Back to normal!

Alphen aan den Rijn    Sunday May 30 2010

Back to the normal analyses and the sharing of newsy news with you.

The 32 International Gliding competition in Hockenheim  has had a few days of flying already. While Austria suffers from the very bad rain now , our German neighbours do fly in several comps. The Jena Cup is “on “at the moment as well , with 48 pilots in 2 classes.
Hockenheim had 85 guests flying in 4 classes; club, standard, 15 m. and 18 m. class.
In 18 m. class Holger Back is one of the competitors. I remember that he flew his first 1000 km . in Tocumwal after being at  the Worlds in 87 in Benalla as a sport soldier. He was 2d overall during this competition.
Yesterday was their last day. They flew  5 out of   8 days.See for results

More comps this time in Italy flown from  a place I do not even know!!! I do know however quite a lot of the 25 pilots flying in Thiene, their “Campionato Italiano”,  for 15 m. class and standard class. They started their competition today, but…as it was raining, no task was set. “Giornato pessima…..”. Will keep an eye on them as they fly till June 6 2010.

According to IATA the ASH-CLOUD from Iceland  is guilty for a loss of 2.4 % off all commercial flights in April in respect to April last year. We still have to see and wait how most of the companies will survive this extra hit in the face, as most of them had difficulties already.

Not too much ASH- troubles for soaring.  Glider pilots  continue their good flying, last week specially in Germany ,a 614 km. FAI triangle in a Discus is for sure not bad!!! Also a polygon with 4 points from 801 km. in a duo discus is remarkable.
And an 806 polygon with 4 TP’s from Elverum in Norway in a Nimbus 4 DM is not bad either.
Yesterday 1878 pilots entered their flight on the OLC and today it is raining cat’s and dog’s here but in Norway and Finland they enjoy nice flights. In Elverum Starmoen they fly the Norwegian Nationals. I see friend Robert is flying these comps as well. Today was day 1 of these comps. Birger Bulukin is flying as well, have n’t seen him for ages, he flew WGC’s for Norway in the past!!!!

In the USA the hang-glider pilots  were busy with a competition called the 2010 Texas Single Surface Shootout. The word “shootout “, triggered me to have a look as in the past we had “our own Outback Shootout “in Tocumwal. Davis Straub has been in Tocumwal  and…he is the great ” in depth “editor of the Hang-gliding -online- news. A shoot out is a shootout, so why not!
By the way, Davis won the comps ending yesterday.

The disaster on May 12   with the A 33o from Afriqiyah Airways is not a result of an attack or a technical failure, neither a fire or an explosion,  is the first conclusion after the first analyses made by Libyan investigators. 103 People , including 70 Dutch were killed . One 9 year old Dutch boy survived ; a miracle when you see what was left of this brand new plane.

That’s it for now, had a busy weekend so a bit of rest now
cheers Ritz

May is cold, but there was enough soaring!

Alphen aan den Rijn       May 26 2010

Though we had wonderful weather  the last couple of days, May will go in the books as the coldest month ever here. The normal average temperature is 12.7 dgr. but now they only measured 8!!!!!
The last couple of days @Twente were nice warm, but we have had during the Nationals all kinds of weather, storm, rain, polair air, tropical air in the end, hail , fog and sun.

The last day of the Nationals here turned out much better then expected. Jokes were made that instead of the 300 km pilots should fly 600. It looked like 600 km. weather , but in the evening we heard that it looked better then it was. For sure you have seen the great pictures on the site;  under multi-media.Fabulous pictures from finishes on the last day , but also from people, launches, ropes…etc . Just have a look.
On the last page of my stories you will see the winners in the 3 classes and prizes given to others.

The first picture on top shows  the winners of the club class. About the young man on the right Frank Hiemstra is a story to tell. He landed out in the beginning of the comps and was very disapointed. He pulled himself together and decided to just go for it , fly free and happy, no tactics just flying. I told him such a thing happened in the past with the late world champion Kees Musters. He still became 4 in Benalla in 1987,  after being at 24 or so.
In this club class only 8 pilots, but still….Frank won 4 days and got the cup for third place.
Hope he will be world champion one day too.

I was impressed by the JS1.   A great looking “bird” with  the best pilot [at the moment] in Holland flying it. Ronald Termaat also the importer  for Middle  Europe, flew well but in open class the 2 Nimbus 4T pilots [ Peter Batenburg from that area and Mark Wering flying at Lasham in the UK ] flew as a team, to get away with their handicap and they succeeded, becoming 1 and 3.
In the combi class well-known pilot Steven Raimond won. Peter and Steven and Ronald will all fly the worlds this summer.In between life/soaring continues in Europe and now I should catch sight on soaring in general again. Hope you liked the short impressions from the Dutch Nationals.

The Polish Nationals really have fallen into heaps of water.It is so bad in Poland that 15 people died and flooding is continuing. They flew between May 15 and 23  their open and club class Nationals in Leszno, and as far as I can see and heard, they had NO day of flying. 97 Pilots in 2 classes waiting…every organizers worst nightmare.

For sure you kept an eye as well on the OLC. I noticed pilots  “found “Morocco again. From Quarzazate Bernd Dolman flew in the ASH 25EB 28,  a yo-yo flight from 1209 km . Italy and Switzerland had 1000’s too and I was pleased to see that Giorgio added another 2 to his list. Yesterday some parts of Europe enjoyed great soaring weather. In Germany , Reinhard Schramme [Ventus 2CT 18m] flew a nice up and down flight from 822 km. And the best flight yesterday was also in Germany with 939 km. in a Discus from Köningsfdorf.
I was most impressed with the FAI triangle flown in an LS1 454 km from Wesel.
In Holland the nice weather continued with a nice flight from one of the competitors of the Nationals, Mark who flew with his Nimbus 4 d from our National Gliding Center a good 681 km flight to the East far into Germany, even mentioning snow on the Hartz mountains, which proves once again how cold it was.

The accident with the A330 in Tripoli, during my stay in Twente, was too sad for words.70 People from Holland died and only one 9 year old boy also from Holland survived!He is doing well, but lost his mum, dad and 11 year old brother.

More news on Sunday
Hope to CU then

Dutch Nationals 2010 finished.

Room at military compound   23-05-2010

Tonight we are going to party, though I might be too tired!

The winners are known;
Peter Batenburg in open class, Steven Raimond in combi and Rene de Dreu in club class.
Steven was European champion in 2005 in Finland and Rene is the current European champion in club class.

It has been a great time here. The last days were pretty heavy with on Friday 500 km for 2 classes, on Saturday a low cloud base but still finishers and today we finished with fabulous weather, though some say it looked better then it was.

 All results are on   www.nkzweefvliegen  live-scoring.

See you on Wednesday from Alphen

Last day in Holland @CAE NLS Dutch Nationals!

From the tower!

Today the last day of the Dutch Nationals will be flown. Yesterday was a very difficult day. The cloud base was between 500 and 700 m and all pilots had to depart pretty low with blue skies and high cirrus. Some out landed straight away  and some managed to reach the middle of Holland for lift up to 1100 m. Then it was struggling again , back to 600 m or in a field.  The day before pilots had long distances over 500 km. and that day was difficult as well.

Yesterday the poor pilots had to fly very short distances between 159 km and 220 and in club class only 2 came back , father and son Hiemstra. It took them over 3 and over 4 hours to make it back.

In the combi class pair- flying helped Steven [1R] and Mark [K1] to come back home. 3 Other pilots made it home as well. In open class another team , flying together , Peter [4T] and Mark[V1] flew strong in their open class gliders to beat the 18 m  even with their handicap.A total of 10 came back from this class.

 We are waiting for the tasks for today; day 7 in  open and combi and day 8 for club class . See for scores and totals either live scoring at or [NK Dutch Nationals]

From Wednesday onwards we go back to the normal 2 times-a -week-blogs!

Cheers Ritz

Another day in Holland!

Hotelroom @Twente

Another perfect day in Holland! In combi class and open/18m class the pilots had to go for over 500 km tasks. Even club had to fly over 400. We have 6 days now for club and 5 for the rest.

Long flights look for and  and find there the tasks and results from the day and the overall from the  days and do not forget to look how look those poor pilots flew. Off to bed now!Sorry!

Cheers Ritz

Yesterday and today@ the Nationals in Holland!!

In my hotel room                 on Mai 20 2010     

Sorry it seems I am running out of time every day. Early wake up calls at 7 and just one glass of rose-wine in the bar before sleeping at 10 PM and that fills the day with hard work in between.

Sorry you had to miss out on soaringspot as well due to a problem with their server, but I heard from Andrej that this is solved.

 Yesterday we had an interesting day! We had between 10 and 15 knots gusting to 30 knots [cross]wind which was , certainly for the Pipers the limit for take off with gliders. After the club class was launched the open class had a go but in the middle even the Morane had problems. This plane could tow open class gliders , but they had to drop water, as 750 was acceptable for the tuggie and 800 not .Of course the glider pilot had the right to refuse. That happened so they cancelled the open class and who was in the air had to land , straight after the combi class was launched. In the end they could not go either as 2 two-seaters were too heavy as well for the Pipers and Cessna and the Morane could not tow them all. For safety reasons both classes were cancelled 

The club class pilots 8 of them , had a difficult but interesting day and though 2 had to make an outlanding [one 10 km in front of the field] they were satisfied as day 4 meant that it was a valid National competition in club class.

 Today was a great day with big tasks, no outlandings and good speed. Also tactical flying by 2 of the open class pilots, who went on track one hour after the first pilot starting in open class. There are only 3 open class gliders  and all 3 are handicapped .The rest is 18 m. Look for results , tasks and weather to or to www.nkzweefvliegen.nlwith also pictures under “multi-media”. The comps close on Sunday and we expect 3 more days to fly, so hopefully we end up with 8 days in club and 7 in both combi and open.

Have to go to bed now

Try to make time again tomorrow. Sorry that I have no time to analyze other comps and OLC flights.

 Cheers Ritz

Competition day 2 is a fact!

Tower @ Twente!  Monday      Mai 17 2010 

Out of 4 days we did fly 2 now. Yesterday was a super day and in retrospect, [easy] the task could have been longer! Only 2 out landings , a pity for both pilots! You can find the scores on live scoring on the NKsite and on
We saw great finishes and  many straight in’s as the wind was tough and the situation very bumpy. Today is overcast but ….it should be better in nthe afternoon, so we just wait and see. Part of Holland is not only covered by clouds but also by “THE ASH_CLOUD” yes the vulcano is still active and with our NW wind the ash is back here.

The Belgium friends finished their competition and on the last super-weather-day, their scores were really mixed up. See for the final results; soaringspot.

The French Nationals in Vinon sur Verdon from May 15 -22 with 58 compititors in 3 classes have had 2 days now and the level of pilots flying there is specially in open class very high. Kilian Walbrou , is on top after 2 days, winning day 1 [410 km] and being runner up on day 3 over 362 km.
 In standard class Christophe Cousseau won 2 days and several outlandings took place in this class during both days!
In 15 m Christophe Ruch is on top at this stage!

No flying day here, cancelled after the combi class was launched.Overdevelopment is the reason.

Cheers Ritz

Day 2 of the Dutch Nationals!

Tower @Twente!

The scoring yesterday is now on soaringspot and on
Not too many pilots arrived back home. In club class only one made it home with a finish. Ben  received 75 points for all the work he did. In 15 m. class top pilot Steven Raimond just missed out on ONE point to win. My former instructor Dick Teuling beat him.195 and 194 points!
In open class, Jeroen Verkuijl won the day earning 229 points with young junior pilot Tim Kuijpers runner up in the last Europeans, again runner up on this first flying day with 224 points.
It was struggling with 0.5 m lift on 530 m. , hanging in and having patience. But in the end in all 3 classes 11 pilots from 43 arrived “back home!”

Today day 3 but competition day 2 has been cancelled!!!! A pity Holland looks great everywhere but we are East and from the NE some rain is arriving. Tomorrow will be another day!

Hahnweide is finished  and nothing has changed since I wrote you last. Damm weather!
Eskilstuna had 2 days out of 7.
Belgium Nationals ; they fly today!!!! A 320 km task for club class, 425 km for 15 m.class and in open class 467 km. They arte in the good wesather we can see on our radar.
Off to the BBQ tonight with warm clothes on as it feels today like we are on the Pole.

CU tomorrow Ritz

Friday May 14 2010 @ Twente Airport

From the tower @ Twente Airport    Blog;300!!!!!!

As you know the first competition day here was cancelled  yesterday but for today tasks have been set, though not everybody believes in it. For tasks look at
It was drizzling this morning, but slowly it gets better and….we can see cumulis clouds!Different comps are struggling from this bad weather but the strong “High “is on its way to us from the Atlantic Ocean. If it keeps this speed we might have to wait one more day , but then we should have a few good days for soaring.

Last night , in the town we “belong too now”  Enschede,  4 people were shot in a flat building and yesterday the 10th anniversary was remembered from the big disaster when part of the town blew up when a depot for fireworks exploded.But still, TV and radio arrive here for live news on the hopefully first day of these Nationals.

We had our first competition day! In each class at least 1 pilot flew over 100 km. according to the rules.See you tomorrow! Ritz

Twente! and more……

Twente   May 13 2010  blog 299,one to hgo for the BIG 300

Sorry no news yesterday, too busy. Unfortunately the weather is like in most parts of Europe except for Scandinavia let’s say it nicely, “not good” ! Looking out of “my Tower” I see it is not raining today, but low clouds spoil the first day of the CAE NLS Dutch Nationals. Day 1 is cancelled!
Pilots who want to fly , to check the area or their instruments are free to fly today. A high pressure system is hanging around over the Atlantic Ocean but has not yet influence on the weather here. At least it is dry and we know the better weather is coming!

Very sad about the crash yesterday from an A330  at Tripoli airport in Libie. 61 Of the passengers who got killed are from Holland. When you see  what’s left over of the plane it is a real miracle that one young 10 year old Dutch boy survived!!!! Condoleances for all family , friends and other relatives from the people who got killed.

The Belgian Nationals have had 6 days now , 2 with flying and 4 without! Same weather! For the remaining days , I just read, their is not a lot of hope! So maybe and now I am pessimistic they will not have a valid competition .It could be that todays winners are the final winners;
Clubclass; Niel Deijgers 1 and Stijn van den Boer 2. He flew the last junior comps in Finland. Both fly Libelle.
15 meter; Bert Schmelzer 1 and between the numbers 2 and 5 the points are minimal;1054 -1037. Can imagine they REALLY want to fly atleast one more day.
Open class; Yves Jeanmotte 1

The Eskilstuna International Open  has had 2 days of flying after 2 cancelled days. Both well known pilots , Börje Ericson and Göran Ax top the  15 m. class . Börje won 2 days with tasks of 355 km and 186 km.

Hahnweide has cancelled their day as well!! Here is a short view on what happened.
In 15 m. the first 4 pilots are between 1009 and 1003 points after 3 days of flying and Michael Eisele , yes son of …is number ONE.
In 18 m. 4 days of flying with UK pilot Gary Stingemore from Husbos upfront.
Only 2 days in st.class with Dutch pilot Luc Stahlman on 2d place.
Open class had 3 days and a very good 3d place for Pierre and Arnaud. Steve Jones is on top.
20 m. class only 2 days and the ARCUS t on top with one of the pilots flying, former worldchampion Wolfgang Janowitsch.

Not more to say greetings from the CAE NLS Dutch Nationals @Twente, Ritz