here is the news from  the BGA ;
-It is with great sadness that we report the death of Wally Kahn MBE, who passed away earlier today. Wally served on the BGA Council from 1954-1990, was a member of the Royal Aero Club committee and received the Club’s Silver Medal in 1995. In 2011, he was awarded an MBE for services to gliding and, in 2014, was presented with a BGA Gold Medal.  Wally first soloed in 1946 and earned his Silver C in 1947 (number 85 on the UK register) and Diamond Badge number 50 in 1975. Having created the Lasham Trust in 1983, he was instrumental in securing the purchase of the airfield from the MoD.  More recently, along with the late Peter Redshaw, Wally was the driving force behind the creation of the Wally Kahn Library, a digital collection of UK gliding books.—



courtesy ; BGA.


The Victorian Aerobatic Championships were flown at Tocumwal Aerodrome on the 12th till the 15th of March. Every morning there was a briefing of the gliding activity and runways in use by the Toc. gliders and they operated within their box except when joining the circuit.So ALL had fun.

zzzz races     zzz races 2

Courtesy Tocumwal Residential Park.


News about our hang-gliding mates:
Sport: Hang Gliding class 1
Title: 20th FAI World Hang Gliding Class 1 Championship
Type : World
Date:  28.02 – 13.03.2015
Location: Valle de Bravo (Mexico)

Final Results :

1st : Christian Ciech           ITA
2nd : Antoine Boisselier        FRA
3rd : Christian Voiblet         SUI

1st : Italy
2nd : France
3rd : Australia

The full results can be found at the following address :


Got this news from Frauke Elber and I share it with you.
Dear WSPA members and friends,

It is my pleasure to announce that the registration for the 2015 Annual WSPA Seminar is open.  As you know, the Seminar is going to be hosted by SoaringNV in Minden from June 15-19, 2015.  It is not necessary to describe this famous soaring site to our community, as most of you already know quite a lot about it.  WSPA is very fortunate that one of our most esteemed members, Laurie Harden, has offered to host the Seminar through her soaring business, which is located at Minden Airport.  This seminar is going to be one of the best WSPA Seminars ever!!! Please, read the announcement of the Seminar on our website for an in depth description of this site:

At the bottom of the webpage you will find the link to register online for the Seminar.  If you prefer to print and mail your registration, you can download the pdf of the form, fill it out, and mail it in.  There are two options for payments: a check or a payment via PayPal.  The registration fee includes the usual items: Seminar Materials package, T-shirt, donation to the Briegleb Scholarship Fund for a young person to attend the Seminar the following year, and the food.  This year the entire meal package, all three meals for five days, is provided and paid for through the registration.  Do-it-yourself breakfast and lunch will be provided on the field every day.  Two dinners will be also on the field in the Taildragger Café.  One evening there will be a picnic which has been organized in a lovely neighboring town of Genoa, thanks to Phyllis Wells.  On Friday night our Annual WSPA Banquet with Awards will be held at the JT’s Basque family restaurant, where the food is delicious and plentiful, and we know you will have an excellent time!

Early in the week, there will be a special night and a special announcement made that will make soaring history!  WSPA is honored that the hosts have chosen to make that announcement during our seminar week.  It is still a surprise, so stay tuned!

Lodging information will be available online in the next few days: lists of local hotels and motels and RV parks will be provided where we have already booked blocks of rooms.  If you are bringing a glider, please follow all the instruction in the registration form, as well as on on what is needed.  As a courtesy, the Douglas County Airport will waive tie-down fees for us that week.

International WSPA members who are interested in participating, please let us know of your intentions as soon as possible, and whether you have applied for a USA pilot’s license before.  Mark Montague has spoken with the local FSDO office in Reno to facilitate the issuance of USA licenses, if needed.  Mary Rust, WSPA Treasurer, has further details regarding the temporary US licensing also:

The glider and tow-plane fleet is already fantastic and still growing.  Soaring NV already has an outstanding fleet, but neighboring clubs and private owners are gathering their own gliders to add to the fun during the WSPA Seminar.  So far we have: LS4, Duo Discus, Duo Discus X, two ASK 21’s, 2-32, Discus B, Grob 103 Twin III, Grob 103 Twin II, and SGS 1-26. We are working hard to increase the list of available gliders, both dual- and single- seaters.  The list of gliders and tow-planes will be posted online shortly, along with prices.  Stay tuned!

Finally, if you know an eligible female pilot or you are one yourself, please consider applying for one of the WSPA Scholarships that are awarded during the Seminar.  All the relevant information is on the WSPA website:

Join us for some epic fun this summer!

On behalf of the entire WSPA Board,
Maja, WSPA Vice President/Seminar Coordinator


Enough for today cu next week,
Cheers Ritz

March 11, 2015

Spring is in the air! Air Force Cadets! 2016 SGP news!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 6:55 pm

Spring is in the air  and …..nature is about 14 days ahead of what we in fact should have here now. The weekend, with up to 18 dgr. C. , was so inviting to go outdoors ,   that we nearly all did here in Holland, eating ice-cream, walking along the beach or sitting on one of the so many terraces or in our own garden.
Also a lot of pilots went to the field, all over Europe for their first flight of the year.
Look at the airport of Malden. Frouwke shared some pictures from the activities there .Not yet cross country weather ,but to be in the air after winter is already an awesome moment for many and on Sunday it was already “thermisch”.
BUT…yesterday Dutch pilots COULD fly cross country with some Cirrus, but also working cloud streets; 306 km. in a DG 800/18 m. from Lemelerveld in the East of Holland. It really has started now!

zzzzMalden bij Frouwke   zzzzMalden by Frouwke 2


It will be a very interesting , active and busy season for the juniors with the JWGC end of this year in Naromine and maybe the future looks even brighter for young Australian pilots with the high quality gliders they nowadays use .
I told you in the past about the programs in Australia for Air Force Cadets and now they received most of their new self-launching gliders.

zzzzCadetsAs shared on FB by the Royal Australian Air Force, here at the AVALON air show.

“The new gliders are a great initiative which will help expose Air Force cadets to aviation training and flying skills.”
“The Air Force Cadets will receive 22 new gliders to be used throughout Australia, including 11 ASK-21 Mi self-launching gliders and 11 DG 1001 Club soaring gliders.”
” The Australian Air Force Cadets is a youth development program, supported by Air Force. There is a strong emphasis on gliding and aeronautical skills. I am delighted that Air Force can provide these new gliders to support AAFC flying activities,” AIRMSHL Brown said.
“Over 66 gliding scholarships are awarded to our young cadets throughout Australia each year.” 

Currently seven of the ASK-21 Mi self-launching gliders have been delivered to cadet units in Stonefield, South Australia, Bathurst, NSW, and Warwick in Queensland, with four more to be delivered in mid-2015 to units in to Point Cook in Victoria and Charters Towers in Queensland.
Eight DG 1001 Club gliders are also already being flown by cadet units in Bathurst, Warwick, Narrogin in Western Australia and Stonefield SA.


New Zealand topped several days the OLC  and the flight from Hans Peter Ueblacker from 743 km. in the 18 m. Discus 2 from Omarama, was a good one.
Pilots in Lake Keepit were very busy with their Lake Keepit Regatta flying every day.Even “rippers of a day” with wave, but also days with only 3 finishers!!!
28 Pilots started on the 28th in a mixed class with several 2 and 3 hour AAT’s. A combination of ARCUS and PW 5 and all in between.
With a total of 7 days the winner was Jacques Graells flying an LS 6, followed by the ARCUS [Harry Medlicott] and DUO DISCUS [Morgan Sandercock]. Jacques got in the ” right groove” , winning the last 3 days !! Good on him!

France topped the OLC list last Sunday, with a great wave-flight by topper Robert Prat in the ARCUS: 1.102,42 km. with a speed of 126 km./h. from St. Gaudens.

Yesterday the Seminole Lake- friends in the US had a good day of soaring, their season started as well with 500 km. by former CD of the Uvalde 2012 WGC Ken Sorenson in his Ventus 2ax /15 m.
And in Australia they fly with quite a lot pilots , club members as well as guests, from Mount Beauty the MOUNTAIN FLYING WEEK!

Also Norway [Freya] is active and had some great wave. Arne Martin mentioned :
”  I had my first thermal of the year, and it was a nice 800 m climb, averaging more then 3 m/s during the best part!”


Still a lot of snow on the mountains.
Courtesy Arne Martin Guettler.

As said it’s all happening!


I remember one year in Rieti 2 busy days, when SAR tried to find an Austrian pilot.Days I prefer to forget!
Last week it happened in France {Saint Auban }, but with a more happy end, they found the pilot alive ; As it is important to fly with FLARM here is the news I found on the OLC;
 We are pleased that the pilot of ASW27 F-CLCC who took off in St Auban on March 3 and was missing in the evening was found alive after helicopters could not fly due to bad weather during the night. And we are a little bit proud that – once again – FLARM was the source for the position where nearby, the aircraft was found. Read about the process at, don’t forget to register your unit at, and always allow tracking even despite privacy concerns.” 


AND,….I copied and pasted as well for you the latest on the
so you are all up to date!

7th FAI Sailplane Grand Prix series announced

At the annual meeting of the International Gliding Commission in Lausanne the venues for the 7th series of the FAI Sailplane Grand Prix were announced. The 7th series will start in Chile in January 2016 with nine qualifying events and culminating with the world final in South Africa in October 2016.

There will be a qualifying SGP event in USA for the first time in the SGP, this will take place at Ionia in Michigan and we look forward to welcoming the US pilots into the competition series.

There are many new developments in the SGP organisation which we hope will engage a wider audience in these exciting competitions.

News of the events the pilots and the options to follow the racing will be regularly issued via the Sailplane Grand Prix event portal

FAI sailplane Grand Prix 7th series event calendar

Country Dates Venue Class
Chile 23 to 30 January2016 Vitacura 15m
Spain 17 to 24 April 2016 Cerdanya 15m
Russia 01 to 08 May 2016 Usman Mono
Italy 14 to 21 May 2016 Varese 18m
France 04 to 11 June 2016 Rennes 15m
Austria 18 to 25 June 2016 Niederöblarn 15/18?
UK 02 to 09 July 2016 Bicester 18m
USA 24 to 31 July 2016 Ionia 15m
Germany 13 to 20 August 2016 Musbach 18m
8th FAI Sailplane Grand Prix World Final
South Africa 5 to 12 November 2016 Potchefstroom 18m


Last but not least, the Gliding International, issue March/April 2015, with a fabulous picture on the cover and an ” AAAH-moment” looking at the picture of the center spread with  1000 km.clouds in Tocumwal.
Not only great pictures also great stories as :
—tracking developments  …..a ” world” radar for sailplanes by Aldo
—the Mysteries of the AKAFLIEGS  [designing, building and flying new gliders]  by Elke
—David [Jansen] looks back on his longest flight
—a glider [Antares] used / tested as observant of crime [ transferring live images via microwave data link] .
—ADS-B a broadcast surveillance system with air to ground and air to air applications, a story  by Myles.
—and much more news as the first ever Pan American Gliding Championships. Glider pilots from North and South America gather at Sarah’s airfield at Chilhowee between April 6-17 in a handicapped 15 m. class . 
Also about  the first 13.5 m. championships, flown from Ponciunai starting at August 1-August 15 2015.:


March 8 it was :

To finish this great colorful picture from an all female crew with the message :
On this International Women Day….Air India operates it’s first ever long haul All women crew flight B787…Delhi to Melbourne.

zzzzInt womens day

As shared by Nevedita Bhassin -Institute for women of aviation worldwide.

Cu you next week
Cheers Ritz

March 4, 2015

Soaring/medals and more! 36.000 hours of gliding for Ingo! The ” IT desk ” in your glider/office !

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 6:48 pm

AND THEN,…..they call from Lausanne!!! Our Dutch delegate Frouwke!!! I was amazed and said “you are in Lausanne or not” ?
” Yes I am”  she said ,” and I have good news”.
Here you are , have to share it with you as well: I ” won” ,  the prestigious Pelagia Majewska Medal , a medal specially for women who have done ” something”  in/for our soaring world.
I was and still am STUNNED, even lost the plot for a few moments deciding to continue with my ironing!!!!!!!!!! BUT,…..What an honor.The first woman in Holland to receive this prestigious award. AND ,….totally unexpected!!!!
What a huge honor for Holland to even win the Otto Lilienthal Medal as well; Loek Boermans , SO deserved. More a bit further in this blog.

Pelagia Majewska Medal

Thanks for the many reactions!!!!! Phone calls, SMS, MAILS and FB messages!!!! Unbelievable!I am still sitting on my pink cloud.
One of the delegates mentioned:
 In the discussion before the vote, the Delegates realized that nearly all of us know you personally.  You are an international person of distinction, and we are fortunate to have a way to recognize you for your many contributions to our sport.

I noticed that a lot of people did not know about the Polish top pilot behind the name of this award . She was a true champion.
” This Medal was created by the FAI in 1989, following a proposal by the Aero Club of Poland, in memory of Madame Pelagia Majewska, eminent Polish glider pilot awarded the Lilienthal Medal for 1960, and holder of 17 world gliding records, who lost her life in an air accident in 1988. The Medal is offered to the FAI by the Aero Club of Poland.
It may be awarded annually, on recommendation by the FAI Gliding Commission, to a female glider pilot to reward: a particularly remarkable performance in gliding during the past year, or eminent services to gliding over a long period of time.” 
The last part of course fits me …they thought.Very proud to have brought her name on the map again!!!!


The meteorological spring started on March 1 and straight away last Saturday the soaring-season started for a few clubs in Holland [ some start next week, all of course weather-permitting] and [most] private gliders AND club gliders are ready for this new upcoming season.A few  are still on their way back home, from their overseas season .
Last weekend was rather nice with some local showers , a fresh tough wind,8 dgr. C.  but also CLOUDS and STREETS !!!!!Not usable now,  but it gives a great feeling that the season is about to begin.

On the last day of February Tom Gilbert from Temora topped the OLC with a 493 km. flight in his DG 400/17m.
That same day I heard that he and his wife Jane are visiting Holland in May and drop in to see me. Great!
On the other hand the speed skating season more or less finished with the World Champion-sprint titles in Astana last weekend and the All round World championships at Calgary next weekend
AND …the new European cycle season started in Belgium in Gent.



Quite a difference , those club gliders from the past and now. I know Ingo loves as less instruments as possible, only the ones he needs, but in out fast-world instruments are part of top soaring.
Look at this: the ASK 23 ‘s from the Amsterdam Club for Soaring the ACVZ have or will have all an LX 9050. Before the start of the season the cross country pilots got a workshop to get to know and how to deal with this LX 9050. A real good way to fly safe  and accurate as one of the pilots mentioned AND if necessary you can avoid mistakes as accidentally entering TMA’s now, by an early call  .
Here is the message from the GLIDER PILOT SHOP from Dutch glider pilots Maurits Dortu and former European champion Rene de Dreu;
The first of two LX 9050’s has been installed in an ASK23 of the Amsterdam Gliding Club. Flying season (finally) starts this saturday. With this ASK-23 the beginning (cross-country) pilots can start the new OLC-season well-equipped! But before that, on Friday, a workshop on flying with the LX9050 by Glider Pilot Shop. Good luck and have fun! ”
 A very active business : “ Over the past weeks the Glider Pilot Shop team was present at several events. Last weekend we gave a presentation about Next Generation Soaring Computers and a hands-on workshop at TABOE (an initiative to train glider pilots further in XC flying after obtaining their license). Two weeks ago LXNAV joined us to give a small presentation at the Dutch gliding IT day and to exchange thoughts with IT minded people in the gliding community.” 

These pictures are shared by Sikko ;

  zzzzAsh 23

Very spiffy!!!


Talking about instruments and Instrument panels, here is the latest from DG:
LX9000 Instrument Panel for DG-1000T/M available now

We have developed a new instrument panel which allows installation of large glide computers such as the LX9000 in our powered DG-1000 versions. A retrofit is possible. Please be aware, that the new front panel requires a new cover. The rear instrument panel cover does not require any modification.

You can order your new panel and cover via:

Here are 2 pictures as shared by DG Flugzeugbau.


zzzzzLX 1


Tocumwal is already fueled up and ready  for the Australian Aerobatic Club Victorian Aerobatic Championships March 13 – 15. Just to let you know.
And the weather looks promising as you can see on the picture shared by the Tocumwal Residential Airpark.

zzzz weather Toc

And talking about Tocumwal, Ingo, just passed the 36.000 hours-gliding-mark!!!! THAT is something!!!! The Southern Riverina Gliding Club, thought it would be a nice surprise “ if we honored him with a presentation at a BBQ in the hangar after flying ” and that happened last Saturday. Ingo is at the moment the CFI and the president of the club, busy, busy!!!
And as Judy [Renner] mentioned;” We would also like to farewell some of our members who have been such a wonderful support to the club over the past months but now have to head back to their homelands overseas.”
People like Joergen ,[ who p.e. polished the club-ASTIR and Ingo did the check flight last Friday] , and Birgitte and Dieter ” Dundee” , [always helping out at the field] , as well as the Chinese guests and George.


Copyright Anton Wildberger and shared by the SRGC.


Dieter ” Dundee” Albrecht on his way home today, afte nearly 6 months.
Courtesy Southern Riverina Gliding Club.


Last weekend the IGC meeting was in Lausanne, as you know by now. Some more news !!!
A special one ,…as after 37 years of being involved in the OSTIV and many years as president, Loek Boermans said ”  thank you and goodbye” . I knew already in Leszno,as he told me then,  but I was not allowed to tell you, so now I can. Here is a picture from Loek, as shared by our Dutch IGC delegate  Frouwke.


Loek; winner of the Otto Lilienthal Medal!!!
Congratulations and THANK you for all those years!!!!

President of the IGC Herbie Moser, mentioned in his report to the 2015 IGC plenary-delegates, from January 2015;
”  I am proud to work with the incredibly capable and devoted volunteers that makeup the International Gliding Commission. These generous people work on behalf of glider pilots worldwide that strive to set records or aspire to fly in International Competitions. I wish everyone safe and enjoyable soaring in 2015!”

Can only agree on that!

Here is the latest on the IGC meeting, that is,…. what I think is important for all of us to know. Got all the news as ALWAYS from Rick [Sheppe] THANKS RICK!!!!!

UNOFFICIAL Summary of Decisions of the 2015 IGC Plenary

2 March 2015


The IGC Plenary meeting took place in Lausanne (CH) on 27 – 28 February 2015.  There were 33 countries represented.  As usual, it was an opportunity to renew international friendships as well as to do the business of the Commission.  The social highlight was an elegant dinner on Friday night, generously provided by a retiring member, whose identity was kept secret until the dinner itself.


IGC has begun its third formal study of the structure of World and Continental Gliding Championships.  A group has been formed that will make recommendations for the number and frequency of Championships, and the number of Classes supported.  Earliest change to the championships calendar would be in 2020, and the earliest that new class definitions would take effect would be 2021.


At the request of FAI, the sport of Gliding will be represented at the next World Air Games in Dubai (UAE), in December 2015.  This will be particularly challenging for IGC because there are no soaring conditions expected, and the competition area is restricted to a 5 km box!


Loek Boermanns presented his final report as President of OSTIV, the only scientific organization within FAI.  At a special meeting of OSTIV members, Prof. Dr. Ing. Rolf Radespiel was elected as new President of OSTIV.

Badge and Record Rules

The following changes were made to the main section of Sporting Code Section 3:

  • Only the Start Line will be used (no more OZ starts).
  • Barographs will no longer be used at all.
  • The 10 km Turn Point separation rule has been deleted.
  • A Silver Distance claim will require a fix at least 50 km from home.
  • The World Class record category is replaced by the 13.5 Meter Class record category.
Competition Rules

These changes were made to Sporting Code Section 3, Annex A:

  • The Finish must stay open until sunset.
  • Club Class handicaps will be adjusted for very lightweight pilots.
  • For scoring, the optimum (not necessarily last) Start will be used.
  • The distinction between primary and backup Flight Recorder is deleted.


And these proposals will return for voting next year:

  • Increased maximum takeoff mass in the 20 Meter Multiseat Class
  • Devaluation of “distance” days
  • Changes to Team Cup calculation
  • Legibility of Contest ID on gliders
Future Competitions

The 2018 World Gliding Championships were awarded to Czech Republic [Pribram] in the Open, 18 Meter and 20 Meter Multiseat Classes; and to Poland [ Ostrow] in the 15 Meter, Standard, and Club Classes.  There was no discussion of whether this re-grouping of classes will be temporary or permanent.


Lilienthal Gliding Medal:    Loek Boermanns (NED)

Pirat Gehriger Diploma:       Antonio Martinez-Moneo Rico (ESP)

Pelagia Majewska Medal:    Ritz de Luy (NED)


President:                    Eric Mozer

First Vice-President:   Brian Spreckley

Vice-Presidents:          Terry Cubley, Christof Geissler, Rene Vidal, Marina Vigorito, Alexander Georgas

Secretary of Honour:  Peter Eriksen

Congratulations of course as well to Antonio from Spain for his AWARD.


Just to let you know as I just got the message ; the 41 st. International Gliding Competition in Bailleau is from August 4 till 14 2015. You can find the news on 


That’s it for now.
Cu next Wednesday
Cheers Ritz,…. still looking around from my pink cloud!!!!

February 25, 2015

Spring is around the corner !Aussie juniors seem to be ready for “their” JWGC.

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 6:41 pm

Z Tulips in Holland keukenhof.

Not yet open de KEUKENHOF, but it does n’t take that long anymore.

With a few very sunny, though  fresh days and little tops of plants popping up, it feels like spring is around the corner, even with wet snow and hail.
Last Sunday the first cross-country flights from German airfields and not long and they start here as well.
From Bad Neuenahr Ahr, direction NW Aachen, which is close to the Dutch border , a flight in an HPH 304 “SHARK’ from 317 km. and from Grosses Moor in an LS 8/18 m.  351 km. That’s SO early serious flying!!!

And France is active as well. From Bruno a flight on February 22 with up to 2.5 m. lift , up to 1200 m.
With only 8 flights on the OLC , the day before yesterday,and 7 yesterday [1 from Benalla; 460 km.]  it’s really an ” in- between-period” now.


As shared by the Association Aeronautique du Val  d’Essonne.


After the many great , long,  fast, distance flights during the season, in Namibia and South Africa, dominating the OLC …..a few less but also long and exciting and fast in Australia, the Aussies and there guests continue the season a bit longer and are dominating now;700 km. from Stonefield in the Nimbus 4DM on Thursday February 19.
Kilometer-eater Terry Bellair flew last Saturday 856 km. [645 FAI triangle]  in his DG 400/17 m. from his home field Raywood and from Ararat, 792 was flown in a Discus by Gary Stevenson.[734 FAI triangle]
Tocumwal had 662 in the ASH 26 by Terry Ryan [ 557 FAI triangle] and Benalla ‘s Tobias Geiger in his LS 4 602 km. [440 FAI triangle] All these pilots you can qualify as kilometer-eaters, they LOVE their distances.
Most flying in Victoria and the SW part of NSW due to storms else where.
So Sunday’s best flights were from these areas;Pipers Field 622 in Ventus 2 c/18m., Tocumwal 572 in ASH 26 e, Temora 500 in LS 8 and 563 from Ararat in a Discus 2.
Australia was  confronted last week,  with 2 cyclones one in the top end and the [N]E, causing quite some damage.



After 5 days the SQUAD week in Narromine had close scores.Looking at club class the difference between number 1 Bryan Hayhow [Discus] and number 2 Lisa Trotter [ASW 20] was 6 points. Mind you there were 2 over 400 km. days , the rest over 300, till then!
And in Standard Class between Peter Trotter [LS 8] and John Buchanan [ASG 29/15 m.] 3 points with over 500 km. days.

With only 2 days to go an interesting event,”  between”  the ” seniors and juniors”!
During this squad week the juniors get some extra training on high level, it’s practice in many ways [ avoiding all kind of penalties, making speed against toppers and flying in time with an AAT] .
The AUSSIE team for Narromine 2015 exists out of  Matthew Scutter , Ailsa McMillan,  Dylan Lampard in Std.Class.
Club class pilots; Joe O’Donnell ,James Nugent and Eric Stauss.

I ” know ”  3 members of the Aussie junior team in these classes; Matthew and Ailsa in Standard class  and Eric in club class.
James Nugent was doing a great job, whole week. He won 3 from 6 days , so a promise for the JWGC. From Mandy I heard he is only 16 years old!!!!!!What a talent.
He won day 6 , a 4 hour AAT in club class, in his LS 3 with 479.7 km. in time 4.10 , [speed 115 km./h.] taking away the 1000 points, whilst “senior” Bryan lost nearly 200 points.
Day 7 was won by Eric Stauss,  so the young ones also had their win  and Joe was always in the daily top 4 however on day 7 on 5.
That day a 3.30 AAT was set and Eric flew 371 km. in time 3.30 at the dot!!!! Good on him!!!
The final scores show a junior on top, James with 6683 points and Lisa on 2 with 6638 points.

Day 6 was a 4 hour AAT in standard class. Tom [Claffey] won with 560 km. in time 3.56, so a speed of 140 km./h.!!!Day 7 was won by Butch; 471 km. in time 3.20.11.
The “fight”  between the seniors and juniors was tougher in this class. Butch won 3 days, Peter Trotter 2 x, Pete Temple 1 and Tom Claffey 1.
Butch won with 6862 points, Peter had 6833 and Tom 7588, but Tom did not fly the last day.
Matthew ,[DISCUS 2a-4920] Dylan [3780 LS 8-] and Ailsa [LS 8-4506] trained hard, but after 7 days ended on the bottom side of the overall scores. No worries, it’s ALL about the training.

Latest news and GREAT news for the Aussie  juniors, indeed it’s a lot of things  helping to create a champion;
A big thank you to Shinzo who has offered his office, briefing room and hangar to the Australian Junior Team for the Junior World Gliding Championships in December this year. THANK YOU SHINZO!!!”
By the way last Monday Shinzo flew 784 km.[600 FIA triangle] in his Nimbus 4DM.

I know Corowa helps out with their containers for our Dutch juniors and in another hangar at Narromine, from a Dutch couple  William Stalenburg and Evelien Nijland, running a gliding school there during the season, they can place/park their gliders.NOT bad, not bad at all.It ALL helps, also the factor LUCK!!!!!!
Our Dutch juniors are and think positive too, though it is far away ” that place Narromine” . But I know they are going to love it.
They shared this picture from the GLIDING BIBLE and I share it with you.


It’s going to be a great event!  I heard and read of so many potential champions. Try to be there for the last week!


Looking ahead at Europe’s soaring; Calcinate [Italy] organizes a HIGH PERFORMANCE STAGE. It’s a bit later than usual, but that gives them a  chance to ” devote special attention  to long flights and distance and speed records.”
The organizer is Alberto Sironi and he co-operates with Giorgio Ballarati . The week is from March 24 til 29!
Lot’s of skilled coaches, a lot of them members of the Italian team, will take one or 2 participants by the hand.

—–Pilots participants should have a good experience of mountain flying, full control and effectiveness of the techniques of centering and climbing in thermals (even along the ridge), good mental and physical form and a keen interest in the objectives of the SAP”

—-The fee for the days of flying and towing are free for junior national team pilots, that will then pay only the registration fee of € 120.00.—-

All info at ;


A picture from another year with Alberto in the middle.
Courtesy ACAO site.


One of the first big comps is always the Easter competition at Nitra, [Slovakia] where they fly for the Pribina Cup from April 3 till 11. At this stage they have already 100 pilots who have registered  in 4 classes and they come from 15 different countries. A total at this stage from 33 from Germany and 18 from Poland.
Interesting as well; ” In case of more than 10 entries of FAI 13,5m class gliders, a separate class could be created for them in order to promote this class and allow to pilots to test their performance and equipment before the 1st FAI World Gliding Championship 2015 in this class. ”

10906554_324721554388207_5406345953554782057_n (1)

As shared on FB by the organizers!

 And to finish this blog a nice picture shared by DG.
DG-1000T and DG-808C Competition formation flight.

Cheers Ritz

zzzzzzzzzDG 1000

February 18, 2015

Europe slowly awakes!Looking back; 5 Aussie destinations in OLC-World-wide-top 11.

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 6:51 pm

Valentijns dag 2013 2

Did you have a happy and pleasant VALENTINES day?
I had the flu, did not do TOO much,…. but feel slowly better again.

The season is about over and it’s waiting now for gliders to come back and for the spring season to begin here in Europe!
Last Thursday only 24 flights were added to the the OLC list.
On Friday the 13th , not everybody hided….30 pilots took the opportunity to fly.

Last Sunday we had early SPRING weather; blue skies, 10 dgr C. and and a full sun. I guess everybody here went out walking , biking or visiting the beaches for a long good walk with the doggies.
SPRING is on it’s way!!!!!

Looking at the stats of world wide airfields on the OLC from Australian destinations on February 15 ,4 ended in the top 10.
Mind you most places fly till Easter and the East Coast can fly through winter as well, so some more flights will be added ;
Benalla on spot 6 with 69 guests , 563 flights and a total of  208.000.08.
Benalla will be busy over the next 2 seasons with the pre worlds and worlds.

Benalla night 002

Corowa on 8 with 29 guests mostly staying for the full 3 months so they do not have to fly every day, but still made 339 flights and a total of  192.707,08 km. WHEN they fly, they really fly big distances!
They added to their list; 80 briefings and 114 tows AND 2097 hours.
Their containers are on the way home now !

IMG_4500   IMG_4484

Leaving with such nice soaring-weather is not always easy.
Picture from their site at ;

Narromine on 9; Their squad week started last Sunday so they will add a few more flights. With 83 guests and 446 flights they flew a total of 171.990, 89 km. The SQUAD week delivered yesterday a nice distance by Matthew Scutter in his Discus 2 a; 628 km. Other toppers as Mat [Cage] and Tom [Claffey]  participate in this week as well.
Today was according to Morgan Sandercock a ripping day with thermals up to 11 kts . He even had too much lift to get down and that when it is nearly autumn!!!! 420 [300 FAI triangle] in the Duo Discus and the day before 480 [400 FAI triangle]
Tom flew 512 k. with the next message; “ Task too short for AAT timing. 147kph, cannot change start times?
And Brian Hayhow flying the Discus 2 mentioned:
” Great day out at Narromine… 123kph task speed for a 369km task a maxed out AAT… good streeting on second leg really helped and everything just lined up beautifully… my fastest speed dry!” 
Narromine will be extra busy end of this year with the JWGC.

Narromine skies

Tocumwal on 10; 73 guests flew a total of 129.289,76 km. during 343 flights. They will be busy till Easter and had during the last few weeks several Japanese pilots. Toc was always a very popular place for Japanese pilots but also for the Chinese pilots. All willing to learn or improve their skills, in the quiet period .Again several declared FIRST  300 and 500 km. tasks were flown. A few of the happy chappies as shared by Sportaviation. CAMPAI !!!!!

zzzztoc 5 zzzzzToc 2

zzzzztoc 4

zzzzzToc 1 zzzzztoc 3

Lake Keepit on 11;with 59 guests they had  332 flights with a total of 116.824, 07

Lake Keepit finish over Lake

A great finish over the LAKE.

Looking at the stats for Australia only, these places are on 1-2-3-4-and 5 and Waikirie proud on 6.
Looking at the top 5 from the OLC Aussie CHAMPIONS till now 2 Dutch pilots Bart and Max are on top , then a German pilot Hans-Juergen and a Spanish Pepe and Mac from Japan.
The first 3 ONLY flew from Corowa, Pepe used mainly Narromine and Corowa and Mac flew from everywhere.[Narromine, Temora, Tocumwal, Waikirie and Gawler.]

Looking at the best flight in Australia according to the OLC, David Jansen is the top ONE with his 1.582 flight from Kingaroy to Benalla in his ASG 29e/18m..
Pete Temple follows with 1.121 km from Waikirie in the ASG 29/18 m. and
Mac on 3, flew 1.061 km. from Tocumwal in his LS 8.
Within this TOP 10, 3 flights from Tocumwal, 2 from Corowa , 2 from Waikirie , 1 from Kingaroy, 1 from Pipers Field and one from Benalla.

Looking at all flights in Australia; Benalla had 2 pilots with Nick Woods [55 flights] and Bob Nichols [48]  flying over 25 000 km. each.
Pepe had 1000 km. less in 39 flights.
You are up to date again.



Day 3 at Horsham week had a 3 hour AAT, but unfortunately the front arrived earlier than expected and the early starters were lucky to get away, though most of them did not arrive “home”  .
412 km. was the best distance , flown in 18m./open in an ASG 29 by Craig, his second win that week and a nice speed of 113.4 km.
Peter Busser was runner up with 332 km. [110.8 km./h.] and Morgen Sandercock, yes the one from the Perlan Project was 3d in the Duo Discus from the Hunter Valley.[255 km. in time 3.01]
In club class only the JANUS d finished ;223 km. in 2.56. All other pilots did not start [ 5] or did not come home [9]
In st. class [2.30 AAT] nobody made it back and in 15 m. one pilot tried at 3 and one at 4 but they decided to go back.

Day 4 was cancelled at the strip ,maybe as well,as you look that it was Friday the 13th!!!!…..for some a day to ” stay in bed” and what’s worse they have 2 more this year!!!!!
On Valentines-day , a much more happy day, they had the last briefing from this Horsham week and squeezed out another day 4.
As I heard the weather was not as good as hoped for that week;
” Only 4 flying days and not good conditions despite a booming forecast the week before.
It is, as you know,…as it is.
This last day with a 3 hour AAT in 18m./open and a 2 hour AAT in  club  and even 3.30 in standard class and 15 m., they can look back at another good Horsham Week.
Rolf Buelter in his LS 8 won the last day in St Class .He trained with his Geelong club 2 weeks during their summer camp in Tocumwal in December/January, so he had some hours of cross country flying under his belt.
With just under 100 km./h. he flew 345 km.
Winner in this class was John Orton, flying the SDZ 55 to a total of 3751 points, more than 800 points on the runner up.

Peter Buskens won the 18m/open class . Great to see Bernie Sizer from the Southern Riverina Gliding Club from Toc win the last day and overall he finished on spot 2 in the PIK 20 b.In 15 m. another PIK 20 b , moving up from 3 to 1 overall, won the week.

My friends Tony and Jo were there for the week as Tony [TT] had to defend his title as Victorian State Champion but he did not succeed , this time, though he tried hard.On the first days he was in the race like any other of the competitors being 3d and 6th  ,but on day 3 the winner of the day had 1000 points and Tony ” out-landed ” and had only 424 and you can’t make up that loss in one day, even being third on that last day.Mind you Tony is 78 and still very active !!!!! Compliments!


Looking at Soaring in Europe in February, you can say it’s slowly , very slowly starting in the mountain-wave- areas. The UK had some good flights in Scotland from Kinross in the beginning of February,even  one from 655 in the Antares. On February 6 , an ASW 20 flew 667 km.from Offenburg Baden in Germany.
Ocana in Spain had a glorious spring day on Friday the 13 th ,used for a 200 km. flight.


The 50thiest open military championship in Holland will be flown only in June, to be precise from June 1 till 5 and you could register from last February 1. In NO time , 24 hours, they had 50 pilots and now more than 60. SOARING IS ALIVE!!!!!


To finish;
David Ferguson who died unexpectedly , age 78. David was an excellent guy and a great pilot and glider pilot.He lived and worked in Australia [Ansett 1963/1989 based in Melbourne ] and Singapore as a captain 747.

CU next week.
cheers Ritz

February 11, 2015

Back on track after laptop-crash!Great February-soaring-conditions in Australia!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 6:34 pm

The ” die-hards ” must have missed my Wednesday blog on February 4 , as in years I did not miss one un- announced.
REASON; My laptop crashed!
But it is in good order now thanks to Inge and Diana!!!
Luckily I published a blog on  Sunday February 1 as well, to be up-to-date with the final scores from the QSGP in Chile over the gorgeous Andes-area and the club class nationals in Drury NZ.

So here we go again, laptop in good order, me too!

Australia has/had some fantastic February weather. Though the days are shorter and launching starts later, pilots flew great tasks and nearly every day! Look at this and when you are interested ……at the OLC for February.
NARROMINE ; had 2 x a 1000 km. flight. Gerrit flew one on February 1 [800 km. FAI triangle]  …..and a 1000 out and return on February 4 in his Quintus M.This even is a record and send to the GFA.
The claim is in open class for an Australian and Continental FREE Out and return distance 1063.12 Km. , Australian Out and Return Distance 1054.91 Km.

Also his wife Pam had a new record on the same day in her ASH 31 MI;
Australian and Continental Feminine Out and Return Distance 904.04 Km,
Australian Feminine FREE Out and Return distance 918.47 Km.

Both flew up to the NW from Narromine. Congratulations!
On Monday February 9 Gerrit flew 941 km., and his mate John “Butch” Buchanan 874 km. in an ASW 27…..the weather was still good!!!!

On the 8th Shinzo flew in the NIMBUS 4DM , also from Narromine , where he runs a soaring-center, a good 924 km. task [858 FAI triangle]

GAWLER; another 1032 km. flight for Pete Temple  with 136 km./h. in the ASG 29 on February 7.
This flight has been send to the GFA as an Australian_and Continental Oceanian Initial Record Claim Notification :out and return distance in 18m/open and free out and return distance in 18m./open.
His 3d 1000 km. flight this season, 2 from Gawler….. 1 from Waikirie.

COROWA;had several over 800 km. flights and the last 2 weeks before they are packing,  the pilots enjoyed the great weather.They start packing the last European gliders on the 19th.

TOCUMWAL with temperatures up to 40 dgr. C. in the weekend had up to 700 in an ASH 26 e and 765 in the ARCUS and 937 in an LS 8 flown by MAC on February 8.He just could not reach Toc , due to a strong incoming South Westerly.Unfortunately that spoiled the day.
Today Terry flew 626 in his ASH 26.

BENALLA up to 620 in a 15 m. Ventus BT.

WAIKIRIE had up to 860 in an ASH 31/21m. 795 km. task

STONEFIELD had 720 in a PIK 20D!!! Still all February -flights.

TEMORA with a great flight by Nathan [Johnson] in the St Cirrus ;795 km.!!! And also on the 8th in the LS 10/18 m. 905 km. by Brian Du Rieu.

WEST WYALONG added a 1000 on February 8.A very special one , flown by Ed Marel in his ASH 31/21 m.
His first 1000 km. and flight number 1000 in his logbook. That IS special!!!!

Talking about Tocumwal;When you are FAMOUS, even ” only ” in our small word you are spoiled. As you can see on the picture below where Ingo got a present with the information of his Discus with call sign XX and registration VH- XXA on it.


Special present to Ingo Renner from “Balkan Boys Band”! Handcrafted by master of gliding accessories Darko Gagula!
“Deluxe By Gagula
as shared on FB by the SRGC.



You can call Horsham WEEK the end of the Australian season. They started their week on February 7 and run it till February 13. It’s a competition ,  combined with competition-coaching. As they say:
Horsham Week is a fun, relaxed comp ideal for early XC pilots almost entirely flown over large, grain-stubble fields of the Wimmera. To encourage coaching, Victorian Soaring Association  pays the entry fees for aircraft used for coaching. So the only expenses are the tow fees (about $50) and glider hire ($48/hr, Max $198/day).
 If you’ve ever wanted to try competition soaring or improve your XC speed and confidence, you can start in the VMFG Duo Discus XT VH-ZRD this year.”
All details on ;
The CD is Ian Grant and between March 8 and 14,  he organizes also an ALPINE-coaching-week in the mountains at Mount Beauty.Great to see all these activities in Victoria, the Southern part of Australia.

33 Pilots compete in this week in 3 classes;18m/open, 15m/standard and club class.
On February 6 it was good practice weather ;679 km. in a DISCUS.A day with a cloud base at 10.000 ft.

Day 1 was cancelled, day 2 a very blue day as well.They tried hard, a 2 hour AAT was set but it did not work out well and the day was cancelled on the grid.
On Monday they had their day 1, with a small task.A 2 hour AAT for 3 classes and 2.30 for club.
In 18m./open the best distance was 185.4 km. in an ASG 29, about 35 km. more than the next pilot. 10 Pilots in this class.1000 points for Craig from Waikirie.
In 15 m. 6 pilots and the best Bruce Cowan, flew 180.8 km. in the Ventus b. and got the 1000 points.
In standard class the best pilot flew 190 km. !!!! in an SZD 55.1000 points for John Orton.
In club class, they had half an hour more and 2 PIK 20-thies were the best here.For over 200 km. those pilots got 1000 and 989 points.

On day 2 a 300 km. task was set for the 18m./open pilots and another 1000 points day , this time the winner was Peter Buskens in the JS 1. Still pretty difficult as you can see on the speed , 99.7 km./h.
In 15 m. a task of 306 km. and with 2 out-landings , the rest finished wuith 1000 points for the Mini Nimbus pilot.
In standard class the SZD 55 won again and John leads in this class with 2000 points , 500 points ahead of the runner up.
In club class a KA 6 was the best with a Twin Astir as runner up.

They had a 10 o’clock-briefing today, noticed at least one task at this stage in standard class; 2.30 AAT.

A nice mix of gliders and pilots!!!!


Europe had a nice wave flight in Scotland from the famous field of Kinross.As John [Williams ], who flew the triangle in his ANTARES mentioned in his comment:
After a 14 month wave famine in Scotland this should be a new 500 km Fai triangle UK speed record at 121 kph.Much blue, much overcast, but it did work from really down.” 

In Argentina, {Los Antiquos} Jean Marc flew a 1000 in the 15 m. DG 800 yesterday.


And to finish a link to a sport-TV -program [in Dutch] with world champion Bert Schmelzer jr. Enjoy!

Z Bert en Tijl and dad

Bert jr. to the left with brother Tijl and Dad Bert sr. after being “crowned”  as the new world champion in Rayskala.

Cheers Ritz

February 1, 2015

South Africa’ season….Chile’s QSGP winners…..9 days at Drury…1000 km. from Narromine on February 1!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 9:31 pm


Looking back at South Africa’s season; It ‘s getting pretty quiet now on the soaring-scene with Namibia and most South African destinations closed till next season. Talking about South Africa , more of my friends than other years, visited South Africa. A very enthusiastic Max shared his Nimbus 4DM with other pilots when he had to work and flew himself a lot of new Dutch overseas records, with several pilots , as Jeppe ,Herman and Edo. All 22 flights were from Douglas Backhouse in November and January. He shared this interesting picture on FB, from all his impressive flights.

10952104_821769587845462_4836111714122738176_n (2)

  Looking at the OLC statistics for South Africa ,we see that Gariep Dam was very busy and 4th on the list under the 3 Namibian destinations. Gariep had 62 pilots flying a total of 296.499,63 km. during 514 flights.
Douglas Backhouse had 57 pilots as guests, they flew a total of 225.915,38 during 360 flights.
Bloemfontein had 31 pilots flying 89.771,57 during 215 flights.They have lots of UK guests, but also from Holland, the USA  and France . They continued till the end of January and still had some very nice flights on January 29;860 km. in an ASG 29.
Kuruman Johan Pi had 13 guests, mainly German families as the Wiesenthals and the Kalisch’ with their friends,  but also Dutch guests. Together they flew 78.564,59 km. during 98 logged flights.
Worcester ,Potchefstroom  and Welkom had under 50.000 km. .They had great comps , Worcester that interesting QSGP, but are not really called ” big “-overseas destinations.


This last week Australia still had some great flights, their season continues a bit longer.
had on January 28 still 8000 ft. for their tasks and pilots flew up to 850 km. [800 FAI triangle] in the ARCUS M. On the 29th a 900 km. was still possible and flown in the Ventus 2 CM/18 m. Some pilots are ready to prepare the glider for the way back home in February so for them it was their last flight for the season and they all sound HAPPY.Some continue till February 19 when they are starting to pack their containers . Their estimated time of unpacking in Holland should be then April 11.
From Tocumwal Stephan flew 560 km. in his LS 4  and earlier in the week over 600 km. On the one but last day from January he even flew 641 km. A great day with clouds and Tery [Ryan] flew in his ASH 26 e a distance of 773.7 km.
February started with a 1000 km. task[ 800 FAI triangle]  by Gerrit Kurstjens in his Quintus, flying from Narromine]  Speed 133 km./h. VERY good for February , but still possible as we can see and have seen in the past . His wife Pam flew in her ASH 31/21 m.  922 km. A nice day out for my friends!!!


Qualifying Sailplane Grand Prix in Santiago/Chile 24-1-2015 – 31-1-2015 Club de Planeadores de Vitacura


Day 5´s task consist of 397,8 km. with the Northern point at Pelambres Mine! As shared by the organizers.

After day 4 they easily continued with day 5 [397.8 km.] and Thomas who was already 2d on day 4 was now in the right CHILE-grove  and won the day with a speed of 140 km./h.;8 points for him, as a few did not finish!!
Day 6 had another 356 km. task, but it was difficult. The toppers managed to finish , the rest did not and that showed in the points; 5 for Carlos , 3 for Juergen, 2 for Thomas and 1 for Rene. The organizers:” Today´s race was full of tricky areas, it appeared to be a simple task but the results show it otherwise. Only 4 pilots finished the race in an intricate ¨fierce battle¨ for positions today,a fierce head to head race till the end!”  On this picture shared by the organizers you see they great environment the pilots fly over and this is one of the TP ‘s on day 6 Inca Lake, deep inside the Andes and close to the Aconcagua. WOW!!!!!

zzzzChille TP

Last Saturday at 3 they started for  day 7, but also this day some pilots choose to abandon the task from 356 km. 5 Of them finished and Thomas and Rene arrived about the same time;speed 123.5 for Thomas and 123.3 for Rene, but, shows again in the points 6 and 4. All the way Thomas was a bit higher than Rene , but all the way they stayed together. Only in the end Thomas passed and won the day.As the SGP team  wrote :  ” Today´s race was full of surprises and by far was the most breathtaking race we´ve seen on all these days!” 

After 7 days and with ONLY one to go the scores overall are as follows; Carlos 38, Thomas 35 and Rene 30.Pretty exciting!!! A lot is possible! NO ROOM FOR MISTAKES!!!! Which pilots could qualify for the finals in Varese. What happened? This is how the organizers described it and they WERE there!!! What an amazing breathtaking race we had today! Sometimes Vidal leaded then Gostner took the first position, finally Wenzel passed them all from high up above (5400m) with one magical lucky thermal which helped him mark the southern turnpoint from a straight line and also the northern one after recharging a little bit of altitude in the same thermal!” You will ask what happened to Carlos? It was a 7 points day. Carlos did finish got 4 points for this race over 217.4 km. which brought his total on 42!!! Congratulations. Thomas did well got 3 points for the day, and Rene did a bit better , he got 5. Not enough to be the final runner up as Thomas [38 points] got that place and Rene [35 points ]was third. Juergen Wenzel won the day. A great pity he got during the races several penalty points , maybe he COULD HAVE EVEN WON.Now he was 4th with 32 points. As I read it was great fun over there , here in Holland it was fun too , to follow it. Next QSGP is in the Czech Republic.Looking forward to that race. After it will be Poland and then the FINAL in VARESE.


Line up at the grid.As shared by the SGP team.


The Club Class Nationals at the airport of  Drury on New Zealand’ Nord Island 20-1-2015 – 31-1-2015

With a low cloud base, as I read it was NOT supposed so be so low, the pilots were send for a 2.45 AAT on already DAY 9. For some it was difficult ; only 7 from 17 finished Best in club class again,…Steve Wallace in the Mosquito. His 5th daily win!!!! Michael [Strathern] in the ASW 20 was runner up and this was his 4th runner- up -spot,on top of that  he won 2 days as well. Both top the overall scores on the last day but with a small margin of 45 points.

The MSC Contest 2015 parallel on these comps but starting later, have 6 days now and PAT DRIESSEN [Ventus ct 17.6 m] ] won each of them; 6000 points!!! On day 5 Pat and Nigel [Mc Phee in ASW 27] were the only 2 finishers [ from 7] and with that they topped the overall scores as well. That day was a REAL struggle as I read!!!

Day 9 and day 6 were the last days as the very last one had to be scrubbed. No tactics anymore as the game was played. After 9 days it was Steve Wallace [Mosquito] who won the club class nationals and he is the new club class CHAMPION.[7405 points] Runner up with 7360 points was Michael Strathern in the ASW 20. The MSC contest had a very clear WINNER; Pat Driessen, 6 days ,6000 points what do you want more!!!


For those who live in the USA and with interest in the 13.5 gliders and comps and WGC, here is some news from the Soaring Society of America. One of the participating pilots at the first 13.5 WGC in Lithuania this year will be Sebastian Kawa: Team EY (USA), myself (Tim McAllister) and my wife Susan McAllister, are proud to announce that the GP Series of 13.5 meter span gliders from the manufacturer Peszke S.C. of Krosno, Poland, are now on offer to the North American gliding community.
As the exclusive North American sales broker, more information and requests for more details may be accessed at
The rollout of the product line is a work in progress, as is our website, but you may expect to see and be able to receive more detailed product specifications, photos and product renderings, calculated performance numbers, blog posts, as well as pricing details, including special promotion pricing for the first 15 units (any model) of the GP Series sold wordwide (11 positions still available). It is our pleasure to introduce you to the gliders that we feel offer performance minded pilots, of all means and aspirations, terrific value in today’s glider marketplace. Say Hello to the Evolution of Performance. Sincerely, Tim McAllister EY (USA) GP Gliders USA Dallas, TX”  

zzzzzzz GP 11 Pulse Proto Type

GP 11 Pulse  Proto Type


And to finish 2 pictures I found interesting on FB this week. About…the weather . A MICRO BURST as shared by Gary Adams

zzzzzMicro burst shared by Gary Adams

And thunderstorm this week over Perth as shared by my friend Vanessa who lives there [Perth Now Sunday Magazine]  more on

ZZZZZZ thunderstorm

Cheers Ritz

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