Ricky wins !Africa and Australia …here they come!

Alphen aan den Rijn      Sunday August 30 2009

I was wrong with the date from the 18 m. Nationals. Sorry about that, I really hoped for one more day with exciting flying, but the last flying-day was the 25th , the comps went till the 26 th and on that day was the prize giving and….that confused me !!! So congratulations to Ricky who won with 43 points on runner up Giorgio , who was 10 points ahead of the number 3 Luciano. 
For sure this competition -win was an “homage”  to Adriana ,Ricky’s  mum who died recently of cancer. Great competition, great winner!
And….talking about the 26th ,…that was another great day with a 773 km flight flown from Rieti, best distance in the World’s OLC for that day.
Did you ever hear of a competition where on every of the SEVEN competition days  a speed of  more then 138 km./h was flown  ???? If yes ,please let me know!
So it stands; Rieti is the mecca for gliding!

Slowly the season seems to be over.  In Holland however we go to 27 dgr. again on Tuesday . Pilots have had a fantastic year of soaring, with unbelievable distances flown also from Holland and a few even very late in the season [August] . Some pilots are tired from the busy season, some NEVER get tired and are ready “to wash the glider and the trailer”  , to ship them to other continents. Yes, in September the first gliders “disappear” from Europe on their way to Africa and Australia. And both parts of the world are ready to receive their guests.

Summer 2009 was a good one as said!  Now on Tuesday the metereological autumn starts , we can look back on great summer -weather ,also for most countries for soaring. In Holland, we had the 9th warm summer in a row above the long-time-average!
The highest temperature in Holland was 37 and during the night 22 , which is very unusual. We had less rain, 185 mm against 220 mm normal and most rain fell in july. So no complaints. With 67 days over 20 dgr. and 25 over 25 dgr. we had 715 hours of sunshine , while the long time average is 591. So you are up-to-date!

Back after the weekend on Wednesday with more news , as I have a guest now and leave for the Southern part of Holland.Enjoy!!!
Hopefully Ricky has time to look back for us on the 18 m. Nationals !

Cheers Ritz

Rieti, last “thrilling” day, who will win!Dunstable UK juniors !

Alphen aan den Rijn     Wednesday August 26 2009

The Rieti 18 m. pilots are busy on their last day after 7 competition-days.  The last 2 days Ricardo Brigliadori, [ YES the son from ] was “HOT” and won both days. Yesterday he flew the 3 hour AAT with a speed of 148 km. over 461 km. ,the day before a racing task of 465.9 km with 138.4 km. But…today , the last flying day, will be really exciting as top pilot Giorgio Galetto is just 43 points behind him and the number 3 Luciano Avanzini, only 10 points behind Giorgio!!!!WOW!!!!!!

The UK juniorchampionships have started on August 22 in Dunstable. Good to see that the young ones from the JWGC in Rayskala are in the top after 2 days of flying. The UK has not the best weather at the moment, but Will Ellis ASW 15 [1] and Mike Collett standard libelle, [3] are for sure hoping on more days , as these comps go till August 30 and I guess they need at-least 3 or 4 days to make it a competition and to call them winners. Fantastic to see that the UK has 52 !!!!! competitors under 25!!!!!!

Last Sunday, Germany , specially the Berlin area  had fantastic weather  and pilots from Luesse, flew over 800 km. while one pilot from Burg Feuerstein , where also some of my friends fly, flew 979 km in an ASW 22 and Bayreuth had a great flight from 782 km.

The meteo here says  that we have been the last 2 months on the border of very hot weather, that’s why we have sometimes indeed very hot weather but also heavy showers and lots of tough wind. Just to let you know.
Italy,Spain, Greece and Portugal and the South of France  are still “bloody hot”! The UK has only 18 dgr. and rain, Finland is not too bad at the moment and Norway has rain as well , specially the south!

Some short news;
In the USA ,a small plane [Piper Comanche]  had to land on the highway in California, hitting 3 cars but nobody got insured. The pilot tried his best to “land with the flow of cars in one direction”, but could not handle it correct and arrived on the wrong side.
You would be one of those car-drivers!!!!
In Belgium , a Dutch pilot flying his private Diamond DA40   over the coast line , got problems with his engine and tried to fly back to the airport which he had just left. That seemed impossible so he landed the plane on the sea looking first for a few boats who would be able to help him out. He had read about landings on water , but never dreamed of doing one by himself. Indeed ,the crew on board saved him from the wing he was standing on and all of them including the pilot could see the plane disappear under water!! He stayed calm all the way, but collapsed at Oostende Airport, but left the hospital after a check, the same afternoon. So …you see what can/might  happen if you just go for a relaxing afternoon flight, to check the waves .

 Cheers Ritz

18.m Nationals in Rieti !Szeged pre-worlds! Farewell Ray !

Alphen aan den Rijn       Sunday August 23 2009

Yesterday the last day was flown in Szeged  where the pre-worlds and Hungarian 18 m. Championships, as well as the 20m/open class was active. Another competition with many soaring days and for that, lot’s of points for the winner. Please look for the results from the different classes to;  www.flatlandcup.hu
Christophe Cousseau  from France, did a great job in nearly winning “everything” and gaining OVER 10.000 points!
In open class both Argentinian and Australian friends flew fantastic,  ending up as 2d and 4th.

I was very pleased to see that Ronald Termaat,  vice- WGC and former European Champion , will start as director of the KNVvL ,[the Royal Dutch Gliding Association] in Woerden on September 1. For sure a good man on the right spot!
I wish him a lot of success and bright new ideas to get the KNVvL , ” out of the , a little bit d[r]usty jacket.”

The 18m. Nationals in Rieti have had 4 soaring days now  and all of them were flown with good speed. 4 More days to go as the 26th will be the last day!As expected Giorgio Galetto is at this stage on spot ONE! Yesterday the pilots flew an AAT in 4 hours and Giorgio flew 599 km. with a speed of 149.9 km/h.
Compliments to Jelmer from Holland flying his LS 6 18 m. to a nice 12th spot [also overall at this stage.] Except for 1 pilot, 17 pilots flew in those 4 hours more then 500 km, so speed for all was over 100 km./h.

Just received an sms from Tocumwal Dundee,  that he has arrived safely in Melbourne, for his annual holiday! Now he stays so long, nearly one year, that we can nearly call him an Aussie! I still remember how he arrived without a booking for a glider or room, a few years ago and with NO word of English to stay with us for a few months.
” Ingo said I should just show up”, he said in German !!! We managed to get him in gliders and a room [6] which nearly has been over the years only HIS room. He still loves Tocumwal and his friends over there!

Yesterday the weather looked fabulous here in Alphen,  reason to look in the evening if this was everywhere so. And YES it was. WOW , great distances were flown both in Holland and Belgium. After the 901 km. flown in Rieti , Holland was SECOND on the OLC list with Mark flying from Soesterberg 820 km!!!!!He was in hurray -mood, even claiming that an out and return of 900 km. had been possible, flying fast into East direction into Germany!!!!And…I do believe him …the weather was just STRONG!!
A Nimbus 4 DT flew from our National Gliding Center Terlet an 852 km. out and return where they were 308 km out of their start place.
Also the Belgium brothers Tijl and Bert , just back from the great EGC in Pociunai , were still in speedy Cross -Country- mood , as they flew from Keiheuvel  755 and 771 km. This is pretty special for Holland and Belgium  , even more because we have past the middle of August, so we can only say 2009 was a great soaring season in Europe, from the beginning till the end!!

 To finish today’s blog I have some sad news as well;
Ray Linskey from New Zealand has died. I got to know Ray many years ago, we even became friends and my daughter Inge stayed with him and Kate for a few days,during her trip through NZ. VERY SORRY to hear that he died so young!!!!My thoughts are with Kate and his family and friends. Here is the message I received. See you next Wednesday!

I deeply regret having to inform the many Australian friends of Ray Lynskey (54)  that he died on Wednesday from an inoperable brain tumour after a relatively short illness. His funeral is tomorrow in the new hangar he had recently  built on the airfield at Blenheim, New Zealand.  Many will remember that Ray was a competitor at numerable world championships including Australia and that he was the first person ever to fly in excess of 2000 km (1991).
 Ray will also be remembered for his exploits in Nevada and Utah. One 14 day spell there, he flew six 1000 km .flight.

Rieti temperatures in Holland ! Szeged ! Lasham !Prievidza !

Alphen aan den Rijn    Wednesday August 19 2009

First of all apologies for not writing last Sunday. I arrived back home later in the afternoon on Sunday and Monday and Tuesday I was occupied with a few important “things” , so here we are again with the latest news in the new blog.

Looking back at Rieti, it was 5 days GREAT fun and 5 days with a lost feeling how it is possible that we can miss a pilot for 73 hours with all the technical and electronical new “toys” in the gliders and when 500 people and 7 helicopters are trying desperately to find him. About 40 of the pilots and crew from the CIM were searching as well, as maybe the way a glider pilot thinks while flying was important as well.

The pilot loved flying, it was his dream and he was able to fulfill it , so it’s most of our dream as well to fly or be involved with flying, so …as life goes on …we go on as well, wishing his family all strength!

This time was the 3d time in a row  that I had the honor of visiting Rieti. And again  I could enjoy the friendship, the professional organization and the good to very good weather. Meteo Guido “missed” one day with a lot of out-landings, but for the rest he was spot on.
Today the 18 m. Nationals start in Rieti and 17 pilots will “fight” for the best place and a spot in the team for the WGC. Pilots as Giorgio Galetto, Alberto Sironi and Rick Brigliadori belong already to the top and will fight each other on the edge.
 The day I left the weather looked fantastic and indeed it was great as some pilots flew over 700 km.

Holland now has hot weather  with temperatures up to 35 tomorrow, real tropic!!!We are not so much used to that.But yesterday pilots were happy here and from our National Gliding Center flights from 640 km. were flown.
In Szeged in Hungary they still fly!!After the success of the WWGC and the great weather it is now time for pilots to fly the pre-worlds during the Flatland Cup between August 9-22.Pilots fly in 3 classes and the Hungarian Nationals are part of it as well!!
The mixed open class with after 7 days of flying Petr Krejcirik from Czech Rep on spot 1, with Ventus 2 18 m. , as well as in 15m / 18 m.
In 20 m. multi seat -open class 2 Hungarian pilots in the top with friends David Jansen and Graham Parker on 3d place in an ASH 25.

In Prievidza the 52 th. Slovak nationals  have been finished last Saturday. These comps were as well the 2009 pre-worlds  for ” the smaller ships”.In the mixed class was after 7 days of flying top pilot Sebastian Kawa , the best.
In club class after 6 days , Australian pilot Alan Barnes  and in standard class Finnish pilot Juha Sorri.

In between the Lasham Nationals and regionals  have been finished last Sunday. After 6 flying days, Leigh Wells , former world champion in Eskilstuna , was the winner in standard class  , with…his father Martyn still on a VERY good 3d place!!!!
Winner in open class; Pete Harvey , former World and European Champion and the current European Champion from Nitra.

 Only 2 months to go and I will fly out to Australia to visit my friends in Tocumwal. Till then I will write newsy blogs for you , as I am not sure , at this stage, if I will carry my laptop up to OZ. For now you are up to date….

Greetings Ritz

Missing planes !

Rieti         Wednesday     August 12 2009

Sadly enough we miss already for nearly 72 hours a glider  with an Austrian pilot. I have never experienced this before and it feels just terrible. They work with all power they have, to find him. Hundreds of SAR people, also with dog’s , forest police , planes , helicopters and even competitors have gone yesterday morning , in fact from Sunday evening onwards , to see if they can find him. Here in the office a Dutch pilot has asked for all data from flight recorders ,Winpilot and FLARM with PDA to see the fixes of pilots flying with him. What they found out , is that they know for sure the time- fix from his mobile phone at 14.30 and that one pilot is SURE that he saw him flying direction S.

I investigated if this has happened before. Yes here in Rieti it happened in 1982 but they found the pilot within 24 hours …..alive! In France they found a pilot after 3 days ,…. also alive.

In Papua New Guinee they miss a passenger plane  with 13 people , 9 from Australia. The Twin Otter departed from Port Moresby on its way to Kokoda ,a place in the middle of nowhere , a real jungle , with mountains as well and visited a lot by Australian holidayers. In the WW2 this place was a battle -field , where quite a lot of Australian soldiers have fought.
One of the pilots flying  a SAR plane is our former tow pilot, Diana. She flies a Dornier 328 from AeroRescue. Furtheron 2 Blackhawks from the Australian Army are searching  and several other planes , also  5 or 6 civil helicopters. Unfortunately the weather is bad for searching.

I just heard that the Twin Otter has been found  and it is a miracle they found it as it ended on a steep mountain full of trees. Sadly enough no survivors. They put SAR mountain climbers low on a moutain-spot where it is possible to climb up to reach the wreck.
Here in Rieti they put SAR people close to a top and they go down between the trees of the forest . Unfortunately still no sign of the missing pilot.

The weather here in Rieti is great  and some pilots , NOT from the CIM, fly today. Tomorrow will be even better.
Sadly enough but totally understandable, the CIM 2009 has finished now after the 5 flown days. The prize giving will be most probably tonight and the winners in the total scores of day 5 are the winners from the CIM 2009.

This morning about 40 pilots/ crew left to search in the area where the last information might give hope! Not one pilot is interested in flying at the moment. They race against the clock in the hope to find the pilot …..hopefully still alive. It is still possible, but hope fades.Some pilots left already yesterday.

Greetings from Rieti! Life goes on here but still in a worried atmosphere. Hopefully better news in the next blog!But…Rieti is still a great soaring place, what ever has happened, that’s the conclusion of the pilots.


Greetings from Rieti!

Rieti           Sunday August 8 2009

The WWGC is over and with 9 days of flying you can only say that it was a great competition. As you know , a competition is only over after the last day and during this comps this was really clear. The last day was a tricky one and mixed the scoring system. The UK girls on top during the whole  competition,  tumbled down to 4 and 5 to make junior Nathalie Hurlin from France the new female WORLD CHAMPION in club class. Only very few points difference between the top ladies 21 points in club class.In standard class German lady Sue Kursbach is the new world champion with only 13 points on runner up Jana from Czech Rep. In 15 m class 2 German girls in the top with only 4 points difference.Wow!!!

The EGC in Pociunai had also a last tricky day! But….with 13 days a new record in EGC flying. Not always the best weather but possible for soaring, so why not!Look at the scores from SUPER MARIO over 12 000 points and what about the 2 Dutch juniors!!!!Rene de Dreu is the new European champion and his mate Tim Kuijpers is runner up with only 13 points difference. All the other scores you can find on soaringspot.com
Congratulations also to Belgian pilots Tijl and Bert being 6 and 8 in standard class. Well done!

Here in Rieti the weather is super!!!Not a long task today as the meteo expects thunderstorms, also here in this area. But at 12.00 it looked good enough to let the pilots go for a quick AAT. Yesterday one of the pilots flew around with a speed of 158.7 km in 18 m. class. Open class had 146.1 km, club 124.9 km/h, standard class 137.8 km/h and 15 m. 130.6 km. Local pilots nearly flew 800 km here!

Fuentemilanos is “hot” and the usual guests are flying long cross country flights . Lot’s of 1000 km flights also from airfields close by Fuente, as Villacastin Aero. This is a good year for soaring!

Back to my duties here in Rieti. Not long and the first pilots will be back

Cheers Ritz

Greetings from Rieti!

Rieti     Wednesday August 5 2009

To be honest I am not too sad  about the weather here in Rieti over the last 2 days , nice cool for a change. The first competition day has been cancelled yesterday due to a through , which did not want to leave the area and “loved ” us so much that only at 6  the sun was shining and for the next days it really looks good.
Great to see so many familiar faces from all over Europe with children, wives and crew. A totally different atmosphere then the WGC or EGC but unique as well, I had nearly forgotten about it. It is all very relaxed here, but there are still strong rules which have to be kept to keep it all safe.
It was good to see Leo here,  as well as Ricky. Leo left yesterday morning , but will be back Ricky left 2 days ago. Very brave people!I even heard Leo has a new book, so I will tell you more about that when I have it. It is in Italian so not readable for everyone unfortunately.

Competition day 1 has started here today  with the first launch at 12.30. The weather is splendid and if you look at the www.soaringspot.com  you can see tasks now and results tonight. It seems that not every computer can straight find my news in the Ritz Corner. So if you are at the home page from www.rietigliding.it  please scroll down to under the pictures. If that does not work please go to the search engine in the right top. They are working on making it easier. Sorry about that!

In Ponciunai they are still flying  with all kind of weather conditions, but still till today 9 flying days and real competition in club class where the German ,Dutch and Polish pilots fight for the best place. After 9 days the German pilot is number 1  only with 12 points on the 2 Dutch pilots each having the same amount of points on place 2. And that after 9 days of flying! [ www.pociunai.lt] The most exciting class!!!!

In Szeged the ladies still enjoy HOT conditions  though today is cancelled due to the tough wind which made towing impossible.It was good to see that Orsi from Hungary , one of the juniors in Finland won the day on Monday. Well done! Yesterday they had their 2d restday , so a few days to go and it is over.  www.flatlandcup.hu  

That’s it for now greetings from warm Rieti where the skies just look great and we expect , atleast the director Giorgino does, high- speed-flights!!!

Uk 18 m. Nationals ! EGC ! WWGC !Coppa !

Alphen aan den Rijn      Saturday August 1 2009

A spare minute to spend,  so some time to write ,while the women in Szeged have a well deserved rest day after 6 days of soaring with good to very good conditions! What a great competition, what great flights and what great speed , a real world championship!! They have another week to go , so if you are interested ,please follow them on www.flatlandcup.lt

The EGC has less good weather  , but still great results for hardworking pilots. And…hard working crew has to be applauded too ,as on some days the total group of competitors in one class landed out. Also one more week to go and today they had longer distances and hopefully better weather. They had their rest day yesterday , which was good , as the day before the weather was over -estimated and  so was the task; Result many outlandings!!!
Great to see the Dutch juniors Tim and Rene on place 1 and 2 in club class!

The 18 m. Nationals in the UK  are flown at Husbands Bosworth, in short Husbos!! A very nice airfield with lovely people and …the place were  the JWGC in 2005 was held. Several of my friends are flying there, all within the top 10 at this stage with 2 more days to go! Nice  to see “good old ” Andy Davis on place 1 at this stage.
Out of 7 days 3 were cancelled till now, but today and tomorrow should be fine.

Like the UK,  Holland has had a lot of rain in July.  But also high temperatures!The Southern province in Holland , Limburg, even got 31.8 dgr. With an average of 18.2 dgr., the temperature was 0.8 higher then normal in July.
The average rain fall in July was 31 mm higher then normal ;we “got” 101 mm as average. Last but not least; the sun shined 235 hours, while it normally is “only” 201 hours, so we were spoiled!

Off to Rieti now tomorrow morning.  There the temperatures are around 30/31 dgr. Good for the “bones” in my body! They were used for over 12 years to nice warm climate -circumstances , but since I am back in Holland in December 2006, they “suffer” a bit! Hope you  can ” follow ” me to Rieti, the country with the nice sunshine and good thermals, the place where the Coppa Internazionale del Mediterraneo has started today with the first practise day out of 3. The first mandatory briefing is at 18.00 on August 3 and the comps start on August 4!!!!
Look for www.rietigliding.it

“See you in Rieti ” and if time available I will continue with soaring.eu as well, with more newsy news.
cheers Ritz