Prievidza and ….the winners are?Italian Club class Nationals.

Alphen aan den Rijn   Sunday April 29 2012

Prievidza day 7 before start and during finish!
courtesy FCC.

A very interesting  competition in  Prievidza. It’s over now and the pilots look back on a good competition and ahead at their own Nationals  and some one-day- competitions and…THE WGC’s. Not long and the Dutch Nationals will be held as well. Not writing this year but visiting for sure! The 1 official Bulletin from Uvalde is out and to be read at   under documents /contest center.
April was for us a cold and unpleasant month to quickly forget, looking ahead at May.A lot of comps have started will try to keep you informed!

The last days of the FCC :
 B-tasks on Wednesday the 25th, created a new soaring-day 7. The A task for mix was 394 km. Club had a 3 hour AAT and 15m had to fly 367 km.
It all changed however in  3 hour AAT’s!
Outlandings from toppers as G Dale and Jan Louda…..
In the mixed class;ALL he taught his National teams was showed by Uli Gemelin, coach from the German team. HE won the day in the ARCUS T. Great effort!
Roman, in the duo discus,  still remains in the race as 6th , but Sebastian lost some points being 19th., at least NO outlanding! This means that Roman is on spot 1 now with 2 days to go!!!
In club, G. Dale did not have his best day and after 190 km. he was out, while others flew 285. But time is important as well for them so the 1000 points went to Boris Zors, with 260 km  in 3 hour 2 minutes, bringing him on spot 3 overall. Jan Boruvka in the standard cirrus held place and is 1 now . Sadly for our UK pilot G. he dropped to 4! But as said 2 days to go!
In 15 said Jan Louda, who was flying so well till now,  had a bad day, being out after 280 km. Pavol Cerny held with a 7th place. Radek Krejcirik in the Ventus 2ax won the day with 350 km in 3 hour 15.Overall scores;Radek is now 1 , Pavol on 2 and Jan is on 4.

courtesy; FCC site.

Day 8, it is not over yet.Again distances between 300 and 350 km. in the 3 classes. A lot can still happen. Who had bad luck yesterday can win today, nothing is sure till the last glider has finished on the last soaring day! The meteo predicted low cloud base and warm wind. Mmmm….after all those cold days , that must give a good feeling for pilot and crew.

Beginning of the comps  and the last days!
Courtesy; FCC site.

Day 8;
Mixed class; Sebastian straight away put things straight by winning the day just before Uli and Christine in the ARCUS T. Doing that he is back on 1 overall with one day to go!!!
Uli has a great end-sprint and is now on spot 8. Roman still on a very good spot 2.
Club class;G. Dale did exactly the same ,with a top flight, only loosing 5 points and is still on spot 4 but… nearly 500 points behind the number 1, Jan Boruvka and normally that is too much. An expensive misser for G. on day 7, but that belongs to soaring too. Very good and consisting flying from number 1-2 and 3 in this class!
15 m. class;Enough to fight for in this class as well. Jan Louda who won several days had one expensive misser as well but still can be with the first 3 on the podium. Radek was 2d for the day only loosing 7 points and is still on spot 1 overall.

Day 9; LAST DAY of an as said interesting competition, even to follow at home. A race for all classes, not too long[ 199 for club, 249 for the mixed class and 15 m had to fly 227 km]  but good to give the pilots a possibility to consolidate or to still fight for more.

Ready for the last day at Prievidza and the hardworking active ground crew during launch.
Courtesy FCC site.

Before the gulash party started we knew already who were the winners;
Mixed class;Christine and Uli won another day and “seem to have seen the light ” during the last days. They rushed up in the ARCUS T to spot 7, good on them. But the big winner is Sebastian Kawa, in the Diana 2, to be honest I expected it. And…. Impressive flights both in Nitra [ he won club class there!] and now in Prievidza from Roman Mracek and co pilot Agata Kaszczuk in the duo discus.
Club class; G Dale won 3 days but had one real bad day and yesterday with a 24th place was n’t the best either . Still he managed to be on spot 7. I presume he played “all or nothing ” on the last day, by leaving last in the hope to catch the others and so be fast that way. But that is a guess from far away.
Winner is Jan Boruvka who won a few days as well , runner up Ondrej  with Boris on spot 3.
15 m. class;A pity for Jan Louda, who won the first 3 days,  but still on spot 4 after an outlanding and 2 10th places on the last 2 days.
Winner was Radek with a Polish pilot as runner up [very difficult name!!!] and Pavol Cerny on 3.
2 Czech pilots and one Polish on top and so to see on the pictures [I do not know them] , 2 new young pilots,together with topper Sebastian. Good! Congratulations to all.
This was the 5th edition of this Challenge Cup and they put theirselves good on the map in 5 years!

The winners in mixed, club and 15 m. class. Congratulations!
courtesy; FCC site.

The Club class Nationals in Italywere held last weekend at Thiene  [Vicenza ] and this weekend, including Friday;  12 pilots participated , under them several junior pilots. Not the best weather there either. Day 1 was cancelled , then  a difficult first day as well, with out- landings and virtual outlandings by violations of the airspace. Young Nicola Fergnani won the 235 km task in LS 1f. His sister Elena [Discus A] was less lucky with a violation at 53 km. out.
Some top pilots as Stefano Ghiorzo were flying as well. Stefano flew the Silent 2 and was 4th.
Friday was n’t a good day to fly. Yesterday the other JWGC pilot Davide won the day. After 2 days of soaring he tops the list in the St. Cirrus, today is another day with new chances.

 Nicola [l.] during the JWGC in Finland.

Several good long distance flights from Rieti last week. That part of Italy  had better weather.Also from Switzerland with a nice 6-leg 1000 km by Rainer Cronjäger in a Duo Discus from Hausen Am Albis!! Also Lesce Bled [SL] had good flights.
Heard from Maria that in Munich the temperature is 29 dgr!!! So busy enough at Unterwössen this weekend.
While Blairstown is still in a great ridge-flow, proved by pilots flying over 1000 km in 2  SZD 55’s  and an LS 3 . Not bad either; 780 in the Schweitzer.
The declared FIA 1000 k. is TOP!!!! But also the yoyo in a homebuilt glider SZD 55 EGRET by Marian Novak from the Toronto Soaring Club. Never even heard from it till now!
And what about the speed from Jim Payne who “hopped ” in the DG 1001M again with mate Dennis Tito and  as he said ” went on an OLC speed mission!
931 km with a speed of 206 km/h.
Nice to read his comment on April 26 .

Klix has started last Friday with a competition with 4 classes. On day 1 AAT’s.
Yesterday was a no-flying day ; it was too stable! But enough days to go ; 30 dgr like in Munich! 11 here!!! Grrrr….More next Wednesday!
The Belgian Nationals stat today also about this competition more next week.

For news about the Perlan Project; The March -April -News- letter is ready to be read under NEWS at  

And to finish this;
From Judy Renner I received as member of the SRGC the next message. Maybe nice for you as well;
–“The video of the 1974 Waikerie World Comps, called ZR – Good Start, has been put onto DVD by the original producer and Paul Remde in America.

 If you would like to get a copy of the movie please go to
Ingo was approached to write a quote for the DVD case so it has a personalised value for us.  Also there are quite a few great glider pilots recorded on this movie and unfortunately some are no longer with us.  For this reason it serves as a good memory of these pilots and their achievements.—“
CU next week, cheers Ritz

FCC gliding!

 Alphen aan den Rijn    Tuesday Afternoon April 24 2012

A bit earlier then normal, good for the early-reading- birds, as  I stay over- night in Amsterdam and will be only back later on Wednesday.

Prievidza…ready to go! All pictures with permission
You find  more nice ones in the gallery.

On Saturdaythey announced on their site that the weather did not look bright for Sunday. The organisers from the First Challenge Cup,  still managed to “find” a window to fly in with short 2 hour AAT’s.
So day 5 was a fact.
Start lines were open between 11.44 and 12.34 to make it possible to fly before the rain would fall down and spoil the day.
In the mixed class most pilots started within half an hour of the start-line-opening. With such a speed AAT , the trick is to be back in time not 33 minutes later as Sebastian unfortunately was forced to do, as you then loose points, even when you fly a lot of kilometers.
Winner Pavel, flew 246 km in 2 hour 17 in as Ventus 2CX/18m. [handicap 118] 3 pilots did not fly anymore and NO outlandings, so a good set task!Sebastian is still on spot 1 overall but he feels the breath from Roman , flying the duo discus and being 4th on day 5, in the neck; only 14 points!!!!!!! 
In club classit was G Dale who flew 181 km within the 2 hours. Winner was Jan Boruvka with 23 km . more and 8 minutes over time. G. is 1 overall and Jan is on 2.
In 15 m. Pavol Cerny won his 2d day in a row [226 km in 2.11]and he and Jan Louda [205 km in 2.20 being 10th] who won the first 3 days are on number 1 and 2 overall.

Finishes on day 5.

Day 6;Racing tasks, as expected and hoped for by some, after all the AAT’s. Nice distances as well; 301.9 k. for club, 348 for 15m. and the mixed went for 410km.
And….the best pilots in AAT , showed they are the best in a longer racing task as well.
Sebastian won in mixed class in the Diana 2 with a nice speed of 120.4 km./h.
Roman in the duo discus was 3d and even with a handicap of 110 , flying 110 km./h . he lost over 100 points on Sebastian.Good job from the duo pilots !
In 15 m. Jan Louda flew his LS 8 to a 2d place winning 988 points.[speed 110km./h.] Pavol had a bad day only gaining 722 points but still hanging in on spot 2 overall…just….5 points on number 3.
In club class the 1000 points were for G. Dale, flying the 301 km with a speed of 90.8 km. /h. The German pilots in the St. Libelle did well, starting last at 13.12, but back as 2d,3d and 8th.

Prievidza on day 6, Pictures courtesy FCC site.

Day 7,  was cancelled!No job for the tuggies today!

Dynamics from AeroSpool

After asking permission for the pictures , I got a nice mail back from Lubos. I knew I had more info on Prievidza. While searching a bit in my files I found a nice little book about it,  which I got from Josef before the WGC from 2010 was in Prievidza. I read in it that the Aeroclub was founded in 1950 and is —” an independent voluntary and unpolitical organisation opened to everyone who is interested in aviation and parachute sport—” Just to let you know as well.
As far as I see on the amount of participants they are doing a great job. And….I love that castle on the pictures.

 Still good soaring in Africa and Australia. Sven Olivier “used”  a postal front to fly 569 km with a speed of 137 km./h from Worcester last Sunday and on Saturday John Moore flew from Mc Caffrey Field a nice 530 km. in the 18 m. ASG 29. 

The Turkish-Dutch Airliner Corendonhad a bad beginning of this week. On Monday morning a flight to Portugal was hit by lightning during the departure from Amsterdam Airport! The plane flew without problems back to Schiphol, by the way chosen as the best European airfield at the moment, but had to  stay on the ground with some minor damage on the paint.Continuation of the flight was not possible, as a good check up was necessary first. Transavia brought the 162 passengers to Faro.
I live at about 40 km. S from Schiphol and we had no thunderstorm here, so a very local one .

Due to the bad train accident in Amsterdam sadly enough one lady died! It is said now by the minister of transport, that the “driver” from the all-stations-train, most probably has neglected a red sign. According to passengers the female driver admitted this as well to them straight after the accident.”I might have overseen a red light”.But this does not mean she is guilty yet.Investigation is still busy.

The weather looked good yesterday but the showers were pretty heavy. Some pilots still manged to fly nice flights from Terlet  as Jeroen Kole; 430 in Discus BT. I like his comment: “when you go to Terlet when it is totally grey you have to explain something at home”. But as he stated the weather forecast from “wetter Jetzt” was spot on. He flew to the N. and the E. over Germany. Today is the same ; cauliflowers ,disappearing for grey overcast and RAIN with little nasty hail stones. But…it improves I heard!

That’s it for now CU on Sunday with the latest news.Cheers Ritz

1000 km retrospect by Tijl!Prievidza!Anita Taylor…president!

Alphen aan den Rijn     Sunday April 22 2012

Luckily the temperature went up from 6 to 13 dgr. Still not spring and just under the  average for the time of the year here,[15 dgr] though after the 20 dgr. in March it just feels  COLD!!!!! And I hate the wet snow, hail and thunderstorms going with it. NO FUN!!!But the forecast is good with “back to the 20thies”  again after Thursday.
Got a “light ” flu from this weather.
Worse is the collision from trains in Amsterdam , close to Central Station. I travel 3 times a week to Amsterdam by train and was pretty “shocked”. 120 People injured and 42 badly. Not good.The trains only had a speed of around 50km/h, due to arrival and departure but weird how they were on the same rail. Investigation will sort out the cause of this terrible accident between an all-stations-train and the intercity.
And also bad ,[ not a good day for Holland yesterday! ] our government collapsed!! After 7 weeks of negotiations to get Holland through the difficult financial and economic time, Wilders [PVV-Party for freedom-right wing] said no to all plans he supported first with the democrats [CDA] and liberals. [VVD] Not good for all of us!New elections after summer!
Elections, important for Europe , today in France!

—“Completing this flight is not only about flying the task. It is like a chain with many links. One missing,and it all falls apart.”—
This is what Tijl Schmelzer says in his report over his 1000 km goal/free distance flight. It reads as an exciting adventure-book and here is the link for you, which I , if you have not yet read it,  strongly advise.

 18.34; —” I cross the finish line in 1270m after 1007,7km and 8h39min on task, resulting in an average speed of 116,5kph.—”
A 1000 km. badge and 2 Belgium records and a flight to never forget for Tijl. Mum arrived soon after the landing  , lot’s of hotels in town, so no worries!
It all worked out well!!!!

When I left you last Wednesday, pilots were about to start for a 3.00 AAT in club class and 2.30 in the other classes in Prievidza.[Slovakia]
In club class G Dale was “back on top”   for a very good 254km distance in 3.07 on soaring day 2!
In the mixed class the JS 1 won with 268 km in 2 hour 49 from the Diana from Sebastian.
In 15 m. Jan Louda won again! Good on him!

On Thursday same tasks for the 3 classes. Extra mentioned during briefing was; possibility of local thunderstorms in the mountains in the afternoon.
No worries for G Dale who won the day again in club class, flying his DG 100 elan, over 245 km in 3 hour and 6 minutes!31 Pilots however from 43, had to make an outlanding!!!With other words ONLY 12 finishers , but what they normally say at comps “if even 1 pilot is back home the task was well set/possible”.
In the mixed class, no pilot managed to stay with in the 2.30 hour time frame! Best was Polish pilot Pawel Frackowiak, who managed to fly 251 km in 2 hour 53.
The duodiscus with Roman was 3d and Sebastian was 4th. 18 From 33 finished!
In the 15 m. class Jan Louda won 3 days in a row! What’s even better he managed to stay close to his time with 2.36 and that is good! He flew 230 km. And 17 from 31 arrived home!

On Friday all classes had a 3 hour AAT.Pilots finally got a real good day with only 8 outlandings and a speed of 128 .8 km./h.for the fastest pilot. Not bad!
In the mixed class the duo won with Roman [377 km. in 3.06]  but with only ONE point before Sebastian [ 401 km. in 3 hour 11] .Look for all results at
The club had for the 3d day in row a 3 hour AAT, so they were used to it. Hungaryan pilot Ferenc Tamas flew 3 hours and 315 km and received 1000 points!
In 15 m. Pavol Cerny won ; 3 hour 03 over  387 km. Nice speed 126.6 km/h.

Yesterday was cancelled and the forecast for today does n’t look too good either but there is hope as the weather seems to improve tomorrow!
Anyhow they still try today to get pilots in the air for a 2 hour AAT.[low pressure and a possibility of showers even during the launches!]
Overall scores after 1 week meaning 4 days of soaring;
Mixed class Sebastian Kawa , 62 points ahead of Roman Mracek.
Club class; G. Dale, more then 100 points ahead of Ondrej Dvorak in LS 1 f.
15 m. class; Jan Louda with a bit less then 100 points on Pavol Cerny.
Upcoming week will show if it remains like this or changes, asd a lot can still happen.

I guess you never expect to die closing a door of your airplane!!It still happened as I read, with a Belgium pilot who on a positioning flight without passengers to Istanbul, had to close the door from the A 300/600 himself. It happened in Amman where the 56 year old captain from Onur Air  , was caught by a heavy wind gust while closing the door before start. The wind got him and he fell about 5 m. down on the tarmac. Technical staff helping the plane before departure, helped him straight away but sadly enough he died in hospital.

And Transavia .com a “green” airline here in Holland, where quite a few of our glider pilots earn their money, added a new plane  to their fleet; The PH -HSF. A special one 3% more economical due to new and better engines and..with flash leather on the chairs and a more roomy cabin created by Boeing Sky Interior. Not too bad!
The latest edition is a Boeing 737-8K2 [WL]
Transavia exists already over 40 years.

 Looks spiffy is n’t it?

Flying around the world is not new! But I like the flight from a Slovenian pilot, who left Slovenie on January 8, to fly via Africa, N and S America, Australia over the Mount Everest and India back home in an ULTRA LIGHT!!!! A nearly 100.000 km trip!!! Good on him!

Anita Taylor,well know as the wife from….will be well known now for her own decisiveness. She can sign now with; Anita Taylor President of the Gliding Federation of Australia. Good on her!!!! 
Anita is not the first female president, Beryl Hartley, has done a great job as well , when she was president.
Anita is born in a family of glider enthusiasts, her dad Hank Kaufmann was a good Aussie National competition pilot and her mum Aileen, the most delightful lady and crew at the field .I met them several times at several comps. I even remember Anita as young beautiful girl full of dynamic!

In the past and certainly last year during the Dutch Nationals I was very much impressed with the tracking system from 3 young Dutch glider pilots. All my English friends can read it now too and in May the Nationals are on again so enjoy, when you want to follow them. Will come back on it during the Nationals!

To all our foreign friends/visitors; our informative website has been translated into the English language. Click on the flag in the right upper corner of your screen. The language you will see, depends on the language of your browser. German translations will follow…

Cheers Ritz

Nice flights in the UK!1000 km.flight from Belgium!

Alphen aan den Rijn    Wednesday April 18 2012

Great to see that nice soaring weather brought some extra but “shivering” happiness to my UK  friends last Sunday. Best flight was from Dunstable in an ASH 25/EB 28 over a big area [719 FAI triangle] , pretty cold as the pilot writes in his comment , minus 9!! and he only just made it! Great effort!
Some of my Lasham/Tocumwal mates had a fun-day as well. Roy [Pentecost] in his ASG 29E/18m. flew 806 km. ,best flight till now from Lasham  and Bruce [Cooper] , this time not from Argentina but from Lasham in the ASW 27,  a nice 412.
Another pilot “loving his long flights from Argentina ” , John Williams had a special flight in his Antares from Kinross flying over  parts of the sea and having a first-rang-view over the sea. Look at his nice 400km FAI triangle-flight on the OLC on 15-04-2012.

On Monday , more happiness now from Belgium; a very special flight from one of my Belgium friends , Tijl Schmelzer. He flew JWGC and WGC already and this time a dream for him became reality. 
A 1000 km. goal-flight from Keiheuvel in Belgium to the Pyrenees!!!!!!
His OLC comment and the story behind it!!!;
What a day. Inspired by the legendary flight of Hans Werner Grosse 40 years ago.
Many thanks to Jos Gielen for the early tow, all ATCs along the way, my brother for HQ in Switzerland, my father for the beautiful glider, and most off all my mother for the assistance and very long retrieve.—
The story;A dream for Tijl was to fly a long distance ,1000 km. from Keiheuvel . On Monday the day was there. Preparations started already on Friday!
At 7 on Monday morning ,the Ventus was filled with antifreeze and water. A tuggie was organized for 8 and mum was ready to drive with the car and trailer behind him, straight after the start. What a mum….I know her pretty well she is just lovely!!!!!!
Dad Bert sr. had to work, but during work he kept an eye on the spot-tracking system, so did mate, Eddie Huybreckx from Balen [ where the airfield Keiheuvel is ] and brother Bert jr from Zürich where he lives and flies. This way , using the mobile, mum Hilde knew what was going on.
Great preparations and teamwork!!!!
He landed at  19.40, so flew in less then 9 hours from Keiheuvel in Belgium to Biaritz [and then back a bit to Mimizan ] in the south of France!! Chapeau!
Mum reached the landing spot, the glider was derigged , one night in a hotel to sleep well and to digest the big event and back home for a pretty long trip of driving, but with a 1000 km. certificate and a new Belgium record in the pocket!
By the way the ” inspirator” , Hans Werner Grosse was on Monday also in the air and flew from Lübeck 644 in the ETA.

Tijl flew in the past with us in Tocumwal, getting “lessons”  in cross country flying from Ingo Renner , during a 10 day competition , the Shootout! Very pleased to see this special goal flight as his first 1000 km. Welldone Tijl!!! Thank you Bert sr. for the info and…they all arrived home safely yesterday night around 11PM.
Comment from brother Bert on FB:” Tijl is going to land after 1000km. plus in Mimizan.Would have loved to be waiting there for him with a bottle of bubbles [or 2!] .”
While waiting on the train to go back from  Amsterdam yesterday, I was freezing and thought how cold Tijl must have been. I hope to have his personnel experience here soon too. I guess he needs a bit of rest first but the adrenaline might be still high.

Tijl and his parents Hilde and Bert sr.

This cold air was good for Holland as well.Flights from 631 in a Discus bT by Jeroen and 581 in ASW 28  by Bas from Terlet and 606 from Hoogeveen up Johan in an 18 m. Ventus is just good! Quite some showers in the air as well, very cold , some used electric socks!!! and some returned home earlier to get warm again. One German friend , Dirk, mentioned, ” it was so cold I could n’t tremble quick enough”.

Jeroen Kole last year in May.

Also an other place with a warm spot in my heart, Rayskala  in Finland enjoyed good circumstances. For them the season only just started in April and 414 in an LS 8 /18m. by Aku Jaakkola, is good then, certainly with the cold still in the air. He flew 3 times from Rayskala and all 3 flights were over 400 km.Good beginning of the season.

Aku during the JWGC in 2010 with his lovely daughter

Last Saturday the best weather was in Germany, that means weather for soaring. Also the top from Holland had flights from over 500 km. One flight was from one of the islands  N. from Holland , Texel !!! Special! Also here parts over the Nordsea.
A total amount of 1011 flights on this Saturday shows the nice weather. Best flight in Germany from Langenselbold [SW from the Wasserkuppe]  and worldwide; 693 [ 673 FAI triangle] in DG 800/18m.

As I told you already in my last blog a big competition , the 2012 Flight Challenge Cup Gliding, has started in Prievidza, in Slovakia,  place from the 2010-WGC, where Sebastian Kawa won the title in standard class in the Discus 2A.
Sebastian [Poland] flies this competition as well in the mixed class in the Diana.
Roman Mracek rushed from Nitra to Prievidza to fly this time the duo discus. Luckily the weather was not too good, pilots had to fly however[2.30 AAT] , but managed only a few kilometers in the mixed class, where he flies.
Also in 15 m. the day was cancelled after the best pilot- of- the- day, managed to fly 50 k.
In club class 5 pilots managed to finish after their 2 hour AAT with 156 km. in an LS1f as best result, for 77 points!!
The very kind and friendly competition director from the Prievidza WGC Josef Snirc, flies this competition as  well in the 18m. Discus 2cT.[mixed class] I met Josef in Rieti where he was steward .
Unfortunately they had to cancel day 2 as well, due to” unpredictable weather”!A pity they do not have that great-cold weather !

BUT…on Tuesday there was a 50% possibility to fly in a small window! They even had a grid order! 2 Hour AAT’s for the 3 classes were handed out. And….they used the window! They also damaged, unfortunately, one of the Dynamics[tug…nose wheel].
Sebastian Kawa showed again his talent winning the day, with 221 km. in 2.08 with Roman Mracek just behind him …..3 points!!!!!
In club class Czech pilot Jan Burovka was the best with 179 km in 1.58 and in
15 m. class Czech pilot Jan Louda won the day with 208 km. in 2.18.

For today club class has a 3.00 AAT , the rest of the tasks will be announced after the briefing but the weather looks fine.

Yesterday more very interesting and great cross country flights. Former hang glider pilot Tomas Suchanek flew in an ASW 22 BLE a 1000k.  in the Czech Rep.
Alexander Müller had a  nice first start of the German season with 908 km [872 km. FAI triangle!!] as well as Alexander Späth who flew in April from Esslingen already 3 good flights [after a lot of good ones during the training from Puimoisson before] ; 815km. 694 km and yesterday 752 km [735 km FAI triangle]
And from Lienz in Austria, 2 pilots flew over 1000 km. as well.
The mountain ranges were good , no perfect,  for both Austrian and Italian glider pilots.Spring is good but cold, but great fresh air makes soaring so fine in spring.

To finish, my congratulations to good old Bill Riley  who turned 88 on Monday. Bill was , as most of you know by now the great entrepreneur , who started after selling his business in TV’s , washing machines and more, to start something totally different; Sportavia , creating good saoring with good gliders and tugs, at the WW2 airfield from Tocumwal. He was the one who made soaring possible for European people on the other site of the world, when their winter started.
Dieter Dundee send me a lovely scan from a picture with Bill and his wife Val from the Australian Gliding Magazine in 1970! And one from Bill and me in 2009, I guess this picture was made by Cheryl Madden. Anyway it was at Sportaviation from her and Eddie.
Cheers Ritz


You are up to date again. Every time I think , today I make the blog shorter so it is more ” inviting” to read , but it never works out well. Sorry, hope you also enjoy the longer blogs!
Cheers Ritz

5×1000 K.-plus !Kupi Kupi!Nitra!Torino!Chincilla!

Alphen aan den Rijn     Sunday April 15 2012

DG 1000; courtesy DG Flugzeugbau.

When you can log in your flight- book 5 x a 1000 km. “-BIG-plus ” in wave , in a pretty short time, it means 5 long cold days of sitting ,[63 hours!!!!]  being alert[ over 6.953 km.]   and not making mistakes. For Jim Payne it seems no problem, neither for Dennis Tito . On April 10, they added flight number 5 to their impressive list of continuing great/long flights,  in that for sure good sitting and perfect instrumented DG 1001M. Luckily with a good engine as well as  they needed it during this flight! So to make it still a nice day they got the best out of it,  focussing from  distance, to OLC speed , to gain points for that league and they did; 488.80 km with a speed of 195.52 km./h. .Flexible as well, those ” young” boys!
This glider is equipped with FAR compliant landing light, strobes and navigation lights. What a difference with the Blanik, once a pretty good 2 seater as well and not to forget a great trainer. It still is the “sniffer ” in Nitra and why not?!

Picture  from the DG 1000 from the DG site

A while ago I mentioned a new-to-be-gliding-place in Coober Pedy.It is still happening and as everywhere in this world the governmental system is slow. One signature still has to be set and then the gliding place in that “spooky”Coober Pedy will be active, where quite some  people live under the ground and where your motel/hotel or swimming pool when you stay overnight is underground as well. Dundee has been there over Easter and made some pictures about the Festival ,where they promote gliding as attraction already.Kupi Kupi is the Aboriginal name of the new airfield, as the club ground is bought from the Aboriginals. The full story will be here to read when it is ready.


Pictures courtesy; Dieter Albrecht [Dundee]

 Day 4 at Nitra had new challenges. As the thermals were not expected too be too good and the S. wind still was pretty strong , the 2 hour AAT’s were created for RIDGE soaring! Never a boring moment in Nitra, where they have the intention to fly whenever possible, even with the knowledge that not everybody comes home, which is pretty normal with  a big competition with a lot of participants and with not the same  experience for all.

According to the the organizers a day possible without thermals,  but ridge soaring could be possible. On top of that a small window was “carried” by the Southern wind. So off they went…after postponing first and just before 2 they were all in the air and it did not look too bad! In fact it turned out to be quite a nice day. In club and 15 m. the winners from the first 4 days won again; Roman in a St.Cirrus and Sebastjan in a discus 2C /15m.!!!! Of course they are on top of the over all scores! Great result!!!!!
In open Wolfgang was 2d and in the 2 seater class our Scandinavian mates did well ; Ilkka won the day and is 3d overall, Harry is still 2d and Denmark is still on top at this stage. Still a few days to go, so let’s wait and see.

Day 5 was cancelled. Time to have a look at their pictures. Nice! All people look however, as if it is still winter!!!!

Day 6 , seemed a difficult one as well with a small window to fly in and showers later in the day. On days like this organizers mostly set an AAT so that happened as well; 2.30 for all classes. Again the weather turned out better then expected, with sunny , warmer conditions and…clouds!So not a day to quickly disappear and be back before the rain , but planning , looking good at the skies and get the best out of the window; fast and far!

Last day; now it all had to happen , consolidate or take risks to get more points. But ….it did not look good in the morning due to a low pressure system. That meaned the end of the comps!!!! Always a pity , but better then a lottery  on the last day.
So Roman Mracek won EVERY DAY!!!!! Special! He wins in club class the CUP!
In 15 m. Sebastjan Ramsak won every day except the last one , but still is a great winner. Good on Sjaak to be 3d!!!!
In 2 seater class nothing changed. 1 Denmark, 2 and 3 Finland. Good!!!
In the mixed open class it was Wolfgang in the 18m Ventus , who still is the best!!!
Nice competition to follow.
Some pilots can straight go to Prievidza to fly the 2012 Flight Challenge Cup with 117 pilots in 3 classes.

Nice picture from Wolfgang  from my 2006 dvd.

In  Torino day 4  just showed not enough kilometers. Terrible days , those days where you have to fight in marginal weather for 0 points. Best flight was from Luca with 94.4 km. Guess Alberto and Davide were pretty happy it was “no day ” as they only had 31.3 km. on their logger.
Day 5 was not much better, but most pilots succeded in finishing their 157 km. task [only 2 outlandings and one pilot not flying anymore] . Alberto and Davide won and received “the royal reward ” of 327 points. But they are points and they flew!
Due to bad weather they finished earlier, but still 5 days!

Chinchilla  had on their day 5 in both classes a 3 hour AAT.  Bruce Taylor, this competition  flying a borrowed ASG 29 , as he just sold the JS 1, earned 1000 points for 370 km with a speed of 112 km/h. Brad was 2d in his JS1. Lisa ,who won till now already 3 days ,was 3d and ONE overall. Good practise for her for Uvalde!
By the way, Bruce and 2 other pilots arrived only on day 2. They became a “layday ” [ read average points for that day] .

But OUCH……on  Friday the 13th,  it was a bad day for Lisa. The club class was already cancelled , but the mixed class had to fly a 2.30 AAT. Lisa only “made” 21 km. while Tom flew 261 and even finished just 7 minutes late.

On the last day both classes had a small 2.30 AAT. Mike Codling in club class was on  5 out of 6 days , the overall winner .Flying the Hornet he is a great Easter-champion.
More tension in the combined class where in the end after 7 days, Bruce Taylor turned out to be the best! On the last day Brad Edwards was the only one finishing and he is runner up in the total scores. Lisa quickly forgot her bad day and was 2d on the last day being 4th behind Tom Claffey in the overall scores!

Yesterday there was a big party in Malden, the place where I went solo long time ago. Great place to fly , but also to patry, I remember a few GOOD ones!!!!
I also remember the old hangar without a problem as a beacon at the field, but now we have to focus on a brand new one. One with 2 stocks, one on ground level  for 15 rigged gliders and one UNDER the ground. You drive your car underground with the trailer behind it and parc it and drive out again all in one direction. Place enough ,as this way 34 gliders can be parked. Very spiffy!!!
Unfortunately I was busy so could n’t go but hope for nice pictures for the next blog. Here are the ones again, when they were still building this fancy hangar. By the way Malden is the place where The Kuijpers family is very active! Tim had a party there as well when he became Junior World Champion last year! The family from 5 all fly, Dad is president of the aeroclub, mum is sport co-ordinator for the KNVvL  and National coach gliding.


 On April 11 the CONCORDIA was rigged and it looks fantastic.Look for all the 88 pictures at  Rigging from the  controls is completed, now they started with the installation of the seals. It surely looks it will be ready for the comps!!!!! Great!!!! And…I am going to see it fly!!!!

 WOW !!!!Courtesy soaringcafe!
Cu next week, cheers Ritz

First big comps of the 2012 season..Nitra and Torino!Last one of the season in Chinchilla!

Alphen aan den Rijn    Wednesday April 11 2012

Cold and rainy here on Easter Monday , but a pretty nice Easter Sunday!Lot’s of pilots must have gone straight after their Easter breakfast to the gliding-field,  as 1749 registered their flight on the OLC.
Unfortunately not the very best weather in Nitra either. Easter was early this year.
After the organizers had to cancel day 1 , day 2 still had not the best weather [showers and strong wind ] and a lot of pilots had to make an outlanding. But…anyway a valid day !
Open class was “lucky”, with only 3 out of 33 pilots going “au vache”. 2 Laks’ [17 and 19 in 18 m. conversion] up front on this day with 311 km., gained 1000 and 972 points.
In the 2 seater class, 6 from 10 finished. In this class 6 duo discus’, 2 Arcus’and 1 DG 1000T.
In 15 m. 12 pilots from 26 , gained points with a finish , the rest got distance points over their  racing task ; 308 km.
Club class “struggled” most with their task of 259 km. as only 12 from 34 finished. 1000 points for Roman Mracek and 950 for Tim Milner [UK] who worked in the past 2 seasons at Sportavia.

Day 2  at Nitra was much better and started early as the first start was planned for 11. The weather looked great and the smallest task was still over 300km. The “big ones ”  had 505 km.
No problems for Wolfgang Janowitsch [Ventus 2C./18m]  who won the day followed by 3 Austrian mates! Still 11 outlandings virtual or real  in open class.
In “club”,  Roman Mracek won for the 2d time and in 15 m. our Dutch pilot Sjaak Selen , younger brother from double World Champion Baer Selen, was 2d.
Also in the 2 seater class  a pilot who won 2 days in a row; Danish pilot Felipe Cvitanich.He was one from the 5 who managed to finish the 407 km task.

WO with Wolfgang was also in Sweden in 2006
Courtesy ; Kai Monkkonen

Yesterday small 2.30 h. AAT ‘s were written out, as  high and middle layer clouds complicated the situation . Expected cloud base of 1200m. Sunny conditions but again a tough wind and …tough circumstances but also some good flights.
In the 2 seater class Scandinavia is TOP! After 3 days Denmark is on spot 1 in the overall scores and Finland on spot 2 and 3 . Good on them!
In open class Austria is after 3 days on the 4 first spots with Wolfgang leading “the gang”!He flew 231 km.
Behind him his mates in ASW 22BL and 2 Antares 18 and 20 m.
In club class Roman flew 171 km and was the best for the 3d time, of course he is 1 in the overall scores as well.
In 15 m. the best distance was 170 km. but on handicap the discus won from the Ventus [380 points] with 159 km. earning  427 points.

In Torino, the same struggle with the weather. The pilots had to fly on their first day , but the best distance was “only” 63 km. ,so the day was not valid.
A small task on day 2 with 239 km. but better circumstances as 2 gliders finished in the same time with the same speed ;130 km./ h.! The Ventus with Luca de Marchi gained 408 points as well as the ARCUS with Alberto Sironi and Davide Schiavotti. Davide flew several junior WGC’s and Alberto is going to be a a good “trump” in Uvalde this year, where he flies the Quintus M.
On day 2 Davide/Alberto won the task of 198 km and ALL pilots finished!
Due to the weather no soaring yesterday!

Chinchilla, is the host of  43 pilots in 2 classes flying the last big competition down under and under them a few “toppers”  and….. 2 married couples in the combined class; the Trotters and the Claffey’s. Both families will be in Uvalde, where Peter and Lisa Trotter will compete as well as Tom Claffey.
How did they do after 4 days of flying and one cancelled day ?
In club class pilots had every day an AAT. 2 Kingaroy pilots Mark Dalton and Adam Woolley, flying a St. Libelle and Cirrus 75 are on top here; 3637 points and 3579. 
In the mixed class the scores from today are not yet on, [ ]  but after 3 days Tom has 2833 points, Lisa 2743 and Brad 2742.
Great to see Bob Ward totally back in competition soaring [spot 6 at this stage] after a nasty accident a few years ago!!!!

There he was again with a very nice flight; Klaus Ohlmann.Flying from Serres La Batie in the Stemme he did not eat Easter eggs on Sunday but flew on a great wave, ridge and thermal day 1.427 km.
A great day for a lot of pilots as page 1 from the OLC was covered with flights between 1.427 and 660 in a Discus from Benden Barge, SW from Oerlinghausen.
Also from Holland flights from 722 [LS8-Alfred Paul] ,711 [Ventus BT-Sicco] and 626 km.[Discus 2A-Peter] , and instead of Easter eggs, these pilots had cold [minus 10 at 1700 m] but great circumstances till the front arrived earlier then expected. Some [Alfred-Paul and Sicco] just could not make it home , but whataday for spring!!!! More then 60 OLC flights in Holland , not bad!
The 626 km was the 2d flight from this season  by Peter Millenaar. After a 514, [he topped the OLC worldwide with this flight on March 19!]   he declared a 750 FAI triangle, for last Sunday from Hoogeveen to Lüneberg in Germany, but due to  overdevelopment direction Hannover he had to quit this task. Peter still topped the the Dutch OLC list with another TOP flight.

More flights in the cold , this time in Finland, so you expect it is cold. Aku Jaakkola , one of those young and very enthusiast pilots, flew during his 2d flight of the new season 540 km. in MINUS 16 dgr.C.
As he writes on FB.
—“This was typical spring weather in finland, strong lifts, clear air and high cloudbases. Had to avoid airways and airspaces quite much and that together with limited weather area made flying bit slower. I also wanted to fly bit more points to Olc and didn’fly the fastest route. Flying was better than I thought it would be after long winter. Looking good for the qualifications of worlds 2014.”—
Nice to see also the enthusiasm from his Australian mates all meeting in Finland during the JWGC .That’s what it is all about ; world -wide- friendship !!!!!

courtesy ;Aku , flying over Finland!

The WGC 2012 for Chaves is available too , but for my laptop it gives some problems.  It is slow and sometimes it does n’t react. Surely will be better in the future!

Have fun the rest of this week, CU on Sunday
cheers Ritz

Another amazing flight by Jim and Dennis!More memories on Uvalde 1991!

Alphen aan den Rijn     Sunday April 8 2012


How small is this world when you have SKYPE!Last Monday I spoke to Tocumwal Dundee[ Dieter] who was on his way to Coober Pedy and called from Port Augusta where he stayed for the night. During our SKYPE conversation somebody called him from Coober Pedy on his mobile. A connection from Port Augusta, Coober Pedy and Alphen aan den Rijn !

Another amazing flight by Jim Payne, who was TC for the USA in 1991 in Uvalde and his mate and owner of the DG Dennis Tito. They started from Rosamond Sky Park [ California] and flew all the way up NW over the Sierra Nevada. This mountain range in the States of California and Nevada goes N to S over 640 km.
Both are not the youngest anymore but fly like “spring chicken”! Great effort!!! This time they flew 1.620 km with a nice speed of 130 km./h. As I read in Jim’s comment, both love those “wave adventures ” and in the 4 flights after the DG 1001M flight test was completed they flew in 4 flights 5.823 km. and logged those on the OLC list for us to look at. Congratulations to Jim for his 5000 hours and to both for their SUPER flights.
I have never been on the California site but for sure loved Minden ,Lake Tahoe and Truckee in Nevada.
Unforgettable of course that landing in the Albatross on Lake Tahoe on June 24 in 1990!When I look at the pictures[sorry not digital and my scanner is not working!] I still have mixed feelings. The picture below shows promotion activities in Sydney.The rest of the story and more pictures on

Great flights as  well and a good average of kilometers over the last flights by Ron Schwartz flying the Schweitzer; 601 km. and 708 and 687 between March 26 and April 4!
And Robert Templin in the LS 3 flew from Blairstown nearly 4000 km in total since January, mostly racing over the ridges.
And the Sparrow Hawk from Minden,  is gaining lot’s of OLC points .
The ridges from Blairstown remain good with several great ridge flights yesterday. Have a look on the OLC.

BUT……The weather here was fantastic too but very cold. Ronald Termaat[with Etienne Dillen] managed to fly 680 km. in the Nimbus 4 DT  from Terlet. Well done as he had not the easiest weather . They started early and other pilots looked at them, as he writes in his comment with a view:”What are they going to do”!
With a good weather forecast  they moved W. first and then N. through a front with snow showers. Arriving a bit low after passing that front ,  they picked up a thermal and off they went direction E. about 275 km. out. When it got more blue over Germany, they went home and found their best thermal in the mid of the blue ; 3m.
Also a few OVER 500 km. flights from Soesterberg! Good for Holland!!!

With the start of the Pribina Cup  yesterday the early birds who were flying already in the area over , there to practise had good luck on April 4. Flights up to 640 that day from Prievidza and close by Nitra. Unfortunately the days after were weatherwise less good, but the comps still have to start.No more news yet.

In Torino the president of the Aeroclub welcomed  24 pilots “fighting”for their CUP in one mixed class. Several well known pilots participate and several in  2 seaters as Arcus T and duo discus.First day had a task of 115 km. Will keep you informed!

In Chincilla in Australia   [Queensland]is  from April 6 till 14 the Easter Competition with 42 pilots in 2 classes. Nearly all participants from the Uvalde WGC are practising here. They started with a 3 hour AAT.

More memories/analyses for those who are interested; Sorry I know that not everybody is interested in big comps, but I still love them.
It is very interesting to see that several pilots flying the 1991 22d. WGC do fly during  this 32d. WGC again. I counted at least 9 of them! By the way , on April 4 2012 the fees had to be paid and everybody should be registered now.
Who were those 9 pilots?
From Australia,  Brad Edwards [WGC champion in Uvalde in 15 m] and David Jansen.
From Belgium Patrick Stouffs.
From team Canada only Ed Hollestelle will be in Uvalde again , this time not as pilot but as TC.
From team France Laurent Aboulin flew as student, in 1991 in standard class this year 21 year later in a Quintus in open class.
The German team is totally different and flew in 1991 with 9 pilots under them, Klaus Holighaus, Bruno Gantenbrink and Holger Back. This year they also have a very strong team with in open class 2 former world champions Holger Karow [2003] and Michael Sommer , who won the last 3 WGC’s. And Susanne Schoedel as WWGC champion.
The Italian team will have 3 pilots from 1991 flying this year again. Riccardo Brigliadori, Giorgio Galetto and Stefano Ghiorzo. A pity Smilian died, he was such a colourful TC for Italy that year and such a lovely person.
South Africa was then an individual entree and with Laurens and Oscar Goudriaan they have 2 pilots flying again. Also Dick Bradley flew in standard class in 1991, 21 year later he is chief steward.
What struck me too; in 1991 New Zealand had 7 participants at this stage no one is registered.
Argentina had no pilots in 1991, this year 6 and Norway has till now no entrees as well. In 1991 they had 5 pilots.
The biggest team is from Germany. Each NAC is allowed to send 2 pilots but they could add on the 6 pilots, a female WGC champion and Michael Sommer as last years open class winner.

Enjoy your long Easter weekend to the fullest.I do too and start NOW!

Cheers Ritz

Early season as well in Canada!500 km. in Holland!

Alphen aan den Rijn     Wednesday April 4 2012

April started cold!  Warm pulleys have been taken out of the cupboard again where they were just put in , till the next season. Still no wet snow as predicted, but enough snow again in Scotland, parts of the UK and Scandinavia.
Some pilots are still waiting for their gliders to come back from their overseas destinations. A lot [ from Africa]  are back already , those from far -away Australia and shipped via Grietje and Francesco from Corowa, should be back over Easter. The one from Prievidza was send earlier and should be back by now, as pilots need their gliders for the Nitra Cup. Then for EVERYBODY , the 2012 season can start.

On April 1 it was cold here, but with sunny moments and some nice clouds!Looking on Monday at the OLC , I was very pleased to see  nice just over 500 km. flights from the airfield of Soesterberg, by Mark Leeuwenburg and Alfred Paul Alfers. Starting with 8/8 of cu’s, they still managed to fly a great x-country flight, in the Ventus 2 and LS 8,  first direction S. up to Aachen just over the border and then back up N. With minus 5 and a pretty tough wind, both still enjoyed the trip tremendously. Good practise for Mark, who flies in Uvalde and “joy” for Alfred Paul, who in the past was invited by us to come to Sportavia as winner from the Dutch Junior Comps. With us he flew a competition with Ingo Renner, to even learn more.

As I said already before, I am very pleased the OLC site has latest news nowadays as well. Articles on top of the pilots comments , by Elke and Steffi, do give us more insight news about the great flights made. That’s what we need to promote our sport. Don’t forget to read them. I read them with pleasure.
Some are in English and one about the OLC Plus rules as refresher, refreshed me as well.[ on April 1,…no joke!]

I loved looking back in my photo book from 1991 and found out a lot of things I did not know. Looking at all the pictures from the pilots I noticed Ib Wienberg flying in Uvalde at the 22d WGC. Ib has been a guest for several years in Tocumwal, but I never knew he flew WGC’s. He is and was a great pilot loving record-flying now and he has a lot of Danish records.
Same story for Jari Julin, he was there as well! His JJ is and stays already for years in Tocumwal. Where was my brain???? Must have been TOO busy both in Uvalde and at Sportavia!
Worked together over the last couple of years a lot with Tor Johnnessen and John Roake,[he even is my “boss”now for GI] 
I count both as my friends. Can’t remember I met them in Uvalde, as president of the jury and chief steward!!!! Ouch…..
Just heard on the news that there were warnings for heavy tornado’s in Texas!!! Saw that Dallas was hit. Not good!

On Facebook I saw a great picture belonging to the new Facebook site from the Lithuanian Aeroclub [LAK] and noticed the name from Vitautas Racimavicius with it. I got to know Vitautas  in Finland where he was flying the JWGC and was TC as well. Nice guy!!
Vitautas has his own site and with pleasure I share it with you too.  and more great pictures at

The picture is made by his father , Mr. Rasimavicius in Prievidza.[Slovakia] during the Flight Challenge Cup.


131 Pilots from 20 countries are ready to fly the Nitra Cup  in 4 classes starting on April 7  .And there are as every year a few toppers flying there! Looking forward to it. The training week started yesterday, so I hope it is nice soaring weather over there!
Also the 40thiest Cup of Torino will start this weekend.

A flying car??? James Bond??? No it’s all happening here in Holland where a test flight has been made with the PH PAV, built by a Dutch business. A car on 3 wheels with a speed of 180 km/h. on the road and the same in the air. It looks futuristic, a bit like a gyro-copter  with blades on the roof you can fold in and a prop on the back. Aviation pioneer and founder  from Martin Air , Martin Schröder is a strong believer in this “flying car”. Some critic-asters do not like the fact you have to go from the road to a field to get the car active as plane. They want to avoid traffic jam , by just starting from the highway where they run in the “jam”. But…you can’t have it all!
Suggestions of the investors; Organize 60 runways from 200 m. along the highways , that should give the opportunuty to use it for all Dutch who are interested. 

Sad news  from Australia; One of the worst things happening is loosing a new student [female 21 years old]  and the instructor[51 years old] ; one trying to learn soaring , one trying to teach it.Here is the article in THE  AGE , I received last Sunday. People who saw it happen said the Puchasz spun in off tow on low level. Investigation will tell us what happened so we can learn from it.
In my Tocumwal period we lost our instructor Jeff and his female student Kirsten in a mid-air just N. of the field and when I read this,  it all comes back. Very sad!

Not only here in Europe the season started early but also in Canada, this is the news from Art received on Monday:
“Our soaring season is underway at the Winnipeg Gliding Club. For the first time in over a quater century, we began our season at our home field of Starbuck in the month of March!No snow, no floods-just dry runways. We did 17 flights yesterday and all but one of our club instructors are season-ready and most of out tow pilots have been checked out as well”. 

CU next Sunday for a short update due to my guests. Cheers Ritz


More great flights from Blairstown in spring!And…780 from Jondaryan in autumn.

Alphen aan den Rijn      Sunday April 1 2012 , sorry ….no jokes here today!

Frya in Norway last week. Great picture!!!
Courtesy; Robert Danewid

“We ” dropped more then 10 dgr. in temperature and from a nice 22 dgr. for spring it will be next week a cold- winter- week with around 5 dgr. and up to minus 5 C. in the night [ in the East from Holland] and wet snow!!!!! Poor little animals as duckies and lambs, but also poor plants. A lot of my plants have been killed already by the minus 21 C. a few weeks ago! Enough work to do. And…not yet summer! Though March was one of the better months again, belonging qua temperature in the top 3.

WNF Earth Hour!!!!No light, in a dark world for one hour to save energy  to help the environment/ EARTH. Holland co-operated and lights on the famous Euro mast in Rotterdam some church towers as in Groningen and Utrecht were out. Our astronaut Andre Kuijpers, still in space, co-operated as well and the lights which were allowed to be out , were out between 20.30 and 21.30, so he could make pictures from the dark spaces on earth!!! The Bridge in Sydney was dark and so were spots in China.
Also the Tower of Pisa, the Eiffeltower and the BIG BEN,  put out their lights. I did so too!

Mid Atlantic and Blairstown  both had fantastic flights on Thursday in a Schweizer, Discus 2 and LS 3.
Though he just did not make it home, a great flight for Michael Higgins; 1.102 km.
And ……866 for Robert Templin [LS3] is some thing “to write home about ” as well.
And  what about 708 by Ron Schwartz, in that Schweizer. Great conditions!!!
Also Minden showed why it is such a nice wave paradise with flights on Friday, one in particular in a Sparrow Hawk was super; Robert Spielman with 864 km. Robert flew from Minden over the last month 3 over 800 km. flights in his Sparrow, gaining lot’s of points for the OLC!!

While a huge “bunch ” of German pilots enjoys soaring in the mountains in all the different French wave-meccas, the German AKA flieg team choose for their camp La Cerdanya  in Spain, with flights up to 750 k. in Duo Discus and ARCUS T.
The young sport soldiers hat their last training day in Puimoisson yesterday.
Also flying in Puimoisson is former sport soldier Alexander Späth flying 5 over 700 km. flights in 5 days in the Discus 2 T/18m. 
 The training from the National German Team, has started yesterday in Vinon , where it is pretty busy. They train till April 8.
One of our Dutch pilots , former [twice] World champion in Chatauroux and Uvalde , Baer Selen , flies an LS 8 in Vinon as well and had some nice days already,together with some of his mates from the Venlo Aeroclub.

On the last day of March Giorgio had such a nice flight again ;911 km. from Bolzano, BUT , also from Rosamond Skypark a great flight  on this last day of March, by Jim Payne and Dennis Tito,  who flew another long flight mentioned by Jim as, ” could be the flight of the year”; 1.132 km. [750 FAI triangle] . Again this flight was in Dennis’ DG 1001M.

Great conditions in the East of Australia  were my friend Gerrit Kurstjens yesterday,  flew from Jondaryan  [ no wave there] in autumn a flight from 780 km[500 FAI triangle] in his Nimbus 4T. Mind you the days are getting pretty short over there! His wife Pam flew a very nice 574 k. in the ASH 31/21m. By the way and…as said before Jondaryan is one of those places where you can fly through the year.
Pilots from Warwick [ South from Jondaryan ] used the area to the West as well,using a convergence line which stretched over 100km. Result; 518 in LS 8 and 467 km in Discus and the St. Libelle flew a nice FAI 300 triangle.
Gerrit and Pam used the “line” as well.

About Uvalde; The official online-enties have been send out on March 14 , to ALL TC’s. They provide their pilots with the entry to complete their form.To my astonishment I noticed that Gerrit Kurstjens was replaced for Brad Edwards. Brad of course was WGC champion in Uvalde in 1991 , so now he can defend his title. A quick check with Gerrit and I knew he has indeed withdrawn and one of the reasons is that his Quintus will be delivered later then planned, so that he has not enough time to practise for this big event.
At this stage 34 pilots in 18 m., 40 in 15 m and 29 in open class.[120 is the limit]
 April 4 is the deadline and all entries have to be submitted as well as the entry fee.
Very nice to see Peter Ryder back as president of the jury as well as the other jurors Hannes [Linke] and Eric[Herbie Moser]]. Dick [Bradley] is the chief steward and works with Art [Grant] from Canada. Yes Art who “drove”the Pink Panther in Rieti , did a great job as scrutineer in different countries and was “the voice” from that great tracking system from PostFrontal.[pictures on ]
Looking forward to see them all back!!!

Some more news “found” by Jo, about this new  sailplane area in Colorado,used by the US Airforce Academy.Cost 3.6 million US dollar but …..crucial as they say for the groups mission; safety, effectiveness,  efficiency and sustainability. One way or another it makes me nearly think of a 1- April- joke!

And last but certainly NOT least; Those who visited us at Sportavia in Tocumwal might remember our very good chef, Henrik from Denmark, cooking the best rack of lamb. “Town” specially came to eat his great food and mixed with all our international guests making those evenings unforgettable.
He married and here is the story and the picture; CONGRATULATIONS!!

Enjoy your new week, cheers Ritz