SSA Convention ! Italy ready for new season !Chaves ! Overseas season nearly over !

Alphen aan den Rijn        Sunday January 31 2010

Last day of January already,time flies!  Europe is still in the power of King Winter. A lot of countries have had the coldest and whitest January since 1997. In parts of Europe snow has “hit” again and cars , specially trucks were in deep trouble. We had severe snowstorms yesterday evening and in the Northern part of Holland the salt, to keep roads open ,is gone!!!!

The overseas season is nearly over now. Bitterwasser has packed up , Gariep Dam still flew between days with rain , but this weekend the containers will be packed there as well.
BUT  ….Corowa is still flying and how  , with a 962 km flight yesterday in a Ventus 2 CM. As I lived in Australia for over 10 years , I know that even February can be very good, but, still the days are getting shorter, so a very  nice  flight! Also 4 OVER 700 km. flights and a few over 800 km !!!! It is still “booming” weather  in the South of Australia.
 A German pilot flying from Benalla in a Speed Astir flew 638 km., another pilot in an LS 3 702 km. Not bad, not bad at all !! And….kilometer eater Terry Bellair topped the Australian OLC list yesterday  and the worldwide one , with an 866 km flight in his DG 400 17 m. He flies at the Bendigo Gliding Club , but spends a soaring holiday in Corowa as he did in Narromine before this year.
Half of February the containers will be packed in Corowa and for sure pilots will go home with a satisfied feeling and prepare with a smile,  their new home-season in Europe.
The Slovak container will be packed this weekend and I reckon the pilots looked with a bit of jealousy up to the air and the great distances of their friends, but …they have had some fabulous flights as well. For sure you remember the SEVEN 1000 km.-plus- flights from Lubor and 4 over 900 k.  in an ASG 29 /18 m in a period between November 11 and January 29 !
Next Wednesday my Aussie friend will have all statistics ready for the best 3 months [November, December, January] from the 5 top places for overseas soaring! Not difficult to predict that Africa was best in the end of 2009 and Australia  in the beginning of 2010. So , if you are interested, don’t forget to read on the 3d of February again.

The 2d FAI South American Comps  and the 57th Nationals for club class and combined 15m/open are over,  with for me some well known, but also a lot of unknown toppers.
The last flying day was Friday and at 9.25 it was not sure if the weather was good enough to fly. They did not!
So club class had 7 days of flying with Javier Sondon in Cirrus 75 as winner.
15 m. Class has , as I hoped and expected Damien Goldenzweig as winner ,and….a VERY good 3d place and his first FAI medal for young Horacio Piombo. Both pilots flew ASW 20 and had 8 days of action!
In open class Egon Rehn from Brasil won in his ASW 22 after 6 days of flying. Rene Vidal from Chile was third!
Argentina is a great country for soaring so I am very pleased we get to know about it more through the story of one of the Argentinian competitors soon.

I told you earlier about the SSA Convention in Little Rock  in Arkansas in the USA this week. Last Friday there was an SSA-OLC lunch with 3 lectures and the most important item was that the OLC , plans a split up for the USA pilots  into 3 regions. There will be like mountains, plains and ridges, so flights can be better compared. For sure we will hear more about it and I LOVE IT!!!! You cannot compare flights over flatland and in the Andes mountains . It is ALL great soaring and part of our sport ,but DIFFERENT. So we can value each flight best!
 I read that the USA counts about 1000 pilots who put their flight on the OLC . In total ,world wide, 13.000 pilots participate.
Yesterday evening during dinner, the SSA-OLC winners got their SSA awards for the 2009 season in OLC Champion Classic, OLC Champion FAI and the League winner.

Italy is ready for the new season!  Specially Rieti has worked hard during the winter-season to improve what they can offer you and they updated their sites where you can read it all. Here is where you can find all THE LATEST !!!;  is the site from the Federazione Italiana Volo a Vela.They , I call them in short the Federation, have something new on and  when you look on the left site of the links you see; Centro Technico Federale. You can click on that and find a link to 
This site is still under construction  and an English version will be available as soon as possible, but is shows already clearly what’s going to happen.
Previously the Federation had no Centro Technico Federale , now they have one and this is what Leonardo Brigliadori writes about it;

However ,the CTF has an ambitious program which is based on these main goals among the others:

          to train all levels of pilots, from the beginning to the stage of National Team.

          to prepare official observers, scoring personnel, operations operators

          to train pilots who can, inside each club, coach for the new licensed and young pilots.

          to organize instructors curses at less expensive conditions than presently

          to organize competitions and a new International one in particular: The Dolomiten Cup.

To accomplish that big job we have considered it was more convenient to organize the activity of the CTF as follows, taking into account that 85% of our glider pilots are situated to the North of Florence:

          two main locations: one in Asiago and one in Pavullo. Both locations are particularly indicated for their meteo conditions and for hospitality infrastructures.

          to have a flexible and movable organization permitting to organize locally at the single clubs specific stages structured on demand.

Of course they still fly from Rieti as well , as in the past and as all of this this is a tremendous effort it might take till 2011 before it will be fully efficient, but they work on it full of enthusiasm and determination.
The contact adresses of the new CTF are in the very capable hands of Giorgio Ballarati and Michela Longini. [secretary] The marketing by Giuliano Golfieri,…. yes one of those genious PostFrontal “boy’s”.  and the English version  represent gliding with Aero Circolo Centrale di Volo a Vela , in short “the Club” with a lot of “brand new ” gliders in the hangars at Rieti. For European pilots, specially the ones, flying competitions in Rieti , it is great to read it in English now. Some documents will be available in  12 different languages  by clicking on the relative flag. This site is still ” under construction” as well , but the most important items are ready for you to read. Also here a lot of enthusiasm and hard work has been done by Daniele to get it ready and I know this, as I have advised as good as I could with my experience as [former] co-owner of a commercial soaring center. Alessandro is still the CFI involved with all flying and Marzio is the man from the logistics [camping, pool etc] while Carla and Cinzia are the secretaries.
They offer an inclement weather insurance  which will refund you 70 % of the earth -bound day , if due to bad weather , NO pilot will fly.This insurance is only , as you of-course understand, available for pilots flying aeccvv gliders.

By the way if you are planning a competition in Rieti; the Coppa Citta di Rieti is from August 1 till 8 2010  and entry forms  and bulletin 1 [at this stage only in Italian, but it will be soon in English as well ] are ready to be downloaded . Still a lot of time before it is August but …as you know time flies!
The CIM will be flown  August 13-22 2010. The aeccvv will organize the competitions at Rieti Airport this year.

Ashock has send me the following link to the Albatross Relief Mission for Haiti.
A group of 12 doctors and nurses from Michigan in the USA were trying to find a way to get into Haiti to help and to bring  several tons of  donated supplies. As the Airport of Porto Prince was to crowded ,they asked and got help from Bill Da Silva , a long time owner and operator of Albatross. He is from Carson City[ not far from Minden in Nevada!]  , where our own Albatross came from as well. As his plane was already in Florida for the winter ,he donated it to help as only this plane , is capable of carrying such a load from Miami to the waters of Haiti and  return without fueling in Haiti. Great gesture!
The Dutch have been very generous in their gifts for Haiti. “We” are over 100 million Euro already , including a donation from the government , who doubled a radio and TV action from 40 to 80 million Euro, with about 17 million people only, while p.e. the USA with 307 million people donnated 17 million dollar. Pretty special, but of course all gifts are welcome big or small !!!!!

After all the excitement of the end ofthe overseas season and the beginning of a new one , I want to share some sad news as well. One of my 6 Australian  dear friends,  Maureen ,has died of cancer on January 29. Maureen has been for a long period the very hard working, efficient and friendly secretary in the Sportavia office in Tocumwal ! As she was a power pilot as well , she could talk and socialize on the same level , also after work, so a lot of pilots got to know her and she got a lot of new friends through gliding/flying! When we took over the business in 1996 she worked for/with us as well for a while, which gave , specially me,  a feeling that everything was under control. A lovely, social, great and strong-minded  lady has left us , after a not-to-win-battle! Very sad! Her funeral will be on Wednesday the 3d , at 1PM for those who only read it now and as she was so much involved in aviation, the Power-flying-school in Tocumwal [ John Williams] , will organize a Fly Past over the cemetery in Tocumwal , with 3 planes!


Fabulous weather in Australia !

Alphen aan den Rijn       Wednesday January 27 2010

What great weather still in Australia  , still in the low 30thies and even with the shorter days big distances have been  flown!
What about Stefan who flew yesterday in his LS 4 up and down to Forbes [nearly Narromine!] from Tocumwal !? 711 km. and …….LS 4  means  NO engine!!!!! SUPER !
Great flight also , again, from Tomas in the HpH s from Narromine,[ his 12th succesive  flight!!! ] and he claims that this is his best flight till now in this new glider. He flew 1.084 km and to the NW where there is real NOTHING! A very remote area. Gutsy effort , in a new type of glider !
Peter Summersby [ member of the VFMG and guest in Corowa ] flew yesterday a 724 km. flight in his ASW 24 ! Super !The VFMG [ Benalla] pilots really have a good time in Corowa. It was a long weekend in Australia because of Australia Day , so pretty busy and looking at the different sites, it has been truly celebrated!!

The 2d FAI South American Gliding Championships in Gonzales Chaves,  the place where in 2012 the WGC will be held for club,-standard and world class, have 5 days in club class now and 6 in 15 m. class and open.
In 15 m. Damien is still leading , winning 2 days , but Horacio, who I met in Rayskala during the last JWGC has won till now 2 days as well and is 3d overall. Still a few days to go .

When you have a daughter flying a Boeing 737 800 , EVERY aviation-accident HITS you. This time the one from Ethiopian Airlines, where 90 people including the crew were killed. Hopefully they find out soon , what happened here, to avoid new ones. Libanon claims that the pilot went to the opposite direction as they asked him to go to and then made a quick an unexpected move, maybe to avoid a thunderstorm, before it disappeaered from the radar . But…. I better leave this to the investigators.
Investigators did their work on the Turkish Airlines Boeing 737 which crashed here in Holland a few months ago [February 26 2009] . The interim report shows that none of the pilots were to blame! One of the instruments failed and one could not expect them to see this, is one of the results. Very high claims are in the progress to be send to Boeing by lawyers of the survivors. Sadly enough 9 people died under them 3 [USA] people from Boeing .

And then this…..during a flight from Cardiff in the UK to the Canary Islands, with Thomson Airways , passengers and cabin crew had to overpower a man who panicked in a very bad way and got aggressive against everybody, even wanted to enter the cockpit!!! This sounds like  REALLY panicking !

Off to Brabant now, which is in the S. part of Holland.
Cheers Ritz and….a story about the 2d FAI comps in South America will be on soon. So keep reading.

Chavez !And…more !

Alphen aan den Rijn           Sunday January 24

Next weekend is the first meeting  from the kern-team organizing the Dutch Nationals in May. Hope to be there as well , as I am going to be their journalist. As you know , Holland has a lot of top pilots and more important , nice guys, so it is great to “hang around”  with them again. Heard that former European Champion Ronald Termaat will fly in Holland a JS 1 Revelation! The Comps are NOT at the National Gliding Center, NOT in Germany, [Stendal],  where they have been for a few years , but at the military base of Twente.

Received a mail from Bruce ,  who made those great flights in Argentina. He is still in Omarama now, but took some time to inform us. Here are some parts of it;
“I went to Bariloche for 11 weeks and had a ball. It seems to wave 2 days out of 3 there and the gliding is both interesting and challenging. In the end I totalled 200 hours and 17,000kms in the 11 weeks.I loved being there. the weather , the views, the people , the food were all fantastic.I was very lucky to be lent the Antares for 10 days. It really is a very well developed glider.
Thanks Bruce!!

Talking about Argentina,  the comps have had now  4/5  days of flying.
Club class had 4 days and not one was a 1000 points day! 58 Pilots are competing in this class. Well-known pilot Joao Widmer from Brasil is at spot 12.
15 m Class had 5 and young top pilot Damien Goldenzweig , is at this stage number ONE!At least ONE 1000 points day in this class. Junior Horacio Piombo is on a very good 3d place!! 23 pilots in this class.
Open class had 5 days and at this stage another well known Brasil pilot Egon Rehn is on top with ASW 22. 13 Pilots in this class.

The 2d edition of the E news from the Riverina Gliding Club  had some important news for this club. They are in the process of purchasing their first OWN club -tow-plane. It is a Cessna 150 with the call sign ; VH ROZ. The plane will arrive in Tocumwal end of this month and a tow hook will be fit on it in the work shop from Mike Burns at the field. The prop still has 1600 hours to run! Easy- to- fly- plane for everybody , so I think this will be a good choice, for a hard working and enthusiastic club!

In Narromine Tomas Suchanek flew 6 days in a row over 700 km.  flights in the HpH 304S. He must , as a Czech pilot, be proud and happy to fly it. He even flew a 1000 with it [1.209 km.] , so did “good old Mac” [1.203 km.] in his Ventus 2 C .Yesterday  the “East” of OZ [Jondaryan] had a perfect soaring day. Narromine had a SUPER week!! Great to see Chris Stephens back in the air in his LS 3 flying  a nice triangle from Narromine!
Also in Narromine ,Mart Bosman, who is a top hang glider pilot. If I remember well he learned how to fly gliders with us in the past.
Corowa still has pilots flying 1000 km. ; Lubor flew his 7th!!! Well done!
Gariep Dam is still in the air, Tocumwal as well !

JAL, Japan Airlines has asked for surseance  and announced that 2/3d of their employees have to find another job. I do know a lot of Japanese friends/pilots who work there and hope they are all OK.
Also LOT , the Polish carrier has problems and it seems that 3 parties have showed interest ! For years they sponsored gliders !!!
The KLM-Air France group is planning from  April 1 onwards, to let people , who are REALLY overweight , pay for 2 chairs, the second one with 25 % discount. If you do not fit in between the 2 arm-rests, [ they have to be able to move up and down without a problem , this for safety reasons,] you have a problem!!! This only counts when the plane is fully booked! If not…no worries…you do not have to pay and get your 2 chairs! Would this be an early April 1 joke ???

Last but not least!  If you wish and you are in Australia, you can , for the time being, climb Ayers Rock again. The Australian Government overruled the decision of last year , made by the Local people of the National Park, who did so  out of  respect for the Aboriginals . From the 350.000 people who visit the famous Red Rock in the heart of the continent, 1/3d actually climbs the Rock.

See you next Wednesday [ maybe, might be Thursday!] Ritz

AFRIGLIDE 2010 ?? HpH 304S !! Gonzales Chavez !

Alphen aan den Rijn            January 20 2010

And then….bang…there is Gariep Dam again on the map   with 5x 1000 km. flights last Monday!! Pretty late in the season. Good to see Hans and Klaus flew one as well. 3 Were flown in open class and 2 in DG 808/B 18m.
The interesting  news from Gariep Dam is that they are planning to organize a Gliding Safari in October 2010 to the middle of November in 2010. AFRIGLIDE 2010! At this stage it is only a proposal to check the interest. You can read all about it on ;

The African season is nearly over now. In Bitterwasser the first container to go back home has been packed last Sunday. They had a succesful  beginning of the season very dry  but  still with  several thunderstorms and showers [ most of them  however you could fly around!] . But ….the rain season started earlier then normal , making it more moist [50%] in 2010 ! Most important however; they had a safe one without accidents. Specially the beginning of the season was the best ever! Before Christmas they had already 100 x 1000 km. flights.
All in all they had 69 flights over 1000 km.  —–They had 28 over 1100 km.—–11 over 1200 km —–1 over 1300 km. and 1 over 1400 km.—-and 1 World record and 5 National records. On top of that 8 pilots flew their first 1000 km.
Both Kiripotib and Pokweni had a real good first part of the season. Gariep had more or less the same, anyway not the best season ever. After January 31 you will have the new statistics of this season, specially over the TOP months , November, December and January.

Great to see Chad back in Australia. Chad , from the USA, is not the youngest anymore and has an impessive and interesting aviation- life  behind him. I really liked him when he flew with us in Tocumwal. He flies in Corowa the ASG 29 /18m.
Tomas Suchanek from Zcech Rep flew still a 784 km. flight from Narromine yesterday and a 724 km. task today , but more interesting was that he flew the new  HpH 304S  . This Czech 18 m. glider was just tested in the latest Soaring Magazine and their summary is as follows:
“Our measurements have verified the performance of the 304S as an outstanding entry in the 18 m. class. Max.L/D has been measured as 51.1 at 50 knots. More importantly,  the high speed sink at 80 knots measured out at 245 ft./min.
The ship exhibits very good handling ,good stability, with very quiet high speed
performance” .
Read for more news about it the latest issue of Soaring.[January- 7 pages and a double-spread picture!]

The BIG SSA Convention in Little Rock in Arkansas  will be held on January 26 and 27 2010! All news about the latest software, a safety seminar lots of very interesting speakers, it is all available. If you are interested you can look on for the complete itinerary.

The the 2d FAI Campionato Sudamericano de vuelo a vela started with 92 pilots in 3 classes, club, 15 m. and open . IN or during this competition the 57 National championchips from Argentina are flown in 2 classes for 54 competitors.  This all happens between January 16 and 28 2010 in Gonzales Chavez ,were the 2012 World comps will be flown. And…I would love to be there then !
I saw in Club class the name Mario Reynoso. Mario “got” our family-discus in Benalla to fly the WGC over there in 1987. Go- go Mario!
And go- go – go Damian , Javier and Horacio in 15m. class!!!!!
More news about these comps in the next blog! One day has been flown now!

And then this. Did you survive the ” blue Monday” on the 18th!?  It seems that the 3d Monday in January is the most “depri-day” in the year, according to a British psychologist !! Why? Because it seems that “we” suffer from the dark winter, the failure of our resolutions made for the new year and the lack of money after the expensive December month.
I never knew this, or felt it, still did not feel it this year either, but do find that the scientists are correct when they say that the “seasonal affective disorder ” or easier said, winterdepression effects you. So …do not worry, as ….the days are getting longer again on this site of the world and we will see more sun and daylight soon! We HAD blue skies and SUN already over the last 2 days! Jippie! Maybe I have  suffered from this blue monday….

Cheers Ritz

Australian Nationals! Overseas flying nearly over but still good!

Alphen aan den Rijn            Sunday January 17 2010

First of all a reaction on some comments  I received a few days ago ; I wrote somewhere in December that a challenge for Klaus Ohlman might be a 3000 km flight! And….of course he FLEW a 3000 km flight already in 2003!
Very CORRECT! Sorry about that.
THANK YOU , for reading with me and correcting where necessary!

Then the Nationals in Australia. Last Friday was the last flying day and the pilots in standard class went for a 2.30 h AAT .
Michael Durant won nearly all of the 8 days except for the first and is the well deserved winner in this class. [7635 points]Runner up is, WGC 3d place winner in Italy, Peter Temple and Peter Trotter is 3d!
Nine flying days in 15 m. class and a 3 hour AAT with John Buchanan winning the last day AND the competition, before Lisa ,Terry and Helge.
I know John since 1984 when we met him in Rieti during the pre-worlds and he was and is a very good pilot.
An AAT in 2.30 was there for the 18 m. pilots and winner of the 8th day was Bruce Taylor who was with that also the new 18 m. champion! Runner up was Lars, who really did well. He never flew WGC’s as Bruce did but is an excellent pilot! Sorry to see Tony drop a few places overall, he ended up 5th. after a bad day 7!
In open class a 3 hour AAT gave as winner  on this last day 8 my friend Gerrit and as expected glorious overall winner David Jansen. He is absolutely ready for Szeged!
Good to see Gerrit on place 2 as runner up and Finnish pilot Eric ended up as 3d. Great effort! For sure Antti had a great time as well.
All in all I heard it was a great competition and what about that speed!!

The African season started VERY good ,had a bit of a dip and is good again now for some places!  Gariep Dam had a few very good days in January  again and several pilots flew nice distances , both my friends Klaus and Hans used it to fly  an  815 and 760 km. task, last Friday. Hans flew in January 8 flights between 697 km. and 914 km.
In Australia they  flew last Friday flights up to 926 km. ,in Benalla 671 and Narromine 715 km.
Yesterday Corowa still had a [just] 1000.29 km flight in the duo discus! And Kiripotib a 948 km. flight. Both in Australia and Namibie they had to avoid thunderstorms and they had to make speed as the days are getting shorter.
Pepe had a very interesting flight as he writes in his comment and as he claims not recommended for nervous people; he was blocked by a massive storm 300 km. north of Corowa. You cann read it on yesterdays OLC [44] and he even made 5 pictures which you can see at the Corowa site []
And…….Corowa is cleaning their containers already for the way back half of February, so not long and the “over-seas” season is over and I guess to full satisfaction of [nearly ]ALL pilots.

Good to see 2 real kilometer-eaters  back in Tocumwal both flying LS 4; Jan and Stefan. Not to forget that Terry Ryan is one as well and Jari is still there too and flew a 700 and 600 km. flight. 
During his 1029 km flight in JJ his LS 6 , to Ungary and Sayers Lake,  Jari was at 16.45 still 400 km away from “home” at 100 km West from “the middle of nowhere Ivanhoe” , he found after the 2d TP however 9m/s to climb to 12.000 ft.. A final glide of 110 km. brought him home at 20.20. Excellent flight!

The disaster after the earth quake in Haiti   is felt by everybody in the whole world! Though the help started [too] late , they still found/find survivors. There might be 200.000 people dead! Just unbelievable and too sad for words.
Action ALL over the world to help. Even the tennisplayers in Melbourne ready for their first games tomorrow , played for Haiti and straight  after this game 200.000 dollar was on the money teller . All toppers [ Federer, Clijsters, Nadal, Djokovic ,Roddick and Serena Williams] gave a , sometimes hilaric tennis show and all spectators payed to see them, but the money went to Haiti.
Holland lost a few parents , who travelled to Haiti to collect their adoption child!!!!Parents and children died on what should have been their finest moment. How cruel!


Still very hot weather in Australia !Still very cold in Europe!

Alphen aan den Rijn      Wednesday January 13

While people in colourful clothes are skating  on the canal in front of my house, I only walk on boots with heavy profile to do my shopping and go by train to Amsterdam.
In the UK already 26 people died  in one of the coldest and snow-rich winters and about 100 drivers got finally help at the A 20 highway in Germany after having been trapped for hours!!!! Lyon airport closed for all traffic having the care of finding a bed for hundreds of people . Poland lost 120 people till now! Terrible!It IS winter in Europe !Even the beach in Spain is WHITE !!!
On the other site of the world , yes down under , some problems as well, as I heard that some people on Monday morning were waiting in vain for the train, like we do here . No no , no frozen points over there ,but MELTED!!!! Only in Melbourne 70 people were brought to hospital for dehydration , fainting and  burns!!!! One extreme to the other!

Last Sunday after I finished the blog,  2 more 1000 km flights were put on the OLC , one from Narromine,  by Czech top pilot Tomas Suchanek and one from Temora by Ian de Ferranti.
998 km.was flown from Corowa in a discus 2T ….what can you say!
Unfortunately one of the pilots flying the Nationals in Waikirie damaged his glider badly that day , no way he could continue and….lucky he was not injured!
It is good to see another top pilot, now from Germany, Werner Meuser, flying in Australia this time in Tocumwal with the club, in the glider XX [discus] from Ingo Renner. Good to see several top pilots in Australia!
And…the Danish pilots are flying Danish record after record! Great use of the day as I heard the weather is still good, but with a later start. So 300 and 500 speed records are great for such days!

The guests in Corowa from the Victorian Gliding Club, flying there for a week, had an awesome first day! Roger Druce sold his Janus double seater to Tocumwal and he flew a duo discus last Sunday with the comment;”What a great flight” ….897 km with a speed of 114.4 km/h.!!! He flew many flights in the past , also with Pepe , specially the Horsham week and though he has a” handicap “, he is a great pilot and a “bonzer bloke”! Well done Rodger!

The Australian Nationals  lost 2 more  days one with 43 dgr. a 50 knot wind and the expectation of thunderstorms, but no worries , after the really speedy tasks and the very hot weather on the ground,  it is good to have a day of leisure.
I was impressed with the comment of David Pietsch after the accident , where a pilot flew through the trees breaking both wings of his glider etc.., claiming very bravely,  ” he was distracted , became overloaded and ran out of options.”
  I have n’t seen David for ages but I know he is a very knowledgable pilot . As I told you the pilot was unharmed but the comment might help you, to think about this as well as  this was the 5th landing accident at consecutive competitions. He talked about hypoxia and the fact that on a hot day the density altitude means, you need oxygen at lower levels and that this effect persists even at lower levels! Keep it in mind, to fly safe! [source; Mandy Wilson author of the comps news]
 Normally I do not write too much about accidents, as tou know, but I thought this might help ALL pilots.
Talking about the OZ Nationals; it really is thrilling over there, with one day to go!!
With 6 out of 9 days in standard class Michael Durant is still number one with WGC pilot Peter Temple as runner up.
In 15 m. class John Buchanan won a lot of points when he flew a 3 hour AAT yesterday in exact 3 hours covering 326 km with a speed of 108 km/h. Concurrent Helge had 140 points less ,Lisa 200 and Terry 240!!!
In 18 m. class Lars lost a few points and his first place ,to Bruce who took over spot 1 overall, with still ONLY 19 points!!!
 Impressed with the great flying of friend Tony! Was a few times 2d and now 3d overall!!!!
In open class a big “fight” between Finnish pilot Eric Heinonen , number 1 from day 1 on , but NOW number 2 behind David Jansen, who flew that great 1000 km in Queensland and is “hot” this year and ….who is ahead with ONE point now,  with one day to go!!Another good friend Gerrit,  is 3d and maybe this was his last competition in  the Nimbus 4T  as he and Pam have an Antares on order!

Talking about Antares, I was wondering last if Bruce Cooper  flying in the Antares , was the Bruce I know and….yes he is! Just got a mail from him. He is on his way from Lago Nahuel in Argentina to Omara in NZ now,  but will share with us some news about his great flights in the Antares and Nimbus 4DM. So wait and see! What a great life by the way!
On December 1 he flew in the wave  1.471 km. in a Nimbus 4 DM.
On December 28 he flew same place , same glider; 1.654 km.
On January 1 he flew, same place ,  different glider the Antares this time, a  1.217 km flight on January 8 another Antares flight with 1.469 km on the clock. Impressive! In total he made 20 flights in Argentina. Looking forward to his stories!

From Tocumwal I received  the first weekly  Southern Riverina Gliding Club News  by e mail from Kim. Good initiative! Interesting to see and read that good old Ingo flew his Kookaburra last Sunday from Toc to Urana via Jerilderie back home; 4 hours and 50 minutes over 235 km with a height of  12.500 ft,, making this flight the longest ever in the Kookaburra! On Monday Dundee was the happy chappie, as he was invited to come with Ingo in the Kookaburra flying up and down to Deni[liquin] and reaching a cloud base of 13.500 ft. 
While Ingo flew Kookaburra , top pilot Werner Meuser,  who I met at several EGC and WGC ‘ s in the world, flew the discus XX from Ingo and Judy and “made” in 6 days 3800 km.
Dundees good friend from Germany , Wolly, has arrived on the right time in Tocumwal to fly the ASW 15. Good to see that both the club and commercial centre in Tocumwal are busy enough! And fantastic to see young Jake , still 14, practising in the powerplane, he will be a great pilot in the future! Was already hanging around at the field when he was 4 years old!!!
 And today was the check flight from the famous ASW 17 from Dick Butler bought by my ex George. Mike Burns and Ingo did a lot of work to get the OZ paperwork done!

That’s it cu you on Sunday January 17!
Thanks Peter for your nice comment on your flight in the vintage plane. Great to hear that the Bendigo Gliding Club is going so well. Kilometer eater Terry Bellair flies there as well!
Cheers Ritz

More Grand Prix! More Nationals!Super weather in Australia !

Alphen aan den Rijn       Sunday   January 10

Gosh, this winter is really getting annoying  for everybody who suffers from it here in Europe. The UK has the worst snow since 30 years and all traffic by car , train bus or plane gives difficulties, from delay till “not-going-at-all”! Heathrow was closed on Wednesday evening and Thursday morning.
 Here around Amsterdam we had on Wednesday evening 180 km of traffic-jam ONLY around Amsterdam. A trip from normally ONE hour took SEVEN hours now. Worse of course are all the people killed in avalanches and car accidents and even more sad the great amount of homeless and elderly people just dying! from the cold. It is “horror” all over [parts of ]Europe!
Today we suffer ” horizontal ” snowstorms with wind up to 7 BFT at the coast  and a ” feeling-temperature ” of minus 15 [windchill factor]!! We are not really used to these extremes!
Still fun enough however for the marathon skaters and tour-skaters; there is a run on the “set tasks “on lakes and frozen canals and thousands of Dutchies are skating today and yesterday, whatever weather, not important for them!

Pilots in Africa, Australia and South America  do not have problems with cold or snow. Some however SUFFER ….from the heat! 43 dgr. again!
Good old Klaus Ohlman flew a nearly 2000 km flight from Chapelco in Argentina and after so many long flights you would think this is all normal for him, but no this one was a special one again in the Nimbus 4DM, as he claims;” A super thrilling flight most in blue, with a speed of 139 km/h.” More great flights in Argentina last couple of days! As well as in the other soaring “heavens”!
I was most impressed with Ib from Denmark. While flying in the past in Tocumwal , he was not so much “in” for long distance flights but much more for new records. Yesterday he flew a great set triangle over 1000 km from Corowa, which is a new Danish record [3] with 122 km/h in the ASG 29. Ole , always with him, flew a great 1000 km flight as well. Yesterday was a SUPER day again for Corowa,  so they arrived on the right time ! But….in the end Joergen flew the Danish record , but Ib still has 2 and…maybe another day to improve!!!
15 x 1000km flights from Corowa  that just feels good , I remember how good and as owner it really makes you happy as well, as well as you feel sad , when the weather is not too good!!!!And ….it IS good for the statistics as well and ……today the briefing at Corowa is half an hour earlier, [at 9 AM] so what can we expect today!!
VERY impressive flight from another Sportavia guest in the past; Peter Raphael , a real vintage-glider-fan flew a set 200 km task [340 in total with a speed of 57.41 km/h] with a few more kilometers added,  in his Maupin Woodstock 11.9. Great effort and flown from Raywood [West to Tocumwal and Corowa].
Another very nice flight was from Arney Hartley in his ASW 20 from Narromine. Arney, husband from well-known Beryll, runs a shop at the airport and has not too much time to fly. He must have looked at the sky, must have thought, wow with this weather you have to fly, hopped in the glider  rather late , just before 3 PM , with no ideas and no water and flew 524 km. in just over 5 hours! Another great effort and great fun!
If Corowa has great weather Tocumwal has the same, so Terry flew a good 976 km flight in the ASH 26 and Jari must have had SUPER fun in his LS 6, but his [Zander] logger is built in and difficult to quickly read. You really have to go to the glider with a laptop to download. BUT….he flew an FAI triangle, 1029 km. SUPER EFFORT!!! Cloud base was 12.000 ft. and temperature 40 dgr. in Tocumwal.

Day 5 in Chile was SUPER for Sebastian and a bit less for Super Mario, who won in Holland , years ago, the very first JWGC. Great young pilot! But as always we have good ,better , best and Sebastian belongs in the category “best”. On day 5 he won and added 10 points to his total, so being on top with 41 points. Mario unfortunately outlanded maybe being to “eager”.
Day 6  made Mario for sure more careful and he got 2 points while Sebastian received 8. After 7 days Sebastian had 59 points, while Carlos from Chile was 2d [51] and good old Uli Schwenk slowly reached 3d place [40] together with Thomas Gostner from Italy.If I remember well Uli won the GP before! Mario is 5th now.
On day 8 the last day of this GRAND PRIX FINAL , the definite places were set by the best pilots from this group of very best pilots in the world at this time over a task of 171 km..Mario fought back with a 2d place on day 8 and Tilo was 3d but Sebastian was ONE again.
Final result of the GRAND PRIX FINAL;
GREAT winner Sebastian Kawa[Poland], who loved flying the Andes and was sad to leave.
Runner up Carlos Rocca [Chile] who was happy “using his experience ” to fly this 3d competition of the GP so well and put Chile on the map. He is ready now to go to Argentina to fly there next week the South American Championships.
Super Mario Kiesling[Germany] deserves the 3d place SO much. What a great pilot he is! He just got one more point to beat his mate Uli.

The South African Nationals  are over and 7 out of 12 days were flyable but still with difficult weather. Dad Dick Bradley passed his son Douglas on the last day again in 15 m. class , as he won [1000 points] and Douglas outlanded.[405 points]
 Changes also in the open class where Oscar won,  but Laurens lost his runner up place to Herbert Martin, organizer from the Luesse WGC. All classes had an AAT in 2.30 and the difference in points on the last day  between Oscar and Laurens was 248 points, making Laurens 3d overall.

The Australian Nationals will have today 43 dgr. as I heard and it is VERY dry there. And what happened!? With one cancelled day the pilots flew 5 days now and WHAT days! In standard class Peter Temple won the last 2 days with speed of 148 km/h . over 468 km and today 165 km/h over 416 km. WOW what speed!!!!
In 15 m. where the pilots flew 6 days , speed was  159 km/h. over 492 km. the best speed today.
In 18 m. class Lars Zehnder flew today 168 km/h. over 471 km.
In open class good friend Gerrit Kurstjens won today with 161km/h.  over 556 km.
Don’t forget this is happening during the National Competition!!!
Unhandicapped Bruce Taylor flew yesterday  170 km/h. and Lars today 177 km/h.!!!!!Cloud base was even higher up to 14.000 ft. and high clouds were everywhere, I hear it looked spectecular.
The comps are till January 14, so more to expect! I am very pleased Antti has during his OZ visit this super weather, high , dry and fast!

The January 2010 Gliding International is out   with again, some very interesting items, as airbags for sailplanes, new world distance record, hide-away propellers for sailplanes and a ” Pagonia-gliderpilots dream “. As personality  you will meet -Fred Weinholz- , you are updated with the progress made by Bob Ward in building his own tug, the Finnish PIK 27 TUG KIT  , the European Glider pilot licensing [ anxious to find out what will happen there and if they get all European noses in one direction!] and Ritz, Reports on Her Scene, the new title John gave to my blog!

Great to see the awesome enthusiasm of pilots with this SUPER weather!As said it even makes me feel happy!!!
Last but not least; Kim Clijsters won in Brisbane from Justin Henin, both from Belgium, both back from retirement. We are talking tennis now!  Kim donated her 25.000 Euro she just won, to the Brisbane Children Hospital, she visited the week before!
Cu next week, cheers Ritz

Grand Prix! Nationals !

Alphen aan den Rijn    January 6 2010

Great gliding the last couple of days for all  “overseas” pilots and local pilots.  Terry Bellair, who loves distance flying,  flew  a 650 and 761 km flight from Raywood in Victoria in Australia. Best flights in Corowa were all OVER 700 km and Tocumwal had with Terry Ryan also a 742 km flight and.. …..Jari [LS6] has arrived a REAL kilometer -eater !
Pokweni and Bitterwasser had over 700 as well. Great to see Didier is flying there now!
And…luckily the good weather returned to Gariep Dam yesterday , with some very nice flights, a few over 1000 and several over 900 km.

After 4 days of flying in the  3d World Sailplane Grand Prix  in Chile the “fight”  is between Sebastian  from Poland [31 points] and Mario from Germany [33 points]. But a lot can still happen, as there are a few days to go with , as they expect good weather  and Vidal [26], Thomas [25] and Uli [24] also still have a chance . The Opening Ceremony was yesterday as well, yes in the middle of the comps! You can read all the news on

The South African National Gliding Championships  suffer a bit from the weather and some pilots had to land in real muddy fields! Out of 10 days they flew , at this stage 6 , with in open class both Goudriaans on top in JS1 !!In 5 m. Douglas passed his dad with 37 points!

The 48th Australian Multi Class National  Championships have started in Waikirie. In standard class 20 pilots “fight” for the first prize.
In 15 meter, 15 pilots and it is great to see that Helge from Germany won the first day. He was the number 3 during the last EGC in standard class  , just loosing from the 2 Dutch boys. This time , I guess , Terry , Lisa and John will be his opponents.
In 18 m . 8 participants and in open class  9 . In  open class a Finnish pilot Eric Heinonen is number 1 on day 1 and Antti Lehto ,  a top pilot from Finland and a real nice guy, is in Waikirie as well. Great!!!! He flew many 1000 km flights and several EGC and WGC ‘s and is on top of that a great musician, playing in a band with his sons and those sons are even better in music!
Yesterday the day was cancelled for 3 classes and 15 m. was allowed to go  with Helge feeling the pressure of the Aussies ,m so he is 4 after 2 days with Terry, Lisa and John in front of him. I know Lisa is a great pilot but it is good to see she is doing so well!

A sad Sunday for the family of a 76 year old, as they say,  very experienced female pilot  crashing the Cessna she was flying, killing her and her 74 year old male passenger in Belgium. More luck for the passengers from an Air Berlin flight from Dortmund to the Grand Canarian Isles. The Boeing 737 was stopped by the pilot during start , when he saw that one of the instruments was not working. With the speed , the falling snow and snow on the runway the plane slipped off to the side of the runway. All 165 passengers and the crew from 6, left the plane with no harm done to them.

It is minus 12 in the night here and we are back to a white country but also with sunny conditions. The “11- towns- trip- on -ice -fever ” is getting higher but natural ice is still not strong enough due to the snow.
Cu with the results of the Grand Prix and the Nationals and other news next Sunday


2010!History of 1000 km!Waikirie !Chile GP ! Nationals SA !

Alphen aan den Rijn     Sunday  January 3

Smoothly 2009 changed here into 2010  and I hope that happened with you as well. The end of the year is good for statistics in all different ways. We had the “TOP 2000 ” of all times here on the radio with Bohemian Rhapsody from Queen on number 1.
Time for some gliding statistics as well as my OZ friend has send me some again. THANKS!
As you know and  that is no secret ,I have been always interested in 1000 km. flights and I still am.
Did you know that the first 1000 km. flight ever , was flown in the USA in 1964 on July 31 in a Sizu 1A? [1.041 km] and that it took nearly 12 years to have 15 pilots flying 1000 km flights.
Now after 45 years Alexander Mueller flies all by himself within ONE month 15 x 1000 km.  flights in Namibia. It shows the remarkable improvement in performance over the years. In Kiripotib one in 3 flights is a 1000 km .
Here are the pilots 2 till 15 who flew in 12 years  1000 km. and specially the year 1972 seems to have been an awesome soaring year with 1000 km flights in Germany, the USA [3] and New Zealand.

2.  H.W Grosse on April 6 1970 in an ASW 12 in Germany[1.032 km]
3.  Ben Greene on July 26 1970 in an ASW 12 in the USA [1.153 km]
4.  Wally Scott on July 26 1970 in an ASW 12 in the USA [1.153 km]
5.  Klaus Tech on April 265 1972 in an LS 1 in Germany [1.051 km]
6.  Wally Scott 1 on August 18 1972 in an ASW 12 in the USA [1.021 km]
7.  Sholto Georgeson on September 7 1972 in A Kestrel 19 in New Zealand 1.002 km]
8.  Jim Smiley on October 3 1972 in a Libelle in the USA [1.056 km]
9.  Karl Striedeck on October 7 1972 in an ASW 15 in the USA [1.025 km]
10.William Holbrook on May 5  1973 in a Libelle in the USA [1.260 km]
11.Sigi Baumgartl on April 16 1974 in an ASW 17 in Germany [1.020]
12.Klaas Goudriaan on January 20  1975 in an ASW 17 in South Africa [1.008 km]
13.Malcolm Jinks on February 12 in 1976 in a Nimbus 2 in Australia [1.015 km]
14.Roy Mc Master on March 17 1976 in a Cirrus in the USA [1.298 km]
15.Volker Kreussler on April 28 1976 in a Kestrel 19 in the USA [1.051 km]

Talking about 1000 km. flights, my friend Gerrit  flew from Temora, a great and nice soaring centre NE from Tocumwal and Corowa ,[in my opinion a bit under-estimated, ] to Waikirie up West and adding a few km. around Waikirie, he had his “so -maniest”  1000 km in his pocket . In Waikirie Ingo Renner is at the moment helping out with a training course for cross country pilots. It seems to work as on December 30 Tobias Geiger made a great flight in the LS 4; 969 km !!!!
After this week the Australian Nationals will be flown in Waikirie as well, so more pilots will fly in or drive in.

2009 is “gone” ,2010 is here  and looking at the statistics from soaring around this period in mainly Africa /Namibie and Australia you get the next results, made on December 31. Thanks Again!
31-12-2009            2007           2008           2009             2010          %

Bitterwasser         402,589      584,385       481,335         396,987       82%
Gariep Dam          365,387       392,946       424,674         146,665       35%
Pokweni                219,286       276,608       235,927         219,666       93%
Kiripotib                       0                   0              61,005        113,215      186%
Corowa                  324,295       479,208       496,302        237,527        48%
Tocumwal                19,013         44,218          48,486          31,015        64%
Question? Is Bitterwasser on its way to the best ever season? And Gariep Dam the worst since 2005? Pokweni the best ever? And is Kiripotib growing not double but triple? And is Corowa after a moderate beginning of the season busy with a race to recover lost ground , with 4 x1000 km. flights by Lubor in an ASG 29 18E in ONE week? Has Tocumwal more guests this year ? It looks like they have!
A few more weeks and we will excatly know how the season was!

More statistics! About 1000 km. flights on the OLC till December 31 2009!
Bitterwasser           546           105     19%    727 [Av km.]
Gariep Dam             280               5       2%     524
Pokweni                   292              61     21%     752
Kiripotib                   134              44     33%     845
Corowa                     424               17     4%       560
Tocumwal                   83                0     0%        374
                                 1759            232      13%      652
Conclusion at this stage; Bitterwasser and Pokweni; 1 of 5 flights is a 1000
Gariep Dam 1 on 50——Kiripotib 1 on 3——Corowa 1 on 20.
Tocumwal is added for sentimental reasons! And….to be honest, some real nice flights have been made from Toc. this season. What about Terry’s flight? 903 km. in an ASH 26E !!!

The last 2 days of 2009 were practise days for the 3d GRAND PRIX FINAL in Chile ! 15 Toppilots from 8 different countries are ready to go for it till January 9 ! Tilo Holighaus, yes from Shempp Hirth, is one of them and flew on the first day of 2010 ,as he says, a very impressive flight on a New Years Day.  He flew ” over a colourfull country without people , empty as empty can be ,so bizar” . The Vidals are flying as well and winning the last Nationals in Chile I guess they will do well, but…there are some real toppers . What about Wolfgang Janowitsch, Sebastian Kawa who flew the Nationals there as well, Graham Parker, Uli Schwenk and Mario Kiessling!!! Wow!
First day has been flown and Mario got the 10 points!

In South Africa the Nationals will be flown till January 8  in Welkom Freestate in 3 classes , club, 15 m and open/18 m. It is nice to see that the Bradley family is  flying in 2 classes with dad Dick, daughter Jennifer and son Douglas. In open /18m class  5  JS 1’s are flying and Attie himself flies as well and of course the brothers Goudriaan, Oscar and older brother Laurens. Today there will be a briefing again after 2 cancelled days and 4 days of flying.

Bad weather in the SE part of Australia  in NSW where flooding is heavy after steady rainfall. While in the West , N. of Perth big fires are scaring the people!!
Here in Holland we have in some parts 5 to 10 cm . snow again , while nothing has fallen here [lucky we!] but, it is cold with -12 tonight and under 0 during the day.

Never forgotten! Dennis died on Sunday January 3 1988 !
Cu on Wednesday
Cheers Ritz