Antares 23E Quintus M;new open class gliders!

Alphen aan den Rijn      Wednesday December 28 2011
last blog [number 487]  of 2011


So on the end of 2011, a nostalgic retrospect not on this year but on the year 1967 in which I flew with the ZES. The pictures above are from a good friend who died with his glider during a camp  a couple of years ago; Hans Jonkers. He was the one who got me into gliding. The pictures have been scanned over Christmas, by a member of the Gliding club ZES now, Ton who got them from Hans ‘family and ….I love them! Great memories! THANKS!
On the left picture; Kees and I ready for a competition day in the KA 7.
Yesterday it was 24 years ago that Kees died in France. He crashed against a mountain, flying his hang glider. Kees was world champion in gliding in Hobbs!!! He also was our best family-friend.

And then…… THANK you for ALL YOUR Christmas greetings  and  with the help of Marina and Antti,I can add next year 2 more Christmas wishes then this year . After Dutch, French, German and English ,there will be Buon Natale and Hyvää Jouvula. There you go , never too old to learn.

Promised you some news about the “maiden flight” of 2 new top open class gliders . The flights were on December 23.
The Quintus M is the new super toy from Schempp-Hirth, for years and years manufacturers of top-gliders. At 14.30 Tilo himself brought the plane ,a 23 span single seater up in the air. During this first flight,  Tilo found the glider harmonic and easy to handle and he started the engine in the air,  which seems to be TOO easy as well,  due to an automatic system. The glider climbs then with 3.5 and 4.3 m/s. See for all the news and lots of pictures to the 2  links I got from Ludwig[Thanks!!]  at[tt_news]=477&tx_ttnews[backPid]=130&cHash=95e115282d

Partner from Schempp-Hirth, Lange Aviation, showed at 15.21 also on December 23 their brand-new Antares 23E and Axel Lange launched himself in this beautiful “ship”. Nearly sound- less as the electric engine is powerful but silent.
 He said he was sure that even more fun in soaring an open class glider was made possible now!
 I love the open class.

More well known pilots have settled down in Namibia, so is 3 times World champion Michael Sommer from Germany in Pokweni, where he straight away flew a 1.068 FAI triangle,  on his first flight, in an EB 28. The second day was good for another 1.135 km. flight. Yesterday it was 1.168 km with a speed of 137 km/h. Topping the OLC list 3 days in a row. Not bad!
Rafi Luski from Israël is in Bitterwasser and he flew a 1000 yesterday [750 FAI triangle] . I noticed Henrik Breidahl from Denmark as well. [Bitterwasser. ]

Disaster on Australia’s Gold Coastwhere over Christmas the house from celebrity chef Matt Golinsky from the program ” Ready Steady Cook” burnt down in a terrible blaze killing his wife and 3 teenage daughters leaving him in critical condition in a hospital in Brisbane.
Matt , wanted to fly and was busy with his pilots license.[PPL]
Also a huge fire in Austria where lot’s of German and Dutch guests had to run for their lives to safety after their hotel burnt down. The very famous wooden 4 star hotel burnt out.

This was the last blog in 2011. A year with up’s and down’s world wide. We lost friends but babies from friends were born. A year full of for us far-away-wars, nature-disasters but also from happiness and love, beauty and joy.
In soaring we look ahead at the Benalla club class Nationals and the Nationals in Narromine in Australia. In Argentina also in the beginning of January,  the pre worlds in Chaves, where the whole French team is practising to belong to the best next year. We have 2 WGC’s to look forward too and lots of great comps and flights on the OLC. But also first SOLO and C certificate, diamonds etc.
To finish this year, I share with you some pictures from Mount Fuji in Japan, send to me by Hiroko,who flew and flies at Tocumwal, as I think Japan was hit worst this year.
Something which can create disaster [the last eruption was in 1707/1708] but also looks fantastic, from the air.


 See you NEXT year in the year 2012! What will it bring?????
Enjoy the last days of 2011. Hope you enjoyed the blogs!? Sometimes I get a message from a reader and think gosh, is he/she reading too???? Anyhow THANKS for your ongoing support!
Cheers Ritz

Space ! Welkom and the winner is….Oscar with only ONE point on Ronald!!!

Alphen aan den Rijn  Sunday December 25 2011

to all of you
 where ever you are in this world.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a lovely Boxingday tomorrow with lots of presents. I love this time as I also get a lot of mails and letters from friends I only hear from with Christmas. Yes …it’s that time of the year again….and I try to answer them ALL!!!! So much news …I love it,..but unfortunately most is private. I am very careful with what’s open to read for everybody and what’s personnel. Reason???
In my Sportavia period I wrote in my blog my hapiness over the arrival for Christmas from pilot ???????with his wife. Did I get a mail straight away after publishing from one of his friends .”You better be careful Ritzy, his wife is at home!!!!!”
You don’t want to spoil peaceful Christmas days is n’t it????
By the way,  the best flight from Tocumwal was on Christmas day, quite  a few years ago when Gerrit flew when I remember well,  about

What a great moment to see the launch of the Soyuz,  with one of your own fellow-country-men, last Wednesday! Though I saw Russian astronaut Gagarin go up 50 years ago, saw the first men put foot on the moon, saw Andre leave earth in 2004 ,  this launch was more tense. I was happy after 9 minutes to see Andre touch the hand of his Russian commander ; mission successful till now….launch perfect!
Of course Andre is not on his way to announce the first music-single of the Dutch top 2000, but it is nice he does it. Andre is a medical doctor and scientist at ESA [European Space Agency]  in Noordwijk about 30 km from here and during this flight also the flight engineer. He is going to do a lot of research, 57 experiments,  also on his own body, to see p.e,  if and how somebody can survive on being weightless for such a long time,  to go in the future to Mars.
Can’t believe such a rocket with 250.000 kg of fuel can climb!!!???
Before they left the 3 were in quarantine for a while to not get sick, even the interviews with the press where behind glass. Then the pretty iron protocol was broken by the 19 and 20 year old daughters from Andre hugging him before he entered the bus to go to the rocket. He is a father too , from 2 more kids and will be only back on Mai 15 2013. But…believe it or not he will twitter, send mails and every Sunday they can see and talk with their dad on a video session.After I looked at the “connection” last Friday, between the station and the rocket. Amazing!

The Welkom SA Nationals had a good 10 days of interesting soaring. It was in the end not clear  if Oscar was going to be the winner. Ronald nearly “touched” him gaining 743 points for his 3d place on day 10, while Oscar “only” had 562 points. ONE point difference in favor of Oscar…. 8598 and 8597…! And Arne at 8552.
It all depends now  on the last day!!!! Anyhow you surely have seen that John Coutts won day 10 with 345 km in 2 hours 29 minutes. Spot on for a 2.30 AAT. Speed, 138 km./h.
This is what Ronald said before the last launch , if there is one ….for a 2 hour AAT!!;
—“Last day of the SA nationals today. Yesterday we had showers and big blue holes. I averaged 133km/h, good for a third place and bringing me very close to first place overall. The difference is only 1 point or 10 seconds… Problem is that the weather of today is bad and I don’t think we will fly. We will see—“

And……a “dramatic” finish. No way for Ronald to gain that one point or a few more or …loosing a few. The day was cancelled. No worries Oscar is a very well deserved winner and with that the 2011 National South African Champion. But one point difference that hurts for Ronald,I think.  ” where did I loose that 1 point???” he must think. But Ronald is a more then deserved runner up with Arne as number 3.Well done guy’s!!!
 John Coutts won 2 days, Oscar as well and Arne 3!!!Other days were won by Attie, Uys and Holger.


 Oscar finishing during these nationals and happy at his glider.[on top]
Courtesy; Wil Janssens and Iain Baker

Club had a 2.15 AAT and Wayne is clearly the leader and…remains the leader, as the last day was cancelled for club. So after 10 days he wins the South African Nationals in his ASW 20 with more then 300 points on runner up Konrad Stark, with a nice 3d place for Stephan van den Berg.

Over the years I tried people to motivate to write a blog on soaringspot , about the comps, not only a link to a site or the scores, no real stories, a live blog. It attracks readers and that’s how we on a small scale promote our sport. Well done to Carol and the others writing at Welkom.
I also noticed a more regular and more readable  blog on the OLC now. A good one as well, informative and up to date, that’s what our sport needs.
My message for 2012.

Very happy to see “Harry back in business”. After a few years of struggling with his health he is back to normal and flies the best triangles. He does n’t go for easy but works hard for it. Harry Wondergem [Ventus 2CT/18m.] flew a nearly 1000 km triangle from Corowa, yesterday;935 km.. They are getting there in Corowa, with the combination, perfect weather, perfect gliders and perfect pilots. When the day is there they all fly their [ so maniest] 1000 km. It’s only waiting for the right match.
When I look at Anton from Austria who flies the LS 4 in Tocumwal , I guess he might have flown his largest distance 650 km. Good on him!

MORE ABOUT THE 2 new OPEN CLASS GLIDERS Quintus M from Schempp-Hirth and the Antares 23 E from Lange -Aviation in Wednesdays blog!

Enjoy your Christmas days !!! I am going to do so too.
Just heard that within 4 years our pretty small country will count 17 million people!!!
Cheers Ritz
Merry Christmas…Joyeux Noël…Frohe Weihnachten….Zalig Kerstfeest.


.  Frohe Weihnachten from Munich.Courtesy Maria.




More Welkom! Namibia…no doubt the place to be this year if you like fast and far!

Alphen aan den Rijn    Wednesday December 21 2011

Oscar in 2006 [courtesy dvd WGC Eskilstuna]

What good flights at Welkom last Sunday when I let you know they were going to fly 664 km.  on day 7 and most of them did so in 18 m. class. Oscar won again with a speed of 134 km./h.
Here is what Bruce had to say;
—“Today they dropped a 665 km task upon us, with weather that was to be similar to yesterday, except generally more moist. As we waited on the grid, things looked to be cooking up earlier, and by launch time it was already going very well. Surprisingly a number of the club class landed back, but off tow I quickly found a strong climb. My intention was to go early, as the cloud tops were already push…ing up and I was worried it might explode. I managed to get into position to go shortly after the gate opened, and left right away.
Things went pretty well today. There was a slow spot for me just after the second turn, and the South African gaggle came by, so I basically spent the rest of the day with them. We negotiated a large storm cell down near our southern turn, which was fun, and after that we had to be more careful as the active areas became very widely spaced, which called for some long glides and deviations. As it turned out, the task was very well chosen. Had it been much longer there would have been trouble for most of us. My gaggle ended
up with most of the top places, so I was lucky they chose to run into me!
I have scratched back up to 6th place, and feel a bit better about my flying. More good days to come, I hope.—“

A nice flight as well from Douglas, the son from FAI official Dick Bradley in the Ventus 16.6 m.. He just missed out on 40 km. to make it home.
His sister Jennifer flies in club class, where they had to fly 330 km and an ASW 15 won with handicap the 1000 points.

Day 8 had a 3 hour AAT for club and the Twin Astir flew 335 km in 3 hour 19 and won on handicap.
—“So, today the Club Class was won by Todd and Hitler (yes, really!) in the venerable Twin Astir. It just goes to show that the concrete swan can actually go alright given the appropriate rates of climb, and a couple of super pilots. Well done, Todd!—“Bruce Taylor
In 18 m. a 3.45 AAT was set and more Bruce about their task: ” 
—“The first half of today was some of the best weather I have flown. I think the first few climbs were all better than 10 knots, and a couple were better than 12. There were about 8 of us trying to share the fun, so it was pretty hectic till we spread out a bit. Up near the first turn it softened a little and 6 or 7 knots was acceptable. I had quite a good run through all of that, but then didn’t find a climb before we headed out into a dead area on the final area. I didn’t do the last bit of the flight well, and only just whispered over the finish line, with nothing up my sleeve.
What a day! Reminds me of “the day” in Waikerie a couple of years back. Sometimes the sky feels incredibly BIG, and we are just little specks…”
Arne won the day and Oscar is still 1 overall. Between Oscar and the number 5 at this stage Uys is a difference in points of 243 points and the next pilots, Ronald, Arne and Attie.

Day 9;does n’t give Carol, who writes the good daily reports on the soaringspot-site, a promising feeling, but Sven who does the weather thought it would be more or less as  the day before.
This is what Bruce thinks before starting; “Another day. We have a 3 hr AAT. On the grid the weather is much slower to start, but the sniffer has reported lift good enough to throw us in the air. It’s quite breezy, and still no cu to be seen in our task area. Away we go!”

It changed into 2.45 and Oscar keeps going with 415 km in 2 hours 49 minutes winning the day again and making his overall spot 1 more firm.
—“I have had a day of everything, highs and lows. Our 3 hr AAT was shortened to 2:45 in the air, and the timing actually worked pretty well. After wandering around the start waiting for the day to fire up, John CouttsandI found a nice strong climb that got us right up in time to go. We sort of flew the first hour together, before we split up and both got low! I managed to eventually climb well, but wasted some time there. Then I ran the storm front, thinking that I was all alone until all the South Africans arrived under me! The rest of the flight was fast, and I made up for the low point a little. Finished mid-field, but OK on points. Big storm here tonight.—“ is what Bruce found about the day.
In club class the winners from day 8 [2 hour AAT] had a less good day,  ending up on the last spot by landing out after 185 km. A pity for them. The winner was Konrad Stark his second day-victory in the ASW15 this week; 205 km in 2 hours and 5 minutes . He is on a 2d place overall as well at this stage.

Namibia gives the guests where they are coming for.  Weather to fly long distances. A few 1000’s again! One of the flights was an 800 km out and return by Dutch pilot Lodewijk de Beukelaar who flew in the Nimbus 4 DM , this task with a speed of 137 km./h. To avoid thunderstorms they had to make some more kilometers, 904 in total.
On Monday 23 more 1000 km. flights. It is a good Namibia season I told you already. Loved the 1.236 km [speed 133 km/h] flight from Bostjan in the EB 28, an FAI TRIANGLE of 1.166 km with speed of 125 km./h. 

Yesterday Alexander Müller  flew yesterday from Pokweni  a great 1.357 km [triangle 1.128] in his EB 28. In his comment he says he started later [3-/45 minutes] due to oxygen  problems, but then he flew 400 km . straight on with 170 km on the clock !!!! He even passed Rostock Ritz, nice!!!
I have given up counting the 1000 km’s, but like mentioning one as from Johan Luyckx from Belgium flying  from Bitterwasser;1.164 in a LAK 17/15m. !!!!!

Very nice to see so many familiar names back in Tocumwal. After Björn and Lis and the 3 Japanese friends now Anton and Andrea have arrived from Austria. Anton flew already 500 km. and 544 km.  in the LS 4. Andrea normally loves local soaring. Hannu from Finland, still there,  flew a nice 592 km. task last week as well in the LS 6 and today 513 .Not too bad weather in Australia as well. Maybe not so many 1000 km flights but the season is longer in Australia then in Namibia,  so a lot can still happen.
Corowa , the  center for Australia is with  less guests [ 29 till now and 215 flights] then in Namibia [Bitterwasser  98 guests till now with 518 flights]  still number 5 , while the smaller scaled actions from Tocumwal bring them at this stage on spot 8 with 24 guests adding 119 flights to the OLC.
And lot’s of new -arrived-well-known names in Corowa as well, with Reinhard and Chris,[ pretty sure with Linda.]Luckily they have great weather too.Today again with more long flights!!

Biggest order ever for Boeing. This time 150 planes of the type 737 MAX. The order is set by the USA company Southwest Airlines. Only in 2017 this type will fly for the first time. On top of that Southwest ordered 58 Next Generation 737’s. A good Christmas time for Boeing and a great 2012 plus in these pretty difficult economic times.

And….our Dutch astronaut Andre Kuipers is in Kazachstan ready for his trip into space.  Even the Queen wishes him well. He departs , his second go, at 14.16 Dutch time for a 2 day trip to the space station ISS, where he will ‘LIVE’ for 5 months. He arrives just in time, to open , with permission from ground control the year 2011 best 2000 singles[music] in Holland . I am going to see the start of this special flight live on TV.

Enough….CU you on Sunday for a MERRY CHRISTMAS special, short unfortunately, as I have guests. And……looking forward to spring again now the shortest day is over here.
cheers Ritz


Alphen aan den Rijn    Sunday December 17 2011
65 years old/young since yesterday 

First of all THANK YOU to everybody  on Facebook, via mails, [ my laptop nearly crashed from the amount, ] phone calls or cards/letters [ even jimpix cards, never heard of them before!] ,  taking time to congratulate me with this “milestone ???” in my life. Really officially retired now, dear friends ,retirement pay and  money from the government coming in every month for doing “nothing”, only enjoying myself with some writing! Of course I/we paid for it in the past , every month. Just a great system here in Holland and due to the fact I lived abroad I miss out on 2 % for each year I lived in Curacao and Australia. But who cares…would not have missed those years for a million!!!!!

One of my very attentive readers/friends wrote me I “changed ”  Holger Karow for Holger Back in my last blog. Do know them both from several comps, but this says enough of me being 65, is n’t it? What would Freud say if he was still alive??!!!Anyhow sorry about that, guy’s!!!

Did you know WELKOM is the Dutch word for welcome??? Rain unfortunately, is welcome there as well as  day 4 was cancelled. Good reason for some pilots to clean glider and trailer after a muddy outlanding. One car and trailer had a serious problem [ jack-knifed car and trailer]  but luckily nobody was injured. Carol,  I guess Clifford, great lady we did some TC jobs in the past as the only ladies at that time, writes about it in her blog on soaringspot.[  ]
Here is Bruces story on day 5;
—“Tough day in the office for this little duck. It was blue as blue, and took a long time for most of us to grind our way up to starting height. I left after the first bunch had gone, and had quite a good run out on track. However approaching the first turn I could not find anything going up, and all I could see was wet paddocks and water ahead. I was rightly nervous, as I spent probably 45 minutes …really low and going nowhere, with a low point of 500 feet – no fun at all. Once I finally got up the flight went as well as you could expect on such a day, and I managed to catch some of the crowd that had flown over the top while I was checking out the local farming scene. The fast guys crucified us pointswise though. Happy to be home today.
Had a lovely BBQ with the Jonkers boys tonight on the airfield, together with the Clogs, Danes and Germans. Great group of guys. Todd has found a place in the back of a Nimbus 3DM which pleases him much more than the idea of a Twin Astir.
Tomorrow will be more of the same I think – Woohoo!!—“

And also Ronald had his story on Facebook about day 5 and with his permission here it is;
—” Today it was blue weather. Thermals expected till 1200m, later higher. But before the start a grup could take wave. Unfortunately it was not me and I struggled around 1000m. This resulted in a later start then I liked. Thermals would stop at 17:00, I started at 14:24 for a 330km task. First leg was good, only one thermal. Second leg brought me and Arne J. Boye-Møller down to 230 agl. Not good. We struggled a long time to get up again. The ground here was all wet due to yesterdays rain. We made it back home but lost a lot of points. I dropped from first to fourth and have some work to do!
As they did not too well, somebody else had to better, and yes guess who; the Jonker brothers , Uys and Attie gaining BOTH 1000 points and the Goudriaan brothers, Oscar and Laurens, who I know for ages,  starting early for the 330 km. and coming home early.

at this stage Oscar leads the 18 m. class.

Not a very easy competition for some:
” Todd Clark (Aussie) has parked his borrowed Twin Astir next to a snake hole – his description of the snake sounds like a spitting cobra.  But Todd is good with animals, see his photo on the JS Facebook page.”
And used to brown snakes as every Aussie is!!! Even I , not that I like them however!!!!!
In club class Wayne Schmidt still tops the club class while his wife Maneste is on spot 9. Stefan van den Berg with the very Dutch name is 2d all over.
Day 6  finally gave better weather. Here is the story from Ronald;
—“It turned out to be better than expected. Before the start there was wave again. A few people could catch it. I did not. So I started on my own in the blue and pushed really hard. 20km after the first turn of the 340km task I joined the group. Second turn was difficult due to a cirrus layer. Arne and myself could caref…ully fly out of this area where we joined in the last thermal with Oscar and Laurence Goudriaan. It started with 2m/s but turned into over 3m/s to 2300 agl. Enough for the 85km finalglide. Arne his average was 143km/h (he started a bit later from the wave) and I flew 141km/h, good for 1st and 2nd. Oscar flew 133km/h. So I climbed up to 2nd overall again.—”
And from Bruce;
—-“I sneaked home in second place today, and that feels good. I was beginning to wonder… There’s nothing like a good fast cu day. You know, when you pull into consistent 9 or 10 knot climbs and watch the altimeter wind up. I lost some time in a couple of places, but tonight I’m smiling again. It’s just a shame that salad and vegetables are so hard to come by, otherwise my day would be complete.What can I say about today? I struggled to get high at the start, and ended up being one of the last to go. After that the flight seemed OK till I got back and saw the scoresheet! These guys are good pilots, and right now I am way off the pace. The last two (blue) days my intention was to travel with the crowd, but it has all come unravelled. Probably I need to relax a bit and not try so hard.
Tomorrow may be a better day with a longer task. We’ll see what that brings.It was high and fast today, and I felt more comfortable. The scoring computer is looking like an exploded view diagram, so it might be some time before we know who did what 🙂 We had a few climbs over 10 knots, a heap of 9’s, and some 8’s. Plus I saw 14,000 feet! All good fun!—“

 Bruce Taylor in his JS 1,courtesy Iain Baker.

Oscar tops the 18m.-overall- list at this moment,  with less then 100 points on Ronald. A few days to go so everything is possible!In Club after 6 days of flying Wayne Schmidt still leads.

Also rain in Australia at the Internode Junior Nationals  at Kingaroy. Only 3 days have been soarable. A pity. December 15 and 16 were cancelled. They finally finished the contest with a day 4 , won by Andrew Maddocks and as good runner up Nathan Johnson. That was also the sequense of the overall scores with Nick Maddocks as number 3. Good you guys, surely a huge party before going home. Congratulations!!!

Nice flights however from Corowa  where 2 of my friends Harry and Max topped the OLC with interesting flights on Wednesday. Harry in his Ventus, this time in 15 m conversion, flew a -just-not-750 triangle [ missed out on 3.8 km.] but a total distance of 805 km. and Max flew after some troubles with the spot and one of the instruments a free distance of 859 km. Both flew direction West Wyalong which is just passed halfway when you drive with the car from Tocumwal to Narromine. We did that often.

While I was celebrating the pilots in Bitterwasser, Pokweni and Kiripotib celebrated as well  with a lot of  1000 A great season over there in Namibia. Though I have read last year that Alexander Müller sometimes thinks  “why should I work SO hard to fly a triangle while it all can be easier”, he flew a very nice 1000 km.triangle yesterday and on my birthday another 1000 as well.
Got a phone call from SA from Ute and they are at the moment in Kuruman Johan Pi together with Norbert and Gert Kalisch. The Kalisch brothers flew in their open class gliders both 1000 km and Hans was on his way while Ute called me for  a nice 800 km.
A 750 new Serbian FAI Triangle-speed- record  also on my birthday for Australian/Tocumwal pilot Milan Petkovic who flies from Bitterwasser at the moment.

With that great -14 hour- first-flight-for-the-season from Swiss pilot Jean -Marc Perrin, he tops straight away the OLC list of best flight for the 2012 season. A nice story by Steffi Keller in the OLC magazine of December 13 and 14, tells you all about this flight. To find it you have to go to OLC and on the right top you find the latest news. Enjoy!

A bit early, but the company where my daughter flies Transavia has a lovely Christmas video which I like to share with you. No, my daughter is not in it.
And…we missed out last Friday on the Bft. 10 wind it went S from Holland. We only got our first snow, falling, and disappearing after 1 hour!!! Other parts from Europe have been “punished” with bad weather.
CU next week, cheers Ritz, time to continue reading my mails. wishes you a merry christmas and a happy 2012. [2 min. and 58 sec]

Welkom [S.A] !Exclusive; Fabian Peitz about his 1000 km.

Alphen aan den Rijn    Wednesday December 14 2011

John Coutts [NZ] from my Eskilstuna dvd.

It seems that “after a night full of rain  they woke up to sunshine at Welkom “ [Bruce] to start the S A Nationals and all pilots including quite a few international pilots, were ready to go for day 1 . Most of them fly in 18 m. class , where a 3 hour AAT was set.
Good old John Coutts  [ from NZ and winner  of the WGC 2003 in Poland and 4th at the 2001 WGC in Mafikeng in SA in st. class] won this day ;382 km. in 3 hours and ONE minute, speed 126km./h.
Dutch pilot Ronald Termaat was 2d with more kilometers [ 429 km] but he “used” more time; 3 hour and 24 minutes.
In club class the Schmidt family did good business by coming home from their 3 hour AAT as the only 2 finishers [from 12 participants] in ASW 20 and Speed Astir II.

Ronald Termaat [2006 Eskilstuna] not only an excellent glider pilot ……..

Day 2  gave for both classes a distance of 200 and 278 km. In 18 m there are 17 gliders and 10 are JS 1’s.
Here is Bruce for those who do not have FB after asking ofcourse permission from Anita first [to NOT disturb Bruce while flying] ;

“Just gone to task C here, as it looks to be very slow to get going. Blue to 10000 feet is the forecast – sounds ok, but that is only 5500 above ground. 280 km to fly now, mostly west of Wellkom, which is still a bit wet from the rain last w/e.
Results from yesterday were not too flattering for me- about 13 kph off the pace. It was one of those days when you are just not in tune with the weather. See what happens today.
Still not a perfect race for Bruce. Uys and Ronald did better in being 1 and 2.One of the Schmidt family , Maneste, outlanded after 41 km. costing her a lot of points.
Day 3  had an A and B Task in both classes, as the meteo was divided in their opinion. Wind, rain thunderstorms , it was all possible but at what time . Atleast  it was 31 dgr. BUT……
Only ONE pilot finished. Holger Karow from Germany, dealing best with the bad circumstances from wind and heavy rain. He just passed the finish line, landed about 2.5 km from the field [read the news on ,good news/blog by the way] and it took them 3 hours to come back home. Atleast 1000 points were his!!! Not a good day for John Coutts outlanding after 132 km gaining only 331 preliminary points, dropping from 2 to 9 overall. After 3 days Ronald is on spot 1 overall with Danish pilot Arne on spot 2.
Here is what Bruce said on FB; ” 

—” Big day all round! Forecast was for either blue and difficult, or for 12,000 feet and super. We actually got storms, which gave some fun times until it all turned to custard. I saw 12 knots on my averager today, which for the great ungliding is climbing at 1200 feet/minute- considerably faster than most powered planes can manage. However later in the task it became clear that nobody was going to g…et home. I tried something different which oh-so-nearly worked, but in the end nature had her way and I got to meet a nice South African farmer and his wife. Outlanding is not so bad – I usually get to chat about farming with a foreigner, and it’s fun to compare notes. Tomorrow sounds like more rain, but the forecast has been known to be wrong…—“
 Courtesy Bruce Taylor via FB. Sunset in S.A.

After 1 cancelled day  the juniors [under25] started in Kingaroy their Nationals with a 2 hour AAT and Andrew Maddocks got the first 1000 points, for flying 162 km in just under 2 hours. On day 2 Andrew won again. [228km.task]  Today brother Nick flew the 320 km. just a fraction better, but Andrew was 2. After 3 days Andrew tops the overall scores and Nick is 4th.

On December 10  the first flight of the season for Swiss pilot Jean Marc Perrin was immediately a good one. He settled down  in Argentina[Esquel]  and flew in a 15m. conversion DG808 , 1.708 km with a nice speed of 136 km./h. Will Patagonia, stretched over Argentina and Chile be “hot” again this season for the pilots who love to fly over there ???

And……on December 12 it was Namibia -day again, with 8 x1000 km. One from Kiripotib in Ventus 2CM/18m. with a speed of 127 km./h and one from Pokweni , the rest from Bitterwasser. By the way, the first 29 flights on that day on the OLC were flown from Namibia.
Nice 1000 km. triangle from Dmytry Borovyk [Ukraine] in the Nimbus 4DM.
Since December 10 Kilometer -eater Alexander Müller is back in Pokweni flying the EB 29. Looking forward to his flights, ……will he fly as much kilometers as last season.

And here is the translation from an exclusive “retrospect” by Fabian Peitz  who flew HIS first and Australia’s first 1000 km. for this season. The first 1000 km from Stonefield as well, Fabian put it on the map!!!
—-It all started on the evening of the day before,  when Benni studied the weather , looked me in the eyes and said ” Tomorrow you are going to fly  1000 km”. I did not believe that straight away , but on the same evening we set 3 possible tasks to have different options on what ever way the weather should develop.

In the early morning ,a last view on the weather maps and I was convinced;” When not now, when then”. We arrived at 8 , punctual, at the airfield.The glider Discus 2B “YB” was filled with 100 l. of water the day before , I prepared myself for 10 hours of flying and Benni prepared the winch.
One more time-briefing, hopping in the glider, checks, the rope on the hook and at 10.20 local time, it all

But…..what was wrong with the air???? It was so quiet, no bumps it was as if I was flying trough butter, no positive news from the vario either, not while turning left , not right. Then…0.2 ,….but after trying hard I had to land again.
Straight after landing I wanted to go up again, but allowed the Nimbus 4DM to go first. I looked if the Nimbus would put off the engine and was able to thermal after 10 minutes. If not I would wait a bit longer.
Around 11.10 I really was keen to go for it. Everything necessary was done again and straight after I had released ,  I felt lift under my left wing;1 m/s., not long after 2 m/s . It had started and with one hour delay I went for it,” if you don’t try , you never win”. After 50 km I turned in 5m/s. up to 2800 m. the race was on!!!
I flew up north passed Burra, Peterborough and Hawker,  still 80 k to go to the first TP and at 14.00 I turned 320 km out from Stonefield at ; Wilpena Airstrip.

 A lot of “nothing” , but atleast a “street” to follow!!!

I was back on schedule [time] and I quickly found out looking at the last 60 minutes, that everything was  still possible. Now it was going South and as fast as possible over areas I just had seen under me. Burra was the next TP , checking on speed I noticed I had flown with 125 km/h.  Quickly to not loose any time, I carried on direction N. In between it was 16.00 and all went according to plan , as I wanted to have  the last 200 km to the next TP behind me, at 17.30. Cloudbase  at 4200m. was perfect, lift up to 6m/s was excellent and the speed over the task till now was just under 130km/h.

 At 17.20 I turned for the last time the TP up north and now I was going S. again and only 260 km from the magic 1000 km. dream. Still 2 hours of thermal activity and I was sure I was going to make it as the lift was strong and reliable. At 100 km. out,  I had 50 m . height left with arrival , enough but not too much, so I remained concentrated but felt some happiness inside.The next 40 km. were straight on with no sink , still 60 km to go …and lift from 2m/s. up to 2500 m. On final glide I really enjoyed the quiet evening circumstances in which I flew “home”. I put  the [whole day beeping]  vario softer and listened only  to the noise of  the soaring glider , sliding through the air.

 An exciting feeling…nearly home…1000 km.

After 8 hours and 20 minutes I landed, everybody was excited and happy for me. We finished the day with beer and an Aussie BBQ.—–
Well deserved and….. thank you to Fabian for writing his story and Benjamin for sending it to me.

Enough to read again; next time the finish of the Welkom Nationals and what’s more! To finish a picture send to me by Guy Courchesne via Glider Forever.

Cheers Ritz

Young German sport soldiers and….THEIR and THE first 1000 Australia

Alphen aan den Rijn    Sunday December 11 2011


ETA during WGC in Eskilstuna with Giorgio Ballarati.

We GOT the gale-force-winds!Not as bad as in Scotland where schools had to be closed , and electricity was unavailable for many from Thursday till in the weekend,  due to electricity poles breaking like matches .
We had problems here, with high water and  some dyke’s were checked on permanently , due to gusty winds up to 115 km/h. in the N. Yesterday they cancelled the precautions.
Power of the wind in Scotland was much worse up to 240km/h. in the Highlands. Windmills [for electricity] were hit so badly that they exploded and got fire, which gave spectacular pictures on the news.
The planes had difficulties as well and a lot of flights here and in Schotland were delayed again or cancelled.
Also Scandinavia suffered from this bad weather with one person killed and several badly injured. On top of the wind they had snow up to 20 cm at some places. Also people in Sweden and Finland suffered from electricity problems.

In my last blog,  I just added before publishing,  the 1000 km. yoyo flown in a Discus 2 by young sport soldier Fabian Peitz. He flew up North,  a pretty remote “red” area.
He is one of the ” year 2011 sport-soldiers” send out to fly and get experience in another regio, as is Benjamin and Daniel. Fabian and Benjamin have been send out/invited  to Australia to promote also the new by German people sponsored flying -base [] of  Stonefield.
Daniel [Pietsch] is send to New Zealand and will enjoy the pleasure of flying from Omarama. By the way the new Gliding International has 16 pages on Omarama . You can expect the new GI just after Christmas.

I love the enthusiasm from the young ones  flying from the new spot, Stonefield,  in Australia and as promised , I will keep you all updated and share the news with you. That fresh enthusiasm makes you feel happy! No jealousy either, Benjamin ‘s turn to fly a 1000 km. will come!!!
Here is Bemjamin’s story about his experience till now, he is a keen blogger like I am. Thanks Benjamin and pictures and Fabian’s story will be published as soon as I have it.
—-It sure was a great achievement to get Australia´s first 1000 k flight this season to Stonefield Base. Fabian did an awesome job in the Discus´ Cockpit, needing only little more than 8 hours for the task.
We´ve been exploring the area of South Australia for some weeks now, although the container with the planes was about 3 weeks late we still could do some good flying by now. First we tried to get the best out of the cool southerlies bringing strong winds and low cloud bases… still three flights between 600 and 730 km were possible. Afterwards came a period of blue soaring weather: I had a go on some out and return attempts and actually did a 580 km O&R to the Flinders Ranges and back in blue and relatively stable, but high (10500ft) conditions.
Then it was the prefield of an outstanding troughline wich brought the first 1000 k day. We were all waiting for it and fortunately, it was Fabian´s turn to fly the Discus. From all the flights done before, we had soon worked out the best turn points for a 4-leg-Yoyo flight: Wilpena, Burra and Cradock. Equipped with a tought through time schedule and two alternative tasks (with options involving the flatland in the East, Waikerie, Renmark…), I launched him with the Stonefield winch at 10:20 am local time. Unfortunately, we had been a bit too optimistic and Fabian found himself back on the ground only ten minutes later. Ballasted with 110 kg of water, there was no way to climb in the blue yet. At 10:45, we had another go, already late according to the schedule. This time it worked out and he got a nice climb to 3500 ft in the blue, just to see the first cu clouds developing in the north. From this moment on, Fabian speaks of a totally easy-going flight at up to 14000 ft cloudbase a
The flying in Australia, the exploring of almost unknown soaring terrain and the preparation of the long-distance tasks is an awesome experience for all of us. We have already worked out suitable turn points and prepared for a 1000 k FAI triangle – don´t be too surprised to find it on the OLC in the next weeks!
We are still a little unsure about how often these great weather patterns appear during December and January, but hopefully we will have a chance to get some more until late January when we will depart to Europe again.—–
I can tell them that the weather can be excellent in December and January in Australia, so long flights till then are possible , certainly in the Stonefield area where the best weather mostly comes a bit later. In fact the very first competition in Australia is in the East and the last one in the West[February Horsham]

A bit of rest in Namibia and S.A. on December 7,  so the action comes from pilots flying in Australia. And one of them, Tobias Geiger  flew  a great 700 km triangle [827 total]  in an LS4 from Benalla.Not bad either  and also in LS 4 a 788 km task from  Czech pilot Petr, flying from Tocumwal. Petr is this seasons tuggie at Sportaviation and this was his longest flight ever . Good on him!!!
Corowa had some good and  long flights as well.
On December 8 , pilots were active again in Bitterwasser and Pokweni and added new 1000 km. distances to the airfield list.
Proud in between those big gliders on spot 5 on the OLC, Tobias from Benalla in his LS 4, chapeau!
December 9 gave more and more 1000 from Namibia, best distance 1.273 km. and best speed 143 km./h both by Guy Bechtold in the EB 29.
The first 42 flights that day were all flown in Namibia except for one flight [on spot 17]  by Gert Kalisch who flew in the past with us in Tocumwal. He flew from a for me new airfield Kuruman Johan Pi in SA; 995 km in his ASW22 BLE.
Yesterday Tomas Suchanek flew a very nice 750 km triangle [799 km and a total of 823 km from Gariep Dam in the Ventus[17.5m].

Both arrived in South Africa to fly the SA Nationals at Welkom; Bruce Taylor from Australia and Ronald Termaat from Holland. Both very strong pilots. Bruce flies the brand-new JS 1 from Uys Jonker and I am looking forward to follow these comps. Only hope the weather is better then last year.

The Victoria State comps are over  and good friend Tony Tabart was able to defend his title, though Jo added that there was not real tough competition as only 4 pilots participated in this class. Here is the link to the results. Thanks Jo!!
Now Australia’s  junior national comps have started  at Kingaroy in Queensland ; Joey Glide! Will keep you informed! 2 Of the participants are the brothers Maddocks, Andrew and Nick. Both flew already in JWGC ‘s. Nick is flying this competition in a Grunau Baby II. They missed out on the practice day due to not -the-best-weather. One of the mentors is Garret Willet from the USA, he also keeps a blog which you can read on soaring cafe.

That’s it for now , you are up to date , back to the Christmas tree, which is still empty and needs colourful balls. Last year I was in Salzburg around this time, before travelling to Australia . Maria and Dieter went alone this year and send me the next picture of my favourite “Schloss”.
 Courtesy Maria Böttcher
Cheers Ritz

Gariep Dam has top weather now!First 1000 km from Stonefield!

 Alphen aan den Rijn   Wednesday December 7 2011

Courtesy; Martino Agnoletto.THANKS!

The 9 bft. never came,  so….. No worries for St Nicolaas, who dropped, with his black Piet, in every chimney a present [or 2] for all “good ” kids! 
HOWEVER, this morning I woke up with a thunderstorm and the 9 bft. seems to “arrive ” at noon with an estimated 100 km/h wind on our NW coast. Real autumn weather with 8 dgr. C in winter-time. Silence before the storm at this stage. But Schiphol Airport has troubles already and flights have been cancelled or rescheduled!

The Victoria State Comps  have started in Ararat and had some nice days of soaring with over 400 km tasks. Good to see some familiar names from the past.
Today they flew even flew over 500 km. tasks in Astir CS and PIK 20 D.
Dundees ES, the ASW 15 flies there as well with Bernie Sizer. In one of his comments you read;” First actual day of competition. Good lift in some areas. Felt very rusty & had trouble with some thermals. Small strong cores. Must push on & not take so many climbs. It was good to have good weather after such cold & wind. Plenty of room for inprovement in my flying. Only one out landing today.”
Improvement was there with a flown 405 km task today.
Tocumwal is pretty busy as good friend from Finland Hannu has arrived to fly the LS 6 17.5 m JJ and 3 Japanese friends , Mr. Mizukawa -san, Mr.Kusakabe-san and frequent flyer in Tocumwal Mr.Okura-san. are flying the LS4 ‘s and PIK 20. The Grong Grong boys are back!! And I noticed Mr Okura has flown another 300 km this time out and return. He will be more then pleased.
And “one of the family” Terry always flies when possible in his ASH 26 still without engine as it is send for overhaul; 527 km last Sunday.
Corowa is “fully booked ” as well and with better gliders ,higher distances are flown. On December 5 they topped the OLC list.
At this stage, after the first real-overseas-soaring,  Bitterwasser tops the “stats” of the best airfield with 61 pilots making 293 flights. Corowa is on a 5th place with 23 pilots flying 128 flights and Tocumwal flying on a much smaller scale is on a good 9th place with 22 pilots making 85 flights!!!
At Stonefieldthe young German pilots got to know the real blue thermals, strong and reliable but invisible. [ 604 km. in Discus 2 yesterday] Ingo once flew a 1000 FAI triangle from Tocumwal in only blue thermals. But today young sport-soldier Fabian Peitz flew his VERY FIRST 1000 km. [yoyo up north]  in his discus 2. Great result and SOOOO much happiness for him!More later. They called it an unbelievable day.
That’s Australia , mate!

  Terry Ryan last season at Sportaviation.

On his very first day in S.A Tomas Suchanek  flew straight away a 1000 km distance in a Ventus 17.6 m. Last week clearly were S.A Day’s with good long flights specially from Gariep [6x1000km.]  and Bloemfontein. Tomas flew another 1000 as well.Nice flight as well  from Polish pilot Marek Zsumsk; 1.057 km with a speed of 130 km/ an 18 m. ASG 29.A total of 10 x1000 km now from Gariep.
Best pilot at this stage on the OLC; Reinhard Schramme no doubt about it! A total of 42 x1000 km at this stage from Bitterwasser. WOW!

In the past I talked with you about Richie Mc Caw, the skipper of the New Zealand  All Blacks[rugby] . I found out he was a devoted glider pilot. Jo send me the next link to an interview with him. Thanks Jo.

Congratulations to our neighbours , the people from Belgium. After 540 days , a new record, they finally have a government which will be sworn in this afternoon.

To finish this blog an interesting link to the Spherical Flying Machine Developed by Japan Ministry Of Defense #DigInfo and send to me by Peter. Thanks!

CU next Sunday. Cheers Ritz

1.150 km FAI Triangle in Pokweni!

Alphen aan den Rijn    Sunday December 4 2011 

Courtesy; Martino Agnoletto “City of Ferrara in summer time”. THANKS!!!!

Due to the fact we had the dryest EVER Novemberhere in Holland, the waterlevel in the rivers is lower then low. Some of the houseboats [and we have lot’s of them in Holland ] in the canals in different towns, are standing straight up in the mud! Now we are going to have  tomorrow a real storm and it seems that St. Nicholas and his white horse can’t climb the roofs of the houses to bring presents to the kids.The expected 9 Bft.  might blow him off!!!
The ski-season in the Alps,  is normally beginning this weekend ,….but there is NO snow. Not even on the top. It can change quickly however. Competitions on world-level, have been moved to Calgary in Canada or just cancelled till later.

In Bitterwasser the super conditions continued and also Kiripotib, Pokweni shared in the happiness. In SA , Gariep Dam had 2 great FAI  1000 km. triangles  flown by German pilots Klaus Engelhardt and Markus Kries. But also Kiripotib with UK pilot John Bally had one…..VERY good! The first 26 pilots on November 30 ,  all flew with a speed between 122 and 149 km. km/h. That 149 was for friend Daan who together with another Dutch pilot Henk “rushed ” the ASH 25 , over 964 km. There you go , Daan is still TOP. Hopefully the weather stays as good and we will see more from Daan and Henk this week!
Dutch pilot Bert de Wijs and German pilot Ernst Otto Dumke, NEARLY flew an FAI triangle in their 18 m. gliders! Just missed out on 50/60 km. They surely get there!
On December 2 the first 50 places on the OLC were filled with top flights undere them too-many-to-count-1000
On December 3 kilometer-eater Guy Bechtold,  started his flying in Pokweni with a first magic flight of 1.212 km. in it a 1.152 km FAI triangle! Speed 134 km./h , glider EB 29.
The season till now is a happy one for all visiting pilots.

The NSW State comps at Temora continued after 2 days of “drinking coffee ”  with 3 hour AAT’s in 3 classes. Enough coffee for Bruce,  as he won AGAIN, though he called it a tough day on FB. 3 Days 3000 points, this time, 292 km in 3 hours and 2 minutes. That JS1 fits him as a glove!
Local pilot, Tom Gilbert had a good run with 346 km. in the their 3.30 AAT[ for both 15m and st. class] in the SZD 55, being 2d for that day.
They had 2 more days with reasonable good weather, and Mac Ichikawa, won both days and by winning he topped both the st. class and 15 m. class . In 18m/open class it was Bruce who won those days so the 5000 points in this comps were his!!! Great effort. On the last day he flew the JS 1 over 272 km with 139 km on the clock.
In club class local pilot Richard Frawley, won in his Mosquito, 3 days out of 5 and with that the State comps.

The German boys flying from Stonefield, [West from Waikeri],  powered by Fly-down-under, finally had a great day of soaring with 728 km. in their “own” discus 2 shipped from Germany and the Nimbus 4DM with 648 km. Benjamin and Fabian are looking ahead at “the real weather”. It will surely come!!!! As said before where-ever you go for overseas soaring it is not every day “ball”. The weather still has to be there.
On December 1 the Nimbus 4DM pilots, flew 707 km. claiming it was a good day but a bit of as low cloudbase. The last 2 days were good fun for the boys.
The West of Australia was good, with a flight in an ASW 20 from Beverley of 864 km.[ 700 FAI] and 783 km. in a PIK 20 D from Southern Cross.

A young [37] year old female medical doctor from Holland , moved to Australia to a very remote area in Queensland were they needed a doctor badly.From 2006 she worked there. This week she and her 48 year old husband were killed in a crash with a small plane. Witnesses said they saw fire just after the plane was in the air. Both died instantly.

I was most impressed with the pictures from the soaring along the dunes. I picked 2 more for you to extra look at, as the brand new DG1001TE is on them; flying and on the ground.


Courtesy ;Lars Groot.

I finished my memories about the SSC in Tocumwal.Hope you enjoyed them as well. Next week it is back to  “normal” , in “my” part of the soaringcafe. You can just click on this site in the right top-corner of this blog to find it. See you then Cheers Ritz.


Courtesy;  Bill Hill.THANKS!