Thumps up for Sportaviation!BBQ tomorrow to celebrate!

Tourist Information Centre Tocumwal on Friday afternoon.

Just 10 minutes left to tell you that Sportaviation had the thumps up from the fire brigade department from the Shire and….for opening the caravan park!!!!!Great news!
Dundee and I left just before the champagne was pourred but in our mind we celebrated with them as I heard and I have seen, how much has been done.
Fabulous job!
One day before 6 ” China -men” arrived at the airfield. No they were not all men I saw quickly, 2 ladies were there as well. 3 Of the men come for a one month gliding holiday.Some friends arrive already tonight so hopefully we will have a nice weekend! There is thunderstorm “hanging around” but it only grumbles , no rain, so I better rush “home” See you after the weekend.

Look for pictures from the Sportaviation caravan park at

Cheers Ritz

Tocumwal !Ken and the bridge!Pilots forgot to land !

Tocumwal    October 27 2009   Tourist Information Centre

Well now I have to speed up as time is money here, but not to worry it is not too bad!
I have been here now tomorrow for 2 weeks and though it feels like I have never left Australia, I do realize that time is flying. It looks like NZ is off, but however I would have loved to go there it would have taken out also some precious time here. Still enjoy every minute and it is great to hear planes flying over and to see tugs towing gliders.
The weekend was rather busy with several pilots flying both at Sportaviation and the club.
Ken and his friends have left again. They were off to Sydney to …..climb the Harbour Bridge …….at night!!!!!! They are all involved in sport business so no worries , they would be able to climb this bridge while enjoying the scenic view at night. Ken will be back soon again to fly both his Vintage planes!

Dundee had a good look  at the new Sportaviation Caravan Park and it seems he has made a decision . As I told you the new toilet bloc looks marvellous. It is , when you go in there, not that you enter the toilets at Sheryl and Eddie’s Caravan Parc but you feel more like entering the Hilton’s “powder-room.” Certainly when you remember the ones at Sportavia, though I must admit they were clean , the girls always worked very hard to keep them as clean as possible, but for sure they were not fancy.
They are still grading , but it looks everything will be ready in time.
If you want to see it all by yourself , you can look at it this upcoming weekend. Don’t forget bring your eski with meat , salad and beer/wine/bubbles!

The place to be at this moment is still Australia , though Omara had some very nice flights as well this week. I particular liked Andrew Hugging’s flight in the Mosquito 519 km over an interesting triangle, departing from Jondaryan on the East Side.
The West side from OZ is active now as well as good friend Terry Cubley used the wind for an out and return from Gawler up North;312 km in his LS 3.
Gliders to Australia and Africa seem to be on schedule so a few more days and the action will start again!!!
In Holland they STILL fly as well. Yesterday a pilot flew up and down along the side of the DUNES ….after a shower ….to still make 123 km. You see we do have some kind of ” ridge-flying ” , in Holland as well.

Though Inge is already home for 2 days , George is still driving to Cairns. First day he made 1280 km to reach Miles. I read in the news paper that the weather in Queensland at the moment is very bad!!!!
On his way home he visited Albury and fell “with his nose in the butter” as the celebrations around the Uiver where in full swing. He also visited the Australian Soaring Centre in Corowa and caught up with Francesco. I plan to go there as well one of these days!

To finish this blog; US Federal investigators are struggling to determine what the crew of a NW airlines plane were doing at 11.000 m. as they sped 240 km. past their destination; Minneapolis. When they flew over Wisconsin, the pilots realised there was something wrong and flew back while on the ground military jet’s were ready to chase them, as nobody had a clue about what was going on! They were not drunk!!! They were not asleep , but “just talking” , is what they said! Interesting conversation it must have been !

That’s it for now. See you after the weekend with news from the BBQ and all friends visiting!

Cheers Ritz

BYO- BBQ at Sportaviation at Melbourne Cup weekend! Olympia!

Tocumwal        Friday  October 23 2009

Last news from the all-seasons-motel, as George is leaving for Cairns, a trip of 3 days with each 1200km. and Inge is flying back home today to Amsterdam.
I have moved out from Gina’s unit and moved in at Margie’s, so another former owner of Sportavia , Margie is my host now.
Yesterday we spend a nice afternoon at the airfield. Sheryl was very busy painting the last important signs and Eddie with towing as the UE “boys” had finished the form 2 [ annual inspection] on the glider. Lothar had 2 flights , then one for Neil [82 now I heard !!!] .Unfortunately Otto is not allowed to fly anymore after his operations, but he is not too sad about it. He has had great times, he said and is happy enough now ” to hang around with the boys”! They bring over their longtime knowledge of doing a form 2 on their DG 600, to the young generation; Lothar!
Bill Riley visited as well, feeling happy about all the action at the field. In between graders were leveling the places were the caravans will be in a few weeks , when it is all ready.
Before that we will have a nice get to gether to drink on the finishing and well being of the amenity bloc in the weekend of October 31 and November 1. So if you are interested to see and hear all THE NEWS at Sportaviation , please drop in that weekend. There will be a BYO-BBQ on Saturday evening, so fly in or drive in with an eski full of meat , salad and drinks.

Ken had 2 Japanese friends  to fly around in his Slingsby T21 and both loved it. Goggles on ….off they went! After Ken flew his other toy ;the Olympia, a very vintage single seat glider . The Olympia was designed for the Olympic Gliding Championships, flying as a demonstration sport in Berlin in 1936 ,but sadly enough it never became an Olympic Sport due to the war from 1939. The Olympia has been restored in Tocumwal by Mike Burns and Ingo Renner. Both gliders ‘live’ in Tocumwal. In the evening George and I had dinner with Ken and his friends and lots of memories came back.

Some nice flights over the last days in Rieti [336 km. in Italy] , in Hausen am Albis [597 km. in Zwitserland] where they used the fohn and George Lee flew from the after himself called airfield here in Australia, 523 km. while in NZ Hugh Turner flew a nice 634 km. from Omarama.
Gliders for the overseas season are still on the ships so when they have arrived in either Africa or Australia there will be enough action again on the soaring-scene.

Cheers for now from a full weekend here in Tocumwal.

Greetings from all -seasons- motel in Tocumwal !First 1000 km. in Australia!

Tuesday October 20 2009

Today I had a look at the airfield and it all felt OK! Visited Mike Burns in Eddies hangar, where he is still surrounded by nice Capronies and the ASW 17 23 m. Great glider… ..just arrived from the USA and the inspection will be done on it , in this hangar.
Lothar was busy with the annual inspection on EU , learning from Otto and Neil how to do this as they are very experienced! Corckey was helping a bit as well.
Inge and George were helped to the field by Ingo and had an enjoyable flight together in the IS 28, after Don had launched them. Not too bad conditions  today; lift about 2 m. ,thermals up to 7000 ft. Temperature today was 30 dgr. and there was quite some wind [ stiff breeze!] from WNW, which is pretty unusual!

I had a quick look at the Sportaviation part South of the airfield. Eddie was very busy with the last hand on several things, but he took some time to talk to me and was very pleased to see me.
 The  small hangar, which is already in use for a long time looks nice and they kept everything in that yellow colour . So the new toilet-shower-laundry bloc is yellow as well and matches good.
The inside is a very fine grey colour and the mirrors are black around the glass. All very sophisticated. Former owner and partner [from Don and Geoff] Stuart was busy to grade the terrain around and for sure the future camping guests will be very happy there.There is a new laundry as well with a brand new washing machine!
Everything is ready for the upcoming season, so the guests can [nearly] come .New trees are planted around ! In the next month I keep you updated.

Inge is leaving tomorrow for Melbourne, travelling by train from Shepparton!She will spend another day in Melbourne with her friend Kait and will leave on Friday again home! The last couple of days she ran from here to there to do all things she wanted to do and to see all eople she wanted to see!!!!

The weather up EAST has been fabulous with top pilot David Jansen flying the first 1000 km of the season in the ASG 29 18 m. from Kingaroy! A real FAI  triangle with a speed of 133 km/h.
A great effort as well from Alan Barnes flying his LS1 f up to 982 km. from Jondaryan with 105 km. /h.!!!!!
First flight from the many to come this season, from kilometer-eater Terry Bellair; he flew 452 km about 250 SW of Tocumwal in his DG 400.

See you next time, rushing of for dinner after a nice , but short time as well on the beach! Just thought to keep you updated when possible!

Back in good old Australia !

Tocumwal         Sunday October 18  2009

Hello from the ” all  seasons Motel ” in Tocumwal ,this time from the laptop from George.Nice to know is , that this motel was called in the past ” Sportsmen’s Lodges” and owned by….us as Sportavia. It has new owners, a few since we sold it and still looks nice. Brutus lived in one of the apartments here as well for a few years. Inge and I are very happy in the unit from friend Gina  and living in that unit means that we are neighbours.

Till now time has flown. Parties, lunches and dinners have been on , full time .And ….it was till the last day before departure NOT sure if I could go!!! I felt SO miserable!!!!! But Inge took me to her doctor in Amsterdam and I have no clue what he did, but a “miracle” happened and I felt well.[it looks I got the flu from the flu injection the Thursday before!]
The trip turned out to be easy and on my 23d visit to Australia , I could tell the pilots who waited for their suitcases, that this one was the most beautiful landing from all the flights.
 A great flight all over Melbourne with its beautiful skyline in full light and the softest landing.
After a good night sleep at the airport where I was welcomed by George [ I expected to see a “wreck”]  and Michael [” it is as in old times ” ], we left early on Thursday morning to Tocumwal with a still very good looking Inge after her long and good flight. Yes the age- difference was clearly visible!

Tocumwal still feels SO good. Some people say  “it is as if you have not been away!”  We passed the airfield, “our” hangar, the tree planted for Dennis and Kees 22 years ago [we cannot go on as all gates are locked] and though it looks sad because there is no activity on that part of the field anymore, it felt good; peaceful, I was not too sad…., those good times where EVERYBODY starts talking about straight away are OVER for ever and  of course you can’t forget the buzzing activities from the past! We visited one of Bill’s old hangars [ to our , but even more to his big surprise he showed up and nearly fell over when he saw George, one minute later Inge and then me]  to clean our “stuff” which still was there, had a look at the boxes with personal belongings as we sold the caravan and the new owner did not want us , to enter his new toy. He checked for us, a bit weird , but…..
A visit to Kelly’s Pub was of course a must on Thursday , so off we went and caught  up with Peter {Reid} and Peter {Corckery} with Dieter Dundee and just before we went there also with a very enthusiastic Ken Ueyma from Japan. [” you are the mother of Sportavia “]Lot’s of local “drinkers” were happy to see us as well.

Today on Sunday, a plane is doing at big height some real nice aerobatics and with the Maule flying out yesterday with a glider [the new IS 28 from Sportaviation] on tow, it felt like being home again. Have n’t had time yet to see how the new caravan park looks , but that will be next on the agenda. No time either to do research how glider pilots are performing on the OLC list,  but that will be on when I hear “things” here or when I have time to look at it.
 Town got more houses , all people still seem to be content , though some shops are empty and when I told friends that they maybe NOT realize how lucky they are, to live in a community like this here in Toc. they straight away said that they knew !!!!!

That’s it for now. More news somewhere during the week. First impressions are GOOD!!!! Though……. the weather is really spring weather. We had rain , cold wind, hail, sun , nice looking clouds and angry looking very dark ones, with more rain. But…..they say that Melbourne will have 27 dgr. next Tuesday and here we will have 33!!!!!! That’s better , as the suitcase is full of summer clothes!


Departure to Australia and some news about OZ!

Alphen aan den Rijn            October 11 2009

As you will see , I am in Australian mood already. Lot’ s of news about OZ.
Though still not the fittest person in the world, [I will have an ulcer as extra luggage!!] I do look forward to my visit to my 2d home country. I do continue writing but more on an adhoc base, as long as I have computers I can use. I am very anxious to see Tocumwal again after 3 years and I know and that REALLY feels good, that a lot of friends are trying to catch up with me. I know that there will be desillusions as well, but that makes leaving again easier.

The weather in Tocumwal starts to improve now, which is good. On October 3 however the young aviator day at the airfield fell more or less in the water as you can read here ;
Saturday’s Junior Aviator’s Day was a great day even though we didn’t actually get to fly.  Most of the parents stayed for the mornings presentation.  We firstly showed John Roakes DVD on  ‘An Introduction to Gliding’, then some of the members gave short talks on different aspects of the sport and how it could lead into a career in aviation, whether it be as a pilot, ground engineer or air traffic controller.  We found all the students to be very attentive and very keen to learn all they could.

The flying activity had to be cancelled as cloud base was only 200ft  – that is when it was not actually raining!!  But this did not deter the students who were able to spend more time talking to club members and instructors. 

We had a great family BBQ lunch and there was plenty of time to talk to the parents.  All the students were very enthusiastic about coming back for their promised flights and were not really disappointed as they realised that the flights on Saturday would only have been short circuits if we had flown at all.  It is most likely that the next time they come it will be sunny and they will get a soaring flight that will be much longer and more interesting for training purposes.

At the hangar, students were able to watch Donald Ashton unpack his LS4 glider from the trailer and rig it .  This was a good activity as it gave the students first hand experience on how the wings and tailplane are attached to the fuselage and how important inspections and correct rigging are, to the safety aspects of flying. 

Neil Hardiman provided the only flying activity for the day with his model plane and gave everyone some spectacular aerobatics to watch in the afternoon.

The first Saturday in each month has been nominated as the Southern Riverina Gliding Club’s training day for Juniors.  We are looking forward to seeing our new aviators next month and invite any members interested in helping out to come along.

A big thankyou to all those members who supported the Junior’s Day and made it possible.

Kindest regards

Judy Renner

(as my bumper sticker says – ‘I’d rather be at cloud base’). 

I love ALL actions to get the young ones into soaring-mood, so this is a real good idea. In between the Sportaviation  centre has nearly finished the ammenities bloc with the help of some of the future guests, so when I am there we are going to look if Dundee can find himself a beautiful place there at the new caravan park.
With a new IS28 double seater the fleet from Sportaviation has grown, so more pilots can enjoy flying together at Tocumwal airfield. Flying together and sharing the fun , really is something “hot” nowadays!
Tocumwal is slowly growing to get back on the map and for some ,the real die-hards ,it has never been of the map!
Yoghi from Japan, [with Junzo real die-hards,]  has just arrived but leaves before I arrive      –what a pity–would have loved to catch up with him!!!!
So ; a safe and wonderfull season is what I wish for all of my friends over there and …of course the first full month I will enjoy the atmosphere there myself again.

Talking about Australia; Francesco and Grietje and their 2 children  have arrived back home in Corowa and are ready for a new big season. For sure many happy pilots again over there as they can fly in their own glider with the beautiful summer/soaring conditions of that part of Australia between November and Februari. Of course gliders are for rent there as well, even brand new ones!!!! Wishing everybody a great and safe season!!!

And more Australia as Shinzo , who runs a gliding business in Narromine , Soar Narromine, made his 2d wonderful flight of the season last Friday, in a nimbus 4DM; again up and down to the W . and then S . of Narromine with  a nice cloud base of  over 2500 m. , a speed of 107 km/h. and… a distance of 728 km.
 Still feel sorry that Narromine missed out on having the WGC in 2012, but in the Soaring I read that they are more then ready in Uvalde [Texas] to receive all pilots  for this great event; practise week will be from July 28 through August 3 and the competition will be held from August 5 through August 18. Looking forward to that event!!

And here is my friend Jo with the story about the first competition in the 2009/2010  season for Soaring Australia and… Several well known WGC and JWGC pilots participated . Enjoy:
Queensland State Gliding Championships, McCaffrey Field, Jondaryan
Sat 26 September – 3 October 2009
By Keith Allen, contest director & Jo Pocklington

42 gliders lined up in 5 classes for the Jimbour Wines Queensland State Gliding Championships hosted by Darling Downs Soaring Club.  Conditions were challenging with fronts bringing dust and cool conditions for the start of the week, and every day flown was blue.  Practice and day 1 were cancelled due to dust reducing visibility together with strong cross winds.  There were 4 contest days.
AATs to the west were set on all days for Club Class.  Standard Class flew AATs on 3 days and 1 racing task.  15 Metre, 18 Metre and Open flew AAT first and last days and racing tasks the middle days.  The longest set racing task was 355km.
Comp day 1 brought a strong cross wind with blue weak low conditions; maximum rates of climb were around 4 knots, occasionally better.  AAT tasks were set for all classes on day 1 to the west.  Comp day 2, cross wind moderated which assisted launching.  Conditions were again blue, weak and low. Comp days 3 and 4 were hot and blue.  The last 2 days of the week were cancelled due to low convection and then visibility problems.
Graham Hennessy volunteered for scoring which turned out to be more of a challenge than usual, but with patience and tolerance from pilots, it worked out in the end.  Tim Shirley assisted remotely and he and Graham burnt the midnight oil.  The problem was with a new version of SeeYou which has now been rectified.  Thank you very much Tim!
Although the comp wasn’t up to usual Queensland spring conditions, it was enjoyable.  Fran Ning had her best competition day ever on day 3 when she came third, and her worst ever on day 4 when after starting, did not get any lift and simply glided into a paddock.
Club Class winners:
Craig Collings (ASW19) 3722
Paul Mander (Std Libelle) 3643
Phil Southgate (Cirrus B) 3551
Standard Class winners:
Lisa Trotter (LS8) 3749
Andrew Maddocks (LS8) 3630
Mike Maddocks (ASW28) 3427
15 Metre winners:
Peter Trotter (ASW20) 3972
Geoff Brown (ASW20) 3476
Jenny Thompson (ASW27) 3445
18 Metre winners:
John Buchanan (ASG29) 3721
Bruce Taylor (Ventus 2cX) 3717
Tom Claffey (ASG29) 3492
Open Class winners:
Gerrit Kurstjens (Nimbus 4T) 3994
Robert Hart (Nimbus 2C) 3432
Peter Griffiths / Tony Tabart (Nimbus 4DM) 3181
There were 17 fun teams spread across the 5 classes.  The overall highest scoring team was Team EAT DiS consisting of Craig Collings (ASW 19 EAT in Club Class) and Dave Shorter (LS8 DS in Standard Class) with an overall average daily score of 880 points.
As well as official fun teams, there was a lot of inter-family rivalry.  Mad Dog (Mike Maddocks) and his Mad Pups 1 (Andrew) and 2 (Nick) had a close battle with Andrew finishing second, Daddy 3rd and Nick 5th in Standard Class.
Wives and husbands:  Lisa & Peter Trotter again led their classes, as they did here in the 2007 comps, while Pam & Gerrit Kurstjens battled it out in Open Class.
Indea Tabart’s mother Anita Taylor flew in Open Class (with Greg Schmidt in the Kingaroy Duo Discus X), Anita’s husband Bruce Taylor competed in 18m class, and Indea’s 2 grandpas also competed – Hank Kauffmann (18m class) and Tony Tabart (Open).
Thanks to safety officer Pearce Mitchell, tugmaster Val Wilkinson from Warwick for all the cross-club-collaboration, scorer Graham Hennessy, launch director Bill Smith, rope runners from Griffith University Soaring Society, weather Robert Hart, chief task setter Shane McCaffrey, operations directors DDSC L2 instructors, our ladies in the kitchen Dianne Bell, Narelle Hennessy, Kaye Hook and the bar Libby Matuszczak and Irene McCaffrey, and Wendy Medlicott for radio starts and everyone at Darling Downs Soaring Club for their support. 
Our sincere thanks to Jimbour Wines for their continuing and valued sponsorship of our sport.
THANK YOU JO!!! One more note; It seems that the open class scores are provisional as the contest director has advised that there is query in that class.

Nice to see the enthusiasm over the October weather  from UK pilot Edward Downham. His ASH 25 makes over-hours this late in the season as he flew from Dunstable another nice 345 km. flight.

All the “important” people in gliding are at the moment in Korea in Incheon, where the General FAI Conference is held. We forget sometimes how much time those people spend on talking, writing and discussing important FAI issues for the glider-pilots- sake. I am not so much into that, but I tremendously do admire their dedication. And…Korea is a nice place to go too, I think. Quite a lot of my friends are there. Wishing them  good thoughts, so we can all happily fly safe.

Off to Oz now on Tuesday.” See you there”, for some of you. My daughter Inge will be there as well for the first week. Her dad will be there also to see her and to look at his “new” ASW17 23m. George is planning to put jet-engines on it. He also enjoyed a trip up and down to Corowa in an IS 28 with Ingo Renner; Passable weather with a cloud base of 2000 m and lift up to 3 m. , 150 km. and back within 2 hours!
I also hear Jari [ Finland]and Ken [Japan] are coming soon. GREAT!!!!
It feels again as in the past, it is “all happening [t]here”. I “nearly” feel better!!!

Cheers Ritz

Action for good rest and work classification ! Air India !

Alphen aan den Rijn    Wednesday October 7 2009

Happy birthday to Simon and Kurt  who both celebrated their birthday last Monday. Simon is 30 years old now, happily married and an airline pilot. Last I heard from Kurt was that he flew mail in Queensland.
And then if we are talking tow pilots , another of “our” former tuggies Charlie was father again not long ago. He and Bianca have 2 sons now. Charlie fulfilled his dream to be an agg-pilot.

Then the “fighting crew ” aboard of an Air India  Airbus was in the news all over the world. Not something to be proud of. When you did not read it; a stewardess claimed that she was indecent “touched” by the pilot [s].That accusation initiated the fight ,first in the cockpit later in the aisle in front of the 100 passengers aboard. At that time , at 10.000 m. NO pilot was in the cockpit!

Pilots in Europe, also in Holland took action last Tuesday as they think that the CAO for work and rest is not good. Sometimes they have to work for 14 hours during the day and 12 hours during the night, without a pause even changing continents, which is not good for their rest . Only in Holland 4000 pilots are a member of the VNV [the union] .They had a “playful” action but at-least the European parliament has said” to look into the case”. They claim that safety in the air is so important that they SHOULD look at it !

Daylight saving has started in Australia, earlier then I expected as it is normally at the same time as we change in Europe. Nevertheless the first GREAT cu’s have been seen down under and Shinzo from Narromine used them to fly a very good 680 km flight to the West of Narromine.
 In Europe the eye catcher on the OLC was the flight from top  Czech pilot Petr Krejcirik  last Sunday, flying a few times an out and return making a scoring distance 903 km , an outstanding result SO late in the season. Speed from 129 km/h is not too bad either in a Ventus 2 C 18 m. an reaching over 7000 m h. In his comment he says that he flew 1200 km over 8 turn-points!!!!
Even in Holland pilots flew , certainly for the time of the year super flights; 509 km from Soesterberg and 417 from Terlet in a DG 500 22m.
Rieti had a 447 km flight and…Dunstable in the UK an AMAZING as they call it their-selves, 449 km in an ASH 25.
Not only a good soaring season in most of the European countries but also a long one.

One more time news next sunday before I leave for Australia on Tuesday, after , I will only write when I have a laptop, sorry but ….that might not be too difficult as the tourist information centre in Tocumwal has computers as well.

See you on Sunday, cheers Ritz

Interview with European club- class -champion Rene and runner up Tim !

Alphen aan den Rijn             Sunday     October 4     2009

Some short news before the interviews.
—The KLM celebrates this weekend “her” 90 thiest birthday and for the party they expect about 40.000 guests. ONLY people working for KLM and their families are invited for this party.
—Transavia pilot G. will be defended by the “pitbull” of the Dutch defenders Mister Spong. He is a very good criminal lawyer and announced last Friday that he is going to do this job. Argentina has asked Spain to extradite the by some loved, by others abused , just retired captain. There will be a court case om October 6  in Spain, but G . denies everything and as long as he is not found guilty , Mr Spong says “we” should see him as innocent.
—Another Argentinian pilot from the “vuelos de la muerte” , this time working in Argentina has been arrested yesterday.
—I heard the first snow has fallen in Norway and Sweden, brrr…, we have gusting autumn winds here, while Sicilie, has had landslides through heavy rain which  atleast  killed 10 people.
—From Jondaryan in Queensland, now we are in Australia , a nice 579 km flight was made by Alan Barnes in his LS 1f , same glider as Rene flew in the EGC.
—Brasil got the Olympics for 2016 and the soaring yesterday was not too bad either in Brasil with a long out and return in an ASW 25;495 km.with a speed of 115 k/h. One day earlier a pilot flew 814 km. from the airport Luis Magalhaes in an ASW 22.
—A question from Mac, if you can help him please let me know []
I am looking for Altair display/Vega, if you know of anyone who might be selling one, please let me know.
I am also thinking of selling my OzFlarm and 302/303, if you know of anyone interested please let me know.
Here is the interview with Rene [ 24 ]and Tim [21] which I am very pleased with, both from Holland and totally different , but both addicted to gliding at this stage in their lives. Rene is from a farmers family growing chicory in the N.O.P. and serves till November for the Dutch airforce. [meteo and logistics]Just before the JWGC he arrived back home after serving for his country in Afghanistan.[ meteo in Kandahar!]
Tim is from a gliding family and more or less “born” at the airfield. His mum is the TC for Holland [ she was also the TC during this EGC!Ritz] ,international steward and flies herself. She coaches together with double WGC winner Baer Selen, the national teams  through the year. Dad Ferdi  flew in WGC’s  and EGC’s in the past  and still is a good pilot. Sister Maaike flies gliders and finishes her study biology this year and brother Caspar was runner up in his first competition this year in Malden.

Here are the questions and the answers .  Enjoy!

1.  Did your participation in the JWGC in Rayskala contribute to the success to be the Club class number “one and two” ? If so, how and what have you done different?
Rene; Certainly. Over the last years we both had the JWGC as our goal to work to . The EGC was a fine ” detail”  in the end with a great result. Because the EGC was not our real objective , we were able to ease back and there was no pressure to fly. The JWGC was, of course, also an ideal preparation. Although we did not fly intensively together , we had 80 hours of talking on the radio while flying, and we have been around together there for a great deal. 
At the EGC we really did some good team -flying. Although we, unfortunately, on the first day lost each other by mis-communication , we flew the rest of the days practically always  within 500 m of each other, except for the day that I outlanded and Tim made it home. This was only possible because we trusted each other totally.
Tim; Absolutely! First of all, we have both very little experience so that a competition  where you fly for 80 hours  adds a very high proportion to the total experience. The plan was also in Finland to fly as a team, but it soon became apparent that I myself was  struggling to give it all a place. Because of that we decided to fly each for ourselves and where possible, to help each other. We had a lot of communication in Finland,  which later in Lithuania, provided for the easy cooperation. In the end I  managed to fly much better  in Rayskala and with a day-win and a wonderful JWGC experience  I then went to Lithuania. Immediately after Finland, I brought the glider [ASW 19] to Pociunai , where I had  2 days of rest , before flying  from Kaunas to home . This way I could, instead of 2 days driving,  travel in one day to Pociunai where I found a fully equipped  Team UK and Team Holland, for a drink.
Piece of teambuilding here: René had put up his tent already and because the conviviality was more important than my tent, I slept that night in the front bell of  René’s tent.
In comparison with Finland, our team was very small, but peaceful and with little diversion. As in Finland René and I eat from the same kitchen, manned by our crew members, we could evaluate there and had our wonderful moments of rest.
With regard to the flying, we have worked very close together. We never practised this before , but it grew simply fantastic.
We started at the same time, but  after the first day, I had not the good sense, how was it that René once again was so much faster then I on the end of the day, while we flew together ?
During our visit to the terrace Rene had as explanation for his 1 place something as: “… Tim was speeding me up  all the time and in the end I had a bit more luck, ..
This in order to convince me that I was a huge part of the performance, to not let me feel down.
ater I did also the same for René  when the situation was exactly the inverted and he outlanded and I just made it home .
From the beginning on, the team spirit  grow with each flight. Since that time, it all went very fast, we were getting better and better and could, if  there were setbacks in the air , help each other to recover mentally.Down to the last day, we have flown together and we have fought for the best Team. We were a team, individuals subordinate to each other.

2. The weather was difficult to say the least, did flying over the years in the Netherlands help. How did you anticipate on the thunderstorms; wait, just start ?? 
Rene; During the winter we have had with the Dutch team -selection a number of meetings in which all kinds of things have been discussed, including weather-situations. Here the experiences of other gliderpilots have been discussed as well , how they dealt with it and what they have learned from it. This is very instructive even if you do not know at that time the situation. A very good addition to the experience and theoretical knowledge!
Tim; By combining the experiences from  the past with the theoretical knowledge you make the decisions you are going to take. Nevertheless, we were not always able to time the right moment  with the right theory. Being together makes the difference, as 2 see more then one!
For me it was, above all, the experience in taking  decisions that helped me, this is because the weather in Lithuania is very much different from the Netherlands when it comes to thermal activity.
I found it very difficult to “feel”  the thermals and to center well. Also here it was great to “work” with 2 spans.Where René flew less then 100m in front of me obviously without lift, I could say “René I have 3 m, ….it keeps going…now 4 “I
“Well then I fly back “.
And, of course, vice versa, searching under a cloud: I turn in and Rene 200 m. further but finding nothing better.
, How much do you have”? ” “2.5 beautifully constant ”
In the meantime, I see that René turns again under a cloud we had been to before ;”in my opinion even better here … 4… “
In short, if we had flown each for ourselves , we would have never been so often surprised .

Start times were usually simple: early starts! There was little gaggle formation and tasks were always long and we knew that  the thermal energy-reduced dramatically at the end of the afternoon. Again, I must point out that  flying together makes you feel stronger and you dare to go first over the line.

3. It is pretty uncommon so many flighing- days, 13 in total, , is that extra tiring or extra challenging?
Rene; In Finland, I was actually more tired than I had expected. In the period immediately preceding the JWGC , I have been 4 months in Afghanistan for my work and I have done much to my condition. Immediately after the last flight in Finland I just felt tired. But because I totally got used again to competition flying over there , we had a good rhythm in Lithuania. This, in combination  with the relaxed atmosphere, made it possible that , after 13 competition days , I even could have gone on!
Tim; With the knowledge that everyone who was flying is older than yourself, you  feel much more energetic!In addition, you will see that in the world of sport, winners after the greatest effort ,still have energy to cheer.When everything goes so smooth,  it is a pleasure to be part of a team and is just great to finish it the way we did. 

 4. Could you “feel ” the difference  between a JWGC with mainly young people and an EGC with pilots of all ages?
Rene ; Yes for sure. We felt young between all of the other pilots .See also Tims’ answer.
TimYes! The competition in Finland was much heavier. The young pilots were able to fly all days in full, while the EK pilots were flying more conservative .Despite some excesses, it showed that courageous flying   paid. 
I did find, however, that a great deal of the EK pilots purely flew their own flight and not in  small groups .

.5. Is it difficult to be concurrents  in the same class . How do you both stay happy?  Did the TC have any influence on it? How do you deal with this pressure.
Rene ; We were certainly not concurrents, we have provided this performance together.
It was in the beginning a bit of a difficult situation as , having equal performance I would always win  from Tim ,because I flew with a 1% lower handicap with my LS1f. For me it was also easy to say that I would like to fly together. Fortunately for us both we trusted each other totally and  it did  not matter who from us would be on  top .
Tim ; We were no concurrents. I, as a number 2  found it “interesting” to see that there were people who did not understand that we had as goal one result. You can, of course as  the European champion say this with all decency.
I , however, can not  say that I, in fact,  was first as well.
“There is no” I “in team” ;when you put your  individual interests above those of the team you can no longer act as a team. There is only one thing that I regret  and that is that I can not say that I am European champion . All the more reason to try again!

6. To win on this young age, what does it do to you? Are there still enough challenges?
Rene ;It was a great experience. I have enjoyed it very much to be able to fly with Tim. But, as Tim also indicates it will be difficult enough to equal this performance or even ever to be world champion. Challenges enough! The road from last year was good and it gives great satisfaction   to complete it like this,then!

Tim ; It will be difficult enough to repeat  this performance and we are not [yet] world champion.There are plenty of things to be achieved in competition flying. But regardless of the objectives which you set up, the way forward is often a lot more fun than achieving it.Happy to see yourself improve is the key to success. Afterwards you can see whether it was enough.
Do not try to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors, but try to be better than yourself. —William Faulkner

7. Do you live for your sport or is it great added fun ?
Rene; The l
ast 10 years I lived for gliding. After my  first Junior competition in Venlo 2004  my purpose was clear: the JWGC  in Finland in 2009.
The years after that, I flew a variety of competitions and got  first in the National Dutch Junior Team and  last year also in the senior National team. In addition to this flying in the summer, we have also as previously reported ,a beautiful winterprogramma with a variety of activities. This all means that a lot of  things had to be abandoned !
Tim ; I have so far in my whole career , lived to the objective of a world title and could not do a lot of other things . Unfortunately, it remains an amateur sport and will, in future, also have to give way for a beautiful job .

8. What are the next competitions in which you want to participate?
Rene ; Perhaps we are going to the World Cup in Priviedza. In addition, of course, the national Championships, but that will probably be than individually. It remains nice to fly other competitions in other areas as well.

TimPerhaps we are allowed to go to the 2006 FAI WGC in Priviedza, but chances are very small. In addition, I find it very difficult to  choose . Of course, I would like to fly the EGC , JWGC [Musbach] and WGC’s, but there are so many other fun competitions.I would like to go back to Klix and Hahnweide, [ I flew there the German junior-championships ] as they were unforgettable. It is unfortunate that many of the friends you meet on such contests you never meet again. 

9. Rene, you go to Australia, a great experience, what do you expect and what are you going to do Tim this winter?
Rene ; I hope it will be a fun time! I will get  to know other people while doing my hobby. Of course, I also hope to fly some nice long distance flights!

Tim ;
I try to fullfill my dream to be an  F16 pilot in the airforce. I have to get through  the medical check first… exciting.In the winter we start the preparations for the new season with our coaches.In addition, I am also committed to my club Malden , where the people are that have helped me  to achieve what I have achieved till now.

10. What did I not ask  and you would like to tell the world.
Tim; This is one for you Rene, ” Ehm …can you solve this one”.!
Rene ; …………….[Silence!]

Thank you guy’s GREAT interviews!!!
See you on Wednesday ,less then a week before I leave for OZ, more specific TOCUMWAL. Hope to show Rene around there as he should know that part of gliding history as well.

Cheers Ritz

Closing party in NOP! Malev !

Alphen aan den Rijn       September 30 2009

Last day of the month. Happy birthday to my friend Jo in Australia , who celebrates her 60thiest on October 1.
The closing party from the 2009 season here in Holland was a very good one. Lot’s of young pilots attended , most of the pilots flying the EGC in both Nitra and Pociunai and of course the “young ones” flying the JWGC in Finland. Everybody agreed that this competition in Rayskala, was a ” high light ” even without Dutch winners. The atmosphere , the soaring , the weather, the organization over there and within the team, it all fitted like a glove!
Of course all crew members were invited as well, as they form such an important part of the team. I guess around 60 people attended.But no worries behind the house was a huge shed , in which we all fitted without a problem and…the weather still co-operated!

I have nice interviews with the EGC winner in club class  Rene de Dreu and the runner up Tim Kuijpers. You can read them on Sunday and they will be specially edited for Gliding International.
Very special to have for the third time a European champion for Holland. 4 Years ago it was Steven Raimond in 15 m class, 2 years ago  Ronald Termaat in 18 m and this year Rene in club class.
 Both Tim and Rene received , from all of us , a nice etching with gliders on it.

It was my first visit to the N[oord ]O[ost] P [older]. This is land won by “drying out the sea.” Lots of farmers in this area and lot’s of space, a real polder with an unbelievable lot of wind mills for “green ” energy.
 I never knew how much work it is to grow chicory, but now I heard the story from Rene’s dad , he grows it  and I will look at it with different eyes, when I eat it from my plate.
The way back was a bit disturbed by a traffic jam, so we stood still and drove slow for over an hour, but after the very nice afternoon Patrick and I had enough to talk about!! It is always nice to catch up after a great season with so many people and even in the car we discussed more. Patrick has been a very dedicated manager for the juniors for a few years but gave last Sunday the “job” to Martin, who was the TC in Rayskala. For sure it will be granted by the officials!

They predicted that today autumn would really start.  But to be honest it is not too bad. A bit of rain ,[great for my garden ] and in fact not yet stormy weather as autumn should be. Now the “bad” weather with lots’s of rain and wind 7 Bft. is predicted for Saturday.
Only 14 days to go before I leave for OZ , so I am busy to organize everything necessary and more or less happy to leave the real autumn-storms. When I am back in the end of November it will be nearly winter, hopefully a nice , cold, dry one!

And then this;A Malev plane had to make an emergency landing,  reason ; the fighting between a Czech couple departing from Budapest on their way to have a holiday in Cyprus. First it was only words, but then it became physic and even the stewardesses got their share and warned the captain who decided , for safety reasons to make an emergency landing. The couple will be NEVER EVER allowed again in a Malev plane.

CU next Sunday with the interviews.

Cheers Ritz