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April 4, 2018

Orlando SGP over !Pribina Cup ..Nitra !

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 7:37 pm


FAI Sailplane Grand Pix USA  CAKE.
As shared by the organizers,

Race 3; with 324 km. was a prey for Canadian pilot Sergei who won the 10 points.Again 6 pilots finishing in about the same time. Must be exciting to see for the spectators.

Race 4;161 km. and Robin Clark in the ASG 29 flew ahead of another “3 pilot-bunch” and had a speed of 106 km./h. whilst the next 3 had 104 km./h.
Another day cancelled and then…….

Streets fully formed at 11am
As shared by the Organizers.

Race 5 ; very last day and also the day of the prize giving at 7 PM. So the final race for the first prize was between the Canadian pilots Sergei and Jerzy.
242 km. was set and you see the weather “above”; the speed was 117 km./h. and the day was again ….3d time….for Sergei.
And in the end there was still quite a difference between the 2; 42 and 31 points. With 29 points local “hero”  Sean was 3d.

The Prizes,
As shared by the organizers.


As shared by the organizers
Picture courtesy Bozena Michalowski
Next SGP is at KIELCE in POLAND [April 27-Mai 6]


——–Pribina Cup 2018;

Picture by ELFO, every year I look forward to his fabulous pictures.

Started on March 30 [Till April 7] with 91 competitors in 4 classes ; Club , 15 m., 2-seaters and open.
Place to be as every year, …Slovakia; the Nitra Airport.
The max amount of participants is 50 in each class.
Last April they mentioned that the PRIBINA CUP IS NOW AVAILABLE ON GOOGLE PLAY.
“If you own a device running Android and you do not want miss anything from the competition download our new Pribina Cup App.”

With an early Easter time, you only can hope that the weather co-operates. The beginning showed a lot of rain but after 3 day’s the weather turned better .
On Monday the competition-news was ; “The weather conditions are suitable for gliding today, the sky is clear, cumulus clouds with cloud bases of 2000m are expected with rises 2-3m/s. Wind is strong now, increasing with the altitude, but should slow down during the afternoon. Thermal activity should be dying out around 5pm.
Therefore RACING TASKS for all classes with range from 250km for club class to 330 for open class.
First launch is planned for 11:30 so be ready. And do not forget: fly safely, watch out and enjoy the race!”

Where would we be without them ??

So task 1 was a fact ,but not for all as there were quite some out-landings.
Club; 16 from 33 finished and German pilot Uwe Wahlig won in the LS 3….826 points.
15 m; 7 from 25 finished and 1000 points here for German pilot Jan Knischewski in the LS 8.
2-seaters; Only Wolfgang finished and the other 11 teams were out. 820 points for the ARCUS E.
Open; 4 from 18 finished and Bostjan …EB 28,…got the 987 daily points.

AND,…till now that’s what happened. A pity ,but a bunch of great people together, will have a good time anyhow, though they are there for gliding.
Still a couple of day’s to go and the weather should  improve.
Not today as the early morning news was; “Current weather situation: Strong gusty wind is blowing from south. There is a quite thick layer of cirrus clouds above us”
After briefing; “Warm air is still flowing to our area and it is not instable enough. Therefore there are no tasks for all classes. Free flying is possible from 12pm.”

Sofie from Belgium;…no worries just another competition.


——-46 th Trophy from the City Torino;

As shared by the organizers.

They started on March 30 as well with 10 competitors in one [handicapped] class.
First flight at April 1 ,..NO … April-1-joke !!!
Task for the pilots; 358 km. 7 finished and on handicap the LS 8/15 m. won from the ARCUS T whilst Alberto in the Quintus was 3d for the day.
April 2 had a 2.15 AAT won by Alberto [261 km. in time 2.20] and ALL pilots finished.
Next Friday they continue with the comps with after 2 days , Alberto as leader of the overall scores [1.647] before Vittorio in the LS 8 [[1.590] and team Grinza in the ARCUS T[1.582].


——–Interesting!!!! Our Easter weather was COLDER than our Christmas weather!!!!!WEIRD !!!!
But this weekend we have REAL spring with 20 dgr. C. I am going to truly enjoy that.

And to finish this great picture from April 1;

L’album de Mamz’ailes SoFi
© sophie mahieu

Cu next week.

March 28, 2018

Spring conditions! SGP in Orlando USA !

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 5:12 pm

Whilst our astronomical spring started here on March 20, my friends Down Under in the Perth area, had to wait and see if the  severe tropical storm MARCUS, an early autumn storm growing to cat. 5,would pass by or hit the coast line. [expected wind 285 km./h.]
There was hope MARCUS would stay well away from the West Australian mainland. It did !
“Our” time changed into summertime, so we had one hour less.
Down Under they move this upcoming weekend.


——OLC 2018;
have to get used to the new system/layout. Not very conveniently arranged in my opinion, but for sure better readable.
In the past you could see straight on ONE side all first 50 flights now you have to scroll.
Maybe I just have to get used to it.
The OLC shared this news the rest is on their site;
As of now OLC will be available in a new format, perfectly laid out for smart phones or tablet computers. At first sight you will find our service has been completely new designed. The content, of course, did not change … OLC will continue the way it has always been working. Our virtual platform is still functional with its tried-and-tested system.

Henceforward, the “smart” OLC is offered in a special ‘responsive web design‘, which means that its layout (e.g. for navigation, columns on a page, texts) is automatically adapted to the properties of your specific device (e.g. your smart phone or tablet). Touch screen application like typing or swiping will also be available.
The improvement is not simply reduced to a new design; of course a feature to easily upload your flight is also part of our innovative system. You may now upload your flight using your smart phone or tablet pc right after landing.
We had already started the ‘smartOLC‘ project about two years ago. The goal was to adapt OLC’s platform to our users’ altering habits.
But the realization of our ideas was awfully complex, and most problems could only be solved by experienced IT professionals. No question, our latest project was nothing but cheap. This kind of work could not be accomplished by OLC’s volunteers only.
This is why we would like to thank all contributors and sponsors, as well as our smiley owners, who support OLC with money. Without you we would not have been able to realize such a big reorganization 😉
If despite all our efforts you should find any mistakes or bugs in the system, please send an e-mail to:

March 24 was a great day here. Blue skies , nice clouds and not TOO cold.
15 Eager pilots in Holland, saw the same great skies as I did and moved to the airfield.
419 km. for Sikko in the ASG 29E/18m.,not bad for a first flight in the beginning of the season. Former vice champion of the JWGC in Narromine Robin flew 325 in his Cirrus, not bad either.


The “oldies ” have left Orlando-Florida in the USA and the FAI Sailplane Grand Prix racers have arrived at the Seminole Lake Glider Port. Last Saturday on March 24 they started their 2 practice day’s to be followed by 7 races.12 Pilots entered and 2 of them are from Canada.
Sean Fidler is the event manager and he also flies his ASG 29 during the races. Busy bee!!!
As always there is live-comment and you can follow them in real time.


As shared by the organizers.

The practice day’s were interesting.On the first one not everybody bothered to fly and those who did learnt from it as a few had penalty points they won’t make anymore.
Day 2 was interesting as only 4 finished and those who did n’t flew between 34 and 171 km. from the set 207. Local CD Sean won the day.

Race 1;cancelled due to frontal weather. They waited and hoped,…in vain.

Race 2; 214.8 km. … Cloud base around 4000 MSL…..and start at 13.30 …… Bill Gawthrop in the JS 1C got the very first 10 points, though the first 4 pilots each had a speed of 128 km./h. within 24 seconds . And 3 of them 127 km./h. So a big bunch flying and finishing together on this first race. But flying 127.2 km. only gives you 4 points.

1st: Bill Gawthrop (F8)  2nd: Sergei Morozov (M6)  3rd: Rich Owen (ZO)
As shared by the organizers.


Debrief -time!!
As shared by the organizers.

More next week.


For ALL who have been at Sportavia in the past,….the bus still exists!!!!! Many have been sitting there, lot’s of talks and great moments after special flights . The tie-down area from the past ,were many WGC participants for the 1987 Benalla had their gliders during practice, looks brilliant again. Have a look as Sportavia shared a picture.

The hardstand has been graded and some hard work completed by some dedicated people who have made the hangar and the grounds looking very tidy. Even the bus is a stand out iconic sight to welcome glider pilots.”


———Diana -2 New Generation;DIANA 3

As shared by Boleslaw Kawik.

We have the new JS 3 , the new Ventus 3 and for the next WGC there will be also the next Diana 3.
It will be an exciting WGC !!!
I remember from Tocumwal that the glider looks beautiful but a bit fragile to the tail and sometimes had problems with the start and landing,..breaking out.
I just looked at a video from the first landing of the Diana 3 and it looked great.No worries!!!

With test pilot  and WGC pilot Petr Krejcirik on the right …thumps up.
as shared by Diana -2 New Generation


with Petr in the Diana 3 for a test flight.
As shared by Diana-2 New Generation

Talking about the JS 3 and Ventus 3 ,…a very classic picture, Uys [Jonker] visits Ralf and Tilo [Holighaus] in Kircheim Unter Teck.

As shared by Jonker Sailplanes.


Flying mostly between 6000 and 7.340 m. you can really race. And,…that’s what Dennis Tito and Tim Gardner did last Friday ,in the ARCUS J,flying from Inyokern in the USA;GREAT speed 243.9 km./h. [distance 722 km.] WOW !!!!

European wave;
lot’s of OVER 500 km. flights on March 26 from Sisteron,[602 km in DG 400/17 m.] Puimoisson, [805 in ARCUS M] Lienz Nikolsdorf [903 km.  in EB 29 ] and Serres La Batie [572k  in Ventus 2 CM/18 m.]


—–And to finish…..INGO ;

Still going Strong; Picture shared by Sportavia
I totally agree with their next words:
Congratulations to Australia master of the skies and true gentleman Ingo Renner. During this Australian summer, Ingo clocked over 37.000k hours in gliders. I’m sure a good number of them shared with many pilots from around the world. Ingo continues to be a wonderful ambassador and inspiration our sport.…”

Not much happening, hence,..not much news. CU next week.

Cheers Ritz

March 21, 2018

Vaga Wave Camp 2018 !Seminole….reunion for 60 “over 50-pilots” !!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 6:44 pm

After a few spring days , we were unfortunately back in “Siberian-winter-cold” again with minus 7 AND,… with wind- chill minus 17!! But,…that’s spring here!! Now it feels better with 6 plus.
By the way in the first very cold week, we had in the end of February nearly 4000 people who died in that ONE week.
A crazy amount. Most over 80 and main reasons flu and pneumonia.


——Talking about “the cold”,  this is truly cold,but they love it at the airport, where several pilots fly at the annual  VAGA wave camp in Norway. Arne Martin and Robert are 2 of them and they shared some great pictures.

minus 20 as shared by Robert


not the best visibility on March 11.
As shared by Robert.


As shared by Arne Martin

Throwing up snow from the runway” by Arne Martin Guettler.
of course the wave as seen and shared by Arne Martin.

First thermal of the year as I worked myself up into the wave. Shows a respectable 2.7 m/s average here.


“Getting into the wave. Better lift here.”                   ” Climbing above the clouds.”

cruising in the wave” with Arne Martin.


——The Seminole Senior Competition finished and as always this competition is a REAL one , but also a reunion for old and less old ,….but not for young ones!!!
AND,…it was cold there as well !!!Still 5 day’s of flying as during the day the sun was OK.
The limit of 60 participants is always early reached so sometimes you can not even enter , as much as you would love that. Booking early is a MUST.
The weather was,  and as said COLD but pretty good during the day!!!
And the “very ” old ones did well. Look at former WGC champion Doug Jacobs [1985 in Rieti ] ,who after been REAL sick, performs still on the highest level.
He won day 2 in a Duo Discus X. Also Karl Striedeck flies a Duo Discus and Dave Nadler the ARCUS M. They fly with passengers to support the US soaring teams.
These experienced competition pilots are offering their back seat during 2018 contests in support of our US Teams with a minimum $300 donation.
After 3 flying days John Seymour in the 15 m. ASG 29 was on top, with Doug on 4 and Karl on 11 and Dave on 12.

This is a reaction on flying dual with Doug from a few years ago;
Regarding Doug Jacobs, I also had the privilege to fly in the back seat with Doug last week during the Senior National at Seminole-LakeGliderport in Clermont, Fl.
This is one extremely talented glider pilot with a great knowledge of all elements of the sport. An inspiration and asset to SSA, the racing community, U.S. Soaring Team and “Joe Average” pilots like me.
Doug’s wife Martha also really knows the competitive side of the sport creating a very dynamic duo. They
say soaring is not much of a spectator sport, not the case when riding back seat with Jacobs in competition.
If anyone out there has the opportunity to fly with the pro’s like Doug, its a true lesson in soaring. This opportunity was made possible by giving a donation to the U.S. Soaring Team which I will now make every year, flight or no
flight. Thanks Doug & Martha Jacobs for sharing your talents and kindness.
Tommy Johnson

The crew from Bill Elliott during the 2012 WGC in Uvalde, Gary Carter is flying as well.
Gary mentioned ;”It’s been very cold in the mornings as in ice on our wings, but the soaring is turning out to be very good as it warms during the day. ”

Gary and his wife Chris[tine], lovely people.
As always a great picture by Bozena Michalowski.

After 5 days the final scores were as follows;
1.Rich Owen in the LS 8/15 m. who won the last day ;4746 points
2. Fernando Silva in the ASW 27, who was the winner last year and still in good form;4659.
3. Doug Jacobs in the Duo Discus; 4603, as mentioned former WGC Champion.


——In Chilhowee the weather was different and scary. Chilhowee is the home base from Sarah [Arnold] and Jason.

A normal day
A scary day ; “We had some interesting weather near the Gliderport this evening! Everything is safe.”

As shared by the Chilhowee Soaring Association.


Chilhowee {USA} March 18………And a stubble fire twister in Temora {Australia} yesterday.


—–Sad news from Justin Crouch from the Southern Cross Gliding Club in Australia.

“It is my sad duty to announce the passing of Richard Pincus this afternoon.Richard, as he usually did, had flown down from Sommersby in his RV6 to tow for us on Sunday. As the winds picked up, the club flying day was cancelled. Richard waited around for several hours and then headed off. Upon landing, he overshot the end of the runway and into the ditch at the end.
R.I.P. Richard.


——-La Cerdanya in Spain, was the place to be yesterday for nice long wave flights. The pilots from the AKAFlieg Frankfurt Wave Research Camp were the lucky ones !!!
963 km in a Duo Discus in wave between 4000 and 5000 m. even up to 5749 MSL  [ 4356 AGL]
Also 944 km in the ARCUS T. and another Duo Discus with 876 km.
Even with the “cruel” cold wind [40-60 km./h.]  here yesterday ,some Dutch pilots saw the great skies as well. Those heroes flew up to 173 km. They even saw it before , I just read, as plans were made in the bar at Terlet the evening before.
One out-landed, on his first flight for the year, not too far from the airfield, which was picked up by the media, an exciting story about just a normal out-landing. Ha ha,…out-landings and media ……

CU next week

cheers Ritz

March 14, 2018

Soaring…..and more newsy news !” Heaven on Tswalu – earth” .

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 6:54 pm

—— Heaven on earth;
As every time after a WGC has finished, some of the best pilots are invited to South Africa for the Helli Lasch event. As I told you earlier ,Mac was one of them and he wrote an article about it, which I am allowed to share. The Great pictures accompanying the story are from his wife Akemi, who flew JS 3 too. THANK YOU BOTH !!!

Tswalu airport and surroundings taken from above

  “South African friends organized 8th Helli Lasch Challenge (HLC) at Tswalu, about 100km west of Kuruman near Kalahari desert. This special event is by invitation to the selected top World’s pilots only.  I had never flown in this part of South Africa before, (we did not go to this area during the WGC 2001 in Mafikeng) so was very excited to go.

For this particular event,

7 South African team pilots were invited:  Laurens & Oscar Goudriaan, Attie & Uys Jonker, Nico Le Roux, Dolf Pretorius, AP Kotze.

Additionally, following 5 international pilots were invited.

Katrin Senne, Louis Bouderlique, Killian Walbrou, Peter Szabo and myself.

We were asked to give a speech of about 30 minutes on various topics of competition gliding, in the mornings.

Andy Davis was invited as facilitator/coach this time. (He was previously invited before as World Champion, too.)

“Super Team Captain” Carol Clifford was busy organizing everything, Martin Lessle from Douglas Soaring Center was the key person on the operation side of things and Rowan Hill was busy towing us all up in the Cessna from Potch.

Altogether we transported 3 JS1, 3 JS3, ASG32Mi, DuoDiscus T, Ventus 2cT, Janus, and ASH25 to Tswalu from different locations of South Africa.

Andy set us tasks every day from Sunday 25 Feb to Saturday 3 March. Task length varied from 218 km in the blue to 433 km with Cu and showers, and a few AAT’s were added to the menu towards the end of the week. The start was normally Grand Prix start. It was an extremely high-level racing environment, and we all learned from each other. It was great FUN!


Everyone getting gliders ready together in the morning.            and     …after [Mac’s] landing.

My  takeoff in JS3-18.

The evenings were busy with a sundowner and game drives and special dinners (We were even invited one evening to the new residence of the Oppenheimers!). Some people went to game drives starting 5am or so in the morning! So we never had enough time!!

It was a week of gliding paradise. I must confess that we felt all the hard work of Benalla WGC (which was mostly weak blue and lots of gaggles) was more than rewarded by this fantastic week.

There was a very special camaraderie amongst all participants. We all got to know each other much deeper during this event, which is unfortunately difficult these days during serious Internationals.”

” Morning briefing. Everyone listening seriously to Andy Davis, the coach for the week.”

Thank you Mac, [he was runner up at the last WGC in Benalla !] for sharing your thoughts with most of us who will NEVER be there. Now we have at least a bit of an idea!!

According to Uys from Jonker Sailplanes ,Katrin Senne was the very first woman to fly their JS 3.
Katrin Senne, current Women’s World Gliding Champion 18m class, had the opportunity to fly the JS3 Rapture during the recent 2018 Helli Lasch challenge in Tswalu. She is also the first women to fly the JS3 and we hope she is the first of many .”
I hope so too!!!She loved it….fantastic!!!Her first cross country flight , years ago, she was 17 then,  was in a Club Libelle and the handling of the  JS 3 with the “small and high  wing’s” like a Libelle was easy and she flew the glider with a smile from ear to ear, she said to Uys.


—–Seminole Lake Gliderport; As every year the “oldies” [with much respect !!! ] fly their competition and more and more toppers from the recent past, but also from the far past, participate . The far -past as in Doug Jacobs and Karl Striedeck and from Canada Ed Hollestelle with a Dutch background.
It ‘s a feast of recognition !!!
And there is still fire in these pilots, as some only go “for the win”.
60 Eager entrants [ the max for this competition]  and  25 of them are flying the more modern motorized glider, even  with jet engines !!
They started on March 8 with a 2 hour-practice task won by the champion from last year Fernando Silva
Task 1 was cancelled due to the weather after launch. So till now March 13 they only flew one day won by the SSA chairman Ken Sorensen, [15 m. Ventus 2 cxa] who was the 2012 CD at Uvalde. Fernando was runner up in his ASW 27.
They continue till March 16 so more next week.


—–Stonefield  in South-Australia, about 110 km. North East of Adelaide as well of course as North East of Gawler and South West of Waikirie, is a for most of us ,  relative “young” airfield [ with an elevation of 350 m. MSL] and home of the Adelaide University Gliding Club.
Konrad Maierhofen from Germany started a few years ago his own operation there; Fly Down Under.
In the past I wrote about it when young German pilots visited to broad their horizon and they loved it there.   [Soaringcafe 2013]
Not a lot of good landing-spots in this pretty rural/remote area, but serious fun when you “cross” along the hills.
Last week Konrad flew in the NIMBUS 4d with Aussie Leigh Stokes during a nice “ride” over 622 km. they even “visited the beach” from high up in the air.
On Thursday they did it again now with 708 km.
They nearly topped the OLC list  that Wednesday, as the ASH 31/21 m.with James Cooper, flying from Cunderdin in Western Australia flew a 778 FAI triangle [ extended to a total of 824 km.]up to over 3000 m. MSL .


——Aussie Adam Woolley,  I got to know, when he was still a very active junior. He even worked a few months for us at Sportavia as tuggie, but left when he got a job-offer. Nowadays he is an Airline pilot based in Japan and he has the best contract ever!!! He can take off when he wants to “soar” instead of flying intercontinental.
Now he has time off for 7 months!!!
“This year I’ll be flying 3 big practice comps, then representing Australia at both World Champs! First comp will be in Slovakia in a months time – to watch my progress it’ll all be found at Adam Woolley’s Gliding Adventures  ”
So you can follow all his actions in his blog.
Before he left ,he flew from Kingaroy together with his mate Jim Crowhurst and another mate Mark Chambers, made this great “bye-bye-Australia- ” picture.

Picture courtesy Mark Chambers.


——-Gliders from Kiripotib arrived safely in Austria. Lucky the weather was sunny to unpack as a day earlier there was still 10 cm. snow I read. So after a great successful overseas winter ,the season can start here now.
hopefully as good and as successful.


As shared by Kiripotib Soaring.


———-Another 2 great wave flights by the Perlan Project pilots. 2 Gliders this time and flying from Minden [Nevada] with Dennis and Tim Gardner in the ARCUS J [156 km./h.] and Jim and Alan Coombs in the ASH 25 [ 170 km./h] ; distances…..1.760.22 km. and 1.681,47.
Aussie pilots Morgan and guest Matthew Scutter [Junior World Champion in Narromine at the 9th FAI JWGC] flew a shorter run over 540 km. but with with a speedy-speed of 170 km./h in the ARCUS J.
Guess the fastest flight for young Matthew, who lives his life to the fullest. Talking to the guests at the Reno SSA conference a couple of day’s ago and now visiting  good old Minden. Later he travels to Europe again.

Matthew in Narromine after winning the JWGC in 2015.

Talking about the Perlan Project, ….just got the message that  the “ Perlan Project has been nominated for the Smithsonian Air and Space Trophy, and was recently named a finalist for the Collier Trophy “for the greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America in 2017.”
“Perlan 2 reached 54,000 feet pressure altitude (52,221 feet GPS altitude) in September of 2017 on a research flight over the southern Andes. This is the highest altitude ever reached by a glider.”
There are 10 nominees in total.


—–Remember Brad Edwards? An Aussie who won the 1991 Uvalde WGC in Texas. Great guy, and playing then nearly every evening the guitar , surrounded by many who loved the relaxing music as well.
Just read in the “Armidale Express” , that his business, Edwards Aviation, saves lives !!!
Brad was in the buss-business before. He bought the Citizen Jet from Mr Terry Snow , bought more jet’s and started private flights. NOW he is doing organ retrievals and helps to save lives !!!!!
There’s only four hours that the heart has to be transplanted so we have to move pretty quickly, that’s why they use private jets.
Brad mentioned in the article, that “Aeroplanes with organ donations are given priority at airports across the country.”
Of course I would say !!!!
They transport transports livers, lungs, kidneys, “nearly everything these days” and work together with  St Vincents Hospital or Westmead [in Sydney].
Fabulous job , as said I know [ already for many years ] Brad as a lovely guy!!!

It seems Brad [to be honest I guess it is this Brad]  bought a JS 3 and at this stage John “Butch” Buchanan is flying this glider in Potsch. Butch has one himself already ,but was more than satisfied with this one as he mentioned in his OLC comment;
“Hey Brad. Your glider is amazing. Not great wx, 250 kms in the blue and still 131 kph for 620 kms. Go Js3!


And to finish 2 very great pictures from Roy Pentecost, who flew with us at Sportavia in the past with some of his Lasham mates as Patrick and David .

As shared by Roy,who just stood  on the Roof of Africa, around 0815 Thurs 8 March accompanied by my Nordic Walking friends Steve Ellis, Dave Myers and Dave’s delightful children, Charlotte, Lily & Ben.
Hardest thing I have ever done, climbed 1200m in 7.5 hours, mostly in the dark.
Could not have done it without the fantastic guides and porters, who carried my rucksack from the mid-point and kept us motivated with some fantastic singing.
The 4 hour walk down to Base Camp was nearly as tough with lots of snow. Kili weather is also challenging, from blue sky at the summit to heavy continuous hail for the last hour of the descent.

As shared by Roy second left above.


AND,.……..R.I.P Professor Stephen Hawking. A truly inspirational man, died at age 76 !!!!!!

Cheers Ritz

March 7, 2018

It WAS cold, but getting better now….from minus 10 to plus 10!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 6:05 pm

——The first day of the new meteorological spring, March 1, was here ,in Holland,….. the coldest EVER.
The last day of February had great and already warm sunshine from a strong shining sun, but my goodness me, it was still SO cold. It was “only” minus 10, sunny,  but the feeling temperature with the 6 Bft NNE wind,[wind chill factor]  made is feel up to minus 20 and even 27 in the N. That IS cold for Holland.
Ye,…. I know not for the Scandinavian countries .
So finally some marathons on natural ice here, which is special and as long as there is no “11-town-tour” , this is the second best in Holland and from all directions enthusiastic people go to these events…3 days in a row .
Europe ,all over , suffers from the cold and some countries even more than we. I feel for them !!! Several people died from the cold specially the older ones.
A German weather station on the highest mountain in the N. of Germany [1.141m.] showed MINUS 55 on the thermometer !!!

Down under, I heard,[ in Toc. ] it was still around 30 when autumn started.
Autumn in Lake Keepit started on the OLC with a 555 km. by Allan [Barnes] and Harry [Medlicott] in the ARCUS M. On march 3 still over 500 km. flights/triangles in the BCT triangle.
Europe started the OLC list in freezing conditions with a 232 km. wave flight from St Girons An Gld in France in a Pegase.
And Africa with 490 km. by Mac in the new JS 3 . He was one of the 2017 WGC- champions, who were invited to Africa for the Heli Lasch event flying from Tswalo Game Rese.
“Fantastic day. We saw giraffes on the way to airfield, we flew very fast race of 2:30 AAT close to 160kph, and then saw lions on the way back home. Special thanks to South African friends for inviting us to such a special place. And the new glider goes super fast.”
On March 3 a very fast day at Tswalu from Oscar in the JS 3; the actual speed was 175 km./h.


—–The last day’s of the 2018 Lake Keepit Regatta were GOOD, but I read, some not as good as “advertised”.
Task 5 was set last Thursday ;3.30 AAT.
Dave Shorter [JS 1] won the 1000 points with 448 km. in 3.30 at the dot  [127.52 km./h.]!!! Great result as well for Speed Astir pilot Jason Kath who flew 365 km. with a speed of 102.52 km./h. He was 3d.
Jenny [Mosquito] was 7th and Kerrie [ASG 29/18m.] 12th from 27.
Out-landings as well; Robert [Smits born in Holland] flew 316 km. in his St .Cirrus ,but then as he said:”Under cooked the final glide…. Went a few extra km’s in the time soak as I was just a little early….. And then I didn’t find the expected lift and just didn’t make it...”

“Bugger….. Same paddock as two days ago….. What’s wrong with me?????”
as shared by Robert.

Task 6 ; had another 3.30 AAT. Bruce Taylor [ASG 29/18 m.] showed up and straight away showed his class AND how to do it; 436 km. in time 3.42 [speed 118 km./h.] He flies HC.
Runner up and overall number 1 Dave flew 394 km . Jason in his speed Astir earns extra credit flying 368 km. in 4.05 , slow with 90 km./h. but with this glider against the hot-shot-gliders he did well; 3d. AND,….on spot 2 overall with one day to go.
Task 7 and last day; with a 3 hour AAT and …ouch…it was a difficult day. I am not sure if it was real courage or maybe a problem, but Jason in the Speed Astir started last and nearly 20 minutes behind Dave !!!
The ASH 25 /26 m. won the day,…but Dave and Jason were 2 and 3. Only 10 finishers.
Winners from this fun but still serious competition;
1. Dave Shorter 5.764 clear win. 2. Jason Kath 5.280  3. Alan Wilson in the LS 8 with 4.982 points.
The “girls” practicing for the WWGC were on spot 4 Jenny in the Mosquito [4.563] and spot 8 Kerrie in the 18 m. ASG 29 [3.675]

As said the next WWGC will be in Lake Keepit but more  news!!!!
“Great news!! The BGA Women Gliding Project has won the bid for the 2021 Women’s Worlds – looking forward to welcoming you all to HusBos any time between now and August 2021.”
We are looking forward to welcoming women pilots of all nations to the UK in 2021. If your nation doesn’t usually take part, please contact Womenglide now and we’ll work with you to help you get a team to the competition.”
I was in Hus Bos in 2005 for the JWGC and that area is just beautiful ,so is the airfield and the people!!


——-Matamata Nationals; you remember I wrote about these NZ Nationals a few weeks ago. I was impressed with the young ones winning the title in racing class in the Duo Discus.
Matamata shared some more news which is, I think, very inspiring for young pilots.
Allie, Alexandra Thompson is only 15 years old and still a school-girl in year 12 at the Sacred Heart College!!!!.
Here are parts of it:
“Thompson had flown with 22-year-old Auckland-based McIver as part of Youth Glide New Zealand (YGNZ) – not-for-profit organisation that provides under-25s with education, tuition and training in the skills necessary for gliding in New Zealand.

It all started when she was gifted a flight in early 2015 at the Hawke’s Bay and Waipukurau Gliding Club at Hastings Aerodrome in Bridge Pa – and it almost instantly became an obsession. Before then, the Taradale family had no contact with the world of flight but just hours before she turned 13, Thompson took to the air on her own.

Now 15, she has lost count of how many hours she has spent in the air – well over 100, she reckons.

“I love the whole uniqueness of it and the fact that when I get up there it is a completely different world and I can be myself,” the keen flyer said.

“Once you’re up there you can pretty much do anything in your limits and it is a whole different side to the world that you never really get to see from the ground and it is quite stunning when you are first up there.”

Allie with  principal Maria Neville-Foster .
Courtesy Paul Taylor for


———More and more pilots/clubs are finishing the last “bit”  of the winter maintenance on gliders ,instruments and trailers.In the middle of March these gliders will have their last check ready for hopefully a fine summer and great spring.
Here are some pictures from February 25 in Germany.


Still very cold, but gliders “sniff” already some fresh [Siberian] outside air.
Segelfluggruppe Donauwörth-Monheim


—-SSA convention in Reno in the USA;

As shared by US Soaring teams.

As shared by Jonker Sailplanes with up front the Perlan Project glider.

with many, speakers as Tony Condon  speaking about Downwind Dashes and Sarah Kelly Arnold US team committee and WWGC silver medalist in 2017.
Tony also got 3 Awards for one of his “dashes”  AND for the story he wrote about it in the SOARING. Love those great looking awards and to see them well I enlarged them all 3.

as shared by Tony and CONGRATULATIONS!!! It looks like the Tony show as he got ONE more!!

As shared by Tony.

Karin Schloesser [in the past like me a member of the ZES] and her husband Heinz showed together with Benjamin [Neglais] and Biko [Berger] the new Ventus with the FES. Sarah tried it out.

Sarah and Heinz


Biko [Berger] , who I have n’t seen for ages and Benjamin [Neglais] explaining .
Pictures courtesy Karin.

More news from Reno; Paul Remde [ Cumulus Soaring Inc.] well known for his books , video’s and other soaring related objects, added a new “wing”  to his business.
“I am very excited to be the new DG Flugzeugbau representative for the USA and Canada. They make DG and LS sailplanes. This photo shows me with Stefan Göldner from DG in my booth at the Soaring Society of America Convention in Reno, Nevada yesterday.”

as shared by Paul [to the left.]

And last but not least RENO ,of course showed the JS 1C /21 m. too ,with “eye-catchers”  as Jennifer [Benetti-Longhini] and top kilometer eater Keith [Essex].

As shared by Paul.


——More meetings ;the IGC meeting in Freudenstadt where it, so to see, was COLD.

As shared by Marina Galetto.


——An interesting international OLC top on March 4:
1. Damian [Goldenzweig] in a Ventus CM with 534 km in Argentina.
2. Jiri Fousek from the Czech Rep, flying in Narromine [NSW]Australia …590 km. in Discus.
3. Ramy [Yanetz] in the USA with 562 km. from Byron CA in a Discus
4.Claudio Eduardo Schmidt in the ARCUS M with 465 km in Brasil.
6. Mark [Bland] instructor at Mount Beauty in the Victorian mountains in Australia 415 in an ARCUS.
7.  Yves Gerster from Swiss in Europe in a DG 400/17 m. with 347 km.


——And to finish this great picture ” FINAL APPROACH” at Sculptures by the Sea shared by John Welsh.
March 2 – March 19……Cottesloe Beach, Perth.

Photo: Davis Walmsley
#sculpturesbythesea #finalapproach

And during the opening it was busy from morning till evening with fabulous glorious autumn weather.


pictures shared by John Welsh.

More next week, also about the “oldies” [seniors] and their annual competition in Seminole Lake in the USA
CU Ritz.

February 28, 2018

In Memoriam Goeran ….New season carefully started !!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 7:38 pm

R.I.P Goeran…another legend gone…..

A recent picture from Goeran in the ASH 31 Mi.
Courtesy Robert Danewid.

—-I start this blog with sad news ,very sad news.No details yet , but a car accident has cost the life of our mate Goeran Ax.
Who does not know Goeran?? Twice World champion, friend, IGC member for Sweden and passionate glider pilot and competition pilot. I am sad , very sad!!!
Goeran [1943] started his career flying Saab J 29 and 35 in the Swedish Airforce . Then he flew years for SAS as airline pilot. I got to know him at several comps and WGC’s, my first acquaintance in 1981 in Paderborn where he won in 15 m. class in an ASW 20. Ake was runner up then and “our” Daan Pare 3d.
Already in 1972 he was world champion in open class in a Nimbus 2 in Vrsac .

2 Pictures from the past;
Paderborn in 1981 with Goeran again on the TOP SPOT !!!

  Goeran in 1993 in the briefing room during the Borlange WGC. He was runner up behind Janusz Centka.

R.I.P. Goeran ,you will be missed by many not only in Sweden but far beyond.


——-The last comps for this season down under are in Stonefield in the West . A GRAND PRIX WEEKEND on February 24 and 25 ,with 8 participants in one class.
Cathy [Conway] had an interesting and enthusiastic opinion about  day 1 of 2 from this GP -weekend, which was cancelled in the air;
“Best no-contest day ever! Convergence over the airfield. 3 1/2 hours. 500km without a thermalling turn. SeeYou reported L/D of 495 for the flight 1% circling. Ridge in the sky. We wouldn’t have done the task though.”
Day 2 had a 221 km. set task won by Heath L’Estrange in the St Cirrus ;5 points. Cathy had 1 point.


As shared by Catherine who flew 289 km. along the convergence line in the Ventus 2CT/18m..

And,…in the East,  the Lake Keepit Regatta [February 24 -March 3] with 28 pilots, also in one class with handicaps. This 2018 Regatta is a fun and informal competition to learn more and test your existing skills.
So coaching, team flying ,mentoring it’s all available.
Lake Keepit is the venue for the next WWGC ,so Aussie female pilot’s ,Jenny and Kerry are there to practice.
AND,……Keepit had, as often, very nice weather. Last Sunday they flew over 300 km. in an LS 6.
Monday was cancelled.
2 more days with today a 3 hour AAT won by local pilot Justin Smith in a Discus 2.
After 3 flown day’s out of 4 he is on spot 3 with 17 points less than Jason Kath [Speed Astir…2678 points] who is runner up and Dave Shorter in the JS 1 leads the pact with 2.789 points.
A pity there are only 2 “girls” practicing in this event.

Talking about this WWGC , Marina vice president of the IGC , just shared this picture and message this week.


Lake Keepit, Cumulus Skies, Orange Sunsets, Boundless Wildlife, Great People, Starry Nights and Gliding!
as shared by the 10th WWGC.

And don’t forget the great lake, you mostly have to pass , sometimes low, on final.



——-Very carefully the first over 200 km. thermal-flights have been flown in Germany. GOOD!! This week however it seems,  new cold-records will be broken with the fresh, NNEasterly bringing clear Siberian air to Europe. Quite a phenomena this late in the winter season.
YES,…tomorrow the meteorological Spring starts here in Europe.
the Beast from the East takes aim sweeping across large parts of Europe!
With the windchill factor it is easy about minus 20.
With some wave , German pilots could fly already over 700 km. from Offenburg Baden [ Württemberg] in an 18 m. ASG 29.
Also some  Belgium pilots flew yesterday and it was so cold that the tube of the camel-bag full of water was frozen!!!
Here is the OLC comment from Niel Deijgers [St. Libelle…364 km.]  who started with his mates Bert Van Eyken [Ventus CT /17.6 m…..464 km. ] and Daan Spruyt [ASW 27….393 km.] for flights up to nearly and over 400 km. in thermals and freezing cold conditions!!!
 Nice way to start gliding season 2018! 
Very cold underneath the cloudstreets but it felt so nice to be in the air again!
Temperature in the cockpit dropped to -15ºC, the tube of my camelbag froze so I was happy I had an extra bottle with me.
Good airmass but with 35-40 kp/h of wind with an empty Libelle it was really the limit…
Excellent forecast by SkySight.”

They started at Brasschaat not too far from the Belgium border where I live all the way to East of Terlet in the middle of Holland.
Flying between shiny ice-crystals is for sure special in Holland and Belgium. Heroes!!!!Respect.

——-“So the Adventure Trip HELLI LASH CHALANGE has startet with all the world champions. So after I bursted Uys Jonkers tire of the trailer and after we all got stuck in the sand with cars and trailers Laurens Goudriaan has done a wonderful job pulling us all out again with his 4 wheel drive. now al the gliders are rigged ready to go.”
This was the FB message from Katrin Senne, German’s female TOP PILOT. She shared some pictures as well.


After some “minor”  problems the real fun can start. Mac is there as well and promised to update me.


——-Ballooning; Don’t know a lot about it , but got this message so we can see how good Germany is in this sport.
Title: 10th FAI World Hot Air Airship Championship
Type : World
Date: 15.02 – 22.02.2018
Location: Tegernsee (Germany)
Final Results :
1st : Andreas Merk GER
2nd : Ralph Kremer GER
3rd : Juergen Huetten GER
The full results can be found at the following address: FAI congratulates the Winners and thanks the Organizers of the Championship.


—–Schemmp-Hirth news
 “Schempp-Hirth CEO Tilo Holighaus used the great (but cold) weather conditions for a longer longer flight over the winterly Swabian Alb with the new Ventus-3M, and he was excited. For a (German) report, please check…/gliding/flightinfo.html….

Such a new glider doesn’t stay undetected for long, however – Lars Reinhold from aerokurier spotted him soon and shot some great photos that we are glad he shared with us. Thank you!
here are a few.


Picture1 1; Inside the cockpit of Ventus-3M
picture 2; Finding Lars Reinhold in the blue sky with Ventus-3M
Picture 3; Ventus-3M showing the Hahnweide airfield with its left wingtip
Picture 4;Time to land with Ventus-3M


——Olympic’s are over ! Another 4 year waiting now ,before China shows what they have done to entertain the world’s best winter sporters and all of us. With 20 medals [4 less than 4 years ago] the Dutch team [33 performers]  was very happy; 8 gold, 6 silver and bronze, for a no-winter-sport- country, a very good result.
Some of the Dutch speed skating trainers moved away and got gold for Korea, Japan and Canada. They are heroes there now.
The only thing “we” can do is  skating both on short track and long track and it seems we are still good in it, though the concurrence opened their eyes and come closer.
Looking at the medals the best country is Norway , then Germany and Canada and The USA and on 5 our totally NOT winter-sport country Holland.
Though,…it’s so cold that tonight the first marathon will be skated on natural ice!!!


——Last but not least. After TOO many years the Sportavia area looks good again. A big clean up shows that all dead trees and all rubbish is gone. Look also at the tie-down area, no grass to be seen anymore, excellent. They started that already when I was there.
Now some [big]  repairs to the hangar and all is in good order again.

We’ve had a very big clean up around the old hangar lately…… must say it’s looking awesome…. big thanks to Peter Wright and Jorgen Thomsen…..
Picture courtesy Joergen Thomsen.


Cheers Ritz

February 21, 2018

2-seater Nationals at Narromine continued !

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 6:49 pm

The over-seas-season is nearly over. Last Monday only 19 flights were added to the OLC.
Still some very good flights from Worcester were the “Worcester-magic” still seems to work; Marcus Geisern …736 km. with a speed of 155 km./h. in the ARCUS M.
And ,…for some still  “huge”  achievements in the after-not-too-busy- season, as FIRST SOLO in the IS 28 and  “2 follow up flights of 1 hr duration today. great effort“.

Celebrating first solo from Jackson ,…. congratulations Jackson….with Ingo and SRGC – tuggy Bill.
as shared by SRGC.


—–2-seater nationals continued;

Narromine Airport.

—–Narromine; ONE day it looked that they did not start, but ….OUCH,….they still had the start point from the day before in the logger , so the start on task 3 was not registered; TRAGIC.They then won 3 days; David and Harry. So no champions but great pilots. They won 4 from 7 tasks!!!!!
And,….. only the first two place-getters will be eligible to represent Australia at the World 20m Two Seat Championships,of course subject to ITC approval.
Since Wednesday , when I left you, they had a 3 hour AAT [task 4] won by David and Harry [ARCUS M] with 340 km. in time 3.02 so a nice speed of 112 km./h.  The Duo Discus ,Brad [Edwards] flying with his brother Bill , was  runner up;104 km./h.
AND …they have to be much faster ,otherwise they loose on handicap.
By the way a day on which they changed the task from 450 km. racing to a 3 hour AAT.
Task 5 , another low blue day, but no worries for ARCUS M-team UHM, it was a prey for them again; 2.30 AAT with 278 km. in time 2.32.
Task 6 ,with a racing task from 349 km. and …yes…it’s getting boring, but Harry and David won again, SO sad they lost one day due to a mistake, but it’s all part of “the fun”. Runner up was the other ARCUS M with Lumpy and Joergen who top the overall list after task 4.
Another blue day but with a few clouds to be seen and not to be really reached.

“Day 6 20 Meter Nationals… look two Cu’s”
as shared by Bryan.

Task 7 and LAST DAY :at last,…a CU-day.Not too much to gain or loose anymore….. or ?
Allan and Matthew won the last 1000 points with 550 km.during a 4 hour AAT in 4.02.
Though Lumpy and Joergen were 5th on the last day gaining 843 points ,they did not get into trouble and are the NATIONAL CHAMPIONS in the Australian 2-seater class; 5.914 points and not winning one day,..but flying very consistent AND making NO mistakes and they were not  troubled by bad luck either . Congratulations!
Due to the 1000 points on the last day Matthew and Allan moved up from 3 to 2 …good on them; 5.878 points. They won 3 from 7 tasks. Would they not have had an under carriage problem which dropped them 400 points,”if”they would have been…?????
My friend Brad , worldchampion in 1991 in Uvalde was 3d with his brother who as far as I know is not a real glider pilot; 5.817 points !
Harry and David missed out on ONE point to be 5th so ended overall on spot 6.[5.423] Add 700 points for a pretty average day and USING the logger correct ,”if” …..?????
Well done for Toc. mates Lumpy and Joergen. Their club [with Ingo] the SRGC was as happy;
“Congratulations for winning the Narromine 20m Two Seats Nationals 2018! Jorgen Thomsen and Lumpy Paterson your triumph will ring through the history of our club. WE ARE PROUD OF YOU!


——-Glide Omarama shared the next news last Friday;
A possible new WORLD RECORD was flown today!
Keith Essex – 500 km, 15 m glider, 255 kph, Omarama.
Subject to verification. Fingers crossed!”
Also on the 16th Jyri Laukkanen from Finland,who flies a lot in NZ, flew in an LS 3 a, 1.037 km. from Omarama. A fast and high day; speed 154 km./h.
A few day’s later,…same place ,same glider, same pilot…another 833 km.


—-Tocumwal Residential Airpark news;
“The Councillors of Berrigan Shire Council would like to invite you to join us in opening the Tocumwal Aerodrome Subdivision (officially)
Friday 23 February from 11am at the Tocumwal Aerodrome.
There is a lot happening at the airport. Great news!!!

On January 30 the last news was :”Things are ticking along with deposits now being held on Lot 42 and Lot 37.”

This all happens on the South side of the old WW2 airport and Sportavia hangar, for those who know Toc..


——-Corowa containers are about to leave after a nice season. Under supervision of Grietje and Francesco,they pack the containers tomorrow and then the 2018-season is over .On the OLC  they finished this year [on February 20] on spot 12 .
They flew mainly on very good day’s, in spiffy gliders and still made quite some kilometers; 132.746,96 in 242 flights. And that with only 18 pilots. Good result.
They changed their set up a bit, selling the 2 Pawnees and hosting pilots with self launchers. Those pilot’s bring their gliders in the 2 Corowa-containers or have the glider already in the hangar.


——-AND,…the season here nearly starts ….. what will it bring us. We have had some glorious day’s already with nice cu’s but very cold, so only to wet the appetite !!Next week we really will have FROST,…brrr…. too cold for me.Up to minus 10 again , so it looks “we” can “skate” on natural ice again.
Preparations for the new gliding-season however are in full swing , cleaning, repairing, checking, form 2 etc., AND  if you don’t have them already think of Jaxida covers for gliders ,trailers etc. Have a look;

“Jaxida Covers keep your glider dry in the trailer.
For all who have no space in Hangars an important advantage ”
Jaxida Cover Uli Schwenk



——Talking about the new season   Aussie pilots Adam “Woolley” and John “Butch” have practiced flying together already for the WGC.
So did Brazilian pilot Henrique Navarro and he shared a nice picture about his practice from Bebedouro in Brazil, also for the next WGC .  They all start early so will be there very well prepared!
Next WGC’s are in Poland [15 m. standard and club] and Czech Rep [.[Open, 18 m. and 2 seaters]

Training for the next WGC. Czech Rep., here we go!!”


——AND,…to finish this great and HAPPY picture shared by Gagula Darko. You know him from the fabulous real leather inside of gliders. Here on the picture with Scottish  wave specialist, John Williams.

Big privilege for me. Scottish gliding king John Williams.


CU next week, one more week of Olympic Games, love it.
Mind you some of the new Olympic Champions in speed skating, who are not Dutch ,are trained or have been trained by Dutch trainers!!!! They all speak some Dutch too.
We still try to keep to therms with the loss of the 10 K from Sven, though he is more than disappointed he is  very realistic, so he helps”us”.
Cheers Ritz

February 14, 2018

Matamata;done and dusted! Aussie 2-Seater Nationals !Olympic Games!!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 6:44 pm



Day 11, task 8.
Pictures shared by the Piako Gliding Club

—–The NZ Nationals on the N.Island of NZ are over and the winner in standard class was clear from the beginning. Auckland team Thompson&McIver , in the Duo Discus, showed their supremacy with a total score of 1000 points MORE than the runner up. What about that?
They were runner up on Thursday on task 9 the very last day, but NOBODY finished the 2 hour AAT!!Best distance , 68 km,., was not good enough to make it a valid day. They called it a ” day with an uninspiring sky!”
So 8 out of 12 day’s in this class and TOPWINNERS/champions; Thomson & McIver with 6.270 points in the DUODISCUS.
Runner up Steven Care in the ASW 20 had 5.211 points.

In open/18 m. the battle was going till the end. Keith [Essex] came closer and closer to Pat [Driessen] who leaded from the beginning, but in the end, with 1 day to go the difference was only 45 points and that’s NOTHING !!!
Task 9 was valid in this class but also here NO finishers !
Pat flew 166 km. for 337 points and Keith just 100 for 203. Matthew was in the middle with 112 km and 229 points.
Champion; Pat Driessen in the JS 1 with 7.797 points.
Runner up Keith Essex from the USA in ASW 27 18E, with 7.618 points.
Steve Wallace was also in the 7000 marge as number 3 ,he had 7.196 points.
Matthew finished this new adventure on spot 9 with 5.172 points.


Packing up another competition “done and dusted”.
As shared by the Piako Gliding Club.

The farewell words by Matthew:
Had a great time at the Matamata Nationals in NZ. This part of NZ doesn’t get many tourists, which is not surprising as it is a very challenging place to fly, but after two weeks I have left with an appreciation of the diversity and complexity of conditions it serves up which makes for very interesting flying. We set tasks on the ridges, in convergences, in wave, and in thermals, all in a single competition, and many days relied on starting in one and transitioning to another.
The conditions well and truly had me beat, with local expert Pat Driessen taking out the advanced class, but I think I discovered a new bottom gear to my gearbox and am well prepared for another season in Europe!”

With not a lot of tourists Matthew for sure means soaring-tourists, as the N island is absolute gorgeous one of the most beautiful places I have seen.

The organizers shared this last news and I was a bit puzzled by the VERY young ones winning the racing class in the Duo Discus. Mind you with over 1000 points so they must be young aces.TALENTS !!!!!
What a final night dinner! Quite a spectacle. Congrats to Campbell and Allie for winning the racing class in DX, and to Patrick for winning the open class. Very tight race with Keith Essex, and it came down to a few points. The dinner was amazing too. Thanks to all the helpers from the MSC for making the contest a big success.”

The Champion’s.


Allie and Campbell “Two weeks of hard competition and a lot of focus brought them fantastic results.” and Pat.

During the comps the news JS 3 was introduced, so there is one now in NZ too;
“Look who got a new glider! Brett is a little chuffed after a quick test fly. Introducing XB the JS3 18m. She even has electric pedal control (to move it forward and back) and foot warmer. The wings are higher than normal, and look at that wheel brake. Plus, someone almost 6’4” can fit!



As shared by the Piako Gliding Club.


——-One of my Aussie mates shared this news and like her I looked at the BREAKING NEWS on CNN to follow the launch. Exceptional /unbelievable, specially that the 2 outer boosters came back at nearly the  same spot !!!
Screen shot taken by me today from the livestream of Elon Musk’s SpaceX Tesla Roadster cargo in space with ‘Starman’ at the wheel. Falcon Heavy successfully launched from Launch Pad 39A overnight (yes I didn’t get much sleep) and returned the two outer boosters safely to Cape Canaveral. The centre booster didn’t quite make it but I’m sure they will have that sorted out soon. Falcon Heavy is the most powerful rocket to ever launch from Earth since NASA’s Saturn V rockets during the Apollo program. The 27 Merlin engines generate more than 5 million pounds of thrust (equivalent to eighteen 747 aircraft). Today’s successful launch is a huge step forward in the space program.

As shared by Lesley.


—–The Diana 2 New Generation production is in full swing as you can see.


——-The OLYMPIC GAMES have started and the Dutch straight away did well!! In 2 day’s we had 5 medals 2 gold, 2 silver and 1 bronze and topped the medal list. Not for long as Norway, Sweden, Germany and many more are the REAL winter-sport- countries, but we have been always good in speed skating. With a “clean sweep”  the ladies on the 3000 m. set the high standard for these Olympic Games.
Sven Kramer of course is an ACE and well known over the world, but the pressure on his shoulders to ALWAYS do well is enormous. He handles it well and is a real nice guy too.
Irene Wust is now after another gold and silver the best ever Dutch Olympic sportsperson  male or female, summer or winter games inDutch history; 5 gold medals since Turino in 2006 and several silver and bronze that I lost track.
Both Sven and she are ICON’s and I do understand the frustration of the skaters performing in the same era.

by bthe way ‘WE’ have 10 medals now after 4 day’s. 4 gold , 4 silver and 2 bronze and we hope for more as we still have some potential medal-winners.

Today there is STORM, so bad that even the journalist -tents outside the skating hall are closed. For skiing it is another day of waiting.

This upcoming Friday, one of the daughters of my Aussie friend Bruce, Belle Brockhoff, performs in snowboard cross, yes a girl from sunny down under in winter sport!!!
Looking forward to her race.


—–Two-seater Nationals in Narromine in Australia;
Matthew, yes just flying in Matamata, was back in Oz and straight away hopped in a Duo Discus with Allan Barnes to practice for the 2-seater Nationals at Lake Keepit. Unfortunately storms on Sunday stopped practicing, but the 9 teams flying in Duo Discus variations and 2 x an ARCUS M are all familiar with the area.

Australia is still HOT. They suffer from heat waves and it’s nearly “normal”  to have 40 dgr. C.
294 km. was set as task 1 and only ONE team finished!!!
Good old Harry Medlicott and David Jansen, good combi, won the day in the ARCUS M and were the ONLY finishers. Team Miles Gore Brown/Andrew Ward, Bob’s son,   was runner up with 286 km,. and Allan and Matthew were 3d.
Heard from Bryan that it was a “ Tough, tough day today, with high cirrus overshadowing the whole course.”
He mentioned that the best part of the day was the stunning sunset!! I totally agree only seeing the picture.

As shared by Bryan Hayhow

Task 2 was flown by all. A 4 hour AAT was set and Allan and Matthew did very well this time; 464 km. in time 4.03. It looked like Duo Discus-weather as the Arcus from Joergen and Lumpy was on spot 4 and the one from Harry and David on 6.
Lumpy shares his thoughts on this day 2;
Day two….. well every one got home today which is a big plus on yesterday ….. mixed tales told during tea about the conditions. 4 to 5 kts to around 5500 feet with a few getting higher on occasions, with some very sink in between. The thermals were a little all over the show, some good cores but you needed to continually re-centre. 
We had a pretty good run for most of the day but “fell in a hole” after the 3rd turn and ended up at 1000 feet…… which cost us 15 mins 😔 we finished with the second fastest speed for the day but in 4th place after the Handicaps…..”

Task 3 today; another 4 hour AAT , so still great weather in Narromine though “ Very windy and blue again” , AND Allan and Matthew did it again; 1000 points for 469 km in time “at the dot!!!” 117 km./h.
Runner up the Tocumwal team Joergen and Lumpy in the ARCUS with 487 km. in time 4.03.
So to see team Harry and David did not start, have to find out why.120 km./h.


—–Worcester in South Africa is still good too; February 10….Marcus [Geisen] and Karin [Wiesenthal ], calling flying there ” Worcester Magic” ,…. showed this was true with an over 700 km. flight, late in the season, in the ARCUS M.
Tocumwal is good as well. February 13 …Chris Davison in JS 1 C /21 m…..,625 km.[614 FAI triangle]
And whatabout Omarama; February 12 ….Max Stevens…..742 km in Ventus 2C/18 m. …speed 142.40 km./h.


——Carnaval this last weekend, so I did my best but it was COLD ,WET and CROWDY. No worries though. My daughter arrived with a colleague from Amsterdam and we had great fun. I went home in the early evening , they in the early morning.


CU next time, ALAAF,…. Ritz

February 7, 2018

COLD !!!! Recent superb wave flights from Greece ! NZ Nationals. Horsham Week !

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 6:44 pm

We thought spring was around the corner ,when we had just over 14.5 dgr. C., a few weeks ago. My garden thought so too, but King Winter has arrived [again] with this week up to minus 10 !!! I know,….. “nothing”  for my Scandinavian mates and even for my USA friends who have been hit hard by “the king ” this winter, but still,…..
Also the people from the Mediterranean area, so the South of Europe, as Spain and Portugal, are cold and  have SNOW!!! Very unusual.
The good side; ice-skating is on at least for one week!!! We here, are not only born on a bike, but also on [speed-] skates!!! There is a hurrah mood at the moment.

—–When I was down under ,I missed a few interesting and as they called it “groundbreaking mountain wave flights. Flown from Kopaida Air base, by Legend Klaus Ohlmann and Greek co-pilot Alexis Anastasiou in the Stemme.

Klaus and Alexis.

SO , here you are, better late then never!!!! With some great pictures;
Two groundbreaking mountain wave flights with the legend, Klaus Ohlmann.
The first one was 1083km OLC / 1052km Free 3TP up to the northern border of Greece and crossing the gulf of Corinth to Argos.
The second was to the southernmost point of the Balkan Peninsula and second southernmost point of Europe, Cape Tainaron. Many thanks to the ATCs who made this possible
You find the flights on :…/gliding/flightinfo.html……/gliding/flightinfo.html…


Greece and wave flying at their best !
Pictures as shared by Alexis.

So when I asked Alexis, if he could add some personal touch with this great flight he wrote :
“Yes, that all my records were broken and I was very happy for this!
And the day of the long flight was by no means exceptional.
Also, that Klaus is not only an amazing pilot but also an amazing person.
There is great potential for very long flights in Greece and I have a lot of “work” to do.

So we will hear more from Alexis and soaring in Greece in the future.Looking forward to that !!!


——-EUROGLIDE 2018 !!! The 14th edition !!!
Some hearts are banging loud , now EUROGLIDE 2018 is nearly “on” .
Never heard of EUROGLIDE???
In short as written on their site;” Contrary to a standard gliding competition, when each day a task is flown from the same airfield, Euroglide has only one task of approximately 2000 km:”Depart from Venlo airfield,[in the S of Holland]  round the turnpoints and return to Venlo as soon as possible, but at latest on the last competition day.”

Each day, after landing (out) the teams have to find a suitable airfield for the next day and arrange take-off facilities themselves. To a certain extend, it is allowed to travel towards a turningpoint with the glider in the trailer.

The registration is closed now and 81 teams have announced their participation.Some teams exist out of 4/6 pilots so a “huge bunch” of happy chappies!!! Many are longing for 2 years for the next edition, after they were part of it  .
Pilots are from the UK, Germany, France, Belgium ,Poland ,Slovenia , Swiss and Holland.


——The NZ Nationals in Matamata [27-01/10-02] continued and after the first week with 5 out of 9 days and one week to go , the DUO Discus in the racing class with 10 pilots was better than good, winning 4 day’s one even as sole finishers; their total after week one is 3.652 points and looking at the runner up with 2.581 they are 1000 points ahead.No reason for team Thompson and McIver to forget about week 2 ,…but they could ; at least they want, take it easy and fly on safe.
In open class the first 5 pilots ,after one week, were between a total score of 4.555 and 3.926, so a lot can still happen here.
After the first week those 5 first are Pat Driessen, Keith Essex, Steve Wallace, Tim Bromhead and Tony van Dyk, more or less as expected.On task 5 the last day of week 1 , Pat lost over 300 points and Keith won the 1000. The day was lower and tougher than expected, but no worries for Pat , his lead was substantial.
Unfortunately Aussie Matthew Scutter [Discus 2] outlanded on day 1 loosing 905 points in his first NZ comps and then it is a bit difficult to motivate again, but he got the feeling for NZ soaring, which is of course  different to Aussie soaring,[though flying on the S island with all the mountains would have been REALLY different]  and slowly he found his way up.From spot 14 [from 16] to 10, 7 and spot 9 after the week, as he lost some points again on task 5; 1000 for Keith  and 160 for Matthew .He even was runner up one day.
Here is what Matthew wrote in his Matthew Scutter’s Gliding blog about day 1.
“Day 1 of NZ North Island Nats… needed a relight, got sent to the back of the grid but conditions deteriorated with the sea breeze coming in and some cu nims shading big patches of the first leg. Took 1kt to an altitude I thought would let me make the jump across a tongue of sea air and shadow but just short of the other side the landing options ahead looked terrible and if I missed the climb I’d be landing in a postage stamp on rolling hills. Deviated to a couple of wisps in the sea air but less than minimim sink. Paddocks were all terrible and the airfield database airfields either didn’t exist or I couldn’t find them. I did find an unmarked agstrip nestled on top of a hill made for an easy outlanding. Wheelbrake appears to be U/S so tonight will be busy too.”

AND that he learned every day is written as follows; “Low and slow, but not low enough to see the hobbits. First time racing on a ridge, two laps for 340k with almost no turns. This is what I came to Matamata for!”
That day [task 4] he was runner up!!!

What happened more with from today on only 2 days to go?
The new week on Monday started good with task 6 for Pat who won and Keith [from the USA] as runner up. Not so good for Tony as he outlanded.  Matthew did not start ,maybe more job’s on the glider.
Also a few outlanders in racing class .
Yesterday showed over 300 km. flights  and Matthew was runner up loosing ONE point to Steve.
The DUO-team lost 10 points but who cares; now 5.398 for 4.273 points.
Today; task 8 with a 2.15 AAT in racing class and only 8 started now in this class with 5 finishers one of them ,on spot, 4 team Thompson&McIver. They were the first to go on track.
In open same task different winner; Keith was the best again for the day. One outlanding and Pat was runner up. Matthew was 4th. He seems to have problems with this glider as now his battery was dead and he could not make any radio calls whilst landing.
More next week!

With these words Matthew shared his “learning curve” to cope with the weather in NZ;
Weird easterly wave at Matamata today. 35kts on the ridge, 2kts at 5000ft.”

As shared by Matthew in Matthew Scutter’s Gliding.


——–Horsham was very busy with the Australian FAI SGP  , then with Horsham coaching week 2018 and now with the annual and very popular Horsham Week; February 3-10.
30 Competitors in 3 classes and in open straight away a 300 km and 490 km. Not super-doper- hotshots at this competition, but pilots who love competition soaring and some still learning to get more practice to be a future “hotshot”.
Great weather as expected this time of the year in the W of Australia with AAT’s from 4 hours and pilots flying 605 km. with a speed of 146.70 km./h. in a JS 1 in open class.
Another good day yesterday , 37 dgr. C. with a 3.30 AAT for club class won by Bernie Sizer in his PIK 20. He goes like a rocket in his own new glider!!! 403 km. in time 3.42.
In open/18 m. Scott [Percival]  arrived for the last few days, with his ASH 25 /26 m. and straight away won the day; 325 km. with a speed of 136 km./h.
Horsham TODAY had 3 ,3.30 and 4 hour AAT’s so a long day and no scores yet. But some flights were over 500 km.
To be found at


——-Looking at the OLC, some great recent flights from Australia in the after-season time.
Last Monday 830 km. from Tocumwal by Chris Davison in his JS 1cTJ. The B-C-T triangle did well as from Benalla over 700 [ASG 29/18 m] was flown and from Corowa 834 km in the ASH 31/21 m.
A day earlier Milan Petcovic flew in his DG 100 519 km. from Toc. and on February 3 Tobias Geiger flew in his LS 4 a distance of 970 km [840 FAI triangle] from Benalla.
Also Narromine had great flights by Tomas Suchanek; all around 800 km.
On February 2 Stefan Soell topped the list with an LS 4 flight from 741 km. WITHOUT water!!
Great Aussie weather also yesterday when Eddie from Sportaviation wrote;
All gliders off and racing with the best set of weather for the season cloud base 10,000+ nil wind .”
Mind you day’s are REALLY getting shorter there as they are slowly getting longer here as well.
Today; Tomas Suchanek flew from Narromine 822 [ 800 km. FAI TRIANGLE], Bendigo much more to the W. showed a good flight from Terry Bellair in the DG 400/17 m. 760 km. Benalla same distance by Bob Nicholls.[Ventus 2C/18 m.]
Showing from W to E ,…..Australia is still good!!!

——-The Bitterwasser containers have left on February 5 ,….the Namibia season is definitely over …..and it was a superb season!!!The gliders arrive in the Rotterdam harbor around February 25.

You are up to date,…… Struggling with my internet connections,  but they check all lines this afternoon.
Cheers Ritz

January 31, 2018

Fair ??What to do with a TOO short AAT,… on a booming day ,…during a NATIONAL competition!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 8:01 pm

—–The Argentinian Nationals continued;

With 7 out of 12 days this 64th National Competition is over. Chaves was the host for 70 pilots  in 2 classes;
a combined standard and 15 m./open.
In 15 m./open the battle was mainly between Sebastian Riera in the ASW 20 and Damian Goldenzweig in the Ventus 2CM/18 m. Both won 2 day’s and flew pretty consistent. BUT,…On the last day only 8 from 30 finished and Sebastian belonged to the lucky ones, Damian not and he lost more than 200 points.
Champion; 1. Sebastian with 5.834 points. 2. Damian with 5.409 points.

In the combined standard class several LS 4 gliders with several daily winners and in the end close final scores.
On task 4, only ONE finisher, Tomas Soler and he got the 1000 points and NO…… he did not win in the end.
Javier Sondon won task 6 and 7 and,…NO he did not win either.
Manuel Darrain was the winner with 5.475 points. He did not win a day but flew very consistent. The scores from the number 2  Santiago Demodena and 3 Lucas Goldenzweig were close;5.422 for 5.413.
Javier finished on spot 6 and Tomas on 11.

Champion Manuel with Lucas. Good mates!!
As shared by Manuel.

—–Horsham FAI Sailplane Grand Prix…. is done and dusted!

The First FAI SGP from the 2018 season ,the Australian SGP had a few tricky day’s to start with,then 2 non flyable days due to and electrical storm just after launching ,so they had to cancel that day and another poor day. Specially the last 2 races , 4 and 5 were good with speed over 140 km.h.
Pete [Temple], just new Aussie champion in 18 m. won race 4,[310 km.]  on which he flew mostly by himself and added a few more points to his total; speed 143.4 km./h. He won already race 2 and 3.
They had hot days [around 40 dgr.C] and the last day was won by Andrew [Georgeson] in his JS 1C; speed 145.5 km./h. over 302 km.
Final score; 1. Pete Temple [ASG 29] with 42 points. 2. Graham Parker [ASG 29E] with 37 points and Andrew [JS 1C] with 32.
I heard it was fast , ….indeed,…and great fun!!!

In just over 50 day’s RACE 2 is in the USA, hosted by Seminole Lake Gliderport and under supervision of event manager Sean Fiddler , who flies himself in this SGP between March 26 and April 1 ,…no joke. Class??? 18m.


——JoeyGlide in Narromine;
NOTHING is TOO difficult for the young pilots from Australia and as you can see there are quite a few of them; 30 to be precise. CD was young Ailsa,  who flew JWGC’s  and WWGC’s already.
Through the years and ,Paul Mander who sadly died last week, was one of the initiators, the young ones set up such a comp by their selves. Adam in the past was very involved too. So CD, task setter [sometimes with help] etc ALL done by the young ones.


As shared by JoeyGlide. Ailsa “lifts” the nose.

Here is a short review of the comps

With 5 out of 7 days the 30 young pilots flew in 2 classes to see who was the best “Joey”in Narromine where the weather had been great , but that week a 3 hour AAT was the best they could do.
Club had 13 , 15 m had 17 pilots.
In 15 m. the already strong ones from the past as James [Nugent] and Dylan [Lampard] were the best now too. James won 2 day’s . On task 3 nobody finished.
On task 2, the  3 hour AAT ,James in the LS 3 won the day with 397 km. in time 3.19 so a good speed ;119.23 km./h.
The runner up that day had 332 3 hours at the dot ; speed 110.35 km./h. Dylan flew the Ventus 2A around over 395 km. in 3.18.
So to see the boy’s , who know each other from several comps, flew together.
Total points for winner James; 3.735 and runner up Dylan had 3.518.

In club David Collins won 3 days and indeed on the 3 hour AAT on task 2 he got the 1000 points as well in his LS 3a. A crucial day!
3.508 was his total in the end.
Runner up with 3.443 points Andrew Grandja.[DG 300]


No words needed!!! As shared by Gosoaring.
We are excited to announce the JoeyGlide 2018 OUDIE IGC Winner is David Collins.
NAVITER and GOSOARING Congratulate David on winning the bery popular OUDIE IGC Flight Computer valued at over $1500.
Photo – Comp Director Ailsa Mc Millan congratulating David on winning the OUDIE IGC.”


—–Told you last week about the speed on the last day of the Australian Nationals and the final scores.
This is the story and I let you be the judge of this .
On the last day both in open and 18 m. a 3.30 hour AAT was set ,The highest speed of that day was for Norm Bloch flying his brand new JS 3 to 179 km./h. over 600 km.
Unfortunately the circles were too small and Norm was home 15 minutes before time ,as there was no way to make more kilometers!!!
The numbers 1-2-and 3 were slower but got the 1-2-3 daily best scores . According to some, Norm lost this way the championship and quite a few were unhappy with that.
NOTHING against champion Pete Temple, we all know that he is a great and consistent pilot.

Looking ALWAYS at 2 sides of a story,  I checked with my former TC-colleague Mandy, till last August the  President of the GFA and quickly got an answer;
“So to Waikerie,…. yes this is a very bad situation. On the last day it was very hot over 40 degrees celsius and they had to change the task on the grid  when we saw the task we realized straight away it was too small and we calculated maximum possible speed about 170 kph.

For that reason Peter and Terry picked furthest start points even though in blue area. If you check the traces you’ll see they flew maximum distance in the early circles. Peter even went outside the Circles to be absolutely certain of the distance. If you look at the trace of Norm you can see he turned early in every Circle including the last Circle when he knew for sure that he would be early.
So Norm made a protest. For this Peter is very upset of course if it was perfect the task would have been longer and we are now working and ways to rectify this.

Of course the organizers are volunteers so they do the best they can.

Norm did not fly the maximum distance  – he flew the best course to get the best speed.
Facts ;

Pete flew 601km but turned early in last circle
Terry flew 609km also early in last circle.
Norm flew only 587km”

BUT,…..Norman was the fastest pilot for the day and it remains weird that he “only” is on a daily spot 4 . That’s for sure not meant how racing has to be.

So difficult to re-set the situation. Even with the last gorgeous soaring day cancelled, Pete would have won.
Reason for the IGC meeting in March to check how this can be avoided in the future????
For quite a few pilots in Waikirie this gorgeous soaring day leaves a bad taste and it should have been the best National soaring-day in their lives.
When they would have changed the AAT AT the strip,  nothing would have happened. It’s true  what Mandy said that most job’s are done by volunteers who do their utmost best and by years of experience I know THEY DO,  but on the other hand it IS a National Championship.
It turned out that after an earlier A and B task which were in the mountains and did in the end not seem the best idea, they set the C task A  3.30 AAT. A ” normal” 600 set task would have done the trick, BUT it is easy to say so in hindsight.
“Feed for soaring- psychologist’s”.

——-News from Greece;

Very honored to receive the FAI Ann Welch Diploma for our Ultralight Altitude World Record. Even more honored to receive it at the ceremony for the 90 years of our National Aero Club.
As shared by Alexis Anastasiou.
Congratulations again to both pilots. As you can see the flight was already in 2014.

——Rieti  with the TERMINILLO covered with snow;
Good old Rieti!!!!Have been there many times. Always saw the mountain at the airfield, drove up to the highest part and walked there over green fields…. NEVER EVER saw snow on it and look at this …..SNOW  on the Terminillo. Love it!

Picture shared by Guglielmo Fioramonti.

——The NZ Nationals have just started in Matamata and will proceed till February 10.More next week. With USA pilot Keith Essex and Aussie junior world champion Matthew Scutter “performing” in open class along longtime NZ aces as Patrick Driessen, Tony van Dyke , Brett Hunter , Steve Wallace and more.
After 3 day;’s Pat[rick] in the JS 1 leads with 2.988 points for Keith with 2.746 in the ASW 27-18E and Steve in the Mosquito [handicap 98] with 2.477 points …good old Tony is at 4 with 2.330.

CU next week.
Cheers Ritz

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