Australian diary ..part 10!

9 AM;
Finally a night without wind!!!!! It’s pretty quiet now too.Sunny and not so “bloody ” cold!!!!
As said I wore my winter pullover and I needed it.

Warmly dressed!!!

A nice day it was for us at the ground.Talking and talking ,hot discussions shopping, more talking as some of the people in town did n’t know I was here .

TASKS have been set for today; Day 5 …flying day 3…
3.15 AAT for open/18 m
3.45 AAT for st/and 15m.

Briefing at 10 lets’s wait what happens today.

10.30 AM;
CD Phil shared his daily news;
–Sponsors today; Jonker Sailplanes and SKYSIGHT.
–AP Kotze will not be at the dinner tonight as the Australian Embassy in Pretoria was closed ,so they could not grant him a visa.
But the dinner will be on Club and AFTER dinner at 8.30 PM. there will be a straight line/connection with AP in South Africa, where he will give his presentation.This will be again in the briefing room in the hangar.
–Jonker donated a 1000 dollar gift to support tow tickets for the juniors .
–Prize winners from the last flying day were announced. One ,in 15m./. st is a junior looking like a nice young puppie; David Collins keep his name in your mind.This is his first national championship and his very first daily win!!!
Congratulations. Must have been nervous when I took the picture as you can see.

Young David. Have to make a new one tomorrow.

Winner in open/18 m. was Peter Temple and I had to make this picture a bit “sneaky” as I did n’t want to disturb his concentration.

In full concentration .

It was a bit of a junior day.
Jenny did n’t do the weather but apprentice Peter did and the best height would be at 4.30 up to 6135 ft. , blue again and wind from the SW about 12 kts .at the start and finish otherwise between 12 and 24 kts.
Aisla set the tasks today with the small ships upfront. B tasks were set as well. They don’t expect to use them at this stage.
First launches expected at 12.30.

And,…as SKYSIGHT is the sponsor today:

With your SkySight subscription on the LX9000, you can now access the latest satellite photo covering Europe, Australia, USA, NZ, Japan, South Africa, Argentina and Brazil!

#skysight #lx9000 #lxnav #soaring #globalgliding #gliding #flying #weather #clouds

Another sponsor:VOLVO CAPS on all chairs today!

Harry with the cap on as a greeting to his mate Dundee.

CU later.

12.45 PM;
6 Tugs passed by from the hangar to the 12.15.
Akemi who just arrived this morning is the sniffer.
She reported 3 kts. at 2.200 on which the CD said; ” Tuggies continue” and at 12.34 the first launch was a fact.

Akemi prepares for her sniffer flight.

Quite some good dust devils were showing up then already.There is some cirrus firmament over the field and in the blue the gliders seem to climb well!!
One glider still at-down-area YL from Jay Anderson.
That area looks super. New cables ,numbers in yellow for the pilots and enough room for all.

So flying day 3 is a fact.
Start line 15m./st. opens at 13.20
Start line open/18m opens at 14.00

A lot of people ask Adam on a day he is not winning, why that is.
Several people pass by here to ask why Diana is not flying.
Here is the explanation.
Some people who look at the scores may wonder why Diana Schuit has not scored any points yet.
The reason for this is that the safety officer of  the contest, Greg Schmidt, has, at the very last moment  decided that her contest number (a bright orange MM) was not acceptable as there was another glider with the competition number MM (this one being a darkish colour). The same person then ruled that the modified contest number 1MM, for which the extra stickers were produced in record time, was also unacceptable. For that reason the glider was not accepted at scrutineering and could not enter the competition
. “

Back later!!!
2.15 PM;
Just had a word with Vivienne [Drew] from Benalla. She came to see a few from the pilots here specially the girls and to have some news an\bout the comps for the VGC site.Nice to see her!!!

3.30 PM;
Logistics whilst flying. You have to live in Australia for these kind of logistics.
Tim flies his glider in the competition….in between Steve brings his Bonanza back…a while later this good looking “toy” arrives with Theo to pick up Steve. Tim is still flying. FUN…..

Cessna L5 “BIRD DOG” used extensively in the Vietnam war, with Theo whilst Steve “hops ” in.

4 PM:
2 Trailers waiting at the office .One of them with a witch on it. Must be one of the girls! JT but, she/he is not at the list. Nice trailer though.

5 PM;
The airfield is under a thick milky layer of cirrus clouds.One tuggie just must have gone out for a retrieve.
One glider arrived back at 27 long! Its waiting now for scores as they have to try and do their 3 hours 15 and 3 .45.
Early starters could leave at the opening of the gate for the small ships 13.20, for the bigger ones 14.00. So open/18 m. could come back at 17.15.
So 10 minutes to go.
Hope they make it as the milky stuff reduced the temperature.
Looking at the tracking maybe 10 pilots are going to make it. DW ,Don Woodward is upfront at the moment some are still on the 3d leg. About 50 k to go for the best ones at this stage.

5.15 PM;
Another 2 tuggies go out for a retrieve. Several pilots return “home” , as one of their legs “goes” over Tocumwal and they know they can’t finish anyhow.

5.30 PM;
DW has landed here. He might have made it. Heard David Jansen on the radio he is here too but at 18. Heard LQ , Brian Du Rieu as well at 27 long. Several come in do not know if they flew the task totally ,so I give up .Don’t want to guess and some just don’t use their trackers!

6 PM;
I walked over to Don Woodward to check if he had flown the task. “Yes”, he said ” but only just and I was slow“.
When I told him, that looking at the tracking ,he will be one of the maybe 10 to arrive home in his class ,he looked a bit happier.

Don with a bigger smile after the “maybe” good news!

Peter Temple was in too.
Spoke to Dutch/Aussie Robert .He landed his LS 4 here at the field. He knew he could not fly the task , but Tocumwal was convenient on the road. He decided to fly home, after he saw all those white dots in the paddocks.
When you look at the scores you will see that at this stage, Don indeed is number 1 and with 1000 points ; 319 km. in time 3.22 so a speed of 94.74 km./h.
Peter 2 with 993 points and more kilometers 335 in time 3.34, so 94.04 km./h..!!! Well done guy’s.
Adam is in too with 911 points at this stage as I know David is in too.

At 6.30 PM, it had changed already; Ray Stewart is now number 1 with 101 km.h. Don and Pete dropped to 2 and 3, Brian Du Rieu is now on 4 in his LS 10 and Adam on 5 with Norm and Ailsa and Casey on 6-7 and 8.
In the end it looks like 14 made it home.
In 15 m./St it’s Peter Trotter who at this stage is the only one IN. Good on him. After his outlanding this will cheer him up again;he flew 340 km. in time 3.50 for 1000 points!!! That helps.
Later also Michael Durrant 907 points and Andy Maddocks 887 p.were in.
Keep looking at the scores; under open and 15 m.

It will be a late evening!!! Poor ladies who have cooked for the dinner at the aero- club. Hope they all will be in time so they can taste their cooking.

Maybe CU later.

9 PM;
As you can see on soaring spot quite a few pilots went “aux vaches”.
Cathy [Conway] shared some pictures from the milky skies and her outlanding.

Pictureof the high cirrus…. says enough
As shared by Cathy
Big paddock Hope the “stumbles” did not heard her feet.A tuggy flew to her to retrieve her.
as shared by Catherine Conway
Claire shared a picture from and even bigger paddock.
” Whoops 😩 At least I picked a big enough paddock. Tough day today. “

CU tomorrow!

Australian Diary ..part 9!

FRIDAY THE 13TH !!!!!!!!! Avoid the black cat!!!!
8.30 AM;
As the Terminus Motel was the sponsor yesterday, we went to them for dinner. From the airfield there were 14 people in total, so we honored their sponsoring and we got a good meal!!!
Also yesterday … from JS.
Today, the 12th of December, we celebrate the birth date of both the JS1 and the JS3!!!
Thirteen years ago, in 2006, the JS1 flew its maiden flight and exactly a decade later the JS3 flew its first flight.
Now in 2019, three years after the maiden flight of the JS3, we have test flown 76 JS3’s, handed over more than 60 of these to customers, and have up until serial number 97 in production

Jonker Sailplanes a real success story.
As shared by Jonker Sailplanes

Looking at the scores from yesterday,…in open/18m. the bunch coming in started at 2.33 and arrived back here within seconds/ minutes.
Peter Temple won the day in his ASG 29 just a tad before [119,94 km./h. for 119,99] from runner up Ray Stewart ,whilst Lumpy at 4 had 119.34.
So 4 JS 3 gliders on 2-3-4 and 5, for the day.
Don Woodward [ASG 29] started early at 1.52 but was still on spot 7 with Maddock on 6 in his Ventus 3M.
One out in this class after 318 km.[from the set 331]

In st. it was David Collins in an LS 4!!!! A good handicap [970] but still…
He won with 104.60 km./h and the runner up Allan Barnes had 100 km./h,
Lisa was 3d also with 100 km./h [ both fly LS 8] but unfortunately husband Peter was out after 102 km. and in scores that hurts!!![He got 116 from the 730 points]
In 15 m. David won as well but Tobias [Geiger] from Benalla was runner up with 110 km./h. in a Ventus 2A. Young James [Nugent] in an LS 3 was 3d.[106 km./h.]

No tasks yet for today, so CU a bit later.
Just read Adam’s message on FB:
“Day cancelled, shocked. I think it’s so we can fly through to the end without a required rest day? Wednesday is a long way away, but it looks big & fast, hopefully past it is great too!
If the above is correct, I don’t agree with it, there are points to be won & lost for many on a 5000′ windy (20kts) blue day like today. But it’s not my comp & I’m grateful not to be running it, so I still support their decision – have a good day everyone!
Checking it now!
It feels cold and the wind last night was terrible.
Not so bad at the moment.But cold it is ,…I put my winter pullover from Holland on..
NO BRIEFING…….normally they do prize-giving and reflect on the day before. Well…. now the pilots all have full day to relax.

The reflection on yesterday by Adam.
I was one of the people who asked him why he did not win.
Today he was supposed to win a bottle of wine for me…Friday the 13th????

“Adam, why didn’t you win today? What happened?”, a comment I heard quite a few times this afternoon, strangely. I’m certainly humbled by the comments, thank you to all.

Funny game this one, but after a chat with Agata yesterday, I know I’m determined to be a champion. Today I had my worst placing in 24 months (7 comps) of competing in AUS, 10th & 98points off the leader & somehow feel dissapointed with my day/effort. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still pleased & thankful :)

So what went wrong? Effectively, nothing really, no gross errors were made during the task, some slow to core climbs on the 2nd leg, maybe one unlucky sinky glide on the 3rd, but nothing that others wouldn’t have done either. So ruling that out.

I lost the day at the start line, simple as that, I read the day slightly wrong, yet in a way, correctly – as I banked the points & still have a very strong position with potentially 8 more days to go..

Where I failed today, I dropped the ball with my inflight health (not enough lunch) & secondly, I didn’t talk out loud as I usually would, looking for reasons to stay, for reasons to leave. I basically out thought myself & left with too much confidence, rather than seeing the greater picture today.

Strange feeling to be disappointed with 10th & 98 points off the lead, but I still had fun, learnt more to better myself next flight & time :.

Still smiling, looking forward to the next race!”

Creative pilots here in Tocumwal

Creation from Don
as shared by Kerrie
The Christmas tree by Kerrie
As shared by Kerrie.

12.30 PM;
Just cleaned the area around the grave of Dennis. It was a nice cool day to do so. Unfortunately all pictures failed so I have to go back.

This one is OK. The red oleander is the “umbrella” for the stone.

In between Swiss Chris came to say hello and he and George are fiddling around with the instruments in the LS 1.

looking “sharp” at the instruments.

Taking the rest of the day off ……CU.
By the way; Pilots meeting tonight.

6 PM.
The Latest Gliding Australia is full of news about the WWGC.
I can add my news as we have the details now.
They added me to the media team, so I will co-operate with Sean Young the editor from Gliding Australia and Kimberly Olsen. I believe she is a photographer. I know Sean already from other comps.
Of course the 3 of us have to sit together first ,but I might just keep going with my blog, which pleases me.
More news later.
One point; The flag in the Gliding Australia is from Ukraine and definitely not from Luxembourg.
The Aussie team , those who are here, had a meeting today.
Noticed Ayala has arrived down under as well.
She is still on the list here for the last week.

The decision to NOT fly today was the only correct one!!!
It is clearing now , still very windy but the sun is shining again.

Australian Diary …part 8!


9 AM;
Compliments to the SRGC for their VERY WELL organized smorgasbord yesterday evening. Had a nice young table-gentleman and he kindly “filled” me with good Brown -Brothers- bubbles.
Busy ,….as the sun room was full. President Ingo was there and Judy and her team had it all under control.
Where would we be without volunteers!?

Long tables with people enjoying the food.

Most pilots were a bit worn out after the tough day. As said some could nearly look in the eyes of the farmer busy with his harvest. Some just made it in, some were just out.I guess you looked at the scores as I did. Those from 18 m. were under OPEN. It took a while for some to sort that out.
Congratulated Adam with his win and he seized my camera to make a selfie.

I still look as if I am not over the jetlag, but this morning I felt good. Adam with a nice selfie smile, me with a face from “what’s happening now, selfie with a camera?????
As said I am/look old!!!

Here is Adam’s story from day 1:
Great way to start the comp off, all went exactly to plan. Tactically I could see easily how the day would unfold, so I played my cards & I got it right!

I didn’t win by flying skills, it was all done off the start. Effectively one competitor called their starting & another said they’d follow. I could see this triggering the gaggle to start. So I flew 180° to the first leg, watched everyone depart, then it was time to go!

Unfortunately I didn’t get the climb I hoped for pre-start, so departed 800′ lower than the gaggle & at best LD. I put that behind me & flew my best flight.

Significant great decisions during the flight were the 2nd & 3rd leg, staying well upwind of track & avoiding the gaggle at all costs. It worked, as I had clear air until...”

..right at the last TP I decided, its day one, take a chill pill, join the gaggle & let them take you home for the day win 

Side note, sucks to see Dad have to fire up his engine 800m before the finish. He was looking at a possible day win too, awesome flight Dad, I’m just sorry about the end, you’re flying really well atm!

I just missed Adam on the radio ;ABC Live Shepparton

Casey Lewis , from Lake Keepit, who is ,or already has organized my “bed” over there, was a great runner up in JS 1C /18m.
A total of 29 pilots.
In standard/15 m. it was Michael Durant in his LS 8 who won together with Bernie Sizer in the PIK 20. Good job …..he more or less started competition flying in Dundee’s old ASW 15.
Ayala and Akemi will be here soon.
A total of 16 at this stage.

The tasks for today December 12, are already set;
18 m/open …331 km;
St/15 m…243 km.

Very interesting day by the way as the elections are on in the UK!!
Off to briefing soon .

Briefing December 12. Day 3 , flying day 2 task 3.
CD Phil had a few items:
He mentioned the sponsors as he does every day. 2 Of them today are the Antique shop from my friend Lynn where you can have a special lunch and browse for hours and the Terminus Hotel and I know the food is good there.
You HAVE TO HAVE stickers on your car and a flashing light . It’s compulsory and the shire might show up to check it, which would not be good for the soaring operation here, if you do not stick to the rules.
That’s not what we want.
There is a new airspace file.
Winners from yesterday Adam and Michael/Bernie got their prizes and told us how they did it.” Stay away from the gaggle ” and that was what they both did”. Extra compliments to Casey who was runner up, as this is his first competition.
Michael by the way is the gentleman at table in the blue shirt to th r. of Lisa.

—-The tugmaster had a few items:” stay out of the release area” ,…Kerrie straight away answered,”we would not be there if we could

Safety officer Greg;
On gaggles…Please be predictable.
Don’t be too aggressive
Land long.
Don’t drive faster than 25 k [speed limit here] at the field.

Mandy with words over how dehydration has an effect on the performance.
If you loose 2 kg after a flight you must drink 2 to 3 liters in a time frame of 4 to 6 hours and not too quick.
The weather. Jenny was short; “ It will be a bit stronger
Ingo had said in the morning;” It should be quite a good day after the front has gone through
Wind 20 km.h plus.
The grid closes at 12. First start estimated at 12.30.

They set B tasks too;
For 18m/open it will be the task from the smaller ships.
The small ships get an 1.45 AAT then.

You are up to date,…except…there was a raffle yesterday evening. I had given my ticket to Tim as I went home early.
The number was 11 and Tim straight away knew it was mine. Won a hat!!!!
Never win something!!! Was pleased.

The first launch was at 12.45!!They fly!!!

Some pilots were really struggling low over the field here in the blue, dumping water to not have to return to the strip for a restart. I guess 1 or 2 returned. The weather indeed improved and they got eventually higher. Start line opens at 13.50 for open and 18 m. and the other one at 14.15.

14.00 Still relights at the moment!!!
CU Later,…. it’s up to them now!
Time to visit town etc.

3.30 PM.
Back from shopping and I noticed great cu-clouds up the the SW.
It might be a better day than expected !!!

5 PM;
At 4.30 cars drove to the field. Some action again.
The first one I heard was DW , Don Woodward.
Most have a straight in at 18 long. Some have not enough energy to make “the long”.
They came in first one by one , later in “bunches” of 3/4 .
One trailer is in front of the office and has just left.

Gliders still come in one by one.

An exciting view ; around 15 gliders arrived some at same height as a pair ,one for the “bitcherman” ,one for the grass. Great to see. All looked very disciplined.
That’s more than 35 minutes later than the first glider.
There will be pretty big differences in time today. Have a look at for the latest on the scores.
you can see already now that Adam left about and half hour later as the ones who started straight when the gate opened.
I am off for dinner with some friends.
CU tomorrow. Had a good day, you too!?

Australian Diary..part 7 !

9 AM:
Today is another day, the sun is shining and though it’s 13 dgr. at the moment,it will be up to 30 again.[according to the weather on my phone] No wonder I hear so many car’s pass by so early with pilots and or crews, to prepare their gliders under cool conditions.

No preparations for Diana. George ordered over night a 1, to put above the MM .NOT ALLOWED according to safety officer Gregg. One M had “to go” . As this JS 3 is brand new and the MM is carefully frased in the tail, Diana was therefore forced out of the competition, as she does n’t want to ruin the first glider she ever bought. A pity ,as she traveled from Luxembourg to Tocumwal to fly here , at the airfield, where she lived for a while as well. Her glider was shipped specially for this competition and the WWGC in Lake Keepit.
I leave it here……..

Talking about LAKE KEEPIT; Mandy will be here in the afternoon to discuss details. Yesterday I had already a conversation with Casey about accommodation. They handle quick.
We will leave here on the 27th of December.
More later….

Briefing at 10; it will be for sure shorter as Lumpy intervened in a correct way to stop discussions which should be spoken about after briefing.


Ready for briefing with happy pilots as Miles [Gore Brown] and Norm [Bloch]
In the back Allan [Barnes] Dave [Shorter] and James [Nugent].

Back from briefing.
The CD had some items and I must say he brings them in a gay way.
—scoring has to be done by class,otherwise it’s too complicated. So 4x for each class even with Ron as the only one in open.
—whether you fly or not the grid will rotate every day.
—Adam suggested to start fun teams again as they usually do. 5 Pilots , preferable from 1 class to keep it simple. Names were suggested as CHAMPIONS, or SECONDS which gave some laughter.
—Allan has 5 books from Ge Dale. They are 60 dollar and good reading.

Safety briefing, this time by David Pietsch.
About flying HIGH. Next week the temperatures will go up to over 40 again and the pilots can/will fly HIGH… need oxygen then.
A healthy person needs 90 % of oxygen in his blood at 10.000 ft. . I heard.
He had everybody’s attention , also about hypoxia, even when most pilots know it all.
He was very pleased that ALL pilots here, had oxygen and EDS in their glider.

Jenny had about the same news as yesterday. Same wind SW 10-20 kts, but it will pick up to quite strong later in the day, blue and a chance of high clouds.
Temperatures up to 31.5 according to SKYSIGHT ans 27.7 to XCS skies.

Just to let you know:
Eddie shared some news from the forecast by John’s Weather Channel – JWC

That looks “bad”. As shared By  

A task; 18 m./open…. 270 km…. B task; 2.15 AAT…
A task; st/15 m…214 km ……B task; 1.45 AAT

There is a 10 minute delay if you look at the tracking .

Congratulated James Nugent with his win at JoeyGlide.

James to the left with another Aussie “hotshot” Peter Brunton.

More later;
At 12.30 we saw some willy-willies! Good sign.
A sniffer went up at 1PM and a bit later also GMM.
He reported 2.500 ft.
At 13.35 he mentioned the ceiling was at 3.300 MSL.
At 13.40 they started with the launches.

2 PM;
For those who are not on FB some pictures from yesterday by Tocumwal Soaring Centre

A FULL, briefing room.
as shared by Tocumwal Soaring Centre
WIN TV was there and former world champion Brad Edwards was talking to them.
Tocumwal Soaring Centre

2.30 PM; 2.45;
Gate for 18 m. and open class opens at 14.45

Gate for 15m./standard class opens at 15.10.

All tuggies back now. All gliders airborne within an hour.Good job!!!
They went on track with the A task in the “pocket”.

Tracking-tv is in the briefing room…. the huge TV will be for entertainment.
Have to check that.
In between Judy is very busy with the set up for tonight. Glenda brought in some food already for the smorgasbord.
There will be at least 49 guests!!!
The pilots however struggle against the wind.

tracking system in briefing room.

5 PM;
Car’s are going to the field .A few gliders are over Corowa.
UKP just landed long at Eddie’s hangar , but he is not part of the comps.
They might be there soon. If you follow the tracking you will see it.
5.30 PM;
the first gliders announced their 10 k and just landed here.Among them GLQ,N1, BB, UKG,F1 and in between more.
One announced he was marginal .
Preferred landings at runway 18 right [grass]landing long.
6.30 PM:
Still pilots landing! No scores yet.Looks there will be big differences in time.
You find it all on later.

Mike Borgelt arrived so vario’s will be built in soon.

Off to the SRGC evening which starts at 7.

Some found it a fun day others absolutely not. Many saw the farmers harvest closer by than they wanted. More tomorrow.

Interesting observation today; sometimes I thought I was at the F1 racing track at Albert Park in Melbourne.
Cu tomorrow!!!

The Australian Diary ..part 6!

Just before briefing Mandy, who is the CD in Lake Keepit at the WWGC, asked me if I wanted to be the editor at the comps. I said YES.
More details later.
They have had smoke, but they fly every day ,so the WWGC DEFENITELY will be at LAKE KEEPIT!!!

8.30 AM;
Did you have a look at the speed from the practice day yesterday!? “Smoking” GOOD!!!!
In 18 m. /open Adam flew around with 162 km./ the ASG 29 …in the blue…and in the same type, Peter [Temple] flew 155.65 km./h over the set 330.93 km.
From the 24 who were scored for speed, the “slowest” flight was still 123,57 km./h!!! As said pilots found the day “ridiculous good”!!!With lift up to 10 kts and height of about 10 k.
Good day for Claire [Scutter] as well in Standard class ;134 ,27 km./h over 271,74 km.In this class only LS 8 gliders.
In 15 m. Tobias Geiger flew in his Ventus 2A and with great speed he raced over the 271 km ;141,70 km./h.

Today will be day 1 from the 58th Multi Class Australian Nationals, the 5th here in Tocumwal. No smoke today, a temperature according to my phone [yes I learned]up to 35 dgr.C. and a “stiff” wind!!
I woke up last night from the rough wind arriving with the “change”.
At briefing we will here what happens today. Try to be there today at 10.

Diana is another 2 hours late due to a delay. She arrives now at 12 in Shepparton. Quite an ordeal for her this trip till now and it might be not over yet as there are problems here as well; 2 gliders HERE, with as call sign MM. Normally that’s resolved very easily, but it ‘s to be seen if that ‘s happening here. Let’s wait and see.
There seems to be another MM in Australia too, as you can see on the picture shared by Schempp-Hirth today. It’s a popular call sign. “We” have it already since the 70 thies. MM are the first letters of my baptized names Maria Martina.Michel Mercier in France has the call-sign, so has Manuele Molinari in Italy.

From John Absolon we got this awesome picture from 🇦🇺Australia. Just for you, to overcome the gliding-winter-depression in regions like Germany. Day by day we are approaching the new season… Schempp-Hirth

Back after the briefing.

11 AM;
A pretty long briefing with lot’s of things ,which had to be discussed.
—Even with the smoke it turned out to be real good day yesterday!No prizes on a practice day, so that went smooth and fast. Compliments though for Claire and Adam.
—Some domestic items;
On Saturday there will be a spit roast in the Aero club and on Wednesday a Smorgasbord organized by the SRGC. More details later.
Today WIN TV will be at the field.
—PEV creates some problems and as long as those are not resolved the scorers will not score with this system.
A few pilots already opted to “let it go”.
I just copied it all for you , it might not be used! No worries!!! Deleted it all for now.
—tug master had to explain the speed of towing. It should be between 70 and 75, but some struggled all the way with 65.They look into it at the tug briefing straight after the briefing.
—very good safety briefing on fatigue and collision-avoidance- responsibility by Geoff Brown , ex-chief of the Royal Australian Air Force .
—announce your arrival at 10 miles out!!

Jenny did the weather and it will be weak and windy, so not as good as yesterday. Blue, a SW wind with 10 to 20 kts and average lift up to 5 kts.

Trackers will be available for all pilots [about 10 cables short at the moment but they will arrive today]
Tow ropes are at the field.Grid closes at 12.30.
Runway in use today is 18.First launch is expected to be at 1 PM.

There are A,B and C tasks . C task =326 km. for open and 266 for st and 15m.
After the sniffer has sniffed, they decide.
18 m./open; 423 km….
St. /15 m; 352 km….
You are up to date now CU later.

The last glider from the tie-down area, had 15 minutes to be in time. It’s rather far to 18. He made it easy.

Traffic jam at intersection.

At 12.30 6 tugs went out. AND,…surprise surprise the last one around the corner was the “ugly duckie ” from Charlie . Not here for one day!?
Yesterday they launched all pilots in 55 minutes!!
At 12.45 the self-launcher went for some good sniffing.
It depends on him, if they go at 1 PM.
Stand by!!

1.10 PM;
The sniffer had 6 kts at 6000 ft.
Not long after the decision was made; TASK C.
At this stage all pilots sign for the new task in front of the grid.

The day has been cancelled. Car’s are coming back. Not yet gliders to be seen.

Catherine Conway shared this picture with the text:” Task D”

Hear and see the tug’s now, they return home.
Tomorrow is another day.
CU then.

Tonight dinner at Gina’s!
Cheers Ritz
Try to make some more pictures this afternoon.

Some German/Austrian friends flying at Corowa arrived here , as they knew we were here. Like in the past I showed them proudly around. It all looks so good again after the disaster by the last owner . Lumpy and Sharon have done a superb job.
We sat under the veranda from great smelling wisteria and had a cuppa with Joergen, who in the past flew in Corowa as well.

With Hans Juergen, Hansi, Joergen and Evelien.
Only when I tried to find Hans Peters surname I found out it was Ueblacker and I am pretty sure I met him in Wiener Neustadt at the WGC. Have to check that one day.

We then walked to the beautiful white gum tree. This one is very special. It was planted on January 10 in 1988 on the day of Dennis funeral.
Janet Hider- Smith [ you might remember her as a great Aussie female pilot and editor at several comps]took a seed from this tree in St Kilda park and put it in a pot. Bruce Brockhoff brought it to Tocumwal and we planted it in front of our caravan, to be there with us for ever, not knowing that years later we were kicked off by the last owner.
It was in memory of Kees Musters, our best friend who was WGC champion in Hobbs New Mexico . He died after a fatal hang glider accident in France , just one week before Dennis had his accident at Finley with the Scout VH_ADP on January 3 1988.
I told the story a few years ago to Lumpy and he said he would take care of it. That gave me comfort.

Off for dinner now CU tomorrow!

The Australian Diary..part 5! Updated!!!

They fly today!!!!!

When I woke up I could smell it already…..You are not going to believe this. SMOKE EVERYWHERE.We have an Northerly today and I guess it’s the smoke from Sydney and or Canberra. It’s not too bad, though you smell it very badly.
In 15 minutes the opening starts and at 9.30 is the first briefing.
It smells horrible outside; my coughing started straight away.

Yesterday evening I visited the old WW2 hangar. It’s weird to see other people in the office, but I can only say it all looks PERFECT. Lumpy and Sharon did a great job. As did a lot of the members from the SRGC, they were running up and down to have it all perfect.
The garden is beautiful, the sun-room clean and sunny, the old dining room is a cosy family room now with sofa’s and comfortable chairs and a huge TV to follow the tracking.
“Our” old sun chairs ,once donated by the Snow family, are back under the veranda in front of the bar and the wisteria is cut nicely and in full flower.
The BBQ area is ready to go for the first BBQ donated by the SRGC on Wednesday evening.
Pictures later.

10 AM;
It’s a fact!!!!! I am old!!!
When I asked Ailsa how she could cope in the briefing room with, no table to put the map on ,she said with a laugh:” Common Ritz this is the 20thiest century, we use our phones”!!!!! And there I stood gobsmacked.
Before the briefing there was a special moment with 2 Aboriginal ladies who gave some kind of blessing and welcome to the guests. Sharon is for a small part aboriginal.
2 People from the Shire added their welcome, one of them Ross Bodey who was involved with Sportavia for a few years.

Ross to the R. Colin Jones in the middle and Bruce Wilson with his wife Anni to the l.

Briefing is busy now but I did not fit in anymore, did n’t want to take a place from a pilot, so time to write and to share pictures.

The briefing room 2019….still empty before the opening briefing.
Ailsa after “I felt old” LOL. There is a pool in the pool area behind the fences, the old pool is dead, totally deteriorated.
The bar and BBQ area. Looks here if it is still 2005.
The former dining room now some kind of family room with the big screen to follow the tracking.
Also Adam and Butch listened well.
Ingo still looks very good.
My former house looks pretty good too, BUT the bunkhouse room looks very poor.

A nice but noisy plane , the “airtruck”, which I saw already in Benalla,just arrived and “made” it through the smoke.
That’s good.

Still a pretty good visibility.
” Off to Toc to become national towing champion for the hundredth time “
as shared by Charlie’s Soaring nice picture Charlie.

Other news; Diana finally got her visa and will travel home to Toc soon now. She might be here already tomorrow.
She was stuck in Singapore, misses the first day’s now ,but will fly during the Nationals. Good practice for the WWGC, as she had only 1 start on it before the JS 3 went in the container.
After the 1 month delay of the container, the glider is not yet ready either, but nearly now.
George withdrew as his glider is not yet ready either. Instruments which were supposed to be here 2 weeks ago just arrived and will arrive this week.

Will find out now what’s happening and then you are up to date.
Tasks have been set and it was funny the more elderly pilots use the sun-room to put their maps on the tables. I am not the only “old” one here.

Tasks for the official practice day:
18m. …330.91 km.…;29 pilots at the list at this stage and 1 in open Ron Sanders in his Nimbus 3D.
This class has the PEV today…. the Pilot Event Marker. Start procedure in use; 10 minutes wait/10 minutes start open.

standard class …271 km...; 12 on the list at this stage.Among them Ayala from Lasham in the UK.

15 m….271 km…;6 in this class at the moment.

Great picture from Don Woodward, who is not only a very talented glider pilot but also and awesome photographer.

As shared by Don Woodward.

More later!!!

12 PM.
Gliders are brought to the strip at 36.
18 m/open is upfront, standard /15 m. behind.
This airfield has an elevation of 370 ft.
First launch expected at 12.
Min. finish height is 300 ft AGL.
Landing at runway 27.
NO COMPETITION finishes today.

Just spoke with Charlie from the airtruck. He is here for only one day, and it was not too bad with the smoke. He even expects that it might get better when the inversion burns out. I will be 39 today.

Tuggies are going to 36. The practice day starts now.
Do I have time to do other things.

At 36!!! As shared by Tocumwal Soaring Centre
2 tuggies on their way to 36.

With a 15 minute delay they are on their way. And…guess what, the smoke is slowly disappearing and you can see direction East again. GOOD!!!
Bit of panic from my site, but when people spend such a lot of money to host the Nationals, it would be cruel if it was spoiled by smoke!!!
I know that happens.

2.30 PM;
Tuggies are ready they just pass by. Did my shopping and I can tell you,…it’s bloody hot !!!
In between Eddie shares news on this competition as well. Everybody in Toc is pleased the Nationals are here.

as shared by SportAviation Tocumwal

Colin and George work hard to get Diana’s glider ready,as you can see.The wind is slightly changing to the S. and the smoke is gone. Hurray!!!!

Colin and George installing a new vario meter in the JS 3.

In between 4 gliders have landed long here at the field.

From one of the pilots I heard it was a ridiculous good day.Smoke was only here and in the East. With the wind change the smoke disappeared. GOOD!!!!
It seems speed of 160 km./h has been flown. The pilot I spoke to had 140 on the clock.
No results yet but they surely will come soon.

CU tomorrow a busy and not really good day here.
For results you can go to

The Australian Diary..part 4! Updated!

It’s Sunday and the day started early with very noisy pilots on several radio’s. Radio discipline!!?? Never heard of..haha.
George forgot to put the radio out so ,this was my alarm clock this morning.
Found out later that this is the Sunday morning group of pilots having “brekkie” [breakfast] together in Deni[liquin] .Now I understand the noise! No worries.
I only found out later, that Bruce also belonged to that mob.

A lot of pilots finished the NSW-comps in Temora and they are on their way here. ZZ just drove trough the gate.
I was a bit sad from Kerries message. As you know she lost her husband recently due to a heart attack.
Well I was hoping to get rid of some of these trophies at the NSW comps but I seem to have ended up with one extra (none of them mine of course!). Sadly there was no std class so Tom Claffey remains std class champion and speed winner for another year (and forever!) “

All prizes won by Tom. He was an excellent pilot and a great mate from EVERYBODY.

A lot of the flying girls and except for ROBERT, as I do not see him on the list, the winners from this competition.
NSW comps presentation dinner … at the Temora Bowling Club
– Don Woodward won Open/18m class
– Robert Smits won Club class
– Dave Pietsch won best speed @ 117kph

Robert from Alice Springs was very pleased “stoked” as he calls it himself with his win in an LS 4.
Don might likely win here as well.

David looks pretty “stoked” as well with his best speed.
Shared by Kerrie.

The girls even “starred” in the Local Paper; The Temora Independent.

It will be 33 dgr. C today, for tomorrow it will be over 40 and it might or might not a booming day. Let’s hope for BOOMING!!!!

Going out for lunch now at Margies, CU later.

5 PM;
Whilst I am writing I hear pilots come in over the radio, from their flight Had a lovely afternoon , no sorry not at the field, though I saw gliders leave the area at great height. Lovely but “bloody hot day!!!!”
Visited my friend Margie and her hubbie Bracey for lunch and caught up for a few minutes also with brother Tim. Tim is one of the tuggies here.
Margie read my blog and on my note of the low finishing glider with the beat-up, she wanted to react in a comment, but it did not work out;
Here is her reaction anyhow:
I hope the glider pilots doing low and fast beat ups in the circuit area think to look up before pulling up. ” Keep that in mind ,please!!!
As she, I straight away thought of Jeff her husband, Kirsten and the Swiss pilot who after an excellent flight was so happy that he pulled up straight in the bottom of the Blanik fuselage with Jeff and 25 year old Kirsten.
We had just started as owners with Jeff as our “teacher/mentor/colleague” , tragic enough that was only for a short time.
We then have forbidden our guests/customers, to do low passes and pull ups. We lost some then, who found that ridiculous. So be it!!
This one 2 days ago was the first I have seen here in Toc. ,in 23 years.
In Holland , as finish of a competition-day they try to beat each other in who is the lowest and fastest. I can show you.

Personally I do not like it. But,… Great picture.
Courtesy Arjan Vrieze.

After that a visit to Eddie who has been so ill, that many thought he was not going to make it.
He did and is on the mend now still fragile, but alive and “a bit kicking”.
Eddie is involved with gliding at the Tocumwal airfield since 1975. For a few years he had another job, but still flew at Tocumwal in the weekends.
I thought this was the 2d National competition here, but it is the 5th already.
The very first Nationals were flown in Toc. and the very first winner/ CHAMPION was Otto Brand. I have known Otto and his friend Neil for many years.
The 2d competition was in 1975, when Bill had founded his Sportavia and was the CD. He did not like the job I heard.
The 3d one with Eddie as CD, was under the “wings” of Jeff and Don, so after the accident of Dennis , as Bill gave up his involvement with Sportavia then.
The 4th was when the weather in Narromine was so bad that they had to go somewhere else and that was Tocumwal. I remember that one , with lot’s of guests sitting in and at the pool.
And the 5th one is here at this stage. There is a pool beside the pool now too, as the old one could not really get repaired.
I noticed the palm trees are in good nick again and it seems Sharon has a golden hand for gardening.
Tomorrow I share some pictures.

At 9.30 tomorrow, there will be a mandatory briefing and official practice day. Then on Tuesday…… It’s ALL HAPPENING.

Here are some links:

to follow the gliders…

for scores in the evening and tasks during the morning;

FB news on Sportavia Tocumwal and Tocumwal Residential Airpark

CU maybe later.Off for dinner.

The Australian Diary.Part 3.UPDATED!

Nice warm, but not the great looking sky we hope for today to practice. BUT,…they are flying. Can hear the tuggies doing their jobs.
Met Tim Wilson today, with his Dutch lady friend Ellen. Nice couple. Still young , which is the reason I never met them before.They are rigging FA at the moment to put it on the hard court.

Adam and his dad are on their way to Tocumwal and had a short, but necessary stop over.

Hope the weather over the next 2 weeks ,will be “the REAL TOCUMWAL weather” I know from the past.
Was a bit “shocked” to see Matthew’s news from November 29.
Relentless dust storms are hammering Australia at the moment, terrible for the local farmers but spectacular soaring if you happen to be in the right place at the right time… photo from November 29 this year, near Broken Hill “(…/dust-storms-happening-wit…/11768306)

As shared by SkySight

Off to see Eddie now so CU later for an update.
Had not yet time to visit Eddie.

3 PM:
Talking and talking Dutch with Ellen.
Ailsa arrived with ” her” JS 1 and flew in from Benalla, mostly at around 3000 ft.
Now she left again in the Bonanza from Tim, back to Benalla to pick up her car and trailer.
In between Andrew [ Maddocks ] arrived and he fitted on the picture as well.

With the pilot Steve Hobby, engineer at Wangaretta, Andrew,Tim ,Ellen and Ailsa.
The girls hopping in for their flight to Benalla.

4.30 PM;
Who remembers this special cup in the middle at the table?

George and his mate Bruce looking at the action.

The cup a bit bigger;

YES. Uvalde Texas!!!!1991!!! Really good to have here for water. Did n’t even know it was here.

In between they have flown a “bit” further from here, in Kingaroy the junior nationals ; JOEYGLIDE.
It looks after 7 days, on which they flew 6 tasks, a great win for James Nugent in the LS 3. To be honest I expected him to win!! But Michael really did well!!!!
He had 5.087 points, runner up Michael Keller had 4.713 in a Mosquito.
They flew between December 1 and 7… today. James won 3 day’s and Michael as well including the last one , when James was runner up.
Michael was unlucky with an out landing on day 1 and lost more than 200 points. But won the 4 hour AAT with 499 km. in time 4.11,on task 5.

By the way when I had time, Eddie was busy. Another day!!

Last update for now. Day was not too flash to fly as Bernie said in his OLC comment; ” Tough day at the office, weak & low most of the way around. “
Still a nice 300 km triangle in his PIK 20.
Norm and Lumpy flew in their fancy machines [ 18 m. JS 3] just over 370, a triangle as well. So pretty good practice!
Good to see that William flew his ARCUS M from Corowa to Narromine, so it’s home again. Wife Evelien followed with the car, of course FULL of gear.They were about home at the same time!

7.30 PM;
To finish a real glider pilots car full of stuff .

The life of a glider pilot!!!

Not such a good day , still some jet lag.
CU tomorrow Ritz

The Australian Diary part 2. Updated

11. AM;
It’s Friday today and still windy, but temperatures are going up to 28 dgr. C. More and more trailers on the N. side of the field and quite a few gliders already at the tie-down-area, where in 1986, about 50 gliders from many different Nationalities were parked , as those pilots practiced here for the 1987 WGC.
I still fondly remember the ATOP and pilots and crew who were here then straight away know what I mean about that.
The Australian Toolshed Opening Party, with pilots as Leonardo Brigliadori, Tapio Savoilinen, our Dennis and Kees Musters, all not with us anymore.
Everybody was over-refreshed, also our son Dennis, who I saw like this for the very first time.
Bruce Brockhoff opened the tool shed behind his caravan [which we bought later from him, including the shed…very fancy]
Bruce prepared for a whole day, a pig on the spit and stuffed it with the nicest ingredients.
I spoke with Bruce , he tries to be here as well, one of these day’s.
We had a brilliant evening at the caravan-park from Sportavia ,when Bill Riley was still in charge and his son David together with Peter Menhennitt and Peter Corckery were full on busy in the work shop.
Spoke to Corckey yesterday and his kids, maybe 4 at that stage, are grown up and 2 have children….time flies!!!!He and Mary are grand parents!!!O ff for lunch. Update later.

8 PM.
Have n’t been at the field today, but when I came back from lunch…including the first bubbles… at the lake in Yarrawonga, I noticed that more and more gliders are at the tarmac. It’s nearly ALL happening here, like in the past, busy and buzzing.
One glider finished low and fast with a beat-up , when we arrived.
Found some pictures on the internet from the tarmac and the trailer park.

Trailer parking shared by Tocumwal Residential Airpark
Shared by Tocumwal Soaring Centre the picture from the tarmac.

Only small tasks today . Norm was the only one flying yesterday and with the tough wind and the marginal circumstances he still managed to fly his glider a JS 3/18m. over 228 km.
Still very tired but slept well last night.
Dinner now, so if the brain is working again, you can expect more news tomorrow. CU then.


Here we go , not the normal blog, but a more private story about this trip from nearly 2 months.
Will write it as a diary, so publish and add when necessary with news day by day. So you will find often “UPDATED”.

Thursday December 5 2019…day 2.
Yes,…..sorry, I have to apologize, but that was being too enthusiastic, to promise to write straight away after arrival in Tocumwal.
Tuesday 24 hours of flying. Wednesday , December 4, however was the day I arrived “home”.
The flight with Ethiad was “uneventful”, meaning all went well.
If there was something to mention , it was the fact that over the Indian Ocean, we all sat for hours with our safety belts on, very bumpy.
Looking out of the window I saw lot’s of lenti’s.

Arrived in time in Melbourne,at 5.15 AM; grey and fresh, 11 dgr. C.Was prepared to stand in row for customs, for a long time, like all those years before ,but one way or another they got the message that this was not the kindest welcome, for overseas guests, so the new self -custom-checks for Aussies and Kiwis’s worked more than efficient.
Within 10 minutes I was ready … the people from customs had a good day as well…, the Skybus was waiting , so before I knew I was at Southern Cross Station in Spencer street.

Train to Seymour,still grey and cloudy, bus to Shepparton where the sun was shining, I was picked up by George.
On the way to Toc. he asked me how tired I was, if I could maybe come with him to Corowa as the containers had arrived and he had to help to unpack.
So off to Corowa ,where the full team of guests under supervision of Grietje and Francesco unpacked the 10 gliders, rigged them and with the experience from all and for that reason the efficiency ,the job was done within 4 hours including lunch time.
An oiled machine.
From Corowa to Toc the weather was just good for soaring.

First time I saw Diana’s glider and George flew it for the first time.

In the evening, after a clean up, we had dinner in the Palms with our former co-owners Glenda and Ross.They were there already and invited us at their table, so “old” stories ,lot’s of laughing, a great beginning of my holiday.

This morning George and Bruce left for Corowa in the Belanca Scout to bring Diana’s brand new JS 3 to Toc. First time George will fly it.
Very windy today so not so nice as yesterday and the day before. It will be 29 dgr. C today , great temperature for me, to get in the rhythm. Humidity of 67 %.

After the briefing Bruce flew the Scout home and George the JS 3.He passed the Scout in the beginning.

Bruce; ” Bit embarrassing, the glider overtaking me. “

Norm, good to see him, went for a flight in his JS 3, just for checking and to be ready for scrutenering.

More tomorrow as the brain is there, that was proved” by neurology, but it’s not yet really working.

Cheers Ritz