N.Z. Nationals at Taupo !2 seat Nationals at Narromine!

POST 1.195!!!


After a bad start with 3 non flying day’s ,the comps continued with better weather and nice tasks.
So we now continue too with the last day’s. Exciting day’s as well!!!!
On Thursday it was day 7 and as Hugh [like his writing style!!!] mentioned;
Oooh – the 13th! Lucky for some, but bad news for others!
Again an “iffy” day, but a launch was begun about 1315 and away we went, chasing five big circles in the sky.
Most would admit it was hard work, but what it did do was show the men up from the boys. The “guns” got around in style, and the mere mortals landed out. It must be noted, though, that these are the first real landouts we’ve had all tournament, and also noted that all were on good farm strips. Well done you guys
Open; 2 hour AAT and a prey for Keith [Essex] who is on steam at the moment, after a few mishaps.He flew as the only one just over 200 km in just under 2 hours.
Peter [Hartmann] was runner up .
The “real” NZ pilots Brett [Hunter], Patrick [Driessen] and Tony [van Dyke] followed with Patrick still in the overall lead.
Friday was for Peter …286 km. in time 2.19…and Patrick was runner up during the 2.15 AAT. With ONE day to go it’s Peter now who wants to claim the title.Patrick is still runner up with a tad less than 200 points, maybe to much ????
As Hugh mentioned;” It’s tough at the top, they say, but so are these pilots. Noone’s giving an inch, but everyone’s trying to take a mile. Anything to get those few extra points that will make the difference between becoming the National Champion and the other place which is not the national champion. ”
Saturday LAST day!!!!
Another short 2.15 AAT . Tim was back on track and flew 214 km in time 2.24. That was 10 km. further than Keith who was runner up.
Then there was Patrick what would he do ?
He was 3d consolidating his 2d place. For Peter from Austria it was party time …he won the NZ Nationals, but… as Austrian, he was the winner and Patrick will be the new NZ champion.
Tony who was 3d on the one but last day, dropped to 5 after an out landing. A pity!!! Hugh Mentioned;
The weather forecast indicated over-development later in the day, so a task was set for a 1200 takeoff, and gliders were gridded.
It was already overdeveloped. The self-launcher GDE took off to fly to Matamata, but the news from him as our sniffer extraordinaire was all bad.

So ,…they flew…squeezed a day out in this class ….but all starts were after 2.30 PM.

Final scores in open after 9 day’s flying out of 14:
1. Peter Hartmann in Duo Discus with 8.275 points.
2. Patrick Driessen in JS 1 8.193p. and NZ CHAMPION.
3. Tim Bromhead in Ventus CT 17.6 m. 7.154 p

Racing; had a 2 hour AAT as well, but they struggled.Only 3 of the 10 who started ….finished. Mark [Wilson] yes you remember for sure ,…in the LIBELLE won the day!!!
Friday one but last day!!! Of course the handicap of 89 helps but the soaring of Mark in his LIBELLE is just great.
During the 2.15 AAT he flew 246 km in time 2.19. He was the only one with a speed over 100 km./h ;105.86 to be precise.
With one more day to go, Mark leads with 7.464 points quite a few more than runner up Steve [Wallace] who was runner up for the day; 6.575 p.
And more from Hugh who was 6th for the day :” Today was fun. The forecast was not great, two tasks were prepared, and a decision was postponed until 1300 to see which way the weather went. Once again the think-tank did a good job and conditions were actually quite good on the task chosen, allowing the better pilots to show their skills but also catering for the not so experienced pilots to push themselves a bit, learn from the masters, and gain confidence either by getting around or landing out. All good stuff.
Saturday also here LAST day and Mark could have stayed on the ground when it would not be a 1000 p day, but he did not . He flew around in his LIBELLE and covered 194 km. but all in vain as there were not enough pilots flying over 100 km. Only he and Steve.
So no extra points in this class;
Final scores in racing after 8 day’s flying out of 14:
1. Mark Wilson in the Libelle with 7.464 points and NZ CHAMPION!!!!!
2. Steve Foreman in LS 4 with 6.575 p.
3. Trace Austin in Discus with 6.512

I really liked the blog from Hugh who flew [6th in the final scores!!!] and wrote in a lovely way, AND he was in the middle of the happening, so here is his last post:
Well, what a dramatic last day. One had to feel sorry for the Contest Director having to make a call on a 50/50 day with so much at stake, but make a call he did, and 50/50 it was. Most of the Open class got around, and there was a significant shift in the placings. Most of the Racing class landed out, so there was no change in the placings. Congratulations to the two new National champions- well deserved wins to Patrick Driessen in the Open and Mark Wilson in the Racing class. A special vote of thanks and a light-hearted but sincere award was made to Peter Hartmann who won the Open class on points, but as a visiting overseas pilot was not eligible to be National Champion.


——The British Gliding Association shared this message on October 28 2019 which is STILL IMPORTANT!!!
Did you know that BGA safety data is warning us that tug upset incidents are currently occurring at 5x the historic rate – and include incidents involving ALL tug types?
The fundamental issue is glider pilots allowing the glider to pitch up too high behind the tug.
Causes include glider pilot distraction and failure to confirm rope separation before manoeuvring the glider at the end of the tow.
More advice including video is available
at https://members.gliding.co.uk/bga-safety-m…/safe-aerotowing/
Please share with your glider pilot friends.
British Gliding Association


The Narromine 2-Seat Nationals.

Tugmaster Klara and CD Beryl..Beryl …..seems to never get older!!!!
as shared by Birgitte,

Off to Australia again where the 2-seat Nationals started with 12 couples so 24 pilots.
A few very good ones so it will be interesting. These comps moved from Horsham to Narromine and will be flown between February 16 and 22.
4x An Arcus M, 6 x a Duo Discus from just Duo till, X, XL and T.
And Brad Edwards is there with his brand new ASG 32MI.
Practice was on Saturday the 15th with a nice 3 hour AAT won by Brad and Taylor would that be Bruce?? Yes, of course ….TOP COUPLE …unbeatable????!!!Not that brother Bill would have been not good but Bruce is , as pilot, a “tad” better.
361 km in time 2.51.
Adam [Woolley] and Keith [Gately] in the ARCUS M were runner up with 347 km and good old Harry [Medlicott] was 3d with Allan [Barnes] in the front seat.
Allan wrote:”  We had vario problems before launch – had to go to the back of the grid. Once airborne there were no issues but we started as soon as in position, at about 14:34, only 4 minutes later than planned. Climbs were only moderate, averaging about 3kt all the way round and they were small. We shared the flying about 50/50 and managed to nail the final glide with a 3:00:01 finish time. A pity we didn’t nail the climbs as well as the final glide!
Only practice guy’s!!!!

No flying on Sunday. Keith mentioned :” Task B to Task C, Hangar 17 Bar is officially open.

Adam said;” Day cancelled. Multi-level wave cloud on the front of this cell .”
As shared by Adam.

And….. Bruce spoke highly over the brand new glider in his Taylor’s Gliding Page.
We will be flying his brand new ASG 32, and the plan is that we swap seats each day, and hence swap flying duties to whoever is sitting in the front seat. I had never flown this glider until yesterday, and as per Brad’s prior advice that it was “a bloody beauty”, that is exactly as I found it! It is quite delightful to fly, is comfortable, quiet and it even smells new. I feel terribly spoiled to be allowed to join Brad in this glider, and in this event, and I should thank his brother, Bill Edwards for being unavailable to take his usual seat. “
More on his page with pictures as well.

By the way,..in Benalla and Tocumwal they had last Sunday, flights between 512 [ASW 27] and 706 km.[Ventus 2CT /18m]

Monday in Narromine; NO FLYING.” Good decision to cancel the day. We wouldn’t have gone anywhere.

Brads new “ship”
So what do you do when you have a day off at a gliding competition, and you’ve already drunk too much coffee? You buy a bucket and a couple of mops and you wash the floor of the hangar 😇 At least that’s what you do if you are Brad Edwards.
Taylor’s Gliding Page

Tuesday first flying day!
And,.. a 3 hour AAT was set . Unfortunately most of the pilots had less than 100 points. One team had 469 p. …..Yes Brad and Bruce…flying 227 km, in time 2.59!!!, showing this was a REAL marginal/difficult day!!!
They were the only finishers!!!!
”  It was Brad’s turn to fly and he turned in a stellar performance, in what were extremely difficult conditions. 
Basically we flew the minimum distance on a 3 hour AAT, crawled around no higher than about 2,500 feet until our patience was finally rewarded with our last climb to 9,000 feet at 120km out from home. We slid home very gently with enough of a tailwind to make it, with no more lift available at 6:30pm. What a wonderful flight; we loved it!

More in Taylor’s Gliding Page

Brad & Bruce’s final climb, 6.5kts to 9000′ – must  have felt great.
Can’t say I’ve ever been 400pts down on day one before, such is life, let’s fight for 2nd place now 
As shared by Adam in Adam Woolley’s Gliding Adventures

Good old Harry and Allan , runners up, flew 111 km. but did not finish had to start their engine.
Why???? Here is their [Allan’s] story.
Finally, after two cancelled thunderstorm- days , we got the first competition day. Not even sure if it will be validated, but we had the odds stacked against us so I’m quite pleased how far we got. We were at the back of the grid, with a 3 hr task into a sky already decaying before we launched. Fortunately we managed to get into start position just after the gate opened and set of at 14:58 or so. At the end of the second glide we dumped our water and saw Justin starting his engine a few hundred below us. Pushed on into the murk, stopping in almost anything going up, There were two options today – try to do minimum distance and not worry about speed, or try to cross the big band of cirrus and mid-level cloud to connect with an energy line that was leading from the far side of the first sector to the far side of the second. We sort of migrated to the second option, because when we reached the first sector, we never had a line of lift heading towards the second, and that energy like kept beckoning.
When we eventually got there, low, we could only find rubbishy lift -never lift all the way around the turn. We spent over half an hour working that rubbish, hardly gaining, and drifting toward the far edge of the circle. Eventually options ran out, and we turned for the second sector but so low that there was no option but to start the engine. Getting home was a lot quicker than the outward journey!
As you can read, a VERY TOUGH job in the office!!!!

Today flying-day 2. Another 3 hour AAT and flown by all except 1 team.
327 km. in 3 hours by Butch and his mate, so over 100 km./h [108] but still not a real Narromine -day,even now it is nearly autumn there.
Allan and Harry were 1 km. faster but on handicap they were runner up.
The “star-team” lost 97 points, so there is hope for the rest!![4th]
They still lead after 2 day’s but “only by 123 points!!!
Why did they loose those points?
Bruce;” Forecast totally blue turned into some nice cu around the start. It did go blue out around the first turn but there were wisps for almost all the rest of the task. We had a total brain fade today, combined with some flight computer technical issues which meant we came home 16 mins early. Ouch!  “
More in Taylor’s Gliding Page

Last but not least a picture shared by Eric Napoleon the TC from the French ladies in Lake Keepit…no words needed!!!


And very sad news for 4 families as 2 2-engine-training planes collided midair today close to Mangalore . One landing coming from the N and one just left from Mangalore. Each plane had a trainee and instructor!!!
Very sad!!!!!!

Cu next week.
Cheers Ritz

European season starts soon !

—-The N. and middle of Europe had an interesting weekend!
The BBC called it ” the storm of the century” , and CNN spoke about “one for the record books”.
We had a real storm, even with a name,…CIARA,…. covering Denmark, The UK and Ireland and Belgium, Holland, Germany to even further East and to Paris .
The noise from the wind was terrible, I was a bit scared and the trees bend over and I had to rush out side to save some pot-plants!!
Not a lot of traffic as the warnings ahead did their job, but still unbelievable damage ….between 150 and 200 million . In the UK mostly heavy flooding, here roofs from houses , trees on houses and cars .
In France 130.000 houses had no electricity.
Same in the East of Europe and a total of 6 people who died due to this storm. That’s the worst bit!!!
Planes tried hard to land at Schiphol Airport, but after trying a few times they went back to where they came from when that was still possible. Air Europe came from Madrid and flew back there with ladies in it crying out LOUD!!!.
One interesting phenomena was the speed of a 747 flying from New York to London in record time, less than 5 hours….yes,….tailwind!!!
London airports had the same huge problems for landings.

This week , in fact today, the containers in Corowa have been packed, so those gliders will be in time for the European season as well, as they will be picked up on Friday. In the last week, they had some good flights, to remember whilst going back to the Netherlands and Germany.
Today was one of those great day’s, but as often no flying due to packing.

Corowa on packing-day!
As shared by Diana.

Also the Worcester-gliders have been packed for a trip back to Germany.
With the hottest EVER January WORLD WIDE, glider pilots might,… like birds, feel the need of flying early too.
Nature is far ahead of the normal on this side of the world.

—-The Horsham Week had it’s 2d flying day last Friday. A pretty good one with a 3 hour AAT in Club class.
Best pilot for the day ,Craig Dilks in his PIK 20B with 268 km. in time 3.09.
Runner up for 956 points, Gary Stevenson [HC] in Discus 2.
On Saturday February 8 , task 3 was a fact and straight away the last day as well and luckily again “nice” weather with a Kestrel 17 as winner but the Dunn’s fly HC.
So Jarislaw was winner again with 106 km./h. with 267 km during a 2.30 AAT and a speed of 106 km./h.
So looking at the final results Jarislaw was the best with Craig as runner up.
The HC pilots did well too; The Dun’s in the end had the most points as Tim [Shirley] lost some points on the last day.

Day 6 on January 6:
” The day was always going to be limited but we were looking at a good day.
After gridding, we had 3mm rain, lowering the temperature. Opting for B task did not save the day with bad weather expected by 5.30pm so the day was reluctantly cancelled
. “
as shared by https://www.horshamweek.org.au/

In open/18 m. it was a late start for all at around 3.25 PM. Daily winner in ASG 29 , John Orton. He flew during the 2.30 AAT, 319 km. in time 3.01.
Saturday , the last day, had a racing task from 323 km. and Mike Durrant flew around with a speed of 126 km./h.
With that , he won the Horsham comps as he passed John Orton , who was 7th for the day and dropped from 1 to 5.
Craig Vinall who was runner up moved from 4 to 2 so runner up.
So a few changes on this last day.
Another day with a late start around 3.30 PM.

—-In Taupo, where the NZ Nationals are in progress the weather improved as well and after 3 non flying days, the open class pilots flew 3 in a row with on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday Tim Bromhead [Ventus CT 17.5 m.] as winner, from a racing task from 262 km and a 3 hour AAT.
He won the AAT with 413 km. in 3 hour at the dot!!!!! Speed ….137 km./h!!!!
So 3 day’s in a row with Tim as daily winner. Good on him!!!
Keith [Essex] who flies and flew at many places found it a good day hence his reaction :” One of the best days I’ve seen at Taupo. Got low once, that slowed me down a bit, otherwise a stunning day. “
He unfortunately got some penalty points and though he flew with a speed of 133 km./h he was 10th.
Then it was quiet again in Taupo.
On the 9th , however, it was back to business with a real good task , an AAT, from 3.30.
With a speed of 113 km./h Tim won again; 423 km in time 3.44! He started at 13.38 whilst runner up Patrick Driessen started at 14.22!!!
A later start as well for Keith , who just could not make it back home.

In racing class 3 good day’s as well with a 278 km. [ winner Mark Wilson] and 209 km. racing task and a 3 hour AAT.
The racing task was won by Trace Austin in Discus, the AAT with 369 km. by Mark Wilson in the mighty LIBELLE; 50 km. MORE than the rest. SPEED 117 km./h!!!!
Still a few day’s to go as they finish at the 15th!
Also the smaller ships got a 3.30 AAT which was won by Trace with 346 km. in time 3.54.

There was a good sum-up from John Etches, from the first week in Taupo and I share this news with you as it is from “the horses mouth”:
“Well here we are at the end of the first week, and back on the air in more ways than one. Apologies for the lack of news over the last few days, but we are having a few technical issues. Anyway we’re definitely back on track with the gliding; several good days, and at least one GREAT day when thermals were powerful and plentiful, and streets were bustling with fast traffic at 6,500 ft.

Wednesday was the first good day, and a racing task was set up to Thames and back. The westerly that had been so annoying for the first couple of days proved a bonus on the Kaimais, so most had a fun day. The winners were Tim Bromhead in his new toy ZK-GOP in the Open class, and Mark Wilson in the Libelle showing how it should be done in the Racing class.
The next day, Thursday, had similar conditions so a similar task was set and again Tim took the honors in the Open class but local lad Trace Austin pipped Mark for first place in the Racing class.

Friday was a boomer. An AAT task was set, and it was one of those days when everything that that you thought should work actually did, so everyone arrived back with a smile on their face, especially our two winners again, Tim and Mark.
Saturday was Soggyday, and most were quite glad of a day off. The Contest Director was the winner that day – on the golf course!
Today, Sunday, was again a good day, although not quite as good as Skysight had predicted. There were lots of expanses of blue, but a good AAT task was set with big circles which would have included Mt Ruapehu if conditions cooperated. (They didn’t!) Results not finalized yet, but the general consensus seems to be that it was hard work, but satisfying and, most importantly, good fun. That will continue tonight with a dinner at the Gliding Club prepared by Neil Harker.

Week 2 started …PRETTY GOOD,….as they could fly!!!! Rather small tasks though….
Monday; task 5 for both racing and open class. A day as writer Hugh mentioned with ” a bit of everything. It started with blue skies and uncertainty, and finished with lots of smiling faces and stories over a beer.
racing2 hour AAT ;A new name Derek Shipley won the 1000 points in his St. Jantar; 239 km.in time 2.12. All 10 pilots who started flew the task and 3 with a speed over 100 km./h.
Mark in the LIBELLE still leads the overall scores,….BUT,…by only 21 points as Trace in his Discus is on “his heels”!!!
On Tuesday NO FLYING but Wednesday had some good flights again during a 2 hour AAT.
As they said;” Great flying out there with some boomer thermals, some good convergence, and always a few of those great-looking Cu’s with black bottoms that suck you in to going out of your way to get a climb and then produce 1knot up and 4 knots down!” by Hugh de Lautour , one of the pilots .He flies a Ventus 2CT 17.6 m..and was 5th for the day.
It was LIBELLE -day again and Mark got the 1000 points for 282 km in time 2.48. Peter Cook in Discus A was runner up with 6 points less; 220 km. in time 2.11.time

Open…3 hour AAT; and there he was…Keith ….winning the day with 409 km. in time 3.02.Gaining 75 points on runner up for the day Patrick, who still leads the overall scores.
Keith comment:” Good Taupo day with decent lines. Better attitude today as well”.
14 Started,
14 finished. Austrian Peter keeps going with the DUO DISCUS [handicap 102 to JS 1 and ASG 29 with 111]
An off day it seems, for till now every-day’s-winner Tim, who now was 8th!!
Wednesday , today, showed also here a task number 7 for flying day 6.
The day got off to a bit of an uncertain start – Rasp and Skysight disagreed on details, but both indicated a late start to any development so a task was set and the launch was scheduled for the later time of 1300. Even then it was scratchy, and many struggled to get away, but by 1400 there was enough activity for everyone to get a start .” Hugh de Lautour .
A 2 hour AAT and also here the day was won by an “oldie” ,…the Mosquito with Steve Wallace in it; 290 km. in time 2.07 so a good speed of 137 km./h!! Good on him!!Peter, Keith and Patrick followed,…where is Tim, who won every day in the first week???,…he did not fly.
Comment from Keith;” Weird day. Good to start but didn’t work very well by the end of the day. Had to push further into the turnpoints then I would have liked but would have been under time if I didn’t .”
Patrick still leads but Keith is close very close,…8 points!!!

—–Talking about NZ here is a reaction from Terry Delore after his magic flight and he is planning on MORE:
Next big one is not a record its Bluff to Cape Reinga the length of New Zealand with my copilot and Daughter Abbey Delore. This may happen at months end if I can new engine installed in our ASH 25 mi Zulu Foxtrot.
And for the record it looks like the free out and return distance is in the bag but the declared 1730 o/r and 1500k o/r speed are in doubt due to missing the start line by 200m, I was in quadrant but the rules have changed! Hard lesson!
Best regards, Terry

—–Good news from the FIREBRIGADE in Australia;
Last night, the Soalhaven’s Currowan fire [ on the NSW South Coast ] was officially declared out after burning for 2.5 months. Amazing news and wishing best of luck in putting out all the remaining fires – and thanks to the RFS for your amazing work .” by one of my friends Tom.
This fire burned for 74 day’s,… burnt out 499,621 hectares,…..312 houses were destroyed and 173 damaged,…1.889 homes were saved by the fire fighters.
On the other hand,…it’s now flooding ….that spoils the good life in those beautiful coast places.
And tropical cyclone Uesie is on it’s way to the East coast and will ” send large swells and heavy rains from as early  as tomorrow”.
Most probably” landing” between Brisbane and Sydney.

We will have a storm this upcoming weekend again too!! Hate storms!!

Cu next week
Cheers Ritz

Horsham ! Taupo ! Terry Delore!!!

A fun competition with a serious “site”! More to the W,… so in the end of the season,…. mostly good weather.
Horsham Week 2020 will run in conjunction with the Victorian State Championships.
It’s 40 dgr. C again and the pilots ,30 ,who arrived for the comps were ready to go for it, between February 1 and 8 .
It’s the 54 th “version” of this competition ,so a lot of history there as well.
An interesting article was added recently to the site, on the Horsham early gliding history, which started in 1938: 

Andrew was instrumental in the formation of the Horsham Gliding Club in March 1938.

A real nice story about the club and the KESTREL.
The flying was less nice as it rained and the field was so wet that launching was not possible even not with better conditions as you can see.
So no flying on day 1 and 2.

Looking good.
Courtesy George.

And also not on day 3 , yes tasks were set small AAT’s, but still too early to fly, so no flying.
2.45 AAT for the 10 open/18 m. pilots and 2.15 AAT for the 21 club class pilots.
Day 4 …yes,yes was a flying day, with task 2.
18 m.; got a 264 km-day which was won by Rolf Buelter , [JS 1b] who every Christmas spends time at Tocumwal, though I did not see him this season.
Mike Durrant was runner up.
Club; Jarowslaw was the best in his PIK 20, though Tim Shirley [ASW 28] was a tad better but flies HC.
Day 5 ,today, had small AAT’s again,…but in the end the day had to be cancelled.
VERY unlucky with the weather. A weird season every where in Australia.
It’s 43 dgr. C. a bit higher to the NW in the Perth area.


The New Zealand Nationals at Taupo.

In Taupo the 24 competitors started on February 2 [till February 15 ] for the Nationals in 2 classes, racing and open.
Not too good weather in the beautiful Taupo area either. Their news for the practice day:”We are here – we are ready – we are blown away. No task today due excess wind destroying any chance of thermals developing.
Tomorrow looking similar, but hoping for the best

AND,…no good news from Taupo either ;”Day One – supposedly first day we fly…….Second day we don’t fly!
Bugger. 20kt Westerly killing everything
The wind this season is a rough item. Also Tocumwal where the Australian Nationals were flown, struggled with wind and for them it was even worse as they had to deal with smoke and dust as well.

When pilots fly 1.700 and 1.500 km , yes I know in wave, there must be something to fly “in” for the comps-pilots as well. No it was NOT.
Another day cancelled.
BUT then there was today February 5 and a nice task [1] was set.
Open; had to go for 342 km and all 13 pilots who flew finished. It was even a 1000 points-day and those points were for Tim Bromhead in the 17.5 Ventus CT.
Brett Hunter and Patrick Driessen were runners up.
Good to see Peter Hartmann from Austria and Keith Essex from the USA on the list as well as . They were on spot 4 and 10 with good old Tony van Dyke on 6 in LS 8.
Club; had 278 km to go and and from the 11 pilots who started 7 finished.
Mark Wilson in the “little but oh so beautiful ” Libelle won the 955 points


Newsy soaring news!

With new fires and temperatures over 40 dgr.C. the Canberra area lived in despair, certainly those in the suburbs where meters-high red flames “eat ” the trees and all in and under it, in the mountains.

Of course the other site of the medal is great soaring conditions.
The Polish team was not always smiling in Lake Keepit, but Klara who stayed a bit longer in Oz and flew from Narromine used the great weather for her first 750 FAI triangle .Good on her!!! And for sure a big smile now!!
She flew Adam’s G1, earlier “used” by Thomas for a late 1000 for the season.
On the first day of February she tried a 1000 as well and nearly did it in the same 15 m. conversion Ventus;977 km with a speed of 130 km./h but as she wrote ” I was too slow... ” But very good, we have to remind that day’s are really getting shorter now in February over there.
7 hours and 30 minutes …meaning….. really trying hard!!!
And what about Tocumwal:
A 1000 k FAI TRIANGLE on the last day of January for Lumpy in his JS 3 good on him.
But great flights by all who flew from Toc. that day ;…Stefan, frequent flyer, kilometer-eater and already flying in Toc since I was there first in 1984.
In his LS 4 …pure glider….he flew a 750 FAI TRIANGLE!!!
Another long-time pilot in Tocumwal is Kari from Finland who flew in the ASW 27 a 788 km flight in it a 750 FAI TRIANGLE.
What about Grant,..in his St. Jantar he flew 713 km [668 triangle ] His comment…was short ,easy and happy;”yipeee
Even INGO took his Discus out of the hangar for a “ride”; 781 km. [634 triangle]
Chris[topher] just missed 47 km to make another of his many 1000 km. flights in his JS 1 [830 FAI TRIANGLE]
By the way one day later the first day of February the temperature dropped with 17 dgr. to 23 dgr.C !!!! with dust-storms.

First Big day gliding for the summer season ON the last day of January.
as shared by SportAviation Tocumwal


Still good flyable conditions in South Africa as well with nice flights from Orient, flights from just over and just under 500 km .
Worcester still has some “old” mates flying, in this case Uwe and Michael, both flew often with us in the past.
This time they fly the NIMBUS 3D together!!!FUN!!!
Karin and Marcus seem to be still there too and after Uli crewed for his wife Chrissie [ 3d in club class] in Lake Keepit, he left via Germany for Worcester as well . He flew with Sven in the ARCUS M 702 km. on Jan 26, which was Australia day!!!


Eddie Madden from Sportaviation in Tocumwal and an ace in meteo -affairs shared these pictures from January in Australia.
They were published by the Bureau of meteorology and from the 7 pictures I choose 3 .[ Bureau of Meteorology ]
It would be difficult to summarize Australia’s weather this January.
From ☀️heatwaves to ❄️hail, tropical cyclones to dust storms these photos captured by our community over the past month show the diversity of Australia’s weather.

Microburst with hail and a wrapping cloud at Springfield, Queensland.
On January 20 2020
Courtesy Mr “S” Photography
It looks like a mountain but it’s a Pileus cloud over Port Macquarie, NSW.
courtesy Will Eades Photography
Storms over Seaford, Victoria
courtesy Vaughan Laws Photography


Last but not least a fabulous flight from Terry Delore from the South Island to the N and back in a 15 m. glider trying 15 m. WORLD RECORDS.

” Very large hydraulic jump present over Christchurch, NZ this morning. Telltale frayed leading edge with a long tail and no apparent rebounds.
Terry Delore appears to have made a very early launch, and is now on his way across the water to the North Island! “
As shared by SkySight

On February 3 at 6.15 PM the message was :” 150km to run to Clyde! Looking good!! Currently over Twizel. Terry has to get to Clyde by 8.43pm and finish above 6,520ft to claim 15m World Records’ “
And,… a bit later; “Terry is safely down, a nice cold Stella and a coat of Champagne to finish it off, brilliant effort 🎉

He started with first light from Omarama and flew an ASW 27 up N. over the water between the 2 isles.
One update mentioned :”  Terry has crossed Cook Strait “over solid ground” looking on target at this stage with most of the South Island to come . Pic is climbing up to FL230 over Lake Wairarapa before setting across the strait and the other Canterbury sky.
Max Stevens in YD is also on a biggy flight, looks as though he is going for another crack at 1500km.

About Cook Strait;” is a strait that separates the North and South Islands of New Zealand. It connects the Tasman Sea on the northwest with the South Pacific Ocean on the southeast, and runs next to the capital city, Wellington.
It is 22 kilometres (14 mi) wide at its narrowest point, and is considered one of the most dangerous and unpredictable waters in the world
” Wikipedia.

Max flew a declared 1.557 km flight in the Ventus 2C [18m] speed 119 km./h. He stayed at the South Island and started from Omarama.
1,500km diploma. Got the LoH right this time. ” Congratulations!!!

” FL230 climbing over lake Wairarapa before nipping over Cook Strait “
Delore Soaring

A bit later;” Terry has hit his out and return turn point and commenced the return back down the Smokey skies. Sea breeze was in around Napier and blue. He said he had to wear a mask at 15,000ft due to the strong smoke making it hard to breathe.”

So end good ALL good! Super flight. At least 2 more DECLARED 1.500 km. flights were flown as well.
And Robin from Holland who works this season at Omarama ..he calls it PARADISE.., flew after work his diamond height in the Duo Discus.
A quick flight after work for the diamond height, took me a really long time to get into the wave..

Terry during his record flight.
Delore Soaring

And 1 day later :
3… 15 m. FAI World Records
Out and return declared distance 1.730km
Out and return free distance 1.730km
Out and return speed over 500 km
I am yet to download flight loggers but I know I have just completed the hardest most challenging and satisfying flight of my life.
Good on him!!!! No news yet on the OLC but I guess it is send already to the officials to claim the records!!!

With a beer ..after flight…a nice cold Stella…
Delore Soaring


And to really finish another nice picture from Lake Keepit.

With Liz [Sparrow] in the glider and the “roos” chased to the other site of the field.
As shared by Lake Keepit Soaring Club

CU next Wednesday!
Cheers Ritz

Namibian season is over!!!

One week home now , but still suffering from jetlag!!!

The Namibian season is over , containers are packed and most will look back on a good/great holiday, depending on what time they were there.
WHY IS IT OVER ….good question ……these pictures shared by SkySight show why!!!
“Matthew’s picture shows us how Namibia changes to green with the rainy season and why we end the season in Namibia towards the end of January. But don’t be mistaken, this year the third week in January was one of the best week of the season, with a lot of flights well over 1000km !!!
The next season starts on Oktober 31, 2020 with “Flying with the Champions” and ends with the last day of the flight on January 22, 2021
” Kiripotib Soaring.

The answer is: Left: Mid-December, Right: Mid-January

KIRIPOTIB stopped their season on January 16 with another impressive flight from Wolfgang in the ARCUS M.; 1.200 km.Those gliders from rent- a -glider/Flying with the Champions, really did well.

Here some statistics about this outstanding Kiripotib gliding season

Kiripotib Soaring

We brought 14 gliders down to Namibia, 9 of them Arcus M, 2 Ventus 3M, 1 EB29DR, 1 Antares 23 E, 1 Shark MS.

117 pilots from 20 nations used our gliders, it was the most ever, both pilots and nations.
99 of them registered 596 flight with 383.918km on OLC, not the most km due to the bad conditions in December, but the most flights ever from Kiripotib.
Thanks again to our guests who visited Kiripotib and helped to reach this results, it was great fun to be there for you.
If you are thinking of coming the first time or of coming again, please get in contact with Ludwig on soaring@kiripotib.com as soon as possible. Bookings are coming in already, if you wait to long you might be late.

Last season they had 384.308,84 flown by 86 pilots during 534 flights!!!

Kiripotib Soaring

BITTERWASSER is very involved also in flying with the younger pilots.
I support that and LIKE that!!!!!
” One day better than the other
At the moment the weather in Namibia is weakening somewhat. But Maximilian Dorsch, the winner of the Bitterwasser Cup 2019, found it super when he visited the Center early January. The winner of the OLC Discus 2015 learned how to fly a 1000 k in the training camp 2018 with Wilfried Großkinsky. Last year Max showed that the dream flight is also possible with an LS4 in Germany. And now from Bitterwasser he striked out farther with the Ventus 3M “4i”: twice over 1100 kilometers and then over 1250 kilometers! Again and again there was a convergence over the border between Kalahari and Namib.
Every young pilot (up to the age of 25) in Europe can win the invitation for a week of gliding in Bitterwasser. The cup is hold every year. Six flights are rated in the OLC. With his victory last year Maximilian has achieved a small feat: in addition to studying and training for an ATPL Max competed in the Junior World Championships in Hungary. He won bronze in the club class.

As shared by http://www.bitterwasser.com/

Bitterwasser continued a bit longer,…in the past the season was over mid January,… now they continue till nearly the end of the month.[24th]
Looking at the OLC , Reinhard and Daniel Schramme flew nearly 1000 k ;991 k. [750 triangle] on January 23 in the EB 28.
One day earlier still 6 x a 1000 k .In the ARCUS M they even flew a 1000 triangle this late in the season.
Bitterwasser top’s the OLC airfield list with a huge margin.
They flew 602.041,61 km with 142 pilots during 818 flights!!!
On January 24 it was over in Bitterwasser as well:
” Last ride to the airfield
The last flights have been made, the containers are packed. The previously fully parked palm alley is deserted. Before the disassembly of the gliders big flights were on the agenda .
Actually there is still no end of the good gliding conditions in sight, but the sea transport of the planes back to Europe takes time. And most pilots want their glider back in March to match the spring thermals.
Life goes on in the lodge. In the next months bus tourists will visit Bitterwasser for a night and a game drive on their round trips through Namibia – until the new gliding season begins in November
. “

That is definitely the end of the gliding season in Bitterwasser: The trucks are already rolling in for the transport to Walvis Bay when the last fuselage is pushed into the late-most tightly packed container. And while the customs officers are still preparing the papers, the first transporter is already leaving the lodge through the abandoned palm alley .”
as shared by http://www.bitterwasser.com/

The other Namibian destinations had reasonable seasons too, though December, normally the best month was not so good this time.There are clearly differences between season 2019 and 2020, specially in kilometers flown.
After Bitterwasser and Kiripotib it was
Pokweni with 305.264,44 km. flown by 55 pilots during 433 flights.
In the 2019 season they had 365.387,83 flown by 54 pilots during 492 flights. So also less kilometers, I presume, due to the December weather.
Veronica, had 292.493,72 km. with 67 guests making 391 flights,... BUT …they had last season 385.920,36 km’s.with 82 pilots making 508 flights.


News on the new-aircraft-site;
The BRANDNEW AS 33 is FLYING!!!!! Another “beauty” for our skies.
Interesting to see what will happen with this glider, the JS 3 and the Ventus 3 in the upcoming future and at comps.
Heard they will all 3 fly in Stendal at the WGC.
The “rumour” is that one pilot who owns a Ventus 3 ,…will fly in a JS 3 and another owner , this time of a JS 3, will fly the AS 33.
I know Sarah, who won Lake Keepit, will fly in the back of a 2-seater with Karl Striedeck in Stendal.

The new 18m sailpane makes its first flight at Huhnrain.


the 58th National Championship in 15 m. /
The Andes Open.

January 17-January 25….. 2020.

As shared by FAI Sailplane Grand Prix

Winner of these comps is Thomas Gostner.
With 2 cancelled day’s and 4 flown, from which Thomas won 2, he was just a tad better than Marius.
He was also runner up on 3 day’s and had a bit of an off-day on race 3 where he was 6th but he still had 1 point and was the last finisher on this 349 km task. The rest was out.
The same amount of points as Marius Pluscauskas [Lithuania] both 39!!
Thomas is mentioned as number 1, Marius as number 2 and Rene Vidal was 3d with 31 points.
For the 15 m Nationals Thomas had 5.551 points …about 60 more than Marius.[5.493] Rene had 5.432 p. All pretty close!!!

Prize giving ceremony under the typical perfect sky of the golden hour in Chile. Well done pilots, crews, organizers and volunteers! Again bravo to Thomas Gostner (Italy) winner followed by Marius Pluscauskas (Lithuania) and René Vidal (Chile). It will be nice to see you “during next Finale! “
as shared by FAI Sailplane Grand Prix

Talking about Italy at the top ….. the Italian media are “full” of Elena!!! Campione,… campione is now,…. the “queen of the skies!!!Like that.
AND,…”Campionessa del mondo ” sounds so much better as world champion, is n’it?
The transition from second place to the first occurred following a penalty imposed on all the Australian pilots for an irregularity made by their team captain. Initially, therefore, it was a somewhat strange feeling, but then the joy erased everything “.
2 more pictures from Elena after she was thrown in the pool with her tracker still in the pocket.
Jacques did his best over night and it worked again.
Did I ever tell you already how SORRY I felt for Jacques , that an old mate “entered” his tracker. Jacques,…Such a FINE guy!!!!

Elena ,..a really happy chappie.

Talking about Lake Keepit,….some of the TC’s stayed there and enjoy soaring at the WWGC field, as TC Jeremy from the UK and TC John from the USA. At the moment the Keepit Grand Prix is in full swing.
Yesterday Jeremy flew a 500 FAI triangle [564 OLC km’s] in the 18 m. ASG 29E and John and his USA mate Nicholas flew 533 on the 22d in the ARCUS M and yesterday 512 again!!
Circumnavigated the Pilliga forest. [Dangerous area as you CANNOT LAND THERE!!!!}Clouds all day. It was surprisingly weak in the beginning so we flopped around on the high ground until we got a climb and headed on course to the WNW where conditions were much better. Good run south. Softer going home but there were still some good climbs

And talking about one world champion , we have to talk about the other ones too. Loved the “head” in the Chattanooga Times Free Press;
Polk county woman wins gold in Australia Gliding Event.”
Event,…bit of an euphemism. BUT,…what a stylish picture!!!!!

COURTESY!!!” Staff file photo by Tim Barber/Chattanooga Times Free Press – Sarah Arnold soars at 3,000-feet along the Chilhowee Mountain ridge in Polk County, Tenn., in May 2010. Arnold this month notched the first-ever Team USA gold in the 2020 Women’s World Gliding Championship in Australia and marked the first World Gliding gold for the U.S. in 35 years.”

No new pictures from the French girls from open class but here is one I published already

And again, Anne on top Melanie and Katrin.


Great to see that Tomas Suchanek flew SO LATE IN THE SEASON a 1000 k. from Narromine in the 15 m Ventus 2ax, which belonged to Adam. The first 1000 for glider G1 , I am sure not for Tomas.

Whilst I was in Keepit, the GLIDING INTERNATIONAL “arrived”digital on my laptop but I had no time to read it.
Now I had . The January/February issue starts with a very interesting article about the
—–EUROGLIDER; 16 competent Frenchmen/girls lend their skills to an exciting project that goes beyond the idea of a concept glider.
—--Ultra light gliders,…the enthusiasm for them seems to accelerate.
—–The Glider pilots from the 2020thies have to know all about,…..electric motors specially the artificial intelligence, to adjust and manage the electrical out put,..all to be read on page 17.
—–For records,….try Brazil next….
—–Why do experienced pilots crash???
—–a new approach to tasks and scoring in Gliding Competitions by Peter Ryder who was ICG president between 1990 and 1991.
—–All kinds of International Aviation news for glider pilots and “Things with Wings”.
60 Pages of “pure” gliding news. You can subscribe on the Magazine or receive the digital version by email.

Horsham coaching week is in progress now,… next week the Horsham comps.
Diana will fly there.

And to finish another 3 generations-picture this time from Belgium with dad Ken [Evens] , his son Thibo and dad/ opa Jan.Very nice mates.

CU next Wednesday for more newsy news.
Cheers Ritz

The regular Wednesday blogs start again.UPDATED!!

Back home again after a long trip.
14,25 hours was the trip from Melbourne to Abu Dhabi and,…I was really lucky.
Nobody came to sit in my row ,so I had 3 chairs for myself and slept for 7 hours!!!Must have needed it.

The 2d part was 7 hours and 35 minutes. Longer than normal but KLM did not fly over Iran and had to fly via Saudi Arabia and Egypt to fly from Abu Dhabi to Amsterdam.AND,…on top of that the captain told us they had a 300 km./h upper wind, so delay.
Not too bad though half an hour in total.

Great to see my daughter and granddaughter at Schiphol airport. They came before going to school and work.
Grandson and son in law were at home and Rodger brought me home…. a 1.30 drive.

With 0 dgr. C it is not too bad here, but quite a difference with the 45 in Tocumwal and the 43 in Lake Keepit.

Have to still read a lot of mails from people who have shared their thoughts over the track-debacle.So I come back on that later.

The flag is travelling as well. You know, “it” went with Liz to the UK for the next WWGC in HusBos via Sydney.

The FAI Flag chilling along with me and the Team GB medal haul waiting for the first leg of our flight to HusBos… By Liz Sparrow.

For now it is unpacking and trying to think correct with a head full of ” cotton”.

So …Thanks again for all your interest in that great soaring heaven Lake Keepit and this WWGC 2019/20; one to never forget, for many reasons.

Got more mails and I want to share one with you to make the picture complete.It’s from the president of the GFA, with a reaction on what happened written to all current GFA members .

You may have heard that the Australian Womens team at the Womens World Gliding Championships recently held at Lake Keepit did a fantastic job, only to have a penalty imposed as a result of a protest that took 250 individual points off all the pilots, losing podium positions for two.

While we have only just seen the formal jury report, I do know that none of our team would intentionally act in an unsportsmanlike manner.

In an attempt to remove the stigma of cheating and protect and clear both our team, and the GFA’s good name, we are conducting an urgent review into the process. The protest was about the use of non delayed tracking information in the contest.

The investigation will be conducted by a Barrister who has a history in the Police force. The terms of reference will focus on who and how the information was obtained and if it, in fact, was against the rules. It will ensure that the correct processes were applied.

Lest you think this is a whitewash, it is not. If we find that an appeal is appropriate we will do that, if not we will do whatever is the correct thing for our organization, our pilots, and Australia.

If we decide to appeal the loss of points the appeal must be made through the Australian Sport Aviation Confederation (ASAC) which is the Australian National Airsport Control member of the International Gliding Committee, which meets in early March.

The investigator has been asked to present his report to the GFA Executive and Board within three weeks. Those in any way involved in the process will not be part of the investigation or decision making process, this is both to protect them as individuals and to ensure the integrity of the process.  

Please give our team the credit they deserve, they did some fantastic things, and don’t need to be pilloried for giving their all.

Peter Cesco


Gliding Federation of Australia.         

21st January 2020

Coming back on the last sentence!
I like all Aussie girls and indeed they did fantastic things and I think they could have actually won WITHOUT external aid!!!
BUT,….the worst thing is,….We will never ever know NOW, how they won and that’s going from heaven into hell for the girls , specially Jo and Lisa.
Only those who gave them the external aid are to blame in my eyes!!

Here is a short story , from somewhere mid week at the mobile bar with a lot of mates, by one Aussie crew member:
We have access to g-track without delay
“Impossible you mean OGN [open glider network], I guess”
“No , what I say, if the Europeans would be smart they could find it at internet as well, it’s legal you only have to be smart enough to find it. We are going to tell everybody after the comps, how we did it.”

I guess this crew did not know it was illegal and then still was in good faith.
Just to let you know.

And one other reaction by Mike;
I’d have thought when you find a security flaw in a system you report it and have it fixed, not exploit it for advantage. “

John Good wrote a long story here is part of it the rest , the more technical site, you can find on:

“This contest naturally wanted to make tracking displays available to interested spectators around the world.  For this, they chose to use what are known as GFA trackers – self-contained cell-based trackers supported by the Gliding Federation of Australia, and well proven at many Australian contests.  With the exception of the occasional battery failure, these trackers and the online software that displays their data do a beautiful job, and the tracking for this contest has been popular around the world (most notably, in the USA). Pilots naturally have some concern about carrying a tracker that continually discloses their position, but this concern is addressed by the rule (noted above) requiring a 15-minute delay on the display of such data. So far so good.

But at a special meeting of Team Captains on Friday morning, we were stunned to learn that the Australian team found a way to receive undelayed data from all GFA trackers.  They thus had full real-time coverage of all gliders all the time, and were freely using this data to help their pilots. 

Along with almost everyone here, I do not believe this was a plan to intentionally do something underhanded.  The Australian team position is that they found a web page that required no password or other access restrictions, making the GFA tracking data available there fair game.  They further believe that what they were obtaining (real-time positions for all gliders) is the same data available to any team that went to the trouble of deploying private Flarm stations in the contest task area.  They though of it as a clever and easy way to obtain the same information others would be able to get.

It won’t surprise you to hear that the other 9 Team Captains (of which I am one) did not endorse this view.  The first point is that the contest is required by rule to impose a 15-minute delay on the tracking display, so a website that offered undelayed data ought to have been secured, something anyone with knowledge of the rules would surely have known. Next, even if was not secured, any scheme that uses such data undermines the 15-minute delay requirement, thus creating a rules violation.  Pilots accepted the GFA trackers (as the rules required them to do) on good faith; they must now digest the fact that, in effect, their gliders were “bugged” during this contest.

The initial ruling from the contest organizers was that the receipt of this illicit data was unsporting behavior, but because the Australian pilots had been told – and sincerely believed – this scheme was acceptable, no penalties would be applied

This did not sit well with the 9 Team Captains.  If the data was illicit (as the contest had stated), extra speed and distance obtained from the use of it could not be handwaved away, even if pilots weren’t aware of the underlying problem.  The response to this objection was a revised ruling: each Australian pilot would be penalized 250 points.  This was protested, both by some teams who argued that the correct penalty was disqualification, and by the Australian team (who probably argued – correctly – that there is no specific rule against using the unsecured GFA tracking data).  The final determination was that the penalty would be amount to 25 points per day per pilot, so a total of 225 points in this 9-day contest.

This is perhaps approximately just – and certainly devastating to our contest.  Jo Davis, flying beautifully in Club class, was knocked from first to fourth place; Elena Ferganani now has a gold medal that must always be bittersweet.   Lisa Trotter (a good friend of mine) lost her third place medal in Standard Class.  The contest organization here, just at the end of an impressively well-run event representing several years of work, must now digest the fact that the most persistent memory of this contest is likely to be one distasteful to everyone.

What should happen as a result of this?  The contest organization has promised to produce a full and complete description of exactly what happened.  The IGC (International Gliding Commission, responsible for WGC rules, procedures and policies) should confront the fact that their decision to abandon the level playing field contributed to this.”
Thanks John!

And on a MORE HAPPY and very PROUD NOTE!!!

This WWGC standard class trophy was first awarded in 1979, the year of my birth. It has never left Europe, but traveled to Australia and now I get to bring it home. 🇺🇸 I’m so proud! 
by Sarah and Jason.

And from France and Germany the 3 JS 3 winners in 18 m. ,…one gold one silver and one bronze.

With Anne, Melanie and Katrin.
As shared by JC.

AND ….for Elena the Italian soaring world has only one word ;

And on another VERY SAD NOTE!!!!
3 Firefighters from the USA died after their plane crashed in Australia!!

Prayers for the firefighting crew by Swiss Chris.

CU next Wednesday.

Tocumwal Diary…last day!

It’s time to go home again. Tomorrow morning they bring me to Shepparton where I take the train to Melbourne.
From there via Abu Dhabi back to Amsterdam.
As always, Australia is my second home, always difficult to leave again. But,..home makes me happy too, so in fact I am a lucky girl to have 2 great homes.
We had the worst thunderstorms and loads of rain last night. The drought here, seems to be broken too!!! Good for the farmers.

I am still following all updates about the tracking-“scandal”. I am glad the jury has reached a decision and stated this in writing now.
TC’s who are not happy with the final result can take action after this written statement if they wish.
It remains 225 penalty points not the 250 as set by the CD and her staff.

There are a lot of “emotional” reactions, but the point is to let the FAI take care of this ,as it really hurts our sport!!!

Here is a statement NOT BY ME, but I just received it by mail and it shows pretty clear what has happened there. I got several mails but this one, how harsh it maybe sound , clarifies a lot.
That’s why I share it.

“The home team (Australia) had a (support) team member who had been involved, some years ago, in the creation of the tracking system used in the WWGC 2019. He was in possession of an url (address) that gave him access to the raw data (without the 15 minute delay) of all the participants in the competition. This information was used to coach the home team with respect to starting times, the location of thermals and their strength etc. It created a huge advantage for the pilots of the home team. It was not possible for other teams to find this url (address) so the disadvantage for them was real and could not be undone.
Was it illegal for the home team member to type in the specific url? No, probably not, but the data “found” was not owned by him. It was owned exclusively by the competition management. Seeing those data was one thing but using it to cash in on a competitive advantage for the home team pilots, was not only unethical but nothing less than plain embezzlement. A gliding version of insider trading as a matter of fact.

The team captain of the home team allowed the use of this “stolen” information on a daily basis, misleading to a certain extent his pilots with respect to the legality of the data used to coach them. They all knew it was “zero delay” tracking info but they conveniently (or ultra naively) overlooked the fact that it was in fact cheating on a monumental scale.
The 250 pt (later 225 pt) penalty issued to each home team pilot was basically a smooth over. You get 50 pts penalty for missing the barrel around a turn point by a few hundred meters, even when you round it on the outside of the barrel. That is a pretty stiff penalty…., but for unsporting behavior the price is a measly 25 pts a day. It apparently pays to cheat if the penalty is so light!!! According to the rules, as I interpret them, the whole home team should have been disqualified following this affair. 
You wonder how the kingpin of this affair, the home team captain, who is also a leading executive in the Gliding Federation of Australia and a long time IGC delegate, can keep his position after this debacle..!
This occurrence has severely tarnished the image of gliding in general, the GFA in particular and has damaged the reputation of FAI. A very thorough investigation by FAI into this affair seems a necessity.

Also TC John from the successful team of the USA will get back to it
This ought to be my final report from this contest, ending on a very high note.  But for an unfortunate reason I’ll need to add another later.  Briefly, the contest was engulfed in controversy today concerning access  by one team to real-time tracking information that by rule was required to be delayed by 15 minutes (so as to blunt its value for tactical guidance).  In my report, I’ll describe what I know of this, and the effect it already has had (hint: not good, nor welcomed by anyone).

You can find his report later at ussoaringteams.org

These are the last words from Australia.
It was MY PLEASURE!!!!!
Thanks for all support, THANKS FOR READING WITH SO MANY.
Keep all the good things from Lake Keepit in mind,…they deserve that!!!!

Cheers Ritz

Tocumwal Diary and…reflections on WWGC.

First the last day of the WWGC which was a bit damp due to the tracking business.

I left at 4.30 PM to be in time for the FLY PAST from the F 18 on Friday afternoon. We were waiting and from one into the other moment , it was there… a huge plane cause it was LOW and I will never forget the noise TERRIBLY LOUD.
Was 1 second late to put my fingers in my ears and it hurt!!!
It me tremble as well!!!!
Before we knew it was gone, but made a nice beat up on the way back.
Quite spectacular.
Heard from the Air Force – lady that the pilot was a young girl ,..in her early twenties… , called Jessica. She seems a natural talent.She showed it!!!!

After we had the BBQ, and Chris , who organized every days food for the volunteers and guests, felt terrible because there was not enough salad. For the full 2 weeks , there was a “load of food” mostly too much , now they missed out on salad. No worries ,..they found some and everybody had enough to eat again.

Then it was waiting for the results. It took till 9 PM before Gisela the juror send a message that the jury had reached a decision….”expect podium at 9.”

When we saw the Italian flag under at the flag pole ,we knew the result in club class.
There was never any doubt about the CHAMPIONS in 18 m and standard class. Here they are again

Sarah, a happy girl!! Deserved as well. She was shaking whilst being at the podium …I was a very SPECIAL moment for her also for hubby Jason.

Have some more pictures about the prizes as well
Here you are;

The French won the TEAM CUP!!!!
July with 3 of her very special vases. Unfortunately they did not photograph well.
All kind of extra prizes as wing covers, canopy covers kangaroos and stubby holders.
Ricky with his girls, Elena [with the gold medal] and Margot number 3 on the TEAM CUP list.
A very happy UK team with TC Jeremy just behind Liz and Charlie behind her.
The girls would have loved to fly on the last 2 day’s to gain some more points.
Certificate-girls in 18 m.
All team winners together!!
As shared by Gliding Australia.

Sean from Australian Gliding was AT the field on the last day:
Tasks were set on the the final day of the championships and the competitors and crews dutifully gridded all the gliders. However, it seemed unlikely due to the weather that the fleet would actually be able to be launched. After waiting on the grid for an extra hour and half after the official launch time of 11:30am the day was finally cancelled.

In the meantime, a festival atmosphere took hold, with music and dancing. The mood was friendly and happy. When the day was cancelled relief and sadness were felt by all that the great event had come to its conclusion.”

As shared by Sean.

And “real” ladies in dresses as the USA team arrived very female.

great girls….great team spirit….good coach as well.

A thank you message from Sarah on FB:
The thing about realizing a goal or dream is it means the most when it is difficult to accomplish. Coming into the competition I felt that it was my time. From the first practice days I felt like I had come to a place of maturity in my flying and that it would work out, but I knew those French girls would be hard to beat!

Thank you Aude Grangeray and Aude Untersee for keeping the competition so fierce! Lisa Trotter was on fire, and I loved our flights together with Claire Scutter. Ayala Truelove too! So many strong amazing women with whom I’m privileged to associate.

To my teammates Kathryn Fosha and Sylvia Grandstaff, thanks for being my gaggle! Your friendship is a precious thing which buoyed me up in so many key moments.

Jason Arnold, husband, partner, friend, and best crew in the world. We really did it!!!

John Good has invested so much in so many ways for so long – coaching, scheming, drumming up support, acting as crew and captain. Thank you.

These last two days I’ve been reading a long and happy congratulatory card which has come in the form of many emails, comments, posts and likes. This couldn’t have happened without the support of every one of you. I am continually thankful for my soaring (and extended) family.”

And a nice picture from the Italian girls.

From AGI Live. Margot and Elena.

So that’s the end of this WWGC.
What a sterling job the organizers , local club-pilots and volunteers did!!!!
A BIG THANK you counts for ALL.
Specially in my case for Lyndy and Chris, who took me everywhere I wanted to go. Nothing was too much for them.
And to Mandy , who added me last minute to “her” volunteers”.
I loved every minute except maybe the last days when the “track-shadow over these comps” dropped the spirit a bit.
Will be back one day. Found nice new friends and a welcoming CLUB.

AND,….finally the drought has been broken!!!!! Hurrah. Travelling from Lake Keepit to Tocumwal showed how terrible that part of NSW has been hit!!!!!
It’s already getting greener here again.

The controversies;
Will be here soon ; thunderstorms, guests , laundry and Tomas who should be back soon here with the trailer and car used in Lake Keepit.
George will bring the car back to Benalla and Ian will take Tomas to Albury, Lots of logistic’s.
By the way, Tomas just arrived safely after driving parts with only 40 k /h due to heavy rain and thunderstorms.
He is on his way now to Albury!!!

The controversies:

The Aussie girls;
9 of them,….. and some really practiced hard to “shine” here in Lake Keepit in their own country.
Will we ever know how good they were???
Loved seeing all their good results…loved seeing their happiness,…but were they so good because of all practice ,…. or by listening to those who gave them un-delayed data ????

The complaint;
On the final day of competition, a complaint was lodged by Team Captains of all teams with the exception of Australia. The complaint alleged that the Australian Team had gained unauthorized access to undelayed data from the official competition tracking system – which has a mandated 15 minute delay. This was a system that all competitors were compelled to use. The complaint stated this information gave Australian team pilots a competitive advantage. Following an investigation, a Team penalty of 250pts was applied to all Australian Team pilots..  

Four protests were subsequently lodged in both support (3 asking for further penalties including disqualification) and defence (removal of the penalty).  The jury committee deliberated for over 5 hours and called on the assistance of a number of IT experts that included the system designer.  The ultimate decision being a penalty of 25 points per day.  The penalty was levied as a Team penalty and was therefore applied to all pilots equally.”

Mandy Temple CD

News from the TC’s is still pending.
They await the next step !There are still processes to follow, and they are all waiting to see how this proceeds.
It seems to be a long way from being over.

Official written jury report is still pending as well.

Let’s wait and see how this unfolds.

Tocumwal Diary with the latest on Lake Keepit.

After 10 hours of driving ,we are back in Tocumwal. The last hours from yesterday were a bit sad as a “shadow of bitterness ,anger and sadness” fell over the comps.
It was such a great competition!!!
And then ….we were all shocked , when we heard via the organizers and TC’s, that the Australian team did not use the track system the way it should have been done, thus having had advantage.
After the jury , several remote jurors and Gisela in Keepit, discussed the subject for hours ,…25 points for 9 day’s was 225 points lost in total for the team.
For some countries that was not enough. They think of the next step.

There are a lot of stories, the REAL story will be here tomorrow. One from me personally ,one from a combination of 9 TC’s.
I need one more night to sleep over it.
Don’t jump to conclusions TOO quick by looking at FB stories or “colored” stories.

All pictures and the full story will be here tomorrow too.
Here are a few already

Sylvia and Sarah and Katrin.
Chrissie as runner up, ELENA as new CHAMPION and Celine as number 3 with a few of the 7 ladies receiving a certificate.
Aude as runner up, Sarah as new STANDARD CLASS CHAMPION, Ayala as number 3.
Anne at number 2, Melanie AS THE 18 M CHAMPION and Katrin as number 3.
THE CUP WINNERS from France!!! Great team, madame Bailleau in the middle with her daughter.A proud Eric up front.
Mandy , as CD from the Lake Keepit WWGC hands over the FAI flag to Liz who will be the CD in Husbos in the UK in 2021.

As said,….MORE pictures and stories tomorrow,

Do you know how loud an FA 18 is??? Will tell you tomorrow!!!

AND,…VERY PLEASED to find out that I broke the UVALDE_ RECORD of unique viewers per day.
Uvalde was the best since 2012, yesterday is now the BEST EVER DAY!!! THANKS!!!!!!
Still remember how glad they were with that in Uvalde!!!
Don’t even want to know how many “clicks” that are.
Hope it reflects on Lake Keepit!!!!


Latest news at the Keepit WWGC..21 !!!Last day cancelled at 1PM. We have champions!

8 AM :
We had rain yesterday, you might remember that after so many years of dry weather, I could not believe that there would be rain.
BUT,…it rained ALL DAY!!!!!A real good drop!!!
GOOD NEWS…it was dry at 6.30 PM and nearly all “soaring-ladies” and their crews arrived for a great BBQ evening.
When you do your best as a club , and put ALL YOUR FRIENDLY EFFORT in setting a great WWGC , you get back too!!!

Look at the pictures;

Left part of the outside tables
Right part.
A real good evening AGAIN.
One load of steaks and sausages for the “volunteers” and salad was prepared as well.
Inside tables as well with volunteers and jury
With Gliding Australia Magazine Sean [Young] upfront to the r.

Everybody used the club house kitchen as their own. Meaning all guests feel very welcome here.
Must say the hospitality from this club is overwhelming.

Do they fly …yes or no?????
Welcome to day 11…… take 2.
There is a problem with the weather server,…no weather yet!!!
they are waiting for an update.
in between I got news from the USA and they are going to send me weather updates!

Meanwhile gridding will be after briefing and starts at 10 AM this because the runway is soft.
club up front for 2 hour AAT
standard for 1.30 AAT
18 m. for 1.30 AAT


I guess for a few pilots , crews and tuggies a bit of a surprise that we have another day,…BUT that’s why the girls are here.
So day 10 from 14, good average.

Off to briefing, cleaned a bit first, so running late. Sorry.

10 AM:
LAST briefing of this WWGC.
Due to radar problems in the USA they had no weather, but SkySight-Matthew made a new arrangement, I believe via New Zealand and on base of that tasks have been set . Small ones as you have read already.

WHEN …they fly today,…closing ceremony will be tomorrow as was planned. BUT……if not it is tonight at 5 at Sport and Rec.
10.05 AM;
It’s OK to grid now.Please take care to make gentle turns with the car.
Order is same as yesterday.

Dave with the weather;
Yesterday and today had a low pressure through, with clouds and rain.
For today they expect;
—cu’s at 10.30
—temperature 38 dgr C
—Short window
—4000 ft at 11
—5000 at noon -plus
—rain arrives 2.30 /3 PM.
—SW and SE wind might “collide/meet” over the field at around 3, Could be nasty,…could be interesting…

Bruce with the tasks:
The last day’s have been really challenging.
We will monitor the weather. Yesterday we could see it close by, today it’s further away.
Day should give a fair chance to ALL.
All I can say ” and ” we do our best today!” by Bruce.

The German team has a video reporter here for production [ most probably TV ….when they like it,…”they WILL like it !” and later YouTube] for the South part of Germany .
Alex ..Alexander Triebel …is making the film. It will be most probably be on in March, when Serena his sister is back in Germany as she will show up then there for a TV interview.
I have his email, so when it is on I’ll inform you in my regular blog.

At the table today:

Nice Aussie slippers!!!!

In the briefing room today:

French “MOTHER_OF_THE_TEAM” Anne Audier…”Madame Bailleau.”
AND,….The Royal Airforce is here to be part of the closing ceremony. With Adam’s mum and dad in the back and tuggie Jay.

10.30 AM; Tasks today!!!

18 m…standard…club class.

Interesting. Only Club class has a B task too from 1.30.
Does it mean that only one class flies today???
Let’s wait and see.
It’s sunny here with overcast, but clouds under it.

Slowly starting to look back at this WWGC. Will do so “phased”.
What a pleasure it was.
Very unexpected I arrived here,,… with lot’s of new “mates” ,….I leave here.
Really lovely club members and atmosphere here. More about the club a bit later. I can strongly advise you to fly here.
Before I forget; Thank you for reading all over the world. Got lovely reactions from all parts of this world.

Let’s wait and see how the day and this WWGC unfolds. Back later.

11.15 AM;
Worried faces from TC’s at the moment.
First launch at 11.45!!! In half an hour.

12.30 PM:
Skies to the SSW looking from the field here.
Looking pretty “scruffy” is what John [USA] mentioned.

Looking to the SW. Team huts from Czech Rep ,Italy and France visible.

12.40 PM:
Launch delayed to 12 noon. Sniffer goes soon.
Tug’s still here.
Tension grows.

12.50 PM:
TC’s called to the grid.
2 Of them were busy with a protest shared by ALL TC’s!!!!
Still stay out of it ,though it is a protest in ALL openness, they told me.
Will give you the official news about it later, when it’s there.
More delay 12.15 NOW.
Still no tugs to the grid!!!!

12.05 PM:
Delayed till 12.30!!! Club class has Task B now. 1.30 AAT.
whilst waiting pictures from Pôle France Planeur about the weather yesterday just after it was cancelled.

12.20 PM:
more delay now till 12.45 BUT,…they see clear skies coming.

12.35 PM;
Delayed till 1 PM. Is there still hope for a day???
Tuggies still here.

12.40 PM:
Sniffer launched by Nina.
Star tuggie master Val , “controlled” the 5 male tuggies without any problem. They even all adore her.

12.50 PM:
Weather man Dave mentions;”no blue holes, no patches of sun.”Would n’t be launching now!!!” But,..NW is a line of clouds.
We wait!!!!

With still a protest going on , we have WORLD CHAMPIONS!!!!
18 m. class:
1. Mélanie Gadoulet from France in her JS 3 with 8.137 p. CHAMPION!
2. Anne Ducarouge from France in JS 3 with 8.123 points.
3. Katrin Senne from Germany in JS 3 with 7.829 p

Standard class:
1. Sarah Arnold from the USA in her Discus 2 with 7.798 p . CHAMPION
2. Aude Grangeray from France in Discus 2A with 7.932 p.
3. Ayala Truelove from the UK in LS 8 with 7.601 p.

Club class;
1. Elena Fergnani from Italy in Discus with 7.859 p …CHAMPION.
2. Chrissie Grote from Germany in LS 4 with 7.735 p.
3. Celine Rault from France in LS 4B with 7.708 p.

The Australian team got 250 penalty points for “unsporting behavior” .
Look at the scores on TASK 10. Protest is still ongoing.
Sad for the team but as some call it, ” cheating” is NOT allowed.
Will come back on that later, when there is an official statement.

It puts a bit of a “damp” , a “shadow”, on this so well organized WWGC.
Such a pity!!! Organizers of course,had NOTHING to do with it. This WWGC DID NOT DESERVE such an end!
AND,…I do feel sorry for Jo loosing a club class title like this. It’s all about culture of the sport and being fair,..I know,…but what did she know about this “cheating.”
I count on the fair judgement of all 10 TC’s talking about it and wait for an official statement.
Mind you,…I love to see Elena win too!!!! Got to know her when she was still a teenager,… now she is WORLD CHAMPION. WOW!!!!

TEAM FRANCE is happy with 4 pilots in the top 9 looking at 3 classes!!!
Melanie and Anne as CHAMPION and runner up in 18 m. class with just a few points difference.
Aude Grangeray in Standard class on spot 2 in Standard and be sure when day 1 would have been OK, the other Aude would have been in the top 3 too. It is as it is!!!
Celine on spot 3 in club completes the French success story!!!!

Team Germany has 2 winners ,one number 2 Chrissie and one number 3 Katrin.
The USA has SARAH , a world champion who was about ready to be it!!!
Elena from Italy
,…for me a bit unexpected, but a GLORIOUS Champion in Club class!!!
The UK has with Ayala a great number 3 in Standard class.
About Chrissie;
When she arrived here she was sick, it got worse with fever. Doctors in Tamworth Hospital diagnosed her with pneumonia in one lung.
With medicines she quickly was on the meant again.
Just in time to fly good, …better,… best!! With as result a nice runner up spot in Club class.
Well done Chrissie!!!

NO Secret that
TEAM FRANCE won the TEAM CUP….904.15 p.
TEAM UK was runner up with 894.81 points.
TEAM ITALY was 3d with 859.11 points.

Part of the 47 ladies!!!

In between tuggies are bringing their tugs to their home fields.

2.30 PM:
A bit more about Lake Keepit! All the rest you can find on www.keepitsoaring.com …or if you wish to speak to the manager manager@keepitsoaring.com ..or… bookings@keepitsoaring.com
We are the friendliest gliding club in Australia , { I totally agree!!!}operate 365 day’s a year, with training courses running weekly.
We have our own dedicated airfield… Gliding only..no power training or commercial aviation traffic.
No airspace restrictions for the majority of our flying area. Little other aviation traffic in the vicinity.
Our club operates within Lake Keepit State Park. Gliding is just one of the many activities in the park[ boating, fishing, tennis,biking, walking.bird watching,children’s water park and just relaxing in a stunning rural area.”

Lake Keepit has NSW’s only fully immersive gliding simulator.
They have a dedicated staff on site,… a full time manager,… a midweek instructor and tow pilot along 25 volunteer instructors.

I loved it here so have a look when you pass by or always wanted to learn gliding by your self!!!
It’s worth a visit!!!

Well that’s it from me . We leave tomorrow very early. Don’t know if I have time to publish the last story and pictures to night, but the epilogue might come from Tocumwal after a 10 hour drive.
CU then. It was my pleasure!!!!

What ever,…I loved it here!!!Except for the problems in the end!!!

Cheers Ritz

There will be 2 Fly Pasts over the pool at sport and rec.
the first at 4.30 is a reconicense flight then the F18 is at 5 pm sharp.
the bar will be open from 5 pm and we’ll start cooking at 6 pm.
The podium is delayed until after dinner due to 4 protests that must be considered.

Latest news at the KEEPIT WWGC..20! UPDATED !!!Day cancelled at 11.25!

8 AM:
WHAT A DAY yesterday!!!Those who really wanted to go for it, did so showing some big “shake up’s” in the overall scores.
Some tried SO hard, they just “lost” it, on maybe the last day of these comps, which is sad!
A “normal” morning here with the message that briefing is at 9.30 gridding at the normal time and this day club is first then standard ans 18 m. last.
Looking outside does not yet mean rain , but looking at the West is dark blue, not a good sign.
The TV shows at the weather news, that the east coast from NSW shows big showers even going in to the S of Queensland.

Looking at scores and the 18 m., it was current WWGC champion Katrin Senne who flew her JS 3 to 1000 points. The French girls “hold “on and were the runners up.
Stefanie outlanded and Diana decided to fly back home with a headache worsening by smoke.
Total scores at this stage with maybe 2 day’s to go: 1. Melanie, [8.137 p] 2. Anne, [8.123 p] 3. Katrin.[7.829 p]

In standard class it were the French girls Aude G and Aude U, who were the best with Claire as number 3. [ 391 km in time 3.39….399 km. in time 3.48 and 392 km in time 3.53] Young Claire is doing a real good job.
One outlanding and …..it remains a bad day for Anna from Poland. She dropped from 4 to 15, pretty sad. She missed the first TP by 0.5 km.
Sarah still leads with 7.998 p. At 2 is Aude Grangeray [7.932]and at 3 it is Aussie Lisa Trotter.[7.643]

In club class there was some “noise” about Jo [Davis] starting, late getting in trouble etc. IF she did she recovered perfect with a 6th place.Elena [Italy] had a REAL good run, she was 6 km. faster than runner up Jenny in her Mosquito. Elena flew 398 km in time 3.52 for 1000 points.
One outlanding from Amelie ,she flew 341 km. but could not finish here. She was rather pleased with the aerotow retrieve as in France that’s not possible. She liked it!!!Some kind of “adventure” for her, making “the pain” of an outlanding softer. She dropped from 7 to 13 overall.
Overall scores:1. Jo in her ASW 20 7.928 p, 2. Elena in her Discus climbing from 5 to 2 [7.859 p] and Chrissie staying wither LS 4 at spot 3.[7.735]

Off to briefing soon now. Just said good bye to Daniel and Lise who travel for another 10 day’s around in their van. We will be gone ,when they come back.
Tasks have just been put up on soaring spot.
18 m; 1.30 AAT
standard; 1.30 AAT
club; 2 hour AAT.

First launch at 11.30!!!
Pre start altitude; 5000ft MSL.
Different than before we have had mostly 6000 and one day 7000 ft.

Later today a bit more about the book: Pilots Touring Guide from Ian Barraclough …as promised.

10 AM:
Briefing is over and at all tables were really nice meringue cookies from team France.
Sponsor today is Jules Art, by July Maddocks. She has an art galley in Andy’s work shop. She sells her own art there and is a very talented artist.
She creates the most beautiful vases . Julie is a ceramicist, painter, crafts person and teacher living in Ipswich .
Here is a link to her site enjoy it, so much to see!!!!

Yammie cookies, eaten with taste by ALL.

A long list from volunteers was showed and all got a big applause!!!
Prize giving from yesterday.

With Jenny at 2, Elena purely happy at 1 and Judyta from Poland on 3.
with Aude Untersee at 2, Aude Grageray at 1 and Claire at spot 3.
18 m. CLASS:
with Anne at 2 , Katrin at 1 and Melanie Gadoulet at 3.

An extra picture this morning from team Italy with Elena winning the day.
She is a member of a real soaring family and I met all of them over the years visiting Rieti in Italy or at junior WGC’s where her brother Nicola participated as well.

Also Ricky is ONE BIG SMILE. Margot still busy with the task from today!

Some domestic news;
BBQ evening tonight and a huge ” 2-seater- BBQ” has been bought and is installed whilst I am writing. Final result tonight.

Kerry , manager here , started the job early this morning , now they “work” with 4 on it.

Safety by Anita.
–about limitation of vision
— the blind spot
—optical illusions
all with pictures.

Weather by Dave in co operation with SkySight.
—Low pressure trough brings rain from the East
—temperature 33 dgr. C
—90 % chance of rain
—Possible storms with maybe downdrafts.
Here in Lake keepit
—-very short window of opportunity
—4000 ft soarable
—bands of heavy cloud
—rain by 2.30
As Dave said ” not a particular pleasant outlook”.

Bruce as task setter mentioned, that the East has the best weather but there is NO possibility for out-landings there. So a “no-go”.
Not much to talk about. “We have to try” ,even a small window, a “hole “between showers…”it’s possible” but it did not sound very convincing..
GOOD LUCK, were the last words from him today!

This competition is long and has been hot and at some day’s very trying, one pilot [MM] is still sick and not flying today. It is after 11 day’s also some kind of competition who has the strongest /best condition/stamina as well.

The brand new BBQ for tonight.

Should I bother about the tasks??? Yes I should.
Here they are;

18 m,..standard…club…

One more thing ; Peak Pictures has added 189 new pictures to the ALBUM  10th Women’s World Gliding Championships — met Káďa LY
Great pictures!!!!!All pilots are covered whilst launching and finishing.

And a request from Petra from the Czech Team .
We are looking for someone to take a car and glider to Tocumwal…car with glider will be ready to leave no later than on Jan 18 in the early morning.
Can leave anytime after that but should be in Tocumwal on Jan 20.
Of course money for fuel will be provided in full amount. We can can add some snack and treat for the driver as well.
If any good soul would take this job for us it would help us so much.
Petra team JO

Part of the Czech team. Petra is not on it.

Really nice trip for a young person to have a sponsored trip to Tocumwal.

11 AM;
Gusting wind over the field.
Message from organizers. STRONG WIND take care of gliders!!!
AND,…much faster than I expected ,..the new BBQ is ready. Top Job!!!

Brand new good looking toy!! Organizers are determined to make EVERYBODY happy here in Lake Keepit …and they do!

11.10 AM: A sniffer goes up.

11.15 AM; Tuggies go to the runway. Weather man Dave in a plane, advises big cell, could’t hear where and heavy rain south as well.
Launch delayed 10 minutes.
4400 ft and 3 kts. reports Dave, but also “a storm is getting closer”.
He is coming back to land. Strong gusting wind ‘s ,…..no fun..but “street” worked

11.25: DAY IS CANCELLED in all classes:
STORM COMING…take care with gliders….wind could be very strong.
Message from the organizers.
And…..Bruce recommendations; de-rigging if you are able. Please take care of the wind!!!
Thank you for your optimistic approach this morning ;Anita.

11.30 AM: Wind picking up. Had a look outside and there is a SW wind and a big “cell” is hanging to the NW of us.
HUGE activity at the field to bring gliders back to the tie-down area and or in the trailer.
Lightning to the W. and thunder to the NW. The “gap” / window , they hoped to use, is already “closed” ,as the bad weather came in earlier than expected.

11.45 AM; Dust storm over field now! Lightning and thunder.

11.50 AM: Lightning hit the ground just N of the field on the other side of the Lake and started a fire. Smoke rises. They called those who have to be called. But the big cell will “kill” it as it moves to it.

First time in my life I see a beginning fire due to a lightning strike!!!
And the cell moving to it.

12.15 PM: RAIN!!!!! FINALLY REAL RAIN!!!!!!

REAL rain,…from red dust to red mud!!!
Little rivers going to the field. will there be a “beginning” of grass tomorrow???
Hiding for the rain.

12.40 PM: Kangaroos are happy with the rain and hopping around through the muddy puddles.It’s dry now. Still thunder and lightning!!!
One more day to go????? Let’s wait and see.

We just got a great idea from the organizers.
” It is not certain…and of course we try to fly tomorrow…if we do NOT fly, we make a plan to organize the closing ceremony tomorrow evening so everyone can leave early on Saturday morning if they would like to

1.15 PM:
I like John’s reports, so I hope you do too, a bit more inside info from the “weird/challenging ” day yesterday.
A tricky day today.  The morning weather forecast made it sound simple: a weaker version of yesterday, with good conditions confined to the area south and west of home. There were some warning signs in the form of northeasterly winds and mid-level clouds intruding by mid-afternoon, but lift was predicted to stay good until 6:30pm.  This proved optimistic – in reality we had lots of high and mid-level cloud, storms to dodge (or work the edges of, as you saw fit), and an early end to the day that made things very challenging for late finishers.

The trouble – in the form of high cloud shading the sun and virga in the northeast – showed itself early in the day, and there was some thought the tasks might be shortened, but this didn’t happen.  Launches began at 12:30, and all classes were off on tough-looking area tasks.  This at least had the effect that most pilots started fairly promptly.

Trouble continued with storms that developed in the south and southwest.  Fortunately, they never grew beyond a “manageable” size, and all pilots were able to navigate around them, in some cases with significant detours, and in others by using storm-generated lift to make fast progress.  Some pilots climbed to over 10,000’ in the best of this lift.

The march north got increasingly difficult, with thick high- and mid-level cloud shading the ground.  For many, the final 70 km on the way home was done in “survival mode”, taking any available weak lift in conditions that looked as if none should soon be expected.  Not all succeeded.

Two who did – and without much strain – were Kathy and Sylvia in Club class.  They foresaw the weather trouble, started early, flew together and made good progress around the task.  Like many, they arrived near home needing one last climb when these were becoming scarce.  But they found a good one on hills to the north, promptly climbed to a comfortable height, and finished without difficulty.

Sarah had a final glide bordering on desperate.  She found a weak climb about 60km out that gave about 1000’ less than she needed.  Some promising hills on the route home, that often have lift late in the day, on this one now had next to nothing.  At the final steering turnpoint, 23 km from the finish, she was some 500’ below what is reckoned to be the minimum necessary height, and it looked as if her chances of finishing were fading.  But in dead air she somehow made this work, crossing the finish just slightly below the required minimum height (which incurs a small penalty).  She gave some thought to a landing in the dry bed of Lake Keepit (a friendly option due to the current drought) but found she had just enough energy to make the runway and roll to a stop near her hangar.

And last for today: THE PILOTS TOURING GUIDE.
is for planning flying adventures. It seeks to answer the questions”why go there” and “what you will find when you do”.
It has info on destinations.. over 2000… , where a touring pilot is welcome.You can find info on www.pilotstouringguide.com.au where there is a PDF and at the same address is a link to the book.
The guide is updated continuously and is published every 2 year.
When you have suggestions for future editions please send them to Ian the editor.
I have already 2; Corowa and Tocumwal.
Was a bit surprised they were not in it.

Tonight BBQ. Will make pictures for tomorrow!!!