It is all happening !!

Alphen aan den Rijn            April 27 2008

As I wrote last week, the weather is OK!!!! So it’s ALL happening !! First competitions are on and first great flights , [over 1200 last friday on the OLC] , mean that soaring conditions are just great!

In Klix [ NE of Dresden -Germany ] a competition started on the 25th with a very nice first day on the 26th. A few WGC pilots take the opportunity to practise already in Germany for their WGC in August in Luesse. Mac [Ichikawa] won the first day in open class in his ASG29. They had a task of 374 km..and  30 pilots participate in this class
2 More classes; a mixed class with 41 participants , they flew 343 km and a big clubclass [42 pilots] with 267 km.

All over Europe the weather seems perfect. With 1236 pilots using the OLC to publish their flights on saturday the 26th ,you can say “a good day”. Luesse as said the WGC town for the big ships, had a flight from 852 km. flown by Carsten Lindeman in an ASW 25.
Another great flight that day was flown from Reinsburg NW from Klix.;732 km in a standard cirrus!!!! ” Kilometer-eater” Uwe Tiele flew 771 km in his DG 800-18m.
From Bolzano in Italy pilots flew a few nice flights  as well , with 700 km in an ASW 20.
But 576 km from Trento Mattarell [Italy] in a standard libelle, is worthwhile mentioning too!!! 

On thursday the 24th, Tomas [Suchanek] practised too for his WGC . He participates in Rieti in july and flew in his home country [CZ]  a 663 km flight , while pilots practising in Klix flew 868 km in a Ventus 2 ct. that same day.

So you see I do not exaggerate- IT IS GREAT SOARING WEATHER in Europe!!!!!
But….I still have to say that , in OZ they had an amazing long season this year. They still flew 558   km TODAY and it is nearly winter in Australia. Good old mate Gerrit flew it from his homefield Jondaryan in the E. of OZ [Queensland] .Alan Barnes flew 521 km triangle in an LS 1 from the same field. Great flight!

Time to go outside and enjoy a bit of sun. Yes it is nice weather in Holland too. We are spoiled with 23 dgr. today, but ……tomorrow is an other story. Back to 16 and rain, so I better leave you now.
Good luck to all pilots participating in all different comps, no or not too much retrieves for their crews and let the summer be as it was the last couple of days. ENJOY!


15 dgr.and…lots of WGC competitors!

Alphen aan den Rijn                         20-04-2008

In oktober 2007 we had 15 dgr C. here! Today after 6 months we reach that temperature again. Hurray! It took quite a long time ! Last year we had 27 dgr. already in april, that was very warm for spring and in the end, it was the best weather for the year 2007.

It means…..that soaring defenitely has started in Europe. Nice long flights. One of them made by km-eater Wilfried Gosskinsky, who flew 950 km in area between 2 places I visited during the Worldcomps over there. His area over mountains was between Paderborn ,N. of his track and Bayreuth S.E of his track.
That day the 17th, we had great flights in Holland too, as flights from 0ver 400 km [463]were made over absolutely FLAT land. In Belgium , the same . Keiheuvel pilots flew 445 km. A good European day and we hope we will get a lot of them.YES…….It’s all happening again!!!!!

Rieti has published their list of participants of the World comps over there and 26 different countries will send pilots in the 3 classes;standard, club and world class. Really looking forward to catch up with so many I know . A very strong competition with reigning world champs, but also several former champs. Can’t predict who will winn , but I do have my guesses.In any case the best should win! I will keep you informed. In Rieti I will do the daily bulletins , but on sunday I will do my regular news.
The site for Rieti is; and if you are a pilot flying in Rieti and you do not have a glider yet or want to have something different then you have already, they have a ” last minute ” ASW24 and a standard cirrus for rent.See for contacts to that site!

Luesse has its list too. With 133 participants a “huge” competition. 38 in open class, 47 in 18 m and 48 in 15 m. class. Impressive! Also in Germany many top pilots so it will be very intens, both those world comps, the first “split” ones!
Look for info at ;
My early guess as said before, for the top 3; open class Michael Sommer, pushed by Tassilo Bode and Pete Harvey. In my opinion they are equal good!And don’t forget about Holger Karow,could it be 3 German toppers???????In their home country??!! We just have to wait and see as there are more rivals in the field.

In 18 m. class Wolfgang is still a topper but the USA and the UK have very good pilots as well. Don’t forget about the French!
In 15 m. class Leigh Wells?????And what about the Italians and Dutch pilot Steven Raimond!! It is nice to guess but it ONLY remains a guess . On the last day ‘s we will know, how will be the winners in both countries!
There is a bit more then one week in between both comps. Rieti is from july 6-20   and Luesse from august 2 -16.

That’s it for now. Another sunny day here with clouds , so pilots will be eager to go up again.Sometimes I forget there is more then gliding in this world.
Soccer then; A very tensed day for soccer here in Holland . Ajax Amsterdam can be champion today , but they have to win. PSV Eindhoven “only” has to play 1-1 or so, one-alldraw, to be champion.

I jump on my bike today for a nice trip through the polder landscape! Enjoy your sunday as well.


CONDOR 4 and first “nice” flights in Holland.

Alphen aan den Rijn                            Sunday april 13 2008

Time flies! When you are [very] busy, it seems to still go faster! In the gallery everything is under controle and the opening last weekend was a success like all other openings. With a feeling of satisfaction you try to lay back then, but….that’s impossible as the next jobs are waiting.

Not a lot happening in Luesse and Rieti.
For sure they are working “damm” hard ,but for now we can’t see it.
So we have to wait to see which competitors will be defenitely in , for both world comps.

29 More gliders are back in Europe after their owners /guestpilots had a great time in Australia [Corowa] . No scratch on a glider , no incident or accident in the season; what do you want more!?

For all my Australian readers;
If you are interested in vintage gliders and you happen to live close to Tocumwal, then you should go and look on the 29th of April to the first start, after the restoration from the CONDOR 4.

I got the next press release.
The condor 4 restoration project was started in Japan and later transported to Mike Burns business Aviation & General Engineering in Tocumwal for completion of the project.
The restoration is now almost completed and arrangements have been made for the official first flight after the restoration.
Among the visiting group of Japanese will be a representative of the late owners family.The flight is planned to take place at around 2 pm on April 29.

8 Japanese friends are visiting from Yokohama. All of them worked on the initial restoration of the airframe in Japan.
These Japanese friends are first visiting the Vintage Glider Regatta at Lockhart on the 25th-26-and 27th of April.
A number of the vintage planes will be coming through Tocumwal and most probably do some flying on the 29th.
Ken Uyeama, long- time -visitor of Sportavia in the past and still a good friend, will fly his T21 2 seat vintage glider. I love that “machine”.
The jet Caproni will do a few demonstration flights for any interested parties.
The day will finish with a BBQ and even the president of the Vintage Gliders Australia and some more executives will visit from Melbourne.

The weather is improving here in Europe and I was impressed with the nice flight from Alfred Paul from Terlet[Dutch National Gliding Center]; 578 km in an LS 8. I was enjoying the morning sun that day and KNEW that good flights were possible.
In the Nimbus 4DM Marc even flew one day earlier [april 9] a 655 km flight with 108 km.p/h.
Spring and soaring have finally started in Holland.

Best pilot in Germany “only” flew 526 km last week and in Belgium it still has to start too, so Holland did not bad!!! I know that we have really good pilots here; they even fly when nobody else would fly. Great practise to stay UP!!!!

That’s it for now, hope you have a good week and see you next sunday.

Cheers Ritz


Alphen aan den Rijn                     Sunday April 6 2008

The flatland-thermal-soaring-activities have not yet really started , but the mountains are the place to be here in Europe.

Great flights in the mountains from Austria , Switserland , France and Italy.

The next Dutch Nationals were supposed to be in Holland. “We ” have the system that every 2 years the Nationals will be “at home”. Last year they were in Germany in Stendhal, not too far from Berlin.But….This year they will be again in Stendal. Reason!!! TRANSPONDERS!!!!!

The last 5 years “hot” negociations have been organized , between the Dutch authorities and specially the members of silent planes, unmotorized, as balloons, hang gliders parapentes and gliders, to carry a transponder.
Deadline was March 31 2008!!!!
From June 5 2008 onwards it is compulsery to fly with transponders especially in areas around bigger airfields as Eindhoven, Maastricht and Rotterdam.

With a -mode S transponder -these “silent planes” are better visible for fighters and airliners and…it is now an international obligation to protect aviation.Of course this is a safety issue! Due to the fact that it took 5 years of talking and negociating, not everybody is happy with it.
And…not everybody is ready and HAS a transponder in his glider, so as transponders are [not yet] compulsery in Germany they leave the Dutch National Gliding Center Terlet as it is and move to Stendhal for a “second-in-a-row-Dutch -National -Championship in Germany. No punishment I heard as they all had a great time in Stendal last year!

No news on the front of final entries in both Luesse and Rieti, so we have to wait and see how many participants will fly in both world comps! Surely they work hard to put the defenite entries on their site a.s.a.p.

Very busy, so a short story today as in an hour I have to be at the opening of another exhibition in our gallery. This time a teacher and his pupil. Very famous and now 90 year old early- Cobra artist Aart Roos and his pupil from many years ago Warffemius. It turned out to be a great decision to mix them on the wall.  Warffemius is a great sculpturist too. He makes trees from steel and cortensteel. As both artists will be here in Alphen, we expect quite a lot of guests. So I better rush to my next hobby.

Have a good week, Ritz