IGC meeting ! OMARAMA ! Blog 1.199.

With the IGC meeting last Friday and Saturday ,I was hooked to my laptop to follow mainly the tweets in live time.
I felt for the first time ,what it means when people follow a live blog , as I did at several comps.Interesting!!!
Day 1 ;
—- The period of international competitions has been changed from 16 days to 15 days .
—- A long discussion about the use of mobile devices while flying . I know that you need a mobile for uploading SkySight in flight in the LX computers. And now????
—- We have voted to clarify the definition of unsporting behavior in competitions.
IMPORTANT after the WWGC!!!!BUT,…unsporting is unsporting,…my opinion.BUT ,…it is in WORDS now and to those words organizers can handle.
—IGC Treasurer Dick Bradley is giving his report. He has been our Treasurer since 1996 and is retiring this year. Thank you, Dick!!!!
Well done Dick, such a nice guy!!!!
—- A long discussion about the use of the Pilot Event Marker to mark the start.
AND,….. We have approved the use of PEV to mark the start. This procedure is a “Start Option” available to the Organizers.
—- A new method of handicapping is approved: the “Distance Handicapped Task uses variable turn-point radii in the Racing Task .
—- The IGC Champion Pilot of the Year 2019 is presented to Melanie Gadoulet of France.
Congratulations Melanie!!!

Day 2; a few important notes/tweets from the 37 delegates and board.
—- The 2023 World Gliding Championships in the Open, 18m, and 20m Multiseat Classes is awarded to USA.
—- The 2023 Junior World Gliding Championships is awarded to Poland.
—- The 2021 World Gliding Championship in the 13.5m Class is awarded to Lithuania, in combination with the previously-approved European Gliding Championships . I guess this must be E glide!
—– The 2023 Pan American Gliding Championships is awarded to USA.
—– The 2022 Junior European Gliding Championships is awarded to Lithuania.
—- The 2022 European Gliding Championship is awarded to Poland.

Gisela …now owner of the 2020 Lilienthal Gliding Medal….and I in Lake Keepit at Harry’s.

—- Proposed wording: “Data communication between competitors, or between them and the ground, is prohibited except as required for safety purposes, for anti-collision warning, or as specifically allowed by the Organizers.”
Later this is approved!
—- No change to turn point geometry .
—- Limitation of finish penalty points (a finish penalty cutoff altitude) is approved .
—- A proposal to allow free gridding in competitions is defeated .
—- A proposal to mandate a 30 minute delay between last launch and gate opening is defeated .
—- A Year 1 proposal to mandate limits of start altitude and ground speed is approved.
—- We have voted to continue funding the IGC Tracker project.
—– We have voted to change (modernize) the way competition results age, at the recommendation of the Ranking List Committee.
—- We have voted to increase the weight of SGP results in the Ranking List calculations.
—- We have awarded the 2020 Lilienthal Gliding Medal to Gisela Weinreich (GER)
Congratulations Gisela.
—- We are reviewing and approving the list of FAI/IGC Officials for the 2020 and 2021 World and Continental Championships .

After this IGC meeting we HAVE TO LOOK back at the WWGC:
I still think it was “unwise” from Terry to not resign. BUT,….Terry thinks he has dome nothing wrong as I heard, so……
There is however a bureau decision, after the “debacle” at the WWGC.
The Bureau decided that Mr. Terry Cubley will be removed immediately from all his duties and roles in the IGC.
These include the stewards working group, the IGC Safety Committee,the Sailplane Grand Prix team and the annex A committee.

Mr Cubley will not be considered as eligible to hold any position within IGC until march 4 2025.”

The championship management committee had advises too.
the management decided to produce guidance in addition to existing jury handbook which should provide jury presidents with guidance related to communication vis-a-vis other jury members and igc.
they confirmed the role of the Championship Management Committee in management and nomination of jury members for IGC Championships.
This is good and “triggered” by the WWGC.

The jury decision from the WWGC seems to stand!Could not find more news about that.

Next meeting will be in Copenhagen in Denmark in March 2021.

Aeródromo de Garray at Soria, shared by Kiki. Great picture.

A spin-off of this meeting is the next news from Kiki; [Jacky Clairbaux]
” My dear Gliding Friends .
I have the great pleasure to inform you that IGC meeting in Budapest has decided to give the organisation of the next WGC women in 2022 to Airpull on the airfield of Soria .
The team of Airpull is honored with this trust . We will be happy to help the Spanish Gliding Federation , in total collaboration , to make of this event a big success … For the promotion of the women in gliding and the aerological conditions in Soria.”

A new gliding spot in a very pretty village , in Garray, Castilla y León, Spain.
As shared by Kiki


[BAD] News from Omarama, for now pretty sad, but I am sure they will be back as strong as ever!!!
There are too many angry people after the announcement.
Here is Justin’s first news and at that stage I still had good hope:
Please note that all Glide Omarama services will be suspended from 15 April 2020.

After 20 years of flying from the Omarama Airfield without a Trial Flight incident the Civil Aviation Authority of NZ requires GlideOmarama to re-certify its operations from being a Recreational Aviation Organisation under the CA Rules Part 149, to an Organisation Conducting Adventure Aviation Part 115, and to re-license its pilot/instructors accordingly.

This certification process, consisting of negotiations, applications and approvals, is expected to take several months to complete.

Glide Omarama therefore has decided to suspend its operations from 15 April 2020, until the procedure is complete.

However, in anticipation of successful outcomes, the company is happy to receive bookings for the Soaring School and Trial Flights scheduled from 1 September 2020 onward.

Bookings scheduled for dates up to and including April 14 2020 will be honoured. Bookings scheduled between April 15 and August 31 will be refunded or rescheduled as directed by the client.

Glide Omarama regrets any inconvenience this suspension may cause to Club members, glider pilots and visitors. Throughout the period of self-suspension our office, phones, web site and email will remain live.

Thank you all for understanding and for your support to the Glide Omarama team at this difficult time.

Gavin Wills
Glide Omarama
7 March 2020

Sometimes life is just UNFAIR!!!!!And as we have to wait for a while , a great picture from this season, published on January 24 .

A great flight with Paulo over Mount Cook .
As shared by Glide Omarama

Later on there was more news and even more devastating for Omarama;
Glide Omarama is to cease operations from today (Monday, March 9, 2020.) with the loss of 21 jobs.  “
That was to be on April 14 . However,…… this morning [Monday] it announced the company would cease operation altogether from today .
From the Omarama Gazette;
Unfortunately, we at Glide Omarama have experienced unexpected re-licensing issues with the Civil Aviation Authority and have decided to cease all operations from 09 March 2020 for the foreseeable future.  It is unlikely we will be reopening.”  In an interview Mr Wills said staff were told this morning ahead of the announcement.  “It’s heart-breaking.  It’s been a wonderful experience, the last 22 years.  I’m very proud of what we have built up. We are all devastated.”  Support for the family-run business was coming in from around the world, he said. “
And more news from Justin in this paper;
“The reason we have to close down is the CAA claim we are breaking the law, as it is, by undertaking these trial flights. We argue we are not, but we’re not prepared to go to court to prove it.  We asked to be allowed to continue until the end of the season, another five weeks, to be in a better financial position [to deal with it] but they are unwilling to allow that to happen.  There is no safety case to suggest we should be shut.”

BUREAUCRATS!!!!!!!!We had to fight them in the past as well, so I know the feeling!!
AND to be fair ,.. there are always 2 sites on a story,..here is what the CAA had to say on the subject in the Gazette;
Glide Omarama was informed by the Civil Aviation Authority last year that it would need to become certified as an adventure aviation operation in order to continue offering its passenger glider flights.
Glide Omarama had been offering paid glider flights which were described as ‘trial flights’, but it is the Authority’s view that many of the flights on offer were adventure aviation flights, rather than the type of trial flights which would be available at gliding clubs elsewhere in the country.

Under Part 115 of the Civil Aviation Rules, adventure aviation operations are required to be certificated before they can offer recreational flights to paying passengers, including flights in gliders.  This rule was first introduced in November 2011 to regulate the adventure aviation industry, and require operators to be certificated in much the same way as air transport operators.

In order to gain certification, operators need to satisfy the Director of Civil Aviation that they have appropriate management systems, structures and operating procedures in place to ensure compliance with the relevant safety standards.  They also need to demonstrate that their employees are appropriately qualified and trained, and that their equipment is appropriate for the task and properly maintained.  These rules are in place to keep the New Zealand public and tourists safe, both in the air and on the ground, when they pay for adventure aviation flights.

The Civil Aviation Authority will continue to work constructively with Glide Omarama, and would welcome an application for Part 115 certification.”

Mr Wills said discussions with CAA had been “ongoing since 2002”.  The problem was the level of compliance it required was “burdensome in cost and in ongoing applications.  We’re financially unable to do it.  There’s no other country in the world that certificates gliding in this manner, no one.”
Omarama Gazette.

Is there maybe some hope;
Mr Wills said the council-controlled Omarama Airfield Company were aware of the situation. 
“The airfield company is in a sound financial position and will now be working with interested parties to ensure that services to the gliding community are available in the year to come
” .

Sorry this a lot of news on one subject but …I REALLY FEEL FOR THEM!!!!
And… from another source [Star News] :”Wills said the company already followed most of the requirements, and the only new thing it would have to do was random drug testing.But at the end of the day, it could not afford to apply for a re-certification and he said the 22-year business would be no more.”
Justin also said “the end of Glide Omarama would be a huge loss to the international gliding community.
I totally agree!!!!!!It should NOT happen.


More sad/bad news now for my soaring mates in Australia.
Got a message about 2 gliding centers well known and existing already for 50 years; Southern Cross and Sydney Gliding, based at Camden Airport.
What happens????
On short time notice, they got a proposal for an increase of 225 and 500 % on their rent price from Sydney Metro Airports!!!!!


First flights of the season in The Netherlands and Belgium on March 7!!!

First flight of the season from Pieter from Keiheuvel in Belgium.
And from Terlet in Holland as shared by Robert. Gliders with call sign E 7-12, belong to the club the Gelderse.
More E-gliders ready for the beginning of the season.
As seen and shared by Arjan Vrieze

By the way,…the Aussie mates still fly over 500 km. Even in a Kestrel 17m.
And the BITTERWASSER gliders are back in Europe in time as well for the new season.

Many hands make the work light. As shared by
Bitterwasser Lodge & Flying Centre


And to finish a WOW factor picture;

“Absolute ripper of a day at the 2020 Tyabb Airshow, many thanks to all who helped organize it.
Here is just the first of many photos to come; Glenn Graham and Paul Bennet going over the top! ” as shared by Mayday Photography

Sometimes you loose friends, who are special. That happened yesterday when Theo Hagenberg passed away after a short battle he could not win, age 76.
I got to know him on March 29 in 1967.He was a member of the ZES [Soaring Club of the students from Eindhoven] and for many years an instructor.
He visited us at home as a real house-friend, together with Kees[Musters] and Peter[ van Nieuwland] They all passed away now.
RIP dear friend.

Cu next week, with news from the Gliding International issue March/April.
Nearly forgot….International WOMEN’ S DAY..on March 8.
OK ……an extra honor for the always smiling , successful and exceptional French girls from the glorious Lake Keepit WWGC!!!!

The french girls, they were so good!!!!!! As shared by
FFVP – Fédération Française de Vol en Planeur

Newsy news! Post 1.198!!

—–2020 Lake Keepit Regatta.
As you know “The Keepit Regatta is a fun, friendly and informal regatta, with entries restricted to 30 gliders. The idea is for early cross country pilots to be able to fly with experienced pilots to gain experience and confidence without the pressure of a competition. We found out that many experienced pilots come along just for a great no stress flying week.
Coaching, team flying and mentoring are all encouraged at this event. There will be possibility for flying in pair either in lead-follow with two gliders or in a dual seater.”
Restriction; All the pilots need to be current, have at least a Silver C and  be a current member of the GFA .
They continued on February 26 with another 2 hour AAT , knowing there was a huge thunderstorm at the first turn point.
A day with a 15 km finish circle due to forecast of storms .
Another win for Brad ;214 km. in time 202.He really shows others how to do it.Of course…he has the glider to show it!!!
On February 27, flying-day 4 ,with task 5 ,CD and also scorer Casey set another AAT , a bit bigger;2.30.
Brad won the day again even with his handicap.[1151]
He flew 279 km in time 2.33. Dave was runner up with 261 in 2.29 and Jacques 3d with 270 km. in 2.35. Both fly JS 1.[1170]
Later it changed as due to a glider change by Ranjit Phelan, to the DIANA 2, there was a scoring correction and he had as many points as Brad .
This is by the way the 2 day Brad competes.The other day’s he did n’t fly. He is clearly there as coach/mentor.
I had to laugh about Allan’s comment.He is really flying for fun there and even was n’t upset when he found out he flew the wrong task:” What wasn’t perfect was that I had picked up the wrong task from the printer – yesterday’s instead of today’s. Still, no complaints – I had a great day.
And;” Got into some nice shear wave, and since I was just flying for fun I took it up to see how high it went. About 6000ft was the answer,  “
February 28 ;2 hour AAT and it really pleased me to see Jacques was the winner. I know it is not a real competition , but at least for some it is.
He started and finished together with CD Casey, who flew his first Nationals in Tocumwal in December and even won a day; both 200 km in time 2.06. Both got 612 points.
Brad got 553 for being 5th. Dave was 3d.
February 29 …last day. 3 hour AAT.
Casey showed you can be scorer and CD and win 2 day’s. He won the last one ;354 km. in time 3.01.
Paul Dickson in a Slingsby. T-51 Dart-17R [ handicap 1106] was runner up with 337 km. in time 3.08.
Dave and Allan were 3d and 4th. Brad did not fly.
For what it is worth….3 JS 1 gliders in the top with Dave, Casey and Jacques.The only 3 over 3000 points and very close.
Dave had 3.123 points, Casey 3.115 and Jacques 3.115, so 2 runner up’s.
Always nice to follow this Regatta and as you know I have been once in Keepit maybe 20 years ago and I liked it,…now after being there again for the WWGC , I even like it more.

—–Helli Lasch Challenge;

as shared by Lillian.

Last Sunday I got a mail from Lilian, partner from Sjaak Selen. They arrived in AFRICA at Tswalu…if I was interested in news and pictures.
Of course I was, so I share her news with you.
By now I do not have to explain anymore I guess what the Helli Lasch is .
They all arrived on Saturday and as the weather was beautiful, a few short starts were made straight away.
Which was good as on Sunday it was cloudy…no soaring weather but a good day for game drives and lectures.
The European participants …all WGC champions …are Wolfgang [Janowitsch] Felipe [Levin] and Katrin [Senne both from Germany] and Lukasz [Grabowski] from Poland.
Members of the S A. team and juniors and promising pilots are there as well.
The organisation is in good hands by Carol [Clifford] and Martin [Leslle]
John [Coutts] facilitates it all.

Flying from the Swalu- estate as seen by air, I guess by Sjaak on the first flying day and shared by Lillian.

——Bitterwasser looks back at their season;
One is missing
A bit of statistics on the Bitterwasser season 2019/2020: just one flight is missing to make the 100 flights over 1000 kilometers full. Mind you the number of flights that ran over 1000 kilometers and still remained under 1100 kilometers! So the Bitterwasser season 2019/2020 was not bad, in comparison it was quite good. A total of 172 flights exceeded the 1000 km mark, one led over 1400 kilometers. That was not possible in the previous season.
Dirk Skura – with a little vacation break in the flight office all season – has meticulously kept track of everything. He registered that the season even outperformed the previous one regarding the OLC points. A few more pilots and flights took the top spot. But you can still dream of the super season 2017/2018. Then the pilots in Bitterwasser managed to top the 1000 Kilometer mark 382 times
. ” Bitterwasser Lodge & Flying Centre

Bitterwasser Lodge & Flying Centre

——Great weather again in OMARAMA;
On February 27 Omarama was the place to be for some great flights. No wonder they topped the OLC list that day with 5 good flights.
Good wave. Winds 40-60 knots aloft. We saw 20 knots up indicated a couple times. The wave was marked by rotor clouds, then a few lennies, and toward the end of the flight moisture from an approaching front resulted in lots of clouds almost everywhere and rain not far the west of the airport .”
Comment from Nicolas Bennet and ScarlatNorbert-Alin  in the Duo Discus flying that “old” 2-seater around with a speed of 158 km./h.over 758 km. Good on them !!!

N.Z. yesterday after the rain cleared……. somebody made this stunning picture!!!

as shared by Glide Omarama

—-IGC meeting …2020 plenary….in Budapest;
starts this upcoming weekend in Budapest in Hungary. Guess CORONA will not be a spoilsport.More in my next blog.
Rick [Sheppe ] from the USA normally shares his notes with me. Will follow the tweets as well.

—-New Competition;
As shared by Jacky “Kiki” Clairbaux.

” To all my gliding friends . Please share this information . Thanks . I wait for you there

—–“Longest thermal flight”;1.582 km goal flight with a speed of 144 km./h.
David Jansen from Australia was wondering if his flight from January 2 in 2015 STILL is the longest flight EVER .
Last Monday he published this note:” 1,582km. Is this the largest glider flight ever done in the world using just thermals? Any bigger one you know of? No wave or ridge or cloud flying allowed .”
He flew from Kingaroy in 10 hours and 57 minutes to Benalla.
The first over 1.500 km. flight in Australia and I guess,…. it still stands!!!!!
A year earlier, Adam’s dad Chris flew in one line from Kingaroy to Tocumwal; 1.250 km.

—Corona virus;
We were lucky for a while here in the Netherlands, but after it came closer and closer via Germany and Italy, we could only wait before it hit us too.
A business man visiting Milano came back …BENG,…corona was in Holland too.
Also in Amsterdam a lady who visited the N of Italy is in quarantine now. Her husband and 1 of the children are sick too.
A total of 23 infected people at this stage. Most coming back from winter sport in N. Italy.

—–You might have heard about the tornado’s in Nashville in Tennessee.
I found a picture shared by Paul Arnold,one of our a gliding mates in the USA and involved in flying and seeing this picture , you feel the pain.
Even worse …..this destructive tornado killed at least 25 people and this number might rise.
The total damage is huge!!!! Stupid weather!!!!

That’s it for now. Nearly at blog/post 2000!!!!!
CU next week.
Cheers Ritz

2-seat NATIONALS ….always fun for 2 ! WWGC investigation !

Post 1.197

Starting with some news from the WWGC investigation written by the president of the GFA Peter Cesco!!!

I am writing to all members in the interests of transparency and honesty about the recent issue of Unsportsmanlike conduct at the World Womens Gliding Championship. “

Peter writes a lot, shares apologies from the Australian TC Terry and helper Matt, [pretty poor in my opinion ] and addressed the International soaring world, by writing to the IGC.
Both Terry and Matt, have been “punished” .
By the way, Terry has NOT resigned from his function as delegate for Australia as member of the General Conference.
I think the report [….into the access an use of undelayed tracking data obtained from the G-track live system….] attached to the letter, is pretty good and covers a lot, but still in a way ” what we did was not REALLY wrong”.

I guess this is not over yet!
AND,…. I guess it will be properly looked at again, at the IGC meeting in March in Budapest on March 6 and 7. Not Ireland as I abusively mentioned… sorry!!!!.
I wanted to be sure of the date and checked google on IGC meeting saw March 8 OK,. IGC ..OK, Ireland ..must then be OK too..
BUT NO I looked at the IGC meeting on MARCH 8 in Ireland and IGC meant don’t laugh. [I never made such a stupid mistake!!!!] Institute of Guidance Councellors….will never forget that anymore!!!

The whole WORLD TOP of soaring people will be in Budapest , that is when the Corona virus does n’t spoil it ,with an, I hope and expect, objective opinion.
As it was a WORLD Gliding event cat 1, it needs the attention of the total soaring world, so it never happens again.
Soaring is and should be, an honest/fair and clean sport.

Narromine 2-seat NATIONALS!!.

The grid on February 19 as shared by Ian Steventon

No secret that Adam loves his flying and ,..if possible,…always wants to win.
For those who want to learn from Adam as “influencer” here is what he had to say;
I’ve realized that I’m flying with a different attitude & mentality this summer. In short, last 2 seasons, I have been flying with a ‘demon’ or ‘mongrel’ like attitude, I was going for the day win, plus some extra every day. This season, I’m flying at 90%, not pushing at all, expecting a 900pt day – which happens, but not reliably. “
Flying with Keith is fun and,..winning a day was now a fact as well at Narromine….back in the old mood for a day???
Thursday was day 6 and task 5; a set racing task from 296 km. So a race from tp. to tp. is “easy” start, fly and return.
No, it’s not what always happens, certainly not on a blue day.
But Adam and Keith won the day and they were the only ones over 100 km./h. ;102 to be precise. They started as the last pilots and raced to their first WIN during this competition.
Adam;” Winner winner, today, the moment I saw the task, I could see the winning tactic for the day clearly. Start last, the other 9 will start almost together, at worst, bunch up around half way, Keith & I will then catch up by clear air, then coast home – this is exactly what happened, & we were rewarded .”
More in his Adam Woolley’s Gliding Adventures
Bruce and Brad were runner up with 98 km./h showing it was not easy. Also Lumpy and Joergen and Alland and Harry had 98 km./h.
Bruce mentioned in his Taylor’s Gliding Page ;
Absolutely blue for yesterday’s flight. It was one of those scratchy days when you are always looking for the next climb. As a pair of loners we decided to leave when we wanted, rather than later, when we should have, and of course that always costs us. We did a good flight except for the middle of the leg coming East where the sink hammered us down to treetop height before we climbed away. By that time the crowd had caught us and we came home with them. Congrats to Adam and Keith who did start at the right time and put together a nice flight. “

A happy Keith and Adam as shared by Keith.

Friday was another flying day …2.30 AAT and a bad one for some!!!
Not for the Duo Discus XL from the Hunter Valley. Mich Webster won the day and the speed says it all; 89 km./h….not an easy day ,but still 230 km. in time 2.33.
Only 6 from 10 finished and with the “outlanders”, also Adam/Keith after 255 km.
Adam;” Almost got home, but in the end we had to fire the engine 15km from home.. ” Longer story in Adam Woolley’s Gliding Adventures

2 Gliders started rather late at 14.59 , one finished Bruce and Brad and one was out, Lumpy and Joergen. What Happened?
Here is Bruce
Another tough day… for us anyway. My turn to fly under some quite heavy mid- and high-level cloud, and I did my best to slim down our lead . We worked really hard to stay in the sun all day, which was rule number 1 when I learned how to fly, but after some head scratching post flight, I think Brad has figured out what went wrong. We went far deeper in the first turn than everyone else, and while we were indeed in the sun for all of the next leg, we had inadvertently flown into a more stable, drier airmass, behind the main line of cloud. Despite the sun we had to be content with really weak climbs, and continually falling below 2,000 feet agl, even down to about 800 feet just before our last climb, which just allowed us to squeak home. Crazy thing was, the last climbs were better, as we had flown back into the better air, even though it was nearly dark!
Photos are of the sky in the task area after we landed, and the happy but hapless pilots .
One day to go, still in front of the chasing hounds
. “

They landed at 18.43 whilst the winner was back at 17.11. But they flew 299 km. in time 3.43!!!

Taylor’s Gliding Page

Saturday LAST DAY!!!!
with 2 teams on an equal 4th place,…so a lot can still happen.
But clearly…. the winners will be Brad and Bruce, OR Allan and “good old Harry”…….2.885 for 2.820, so that’s exciting!!!!AND,…about 400 points difference with the next pilot Butch in the Duo Discus T.
A 3 hour AAT to finish this comps and in 3 hours you can do a lot “right” and/ or “wrong”.
417 km . in time 3.13,…that’s good…129 km./h.! Adam and Keith had a great last day. Winning 1000 points and climbing from 4 to 3 so PODIUM.
Bruce and Brad lost with their 380 km. in time 3.12 some 130 points but they still had enough to be THE CHAMPIONS.
Harry and Allan consolidated their silver!!!
Here are some comments;
Bruce…” Great fun day for the final flight. Adam Woolley did a screamer to finish up and won the day by a mile, but we managed to put together a good, solid flight to maintain our lead. Probably the nicest day of the comp, apart from the practice day, with nice cu and some excellent streeting. Not super high, and the sky was slightly European, so we saw some cycling and plenty of clouds not working, but pretty straightforward .” Taylor’s Gliding Page

Adam;” Well that was a bloody lot of fun! Read the sky like a book today, there was CU to 5000′, with lots of streeting. I said to Keith as we crossed the line, “let’s just have fun today & (sorry) no one will be able to keep up with me”, arrogant I know, but that’s the mood I was in – favorite flight of the summer, what a way to finish – thanks Keith Gateley!
It was very much a European day, not that high, but extreme streeting, I think we did 150km+ without turning, at one point we had our thermalling down to 15%!
Adam Woolley’s Gliding Adventures

Final results :
1. Brad and Bruce in ASG 32MI with 3.753 points and CHAMPIONS.
2. Allan and Harry in ARCUS M with 3.680 p.
3. Adam and Keith in ARCUS M with 3.340 p.


Something totally different, but when I read the story it has to do with soaring as well.
An 81 year old glider pilot , Bill Hatfield , sailed as the oldest person ever NONSTOP AND UNASSISTED AROUND THE WORLD, in a yacht designed by gliding colleague Hank Kaufmann ,……..yes Anita’s dad.
It took him 8 months, but what an achievement!!!
A dream,…since he was 7…came through.
He set a world record as the first person to sail round the world solo unassisted non-stop westabout in a boat under 40′ – and as a bonus being the oldest person to sail round the world solo unassisted non-stop in any direction (which seems to be the media focus)

Enjoying his first steak in 8 months,”…shared by Kerrie.

The achievement is all the more impressive considering he sailed west, battling against the prevailing winds and currents .” was the comment of regional rear commodore for North-East Australia Nick Halsey.

Picture shared by Kerrie [Claffey] who followed him all those 8 months!!


Still great late summer weather down under,…. specially last Saturday. What about a 728 km flight some kind of out and return past Temora to the NE ,with a little triangle there, from Benalla in an LS 3 by a German pilot, Marius Gerke. TOP JOB!!!!!Sitting for more than 7 hours!!!
Tobias Geiger had a great flight too 654 km [579 triangle] in his 15 m. Ventus 2ax.
From Tocumwal Chris Davison flew 683 km in his JS 1 .
AND,…what about yesterday!!! I read that it was unexpected good and all who were in Toc had great fun.
Chris flew 792 km [647 triangle], Grant is his St Jantar 616 km,[566 triangle] and Lumpy , just back from Narromine , 934 in his JS 3 .It looks like nearly an out and return passed Mildura ,so to the NW with one leg from 456 km out.


February 22-29

32 Pilots are at the moment flying in good old Lake Keepit in one class for all. The REGATTA is in progress. I have a special feeling since I have been in Lake Keepit for this field and the hard working people over there.
The first 2 day’s unfortunately had to be cancelled . Then there were 2 small AAT’s
Last Monday showed a 2.15 AAT with only 1 finisher; Milan Sejka who flew in his LS 8 a distance of 176 km in time 2.47, so a real difficult day but,…. he finished and “got” 208 points. 2 Other Pilots flew over 100 km.
Tuesday had a 2 hour AAT and a tad better weather. 2 Of my new Lake Keepit mates were the best; Casey who organized my lovely room and Dave the meteo man ,who could cook very good as well, I tasted it ;227 and 216 km. both in JS 1in time 2.01 and 1.59. Casey started at 14.42 and Dave at 14.27.
Kimberly, who “did” the FB site during the WWGC was 15th in her Pegase.
Today; Another short 2 hour AAT and this time won by Brad in his mighty ASG 32 MI. With this kind of glider and a former WGC Champion in it you can fly as the only of the bunch over 200 km……229 to be precise in time 2.02!!!
Dave was runner up and starting this time 10 minutes later than Brad [ 190 km. in time 2.01] and Casey was 6th [ 177 km in 2.01] with Jacques [Graells] as 7th.[172km. in time 1.53.
A few more day’s to come.


Not long and it is Easter. Got the Easter eggs already at the table. That means that the first real big competition in Europe starts at Nitra. [Slovakia]
The PRIBINA CUP from April 10 -18!!
Noticed already 114 pilots at the list of the 20thiest version of this always very well organized competition!!!
36 In open class, GOOD!!!!!,…37 in club,……28 in 15 m.. and 13 in the 2-seat-class.
Another early European competition, this year the very first I see, will be flown in Italy [hopefully with this Corona virus over there!} between March 29 and April 5 with at this stage 22 participants.
Torino is the place to be for the Trofeo Citta di Torino 2020.
There will be one handicapped class and I noticed a lot of 2 seaters.


AND last news from the OLC;
OLC direct claim with two gliding IT systems stopped……You can read the reason why at the OLC page under segelflugszene.
In 2014, the OLC signed a preUpload agreement with three hardware and software companies, under which IGC flight files can be uploaded directly to the OLC from their systems.
Meanwhile it is known that it is unfortunately no longer possible with two of these systems to upload IGC flight files directly to the OLC. The reason for this is that the operators, in violation of the terms of the respective contract of 2014, unauthorized stored the IGC flight files of participants on third servers or in their own cloud
. ” MORE at

That’s it for today, “transition from scenes” means that there is not a lot of competition news, but enough to keep you satisfied.In the worst case I’ll dive in my photo books for some history!!!
Cheers Ritz

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.