Back to normal!

Alphen aan den Rijn       24-08-2008

Life is nearly back to normal! After the WGC in Rieti which I attended, the reading of all the news of the WGC in Luesse and now the Olympic Games, with ONE more evening of evaluations here on TV and …… goes back to normal again!
Loved the Olympic Games. Great results and great sportsmen and women.Great show from China!! Hope they have learned to be kind to ALL people now, not only to their guests.
Even the Dutch teams did a great job, with very unexpected gold medals as the ladies water polo girls and expected ones as Anky van Grunsven with the horse-training and the hockey babes!Being number 12 on the list  of 204 countries is for a small country as Holland very successful.

Slowly gliders are prepared for the trip overseas, up to Africa or Australia. Heard that the gliders for Corowa go on the same ship as all the gear Andre Rieu takes with him to his performance in Melbourne. Some of my OZ friends have already tickets. He seems to be some kind of hero there.
Weather in OZ is already very pleasant and the season continues through winter in Queensland with Jondaryan as one of the places to be. Not great weather but still flyable. Now the weather improves and they flew today already over 500 k from Jondaryan airport.

Europe has pretty miserable weather though Germany still has flights from over 500 k too, one even flown in an LS 4. Great ffort.

The Minden-Truckee area in the USA is still good for over 900 km and from Rayskala in Finland they even still flew over 600 km. Heard that the weather this summer there, has n’t been too good either.
The Belgium competition at Keiheuvel was won by young Bert Schmelzer who had practise enough in Rieti.Good runner up was Eddie Huybreckx, a long -time-good-pilot!Last week Rieti  fell with the nose in the good weather-butter again with over 700 km flights.

Here in Holland the weather is pretty miserable , but….next week seems to be OK.
You remember Dieter Dundee ??? He flew with us at Sportavia for many years and still lives half a year there.He stays with me for a few days and  while visiting towns[–sight-seeing–] in Holland , we needed always the umbrella!That will be surely different when he will be back in OZ in October.Still very dry over there.
Heard that the Murray Border Flying Club in Tocumwal, will go back to being a -motorclub -only again. Gliding will move to Sportaviation and it seems the new CP over there is nearly finished.
It was nice from the MBFC to host gliding since the closing-down of Sportavia. Atleast some pilots still enjoyed gliding in Tocumwal.

Corowa has fantastic gliders on line next season, something to be proud of.I met Josef Snirc in Rieti and he is going to fly in Corowa and even brings one of “his” Dynamics to OZ. That “little” tow plane [ an ultra light] is very fast and with nearly no noise. Great toy!

Back to the last items of the Olympics on TV now and then I am  back in the normal routine. Evenings start already earlier, yes we slowly move to autumn here and sometimes you can smell and feel it already.Wish I could see OZ for a few weeks, but…perhaps in 2 years!

See you next week.Ritz

30th FAI WGC is over!

Alphen aan den Rijn         17-08-2008

The first split WGC is over now. Both results count for the TEAM CUP ,but at this stage I have not found out who won it. Only thing I read was that Wolfgang Janowitsch, apologized to his Austrian team mates from Rieti, that they got their result a bit more down in Luesse. But for sur the Germans will have won as they had great results in both Rieti and Luesse.So have the French!

Most pleased I was with the winner in 15 m class. Finally he made it; Gyorgy Gulyas! How close was he in Eskilstuna! Loosing only in the last minutes and I saw his face when he saw that the gold slipped from his fingers. I nearly had tears!!!
This time he built up a comfortable “zone” during the race, to avoid what happened last year. A truly well deserved gold was for him this year. Congratulations Giorgy!!!
Runner up was Janus Centka, the old fox , as I dare call him friendly. Such an experienced pilot and this was not the first time , that he did remarkably well in the end. He loves the “Diane” he flies and is just “ONE WITH IT’!
A bit of an unexpected 3d place, but very much deserved is for young pilot Mark Leeuwenburgh from Holland.This was his very first WGC and for sure we will hear more from him. On the last day he passed Leigh Wells the WGC champion from Eskilstuna, who clearly had more trouble with the cirrus on the last day then Mark.

In 18 m. class the French pilot Oliver Darroze,was the best. Team flying by both French pilots helped during the last week, to pass Ronald Termaat who was first most first week. Both pilots very much appreciated each others great flying and in the end Oliver was the best. Ronald is a great runner up who tried everything to get the first place back, even doing a re-start on the last day”  to get rid of “the FRENCH.
Karol Stariszak from Poland was number 3 in this class.To be honest , I never heard from him.But great effort!

In open class my favourite pilot Michael Sommer won. I know Michael quite well as he flew many times in the past with us in Tocumwal. One day, I even dared shouting at him , when he arrived just in front of a severe storm. We had closed all the hangar-doors already but of course had to open them again when Michael just made it back before. And when you know how big and how heavy those doors are….but we were waiting with a few to open and close them quickly. While getting all the water from our nimbus I gave him”heaps” as he with a big smile on his face apolgized for “the inconvenience” , went on with his job, while telling what a great flight he had. Of course I melted!!!!
As you know I predicted his win and even the second place from Tassilo, as both fly together in a superb way.I was wrong with the 3d place as good friend Lourens Goudriaan won here instead of Pete Harvey. Both are great pilots and Lourens over the whole period was the better one, being first during most of the first week. Great effort!
I hope that Michael once will be the next Ingo Renner with 4 or perhaps even more ,WGC titles.
The other Michael, this time in swimming and called Phelps,  did it. He passed yesterday Mark Spitz who had 7 medals in one Olympic game and today he wrote history by having the 8th gold!!!!Great stuff!!!!

Congratulations to all pilots!!! Also to those who did not win, for a nice and interesting WGC. I tried to follow it via different blogs and of course the official one. To be honest, the blog from the German team was better, more actual and earlier with the news. I love Pete Harvey’s blogs, but he only wrote twice!The American blog was in my favourites too, great job their TC did.

I am not going to speculate on which comps were the best or the nicest or….. For sure we had in Italy the better weather with 11 days out of 12, as day 13 was a compulsory rest day, but both Directors Leo and Herbert with their deputees , did a great job in organizing their WGC teams well. Both countries deserve ALL compliments for their great efforts.
Off now to Hungary and Slovak Rep. for the 2010 WGC.
The 31th WGC for world, club and standard class will be from 03-07-2010 /18-07-2010 in Prievidza{Slovak Rep.} .Josef will be the director. Josef was steward now this year in Rieti.
The 31th WGC for 15 m. ,18 and open class will be in Szeded {Hungary} from 17-07-2010/01-08-2010.

First of course next years WORLD AIR GAMES in Turino{Italy} from 07-06-2009/13-06-09.

The weather here is not so good though we expect a nice temperature between 22 and 25 dgr. But forecasted thunderstorms , hail and gusty winds will stop great flying . The comps in Belgium at Keiheuvel , a weekend competition, will most probably suffer from these circumstances, but…you never know. They might find a nice “window”, as they found many in Luesse. I was supposed to go there but just could not find  ” a lift” for the last 30 km. Will go south anyhow for a concert tonight from the group Rowwen Heze. Love their music.

Looking at the OLC I see that the Truckee-Minden_Tahoe area had great flights  last week, so perfect weather. I once landed on the Lake Tahoe with an Albatross amphibian. I was there for the pre worlds in Minden Nevada, when we got to know the owner of this vintage “bird”. He invited us and some members from my Dutch team and from the Ozzie team for “a ride” over the mountains, to land on the lake. Thrilling that was, a once -in your -life -time- thrill!!!! In the end George, my ex,  bought that Albatross and now it is still in Tocumwal, hopefully in the hangar!

Yes gliding gives you many, many special moments in life! That’s it for now. Preparing for the train to travel south for 2 hours. I still hate driving on highways since I lived in Tocumwal for 11 years , a town with 1475 inhabitants and nearly no traffic. It’s to crowdy on the roads here and in my opinion the drivers here at NOT friendly.

Enjoy next week see you again on sunday!Ritz

One more week to go for WGC pilots in Luesse!

Alphen aan den Rijn        10-07-2008

First things first! I was supposed to travel today to Luesse to inform you straight from the comps for 3 days, but…..things did not work out, also due to my own “not-being-organized-well-enough”.Next time I will organize my trip again on my own therms.

So from far I try to evaluate a  bit what’s happening in Luesse. For sure you read all news by your self so I will forget about that.
Interesting p.e is that the Dutch pilots are flying so well!Normally it is The Germans, the French and the English ….This time the Clockies get a lot of compliments and I do not say the French and the German’s and the English are NOT doing well. They do and I still firmly believe that Michael Sommer will win open class, though I was a bit amazed to see that his first day was not the very best!
Why is Holland just good with all pilots!?

NOT that Holland was NOT good in the past. Baer Selen was world champion in Chatouraux. Kees Musters, who tragically died in France in a hang glider accident in 1987, was world champion in Hobbs [USA].
When I was TC of the Dutch Team I” had “Baer Selen as World champion in Uvalde[Texas]. Silver medal winners I “had” with Erik Borgmann in Borlange[Sweden] and Steven Raimond in Bayreuth [Germany] . Ronald Termaat was”my”  bronze winner in Rieti in the European comps. And …Steven Raimond was European champion in Rayskala [Finland] . I celebrated too as steward that year.And Ronald of course was European champion in France, so Holland always had good pilots.But now , this year, we belong to the countries as Germany, GB and France. Why?
First of all, the Dutch team has been guided over the last couple of years by the TC Fouwke and by coach Baer Selen jr. Of course he is a 2 times world champion and his input is of great value. Same companions for many years now, so no invention of the 5th wheel!!!
Did the German team p.e have a doctor, a met -man ,a coach and lot’s of people “en -route” and on the TP’s, in the past, and lot’s of sponsoring, we had to do with our pilots the TC and very small budget.
Nowadays the Dutch team has a sponsor in NSF/NOC, a firm friendship as they see each other regularly, which is ALSO of great value, a coach and an experienced TC, and when on the ground everything is smooth, the team members are friends , the situation is there to “create” a world champion or just below.Of course the “luck-factor” is important too, but when you are good this is automatically to your advantage.
On top of that the Dutch junior team is excellent, also more to expect for the future!
So…that’s my word for the sunday and….my private opinion!

The weather in Luesse is less good as in Rieti, but I guess that’s what everybody expected anyhow. Today they do not fly, 8/8 of Cu but just high enough to not interfere with the airshow which will be today.Perhaps a  good idea as they wanted to integrate the airshow IN the comps. I heard some TC’s were already a bit annoyed yesterday as Junckers doing passengers flights,started between the gliders!!!!!!
 About 25 pilots , including the German Team, have promised to show the many spectators today, what gliding is all about! They will rig the glider , start…fly around a bit and for sure come back with a REAL finish!!!!No penalty points today!!!They will have LOTS of fun!

A pity gliding is not an official Olympic sport. I really love to see all sports so I am totally NOT bored these coming weeks. Gliding would fit in nicely, but with the smog in China this might be not a good idea!

One more week to go for the WGC and very small differences in the top-places. A lot can happen, so nothing is clear at this stage! I really hope that Georgy Gulyas will win, I still see his face change from happiness to sadness on that last day and during the last minutes in Sweden and I had tears in my eyes!!

Good luck to ALL pilots, may the 3 best in each class WIN!!!!


WGC flapped gliders!Day 1 in Luesse with overcast….but…!

Alphen aan den Rijn     august 3- 2008

Unfortunately the weather in Luesse is not as it was over the last week ,with speed up to over 140 km. p/h. Today I hear they have overcast is cold. Art even mentioned he got his winter jacket out of his back- pack, which had not been out before! And…he is from Canada and does not really feel cold quickly!
Anyhow today is the first competion day in Luesse and for sure they have not yet given up as I write this. Briefing is at 10.00 and the competition journalist reports sun and “it looks like a flying day”, with a front expected later during the day.
Keep an eye on it , when you are interested! under Race diary you can read the daily bulletins. A lot of countries have their own site with home-country-news!Easy to find with google!

It seems there was a bit of friction between the organizers and some countries represented by their TC’s , but this all will be most probably solved this morning in the briefing.Items were p.e, speed limit before start and use of engines to avoid an out landing.

Ingo Renner [ Australia] the one and only 4 times world champion, was presented yesterday on the market in Belzig , where the opening- celebration was. More former world champions were invited to be there. Ingo’s [ German ] friends ,even the Australian team did not know he was coming!So surprise, surprise!

GOOD LUCK to ALL pilots and safe flying over the next 14 days!!!

Not everybody flies on world level, but that does not mean that they do not get a lot of fun and pride out of their flights. Lots of friends are in Fuentemilanos in August for their annual soaring. 850 km. on the 30thiest of July for Guy from Luxemburg and Pepe with a good 750km.
On the 31th the pilots flying in the French mountains had their day with 14 flights over 700 km. One nearly 1000 and number 15 just missed out on  6 km. to make another 700 km flight. Not bad! A lot of German guests enjoyed these great circumstances and go home with sweet memories.
Good old Rieti, yes I do have great memories on this place, still has fantastic gliding- weather with flights up to 826 km yesterday!

Well, gridding before 11,  first launch at 11.15 tasks are to be found on the site, so Luesse is on with it’s first competition day. For sure a tricky one I dare say, even when I am not there. You can loose the comps on day 1 , if you are a bit unlucky. But good weather for the Dutch , the Belgians, the English, the Germans and the Eastern countries as these are “normal” circumstances for them. Well even MORE good luck to everybody!!!And…safe landings!