Spring…finally!Greece ! France! Quintus!

picture; me ,by Katja Soikkeli in Räyskälä at the JWGC in 2006 . Katja is the very creative web master in Musbach 2011 and as you can see , she is a great photographer as well.

Alphen aan den Rijn   Sunday February 27 2011    ritzdeluy@hotmail.com

I guess I have never looked ahead so much to spring as this year. Tuesday it will be March 1 HURRAY!!!! Rain now , grey, but …..temperatures between 6 and 10 dgr.+.

In Australia the  “young ones ”  have had  their squad week  and together with top pilots they practise to be the best in Musbach at the Junior Worlds. Brothers Andrew and Nick Maddocks will participate in Musbach [ August 5/20- 2011] in the standard class and Matthew Scutter  and Nathan Johnson in the club class. Nathan flew already in Husbos and Andrew I met in Finland. They train with pilots already used to flying world comps as Bruce Taylor, Gerrit kurstjens and Peter Temple. See for results at  www.soaringspot.com
In the same time the Lake Keepit Regatta has been flown. I heard Paul Mander flew there with an ASH 25 with jet engines.We go back to 1984, when we met in Rieti at the pre-WGC, so I decided to contact him.But…he was ready to jump in a plane to Europe, so it has to wait but he said already , that the one -week-test was successful, so that’s to come when he is back.

Talking about JWGC’s, here are some pictures from the JWGC in 2009 in Finland [Räyskälä] from the Dutch team , the Danish and French team  and team UK.


Get quite some  reactions  on my hotmail adress and I want to share this one with you as I nearly fell from my chair  last Wednesday, when I received a reaction on my blog from a Greek reader !!! Indeed REALLY global!!!
—-I much enjoy reading your blog from Greece! Thank you – it really provides the feeling of global gliding community!
I saw the great photos from Eskilstuna and I am sending you a few of the ones we took in Szeged.—
Is n’t that kind?  So here you are with some wonderful pictures send by Alexis and made by his co pilot Marcos while flying the WGC in the EB 28.
I also add his news about soaring in Greece. I told him honestly I did not know soaring was a sport in Greece, but there is;

—-There is gliding in Greece. We are only a few cross country pilots mainly with SLMGs but the conditions are very good. We have the Pindus mountain range with convergence, wave and ridge. It spans from a 100km NW of Athens all the way to our northern border. With my ASW 22 I regularly fly 500-750 km OLC. One pilot has flown 1000km OLC in wave. Also the mountains to the east along our northern border are quite good.—-
And here are the promised pictures.Great ones , indeed!!! Thanks a lot!!!!


So busy with SPRING   that I was  “disgusted ”  to see REAL snow this week; a short but heavy snowstorm. Normally I do not mind snow, love it when it is in mid winter , but now it should be over.
No reason for the Dutch glider pilots to not enter on line already for the Dutch Nationals in May; 21 have announced their participation till now and they can still enter till April 24.
And…..did I not tell you that George Lee is still a very good pilot? Last Thursday he flew in his Nimbus 4DM from his own airfield with his name a 700 km. FAI triangle. Good on him!!!! A total of 788 km with a speed of 122 km/h. Not bad!!!
George won 3 WGC titles. The last one in Paderborn in ’81 in a Nimbus 3, where I met him briefly, then one in Chateauraux in 1978  in ASW17  and the first one in 1976 in Räyskälä also in ASW 17.
Yesterday it seemed more like summer in Australia,  then the beginning of autumn with nice long cross country flights both in the East and West and nice flights in the South as well. Mart Bosman,[ yes a Dutch name; he is Dutch, speaks Dutch very well but lives for years already in Victoria in Australia]  who as hang glider pilot learned how to fly gliders with us in the past says it nicely after a 250 km flight from  beautiful Mount Beauty:” Still waiting for the perfect day, today was all right!” 602 km. [500 FAI triangle] in the East,  in an LS1f is good this time of the year.Look on the OLC on February 26 as nearly ALL soaring places were finally active!!!!
Today Jay , who flew in the past with us as well,mentions 9 knt climbs up to 11.500 ft. in NSW before getting  “trapped by  overdevelloping.”

Facebook,so funny  !! Do I get a message  “are you Ritz,the best woman in Tocumwal?”,[ doubt that by the way !!!] from France. I had to dig deep in my brain,,decided to look at the picture [I am pretty careful!!]  , but that did not help , a nice big black , as I later heard 11 year old , dog….and then it bubbled in my brain and I found out who it was….Facebook, tjee….otherwise I would never have had contact with Olivier again. Now we are FB-friends  after …maybe 10/15 years…

Very much impressed with 2 military pilots  who were ordered to throw bombs over Benghazi in Libya last Wednesday. The captain and co-pilot decided in the air, they were NOT going to do this and left the plane by parachute, after activating their ejector seat. The Russian made plane , crashed.

Is Quintus the definite new name for a smaller open class glider from Schempp-Hirth  and will there be a few flying at the Uvalde WGC  in Texas [USA] in 2012 ??? This looks as if it is going to happen. The Quintus with a span of 23 m.;  easy to handle on the ground and in the air,  is the new “baby” from the engineers and aerodynamic toppers from the ARCUS. So …it should be a good one!!!! More news in the Aerokurier from March!

I finish with some more  pictures from the JWGC in Finland. The Slovak and Finnish team and …can’t miss; Team USA!!! Enjoy and see you in Spring/ Autumn  !!!! Ritz


Nearly spring! Christchurch!

Alphen aan den Rijn    Wednesday February 23 2011     ritzdeluy@hotmail.com


 6 Fantastic pictures   from the dvd,  I received as a THANK you for my job as editor during the WGC in Eskilstuna in 2006 , as said before ; the last multi class comps.  Withpermission , I can share them with you all as well. A pity if not everybody would be able to see them, is n’t it?  These pictures are from Per Carlin!!! You can click on them to enlarge.
On the WGC dvd you also find all the articles I have written , all results and lot’s of albums. KG Jonsson-Finne , one of the best web masters I have ever met, is the BIG man behind this dvd.
From Italy I had that wonderful book about the JWGC and WGC in 2007 and 2008. All my stories , the results and the weather and great pictures, a wonderful book. And also from Finland I received a great dvd from the EGC in 2005. Can’t show you the pictures from the book, but a lot of  dvd pictures will be on, have to ask permission from Silva first for the Finland ones.

It is “cucumber time “  in the OLC. Not too many flights in this time of the year. Yesterday 15 mostly in the USA and in Australia at the practise in Lake Keepit. But Gerard Lherm was pretty excited about his 461 km. from St Martin de Londres ….and that is in the mountains from FRANCE.
The overseas season is over and the season here starts soon. Hope it will be an exciting and weatherwise good one. Read somewhere that this El NINA might give Europe a nice spring and summer.

IATA the international organisation for the aviation world,  has announced, as I read in the paper,  that in aviation , 2010 was the safest one compared with the amount of flights.
” Only”  one accident on 1.6 million flights.Conclusion ; flying is pretty safe. Though…..world wide there were 96 accidents and 23 of them claimed lives. A total of  786  lives, so that is still a lot certainly, when it concerns people you know.

One of the first big comps is the Pribina Cup  in Nitra , I wrote about it a while ago.
Another big event is in the North of Italy. From March 25 to April 4 , the  39th, 2011 Trofeo Internazionale Citta di Torino will be flown in…..yes you guessed well,  Torino. 20 Pilots on the list at this stage. Nice to see father and son Leonardo and Ricardo  Brigliadori  are going to fly together  in the duo discus and Luciano Avanzini in the ARCUS T !!!
In 2 days, on the 25th the Lake Keepit Regatta starts, just to remind you.
Like in Narrominein December top/experienced  pilots help you to improve your cross country skills. 23 Pilots are in it already and the max is 30 so if you always wanted to upgradeyour skills at a real nice airfield, with real nice  pilots, who know what it is all about, just go to Lake Keepit.
They practised with nice weather.

Whispers from the UK  !!!!   The Telegraph mentioned that there are “voices ” in the UK , who would like to see the summer- time 2 hours ahead !!!! This way the longer evenings would bring a lot of money in from tourists spending more on a longer evening!!!  Also the electricity could be saved and they predict less accidents!!!
Others are against those plans as the mornings will be darker, difficult for kids who have to go to school and more morning accidents.
I guess this remains only an interesting idea! Scotland seems against it and they need their voice as well to get those plans through parlament  . Doctors are against as they foresee health problems. Let ‘s wait and see!!
 At this stage I am not going to check what my UK soaring friends think about it.

From the USA  I received a reaction on my link to the Concordia  from the Soaring Cafe and as they are going to send me updates  when there is new news , you will be updated straight away as well.They showed the link to the interview with Bruce and so we help each other, even when we have never met or had contact before. No worries we share the love for the sport and are spreading the word from what happens in our soaring world with small, big and heavy items.This is, what they amongst other things, said:

—-We would like very much to collaborate with you swapping links and perhaps posting some of you articles directly. 
The Soaring Cafe website is doing quite well with more visits and page views than we initially expected.  In just seven short weeks, we have had over 26,000 visits from 12,400 visitors from 90 countries creating over 88,000 page views — and, all of these stats continue to rise on our 30 day running average.—
Continue visiting their site !

Very sad news from Libya  where like in Tunisia and Egypt before, the people think it is time for change! In Libya the protesters got a very hard reply on their actions even by low flying fighter jets and helicopters. But when colonels disappear in their fighter jets and helicopters to ask for asylum in Malta, it says enough that not everybody is behind the Ghadaffi -clan. Let’s hope there will be peace soon everywhere in the East.
Holland has send a military DC10 to pick up 125 people but as the tower at Tripoli, was not occupied they had to stay in Eindhoven till they got permission.Last night they arrived back at Eindhoven Airport with only 30 Dutch people, the rest could not make it in time to the airport and about 70 people from the UK, Belgium and the USA , VERY happy to escape the tragic, nearly wild events.

And what about Christchurch on the South Island of New Zealand??  Terrible to see that they had another earth quake , 6.3 on Richter ,killing at least 75 and more then 300 seem to be UNDER the rubble.Last September they had one , then a “little “one over Christmas, when I was in NZ and now a damaging one again. The cities center has been hit and the beautiful cathedral fell on one side in a heap/ collapsed. 
I only found out now,  that 12.000 Dutch people visit as a tourist NZ every year. Received a link from Vanessa to the ABC news  and for those who want to read more about it , here it is;

I finish with another 3 pictures from Sweden in 2006.  Now it is minus 20 there in the night!!!! And still far under minus during the day. We had 2 cold days as well withminus 9 but with the wind- chill- factor it seems to have been – 18. The sun however was shining brightly! I did not feel that, but it WAS cold! Next week 10 dgr PLUS, but ….also rain!!!!!




CU on Sunday and….Spring 2011 is around the corner, as on March 1 the metereological spring starts here and …….autumn down under. I loved autumn while living in Tocumwal. Cheers Ritz





Interview with Bruce Cooper !Concordia!

   Condor flying in Argentina;picture, Bruce Cooper.

Alphen aan den Rijn     Sunday February 20 2011     ritzdeluy@hotmail.com

Last Monday observers noticed a big flame on the sun. Result ;a sun-storm full of electrical parts left the sun and reached earth on Thursday.In 2003 this happened also and then parts of Sweden lost their power , 40 years ago “it” hit Canada , also loss of power and now China, but nothing happened in Europe,  as far as I heard or read.

Enjoy the interview with Bruce Cooper, who flew a new world record in a double seater Nimbus 4 DM, on December 25 2010,  from Bariloche in Argentina with French pilot Jean Marie Clement; 1.650 km. triangle. It took them 15 hours and 38 minutes. Bruce is from the UK, is semi-retired as airline pilot, owns an ASW27 and as he says, “we go a long time back”!

 Bruce Cooper

Ritz “meets”  Bruce Cooper

 “Hello Ritz, nice to hear from you. We go back a long way, I think it was the Australian worlds. [1987!] Dare I mention Vivienne Bryner and her green bikini?  “
That’s the answer I received from Bruce when I asked him to answer 5 questions about his world records flown in Argentina on December 25 2010,  together with French pilot Jean Marie Clement.

1. First of all congratulations on the world records. Was there any sign on  that early  Christmas morning 2010 , something BIG/SPECIAL was going to happen, with other words “was it in the air”??

We planned the task 12 months ago and I spent 10 days working through the soaring and out landing options in the led up to the day. The possibility was on the forecast and plan from 4 days before and we spent all of the 23rd finalizing and uploading the new data base to include the new airstrips we might need. On the 24th J-M C tried a 2,000 km flight to get his diploma out of the way but the weather was not good enough. The sat pic did suggest that we should have tried the triangle on the 24th but that was only after launch time. The weather pattern was probably at its best over night and the day we flew the weather deteriorated after 800 km. I was particularly keen on a triangle flight as it is something few people have done in that area. As it happens the task would have been really easy if flown in the over- night- weather.

2. You flew with Jean-Marie Clement, could you please introduce us to him? Is he a “regular ” in Argentina?

J-M C has been going to Argentina since around 2002 and is one of the 3 teams chasing world records down there along with Klaus Ohlman and Terry Delore/ Steve Fosset. He ships his Nimbus 4 calsign MM alias “mille mille” which is Italian for 2,000  each year. The glider was equipped from new with 2,000 km flights in mind. J-M C was European champ in the 80s and came 4th in the worlds. He has been very kind to me and I enjoy flying with him. To sum him up I would tell the story of our last world record 12 months ago when he said” the weather is not good this morning so we should have a nice lunch and break the world 1,000km O&R speed record in the afternoon” the lunch was excellent and we broke his own record that afternoon completing the task in less than 5 hours. That is how he is. I have been fortunate to fly with many world champions and several of the top Kiwi pilots but J-M C has probably taught me more in the last 15 months than I have learned in the rest of my 39 years gliding. I would love to  fly with Terry Delore as J-M C rates him as the best pilot ever!

3. How do you share the soaring, who is in command, do you set rules before a flight, who does what ?

Interesting question ! We don’t have any set plan. Each of us has a different style of flying and we each fly a section till the other sees a better way and then swap. We share ideas but when one is following a line of energy and the other is squirming and really wants to take a different route , it’s a good time to swap controls and rest before the next stint. 15 hours is a long time and sharing the flying is a big advantage over the solo pilot. On our early flights together you could see from the logger who was flying by the style but now we are more similar. We have flown together for 6 months (wow that’s a lot of time together??) out of the last 15 so we have both picked up on each other’s style

4. In the past you flew in Australia? How come you changed from flat conditions to mountain-flying and why do you like it so much?

I grew up in the Scottish mountains and have always loved wave flying. I had flown a mountain comp at Vinon and the pre-worlds at Omarama previously. My last 2 trips to Australia were both fantastic. I flew at Corowa where Grietje and Francesco run one of the best soaring centers and they really looked after me. Then I was lucky enough to spend a season instructing at Benalla .My daughter Molly joined me for a month  and I had the pleasure of sending solo at the age of 15. I still miss Tocumwal and still enjoy the flat land flying. I like to vary my flying and I think I would tire of just one area or one type of soaring. I like the idea of stretching my self and going where I have not been before, preferably where no one has been before. Mountains and wave are my real passion though and I am desperate to get back to Omarama but this Argentine adventure literally landed in my lap and I felt I had to rise to the challenge and make the most of a very rare opportunity. It is so difficult to make gliding happen in Argentina that every season could be the last and I need to try to get even one more season there. 

5. What would you like to  add I did not ask?

how about,,, what’s next?

Well I also like ridge running and I was fortunate enough to be offered the chance to fly with Juan Mandlebaum who made that great movie  ” a fine weeks soaring” featuring Karl Striedieck and I will be going to Mifflin for a couple of weeks ridge flying in May. I am keen to do things that are different so if anyone comes up with an idea to go somewhere out of the way and wants someone to fly with, just call. I’m semi retired. I would love to fly the Atlas mountains, basically anything that’s different.

I think anyone would guess that we have a 2000km triangle planned, but others do too. I love friendly competitiveness roll on next season !

Thanks a lot Bruce, will keep in touch now I have “found”  you again!!!


I received the link to the nice and very interesting  project of the  construction of the Concordia. You might know that Dick Butler and Gerhard Waibel are busy with this very interesting project of building the proto type of this  glider. They are building the fuselage now in the ASG 29 fuselage-mold.Here is the link;


The weather in Australia in Victoria and the border of NSW  is improving after all the rain and flights up to over 400 km were flown in Tocumwal [ASH 26] and up to over 300 km .in Benalla.[Ventus 2CT]    In the East part of  New South Wales,  the weather is still very good for nearly autumn,  with a flight from Lake Keepit in the Nimbus 3 D from 544 km. and one day later a lovely 600 km triangle.
Yesterday kilometer-eater and brand new National club class champion in Benalla,  Alan Barnes flew from Mac Caffrey Field a great 611 km. triangle in his LS1f. [500km, FAI] and from George Lees Airfield , good old George flew a 761 km flight in the Nimbus 4DM with a speed of  113 km/h, proofing he is still GOOD!!!!!
We had real spring weather on Wednesday and Thursday, so I “worked” carefully on my tan. Now it is cold again and grey. See you on Wednesday, not long and it IS Spring!!! Looking forward to more sun and blue skies!!!!  cheers Ritz

Back home !

Alphen aan den Rijn     February 16 2011     ritzdeluy@hotmail.com

   Oldtimer by Johan Ersson.[2006]

Back from 5 days Amsterdam. I always forget what a beautiful town it is. Whenever I have overseas guests  and I do have a lot, they always want to see Amsterdam, never knew why, but I always went with them and got to learn more and more and now  I am pleased to live so close by that I can easily go, whenever I want. It is such a colourful , exciting town with the best architecture and I never heard so many different languages in any big town I have been , as in Amsterdam, so a REAL international town.

When I was away, 2 smaller planes crashed , one in Cork in Ireland a metro liner  ,in fog on the 3d attempt to land,  killing 6 and also 6 survivors and one in Honduras , also in fog, killing  all 14 passengers. I still find it hard to read those messages! 2 Ministers from Honduras were “lucky”, they missed the flight while being late.

Not a lot happening on the OLC.  Best flight over the last couple of days was from Alan Barnes in Australia, on the 12th,  flying a very nice big triangle , certainly for an LS1f from …560 km. Also the ASW 19 flight that day is good; 526 km. Both are flown from Mac Caffrey Field in the East of Australia [Queensland] .It is the field of the Darling Downs soaring club who have  their hangars over there. The field is called after Mr. Dennis  Mac Caffrey, a real nice guy , I really liked him; a ‘”charming” gentleman with a great cheeky smile . He was involved in the formation of this airfield in 1960. His son Shane has, or maybe had  a work shop at the field.Have to find out, I have long not heard from him.  My friends Gerrit and PamKurstjens  fly there as well and Pam is  the president of the club. By the way, the club OWNS the field and they claim the best all year round soaring conditions in Australia!!! It is not far from Kingaroy, Jondaryan and George Lees Airfield!
And …then yesterday there is that great wave  flight over the mountains from Good old Minden in Nevada. What fun we had there in the past. This time the fun was for a pilot in a duo discus. You should read his comment on his 1.251 km flight, with a speed of 141 km. /h. In the back was an  78 year old gentleman sitting there for  over 9 hours in MINUS 30 dgr. Chapeau!!!!! What a way to spend your day at this age!!!!

Head lines in one of the Dutch papers about a crash from a DC 10  from Dutch company Martin Air, in 1992 killing 56 and injuring 106 badly at Faro airport. I heard from insiders that Faro is not the easiest airfield to land on, but now it seems that after new investigations not the wind but failures of the pilots have caused the crash. Will there be a new investigation now? I remember the captain was from Alphen the place where I live now.
Will be continued!

Many times I said how small our world is!!! Yesterday Hisashi “found ” me at Facebook.Of course I wanted to be his friend. This morning I heard he is still very busy working for FED EX in Japan. One of the planes they have is a 757 which was owned by Air Holland in the past. Other planes they work with are Boeing 777- 200 f, MD11 F , A 310-300 f  and a few 757’s-200 f.
Great to read that he and Taka and Kaoru are planning to go back to Tocumwal.This time they each, even want to bring their children.

Corowa has finished their season  with closing the doors of all containers on February 15. With more rain expected  and a wet field, they decided to pack earlier and with the experience all pilots and Grietje and Francesco have, it is an easy job. By the way it is a great job as well ; camaraderie is the word!!!!
Corowa ended up 4th on the list of “best ” airfields, with 59 pilots flying 524 flights and a total of 250.000 km. They still have gliders in the hangar to fly, so it might get a bit higher ,when the weather improves and that is still possible.
Benalla ended on spot 7 but the club of Victoria continues flying over there , so they might add a few more kilometers as well. Of course they organised the club – and sports class Nationals and that added up a few kilometers for them.
Tocumwal, being the smaller one with not a lot of gliders on line still made it up to place 11!!!
Omarama  reached spot 10 and Beverley which had the terrible cyclone passing by over their field had specially before and also after some really great flights with some super weather, ended on spot 9.

Next weekend I publish the interview with word record pilot Bruce Cooper from the UK. It will be also in the Gliding International which should be out by then. Enjoy!! To finish some pictures from Kai, this time pilots in their glider .Enjoy as well. Cheers Ritz


CU you next Wednesday!

Alphen aan den Rijn     Friday February 12 2011    ritzdeluy@hotmail.com

—Plans have changed so I will be very busy this weekend with no access to my laptop, for that reason the first news will be on the 16th! Sorry about that!
—I really had to chuckle when I found on you tube a “lesson in packing” by Ryan Air to show Belgium students to take less on a holiday , so that they do not have to pay extra money for excess luggage and with that avoid to create chaos and angry staff in the future. It is called master packer and only takes 1.25 min of your time.
—Great to see friends as Yoghi, Junzo,[both Japan] Björn and Liz [both from Norway] and Kari [Finland]  in Tocumwal. I heard that the area is SOOO wet, that cross country flying has to be done very carefully, as there are nearly no outlanding possibilities. Also both the airfields of  Tocumwal and Corowa are pretty wet, but when the sun shines again and a bit of wind , it dries up quickly.No draught this year!!!
—According to 1000 visitors on the “Business Travel and Meetings show”, in London, Airline Virgin, has the most sexy stewardesses.[53%] 2d place was for Singapore  Airlines with 18 % and Etihad was 3d with 12 %. So Richard Branson’s “Red Hotties” are doing a great [sexy] job.
—Enough to do; CU on Wednesday! And to make it up with you some of those spectecular good pictures from Kai .Talking about sexy and Red hot…….




Cheers Ritz

Pribinacup-news!CAE NLS Dutch National-news on line!

Alphen aan den Rijn       Wednesday February 9 2011    ritzdeluy@hotmail.com

"Spring" not yet! “Spring”….not yet!

No spring has not yet arrived. Though temperatures were up to 13 dgr. again here in Holland. Yesterday was just a fantastic spring day, with in the morning  3/8 of cu’s and later blue skies with only trails from overflying planes from and to Schiphol.
Luckily that terrible wind stopped after 5 days. Slowly we see more and more European pilots  flying from their home fields and wave in this time of the year starts to be really good at several places as well. Most of the pilots have returned from Africa, Namibia and Australia and in less then 2 weeks all containers will be on their way home; the European season starts….soon!

The first BIG competition in the year 2011 in Europe,   is the annual meeting from many pilots at Nitra airport; they fly to win the Pribina cup between April 22-30 !!! They  published their first bulletin and the final entrees will be expected online before February 28,  when they close.
They only want 50 pilots max. in one class and the limit in total is 150 pilots, the winners from last year are automatically qualified . Look for news when you are interested at;  www.pribinacup.sk  Competition director is Vladimir Voltin, here on the picture made in Eskilstuna in 2006.

The well known Horsham week started  at Horsham [Australia] last Sunday, with weather better the expected and fore- casted.This is the last competition in Australia, which is fun and serious and lot’s of pilots enjoy the atmosphere over there. 29 Pilots fly in 4 classes, sports,standard,15 m. and 18m/open class !!!!  Look for news and results at www.soaringspot.com

It says enough about the 2010/2011 season  that “fresh” Australian champion , Alan Barnes called last -Sunday’s- flying- weather, the best of the season “so far” , AND…. the OZ season is nearly over, though as I said before you can still have great days till April, but shorter ones.
Alan flew a 513 km. flight in his LS1f from Jondaryan [on the East coast in Queensland]
Don’t want to come back too much on the tragic events in Queensland ,but this video from you tube is showing clearly  the power of water during the flash flood in Toowoomba. When you had a perfect parking-place, it turned out not safe enough.


120 Students from Belgium  enjoyed a[ study-]holiday at the Island of Lanzarote, one of the Canaries . They flew up with Ryan Air and had planned on flying back with them as well. But a few of the students really made a stewardess that angry, as they could not/ refused to  pay for excess luggage, that she ordered all out and the plane , a Boeing 737, departed nearly empty . Of course the students had NO money to pay for an extra return ticket so the Belgium consulate was asked for help. The Belgium Ministrie of Foreign Affairs mediated and in smaller groups the whole bunch was flown back later; WITH Ryan Air.

Talking about Belgium;  The 2d Masters will be flown this year again from St Hubert. Only 20 pilots will be allowed and there is a selection system to enter, [according to your place on the IGC ranking ] . Also restrictions for gliders; only gliders with BGA handicap  between 98 [ p.e  discus] up to 110 .[ p.e Ventus 2CXT]
 Look for news at   www.aeroclubdesardennes.be  These comps will be flown in the END of the season ,  the last week-end from August and the first from September.

From Tocumwal I received an e-news- letter  with all newsy news messages about the club over the last months.Ingo [Renner] as instructor and Bill [Harvey] as tuggie had a busy season even with the abundant rain fall. But also on 40 dgr. days,  they were running the show . Extra help arrived on several days from Melbourne , as Lothar and Ross drove up. Even Diana ,on her way with George to the Nationals in Benalla and  former tuggie at Sportavia , jumped in the tow plane again, making a few extra hours , giving Bill a rest and enjoying herself to the fullest.
On the picture; good old and still the one and only 4 times WORLD CHAMPION gliding Ingo Renner with mate Dundee[Dieter]
Thanks Judy for the picture!

The National Clubclass comps for New Zealand are at Matamata  and 24 competitors are hoping to be called the winner on February 13. First day had 10 out-landings.
Matamata is on the North Island and it is good to see pilots from the places I know now , as Auckland, Tauranga and Taupo.
Matamata you can find on the map, just between Hamilton and Tauranga. Results from this comps also on www.soaringspot.com

    Auckland and Tauranga

CU on Sunday, AND………….since yesterday, you can enter your name on line , on the list of participants, if  you want to fly the Dutch Nationals in May; The CAE NLS NK Zweefvliegen at the National Gliding Center Terlet. The first 10 pilots are already on the list!!!! cheers Ritz

Terrible Yasi!

Alphen aan den Rijn      Sunday February 8 2011     ritzdeluy@hotmail.com

 Thumbs up for people in Queensland and Egypt , both in trouble in differtent ways since Wednesday!

I followed the live coverage at ABC all day. I experienced  a category 4 hurricane while living at Curacao, and found that scaring! I remember well the horizontal passing wind, like rolling by!
 Since then I still do not like the power of wind!!! Poor Queensland, hair-raising experiences. The eye was 35 km. in diameter and it took up to 3  hours to pass over and had an influence up till now!!!
People were warned for complete power outage, heavy rain and  flood up to 9 m. in more then one tide; so before it was already  called the worst ever in nations history. Some called it a “monster- killer storm “.
The destructive winds and the heavy rain hit at 12 AM in the middle of the night Oz time! Most hit were areas between Cairns and Townsville. Tully was hit badly ; it was mass devastation there. The storm continued into land becoming weaker and weaker but even Mount Isa had a problem and they say even Victoria will suffer from rain and heavy wind as well. And that is nearly 3000 km away.
The little town Cardwell looked like a war zone, I saw on 9 news , after the mainstreet was totally destroyed. Luckily no injuries or death “only” damage ,but very bad damage. North Queensland is used to cyclones but never ever hit one as heavy and violent as this one since 1917. People were prepared and most of  them evacuated and were safe in strong buildings as mall’s and colleges!The army helps out with the cleaning up.
Yesterday things were back to normal around Cairns, I heard.Electricity works again and they are cleaning up. Shopping center was still closed. They had wind around 100 km/h, while 100 km. south,  no house was left over on the coast due to wind force with 300 km/h. Today the system still causes rain all over the middle to the S. of Australia, also over Benalla, Corowa and Tocumwal.
No not a great soaring season for Australia , a pity!!!! Next year surely will be good again.
Here some pictures I received from the small town close to Cairns.


Last night we had up to 90 km/h here in Holland  and it caused a lot of delay and cancellations at Schiphol Airport, as they could not use all runways. Damage also on buildings, trees and fences, all over Holland.Amsterdam’s ice-skating-court lost it’s roof and a flat building at Rotterdam lost the entrance.

Not a lot happening in our soaring world. After a nice day on the OLC for pilots flying in Australia on February 1, the days later only showed 11 and 6 pilots flying. 
Time to do the finishing touch for pilots active on winter maintenance , as not too long anymore and pilots can fly in Europe again.
A very careful beginning in the mountain [ wave] areas, as Rieti, Aosta and St Martin de Londres are active since this weekend.

I was pleased to see that Tallinn in Estonia and Turku in Finland  both are called; Cultural Capital in 2011. Through gliding I visited both towns and I never stopped saying how awesome Tallinn is. Visa Matti took us , the stewards from the 2005 Europeans,  there on the Ferry from Helsinki to Tallinn and it was an unforgettable trip. I love very ancient towns and this one, being  on the World Heritage list of UNESCO, is defenitely the most memorable one. [ www.tallinn2011.ee  or www.tourism.tallinn.ee]
Turku is a great looking harbour town as well. As TC for the Dutch team during the Europeans in 1988 we all visited Turku on the way to Rayskala as the ferry, with all the cars and trailers,  brought us from the German Nord coast  to Turku.
Made a lot of pictures in Tallinn , but cannot find them..yet! So I share some other pictures,; impressions from Rieti during the WGC .[date is WRONG on one picture!]
You see THE meteo-man Guido, decision making between deputy director Leonardo Brigliadori with Chief steward Brian Spreckley and steward Robert Danewid, Jelmer Wassenaar with his friend Valentina Avanzini and Giorgio Galetto with his longtime crew Roberto.

Take care CU on Wednesday, hopefully a day without wind!!!! Ritz

Soaring-fun in the snow!Extreme weather in Queensland again!

Alphen aan den Rijn      Wednesday February 2 2011       ritzdeluy@hotmail.com

As promised the pictures from soaring with a motor-glider in the snow. As you can see it is not always necessary to go overseas to have fun with [motor] gliding in Europe.
This is Unterwössen and my friend Maria from Munich, send them to me. On the picture her husband Dieter. One of the club members  of Unterwössen . Güstl, every year helps out to put the skies under the glider.On the pictures as well ….BALLOONS… one flying and a few ready to go up.


And the balloons!


 The first meetings   have been held last weekend for the Dutch Gliding Nationals;The CAE NLS National Championships 2011, flown at the National center of Terlet at Arnhem, between May 16-27. The new website will be in the air from next week on.
And in Arboga in Sweden they are very busy with the preparations for the WWGC.  The plan for me, was to be there , but at this stage they need all the money to run a good competition,  which is of course first priority. In the 4 years after they got the bid and straight away checked on me if I could be available…and now, a lot has changed in this world.
 No worries , I keep an eye on them from far away as there are enough girls to get info from.
I wish Mats, the competition director and his team all the best!!!!!!

Yes the new season soon will start  and what will it bring us ???? 
European Championships, in Pociunai in Lithuania for the big ones,  the smaller ships go to Nitra in Slovakia and then of course the JWGC in Musbach, with so many real top talents from everywhere, also from Holland!!!
Many national comps will be flown and then the next WGC will be in 2012 in Argentina at Chavez and in Uvalde Texas in the USA. So enough for all of us to look ahead to.

 Kookaburra’s at Dundees caravan with 42 dgr.

On Monday I got the message that  it was 40 dgr. in Tocumwal. On Tuesday even 42!!!!Finally some sunny dry conditions, for both Toc. and Corowa. In Corowa they had a good day on Sunday as well with a flight over 700 km. So the last days of January made pilots forget the “pretty louzy” weather they had. But atleast they had not a cyclone called Bianca,  like Beverley, what a disaster!!!
Vasant , who was already a  visitor at Sportavia in the past, flew his silver C, “finally ” as he mentioned. Great weather but it started a bit late!

 Some more news about the violent and extreme weather in Australia . Not used to such weather in Australia,  I must say! Now the NE of Queensland is in for a new hammering  called “Yasi” and waiting for this category 5 cyclone and even hurricane-proofed-houses could not be safe. It will start about 12 our time here, so in a few hours.
Here is how it looks. George and Diana, known to a lot of you as former owner and tuggie at Sportavia are expecting the worst in Cairns, look at this:

Just received the next news;
While I write this Australia is in the middle of another extreme weather event. A category 5 cyclone is approaching the North QLD coast and is the biggest storm to ever hit us. The cyclone is not even able to be tracked properly as it has already destroyed the  weather tracking station on an offshore island. We are hoping for the best but expecting the worst.—
All the best for all over there!!!!
 February started with great soaring-conditions  [for what it is worth, but as said before life goes on] in the heat in Australia. Tocumwal had yesterday an 835 km distance in the ASH 26E  [last kilometers the engine was used!] and I really hoped that even this late in the season it would be possible to fly a 1000 km. It happened before!!
Corowa had a 780 in an ASH 31 /MI21.
 Last Monday KLM used bigger planes   to get people back from Cairo in Egypt . Not only Dutch people but also from other countries so they could transfer at Schiphol and continue to their final destiniastion. Very sad what’s happening there. At this stage 5000 Dutch people enjoy their holiday in Egypt and received the advise to come home quickly.Some prefer to stay on the pool and do not want to go, as they think the trouble is still far enough from their bed, read beaches, but inbetween jets and helicopters flew low over the demonstrators in Cairo.
On Sunday Transavia [ a 100% daughter of KLM] stopped with  flights to bring passengers to Hurghada and Sharm al Sheikh. My daughter came back from a stop in Luxor last saturday morning and to be honest I was worried even when the message was, that holiday places on the beaches at that time were safe. On Monday Transavia send 8 extra[empty]  planes to pick up 1500 passengers. They did this in cooperation with the travel agents. Yesterday evening all guests were back home again.
Coober Pedy will be in the future having its own soaring place.  I wrote you already about it and they are still going strong to get it all in good order. As I told you it is “on holy Aboriginal”  ground.
No pictures yet from the field but Dieter send me a few from Coober Pedy and I share them with his permission , with you.The first one is an inland sea and the second one ;the mines!
Have some problems in the end of this blog;can’t get space inbetween the head lines. Sorry about that and see you on Sunday. And all the best to my friends living on the East Coast of Australia . Here is a link with live coverage by ABC.Thanks Vanessa! And check which one you can use!!!! I can’t use both at the moment but that might be to frail connections at the time. Or just go to www.abc.net.au and you will find it aswell with also twitters from people in the middle of it.