See you NEXT year! Updated with news from the latest G.I.!

ALPHEN AAN DEN RIJN  Friday December 28 2012

An update as I just received my Gliding International and though I have not a lot of time , I quickly read the very interesting interview with Sebastian Kawa. His book  “Sky full of heat ”  is for sale and you can order it now via
Sebastian speaks free about his time in Uvalde, about the hospitality of the locals, about his nearest concurrent Mathias Sturm  from Germany,who he considers as a pilot who really flies well ,”striking”  and takes risks by for example flying on his own in the blue, about his family life, his wife and children, 2 young girls, about the Diana, about Mac who flew a Diana as well in Uvalde and ” certainly flies well” and….. his wish to try  next time an 18 m. class glider!
As you know he flies now in Chaves in a Discus 2A in standard class and he defends his 2010 title!

Also very interesting and I promised Marina to write about it after the GI was out, is the story from Giorgio Galetto, in which he very openly talks about his crash in France, with the title “It can happen to you”. Giorgio survived a serious accident is pretty fit again at the moment, but hard on himself , to help you to avoid such an accident.
I am a pilot guilty of improper conduct during a contest flight. During the flight, when parallel to the ridge  ,I thought I would take what lift there was and adjusted my speed accordingly. My external visual inspection had been to slow and too wide ranged. I was passive, I had a lack of response and attention. All this was due to a state of great exhaustion. The flight conditions were extremely tiring all the time flying along a testing ridge. I did not drink and eat properly during the flight as I always do. 

The day of the accident had a 414 km. long task, under the poorest conditions. He tells further about the impact through the trees, the damage on the glider and the physical damage. For the rest of the story you can read the latest January/February GI and before it was in German in Segelfliegen the Magazine.
Thanks Marina!

Further on a magic picture from Maria Szemplinsky on the centre spread of the GI,—talking about trees,—with husband Jerzy flying over colourfull trees at Lake Placid,
—- the 23 m. two seater from Schempp-Hirth the QUINTUS by the new commentator for GI on new sailplanes from Europe,  Italian pilot Aldo Cernezzi [lovely guy]
—-a visit to the Lithuanian Vintage Gliding Club by Francis Humblet
—-feet or metres
—-Flarm and much more ENJOY!!!!!

My lovely Christmas days are over , busy, but full of JOY. Hope you had some good days as well. Packing now my last things for the trip to Australia.
Holland had about 12 dgr. ABOVE 0, so a very mild Christmas time. Even Munich in Germany was “hot” with up to 22 dgr. PLUS , but Russia suffers from extreme cold up to minus 60 dgr. and by that temperature people even die,123 already at the moment,.. very sad. And the South of the USA suffers from heavy snow storms.

On December 27 it was 25 years ago that Kees Musters who won the WGC in Hobbs [New Mexico] crashed with his hangglider against some rocks on a mountain. Kees spend a lot of time with us and not only we,  but I found out a lot of soaring-friends,  still miss him/ think of him.

For those who have never heard from the Kees Musters Speed Award,  here is what it is all about. The link was send to me by a young ZES member the club where both Kees and George and I were a member from.
—” History; The Kees Musters Speed Awards was initiated in 1988 by individual members of the Soaring Society of America (SSA) in memory of former World Soaring Champion Kees Musters of the Netherlands. Funding for the award came from donations from soaring pilots around the world.
—“Rules; The award is given permanently to the pilot achieving the fastest daily speed in the 15m Class at the World Gliding Championships. Should there be a tie, it shall be resolved between the tieing pilots in favor of the one who achieved the second (or third, etc. in case of continuing tie) fastest daily speed, compared to the other tieing second (of third, etc.) pilot(s).
—“Description;  The award consists of a oak wood plaque with lucite over a photo of a 15m class glider with a brass plate with engraving.
—” Administration ; The plaque shall be sent by SSA to the organizers of each 15m World Gliding Championships for delivery prior to the end of the competition. The organisers are responsible for the engraving.

Kees and I in 1967.

In between nearly everybody who is participating in the WGC at Chaves is on the way or has arrived. The Christmas weather over there was not TOO good with storms and rain. Still very windy on Wednesday and a relative low 22 dgr. C. But on TV I saw that South America is hit by very hot weather. 43 the highest ever in Rio De Janeiro and also Buenos Aires is hot again.
I heard that about 50 gliders are rented out by several Argentinian clubs. Good for them!I also noticed on blogs that some pilots really have to work hard to get it all in the condition they want, some wing tips do not fit, gliders don’t fit in trailers and a validation to fly from Chili to Argentina , where a German pilot picked up his glider, takes time as well. And,…some gliders arrive later then planned causing less practise for the overseas pilots.
One pilot made a real search for all on FB about what he had forgotten. Lot’s of reactions ….in the end it turned out he left his tips in the trailer at home in Europe, but NO WORRIES the TC takes them for him.
That’s where the TC is for,  is n’t it? I did that job many times, loved it!

Chaves from above.The camping area is between the trees.

Here is Howard Jones [with his  permission] from team UK,  flying together with Jez Hood in standard class and I quote the whole story from FB,  as I did not know which parts I should take, as it was all interesting. I feel SO sorry for all of them,  but I know the soaring fraternity will be there to help where possible with tents and what’s more damaged!!!!! No people injured,…that is the most important.
It was a hot day,… is Howard’s story,

–” So yesterday was baking hot but we got more gear out of the container and rolled the fuselages out to check them. Hard hot work but they were all good so we got everyone else’s tents out and took them back to the campsite. We built the three event shelters first, and they were welcome respite from the sun. As there is no food or drink etc on the airfield yet we decided to pop into town to get some provisions.In main cafe in town we briefly caught up with the outside world but then the manager started rushing all his tables inside… Then the whole street erupted. A wall of dust engulfed us and then horizontal rain with 60mph winds, we sprinted to the car and just made it inside. Now we had to get back to the camp, it was in the middle of the trees, but we needed to check all was still ok. We drove through the streets of the town with near zero vis, horizontal gale force rain and trees coming down in the street. As we approached the airfield the storm had passed, and we tentatively drove towards the camp. It was completely flattened. Our three event shelters were damaged, and Ian and liz’s tent had three broken poles. With a stiff upper lip we got on with repairing the mess. After three hours of repairs all looked as good as new (well almost). It was now raining pretty constantly and the site had turned into a quagmire. Luckily we had the repaired event shelters to keep all our kit dry and all the electrics. Time to breath again… We went to bad early after a nice supper with the Dutch in their industrial strength shelter. At 4pm I was woken by strong winds again and I got up to check everything was ok, the wind just seemed to be effecting the tops of the trees and the shelters were fine, it was nothing like the gust front we had the previous afternoon. Then about two tonnes of tree fell and hit the ground just on the far side of the tents. Nice. So what do I do now? Maybe run around outside and get hit in the head by something. The tents and shelters all seemed fine so I opted for curling up in a ball under my duvet and hoping no branches hit my tent. Then I heard the noise. It was like about 20 juggernauts hammering down the road towards me. The ball I was in got tighter. When it hit, my tent went flat over the top of me and there were horrendous crunching and tearing noises all around, then it was gone. I climbed out and joined Ian and Liz who had escaped their tent and we surveyed the damage. There was nothing to do except wrap the tables, fridge and un-erected tents etc in one of the canopies from the shelter, and retreat out of the rain until morning. by then we were just glad to be alive. We will start making repairs today once it stops raining. hopefully at least two of three shelters will be saved. With no wifi at the site we have no real way of knowing what weather is coming next… Glad we decided not to rig any gliders. Anyway Happy Christmas to all from us in sunny Argentina!!–“

Not all tents were blown away and for incoming guests , who could not put on their tent, the organizers had a place to stay till the weather got better. Electricity was gone and Internet off,…..WOW, what a first week in Chaves before the comps start.But hopefully this bad rehearsal makes a great soaring- show!!!
And,…the day before yesterday I heard all is back to normal for our “pommie”friends.GOOD to hear!
Some last news in 2012;

With the next text;
—“Some excellent photos of OG at the South African Nationals by Jan and Eleanor Hattingh.—”

Published by Jonker Sailplanes. Could n’t agree more!

I received this news from Frauke in the USA about women in gliding, which I like to share with you.
—“On a sadder note for 2012: we lost three outstanding women glider pilots. First in January it was Sabrina Jackintell who was the women world altitude holder. Then in November Gill van den Broeck passed away. She might not have been as welknown over here but on the world wide women soaring scene she was an ikon. And just in the last “minute” she was honored with the Majewska Medal for all she had done for women soaring. And now news reached me that on December 15, Helen Dick passed away at age 93. Helen was the first US woman who earned a Diamond badge and the second woman inducted into the Soaring Hall of Fame.—“

Boxing day is THE day for people who love sailing, as the Sydney to Hobart race is for years and years POPULAR in Australia. The weather in Victoria and the S of NSW was pretty good also for the glider pilots, with flights from 948 km.[750 Fai triangle in Ventus 2 CM] from Corowa, 784/5 km. from Benalla in ASH 26E and ASG 29 E/18m. and 595 in the DG 600/17m. from Tocumwal.

Never heard till now from Polish pilot Thomasz Chudoment, but he is flying the Arcus in Kiripotib at the moment , flew 6 times, 3x over 1000 and 3 x over 750. Not bad!
I met Dutch kilometer eater ,Bert de Wijs on an open day not long ago and he told me he had had a nasty fall in his house,  having been in serious condition [pain]  with a shoulder and knee problem.
I was pleasantly surprised to see him in Kiripotib, flying the ASW22 BE, BUT, his shoulder on which he had an operation is still not good and in his comment he hopes that his 3d flight on Boxingday was not his last one. Hope so too for him.

Bert with Bert Schmelzer jr.

And….. I got a list of a claim for class D world records as received by the FAI, just to let you know;

Claim number : 16721
Sub-class :D15 (15m Class Gliders)
Category: General
Type of record : Straight Distance to a Goal
Course/location : S. Lago Puerredón – El Sosneado Rio (Argentina)
Performance : 1’403 km
Pilot : Jean-Marc Perrin (Switzerland)
Glider : DG-800 / Glaser-Dirks operated by Date :20.12.2012
Current record :  no record set yet


Claim number : 16722
Sub-class :D15 (15m Class Gliders)
Category: General
Type of record : Free Distance
Course/location : S. Lago Puerredón – El Sosneado Rio (Argentina)
Performance : 1’403 km
Pilot : Jean-Marc Perrin (Switzerland)
Glider : DG-800 / Glaser-Dirks operated by
Date :20.12.2012 Current record :  no record set yet

And interesting weather in Australia also; from nearly in the heart of Australia Alice Springs to the far East border, was on Monday a line full of thunderstorms from about 2000 km. wide/long. Causing colder air south of it and hot weather N.of the line.Sydney had pretty cool temperatures with 22 dgr. The Sydney to Hobart race started on Boxingday.

That ‘s it for 2012,  a year full of good moments, hope 2013 will be the same or even better. For you too!!!!!!
Off to Tocumwal now and though the main goal is a sad one,—– 25 years without our Dennis,—- [on January 3] , I look forward to catch up with my friends, to see “our” old hangar and the airfield. Still love Tocumwal!!!

CU next year, suitcase is packed, laptop will be packed now,

Merry Christmas dear friends and a HAPPY, HEALTHY and SAFE 2013!!


only 3 days to go for Christmas




a Happy , Safe and Healthy 2013

Season greetings for ALL of you ! Wishing you wonderful Christmas days and a happy , healthy and safe 2013 in which I hope to meet a lot of you again!
As I have the grand children for a few days and I have to pack this upcoming week there will be not a lot of writing and during the change in to the new year I will have just arrived in Tocumwal after 24 hours of travelling by plane, a night in Melbourne and a 3 hour trip to Toc.
So I am a bit early , but better too early then too late.

Soaring life continued after Wednesday’s blog and Wednesday turned out to be a topper again in  Namibia where they have not a golden time but a platinum one. Sterling flights in long winged high performance gliders with [of course atleast you expect that] more kilometers then the bit smaller wings , but all great achievements.
When you ARE at the spot,[money, time ], when the weather is there and when you have a good glider you have all ingredients to perform at your best.

What about Alexander Müller flying [ from Pokweni] 1.391,21 km. with a best speed of 143 km.h. in the EB 29 [from Walter Binder] which he ” cherishes with credits and glory ” , in this distance a 1000 k FAI triangle as well.
And yesterday Alexander flew his last flight for this season from Pokweni;  he flew 11 out of 13 flights OVER 1000 km including another top flight on the last day;1.286,73 km. and 2x 900-plus!

What about Bostjan, who ”  used”  the EB 28 [ flying from Bitterwasser]  for his fun,fame and glory with a speed of 149 km./h. over a 1.203 FAI triangle,[ a total of 1.291 km.]

On Thursday Bostjan flew 1000- km-number- 11 in the 15 days he is there till now. The flight [ 1.171 km] was with Woody, who flew with us in the past as well, but mainly flies and flew in Bitterwasser; you can call him a “local”.

IMPRESSIVE as well the flight from Belgium pilot Johan Luyckx in a 15m version  LAK 17; just 1000 km but a nice 900 km FAI triangle. More of my Belgium friends arrive soon in Bitterwasser.


OG with Oscar Goudriaan NATIONAL CHAMPION from South Africa.

 Welkom finished on a high,  as after all the rain and scrubbed days at least 2 TOP days with over 500 and 600 km. were set. Days on which pilots can show what they can, not that in a 2 hour AAT you can’t see that , but flying a set task certainly a long one, is different then a task in which you can find your own border within a circle.
And certainly with storms “hanging”around it is THE way to still have have a good competition day.
They managed to squeeze 8 days out of 13, certainly not bad.
When I left you on Wednesday the pilots in 18 m/open had a 2.00 AAT, to avoid storms.
AND ,…look with what speed good old Oscar [JS1 C] flew around, must have been a great final glide!!!!??? 167.4 km./h!!!And on top of that he flew 338 km. And,… in 2 hours and ONE minute, so nearly on the dot!!
Not bad from Natalie [ASH 25] as well she flew 311 km. in 2 hours and 2 minutes so a nice speed of 152.5 km./h. Good on her!!! She was by the way on spot 2 overall on Wednesday evening with “only” 100 points behind Oscar!!!
Of course the high speed over such a small task devalues the points , so no 1000 points for Oscar but I guess he is as happy with the 707 points and Natalie with her 704 points.

The JS 1 C this one is from brother Laurens who flew with a speed of 143 km./h around!
Not bad either!

On Thursday another AAT , this time 2.30! And Natalie from Germany is getting closer as she was 2d that day and Oscar 4th but the difference in points was only 36 points on another devalued day.
Winner was Lithuanian pilot Gintas Zube with 260 km. in 2.28; speed 144 km./ the JS 1B.
Friday was the last day and had a set task from 413.3 km. in 18/open. Wings were polished extra to get the best performance out of each glider!
Oscar won the day with the nice speed of 145.6 km./h. AND the nationals with a total of 6590 points. Runner up for the day with 9 km. /h. less,  was Natalie and she was the runner up overall as well . John Coutts was 3d passing on the overall list Laurens [7th spot for the day] , who ended on spot 4 overall!
A pity that in the other classes were only a few compititors, you can see their results at

1.599,10 just not 1600 km. for Jean Marc Perrin in his 15 m. DG 808 and a GOAL flight!!!!It’s not the best year for the pilots waiting for long wave flights over the Andes , but still a few really good flights .
What about the average speed of 215 km./h over 1.564. km.on 12-12-12 by Philippe Athuil in the Nimbus 4DM.I wrote about the flight on the day after but here is the comment from the “boys ” on the  OLC, which I quote;

—“the weather started a bit later  and softer than we thought We wanted to fly a 1000k out and return for a US open class Motorglider multiplace record and have  a 3 turn point as well . After a slow start tip toeing we found the wave improving as we went north with a 11m/s climb close to the turpoint running south was a “pedal to the metal”  and closed the 1000 in 4h41min. After that we ran to our next turnpoint but we could not pass up the Esquiel wave for an extra fun in a classic boomer final glide . Jean Marie Clement showed his expertise, talent and  profound knowledge of Patagonia. Thanks to the whole group for exposing me to such extraordinary flying.—“

Argentinian pilot Damian [Goldenzweig] did some practise for the WGC in Chaves, where he is a participant for his home country in Standard class,  in his LS 8 flying the Regionals in Azul, being 3d ,  2d  and 2d on the first 3 days on a 2.30 and 2.00 AAT  and a set task of 121.2 a combi / 15m. class.
Day 4 had a 3 hour AAT with 1000 points , not for Damian , but he had 941 being 3d. Pretty consistant! He is on spot 2 now overall with 68 points behind the number 1, Martin Bossart, a very typical Dutch name!!!!

The Dutch are on their way to Chaves and Frans shows us in a picture what Argentina is all about, including The TANGO. They all  rave about the steaks to big for the plate and the bottles of beer and wine , no not glasses,  you get in restaurants.
My Aussie friends are there or on their way as well   and I guess it ‘s getting more busy and more exciting at Chaves now!

Argentina,..the tango, as seen by Frans after arrival.
Courtesy Frans Guise.

and 3 more impressions from Frans from Buenos Aires, people on the street and the Ministry of Defense.


and….demonstrations ,…a few a day.

And,… Schiphol welcomed the 50.000.000 passenger for the year 2012!!!!! The lady, flying from Singapore to Amsterdam was welcomed by the CEO of KLM and Schiphol and more “important people'”, but what’s MUCH nicer she was flown by one of my friends Eric Borgmann, [captain 777 with KLM] who was runner up in the WGC van Borlange in Sweden, years ago just behind Andy Davis!!! He looked well on TV.

Eric , as glider pilot at Terlet during the Nationals.

Nice flights today from Corowa, where Harry nearly flew a 1000;916 km. [ 804 FAI triangle]  7 Pilots flew over 600 km. first through blue conditions, but as said before “Aussie blue thermals” can be very strong, than linking to a through line in the neighbourhood on 150 NE of Corowa, creating unstable conditions with overdevellopment and further enroute, clusters of showers, as Harry mentions in his comment.
Brian du Rieu flew from Tocumwal also up North through the blue to reach the trough;637 km in his LS 10/18m.

 The world still turns around, so we will go as always ,….. with the flow. I was utterly amazed that the Premier [ Gillard] from Australia strongly believed in the end of the world and said so on TV with even with a thank you to “her”  Aussies……and ” Good luck to you all”!!!!!!!!”
Must have been a joke, can’t imagine a prime- ministers brain ,  ” SO far out of  this world”.

Cu NOT on Wednesday cause of Christmas day but will be back on Friday morning  before I leave on Saturday.
Well,….. I have prepared my Christmas dinner for 6 for tonight [daughter Inge is standby from Dec. 24 till 28, that’s why] So laptop goes off till Friday and again I wish you


 Cheers Ritz

CU next Sunday,..when the world still turns around! And….so lovely to follow our former guests.


First of all THANK YOU for all congratulations and kind words on my birthday! I had a SUPER day and too many facebook and hotmail messages to count, but I loved them all. So again THANK YOU!!

Would it be such a dream competition that nobody indeed has to worry about loosing points for infringements flying the WGC from Chaves ?
—“AIRSPACE FILE: There is no need for this file since there is no airspace to be worried about. As we have informed in the Bulletin 1, the competition area will be located in Buenos Aires Province. The organization has achieved that, during the contest, there will be no airspace restrictions of any kind, so there are no SUA files. Therefor the .cub file, See You vector map for Argentina, does not exist.–“

Talking about infringements , there were a few as I told you during the Junior comps in Lake Keepit. With the only 24 points on day 1 due to an outlanding, [only 24 km. and 57 points]  Matthew Scutter still managed to have spot 4 on the overall list. Would he be a new Kees Musters?
In the end I noticed that the penalty points for him and one other pilot on day 4 have been scrubbed, 2 other pilots kept their 0 points. Matthew won 4 from the 6 days and though I only heard from him,[ never met him,]  I did ,to be honest not expect any infringements from him , so GREAT that was deleted, don’t know  however exactly why!
Winner was Andrew Maddocks,  who won also the last day [6 out of 7] ] , with 5433 points AND also the last 2 junior comps.
I met him at JWGC’s and found him an out -going , lovely young man with a great soaring talent, which will even grow as he is supported by his enthusiastic family,  all pilots , mum, dad and brother Nick who won day 1 and ended on spot 5 with 4817 points.
Runner up Colin Stauss with 5226 and on spot 3 at the podium Nathan Johnson with 4993 points.
And 4845 points for Matthew.
I believe from what I read and heard that the NZ boys have had a great time as well. Nick finished on spot 8 and Alex on 9.
Here is with their permission the latest picture and story from Alex and Nick from NZ!Thanks guy’s and good luck with the preparations for and the partcipation at the JWGC in Narromine in 2015!

—“We are sitting at the airport on the gold coast ready to fly back to CHCH. Its been a great couple of weeks. The flying was great and competitive. We learnt a hell of a lot and hopefully have become better pilots.  We still have a long way to go for our goal of flying in the 2015 junior worlds in Narromine AU. We would like to thank all the people who have helped us get here, financially and for support along the way. There is to many people to thank on here but we are hugely grateful for every ones support. Here’s a link to the final results. Nick Managed to beat Eric Stauss to claim the junior tans-Tasman trophy. It was a very competitive field with many of the competitors in there last year as being a junior. This puts us in a good place for future.

Cheers Alex and Nick—“

We continue with South Africa and hoped of course for much better weather in Welkom. When I left you on Sunday, there were 2 official days and 5 cancelled days!
Flying day 3 and 4 were a fact and indeed the weather improved more to the SA standard!
Day 3 in 18/open was won by Andy Davis who flies HC.[ 312 km. in 2.33,54]  Winner that day was Mannie with 312 km. in 2.37 during a 2.30 AAT, who flies an ASG 29.

Oscar[OG]  was 2d , Laurens 4th, Sven 5th, Jonh Coutts 9th, Philippe Schroeder 10thb and Peter and Ron sharing the JSc1 11th.

Flying day 4 had a 503 km. task for the 18m/open pilots, 218 for club and 372.9 km for 15 m. and this time the weather was perfect to fly it. Oscar won the 1000 points in his JS 1 c, with 142 km. /h. Brother Laurens was runner up missing ou on 2 whole points!!! Overall they both top the list as well after 4 soarable days;3261 for Oscar and 3213 for Laurens.
I love their SA language , the most interesting birthday wish was send from SA; “Hartlik gefeliciteerd mag daar nog vele gesonde jare voor zijn”.

On day 5 REAL S.A. tasks were set , meaning for 18/open a 648.6 km. and 500 for 15m and 300 for the club-pilots!
AND,…it was another 1000 points day with John Coutts winning , winning a day for the 2d time, with a nice speed of 135 km./ the 18m./open class in a JS 1, while Nathalie Lüben from Germany and a frequent flyer in Africa was runner up in their ASH 25.[130 km./h]

Last Sunday, on my birthday great flights again and the first 50 flights added to the OLC were between 634 from New Tempe to 1.254 km from Pokweni by Alexander Müller with a speed of 141 km.h.
Bernd Weber from Schemmp-Hirth flew from Bitterwasser, 1.216 km. and it is great to see your former guests fly so well every where in the world.
So has Chris Davison arrived in Corowa and before already Harry [Wondergem ] Anders [ Olsson] and Rudi [Herzog] , Andreas [Sieber] ,  Pepe [Gresa, who flies also from Narromine]and  Peter [Zander].
Herman Hamm flies in Bitterwasser and Michael [Godoj] flew in the Antares 934 km. from Kiripotib. Lovely to follow them, thanks to OLC.
Hans [Wiesenthal] flies from Kuruman [-Johan Pi]  and flew last Monday his first 1000 of the season, a real nice 1059 FAI triangle with 114 km/h. Good o him. His so maniest! His mates the Kalisch brothers,  both flew in Nimbus 4DM[Gert] and ASW 22 [Norbert] 1.62,74 km and 1.263,45 with 138 km/ph., both flying as Hans a nice 1000-FAI -triangle!!! I am pretty sure they are former guests as well!
The Finnish LS 6 is still stationed  in Tocumwal and Hannu[Korhonen]  is flying it there at this moment, while I hope to see Jari [Julin] and Kari[Lapalainen]  there later.

Another 21 over -1000 -km. flights from Namibia on December 16, their 2012/2013 season is solid- gold!!!Including another 3 over 1000 km FAI triangles, by Alexander, Bernd and Bostjan.
In between on spot 36 on Sunday; Atilla Bertok and I am nearly 100 % sure he is the hang glider pilot who turned after a minimal amount of flights with Eddie and/or  Don into a glider pilot with us at Tocumwal during a hang glider competition. He flew with a Cirrus 709 km. from Lake Keepit.
Yesterday 4 over 1.100 km. flights from Bitterwasser ,[ one in an 18 m Ventus,]  with Bostjan flying 1.279 km [1000 FAI triangle ] with 151.63 km./h. in the EB 28. He really was in a hurry!

Chaves is welcoming their guests.

Picture Jeroen Verkuijl
and the 3 Dutch pilots /toppers flying in Club class; Tim Kuijpers who was the Junior World champion in Musbach ,[ here together with Bart Berendsen, who flew in “my” JWGC – team in Husbos] , Peter Millenaar who was Dutch National Champion and he flew the JWGC in Räyskälä and Jeroen Verkuijl who flew the Pre-Worlds in Chaves last year and got his holiday to go again!!!Sorry only could usde his FB picture as I could not find one in my file.
Frans here is a job for you in Chaves!


Last but not least: Andre Kuijpers our Dutch astronaut got on December 17 an honarary membership of the KNVvL. The KNVvL is the official body  for ALL airsports in Holland including our soaring association, as well as aviation knowledge and aviation science! Specially for young future kids interested in aviation Andre is a real welcome hero, wellknow world wide and “touchable”! Like him a lot!
Weirdest thing is that George and my daughter Inge had lunch before with AnneCor Groeneveld who had the honor of handing over this honorary membership a bit later. Should have known!!!!
Here a nice picture via Caroline who shared it on FB with our president of the soaring department from the KNVvL Ronald Termaat and his lovely daughter Anouk!And one with Andre and “my” photographer Frans.


2 Blogs to go and I disappear to Australia, but don’t worry I take my laptop and when you are interested you can follow me via this blog in Tocumwal and Benalla.
CU next Sunday, …..that is when the world still turns around after December 21.By the way that’s the shortest day here and the longest down under, so we look ahead at longer days and  at spring again.[bit optimistic!!!!]As you know I am a positive person.

Cheers Ritz


Some comps finished , some about to start!


ALPHEN AAN DEN RIJN  Sunday December 16 2012

Joey Glide was fun to follow. Matthew Scutter was “flying high” but had a few “low-points” as well! From the worst spot to be at, on the first day , nearly winning every day  after is amazingly good .
It looks and I have seen that often, he was flying without fear or reserve looking at the highest he still could  reach after that debacle on day 1!
I once gave you the example of Kees Musters flying at the Benalla WGC in 1987. He started bad , but won several days and ended just out of the podium on spot 4. It’s all possible !

Matthew preliminary won also day 4 , a 350 km fixed task, with a speed of 116.8 km. , 10 km. faster than the runner up Andrew Maddocks still firm [ just over 100 points] on spot 1 overall after 4 days.
BUT,….DAY 4 turned out in the end to be NOT the winning day for Matthew,  as he lost 398 points due to an infringement of the Tamworth CTA buffer, after the loggers were checked. Another young pilot  lost 596 points. 2 Other pilots even got ZERO points for the day. A tough way to learn, but that’s how it is!

The NZ boy’s did pretty well, being after 4 days on spot 7 and 8;here is a reaction;—“Today was a good day. It was blue in most places but there was still strong lift in most places. Some climbs went to 1100ft.  Nick and Alex were still a bit anxious about going out in the blue after landing out last time it was blue. They still did ok with speeds close to 100 kph. “—

Alex rolling out.

For day 5  the forecast was for a blue day again but after the long tough day 4, [where some of the young ones flew up to 5 hours] ,they set  a rest day!
That day however turned out good as yes , Matthew blew the disappointment out of his system by flying 580 km. with a speed of 131 km./ the Discus 2.

And all pilots, fresh again, managed to fly soaring day 5 with a B task from 2 hours [AAT] AND a winner with a wellknow name Matthew Scutter who flew 250 km. in 2 hours and nearly 6 minutes.
—“Today was forecast to deteriorate quickly with high cloud coming over. On the start line they changed to task “B” a 2 hr AAT. There was a fair bit of uncertainty initially with difficult conditions expected.–“

The last day— today— I can not even give you  preliminary results , neither the names from the winners! One outlanding, a 2 hour AAT and results LATER as the organizers want to keep it secret till the prize giving! Well, why not, it’s their party and,…I have seen how those young ones can party!!!!!!!!
For the final results you can go to , as for those who don’t know, it’s my birthday today , so NO time to look at it anymore.
BUT a very nice competition it was.

The Victorian State Comps only counted 3 days out of 7. Already in his 70thies Tony Tabart won day 3 and finished on spot ? overall in 18m/open class in his Ventus 2 CM/18m. due to one bad day, loosing nearly 350 points. He finished on spot 3 overall, while Peter Buskens in the JS 1 won the comps.

Not so lucky with the weather either ,  but still going till December 21 ,is the National Competition in Welkom. After  flying-day 1 and after  that 2 scrubbed days, because of the rain, day 4 [soaring day 2] had a 2 hour AAT to get in the rhythm  again. Laurens just missed out on winning on his birthday as John Coutts wanted to win the day as well and he did with 237.4 km. in 2 hours and 3 minutes! Laurens flew 241.8 km but needed more time.[ 2.06,5].
Day 3 unfortunately had to be cancelled again, as well as day 4. So 2 days of soaring and 5 cancelled days, BUT there is hope for today!!!!!

Corowa pilot Jos from Holland missed just out on a 1000 km. triangle flying 907 km [total of 945 km.]  last Wednesday.A pity! Several nice long flights from Corowa that Wednesday but also on Thursday., with an 818 km. out and return from Harry Wondergem another Dutch pilot flying from Corowa. He set a
Narromine had good weather with a triangle from 861 km.[total of 898 km.] flown by Pepe. Look at the skies in Temora and Narromine as seen on Wednesday by the Gilberts and Anne and shared on FB.

The rebuilt DG 400 from the Gilberts ready to go in Temora and great clouds used by p.e. Pepe in Narromine, shared via FB.

AND,….at Corowa as seen on their site, which in my opinion is one of the most advanced sites in soaring, not social, but technical informative!

More for me well known pilots in Namibia. They continue to fly great distances over there a a real “feast” for the eyes every morning.
Tocumwal based glider pilot Milan Petcovic [YU]  , atleast when he flies in Australia, flew a 1000 k record flight from Bitterwasser in the Nimbus 3DM and Ludwig Starkl flew in the Antares [20m]  NEARLY 1000 km;989.
Milan , who is an airline pilot for Cathay Pacific, had a very nice interview with Lothar Arndt, another member of both the Sportaviation and Riverina Gliding Club on March 2011 after he flew his first 1000km.-flight from Bitterwasser and I quote a few lines about his opinion of Bitterwasser:
–“this record flight was made in Namibia on the very south west corner of Africa. Africa as a continent is fascinating and for me in particular Namibia with its huge Kalahari desert which meets the cold Atlantic ocean on the west. People in Namibia are wonderful, greeting you with their big genuine smiles. I must say that gliding in Namibia besides all its beauty is “extreme” because for hundreds of kilometers you could be flying over the desert without a single sign of civilization and it is not rare that you have no suitable terrain for an outfield landing. Altitudes at which you fly are between 3000 and 5000 meters what means that you are using  supplemental oxygen most of the time. The temperature in the glider just prior to take off is over 40 C and then in the late afternoon as the sun is setting down the temperature drops down close to freezing. Average duration of the flight is between 7 to 10 hours  (we were flying on a daily basis for 2 weeks) and therefore you must make sure to properly hydrate and feed (nourish) your body. Also, you must make the glider cockpit as comfortable as possible for flights of such duration. Unfortunately such gliding activities are very expensive and I haven’t have the courage yet to sum up all my recent spending’s. I will not exaggerate if I say that tens of thousands of dollars (US) must be invested in such activities. In addition to this, one must invest lots and lots of time what means that all your vacations and many many days off must be spent at glider ports.–“

 “Advanced Soaring” by Bernard Eckey is out as a revised and extended 3 d edition  with a fore- word by 4 time world champion Ingo Renner and 3 time world champion Michael Sommer. When you still need a Christmas present, here is your chance!
Here is some additional information. AND,…they also offer 10% discount on a bulk order of 5 or more books. Just to let you know!
–“a; The new book contains 432 pages (almost 100 additional pages compared to the second edition) b;it features spectacular gliding shots from fellow pilots around the world.  c; The inclusion of additional topics makes it the first all encompassing book on gliding.d; 180 graphics and drawings enhance the text and provide a much improved illustration. –”

Shocked by the disaster in Connecticut, what a DRAMA!!!!!Poor parents, grand parents , brothers and sisters and school mates and family from the adults who were killed.

VERY busy day so my soaringcafeblog can unfortunately only be later then normal. Sorry about that.
Cheers Ritz


Joey Glide! S.A. Nationals at WELKOM! 12-12-12!


Last special date for a long time, for people who want to marry on such a date to surely not get in to problems later by forgetting that special day.
We have to wait 989 years now and 20 days!!!!!!!!!!
BUT…..11-12-13 is already possible NEXT year

As a blogger it pleases me a lot , that more and more young ones write about their soaring experiences in blogs and on Facebook. They share pictures as well, so we feel a bit what’s going on in their world on comps and longtime trips or JWGC’s and even WGC’s, as some juniors and several just-not-juniors-anymore will be in Chaves. At this stage  the New Zealand team performs in Lake Keepit and  a German team is flying from Stonefield. Yesterday they flew over 700 km. in the DG 1000  and LS 10.[777 km.] Today Max flew 834 km [783 FAI triangle] with Felix in the back of the 20 m. span DG 1000.

I follow with pleasure the Junior Comps in Australia. Long ago , in any case before the HusBos JWGC in 2005, young pilots as David Mc Manus and Adam Woolley presented their plans for the organisation of the junior comps during the Nationals. I was a bit astonished; such young people organising their own competition, dealing with notam’s, tugs and tuggies, inviting others, knowing they had to come from far as Australia is a HUGE country. But they did it and with some help from mentors as Paul Mander who went as TC with Nathan and Adam to Husbos , they have made junior soaring very popular in Australia.

I also liked to see how  they still think back on Husbos as a fantastic competition with ONE dark day for for all youngsters and the whole soaring fraternity, when a famous young photographer Neil Lawson died  being hit by a glider while making his spectacular pictures . A TRAGIC and unfortunate accident,…still now at this time and also unforgettable, what a nice and passionate fellow who made the BEST soaring-pictures ever !!!!
Our Dutch team had TWO bad days, one with the accident with the photographer  as 3 of my team stood around him on roofs of cars and could jump down as they saw the glider come with their eyes and NOT through a lens and straight at the arrival ,when one of my  young pilots nearly killed himself, while driving for one split second on the wrong site of the road seeing the airport and crashed with another car, [ both total loss] who’s driver sadly enough ended up in hospital.
In cases as this you see how helpful our soaring world is. The glider was more or less ok after a good check up,  but the trailer damaged and someone brought from far away another trailer to use during the WGC.
And,…flexible as the young ones are, it all continued and last week I saw several nice pictures as memories on a competition in 2005 , with a great impact on some. The sadness combined with the JWGC atmosphere created a bond between many!

Back to Joey Glide from Lake Keepit;

Nick Oakley from NZ finishes over the Lake.
Same kind of pictures you see with finishes in Räyskäla [Finland]

I am not the only one who is interested also Channel 9 and PRIME  [ nice item  to be seen at ]  visited the airfield for coverage of this competition.
They flew 3 out of 3 days till now and on day 1 the pilots [all 25 or under ],  got a 2 hour AAT. Nick Maddocks won the 1000 points by flying 207 km. in 2.18. Brother Andrew was on spot 5 and both boys fly LS 8.
Our NZ friends were on spot 6 {Alex} and 8 {Nick}

Day 2 had an even shorter AAT [B task] from 1.30 and this time Matthew Scutter was the best in the Discus 2 flying 191 km. in 1 hour and 33 minutes while Andrew Maddocks was the runner up. Good on Matthew as he was one of the “au vache” pilots on day 1 with 24.1 km and only 57 points , BUT, …we know what a good pilot he is!!
The weather was pretty crap,but I read on the NZ FB site,” however once we took off the day got really good. The thermals were only 6500ft but were streeting. Most competitors started at the same time. While on course the thermals were good but there were many different possible routes. Later in the day the wind came up which made getting back from the last turn quite hard. Nick had gone further north so his head wind component wasn’t too hard but Alex, who went more to the west, had a strong head wind which made it hard for him to get on final glide. He did get on final glide but ran in to strong sink so chose to land in a paddock rather than having a dodgy glide over the lake. Nick got 11th for the day and Alex got 16th after his land out.” 

Day 3 showed a longer task as a 3 hour AAT was set. A day with high expectations and even a fast day was expected . Matthew managed to get back with the best amount of kilometers; 397.3 in 3 hours and 6 minutes. so speed was  128.2 km./h. GOOOOD!!
The Maddock brothers followed on spot 2 and 3 and our NZ friends ended up on good spots 7 and 11., both flying faster then 100 km./h. All pilots finished!After 3 days the total score is 1. Andrew Maddocks,[ 2687] 2. Colin Strauss,who flies a Mosquito [ 2650] 3 . Nick Maddocks.[2577]
Matthew climbed up to spot 10.

The South African Nationals are in full swing , THOUGH,……  the weather refuses to co-operate. Only one day of soaring with that 534 km set task on day 1, BUT it was unfortunately not flown by any of the pilots . Pieter Nouwens was the best with 334 km. and got the 1000 points. Not such a good day for my friends ,the Goudriaans [HAPPY BIRTHDAY today LAURENS!!!!], being on spot 8 together with 617 points.

Did we have the NSW State comps last week, now the Victorian State Comps are on at Bacchus March, with 24 pilots in 3 classes. They flew 2 days and had yesterday the day off as it was scrubbed! Pretty marginal weather , a lot of outlandings or virtual outlandings, on day 1 and 2  till now.

A bit more NE, the weather was good with 800 km [750 FAI triangle] from Corowa and a nice declared FAI out and return from 300 km by the 2 Japanese guests from  Japan at Tocumwal in an LS 4. Temperature around 30 dgr. AND,…today one of them Takeshi finished his silver C by flying his declared 500 km. AND his 5 hours! Congratulations!!!! Friend Toshi flew his first declared 500 as well.
And not too far from Bacchus a great flight by Tobias Geiger from Benalla yesterday; 727 km [ 536 triangle] flying up to Tocumwal and  one leg along the mountains via Mount Beauty.

Good news for the glider pilots from the EAC at Eindhoven , they are allowed to stay at least till January 2014, to fly from the airport they fly from already for 70 years. They have to co-operate with the civil aviation as well as the military aviation and it is getting busier and busier there and the air-space to fly in is smaller and smaller.

AND…WHEN YOU LIKE SOARING SAFARIES , here is a link to the Southern Cross Expedition 2012 from the Beverley Soaring Club, I received from Jo and a fantastic picture from an approaching dust storm by Norm Block who I have n’t seen for YEARS!!!!More on this site!  and

And last but not least; Not long ago I told you about Belle Brockhoff the daughter of our mutual soaring friend from Australia Bruce. Here is the latest on her. Will see Bruce by the way, at Benalla during the Multi Class Nationals between Jan 7 and 18. Most probably try to stay there for the last day and night to be part of the last soaring day , the dinner and the prize giving!!!
—“Belle Brockhoff kept the  family name up in lights and has given Australia an excellent  start to the world  snowboard season with a podium  finish over the weekend.

Brockhoff, niece of 1960 and 1964 Winter Olympian Peter, became  the first Australian woman to win a snowboard cross world cup medal  when she finished third in Montafon, Austria, on Friday.—”
Good on her!

See you on my birthday on Sunday for a short note as there are many other duties that day, cheers Ritz

Namibia “runs” , “lives” and “breathes” on thousands! S.A Nationals at Welkom!


With more snow here in Alphen , then on the picture last week, but not as much as the predicted 10 to 15 cm. which fell down more to the East and real cold temperatures up to minus 14, KING WINTER visits Holland at the moment.

The garden from my brother in the East from Holland.

Welkom in SA welcomed yesterday 11 guests in club class 5 for 15 m and 14 in the combined 18m./open class,  to fly the South African Nationals with a lot of well known names.
Not only a welcome yesterday also a practise day and a pilot meeting to discuss all what’s important, as local rules  and airport operations as this airfield has an always active runway!
Today is the first day of the comps  with 233.7 km in club class , 426,7 km. in 15 m. class and the 18m./open class boys and girl have to go for 534.2 km. and they finish on December 21 with the prize giving
Will be back with my view on the comps on Wednesday.
Quite a few friends and pilots I met in the past are in the different classes specially in the 18m/open class as Ron Sanders [Australia] and Pete Sheard [UK] both sharing a JS1C, Philippe Schroeder, [France] the Goudriaans, Sven and Mannie and John Coutts from New Zealand and Andy Davis from the UK.
In 15 m. Wayne Schmidt is one of the favourites and I presume he travels straight after the Nationals to Argentina to perform there in the WGC in club class for S.A.

KINGAROY: They could have started earlier but [8.30 instead of 9.15]  , Greg Kolb, flew from Kingaroy, the longest flight in his life a great 838 km FAI triangle together with Adam Woolley’s dad Chris and 2 other club members. “A MAGIC day”,and  ”  what a day !!  the best and longest flight I have ever done from my home club.” were the superlatives from both pilots.
AND,…what about 904 km. [ 869 FAI triangle] in a LAK 17/18m.????? Indeed very good weather!!!!!

More SUPERLATIVES from pilots flying in Namibie! On December 6 , last Thursday Reinhard added to his list of 1000 km. flights in the ARCUS, another long one number 5 and the longest till now; 1.310 km with a speed of 152 km. /h.
What he can do, I can/should do better in my better -performance-glider [ EB 28] might have been  the thought of  Bostjan so he flew 1.405 km. with an awesome speed of nearly 170 km. /h.[166.18] 4 Pilots flew over 1.300 km. from Bitterwasser  and also from Pokweni an over 1.300 km flight by Alexander Müller in the EB 29 with the message ; “it only just starts now!”

Nice to see a Russian pilot fling over 1000 in Bitterwasser in a Nimbus 4DM; Vitaly Borovik from the Novosibirsk Aviation Sports Club. More and more international pilots see Namibia as the place to be for long distance flying and how lucky they are with the top weather there till now!
And also my friend Daan flew with his “mate ” Henk, who was this time in the back seat from the ARCUS M, from Pokweni,  the so maniest 1000 in his life , a yo-yo in the Western part of the area, due to showers in the East. Nice speed,…148km./h.”They must have been in a hurry!”
One day later Henk flew a 1000 FAI Triangle, with 134 km./h in the 20 m ARCUS.
A total of 15 Namibia 1000 km flights that Thursday and,…when Alexander says , jetzt geht’s los, [now it starts] , we can expect more!And he was not wrong ,……

On Friday I noticed 24 over 1000 km. flights from Namibia and one from Argentina, as Jim Payne said “we are here for soaring”,  so even with weak circumstances and after 2 days of rain they [with Dennis] went up and flew over 1000 k.
One of my Tocumwal -friends Michael Godoj flies from Kiripotib and in the first flight in the Antares 20 he flew 824 km.
Best flight that day was by Bostjan a 1.2006 FAI triangle!!!!

We can only continue as on Saturday another 21 flights were added to the Namibia list, BUT , the best flight that day was from Argentina, finally a good day again for French pilot Jean-Marc Perrin who used the Southern wind for a nice wave flight from 1.856,48 km. with a speed of 153 km./h. in , and I say this AGAIN a 15 m. DG 808 from Los Antiguos .He truly enjoyed the  “practise”-flight with wave everywhere and a nice average because of  the  tailwind.
Also Gariep Dam had an excellent day with 2x over 1000 k and I really felt sorry for the pilot who flew from there 998.27 km. but in the end the LX “proved” it was 1001 km. Pffff….

Joey Glide started yesterday with a inofficial practise-day  [2 hour AAT] at Lake Keepit  with 18 competitors including the 2 boys from NZ who have practised already a week before, to get familiar with the area and gliders [Cirrus 75 from Adam Wooley and an LS 7] . Got permission to share their FB pictures with you so thank you to Nick and Alex.
Amongst the competitors  some well known names from the JWGC’s , Nathan Johnson and the brothers Maddocks Nicholas and Andrew and from great [OLC] flights as Matthew Scutter, who drove with 3 other friends from South Australia I guess/estimate between 1500 and  2000 km. [depending if they went through the middle of nowhere via Broken Hill or in more busy areas ]  to participate in Keepit.


The Lake,….The Field , with great looking clouds …And an awesome  finish over the Lake.
Pictures from NZ Joey Glide Team on FB.
Today was the official practise day with a 2 hour AAT and 1000 points for the winner and the BEST  were all those I have written about,  well known pilots certainly for their age,  as well as experience. The preliminary scores;
1. Nicholas Maddocks, 2. Andrew Maddocks 3. Nathan Johnson 4. Matthew Scutter and the boys from NZ practised well as they were 5 and 12.

W3 the glider, CIRRUS 75 from Adam , flown by NZ pilot Alex McCaw.
AFTER all the great news from Narromine last week, unfortunately some sad news now as a 51 year old pilot from Queensland died after hitting a tree on final and crashing on a road just on the border of the field where runway 22 starts.
I do not know the pilot, only his name,but it remains TERRIBLY sad to loose pilots/friends from our soaring fraternity AND,…it still happens too often.“—This incident comes as a huge shock to the community after what had, up until then, been a successful event. “—
The Narromine News

The NSW State competition continued and finished yesterday with 5 soaring days and sadly enough one less competitor.
Picture courtesy Anne Elliott.
For what it is worth and just to let you know;
Winner in 18m/open class; Tom Claffey with 4542 points and runner up Shinzo Takazawi with 3290 points , both are Narromine pilots!
In 15 m. the Mount Beauty pilots did a great job in finishing on spot 1 and 3 in the overall scores with Lisa {Trotter in the middle on spot 2]
In club it was Richard Frawley from the Hunter Valley Gliding Club flying the Mosquito with a margin of 400 points on the runner up and in standard Gary Stevenson was just a bit better than Brian {Hayhow} 4288 and 4265 both flying a Discus.
Looking at open class separate,  Shinzo was the overall winner and in 18 m. Tom.
Lot’s of pilots flew in the past with Ingo Renner. He was instructor in Tocumwal for years and years , moved in the off-season to Oerlinghausen and Sondrio and he was guest instructor at several fields. How is Ingo going?
I will see him in January but to show you how well he looks [after some health problems,] here is a picture send by Dundee. The lady in the front seat, is Fran who turned 81 and when I look back in the far grey past I think I remember her as she remembers me.[Mildura?]

Click on the picture to enlarge and see his smile!
Corowa and Tocumwal had a good day yesterday with nearly 800 km. by Harry  Wondergem [779 FAI triangle] in his from Holland shipped Ventus 2CT/18m. and Lothar Arndt 707 km [637 km Fai triangle ] in an ASW 28. A few days earlier Harry and Anders visited from Corowa, the place where they flew in the past, Tocumwal. They visited Dundee and of course Eddie and Cheryl, who are busy at the moment with Japanese guests, Hannu one of my Finnish friends and their “locals”.

Anders and Harry visit Tocumwal.
And,….however the Uppsala Masters are still faraway , Börje remains super enthusiastic and added to his list of pilots many more, also Finnish pilots as Martti Koivula.
—“Racing class will be a really challenging race. The best pilots will finally compete in the same class. Almost 30 pilots so far. One that is really eager to be on the podium again is one of Sweden’s best pilots – Ronny Lindell in a Discus 2b. – Welcome-“
Love the enthusiasm.
—“The winner of Pribina cup and world class pilot from Finland Antti Lehto will go for victory in the Racing Class. Spoke with Antti he thinks Masters is the most challenging race to win this year. Antti is a member of the Finnish national team and did a good performance at the last World Championships in Uvalde. – Welcome
—“Amazing that Open class is growing in Sweden. And there are new skilled pilots who have set their target –  the World Championships in Poland 2014th. One of them is national team pilot Jim Acketoft will fly the Masters in a EB 27 in Open Class – Welcome Jim Acketoft
Time to really get busy before I depart, birthday of my son in law, my birthday,wrapping from presents  Christmas evening with presents and with family dinner and then it is time to leave and I heard some friends over there in Toc are as happy to see me as I am to see them!
Cheers Ritz
AND sorry, Bill has repaired last night from the USA the space between the different subjects but in the end something went wrong again, and trying all kind of things it seems ,..I am too stupid to repair it,so it reads a bit more difficult but I hope you still enjoy it.

Chaves …29 days to go for the 32d.WGC! “Passion for flying!”

Sinterklaas-evening….. a traditional evening full of presents here in Holland, even with the recession.


Pictures from Chaves last year. Courtesy Jeroen Verkuijl.

Not long and the WGC in Chaves is up and running; 29 days to go. The last World Class comps in co-operation with the standard and club class is known  now, with 24 definite/accepted pilots. In the uneven years the PW 5 pilots will have their own WGC in the future. The replacement for the world class will be in 2014 the 20m. 2-seater-class.
In standard class 26 pilots ,[ 2 are not yet definite]  and in club class 42 and one not yet sure,  Dutch pilot Jeroen Verkuijl, who flew so well last year during the Pre-Worlds , who is very eager to go BUT,…  it’s all depending on …..  holidays !
It’s going to be a REAL interesting race there,  as most pilots of the 89 pilots are toppers! Could n’t pick winners this time, though….. I have some favourites who could do well, VERY well, one of them Sebastian Kawa !!!!

The German pilots look very much ready for Chaves . Young sportsoldier Marco Barth [4695 points] won the regional North competition in Argentina[ AC San Francisco] last week in standard class, with Enrique Levin as runner up.[4646]  Strong team as always for Germany.
Marco flew an LS1f and Enrique a Discus B. Best day was a 3 hour AAT, the rest,  also AAT’s had less time/kilometers. Damian Goldenzweig was 6th in an LS4.
Guess after his trip from Uvalde to Chaves the German TC  Uli,  his wife Chrissie and gorgeous little son Fin should have arrived by now.

Little Fin in Uvalde!
picture courtesy Frans Guise.


Talking about Argentina …the big day was on Monday. Jim and Dennis flew a 1.706,39 km. wave flight from Nahuel Huapi while Jean Marc Perrin flew a fast 1.251,62 with nearly 140 km./h in a 15 m. DG 808 from Jose de San Mart nearly exactly South of Nahuel. Great effort as well.

Told you last Sunday about Alexander Müller flying from Pokweni and that I expected some long flights again from him in the EB 29; 2 flights,…2x over 1000 km. And Janusz [Centka] 2d flight from Kiripotib in the ARCUS was over 1000 as well.
Daan and Henk,  more and more get used to the new type for them, the ARCUS as well as to the LX 9000;over 800 km. “practise”!
Another kilometer-eater has arrived this time in Bitterwasser ; Guy Bechtold from Luxembourg and you can count Bostjan Pristavec one as well. He flew his first flight in total blue conditions in the EB 28; 800 km. triangle! And I just noticed he topped the OLC yesterday already with 1.145 km and an FAI triangle!!! Good on him! Speed 130 km./h not bad either!
Pretty good weekend- weather in Namibia with 7 over 1000 km. flights on Saturday and another 5 on Sunday. Between all those top flights on Sunday on spot 50, the CD from Uvalde Ken,who flew a 300 triangle from Houston, on as he said :”an unbelievable good soaring day for December”.
Yesterday Namibia added another 11 over -1000km.-flights. And also Kuruman in S.A. had one .Even the best pilots can have a day it does n’t work and miss out on it, so as said before “you still have to do it.”
The first 50 flights on the OLC yesterday are all over 600 km. except for 2  but I count  flights from an LS 6 and discus from Omarama from 581 and 558 km. as top results as well.

A 3 hour AAT for club class during the NSW State Comps in Narromine, but only ONE pilot flying 151 km. in exact 3 hours that says enough about the weather on day 1, certainly not as fantastic as the week before. Not much better for the standard -pilots as the set 299 km was for most TOO far! Brian Hayhow flew 244.4 km. In open /18 m. Brian DuRieu flew 261 from the 344 set km.
Day 2 had a 2 hour AAT for all classes and Tom Claffey  [ASG 29] still is in that great GP-flow and was runner up for  the day with 232 km in 2.04 . His wife Kerrie won the day in standard class in the LS 8.
By the way Shinzo won in the Nimbus 4DM the 18m./open class with a time just under 2 hours and 229.9 km.and got the 1000 points .
In  15 m. class Lisa [Trotter] was the daily best.
Today, on day 3 a 2.30 AAT  in 18/open, it was the other way around , 1000 points for Tom and 873 for Shinzo.And very nice to see that 2 members from the Mount Beauty Club won in 15 m. class. A pretty difficult day with tough wind up to 35 kts, but also nice wave .
For all results in the several classes you can go to

Due to all great soaring from Narromine during Cup Week, I missed out on a new speed record from Jenny Thomson over 300km, flown from Narromine as well, just to let you know !It’s a feminine speed record over a 300 km triangle for 15/18m.  and open class and the speed was 146.7 km/h!Congratulations!
From Jo I received a nice link to an ABC radio program talking about the good soaring in Narromine during the Narromine Cup Week, which is as you know by now, an event with a social mix from not so experienced to very experienced pilots.
Never knew Allan Barnes is original from New Zealand and lives in Brisbane now! You can hear him, Beryl Hartley,  the face from Narromine and treasurer of the Narromine Gliding Club and Jenny about her speed record, by downloading the MP3 file on the link.Enjoy! Thanks Jo!


Due to being a bit slack , pretty lousy weather and being a little tired after a full/busy week, I missed out on the last seminar at the University of Delft last Saturday, organised by the Flight Deck Business Club, Aukje Engel and her team,  in co-operation with the University of Delft and Justairborne.
Topic was ; Passion for flying and that passion was shared in words , by 2 Dutch top pilots in words Ronald Termaat and Tim Kuijpers and a passionate F16 pilot,… as well as  several other speakers.
Also the Euroglide Sponsor Challenge and a new brand new competition starting in 2013 in the N. from Holland , the Frisian E glide, 440 km. over the Wadden Islands with  electric self launchers, were trendy topics. Great idea by the way!!!!
Jonker Sailplanes  was there with a glider and the DSA,  the student aeroclub from Delft,  showed their Condor Simulator.
With nearly 200 guests a busy , informative day which ended with a lottery where you could win a 737 simulator session as co, a trip in a balloon and 3 Sky Dives! A drink afterwards was great to share soaring-sentiments in the no-fly-time!Some impressions by Frans Guise, who travels around Christmas to Argentina to be part of the 32 WGC in Chaves!


Speakers amongst others; Ronald Termaat and a young F 16 pilot  .


An attentive audience and Aukje from the Flight Deck Bussiness Club.

Our Polish friends can read the book “Sky full of heat” , from Sebastian Kawa already. The English version was supposed to be “out” on the same day , but it seems  we have to have a bit more patience. I have ordered my book already with John Roake at and I am looking forward to read it.
My book “Not for pilots ” from Frank Versteegh arrives here today [ was n’t home yesterday, so got the note it arrives today between 11 and 13.00 hours] another book I was looking forward  to read.

Not such good news for people working for KLM/Air France, it seems 10% of the jobs will be “scrubbed”, before 2015, which is around 3000 people from KLM and 5000 for Air France .
Last Monday we had the first snow here in Alphen. Don’t laugh all you friends in Scandinavia ,Canada, Switzerland Austria  etc.about the amount it is SNOW!!! The rest of the week remains in a winter atmosphere. Time for warm “winter-pullies” and….to pack the suitcase!CU next Sunday. Cheers Ritz


WOW, 24 x over 1000 km.on November 28 in Namibia!!! The ANTARES 18T had it’s maidenflight!


The meteorological winter has started here and the summer down under.We had already some wet snow a while ago , but now it seems that there was REAL snow in the East.
Last month of the year 2012 already and I  had just planned to not write about 1000 km. flights anymore as it is always interesting to know where the first had place,  but then a 1000 is just a 1000 if you know what I mean.
But you can’t write and not mention the GLORIOUS day in Namibia on November 28 with 24 happy pilots flying over the magic 1000 km. border, on a day full of clouds ending in  ” rain-showers from thousands.”
On top of the OLC list German top pilot Reinhard Schramme [Bitterwasser] who showed that the ARCUS M is flying well under all circumstances  ; 1.301 km with a speed of 140 km./h. AND the 2d 1000 FAI TRIANGLE for the season after Allan Barnes flew one from Narromine in an LS 8.
Also UK pilot Robin May ,[Kiripotib]  he is about the same generation top pilots as Reinhard flew the magic 1000 FAI triangle with 145 km on the clock in the EB. Another 4 pilots one of them another generation-topper Walter Binder flew this dream flight!!!

Reinhard here on a picture from my WGC -Eskilstuna-file.

For some the very first 1000, others are happy with “FINALLY GOOD WEATHER ??????” and for some it was the first declared 1000  { Young German pilot Rene Hanses with 1.204,7 km/FAI declared 1.017 km.} and he was very happy with his PALM.
From South Africa also one with Uwe Thiele who flew his 1000 in the DG 808 C/18m.from Gariep Dam, his first for this season and when the weather is good he will fly more as he loves long distance flying.
Best speed that day , with 150 km./h.,  was flown from Bitterwasser by French pilot Didier Hebrard.
When the weather is good and there are enough guests with good gliders it all seems easy, but you still have to do it.
AND,…another fact from the 1000 k.  , it remains something you always want to achieve AND, you are always happy with the fact you achieved another one. AND….the atmosphere is so much more exciting on a soaringspot, everybody talks with everybody, smiles all over. I know the fantastic feeling from Tocumwal when we had on one day also 10 such awesome flights and I enjoy it now as well from far away. For owners of a gliding-business, the season is a success with such days, even in the worst case, when it deteriorates after , which of course is sad for the guests flying at that time.

November 29 was a good one for the Bitterwasser pilots again, with Reinhard flying the 2d successive 1000 plus in the ARCUS M. The other ARCUS M from Pokweni, will be flown now by Daan [Pare] and Henk [de Waard], 2 Dutch pilots and good for lot’s of kilometers!!! After preparing ” their ” glider in the morning they had a first flight together [with Henk in the front seat]  from 860 km. On one leg they nearly did not have to turn and both are happy to be back in Pokweni,….and mentioned they love the ARCUS!!!!
By the way another kilometer-eater this time from Germany , Alexander Müller has arrived as well in Pokweni, flying the EB 29.
AND,…. from Pokweni we can expect some nice long flights from Polish pilot Janusz Centka who flies from Kiripotib in the yes,…ARCUS M.
Great pilot, who won the open class at the WGC in Uvalde in 1991 and in Borlange in 1993 and the 15 m. class in Eskilstuna in 2006.

Jausz, picture from my Eskilstuna-archive.

On the first day of December Reinhard topped the OLC list again with this time, 1.238,70 km with 135 km./h. His 3d 1000 km in the ARCUS.

From my friends in Tocumwal I heard they are “suffering” from a heat wave. No they are not all glider pilots and value the heat in a different way, feeling flat and tired. But with 45.8 dgr. in Mildura and 43 in Toc it must have been VERY hot.
It does n’t always mean  that it is great soaring-weather, sometimes it just is too stable, but I quickly looked at the OLC for nice long flights in the Toc/Corowa/area, but the best flight was from Ingo in his Discus, nearly a 700 k in his Discus A. Good flight though!
Also Narromine still is “hot” with temperatures up to 42 and VERY humid!

You can’t call the Narromine Cup Week, now it is over, anything else than SUCCESFUL. Showing again how our sport depends on the weather. Last year no flying cause of the bad weather, this year lot’s of great soaring , including 4 x 1000 km. and several flights between 343 km[ in an LS 1 f] and 869 km. thanks to the nearly perfect weather.
As one of my friends Brian said;”Another great Narromine Cup put to bed.”
One of the Japanes pilots Goe Teramoto, flew with G Dale in the Duo Discus. Earlier on , on the 25th of November he flew 750 km. in the ARCUS. In this glider he flew with several other pilots as David Burrell, Pepe and Hans[Raschke] .
Since yesterday the NSW State Comps are flown as well from Narromine.43 Pilots have entered and will compete till the 8th of December . One of the pilots is Bob Ward. Quite a few years ago he had a terrible accident with his glider and for a while we thought he would not be able to compete anymore. BUT Bob recovered totally and is “very much alive and kicking ” and still flies comps. Good on him!!!!!!
These NSW state comps are organised by the Bathurst Soaring Club and the Narromine Gliding Club.
Will keep you informed!

Last Friday finally again a good day for the  Perlan Project pilots. Jim Payne and Morgan Sandercock flew in their DG 1001M a 1.210 km. flight from Chos Malal.
Morgan started his trip with a blog full of expectation, …..than some kind of denial,”it can’t be as bad as last year”  and than …..still hope that “as the proper wave-wind blows from the West, the air will be clear ” , after a blow from the North East “raising vulcanic ash which had settled downwind  on the rocks and ridges , to return,……than a long silence….and  finally Christmas Greetings from the Perlan Project yesterday.
AND….Today a message that this MIGHT BE THE DAY, after a 842 km. flight yesterday. Surely hope they can fly something special!

Joey-glide, the 9th edition,  is about to begin on December 8 from Lake Keepit. The comps for the young ones in Australia is more and more popular. This year 2 young pilots from NZ will be part of Joey glide, Nicolas Oakley and Alex McCaw. Alex is the son of one of my FB friends Jill, who produces the official soaring Magazine of Gliding NZ “Soaring NZ”.
Alex became  the youngest pilot in the world to complete a FAI 1000 diploma at age 18 and was brought up AT the airfield, no miracle with a flying dad and mum and no miracle either he is so good!
Nicolas is not only a junior top pilot but also an ace in ballooning, being a champion- balloon -pilot. Will follow them and the Aussie pilots from December 8  till 16.

From Mount Beauty the news in the Alpine Flyer that “the bird has left the nest”. Their brand new ASK 21 went up in the air , “has taken to the sky “as they mention it so nicely. Lovely pictures as well and for the rest of their news you can go
Nice to see Mart Bosman , still so very much involved in soaring after being a top hang glider pilot and conversing to a glider pilot with us in the past at Tocumwal.


First flight from the brand new ASK 21 and AFTER the flight proud members with the double-seater.
pictures courtesy Greg Sujecki.

And….some news from NAVITER.
–“Happy to announce that we have a new reason for you to retire the trusty old iPaq—“:

AND more great news about the Antares:
One more big step in Langes glider development, his Antares 18t had its maiden flight.”
Here two links to Langes homepage, where you can read the details.


AND…from the Upssala MASTERS;
–“Notifications are perfectly flows into the Masters – Experienced and many times Swedish champion from Örebro Gunnar Karlsson will be a favorite in the racing class. There are rumors about a new aircraft .. Welcome Gunnar–”
–“Masters is really a challenging contest. Perhaps the best line-up ever. Newest machine one Arcus M from Örebro with Christian Wikström and experienced Bengt Göök challenges in racing -. Welcome–”
–“Stefan Löfgren from Avesta logged in Racing class with his ASW 20 – Welcome–”
–“Scoring office says welcome to our latest entry – Magnus Alm. Magnus from Herrljunga Glider Club “enlisted” with a Duodiscus T. This is the first Duo-entry, who’s next?–”
And MORE……..

See you next Wednesday and than it is counting off , till I depart for my 2d home country Australia on December 29.
Cheers Ritz