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April 26, 2015

Great Prievidza comps….614 km. ; it was , but only for some!The DUCK HAWK raced the ridges;1.333,98 km.

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 6:21 pm


As shared on their gallery at

THE FCC 2015 is over now and…it was a great one!!! 

Wednesday evening April 22;
Of course I was looking forward to the scores of the Prievidza Flight Challenge Cup from that day .
They had to postpone the start from 10 to 10.45 but no worries all could still go for the A task,…the looooong one for mixed class 614 km.
At 11.24 their start line was open.
I was in Finland when they set a 1000 on the first competition day at the Europeans and such long tasks create special vibes/jitters, by all on the ground and in the air.

zzzzFLG chal by Sebastian

A WOW_FACTOR_PICTURE  shared by the Czech Rep Gliding Team.

What happened?
On such a forecasted good day you know that not everybody will finish, but you expect and hope that at least half of the pilots can do so.
The mixed class had to start and had the longest task[614.5 km.] ; 7 from 28 finished!
Winner was Pavol Cerny [Ventus 2cxt] with a relative late start at 11.56.He flew around with a speed just over 100 km [102.7 km./h] the only one doing so.
3 Polish pilots among them Sebastian finished as well with 87 km./h.
Son Radek was IN, dad Petr Krejcirik was OUT, but….only 13 km..
With one day to go Sebastian was 1000 points ahead of the runner up Pavol and Radek moved to spot 3.Not necessary for him to fly but for sure he will, that’s Sebastian.

In club class a 500 was set  and for a pilot who never flew one ,…a good/nice goal. But ….that did not happen as they ALL out-landed. Some came close , very close, 493 from 501!!!! Good on Czech pilot Petr Panek who did so.
37 Pilots flew over 400 km.
Per and Erik , 2 from the Swedish pilots-on-a-mission, lost more than 150 points and Gunnar even over 500.
With one day to go  they are on 3-9 and 13 now.
Roman is exactly 400 points ahead of Pawel Wojciechovski from Poland and Per is on spot 3 with about 600 points less than Roman.

In 15 m. class it all went more or less as hoped for and 17 from 40 managed to finish the 549 km. ,among them Christophe, so he is still on top of the 15m.-pact with more than 300 points on Lucasz.
Best speed was 106.2 km,./h .
Christophe was 3d and Lucasz in the Diana 2 was the last  finisher on spot 17.
Another 11 pilots managed to fly over 500 km.


  one of the finishers on Wednesday as shared by

April 23 LAST DAY of this exciting “fight” for the Flight Challenge Cup 2015 and what weather they had!!!
With 11 out of 12 days in the mixed and club class and 10 in 15 m. class , they started with a 320 km. 253 km and 301.8 km racing task for their last “duty”, on a beautiful sunny morning.

The first launch was postponed with 15 minutes and and for the last time the tuggies brought the participants up in the air at 11.15 AM , for ,…maybe some ” cat and mouse games” ,…but mostly for a good last flight/race of the comps.
At 1.15 PM all gates were open.

Mixed class; With the one but best speed of the comps , 132.7 km./h. [ he flew 134.5 km./h on day 5] Sebastian finished his 2015-FCC on spot 1 for the day AND….. no surprise ….from the comps; 8951 points.
Pavol [ 7761]  nearly lost 200 points on this last day but managed to keep distance [ a bit less than 200 points ] to the number 3 pilot young Radek.[ 7524] On 4 it was Lubor Kuvik . Radek’s dad finished on spot 9.

zzzzmixed class winners

Little “Sebastiana” is ready to follow daddies tracks. She knows already how to keep the cup.
But ,….then of course she has seen it SO many times.
As shared by the organizers in their gallery.

Club class; a few surprises in this class. Roman finished on spot 4 for the day, but had enough points to keep the champions-spot number 1.[8503] Good on him!
Pawel stabilized his runner-up-spot by winning the last day, so he finished as number 2 [8060]
Only number 3 Per from Sweden who with his mates did so well for a few days, did n’t do so over the last days and Per lost his 3d place to Ondrej who had 7816 points in total. Per finished  on number 5.
Good to see Stanislav on 4!!!
Polish pilot Jakub, in the BRAWO, still on spot 3 overall after 6 days, finished as number 7.


As shared by the organizers in their gallery.

15 m. class ;2 Czech pilots flying an LS 8 were the daily best; 123  and 118 km./h. They started about an hour LATER [ 14.14] than pilots as Christophe.[13.17]  But Christophe lost only 100 points on this last day by being 9th.
So he is the deserved champion with a total of 8330 points.
Lucasz remained on spot 2 [7918] but lost on this last day about 200 points by finishing on spot 20.
Pavel remained on 3 [7877] and Gintautas unfortunately dropped from 4 to 6.
Czech pilot Martin Piskacek climbed on this last day from 6 to 4 .[7637]


As shared by the organizers in their gallery


The AZ Cup 2015.

Tomas [Suchanek] had his 3d daily win on Wednesday- flying day 6- and he did not even finish to get that prize. Nobody finished but Tomas was the best with 195.2 km. from the set 246.5.
In 15 m. they flew day 4 . No finishers either but also in this class they were close.187.7 from the set 205,1 km.

The next day [April 23] was cancelled .

With 6 days for the “mixed”  pilots and 4 for the club class, it was already a valid competition but of course they wanted to add more days.
They did; Day 7 , a 2 hour AAT, was won by Alena with 240 km. in 2 hours at the dot,… so both Tomas and Alena had 3 daily “wins” in the mixed class . It ALL had to happen on the last day as  Tomas had more overall points; 5062 for 4837.
In club they had their day 5 and Jan was 3d.

AND,..DAY 8/6, the last one yesterday had in each class a 2 hour AAT again. But it was not meant to be. The day was cancelled. Prize giving was at 6 yesterday.
Champion in the mixed class; Tomas Suchanek, with Alenea Netusilova as runner up after 7 days of flying.
Champion in the club class; Lan Louda 3917 and runner up with 3897 Rostislav Friq, winner on day 4, both flying ASW 19!!
Another lady did well in this class. Hana Treslova [St Cirrus] ,she finished on spot 3.[3830]


In between not only competition pilots have fun flying, others… not so much interested in comps, have fun as well.One of Germans young top-pilots Patrick Puskeiler enjoyed flying from Kings Land in Romania. He calls it paradise there and flew 909 km last Wednesday.
On Thursday a good flight in an ASW 24 from Aosta;772 km.
Also good to see a 670 km. flight from good old Rayskala yesterday in the ARCUS.
And worth while mentioning too; From Nagano in Japan a flight from 651.9 km. in the Ventus 2c/18m.And I am not sure if Kensi is the Kensi I know, but he flew from Itakura 413 km. in the DG 400/17 m..

1.333,98 km …..1.008 FAI TRIANGLE  in the DUCK HAWK!!!! This happened all last Friday.
“Outstanding Spring ridge day at Blairstown! The Duckhawk is simply an unbelievable machine with a full load of water. Was running the ridge often in excess of 120 knots. The transitions were mostly on the money and pretty efficient, which worked out nicely. The ridge got quite soft at the first turnpoint at Harrisonburg… got lucky that I dug out of that one. The second turnpoint up on the plateau was tricky too… couldn’t find a good approach to it. But really fun day. Thanks Jim for towing, Phil for the weather forecast and Bill for giving me the opportunity to fly this fantastic glider!” as said by Daniel Sazhin in his OLC comment.
More good flights on this top -ridge-day; 6 x a 1000 plus in a Duck Hawk, LS 3, LS 8, [Baudouin Litt and his comment on the OLC…Left Perry yesterday morning for this one! Long exhausting 12:30 drive, but had a good night in the cold. What a shock these temperatures difference! Not what I expected for the day, with soft wave and blue to the south. My optimization was far from perfect, but gave me the occasion to revisit a lot of places. Still a very good day and worth the trip ] , Discus 2, Glasfluegel 3 and a LAK 17 fes/21 m. [ Comment on the OLC;  Incredible day at the ridge, simply said: a STRONG day, third flight in my new Lak 17B fes 21m, we can say it was a real shake down for the ship! Could not resist to stop some times in thermals averaging 800 to 1000′ averager]  AND 726 in a Schweitzer!!!!
As you know you don’t need expensive gliders to race the ridges, all these are fancy enough. You need , as you can see, the desire/intention to use such a day to the fullest.

Nearly no flights from Australia last week. NSW , certainly the Hunter Valley-area, is sadly enough hit by terrible storms , and heavy flooding. Several glider pilots live in that area I wish them and ALL OTHERS all the best.


TRAGIC, very tragic , the news from Nepal and the countries on it’s border.The huge earthquake has hit Kathmandu and it’s surrounding, on a very populated area and I am afraid the death toll will rise day by day. Also mountain hikers and climbers [at least already 27] busy with their sport, are hit as the earth quake triggered avalanches on the Mount Everest and areas around it.


On a better note…some asked me to publish when I will be in Tocumwal again. Just got a present; a ticket to Melbourne leaving on November 29 2015 and flying back again on January 16 2016. So I can spend a nice holiday in my beloved Tocumwal AND visit Narromine [JWGC] and Benalla [PRE WORLDS] as well for a few days.
CU there!

Anzac day in Tocumwal  11161340_676225232484031_3021701261667915984_n

Anzac Day  Parade in Tocumwal on April 25.
One of Australia’s most important national occasions. It marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War.
I always got tears when I looked at the parade.
as shared by the Tocumwal Foreshore Market.


That’s it for this Sunday
Cheers Ritz

April 22, 2015

Prievidza; the Sebastian KAWA_show! ALEXIS; flew 1000 km. in Greece, the 2d in history.

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 6:38 pm


As shared by the organizers.


April 19;
He is not only busy with flying. He makes great pictures from out of the cockpit and on the ground they make lovely pictures from him and his family.
In between he wins another day.
YES,….Day 7 is HIS!!!! Oh, yes a name,…you guessed it already SEBASTIAN.
With 358.4 km. in time 3.07, [speed 114.9 km./h.]he added another win to his pal-mares in Prievidza in the mixed class. He looks SO relaxed.

zzzzFl ch 1

As shared by Sebastian on FB, with the message ” Balast wodny zakazany” Ballast water is forbidden!

The club class pilots had a 1000 points day and only 4 from 55 out-landed after flying the 3 hour AAT. Andrej Dvorak after day 4 still on a proud runner-up-spot-overall, had a not such a  good day 7; just 38 points!!!!
Jan [Boruvka] and Roman were the best with 312 km. in time 3.08 and 3.12.

In 15 m. class , after a cancelled day they got a 3 hour AAT as well and it’s getting boring, but in this class RULES Christophe.Till now he only missed 2 daily wins but day 6 was for him again with 354 km.and 111.5 km./h.

zzzfltch 2

Martin Marhevka in the LS 1 f.
As shared by the organizers.

April 20;
In all 3 classes 3 hour AAT’s. All gliders had to fly WITHOUT WATER, it seems thanks to the local authorithies.
Strong NW wind is predicted for today, air-mass is active which means good thermal conditions.”
Day 8; was  different ,a tough, very tough for some ,day also for Sebastian .He was on a daily spot 7 and lost about 250 points. That did n’t make a lot of difference to his total, he was still 800 points ahead.
Slovak pilot Pavol Cerny won the day ;343 km. and nobody was with this wind, faster than 100 km. p/h.
In club class it was difficult as well.Another Polish pilot was on spot 1 Pawel in the St Jantar 2.
In 15 m. class it was Czech pilot Pavel in the LS 8 who won the day with Gintautas as runner up.
Quite a few out landings and those who finished were glad to be home.

April 21;
2.30 AAT in the mixed class, 251 km. for club and 314 for 15 m class.
A day on which ALL gliders had to fly without water again and a day out of the normal pattern, as they flew from the opposite grid. So not 22 but 04.
Day 9;A and B tasks were set.Variant A = racing task, variant B = AAT.
Club class – 251 km, 15m class – 314 km, Mixed class – 328 km.
It turned out TASK A.
AND… also without water ,Sebastian could win day 9.
In the club class the SWEDISH pilots are on a mission. They are on spot 3-4 and 5 overall and Roman tops the list after 9 days.
In 15 m. I read in the comments that it was definitely not Christophes day, ” I made a bad decision” .NOT too bad as he still finished on spot 8 and he is still on top overall, with 200 points, but Lucasz Grabowski , the runner up overall at this stage, was 2d .
They were sent to bed with the message ;briefing at 8.45 and then you know enough and mixed first on the grid, with 15 m and club behind!!!!

Day 10; tasks have been set and for a competition they are BIG AND can be flown with water again.
614.5 for the mixed class, 549 for 15 m. and 501 for club!!!
First launch expected at 10.

More next Sunday.


Zbraslavice in Czech Republic.

Racing tasks…..that  was the last on this competition I shared with you on Sunday morning!
BUT what racing tasks they had on that Sunday April 19; 509 km. for the Mixed class and the CLUBBIES had to go for 404. Well,….when they had the weather we had on Saturday , that should have  all been very possible.
And for most it was only 5 from 30 in the mixed class did not fly the full task [3 of them still flew over 390 km.] and in club class  42 from 56 finished.
Jan [Louda] who started as one of the last for the 404 km. flew in his ASW 19 b the best time; 85 km./h.
In the mixed class Petr Tichy , a local pilot, was the winner on handicap in his 15 m. Discus 2A. Runner up was Tomas Suchanek with just over 100 km./h. Tomas Rendla in the ARCUS M was on 3 ;just under 100 km./h.

On Monday their last week started with a 2.45 AAT in the mixed class [day 4] and a 3 hour AAT for club [day 3].Alena had another win and 5 from their home club were in the top 5.
24 from 29 finished.
Club class started  the new week, with Jan Louda as winner of the day. 25 from 44 finished and 12 pilots choose NOT TO FLY.

Day 5 ;2 hour AAT, won by Tomas and Elena was 3d.  Both Elena and Tomas have 2 daily wins now.

Day 4;2 hour AAT,which turned out an invalid day as not enough pilots flew over  100 km. Jan Louda did with 121 , one pilot was even better with 151 km!!! Sad for them,  it turned out an invalid day.


In my last blog I could just add the 1000 Declared FAI triangle from young Bert Schmelzer. Here a bit more with his impressive pictures. He started in Germany from Blaubeuren.
Thank you all for the congratulations !
Getting up at 3:30 and 10+ hours of flying made it a long day, but crossing the finish line at sunset gave a rewarding feeling after 1.000 km.”
All pictures PLUS story at;


With his text;
The clouds already start to line up in beautiful streets.
After crossing the startline I reach the first turnpoint -Reiselfingen- with an average speed of 135 kph,
thanks to a strong tailwind.


With his text;
” At 17:30 the Discus 2cT and I could go around the last turnpoint – Falkenstein-
and head for the last 210km towards the finish line.
Clouds still looked good and a tail wind of 15kph would certainly help me.”


ANOTHER INTERESTING 1000 km. this time in GREECE!

One of my Greek friends flew in his ASW 22 BLE, a 1000 km. flight in Greece last Saturday and that does n’t happen every day, in fact it is the 2d in history!!!!
Alexis flew 1.032.7 km. I totally missed it as I could only find it on the Greece OLC, which is weird as it should be on both;worldwide and Greece..
But why did I miss it; The flight was on the world wide OLC, but,only on spot 82 on the daily OLC list and…I did not scroll that low.
The flight is in the worldwide list but amazingly enough ranked 82 because of the long triangles flown in Germany that day.” Alexis.;

It is only the second 1000 km flight in Greece. The first one was 1010 km and flown by the cross country pioneer Dinos Avgerinos exactly 10 years ago today in wave with too much humidity and a little cloud flying
Alexis was so kind to add the story of the first 1000 km. and you can read it here.

He continues; “Greece in addition to the very nice climate has a terrain which provides thermal, convergence, ridge and wave lift. It is interesting that I have flown 800 km in thermal/convergence lift, 950 km mainly in ridge lift and now 1,033 km in wave. I believe that with everything right, a wave flight of 12 hours at 140 km/h might be feasible yielding more than 1,600 km OLC! Also, the 1,000 km and 1,250 km diplomas seem now very feasible.”

Here is another link to his flight ;



For all those who are interested to visit Benalla during the Multi Class Nationals/Pre-Worlds in January [4-16] 2016, here is some news;
The competition website for the next Multiclass Nationals and Pre-Worlds is now up and running at

This site contains initial details of the event, entry forms, and useful information and links.  It is of course far from complete but it will grow quickly. and if you are planning to attend please bookmark the site.

Please also pass the link on to anyone in Australia or overseas who you think may be interested.”


There were no pictures of the champions in each of the 2 classes from the Pan American Gliding Championships , when I published my blog last Sunday, but here they are;

zzzPAN AM winners1

With a proud Jerzy in the middle with Erik Nelson as runner up and Sean Fiddler on 3.

zzzPan AM winners 2

and a proud Phil in the middle , with Robin [2]  and Sergio [3] .
Happy organizers Rick as CD and Sarah as co-owner and the “engine behind the ideas about this very first competition ” with the flag .
Both pictures from Maria and shared by the organizers


That’s it, Sorry for the lay out. Will check if Bill can help me there. It looks perfect in my blog but when I publish , it goes wrong.

CU next SUNDAY with the latest on ALL the news, specially the 2 comps.
Cheers Ritz

April 19, 2015

Good weather in Europe not so good in the USA, BUT the very first PAN AM finished with CHAMPIONS.

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 8:25 pm

April 15 ; I love the daily blog from Rick, which you can find under news at
His English is SO much better than mine. It’s just a pleasure to read it and, as Wednesday’s story was short I share it with you. It “shouts out ” how powerless a CD is ,when the weather does n’t co-operate.And that’s what happens in the USA at the moment with the PAN AMERICAN comps.
 We accept many uncertainties in weather forecasting, but the question of whether the front has passed is usually settled by the morning Briefing.  Not so in our case today.

The so-called stationary front passed over us at least twice today, leaving many in doubt about what was going on, and some of us in doubt about the definitions of the terms “stationary” and “front.”

There was general agreement that the rain was slightly less intense on the dry side.

The tasks were cancelled at Briefing.

April 16 by Rick;”Cancelled again! This leaves us with only two days to achieve a 4th valid competition day, which will allow us to declare the Champions. We remain optimistic that we can do this.

Here is the final story from Rick:
As you know, we had some very bad luck with the weather at the 1st FAI Pan American Gliding Championships, the first Continental Championships ever held in the USA.

After 12 days of trying, we had only 3 valid contest days in both classes (15 Metre Class and the “Handicap Class,” which is the Club Class with a few Standard Class gliders added).  We needed another day in both Classes to
declare Champions.

With the approval of our Chief Steward Renato Tsukamoto (BRA) and the IGC Bureau, we extended our competition into the Reserve Day.  The day promised to have good conditions, subject to unpredictable over development and storms.

With the excellent forecasting of Tony Condon and Task setting by John Good, we were able to able to keep the gliders in the area of the sky that stayed free of storms for most of the day.

In the end, however, rain cut off the the final leg for both classes, and only 5 gliders in the 15 Metre Class made it home, with Erik Nelson (USA) leading the way.

It quickly became clear the that 15 Metre Class would have a validChampionship, with the minimum 4 days.  This was very good news for Sarah Arnold, who had put so much time and effort into creating this new Championship.

Nobody in the Handicap Class made it home, so we began the waiting game to see if enough of them had made the minimum distance for the day to be valid in that class.  Because it was raining, we set up the podium indoors and prepared for the closing ceremony.

The first pilot to walk in the door was Tony Condon  (USA), who turned out to be the winner of the day.  We gave him a well-deserved ovation.  The last was Sergio Bassi (BRA), who was a bit muddy as he and the Brazilian Team Captain, Valeria Caselato, accepted our applause.  A few minutes later our Scorer John Godfrey announced that the Handicap Class results were also valid!

Our Jury President Bruno Ramseyer (IRL), made it official, and the 1st PAGC went into the history books with big smiles from all who participated.  Thank you Bruno!

The Champions in the 15 Metre Class were Jerzy Szemplinski (CAN), and Phil Gaisford (USA) in the Handicap Class.  The Team Cup went to Canada.

The FAI flag was presented to the two South American Team Captains with the expectation that one of them would organise the next PAGC in 2017.” 

There you are in the end REAL CHAMPIONS not “just winners”.
Both champions were on spot 1 overall every day, so deserved titles!

412 FABULOUS pictures from Maria are at ;


Jury president Bruno and the pilots.
Courtesy Rick.



Not such weather-problems for the over 100 pilots in Prievidza in Slovakia. Though after the nice weather , one day was cancelled and then it was COLD.
So they only missed one day till now. I continue with their races with happy pilots.

zzzzFlightch 6

As you can see , a waving happy pilot!
Courtesy organizers at

Handicap/mixed class;
Day 4; 3 hour AAT
Chapeau for Sebastian [Kawa] ; a head trick. He can’t make 3 goals in a row , but for sure win 3 days in a row and even more.He flew 348 km. during the 3 hour AAT, so a nice speed of 114 km./h.That was 6 km. faster than the runner up and 18 km. more in distance.In the overall scores he is already 600 points ahead of the runner up.
You can fly or you can’t!!!
Great to see Lubor [Kuvik] doing so well.He is on spot 4 at this stage.

Day 5;racing task from 357.3 km., later changed in a 2 hour AAT
AND,…WHY not trying,…to win every day!!!! Sebastian won AGAIN, he is a class apart. The day turned out not too bad as he flew 297.4 km!!!!, in 2.12.Nice speed of 134 km./h.He won 5 days in a row now.

Day 6; no tasks due to unstable wet weather.

A new day 6 was created with a 3 hour AAT.
A tough day with only 9 finishers among them also father and son Petr and Radek Krejcirik.
BUT,….the winner was , who else ….Sebastian. He flew the 288 km. in 3 hours and 42 minutes and was with a speed of 77.5 km./h. the best!!!6 Daily wins in a row now!

Today day 7 with another 3 hour AAT. More about that next Wednesday.


Picture from their gallery from April 18.

Club class;
day 4; 2.30 AAT.
234 km for both Roman and Ondrej,GOOD! This time not Ondrej Dvorak but Ondrej Bordowski, all flying St Cirrus.
Nice to see “good old” Stanislav Wujczak from Poland on spot 4 for the day in his St. Jantar3. Roman and the 2 Ondrej’s top the overall scores after 4 days, but more to come.

Day 5; racing task from 313.5 km., changed in 3 hour AAT.
Swedish pilots , yes they are in Prievidza as well. AND,..Gunnar [Axelsson] won day 5 in the St Cirrus with 290.6 km. in 2.59,34. AT THE DOT!!!!!
About the same for Roman, only missing out on 4 points! Per Carlin also from Sweden and a good photographer, as I remember from Eskilstuna, was on spot 4 and his mate Erik Ottosson on 6. Of course they flew together starting at 13.59 helping each other to the TOP. A good Swedish day.

day 6; cancelled but a new day 6 was created , with a 3 hour AAT.
Great to see that Stanislav won the day in the St Jantar; 223.5 km. in 2.36,27. He climbed up from 12 to 7 in the overall scores! The 3 Swedish pilots finished as well, so did Roman, but he got a few penalty points for being less than 0.50 km. from the boundary of the turn.50 points is quite a bit on a 566- daily -points- day.
23 Pilots from 54 finished.


Picture from their Gallery from April 18.

Day 7 today; 3 hour AAT.

15 m. class;
day 4;3 hour AAT
Another head trick in this class; 3 days in a row for Christophe, in the DISCUS 2a.
Chapeau! As French pilot he understands! 315.9 km. in 3.01,44, so a speed of 104.3 km./h.Not so far ahead overall, but still nearly 100 points . Lucasz from Poland , Pavel from Czech Rep and 3 Lithuanian pilots among them Gintas [Zube] and Piotr from Poland are also in the race to win.

day 5;racing task from 358.6 km. changed to a 2.45 AAT.
Several pilots got penalty points by flying above  the absolute set altitude limit.One of them Christophe, but even by not doing so , he would not have won the day, but would have been 2d. Now he was on spot 8.
Daily winner; Piotr Jarysz from Poland in the LS 6, 333.2 time 2.47,52, so a speed of 119.1 km./h. After 5 days Piotr is on spot 4 overall behind the Discus 2a [2x] and Diana.

Day 6; cancelled, but also here a new day 6 with a 3 hour AAT.
Also for the 15 m. pilots a difficult day with only 6 from 38 finishing. Christophe was the last to do so.About 30 did not make the 100 km.
3 Lithuanian pilots formed the daily top 3, flying up to 250 km.!
” The conditions were difficult – a strong north wind about 11 m / s, rain and snow, low clouds.” as they mentioned on their site.

Day 7 today; a 3 hour AAT.

zzzFlight che 3

Nice picture from April 16 as shared on their Site


Zbraslavice in Czech Republic.

Another 100 pilots among them Thomas Suchanek and Jan Louda, fly in a mixed and club class their competition also in the EAST of EUROPE; this time Zbraslavice in Czech Republic.
They got on day 1 , last Thursday 382.7 km. in the mixed class and 301.2 km. in club.
In the mixed class 4 from 31 flew the task. Alena [Netusilova in ASG 29e/18m.] won the 905 daily points. Good on her!!!She was 6 km./h. faster than Tomas [Suchanek in Ventus c /17.6 m.].
In club class 26 from 5 finished and Jan [Louda] in the ASW 19b, was on spot 2 behind the St. Cirrus from Zdenek [Boruvka] .

Day 2 , yesterday, had a 2.30 AAT  in the mixed class and it turned out to be this time a prey for Tomas;253 km. in 2.40,49. Alena was on spot 5.
Club class had a non-flying-day.

It looks they will have racing tasks in both classes for today. More on Wednesday.


The skies were beautiful yesterday here in Holland, so when I came back from a trip to Amersfoort I checked the OLC. BUT,….it was not only good in Holland parts of Europe had a booming day .I counted 13 x a 1000 km. , nearly 1000 in a Discus 2 and 816 in an ASW 19 and what about 764 in a St Cirrus and 736 in an LS1 d.
Holland did well too with 135 flights on the OLC and 2 over 880 km. flights; 2 friends Mark and Alfred-Paul, bought an ASG 29 e and try it out, what a success!
They set a 750, but when the cloud streets were SO impressive they followed them and enjoyed the racing; 112 km./h.

Sikko, also from Soesterberg flew 763 km. [600 km. FAI triangle] , had to use the engine close by to get home, but loved his flight. He flew first up N. then into Germany and back to Holland over Terlet.
Yesterday was THE day here, today is “nothing” at least not yet!!!

From Keiheuvel in Belgium  760 km flights by Dennis [Huybreckx] and Jeroen [Jennen] in LS 8.

By the way Eddie from Sportaviation at Tocumwal Airport mentioned; The ADS-B is now working at Tocumwal F-YTOC1
” Being grounded today because of weather, I installed the FlightRadar24 ADS-B receiver on the hangar roof.
Now we will get radar tracking to ground level.”


CU next Wednesday.
cheers Ritz

April 15, 2015

The FAI Pan American Gliding Competition!The FLIGHT CHALLENGE CUP at Prievidza.

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 4:25 pm

The very first FAI-Pan American Gliding Competition

Not an easy job for Competition director Rick Sheppe. During the first 6 days of this competition,  only 2 out of 6 days were flyable.
Day 1,an excellent day with 3.15 AAT’s was a 1000 points-day in both classes, handicap and 15 m. and on day 2 all pilots had to out-land and some pretty far away. Reason incoming cirrostratusclouds!

So when flying-day 3 was on , there was hope for the real Chilhowee [ in Tennessee] weather. Yes,… the comps are flown from McMinn County Airport, because the grass from Chilhowee was not yet high enough after the cold long winter, but the socializing was at Sarah’s and Jason’s airport.
That grass by the way, was specially sowed for this great event lucklily the airports are more or less neighbors.

Day 3 had in the end not such long tasks ;153.9 km. for the handicap class and 147.7 km. for 15 m. They had moved to the B task but in the end they regret that, but how can you know???
The weather this time was much better then forecasted. Tony mentioned:”It was booming. Nothing like what I forecast this morning.”
As you see Tony is not only flying, but does the meteo-job as well.


back home with 80 km./h.
Glider, van, bicycle, trailer and car ,…all close by.

What happened on flying-day 3? Cirrostratus clouds….AGAIN….they were the talk of the day!
we expected them to stay in place to our west, but they moved over us instead, where they caused widespread pessimism at launch time.  So much pessimism, in fact, that the Director decided to reduce the two Racing Tasks to the bare minimum, 150 km for both classes.  This seemed like a good idea at the time, but as the day developed, it became clear that we should not have abandoned the “A” Tasks.  During the launch, good looking cumulus developed under the cirrus deck, something that did not happen at all yesterday.” Rick

In the Handicap Class only 413 points for the winner Robin Clark[USA]  in the KA 6A [handicap 110] and pilots who out-landed [3] did not loose too much, only 200 points for Sergio.
In the 15 m. class 411 points for the winner Robert Fletcher [USA] in the ASG 29. All pilots finished in this class.

April 13...pretty clear;
The gastronomical forecast was much better than the meteorological, so we cancelled the Tasks today and assigned a dinner party instead.”Rick.
Nice steady rain” , is Dan’s report for the day.

April 14….they tried hard again. Handicap class was cancelled at the grid as the window was very small. Later the 15 m. was cancelled in the air at 4 PM; just not enough room to play/fly in. What a pity!!!
This is part of what Rick said you can find the rest of his reports under NEWS at SOARINGSPOT;
” Finally, the sun made an appearance, cloud base crept upward, and we started the launch at 15.05, which gave us just enough time to complete a modest 1.5 hour AAT in the 15 Metre Class.  The Handicap Class, second to launch, ran out of time, and their Task was cancelled on the grid.
After flailing around at low altitude for an hour, the 15 Metre Class pilots did not seem too unhappy with the decision to give up at 1600.  Cloudbase was just too low for safe racing today.”
Still waiting for flying day 4!!!!


43 Trofeo Internazionale Citta Di Torino,

Flown over 2 weekends and this last weekend was MUCH better than the first when they had some cancelled days. Last weekend they had tasks from 217 km., 289 and a 2.30 AAT.
After day 1 Vitorio Pinni in the Duo Discus XLT , started the new weekend on the highest spot with 1000 points. Nobody had finished the task on day 1, but he nearly made it home with 10 km. on the runner up .
On day 2 he won again [734 points], but day 3 was a BAD day for him and his mate. They out-landed after 76 km. whilst others flew the full task gaining 1000 points.OUCH….that cost!!!!They dropped from 1 to 12.
The last day was won by Giancarlo Grinza, in the ARCUS M, with 282.5 km. in time 2.33.
After 4 days the best overall scores [3445] were for Giancarlo. Runner up was Sandro Montemaggi in the ASG 29E/18m. [3269] and on spot 3 Alberto Sironi also in an ARCUS.[3253]
The Italian competition- season definitely has started!!!


Prievidza   Slovakia

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As shared by the organizers in their gallery.

When the Pribina Cup was over several of the participants , [some left already earlier,] moved their glider to Prievidza. A total of 125 pilots started in 3 classes [mixed, 15 m and club class] on April 12 continuing till April 23.
The mixed class , with 29 participants, had a 2.25 AAT on day 1. Top pilots as Sebastian Kawa, straight away started well.3 Polish pilots in the top 3 , Sebastian in the ASG 29 on 2.
On day 2 Sebastian won with 251.7 km. in time 2.01 over a a set 1.45 AAT, which was a nice speed of 124.3 km./h.
A day with quite some wind during the launches.
On day 3 , yesterday, they got a 2.30 AAT. Sebastian managed to fly 309 km. with a speed of 122.1 km./h. and with that he won the day.After 3 days he tops the overall scores.


As shared on the official site.

Club class, with 55 participants among them Roman Mracek who took his glider 2 days before the end from Nitra to Prievidza. He flew the St Cirrus on day 1 to a 15th spot during a 2 hour AAT. Daily winner was Zoltan Hamar from Hungary in the LS 1f.
On day 2 this huge bunch of pilots had to fly another AAT, 1.45 this time. Young Jakub Pulawski was the day-winner in his BRAWO;181.3 km. with a speed of  97.5 km./h.
Day 3 had a 1.45 AAT and it looks like Roman and  Ondrej [Dvorak] flew together, as they started and finished together each in their St Cirrus, ….though there was a difference in points;550 and 541.
Both pilots are on a 2d and 3d overall spot after 3 days with Lumir [Motyka] in the LS 1f on spot 1 at this stage.

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As shared by the organizers and more on their site;

15 m. class,with 41 participants started with a 2.45 AAT and Nitra pilot Samuel Pollak won the day in his LS8 tc. French pilot Christophe Cousseau won day 2 in his Discus 2A; 199 km. with a speed of 109.5 km./h. during a 1.45 AAT.
AND,…he won day 3 yesterday as well; 282.3 km. in 2.34, so a speed of  109.4 km./h.
BUT,..he is not  leading the class after 3 days, as Polish pilot Lucasz [Grabowski] is just 33 points ahead of him. Lucasz flying the DIANA, was yesterday just 10 daily points behind Christophe.
It’s not over yet!!!


As shared by the organizers in their gallery.

Tasks today; club class 2.30 hour AAT, mixed class goes for 3 hours and 15 m. as well.


Austria had some great weather last week, with booming conditions in the Alps. From Lienz [Nikolsdorf]  the first 1000 was flown and several up to 824 km. flights.
Yesterday a Nimbus 4DM added another 715 km.


Got the last FINAL results from the Pribina Cup from the organizers.
Here you are, as said already, different than on soaringspot in 15 m. and 20 m.;

Club class:

1. Michal Lešinger Czech Republic LL
2. Boris Žorž Slovenia IPF
3. Ivan Novák Czech Republic DI


15m class:

1. Martin Tronnier Germany 77
2. Miloslav Cink Czech Republic EU
3. Patrick Puskeiler Germany ALB


20m 2-seat class:

1. Wolfgang Janowitsch / Josef Kammerhofer Austria TWO
2. Michael Sickert / Michael Roche Germany YA
3. Katharina von Podewils / Joachim Schwenk Germany WA


Open class:

1. Matthias Sturm Germany M7
2. Helge Liebertz Germany 3F
3. Kai Glatter Germany YE

Good to see that MILVUS was one of the sponsors.


That’s it for today.
Cu next wednesday


April 12, 2015

IN MEMORIAM BILL RILEY! PRIBINA CUP ‘s have been handed over to the winners!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 8:10 pm


68 Pictures from April 10 by ELFO .
In this blog a few. All others at :

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We continue where we stopped last time.
Last Wednesday was cancelled but on Thursday they continued again.
Accoarding to the meteorologist Ivo, the weather is influenced by the dry air, therefore we might expect just some cu clouds that will be drying out during the day and should not be very strong, up to 2m/s. The significant change is the wind that will be weak (finally :) )  and the temperature will be much nicer, up to 18 C. Later in the afternoon cirrus clouds are expected coming from the north.”
So the pilots knew what to do. In each class racing tasks were set on this flying-day 5.

club class ; 244.7 km.
The 2d daily win for Roman [84.4 km. p/h. and 960 points] and finally a day with only ONE out landing in this class. 4 St. Cirrus gliders in the top and at spot 5 Benjamin in the LS 1f. Not yet a 1000 points day in this class.

15 m. class ;306.4 km.
4 German pilots started within 10 minutes from each other and won the day. Martin [Tronnier] in the 15m. ASG 29 was the fastest with 91.5 km./h. 10 Minutes later was the start from Patrick [Puskeiler ] in the DISCUS 2a and he finished with 83.4 km./h on the “clock”.6 Out-landings and 1000 points for the winner.

20 m. class ;307.3 km.
Best speed was for team POL from Poland with 97.8 km./h.Only one outlanding after 163 km.

open class ;320 km.
Already the 3d daily win for Matthias; 105,4 km./. and 1000 points. The runner up, Svend Andersen flew with a speed of 99.1 km./h.

zzzzELFO 10   zzzzELFO 11

Flying day 6 , with one more day to go, started with racing tasks for all classes aiming to the north from 233 to 315 km. with the message that ” the air mass is drier than yesterday and there are blue thermals expected. First launch is planned for 11:30″ AND 
finished  with the message from the organizers;
Another day with flying in almost clear thermals. The first gliders took off at 11:30, the last ones just 44 minutes later. Thermals were not too easy to find and visibility was also not the best possible. It was possible to climb till 1400 meters at the beginning of flying, later, even up to 1900 meters QNH. Even if there was some wind blowing, it does not help on the slope, according to the pilots.”

What happened?
club class ;233.6 km.
Different daily winners this day with the pilots from Lithuania and Czech Rep. in the top 4.Interesting to see was that Roman did NOT fly. With one day to go the difference in time from the top 6 pilots was between 3525 and 3675, so EVERYTHING was possible.

15 m. class ; 301.4 km.
6 German pilots  on top, then Czech topper Miloslav [Cink] and then again a strong “field” of  5 German pilots.6 Out-landings and Martin [Tronnier] topped the overall list after this day. Before him …2 days for Patrick Puskeiler, [ who finished on spot 11 this day] and then 3 days for Miloslav!!!
Differences in the top 6 to start the last day with between 4041 and 4279, so also here a lot is possible.

20 m. class ;297.3 km.
3 Pilots in the top 3 with about the same daily speed of 105 km./h. from Poland, Slovenia and Austria. ALL 16 teams FINISHED!!!!Overall view from the top 4 for the last day starts; 4547 points up to 4798.Possibilities here as well as Wolfgang is only 36 points ahead of the Schefflers in the DG 1000/20m.

open class ;314.9 km.
With Leszek from Poland on top in the Jantar 19/18m. followed by Matthias and Helge with Swaantje , it was a just over and under 100 km./h -day.Except for day 2 Matthias topped EVERY day the overall score-list.With one day to go the differences are bigger between 1 and 2 [5175 and 4737] but between spot 12 and 2 all are in the 4000 points.

On the evening of day 6 there was a Farewell party which started just after 8 o’clock and ” the rock band is playing in the hangar. Very nice atmosphere is here. Goulash soup is tasty and free beer is always success.

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LAST DAY number 7 yesterday at NITRA:
Who is going to win???? Who takes the cup in each class home?
The weather was not easy as the organizers changed to task B before launching.An AAT for all classes.

club class; 2 hour AAT
On day 3 Michal Lesinger [ CZ-ASW 19]was on spot 9 overall after an outlanding.On the last day he was on the highest spot.One of the reasons his great flying on day 4, a day nobody finished but Michal flew 235 km. from the set 245.7 km.and on the rest from the days his consistent flying.
He won with 4247 points only just ahead of Boris Zorz [SVN] who climbed from 3 to 2.[4178]

15 m. class; 2 hour AAT
Martin [Germany] won the last day and with that the Pribina Cup.[4937]Only just ahead as well of Miloslav [Czech Rep] with 4894 and Patrick [Germany] 4738.
LATEST; Something weird in these scores.There is a difference in the soaring spot and the latest I got from the organizers. It says 1 Martin, 2 Alexander[ Spaeth ] and 3 Patrick.

20 m. class; 2 hour AAT
Don’t know what happened with the scores of Wolfgang. According to the daily day-7-scores the Schefflers out landed after 55 km. as well as Erazem after 22 km., VERY sad on the last day with their good positions, as both gliders were in the top 4 overall on day 6. Wolfgang was 3d on this last day. The total scores are a total mix-up so we have to wait till that’s changed.
LATEST: Got the scores without points; 1 Wolfgang and Josef from Austria, 2 Michael and Michel from Germany and 3 Katharina und Joachim also from Germany.

open class;  2.30 AAT
a ” REAL” open class glider won the open class on the last day; the ASH 25/26 m. from Helge and Swaantje. That brought them on spot 2 overall. [ 5523] Matthias was the CLEAR winner of the CUP with 5890, that ‘s really CLEAR. German pilot Kai Glatter in the JS 1 was on spot 3.

A nice competition to follow.Next year we continue!!!AND,…congratulations to all winners.





Picture shared by Sarah and courtesy Maria Szemplinska.

After 2 cancelled days ,the pilots could line up their glider on the strip.
The handicap class with 13 participants straight away had to go for it ; a 3.15 AAT.
A 1000 points day and 4 out landings
One of my USA friends,Tony Condon, who  flies this competition in the St. Cirrus,  mentioned :

” Continued my tradition of first day land out. 
It was a great field. Centered mostly cause the approach was between trees and that lined me up for this spot. Up the hill seemed wise since we got a lot of rain the last few days. It was a little rolly but nothing too bad, and about as flat as a pasture gets around here!


courtesy Tony.

3 USA pilots topped the daily list, 2 of them started about 15 min. later than the rest.

In 15 m. class also 13 pilots and Jerzy [Szemplinsky] from Canada, a WGC competitor, was the winner of the first 1000 points.Same task , but 306.5 km. for the ASG29 and 281 km. in the Discus 2b from the handicapped class.Phil Gaisford , by the way, flying the Discus was about 10 km. faster and 36 km. further than the runner up, flying an LS 1f.


As shared by the organizers.
Courtesy Maria Szemplinska

Day 2 started with the message:
“Today we were forced to plan on short, late-starting tasks that would take place in the clearing following the passage of a weak cold front. The cold front did arrive approximately on time, but the clearing did not.
With no chance for enough heating to take place for fair tasks, we cancelled the day in both classes at grid time.”
That says it all.

Day 3 was on Saturday with 272.8 km. for the handicap class and 316.8 for 15 m., later scaled back to 257 and 298 km. Finally a GOOD day, they hoped. But it remained hope, as not-to-forecast incoming cirrostratus clouds moved in . It was a valid day but nobody finished.
Sergio Reinaudo from Brazil,  got the 608 points for the day in the handicap class with a distance of 171.5 km. Tony was second and Jason, husband from tuggie Sarah ,both owner/operators  of  the Chilhowee Soaring Association,was on spot 4.

Sarah   zzzPanam3

Tuggie Sarah and pilot Tony, as shared on FB.

In the 15 meter class the best distance 127.7 km. was flown by USA pilot Erik Nelson in the VENTUS 2AX. Jerzy [Canada] was 3d [120 km.]
More in my Wednesday blog.


To finish ;

A Service of Thanksgiving for the life of the Late Mr CHARLES WILLIAM “BILL” RILEY will be held at The Tocumwal Bowls Club at 2 pm on TUESDAY ( April 14, 2015).  Prior to the service, a documentary “Quiet Challenge” relating to Bill’s involvement with the establishment of Sportavia will screen at 1.30pm.
As was written on April 10 in THE AGE.

Bill was a great guy with a vision, an entrepreneur to the fullest and a great mate.
When we visited Australia for the first time in the early eighties, we ended up after a short time in Mildura ,at Sportavia in Tocumwal and got to know Bill the owner and his son David, who worked on the gliders in the workshop.
We shared  several Christmas dinners with Bill and and his wife Val and I will always remember the great stories; he was a born story teller. Often those stories were about the WW2, where he flew the 4- engine- flying -boat ,the Sunderland, as member of the 10th squadron, dealing with anti submarine operations.

Bill is the founder of Sportavia and put Tocumwal on the map.He did some great PR in Europe certainly Germany to get overseas pilots to fly at the just by him bought WW2 airfield with 4 huge hangars. He created rooms for the guests in one of the hangars  and lived there by himself in a small apartment [I lived in it later for a few years].
A bar, dining area, office and work shops were part of the imperium/empire. Around the hangar for soaring, a native garden arose.

For the action at the field he bought several heavenly blue Holden’s , all with a white roof. I owned one for a few years, totally restored. His biggest PR tool, was Ingo. Everybody wanted to fly with Ingo, so guests arrived, more and more. Bill supported Ingo during his soaring career and visited all WGC’s Ingo participated in.

In 1987/88 our son Dennis, was allowed to make some more hours after he finished his study as airline pilot. He loved to go back to Tocumwal and do some towing there.When he crashed on January 3 1988, with the Belanca Scout VH-ADP, our families were ONE in sadness, Bill lost the son of his friends.
He then  did n’t want to continue with the flying operations and sold it to Don Escott and Jeff Close.
We later bought Don’s shares and when we started together with Jeff, we lost him , when a Swiss pilot pulled up and hit the Blanik with Jeff and a student. All 3 died.
As you can see life is not always a bed full of roses.

Over the last couple of years Bill got more and more problems with dementia. The picture in my last blog shows Bill when he still remembered me.[2011]
One year later he only smiled to me.

Val kept me informed about his health and last week I knew I would not see him anymore during my next visit. David called George to tell us that his dad had died.I got a mail from Chrissie , with Denise, one of the 2 daughters from Bill, to tell me her dad had died.
Will have to go to the cemetery where more and more friends are buried around Dennis.

My deepest sympathy goes to his children Denise ,Chrissie and  David and their families.And of course to his wife Val, who not always fit herself, took care of him at home, as long as she could.
Bill would have turned 91, 2 days after his funeral.

laatste dag 005  laatste dag 004

With Val, June, me, Stuart and Chrissie and Bill.

Rest in peace dear Bill.

Other views on Bill;

As Judy Renner wrote to the members of the SRGC:
He had a vision for the future of gliding and he managed to achieve that in Tocumwal.  The whole of the gliding movement in Australia has been touched by Bill’s influence.  Just to mention a few of his achievements, he established the gliding school, Sportavia,  he imported the Blanik to Australia, and who hasn’t flown one of those wonderful gliders. He also imported the IS28B2 and the IS29, the Phoebus, the Pik 20, the Pilatus B4 and the Spurber Motor Glider.  He also flew one of three IS28M2 gliders half way around the world from Romania to Tocumwal. This was quite an adventure and a feat.”

” Gone … But not forgotten! One of aviation’s true characters!

” He brought gliding a big way in Australia in the 60s/70s r.i.p” 

flying legend – R.I.P. Bill”

CU next Wednesday when it is supposed to be 25 dgr. C, here, a real summer day

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;

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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!

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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.

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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

zzzzPeto Hubka1

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;

zzzzAustria 3

zzzzAustria1 zzzzAustria 2

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

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