UK National champions!

Alphen aan den Rijn          August 31 2011

Last day already of this month of August  and what a wet month it was here in Holland and in more parts of Europe. The meteorological autumn starts tomorrow and it feels like that. We had a great spring and a “quickly-to-forget-summer” . Surely lots of pilots will book in winter for a good destination for soaring. So every disadvantage has an advantage![a quote from Johan Kruijff.]
Also last minute holidays to sunny destinations are HOT!
Hurricane Irene, hit the East Coast from the USA badly, as well as some islands earlier. Luckly the sting is out of “it” now and “it” tries to please us here in Europe, with some late summer weather by pushing the low away and the high into our direction.
Note; just heard that we had the dryest EVER spring in history , 49 mm. instead of the normal 172 and the wettest EVER summer with an average of 350 mm. about 100 mm.  MORE then normal!!!!!.

The UK open class nationals finished on Sunday. They tried harder then hard last Sunday,  to have another soaring day, they even launched after 3 pm. but pilots could not go far, as showers were active in their task area, so …they came back. It all ended after 5 , more or less marginals days with lot’s of outlandings.
1. Pete Harvey      Nimbus 4T      3991 points
2. Steve Jones       Nimbus 4T      3877 points
3. Andy Davis        JS1-B               3703 points
Very good from Andy to be 3d in an 18m. glider in a class full of “big ones”, even ahead of the EB with also a top pilot Robin May. Also well done for Patrick Naegeli occupying a 7th place in the ASG 29 E/18m.

Steve talking to Ronald Termaat and Andy [middle] at Eskilstuna[picture archive]

Pete winning the bronse with Michael Sommer on spot 1 and Giorgio Ballarati on spot 2.[Eskilstuna picture archive]

At  Husbos they managed to squeeze out a 5th day for the 15m. class pilots , also a dificult one, last Sunday,  with only 5 pilots from 26 who finished. An interesting day however for the final scores as Dave Watt belonged to the non-finishers and Leigh Wells finished. So the former world champion won this class.
1. Leigh Wells    ASG 29        3666 points
2. Dave Watt     Ventus 2      3619 points
3. Steve Ell        ASG 29         3568 points
Steve Ell won the last day ;241 km. with a speed of 80 km/h, that says enough of the weather. But good on him!!

Andy Davis, Leigh Wells, Phil and Steve Jones and Pete Harvey [Eskilstuna picture archive]


Leigh lined up as WGC CHAMPION to receive the cup in Eskilstuna [picture archive] 

 I read  that last Sunday was a bad day for 4 people flying nicely in a Cessna and Dimona. One way or another they touched with their wings during landing at the airport of Zell am See, and  crashed killing all 4; 2 from Austria and 2 from Germany. Tragic!
On the same day I saw on the German news a small green Cessna, that had landed in a street in the middle of a town, only hitting and bending a lamp-post and a dish areal on a roof. The couple overlooked the situation and was happy to have no injuries.The plane looked pretty bend!!!

In Holland we do have a lot of pilots flying with the very enthusiastic aeroclub  of Friesland  up in the Northern part of Holland.Yesterday I visited for the first time in my life the capital of Friesland,Leeuwarden. What a great town. I have seen a lot of the world, but missed out on some beauty in Holland itself. We had a look in the leaning, curved and unfinished tower from 1529. [ ] and of course the big sailing boats, “skütjes” , in the canals in Leeuwarden look magestic.

 See you on Sunday again,  cheers Ritz

Mönscheide !UK Nationals !

Alphen aan den Rijn     Sunday afternoon August 27


Back home again! We , Kees van Schaick and I, departed with heavy rain and arrived back with it. In between it was OK, with less heavy rain and today no rain till Holland. Even at Mönscheide it was raining with our arrival, but later in the evening it was dry and the cold was chased by a warm bon-fire  and nice champagne. It was Doris Wiesenthal’s party. She turned 50 in March and invited some of her [inter]national friends and of course her family including Ute and Hans, Karin and Marcus . I was pleasantly surprised to catch up on this new airport I had never been before, with Australian mates Tim and Laurel, also good friends from the Wiesenthals, after they both visited Räyskälä and mutual friend Kari. From Tim , who visited Lasham as well, I heard that the weather during the Nationals was not very good, so due to out landings he missed out in meeting more friends. All these friendships originate from the good old times in Tocumwal at Sportavia.
As it was a private party I did not make pictures there.



While we were sitting in the rain, the UK had a bit of a better day of soaring at Lasham, on day 3 last Wednesday;444 km. sun combined with showers. Steve Jones got the very first 1000 points in this competition,  for his day-win and only 5 pilots finished and stayed out of trouble with those showers;  Andy in the JS1 b, Robin in the EB , Pete in the Nimbus 4T and David Allison, in the Nimbus 4D.
On Thursday they could fly again; 209 km. !!! We had rain here ..again, but to be honest some sunny intervals as well! This time it was Pete who won and an extra 719 went into his pocket. BAD day , unfortunately for Steve, as he was one of the 22  “out-landers” . At least they have a valid national competition to find out who can go to Uvalde.
Overall after 4 days, Pete tops the list with Steve behind him and Andy.
Friday was scrubbed and Saturday Steve was ” 2 points better”  then Pete. Today is their last day….will they fly??? No change in the overall scores. 

In 15 m. class at Husbos, also 4 days  of flying including Thursday. Day 3 had 4 ASG 29 in the top and a nice speed of 115 km./h over 331 km. for winner Chris Curtis. Only 2 out-landings.
Day 4 showed that Chris was the best AGAIN. Well done with a pretty strong field of pilots. After 4 days good old Dave Watt is number 1 overall and Leigh , former WGC champion at Eskilstuna is on a 2d place. Chris was on spot 7; he had a 22 d. and 12th place earlier.
They scrubbed 2 days and today is their last day with a set task of 204 km.The margin between the first 3 is only just under 100 points , so WHEN they can fly eveything is still possible!

Some of the young under 25 pilots from Germany  continue their soaring season now in Puimoisson in France with pretty long flights.
Fuentemilanos still has nice soaring conditions and some of our former guests , as Pepe, Michael and Hans enjoy those circumstances.
Rieti was good as well with flights up to 874 km in ASH 31/21m.. The bad weather was mainly in the middle from Europe , were a low persisted in making our lives miserable.
Last Friday it was according to one of the pilots flying there,  “the best ridge soaring day in the Eastern Alps. ”
In the duo discus they flew 1.149 km. from Wiener Neustadt and 1068 km. in an ASW 20. Hammer Wetter in the Alps  and Heinz Hammerle flew 1.292 km. in his LS 8 [ speed 120km./h] , while Werner Amann must have surprised himself by flying 1.555 km. with a speed of 128 km./h. in his Ventus 2C18m. Both flew from the Austrian airfield of Hohenems. What a great flow of super weather in that whole area there including Unterwössen [Germany]and Serres La Batie [France] .

The Vergulde Venturi only allowed for some local soaring yesterday and they hope for a window today.
Seabreeze at Deelen Airport cancelled yesterday as well, and also hope for a window today!!!

Better unpack now! Great weekend, Ritz

UK open class Nationals and 15 m.!TOO much rain!

  picture courtesy Katja Soikkeli

Alphen aan den Rijn           Wednesday August 24 2011

Hope you liked the in-between- special about Tim! Becoming a  junior world champion  in such a strong field and with such difficult circumstances is JUST GOOD!!!!

In the UK they are flying the open class Nationals  at Lasham, a big beautiful airfield which I visited a few times. Quite a lot of friends fly there some of them visitors from Sportavia in the past. I counted atleast 4! One of the pilots I always follow with extra attention is Pete Harvey. Since we met in Finland in 2005, I find him an interesting pilot/ former hang glider pilot.
On day 1 only 7 from 28 finished and Steve Jones won the day. On my first visit to Lasham it was Steve’s dad who I met first and who welcomed me at “his”  field. I knew him and the then “little Jones-brothers” already earlier from Angers and other comps.
Steve won also day 2, a day on which ALL 28 finished their task over 300 km. So after 2 days Steve is on spot 2 , Pete on 2 and Kim on 3 all of them flying Nimbus 4T . Former world champion Andy Davis is on 4 in the JS-b!
Due to rain yesterday was scrubbed.

Also in the same time frame 20-28 of August the 15 m. class  fly their nationals at Husbos. Out of 3 days they also flew 2 days and here it is Mathew Cook who tops the list after 2 days. Also here a lot of very well known glider pilots, as former world champion Leigh wells, Phil Jones, Paul Crabb and Jay Rebbeck! Good old Dave Watt is 2d, after 2 days, good on him …. but Leigh, Paul, Phil and Jay are only a few points behind, so a great “battle” for the next couple of days. Hope the weather allows them to fly!!! Yesterday was scrubbed.
We had yesterday SOOOO much rain, both in Belgium and Holland;up to 36 liter on 1 sq. m. in 25 minutes!!!! THAT IS RAIN!!!!

 The Jones brothers [ archive]

I like Husbos, we had not only tragedy there in 2005 ,[ one photographer killed and a total loss car and damaged glider and trailer from one of the Dutch team members, due to an accident with arrival from Holland at 200 m from the airfield;  the driver from the other car was injured]  but also great memories and my team then,  the Dutch juniors , still are a great bunch of young men and I like seeing them and talking to them; gives a good and familiar feeling. Specially when you know that I did not know them and they did not know me, before the JWGC started,  only heard about me and I heard about them. I follow them with interest ,where they go. One is only flying for pleasure now, the others are still competitive.

As I was so busy with all these EGC’s and the JWGC , I lost track on what happened in Europe , so I looked back till August 10 to see what was going on on the OLC.
Great to see that Fuentemilanos had an old fashioned 1000 km day with 11 flights OVER 1000 km even up to 1.280 in an ASH 26E. I liked Pepe’s comment ;dia bomba !!! That’s what we need such a day, to forget the rain and less good conditions, this summer. Pepe flew his 3d 1000 km. task this season.
Good soaring also in Vinon where Paul Janssens and  Gilles Navas had some long distance flights up to 901 and 909 km.
Also good to see that Greece had a great day and Alexis flew 866 km.
Rieti pilots flew over 800 km. as well on several days as well as pilots at La Cerdanya in Spain.

 Gilles Navas [archive]

This upcoming weekend, [which I am going to spend at the airport of Mönchsheide in Bad Breisig for a 50thiest birthday ….yes from a soaring-friend] ,  a nice competition takes place at Malden , the place I visited last week and club from Tim; the Vergulde Venturi. Also a 2 day-competition at Deelen, SEABREEZE with 32 participants in 2 classes. []

 airfield of Malden
pict. from their site

They are building one of the most interesting hangars at Malden, with under-ground-space for more then 30 trailers with gliders. In the hangar on the  floor will be a work shop and place for rigged gliders from the club NIJAC.


No early- weekend- news but later on Sunday when I am back home. I drive with Kees and he has to be back at 1 PM. , so enough time to start writing.

cheers Ritz

Impressions from a special TIM-party at Malden Airport !

Alphen aan den Rijn             Monday August 22 2011

This is an extra special in word and picture, to share with you the happy moments from our new World Champion Tim Kuijpers  in the club class from the under 25 juniors,  held at Musbach in Germany.
A surprise party was organised by the Aeroclub from Malden to celebrate the 4th world champion gliding in Dutch history. Lots of friends, arrived to be part of this moment.
Baer Selen was there , he was the coach for many years to get our junior team on a good track and of course he  was in Chateauraux the first Dutch World Champion. In 1991 he repeated this by winning in Uvalde Texas and in between Kees Musters won gold in Hobbs in New Mexico.And now “we ” have Tim ! The family was there and even the Mayor and the alderman of sport,  a kind lady. Ronald Termaat, yes our former European champion , spoke some kind words in his function as director of the KNVvL, as well as Robert Jungblut , the president of the Dutch gliding association.Many pilots involved in the “education” of our young team , walked around proud,  so they should as what they started a few years ago, shows off now!!



Proud dad Ferdi, sister Maaike with boyfriend Gijs, brother Caspar, uncle Ger [TC in Musbach] and even more proud mum Frouwke

“It was not easy to win” Tim said , everybody expected a lot from the German team, the wonder -boys as they were called, but Tim kept his head cool , flew as he wanted to fly, did his utmost best to stay close to them and where they more or less failed [ there is only ONE place and that is FIRST place !] , he won. It is a title on which everything fell in place for Tim.


Natasja from Dutch- Soaring-PR, invited TV and they arrived for some very nice shots, broad-casted yesterday evening on SBS6 during the local Dutch news.


As in Musbach Tim was thrown in the pool , after a flight first to show gliding for the TV cameras.


Town donated a cask of nice cool beer, very welcome on a humid day with 30 dgr. Souvenirs from Musbach were brought home and Bart the owner of 2 B was happy with the result from Tim and his glider. NOT FOR SALE, he said!!!


Grand ma was more then proud on her grand children and children , so were all friends. One of his instructors at Malden were Tim spend his flying -youth, was Dick Teuling and for the viewer with a good eye, he is on my Facebook picture as my instructor as well in 1967.


 A lovely hot day with a great winner , an extremely happy TIM, a very happy family and more then happy friends. The cool pool was awesome not only for Tim but also for others who jumped in with a big splash. Tim is ready now for ” the real thing”. After concentrating on soaring for a few years, he has reached what his goal was, being the best!”
Now it is time for the future and  he leaves already this Thursday for Oxford in the UK , to start his flight education , to be a pilot. But….”when I have finished I will be back”! Good luck Tim!



Tim Kuijpers and Felip Levin ; winners in Musbach.

Alphen aan den Rijn        Sunday August 21 2011


Both pictures ; courtesy Katja Soikkeli

What a great moment, specially for Tim, to be “crowned “as winner from the club class at the JWGC in Musbach. For Felip it was the 2d time , so he was a bit used to it.
Tim did not win one day, he was good but not even VERY good he thought himself in the beginning [ spot 12- then 7 and 6 climbing every day up to 3 were he stayed till the last but one day!!] and pretty amazed in the end he ended at the number one spot , gaining enough points to beat the German boys, but he was always  very determined to do his utmost best to get as high as possible on the scores-list. Great attitude!!!
Flying against the top 3 top-pilots in his class from Germany was an extra stimulant; they ended behind him on 2-3 and 4 after 7 days of soaring under pretty marginal circumstances.
On the last but one day he passed them all, mainly because the German team was not one  at that moment, with Sebastian winning the day [329 points]and climbing from 5 to 4 overall, while Alexander and Tobias only gained 190 and 193 points, being 26 and 27. That surely was not according to their coaches  plan! Tim who was 3d at that moment in the overall scores was 6th with 301 points and …passed Alexander and Tomas. ” Sweet revenge ” I read several times in the Dutch shoutbox, as the German soccer team always beats us in the last moment and you know the Dutch are soccer fans even at an airfield.Very kind of the young Germans to belong to the first to congratulate Tim. Good on them! Of course they did well too, but Tim did extremely well.


These pictures are from my archive when the Dutch soccer players were busy with their EGC and we were in Eskilstuna during the WGC .

 Champion and number 2 and 3 in club class

We continue were I was; And as they did not fly on the last day the final very close  scores in club class  were as follows;
1. Tim Kuijpers from Holland in the st. cirrus      4536 points
2. Alexander Späth from Germany in st.cirrus    4508 points
3. Tomas Welsch from Germany in st. cirrus       4504 points

Tim and his dad Ferdi, who flew WGC and EGC himself in the past. Mum Frouwke is a TC for years for the Dutch team,as well as steward for the FAI and sister Maaike is a glider pilot as well as brother Caspar. A REAL Dutch  soaring family!!!And….not to forget “uncle ” Ger, brother from Frouwke, who was the succesful TC in Musbach.
picture;courtesy Katja Soikkeli

2 Other Dutch pilots, Steven and Rik,  flying for the first time in such big event were both on spot 6, very good on them!!!! So our soaring-future looks pretty bright , is n’t it!? But a lot of very experienced people have been “helping”  our  young ones through the years, one of them Tim’s mum Frouwke. Chapeau for all of them!!!!

Not to forget there was a  standard class  as well. Also this class suffered from the bad weather and the very difficult / marginal circumstances , not expected before when all happily left their country. It was a real challenge in both classes, but as we all know the weather is not in our hands. Let’s call it character -building.
Felip Levin from Germany started on spot 1 overall and was still there on day 6 the last day, never losing the spot , so a well deserved winner and with a big marge!!!
1. Felip Levin from Germany in discus 2A      3832 points
2. Lucasz Grabowski from Poland in LS 8       3325 points
3. Jon Erik Lygren from Norway in LS 8         3341 points

A nice mix of countries not 3 from Germany or France or the UK or another country on the first spots, as you see so often.
Picture from the prize giving.

 Happy standard class winners!

Uvalde  finished their Uvalde Glide. As said Mac won in the Diana 2 with 7140 points out of 8 days in 15 m. class. He was lees then 100 points ahead of USA pilot John Seaborn in a Ventus
2 bx.
In 18 m. it was Bruce Taylor winning in the ASG 29 with 7394 points. He was more then 600 points ahead of runner up Gary Ittner from the USA.
Looking forward to the 2012 WGC in Uvalde.

One of the Red Arrows, flying a demo at Bournemouth yesterday, did not show up after they finished their show. From the 9 planes only 8 landed at Bornemouth airport. It seems the 9th plane crashed in a field . No news at this stage about the pilot. The Red Arrows is the famous British- formation- team with spectacular shows. I saw a few myself. Hope the pilot was able to save himself. No he did not I just heard on the news. Sad!!!

Something totally different , but it is nearly September now and  Gliding International starts a  new email service on September 1
“Our world wide network of correspondents search daily for news related to gliding. Our new service will email you the hottest gliding intelligence every Friday. Not more then 10 lines per news item will make for easy reading from this instant email form “.
If you are interested contact;
 It will cost you 80 cents US a week, or the equivalent in local currencies and is  only available for Gliding International Magazine subscribers. [ ]

And…to finish some pictures taken by Tim’s Sister Maaike and her boyfriend Gijs.


sorry dont get it right, but it is a nice picture,cheers Ritz

Looking back on Musbach!AND Uvalde!

Alphen aan den Rijn   Friday August 19 2011


Both pictures courtesy Katja Soikeli. Fun and rest after parties and crewing show the JWGC at it’s best.

Looking back on Musbach;
Sunday…..the top pilots who found in the rain a safe landing place,  some after just not yet 30 km. must have hoped that it would not be a valid day this sunday. Tragic bad weather with showers and more showers and it was nearly impossible to go on track. But…in the end in both classes pilots finished. In club Dutch pilot Tim , already runner up in the 2009 Europeans, arrived back in the rain, flying the 238 km. in nearly 5 hours BUT HE WAS BACK. Sole finisher in club , gaining 548 points and climbing overall to 3 behind the 2 young German pilots.
In standard class unfortunately NOT ENOUGH over 100 km-pilots. BUT also here 3 heroes who finished, what a pity for them, that the day turned out invalid!! But great class!!!!!They deserved more then ZERO points!!!!

Monday;official rest day and good days to arrive with up to 32 dgr. ! International evening was very succesful!!


After fun and rest, utmost concentration for the pilots . Courtesy Katja Soikeli.

Tuesday; The expectatation was for finally a great day, but in the morning the pilots woke up with 6/8 of alto cumulus and still a lot of moisture in the air . Another more then though day asking for all skills from each pilot. After postponing the start they finally were launched at 1 PM.
 for club and even later for standard hoping that the overcast would have passed.
Nobody except ONE pilot , Filip Levine, the current JWGC champion,  finished. Great job! Luckily for him MORE then 25 % were over 100 km. so he really won the day!!!
Clubclass outlanded about 20 km in front of the goal.
After 5 “flying-days” , on which pilots REALLY had to work, you can call it caracter building, but I do not know about that the overall scores showed the next points:
Club ;
1. Tobias Welsch  [ Germany ]   3430 points
2. Alexander Späth [Germany]  3428 points
3. Tim Kuijpers [Netherlands]    3392 points

1. Filip Levine [Germany ]         2532 points
2. Radek Krejcirik [ Czech Rep]   2249 points
3. Kristian Larsen [Denmark]      2248 points
As you see enough excitement with 3 days to go [last day Friday August 19]

Wednesday;Still not a real great soaring day this day 5 , but getting better. Still showers en route and pilots who were forced to out land. “Only” 11 this time in the 2 classes , so MUCH better then the days before with ONLY outlandings.Felt sorry for Horatio from Argentina. Nice fellow, good pilot. Till yesterday on spot 5 overall but this day he was one of the “outlanders ” after 124 km, while the others flew the racing task from 237.4 km..He dropped to 16.
The atmosphere seems to be more then good, that’s important as well. The karaoke evening was a succes I heard!

Thursday last but one day!!!!!And…another difficult day!! Brian, the chief-steward could not find really usable thermals , so the AAT for club class was changed to 1.30  after a meeting on the grid from the TC’s. First launch at 14.15.
In between the weather had improved , not only bleu thermals but also some cumili!! And…base at 2400 m!!!!! The young pilots might get scared after so many low days.
A day , and this is very special, it DID NOT work for the German team. Sebastian Nägel won and flew SUPER , but the numbers 1 and 2 [Alexander and Tobias only were 26 and 27 OUCH!!!!!]overall lost lot’s of points making it possible for our Tim Kuijpers to get on spot ONE overall!!!! Great effort!!! Of course he was already runner up during the EGC 2009, but being ONE on the last day on a JWGC , specially with these weather circumstances, is perfect!!!!!
9 outlandings in standard class and one young Aussie did nor fly due to problems with himself and his glider and weird but true the young pilot from the USA seems to have been asked to leave the team for disciplinait reasons!!!! He even won 2 days!!!’

Friday today;  lots’s of efforts to get pilots in the air; tasks were handed, gliders on the grid etc but the weather looked SH;;;;!!! They first cancelled standard class making German Pilot Filip Levin Junior WORLD CHAMPION for the 2d time. Good on him, congratulations.
Then the club was cancelled as well….hurray for Tim who won!!!!! The German team was really happy for a last day, to get things straight but…the weather gods said ENOUGH!!!!

Rene, 2009 European champion and Tim [r] JUNIOR WORLD CHAMPION [archive]

Uvalde;  On the official pre-world-site was written, that the last day was on the 14th and the Awards dinner as well. It is still there and called “preliminary!”
But…. on soaringspot the comps continued. They should do better in 2012.
So we just continue! There were day 6 and 7 but day 8 was special.On day 8 Gary Ittner flew with a speed of 150 km. over a 3.30 AAT making 564 km. in 18 m.class.
In 15 m.148 km./h. WOW, over 599 km. in Ventus 2 AX.

More news on Sunday!!! Guests have just left , but I wanted to quickly give you an update. Cheers Ritxz

Great champions in Pocuinai!

Alphen aan den Rijn       Sunday August 14 2011


Pictures; courtesy Jeroen Kroon

“Don’t fool around on the last day ” , Zbigniew must have thought, so he straight away won the last day in 18 m. class. So both “mates”,  on top for a while ended, also on top in the end , from these by great and less good weather flown EGC comps.
Karol wins and Zbigniew is 2 so 2 Polish pilots on top in ASG 29. Good for Poland! On spot 3 UK pilot Russell Cheetham in JS1.
In 15 m. Henrik Breidahl was the best on this last day 10 and I am pleased to see he still flies SO well.
He settles himself between the 3 French and is number 2 OVERALL , coming from 5th place,  good on him. The French are 1-2-4. Great guys!The points….. look at this, real exciting;
1. Christophe Ruch with 7323 points THE winner, the champion!
2. Henrik Breidahl with 7175 points AND
2. Denis Geurin ALSO with 7175 points!!!!
4. Louis Bouderlique with 7173 points ONLY 2 less!!!!!
In open class Pete Harvey won the day and he shows that he still is a great pilot, but …not the winner of this ECG. Markus Frank our German pilot was after 9 days, this time the best; and ….he was on top for the last 4 days!!! A great champion.

On the last day they all had to fly. Short 2 hour AAT’s for some still TOO long, as Peter from Holland had to use his engine after 40 km. OUCH that hurts !!!!!. But he only dropped 2 places overall !
With a base of 650 the open class pilots started after a few delays. In the end the day turned out not too bad and most pilots finished. All in time to celebrate the final day of these comps.
Good to have had a flyable last day.
In the top 10 in each class everybody could have been the winner. One has more luck then the other  or things fall better in place. Anyhow great comps and well deserved champions and runner up’s.
A pity from the broken gliders , what can you do. Atleat the mix of weather with very good to just soarable showed the talents of the pilots. I enjoyed it, from home!

Uvalde Texas, Pre worlds; Mac from Japan ended on spot 1 after 6 days of flying in 15 m. class. He never won a day but was pretty consistant and ready for next year for the “real thing”.
In 18 m. it is Bruce Taylor who won  4 out of 5 days! Gary Ittner was a good runner up BUT about 700 points less good!!!
In the open class Nationals;Ron Tabery is on top aftrert 5 days.
Thought it was over but they just continue! Sorry about that!

1.30 h. and 2 hours [club] AAT for the young ones! Yesterday they had a tiny bit better weather in Musbach so a new window gave new energy for the pilots. In the end the weather was allright,meaning not so many outlandings and certainlygood for the winner in standard; USA pilot Devin Bargannier who managed to fly 129 km.
In club class our young Danish friend Mads won again; 167 km. Good on him!!!He won 2 marginal days in a row! Hope he is good in nice-speedy-weather-flying as well, as that’s what is expected .

Short message this time due to guests and more to come, but you had a nice long one lasdt Friday. Enjoy your week see you most prtobably on Friday August 19. When I have time I put some picturtes on later.

Cheers Ritz

Pocuinai ! Musbach ! Uvalde !CIM !

Alphen aan den Rijn      Friday August 12 2011

  courtesy Jeroen Kroon[]

Got permission from Jeroen to use his pictures. THANKS JEROEN!!! Got permission from Frans as well, but unfortunately this program did not allow his pictures.
To not make the blog TOO long, I publish it today. Next one on Sunday.

When I left you last the pilots in Pocuinai were ready to go for a 2 hour AAT. At 12 local time , they launched the 18 m. class with a C task. The others had to wait as the cloud base was still only 800 m.!
In the end they were all launched while the first outlanding was reported before the start line for open class was announced to be open; a Russian pilot in a LAK 17 a, was the unlucky one.
18 m. started and was back first.The Polish 2 , still on top with Peter still on 3 in the overall scores.
In 15 m. most pilots arrived back home and the 3 French pilots top the overall scores after this day 9.
Most difficult day for open class. Toppers as Janusz, Pete and Sylvain , outlanded, in real or virtual, shaking these overall scores as well. Crews and TC’s could only wait while a thunderstorm passed by over the field.
Bruno won the day, what a pity he had 0 points on the day he violated the rules in the TMA, but that is part of the game/read you are just not allowed to do that, even when you did not intend to!


No flying on Thursday.

Only 2 days to go and to gain more points and some are eager. Much is still possible, but ….you have to be able to fly!!!
To be up to date I read as much as possible on all sites to inform you MY way about what’s going on. It is good to hear that people like to read it as, so they mention, they do not have to find out by themselves. Too easy, like this!
This morning I was amused by the difference on the view on day 9 [ Friday, so today] . The UK blogger writes; “The enthusiasm is underwhelming’. While the Dutch TC writes; “We are going to fly”!!!!
By the way she also showed that team the Netherlands is on top of the country/team -overall -scores; 6982 for Holland and 6962 for Denmark,  the runner up at this stage. GREAT effort!!!!!
A new day new chances!


So day 9 , today, looked as a soaring day  with a small window and small AAT’s for each class. Some pilots are at their best during such a day!!!
First 18 m. was launched at 13.15. They had the trackers with them as well. Unfortunately that was all ! No more gliders were launched and warnings for a thunderstorm with gusty wind OVER the field  were mentioned at all sites. At the field according to the Germans 1.5 cm big hail stones!
49 Minutes time difference between the first -and- last -starting-pilot.
And…pilots finished!!! Russell [ 132 km.] and Jaroslav from Czech Rep. [144 km. and day-winner!] even in exact 2 hours!!! Our Polish friends on spot 1 and 2 overall,  lost between around 130 and 200 points. Karol is still 1 but Zbigniew dropped to 4, ouch! And that on the last but one day!!!
Latest preliminary results overall with one day to go!!
1. Karol Staryszak from Poland in ASG 29 with callsign PL            7600 points
2. Russell Cheetham from the UK in JS1b with callsign E1             7394 points
3. Peter Eriksen from Denmark in ASG 29e with callsign PE          7391 points

One more day! Of course to get even for all classes they will try to give open class a 9th day as well.

In Musbach they had their first day ! Hurray! Finally action, after all the waiting and hanging around. The weather gods showed mercy. But…till that moment the young pilots all still had their dream of being world champion, no losers …only winners. From now on it is going to be different, there will be losers as well.

   picture;courtesy Katja Soikkeli

 picture; courtesy Lothar Schwark

“The young ones ” even happily said after they were launched, that the visibility was splendid! In the end a tough day with lots of outlandings!In club class the 3 German boys, Sebastian, Tobias and  Alexander  were the best and I guess with what they have practised over the last 2 years they will be difficult to beat. But nothing is impossible!
 In standard class no finishers. But also there a great German pact with 3 top pilots with huge experience in many comps in the top;Felipe, who defends the title, Patrick and Jan Frederick, but flying together holds a risk as well. Let’s wait and see what happens.
Not a bad first day for most of the Dutch and Belgium pilots either!


Pictures both by Katja Soikkili. Is n’t she a great photographer!!!!! I love her pictures specially her portraits[ see below]. She even made a good one from me and I do not stick on that kind of paper. Lot’s more at the official site; ; also on the same left part of the site the video’s from Hubi.Have a look!

Day 2; Thursday ; flying again! OR>>>>>> a 3 hour AAT for standard and 176 for the club class boys!But….after changing to task B and for Standard even C, the day was cancelled. The weather was just not good and “high” enough, though….after the cancellation, our 2 Dutch boys Tim and Rik, found wave and climbed up to 2100 m. !!!!!!!


It is not Tim , neither Rik on this portrait, from Katja, if I look well the second picture is from Jeroen. But I have n’t seen him since he was 12 years old. I just liked both pictures!
Soaring day 2 was on Fridayand started with postponing. But AAT’s from 3 hour for club and 2.30 for standard were distributed! And…a first possible launch at 13.15 for a small window !
It all  changed as the weather changed to 2.30 and 2 hours.
Difficult circumstances “en route” , but also “nice ” lift with 3 m./sec. Club class pilots finished first. And NOT a German boy won the day!!!!, but one from Denmark, with Miloslav Cink as 2d. He was already good in Finland!!!!! Good on both of them. Mads flew 200 km. in 2.38, just 8 minutes over time!
Lots of outlandings as well in this class.
In standard class again a Danish winner , for the day, Kristian together with Felipe from Germany; 150 km in 2.08. What is in their water that our Danish friends fly everywhere so well!!!!???? The other Danish pilot , Morten in st. class flew 180 km but he must have been caught by rain,…. too far in the sector????
Well done also by Horatio from Argentina, who I met in Finland.And Adrian from France “member” of the famous Henry family. And the Dutch boys did well!!! These results of course are preliminary! Look for all results at


Both pictures courtesy Katja Soikkeli

Uvalde had some good preparations for the real comps in 2012! And specially Mac is doing well in 15 m. After 5 days he tops the list.
In 18 m. it is still Australia who tops their list with Bruce and Brad! Till now Bruce won 4 out of 5 days. Great pilot, great guy!
In open class Ron Tabery in the ASW22 BLE with call sign SS, is still the best. Thursday was a rest day and as I heard time to visit Frio to watch the bats at sunset!!! Ron won 5 days in a row and “achieved” 4988 points!!!!

The CIM in Rieti  ended with a great looking skies on Wednesday and a cloud base up to 2100-2800 QNH. But a pretty tough wind like nearly everybody had in Europe lately.  A 2.30 and 3 hour AAT was the result, after looking at the weather, for the pilots on this last day!
In open class Alexander Müller just held his “cup”. He lost on the last day 378 points on the day-winner , but still had 42 points marge to take the cup home! He left with a total of 5969 points.
No chances in the other classes. [see for all the results at ]
Glorious winner in Rieti is Giorgio Galetto with 6379 points.

 Giorgio Marina and Leonardo [archive]

NO news this Wednesday, but a short blog this  SUNDAY,  due to guests this weekend and week . But enough after that!!! Enjoy your week as well. Cheers Ritz

Pociunai !Musbach !Uvalde !CIM !

Alphen aan den Rijn        Wednesday August 10 2011

It still feels like autumn here. At Keiheuvel I saw the first signs of this season already in the very green grass after all the rain. Normally it is not as yellow as in Australia but in high summer it turns some kind of yellow too. As said it is greener then green. Looks good, but means it was VERY wet!

 First signs from autumn in summer!

In Pociunai EGC -life continued  with a day-victory from Ronald when I was not home, well done, and a rest day with rain on day 9. So we follow and analyze, what is going to happen these last exciting days before they hand over the prizes on Sunday August 14.
On spot ONE  overall after 7 days of mostly great soaring and with 5 days to go;
15 m. Christophe Ruch from France and 2 other French pilots behind him.
In 18 m. Karol Staryszak from Poland with his country mate Zbigniew and Danish pilot Peter behind him .
Open class Markus Frank from Germany, Petr from Czech Rep and young Killian from France. 

On Tuesday A and B tasks  were set for each class, as there was a lot of wind ; 328 for 15 m, ; 361 for 18 m,;and 382 for open. Direction W and SW.
All classes went for Task A with 20 and later  30 km/h. wind and 4/8 of cu. after the morning-cirrus had disappeared.A Diane is a nice glider to fly, but start and landing is sometimes very difficult, as I saw several times in the past. Also this morning it went wrong  as one had a mishap during the start and broke it’s very thin fuselage behind the seat. End of the EGC for “poor ” Thomas.”
 Here is the picture send to me, from the Diana 2.

  The Diana 2.

In the evening the International party made forget all trouble for those who felt troubled. And a lot felt so as the weather was “sh…”. Within a bit more then an hour after the start , gliders outlanded. One open class glider NB, broke 2 wings with his landing after hitting trees, so 2 gliders lost on ONE day! Luckily NO pilots hurt!!!
Unfortunately Marcus [NB] had a tracker, so everybody , including me, could follow how low he was; 139 m.????!!!!! And then the engine did not work well. OUCH!!!!! And then he landed as I read on the official news in the forest of Suvalkei.
A bit amused, I read as well that at 16.20 nobody had FINISHED!!!???? Did they expect that??????
Would it be a valid day!? 25 % from the participants in each class had to fly over 100 km. Most did not even reach the first TP in Poland.
In the end in 15 m. class 9 pilots flew over 100 km. Gyorgy even 126 and for all the work he was rewarded with 180 points. So a VALID day 8 for them!
In 18 m. 4 pilots managed to fly over 100 km. but that was not enough to make it a valid day! One of the French even flew 243.9 km. AMAZING!!!!
In open class the day was scrubbed as well with Killian as the best with 72 km.
TODAY , they hope to fly an  AAT of 2 hours in each class. 

In Musbach they scrubbed 2 days to start with . Autumn weather there as well with lots of wind up to 70 km/h . Also yesterday was not good enough to fly. They tried hard postponing and postponing but it did not help. Day 3 was cancelled too. But …today should be OK!!!!
Also Katja allowed me to use her pictures so here are 3  from the stormy days; next pictures courtesy Katja Soikkeli. She is the web master and editor during these comps.


And….when you have time look also at the great videos from Hubi. I met him at the JWGC in Finland and saw there his videos and I was “hooked”. Great young man as well!!! You find them at the site and on youtube . His full name Hubertus W. Huvermann.Keep an eye on him!!!!
Today they finally hope to fly. Hurray!!! The young ones are eager to go up!!
Tasks have been set, even pretty long tasks after so much rain; Club class 276 and standard 321 km.

Uvalde has REAL summer weather,  I do remember  Uvalde like that. Gosh can it be HOT there!!!!! And pilots fly there with BIG speed! Some of my Aussie friends are practising during this pre-worlds and some Dutch pilots as well.
Their first day was on August 6 with tasks between 263 and and 387 km. David Jansen won in 15 m. class. He is used in Australia to this fast weather and flew with 131 km/h over 339 km.
In 18 m. class it was an other Aussie Bruce Taylor who won with a speed of 137 km./h over 387 km..
In open class the USA Nationals are flown in this pre worlds and Ron Tabery from the USA was the best on each of the 3 days. Great to see that Mark Huffstutler , the competition director from the 1991 WGC in Uvalde flies in this class in an ASH 25. Also my friends Gerrit Kurstjens and John Buchanan fly a Duo discus to get to know the area better. Gerrit flew there in 1991 as well, can’t remember if John was there. What I DO remember OF COURSE , is that Baer Selen won his 2d WORLD title . We were all very happy there in faraway Uvalde Texas. On this picture from my archive Baer and Christianne in Stockholm.

 Christianne and Baer Selen when we visited Stockholm.

Day 2 in 15 m. even had a speed of 140 km. p/h in an ASW 27 and Mac , yes Ichikawa, flying a Diana 2 flew with 139 kmp/h.
Day 2 for 18 m. showed of 153 kmp/h . in an ASG 29!!!!over 562 km.
On day 3 in 15 m. a Belgium victory for Baudoin Litt and in 18 Brad Edwards who won in 1991 the WGC title!!!!!All scores are still unofficial.Brad flew his AAT with a speed of 124 km.p/ over 655 km.
From now on I can follow it daily.
A pretty difficult -to-read-site they have at this stage.But there is a few months to work on making it more pleasant to read for those who are interested. 

 Bruce ,Anita Taylor with daughter Indea[archive]

The latest from Uvalde Glide;Yesterday the 15 m. class flew 446 km. and again it was Belgium pilot Baudoin Litt who won the day;speed 125 km/h.
In 18 m. it was Australia again on the top with Bruce and Brad; 135 km/h over 429 km. Dutch pilot Francois Jeremiasse was 3d. Good on him!!!
In the open class nationals Ron Tabery won his 4th day! But not far behind him, 85 points, in the overall scores after 4 days,  is good old Dick Butler.
Dave Nadler is keeping a blog. He is flying the Antares. You can find him with my friends on and scroll down to his racing news and click on his name.

The CIM had a special day yesterday for some as p.e. in standard class Vittorio Pinni outlanded and the Swiss pilots passed him on the overall scores after 7 days of flying in Rieti in standard class.
In 15 m. a Swiss and Austrian pilot top the overall scores.
In 18 m. who else then Giorgio Galetto! After 6 days he won 3 days was 2 times 2d and 1x 3d. Yesterday he flew with a speed of 148.8  km/h. over 374 km. WOW!!!!!!!
In the 2 seater class  7 days of soaring and the Swiss ARCUS dominates there; 1500 points ahead on the runner up.
In the open class after 6 days, the “kilometer-eater” Alexander Müller is on top, before the Austrian Eders. Alexander did not win one day but was the most consistent pilot.

Enough news you are updated again, so cheers Ritz

Special Keiheuvel-edition!

Alphen aan den Rijn     Monday August 8 2011

 the airport on Sunday

Wonderful to have been back at Keiheuvel Airport. I just have the best memories on being there. Those days the Keiheuvel competition still was a week and we had a ball, flying and socializing. Nowadays, mainly due to the continuing restriction of airspace,  specially around Eindhoven, but also in Belgium, it is only a weekend but a great weekend with still the same atmosphere, only a few less pilots flying.

 The Keiheuvel Cup 2011.

Here is the story!
For the weekend of  August 6 and 7 I really wanted to go back to Keiheuvel; just tasting another comps over there after so many years! I made arrangements for myself and Ans who started soaring with me in 1967 and quickly I found out that old good friendship NEVER disappears it remains till you die!
In no time a caravan was organised by one of the well known soaring families of Belgium; The Huybreckx family. Father Huybreckx, with his wife the first generation of this dynasty I got to know, still in great health being 83 and 81 now , borrowed us his “small”caravan as , grandson Jeroen[3d generation]  used the big one in Musbach with his dad Rudy[ husband from Chrisje] and grand daughter Sophie [daughter from Eddy] the camper, with her partner Wim.Wim flew this weekend in the Nimbus 4D [ with transponder Sport XPDR class]  with Maarten Baltussen importer from JS1, as you know. Chrisje,the only girl in the 2d generation family [with brothers Mark and Eddie  , sadly enough Gert passed away many years ago!] , who owns and runs the fantastic restaurant “De Kei”, [with Rudy] , welcomed us straight away, dad and brothers Marc and Eddie followed.
The 4th generation , little Anna, from Gitte, nearly 2 years old now, is already interested in soaring. No girls talk, when her mum and I were talking, no she wanted to go to the CM. Not even 2 and she knows the call signs of the gliders within the family. So the future looks bright for soaring at the Keiheuvel , specially with a little son “arriving” this month.


We arrived on Saturday afternoon. The weather was great for walking 24 dgr. a bit sticky but nog good enough for soaring so we started socialising straight away.No BBQ this evening but chicken and salad yammie!


Yes socialising is easy with friends. Another great and warm Belgium soaring family is of course the Schmelzer family. Just back from wet Nitra , where Tijl and Bert sr. flew in the 2 seater class and Bert the standard class, with mum Hilde, not as TC this time, but as crew . We always pick up in our conversation, where we stayed when we ended the last time. This weekend Tijl flew the nimbus 4 d with Ken in the  sport class. Dad Bert the ventus. Bert jr. had to go back to Zürich where he lives and works.


More socialising as so many good old friends were part of the chicken-evening. As the de Wachter family, Emiel and Godelieve, the de Coninck family, Eddie and Mia, and more 3d generation Huybreckx family members. And children who were small when I met them first.




On this last picture; Dennis H, Gitte H, mum of Anna and soon from ….. uncle Marc H. father from Gitte and Tim H. and uncle Eddy father from Sofie H. and Dennis H.

After a great night,  Sunday would be the day to fly. Briefing at 10 and about 33 participants. The meteo announced a low cloudbase in the morning but getting better up to 1100 m., at noon. Only the wind up to 40 km/h . could be a problem , as well as some isolated showers. First start was announced for 12.30 but the base stayed a bit too low,  so after an hour the skies looked great and the Scout and 2 Pawnees , yes the one we had in Holland at the Dutch Nationals as well, towed all pilots up for their task of 136 km in Sport class XPDR [ transponders] and 131 km for the club/sport class.



 The skies looked better then expected but the pilots did not agree with us on the ground. Some had problems to go to the first TP due to a shower over there. They came back and started again. Some struggled with the 40km/h wind and a shower on the way home others had 2.5 lift up to 1100. Not an easy day. Several pilots had to go “au vache” so the price giving was at 8.30. No worries as a lot enjoyed a great dinner in the KEI, where the beautiful presentation of the food draws all attention. On top of that the food is fantastic!!!
5 Pilots from sports class  finished at Keiheuvel and with a speed of 98 km/h Tijl Schmelzer and Ken Evens were the winners in this class. The standard Libelle finished as well and became 2d. Great job!!!
In the other class Wim Akkermans and Maarten Baltussen won with a speed of 60 km/h. Nobody else made it home!
The Albert Schmelzer prize for the best young pilot during this 2011 edition of the Keiheuvel Cup was for Tijl as well. Albert was first generation, Bert sr. is 2 and Tijl and Bert jr are 3d generation. Great to win such a prize with the name of granddad.



It was awfully nice to meet also friends who flew with us in Tocumwal in the past. I have Ewald and Emiel on a picture but not Patrick [sorry] ,  who I met as well. Of course Hilde and Bert were with us as well as Eddie Huybreckx who visited when he was young and Bill Riley still was the boss.


Some as Tim and Dennis worked for us. Tim, air traffic controller at Kleine Brogel is just back from Nitra so is Dennis, who is co pilot at KLM now .


 Not for the first time pilots took pity on doggies at the airport. You know for sure Nitra the doggie with the 3 legs, from the German TC Rainer. This time we got to know Duke , also born in  Nitra, who was saved after the pup was thrown away by a young person on a bike. After a visit to the vet the doggie is going to be the happiest dog in the world. A new little Nitra , from the same stray-mother-dog, is in Belgium as well.


By now you understand that we had a great weekend and if possible we will be back next year again. To finish I share with pleasure some more pictures. I hope you like this more private blog as well. See you on Wednesday with the regular news on Pocuinai, Rieti and Musbach.
Cheers Ritz

  Stijn the very kind and good competition director

 partner [r]from Gitte and father of 4th generation

  Tijl , now with short hair

  Bert sr and Hilde , lovely couple

  Libelle still a great plane

 pilot and crew for “over 100 years”!!!

  Ans in front of the fleet

  Bert sr. and Ewald

  Sofie en Wim

 the “holy grass “of Keiheuvel greener then green