Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Latest news by Ritz

Amsterdam December 26 2006

If I can avoid to move house again , I will do so!!!! What a job an what a ” rotten ” job , excusez le mot on Christmas day.
But first things first, otherwise I am too late!!!!
MERRY CHRISTMAS. For all my friends, I wish that you “had ” a wonderfull Christmas night and Christmas day on the 25th and that today is/ was a good one too.And…to be not too late again;
Have a HAPPY< PROSPEROUS< SUCCESFULL< SAFE AND ABOVE ALL< HEALTHY 2007, with lots of nice long flights , great results at comps and very important "first achievements". Life is complicated when you move from down under to Holland. First it took over 13 weeks to get my household here . Then... quite a lot was damaged! Then...quite a lot was lost. Then....I have 3 extra suitcases and 2 more boxes; all NOT belonging to me!!! So the end of the story is not yet there! As you can imagine , I had no time left to write. More difficult is that I have to go to family or friends to use internet. I asked KPN , the Dutch telephone company on SPETEMBER 26 for a connection. They lost my papers. Now I am happy if I have internet in February, so bare with me in these dark times. Forgive me! The new site is still not ready, so I hope it will still happen before 2007 and ...Michael Sommer , the 2006 world champion in open class in Eskilstuna (Sweden ) was on a business trip, but is back and will answer my questions from the intervieuw, so "things" will still happen.As soon as I receive it, I will put it on. I had contact with him. Enjoy your Christmas evening and luckily I am in time for my good wishes for you in 2007 in which I hope , we will meet again in real or by reading. Ritz

It’s ” snowing ” 1000 km flights in Africa!

Latest news by Ritz
Alphen aan den Rijn.

It is ” snowing” 1000 km -plus -flights in Africa!!Over the last 2 days 27 were announced on the OLC and it was great to see so many good friends achieving them. Congratulations guy’s!!!Bitterwasser, Pokweni and Gariep Dam , were the places to be!Flights up to 1346 km. What a lot of fun pilots will have together there. Sharing the great feeling of a 1000 km flight. Even with the better gliders it remains an achievement and a happy one.

Young under 25 pilots Tijl and Bert Schmelzer have been added to the prelimanry list of the JWGC in Rieti in Italy.For open class Pierre de Broqueville was selected for the Europeans in France in 2007.

Alphen aan den Rijn.
My house is not yet ready but I am getting there. Nuissance is a bronchitus and a cheekbone infection in the left side of my face! But…with a lot of help from my friends and family, I will get there. Email adress remains the same’
See you Ritz

Impressions from Daan Pare, flying at Corowa.

Thursday, December 7th 2006

Dear Ritz,

Today we are in heavy smoke from the bushfires in the hills just south of Corowa
and with a visibility of only 1 – 2km there is of course no flying. Everybody
went away which finally allows me some time on the only “guest computer” to
write a little about the conditions here, as you asked for.
As you know Australia is suffering from an extreme drought this summer and the
newspapers are filled with the corresponding (and growing) problems, like these
widespread wildfires. On the other hand these dry conditions should be good for
the production of thermals, but so far conditions have been rather variable.
Since I arrived here on Nov 17 we’ve had quite a few days with stable air and
poor or no flying at all. Also a couple of days with moderate to good blue
thermals and only three days with (some) cumulus clouds. On two of those days we
all went north and found that conditions (and the clouds) were improving when
getting past about halfway towards Narromine, which is some 500km to our north.
Two days ago I had a shot at the first 1000km for the Corowa season, but a
strong headwind made progress for the first three hours very slow and in the
afternoon approaching high (frontal) clouds denied me the last thermal and I
came 35km short. I hope to get another try before going home on Dec 17th for the
holiday season.

As you know I’ve been many times at Tocumwal and because of the demise of
Sportavia I’m now flying my Ventus 2cM at the ASCC in Corowa.
Francesco and Grietje run a smooth operation here with comprehensive
(weather)briefings, including all the necessary data gathered from the temp
trace they fly every morning.
Every evening Belgian chefs Jan and Chris prepare an excellent meal in the
clubhouse, usually attended by at least half the customers, except on Saturdays
when a special “family dinner” is prepared and everybody is present. Francesco’s
newborn male heir Frank is also an integral part of daily life here.
An estimated 20 – 25 customers of 10 different nationalities are here at the
moment, many with their own gliders brought from Europe in 4 sea containers, so
the hangar is quite full. Some however, like me, leave their gliders parked
outside (in their Jaxida covers) to avoid the hassle of (un)packing the hangar
every day. Waterballast hoses, tow out cars (and dust) are in ample supply.
Launching with the two Pawnee tugs is very quick and the (I believe about 6)
selflaunchers have ample room on the two long and wide runways. Apart from the
gliders there is hardly any traffic at all on this large and well maintained
aerodrome. Airspace restrictions are almost non-existent, except for Albury to
our east, and the whole area has numerous large paddocks for outlanding and
aerotow retrieve.
The ASCC is for experienced xc-pilots only and the centre’s DuoDiscus is used
for checkflights and for rental (crosscountry) flights, there is no “ab initio”
training done like at Sportavia. Some single seat gliders are also for rent and
a few private gliders are available for crosshire when their owners are not
flying themselves. Since most gliders are equipped with an engine (mainly
turbo’s), outlandings are quite rare.
Almost everybody puts his (or even her) flights on the OLC and there is some
(competition) pressure to fly as many kilometers as possible; Francesco is
pushing to get Corowa in #1 spot.
On a “normal” good soaring day for some reason the thermals start about half an
hour (up to one hour) earlier over here than in Tocumwal. Quite often in the
past we were still drinking coffee at Sportavia waiting for the first thermal
while we could see nice cu’s forming over Corowa in the distance. Also getting
back here in the evening is usually slightly easier due to the nearby hills and
the more favorable angle to the (prevailing) headwinds.
Corowa lies some 85km to the east of Tocumwal, also on the Murray River and
although this town is a lot bigger, there really is not much more to do or to
see (read: hardly anything, if you don’t play golf) and it lacks the nice
beaches Tocumwal is famous for. There is a huge golf course and there are many
motels with very friendly owners, but Ritz, of course these can’t compare to the
perfect accomodation I used to have in your caravan at Sportavia…
All in all, so far I’m satisfied with my stay here in Corowa and we’re just
hoping for better and more consistent flying weather to arrive in the near

Ok, for the moment I can’t think of anything more to tell you, so I’ll send the
mail and go have a beer (or two)…
I wish you all the best in cold and dreary Holland and good luck with your house
and job hunting. Get well soon…

Best regards,

More news from Oz, as Jo Tabart send me the next info;
The team for the next worldcomps has been approved in Australia.Paul Mander mentioned the names of ;
Tracy Tabart for open /18 m.
Bruce Taylor, Terry Cubley and Graham Parker for 15 m. st. class.
Congratulations to the new formed team.

News from Holland. The dutch Nationals will fly with 20 m. class. This is approved by the competition and selection committee. They have also started an English site. Look for
They call it the MEGA comps and they are from May 18 to 27 in Stendal-Borstel Germany.7 Classes will participate ( Club,standard, 15 m ,18 m., 20 m. , twin seaters and open class) and when there are enough pilots in a class and enough days the winner can call him/herself Dutch National Champion.

I signed for my new house and worked all day. Feel sick, really have the worst cold. Time to go to bed. Enjoy reading. Ritz

Looking back on the Narromine Cup , by Pepe.

Latest news by Ritz on December 1 2006

Alphen aan den Rijn , The Netherlands

The metereological winter has started with sun and 10 dgr. here in Holland. My daughter, her husband and kids have arrived home safely from Australia this morning early.

As soon as the weather is superb Daan will give his “glidingjoy” from Corowa in Australia.He has made a few nice flights already up to 640 a few days ago, so has Jari.
Today I received a personal note from Pepe Gresa Valero who flew the Narromine Cup and still will use Narromine a few more weeks , as base to fly from . All results from flying were/are on the OLC .

Looking back , The weather was good to very good during the Narromine Cup flow from November 20 to 25 .
” I was the winner one day with a distance of 811 km. That day Pam Kurstjens Hawkins nearly flew the same distance . Her husband Gerrit topped both flights on Sunday by flying a 750 km with a speed of 152 km/ph.
The days before he flew long distances too another 750 and an 850 on a very windy day.”
The weather was so good , that thermals went up to 4300 m.”

At this stage pilots fly the State comps for NSW , but the weather till now is not that brilliant.

In between I see that lots of friends in Bitterwasser and Gariep Dam , fly long distances even a few over 1000 km again. Quite a lot of European friends are flying in Africa at the moment.Some of my English friends will fly in Bloem fontein. Will see if I can reach them. Hope to receive some news from Africa too.Have asked for more personal experiences.

Michael Sommer is on leave till December 4 , but the intervieuw has reached his computer. We just wait a few days for the answers.

That’s it for now. Enjoy the upcoming winter where you are, here in Europe or far away on your soaring holiday. Keep in touch! Cheers Ritz