UK club Nationals! Uvalde! Mt Beauty Gliding Club!

On my way to Texas

UVALDE TEXAS  Sunday July 29 2012

A WARM hello from Uvalde, where it is 38 dgr. today.I left Holland at 7.20 by plane to London yesterday and arrived here at 4PM in San Antonio.Nearly 22 hours I was up and about.


Arriving at the airport the first glider passing over my head while finishing on the first practise day , was Dutch pilot Peter Batenburg in T4. We were just late to see the CONCORDIA arrive for the first time at Garner Field.
It was very nice to catch up straight away with the Dutch team and a few others. Spoke with Dick Butler as well and made a picture from his CONCORDIA.


Other news; He was 3d at day 1 during the UK Club Class Nationals and I was ready to follow him as I normally do ,and …….40 on day 2 but….with a reason.Talking about Ge Dale!
I don’t particularly like to write about incidents or accidents,  but when a pilot is very open about it himself and nobody is terribly injured, I share his thoughts to may be learn from it.
What happened? Some parts from a BBC interview I received via Australia!
—” About 50 aircraft were taking part in the 2012 British Club Class Gliding National Championships, held by the Cambridge Gliding Centre at Little Gransden near St Neots.
Gerrard Dale, was taking part in this competition when  a mid air collission  happened near Newmarket on Monday.

“I remember stabilising the glider after the aircraft touched and thinking I could maybe fly away, but then the thing went right out of control.”

Mr Dale said he had got rid of the canopy and his straps and was thrown out of the glider which was falling nose-first.

“I looked down to my left and I could see the glider upside down and quite close, but then I realised it was falling faster than I was.

“I saw the woods and the railway line and the main road, so I had to learn to fly the ‘chute pretty quickly.

“Apparently when I was lying in the field some member of the public turned me over and put me in the recovery position, which might have saved my life because I was coughing and choking”

Ge called it according to this BBC news,”an intense experience”  and was treated in hospital for bruises and bumps and a check up, as he hit his head on the ground and was unconsious for a few minutes, “AFTER….his first thought was” I am not going to die after all” and  still later, he was most sorry that his glider had ended up in a tree.
 “I’m really annoyed because I did a lot of work on that aircraft, and seeing it hanging in the tree is deeply irritating.”

We all are happy that “nothing” happened!!!!! The other pilot landed the glider and was OK!!!
The comps continued and of course there are more interesting pilots to follow, as former world champion Andy Davis, several ladies who just flew the Pre Worlds in Issoudun and our former tuggie at Sportavia Tim Milner. Tim even managed to win day 3 and talking about the ladies they, Ayala and Liz,  were 1 and 2 on day 4.
On day 5 a 2.00 AAT and again Ayala was the day-winner. She then was on top overall as well with Liz as a good runner up with only 21 points behind. Tim was 4 and Andy 5.
Today they have a 143 km task , their last one and  7 days that is pretty good!!!By the way , Tim won day 6 as well and starts on the last day on spot ONE overall , with 10 points ahead on Liz.

The Juniors in Germany continued their soaring in pretty marginal circumstances.
On Wednesday,  the day for the standard pilots was cancelled,  but the Club pilots had to go up! After a “miserable” [small mistake with BIG effect]  first day with 0 points for him and  a day 2 with 0 points for all pilots, young Belgian guest-pilot Jeroen,  had a good day and was 3d in the LS 7WL !!! 6 from 39 in this class did n’t finish!
On Thursday they  happily started with a 2.30 AAT for standard class. They started a bit after 12 and at 12.37 they were all back on the ground again. In the end “it” worked.
In standard class Enrique Levin flew 261 km. in 2.33 in a Discus 2A.
In club the daily winner was Patrick Puskeiler flying their 2 hour AAT in 1.59,7 and 209 km. in the St.Libelle 201B. [from Arndt Hovestadt] He flies together/combine their efforts,  with Sebastian Nägel and Sarah Drefensted who were on spot 3 and 5 in LS 1.
Day 6 and 7 were cancelled, a pity!!!

 By the way the French Juniors have been together in Cambrai where in the past also a JWGC was held. An A and B class this year with a total of 41 pilots. They finished yesterday with  6 out of  8 days flying. The last 2 days have been canceled.

One of the active clubs in Australia is the Mount Beauty Gliding Club, with a pretty busy weekend program even in winter. I arrived in hot conditions in Uvalde while they have on Saturday ” isolated showers falling as snow over 1100 m. Cloudy and wind from the SW with 15 to 20km./h.”
71 Flights last weekend on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday was a bit special as pilots and friends were invited to send the IS 28B2 off in style with a BBQ , after the very last flight as MBGC glider was made at 17.26. They ordered an ASK21 which hopefully arrives in the end of September!

Enough from Uvalde, back to  for more updates, as they are ready for the launches. Tuggies drive out to the field and one flies low over my tent, great feeling!. Enjoy,

CU on Wednesday, cheers Ritz


DMJ… or the German Junior Nationals.More pilots fly in Uvalde.

Alphen aan den Rijn Wednesday July 25 2012

FINALLY good weather , also in the middle of Europe!!!!! And it started already on Sunday with several nice long flights. And…..even better…it stays atleast till Friday. Today we will have around 30dgr. here in Holland.
Was it earlier only Spain or the USA with top weather, now the Mid of Europe had happy weather as well. So pilots flew over 1000 km from Bayreuth in Bayern where they struggled about a month ago to make a valid competition. Not now as several pilots flew big distances and a lot of 750 FAI triangles!!!
Loved the 800 km. flight from Ludwigshafen in an LS 4WL!
FINALLY over 2000 flights on the OLC again. Not even ONE day over 1000 flights in JULY, our summer month till last Sunday with 2479 .
Even Holland had 111 pilots up in the air, with several distances over 600 km. and quite a few 500 FAI triangles. That’s weather!
Yesterday it looked like everybody was in Fuentemilanos. I counted 27 pilots on page 1 from the OLC , not bad!!! Very familiar names as well. And …another 1000 k for Guy in the new Quintus M. , the third from 4 declared flights in Fuente, not bad either!

Picture courtesy Joop Everse

The practise day was a very good one, great weather also in Stölln where 70 German  junior pilots  meet and fly to see who is the best in standard and club class. Not everybody flew the 281 km. racing task, as some tried their glider and the area even over 500 km.
On Monday , no choice, pilots had to fly the task on the first competition day with for standard class a race task from 290 km. and for Club ; 258 km.
In standard class the winner with 1000 points was Fabian Siebenwurst with only 2 points more then Benjamin Bachmeier who flew , as you surely remember his first 1000 last year in  Australia. Alexander Späth was 4th.
In club class Felix Bauer in ASW 15 B got the 1000 points on day 1, Fabian Peitz who flew a 1000 as well in Australia was 23d today and another well known pilot and former champion Patrick Puskeiler was 6th in St Libelle. Sebastian Nägel was 7th.[LS1d]


Benjamin and Fabian not in Australia but in a paddock in Germany.
courtesy ; shared from FB and Marco Barth. 

 On Tuesday “the young ones” had to fly direction South with blue thermals. Quite a lot did n’t make it home, to be correct NOBODY, except for 1 pilot who was so lucky to have an engine to bring him home. A pity then that means 70 outlandings!!!! 
Alexander Späth was 2d and “got” 673 points in Standard class and in club class it seems no valid day,  as I only see 0 points behind the names. Anyway 3 pilots flew over 100 km and 4 between 90 and 100 km.
By the way…In France 40 young pilots fly for the French National Junior Title. Enough young people in soaring.

nice weather in Uvalde!

Nice weather as well in Uvalde. Noticed that Tom [Claffey- Australia] flew from Garner Field a nice third flight from 582 km. Also Antti [Lehto-Finland] was in the air instead of the great swimming pool  belonging to their hotel. He flew 450 km. on his first flight in Uvalde and yesterday 507 km..
The Trotters, Lisa and Peter [Australia] choose for flying as well.
2 Polish pilots flew yesterday 750 km in Nimbus 4T and and 682 in ASG 29E. Good practise!!
My Dutch mates got their cars, as I read , pretty new ones and have prepared their gliders to fly. Frans had to rig 2 open class gliders in the hot sun and fill them with water.
The German team has one of the most “Texan houses” I have ever seen!!! You should see the pictures at ;

Attie and Uys ready to depart on the practise day and…….The wingtip from the glider from Bruce to make from 18 m……… 21 m. A nice surprise for me!!!!
pictures from the FB site from SA and as requested, I spread the word as well to support them, look at;

Till the last moment I hoped that Giorgio Galetto  would be still able to fly in Uvalde, but I know now that Ricardo Brigliadori will be the only pilot in 18 m. class for Italy. That’s life too.Next time again!!!!

Enough news now  from Alphen, if nothing VERY special happens, my next blog will be from Uvalde, either from my apartment or from Garner Field.
Soaring-eu continues on Wednesday and Sunday , but ALL Uvalde news will be in my soaringcafe blog , EVERY DAY. Really looking forward to be back in Uvalde.
And to catch up with EVERYBODY!
Cheers Ritz CU in /from UVALDE TEXAS!!!!
Hope I survive Heathrow on the morning after the opening of the Olympic Games!!!!!! And…that customs is not going on strike as they want to.

Uvalde !Which gliders in what class!

Alphen aan den Rijn     Sunday July 22 2012

For ALL the news about Uvalde you can click on soaringcafe , [above] and you find the LATEST and also what happened last week. A WGC is the highest form of competition soaring in our sport,  so I will spend a lot of time on it, not only on the Soaringcafe-site.
Without forgetting in this blog all the other news, you are used too. I continue my blog as well on Sunday and Wednesday while being in Uvalde , as writing every day for SOARING CAFE.

On the way in a glider from Houston to Uvalde.

Bruce Taylor (Australia) departs the Greater Houston Soaring Association (GHSA) gliderport in his new 21m JS1 with destination Uvalde on Thursday July 20th.
                                             Picture and text ; courtesy South African Gliding Team.

As you know Bill Elliott and Rand Baldwin have set up the “cafe” to share our soaring stories, news about competitions and interesting technical news. Last week we have invited all TC’s or a member of the team  participating at Garner Field to be part of the soaringcafe -blogs. Most of them have answered with a YES and you can click on Uvalde already now, to read all the latest by the several teams. So on ONE spot you find lot’s of stories from the different teams in Uvalde.

One of the HOT items in SOARINGCAFE of course was and is the Concordia. Dick’s stories about the progress of this magic project,  got lot’s of readers! I look forward to catch up with Dick again after many years and to make my OWN picture of the Concordia. What a fabulous project he started!!! What I heard the glider flies super and I hope Dick will have great safe and fast flights in it.
As said before I look forward to the difference in performance in open class this year. It will be VERY interesting.
The gliders have been added to the pilots now and at this stage I counted 4 JS1-B gliders in open class flown by the Aussies and ……what Aussies former WGC champion in 1991 Brad Edwards and topper Bruce Taylor AND…. another 2 are flown by the Goudriaan brothers, who both fly WGC’s as long as I know them! So 4 JS1-B in open class !!!!!!
Further on Tilo and his men worked HARD , very hard!!! 7 Quintus M gliders are competing, 2 x EB 29, 2 Antares 23E, 3x EB 28, 3x ASW 22 BLE, 1 ASH 25, 2x Nimbus 4T and the Concordia!!!!

Here is the news , for when you have not read it already, from the 21 span JS 1- C I got last Friday!
—” As you mentioned the rumour of an Open Class JS1 on your blog (& Soaring Café), I thought you might like to know the rumour is now official see for a photo and for a video.

Courtesy Iain Baker.

18 m and 15 m are OF COURSE interesting too, the first WGC with the JS 1 in 18 m. class and the 2 owners of the business Attie and Uys are flying them their selves!
More JS 1 gliders as a total of 7 x JS1-B have entered till now and 2 xJS1-A. Also 6 x Ventus ,2x Antares 18S, 2x LAK and 17 x ASG 29.

In 15 m. I counted 17x a Ventus, 8x an ASW 27, 1x a Lak, 5 x an ASG 29 4 x a Diana [SZD 56] and 1x an LS 10.
So all BIG glider business will be represented. Now the pilots have to do the rest.
The weather might be an influence too. Normally you would think , hot and dry, but it has rained quite a lot over the last few days with thunderstorms and wind as well. Could be interesting. As the rest from the USA suffers from heat waves we might have that as well. But …the weather is the weather we have to deal with it as it comes!

Other news as the Summer competition in Malden continued. The 2.30 AAT was flown but… finishers! Patrick van Bremen Schneider, once already Dutch National Champion won the day with 124.2 km and got 36 points. The runner up with 94 km. 26 points and one pilot flew 2.4 km. In the mixed open class 2 pilots managed to fly over 100 km. One of them Thijs Pare, yes son of….Daan Pare ,he was the day-winner with 73 points in the pocket. No finishers.
That says enough about the weather. Thursday was cancelled. started to improve on Friday. Here several gliders in a paddock, on Wednesday,  pictures from Gijs Schwarte and Patrick Hoeve via FB.

Very green paddocks not a good sign for a nice summer!

The weather on Friday was good enough for 171 km. in club class and 202 km. in open class. Finishers as well, [ it looked pretty good here too] as 7 from 12 in Club arrived home. Under them a young lady called Sietske, very much involved in soaring [she has been in the National championship- organization- team for several years] and now she flies to maybe qualify for the Nationals and fly herself. Good on her , she was 4th on Friday in the LS 4. Daily winner in the St Cirrus was Jeroen Verkuijl who represents Holland in Chaves in Club class and flew there last year and kept a great blog.
Only 3 from 14 finished the 202 km. task. The rest was “out” between 11 and 145 km.

Yesterday they could fly again and 2 hour AAT’s on the last day would decide who would be the winners from this competition. 3 Pilots in club finished the best was Patrick with 161 LS1f. Winner in this class overall was with 1161 points out of  4 days from 7, Jeroen Verkuijl.
In open class Jan van Ronnen won with 1159 points.

Also Sweden’s weather was “off ” with 5 cancelled days and 3 flown!!!!!
Luckily the last day was the  soarable day 3; and whataday/expectation!!!! 417.4 km. was the task to show who will be Sweden’s 18 m. champion. BUT… the end they changed the task in a distance of 218 km.. Holger Erikkson was on spot 1 on day 1, on 7 on day 2 and on 2 again yesterday, being pretty consistent he won the Nationals over 3 days in the ASH 26 E.
Torbjörn ended in the total scores [ 5th on the last day] on the 3d place just ONE point behind the runner up  Janne Nordt in a Discus 2 T; 1799 and 1798.
Yesterday it turned out to be a real top day in Sweden as one of the  pilots making great pictures at the WGC in Eskilstuna , Per Carlin, [I published a few as well!] flew 546 km in the LS1 f. from Arboga, where 2 years ago the WWGC was flown. And good old Äke Pettersson flew 632 in the Ventus 2 from Enkoping.
A pity to see that Räyskälä had only one day during their comps 2 weeks ago and Martti [Sucksdorf ] now easily flies 550 km. in the 18m. ASG 29E. What can you do!?

The Livno Adria Cup flown from Livno in Bosnia Herzegovina, was won by Italian pilot Aldo Cernezzie in the Antares/20m. in the HIGH performance class.[4604 points and 5 days out of 8]All AAT’s between 2.30 and 3.30.
Boris Zors was the best in club class in a standard cirrus with 4410 points.

BUT……It is not everywhere in Europe soup-weather. The South as Spain, Portugal, Greece and Turkey enjoy temperatures of up to 38 dgr. sunny conditions and it is very dry there. The farmers are complaining about the drought, as they do in several parts of the USA.
Talking about Spain they have fantastic soaring weather with over the last days a lot of great flights from Fuente and Ocana. Guy Bechtold from Luxembourg tried out his new Quintus M. , with water ballast,  with a 1000 km. flight. By the way he flew a 1000 in the Quintus already in May in Luxembourg without water and yesterday he flew another one! I like his comparison with the Quintus with and without waterballast. With is like a Ferrari and without like a Mercedes!
Also Minden and Inyokern in the USA have great soaring conditions.

Love this picture from the Quintus flown by Tilo.

The German juniors have started their National  comps in Stölln /Rhinow with a free practise day yesterday.2 Belgian participants in club class Jeroen Jennen and Jochen Schoeters. Quite a few already well known names, certainly for such young people,  in both club and standard class. Will keep you informed and I wish all the young ones a great safe and weatherwise great competition!

That’s all the news . Next Wednesday the last blog from Alphen and then the next one will be from Uvalde. CU cheers Ritz




A bit from this and a bit from that!

Picture courtesy Bert Schmelzer jr.
4 teams from Kronau ready for a Bundesliga race.

Young Bert Schmelzer is back in Switzerland and shares with us his fantastic pictures again. I love them!!!!! Here are a few pictures loved by a lot of people, also “not-FB -viewers”  from his latest series “Ridgeflight towards Thun and back”.[19 pictures]


In Finland the last day from the Nationals was cancelled as well, so only ONE day. A pity.

The people flying in France in Issoudun were all very pleased with the atmosphere, as I heard. A great mix from over 100 pilots,  amongst them,  top women practising for the real stuff in Issoudun in 2013, top pilots fighting for the National titel in 18 m, “lovers”  from the “elegant ” Libelle and pilots flying the annual International competition , how could it be different???
The weather is the weather can’t help it! We all know!

Last sunday the Summer- comps started at Malden close to Nijmegen, the  place where more then 40.000  people from all over the world, to be precisely from 71 different countries, started yesterday for 4 days of walking, [unfortunately in the rain] the famous 4 Daagse! 
Not so many , but still 26 pilots started for the competition, in 2 classes, where you can qualify for the Dutch Nationals. So in general pilots compete here when they want to continue in  or like/love competition soaring.
But as it is always a great atmosphere at Malden, pilots who fly WGC already compete as well. Also pilots who just love soaring.

Between ALL the rain,  a small window was “found” to let the pilots fly that Sunday! 123 Km. for club class with as winner Gijs Schwarte in ASW19 gaining only 71 points for finishing under these pretty marginal circumstances. From 12 pilots in this class only 2 finished!
In open class nobody from the 14 pilots finished but one pilot flew over 100 km. gaining 29 points!
Monday was cancelled!
Yesterday was cancelled as well, they tried hard but no window was found. Some pilots flew local.
Today they  fly again. A bigger window,  even here more in the West, though not very flash here at the moment, but DRY finally and temperatures up to 25 dgr. after 15 the last days.
A 2.30 AAT has to be flown in open class, as well as for club. First start should be at 12.

  The airport Malden.[where I went solo!!!!]

In Holland we do have a real  soaring family as well and they are flying in Malden. It’s Dad Ferdie Kuijpers, who flew EGC’s and WGC’s in the past. [ flying in Malden the duo discus XL.]  Mum Frouwke, who is top sport co-ordinator , steward at FAI comps and she represents Holland at IGC meetings, flies in the ASW 20. Son Tim still studies to be an airline pilot , but as you know he was the JWGC winner/champion in Musbach. Daughter Maaike just finished her study at university in biology and has a new job, so no flying at this competition, but her partner Gijs Schwarte flies and won day 1. Another Schwarte ,also a Tim,  flies in LS4 and the youngest son from Frouwke and Ferdie, Jasper,  flies in club class in LS 4 as well.

Ferdie, Maaike, Casper, Ger [brother from Frouwke, also a glider pilot and task setter during the last Dutch Nationals]  and Frouwke.
AND  WGC champion Tim

Miserable weather as well during the Swedish 18m. Nationals in combination with the 2 seaters.[14-21 of July] 
–172 km. on day 1 with 1 finisher from 13 participants and NO valid day.
–A 1.15 AAT on day 2 with a best result of 42.9 km. and NO valid day.
–Day 3, FINALLY,  was better!!!!218 km. was flown by ALL pilots except 1.
–Day 4; a 2.15 AAT . The 18 m ASG 29 had 297.8 km in 2.42, but handicapped the ASG  29      with 272 km in 2.23 was better and got most points;753.
Nice to see Torbjörn Hägnander is still flying.[18m. LS 10] After 4 days he is on spot 1 overall with 1333 points just 5 points before Holger Erikkson in an ASH 26.  
Torbjörn was one of the Swedish competitors in Uvalde in 1991. By the way one Swedish 18 m.  pilot , Ulf Ringertz is not competing , as he will compete in this years  WGC and should be on his way now to Texas.

A few of my soaring-mates are flying in Fuentemilanos at the moment. Good to see Michael is there as well now! And…at least they have great weather; flights up to over 800 km. in ASH 26!

Enough news so back to see if I can save  my beautiful garden after it is “ruined” by TOO much rain. Cheers Ritz

Miserable “soup”- weather!

Alphen aan den Rijn    Sunday July 15 2012

PRE_WWGC briefing in Issoudun.
courtesy Hans Spekkers

It is mid summer and we “enjoy” 16dgr. yes at least PLUS, but this is no weather for summer. Looking at the OLC July shows not a lot of flights, while it should be “booming”. Topper till today is 942 flights on the 7th. BUT…it seems to improve!Let’s hope I count the days to the 28th when I depart very early at 5 AM for my flight at 7  to London to fly from there via Dallas to Uvalde.

The Pre-WWGC continued…..more or less.  So I continue as well .
On Wednesday another 1.30 AAT. Best distance was 146 km. in an ASG29, but handicapped the day-winner was Celine Gantie in Pegase with 388 points. Natasja , in her LS 6, did well with a 12th place and 117.7 km in 1.27.[303 points]


Natasja and Nathalie Hurlin before start.

In 18 m. same marginal conditions but still a window to fly in and the same task .Day-winner here had 160 km in 1.27, flying an ASG 29/18m.
Thursday; the message I received was….rigging….waiting…open class cancelled…waiting…standard class cancelled…waiting…new task for 18 m and the “women” …resetting tasks in logger etc…waiting…cancelled…de-rigging…and waiting for the forecasted “load” of new rain. Instead of news some more pictures……


pictures courtesy Hans Spekkers

While waiting for good weather it is interesting to meet pilots who have been “SOMEBODY” in our sport. So did Natasja. She met Gill Van den Broeck, who is together with Georgette Litt THE lady in aviation from Belgium in the past and still well known now. Gill, born in 1927, is one of the most influential women in European and international soaring and flew lots of records and was involved in many female contests on World and/or European level as TC, director, jury member and president of the jury in Klix [2005] , steward and chief steward.Here she is with Natasja.

 Women in soaring, young and a bit older.

Friday another miserable day and NO flying!

Saturday last day;

Weather on the last day; Pictures says enough.

Briefing at 10.30 but….the weather was still not “” flash” . The last day of the 37th International was cancelled in both classes and pilots had “only” 5 days in standard class and 6 in the mixed- open out of 12!!!
Still hoping for a window, for the 2 other classes, so a 1.30 hour AAT for the women and a 2 hour AAT for the 18 m. class pilots was set.
But…in vain….. The weather refused to co-operate. So next year they start again and then in real. With this typical British weather the girls from the UK , MAYBE had a bit of an advantage if you may call it and advantage ….anyhow Elisabeth Sparrow won  the Pre-WWGC with 1371 points before runner up from France Marilyne Abadie-Berard.[1334 points]Marylyne is the new French female champion.
Natasja was on a good 21st spot.
In 18 m. class the winners prize was for Christophe Couseau with 1417 points while Denis Guerin was runner up with only 3 points less!!!!!!!
Let’s hope for MUCH better weather next year as now they had more cancelled days then flying days. A pity for organizers and even more for the pilots who were surely hoping for the real French weather.

Got, while having contact with Beryl Hartley from Narromine , some news about this wonderful soaring place and I share a BIT WITH YOU :
—” All is well here at Narromine. My son Mark who  is the CEO of the Sport Aircraft Assoc. of Australia has the head office of that group in our old building and with his staff is building up an increase in sport aircraft at Narromine. The gliding club now has two Duos and 3 single seater and is still going strong although not as many members as we would wish. Arnie and I still do a lot of work with the club and probably will do until we are too old to be useful.–”
And I can confirm that both are VERY HARD workers and lovely people to deal with.

Talking about Australia good news from Tocumwal as well as Eddie bought for Sportaviation a new light aircraft for the new season;
—” Jake and Eddie flew over to Horsham to pick up the newest addition to our fleet. A new Eurofox nose wheel Glider Tug 24-7571. This will complement the Eurofox taildragger tug now in use for training and Glider towing.–”
For all those who are not on FB, here is the picture;

Picture from Tocumwal airfield a few years ago.
courtesy Ronald Hermans.

Unfortunately the weather in Räyskälä was as terrible as here . Till yesterday  they had NO flying day during their Nationals in standard class, 15 m and 2 seater class!!!!
Finally Silva could fly again after having been competition director for several comps including the ones I visited , the EGC and JWGC  . He was supposed to fly with his son Johannes in the duo discus, but only Saturday they could fly;249 km. tasks were  handed over to the eager pilots in each class!
And….they flew!!!! Juha Sorri was the best in standard class 86 km./h. in Discus 2B.
Harrie Hirvola was the best in 15 m. with 86.8 km./h. in Ventus 2 A.
And in the 2-seater class Tihula Kimmo won in the duo discus.[82.3 km./h.]
Unfortunately Silva and Johannes had to make an outlanding after 207 km.
ONLY ONE DAY TO GO, today! No tasks yet.

3 More blogs and off I am. Cheers Ritz

PRE-WWGC..18m. French Nationals..ELY!

 Alphen aan den Rijn     Wednesday July 11 2012

 Lots of rain here over the last days, really “bucketing from the skies”! The one-day-competition, Amstelglide Grand Prix , was so lucky with their good weather on Saturday, as on Sunday it was raining cat’s and dogs here!!! It must have been great fun as well, as all beer was “gone” after the party. In the end 41 gliders were up in the air, with 12 outlandings or “used engines”.I had an invitation to visit but was otherwise occupied!
The same luck had Silverstone; Saturday horrible rain, Sunday sunny conditions with a great winner Mark Webber and Vettel on 3,  not bad for Red Bull.
By the way did you enjoy all sport that Sunday afternoon as well ??? What great , magic tennis between Federer and Murray and the youngest participant of the Tour de France, 22 years old , won the day.

2 Impressions from Issoudun by Hans Spekkers , crew from Natasja van der Neut.

The WWGC day 2 got a B task on Sunday; instead of the first set 208 km.,  the girls had to find it out by their selves in  a 1.30 h. AAT. There was about 25 kts wind and the pretty heavy rain had been active all night; so a wet airfield and wet paddocks, for that reason the tough wind was good , not so much however for the 110 gliders ready to be launched by 13 tugs at 2 PM.
Yes 110 as now along the 37th International and the Libelle Cup, the women and 18 m. pilots joined in as well.
From the 37 women, 11 did not finish. Best distance was 149.2 km. in 1.33.50 and French pilot Marylene Abadie-Berard got the 384 points as daily winner. Nathalie Hurlin was runner up. A good pilot,  as I saw myself at JWGC’s. Natasja ended up on a good  22d place after her outlanding the day before.

Natasja before and after a flight. courtesy Hans Spekkers.

In 18 m. French pilot Denis Guerin was the best in their 2 hour AAT with 198.2 km. in 1.56.19. He “received” 550 points. From 34 pilots 10 did not finish amongst them toppers as Gilles Navas , Jeremie Badaroux and Peter Eriksen.
By the way, Denis will fly in club class in the Chaves WGC [Argentinia]  in the beginning of January together with Louis Bouderlique who flies in 18 m. this week as well.
The Libelles and rest of the class did NOT start and the open class was won by Antoon Kerkhofs with 147.8 km. in the Duo Discus in time 1.42.11.[AAT time was 1.30]

On Monday new chances for all pilots in France/Issoudun. But still not the TOP weather! Small tasks as 2.00 AAT for the women and 1.30 for the 18 m. pilots.
Pre WWGC; Best distance that day was 193.5 km. in 2.05 by Anne Ducarouge.[582 points] Natasja was on spot 23 [355 points] 
18 m.: he outlanded on Sunday after 61 km. but took revenge on Monday; Peter Eriksen from Denmark won the day with 181.2 km. in 1.48. Gilles , who “went au vache ” on Sunday as well, was 7th .
37th edition;2 hour AAT for the small gliders and I was very pleased to read that Brian Spreckley won in the Libelle [475 points].  In the mixed open class the Issoudun ASH 25 pilots won the 1.30 AAT with 154.2 km. in 1.33.

On Tuesday , after 4 hours of waiting, the day was cancelled. They are not lucky with the weather.

BUT>>>>>WOW , ELY is “Hot”, what great flights and specially from Ramy [Yanetz] , which 2 super flights in a row. After the 1.126 km. flight on Saturday he added on Sunday an FAI triangle from 1000 km. and on top of that he flew some kilometers for the OLC;  a total of 1.228 and that in the ASW 27, good on him. A bit of a difficult beginning of the day , he claims, but strong thermals later gave “epic conditions” [Buzz] to fly big distances. Nice to read the enthusiasm from Buzz Graves flying in the DG 800S/18m.  his first 1000 km. Congratulations!!!
And….what about Uwe Kleintempel; On Monday he flew a FAI triangle his third-in-a-row 1000 and added on the “awesome day”  some more kilometers topping the OLC list with 1.356 km!!!! In a Ventus 2CM/18m. More wows!!!!
And…Ramy was still not tired, he started later that day but still flew 1000 km for the OLC, with a 760 Out and Return and a 489 FAI triangle!!!

Also good weather in Spain in Fuentemilanos  kilometer-eaters Hans [Germany] and Pepe [Spain] and Alfredo [Italy] flew over 700 km in their ASH 31/21m.  and Uwe from Villacastin in the DG 808 C/18m. flew 680 k.
Former junior champion Christophe Nacke flew the LS 1d to a nice flight over 500 km. in Germany. So while it was pretty miserable and unstable here in this part of Europe, other places had good soarable conditions. Some places in the South , as Italy and East as Bulgary suffer from heat-waves up to over 40dgr. while the Mid of Sweden suffers from flooding due to heavy rainfall.
In the USA still lot’s of problems due to the heat as well. The first 6 months of 2012  seem to have been hotter there then ever before.

From Rand I heard that the claims for the new records from Bert and Tijl flown in Morroco have been received by FAI. I copied it for you;

Claim number : 16580
Sub-class :DO (Open Class Gliders)
Category: General
Type of record : Speed over a triangular course of 100 km
Course/location : Ouarzazate (Morroco)
Performance : 179.00 km/h
Pilot : Bert Schmelzer (Belgium)
Crew :  Tiji Schmelzer (Belgium);16200,
Glider : ASH 25 EB28 / Schleicher operated by
Date :03.07.2012
Current record :  no record set yet


Claim number : 16579
Sub-class :DO (Open Class Gliders)
Category: General
Type of record : Free distance using up to 3 turn points
Course/location : Ouarzazate (Morroco)
Performance : 1219.01 km
Pilot : Bert Schmelzer (Belgium)
Crew :  Tiji Schmelzer (Belgium);16200,
Glider : ASH 25 EB28 / Schleicher operated by
Date :04.07.2012
Current record : 1148.1 km (20.12.2011 – Johan Luyckx, Belgium)

All the news from Uvalde you can read on Sunday in Soaringcafe. Cheers Ritz

Issoudun..Ocana..Quarzazate..Uvalde..Gariep Dam..

Alphen aan den Rijn     Sunday July 7 2012

The  Schmelzer family  added some new high- lights to their Moroccan holiday, loving every minute of their stay, taking the less good weather days for granted. The exclusive interview with Tijl is to be read in soaringcafe main page left today. Some flights I hear,  were pretty exhausting. The weather with  lot’s of showers,  was sometimes pretty difficult, but no worries they set records and flew long distances and discovered a new airfield.
Another high- light of their holiday on July 4 written by Bert jr. on FB:
—“‎1211 km !
Today Tijl and I declared a 1161km declared task, which we had to abandon after a struggle to find good climbs along the Sahara desert.Instead we modified our task, and tried and succeeded in completing a 1211 km free 3TP-distance task and achieved a new African Continental and Belgian record (still to be approved off course). 
Needless to say, WE LIKE MAROC !—“

On their last day yesterday they finished with a 300 km. out and return record with a speed of 173.5 km./h. and another 1000 km. flight by Bert jr. and sr., as…dad wanted to “optimax”  to a 1000 km day again !!!! Good old Bert sr.
We know so much more now about a for most of us pretty unknown area to fly in. I am grateful the family shared their experiences with us. They certainly are great PR for our great sport. Thanks to all of them!!!!!


What a happy family!!! What great results ..And so deserved!

For more pictures about the 100 km. record and the 1211 km. flight go to ;

And for the 300 km record and optimaxed 1.100 km. at:

Day 2 at Issoudun was cancelled and looking at the European weather fore-cast I was n’ t amazed . Day 3…same verdict…
Natasja , one of the Dutch soaring- girls, was flying the 37th Competition till now ,  preparing in her own way to get hopefully, a ticket for the WWGC next year. She was a bit unlucky, as she came low “without prospect” as she said herself, before the first TP , ready to land, wheel out , water taps open and a reasonable field [it seems that the harvest is also late in France , meaning not a lot of good paddocks to land in!!!] BUT dug herself out with the help of  “some sweet buzzards” , lost however 340 points on that day 1 , BUT she finished showing caracter!!!  Who reads Dutch can follow her on her blog;

On Friday I heard she had made the decision to move from the 37th International edition of Issoudun to participate in the Pre Worlds. She got the invitation and was more then happy and proud. I wondered already why she did not go for that in the first time, as her dream and goal is; flying a WWGC and she can do it. Not a winner yet, but gaining experience is so important.
SO…..GOOD ON HER !!! Will follow the girls and the 18 m. pilots as well.
Also on Friday;  a small window with a 1.30 AAT in both classes. Only 2 pilots in open class finished this AAT in 2.37 and 2. 56 and 152 and 147 km. Tough day, but good on the finishers!

day 2 and 3 were cancelled. picture courtesy Natasja.

 In Spain at Ocana the Spanish Nationals  in 4 classes are finished now. 43 Pilots  participated, to be honest I only know 1 of them. They flew 7 days,  so a good competition with just under and over 200 km. tasks in club class, between 250 and 350 in standard class, under and above 300km in 15 m. class with 382 on Wednesday and in open class 416 was the longest task. 

 Pilots flying in Uvalde surely have seen on the WGC site already, that on July 1 and 4 new updates have been placed about airspace and control point and log file documents . When you are interested you can have a look as well.
The official control point shows pictures from ALL TP’s. Only 19 days to go!!! Here is the Belgian open class team with Pierre de Broqueville, Arnaud de Brockeville and Patrick Stoufs who flies “EB 28 -edition Uvalde “with a 25 m. wing span!!! As said before Patrick flew in 1991 as well in Uvalde!

Promised you some more news about the “New” Gariep- Dam- Aviation -status.
The new owners finally after 10 years have become OWNERS of the airfield. They are upgrading the facilities and operations will be in their hands. They announce transparent prices, hospitality and comfort for all.
You can read, about the new operations, the new prices , the new upgraded infra structure  and more  on ;

Several competitions started yesterday ;Rayskala with the Nationals in standard, 20 m and 15 m. and the PRE- WWGC and the French 18m. Nationals.
SORRY, in my last blog I quickly added Hyvinkää as the place to be for the 2 seater class [20 m.] but looking later at the FAI site to check it,  I found out it was Räyskälä and they started yesterday, but looking at their site… no task,  so I presume the weather did not allow for day 1 .Though I was a few times in Finland my Finnish is NON existing!
The Pre WWGC  and 18 m French Nationals had pretty miserable weather. Task length for the women; 178 km.
12 from the 38 girls finished!!! German Sabrina Vogt from Germany and UK pilot Elisabeth Sparrow were the best gaining 311 and 310 points for the day.
Best French girl, as it is also the French Nationals for women was Celine Gantie in Pegase.
The 18 m. pilots got a task from 209.6 km. and NOBODY finished! Best distance was 115 km. followed by 76.3.Still a week to go!!!
Task for today in 18 m. class; 224 km. The women got 208.5 km. on ” their plate.”

Also a one-day-competition yesterday in Holland called Amstelglide with a real Regatta start! On Friday organizers were still worried about the weather and asked for alternatives if the day would not be good enough. No worries,  it turned out to be a nice , no a very nice day.[see picture and…a 523 km. flight was even flown in Holland]  About 58 pilots in 4 classes were launched from Soesterberg the “home” from the Amsterdam Soaring Club. The preliminary results in 20 m. say that Steven Huiskes, who flew together with his dad in the Duo Discus XLT,  won with 2.42.49 over 253 km., which means Steven is “good” and ready for Uvalde as youngest participant from the Dutch team. He finished just before Wim Akkermans [ partner from Sofie making the picture below] who flew the ARCUS with 2.42.52. What about that!!!!!????
Another young talented pilot is Jeroen Jennen from Belgium . He flew the 258 km. with a speed of 89.2 km. /ph. winning in the st/15 m. class.

Picture from Jeroen Jennen and the LS 8, via FB ; courtesy  Sofie Huybreckx

By the way ELY had fantastic weather yesterday and with a declared 3 TP 1000 km. in an ASW 27 , Ramy Yanetz topped the OLC list.

Last but not least; One of the few hang glider pilots I  personally met  is Jonny Durand.[Australia]  Now I saw that on July 3 he flew together with an American mate , Dustin Martin, a new word record in TEXAS,[ the Zapata -area] : 760 km. in 11 hours-plus. The old record was just over 700 km. and set in 2011 by an Austrian pilot. Amazing to “hang” for so many hours!!! Everybody who wished, could follow the attempt on a tracking system. The dream was to fly 800 km. but that will happen one day as well.
The loggers are going to say within days, who in fact has the real new World record. It’s still NOT confirmed now but it seems Jonny said that Dustin passed over him and landed a few km. further. We will patiently wait.

Enough updates, too much happening, so CU on Wednesday, cheers Ritz

Quarzazate….Space , Issoudun….and …back on line!

Alphen aan den Rijn Wednesday July 4 2012

Bert jr. and Tijl before the start of the 1000 km and after.
Pictures courtesy Schmelzer brothers.

Back on line after 4 days of more or less desperate trying to find out what was wrong. I “lost ” the “visual”  toolbar, but Bill in the USA “found it back” . What about that for skills and co-operation between Holland [] and the USA. []
With the help of SKYPE, or not as it failed all the time , a mobile phone and chat’s , it is sorted out. Bill knows SO much more about WordPress then I do , but then …I am just a blogger and like to write…. not to know too much about the background of the system.
Looking forward to meet Bill and Rand. We “stepped'”  in our adventure/co-operation a while ago, only knowing we love to share soaringnews.
A bit ashamed I have to mention now too, that I never put a connection between the “Soaring- cafe Bill” and the Bill who won TWICE the 18 m. Nationals in the USA. So in a few weeks I will meet the editor/top pilot in Uvalde where he FLIES in 18m. class and writes about his flights and I do the rest.

What a great moment for all viewers when the  Soyuz capsule arrived safely at earth at 10.15 AM on Sunday. How fantastic that I could see in Alphen live-pictures from Kazachstan , even the capsule hanging on the 1 square km. parachute. Unbelievable !
What heroes those astronauts are and how “terrible “they look after arrival. Unbelievable that we can send people around the earth but have difficulties to get them out of a capsule. It went “like an oiled machine” they said, but it did n’t look too good to me. Lifting them under their arms….
Anyhow they are all sound an safe and Andre , to be honest looked best from the 3 . Felt really sorry for the American who seems to have fainted after pulling 9G and ” falling” still pretty hard on earth. Will be interesting to see how these astronauts will be in 25 years, if this trip has had any influence on them.
For now Andre mentioned he has to learn walking again after half a year without gravity.He also feels miserable and unsteady.But he should be perfect again on the 20thiest when he arrives back home in Holland. End of August he will be honoured by all Dutch people. The way he shared all news , gave us an inside look in the “rooms” of the space station and his many jobs, makes him a ” mate” for all Dutchies.

AND YES,….on the first of July they, the brothers Schmelzer flew their first 1000 km flight from Quarzazate. The weather had improved and both brothers Tijl in the back, had a very rewarding day with a difficult beginning.
Yesterday Bert jr. and sr. were up in the air for another 1000 km flight,  while Tijl took time to write to me and other friends. You can read that in my blog on A new series of pictures by Bert jr is here;

Mum Hilde keeping the long wing, ridge flying and amazing landscape.

The day before on the last day of June, Bill Hill flew in his Discus 2 a 1000 as well from Moriarty with “truly awesome soaring weather”. Speed….163.90 km./h. What do you want more!? More 1000 km. flights??? Possible as they were also flown from Ely.Best picture I have from Ely I received from Daan Pare a few years ago; REAL RAIN!!!

Uvalde is going to live more now. On FB I heard from Kiki, [Jackie Clerbaux] that he will be there as well as coach of the Italian team. Also Terry Cubley from Australia, will be there, it looks like ONE BIG reunion! I wonder how many people would put their hands up when asked if they were there in 1991.
Got some dinner invitations already now, one from a Dutch soaring-friend  [we go 40 years back] living in Canada for years and I have not seen him for those 40 or more years.
Goal from soaring comps; make and keep friendships all over the world. For me this worked more then GOOD!!!!!!!
The South African team is nearly ready to go and on FB I found their itinerary, and…as a lot are not linked to FB , here it is;
—“Since the Worlds are just around the corner, I thought we should give you an idea when our pilots and crews will be leaving SA and heading to the States. The travel plans look more or less like this: AP will be the first to head off on the 12th of July, followed closely by Attie and Uys on the 16th. Then it will be Bossie and Ronald heading off on the 19th and Mark and Gunter are leaving a day later on the 20th. Laurens is leaving SA on the 23rd and Oscar, Carol and Richard on the 24th. So that leaves Stephan who will be on his way on the 27th. Eventually we will all meet up in Uvalde!—“

Issoudun in France is very busy this beginning of July  with several comps in one go!
There is the French Women Nationals, with 20 participants and with 17 international invited guests. Busy ,busy….. but next year the 7th WWGC will be held in Issoudun, from June 29-July 2013, so practice is important , so you can call  this  a PRE WWGC.[July 7-14]
The 18 m. Nationals ,with 28 French pilots and  also with a max of 8  invited guests and still 2 on a waiting list.
Further on the  yearly International competition  this time the 37th edition ,[July 3 till 14], will be held and the 6th Coupe Libelle.
 Even guests as Brian Spreckley [Libelle] , Dick Bradley, [South Africa]  Chief steward in Uvalde  and daughter Jennifer [ sharing a Pegase] , as well as Natasja van der Neut the comps director from the Dutch Nationals are in France to enjoy some good soaring from a well known place with great conditions and infra- structure!
Issoudun is like Bailleau very popular by Dutch pilots who like to fly comps and the practise days had good weather with 500 km. flights!


 Natasja, ready to go for it, with crew Hans[meteo at all Dutch Nationals I was involved in ] and Ronald [ involved in the same comps]

As said the 37th edition of Issoudun started yesterday. In standard class former WGC champion in Benalla, Brian Spreckley won the day over 198 km. Dick {Richard} and Jennifer Bradley, sharing the Pegase were 6th.
In open class the long time experience from Dutch pilots was clear . 2 Dutchies on spot 1 [Ronald Kaay] and 2 [Antoon Poortman] both  flying a duo discus XL. Natasja was 10th.

For ALL the news from the first flight FULL of water from the CONCORDIA, 800 kg. and still not yet the max starting weight, you best read the news in soaring cafe from Bill, who was there that day!

That’s it for today. In soaringcafe on sunday the latest private news from Tijl about Quarzazate. Scores from Issoudun and tasks on
You are up to date, cheers Ritz

Pure gliders arrived as well!More news from Quarzazate!

Alphen aan den Rijn     Sunday july 1 2012

July started today and in 28 days I will be in Uvalde. June by the way was , weatherwise a pretty miserable month in Holland. Also on the OLC not ONE day showed  over 2000 flights , while in May we could see a few. Only 4 days with over 1000 flights meaning world wide the weather was less good for soaring then in May.

It seems according to  weather-online that we had here in Holland, 167 sun hours instead of the average 194 and more rain 100 ml. instead of the average 68.

Time to move soon to hot Texas!

Uvalde line up in 2011! picture from their site!

The last report from the EUROGLIDE organizers on Thursday was: —“19:45 – Resume: M1, JB and ZZ finished by car with enough credits (they think)

>19:30 – The iNO called, they are at Terlet. They finished Malden at about

<p>18:25 – ZZ landed at Grefrath 14.14Z. Will he be the first in the Gliders-class? He has enough credits. Depends on JB and M1, they landed out about 30km from Malden.em>

This means that the first PURE gliders have arrived after 2350 km. as well. Good on them!

In Pocuinai in Lithuania the 15 m. class Nationals are flown between June 23 and today. I was impressed a couple of years ago with Vitautas Racimavisius, who flew as junior in Räyskälä and was TC as well. Now he flies the Nationals and compares his soaring with that of 28 other pilots and is doing well, even winning day 3 in the LAK 19 , a small 1 hour 30 AAT!He flew in 1.42 a distance of 113 km. and gained 153 points.

Day 1 had 169 km. and day 2 268 km. After that, 3 days of “rest” and on Friday soaring again with a good day for “a ” Vitautas but not “mine”; he landed after 343 km. while the winner flew 349 km., exactly the task they got . Makes me think Vitautas was fast but had a problem in the last moment or a too marginal final glide, costing him 559 points that day??


In Italy 8 teams of 2-seaters are ready to start the Nationals from Voghera. Alongside 22 pilots fly to win the Cup of Oltrepo.

Quaurzazate; no soaring picture today but as you can see the solar planes have the full attention from the Schmelzer family.Today a picture from a special solar plane , called Khartan see above, , [according to Tijl,] performing in movies as Kingdom of Heaven and Hildalgo. Most “impressive” is Bert sr. “keeping the camel under control”.

80 Years old; The gliding club at Terlet, called the GeZC,the Gelderse Soaring Club, celebrated their anniversary yesterday with 2 seater flights for young and old guests, aerobatic demonstrations by the FOX team and a hot air-balloon. And… a BBQ with lot’s of beer to finish this remarkable birthay

Only next month the club from Venlo will be 80 years old too and flying 75 years from the airfield of Venlo. Time to celebrate long-time-soaring in Holland. They invited everybody to fly or drive in for a good night out with a concert of the Orchester from the Royal Airforce, on July 14.

To finish just the message that my Aussie friends in the East of Australia enjoy great winter weather with flights up to 400 km. And…that I have severe problems with my blog as it does n’t want to go in “visual-mood”, it stays in HTML and you can’t work well then, all sentences bounce up and down and pictures will not go to the place I want them to be. Sorry,but ….the good news is that I have friends sorting it out. More news today in my soaringcafeblog at