Rain,rain and rain! BUT….It get’s better!

Alphen aan den Rijn     Sunday July 31 2011   ritzdeluy@hotmail.com 

This July Holland had the coldest ever day with 13 dgr. Glad August starts tomorrow with better weather!

It must be weird to fly again on the reserve day after a party, but that’s what the world class did. The window was hopefull, so AAT’s from 2 hours and between 100 and 170 km. had been handed out! No rain but pretty strong wind this time so  pilots were send to the mountains to be able to do some ridgeflying!
But….the day ended as a non valid day! Luca Urbani flew the best distance 83 km. but not enough. What a pity for all the effort from pilots crew and organisers!
As it was not a valid EGC there are no champions but for sure WINNERS!!!!!!
Jakub Barszcz from Poland on spot 1 ,[ 731 points] and the 2 French pilots on 2 and 3.[681 and 665]
By the way, I loved following the new 2 seater class in this EGC and guess it will have a bright future! At least I hope so.

The one but last day at Wasserkuppe was one full of excitement. I wrote already that Sebastian flew the first leg by himself loosing time on Tilo and others. He lost points on that day as well as he got nothing. So very experienced pilot and good friend Giorgio won the day and straight away dominated the top position, with 31 points while young Sebastian still had 25 points. There are a few very young pilots in this race and it is great to see how they can fly and mingle with the toppilots and listen to them and learn.
A bit of an anti climax was the weather on the last day, so pilots could not “attack ” the first place from Giorgio anymore , but no worries , he is a great pilot and deserved to win!!! Congratulations.I hope for a picture today, but you know how hectic it is after a competition, a party and prizegiving with bubbles.
Sebastian now has to rush to Musbach to fly the 7th  JWGC over there! Atleast he shows good form.

Pociunai had a bit of a damp practise period, but sunny conditions on the openings day. So as the opening was in the evening, pilots still could fly.I really hope they get better weather then in Nitra. The 74 pilots start flying today and there are a few favourites, if I may give you my opinion;
In open class UK -hope, Pete and Steven , Killian and Sylvain the 2 French pilots and German pilot Bruno Gantenbrink , a bit older now then when I met him at several WGC’s but still never to underestimate. Also Janus Centka is such an “old” topper. And maybe my Dutch friends see possibilities to be high up in the scores!
In 18 m. “our ” Ronald is a favourite, no doubt about that,  UK pilot Russell, Austrian pilot Wolfgang [ still put my money on him ] and the 2 Polish pilots.
In 15 m. Hungarian pilot Gyorgy, I still believe in Henrik Breidahl from Denmark and Finnish pilot Markku Kuusisto. And..of course Stefano and Thomas from Italy.
Let’s wait and see, as long as they can fly under good to very good conditions , this will be a great event.

Klippeneck , the famous competion in Germany the 43th edition,  always attracks lot’s of pilots. Also this year; 91 in 5 classes!!!

The CIM in Rieti starts on August 2  with Giorgio as one of the pilots! Love this Coppa Internationale del Mediterranio.

See you on Wednesday, cheers Ritz

Disappointing weather in Nitra!But what can you do!!

Alphen aan den Rijn      Friday July 29 2011    ritzdeluy@hotmail.com

Friday; ONLY 4 days for club, standard and 2 seater class, at least a VALID EGC , but for sure not what pilots and organisers had hoped for in Nitra. The “poor PW 5 pilots ” still have to try tomorrow on the reserve day to make it a valid competition for them as well. Hope so , as this is their last EGC combined with club and standard class. It should finish with good memories, before the 13 m. class will have their own WGC in 2013.

One big lottery, being on the right spot on the correct place , what do you think….in fact clearly said by the organisers in the summary of July 27;
“First outlandings were reported quite early and we were afraid if the pilots will be able to make it home. Fortunately, the development of showers on the south that were causing the troubles has decreased and the weather situation has improved. Arrivals have started and after a while we knew that this day would be valid.  “,
Is this bad luck when you land early , or is it smart to arrive when that weather has passed. In my eyes it has more to do with the factor LUCK!!! Certainly when this happens en route when a shower blocks a TP. Correct me if I am wrong!
There was  no way to “beat” the ones in front of you to get higher on the scores list on this last day. Very disappointing….. and all pilots hoping for race weather had to fight in very marginal circumstances with those pilots who “like”  rain and thunderstorms.
Top Pilots always are in the top, that’s why they are top pilots, but also some of them would have loved to improve like Mario, who is only 4 points behind his country -pilot Franz Poch.But then only with a REAL soaring day! It did not happen.
Weather is weather, no way to close a roof to continue with the sport, but….this happens since we started gliding!!! We all know.

Sad for the organisers , who have put a lot of effort in the preparations. Normally they calculate their budget also on income from tows, but as there were not a lot of launches that money stays in the pocket from the pilots. For sure they would have loved to spend it on launches and good long flights.
Now some have to drive back home many kilometers with good memories on friendships, parties site-seeing, but not on great soaring. And that’s why they were there. Hopefully the party tonight brings more great memories on new camaraderie.

Here are the preliminary results from the 3 classes who had 4 days and for that reason CHAMPIONS;
Club class;
1. Roman Mracek [Czech Rep] in standard cirrus    1495 points
2. Jozef Kozar [ SVK] in LS1 f                                     1446
3. Tomasz Krok [Poland] in stand. jantar 3               1400

Standard class;
1. Sebastian Kawa [Poland] in Discus 2A                    1466 ALWAYS GOOD. A real TOPPER!
2. Franz Poch [Germany] in Discus 2B                       1386
3. Mario Kiessling [Germany] in Discus 2A                1384 Would have loved to fly on the last day!

2 seater class;
1. Harry and Visa Matti [Finland] in Arcus                1440  Good on you Visa Matti!!!!
2. Dmitriy and Ilya [Russia] in Duo discus                1391 Better then Finland! Remember!?
3. Viktoras and Marius [Lithuania] in LAK 12           1350 Good glider for these weater conditions!! Welldone!! And congratulations to all pilots for flying safe!

So next stop is Pocuinai! And a week later,  the JWGC in Musbach.

The Grand Prix Final today was posponed till 15.30 and had a C task as well. Start line opened at 16.15, with pretty marginal [ grey ] conditions and prospects, but they fly and reading this weather is very important. It is nice to follow it on life tracking.All pilots follow each other except for Sebastian Nägel who flies  all alone a bit more to the East. Interesting!!! 
But at this stage Tilo  has turned the first TP, while Sebastian is still on his way to it .
Have to go but if you have time follow the 19 pilots on your laptop!Today Holger Karow is guest speaker.

Stay tuned,  see you maybe tomorrow, but for sure on Sunday and SORRY that I forgot to publish my blog last Wednesday. It was short,  but ready.  I did it this morning.
Cheers Ritz

Better weather finally!!!!!!!

Alphen aan den Rijn    Wedenesday July 28 2011      ritzdeluy@hotmail.com 

Finally better weather!!!!! Yesterday morning the sun was shinning at Wasserkuppe after 2 scrubbed days and in Nitra they looked hopefully at less dark skies then the days before and finally no rain. As they let pilots launch in non-soarable circumstances earlier, they had to launch for sure yesterday.
And yes…they flew, still marginal conditions but flyable as most pilots finished. 3 outlandings in club class and the winner got 346 points.After 3 days a standard Libelle, standard cirrus and standard jantar on top. Best total score 1182 points.
In standard class 8 outlandings and 338 points for the 2 daily winners from Germany. Sebastian lost 39 points.
In the 2 seater class 382 points for the winners from Poland in their ARCUS. But after 3 days the Czech Duo discus is on spot 1 total. 
Difficult circumstances today as well with early fog, and rain predicted for the afternoon.
Some do not real believe in day 4.

Wasserkuppe started with a 124 km race after a regatta start on Monday. David Jansen from Australia had 2 outlandings before , one on the last practise day and one on day 1 when the day was sacrubbed later. This first day HE was the one who got the 10 points!
Didier Hauss from France had 8 points.
Yesterday they flew after the regatta start 123 km. and this time German pilot Uli Schwenk was the best. So after 2 days the most consistent pilot Giorgio Galetto from Italy is on spot 1 with 14 points with David and Didier following him.For today a new 125 km is on the menu for the pilots , but the weather seems not too good, with early rain/drizzle.

In Pociunai they prepare for the 16th EGC for the big ships starting this weekend.And…the weather is glorious if you compare it with Nitra. But they have had their first thunderstorms as well.

More news later as 2 little ones do not really help to concentrate.
Cheers Ritz maybe till Thursday evening or Friday morning.

Nitra and more !Serres La Batie!

Alphen aan den Rijn       Sunday July 24 2011     ritzdeluy@hotmail.com 

14.30; Update!! They really tried at Nitra, Vladimir and his team!!! No doubt about that. But…the weather does not want to co-operate. A pity, pilots were up in the air but there was no way to go on track for distances just over 100 km. What a pity but what can you do,..yes just wait till tomorrow …..it might be better.
No good news either from Wasserkuppe : ” Competition director Hanno Obermayor has cancelled day 2″. 
Great on days like this that there is TV. I am not a great fan, mainly look at news and sport, but this afternoon is full of Tour De France [last day] and racing, Hamilton is on spot 1 at this stage and of course I enjoyed the World champions swimming in Shanghai. “WE”  , I mean our Dutch 4×100 freestyle ladies WON after being 5th after the first 100 m!!”
And…what a great and pretty unexpected gold medal for the Aussie 4x freestylers. Good on them. They won from the USA and France, who were expected to be the best.
Before that I cried with Norway during the morning- mass in Oslo.

  RAIN!!!!!!Forgot who made this picture during the Dutch Nationals.Sorry!

A good Sunday morning! We need that certainly here in Holland. It looks like autumn and it feels like it. The disaster in Norway still keeps me and us here in Holland in a grip with hourly updates and the 1500 pages manifest this murderer wrote and found by a USA blogger yesterday on internet, shows how deep this normally looking young man believes in what he did and started organising it more then a year ago. A clever boy , this Anders, with a sick , very sick mind.

Nitra hopes for a new soaring day, but though it looks not TOO bad, hope is not BIG yet. It seems the International party was great , so for a few, mainly crew ???, it might be better that it all starts tomorrow again with really good weather and clear heads. We can only wait. Atleast they have a grid order today and briefing as normal at 10 AM.
Then Amy Winehouse died [27] and… a top actress here in Holland [84] and a top singer from  Dutch songs about life [94] and my favourite Andy Schleck lost the yellow, but…an Aussie, Cadel Evans is the best ” replacement.” Great bicyclist this Cadel and after 20 years of Tour de France he finally shows some feelings, good to see he is not that gruff person anymore. And…if Mark Webber wins today the Formula 1 at Hockenheim,he is on pole position,  Australia can be very proud on their “sons”. And as ” old ”  Aussie, I do feel so too.

Serres had a SUPER day on Wednesday. Great wave conditions over the Alps from France to Italy and where the Tour De France luckily had no snow on the Galibier or Alpes d’Huez over the last days, the 4 pilots flying distances over 1000 km must have tremendously enjoyed theirselves. Klaus Ohlmann, 1.328 km with a speed of just over 100 km/h. in the Stemme. We know he is good , but his biggest joy was that the rest of his pilots was so good as well.A total of 5 pilots flew great distances,  thanking the ATC of Milano for their kind co-operation. YES good on them!!!
Gliders as ASW17 [ 1.307!!!!] DG 400 /17m,[ 1.311]  DG 800/18m. [ 1.315] and a ventus 2 cm /18 m.[1.146]  all had the pleasure of this fabulous wave -weather. What a great night they must have had as well celebrating so much joy.

In between the last landing of the space shuttle Atlantis was a fact and “it” can go to the museum now. A era has ended after 30 years of  travelling up and down in space!

In between also great deals for Boeing and specially Airbus , putting a foot on USA soil, in aviation. American Airlines has ordered a total of 460 planes at Boeing and Airbus , between 2013 and 2022.

The Wasserkuppe Grand Prix just started till 31. This 4th FAI World GP Gliding Championship FINAL 2011has only well known pilots; 19 of them winners and number 2 and 3,  of the qualifying GP during the year.It is combined with the Centenary of  gliding at the Wasserkuppe. Congratulations WASSERKUPPE, THE historic place for soaring!
Day ONE  was scrubbed after it started so hopefully , they have day 2 today, but the weather should be better then , then here. And it does not look like that at this stage, with pictures from foggy early morning conditions and the message that it is only 6 dgr.!!!!

Pretty marginal weather also for the Zomerwedstijd at Malden. In the end they squeezed 3 days out so a valid competition but look at the total amount of points from the best pilots; Boris Broere in club class with 390 points.
In the combi class , Peter Millenaar who studied and finished his flight education recently, at the Global Academy Amsterdam  [NLS] , yes the main sponsor of the Dutch Nationals, and who is just  back from the USA and  a “real ” pilot now , just missed out on 4 points to win [493] , while he won 2 of the 3 days. On those days …he was the only one who finished in his class!!!! But winning  a task of 111 km. this way,  only gives 24 points.  In open class Bart Groen had a total of 545 points.

That’s it…. waiting for my young guests to arrive soon and they stay till Friday.If you are truly interested in the Nitra EGC then look at the blog from Howard and Matt with their view on day 1 and 2. It is great reading!

Cheers Ritz

 More rain.Daan , who made this picture a few years ago at Ely, was back there last week and flies now from Minden [Nevada]

What a tragedy in Norway!

Alphen aan den Rijn       Saturday July 23 2011     ritzdeluy@hotmail.com

9.00 AM; Have to start with Norway today. No soaring, but about young under 25 “kids”,  who lost their lives due to a lunatic of 32, an extreme right extremist, dressed as a policeman,  who killed/executed  more then 80 people and caused a blast in the center of Oslo, killing 7 there.
I feel sad with the parents who lost their children. Young democratic socialists on a camp!!!!! Young engaged people with a view for live. Poor parents, family and friends, poor young ones who had to be part of this.

What’s soaring news then?? But as always life continues so it does today! Will there be soaring again in Nitra and who will win the Tour de France!?
From now on I will be busy with guests till Friday, but if I find a few minutes I continue my analyzes.

No gridding before briefing…..so still not the real Nitra weather.

Today also starts the FINAL of the GRAND Prix at Wasserkuppe with a race task with regatta start and 175 km. .
They had 2 practise days, one fell in the water the other one , yesterday, was difficult , more then difficult but the 2 Polish pilots managed to fly over 100 km in their ASG 29, while the others did not start or just flew around at the field.

12.AM ; Day cancelled in Nitra,  but at this stage not yet for world class. Tonight is the international party, a great social happening for everybody, pilots , crew, officials and organisers. And ….one day, there will be good weather , only hope it will not be there on the prizegiving day, though at this stage there would be only winners as you need more then 2 days to call it a [WGC ]competition.

At the Wasserkuppe; no further news yet!

Day 5 in Nitra!

Alphen aan den Rijn     Friday July 22 2011    ritzdeluy@hotmail.com

9.30 AM; RAIN in Nitra, BUT…..it is not so bad/steady as it was , so there is hope and with that hope, MAYBE another small window and  MAYBE soaring day 3 will be a fact.Briefing at 10 and even a grid at 12.45, I presume a bit of a wet one, but who cares when soaring is possible and the wheel does n’t get stuck in too wet, muddy grass.

11.AM; First start posponed to 13.30, no tasks yet! Have to go now, see you later!

3 PM; No flying today!

Day 4 ….flying day 3?????

Alphen aan den Rijn        Thursday July 21    2011           ritzdeluy@hotmail.com 

8.30 AM; Looking at the weather for Europe this morning I worry about day 4 at Nitra. As you might have seen on the official site briefing is at 10 and no gridding till further notice. Guest speaker during the briefing is Werner Scholz  {IGC} who speaks about IGC ideas,  how to improve  safety at competitions in the future. ALWAYS good and interesting to hear.
Advise; Please look at the pictures on the official site,[ www.pribinacup.sk/egc2011]  by clicking on the pictures from Elfo, AMAZING!!!!! 97 and 67  Pictures one better then the other, but ALL terrific!!!! I loved the 4 Blaniks behind the tug and later the dancing Blaniks in the air. Super!!!!
The final scores for day 1 are to be looked at now ;   www.soaringspot.com 

See you later!

2 PM; The briefing seems to be very interesting and I hope that all pilots listen well, as nothing is so important as SAFETY. On none of the sites is any news, so I decided to find out in between, who are the stewards and jury at the EGC.Could not find it at the official site only “to be decided” in newsletter 1. So I checked with Marina who always knows everything and she was so kind to write me from Wasserkuppe,  where they were waiting for good weather as well.
Jury president ;Fred Gai and member Angela Sheard, with remote juror Josef Snirc, who was the competition Director in Prievidza and steward in Rieti during the WGC. He is flying as well in the 2seater class.
Chief steward; Jaroslav Vach and steward Jiri Cihlar.
So you know now as well.

Still no news so I check the Tour De France now! See you later!

8 PM; No soaring at Nitra today, but no snow at the Galibier either. So I enjoyed one of the best days in the Tour De France in ages .
Talking about Wasserkuppe.  This year it is 100 years ago that the first flight from Wasserkuppe was flown.; a centenary! Celebrations will be combined with the GRAND Final of the 2011 FAI GRAND PRIX from Wasserkuppe with 20 pilots from all over the world, under them ONE lady! More on Sunday in the regular blog.
On July 11 in 1911  it was also the first time the cyclists had to “fight” that monster- mountain the Galibier, another Centenary!!!
And if you like great wave flights look at the OLC from yesterday. More on Sunday!

Till tomorrow. A more busy day , but I will see what I can do! Cheers Ritz

Day 3 at Nitra airfield or…..!?Other news!

Alphen aan den Rijn   Wednesday July 20 2011     ritzdeluy@hotmail.com

8.30 AM; Day 3 has been called a restday. Rain changed into heavy rain so that’s it for day 3. Time to check on gliders , get the mud out of the undercarriages for those who landed in the wet soil, or to just rest after 2 pretty difficult days and maybe a heavy night from the party.

Pretty heavy weather  as well.  I heard last evening they even warned everybody at the field  via radio for the soon-to-arrive-thunderstorms and what a day. I wrote Ole to congratulate him with his team but as said I was too early,here is what he says about it in yesterday evenings mail ;
—Unfortunately I was aware of the fact,that my pilots had used the engine!This was not caught by the computer,so that is the reason.It has been squared away by now.Together with other computer problems,like thunderstorms forcing the scoring office to shut everything down,this was the reason that no winners were announced at the briefing this morning,in any classes!—
So that was the reason the scores were late yesterday. Ole also told me I made a mistake in one blog [slip of the mind] , by calling Vladimir the CD, Dimitry, sorry Vladimir. Don’t have to tell you all , he is an excellent [competition] pilot himself and very dedicated to soaring as I have seen myself.

” Poor ” French pilot Richard Montigny  finished as only pilot in the world class, received for all the work 34 points and then as he is the only one over 100 km competition,  day 2 is not valid in this class!!
In club class ,day 2 showed 10 finishers, so lot’s of outlandings. Not a lot of points to loose or gain.[303 at this stage]
In Standard class 606 points for winner Sebastian Kawa. “Only  9  au vache” in this class.
In the 2 seater class  the Danish team landed after 54 km.  That costs. They received 66 points while the winners got about 400 more.
Surely better days will arrive soon, with real Nitra weather.

9.00 AM; More happens in the world; and as it is Wednesday I continue with my “normal  blog.  The UK 18 m. Nationals finished after 5 days , also the last day was cancelled. Mike Young won in ASG 29 s. Congratulations!
Derren Frances was runner up in Ventus 2 cxa and 3 JS 1’s were on spot 3-4-5.

Last sunday showed pretty good conditions in the mountains .Wiener Neustadt the place from the WGC  in 1989, had a great ridge-soaring-flight of 825 km in a Duo Discus T., while the Terminillo in Rieti helped out, to give up to 728 km in the ASH 25 /26m.
The young German pilots enjoy soaring in Puimoisson with distances of nearly 700 km and yesterday I was impressed with a very nice flight in an LS 3a from Nardt [SE of Lüsse] in Germany;504 km.

Today the weather is pretty normal here  though too cold. We are about 4 dgr. under the average for this time of the year which is 22. In the USA they suffer from terrible heatwaves. In the West 13 people have died already.The American National weather buro, claims that over 1000 heat-records have been broken. As the humidity is too high as well it is not pleasant to be there at the moment. Poor oldies!!!

Some of my Aussie friends  travel now to Uvalde Texas to be present/ practise  at the pre worlds over there. It can be very hot in that desert over there as I felt myself. But you forget that heat when you go home as TC with a WORLD CHAMPION, Baer Selen.  Was a great time by the way!!!! The nextWGC in Uvalde will be from July 28 till August 19 2012.
Their site; www.wgc2012uvalde.com

That’s it for now. See you tomorrow. Cheers Ritz

Day 2 and results day1 in Nitra !New day… new chances!

Alphen aan den Rijn    Tuesday  July 19 2011    ritzdeluy@hotmail.com

Today a continuing story.  All pictures from my archive. 

Indeed a very difficult day yesterday  and not too many points to win . I guess you finally could get through to the preliminary results as well. Now , at this early  time, they are easy to reach.
Interesting to see that in world class 8 from 11 finished! For 128 km the Slovak winner [home advantage???, nothing wrong with that by the way] only received for all the hard work 398 points. This might change a bit as one file is not yet counted for.
In club class 11 from 33 finished! 611 points for German pilot Christian Lang,  flying172 km. in the  standard Libelle Y . Good on him!A mix of countries in the top and one of the Dutch pilots Tim made it home the other 2 JUST outlanded, missing out on still around 100 points!
In standard class 9 from 31 finished. The French pilots were best and Baptiste received 300  points for the 146 km. Sebastian did not miss out too much, he landed with a Slovak pilot and 2 Dutch and they,  all 4,received  291 points. Mario Kiessling ‘s file was not yet in.
In the 20 m. 2 seater class  interesting scores. The Danish duo discus flew 196 km for that the pilots got 732 points and the Dutch Arcus with the 2 former Dutch champions was 2d with 696 points. The Danish team has  Ole Arndt, as TC, also in the past a great fan from soaring in Australia with us and still now, where he flies at Corowa. 

Of course everything is still possible , but I noticed at TV this morning that “our ” bad weather moves East so I hope it will not disturb soaring in Nitra. On the official site  they already announce rain and maybe Thunderstorms for the afternoon. Would there be another window to fly in????
Let’s wait and see. Briefing is at 10 AM.
Back later!

11.AM;  Good on Mario Kiessling. His file showed the most kilometers in the best time, so he won day 1 in standard class; 280 points!!!!! Mario won in 1991 the very first JWGC here at Terlet in Holland.

 Mario Kiessling [white longsleeved pullover and black hair]

AND great news for the young Dutch boys in the 2 seater class , Bart and Patrick, they won day 1!! Excellent!

 Bart Berendsen [left] one of the pilots winning in the 2 seaters

And for today ” maybe”  AAT’s from 1 hour and 30 minutes!!! It is not sure if the window will be big enough. More waiting.

2.00 PM; Sometimes my enthusiasm runs away with me.  Made a beginners mistake!!! Never congratulate on preliminary results, be happy or sad inside, but FIRST wait till they are official, so you know that the files have been checked by the organisation. SORRY!!!!
So the Danish team did not win in the 2 seater class  ,a pity for them as after 188 km. they had to pull their engine.
The organisers are a bit slow with the scores and with news but for sure it will be better after a few days.

 At this stage the club class and 2 seater pilots are on their way. Standard and world plus some pilots who landed back and got a relight, will follow soon. They go for just 1 hour and 30 minutes for a max of  still 280 km.
YES this is an EGC and…when soaring is possible you have to use the day, even when thunderstorms hang around later  or when you hang in in a gaggle above the field lower then the point the tuggies dropped you off. You HAVE to find lift and go on track. And…there was lift so pilots go on their way. If you are interested you can follow the 2 seaters via the tracking system. I straight away did and noticed 2 gliders above 1100 m.[ SP and T]  ,  the rest under and far under  even, 148 m.

Harri and Visa Matti from Finland [ KA] are now at 1304 m. and Alberto Sironi from Italy [AM] at 1208m.

All gliders are flying, weather seems to be OK/ reasonable , but it is “brewing” over there, hopefully they are all back in time before it gets nasty,  so waiting is the best we can do now. It’s only 1 hour and 30 minutes and for sure they did not wait too long before going on track.

4 PM; The weather seems to be pretty bad and trailers leave to pick up their pilots. Some 2-seaters have arrived back home but if they finished is not sure. I will be more careful now. Rain might close of the last leg for club and standard class.
In between I looked at the Tour De France. Nice to see Serres and Gap from the helicopter, but terrible weather there as well. The Alps [ Galibier] even have 10 cm. of snow!!!!!!
It looks like another day , with low scores and happy pilots who were at the right time at the right spot and less happy for those who were not and were stopped on their track due to heavy rain or bad visibility. On these days skills are important but the luck factor is big as well.
Luckily it is not so bad in Nitra but it does n’t sound really flash either.

6 PM; The thunderstorm arrived just around 5 when pilots still were finishing in strong rain. Most pilots who had not out -landed tried to keep their position between the showers , but you can only do so for a while.
At this stage; 12 pilots from standard class finished under them Sebastian Kawa, Gert Peter Lauer, Dennis Huybreckx[ very good Dennis!] and the 2 French pilots.
In club at this stage only 3 pilots in,  under them Vittorio Pinni and Mario Schupfer.
 In world class one French pilot in flying 109 km. and atleast 5 landed  between 12 and 22 km. out and in the 20 m. dual seater class at this stage one outlanding, 2 Italian teams not yet delivered the file, as well as Russian pilot Dmitrye and co pilot Ilya and all the rest has finished. Best preliminary distance 148 km in 1 hour 44 minutes for the polish team. Not bad with weather like this!

Look for the results on www.soaringspot.com  hope you can reach them tonight. Tomorrow I will be back, I have a little break in between guests,  so time to write.
Slovak Welcome  party tonight hosted by  Aeroclub Nitra, I noticed on the program,  time to relax for pilots and crew after coming back home from wet retrieves. As long as pilots , crew and gliders are OK , nothing to worry about and with the predicted “bad” weather for tomorrow, everybody can sleep in as well. I hope!

CU tomorrow, cheers Ritz

EGC Nitra, day 1!Some analyses, who can win!!?? Good luck and safe flights for ALL !

Alphen aan den Rijn    Monday July 18 2011          ritzdeluy@hotmail.com          all pictures from my archive

 little kute Nitra from the German TC, is he back in Nitra???

After a friendly opening with  tradionel dances, live music and shows from different gliders , even Vladimir [Voltin wellknown competition pilot himself] ,the competition director gave a demo in his modern LS10, after demo’s from “vintage gliders ” as Z23 Honza [40thies] and Zlin 425 Sohai [60thies] , the ” EGC-SHOW” starts today!
Thank God,  they do not have the weather we have here. Still terrible and we keep this autumn- fore- taste till at least end of this week, grrr……  
Last time during an EGC that World class will fly together with standard and club as, during last IGC plenary the 2 seaters have been choosen above the PW 5’s in EGC’s and WGC’s. Looking forward to see how the 2 seater 20 m. pilots will enjoy this competition.
There are 11 PW 5’s competing this EGC [including  pilot Brendan from Australia] ,33 pilots in club class,  31 in standard class and 16 in the 2-seaterclass, so 38 here in total including their co-pilots who will be , “finally ” mentioned at the prize-ceremony as well.
It’s going to be a fantastic 2 weeks with great pilots and an area well known to many through the Pribina Cup. Also the organisers have been through all this before, so reasons enough to believe in great soaring.

The first briefing has been posponed to 11 instead of 10 AM. For all classes there is a 2 hour AAT between 102  and 290 km. So pilots who love AAT’s have a good first day!!!First start at 12.30. There is  lot of wind and they are just in between 2 air masses!!! A bit tricky! But….The first of 12 days has begon!!!!

Some analyses before the comps really start ;
In the world class  2 pilots who would be able to win due to experience are, French pilot Jeremie Badaroux and Italian doctor living close to Rieti Airport, Luca Urbani. But the 2 Polish pilots certainly working together will go for the number 1 spot as well. Let’s wait and see. Good luck to all 11 pilots including Brendan , if I remember well he flew with us in the past at Sportavia.
In club class  of course I hope that young  Rene, the current champion can defend his title. He and mate Tim , runner up last time form a great couple together with great intention to be the best. And….don’t underestimate an other young pilot from Holland Frank Hiemstra, very talented as well.
Vittorio Pinni from Italy is good, Vitautas from Lithuania is another young topper and the French and UK and German pilots always have strong teams on the ground and in the air. I do not know all of them,  so they can surprise me.
Mirsolav Cink [Czech Rep] is also young and very talented  and I expect something from Mario Schupfer [Austria]  as well. Of course I wish EVERYBODY good luck and a safe competition.
Great to see the German TC Rainer Wiencek at Nitra . Would be his doggie Nitra there as well???

  Frank Hiemstra [middle standing]and Tim Kuijpers [right]

In standard class  I have to start with Sebastian Kawa and the title defender Mario Kiesling. Also here the UK and French and German team have possibilities , as well as Bert Schmelzer jr from Belgium and Jan Louda from Czech Rep. I would love to see Dennis Huybreckx from Belgium doing well.  In the past he was “helper”at our Sportavia. His cousin Tim , flies in Club class and was “helper” as well one year. And Alfred Paul from Holland won a 2 week long distance competion  called “shootout” with us flying with Ingo Renner in the Duo Discus. And…. Sjaak from Holland flies ,he is Baer Selens younger brother and as you know Baer was 2 times World champion.
Great to see Alessandro from Rieti in this class flying the LAK 19 /15m!
In fact all pilots representing their country should be able to fly well, so good luck here as well for All standard class pilots.

  Luca Urbani [world class] and Luciano Avanzini[middle right] in 2 seater class

Last but not least the 2 seater class. I expect a LOT from both Italian teams flyiong the ARCUS. They are just good! Also Visa Matti and Harry from Finland [ ARCUS] are very experienced. The Dutch team has 2 young former national champions, Bart and Patrick in ONE ARCUS that gives good hope!!They also flew Junior world comps.
Good old Russian team Dimitry and Ilya can surprise us , as well as Tijl [son]and Bert [father] Schmelzer sr. and Sigi Baumgartl and Brigitte. Also Swiss team Edi and Christian are very experienced WGC and EGC pilots.
Tijl was one of the lucky ones as well to fly the Shootout with Ingo in the past at Sportavia.
One Lak 12 in this class , 6x ARCUS and 9x duo discus.
Let’s wait and see. Don’t put money on it, it is just what I think !

  Bert jr., Bert sr., Tijl and Hilde Schmelzer 

They fly and 2 hours is 2 hours; just try to make as many kilometers as possible in such short time. You know already it will not be a 1000 points day , but an outlanding on such a day still costs.
All pilots were up in the air just before 2PM. 10 Tuggies are responsable for the 95 launches and they did it in about 45 minutes. Now tactics can begin, go on track early or later depending on the weather and of what others do. It is only 2 hours of flying so when we know the starttimes , we know when they SHOULD be back. Startime from club opened at; 13.55 and from standard at 13.47!

Surely an interesting first -EGC- 2011- day. The response of several pilots is that climbs are not terrific under the 2/8 of clouds, while others “find” 6 k. So speed might be less important then coming home. Reading the official site I might conclude that an early start was the right choice as they announced that the weather deteriorated while the first pilots finished.
 But….pilots at least finished and a few, who HAD THEM,  had to use engines to come back home, or had to land somewhere.
In the end it turned out a difficult day for many pilots. But …it was the first soaring day of the EGC in Nitra. Scores are late and at 10.00 PM still not available, so you better look later  when you can reach soaring spot [ I can’t it might be too busy] or when the official site has them available. A bit late to be honest even with an AAT.

See you tomorrow, for the scores analyses and day 2
cheers Ritz