First day of the 5th JWGC in Rieti

 Rieti on July 29 2007

At 3.30 it was 35 dgr and it feels like 40. Not a lot of people around as they all ” hide” for the heat!Pilots have been launched at 13.00 and they straight away flew up to 2000 m. where it is nice cool! Lucky them!

Tasks are for standard class ; 368,5 km a polygon with 4 points and for club class 289, 1km. with a polygon of 5 points.

Hanging and waiting for the startline was easy for the pilots as they were for sure at 2000 m. Such great weather and we keep it altleast this coming week. So also…… lucky we!!!!You can follow the flights from our pilots on the tracking system. Look at the wgc site [ ] and click on JWGC and in the right corner you see the tracking system. As you can see too, I am in the Ritz corner!Youy can read the rest of the news there!

Lilienthal Glide has finished and ” good old ” Michael Sommer won for Tassilo Bode in open class. Interesting was the 3 first places for the Theisinger Family. 2 Brothers and their nephew!They flew in 15 m class. Rick Walters won in 18 m. and I am happy with that. Other friend Mac [Makoto Ichikawa] was runner up.Not bad , Mac!

Issoudun is preparing for the Europeans for the BIG SHIPS!

There is no 8 days of good old fashioned flying , combined with fun in Belgium at Keiheuvel .Very sad!It is impossible to set tasks with all the airspace restrictions around Eindhoven.They will have a 2 days competition now in the weekend of the 18th and 19th. The Keiheuvel Cup will be presented for the winner.

The European championships for standard, club and world class  cancelled their first day in Pociunai [ Lithuania] They had tasks ,but rain delayed them and in the end they cancelled! So I am lucky to be here.

Enough news again , so back to duty as we expect the gliders soon. Ritz

News from Italy!

Rieti on July 28 2007

 As you might have seen on the official site from the 5th Junior World Championships I have arrived well in Italy. It took a long time to get internet going, so long that the competition directors really were worried, but….as always things worked out well in time.

I caught up with a lot of friends already and not only from Italy.The weather is absolutely fabulous. With around 34 dgr. it is hot, but I love it. The comps start tomorrow and today we have a big airshow with gliders, model-aeroplanes and lots of very nice vintage planes . We also expect an Italian aerobatic airshow.

In the past when I visited Rieti for the pre worlds in ’84 and the worlds in ‘ 85 and the Europeans , we were always impressed with the military zone which was absolutely forbidden for glider pilots. NOW , I live there and sleep on ” a real-soldier-to-be bed!!! ” Tough very tough , but caractere building.I wear even a badge to enter the zone. The Army people are VERY friendly. We feel very special, to be there.

The young pilots , some look really young, are all ready to go for it!They have had very good practise here and they all enjoy the mountains and the flat land in between. I wish them a fair, good and above all , safe competition.

We just had a drink with the MAYOR and it was very nice to meet the contessa Maria Vede Caproni there.It was a great feeling to meet somebody from a family with so much historic aviation background. She told us that they had 40.000 people working for them in the wat time and after. I was happy with my “last flight ” in Tocumwal , when I was flying with Ingo Renner in the ” Jet-engined- Caproni”.

While having breakfast this morning with Visa Matti Leiniki, one of the stewards, I heard that Nokia started their business making rubber boots! Never knew that. They are also the inventors of SMS. Never knew that either, so I am learning here.

As long as I have time, I will write some more personel stories on this site , as I have to really professionally represent the organizers on their site ; no personel stuff!

Till next time , Ritz

The 4th women world gliding championships in France!

by Ritz

Alphen aan den Rijn July 20-2007

I nearly forgot to tell you about the ladies!!!! As you know I support as much as I can gliding for youngsters and for women. Brutus, had to point out that the World comps for women are on in Romorantin. Sorry, Mea Culpa, I nearly forgot!!!!

The women fly in 3 classes. Club,standard and 15 m and have had till now 7 days out of 8 in club class with ” good old Gill Spreckley ” in the lead and 6 days for the other 2 classes.Quite a lot of well known names and a lot of competitors which makes me happy.You can see results and all other info , if you are interested on Enjoy! The comps are from July 11-July 21, so enough to read.

Lilienthal Glide;Germany

 I am very pleased with the 1st place for Rick Walters and though a few days more have to be flown, I can “see from far” that he is still an excellent pilot. When I was TC in Minden in Nevada and later in Uvalde, where we all moved one year later due to circumstances, Rick was so kind to “give” his glider to “my ”  pilot Baer Selen.Baer won in ’91 in Uvalde the world comps and since then I keep warm feelings for Rick.

Also good to see that my Aussie friends David Jansen and Graham Parker are doing well in Luesse. It will be a great competition there next year.Open class ,with at this stage 2 toppers up front , Michael Sommer current world champion and Tassilo Bode, will be spectecular.  They are as good and real “2 pitbull-pilots ” when it comes to winning the comps. Also Dutch pilot Peter Batenburg has had 2 very good days! As you might have seen there is a lot of German pilots involved, but these are also the German Nationals for open class and 15 m. Only 4 days have been flown, so we look forward to the rest of the results.

That’s it for now. Still a bit struggling with the new program, but I will get there.

Weather in Italy is hot. So I packed only real summer clothes . Today however I got the message from Marina, to bring WARM pullovers for the cool nights, so I better start repacking straightaway. Will see if I can come back before I leave, but I am very busy! Cheers Ritz

On my way to Italy!

Alphen aan den Rijn

July 17 2007

Well….. this a try- out as Phill in OZ updated my blog. So I have to find my way again.Hopefully you all find me too.

Not long and I will jump in a KLM plane to visit the World Gliding Junior Championships to be not only the editor on invitation of the organization, but also a member of the international jury selected by the IGC.

You can imagine that times will be busy. So I want to invite you to follow me as readers from my blog , to Italy. So I only have to write there. But still if other great things happen, I will make time to come back. We have the Europeans for big ships and smaller ones and the Junior world comps all in the more or less same period!!!!

You can find me on  Please click on JWGC and you can read everyting what’s happening in this great mountain area. From Wednesday the 25th I will be on-line.


In between pilots are preparing to go to the European Comps in Issoudun [ FRANCE]for the ” big ships ” and  in Pocunai  [Lithuania]for the smaller ones. Good luck and safe flying to all!!!!

Sabina Glide has finished with some good days in the end. Lilienthal glide is still going strong but….with a restday yesterday .

Enjoy all the reading on many sites. Enjoy my writing too in Italy. “See you there” !


Spain [Grand Prix], Italy [Sabina glide}, Germany Lilienthal Glide

Alphen aan den rijn

From Spain I got the announcement that the GRAND PRIX will be held in Fuentemilanos with practise days on August 13 and 14 and the competition will be flown from August 15-August 19 2007. Just to let you know. I am not a great fan from the Grand Prix , but if that is , what they say, the future for gliding, well what can I do.

The Grand Prix Final 2007 will be still in New Zealand. It was cancelled due to “loss” of the main sponsor, but things are working out again and it will be held in Omarama, from December 19-24-2007.The second part will be flown during a huge show from multy-aviation in Wanaka , not far from Omarama on 28 and 29.You can follow EVERYTHING on your laptop. Hurray for internet!


Sabina Glide , the pre-worlds for the ” smaller gliders” in Italy , is in full swing. My Aussie friends really make the readers from their webblogg part of these comps . Enjoy their long stories with lots of information on; and click on Sabina Glide.
They are so enthousiastic!!!! One pilot Terry Cubley was there when I met the OZ team for the first time in 1984. He still flies on top level and represents the Australian gliding in ICG.
Simon Holding , from Alice Springs, is for the first time in the team and enjoys every minute to the fullest. Bruce Taylor is in teams since I know him; for ages!!! A real top pilot!Peter Temple is the 4th pilot flying in Italy. His wife Mandy is the TC.

In Luesse starts today the pre-world competition for the ” big ships”. It is called Lilienthal Glide and I will keep you informed!
Cheers Ritz

News from Katia from Finland!

Alphen aan den Rijn 06-07-07

One day before the magic date ” 07-07-07 ” one day before the verdict of Floyd Landis. Will he be winner of the last Tour de France or not!? Doping in sport!? Where do we go!? I hate it!!!!!Cause ….how do we know if a winner is ….a winner!

Well here is gliding news from Finland as promised. Katia asked me to use parts of her story, but I think I should let you read it as it is . Her nice Finnish English is as my Dutch English, so nothing to worry about; you are used to it!
Enjoy the Finnish Nationals for 18 m. class and standard class seen through the eyes of Katia! Thanks Katia!!!!

This years Finnish Gliding Nationals in Räyskälä had something that it never had before. And that is three metres more. In most years, we have organized Nationals for 15 metre and Standard classes. But this time we decided to add three metres to other class, so competition classes became 18 metre and Standard classes. We had 36 competitors altogether, and 18 metre class with
19 pilots was two times bigger than ever in Finnish Nationals.

First two days weather just wouldn’t co-operate with our meteorologists.
Saturday, first competition day weather forecast promised nice clouds and good thermals, but somehow it just didn’t go that way. In some point competition office stopped updating outlandings list, as all pilots landed out. Well, it wasn’t really that sad story, as most of competitors flew more than 350 km. Oripää airfield was that day crowded, almost half of the pilots landed there. Maybe that was just because of good company, isn’t it nice to wait for pick-up if you can wait together with other pilots.

I thought it would be nice to start competition with good task with nice flight, just to get everybody in the right mood. And luckily, that we got on Sunday, after very nice weather and fast flying we saw lots of happy faces in the café terrace. Although, pilots didn’t stay there too long, everybody knows it is important to go to Small Sauna and fly day’s flight there again and again.

Third competition day was similar, even weather weren’t so easy than day before and task was longer, still most of the pilots seemed so happy after their flights. 18 metre class winner Hannu Halonen described that flight shortly but so well, when he said “it was fun up there”.

It would be so nice to tell you how we had 7 competition days and flew long tasks. But after that Monday’s “fun flight” we had three days with no tasks.
On Wednesday we tried to start towings, but after few hours of waiting in the grid we ended up cancelling the day. I must say that one resting day after three days flying is good for everybody, but three days waiting is quite boring. Of course we sat hours and hours in café, went to famous Keppanakellari-restaurant, and spend evenings in our beautiful and renovated sauna. You should see it yourself, it is so gorgeous now.

I am glad that we didn’t have to end the competition with “no task today” – Friday’s 436 km task gave us nice ending. Hannu and Standard class winner Juha Sorri both flew all competition days well, being if not always daily winners, in top 5 anyway. After closing ceremony I enjoyed good company of both of our new champions and competition director, of course we went to Small Sauna as we always do in farewell parties…it was early hours after everybody went to sleep

We have had so beautiful weather in past few summers in Räyskälä, of course we hoped that this year wouldn’t be any different from that. But sadly, we didn’t have good luck when we decided competition days for the Nationals. If the competition just was week before or after, we would have seen again 1000 km tasks.

After Nationals we had 2nd Gliding camp here, and they flew 17 042,9 kilometres in total, during one week. Longest flight from Räyskälä this summer (that I know so far) is flown by Sakari Pyörre, with LS 8-18. He flew 950 km, that is just one thermal away from 1000 km. So there is no reason to be miserable because of few rainy days, 1000 km flights are here to stay!

Past week has been so beautiful too, and those clouds, oh my god, they just have been perfect cumulus, almost like in pictures. We have now English and German guests here in Räyskälä and they all have certainly enjoyed this week’s weather. In the evening after all Finnish pilots have put their gliders in the hangar, we have seen how our foreign guests are evidently enjoying the evening weather, flying after 9 pm and telling on the radio that there are still light thermals.


That’ s it for now. Cheers Ritz

Long time…no see!

Alphen aan den Rijn on the 4th of July 2007!!!!

It seems that the days pass by and I get every day one day older without knowing it! But….I do feel it! It is busy at the moment. The gallery, babysitting and the preparations for the Junior World Comps in Rieti in Italy. I was supposed to be the editor , which is great. Jeans and polo’s in a suitcase and the laptop under the arm and off I go. But no!

Sadly enough Ross Mac Intyre, one of the jurors had to cancel his job, due to severe illness of his wife Marion. I wish both of them well!!!!
Result; The organization has asked the IGC if I was allowed to do the job. Eric Moser from IGC wrote me back that all members said it was OK , so here we go with a suit case topped off with some official ” nice” clothes in it too.
And…I started studying straight away again as you have to know what ‘s going on, is n’t it!?

So I miss out on what’s happening in the gliding world at the moment.I have to contact Katja too about her article about the Finnish comps otherwise it is too long ago.They flew nearly 500 km in Rayskala today, so the weather there is better then here as we have rain and thunderstorms and in some parts floods because of the heavy pourring downfall.
Yesterday the first 10 flights from OLC where ALL flown in Finland!!!

In the USA they had some good weather on the 2d of July with a 1000 km. flown in ELY and good friend Daan Pare added another “nearly” 750 to his immense list of long flights, this time from ELY , a place he really likes for long distance flying!

Not long and I will write every day again as I did for years and years! From Italy where I will arrive on the 24th of July and will take action straight away. In between I try to be back when possible. See you Ritz