Global warming!

Alphen aan den Rijn       September 28 2008

It seems that global warming hits Europe harder then the rest of the world. It is not that you say:”” I really feel it”, but since 1850 Europe got 1 dgr. warmer , while the rest “only” had 0.8 dgr.

Today might be a -global-extra-warmer-day, but we loved it here in Holland. Great weather again with nearly 20 dgr. bleu skies but also nice clouds for the pilots and lovely sunny and warm conditions.

Niole and Richard visited last wednesday and we had a short but very pleasant couple of hours. Richard had visited Lasham, where he caught up with Tim and Laurel from Melbourne , all Sportavia -friends and later he flew 2 weeks in Saint Auban. The weather was not as good over there as last year; he flew 2o hours less then in the same period last year. Yesterday they flew back to Sydney and they will spend Christmas , soaring in Tocumwal.

I wrote the first 500 words for the Magazine ” Gliding International ” and have to the deliver the “news” before Oktober 16. Hope to reach Michael Sommer , to talk with him about his second world title in open class. An interesting topic for the next issue.

In the beginning from September, to be precisely september 6 2008 an Austrian pilot ,Werner Amann , flew 1423 km , more or less a jo- jo in a South-Foehn- wind, with no thermal activities. Just “hang”. On is a nice article with him written by Bernd Weber,a nice fellow who visited us several times in Tocumwal. It is in German, so for all of you who read German, worthwhile to surf  to.

The USA still has great weather and the best flights last week, were flown over there.In Warner Springs several pilots flew up to over 700 km.I like the 712 km in an LS 6 and the 646 in a Kestrel 17 m. All pilots used the same mountain chains and must have had a lot of pleasure out of their flights.

This month several 2008 FAI Qualifying Sailplane Grand Prix have been flown.Saint Auban in France had a 15 m one, Lasham in the UK as well. Nitra in Slovak Rep. for 18 m. and in November also for 18 m. there is one in Narromine [Australia] . In 2009 we will see the qualifying sailplane GP in Santiago[ Chile] 15m. , in Zar [Poland]club class and in Feldkirchen [Austria] 15 m.

In Australia the season slowly starts. I hear they have had already very good soaring conditions. Friends as Gerrit Kurstjens and Terry Bellair for  sure will make many kilometers in the upcoming season. W’ll keep an eye on them. And…will Coober Pedy have its own gliding club?????And…will the Dutch airline-pilot-couple [ collegues of my daughter] succeed in having their own gliding club in Narromine?We ‘ll find out!

You are up to date again with several soaring-news-issues. Next week we will meet again.Have a great week!


Very nice and soarable autumn weather !

Alphen aan den Rijn            22-09-2008

Normally this time of the year ,I am packing my”gear” to travel to OZ. It still feels weird that I stay in Holland and have to face the cold winter period. I get used to Holland again, but I would lie if I would say I do not mind staying here. Would love to go back to OZ for my annual 6 months! But…decisions have been made and ….my grandchildren are more then adorable!

So if I read the Corowa news I feel a bit jealous that so many ,also lots of ” our ” guests/friends move overseas for their soaring holiday in Australia. Only compliments for Francesco and his team for the every year better and easier going packing of the containers. They have finished it, I heard in a tight schedule, everybody from Spain to Denmark and in between and from Slovak Republic, perfectly in time to help.

Also Africa will be busy with soaring friends “hating” the cold. Specially my English and German friends move there, but also others. Some of them the REALLY lucky ones “do” first Africa and then move to OZ, to enjoy the weather and the soaring in both parts of the world.

I have been asked to write one page in the ” Gliding International” from New -Zealand -soaring-icon John Roake and though I am more then busy with the gallery and baby-sitting, I have said yes. I like the set up of his magazine with the human factors as much important as the news about gliders and competitions.

November has already the Australian Nationals in Narromine! In between pilots still enjoy some soaring in Europe. The weather here has been really nice , a bit cold so 16,17 dgr. but DRY and blue skies with lot’s of sunshine and thermal activities!
Jean Luc Colson flew in Belgium from the airfield of St. Hubert a nice autumn flight from 457 km in his ASW 27 over the hilly areas from the Ardennen.Also nice to see was the 403 km flight from Rafi Luske in Israel in a PIK 20 E. He is a real nice fellow!
In Holland young Tim Kuijpers flew a 314 km.flight.More pilots in both Belgium and Holland had a great soaring day yesterday. Glad to see that Roland Wurbs von Bulow still is flying. Years ago he learned how to fly gliders with us at the Sportavia Soaring Center in Tocumwal.Now he flies an ASW 27 in France [303 km.] most probably on a club -camp over there.

So nobody is complaining about the weather here in Europe over the last week! Pilots indeed deserved a nice-after-summer-period to remember this season, which was not the very best.
This week I catch up with 2 Aussie friends so ,to not get to much carried away with the past and being to nostalgic  , I better say bye and see you next week.


Hurricane Hana

Alphen aan den Rijn      14 -09-2008

 In Holland “they” keep statistics about traffic jams!!!!The longest ever was on november 25 2005 with a length of 810 km, due to unexpected heavy snowfall.
The next bad one was in 2006 on 16-11 with 595 km and this week “we ” had 530 km. on 12-09-2008 due to heavy rainfall [ for that reason accidents in the evening-rush, ]40 mm. on a lot of places. Thanks to hurricane Hana who “pleased’ us [not] with her left-overs.
Meaning, the weather has n’t been too good here.

But….while writing I can see blue skies, lot’s of sun , but a lower temperature then normal for this time of the year between 14 and 16/17 dgr. ;18 would be normal.And…a weak easterly wind, which I can see very well due to the fact that 4 high wind- mills are about 1 km. from my house in the ” polder ” .Their huge wings [3] look like the new duo-discus -wings.

The Corowa -team is packing their gliders which will be brought from all over Europe to Grubbenvorst , near Venlo , here in Holland, as the 24 gliders have to be ready for transport on the 16th of September. Just saw that Grietje one of the owners got a new baby girl. Congratulations to both Grietje and Francesco and Frank, who surely will be proud of his new sister.
2 ASG 29 ‘ s will fly on line at Corowa airport, not bad!

As said before, on the same ship as the containers with the gliders, will be also containers for more then half-a-ship, from Andre Rieu, who is going to perform in Australia. What an organization that must be!!!!Glad I do not have to do that, only containers for gliders even one is already a hell-of-a -job.

Nice to see that good old friend Hannu Korhonen [Finland] was enjoying himself last week in Fuentemilanos and he flew a nice 410 km.flight.
Yesterday was an American day again , with the best flights flown in the Truckee-Tahoe area. Good mountain flying there!
Not a lot of activities here or in Belgium last week.Up to 400 km flights in Germany.

Yes the season is about to move to Africa and Australia. Looking forward to keep an eye for you on what’s going on there the next 6 months. I think we better forget about the 2008 season in Europe except for a few very good days, it was not the best season. Were we lucky in Rieti during the WGC!!!!11 days out of 12 with good soaring! By the way the new Gliding International issue for September is out, a magazine from John and Chris Roake from New Zealand, with a long article about the WGC and the post frontal system. Also an article about the accident from Roland Stuck .

Maria has left again for Munich and we had a great time. Next soaring friends arrive in the end of September;Nicole and Richard from Sydney Australia. Richard is now flying in Saint Auban.

Off to the southern part of Holland now. After working [too] hard in the gallery over the last month I need a short break and visit one of the most beautiful dahlia-parades [the biggest one in Europe after Zundert!] in Valkenswaard, where I lived for 20 years, when I was young!!!!!

Enjoy your next week to the fullest and see you next sunday.

Activities move to other parts of the world! Rain enough in Europe!

Alphen aan den Rijn    september 7 2008.

 Have a vernissage in less then ONE hour, so busy , busy!!! Will try to write more, somewhere this week.

Have a nice guest again. From Germany,  Maria Bottcher, yes from Dieter Bottcher former syndicate partner in UE, {a DG 600}. Next week I will catch up with Nicole and Richard Shemtob , from Sidney here in Holland!Richard is in the UE syndicate now, together with 5 other pilots. The glider is still in Tocumwal!

Some news from Africa from good friend Dick. If you look outside and see the autumn weather with wind, rain and falling laves and yo want to fly a nice long cross country flight you can both go to Africa r Australia.

Here is some news from Africa; Enjoy!

Dear Gliding Friend,

Spring is in the air here in South Africa, the trees are getting their new leaves, the temperatures are beginning to warm up and the planning for our next season at Bloemfontein is at an advanced stage.

We have taken the liberty of attaching our News Letter to give you a heads up on our plans for the season. If you don’t want to receive our occasional News Letters please let us know and we will take your name off our mailing list.

Some late news that may be of interest:-

 We still have two slots available in our second container. So, if you own a glider that is has already spent most of the summer in it’s trailer, ask yourself, is it fair to condemn it to languish there for another cold, dark and damp six months, when it could spend a happy four months flying in the sun in South Africa. The total return cost is about ₤2100  and if you can get three or four of your mates to share the cost it’s an absolute bargain and tremendous fun. Just for your information, last season we only lost 12 days flying during the whole season, and that’s about typical for a summer in Bloemfontein.

The last week of November and first week of December are nearly fully booked but we do have gliders available for most of the other weeks in the season, and don’t forget that if you make a booking during the first two weeks of our season – 2nd  to 15th November you qualify for a 25% DISCOUNT ON OUR PUBLISHED GLIDER HIRE FEES.

 Best wishes,

Dick and Iain.

 Look for more news on their Soaring -safari-site!

Take care , all the best and don’t get to “sad” about the summer disappearing in to autumn and winter. Before you know spring and summer 2009 are back

Cheers Ritz

Happy Autumn!

Alphen aan den Rijn         September 1 2008

Today the metereological autumn has started and we can see and feel it here. Yesterday for sure was summer with on some places in Holland up to 29 dgr. C. Today is different with 8/8 of clouds dark ones with rain and lots of wind ,yes….indeed leaves are falling already from the trees. So this last weekend was the last summerweekend and for all who did not have to work, a great one.
Downunder spring has started and I know how beautiful that time of the year is in OZ.

I was unlucky enough to work both days from this great summer weekend and very hard. A huge truck arrived with 160 objects, from small and light to big and heavy. We had 2 young boys to help and the 2 elderly gentlemen who brought all art from Roland Roure from France. Next weekend will be the opening , so more work to do! That was also the reason I could only write today!

It was pretty sad to see and read over the last weeks that 2 airplanes crashed ,one at the airfield of Madrid in Spain  with 156 people dying and one in Russia with nearely 100 people dead. Also 2 airplanes were overpowered , one in Sudan and one here in Rotterdam, the company of Transavia. Both ended well.
The Transavia one was weird!!!
A couple, HE from Turkey, SHE from Marokko, living together for 8 years went on a holiday together to Turkey. SHE did not want to go as she had a “lover”, for a longer time. HE did not know!
When everything failed to keep her here , and they tried a lot…SHE and her lover decided to take drastic measures. The lover called 112 the emergency number and the plane was held for 5 hours. HE from Turkey had nothing to do with it, SHE and the lover are still in custody!The worst scenario for them could be 4 years in prison!

Better looking at what happened in our soaring world.
Rieti had good weather again , with in the weekend 2 over 800 km . flights.
Rayskala had some great flights yesterday and they deserve it as they had till now not the very best summer, I heard.In Holland the weather was real ” summer-weather ” but more for the beach then for soaring, nothing special happened.It will be nearly over now and also Holland has not had the very best soaring conditions this year.

Today the 15 m. Nationals start in Saint Auban -France and at Lasham – UK. At Lasham 15 UK toppilots have been invited and 5 international pilots based on IGC ranking.Hope the weather will be better then here today and the rest of the days!

Thayt’s it for now, enjoy your week and see you hopefully next sunday or a day or 2 later! Sorry!
It will be  a nice week for me, after the opening ,my granddaughter has her birthday [5] on thursday and Maria , a friend from Munich arrives on that day too.The die -hard -visitors from Sportavia still will know her, as they have seen her and her husband Dieter , many years for soaring in Tocumwal.