HOT!!!!See you again on July 10!

Alphen aan den Rijn   Wednesday June 29 2011

  HOT!!! Also here in Holland![picture from archive.]

Hot here!! 35 Yesterday and 32 on Monday.Noticed that Stockholm had 26 on Monday, what a pity that weather came too late. It was , as on more comps I visited, during prizegiving, maybe the best day of the comps?!
I really felt sorry for the poor meteo man, even more when I saw the picture.
On Monday I was in Amsterdam. The train in Holland can be good but when the weather is too cold or too hot , with too much snow or thunder and lightning , they are hopelessly lost.
In 32 dgr. I travelled in train , bus and a fully packed metro , where you could only “hang” between the other people. 40 plus I guess in it. Normally it takes me from house to house 2 hours this time 4!!!!! The heat had upset rails and points.
Anyhow today it is back to 17 dgr. and around 20 is what I expect for my one week holiday. The damage in the Southern part of Holland after the severe thunderstorms yesterday evening, with hail and wind gusting to 120 km at some places was quite substantial.

 picture from Archive.

The 20 m. 2-seaters in Italy just finished their Nationalsin Voghera and winner is the ARCUS T with Alberto Sironi with 2040 points. Great pilot, friendly guy! Only 3 days of flying, and Alberto won 2 of them.Also NOT one 1000-points-day!! All devalued days. 2d Was another Arcus T . There was one more ARCUS and the rest of the class were duo discusses.

A lot of Polish friends are flying in Leszno  at the moment to be the best in club and 18 m. class. Club- A counts 41 participants and 18 m. 31. They fly till July 3 and till now they have flown 3 days with yesterday an AAT in 18m. class,  from 232 /660 km in 4 hours.
Nice to see Steve Crabb is flying there is well. He is married to the daughter from a former Polish friend of mine Stan Witek. Well known pilots in this class; Tomasz Rubaj and Janusz Centka.

Mondays OLCwas topped by Pepe and that pleases me. He really loves his new ASH31/21 m. “Best glider I ever flew”. He showed it again with a nice 896 km. flight from Fuente. Spain slowly gets busier and places as Fuentemilanos and Beas de Segura will be soon full of soaring-enthusiasts. Another friend Hans, flies from Beas, and “made ” 682 km. in his DG 800B/18m. And in Greece , even with all the strikes, Alexis flew 784 km.  in his ASW 22 BLE.
In Norway Erlend flew a nice 760 km. flight in the Nimbus 4 D with speed ; 107 km/h.
Yesterday I liked the 750 FAI triangle in an LS 8 in Germany and I was pleased to see Räyskälä had good weather with Martti flying 668 km. 

I was touched by the crash in the USA  where a young 16 year old boy survived his 2d crash flying with his father in a light aircraft. First he lost his mum and brother and sister,on their trip to their holyday house,  this time his step mum and dad on the way back from again the summer house. Investigations are on why the plane flew into a garage. Last time the main reason was bad preparation by the dad, who’s plane lacked fuel in the end. This time , I read in the paper, he saved the life of his son by “kicking” him out of the plane before it burnt.

That’s it for now. 2 Guests this week and Dundee arrives this afternoon to keep an eye on my house/garden when I am gone.Cheers Ritz and see you on Sunday July 10.

Picture impression from Arboga by Mikael!

The pictures arrived and I have added the ones from the winners in the blog below with the names of the winners in their classes. Enjoy! Just put the browser on the picture and you see the text. Double click to enlarge!




to the l. team coach Walter Eisele to the r. top-team captain Uli Gmelin

And last but not least “my ” team for this WWGC  Teresa , top- photographer Mikael and crew Björn-Olav.



Back to normal!Now with pictures from the WINNERS!!!!

Alphen aan den Rijn     Sunday June 26 2011

 Prize giving under a great sky!!! Saw that before!!!

While I am writing  the ladies are preparing for the prize ceremony. Great winners and a good mix of countries as well; here are the best 3 in each class , now it is official;
club class;
1. Agnete Olesen [Denmark]  2435 points Standard Libelle WL
2. Ayala Liran [UK] 2362 points Standard Libelle
3. Amelie Audier [France] 2328 points in Standard Cirrus
From Australia I received a message from Anne Elliot; ” Congrats all…especially Agnete,I am almost sure she flew Keith’s [former] glider LS8 in Narromine a few years ago. A truly delightful person”.
There you go!!!
Swaantje ended last, but she just had bad luck, this was not her competition,  as I know she is a fine and really good pilot.A pity ,Liz [UK] flew for 0 points yesterday, she flew 123 km , they needed 4 more to be over 100 km.and they flew between 94 and 99 km. SOOOO close!!!It was not her day!

Standard class ;
1. Sue Kussbach [Germany] 2443 in LS 8. She defended her title with true colors.
2. Gunilla Lindell [Sweden] 2432 in Discus 2T.
3. Gaby Haberkern [Germany] 2364 in Discus 2B
This was not the best comps for Gill Spreckley [UK] and Nathalie Hurlin [France] both former WWGC winners in 2007 and 2009 , but I felt most sorry for Joanna Biedermann. She won day 1 and the last day but lost  points on that one and only 1000- points- day after an early [ 26 km ]outlanding , receiving only 65 points, while the best got between 916 and 1000. A real pity!!!

15 m. class;
1. Susanne Schödel [Germany] with 2908 points and again defending her title with verve in Ventus 2AX
2. Anne Ducarouge [France] with 2637 points in ASG 29, sole finisher on day 5 in her class.
3. Alena Netusilova [Czech Rep] with 2572 points in ASG 29 E. World champion in 2003.

Congratulations to all participants for flying safe, specially the best 9. What I felt here at home with the info I received I think it was a pleasant competition even with the not so pleasant weather. A pity there was only ONE 1000 points day but that’s all in the game.
That’s it about Arboga !
The sad looking but very honest and good predicting meteoman Gunnar Larsson. Feel sorry for him! He did not MAKE the weather!
What an unrewarding task he had.


As said back to normal again. The Austrian National Championships will start on July 1 with 58 participants in 6 classes. Under them Wolfgang Janowitsch who celebrates if I remember well his birthday tomorrow, Happy Birthday Wolfgang, Heimo Demmerer, Guido Achleitner, Werner Amann, Josef Eder and more. Looks like a tough competition. I will be not home so for results I advise you to look at or to their home site.
Also in Lüsse is an interesting competition . The Nationals in 15-18 m class AND open!!!
I will analise them when I am back on July 10 in my sunday morning blog.

On the OLC a lot of flights yesterday from Hobbs in New Mexico from Industrial Park where the USA is flying day 5 from their 18 m. Nationals. Flights up to 741 km . The USA has a real nice soaring season till now, Ely, Minden, Moriarty, Hobbs they all seem to have good weather.

A small aircraft accident,  a flying boat,crashed in the Lake of Jindabyne. Look when you are interested to the next link. Thanks Vanessa!

That’s it for today, CU maybe later with the pictures. Tomorow a tropical day here with expected temperatures of 33 dgr. WOW! First seen , it is grey here now cheers Ritz

Last day…!2 German winners and one Danish!Congratulations!

Alphen aan den Rijn    Saturday- evening June 25 2011

I continue with the ARBOGA story. When you scroll down you find the rest of this exciting last day. Pictures still arriving later, also from the prize giving tomorrow and the party tonight.

At 14.00 the pilots were launched, while it was still raining. Would the lines open? Another tricky day  !!!??? Club class goes enroute their line opened. Launching continues! The “rest ” goes on track as well. Start line from 15 m. was open at 15.25  !!! THEY ALL FLY ON THEIR LAST DAY!

20.00; It was another tricky day! Already soon outlandings were reported. The tasks were very small so it could not take that long before they should come back.
Unfortunetely NOBODY from club class , returned to the field, luckily the task was close to Arboga, so it wont be too long before they can join the party. Only one pilot seems to have  more then 100 km. so I presume it is not a valid day for club class.
In standard class it is a- nail- biting -event for the Swedish fans. The current number 1 Sue Kussbach from Germany and the current number 2 Swedish hope Gunilla Lindell are at this stage ONE point far off each other, in the prelimanary results. In this class even 2 girls made it home; Joanna Biedermann from Poland, who really flew well this competition and who won the first and last day and Danish pilot, Helle Lundgrun.
In the end after looking at more results Sue moved away and IS world CHAMPION in standard class.
In 15 m. class also one finisher Jutta Sturm from France, good on her!! Chapeau!!!Here it is pretty clear German pilot Susanne Schödel is the world Champion!!
A total of 44 outlandings, but I guess they were still all happy with the soaring today. It is a WWGC and not a regional competition. A pity for Liz Sparrow who had the best distance, over 100 km.  in club class. All work done for 0 points .
Both Susanne and Sue defended their world title from 2009 in an excellent way.

I just read on the Swedish site that indeed it is not a valid day in club class so the scores for club class will be the same as yesterday which means that Agnete Olesen from Denmark is WORLD CHAMPION.

More later……

Last flying-day @WWGC -Arboga!Excitement enough !

Alphen aan den Rijn   Saturday June 25 2011
This is again an extra update to make the stories not TOO long. I have published a blog on June 24 as well. Pictures will be added  when I receive them, Mikael had to work, but will be back this weekend.

Friday evening; As said , another window to fly in, a bit of a pity as it does not really show the capacities of ladies who love strong weather and long tasks, but …the weather is the weather, NOBODY can change it. We all learned to accept it as part of our sport.
So the girls had the forecast of 4/8 of cu’s and a cloud base of 1200 m. But…overcast arrived quickly as I heard and there was tension …would it be possible to fly today, and what about tomorrow??
They first delayed , then changed tasks and then did start. But cancelled first for club class then for 15m, they were not even launched and tried hard to get a 5th day out for the standard class ladies! But unfortunately the weather did not allow that either. Not everybody was so sure about that, some pilots as I heard were really UNHAPPY, as the climb- rate was better then the day before and the base at 1000 m.. I do understand that some pilots just want to achieve a few more points to get higher in the overall scores , as a lot is still possible, …… if you don’t fly you don’t get points!!!~On the other hand you don’t loose them either. And….the possibility of flying is not TOO big for tomorrow, let’s just wait and see. It would be sad if it just goes out as a candle this 6th WWGC with only 4/5 days and very marchinal days as well.

So Midsummer night party for everybody! Don’t know in what mood some pilots will be, certainly not the ones who thought/found that soaring was possible for standard class! IF tomorrow is a day , the last possible one, to change the scores, the pilots cannot really celebrate and the expectation of a good day is not BIG. Lot’s of tension for the girls on SPOT 1, will they have to defend the title in their pocket NOW?????

Saturday morning; As you know or might know, I try to read and investigate[ do research]  as much as possible about soaring, to write my blog as interesting as possible for you, BUT in my own style and with my own thoughts. So of course I read the blogs from Germany , the UK and France as well. Good thing from my education…. I speak 4 languages!
What “struck”me most is that all 3 including my Swedish friend Teresa were VERY disappointed[ nearly angry]  that the Friday task was cancelled for standard class. It seems one pilot still flew the task and finished it at Arboga! Indeed a bit weird but I can only guess that the organisers had a good reason to cancel , as they for sure want to show Sweden as a WWGC country as good as possible.
Teresa writes;  “unfortunately yesterday was canceled when the
pilots were in air!!! I dont understand that; I feel that I started to get into
the game and could have improved on the list, well thats gliding. We are
invited by the French pilots to Isodoun next year to the pre comps. I will be there.”
If your German is not too good their blog-reaction was;  ” Our pilots in club class and standard class were disappointed about the decision of the organisation to cancel yesterday. One from the standard class pilots flew the task yesterday and her opinion was that it had been possible to fly” .
And the UK girls were clear in their blog as well; ” rugger, rugger rugger, we can’t believe it.They launched us under a great rug of soarable sky, with cloud base higher then 1000 m+ and climbs stronger then the last competitionday, Jane was in a 7.7 kn climb…when they cancelled the day, so curses, no chance to score points and to change the results.”
And the French in their blog; ” Though the tasks seem to have been possible, the organisation scrubbed the day. Disappointment about an other cancelled day with climbs from 2 m/s.”

Well that says enough is n’t it? But what I like is that the organisers do not feel too “high” to apologize, that they cancelled the day too early. It would have been very interesting if they had flown as the difference in points in standard class, between number 1 with 2080, Sue Kussbach and number 5 with 1943 points is not big. Numbers 1-3-4-5 are all from Germany , number 2 Gunilla Lindell is from Sweden.
Hope for today , the last day of the comps,  is not too big. Next briefing is at 12 as better weather is expected after some showers.
Atleast the girls had a lovely night yesterday, with the French team , everybody is very enthusiastic about it. And…it seems the atmosphere was great so new friends, new thoughts and new invitations as Teresa got to come and fly in Issoudun, where the next 7th WWGC will be. By the way the French team gave a presentation about the possibilities in Issoudun, while waiting for the last briefing.
Of course flying is the first priority, but when the weather does n’t co-operate , the friendship between nations is the next great option.

Saturday afternoon;  Grid time 14.00. First expected launch at 14.15 and last at 17.00!!!! It is good they don’t give up too soon on this last day so tasks are set; club 137 km and “the rest ” 158 km. It means , in the end, that they only had ONE 1000 -points -day !!!!
The rain passed by and indeed some better weather arrived after this trough.Excitement everywhere; for the girls on top , who do not want to loose points and on lower spots to get higher up in the scores!!! Gliders are on the grid and it is still raining..a bit. Only again a few points to loose or to gain, but winning the day and an outlanding can make the difference.
What is going to be??????

You can read it in the last blogs about Arboga, later today and tomorrow! A nice link to finish, to something very different but still very intriguing “the beach walker” a kinitic sculpture .Thanks Peter!

Cheers Ritz

Finally better weather !!!Teresa@Arboga ! Jo@Rieti !

Alphen aan den Rijn       Friday June 24 2011

This week I give you a day-by-day-update. So to avoid you getting bored with TOO long stories I  publish during the last days of the WWGC a bit more often. Enjoy!

Wednesday afternoon; Just noticed that we will have ” hot ” weather for this weekend and after…it will go up to 30. Finally summer again!!! Like on a few other comps I visited I would not be amazed to see the best weather in Arboga during the prize giving!!!! GRrrrr…..!!!!!!!!??????
Just received info about the new site for juniors in Australia [thanks Jo!]  The Juniors in Australia are only in December 10-17 in Kingaroy, but from now on you can read everything on their new website.
—-I look forward to bringing you and the world more news as it develops in the news section, via the tweets, facebook group – JoeyGlide News (for everyone who’s interested in following the event), tracking site, and the scoring live.
Safe Circles,
Adam Woolley—-

Wednesday evening;Another “terrible” / “dramatic” / “exciting”  certainly difficult, not-what-you-hope-for-during-a-WWGC-but-what-can-you-do- soaring day in Arboga! Low cloud base, less then 1000 m to go on track and relaunches, as not all girls could stay up. They were send for another AAT to fly as far as possible in 2 hour 15 minutes over 193 km min. and 300 km. max in 2 classes. Standard class was last to launch and ….called back home in the air before their start line opened, due to the quickly incoming poor weather. Club and 15 m. were on track already then.
And….they made it a day! Day 5 in 2 classes is a fact as 5 flew more then 100 km in each class, but I guess with blood , sweat and tears.
Speed in club class; 42 km/h. but …..Polish Marta Najfeld finished in her Standard Jantar flying 179 km.  Great effort. Runner up was Agnete Olesen from Denmark in her Standard Libelle. She is on spot ONE now overall!
Of course the factor luck is big on days like this as well as having skills for this kind of weather, patience and to be on the right spot at the right time, but still….excellent!
In 15 m. ONE  finisher as well, French Anne Ducarouge finished and  flew 203 km. and her speed was 58 km/h. Also a battle here!!! Loosing more then 400 points on the first 1000-points-day [ dropping from 1 overall to 6!] she must have been determined to do better today. Now she is back on spot 2 overall again.
In the end it , indeed, turned out to be a valid day in both classes! Congratulations to the 2 day-winners! Chapeau!!

On Thursday morning  the girls were awake in time,  not due to the alarm clock but loud thunder!!! Would it be day 6 for 15 m. and club and day 5 for Standard? No….unfortunately the day was cancelled!

My friends from Australia Jo and Tony Tabart  spend a week at Rieti Airport, found new friends and Tony re -lived his flying from 1984 [ the year we all met!!!] and 1985 when he flew the Pre WGC and WGC in Rieti. Here is the impression by Jo;
—- On Tuesday, Tony flew to the east and admired the Adriatic Sea.  Cloud base was 3,000 metres with climbs of 4 metres.  Visibility was excellent in the east, unlike the Rieti Valley which had poor visibility.  Coming home from the south, visibility was reduced to 5 km.  Tony achieved a distance of approx 350 km over 4 hours. [ chief instructor at Rieti!] joins us for a final dinner.  Thank you to everyone at Rieti for showing us wonderful hospitality and kindness.
Wednesday, Tony flew east again where visibility was better.  Cloud base was 2,400 metres with climbs of 2-3 metres.  Coming home in the blue was slow.  His flight was around 3 hours for about 200 km.
Today, Thursday the weather may improve later in the day – very stable with poor visibility in the morning.  Tony will try for 300 km if conditions improve enough.

We leave Friday morning for Venezia via Roma.  We have had a very enjoyable time in Rieti, being well looked after by the Rome Club Boys who are doing a Performance Flying Course this week.  They have taken us in their cars to breakfasts and dinners in very charming, out of the way farmhouses. 
Tonight, Alessandro joins us for a final dinner.  Thank you to everyone at Rieti for showing us wonderful hospitality and kindness.
Jo & Tony Tabart, Corangamite Soaring Club, Victoria, Australia—-
By the way , Alessandro is the chief instructor from Rieti and a very nice and interesting guy. Some pictures from my archive.

I liked the 800 km FAI triangle from Ely in an ASW 27 on Wednesday. The USA has a pretty good 2011 season. And what about the 1.140 km. FAI triangle  in a duo discus from Minden in Nevada ; not bad either!!!

Thursday evening; A message from my friend Teresa about that difficult day on Wednesday.
—-today the rain was pouring down and the day was cancelled. There is some slight
hope for tomorrow. Yesterday was the longest day of the year and we got a
competition day for the club and 15m.
The cloudbase was low, the gaggles before the start were between 650 and 800m
mainly.My impression is that ladies fly very nicely in the gaggles, I have not
experienced any unplaesent things.
I crossed the startline at aprx 750m and left for the task. Std which also
were in the air already, did not get their startline open, they had to land
again. The cloudbase beeing 1000m further at the north, one had to take every
weak thermal in order to stay airborne. It ended up with an outlanding after
two areas haeding for the third. Clouds were at 8/8 at that area at that time
and though it started clearing up slightly after a while I had to land out.
I have made some 200 outlandings during my 40 years in gliding, most of them I
can not remember but some stay in the memory. My outlanding yesterday will be
one of them. After landing I started walking to find the nearest road for the
crew to arive, as the field was surrounded by deep forest. I found the tractor
road leading to the field and saw some children driving a 4 wheel track and
bicycling. After a while they saw the glider and came with me to have a look at
it. They were obviously two sisters and one brother, all around 8-11 years old.
At the glider one of the girls told me that they will be flying to Spain for a
holiday. After a while and lots of other questions she asked me if I had ever
crashed with a glider. I said no, it is very safe to fly and it is a beautiful
sport. Then we saw her father at the edge of the field and went there.We did
some talking about the weather etc and I told him that his daughter had told me
that they will soon be flying to Spain. He looked at me, then he turned away
for few seconds, he turned back again and told me that he had recently lost his
7 years old son in an accident at the farm; he had it  obviously difficult to talk
about it. After a while he asked me if his daughter had asked me about flying,
he was worried about her as she is talking that the aeroplane they will be
flying will crash. He was convinced that this was a result about her loosing
her little brother, she had started worrying about things. It was very sad, I
hope that my beautiful ASW 27 gave her some confidence and peace in mind.

Tomorrow the midsummer eve will be celebrated here, but as we (hopefully) will
fly on Saturday as well, the celebration might have to be moved to another

Friday, morning; one but last day in Arboga and finally better weather?????It looks like it, on this Midsummer Eve-day. I knew the dates were not exact , as I have had it on the 20thiest as well. Can’t remember the other days, but anyway on a Friday! But in Arboga it is today, on the 24th, so I guess a nice bon fire will be ready tonight for the girls. Hope they do not have to rush from outlanding places and really can enjoy this event. They might even be under that “spell” and fall in love , who knows!!! They can dance around the maypole and “feel” the tradition of Sweden.
But first they have to fly; racing task for club, 214 km and the “rest” 245 km.The estimated first launch being at 11.30. And….again “a window” to fly in.
Cu later in the next blog! Cheers Ritz

Arboga-continuing story!1000- points-day? First 1000km for the Fuente-season!

Alphen aan den Rijn    Wednesday June 22

I guess Mikael has been too busy, so no pictures today. When they should arrive later I add them ofcourse.

Monday morning;After a [Sun]day off, with lot’s of rain, they found AGAIN a small window in Arboga, to fly in on Monday the beginning of the week in which the longest day on June 21 and Midsummer-night, will be special for all ladies; AAT in each class , 1 hour and 30 minutes and for club between 152 /260 km. and the rest 173/290 km. Swedish meteo man Gunnar, thinks it is possible to fly though there is a risk of  showers and the air is very unstable. The German team/meteo,  does not expect that flying after 15.00 belongs to the possibilities, so an early start at 11.30 and just 90 minutes in the air to fly and everybody could be back home before the weather “gives up”. It seems possible if you calculate it all well and this would give another day [4]! I saw on the weather that this low pressure system is very persisting and annoying the NW of Europe, while the SE is good , sitting under a “high”. My Australian friends Jo and Tony Tabart are in Rieti at the moment so that is good for them. Was supposed to see them in Rieti over the last weekend but was too busy to even organise it. A pity!
Here is some news from Jo from Rieti, about yesterday;
The day was blue, with a little CU to the south which we had seen from the air – but the CU was not so obvious at the airfield.
Tony flew a club Discus and had a good 3 hour flight to the south.  Cloud base was 2,400 metres, long glides and reliable climbs under the occasional CU.—-

Monday evening;  So what happened, today in Arboga? They did NOT start at 11.30. Instead they had a TC briefing at 12.00. New B  tasks, new first launch time 12.30…12.45…..then thunder was heard from the N. where a big shower was hanging …..and ….the day was cancelled. Correct decision, as I heard! And…at least they tried hard again.But…it is still not a valid WWGC, we need one more day, but that should not be a problem with still 4 days to go.

Midsummer night !!!! Yes that is very special. I have been part of big bon-fires several years in both Sweden and Finland and it was “special”. First of all it is weird that you can still read a book outside at mid night, but there is something you feel , about this Midsummer Night and  it is difficult to describe, it gave a bit of a “spooky” feeling, such a twilight atmosphere.In one of those nights I still remember one of the crew members of my team , fell in love with the wife of one of my pilots. Of course this brings some stress in the team and was not easy for the TC [me].AND… Of course I know this happens more [ could write a book about it!!] …..and maybe had nothing to do with Midsummer Night, but it still felt that the atmosphere created it. Correct me when I am wrong.

Here is an impression about yesterday at the WWGC in Arboga from my friend Teresa.

—Well, we are desperately waiting for the GOOD weather! I’m happy with my 
flying and I love the ASW 27, but I’m not a ‘sprinter’ but a ‘marathon-runner’, 
eg I prefer the really long tasks!   I often do misstakes with short tasks like
starting too early, like the day before yesterday, the weather improved after
couple of hours, (not forecasted) and as I prefer to fly alone I did not wait
for the big gaggle….Then having been forced to drop the water my final glide
was  really hairraising, I crossed the finnishring at 100m and had to land
1000m before the RWY as I could not cross the highway with lots of traffic on
it….That was my shortest retrieve ever.
I’m optimistic about the days to come!
On my question what they do on a non-flying day?
When the day was canceled today, one of the French pilots 
asked me where they could find a good sauna in town. I said that the best sauna
in the middle Sweden was in Eskilstuna, at Ekeby gliding field, so when I went
back to Eskilstuna I started to heat up the sauna, it takes couple of hours as 
it is heated up by wood, and when the French ladies arrived they had a really 
hot sauna and they had some very good time and spent some three hours there! I
put up a sign on the door that the sauna was booked for the WWGC 2011 for the
rest of the evening. I also invited the Finns (as they are some real sauna 
people) to come later in the evening.
I had some nice chat with Gillian Sprekley the other day. She is a very nice 
lady and as we have known each other since Benalla -87 we had some good laugh 
about some old happening we could refer to. She was a bit worried about all the 
forest here but I think I managed to convince her that it is not that bad, and
her beeing a very good pilot she can handle that.   That is maybe not the case for everybody. 
One of the  pilots was in total shock the other day as she had spent
some time  very low over the treetops with not landable below. It is part of 
the flying here to take the unlandable areas into account, and still we have not 
been over the REAL forest…
 Well lets hope for some good days to come.

Yes we all met in Benalla that year in 1987. Gill’s husband Brian became world champion that year as well as Ingo Renner , Teresa’s ex husband. Kees Musters had a bad day in the beginning but after being more relaxed after that and socialising  in the evening, he got back to 4th place. Great effort !

Tuesday morning; The astronomical summer starts today , but it does not look like it and it does not feel like it!!!!Before going to Amsterdam I can tell you that the weather clearly seems to be better in Arboga with longer tasks; a 3 hour AAT  for club 203/362 km and the rest a 2 hour 45 AAT from  234/409 km . A 1000- point-day??? Finally???
Tuesday evening; YES!!!! It was a 1000-point-day, but a very difficult one with low cloud base,with several outlandings even from Joanna from Poland who had such a nice first place. There were showers, cross wind and even the witches night ,” Babajaga”  was moved to Wednesday cause of the wind and many outlandings.
So a day to loose lot’s of points , but also to gain them. Which means, happy pilots and sad/disappointed  pilots!
In club class 8 from 18 finished! “Poor Swaantje” , only flew 18 km and got 47 points. Best distance ; 267 in 3 hours and 23 minutes! Best overall; Amelie Audier from France.
In standard class, the German girls did well being 1-2 and 4 and only 6 from 16 finished. Best overall spot after 4 flying days is for Sue Kussbach from Germany.Best distance 304 3 hours 27!
In 15 m. class again 3 German girls on top and 7 finishers from 13. My friend Teresa made it home, good on her,  being 5th! Best overall; Susanne Schödel from Germany. Tough days for all the girls, it was a 1000 point day but a very difficult one. Best distance in 15 m. class;320km. in 3.24.

I told you already how good the German team is organised. It is not only Uli who as TC directs the team, but also Walter who “reads” the weather for the ladies. Walter is not just “a “Walter, but Walter Eisele, a top pilot himself with lot’s of experience but also the WGC director from Bayreuth and… through the year, coach from the girls. The team is sponsored by Mercedes with 5 top- 4-gear -cars.

OLC; interesting flights.First on Saturday; From the Industrial Flight Park in Hobbs New Mexico, where Dutch pilot Kees Musters once became world champion. Some great flights specially the one in the Antares with Dave Nadler who reached a speed of 156 km/h over 652 km. But also the ASG 29 /18m. flight from Allison Tyler 645 km  [ a 500 km FAI in it] with 128 km/h is not bad. And a pilot I got to know from Greece, Alexis Anastasiou, had a super- day- flying his ASW 22BLE,  over 787 km. in a yo-yo,  over Greece!!!
Last Sunday my friends in Switserland had a nice day. Belgium pilot Bert Schmelzer jr. who lives and works at this moment in Switserland and Stefan Leutenegger flew 608 and 754 km  from Hausen am Albis so, about half an hour by car from Zurich.
Great to see that Pepe flew in his ASH 31/21m. a 1000 km.yoyo from Fuentemilanos yesterday. The first 1000 in Fuentemilanos for the season. I reckon a few more will be added!!! He loves the glider, by the way!

Just to let you know from July 1 till 8 I have my annual holiday with my high school friends and then there is not time to write , just to laugh and talk and have fun. Cheers Ritz

WWGC in Arboga! Räyskälä ! Helli Lasch! Delft-blue miniature???

Alphen aan den Rijn     Sunday  June 19 2011

It has been raining ” cat’s and dogs ” here, on Thursday , tonight[ with a heavy thunderstorm]  and this morning, so I guess the drought is over now! Yesterday it was like autumn here with storm [5 up to bft.8] at the coast and rain!!!! London had this weather on Friday!
Finland had good weather again , certainly on Friday, so Räyskälä  continued with their Nationals after giving all the sadness a place and also Sweden was not too bad, so the “girls” have already 3 days and one official restday, due to rain!!! I will spend a bit more time on the WWGC as this is , as you know, a world event. ALL pictures by Mikael and when you click on them you can read the text and you can double klick and they enlarge. THANK YOU MIKAEL!!!

The first day in Arboga still gave despite all “lows” hanging around,  a window for small tasks; A racing task from 129 km. for club and 157 for standard and 15 m. class. It is just good when you can begin! And….at 11.15 this start of the 6th WWGC was a fact, 47 ladies from 11 different countries,  left on track and what was even better…..the weather turned out  pretty good.
Not a lot of points to earn or to loose but day 1 was a fact;
French Amelie Audier “received ” 396 points in club class and there was 1 outlanding.
In standard 6 outlandings and 394 points for the winner from Poland Joanna Biedermann.[speed 105 km/h] The shortest distance was flown by the current WWGC champion from France Nathalie Hurlin; 72.5 km. believe me , remembering her from the JWGC in Finland, she will be “on fire ” for the rest of the comps!!!!!
In 15 m. class the 3 Czech,  “ova”-girls , worked well together and earned for being 1-2-3, 274,272 and 252 points,; 1 outlanding here. ” ova” girl 1,”  Alena Netusilova,  had a super speed of 132 km/h!!!!!


My expectations; Of course the German team  is a very strong team with 2 current WWGC champions and with on top of that a REAL team captain , Uli, who gets paid for doing the job at all different airfields at all different top comps. He is a very nice guy and has loads of experience he can share with his girls.
With also their own meteo, I expect a lot from the German girls. But also the UK has toppers, Gill Spreckley former WWGC champion, as well as France, with  young lady Nathalie Hurlin defending her title in club class and another very experienced TC Eric Napoleon and I never underestimate the Polish and Czech girls, the last with a top pilot as their TC,Petr Krejcirik.
I would like to see Elena from Italy doing well, as well as Orsolya from Hungary, they are young , I met them in Finland during the JWGC and talented. Also one of my good friends Teresa , hopefully flies well. Anyway I wish them all good luck, may the best win.


On Thursday the organisation found again a “window ” to fly in  with distances of 135 km. for club and  162 for the other classes. With such a good predicting meteo- man Gunnar Karlsson, another soarable day 2,  with maybe too short distances like day 1, [always easy to say when the day is over], but it is better to have then all home and not somewhere in a paddock, or the side of a lake,  even during a WWGC .Nice to hear “former ”  top pilot Gill van den Broeck has arrived to support the ladies.

Day 2 started at 12.00  for club.  In the beginning, 0.6 lift up to 900 m. At 13.00 the rest was launched, while some club classers could not stay up and had a re- launch. The day turned out good enough to bring them all home. Only my friend Teresa landed after 52 km, loosing just over 400 points on the number 1 in 15 m. class.  Best speed today 96 km/h. In standard class the German ladies advance on to the top and in club it was good to see that Orsolya was 2d, missing out on just ONE point to win the day!

Day 3 Friday, started with lot’s of rain , so the day was at briefing declared as an official rest day!

 grid yesterday

Day 4 , yesterday, had an A and B task as the organizers were not sure enough about the weather.In the end the girls flew a C task, 151 km. and  173 for the others!! Small tasks but at least they FLY!!! So 3 days out of 4 till now! A bit Dutch “hanging-in-weather,”  but unfortunately NO Dutch or Belgium girls  in Arboga. Dutch weather is also familiar to the the UK girls and the Danish girls and that showed. In Club the UK girls were 1 and 2 and the Danish lady 3d. In standard; 1 Denmark, 2 UK. only in 15 m. the French ladies were on 1 -2 and the German girls were on 3-4-5, so they knew also how to deal with this weather.
After 4 days and 3 days of flying; the overall result in 
club class;
1. Amelie Audier [France] 1251 points
2. Ayala Liran [UK] 1236 and winning yesterday
3. Elisabeth Sparrow [UK] 1201 and 2d yesterday.
standard class;
1. Joanna Biedermann [Poland] with 1233 points
2. Sue Kussbach [Germany] 1090. Sue is the current World champion.
3. Helle Lundgren  [Denmark] 1087. She won yesterday with the best speed of 114 km/h.
Spot 7 still has 1062 points!!!! EVERYTHING is possible as long as they can fly!!!
15 m. class ;
1. Anne Ducarouge from France with  “only ” 1112 points.
2. Susanne Schödel  [Germany]  1009 points. Susanne is the current world champion and German champion in 15 m. class.
3. Jutta Storm [France] 972 points. Jutta is one of my Facebook friends!
 The 3 “ova “girls are on 4-5-6 !!!Alena Netusilova on spot 4 was world champion in 2003.
One point I noticed; quite a few penalty points yesterday , for crossing the finish ring TOO low and missing the startline in both standard and 15 m. class.
Today Sunday is cancelled! Let’s wait for the good weather with 1000-point-days.

Something totally different! KLM has a Delft-blue 777-200 !!!??? 4000 ” tiles ” have been glued on  the fuselage. The tiles are from a special folio and people have been asked on Facebook and Hyves on the KLM page, to send a tile with their picture, a few words or a drawing and 120.000 tiles have been send from 154 countries. GREAT idea!!!Each of the tiles is 30×30 cm. and is covered OVER the normal blue parts of the plane. Saw it yesterday on TV and you have to see it close by , while flying you barely will notice it, but then it is fantastic.

Räyskälä’s National competition is over  and as we all know by now, if you want it or not , life continues, so did the comps and on Friday the pilots really had to forget everything and concentrate on longer tasks; standard class 371 km. on day 4 with Markku Kuusisto winning the day,and 2 outlandings  and  344 km. on day 3 for both 15 m and the 2 seaters. In 15 m. a few of my friends did well being 3-[ Martti] 4-[Martti] and 5 [ Kari] for the day and Visa Matti was 3d for the day but still on spot 1 overall in the duo discus.
In the end the winners in each class were; Juha Sorri, Martti Koivula and Visa-Matti Leiniki. Kari was 5th and Martti Sucksdorff 7th. Young Aku Jaakula was 4th in his LS 8.
By the way, I was impressed with the Räyskälä home-site,  clearly from the hand of webmaster / designer , Katja who really has her own style and…. a good and young one! The JWGC site in Musbach is hers as well.

“A typical Australian winter-day “  is the comment on OLC from David Jansen flying a 316 km.  from Kingaroy! A day also on which Mick Sly flew his gold C from the same field.

Great also to read and feel the enthusiasm of flying  with a coach in a duo-discus over the mountains from Vinon. One of our young Dutch pilots is doing so,  Alfred Paul. He flew 5 days with another young pilot from Belgium , Paul Janssens,  who was his coach and I love the way he ” lives his dream of flying the Alps” .
By the way the 18m. and 2 seaters will have their National Championships in Vinon from July 9-16. Just to let you know.

AWE stands for Aviation and Women in Europe, I just made myself a member as I liked one of their goals in life, ” to encourage women to seek opportunities in aviation.” They have their 7th conference  in Amsterdam in September from 23-25. Will keep you updated, though I never got a confirmation that I am accepted!

Last but not LEAST, the 5th Helli Lasch Challenge ??!!  I had not heard from Helli Lasch till about 3 weeks ago. Helli Lasch was a passionate, inspirational and charismatic man, who not only loved skiing and was good in it ,as well as in golf and tennis,  but also gliding and went solo in 1947 in a Grunau Baby [like I did .] His story reads like a thrilling book and you do not want to stop.
The Challenge, with his name,  is every 2 year at Tswalu Kalahari Reserve; it is an exclusive, invitation only, all-paid event for current world champions in open, 18m. 15m. and  standard class with their partners.It says more;
Uniquely the Helli Lasch Challenge combines staying at one of the finest game lodges in Africa with some of the finest soaring in the world.—
When I was talking to Iain during the Dutch Nationals I heard about this fascinating story first and asked if I was allowed to use it for my blog. I received it straight away, but had to wait till today to share it with you.
I kindly recommend the whole story, written by Iain Baker from JS1, on the next link on their new web site,[ better as copying and pasting it from word!]as I loved reading it and got to know much more about this Mr. Lasch and his family;


You are more then up to date now,  so CU next time!cheers Ritz

Arboga and more….!

   6 th WWGC 2011 in Arboga Sweden about to begin

 Alphen aan den Rijn        Wednesday June 15


Just noticed on the European weather station  that a low pressure system is to the W of Ireland going to the E. The rest of Europe “should” have a nice morning but overcast and rain in the afternoon!! Except for Turkey and Spain.
Hope the beginning of the Arboga WWGC has a great first day today, though the influence of the “lows” is hanging around there, as well. Anyway the forecast for today ;it is dry , 15 dgr. and 10 km,+ visibility.For the next 10 days,  the ladies are going to battle for 3 top positions in each of their classes. Good luck, girls!
The opening was yesterday evening, with all teams presenting theirselves in their team dress . A Hawker Hunter Show and aerobatics opened this 6th WWGC in Sweden.

Good to see 23 participants in the Swiss Junior Nationals.Also young pilots from France and Germany as I saw one of the well known soaring families from France , Adrien Henry from Bailleau on spot 1 after 3 days and German top junior Sebastian Nägel on spot 3. Final result after 4 days of flying; Adrien wins and Sebastian is 2d. They will be winners and the first Swiss young pilot will be champion.

The OLC shows a mix of countries  where it is good soaring. 4 German pilots have “found” Morocco again to fly in their “long-ears” [ ASH 25 EB 28 and ASW 22 BLE] several 1000 km. distances. I counted 9 till now since May 20. Best speed till now; 133 km.

The Finnish Nationals for standard, 15 m. and the 2 seater class  started last Saturday with super hot and good soaring-weather and …..400 km. tasks. On Sunday afternoon unfortunately it went very wrong for 2 pilots in 15 m class,  who got involved in a midair- collision. They were on their way back home , on the last leg, when it happened around 4 in the afternoon. One bailed out and landed , unharmed, with his parachute, but the other one did not survive! It took some time to find him, but when the helicopter found him, he had not survived the collision.Tragic ! Investigations of what has happened are busy and the unharmed pilot involved, can give his opinion. Also the logger can “say ” a lot!
So time to reflect as well for me, as I love the gliding in Räyskälä and feel for all involved, specially the family and friends of the pilot who got killed and also specially Mari, “the boss” of the Räyskälä airfield!

Not much more to say today, sorry! To finish 2 more pictures from Arboga. courtesy; Mikael, who is for this occasion here in the 2 seater !THANKS! Mikael is so kind to send me pictures during the WWGC.

Happy Pentecost long weekend!13 hours and 20 minutes sitting in a glider!

Great finish at Terlet! love these pictures.   

Alphen aan den Rijn     Sunday June 12 2011

Love the great finish over the heather at Terlet, pictures courtesy to Bert Kuijper.
The meteo was correct about Europe this week, the great weather was supposed to be in Finland and on Friday they had temperatures up to 30 dgr. and even Lapland had in the low 20thies, something not happening often.
Räyskälä, had a few 500 km. flights, with blue , but later cumulus-conditions.On Friday even over 600 km. flights, one ot the pilots flying it; Martti Sucksdorff ,one of my friends.
Another friend Hans, is having fun at Beas De Segura in Spain with flights between 500 and 850 km.
Also in Holland conditions were good with as best flight 564km. from the S of Holland.

In the USA,  the standard class National Championship is  in full swing. Crisp County-Cordale is the place to be. To be honest , I never heard of that place, so I had to google to find out that,….it’s capital is Cordale , the WATERMELON capital of the world, with a huge festival in July, ….it is in Georgia and they owned and operated the first electricity power plant in the USA. Nothing about an invasion of glider pilots, but you can atleast see their results on the OLC.
One of the pilots flying these Nationals is from Belgium; Baudouin Litt.
My USA friends know more about it so , on  they keep you informed about this 2011 National Championship. But you can also read more about that great flight from Minden , I told you about earlier; the record USA wave flight [  in the Northern hemisphere] in a Kestrel….2257 km. on May 31,  in 13 hours and 20 minutes and an average speed of 103 miles/h.!!!

Problems at Zaventem Airport   [Brussel in Belgium] ;Aviapartner who takes care of the luggage of 40 companies flying into and from Zaventem had a 24 hour strike on Thursday, delaying lot’s of flights and a lot had to be be cancelled as well. Reason;  Aviapartner  lost the license to continue their job to Swissport and 1200 people might loose their job.

42 Pilots fly at Malden [Holland] during the Open Military comps. They are certainly NOT all serving , but it is a great competition on a very nice airfield , where they are building a brand new  hangar. The old hangar has been demolished;  still have great memories on it as I went solo at that airfield.
Pilots return to Malden every year, because of the atmosphere. They fly with the club in the weekends and they also are host to people who want to fly from Monday till Friday.
Great to see that 10 pilots fly in the 2 seater class[ 2 DG1000 and the rest duo discus!] In 18 m. one of the importers from the JS 1, Maarten Baltussen  is flying and in 15 m. class the number 3 from the Nationals Bas Seijffert is doing a good job. He was in the past F16 pilot [till 1996] and now flies for KLM .
After one cancelled day  and 2 days with pretty marchinal weather,   they finally had on Thursday pretty long tasks; Club-321 km., [3 from 9  pilots finished, ] 15 m. -351 km.,[ 2 from 8 finished]  18m.-AAT in 3.30 hours [ 3 from 15 did NOT finish ; best distance 364 km!]and the  2 seaters had the same as 18m.with a distance between 221 and 461 km.[ 7 from 10 made it home ; best distance 317 km.] That was also the last flying day! The last one was cancelled.
Winners, all good mates, are in club class Frank Hiemstra one of the 3 behind that great new tracking system ADS-B, which was to be seen again during this competition.
In 15 m. class the importer from HPH in Holland , but this time flying a Mosquito Ton Staasen ,from my former soaring club ZES,  was the winner. He was ONLY 5 points ahead of Bas in the ASW 28.
In 18 m class it was the JS1 with Maarten winning  [ as said importer for JS1] and in the 2 seater class Ronald Kaay from Eindhoven won  in the duo-discus . Congratulations to all of them!!!! A pity the weather did not co-operate too much, but 3 out of 5 days is not TOO bad!!!!

 Bas          2-seater-fun

The Sun storm from last Tuesday which COULD have given some problems  for pilots , as well as for the several satellites, did not do any harm. It seems to have been a spectacular eruption. Phone -and- GPS systems  ,it all worked without problems and it will do no harm anymore either according to the Max Planck Institute who does sun-research .

Our Danish friends have their Nationals  as well in Arnborg with 56 competitors in 4 classes!! They started with 4 days, then 3 non flying days due to the weather and they also had better weather on Thursday. Some well known pilots flying, as good old Stig Öye, Henrik Breidahl, Arne Boye- Möller , Rasmus Örskov and Jan Andersen !Also Ib who flew with us in Tocumwal and flew a lot of new Danish records then, flies here in 15 m class. Unfortunately he was the only “out-lander ” on day 2, won by Stig Öye, but his revanche came on day 3 with a day- win!!!
Also Ole Arndt flew with us in Tocumwal,[  he and Ib fly now in Corowa] and he  flies an ASW 20 in club class now.And….he won day 5!!! Good on both of them!
On Friday they had speedtasks in the 2-seater [515 km.]  and standard class [ 515 km] and an AAT in the other 2 classes; 5 hours and between 294 and 625 km. It looks they expected a good day. Never saw the results however, but maybe they still appear on

The second flight of the “solar plane” is a fact as well. At least …if the the Swiss made Solar Impulse could fly yesterday from Brussel to Paris to attend as honored guest, a flight-show.The wings of this very first by sun powered plane,  are full of sun collectors and it is a combination of the span of a normal commercial plane and the weight of a car. VERY interesting!!!!! I saw a little video and it is really “pioneering”.
In the end they had problems  , the Solar Impulse did fly but had to return above the North of France back to Brussel, where it landed safely, after some technical problems and a very tough headwind.

Yesterday the official training has started for the WWGC at Arboga.The first briefing was at 10.00. I will follow it with some inside news , you can see the rest on Enjoy!

I finish with some “different ”  pictures from the NK 2011; courtesy Hans Spekkers and Bert Kuijper.

. Enjoy your long weekend. Cheers Ritz