The class dilemma!!![as written in G.I.]

Alphen aan den Rijn      Wednesday February 29 2012 ,
special day only once in 4 years

The class dilemma, I told you already that I was going to give you some news,  as I read it in the Gliding International from March/April. GI has consulted some experts and asked them to “shine their light over the situation at this stage”.
It is something which keeps me busy as well.
Gliding International has published a discussion paper for the IGC plenary next week written by Marcus Graeber [ IGC Vice President and IGC delegate for Columbia] and I find it refreshing as we need to review the future of competition- soaring and more!
Some points I found in this 8 pages counting analysis supported by statistics;
What kind of gliders should we race?????
Too many classes????
Too less pilots????
Too many redundant sailplanes????
Don’t start the duo/20 meter and 13.5 m class???!!!!
The supporting view from John Cochrane, who wrote ” a brilliant article that marks a major change in soaring,” is clear and convincing.
More to read in  the Gliding International from March/April and I hope that in 2013 at the next plenary the goal from Marcus  “to initiate the probably long and arduous process of developing a long term sustainable design and competition class structure for gliding.” will be ready to vote for.

And there is more in the latest G.I.: Winglets are big business,—- complacency in the cockpit,—- devotion to flying wings, —–Friedel Weber who stops at DG as he turned 65, his words, and Holger Back will be a new partner in the DG Flugzeugbau-business—the SSA Convention in Reno,—-Let’s try to explain the terrible European and USA weather,—and last but not least the statistics by John Roake himself about WORLD MEMBERSHIP, WORLD FATALITY and WORLD CLUB AND SAILPLANES. You will be amazed!!!
Great pictures by Maria Szemplinska and lot’s of news about instruments and much more ; 64 pages of pleasure.
Enjoy and when you do not have a subscription yet, think about it,  you are invited to go to  for a 1 or 2 year one.

The IGC Plenary is this upcoming weekend [March 2 and 3] in Potchefstroom in South Africa. It will be another important meeting for the future of soaring. On the FAI site you can find all the news and the agenda. I will get,  as said before , news straight from Potchefstroom by Rick Sheppe[USA].  Next Sunday you can expect the news.Looking forward to that.

Looking at the OLC list of best pilot over all flights in the 2011/2012 season,it is one of my friends Hans Wiesenthal who was the best with 29.000,09 points, before his mate, Klaus Engelhardt with 28.480,69.
The Gliding Club of Victoria was world wide the best/most active club with over 213.000 points and the runner up , the Beverley Soaring Society, “only ” had a bit more then 100.000 points . Good on Benalla , place from the 1987 WGC but also on Beverley,not so well known and both in Australia.

I went with a friend to Schiphol yesterday. At the beginning of the lane of departures we were stopped by a big bunch [ about 20] of military policeman/women. Several white tents as well. We were picked!!! Car was searched thoroughly, we had to hold our arms up for visitation and with a smile we gave them the opportunity to do their job. On our question WHY?, they said they were checking for weapons!!!!! Me and …weapons… Had they found some, I asked , sure they did not, but….they said they were amazed to find so many in just half a day!!!!!
Unbelievable that people visit Schiphol with weapons in their car, luggage or bags. Certainly NOT the place to take them to. Anyhow….Good job!
Note; In The Netherlands it is FORBIDDEN to carry a weapon at all time.

2 Interesting links  from Jo from Australia[ Thanks again Jo!]  with news about the Gliding competition for the 2012 Wenlock Olympian games and the DG March 2012 news letter.
Nice pictures on this news letter from the staff wishing all pilots a beautiful Flight Season, with amongst others , Friedel Weber, Holger Back and Jelmer Wassenaar. In 2005 Jelmer still was a junior in “my” team at the JWGC and a student at the University of Delft , now he is sitting proudly behind the table with the DG staff/top. Have a look you can see I found in my archive pictures from Holger and Jelmer as well [WGC 2006]
A nice picture from Friedel is in the latest G.I. with the story; “Friedel Weber hangs up his parachute and says good bye to his working life at DG Flugzeugbau“.

Holger Back and Jelmer Wassenaar

That’s it for today. Back on Sunday. Cheers Ritz

Our future….!And…891 km. by “our” future!

Alphen aan den Rijn      Sunday February 26 2012

It could have been such a great weekend!
Blue skies, great cumulus clouds , sunny conditions, temperatures up to 11 dgr. C. But…….

Last Friday at 12,  ONE week after the avalanche hit our prince Friso, the team of doctors from the Innsbruck hospital, gave a presse- conference with updates. [1.2 million people were looking!] It was NOT good! The prince [43] was not 20 but 25 minutes covered by snow and even worse his heart stopped due to lack of oxygen and it took 50 minutes to reanimate him. Maybe too long as the doctor mentioned! 
On Thursday they finally could do an MRI scan and it seems that there is massive damage to the brain. They do not know if he will be ever conscious again and it might take months or even years. The royal family has decided to find a hospital specialised in coma-patients,  for him where they can help him as much as possible.A shock for all of us hoping and believing in miracles. A disaster for the Queen , Mabel, their 2 young daughters [5 and 6] and the rest of the family.We can only wish them ALL the best.

Prince Friso, in better times.

During the SSA convention in Reno,  one of the sessions was about how to get more young people interested in our great sport. With the slogan, ” Let’s go gliding”,  Bill Daniels , chairman of the SSA Growth and Development Committee, introduced some ideas to let our soaringsport grow.
When they would really be active, they should renew this site any week/month. The last article was from August 17 2011, that’s a bit of a pity. But the reminder during the last SSA conference in Reno was good. For all that news you can go to [  SSA strategy and tactics for growth “let’s go gliding” on February 8 or you can use the searcher in the right corner.]

One of the very active clubs in Holland is the FAC, which stands for Frysian Aeroclub, yes Friesland the province where our 11 cities-race was supposed to be! Talking about “growth in our soaring sport” they are doing a great job , their way!
On Facebook I read their activities for March:join in….
March 12 they visit a schoolyard , WITH a glider, to promote soaring, also as a step-up to get into the aviation world. Members who are already a pilot or know all about it, talk with the young ones.
March 17 they move to a “square of knowledge” where students from vocational training meet and listen and they will promote gliding on their open days and those of the Stenden University.
Also on March 17 10 new -to-be- pilots will get some theory from an instructor and enjoy ,[ hopefully the weather is good, ] their first day as AIC  at the field.
Not a bad way of promoting our sport, is n’t it?

Some interesting flights from Blairstown in the USA   last week. 800 km. flying the Appalachian  ridges, without a thermal, as the pilot Robert Templin claims in his comment. One leg brought him about 300 km out and that all in an LS3. Some even called it an exceptional ridge day with a SE wind! Great flights also in Schweitzers [493 and 435 km]  and LS 4. [772 km.] and Discus [747 km] .So it must have been exceptional!!!

Transponders! Some news via Jo from Australia with an article from the Washington Examiner about the FAA [Federal Aviation Administration] taking a [baby] step to improve glider safety:

 Wed, 2012-02-22 17:00

Four years after the National Transportation Safety Board recommended that a national transponder code be set up specifically for gliders, the Federal Aviation Administration has finally gotten around to doing it. Effective March 7, gliders not in direct contact with an air traffic control facility will be encouraged — though not required — to use the transponder code 1202 instead of codes currently used by other small aircraft operating under visual flight rules. The VFRs effectively mean gliders are invisible to commercial airliner crews in the vicinity, since most of the lighter-than-air vehicles do not now carry transponders at all and are extremely difficult for the naked eye to spot.

Curiously, the FAA admits that its action followed from the need for a specific transponder code for gliders, which “operate under some flight and maneuvering limitations,” and was the result of “an accident, many incidents, and [the afore-mentioned] NTSB recommendation.” The accident was a 2006 collision involving a corporate Hawker jet and a private recreational glider operating near the busy Reno/Tahoe International Airport.

At the time, NTSB investigators stressed the need for a margin of safety beyond VFR, noting: “The concept of see-and-avoid is limited in preventing midair collisions due to the high speed of the aircraft involved.” However, despite the fact that nine people have died in glider-aircraft collisions over the past two decades, and that the NTSB recommended in 2008 that all gliders be required to carry transponders that enable other pilots to “see” them in the sky, the FAA has still not made it compulsory.

The latest official notice from Elizabeth Ray, vice president of the FAA’s Mission Support Services, Air Traffic Organization, sent to all air traffic control facilities in the United States, explained the reason for the code change: “[Gliders] may go from essentially stationary targets while climbing and thermaling to moving targets very quickly. They can be expected to make radical changes in flight direction to find lift and cannot hold altitude in a response to an air traffic control request.” That same reasoning could also be cited to support the NTSB’s common-sense recommendation that gliders be able to “squawk” their current position to other pilots on a continuous basis.

Although prohibited from flying in Class A airspace around major cities, there are many other areas in which gliders still share the sky with heavy, passenger-laden aircraft, including commercial jetliners. Last year, the FAA ordered a publicly funded airport in Southern California to reinstate 40 gliders it had evicted because of legitimate safety concerns — or risk losing its federal grants. And, since the FAA’s new 1202 code can only be used by gliders that already carry the equipment needed to broadcast it, the latest policy change is just a baby step in the right direction.–“

Still some nice soaring in Australia .From Narromine Czech pilot Roman Mracek,  flew a nice 500 km. triangle . Luckily in the end of the season Narromine finally has the pleasure of better soaring weather , so they deserve. By the way the beginning of the season was pretty good there as well.
More to the West of S.A., it was Peter Temple,  the fresh National Standard Class Champion, who flew from Gawler   611 km.  in his LS 8,  while a flight from 533 km. in a Mosquito was not bad either.
AND what about 891 km. by junior pilot Matthew Scutter in the LS 4!!!! What a talent!!!You can fly, or you can’t!!!
When he would have started earlier it could have been much more as he claims that half an hour before he launched clouds were already at 10.000 ft.
Benjamin and Fabian will look with interest,  as they flew that far up N. several times from Stonefield!
Mind you it is nearly March! But as said before you can make in Australia, nice flights up to Easter.
Back to the East, the Keepit Regatta  is on at Lake Keepit from February 19 till 25. Love Lake Keepit, great place for soaring.
Experienced pilots lead inexperienced pilots to help them with their X country soaring; follow and lead is the system. Also great for pilots who want to improve their skills in competition flying.
 25 Pilots and 3 days out of 6.
Not so far from Lake Keepit and they might even meet in the air , are 50 hangglider pilots flying for the NSW State titles in fixed wings. Still remember some of them when they flew with us in Tocumwal. After 5 days of flying Conrad Loten from NZ and Aussie topper Jonny Durand , both flying Moyes Litespeed, are on spot 1 and 2. Pretty marginal circumstances but still 5 days. Best day had 98 km. the worst day, 9.6 km.

Talking last week about Uvalde. In open class it is not only pressure for the Concordia also the Schempp-Hirth glider in combination with Lange Aviation [wings, designed by Dutch Professor Loek Boermans] ] , Quintus , has to be ready in time. I noticed at the Uvalde list of entries, that at this stage, 2 Italian and 2 French pilots fly the Quintus during this 32d WGC. 6 Wings of this self launcher were finished in October , last year and at Schemmp Hirth they later built the bending outside wings and put the Maughmer winglets on . Only in  April 2011 “we” saw the Quintus, a 23 m. span self launcher,  for the first time at the Aero in Friedrichshafen, where it was a real eye -catcher. Just before Christmas on December 23 2011,  it had it ‘s test flight and now they work hard to get it ready for the WGC.
Looking forward to see that glider as well in Uvalde. Just received the Gliding International and there I quickly read that atleast 10 Quintes will participate !!! Enough stress!!!
Also Francois Jeremiasse, a Dutch competitor in open class at Uvalde will fly the Quintus. He flies the first built one of the series with number 2. Francois is the dealer for Schempp Hirth in Holland.
Rest of the very interesting news from the last GI in my next blog!!SO much to read have to do that first!

Quintus M and Antares 23E. Courtesy Francois.
Also just heard from Francois , who was delevering the first  ARCUS for a Dutch pilot, when he called me, that 2 Antares 23 E gliders will fly under the clouds of Texas. What a great open class this year with all those fancy gliders.
So much elegance in the air!

Steven Raimond will fly in Uvalde in 15 m. class! Will there be an ETA in open class?
Pictures courtesy Kai Monkkonen.

And a funny story to finish with received by Peter when you had not read it ; :

Ducks enhance their navigation skills

By Simon Hradecky, created Friday, Feb 24th 2012 18:47Z, last updated Friday, Feb 24th 2012 18:57Z

 A United Boeing 737-800, registration N37290 performing flight UA-1571 from Fort Lauderdale,FL to Chicago O’Hare,IL (USA), was on final approach to O’Hare’s runway 27L when the crew reported a flock of ducks was tracking localizer 27L outbound at 1200 feet MSL and added they were doing a dandy job on it too. Tower warned the next arrival about the ducks heading their way. All ducks and aircraft landed safely at their destinations.

Your- up- to- date. Spring is nearly there, the first 2 cycle-races have already started in Belgium this weekend.CU next Wednesday, cheers Ritz

More from this and that….!

Alphen aan den Rijn      February 22 2012

Uvalde is still a few months away, but  it is always nice to look ahead. You might miss on the preliminary list Australia, but don’t worry they will be there. They are still not 100 % sure who’s going. I heard that there is a change in the compilation of the team. Butch [John Buchanan] pulled out  and is replaced in open class with Tom Claffey. He will fly in that class with Gerrit Kurstjens,  who “transformed” from a clockie into an Aussie!In 1991 Gerrit was pilot in “my” Dutch team in Uvalde.
In 15 m. class the Trotters will fly to win and in 18 m. 2 potential winners; Bruce Taylor and Dave Jansen.
Nice to see a husband and wife in a competition competing against each other in one class . Would that be the first time in WGC history???
I never heard about it earlier. Cool! Don’t know if Jill Spreckley flew a WGC together with Brian, pretty sur not, but she  certainly  flew WWGC’s and even won there.Same with Pam and Gerrit Kurstjens., yes Nationals ,yes WGC and WWGC but no WGC together.
Maybe… Adele Orsi and her husband from Italy???? I remember “Mr. Orsi ” flying in open class and I know Adele flew as well but I doubt if they flew in one class together.
Lisa Trotter is also the first female pilot from Australia flying in her own right. My good friend Janet [Hider-Smith]  who sadly died a few years ago of cancer , was flying the WGC in New Zealand, as an invited guest. [Thanks Tom for reminding me]

Husband and wife , Peter and Lisa Trotter will “fight” for the best places at Uvalde’s WGC in 15m. class.
picture courtesy Anita Taylor

At this stage, 101 pilots from 23 different countries have entered and wow there are some well known names on this preliminary list!!! It will be a great competition as there are , as usual, in each class a few potential WINNERS.
Deadline as I read on the official site from Uvalde for entrees and fees is April 4.

One of the French participants Killian Walbrou.He will fly in JS1 in 18 m.!!! Another potential winner and a very nice young man!

 No news about our Prince Friso.When no news is good news that would be OK, but it somehow does n’t feel good . He has to remain for a week in coma, the situation is stable but still life-threatening.I guess we will know more in my Sunday-blog.
Mum Beatrix, wife Mabel and brothers Willem Alexander and Constantijn and even one of the 2 daughters from Friso and Mabel visited. As well as “his skiing- mate” , who after being in shock visited yesterday. It is now said that he dug the prince out with his bare hands.

Carefully pilots “hop” in their gliders, also in Germany and not only in areas with mountains but also in more flat land enjoying the first nice cumeli. A good flight from Bruchsal ,263 km. in a DG808C. /18m.
In Belgium pilot Daan Spruyt flew 351 km. in an 18m. LS 6
But it is still cold, though this weekend temperatures are going up to 12 dgr.PLUS!!!! Yes it is going to be defenitely better, even nice clouds!!!

Still strike in Frankfurt, they added 2 more days to their strike. The ground-traffic controllers , about 200, organizing the traffic on the ground, are on strike for more money. Not good….more delays…..more cancellations.!

Friend Tibor is already very busy with Fatraglide at Martin Airport. The comps will be in May [ 5-13] there is prize money 3000 Euro and as they say ” the winner takes it all”.
Combi class will be flown as usual but…..CLUB CLASS MASTERS is a new concept which is replacing Club class known from previous years.
—-“Until 1978 there were only 2 world gliding champions every two year. Now we have 6 classes at WGC, 3 classes in women gliding championships and 2 in juniors, which is fine but can you name the winners from last year? Probably not. Who is the best pilot?
Only way how to find out is to get back to the roots and let them compete together. One class, similar gliders, one winner, no tears. That´s what we call „Glider racing as it should be“. Interested?—-”
–only racing tasks (no AAT – because we are not in math competition)
–Turn points FAI sectors (because if you fly 300km we should not cheat it 1km on every TP)
–club class with handicap max. 1,06 (it´s old club class we all remember – without retired standard/15m gliders because handicap can´t make it fair all the time)
For more news go to ;
On the entry list I noticed several pilots who have been overseas at Corowa, this winter.
The Fatraglide boys on a picture from last year!

 Tibor, Brano and a friend in the middle.

Still nice flights from Tocumwal and Benalla, after some showers the good weather arrived back and today pilots flew 500 km in Nimbus 3/25.5 m. and 453 km. from Kari in LS 6 from Toc.
And….don’t forget to listen to the interview from Rand Baldwin [soaringcafe] with Dick Butler busy with a race against the clock to have his Concordia ready for the Uvalde WGC.
There is a picture [in an old Flugrevue] in this article, from Dick’s ASW17, the one he flew at Paderborn and that glider is NOW owned by [my ex] George  and “lives” in Tocumwal .
You can go to for  the interview;
—-“He talks about the status of the project and a few of the many remaining items that have to be tackled before Concordia debuts on the world stage in July”—-

That’s it CU on Sunday,cheers Ritz

Carnaval!A bit of this and a bit of that…!

Alphen aan den Rijn      Sunday February 19      CARNAVAL

A bit of a shock for Holland and all “royalists”, as the 2d son from Queen Beatrix, is in hospital in Innsbruck  fighting for his life. Though there was a strong warning [4 from 5 on the list] to not go off-piste, due to the heavy snowfall of the last week, he seems to have not been able to resist this brand new soft snow and went for a “ride” with  a friend , NOT outside the piste as they say now, but , on a not closed unprepared track. Result; he most probably triggered an avalanche by himself and was for 20 minutes covered under 40 cm. of snow. The friend survived with a package -on-his-back, like an airbag to remain above the snow  and alarmed all involved and luckily Prince Johan Friso had a beacon with  him , so he was found in 4 minutes ,after arrival of the helicopter,  re-animated and brought by this helicopter to a hospital in Innsbruck, where he is still at IC, stable as they say but still with a risk for his life.
Both are very experienced skiers. The friend lives there and is a member of the family from the hotel the Queen stays already for over 50 years.
Johan Friso is known as the intellectual within the family, certainly NOT a daredevil and is not in line to be king as he stepped out of that line by marrying Mabel , a very smart goodlooking young lady, but once a friend of a top criminal in Holland.
Not a nice beginning of a family holiday;  a tradition to go to Lech since 1959, first with Juliana and Bernard now  with grandma Beatrix her sons and their wives and 8 grandchildren.
Yesterday several skiers went over the same unprepared fresh snow again. Locals say it is THEIR responsability.
Unfortunately another avalanche again in Lech.

Last Friday morning we heard that Air Australia, [ before called Strategic Airlines] the budget airline,  based at Brisbane got broke, leaving passengers , about 4000, at their own at different places in Australia, Hawaii [Honolulu], Bali  and Thailand.
Message was; “Try to find your own way to go home , sorry we can’t do anything anymore”. When the pilots tried to refuel, they were told that bills had to be paid first. No flight!
You should have paid for a nice holiday and get stuck, without knowing how to get home again. Terrible.
An even bigger disaster for the staff working there on the ground and in the air, all lost their job!!!
2 From the pilots flying at Tocumwal during the Multi Class Nationals were hit by this shutting down as well  , I just heard; Captain Brian Durieu and Adam Woolley, a first officer.
Very sad for them, as well as for all others, as new jobs are not “ready to hand”. Wish everybody well!

On the other hand Schiphol Airport Amsterdam  is doing well and claimed a good year 2011, with a record amount of nearly 50 million passengers going through. With that they are the 4th biggest European Airport behind London [Heathrow] Paris [Charles de Gaulle] and Frankfurt.

Frankfurt in Germany , talking about the 3d  biggest hub in Europe struggles with strikes by air traffic controllers and quite a lot of flights had to be cancelled. No travelling is not always a pleasure anymore nowadays.
And…in Spain pilots from Iberia are on strike. Cancellations as well!

Mac who was 3d at the multi class Nationals added some days in Tocumwal and flew a new Japanese speed record over 500 km.
I missed Beryll Hartley,  the mother of soaring in Narromine,  in stories and on pictures, during the Nationals, but I heard she was there as well. A great organizer and with her around, a competition always runs smooth.
It is not easy to look ahead on YOUR 50thiest Nationals and you have to move to another place in 2 days. Luckily the weather was good in Tocumwal and they seem to not have had problems with the by the Tocumwal club and commercial center given facilities. This is what gliding is all about, help each other when necessary. Together we are strong!
This is what I found on the Narromine site;
–“The 50th MultiClass National Championships are over. The competition held at Tocumwal was blessed with some outstanding flying days and ended up as a great competition.
Well deserved congratulations to the dedicated crew from the Narromine competition committee who all worked extremely hard and gave their time and effort to produce an outstanding Nationals. Chris Stephens proved to us all that he is indeed an excellent Competition Director.—”
So they did….and he did!!!

Slowly Europe wakes up from its winter-sleep  and the first attempts of x -country soaring are a fact . From Ocana in Spain , Belluno in Italy and Fayence in France pilots sniffed up some fresh,  new, good air to fly in.
Let’s hope the new season will be a good and safe one!!

The calender for the 2012/2013 FAI Sailplane Grand Prix has been set and the qualifying series will be flown from Romania, [29th of April] South Africa, Australia, Chile, Slovakia and France.
The first European comps are in Italy; the 40thiest Trophy of the town of Torino [April 7] and also from April 7 till 14 , the Pribina Cup from Nitra in Slovakia! The deadline for entries for this competition is February 29!!!! I know how many pilots love to fly for this cup, so don’t be too late, as there will be 50 gliders allowed MAX in ONE class and a total of 150!!! At this stage I counted 121 pilots  in total.

And of course this years Euroglide, a 2400 km. race through Europe will be in June. The concept route will be from Eindhoven in Holland crossing the Rhine to nearly Bruchsal in Germany, then to the E. passing Wien on the way to Nitra in Slovakia, then along the Polish border to the Czech Rep , back to Germany , passing Berlin to the N. and back home to Eindhoven in the S. of Holland. Nobody can enter anymore as only 60 pilots are allowed and there are over 70 already now. Under them pilots from different nationalities!
Gliders can be flown by several pilots forming a team together.
Will keep you informed!

Off to Carnaval now , with my daughter and grand children. Very pleased to see those kids love carnaval as well.

Cu Ritz

Some pilots you meet in life remain friends forever, time to introduce Bruce Brockhoff.

Alphen aan den Rijn    Thursday February 16 2012 

Hope you enjoyed VALENTINES DAY!

All comps are over for a short while ,still some soaring but a good time to look at other items.
When you have not read yet the story from Bruce at SoaringCafe you can read it here.
It’s about an Australian  soaring mate Bruce Brockhoff. Got to know Bruce in 1984 in Rieti at the Pre-WGC . We “the clockies and the Aussies” were celebrating a reasonable good day, when “poor” Bruce spend all night to get his glider from a soccer field where he had to make an outlanding.
He visited Holland a few times and he , together with Kees [Musters] and George spend hours in our house  “reforming the world into a better place ” sometimes with the help of some  Ebo Lebo, an Italian liquor, brought by Kees from his Aosta trips [ wave paradise in Italy].
We spend more then 10 winters at Tocumwal together and later even bought Bruces caravan and planted a white gum tree from a seed from  St Kilda Park, along the caravan  to remember Kees and Dennis.When we ran the SSC , he was already out of soaring .
Though we do not see each other ” every day, ” we still have a great friendship. Through the years we “find each other again somewhere ” and continue where we finished last time. Bruce is NOT in soaring anymore,already for a long time,  though last week he speeched in Tocumwal, where he caught up with a lot of friends from his soaring life. And …he enjoyed it! Here you are, his story written by one of his friends, interesting for those who knew him from gliding and forgot about him and for those who just entered “our ” world:

Bruce Brockhoff…Courtesy Bruce.

 “Bruce Winston Brockhoff was brought up on grazing farm near Dromana in Victoria Australia. He attended Osborne State School followed by Red Hill Consolidated State School (learnt sheet metal and wood work & wait for it…. apple packing!) at his secondary school Huntingtower. He was elected School Captain or Head Prefect in his last year and was awarded Blues in Football and Athletics. He matriculated with 2 first and 2 Second Class honors and awarded a Commonwealth Scholarship to attend Monash University 1961-64 graduating with a Bachelor of Economics & Politics Degree taking 4 years to do a 3 year course all caused by a few overpowering distractions normal for a boy 18 years of age. He was fortunate to make many lifelong friends by living in Deaken Hall (Australia’s first coed on campus hall of residence) and was well known at the famous Notting Hill pub some ½ mile from Monash University.


Studied computers and the then ‘dreaded’ machine language whilst attending Monash together with experiencing a very different life style as an exchange student in India for 4 months. He played in the Monash Intervarsity football team (Australian Rules) and Ski Team. 


Employed as a biscuit salesman, Systems Analyst and COBOL programmer for 7 years in his fathers’ business manufacturing Salada, Savoy, Chocolate Royals and Chocolate Ripples. Co-Founder of The Cargo Hold chain of shops which he ran for over 25 years.


Spent a week in a Military hospital in Siberia (30km from Chinese boarder) during the Sino-Soviet Dispute on way to Munich Olympics via Trans Siberian railway. Demonstrated, flew in air shows and sold Maule aircraft to outback stations for use in cattle mustering (round up) selling 9 aircraft single handed in one year..


Three times Australian National Champion in 15m racing class gliders/sailplanes. Won the last day in the World Gliding Championships in Hobbs New Mexico in racing class in 1983 and won the Pre World’s Gliding Championships in Standard Class at Benalla. Won a day in the Pre Worlds in Rieti Italy.


Over all represented and competed for Australia in 9 international gliding events including one in the Gobi Desert of China which he won. Team Captain for the Australian Gliding team at the World Gliding Championships in Borlange Sweden and managed to obtain free shipping of gliders two years in a row to Sweden and back .Also obtained  brand new Volvos for pilots and crew the biggest team ever of 8 pilots. Nearly 650 faxes went through his fax machine over 3 years to organise the team for the Pre Worlds and actual World Championships in Borlange Sweden. On the sour note only one pilot wrote a note of thanks for either year. He was asked to be Team Captain for the next World championships but declined.


Australian representative to the CIVV (Federation Aéronautique’ International) meeting in Paris for 2 years.

 Gliding Award FAI Paris.

Awarded the Federation Aéronautique’ International Airsport Medal number 84 (Paris France) 1993 for ‘service to the sport of gliding’. He organised and ran many cross country training competitions known as the Tocumwal Teams Challenge with the aim of encouraging young pilots to participate in racing gliders with the emphasis in flying in pairs in a relaxed and casual fun way.


Enthusiastic sailor of solar powered sailing catamarans. Built and launched Dream Catcher a 48ft sailing catamaran 1998. Won a Victorian Land Care Award for raising from seed and planting over 30.000 Australian native trees on family farm at Dromana (three rows of trees in plantations 10m wide double fenced totaling over 13 kms long).  Breeder of Angus bulls and Super Fine wool Merino sheep. Enthusiastic and keen grower of exotic, full flavored, aromatic, heritage and purpose bred tomatoes. Devotee of the modern pressure cooker (using heaps of bay leaves, rosemary, time, cumin & lemon peel where appropriate). 


Presently experimenting with solar heat collection systems including evacuated glass tubes from China – Project entitled “More BTU’s for your Buck$”. Very fortunate to be ‘chosen’  as a conduit to write down a few ideas on the back of an airline sick bag using a child’s crayon kit sold to him along with the third glass of red wine on a on flight to Melbourne on Virgin Airlines. The few ideas that have come to him regarding the Worlds desperate need for more use of solar energy, have come about by an accumulation of knowledge and skills that he has been fortunate to acquire during his ‘journey’. These ideas been drawn together with a lot of input and guidance over the years from many mates notably mentor Bill Riley of Tocumwal NSW and Ellis Rowe of Benowa Waters QLD. 


Such is his love of Tomatoes he claims that “if you cannot smell them don’t buy them and tell the shop keeper why – they will be tasteless and cardboard like for the convenience of everyone except the consumer hence his latest invention    SOLARFLUME which heats his tomato growing greenhouse. He sells up to 8 different varieties of tomatoes at a stall at his farms front gate grown hydroponically in a greenhouse heated by his invention. The outside vegetable garden has its soil heated by the same method. Vegetables including tomatoes believe Spring has come 2 months early and Autumn extends into winter by two months. It’s all to do with soil temperature rather than air temperature.


Married to Kristine with two very young and beautiful daughters Brooke 16 and Belle 19.  Brooke was recent judged into the top 3% of World entrants in ‘The Event’ held in Orlando Florida in December 2 months ago. The Event is attended by the World’s top Film, Theatre & Modeling agents along with Casting Directors. She was later interviewed by 15 Agents. 


Belle has won 8 National titles in 7 years including the US Nationals in Boarder Cross and is hoping to be chosen for the Australian Team next Olympics in Sochi USSR.  Over the last 3 weeks she has podiumed 3 times in the last 4 races in USA.  Presently ranked 2 in the USA and attending her most important race this weekend in Canyons Utah. She had the 4th fastest qualifying time against some Olympians and World Cup winners but unfortunately damaged some soft tissue of one of her knees by a ‘hard landing’ on one of the very long jumps on the boarder cross course (considered one of the toughest in the USA) and could not compete in the finals the next day.


Bruce’s darkest year and on the downside of a wonderful gliding life, despite winning the practice year in standard class in the Pre Worlds Gliding Competition at Benalla and favorite to win in the next year’s World Gliding Championships (by the Germans, French and English) he was prevented from representing Australia by twin camera failures in the Australian Nationals and a reluctance of the team selectors to exercise their use of the “exceptional circumstances rule” in choosing the last team members. Most of the top competitors from Europe and the USA could not believe their luck that he was not going to be competing.


The only consolation to this very depressing dilemma for Bruce was that the organizers of Benalla World Gilding Championships separately and independently invited him to be Competition Director of the World Championships on the basis that he was “the most experienced & current competitor skilled and experienced in international events” however such was his disillusionment with the gliding movement and some of its officers all he wanted to do was to be the ‘daily snifter’ pilot at the world comps and be with his Aussie and International friends in a more casual and friendly task  that allowed him to fraternize to the maximum which he was particularly well skilled in also. His other task was to be Special Advisor to the Organisers

Bruce in 1983 , preparing for the Nationals At Narromine. Article from the paper. Bruce won the NATIONALS .courtesy Bruce.

The World comps at Benalla were preceded by the now famous ATSOP (Australian Tool Shed Opening Party)  held beside Bruce’s caravan at Tocumwal airport to which most of the most notable International racing glider pilots attended complete with a home grown lamb on a spit from his farm and the odd VB (Aussie Beer) or three.


Bruce last competed in a LS6, in the World Gliding Championships in Uvalde Texas, with a competition number of MS. He was given this number by Greta Musters the wife of Kees Musters [one of Bruce’s closest Gliding friends ] after Kees was killed in a freak hang glider accident in the European Alps. Bruce met Kees in 1983 at the World Gliding Championships in Hobbs 1983 which Kees won in 15m Racing Class and also met and formed a very close relationship with George and Ritz Schuit -deLuij, also of Holland which continues today.


Bruce recently donated enough $’s for a large brand new hanger at Bacchus Marsh (known as the Bruce Brockhoff Annex to the Australian Gliding Museum) built to house many a donated vintage glider including all of Bill Riley’s who by the way was Bruce’s most influential and strongest mentor during Bruce’s glider racing career. They did many a very happy and joyous overseas trip to nearly all the glider factories of Europe, Eastern Europe and the UK.


Bruce ,  photographed with The Federal Shadow Minister for Environment,
the  Hon.  Greg  Hunt  in  front  of  his Invention Solarflume

 Received a mail from a UK pilot. Do not know him but when you are interested you can contact me and I help you further.
—“Do you no anybody or club. Who may be searching for a tug pilot….? I hold a UK CPL/IR licence:TThrs 4,900: Multi: 2,400hrs. turbine: 900hrs: Command: 3000hrs UK/Europe. Type(s) PA25 Pornee (Tailwheel.) PA31/23/34/C310/402/Bn2b (T) Sd 360. C172/182. Beagle Terrier. Tailwheel. Banners / Gliders.–“

Received an interesting link from Australia about a complaint on a glider crash photograph:

Still great flights in Corowa , Benalla and Tocumwal last week!
Did you notice? Even Ingo enjoyed a nice flight in his Discus; 755 km.Also tuggy Petr from Szech Rep. flew in the more quiet period after the Nationals a great 671 km[500FAI triangle] in the LS 4.
Benalla with UK Bob Nicolls in Ventus ; 804 km [750 FAI triangle] and 844 km. Nice to see Richard Kalin there.
Corowa with Dutch pilot Harry Wondergem;  795 km. This years best Australian OLC flight was for him and looking at  all flights Pepe was the best. OLC champion for Australia was Lubor with Harry as a good runner up!!
Corowa has started their packing of the containers today to have all gliders back in time for the European season.
What a great season they had! And as just said it still continues now!!! They were the best airfield in Australia looking at the OLC , before Benalla and Tocumwal and runner up world wide behind Bitterwasser!!!!!
Also more to the  NW a nice flight from Stonefield in the Nimbus 4DM; 727 km.

CU on Sunday, that is ….when I am not celebrating carnaval in the south of Holland. Will keep you informed.

Cheers Ritz

Good final results in Tocumwal, Matamata and Horsham!

Alphen aan den Rijn     Sunday February 12 2012

The “field” at Tocumwal .Courtesy Anita Taylor.

The good news first! Had contact with both Pam and Gerrit and after a few moments of concern, Gerrit is back to normal and will have NO problems! Good on him.
More good news as I booked my ticket [ a present from a friend— THANKS !!!!!] for Uvalde and I will arrive on the 28th of July with BA.
Bad news as well, the 11 cities tour/race/marathon has been cancelled but there is still a bit of hope for the millions here who are disappointed. Not everywhere 15 cm thick ice! But enough certainly on the N.part of the tour to enjoy skating this weekend.They expect atleast a million people on the skates! 75 Safe tours have been written out all over Holland. Today they expect temperatures above 0.
Here is a link by friend Jens Bouma who flew over the Frysian area and took some great shots from above. THANKS Jens!! Jens was the one who made those TOP videos to start the Dutch comps with and you surely can still find them on You Tube.

Several comps finished this week [end].The multi class Australian Nationals which moved from Narromine to Tocumwal, the multiclass Nationals in Matamata in New Zealand and the Horsham week in Horsham, which means a great season is over and we can start soon with the new 2012 season in Europe soon. Looking forward to it!

I left you on Wednesday with the latest Tocumwal news. Bruce had a good day , here are his words.
—”  My flight went really well today. The start came with a group of us topping out directly over the start point, just about at the time I wanted to leave. I wondered whether anyone would go, and figured that they would all come along if I did… and sure enough, they did! It went well, with a couple of good climbs in the blue before we had a short period of fun under some cus as we headed down towards Lake Mokoan near Benalla. But it was soon to stop, and as we tracked north it was all blue. I thought the pack might overtake me, but I managed to keep finding good climbs. As I travelled further north the glides started to get difficult and sinky(!), but still I didn’t see anyone else. Turning for home there were some stubble fires within reach, and the last one was a ripper. I arrived low and was greeted with plenty of bouncing and thumping, almost IFR, and the vario singing nicely! It took me up to final glide and a fast run home. Fantastic day for me.
Tonight a group of us went out to a beautiful cafe over the river near Cobram for dinner. It is right beside the Murray River, sunset, full moon, lovely food and good friends… sad that Anita was not there to join in though.—“

On Thursday with one day to go , more news from Bruce: “The trough line is within reach today, and the nice task setters have given us the chance to use it. We have a 3 hr AAT (only 3 hours?) that has circles that will give us the choice of a line under the lovely, fat cus we can see building to the east. STD and 15 m have a 3.5 hr AAT in a similar area.–“

 The trough line seen by Bruce.

And…he had a great day again , ” sitting in his office”. Bruce flew 469 km with a speed of 156.4 km./h.!!!!!
459 km for Terry in the 15 m class 3.30 AAT with a speed of 129 km/h. and he is back on the overall-scores-top as “poor” Lisa had to go “au vache “after 172 km. A pity , she was /is so good!!
In 15 m. an other good friend Miles won the day with 449 km and a speed of 128 km/h.
Due to the fact that Gerrit and Pam had “other things on their head, ” Chad and good friend Griffo moved to spot 1 in an open class glider .[nimbus 4DM.]

                      Griffo the left.                                     and                   Miles to the left.

What was there more to say??? Enough here is Bruce again;
—“What a day! There was indeed a super trough line, but it was not all as straightforward as it might have been. The whole system was complicated by some big storms further east, which were sending some outflow into the trough and creating an additional convergence effect. There were parts of the flight that were like our convergence that I see a lot of at home, some of it was overdeveloped and sogg…y, and some was just good old fashioned strong cumulus weather. Picking a good line required some experimentation, a bit of experience, and probably a touch of good fortune! It was an interesting day for all, with a few sad outlandings, and some high speeds. The task setting was perfect… there, I said it out aloud! Well done guys.
Tomorrow was suggested to be unlikely to be a flying day, but a quick check of the weather tonight shows that it might be another good day. We’ll see!—“
That would be Friday and was good!

But Thursday was  a  very good day as well for the non-competition -pilots.  Some called it a ripper- day, for Tocumwal and surroundings and Kari flew in the LS 6 , far up North to Lake Cargelligo; 621 km. From Benalla a flight in the Ventus CT/ 17.6 m ;752km. by Irish pilot John Mc William.
He just did not make it home but I loved his comment , “  towed the Ventus in at 7.30 with a 1950s Harry Ferguson tractor – a fine product from a fellow Irishman, the first man to fly in Ireland, in 1909 – and in a plane he designed and built himself.—”
There you go another interesting outlanding , otherwise we would not have known this and very close as Violet Town is only a few kilometers from Benalla. I like that!
In Corowa they are nearly ready to pack the last gliders in the containers and they had more problems with showers around them, though they kept it dry and sunny, look at their great February -10 -pictures at

The trough line seen over Tocumwal Airport by Dundee.

THE VERY LAST DAY of the Nationals  another great day.Not Bruce winning the day in 18m. but Tom Claffey . He flew his glider over 568 km. in a 3.30 AAT , so  he travelled around with big speed; 148 km./h.
2d was Andrew [ 509 km and 144 km./h] and Bruce 3d.[ 495 km. 141 km./h] But he could not loose anymore and is the WINNER with 6811 points with Tom,  as runner up [6410] , Lars was 3d and Andrew 4th.
No changes in scores in 15 m class so THE WINNER  is Terry with Craig and young Matthew on spot 2 and 3. Matthew won the 3 hour AAT on the last day .It is good to have several new upcoming young pilots for Australia!!!Joey glide is a great “instute”. 
Good old Miles must have loved the troughline and the AAT’s as he won the last 2 days! He ended up 4th and no changes here either as Peter [Temple] and Peter [Trotter] are on top and Mac on place 3.

A nice farewell and presentation- dinner was the finish of a great competition, organised in 2 days but with the co-operation of SO MANY!!! Proud on my mates overthere [Dundee who helped the gliders in the air] and my friends from Narromine [ p.e. Hans Raschke, Arney Hartley and more], who came to Toc to help out.   Glad it all worked out so well. Congratulations to ALL!!! Heard another good friend Bruce Brockhoff was invited to the party as well to speech for all guests. Nice!!! I will share his life with you in my next blog! VERY interesting.Why was he NOT competing in his own country during the Benalla WGC in 1987 , while he was the best 15 m. pilot at that time ??????

The last words are for Bruce Taylor, who not only made me happy, but I guess all who love soaring , with his inside-stories. THANK YOU BRUCE and CU in Uvalde!!!
  —“Another day, another competition completed. We were set a 3.5 hr AAT west to Deniliquin, then a long leg to the north. I found the weather difficult for the first part of the flight, and much easier after that. Initially it was hard to find good climbs and I seemed to be doing an exemplary job of finding all the sink. As I crossed a blue stretch on the way north there was a huge increase in wind …speed, almost like the jet stream was touching down there. Right in the middle of that I found my best climb, which I did not really understand. Further north there was quite a lot of overdevelopment, and with my points lead I was reluctant to be too adventurous, so I turned for home as soon as my computer suggested I should. Of course from then onwards I could only find incredibly good climbs, and all the sink vanished. Soon it became obvious that I was going to be home early. I used all of our last area but was still arriving too soon, so lost some speed for that. Tom Claffey was in top spot today.
The presentation went well, Chris Stephens did a great job as MC, and I have some trophies to take home! It has been a good competition for me – almost everything went to plan. Thank you so much to all those listening and watching, and for all the kind words. The next real competition I fly will be the worlds in
Texas in August. See you all then.—”

Received this picture from Dundee. Appropriate now after the comps!

Great flight for Kari as well in the LS 6 on Friday ; All the way up to Hillston in the N.;792 km. Though…he was n’t satisfied too much with his flight in any case he did not call it great.

Kari ready to go. Courtesy Dundee.

The Matamata comps in NZ finished last Wednesday  after 7 days of flying in both classes. Due to the fact that the points from day 4 were re- scored we had to wait for the final results but here they are. As I read , those air space penalties from day 4, have been successfully protested. In the end they looked more to the literal interpretation of the rules rather then the intent of the rules as applied by the contest director.” The virtual outlanding scores given at the point of the airspace violation will be rescored to 25 penalty – points. ”
When that was done,  this was the result;
Winner in standard class Lyndsay Stephens with 5903 points in ASW 27.
Winner in the combined open class and also winner of the last day; Patrick Driessen with 6388 in Ventus CT.
Winner in open class Brett Hunter who just flew his first comps in a JS 1.
Tony Van Dyke won the standard class for all results look at

Hosham week had good weather   with 41 participants in 4 classes. My friends the Tabart’s did well. Father Tony and son Tracey  both flew and shared  TT….and won in open class .Look for all results at

To finish this blog some great Dutch pictures with snow and ice. Got the link from Meteo-Hans who is our top meteorologist.

Off to Amsterdam. No news on Wednesday. Will be gone for a few days. Back on Thursday. Cheers Ritz

Tocumwal!IGC meeting in March in Potchefstroom.Still cold!!!!

Alphen aan den Rijn     Wednesday February 8 2012 

Great pictures from Kari who made them from the LS 6 JJ, just before the competition gliders were launched!Thanks a lot Kari!

In Tocumwal the multi class Nationals continued and there was some doubt about the weather , trough/front/wind,but as I know very well the weather can change quickly in Toc, so it was good for soaring when you see Bruce fly with a speed of  123.4 km/h. over 392 km. and win the day [3 for him 4 for st and 15m.].
In 15 m. Lisa won.Good on her .Well done!!!
In the combined open class it was Bruce as well but Gerrit with the first open class glider.
In standard class 2 Japanes pilots gathered their strenght and Mac and Shinzo were 1 and 2.


Daily winners. All pictures courtesy Anita Taylor.

Here is what Bruce had to say about the day;
—“Today was one of those post-frontal days which begin with some cus, and as the day goes on it becomes more and more blue. Usually more heating just means the cus disappear, but the height and strength does not increase. So, it is a toss-up between starting early and having some clouds to help, or playing the start game and having some company to help. Not surprisingly I chose the former option. There were a few other early birds, and we had a reasonable time, with only one real low point, then as we went further south the conditions improved and it was possible to get some nice long runs. I arrived home to an empty airfield, which is always a good sign! I am very happy with today’s flight, as I remember well how much I used to hate blue weather.–“
Day 5  in 15 m class was won by Craig Collings but Terry Cubley is after 5 days the topper in the overall scores.
Terry and Bruce overall toppers in 15 and 18 m after 5/4 days.
It was a bit of a shock to my system when I read this morning that one of my very good friends Gerrit who flies the Multi class Nationals in Tocumwal was,  as twittered by Anita”  to be transf’d to Melb to have a pacemaker fitted. Our thoughts are with Gerrit, Pam & family.”
Needed a cup of tea first!!!You have friends and friends and I am pleased to say that I have a lot , but a few are special and Gerrit belongs to them already for years! Hope he will be well soon and can pick up live as before!!! My thoughts are with Gerrit and Pam and his 2 daughters and son and of course his grandson.
They did fly for day 5 and 6 and a 3 hour AAT  was won in open class by Bruce with a speed of 113 km. over 363 km.
In 15m. Craig and Lisa [ both speed of 106 km./h over a 2.30 AAT] were 1 and 2 and Lisa tops the overall scores at this stage before Terry.
In 18 m. it was Bruce again in the JS1 ,[387 km with 120 km./h. over a 3 hour AAT]  he was 9 km faster as Lars who was 2d.
In standard class junior pilot Andrew Maddocks had a top day winning the AAT of 2.30, with 274 km in 2.33. In total 3 Joey Glide juniors perform in Tocumwal with Andrew, Matthew Scutter Adam Henderson and also 2 young Polish pilots.
Andrew to the r. Courtesy Anita Taylor  and in the back row from r. to l. Andrew,  Matthew and Adam.In the middle Adam Woolley who was a tuggie with us in the past for a short time. He is very involved in the juniors as advocate to the GFA, and he also keeps a blog.

Now the SSA 2012 convention in Reno is over,[ for ALL that news you can go to  ]   we look ahead at the IGC plenary in South Africa and I received already some info. Rick Sheppe from the USA will be there and inform you and me straight from the source.
Here is what he send me already;

—“I look forward to an interesting meeting.  We will decide the location
of four competitions in 2015 (WWGC, JWGC, EGC, and WGC in the 13.5 Meter
Class).  We will also talk about:
Changing the rules for a competition finish
The 20 Meter 2 Seat Class
Flight Recorders
Pilot ranking
The World Championships calendar
Plans for future Sailplane Grand Prix and World Air Games
and much more.  It will be a busy two days!–“
You remember you could bid on the book from Philip Wills; here is the result. My “boss ” John Roake opened the bid with 50 dollar on “Free as a bird” [1973] and won;
—“Congratulations for John Roake for the spectacular opening and winning bid for the book which will be on its way as soon as you send me your mailing address John. I’m sure that Lymphoma Australia will be very happy with the generous donation. Thanks John.—“

Talking about John Roake, the post-man did NOT find in the busy Christmas period , a few adresses here in Europe to bring the latest GI. But yesterday morning it was on my doormat. John started with a new serie about gliding mecca’s. The first is Omarama and Rod Dew , the former Sports Editor of “The Press” news paper in NZ investigates the reasons why ” the Place of Light ” is held in such reverence by soaring pilots throughout the world. 15 pages of great pictures and reading!!!
Further on an interview with Klaus Ohlman, David Roberts with updates from European Airsports and rules, the introduction of a new collegue and what introduction; a fantastic picture in the middle,  double spread, from photographer Maria Szemplinska from Canada, the Perlan Project and much, much more.Enjoy!!!
The 11-town-race-FEVER is higher then high.Not the best picture I took from my paper but just to let you know/see what’s going to happen WHEN it remains atleast 10 under 0 for another week. Schoools will have the day off ; you can compare it with Melbourne Cup day in Australia except this is only once in so many years as we need terrible cold days and nights. It was 15 years ago that we could enjoy it to the fullest. And…it might happen now …..the people involved in “yes or no” have a meeting tonight again. The news even reached the Washington post calling it “a deeply cherished Dutch tradition”.
16.000 Skaters who have been selected and have to be member of the 11-town-club, are waiting feverish to be part of this 219 km. long tour.
 Last week some friends from the Frysian Aero club flew already over the area in a motor glider and they made great pictures .
  The 11 towns and the lay- out of the tour.

That’s it for today. Cheers Ritz


Tocumwal Nationals!International -Edition -2- Segelfliegen on-line!All news about the SSA 2012 convention @ soaringcafe!

Alphen aan den Rijn      Sunday February 4 2012

Tocumwal Nationals 2012. Day 1
picture courtesy Dieter Albrecht.
CD Chris Stephens and VIP /CFI from the SRGC , Ingo Renner.
picture courtesy Bruce/Anita Taylor.

We should not complain with minus 22.9,  when Russia has minus 43,  but I can assure you that I have never been so cold , outside, as during the last days and…it is not over yet. We have a white world now after all the snow last Friday. We also had the first ever in history ,  43 year old homeless person freezing dead, TERRIBLE!!!!! ALL of them have been warned for the cold ALL over Holland, they do not even have to  pay the 2E.,  they normally pay when they stay for a day and night with food , a heater,  a bed and a drink and still some refuse!!! Can’t force them.
Further on Friday was total chaos in Holland,with over 800 km of traffic jam, people who were waiting for trains which were not going and even Schiphol Airport had some problems, with 1000 people who had to stay overnight!!! Yesterday was not much better, but SUN and bleu skies made ice- skating,  walking etc fun.
Also cold circumstances in Japan and the USA. One of my USA friends continues flying, till spring arrives like this!

The Lake Cup 11 on skis, great way to fly till spring starts.
Picture courtesy Rick Shepperd

Would have loved to be in Tocumwal now, but you can’t have it all!

Nice clouds over Tocumwal on day 3! And…over Narromine TODAY!

You can’t have it all!!! No….After all that great weather , day 1 started not too flash. Open and 18 m. were cancelled and pilots from 15m. and standard got small tasks both a 2 hour AAT and not everybody finished.
In 15 m. Terry Cubley [LS 3] won the day with 220 km in 2 hours 19. As long as I know Terry [ since 1984 he flies this LS 3 and it is a real good one! He is a good pilot as well!!]
In standard Paul Mander [SZD 55] won over 218 km in 2 hour 28.

No flying for 18 m. and open class so a bit more time to relax for Gerrit and his wife Pam, who both fly in open class and for Bruce and Anita.
Pictures courtesy Dundee.

Here is what Bruce had to say about the practise day;
—“Yesterday was a nice day. Tom Claffey did a super flight and shamed us all by about 10 kph … glad it wasn’t a comp day! The air was quite moist on our first easterly leg, with fast cycles and some lying clouds, then down to the south-west it was blue. For me the flight went well till the end, when things started to die with a stronger southerly breeze and dead air around the river.
Today could be pretty interesting. To the east looks flyable, but overhead and north, west and south is overcast.—“

These pictures show why day 1 was a more then difficult day! Those who flew and had to land in a paddock , had to deal with a storm .


Still raining, but the band looks thin on the radar. Will pass by morning (surely!!)
Tweet from Anita.


So day 2 started and was better! After 40 mm. of rain on day 1,[ you can see what’s left over on the pictures above from Dundee,]  the pilots could start from the tarmac runway  09.

  Ready for day 2!

Open class had 381 km. Interesting was that Bruce was faster in the 18 m. JS 1 then Gerrit in the Nimbus 4T; 127 km and 113 /h.
In 15 m. Lisa Trotter had a good day winning from the young[er] ones Matthew and Adam and also from Terry. Good on her! Young Matthew is on spot 1 overall after 2 days , with his “older-club-mate” Terry on spot 2!

Above Lisa with her ASW 27 and as you can see better weather on day 2, also for Louis in his Ventus A. Pictures courtesy Dundee.

In standard class 5 x an LS 8 topped the scores for the day; Peter Temple on 1 with 1000 points and Peter Trotter,  Lisa’s husband with 999.5 points!!! 
Here is Bruce’s view on “things”; —“Successful day for the JS1. Starting was tricky, with bands of cirrus coming through, plus some local effects (river or rain from last night?) that gave a huge blue hole over Tocumwal. I think I left last, but I was soon happy with that decision as the cirrus cleared and conditions improved. By halfway round our 380 km task I felt like I had caught the crowd. Conditions were a bit changeable, with some areas of spreadout and long glides, but the run home was good and I did the last 40 km on full throttle, just getting higher and higher. Lots of fun, and a nice start.—“

Day 3 was TOP, a day on which Terry Ryan flew 784 km. from Tocumwal  in his ASH 26 and pilots from Corowa , about 70 km. to the East,  over 800 km. and Harry even over 900, nice triangles as well. And..from Benalla about 70 km to the South , one long road, Tobias Geiger flew in his LS 4 a great 903 km [ 835 FAI triangle.] The first ever over 700 km flight from Richard Robinson starting from Benalla in an LS 3 was good as well.[732 and 664 FAI triangle.]
So…a good day with a 3.30 AAT for all classes and….with a  speed in standard class of 142.4 km/h over 505 km. and….the 1000 points went in the pocket from Peter Temple!! Good day for Mac as well , being 2d. Mac has flown a lot in Tocumwal, so he knows the area!
In 15 m. Graig Collings won with a speed of 134 km/h over 474 km. Adam Wooley was 2d and he knows Toc as well, as he flew a few weeks for us as tuggie before he left up N. where he got unexpectedly, a job.
In 18 m. Lars Zehnder [Ventus 2CX] won with yes….154.3 km./h over 542 km. Bruce  was 2d with 560 km and a speed of 152.3 km/h. in his JS1.
In open class it was Gerrit who flew best in a real open class glider, {Nimbus 4T} ; 478km. with 136.6 km./h.
Bruce about day 3;
—-“Great day in the office! Not totally straightforward, but a super day all the same. The 3.5 hour AAT could possibly have been longer, but that is easy to say in hindsight. At the best we got to about 9,500 feet, with a few climbs better than 10 knots, but some parts of the sky were a little overcooked and it was difficult to keep up the fast pace. For me that happened along the second leg, after a nice high glide over a long stretch of irrigation near Leeton. The sky ahead went soft, and I had to take a detour to some better clouds to get up again. As it turned out Lars also had some soft spots, but was a couple of kph faster than I was – great flight!—“

Mac [ Hi Mac] and Lars [Hi Lars]and Andrew [Hi Andrew]  and……..Arney Hartley, [Hi Arney] Bruce and …sorry I forgot, HELP!

And Peter Temple mentions on Bruces blog;
—“Another good day for me yesterday over the moonscape of the Hay plain. Cloud streets seemed to form where-ever I flew. I flew 505km at an average speed of 142km/hr, helped by the strongest thermal I have ever flown (thanks to Tim for finding it) – mostly 13-14 knots on the average peaking at around 16 knots near cloudbase.
The engineer in me is thinking about the power required to lift a 525kg glider straight up at 30km/hr. And that’s just one glider, putting 50 gliders in a thermal doesn’t seem slow it down.”–

Peter Temple and his wife Mandy. Mandy is a longtime TC for the Australian team.And on the other picture Lisa and Peter Trotter, [Hi to all 4] pictures courtesy Anita/Bruce Taylor.

Today on Sunday
on what should be day 4 a tweet from Anita;
—“front and trough coming together and coming thru today. Windy. Window too small. Tomorrow looks poor as well. Forecasts changing so??—“

There was a nice BBQ  as well, organised by the SRGC from “easy to say” Ingo and Judy, as , ofcourse they have a president,  secretary and treasurer as well .But Ingo is and remains a great PR-“tool “. [sorry Ingo!] On the picture Ingo and Dundee your/my photographer!And later today the pictures from the BBQ in Mike Toth hangar.

  Ingo and Dundee….great mates.

And …the 2d INTERNATIONAL edition from Segelfliegen is on line NOW!
This is what you can read on your PC, Mac, iPad or Android-based tablet PC among many other exiting stories on more than 70 pages:
– Two birds with one stone: Antares 23E and Quintus M
– Basic principles of thermalling

– Flying with flaps
– A work of art in tin: Red Bull’s Blanik formation team
– The secret to being a good instructor
– “Rock me” Mountains: Soaring in High Altitude
– Flying with the girls: WSPA seminar
– The Turbine – better than its reputation
– PowerFlarm – one device for three systems

Please give it a go and please send this information on to anyone who
you think may also be interested in the latest stories from the
worldwide gliding scene. To find out how it works just check

And…for those who liked the pictures from the lightning last time here is more.
—-“It’s old news now, but we had simultaneous skyshow displays in Perth on Australia Day – one by nature and the other man-made. Some  great photos on flickr here:—“

And to finish this blog some more then good news! [thanks Jo] 
—“A major initiative to reduce glider accidents has won the 2011 General Aviation Safety Award. The British Gliding Association’s (BGA) Safe Winch Launch Team scooped the award after judges heard the initiative, which has been running for six years, had dramatically reduced the number of fatal glider accidents. The Team, led by Hugh Browning, are the seventeenth recipient of the Award, organised by the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), since its inception in 1994.—“

Would love to reduce fatal accidents to ZERO, but that is, I guess,  an utopia!
Cheers Ritz and ….some impressions from the cold here in town. And …sorry the blog is a bit long, but it is SUNDAY. Enjoy!


Winter!!!Multi class nationals in Australia and New Zealand!

Alphen aan den Rijn      Wednesday February 1 2012

While the first containers are leaving or have left their overseas destinations, Europe is in the grip of King Winter.Sadly enough over 50 people died from the icy conditions in Poland and Ukraine.
In Holland they all jump up and down and the 11-town-skate-marathon in Friesland is on everybody’s lips. Will it finally happen again? An “Elf-steden tocht”??? The “fever” is already here after 3 days of frost.
Ice-speed -skating and fun-skating on canals , lakes and whatever can freeze in the top from Holland. One of the most well known and loved “parties” in Holland; as skating goes parallel with great fun, be part of it, drinking, singing, dancing and everybody who cheers on will be in orange. You surely have seen it at “normal” speed skate events. This one is not “normal” so it is even “worse” but so good!!!!
Did we have till now a very mild and generous winter the last day from January changed that with below 0 all day and up to -6 in the night. It will continue this week with minus 13 in the night and with the wind chill factor it will feel as – 20, so is announced!!!!
I “see ” friends in Scandinavia , East Europe and Canada “smile” about me and these temperatures, but I find it cold, too cold!

I was touched by some remarks  from pilots who have not been in Tocumwal for a longer time and are back now unexpectedly for the multi class Nationals.
—-Great to see everyone getting involved to help set up camp at Toc, and nobody complaining… But a bit sad to see the state of the once-fabulous Sportavia Soaring Centre. We thought of you, Ritz!–”
Paradise around the WW2 hangar has changed in a sad and desolate environment with too high grass and dead trees, on a spot where in the past ” mostly ” happiness was  and great soaring, good food, lot’s of laughter , enthusiastic  jumps in the pool and nice to very nice accommodation at the spot. If  necessary you could stay there for weeks without leaving the field.

But that’s the past and we live NOW….Eddie and Sheryl from Sportaviation and Ingo and Judy from the SRGC kept soaring alive in Tocumwal and  new hangars, a very nice  caravanpark and the ” good old feeling from the past” and not to forget the fantastic soaring-weather and the quick connection to the N. where it is dry and sunny, but a bit “empty”  with however HUGE paddocks to land in, if necessary, make soaring still to great fun .
Enough guests for the small scale commercial operation {Eddie and Sheryl run it together with a tuggie this year Petr and in holidays and weekend the help from Jake and when necessary an extra instructor Rolf } and the club with  about 70 members has grown enormously, where other clubs suffer. 
Can only hope for the real Tocumwal weather to make everybody happy during the Nationals.
Good luck to all and enjoy!

Tocumwal WW2 hangar hidden behind too high grass and some dead trees.[2010]

After one practise day the game starts tomorrow. Some pilots have been there quite a lot and know the area as their “trouser pocket”, some have never been there focused on Narromine and now have to focus on TP’s etc from the Tocumwal area.
But…during the practise day today with 2.30 AAT’ s up to 410 km. it seems to have gone smoothly.
Gerrit Kurstjens flew 300 km in open class in 2.33 with speed 117.6 km./h. .
In 18 m. Tom Claffey won with 343 km and a great speed of 132km/h.
In 15 m. Terry Cubley flew his LS 3 over 318 km with also a nice speed of 121 km./h. and in standard class good old Miles Gore Brown flew 309 km with speed 124 km./h.  The young, new fresh 1000 km pilot Matthew Scutter from Adelaide, was 3d! [303 km with speed 118.6 km./h]  You can call that good practise certainly when you see that some pilots got penalty points for missing start points etc. Better today then tomorrow!!!

In between the “normally ” last comps/coachingweek of the season in Australia, called the Horshamweek  has started as well. Tony Tabart flies Horsham for the 45 st time and for that reason he can’t compete in Tocumwal where he was an instructor for gliding in the far, far past!! for all the news about the Horsham coaching week [now] and the comps [ starting on Febr 4 till 11]

From Matamata  25 pilots are flying the multi Nationals in New Zealand in 2 classes. After 2 days of flying and one day rest due too too late good circumstances , I was pleased to see that Tony van Dyk, who I met at a few WCG’s in the far past is still flying so good. He is 3d at this stage in the combined standard class. Lyndsay Stephens was on spot 1 overall EVERY day! He won todays task; 282 km with a speed of 142 km./h.
In open class [combined] Patrick Driessen , also with a very Dutch name tops the overall list after being 5th and winning a day.Still on top today but the winner Alan, flew 308 km. with 143.4 km./h!!!!!!

One of the soaring fields I visited in the 2010/11 season in NZ on the N.Island.
Matamata is on the N. Island as well.

Talking about NZ , here is a link I received from friends in Australia about the selling of a book for charity. Should have published it last Sunday. When you are interested just follow the rules.

I have a pre-loved copy of Philip Wills’ “Free as a bird” published in 1973 in very good condition that needs a new home with the proceeds going to charity. I’ll sell it via a Gliding-Bay (gBay) auction and here are the rules:

 1. Auction starts today and ends at 6pm AEST on Monday 6th February 2012.

2. Opening bid is $1 and subsequent bids need to be in whole dollars.

3. Place your bid by replying to this email. Uninterested list-members can automatically delete emails with this subject.

4. The person with the highest bid at the close of auction will donate their pledged amount to Lymphoma Australia via this link

5. Email me your donation receipt with your mailing address and I’ll pay the postage and send you the book.

 Happy bidding.
Best regards,
Patrick Barfield

The end of January  showed after all the long flights a bit of a dip with only 18 flights registered on the OLC on January 30 and even less on January 31 with 15!!!! But with Horsham week and the Tocumwal Nationals it will be up tomorrow again on February 1.

To finish a nice picture from Catherine Conway via Glider forever .Cu you on Sunday Ritz

“The old and the new” by Catherine Conway.
her reaction .
—“Thanks they are both my gliders. The front one is a Nimbus 4DM which I hire to Fly Down Under at Stonefield South Australia. The glider behind is an ES52 Kookaburra wooden two seater trainer built in 1960 by Edmund Schneider Ltd. The same company that designed the Grunau Baby before relocating to Australia.–“