More weather!Lasham 18 m and regionals ! German women!

Alphen aan den Rijn     Sunday August 29 2010

Did I say “a lot of rain” last week?????  I can tell you even more rain last Thursday when 50 mm  fell in the morning, the same amount as normally falls in the WHOLE month of August. That is not normal even not for Holland , a real once in 100- years-phenomena, with at some places 140 and even 160 mm in 24 hours!!!! Amsterdam and The Hague got into trouble and lot’s of people had to “broom” the water out of their houses. I don’t even mention cellars…they were just UNDER water. 
Car’s are not used here to drive through water up to their windows, so they needed help and the traffic jam was enormous ; over 300 km . But….the last 2 days were a bit better again.
Yesterday one of the Germans at Vinon, managed to fly in Mistral,  a ” just-over-1000 km-flight ” in a discus 2 T and good old Gilles flew 993 km, also in Vinon.

The 18 m. Nationals in the UK at Lasham  suffer from the same bad weather .They started on August 21 and will finish today. In the same period the Regionals have been flown. Last Tuesday the pilots were able to fly a very short task. The Regionals flew an 86.6 km task!!! and nobody made it home!! Good friend Hugh won the day in the duo discus “making ” 57.3 km.
The 18 m. specialists  had a distance of 150 km. and former World champion Andy Davis in the JS 1 , proved how good he still is   finishing as the only one of 44 competing pilots!!!!
Great to see as well that Mike was 2d and interesting to see that former World champion in open class Pete flies in the Antares finishing that day on spot 6. All pilots started AFTER 4 PM and Andy flew with a speed of 62 km/h . THAT was really struggling and going for it. Former World champion young Leigh Wells was 5th.
Quite a lot of well known pilots in the Regionals as well; Kim Tipple,Steve Jones, David Mac Carthy[ good on you David!!!] and Peter Sheard.
Today they still try to “make it a day”, waiting for the weather and postponing, postponing. They flew in 18 m. 3 days till now and at this time Mike Young is number 1 overall. Andy Davis is the runner up. I was very pleased to see Patrick on spot 8.
Kim and Steve will be 1 and 2 if nothing happens today in the Regionals.

While some of the ” senior ” pilots, fly in Lasham , the UK  juniors  try to get up in the sky in Bicester  in the same period of time. No need to say that their weather was pretty miserable as well. They , the 44 female and male pilots , flew on day 2 ,then 4 days were cancelled! That one day Andy Cockerell won 1000 points flying his LS4 over 207 km with a speed of 86 km/h. GREAT JOB!!!!
On Friday morning it was still raining but as I heard here from the meteo, it should improve to the W of Europe and later in the day here as well.
Today was scrubbed, so no Day 4, but still a winner in the mixed class after 3 days; Tom Smith, who also won the 3d day by finishing as the one and only pilot ,….receiving a TOTAL of 60 points!!!!!!, while he was 3d on day 2.

In Germany the women were still busy with their Nationals till yesterday. Atleast they do fly…a bit. Last Wednesday they flew in 15 m class 226 km and after 4 soarable days Meike Muller is 1 overall in LS 8, with more as 200 points ahead on number 2. Standard class had 226 km. as well and after 4 soaring-days there is REAL something going on in that class as both ” toppers” Kathrin  Wötzel and Swaantje Geyer , both flying LS 1 f are 1 and 2 with 3 points DIFFERENCE!!!!!!
Club class had 196 km to fly and Susanne Schödel is on spot 1 leaving other good pilots as Anja Kohlrausch and Katrin Senne behind her. Katrin lost nearly 200 points on day 3. At that time the 3 girls each won a day ,Katrin even 2 days.
Thursday was cancelled but even with the rain and strong wind 7 pilots would have been ready to straight away  fly a free distance to the East; just going with the wind.
Friday the weather was bad in the morning and did not look too promising for the rest of the day. They did not fly anymore so the winners are; Meike Müller,  Katrin Wötzel with 3 points on Swaantje and Susanne Schödel

And then this ;
—-A British Airways pilot on the flight from London  to Hongkong, pushed the wrong button  while flying over the Nord Sea . The passengers heard that the plane was about to make an emergency-landing on the sea . Just a wrong automatic message on the intercom. Some got the scare of their life,  but the crew aboard listened as well , found out straight away that this was wrong and  was very quick with their apologies. Hope they served a glass of bubbles!
—- Boeing has announced a delay in the first delivery of their DREAMLINER [ Boeing 787] to the Japanese company All Nippon Airways to 2011 instead of the end of this year.It was more or less expected as several “things”had a delay through the years.
—- For the first time in the Dutch history a WOMAN is the squadron leader of a squadron [334] of 7 planes. Susanne has since Friday the command in Eindhoven. Planes as 2 KDC 10’s,[transport and refuelling] 2 Fokker 50 transport planes a Gulfstream and in case of…also 2 Dorniers to help the coastguard will be under her command. Flights up and down to Afghanistan and for the Red Cross belong to her tasks. Susanne is a Lieutenant-colonel.

That’s it …see you next Wednesday most probably later in the day,
cheers Ritz

The weather!

Alphen aan den Rijn    Wednesday August 25 2010

Last Monday is a day to quickly forget! Not only here in Holland but I guess as well in Germany, the UK, Belgium and the N of France. Some places in Holland had 54 mm of rain in one morning while normally 60 mm falls over a month. Sadly some people were wounded and the famous tree in the garden of the Anne Frank house does not exist anymore; it blew over from a wind gust. Even the steel frame around it to keep this sick tree straight up , was blown away. More wind in a small German town where several houses were ”beheaded”  by a huricane. And…it is not even autumn yet! On Tuesday this weather moved up N to Scandinavia.
Still great soaring weather in Fuente where Pepe managed to fly 946 km flying the ridges on Sunday.
Rieti still has good weather as well with frequent- Rieti -flyer Alfredo Giretti topping the list last Monday with a 640 km flight.
2 Islands close to Spain, Majorca and Ibiza have huge fires!

Some of the young pilots from Germany move over the world as if life only exists out of soaring. The Musbach pre junior worlds are over and Alexander Spaeth and some friends are back in Vinon to fly MORE! But…the weather is not really flash there as well. Today was quite a nice day here but lot’s of rain again later in the evening.

And then this…..
—- a 3 kilo weighing piece of ice falling out of the sky  smashed the front window of a car. According to an astronomist from the University of Groningen this must be a piece [looking blue from and smelling after soap and detergent]  fallen out of the the toilet from an airplane!!! This seems to happen once or twice a year???
—- A private jet crashed in bad weather in Nepal. The plane was on its way back to Kathmandu,  after it was not able to land close to the Mount Everest due to bad weather. It never reached Kathmandu either. 4 People from the USA, 1 Japanese and UK passenger were under the victims.

Short news today as I have as guest,..sorry

CIM ; continued!Sail Amsterdam! Ladies fly Nationals in Germany!Pre- JWGC in Musbach !

Alphen aan den Rijn     Sunday August 22 2010

Indeed the CIM continued  and the first top days for Flavio in Club class changed into “just” coming home on day 3 , which was a blue thermal day and not coming home on day 4, resulting in a drop from number 1 overall to 4 on soaring day 4. Austrian pilot Rudolf Schneider in the PIK 20 E took over, just leading before Andrea Tomasi, who was during the JWGC in Rieti  in 2007 and the WGC in 2008,  the president of the FIVV.[the Federation] Maybe he still is!  I know anyway he is also a passionate glider pilot.
 In standard class Angelo Gritti tops the overall scores on day 4.
 Luca Di Marchi was on each day till now either 1 or 2 so he tops the list also after this AAT day in 15 m .
 Giorgio Galetto is in super condition/form and flew the AAT [3 hours] in 3.02 over 360.2 km and has a very comfortable lead of over 250 points.
Alberto Sironi won every day till now so he is an easy going number 1 in the 20 m class, also with  230 points on number 2.
In open class Alexander seems to like an AAT as he flew in 2.09 a distance of 358.8 km winning day 4 and leading with 5 points the overall scores till now! Tension enough in this class!!!
 All in all another great day!

Soaring day  5, was a tough one! In club class only 2 Italian pilots flew the task of 235 km. Rudolf only flew 192 km loosing his first overall-spot to Andrea Tomasi. In standard class 18 gliders found their way home in an AAT of 2.30. The Austrians did well but Italian pilot Angelo Gritti, who flies nearly every day in the year when possible in Rieti is 1 overall now.
15 m. class had an AAT of 3 hours and nearly all pilots finished  and Luca won and is now 400 points ahead on number 2 overall. Another glorious day for Giorgio and another WIN, [he should have flown so well in Szeged, ], he is also 400 points ahead on number  In 20 m. class our Russian friends won the day , but Alberto did not loose too much to keep spot 1 for himself and his co-pilot. In open class also an AAT but….Alexander did not fly!!! So the new leader- position is for Austrian pilot Josef Kammerhofen.
A lot happening there in Rieti!
On day 6 last Friday the day was cancelled!

Yesterday was the last flying day in Rieti. Alexander , I heard, has gone home as during a long landing on the day he won on Thursday , his brakes were n’t working and he had some  damage to his wingtips hitting the airport fence and… you know by now he loves his soaring in Namibia as well , so he brought his glider straight home for reparation to be ready for shipping his ASW 22 within 4 weeks. A pity for him.
The rest of the pilots had to fly an AAT over 2 hours to define who would be the winner in each of the 6 classes and wow it was a great day with fantastic speed. A bit devalued in points , but who cares.
Club class; best pilot yesterday was not Andrea Tomasi but Andrea Terenziani in ASW 24. He flew an AAT of 242 km with a speed of 121 km/h gaining 600 points while Andrea Tomasi “only “flew 213 km with a speed of 90 km/h gaining 349 points and this way the ASW 24 pilot won the CIM , with 27 points on Austrian pilot Rudolf Schneider and Andrea Tomasi was 3d.
Standard class; Super speed of 149.9 let’s say 150 km. over a distance of  302 km. by Austrian pilot Jan Jagiello with Heinz just a little bit less. Winner of the CIM 2010 Angelo Gritti.
15 m. class; Speed of 145 km/h over 297 km. by Giancarlo Grinza.  Not bad is it??? Winner in this class , as expected Luca De Marchi.
18 m.class
; Giorgio did NOT win the last day. Swiss pilot Werner Danz flew his AAT with a speed of 154 km./h over 334 km in 2 hours and 10 minutes!!! But Giorgio Galetto  won with a huge margin the CIM , nearly 400 points ahread of runner up Werner. Nothing wrong with AJ or Alvaro, he had to attend a meeting.
20 m class; another day-win for the Russian pilots, they finally got the hang of Rieti-mountain-flying.144 km/h over 308 km in the duo discus ,…..but  winner of the CIM this year is Alberto Sironi in the ARCUS t. Unfortunately he entered the forbidden area of Terni and got the virtual outlanding there after 250 km. but still had just enough points over [57] to win the cup.
open class; a pity Alexander had to leave but Josef Kammerhofer [Austria] won the last day with such nice speed 158.7 km./h over 318 km in exactly 2 hours that he is the deserved winner of this CIM edition 2010.
Amazing by the way, that so many pilots [9 in total!] entered forbidden areas on the last day, they should know better.
With the prize giving today and the party yesterday evening this must have been an unforgettable CIM again. Even not being there , made me enthusiastic and  curious about what was going on ”in the mecca for gliding”  and knowing so many of the competitors made it really interesting for me and I hope for you as well. Next year there will be another CIM.
For all news about soaring through the year in Rieti look at ;  or

The SAIL AMSTERDAM, the biggest Maritime event in the world  started last Thursday with the ”sail-in-parade”   of 50 tall HISTORIC ships and hundreds of other interesting ships. Future King Willem Alexander was on the first ship, the clipper Stad Amsterdam and ships from all over the world are sailing behind him. This event is every year in Amsterdam and attracks millions of people. Really a great event also when you are not so much interested in sailing ships, these are too gorgeous for words.Some are “real” and still in use , as is the trainings ship for the marine from Oman, others are replica’s as the Götheborg a replica from the Swedish East- Indie ship. Also great looking and impressive ships from Russia and Indonesia.
Lot’s of Dutch pleasure-ships have  accompanied the fleet, it was an organized “mess”! Great to see and loved by all!!! The event will be till Monday when all ships leave again, except for the clipper Stad Amsterdam, which stays after 2 years away, at home again.

Luckily yesterday was a nice summer day , but August has been not such a great month. All over Europe the weather has been either too wet, too hot or too dry. Flights have been clearly under 1000 km on the OLC except for that SUPER Fuentemilanos day on August 7 with enough 1000 km flights to be happy for this August month . And on Friday Pepe still had a nice 776 km flight with 105 km.h from Fuente.
 So summer is not over yet but for soaring the days here are getting a bit shorter already and the more or less bad month of August spoils a bit the average of the good summer 2010. The OLC had in April 1517 entrees as best/highest result on ONE day for the month, in May 2301, in June 2598 on June 26, in July 2542 on July 18 and in August till now 1661 on August 7.

The German women have started their Nationals  in Zwickau on August 16 and will continue till August 28 2010. 3 Categories here; 15 m [11 participants] club [20] and standard class [12].
The first 4 days were cancelled but last Friday some pilots even finished and there was an overall score for the 43 pilots. Swaantje Geyer who frequently flew in Australia  in the past, won the first soaring day in her LS 1f in club class, while well known pilots as Katrin Senne and Anja Kohlrausch in 15 m. class “only “were 7 and 5.
Yesterday a task was set as well for the ladies. And…Katrin did better, she won the day in her class, being 3d now overall with Anja on 4. Today the weather is improving even more so just under and just over 300 km tasks have been set.

While the ladies in Germany still have a few days to go, the German juniors  finished their Nationals last Friday in Musbach, with 5 soaring days out of 10. So there was a new National champion in club class Sebastian Nägel with well know Alexander Späth as good runner up and in standard class another well known German pilot Patrick Puskeiler. A total of 75 young pilots from several countries  from Europe must have given a GREAT atmosphere during this pre-JWGC called; Black Forest Glide! A fantastic practise for the JWGC in 2011 in Musbach. When you are interested look at the site at  where my friend Katja [webmaster] from Finland designed the site for the next JWGC and took care of  the news of this competition and she did a great job.

On the latest IGC pilot ranking list  last updated on August 19 2010, Michael Sommer is the new number 1. He passed Sebastian Kawa who is a good number  2 now .

 CU next. Ritz

CIM after 3 days of flying!

Alphen aan den Rijn     Wednesday  August 18 2010

After 2 days of waiting the pilots competing in the CIM , received a nice long task for  soaring day 1  and those pilots were ready to go for it. In open class Alexander Mueller flew with a speed of 146.2 km/h over 426 km, winning the day.
Last year I noticed already what a good pilot Alberto Sironi is, now he showed that again flying in the ARCUS T with a speed of 136 km./h. over also 426 km. By the way 3 ARCUS gliders are flying in this dual-seat- competition. The rest is duo discus and young Davide flies a JANUS CM.
 No doubt about Giorgio Galetto flying in Rieti; in 18 m he won with a big marge on number 2 Swiss pilot Werner Danz in the Antares. Speed from Giorgio over 426 km.; 147.7 km  and Werner 134, while the brand new world champion Stefano and Thomas  flew with a speed of  129/130 km . This time no Diana’s for them; Thomas flies Ventus 2 CM and Stefano HPH304 S.
In 15 m. class Luca de Marchi, who flew last year very good and got my attention for that, was the winner on this first soaring day with a speed of 134 km/h over 388 km. in a Ventus 2 a.  Austrian top pilot and well know aerobatic pilot Reinhard Haggenmueller was 5th. with a speed of 118 km/h.
Good old Simon Leutenegger flew his DG 303 in Standard class to a nice first place with a speed of 133 km/h over 388 km  and in club class Flavio Del Pan did the same in his Club Libelle  with a speed of  86 km/h over 266 km.
A great first soaring day of the CIM.[= Coppa Internazionale del Mediterraneo] Base was 2200 at Rieti and pilots could use wave up to 2650 mainly over the first 70 km. and the rest was thermals and ridge-soaring.

Day 2 had again great and even slightly  bigger tasks; Club 289 km.—- Standard  and 15 m . 413 km.—-18 m and 20 m 458.7 km and open class 476 km. All pilots returned at the airfield but some pilots were scored as a virtual outlanding as they violated the airspace of Terni and Perugia,  and if you look well at the scores [   click on soaringspot, by the way for non Italians there is  in English and some parts for downloading also in German, Spanish and French ],  you see that Alvaro in 18 m. class started nearly 45 minutes later then the rest. This was not a tactical decision but as the propeller stuck to the engine bay doors, while attempting to start the engine for the flight recorder check, he decided to land again and check what was going on. On the ground it was all OK, [ a sticky engine bay door , problem solved with a drop of  grease on the edge] so off he went again, still flying in good conditions and  still coming back home with a 13th place! It was what I heard a great real- Rieti- soaring -day!

On day 3 , yesterday, another good soaring day. In 18 m. class Giorgio started 8 minutes ahead of Thomas and Stefano, but the 2 of them could not catch up or pass  him , so he won another day; 121 km/h over 372.6 km. with Thomas and Stefano on a good 3d and 4th place. [prelimanary results!] and same places in the overall results after 3 days with Swiss pilot Werner Danz in Antares at spot 2! Open class had a task of 406 km and the speed of  day-winner, Josef Kammerhofer from Austria was 2 km slower then from Giorgio in 18 m. class. Interesting to see that from the 10 gliders ,only 2 Schempp-Hirth gliders [ a Nimbus 2 b and 4 DM] fly in open class in Rieti. There are 2 ASW22 ,4 ASH 25, 1 Antares and 1 ETA.
The Swiss “Leuteneggers “, won the first 2 spots in 15 m. class and I guess that Simon is the one I met years and years ago in Angers, where I also met Heinz Hammerle and his wife, great to see that they still love their comptition soaring. Caught up last year with Heinz and his wife and they did not change at all, was good to see them.

I was wondering about the change of names in Bailleau  for their classes and from one of the young winners in the amical class I got the link below and I would really recommend to read the link as it is a nice philosophie on the way we look at competition soaring. Thanks Bart and enjoy all who are going to read it! Specially my friends in FAI and IGC.

It does n’t happen often that an airliner is hit by lightning. This week it happened at the Island of  San Andres . The 737 700 from Aires  was hit in descend at about 80 m height and crashed breaking in 3 parts. ONLY one female passenger killed through a heart attack, so quite a miracle that so many , 126, survived. The weather was very bad with thunderstorms gusty wind and heavy rain, but under the circumstances the pilots did a good job , though I wonder IF it was smart to land in such weather [ guess they are used to it]  and everybody was lucky that no fire started! Atleast 5 people survived with bad injuries, the rest had minor injuries. On TV I heard the story of  a mum and dad looking quickly at each other seeing they were well then to the chairs behind them where their children were ….but …..there was NOTHING as the plane broke just behind them . Scaring!

More sad news  as one of the former top RED BULL RACERS Alejandro Maclean [only 41 years old] from Spain died yesterday, crashing his plane during a training flight not too far S from Madrid. Alejandro was also  twice Spanish aerobatic champion , married and  father of 2 children who, for sure,  are going to dearly miss him. [ANP news]
The ex-husband of our princess Irene, Prince Carlos de Bourbon de Parme,  died this morning early from prostate cancer.[80] Though he was not part of the Royal family and not much here, he was pretty much loved in Holland. The wedding of his oldest son Carlos jr. in Brussel on August 28 is postponed.
And…talking about royals….the [ female] Australian premier wants Australia to be a Republic after the UK queen dies or announces that she stands down.????!!!!

Enough for now, it’s raining cat’s and dog’s here, but…the weekend will be nice with 24/26 dgr. The owners of beach-cafe’s seem not to happy with this weather, they even claim to have earned up to 20% less this summer, which according to them was less good as 2009. I was pretty happy with this summer and a lot of pilots as well. CU you on Sunday,

Soaring and more!CIM has started with 79 participants!10 years soaring in Corowa!

Alphen aan den Rijn     Sunday August 15 2010

Feelings of relieve in Russia still suffering from extreme hot conditions  and fires ;already for a long , long time. On Friday they finally got rain , but still temperatures of 30 dgr. Today the smog is back and people are advised when going outside to wear mouth-caps. On Friday Finland still had 27 dgr. and the Southern part of Europe is hot while the middle suffers from thunderstorms and heavy rain, which we seem to get over the next couple of days.
Promised you to see what happened on Wednesday, a day it really looked bright here for good gliding.But there was only ONE flight. Thursday was better with 300 km flights.Still enough “nice” flights on the OLC in Spain, Italy and France.
Though yesterday the best flights were in the USA and Canada and not in Europe.

The International competition in Bailleau is over  and the pilots were happy with the weather, though it was not as good as it could be and most of them were satisfied  with the results.
 After 9 days Robbie won the competition in the class Vitesse with 6033 points. More Dutch pilots won as in the Grands Vols David won with 7166 points and to be complete 2 young new- comers in competition soaring,  also Dutch, Bart and Bram won the Amical class with 7 flying days. So the Dutchies/Clockies did well.
Look for all the results at

Eric Bernard is the new French champion in 18 m. class,flying 6 days in an ASG 19 /18m. Gilles Navas was 4th. Only 4 days in the A class from the French Juniors. Adrian Henry from Bailleau was the best in an LS4, with more then 150 points on the runner up. The Henry family is a well known soaring family in France. Great to see that the young generation is as good as the older was.

Last Friday the prestigious competition CIM has started in Rieti till August 22. This year the “club ” [ ] is organizing , while last year the excellent organization  was in the hands of the “federation” [] . 79 Pilots fly in 6 classes. In standard class 19 pilots , 8 in club class, 11 in 15 m and 23 in 18 m. , 8 in 20 m, double seaters and 10 in open class.
And….now I am not there…Alexander Mueller is flying there in his ASW 22 and I would have liked to meet him one day.
More great pilots as the new World champion Stefano Ghiorzo, 3d place winner Thomas Gostner, Giorgio Galetto, Davide , one of the top- junior- pilot’s  from Italy, lot’s of Austrian friends even a well known Russian pilot  Timoshenko, in the twoseater class and more….. Weird is that last year lot’s of Dutch pilots were competing and now I do not see ONE!!!!! Have to check on that.
 And…it was really  nice to see Maurico Cocchi in F1 flying in standard class. Maurizio flew regularly in Tocumwal in the past.
Unfortunately the weather is tragically bad in the N of Italy,even worse  in Poland, with LOTS of rain , so till now , no soaring-days. On one of these rainy days Alvaro showed a video about soaring in Morocco.

The 3d place in Szeged, for Belgium pilot Pierre de Broqueville  and his nephew/cousin [son from his brother] Arnaud, have given a boost to the PR about soaring in Belgium. The last time that a Belgium pilot won a prize was with Bert Zegels in Waikirie in 1974….silver!!!!For years the 2 fly together already. Last year they practised in the mountains from Rieti, during the CIM.
 It is very nice to read that the co-operation between the Wallonian pilots [ speaking French] and the Flemish [ speaking Dutch] was very good .This atmosphere on the ground and in the air has contributed to the great result, is what I heard /read. 

The  Dutch Soaring Magazine “Thermiek ” is out  and is as always great reading! What’s in it? Except from my story about the Dutch Nationals , there is an interesting column from former Red Bull Racer Frank Versteegh who wants to get the PR for gliding in a more professional way, another story about aerodynamic research at the famous University of Delft, the National women day 2010 , “Bob Henderson for {FAI} president”, and much more, unfortunately ONLY for Dutch and Belgium readers.
When you are not a member of the KNvVL you can still read it digital on their site, easy to find via

We had a few colder and rainy days last week, though yesterday was perfect again, but slowly “some pilots  “start thinking , of moving to the other site of the world again, even after a great summer as we had. For that reason I had a look at the site from Corowa and balloons in bright colours where the first thing I noticed. Ouch,  it is already 10 years ago that Francesco and Grietje started their operation.
So time to say HAPPY 10th ANNIVERSARY!!! Time really flies, I still see Francesco happily talking in our restaurant after he flew in at Sportavia from Narromine and felt at home straight away. Was that 15 years ago, maybe even more????
Like we, they loved Australia and soaring and created their own center with gliders brought from home in containers! And….they are doing a great job, in between taking care of 2 little lovely kids as well. Wishing them more great years !
But …I was looking when their season would start and I read that the expected first day of flying will be on November 9.The estimated departure out of Holland will be on September 28 and the packing will be between September 15 and 19, so not long anymore. This season they start their Corowa Classic. Great to see that my friend Terry Cubley from Western Australia, is the first to enter this competition already now! He will fly the DG 1000.Here is what they write about it;
The concept is to give, up and coming cross country pilots, a taste of Grand Prix style flying in a safe training environment with the opportunity to fly with and along side some of the worlds best glider pilots.

Dates 21-01-2011 29-01-2011
Practice Day 21-01-2011  
Competition Days 22-01-2011 29-01-2011
Presentation Dinner Night   29-01-2011

20m 2 seat Grand Prix style competition hosted by Australian Soaring Centre Corowa & Corowa Shire Counsel. A friendly competition designed to  introduce competitors to Grand Prix racing. Opportunity to learn from the some of Europe’s best pilots.

Daily Prizes include: Daily Winner Plaque, Extra 300 Aerobatic Flight , Go Soaring Products

Sponsors include: Australian Soaring Centre Corowa,Corowa Shire Council, Go Soaring.

Look for all info at ;

And then this;……….
—An historical  Dakota C47 was moved from an Open Air  Museum in the South of Holland to Katwijk not far from where I live in the middle of Holland. They used a special deep truck , during the night, but it still went wrong as the truck got stuck between 2 walls of a viaduct on one of the main highways in Holland. Luckily they got it “on the road again” before the heavy morning traffic started.
Why moving such a great old vintage plane?
They will use the Dakota as a decor in the musical “Soldier of Orange “. The musical opens on October 31 in an hangar at the military airport of Valkenburg.
They hope to restore this 70 year old beauty, before or after the musical has finished.It is squeezed in the middle as there was  only “room ” for  6.80 m but the plane was 7.20!!!!! And then they claim they made very secure preparations…..
—-Heard of Steven Slater?????? He is the Jet Blue steward who escaped via an emergency -slide , from the plane he just flew “his last flight for “, with a beer in his hand. After 20 years he was sick of the intolerance of some passengers. Like his style!!!!! However he can be “punished “with 7 years max. Hope it will be not that bad!

See you next Wednesday, Ritz

Season still going!Fuentemilanos 24 1000km flights last Sunday!

Alphen aan den Rijn    Wednesday August 11 2010

My guests left this morning  on a trip to Spain. House is clean , so time for some writing again. A bit later today, but…it is as it is. Had to write several friends who were still in my inbox. Great to hear that all I know have arrived home safely from Szeged. Saw some pictures from the prize-giving on the Dutch site but could not find any on the official site. Received in my comments-department great pictures from Szeged, which I am really thankful for and will write the sender today as well.

Bailleau is still going strong. I know it is a very nice competition, with lots of social happenings but also with serious tasks and good pilots. I don’t know why they call the class VITESSE which means speed and GRANDS VOLS which means as much as great flights but also long flights. In Vitesse gliders as LS8, Antares, discus, Ventus 2CTX, LS4, ASW 24 and LS6 and in Grands Vols, some of the same gliders but also ASH 25, Nimbus 3DT, ASH31mi, ASW27b and duo-discus.
In the Vitesse Robbie Seton  “my” junior from Husbos is still number 1 in LS 8. Good on him!!! They flew 7 days till now with today and tomorrow to go. A Belgium and Austrian pilot are still in the race FOR gold on spot 2 and 3.
In Grands Vols Dutch pilot David Miller is still on spot 1 with 2 local French pilots close by. Also 7 days of nice flights in this class.
There is another class called AMICAL, with when I guess well, pilots who are on their way to the top and still need some practise. Some fly a competition for the first time.
Natasja is on spot 11 at this stage in the class Vitesse.

More soaring as the Hungaryian Nationals in 18 m and clubclass  are flown. Nice to see Peter on 1 at this stage after 3 days of flying with a few to go as they only finish on August 22. I received a nice letter from Peter in Finland as he knew the young lady from Hungary who flew the JWGC in Rayskala.
In one of my favourite places from the past ANGERS, the juniors fly in an A, [31 participants]  and B [12] competition and the 18m Nationals are flown there as well same time same place!26 Fly for the 18m cup with a few well-known names as Gilles Navas, Alain Mazalerat and Jeremie Badaroux. The comps finish on August 14.

The OLC over the last days had some nice flights. I liked the one from Belgium pilot Paul Janssens, a good pilot , who flew 937 km in an LS 6 in Vinon last Monday! But it was a SUPER day in Fuentemilanos. Pilots flew a total of 24 flights over 1000 km!!! Must have been a great evening over there!  Being on the right spot on the right day!! Flights from 1.252 km by well known kilometer eater Guy Bechtold, but also some of my friends /aquantances added more to their list, as Hans Wiesenthal,Norbert Schlafke,Jorge Madrigal,Andy Sieber, Peter Zander and Bert de Wijs. Nearly all of them have been in Tocumwal and some fly now in the European-winter- period in Corowa.
 I was also impressed with an FAI set 500 km triangle in an ASW 15 around Hannover also on Sunday !! Start was at Grosses Moor in Germany!!

The Red Bull series for the 2010 season are over  with last years winner Paul Bonhomme [UK] as winner again. They had a bit of a turbulent season which made the organization decide that only in 2012 the next RED BULL RACE will be held. They want to check first on the safety, the efficiency of  their own organization and on the commercial site of this race which got over 2 days 118.000 spectators on the former East Germany motor sport circuit EuroSpeedway in Lausitz. NOT TOO BAD!!! Hopefully the nice competition between Paul [45] and Austrian pilot Hannes Arch [42] will be still existing then.

Today does not look too bad here for soaring, so next Sunday I will inform you what happened, if..something happened. Cheers Ritz

Back to normal!Evaluation! Junior comps in Holland! Competition in Bailleau and Rieti!

Alphen aan den Rijn     Sunday August 8 2010

The 2 highlights on the soaring agenda 2010 are over and though I still have some mixed feelings it is great to see fantastic winners in both Prievidza and Szeged. The best 9 from the world in the flapped classes are from Italy [2, gold and bronse, both in the Diana], Poland [2, gold and bronse, both in ASG 29] the UK [2 both silver , one in ASG 29 , the other in a Nimbus 4] South Africa[1, silver in the JS1], Germany [1, gold in an EB 29], Belgium,[1,bronse in EB 28 edition]. The weather was pretty mediocre and the real racers flying in hot  and fast conditions had less luck, then the pilots who love to fly in  rainy and cloudy conditions. But that is part of soaring.
Prievidza was blessed with a real good organisation who,  as I heard ”could read in the eyes your wishes”! Super!
Szeged was less lucky with their organisation,[ words as far from ideal and chaotic were heard often and read in all blogs].  I guess loosing your CD just before the comps start due to an accident does not help either!
One of my friends said it in a more pleasant way; “It was not all that bad, just not up to the standards the other contests have set”. 
So let’s forget about that and remember the great winners, the smiling faces at the pictures on the different parties and the camraderie between pilots , crew and organisers from the world.
It would be unfair to forget that a lot of volunteers within the organization did a great job with a big smile..
It is pretty difficult to write stories about comps without being there. I depend on inside stories from friends and from reading all blogs I could find to make it easy for you. That might have sometimes influenced/coloured my opinion a bit. But that’s the way it is.
So 2 more years and Uvalde [Texas, big ships] and Chavez [ Argentina, smaller ships] are on the schedule! In between there is enough to write about and to look forward to.

The Dutch Junior Championships in Venlo  were on since July 31 and only 3 days were unfortunately flyable . It is nice to see that “our” future looks bright with 24  participants. One of them is Thijs, the son of Daan Pare. He ended on a nice 3d place! Sietske, who was in the organisation of the Dutch Nationals , where I got to know her, is flying good. She was 7 on day 1, but lost some points on other days so ended at spot 17. The young pilots have scouts who are helping them in the air. One of the scouts this year was our top pilot and former EGC winner Steven Raimond. Also 2 of our junior TOPPERS Tim [European -Champion- runner -up] and Rene [European Champion] are helping out as scouts and looking at the pictures they have a lot of fun over there. Tim is not only a great pilot , but sings and plays the guitar just in a fantastic way.

In Bailleau an international competition  started on August 2 with 54 pilots in 3 classes ,lots of them Dutch pilots. Another young lady , being in the organisation team of the Dutch Nationals, Natasja is flying there. Till now they have flown ALL days [5] and in the class “Vitesse”  former WGC junior Robbie Seton [LS8a] is on spot 1 from 24 pilots. Natasja is on spot 15 at this stage in an LS6 17.5m. .
20 Pilots fly in the class “grand vols” where flights of 617  km have been set and the best pilot flew 615 km. At this stage David Muller from Holland is on spot 1.

In Rieti 33 pilots have flown for the well known Coppa Citta de Rieti. Between August 1 and 7 they fought for the nice cup. Unfortunately the weather is spoiling this competition a bit as the last flying day was last Wednesday. After 4 days the champion was Austrian pilot Gregor Stoegner , with Alvaro from Spain as runner up and Italian pilot Giancarlo Grinza as number 3.
The well-known  CIM will be from August 13 till August 22 2010, with lots of international guests.

4 Days with new guests better see them now. See you again on Wednesday.

cheers Ritz

Last soaring day in Szeged !Will they fly!?

Alphen aan den Rijn    Friday August 6 2010

I’ll take you through today on an hourly base or when “things”are happening!

9.00; On TV I noticed this morning at the news, that the weathermap for the Mid of Europe did not look too good. But….In Szeged they have set tasks on days we would not bring our gliders out. So everything is still possible! Quite an interesting day yesterday!As long as pilots come back the task setter is correct. The German pilots did very well in open class ,ALL of  their 3 pilots on top.Michael is ready and will be assisted by his mates to win his 3d title. In a discussion with him, a while ago,  he only smiled when I told him he has a possibility to be better then the till now best ever pilot Ingo Renner. Ingo won 4 times a world title and should have won in S.A but lost a day as both his loggers failed. When Michael wins he only needs one more title to be AS GOOD!!! Good on him and he is still young enough to get that 5th one as well.I keep an eye on him. Good luck today, Michael!!!
In 18 m. class the 2d pilot from Poland Nieradka is on top now  and Uys[SA]  is in the middle.” Guess “they all want to win , so when they fly today tactics will be “hot”. Staryszak , who “dropped “to 3, wants his first spot back so between the 2 Polish pilots might be some stress and Attie on spot 5,  will help his brother Uys to get on spot 1. The “fight is on “, between the ASG 29 and the JS1. Great effort from Ricardo and Yves yesterday to make it home!! They “climbed” on the overall scores list.
The 15 m. boys  had another though day yesterday with only 12 pilots flying home from 49. Leigh for sure want to fly but the Italian friends Ghiorzo and Thomas, are ready to fly for what they are worth, as well. They practised so long together to achieve what they are about to do. Though 1 and 2 would have been better in overall, but also that can still happen. The Diana’s are flying well in this class.Only 3 Diana’s performing and one is at spot 1, the others on 3 and on spot 5. Good on them, it is a great looking glider, but I always worry a bit when they start and land.
So now ONLY the weather has to be good enough to make it a fair day and then tonight we KNOW, who are the winners of this 31st  FAI WGC 2010.
It seems pretty windy and they can see upcoming cirrus…….. Tasks are set by the organization which is normal on the last day, you try as long till it is imopossible and then you can only “surrender” to the weather gods. The German meteo predicts heavy thunderstorms in the afternoon [coldfront] , with hail and “thinks” that flying today “will be not likely”. Gridding is on and the last briefing is at In Budapest it is raining already!!!
Back later;

10.30;the tasks have been delivered and on the back the meteo info is written WITH WARNINGS!!
 Now the “game” is starting; …waiting…waiting… hoping on a yes or a no for the day…and waiting. By the way here are the tasks, to make it easy for you:
15 m. class a racing task of  254.9 km
18 m. class a racing task of 258 km.
open class a racing task of 315 km.

12.00; The day is cancelled. At least they tried!!! Pilots and crew were “running”to bring their gliders to the trailers or maybe today the other way around as the severe thunderstorms were already close by.
At 1 the 3 new world champions will be in a car parade each in a car with their National flag and of course a glass of bubbles and All cars available should be following! Nice idea!
So the World champions are ; Open class Michael Sommer his 3d title. Well done Michael ! Great 2d place for Steve Jones from the UK and a fantastic results for my Belgium friends Arnaud and Pierre de Broqueville with their 3d place.Compliments!!!!
In 18 m class the 2 Polish pilots did well with Uys in the middle. Zbigniew Nieradka, difficult name, is the new world champion.
In 15 m. class it was one day too many for Leigh to add a new world title to his list. But great team flying from Stefano Ghiorzo who is the new World champion and Thomas for being 3d. A great 2d place still for young Leigh Wells.
Out of 13 days the 15 m. boys flew 7. The 18 m as well and the open class 8.
More news and an evaluation on thje comps on Sunday. Cheers Ritz

Last day in Szeged??

Alphen aan den Rijn    Thursday  August 5 2010      

As the prognoses for tomorrow according to the German meteo-man are only 20% of a chance to fly, the organization set long , over 400km. tasks for all classes , but changed that straight away in a B then C and finally D task for 15 m and 18 m. The Open class boys had to fly their A task an AAT in 3.30 hours.
While everybody hoped for and expected that the weather would improve it only deteriorated over the field and pilots had to struggle at a pretty low base, with bad visibility and a chaotic organization. On track it was better and pilots mentioned good speed over the first leg in 18 m. class.

So what happened on the end of the day? The German pilots did a great job in open class. No doubt about that!! Michael flew 402 km with a speed of 102 km/h, on such an average day.  Pierre and Arnaud from Belgium did well with 386 km..
More succes for Belgium as only 2 pilots in 18 class came back home and Yves was one of them, together with Italian “mate” Ricardo.
I am a fan as well from the Hungaryian pilot Gyorgi , so very plesased today with his 1000 points in 15 m. class and through the years as well from Henrik from Denmark. They do not win every competition , but are pretty constant and good , always friendly pilots. 
A bad day for the number ONE pilot overall over the last days the Polish pilot Karol. Did the nerves get hold on him!?He out landed after only 134 km, poor guy, but this gives new opportunities/hope for other pilots!
For sure there will be chances in the top, which really makes it even more interesting.
What will tomorrow bring, one more day or…are the results from today also the final results!!!
Current leader Leigh landed not far from the field, he needs one more day to be back on spot ONE, as he will  loose that spot today.But,…Stefano and Thomas are very good as well and did fly together over the last couple of years!
Let’s wait and see. For the full results which will be  be later today , due to the many outlandings you can look at the site
See you tomorrow! Ritz

Back on track!Szeged last week!

Alphen aan den Rijn        Wednesday August 4 2010

Dundee is enjoying his stay here in Holland  even when we cannot do everything I wanted to do , due to the FLU!!!!
My Aussie guests arrived with flu after their long flight , recovered mostly in Switzerland and France, but still were not very fit after arriving here and now I got it as well.
So there was not a lot of time to keep you updated , but I guess when you are interested in the WGC you have read their site and know all about it.

What struck me most was the fact that Graham Parker flying for Australia in 18 m. class gave up as as he said  “, I have been worried for my safety on every flight in this competition.” I know Graham for years. His glider was several years on line with us. He is a very good pilot several times Australian champion and a very serious person. Very unusual!!!
Of course the fact that his country mate Lars hit a truck does not really help either. The truck driver seems in stable condition at intensive care. The rumour is that he has to miss both his eyes, but the family has chosen to not say anything about his condition. The OSTIV members and all pilots and crew are donating money to help the family of the unlucky truckie. 
Hope he can continue his life in the best way under the conditions.
It must have been a shock for Lars as well; hitting a car on the road!!!!???? Luckily enough he had nothing but the glider was total loss.
 It is still beyond me how this is possible! Why not start with a finish ring straight away,or a set height over the road,  to avoid collisions like this. Another truck stopped when he saw the low finishing gliders, otherwise it could have been worse.
Here is the official news about the donation, so when you feel like giving you are very welcome to do so;

On 29 July, 2010 at the World Gliding Championships in Szeged, there was an accident involving a glider and a truck. Fortunately, the glider pilot was not injured, but this was not the case for the truck driver. Under the supervision of OSTIV, a collection was established to help with the expenses of the driver and his family. If you wish to contribute to this fund, you may do so by sending a check or by making a bank transfer to the OSTIV Office in The Netherlands, or by using a credit card via PAYPAL. Please indicate that you wish these funds to be a donation for the truck driver. 

OSTIV c/o TU-Delft
Fac. Aerospace Engineering
Kluyverweg 1, NL-2629 HS Delft
The Netherlands

Bank: ABN-AMRO, Bastiaansplein 4-6, 2611DC, Delft,
The Netherlands
IBAN Code: NL93ABNA0500747709

Another “thing”, was the difficulty to get over the border from Serbia and Hungary. All 15 m. class gliders landed in Serbia. The organizers had made arrangements but it was more difficult then expected. A Russian pilot could not find his glider back anymore and that was another reason to come back “home “late. Some at 4 in the morning , some even the next day at noon!!!! Reason to give the 15m. class a day off, but as not everybody in that class got the message some were up early again.

Yesterday finally was a “normal” soaring day with good conditions, but still something went wrong, or am I too pessimistic now!? One of the tuggies launched the bicycle from the female steward Frouke from Holland. As they said on the official site:
—-“Yesterday was a very very good weather. Even a bicycle could transform into an Unmanned Air Vehicle 🙂 It has flown a short distance with a very good average speed!”
She borrowed the bicycle, so she was not amused!
But the always good pilots managed to fly well under the mostly difficult circumstances the days before.
So we have in 15 m. class  Stefano Ghiorzo on top at this stage, flying the Diana. His “mate” Thomas Gostner is on a good 4th place. Both were the winners yesterday with a speed of 114 and 112 km over 427 km in their 3.30 hours AAT.Stefano tops Leigh Wells with only 34 points so with 2 days to go still a lot happening if the weather co-operates. Friday is the last flying day.
Today they do not fly in open and 18 m. class but 15 m got a task which might be  cancelled at 12.Last night had severe thunderstorms and wind, but not too much rain. Still very humid!
In 18 m. class  the “real” soaring day was won by former WGC champion Wolfgang Janowitsch with the 2 S.A brothers  Uys and Attie as runners up in their own JS1. The totals are for 2 Polish pilots fying a ASG 29 with Wolfgang now on 7.
In open class good old friend Michael Sommer is ONE in the totals in his EB 29 . His mates Stephan and Holger both had 1000 points yesterday!They flew with a speed of 122 km/h over 427 km. The UK boys Steve and Pete, were 3d and 4th with 121 km ‘h.
On 2 overall is Steve Jones from the UK and Jan Andersen who won the first very marginal day is still on a great 3d place!

The rest of Europe flew as well  and on the 1st of August Fuentemilanos topped the OLC with several 1000 km flights;8 in total and 5 over 800 km. The last day of July was as good there in Fuente, with 3 x1000km , one by kilometer eater Guy Bechtold from Luxembourg. One pilot flew 997 km!!!!!! GRRrrr….!!!Fuente is as always in this time of the year FULL and very pleasant !!!

Just heard that the 15 m. class is going today for a 2.30 AAT .
That’s it for now! Tomorrow and Friday to go and then both WGC ‘s are over. We are all ”working” to the next ones in Uvalde Texas and Chaves in Argentina. Argentinian pilot  Damian Goldenzweig is not doing too bad under these circumstances with a 20thiest place in 18 m at this stage. See you on Sunday, back to normal, cheers Ritz
Maybe earlier when I have time and more inside news from the last 2 days in Szeged.