On my way to Rieti!!!

Alphen aan den Rijn      29th of June 2008

Great day for soccerfans as the final between Spain and Germany surely will be a good one!

Today is the last bulletin for soaring.eu, till Sunday the 27th.,as I move today to Amsterdam, stay there tomorrow and will leave for Rieti on Tuesday. So I hope you all “come” with me to www.wgcrieti.it so we can stay together.You find me on the homepage and the longer stories in the Ritz corner.

The weather is unfortunately not the very best in Italy at the moment, but we can only hope that it will improve. But it seems the atmosphere is good, so I better go and look for myself.

The last couple of days looked great here in Holland.Last Thursday pilots flew over 700 km in Holland. Great effort! Fantastic day!But on more places in Europe the weather was great that day. In Luesse they nearly flew 1000 km. and the young Belgian pilot, Bert jr. flew 700 km. in his discus. Great practise for Rieti, where he might find less good weather in the next 3 weeks.He and his brother Tijl , who also flew 624 km., are both competitors in Italy.

Well I am in a hurry, will leave you know and “see you in Rieti”. Will take the good weather with me in my allready heavy suitcase.

Ciao Ritz


Alphen aan den Rijn       22-06-2008

Last night’s story was a bit”flat”. It was not the Midsummer evening I hoped for. Holland lost, no worries, they did not play as good as in the first 2 matches. But…still a huge disappointment.
On top of that I realized , that the funeral last tuesday of a good friend [59], dying within 2 months [breast cancer] and the diagnose of ” we can not do anything more for you, enjoy life ” [63] for another friend, had a huge impact on me. Sorry about that!

So to cheer my self up and perhaps you;
I got the nice news from Oz, that the moter-glider  VH-SSUwhich has been in “hands ” of Sportavia from 1969 to 1997, has been found by George,former owner,  just 30 km. South of Cairns. It is like a lost friend found!
This moter glider was always used by former instructor Des Russell and by Ingo Renner. They took pilots before they went solo in the IS 28 M2 and showed them around. It was not only “used” for cross country checks, but for nearly everything you could use it for.
A gentleman with a nearly Dutch name,is the proud new owner now.
Amazing!!!! A pity I can’t show you the pictures as it looks fantastic!!
It is good to see that it is in “good hands”.

Straight to work now. Busy, busy!


Midsummer night!

Alphen aan den Rijn             21-06-2008

As I have to start working at 10.30 tomorrow, due to an opening from art from all our artists called”Summerguests” , I write NOW. It is more an escape, as I find it difficult to see Holland play against Russia in the European championships.
The first 2 games of the Dutch were superb, the best soccer I have ever seen and I saw already a lot of matches. But with Hiddink as trainer the Russians know exactly how “we ” play.
Well the first half was not too best , right now it is 1-0 for Russia , so here I am behind the laptop, while NOBODY is to be seen outside. No cars, no people walking their dog ; Holland is behind the TV and its team.Even Maxima and Willem Alexander have flown to Bazel.

It is June 21, so the longest day on this side of the world and the shortest downunder. I have been at several Midsummer-night-parties , while being in Sweden and Finland , due to comps over there.They all had something special.
Would be a win for Holland special enough for this year?????Well the best should win, is n’t it? Same as in gliding!

Good mate Richard van Grunsven from the USA, designer from a very good  power-plane, flew just over 1000 km. in Parowan [USA],while Hans flew a great 800 in Ocana in Spain. Hans always SETS a task {FAI}and flies it. Amazing!!!The USA had a great week for top-soaring!With atleast 10 1000 km flights and so many other great flights!

The people in Rieti are a bit worried about the weather. I heard that it has never been so bad as this year. It surely will be OK when we are ALL there in 2 weeks.
In Luesse they fly nice long [753 km.]flights .On the 17th 4 1000km .flights were flown in Germany . The weather ALL over Europe was super as several friends flew in Holland and Belgium over 750 km. flights. Guy even flew a 1000km from Luxemburg his home country in his Ventus 2 C.I do not know how many 1000km flights he made allready in his life. Most flown from Fuentemilanos.

Well it was good I left the TV as now it is 1-1 and they have another 30 minutes to go. Hope it will be decided before “we” have to go for penalties. But…van der Sar is TOP!!!!

Enjoy your gliding this week, or….maybe soccer???Ritz


Alphen aan den Rijn                                    June 15 2008

Back from a nice week of bike riding , walking and talking with my school mates in Winterswijk, the east of Holland close to the German border. 3 of them I know , since I was 4 years old, 2 since high-school.And every year,  we just continue our conversations , where we stopped last time.
First day on the bike was tough with 52 km. For me, who has been on the bike twice this year to the shopping mall ,extra tough! But I managed !Next day 30 km ., easy……and the last bike day 20,…….no worries!
Then one day of walking [8km.] and the last day shopping.
The weather was great with temperatures up to 30 dgr. in the beginning of the week finishing with 17 on the day of departure.

Before going home my friend Ans and I visited the gliding field of Malden. Ans lives in Malden,[close to Nijmegen] and both of us went solo on this gliding field in 1967. Both of us have great memories on our student-gliding-holidays. We were member of the student aero-club ZES from Eindhoven. The boys all studied on the Technical University and even built their own winch during their study.As there was NO homefield, we travelled from field to field, as guests of other clubs. A very old winch hanging behind a very old pick-up truck and a 4wheel drive, also very old used for retrieves ,always went ,where we went.
So early spring was a visit to Venlo in the South of Holland, summer was Malden and late season flying was at the National Gliding Center Terlet , together with the students of the Delft aeroclub.Unforgettable times!! So for old-time-sake, we visited for a coffee the gliding field.
We were more then surprised to see lots of gliders and lots of pilots. So ….we arrived on the last flying day of the KLU comps; the comps for military pilots , but open for all who want to participate.
Lots of well-known faces and kisses and handshakes all over! Pilots I had not seen for 15 years, lots of really old good mates!
Also here at this field the top pilots were in the top. With 40 participants it was fully booked! Pilots new to competition gliding can qualify for next years Nationals if they have points enough!
In Standard /15 m. Bas Seiffert won. Good practise for the World comps in Rieti.
Martin Smit former Dutch team pilot won in open class . Runner up was A9, I think I remember that call-sign from Hein en Anneke since the beginning of my visits to championships in 1974.Hein is 78, looks like 68 and did not change at all!Still flies comps!!

Last week was nice enough weather in Europe. Distances between a first 50!!! and 1000km [ASW22 BLE] from Burg Feuerstein were flown.
The Minden area in the States had good weather, so had Truckee not far from Minden. I liked Minden when I was there for the pre worlds in ’90. Unfortunately one year later they had to move to Uvalde as the “bombers ” from the fire brigade HAD to fly , even if finishes were on, when there would be a fire.And that happened regularly.
In the end it was not too bad for us, as Baer Selen won the comps in Uvalde in Rick Walters glider[Rick flies in the world comps in Luesse!]and I was his “boss”. Of course Baer was a great pilot , already world champion in Chatauraux, but team building and team spirit were the ingredients of his new success and the fact that George Schuit managed to “talk” Baer home one day around a severe thunderstorm during the  finish . I remember there was no sight at the field and p.e Patrick Stoufs had to land with nearly no visibility, touching with one wing one of the lights on the runway.Luckily no real damage, as far as I remember.Pretty spectecular weather it could be there in Minden.

Don’t forget to take CALIBRATED flight recorders to Rieti or Luesse!Not long and the first “divided” world comps will start. 108 pilots are on the list for Rieti and with their TC’s and crews it will be a huge family. Looking forward to see many familiar faces and catching up with my “mates”.A bit more then 2 weeks and I will “see” you all from Rieti.

Have a good week, Ritz

Just a few words…..

Alphen aan den Rijn      Thursday june 5 2008

Just a few words as I leave on a well deserved holiday, for one week only, to a nice place in Holland I have not been before, with my former schoolmates , still my friends.

So no news on Sunday. Just to let you know.
In between good friends Hans and Pepe have great flights in Beas De Segura in Spain. I even think Harry has left for that field last weekend too.
Scandinavia still enjoys great weather and even Lasham had in this summer , now 5 days “old” , a nice 500 k flight.
Let summer begin! Great gliding weekend!


Summer has started!

Alphen aan den Rijn            Sunday June 1 2008

Yes the metereological summer has started , can’t see it here, which means that on the other site of the world the winter has started.
Yes it is still a lot of time in my mind.
This week I had some guests for dinner and ALL of them have flown in OZ at the 
S[portavia] S[oaring ]C[enter].So we talk gliding, Murray River and the new operation from our former chief pilot Eddie Madden and his wife Sheryll.
I could tell my guests , as I just got news, that the caravan park will be fully operating in the new season. Only 24 places, but my caravan has a spot so has Dieter Dundee’s van.
The hangar is finished and they “ponder” already to make it bigger.

Dundee is one of my guests at the moment. The other ones were Marianne, who was our tuggie in one season , her husband Sape who visited her in that season and made some dual -flights with her, Harry long time guest at the SSC and Peter another but earlier- in -the- season- guest. Gliding -stories are NEVER boring!

In the Rieti story about the editor Ritz, is a small mistake. My own fault. When Marina asked me to update “the story of my life” I was pretty busy , so we decided to “use” the old story. Of course the SSC does NOT exist anymore so the web site and email adress are irrelevant. But…..the new adress from the new operation for soaring and ultra-light-flying by Eddie and Don is;www.sportaviation.com.au
The email adres to reach them is;flying@sportaviation.com.au
As it is TODAY the first anniversary of the Sportaviation Gliding Center I say;
HAPPY BIRTHDAY and lots of safe flights in the upcoming season.

What happened more?
Great news from Japan. Good friends Shige and Mikiko received a baby girl last week.Her name is CHIHIRO. It sounds like “chee “and “hero” ,which, according to Mikiko, means directly “thousand” and “sky/space”.
Shige is an instructor in Japan and Mikiko a very good glider pilot. Both were long time guests at the SSC and even married each other in the gardens from the Sportavia complex.

Spring has been pretty good for most parts of Europe. Holland had an average temperature of 17 dgr. while about 12 is normal.
No complaints, though the countries were the weather is always good as Italy, France etc had some problems with rain and severe thunderstorms.
Last week the best flights in Europe, were in the Scandinavian area , as Eskilstuna, former WGC field, Rayskala, former WGC and EGC field.
 Unterwoessen , on the Austrian border in the South of Germany,had some great flights too, though yesterday the S. of Germany was hit by hailstones big as eggs and real downpours, causing flood in Stuttgart.

In the Rockies {Canada} they enjoy soaring to the fullest, now too. Good old friend Ernst , long time guest at the SSC in the past,is very much involved over there. The USA was more or less the place to be last week.

Only one month to go and I will depart to Rome to be picked up for my editing-holiday in Rieti. They are very busy, as in Luesse. Carsten had a great flight from Luesse last week, Rieti ‘s weather is pretty poor at the moment, bur for sure it will change soon , so that the world comps not only have fantastic pilots, but also great weather.

Will keep you informed,