Back after a great time in Rieti!

Alphen aan den Rijn              27-07-2008

Back on track! Wow Rieti was just great! I am sure you have enjoyed reading the Ritz Corner too, atleast I hope so. We had nearly 1.00.000 readers and another 1.377.000 reading the result site!!!

According to many pilots Rieti was one of the best organized competitions EVER and that is a big feather in the cap from Leo and even more young Giorgino! Giorgio had to take over in fact the total organization at the field, as Leo had to go home and was more then busy, with the illness of his lovely wife Adriana. Giorgio is only 30 years old and did a marvellous job! But also all helpers were totally dedicated to making these comps to a success.
I spend a lot of my free time with the members of the jury. A privilege as 2 of them  Tor and John are next year 80 and have a knowledge  and know-how about gliding as nobody else. All different stories came over table and they were all great to listen too; ” Did I tell you this story from 19….. ” and we were spoiled with more gliding news. John ‘s wife Chris is a gem and a lovely easygoing person/friend! Angel ,the 3d jury member was a bit younger and full of humor!!!Not difficult to see that I had quality-time in Rieti. Even climbing and descending 1400 -plus-stairs to see from 3 different points the Marmore Waterfalls. Pretty spectecular. Tor, as said 80, did this too. Amazing!

Now we are going to see how things will go in Luesse.
I have some friends who are going to keep in touch with me, about the comps for flapped  gliders.To have 11 out of 12 days , like we had in Rieti, might be difficult, but you never know. Till now, while practising from airfields in the area ,as Luesse was closed till 2 days ago, they had lots of rain and now thunderstorms , as I heard.Practise is on now and the inspection of gliders will start too.

 Some sad news; Or… perhaps is the best way of dying for an “icon of soaring  dying in the harnass”.
85 Year old Richard H. Johnson from Dallas, crashed with his glider in a wooded area , near Midlothian. He flew SOLO and witnesses saw his glider go up , before going straight down!
Richard was a pioneer in many ways. He was  the ” fine-tuning” pilot who checked with new gliders if indeed a performance was according to the book. He even develloped aerondynamic improvements for gliders by checking them.Look for more news about this
pioneer in soaring” on

A big loss for the soaring community.

Better news , not the very best however, from Roland Stuck who had a bad out landing on the slopes of a mountain covered with flat stones, during his gliding holiday .

“I remember that I extended the landings to attenuate the impact! The glider then slipped upwards on about 100 m.Fortunately a clump of trees stopped it very quickly, by removing both wings, which saved me from going over the edge of a steep drop, of some 200 m. ‘
He managed to call his wife who started the rescue and an helicopter lifted him to hospital 1 1/2 hour after the accident, where they diagnosed him with a severely damaged 4th lumbar vertebra.
Roland had an operation which was very succesfull . He hopes to be back home in august . We wish him well with the fysiotherapy and we wish him a speedy recovery and hope to see him back on gliding fields soon, either as steward or jury or as a pilot. All the best Roland!!

On the 16th and 17th of August there is a “2 day” competition in Belgium at the airport of Keiheuvel. Try to be there! On the 11th or 12th of august I try to be in Luesse .

The weather here in Holland is HOT, just very hot and humid. With the expected thunderstorms there was no gliding here yesterday, but a lot of inconvenience with high water and cellars full of water. Quite some damage on some places, we were lucky here, only rain, good for the garden!!
In Rieti it is still good with a 703 km. flown by Alfredo Giretti. But Spain is as always good too with nice long flights.

Well that’s it for now , see you next sunday,  with the first news from Luesse and if something spectecular happens there, already earlier.

Have a great and safe week! Ritz