Sandy is too CRUEL for words! Girl power!


Pretty shocked  seeing the devastation after Sandy had hit parts of the North  East Coast, specially between Washington and New York and killing several people , at-least 45 at this stage and not to forget the 61 in the Caribbean before.
For the first time in the 108 year history the underground in New York was full of water [” the NY – subway-system has never had such a devastating disaster”]  and flooding was terrible everywhere specially in New Jersey, also in the old famous areas of Manhattan [ “rivers flowing through the streets”] and in Delaware , where I spend a few summers with my kids. Fires, exposions by blown up transformers, no power for over 8 million houses/businesses, no public transport , no stock market and costs estimated on 1 milliard a day, that is TERRIBLE!!!
Also one person killed in Canada [Toronto] due to Sandies vicious wind-power.
And…it is not over yet as they expect 1 meter of snow in Tenessee.
Good luck to all my friends living in the stricken areas in the USA and Canada, hope they do not suffer too much and stay/are safe. All I contacted are OK!!!!
Not all of them were so lucky as you can see on the pictures from one of my FB friends, Dianne, “the effects of Sandy the storm – my back yard with two tall evergreens down.  One on the house and one in the yard.”


When you see these pictures hear about how many people did not survive  and how the economy is hit , it is a bit weird that some here in Holland are worried about the fact if the NY Marathon will be on this weekend!? Of course they practised hard, are ready to jump in the plane [they fly again I heard on the news, only not to La Guardia yet and from Schiphol the first 2 planes will leave today] and most probably they just run, but still,…..

Some say they have never flown cross country in November here in Holland or Belgium, both with their W. border on  the Nord sea , some did and had a good time.
Last weekend ,when the wintertime started with minus 10 in some places , while it one week earlier still was  13 dgr. in the night, some pilots did their best. 5 Flights from Holland on Sunday and 2 above 200 km. but one using the engine to go to the nice weather and the other could not make the last 50 km. so “motored” home as well, but still enough to really enjoy, on maybe the very last day.
In Belgium,  Saturday was the day to go up, with 3 under 100 km. flights [ 2 in Libelle] but also here, GREAT FUN even,….with the first official out-landing by one of the 3! Of course that IS SOMETHING even in a Janus C FG!!
Tomorrow November starts let’s wait and see if soaring x-country is still possible.

Australia has of course already great spring weather, one place better then the other but still. Young and talented Matthew Scutter flew 749,28 km. from good old Gawler in the West in an LS 4, last Monday. Nice speed as well with 117 km./h. on the clock. He flew high up North and started with blue conditions but on the way back he had cu’s as well, due to “a bit of convergence”.
On Tuesday this nice weather also reached Tocumwal and Corowa where one of the owners Francesco decided to “use the first great day, for a nice first flight from 588 km [500FAI triangle] in the 21 m. ASH 31 from Corowa Airfield.
On November 1 they expect the 2 containers with gliders in Melbourne and about one week later they can fly!!!!
Good old Anders is already in Corowa preparing his glider for the new season. Have fun Anders!
Ian Cohn , who is so kind to keep me informed about Mount Beauty, had a good day flying there  240 km. in the ASK 21.
Tocumwal pilot Robert Brodie had a 400 km triangle [460 km. in total] in the ASW 28/18m.
And today even Eddie , who runs Sportaviation in Tocumwal, took the glider out for a nice flight with mate Terry in the Janus CT RG;418 km [335 FAI triangle]
And kilometer -eater Terry Bellair added another nice long flight in his DG 400/17m.  from Raywood , this time also a triangle [570 km. but 650 in total] and as he said he ” achieved an average climb rate in the blue of 4.6 kt. up to 10.000 ft.” Not bad for OCTOBER!!!!

At Taupo, talking about New Zealand now, not far from that fantastic lake I visited 2 years ago, a competition is on it’s way with 15 pilots. The 2012 Central Plateau is flown between October 27 and November 4 in a handicapped open class. Day 1 was cancelled due to a very wet front passing by, but as I saw myself in NZ , the weather can change quickly and that happened on Monday. However…a 15 knt Easterly did n’t promis any goods.
They set a 2 hour AAT on Monday, but the best flight was 144 km. in a Duo Discus ,[124 points] the winner with one point more was an LS 6, with 76 km..[125 points]
A 3 hour AAT on flying-day 2 , but only ONE pilot finished after 234 km.
7 from 14  Over 100 km.,  so a valid day!
Yesterday was cancelled as well.

On Saturday the Qualifying Sailplane Grand Prix  [18m.] will start in South Africa’s Potchefstroom with 17 pilots, with 7 indeed from SA. Further on 4 toppers from Germany [ amongst them Holger Karow and Tassillo Bode and Robert Schroeder] , 2 from the UK, [Andy Davis one of them]  1 from Czech Rep. and1  from Belgium [Patrick Stouffs] and Japan [Mac Ichikawa] and John Coutts from NZ. From these 17 pilots , 8  flew the WGC in Uvalde. It is nearly a JS1 competition as 11 from 17 gliders are JS 1.


Did I show you last time the hail , here is a recent picture from Jeroen [via FB]  from Holland who flies in Potchefstroom at the moment. It clearly cleared!!!


Schiphol Airport has had in 2011 around 50 million international visitors a new record and it looks like 2012 will be even better.From those 50 million,28 million had not Schiphol as final destination but Schiphol was a “hub” for Europe specially the UK and Germany. So Schiphol more and more seems to be THE HUB for European travellers.

The WWGC has as I mentioned already before, 2 countries who participate for the first time in a WWGC; The Netherlands and the USA. And,..maybe even more “new” countries will be there.
I wrote you already about the sponsoring by lot’s of people donating money for Sarah from the USA, to participate in the 32d WGC in Chaves, where the organizers now mention that they provide tow ropes and help with cars as it seems VERY difficult to find cars with tow bars.
The story even gets nicer more like a fairy tale, as now a former UK world champion “has made a Libelle available for Sarah and somebody else has donated his,  soon to expire frequent flyer points,  enabling her to buy her flight ticket already!!!!”  [source Hangar Soaring]
More about power- girls- in- soaring,  in Sunday’s SoaringCafe.

Having said that, we do have power-girls in Holland as well and 2 of them Natasja , yes the one who is going to participate in the WWGC for Holland and she also was the CD from the last Dutch Nationals and Aukje,  are opening their office at Terlet on Friday. They started FLIGHT DECK BUSINESS CLUB and are going to do PR, organise network- drinks and business events and gliding-arrangements.
Aukje works full time and Natasja, who loves her own long-time-job , will do as much as she can in the evening and weekends!!!!CHAPEAU!
It seems business is going VERY well and they deserve that.
One of the events , in co-operation with just and the University of Delft, will be the National Congress in Delft at the University called “Passion for Flying” and a famous Dutch TV Programming and Positioning Consultant AND pilot, Leo van der Goot will be the talk- hos-t and- forum -discussion- leader on Saturday December 1.
One of the speakers will be Tim Kuijpers the Junior World Champion,  studying now at EPST to become an airline pilot. Another speaker is top pilot and director of the KNVvL Ronald Termaat.
Try to go there .

CU you next Sunday, busy week ahead.
Cheers Ritz




News from QGP in Sweden! FAI meeting was in Antalya..Lilienthal Gliding medal for Giorgio!


The time difference between most parts in Australia and Europe is 10 hours again, now the clock has turned back to “normal” here and forward Down Under,  in the night from Saturday to Sunday.
And …..autumn has started as well, no worries  IT IS autumn here, with 8 dgr. and minus 2/5 in the night and VERY sunny here.Up North we even had the first Dutch -wet-snow and the first trucks drove around with salt to avoid roads and  bridges  to be slippery! This morning my car was white from frost and the E of Holland had MINUS 10!!!.
The ski season started this weekend with world class-competitions in Austria [Sölden] . So…up to winter…!’

Further away from here, “Sandy” is a scary huricane, killing already 44 people on her way and “travelling” direction New York, Delaware and Virginia. The possible combination/collision with a winter storm,  might make things worse for the USA East coast. Airlines in the USA are anticipating already on the storm .
Today it seems less of a worry as Sandy decreased to a tropical storm, but precautions are still in full action.
I once felt such huge storm in Newark Delaware, while visiting for a month in summer. Trees, big thick years-old – oak’s , just collapsed and we had no electricity for a long time.
Really scary, as the one and only category 4 cyclone I had , while living at Curacao in 1996. As said before I DO NOT LIKE tough WIND.
Another disaster as a 7.7 earthquake has hit West from Canada in the ocean. At this stage no damage there BUT a tsunami is on it’s way to Hawai. Not good!

Spring however , in Omarama , were Gavin Wills had a great flight in the Duo Discus on as he called it  ” a wild wave day“; 603 km. with a speed of 140,72 on the clock,  going S. and N. from Omarama over Mount Cook.
Loved his story about Mountain Thermal Soaring in the G.I.
Interesting guy this Gavin [ cousin from Justin , who is the son from Philip] , knowing with his 8000 hours,  EVERYTHING you should know about flying in the mountains. He operates Mountain Soaring School at Omarama in New Zealand.

Wave as I noticed it in NZ on the N Island.

VERY pleasant soaring weather in Australia, both on the East,  as well as on the West and South now, in fact ALL over Australia where there is a possibilty to fly;
547 [409 FIA triangle] in a PIK 20 a by Geoff Pratt from Queensland [Mareeba] and 288 km [FAI 222km.] from Cunderdin in Western Australia in an Astir CS. Also Benalla had already some good flights yesterday with kilometer-eater Tobias Geiger flying his first flight for the season in the LS 4.[278 km. /  FAI 256 km].
Best flight from Benalla was 346 km in a 17m.  Kestrel , though there was a cold hard southerly blowing and no cu’s above Benalla according to Charles Day.
Good to see , [ also in W A] activities from Beverley! 352 [ FAI 343 km] yesterday but thay started already with the season on October 12.
Also happy first flights from the beautiful airport of Mildura in NSW on the Murray River and from the airport in the Victorian Mountains, Mount Beauty where they started already  on October 9.
And from Warkworth members from the Hunter Valley Gliding Club [NSW] have flown already 4x flights over 400 km. in PIK 20, Duo Discus and 2x LS 3.
Another kilometer-eater,  Terry Bellair started his season from Raywood [Bendigo / Victoria] last week and flew in his DG 400 yesterday , 276 km.
And the Geelong Soaring Club at Bacchus Mars [Victoria] has already over 30 [shorter] flights, while the club from Camden close to Sydney [Southern Cross Gliding Club] showed the first flight in an SD 55  .
Biggest Aussie Center , Corowa will follow  as soon as the gliders have arrived in November and Tocumwal and Narromine started already too and are ready for the guests who arrive soon.
Waikirie, Stonefield and Gawler will be soon on the map as well and I surely forgot a few well known places, but will mention them when approperiate.
The Aussie season has “kicked off”  and can ONLY get better when it get’s hotter.

Told you last time about the Qualifying Sailplane Grand Prix about to start in Potchefstroom [on November 2] and a bit later in Lake Keepit [on November 12] . Both a bit far but here is one closer by for European pilots , so I add 1 more in Sweden in May 2013.
Got this news from Äke Pettersson, who is the Director from this GP;
—“We in Stockholms Segelflygklubb are happy to invite pilots for this event May 4-11 on our airfield Långtora.
This is an opportunity for pilots in the Nordic and neighbour countries to qualify for the final event in France 2013.
Please communicate this competition to interested pilots. They can register NOW by filling in the Entry form.

The website for the Qualifying Grand Prix, Långtora, Sweden is now up and running, so when you click on Qualifying Grand Prix 2013 on the link below, you can read what to do[ in ENGLISH] ,  when you are interested in going:

For those who do not know exactly about the rules and or the history,  here is what Äke added;

—“The Sailplane Grand Prix is a new type of competition for gliders, both more spectacular and more easily understood by the public than conventional competitions. The latter have proven to be of little interest to the public and the media because they are difficult to follow mainly because most of the time, the gliders are working far from base. On top of that, even in speed races round a pre-determined course, the first pilot to cross the finishing line is not necessarily the winner of the day as the competitors can choose the moment to leave. Finally, results based on a points system, arrived at by complicated formulae, often published long after the pilot arrive back. Because of this, these competitions contributes very little to the promotion of our sport.

The International Gliding Commission of the FAI ( has tried to remedy this state of affairs by thinking up new forms of more media-friendly competition. The Grand Prix concept is based on a much simpler set of rules: all gliders start simultaneously (regatta start), fly relatively short courses, even passing back over the airfield, and the pilots Are classified according to placing, just like in Formula One car racing . To render this competition more attractive, new technologies, based on satellite transmission of the GPS position and on computer flight simulation are used to produce three-dimensional virtual pictures of the gliders  in flight. These pictures  can be displayed on a big screen on the airfield and broadcasted on the internet so that the spectators can follow the racing in real time. In addition, a very sophisticated info-technology model will allow virtual images of the gliders in flight to be shown. Video footage taken from the gliders or from an accompanying aeroplane or helicopter can also be broadcasted.

The first experimental Sailplane Grand Prix events were held in January 2001 inGawler,Australia(parallel to the first Club Class World Gliding Championships) and in June2003 inSaint-Auban,France.

The first official FAI World Sailplane Grand Prix was held from the 2nd to the 11th of September,2005, inSaint-Auban,France. ( ) (

 The second FAI World Sailplane Grand Prix was held in December2007 inOmarama,New Zealand. (, NewZealand.

 The third FAI World Sailplane Grand Prix was held in January 2010 inSantiago, Chile. (

The fourth FAI Sailplane Grand Prix was held in August 2011 at the Wasserkuppe (Germany.


 The rules

Grand Prix the gliders race in competition close together around a pre-set task. A smaller number of competitors reduces the risks of the simultaneous start. A place-scoring system provides rewards for excellence without unduly punishing a poor performance.

  • A task, typically 2 hour in duration and between 200 and300 km. in length is set.
  • All gliders start at the same time (similar to a yacht regattastart).
    • The gliders must cross the short start line not above a set height and not faster than a set maximum speed.
    • The start/finish line is generally close to the airfield so that it can be observed by spectators.
    • Gliders race around the task. No team flying is permitted. The first one home wins as they all started at the same time and there is no handicapping.
    • A place scoring system is used, with 1 point for every finisher you beat, plus a bonus point for coming home first. (similar to a Motor Grand Prix).

The complete rules can be downloaded on the IGC website:

6-9 qualification Grand Prix are organised all around the world and the two or three first pilots of each qualifying race qualify for the final

For more details see :


German readers and readers reading German, should read the  soaring-prose  from young German pilot Benjamin Bachmaier. He looks back on his flights and visits all over the world , also as a sport-soldier , while filling in his logbook and starting a new one. Well done Benjamin!

South Africa ‘s season has not started yet , which is good, when you look at the weather.
Oscar told me that it is “It is soarable, but slightly colder than normal. There was a serious hail storm in Johannesburg this last week. I wil try to send you a photo.—”
And here are  the pictures from October 12 with the note;”  Someone must be planning a gliding contest!”.
So  just before the Orient competition, reason why they had only 2/3 days of soaring in that week [ 14/20 October 2012]  ;


Hail as seen by Oscar while travelling to Potchefstroom.

AND…the pictures send as promised from Johannesburg , look at this;


Thanks Oscar for sharing and GOOD LUCK in the Qualifying Grand Prix in Potchefstroom, where the weather hopefully will be TOP!!!!!!
pictures; courtesy Flight Zone.

THE FAI GENERAL CONFERENCE  meeting was this year in Antalya in Turkey from October 18 to 20 and it was already edition 106. Norwegian president John Grubbström was re- elected, as president for a period of 2 years. Also a Dutch face from now on in the FAI , with Frits Brink the president of the Dutch KNVvL. He is a member of the FAI board of executive directors now. Alvaro is still the vice-president.
Before the plenary 10 people got an award or medal, one of them,  the Lilienthal Medal was for our Italian friend Giorgio Galetto. Marina was with him on this special day, as Giorgio said “I owe much to her”. There is a link to the interview on ; and click on Giorgio’s name.
Breitling is the official partner of the FAI and announced 2 more awards for the future;
the Breitling Youngster Award and
the Breitling Milestone Trophy.
In the past I told you about the Alvaro De Orleans Borbon [father from Alvaro] Grant and this prize was given to Todd Reichert for the “Atlas” Human- Powered helicopter project.

You are up to date, CU next Wednesday, and…still to come the story about the accident from Giorgio [in English], which was published by my friends from “Segelfliegen” and will be translated by Marina. A very gutsy decision to share what happened with him , to help YOU to avoid getting in the same situation!!
Also the MORNING GLORY STORY from Jo and Tony [TT] will be published soon.
And TODAY in SoaringCafe the story from Terry Cubley from 1975 about the 750 k!!! Enjoy!
cheers Ritz

What about this container???? Blog 2000 for SoaringCafe !!!! Latest GI !


On Monday October 22 , we had in The Bilt the place where the official temperature is measured for the KNMI, [Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute] ; 22 dgr. the HIGHEST EVER in history here in Holland on that day. The morning started fresh with the firs real fog at some places,  but the afternoon was delightful; I could read my book outside in the sun end of October!
But…next Saturday we are back to lower then normal [13 dgr.] and it will be 8 dgr. C. ,.grrr…
Sad day that warm sunny Monday as well, as 2  single engine aircraft’s from Wings over Holland,  collided in the air while doing a photo- shoot,  close to the airfield of Lelystad where they just started from; 2 people [ in one plane the pilot and the female photographer, working also for WoH [ 36 and 23] killed and 2 badly injured, in the other one, [62 and 63] one the company director. VERY SAD!

Could not believe this news when I looked at the picture on FB by UK pilot Graham Garnett, about the fully packed container for Chaves. Thought first it was a nice UK joke. Have a look, do you see 2 trailers and 4 gliders???

It seems more people did not see it,  so there was the question ; Where are the trailers???
Then Graham’s answer [copied and pasted] :
—“The first steel framed open trailer is on it’s side up against the wall of the container on the left of the picture the second one is a cobra trailer with no lid and the axle dropped of interleaved with the first. What you see on the left of the picture is the underneath of the Cobra trailer.—”
To be honest that’s the best packing , as in so much stuff in ONE container , I have ever seen. AMAZING!!!!AND …compliments. Great job!
Hope it all arrives in perfect condition in Chaves!

Talking about Chaves; heard that a few countries had problems with shipment to Argentina and some even thought of NOT going. The new rules , of temporary imports might have changed that,  as packing has been done and most containers from Europe will leave end of this month.
Latest news also about parachutes. BRING YOUR OWN!!!!!! Pilots renting gliders in Argentina should bring their own as in Argentina, as I read on the site,  there are no restrictions regarding deadlines for parachutes operation.
—“For this reason some of them could be old, and their condition according to its age. ‘—”
So a MUST to take your own!!!!
Checking the teams;  still a few not officially accepted pilots but less then last time; 4 in  standard and 3 in club class [ all the  Dutch pilots] and 1 in world class .

2000 blogs since January 2011 for SOARINGCAFE.

My Soaringcafe uniform in Uvalde washed and ironed  !

I was very pleased to have written the 2000st blog for SoaringCafe. As blogs are automatically ordered under soaringcafe news, special events , external feeds etc. ,  nobody knew who would be number 2000. I only knew that on Sunday 2 of my blogs appear on Soaring Cafe,  one on the main site specially written for soaringcafe and the other is my blog also on Sunday[and Wednesday]  appearing under external feeds.


With Rand and with Carol Bill and Rand.

2000 blogs—and climbing” is the editorial tribute on October 21 ,  from Rand and Bill on Have a look!
As Bill and Rand and MASNY others,  I loved the stories from Dick Butler, Loek Boermans and Gerhard Waibel about the Concordia project. Would n’t it be great if Dick  started a new project, so we can follow him again? Hope atleast  he keeps us informed about where he is flying in his “gracious ship” , so we can keep an eye on the performance as well, of his “old” project or…maybe STILL  his project.

With Rand  and Bill in Uvalde as a great “winning ” team.
Picture courtesy Leo Bennetti-Longhini.

Last weekend showed some nice autumn flights in the USA and some good spring flights down under. A total of 148 flights on OLC on Saterday and 108 on Sunday . Best flight from Mifflin Couty in the USA with 572 km. in a Discus 2. An enjoyable , “no-task-no-goal day.” Best flight in Australia from Kingaroy 372 in St. Cirrus .
I loved Allan Barnes comment on flying a PW 5 from Gympie South of Brisbane and if you have not read it yet I share it here with you;”
—“second day’s flying in a PW5. You sure don’t push these babies hard. But they thermal brilliantly and very tightly. At one stage I felt like I was in a spin, the glider was rotating so fast in the thermal. At the end of the flight I got a great climb as instability moved in from the west, but sea breeze had killed off everything between there and the coast.–“

More news from  Australia;
For those thinking/pondering to go and not having made a firm decision yet;
–“Just a quick reminder that Narromine Cup Week is on again this year from November 26 to 30, immediately followed by the NSW State Comps also at Narromine but hosted and run by the Bathurst Club. Promising to be a great two weeks of gliding and camaraderie.
Narromine Gliding Club:

NSW State Comps Website:

Something very special at Narromine Cup this year is the presence of G. Dale, one of the best cross country gliding coaches in the world.  G is employed full time at Lasham Gliding Club in the UK as a coach and has been coaching each season at Omarama with Gavin Wills for many years.

 G will be providing coaching theory lectures (not to be missed) and practical each day as a part of the NSW GA coaching initiative set up by Bryan Hayhow for Cup Week.  Narromine Gliding Club will have two Duo Discus and a Grob Twin Astir available for hire for one-on-one coaching.

 G’s coaching is provided at no cost to GFA members. —“

So far the news from Narromine.

Also some news from the Geelong Gliding Club in Victoria;
—” during our winter there is not that much exciting going on. Its mainly workshop for annual glider inspections and training flights. The weather is now finally turning to spring even in the deep south of Victoria. Last weekend we have been able to post a few very moderate flights to the OLC. The weather should improve from here on and enable us to place well again as a club. We had our AGM late September, where we decided to return for our annual Christmas camp to Tocumwal as guests of Judy and Ingo Renner and the Southern Riverina Gliding Club. The Geelong Gliding Club will be there from Boxing day for 2 weeks.—”
AND……I will be there too then!!! GOOD!!!

When the Gliding International arrives in my house, I loose straight away an hour of my day, by quickly going through all interesting items to read everything better later,  when I have time.
Another  magazine full of news and things you need to know.
About ;
—Andrej Koller and the story behind NAVIGATER
—mountain thermals by Gavin Wills who loves and knows the mountains as no one else
—a very interesting and different “wind up ” on Uvalde by Joseph King
—a tribute to Neil Armstrong..the glider pilot
—a good year from Schleicher
—Sebastian Kawa’s new book “SKY FULL OF HEAT”
—Dittolog Electronic Flight Time logging system FIRST used by the Kingaroy Gliding club as the answer to time-keeping AND what’s even more interesting for me , one of the engineers behind it , Ernst Ditges flew with us in the past in Tocumwal and became trough the years a friend. He moved from Germany to Queensland and happily lives there now.
All about it in the latest GI.
—Chaves …looking ahead , specially to the weather patterns and- phenomena
—soaring in the “city of gliding” in Japan
—and not to forget 2 fantastic pictures by Maria.
—and MUCH more!!!
I was a bit shocked after seeing the perfect picture as advertisement on the back of GI from Schempp-Hirth’s ARCUS m and the picture in WORLD AVIATION NEWS for glider pilots; totally destroyed after a crash on August 7 in Italy close to Arezzo, due to an engine problem on take off. The pilots walked away from it with minor injuries but looking at the picture…..
the pilot tried to return to the field a big one but with horizontal ploughed ridges…the rest you can read in the latest November/December GI.

What a difference on Monday between the number 1 and 2 on the OLC! Jim Payne in the DG 1001 M. flew a long wave flight ….1.368.19 km. with Dennis Tito, from Rosamond Skypark. On Spot 2 a flight in a PW 5 with 224 km. in Brasil. From Bebedouro it was day 3 from the Nationals. That’s what it is all about , is n’t it?
A total of only 23 flights, from which 12 were added from the Brasil Nationals. The real overseas season will start in the middle of November.
Yesterday the Uvalde CD Ken, had a good late season flight from 524 [343 FAI triangle] in his Ventus 2cxa, no not from Uvalde but from his soaring club in Houston and topped the list of 20 pilots and the club pilots happily flew day 4 of their nationals.

By the way the 2012 Qualifying Sailplane Grand Prix will be flown from November 2 till  November 10  in Potchefstroom in South Africa and from November 12 till November 18 ,  from beautiful Lake Keepit in Australia. Both in 18 m.
Will keep you informed!

That’s it for now, oh and by the way , please visit Amsterdam next year, when you have time. They are behind San Francisco 2d on the Lonely Planet list of towns- as -a -MUST -SEE,  world wide. Now the Rijksmuseum after too many years of restoration [10] will officially  open the doors again in April and Amsterdam celebrates next year “400 year of canals” , it is a great destination to go to. Not to forget the very old and famous Red Light District for those who are interested.

cheers Ritz

First big overseas competion is over! Books by Sebastian Kawa and Frank Versteegh!


With hot air arriving from Africa , Holland had a lovely warm couple of days with temperatures up to 23 dgr. in the East of our country. First combined with a little sometimes red rain from a big cloud full of desert -sand, but now with nice dry but grey conditions. A nice gift from the weather gods!

The Kingaroy 2012 Nationals for club and sports class are history , but with 9  days you can call it a good competition with a strong field of participants and nice spring conditions, great nearly vintage gliders and brand new top gliders as the JS 1/21m. from Bruce Taylor .Unfortunately it took more time then expected to get the glider out of the docks in Sydney, so Bruce started the comps with 2 non-flying first days.

The JS 1 21 m.

Day 8 showed different daily winners in both classes. In club class the 3 hour AAT was won by Mount Beauty pilot Craig Collings in the LS 4 a;334 km. in 3.03. Runner up was a Hornet . Toppers Jim, Allan and Adam finished on spot 10-8 and 9. Kingaroy local pilot Stephen O’Donnell went up from 4 to spot 2 overall while Adam dropped to 4 and Allan to 3.
Only one more day to go, …all or nothing?????
In sports class also a different winner for the day; Shizo Takazawi from Narroine was the man. John and Brad on 2 and 3 but not such a fantastic 3 hour AAT – day for Bruce [ 8]  and Lisa [11]
Total scores with one day to go are; John still on spot 1 runner up is Brad ,on spot 3 a Kingaroy pilot Greg Kolb and on 4 is now Shinzo and Lisa is on spot 5.
It seems it was a pretty weak day , “dying” early and unstable clouds but some with good lift.

On the last day of this first over seas event, day 9,  the pilots in both classes got a short 2.30 AAT. This way they could figure out themselves how far to go in the short time with the best weather and be back in time for the prize giving.Weather however was pretty difficult.
Adam mentioned “Last day of the CC Nationals, pushing hard for 2nd place!” and “CCN finished, now we await the results!  Have I done enough to make the Australian Team?  Time will tell…”
AND ” Sunday is looking EPIC – up to 15,000′ under CU!  Screw 750km, I’m going for an out-and-return 1000km (one thousand)!!  Taking a chance with a few things, but lets go for more gold :)”
Time will tell…..
This morning however the next message;

Weather not quite as good as forecast. Out of the 6 that are at the club, 5 are trying for 500’s – including a couple of firsts. Should be a good day, but not THE day.—”
A pity!!!

Winners on day 9; Allan Barnes [7935 LS 1f] finishing as a good runner up behind Kingaroy pilot Jim Crowhurst [8342 ASW19b]. Believe I never met him but he seems to be a good and very consistent pilot topping the overall scores EVERY day except for day 1 when Adam was the best. Adam finished on spot 4 [7770 cirrus 75] and on 3 was Stephen O’Donnell [7836 in cirrus 75]’
In sports class Brad Edwards won the last day  and was runner up overall [8342 in JS1 b] with John Buchanan as the clear winner with 8530 points in ASG 29. WELL done by Shinzo from Soar Narromine in a discus 2 a , on a 3d spot with 7808 points.
Great first competition of this spring season in Australia. Hope there will be a lot more!!!

Just to let you know;The Pre worlds in 2013 in Räyskälä are between June 8 and 18 2013.The 17th  EGC will be in the same time,in Vinon from June 8 till 21!


When Max Bloch, competition pilot and CD of 6 Dutch Nationals and member of the GeZC, asked me to edit a story he had written on request of the OLC , about the OLC success of the most active 2012 club, I said of course yes and started straight away. Now the story has appeared in the on line OLC Magazine,  I give you the full story here; Enjoy! Maybe it is a stimulation for you and your club as well.

Why we fly instead of learning to fly….

The Dutch Gliding Club: “Gelderse Zweefvliegclub” achieved during this year (2012) the unbelievable Top-ranking of : Dutch, European as well as  World Club Champion of the OLC contest. 90 Pilots flew over 283.266km X-Country within The Netherlands, Europe, Africa, Australia and the USA.

Of course this  major achievement facilitated by the OLC Team,  will be celebrated here in Holland. However more important is,  that X-Country flying and making this visible for ALL  by the use of Internet,  will help you to grow as a club, Gliding Nation and as a  soaring Community in total.  It’s now time to share our thought’s and philosophy,  which might / can help you as well.

During  the past years,  the GeZC faced  the same problems as many other clubs. Members became older, we spend a lot of effort in training and still number’s where declining…
During the first 2 years of a membership,  we lost 50% of the students and after 10 years of each 10 persons only one or two were still flying…
Also 50% of the club capital was stuck in training-gliders and only the fortunate ones bought  private gliders,  the rest was lost over the years. In the long term it would mean that not only the “Gelderse” but every club would become a bunch of elderly people talking about the past and would fly only on rear occasions.

We analyzed the situation and asked ourselves “what is the key ingredient to keep one soaring?”. Most of the persons who did fly after 5 years of membership,  where either: Staff, Instructor or Contest/X-Country pilot. Within the group of Instructor’s not that many did fly X-Country,  they mainly instructed others. We also came to the conclusion that after the basic flying training and solo flying, motivation of a person vanished simply,  by the fact that we had learn them how to fly , but never showed our students the reason why we fly.

So we shifted from “learning to fly” towards “why we fly”.

This was the first little step and though we took students on X-Country flights, this was still not enough. Of course they very much enjoyed the flight’s but didn’t realize , that with a Glider Pilot License, one can simply take out a Glider to go for  such a flight. Still we had to make these fresh pilots aware,  that X-Country flying is not what “they” do but what “we” do.

During winter-time we started with X-Country training. Theory for our students and as more clubs in The Netherlands had the same problems, we did invite them to join as well and started the Program SION, which facilitates X- Country flying for beginners , a course with Flying coaches for one week for those who are interested. This all was  nation-wide organized , so we , the “Gelderse” spread out the news (and our wings) and started with telling about X-Country flying , along facilitating the X-Country flying of our pilots.

At the same time the OLC was introduced in the Netherlands and over the years became more and more popular. The OLC shows the Pilot and also the whereabouts of the pilot during that day , instead of someone who mounts the glider, starts, vanishes and after a couple of hours reappears out of the (almost) blue sky. And some one, which you might find at the end of the day with a cold beer at the bar talking about something you didn’t experience yourself. So the OLC makes it possible to share the experience with your fellow -members and the fun part is of course the scoring.

SION had also an off-spring named TABOE which is a dedicated training-program for those who want to become skilled in Speed-X-Country and Contest Flying. This program is nation-wide. Within the “Gelderse” we also have an annual Internal Coaching Competition where our Top-Pilots share their knowledge and enthusiasm for competition X-Country flying by coaching on the job.

In the last 2 years we had at Terlet (the Dutch National Glider Center) the area in Holland with the best thermal conditions and where the “Gelderse” started flying back in 1932, serious problems. One of the 5 users of this glider-site went bankrupt , leaving all of its pilots out in the cold. Most of these pilots (100) where warmly adopted by the “Gelderse” meaning a growth of one third in numbers. Most of these pilots also contributed their flights and are part of the 2012 success.

How did we achieve our 2012 goals: becoming Club World Champion OLC?  

By simply asking Club members to share their flights on the OLC and communicating about the actual Club position over the year.  That way we achieved more and more OLC awareness, which resulted in the final score (with pride) J

For 2013 we set the goal on 1000 flights with >100 pilots ,which will result in …..let’s wait and see?

About: the “Gelderse Zweefvliegclub”


  • Established in 1932 so currently 80 years young!
  • Located at Terlet (Dutch National Gliding Center ) North of Arnhem in the Eastern part of Holland
  • Website:
  • Note: SION:
  • Note: TABOE:
  • Facebook:!/GelderseZweefvliegclub
  • 12 club gliders (2x ASK-21,1x ASK-23,2xLS4,2xDiscus,1xLS-8(18m),1xLS-6(18m),2x Duo-Discus
  • 2 x 4 cable winch, one Husky tug
  • Over 50 privately owned gliders  (K-6 up to Nimbus 4DM)
  • 250 members, of which several are member of the Dutch (Junior) Gliding team, 30 Instructors and ~40 persons < 25 of age
  • The GeZC offers their members all services, from basic flying training,  X-Country, up to JWC Contest Flying almost 7 days a week.
  • OLC 2012: Europe: 210.000 KM, Africa: 51.000 km, Australia: 16.500KM and USA 13.500KM flown by 90 pilots

About the author:

 Max Bloch: Instructor, Examiner, Contest Pilot (Nationals) and former Nationals Contest Director (6 Dutch Nationals). Started flying at the age of 15, over 1500 flying hours.

Max as competition director in 2010, in the middle with Aussie hat.To the right Frank Versteegh also with Aussie Akubra.

Talking about Frank Versteegh. His book NIET VOOR PILOTEN is OUT as said before and his PR around it is top! Yesterday he signed the book in a bookshop in his hometown Oosterbeek and a line of buyers had lined up in front of the shop. New fresh boxes with books had to be carried in.
He is in papers,  on radio and TV,  promoting the book about his exciting flying -life. Frank does not mince matters so it will be prettyt direct as he is. He is a great guy,  good story teller and I love his doggie ” Joe the co” , flying with him when possible and being with him at all times [when possible] !!!! A book about the doggy will be out one day as well.
All money earned with this book is donated by him to KIKA and the Roland Mc Donald house. The book will be out in English somewhere in 2013 and of course I will tell you where and how to order it.
My 2  books have not yet arrived but I hope soon and than I can tell you more about it.

Talking about books; Top-glider-pilot Sebastian Kawa wrote one as well; SKY FULL OF HEAT. The book will be available in the end of November , in time to buy it as a Christmas present. The book can be ordered via John Roake who has the distribution rights and you can reach him on the glidinginternational link above. The lates GI will be here soon , so I will tell you what you can read in it this time.

 Last Thursday Dundee left for his 2d hometown Tocumwal and I guess the kookaburra’s are waiting there for him.

Picture courtesy Dieter Albrecht.

In a bit more then 2 months I will be in Tocumwal as well , catching up with all my friends over there. Guess I take my laptop with me now I heard that the Tourist Information Center has moved to it’s original spot on the Murray River under the Glider on the pole. This means it will be smaller. The permanent exhibition from the history of Tocumwal and the WW2 hangars , which was proudly showed in the past in our briefing room had to move as well and is now to be seen in  the Bowling Club.

 Got a mail from Judy Renner informing the members of the SRGC in Tocumwal about the next;

—“Just to let you know that the National Aerobatic Championships will be held at Tocumwal aerodrome from the 23rd to the 27th of November.  I believe the last day is only a wind up of activities and not competition but not absolutely sure of this.  It would certainly be worthwhile a visit to watch our best aerobatic pilots in Australia competing.  This should not interfere with our gliding activities and you will be briefed about it in the morning.—“
Won’t be there but enough people who can make pictures and share info.

Cheers for now Ritz

Extraordinary parachutist/balloonist,Felix!


What a hero that Felix Baumgartner. I guess after 5 year of preparations you should believe in such a triple-world -record -jump, but like me , his family was very nervous and even crying, before he went up in that thin balloon.
My heart was beating faster as I did not believe too much in that high jump .But all went well and fast, so he is for ever the best, not only in our aviation world , but also all over the world. Tweets have been send by the thousands , so a lot of people were interested. More then 8 million people followed Felix live on you- tube,  another record!
Aviation wrote history  as both balloonists and parachute jumpers saw the highest possible in their sport,  perfectly performed by one of them. World record for highest balloon flight, highest parachute jump and first “body”… breaking the speed of sound.
Also the space world was happy as the out fit can be used in the future as an emergency jump would be necessary. Only thing to look at; the visor from the helmet got damped, but if that’s all,  the 5 years of preparation have ended in an extraordinary moment in history. Happy to hear he retires now and starts a life as helicopter pilot. Nice to see 84 year old Joe Kittinger on his site;  he had the world record for highest jump since 1960.

Found this link put on FB by Frank Versteegh, who  is a RED BULL-AIR-RACING- veteran.
By the way his new book “NIET VOOR PILOTEN” is for sale now in the shops and the money goes straight to KIKA, the organisation helping children with cancer.
Kingaroy day 5 was a prey for club class number 1 pilot overall at the moment Jim Crowhurst.He flew his ASW19 over 284.6 km. with a speed of 118 km./h. Good on him! Adam had a less good day loosing over 300 points and dropping to spot 3 overall behind Jim and kilometer eater Allan Barnes.
His comment was that the task was hugely underset, that he left way too early, that some pilots mentioned 10 kt up to 10.000, but he never saw that and that he liked flying together with Swaantje from Germany who has a similar style of soaring as he has. By the way Swaantje is doing well.On spot 10 overall after 7 days flying LS 1f.

At 8 in the morning Adam made this picture so not a blue day but cu’s.
Picture via FB.

In sportsclass some changes as well. Brad won again, Bruce was 3d and the well known Maddocks Family ,[ dad and his boys, who flew junior worlds]  ] was in between. John Buchanan tops the overall-list now with Lisa on 2 and Brad on 3, but still a few days to go.
Speed from Brad over 330 km. was 115 km. /h.

Day 6 showed 3 ASW 20  gliders on top,  one A ,one B and a 19! 358 km. was the set task and best speed was for Peter Trotter winning the 1000 points with just over 100 km./h.
In sports class the task was a 4 hour AAT and the most  kilometers were flown by  winner Bruce, who  flew 404 km. in 3 hours and 59 minutes and 10 seconds!!!! Butch was 2d and Brad 3d.
A good day with a mix of areas , with clouds, some blue spots and a pretty  early dying day.

On Flying day 7, today,  the SPARROW HAWK was the best in club class! Pilot Morgan Sanderkock flew during the 3 hour AAT 268.4 km. with ONE minute over-time;1000 points!!!
In sports class Butch was again the best. A bit of a tricky , weak, blue day , so HARD work for most!!!
Only 2 more days last day on Friday as well as prize giving and closing ceremony.
Overall scores with 2 days to go; Club  on 1 Jim, strong lead with just under 500 points, 2 Allan and 3 Adam but only with 9 points difference.
In sports class; John[Butch] Brad and Lisa.

The Airport of Eindhoven is growing , I told you already in the past and soaring there is  more and more under pressure.
Now one of the the full “daughters” from KLM,  Transavia is going to establish a new office there and will station 3 Boeing 737’s over there and in the future even maybe 7 instead of flying from Schiphol Amsterdam Airport. To avoid noise for the pretty crowded area over and around Eindhoven in the South of Holland,  Transavia announced that they are going to practise/test  “final glides”. Luckily a lot of Transavia pilots are glider pilots as well so they won’t have problems with such final glide landings. From 2014 all passenger planes also the military transport ones , have to land with more silent and energy-saving-procedures.

Chaves; Not that long anymore and pilots will depart for Argentina to fly the “other ” WGC. Heard quite some sorrow about the costs certainly from shipping gliders. A good reason for the organisation to come with the next news;
“In order to provide better costs to the teams, FAVAV has introduced important changes to the process of gliders temporary imports, with the incorporation of the National Administration of Civil Aviation (ANAC) as an importer and now with the participation of Aerotec Argentina SA, a family gliding company with over 15 years of experience in the Argentine air, dedicated to the import of aircraft and gliders. “
Hope that helps overseas pilots to decide to go. Most gliders from Europe will leave in October.
Still 17 not-yet-defenitely-decided/accepted – pilots who’s pre-acceptance  is only sure at this stage.

And a very exciting message on FB from Anne from Narromine….

—”  Yeyyy!! The Morning Glory arrived in Burketown this morning – the day the Safari group was leaving!! Five days travelling to Burketown from Keepit, five days in Burketown getting up around 5AM, then on the sixth day it arrived!! Keith and Paul in the Stemme flew 1hr 45minutes and say it was absolutely sensational!!Now there packing up to head off to Cloncurry for the long trip back to Keepit.  I’m SO happy for them, but sad for three of the group who headed back yesterday.–”
That’s life. Guess my friends were the ones who had left already. Hope not!!!!!!

Sport; Was shocked by the news about Lance Armstrong. As a real sports fan, I hoped he would have been honest, not that I believed his 7 wins in the Tour de France where without supplements,but this bad, I did not expect that, but….still I love cycling. The fact that he was more then a cheater , even the engine behind others in the team to use doping, struck me.
Was pleased to see Vettel win again, talking about Formula 1 now, great young man. Guess no doping in this sport.
And ” our ” Under- 19 and A team soccer-players have been qualified both for the Europeans, and the toppers are likely go to Brasil for the World Soccer Games in 2014. They are on top now after winning from Roumania yesterday with 4-1.
Loved the match between Germany and Sweden; 4-0 for Germany sitting on roses in the break but …after tea and coffee the Swedish players got back to 4-1 and in the very LAST minute it was 4-4.

Today the last memory of Uvalde will arrive here. I gave a present I got from my land lord Les  to Mark, one of our Dutch team members flying in Uvalde and he took it for me in the container as it was very heavy. Steel, in black colour and representing Texas with a glider in the middle. Will show you the picture next week as Mark arrives here somewhere today!

That’s it for now, still not a lot happening in ” our World of soaring” so, till Sunday.

Cheers Ritz

Kingaroy continues !


Last Thursday we had maybe, the last nice day of autumn here. Now it is “just autumn”, beautiful colours everywhere but wind, rain and even a pretty strong thunderstorm in the night from Friday to Saturday.
Several nice flights as well on the better days. On Wednesday a few over 200 km.X-countries,  which is rather special for this time of the year in Holland.

Thursday was cancelled in Kingaroy, so Bruce [Taylor] who arrived with his glider from the docks in Sydney [ finally back from Uvalde!] had time to check everything before flying.Enough time, as the next day was cancelled too.

Bit of a miserable day 3, courtesy via FB by Anita.

After 2 days of rest and normally during one of those days the pilots have their annual meeting about all what’s important,[ also “normally ” a pretty long day], soaring started again yesterday with a with a 265 km. FAI triangle  for club and 294 km. for the sportsclass. The Uvalde combi , Brad/Bruce straight away showed their strength in the blue conditions by being 1 and 2. Brad started first , finished first [103 km./h.] and got the 1000 points in his JS 1B. Bruce got  930 points [99 km./h.] in the JS1 C. Brett Hunter from NZ flew the 3d JS1 [b] and was 3d yesterday.
In club class a Discus bt, ASW 20A and a Cirrus 75 topped the day list.

Courtesy via FB ; Adam Woolley, who is after 3 days on spot 2 overall,  needing 40 points or more to be on spot 1.

Today on flying-day 4, the Trotters had a fantastic day winning both in their class! What about that!!!
In Club class Peter won the 3.30 AAT with 355 km. in the ASW 20A; 3 hours and nearly 38 minutes so 1000 points and with that he was much better then the rest as the runner up Alan Barnes, had 328 km in 3.27,6 and 914 points.
In sports class it was Lisa Trotter who won the day; 3.30- AAT—345 km.—3.37.40 —1000 points. The couple started and finished together! Butch was runner up with 324 km. in 3.29.
After 4 days of soaring Jim Crowhurst still tops the overall list in club class with Adam Woolley as runner up, only 13 points behind.
Adam mentioned today;
Nice Blue day, 4kts around to 7000′. Had one slow spot (almost hit the dirt!), still managed 960pts & a 3rd placing! 6 days of racing to go.—“
In sports class Lisa tops the list with Butch following close , the difference is only 30 points.

Something different …Romania; visited at this moment, by my new young friend Andreea  Alexandrescu from Seminole -Lake Gliderport but orginally from Romania as her names says  already. I met her in Uvalde as you know.As I did not know a lot about soaring in Romania, you might not either,  I asked her if I could share her blog, to let you know as well.
–“Today I visited one of the first private airports in Romania, Banesti Prahova Airport, home of the Aerobatic Yakkers and of the first private Romanian Soaring school. It was a pretty interesting experience, I got to meet some wonderful people and learn a little about flying in Romania.

Courtesy Andreea.

The airport is located in a very good area offering soaring possibilities year-round (both thermal and wave) and is growing as facilities offered: right now there is 1 hangar, 1 storage unit, an office/ clubhouse with a great terrace and accommodations and more hangars will follow soon. It is 1 hour away from both Bucharest and Brasov International airports and has very good road connections.  The family running the soaring activity, Carmen and Catalin Porumbu, are great people, with a vast flying experience in and outside the country and great promoters of the sport. Through their initiative Carpathians Gliding Adventure was born this year, camp that brings together pilots from around the world to fly here. I will continue talking to them in order to learn more about what they are doing and spread the word.—“

For more news and lovely pictures from Miss Daisy you can go to;

As I heard the SAFARI pilots  and crews on their way to Burketown to see the Morning Glory have arrived there. Just waiting for the roll cloud is next and I hope to get the story and pictures later. For now another link.

Great flight ; 528 km. not too far from both Tocumwal and Corowa but more North in a Slingsby [T59D Kestrel] by Grant Johnson. When I am correct but I have to dive deep  in the past now, Grant learned how to fly with us and bought the Kestrel from Richard Vincent who lived and flew in Tocumwal. Might be wrong when so please let me know!
And today an LS 3 500 FAI triangle from Warkworth [NSW] is pretty special as well so early in spring in Australia.

SPRING downunder! Love the red gum trees [bottle brush] in Australia.Courtesy via FB Anne Elliott from Narromine.

 Pretty busy this last week  editing an article  about the Gelderse,  the OLC TOP CLUB WORLD WIDE, you can expect that soon after the short version has been published in the OLC Magazine and an article by the ”  Uvalde girls” by Miss Daisy. Have to put pictures and story together to make it easy for you to read. Nice story!

Today is the deadline for the SUPER pre-sale price from 29, 95 for the book by former RED Bull Pilot Frank Versteegh NIET VOOR PILOTEN. I ordered 2, did you order one? After today you can of course still order the book for the normal price.
It will be out in 2013 in English as well , will keep you informed!ALL money goes to KIKA , for children with cancer. Read that a school in Holland ordered 200 !!!!

Picture via FB.

Will daredevil Felix “jump” today!?

See you next Wednesday with more news. Dundee leaves for Australia on Thursday and I noticed they had already 30 dgr. but also a bit of a real storm with minor damage in that area. Cheers Ritz



OLC 2013! Club class Nationals in Kingaroy!


The new OLC- season 2013 has started on October 9 . I am looking forward to see lot’s of nice flights in this upcoming year. Said it before “Where would we be , without the OLC? ”

On the last 2012-OLC-day,  Israel, yes pretty special,  topped the OLC with 415 km. from Beer Sheba Teyma  in an ASW 24. Never been there but some friends showed me pictures and a video from the desert over there. Loved the comment from Arik Lichtman flying an ASW 24 as well and 319 km;
—Flight in the first rain (“Ha’Yore”). I washed the glider several times, and then dried it in the Jordan valley.”–“”

Great to see some nice flights from Japan as well , last week , from Itakura, [about 90 km. N of Tokyo] a place I visited a few years ago together with 2 other soaring places along the beds of the rivers. Only then I found out why Japanese pilots flew/fly in Australia , as there is not a lot of space to fly in Japan and they love long-distance-soaring.
Though …..a 1000 km. has been set  in Japan, in wave over the NE parts of the islands, by Hirokazu Ichikawa in 2003 in a Nimbus 4DM!!
The club from Itakura has about 150 members.

In Canada Dave Springford, yes he was also in Uvalde, had a good October flight with 324 km. in the ASG 29/18m. as well as Jerzy Szemplinsky , who flew in the same glider but from another field a 282 km. flight this late in the season.

Morgan Sandercock finished for Australia as best on the 2012 list with a flight in the Sparrow Hawk from Kingaroy;191 km. Yesterday on the first day of the Club Class  Nationals in Kingaroy he flew 343 km. in the Sparrow Hawk.He topped with that the new Aussie list of 2013.
Just above him on the first day world wide; USA pilot Matt Gillis in a DG 100o/20m.  with 476 km. using the Central California Coast Ranges. This Mountain Range is on the UNESCO list.

Also Holland enjoyed nice autumn weather/flights. Our Dutch-kilometer-eater Jeroen Kole , who won the Dutch OLC champion-title, flew on the first day of the 2013 the best flight again; 255 km. ,and…. indeed it is lovely weather the last couple of days here, not only for biking or walking but also for soaring! Jeroen is a member of the Gelderse and I am still amazed and even more PLEASED and PROUD, to see this Dutch club on the FIRST place from all clubs world wide on the OLC. [look also at last Sunday’s blog on soaringcafe. Thanks]
5 From the 10 pilots flying yesterday were pilots from the Gelderse. They fly from Terlet our National Gliding Center where you can fly every day, weather permitting, so that might make a difference.

Dutch OLC champion Jeroen Kole.


Belgium pilots enjoyed a great afternoon and on Niels blog spot you can read the story of their flight in the Duo Discus on October 8 partly over Holland and with nice pictures!! It’s in English by the way! Enjoy!

In Kingaroy the club and sports class Nationals started with a practise day on Monday with a 2 hour AAT. The comps finish on the 19th.
Noticed Swaantje Geyer, one of the German squad ladies, is flying the Nationals as well. Good on her. She flew already several comps in Australia.
Also quite a few pilots moved from Jondaryan, where they flew from Mccaffrey Field the Queensland State Comps last week , to Kingaroy, it’s all close by and they start with extra practise!

On Tuesday the “real thing” was on and pilots could not afford any  mistakes anymore.
Top names in a ” big field ” with 22 pilots in club and 15 in sports class.
Winners on day 1 Allan Barnes in the LS 1f just 5 points ahead of Adam Woolley and John Buchanan in ASG 29 in sports class . Uvalde pilots Lisa Trotter , Brad Edwards , as well as  Kerrie Claffey , who’s husband flew in Uvalde where she was crewing, participate in sports class .And Peter Trotter in club class in an ASW20 A.

Adam’s glider W3.

Bruce Taylor is on the list as well, but was not scored till now. WHY!? Cause the poor fellow is waiting in the docks from Sydney to take his trailer and glider with him. Grrrr…… I know what a terrible “nuissance” that is!!!!!
He will be very motivated now to win EVERY day in his JS 1.
Day 1 was blue, had strong winds and wave over the Darling Downs . Fixed tasks in both classes from  337.6 km.
Adam Woolley keeps a blog so you can read straight from one of the pilots , what’s going on there. He was pumped up as he mentioned, ready to go for it and …even more important in a ” positive frame of mind.”On day 1 he showed that it worked, only loosing 5 points from 1000! and

Today on day 2, club class had a 3.30 AAT and from the preliminary results I noticed 377.1 km. in an ASW 19 in 3.31 for Jim Crowhurst!!! What about that!!! Runner up Adam Woolley with 374 km. in 3.44.
Sports class had the same AAT and Lisa Trotter flew 395 km. in 3.44 in the LS 8. John Buchanan was 2d with 376 km [3.35] .
Allan Barnes who topped the overall list in club on day 1 went well, but…lost some points today due to pushing on too much , getting low and having to take weaker lift after that on a time lift was quickly disappearing.

 After 2 days on TOP overall , with ONE point ahead on Butch[John Buchanan]

DG -FLUGZEUGBAU said “FAREWELL” to Wilhelm Dirks. He has retired. In the “far” past I met him several times and liked him a lot, very down to earth person. He made DG very popular first with the DG 100 , then the 300 and 800 and now with the already famous DG1001M, flying all those great long flights with Jim Payne and Dennis Tito but also the DG 808 C.and the LS 8 and LS 10.
In 2003 DG combined their effort with the LS business by taking over Rolladen Schneider .
Now it is my ” 2005 JWGC junior” [HusBos]  who is taking over at DG as Chief Construktor. Jelmer is a really nice young man, very talented, modest , motivated and clever.I am very proud on him .
Jelmer studied at the University of Delft and graduated with Loek Boermans , is 32 years old now and works already 3 years for DG. Wishing him GOOD LUCK and a good retirement for Wilhelm!!!!!

Wilhelm Dirks with Jelmer Wassenaar.
Picture courtesy Lothar Schwark.

New Mexico was on “the map” this week.A long time ago the WGC was in Hobbs in New Mexico, this year Albuquerque had the best statistics for the USA OLC list as club and this week 500 hot air balloons started at the same time for a Hot Air Balloon Week. What a colourful magnificent event.
In Roswell also in New Mexico, an Austrian dare devil was supposed to jump , weather permitting, yesterday with a parachute,  from the “border of space/read,…what’s possible for a human being….36.576 m.”. He tests a new pressure outfit, for future flights at big height  and for private space missions. On top of that he tries to set a few new world records. Sponsored by Red Bull the 43 year old Felix Baumgartner ,is supposed to fall down with a speed of 1110 km./ph, through the sound barrier. The speed of a “normal”  parachutist is about 200 km./ph.
He will go up with a huge helium balloon with a little capsule under it ; that’s his spot to jump from. Unfortunately the wind was too strong so we have to wait till at least tomorrow for the next attempt.
Do not know how smart this is?

We might know next Sunday, see you then,

cheers Ritz

Queensland State Comps ! Mount Beauty !


VH-GVS;Near Mount Bogong in winter .

It’s ALL happening in Australia this time of the year.
Though ….on October 4 a Nimbus 3DM, flew 577 km.[500FAI triangle] in South Africa from Orient.
And….. Italian kilometer-eater Alfredo Giretti flew from Rieti a 500 km. as well in the ASH 31/21 m. topping the OLC list from 29 pilots who added their flight on the OLC list that day. Next week the new year starts for the OLC. And…it looks  Alfredo will be the OLC Champion for Europe. [see blog on soaringcafe with more details.]

Got some news again from Mount Beauty , this time the September issue of the Alpine Flyer. Read in it that the new ASK21 is on its way to Melbourne, shipped on September 12 and the estimated arrival date will be October 25. The VH-GVA will be a great new toy for the club, so pretty clear they are all excited!



The VH-GVA from the Alexander Schleicher  factory via container to Melbourne to be flown from Mount Beauty.
In the container is another AS glider as well also bound for Australia.

A syndicate of 4 Club members  has an ASK 21 since 2008, this time mi, selflaunching, the VH-GVS. There are 2 one/fifth shares for sale at the moment in this syndicate, including an enclosed custom trailer; price per share ; 39.990, Australian dollar.
It has done around 970 flying hours for 100 engine hours.
So when you are interested , have the papers to fly such a glider and live not too far from Mount Beauty , here is your chance, as it will be stationed/based at Mount Beauty Airfield.
Thanks to Ian Cohn and Andrew Evans for their regular updates and sharing the picture and here is the new web address from Mount Beauty ;


Talking about Australia, good old George Lee flew a nice 535 km flight from the airfield with his name; George Lees Airfield last Tuesday.
One of the pilots flying the Queensland State comps [club and open class]  in the St Cirrus, is Adam Woolley here is his comment on Tuesday’s soaring, which was day 3;
—“Day winner, just!  Kingaroy pilots winning both tasks at the QLD States today 🙂
Stats for the day… 276km at 107.72km/hr; 5.7kts (17%); 51:1 for 22.4km glides at an average interthermal speed of 136km/hr (73kts); lost only 207ft in centering thermals, my best ever!  15km extra in deviations. Best climb: 7.2kts for 2400′; Best glide: 60:1 for 46km;  Final Glide: 46km from 1,250′ below glide :—
These comps are flown from another airfield with the name of an owner; Maccaffrey Field.[SE of George Lees Airfield]  Remember both dad and son McCaffrey pretty well ….only forgot dads name. Shane is the son.

Wednesday was a good day weatherwise, with a 405 km. flight in the Hornet, and good climbs. Though another Hornet pilot mentioned that it was a tough blue day over scrub; AAT 3.5 hours.
Pam Kurstjens won this day 4 in open class [391 km.] and unfortunately one pilot got 748 penalty points for an airspace violation.He was 1 overall over the first 3 days!! Tough! But…he got 1000 points in the pocket again on the next day as he flew 308 km. over a 3 hout AAT.[3.18]
No flying anymore for Adam as duty “called”.
The state comps pilots logged 7 pretty good soaring days and several hours in their logbooks. Not bad for early spring!
Winners in club class and open class; Ray Stewart [discus BT] and Pamela Kurstjens.[ASH 31/21m.]  Congratulations!

Loved the comment on day 6 by Phil Southgate who flies the Hornet from Mccaffrey Field; Here it is when you have not read it yet and …you csan learn from it as well.
—“Qld State Comp Day 6.  Ok what a day.  Had to pull brakes before the start gate open so I didnt bust 6500′ then didnt get another climb.  Had to grovel out low and struggled to get up into the lift band again. started just after 1pm while everyone had 30 mins head start – which meant a 3hr task would finish after 4pm (and the day would be almost over).  Anyway I struggled off and had to stay under 6500′ until out of airspace but tried to stay in the lift band above 5000′ hence the little glides early.  Then once away from airspace I could get stuck into it and the good lift was where i wanted it.  All week Coach Blue dog has been egging me on to crack a 9knotter and I did between Leyburn and Pratten.  It was going off ! Tried to pull out of the thermal core only to fly straight into STRONGER LIFT and bang PENALTY for being punched above 9500′ while I had the Hornet in a dive !!!!!  Moral of the story – give yourself some room just in case.  Then on to Millmerrin and into the usual grave yard that it is known for.  I was near 9000′ and down to below 3000′ over near the Millmerrin strip before I hit a 1knotter.  Scratched away and then headed to Broadwater only to scrape out over the big feed lot NW of Cecil Plains. I could see the cow pats clearly as I searched for the Hail Mary save again.  Found it and was just happy to get home.  What a day !!!!! —”

Yesterday an LS 8 pilot flew from Warwick , SE of Jondaryan on another splendid day a 600 km. flight. The season has really started!!!!


Got a nice tip about a dual tow with picture from Bart Konings. The picture was made on the airfield de Peel here in Holland, domaine from the ZES,  where I flew in the past as well, with the same club. The tug is a PA 25 Pawnee.

 My friends Tony and Jo from Australia are on their way to the MORNING GLORY. With 8 gliders and a group of about 20, they met at the border of NSW and Queensland ast St. George and travel and fly to Burketown for the Morning Glory. Jo will keep us informed about their trip.

Tony [TT] and Jo when we met last month in Amsterdam

Another long time  friend from Australia is Ian Newman, Nimbus, for insiders. I noticed that he offers his plane to fly around the world to a now,  just 18 year old young man, who wants to be the youngest pilot flying solo around the world  in this FALCO next year. Look at the nice picture!He normally does n’t do so,  but as he says “it’s a great kid”!Hope a good pilot as well, but Nimbus knows what he does!

The VH-SWF, what a nice toy!

Last but not least,…..we try to get ALL young members in our clubs and want to keep them. Here is a nice story in a Gympie paper I got from Jo. Gympie is in the East of Australia between Brisbane and Toowoomba. I drove that part a few times in the past,  by bus going from Tocumwal to Brisbane in the far past,  to visit my friends Peter and Sue.

See you on Wednesday again, AND….HAPPY BIRTHDAY to 2 of my long time friends I got to know via Sportavia; Maria in Munich and Dieter Dundee in Oldenburg.cheers Ritz

Wave flights over 1000 km.!Read the very informative picture -story by Bert Schmelzer jr.!!!!!!!!

Alphen aan den Rijn   Wednesday October 3 2012

As you can see MOST important things FIRST!!!! Back home again and this morning I had for the first time , time to check mails, internet and facebook. No secret that I LOVE the pictures and the stories with them, from Bert jr.and just that what’s the first thing I saw this morning . So my day started well!
If I look at them and read how he describes what happens,  it nearly feels that I am with him in the glider looking and feeling the special circumstances from this great wave flight. Can’t do anything else then recommend strongly to hit the link above to the story/pictures of this awesome 1037 km. wave flight , maybe you have the same experience! Thanks Bert!!!!

Promised you some news about the WWGC , next year in Issoudun. A few countries will be there for the very first time in history!!! The Netherlands is one of them with Natasja van der Neut as pilot and maybe 2 more young ladies , both students and very busy with work- placement, so at this stage I am not yet sure if they want to /can go. At least they are selected!!!! Will keep you informed.
Natasja will go, was there already for the Pre WWGC and loves to perform well there for Holland. She was last year also the Competition director for the Dutch Nationals, so FAI  rules and annexes will be firmly in her head.
Another country is the USA. Never knew they had not send before a lady to a WWGC but from Sarah I heard this news and also that she is going to participate over there. GREAT! First she flies in January in Chaves at the 32d WGC.

Had a quick look at the days I missed on the OLC. First on the 26th of course a HIGH LIGHT with 2x 1000 km. flights from Agathazell in Germany and the one from Bert from Hausen am Albis in Switzerland, where he flew with 145km/h wind!!!!. Flights in ASW 28/18m., DG 800/18m. and Bert flew the ASG 29. Also from Unterwössen great flights [up to 997 km.]  and even a St. Libelle joined in , in the happiness from the great wave day; 662 km.
On the 29th , fantastic wave weather in Scotland where several pilots flew between 700 and 900 km. making John Williams comment on the day; “Finally a decent wave day in 2012!”
On Sunday the last day of September 358 pilots added their flight on the OLC. October 1 started with 37 flights.

Bert jr. here above the SAHARA from Moroco, turns out to be not only a great pilot but also a very good photographer and story teller.

Read on FB that the South African gliders will be back from Uvalde end of this week, so my SA friends can start their season in time. And …Oscar added a lovely picture, here you are when you are not on FB.

Finally end of this month the Dutch- Argentinian pilot Julio Poch will be in court. He is in prison now in Argentina!!!Friends here from Holland and lot’s of Transavia pilots [ he flew for them and was arrested on his last flight before retirement in Spain] have signed already a petition  and one of them mentions; “its unbelievable how basic human rights were violated against this guy in the Netherlands and now he is at the mercy of the Argentine interpretation of human rights!”
More and more proof has been found that he cannot have done the terrible things they accuse him of in Argentina. So if you want to sign as well;

Had a great time in the Southern part of our small country, the area I was born and lived for 22 years. Though it rains like “hell” now and looks really like autumn, we had the most beautiful weather; sunny and blue skies. Enjoy the beauty from the Malpi, a protected natural environment in autumn colours.


Lots of walking, eating, drinking enjoying music on the market place, looking at lots of art and really loving the beauty of Brabant, with the forest, fens and protected bird- breeding-places.Together with my high school friends, my family on the family-day and 2 exta quality days with my daughter and grand- children.


Last but not least;
Here is the news from SEGELFLIEGEN INTERNATIONAL , very sorry to read they stop with it!!!
—“Hello to all friends of gliding,
I am pleased to announce that the new and final edition of “segelfliegen INTERNATIONAL”  is online now! This is what you will find on 50+ pages:
– WGC2012: To the moon and back – How to use your glide computer for safe final glides – Air Force Cadets love German gliders – Parachute and Bailout: Know your Companion – Test: LX 9000 – What is the difference between GPS- and Pressure Altitude? – Giorgio Galetto reports on his accident.
These are just some of the articles that you can read on your PC, Mac, iPad or Android-based device. Of course, you can browse through the magazine free of charge before buying like in any “real” newsstand. Just follow this link, scroll down and click on the magazine’s cover:
You can also find us on Facebook: or at
But here is also some sad news: Unfortunately, we have to discontinue the production of “segelfliegen INTERNATIONAL” from now on. You will find some background information inside the magazine.
Enjoy reading and gliding!
Best regards,
Helge Zembold Chief editor “segelfliegen INTERNATIONAL”—-

Enough news for today, surely I forgot things but if so,  you can read them next Sunday. Cheers Ritz