Historic day ;701 km. flown by 3 from 10 pilots, but ” spoiled” for 7 ” by 50 shades of grey ” !?



Z finishlong day 3   Z finish Arjan

Spectacular finishes at Terlet in front of the club house/restaurant , as seen and shared by Liesbeth and Arjan Vrieze

Last Sunday  was one of those exceptional soaring-days in Europe ,but especially in Holland.
194 Pilots added their flights to the OLC here and world wide 2658.
8 Participating glider pilots declared their 500 km.!!! Well done and congratulations !!!!!

Setting a 500, 600 and 700 km. during a National Competition  is a big responsibility , but it also shows GUTS. Luckily Natasja and her team members are very experienced,  so is meteo-topper Hans.
Will ask them tomorrow if they felt ” jitters”  as well?!
Still remember the first day at the Europeans  in Rayskala, where I was as steward, and one of  the first to say YES to a 1000 on the first day!
Only later when they are all flying you HOPE they can make it, I even was a bit nervous [I felt those jitters]….  so was Silva the CD. But when the first pilots in open class finished, the burden disappeared and all felt extremely happy and proud.
This set 700 km. was flown by 3, but between daily spot 10 and 4 ,the pilots still flew 610 to 692.4  km.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
A great effort by ALL.

Z Bertje1  Z bertje 5

Ready to go as seen by tuggie Bert.

Z Bertje 3

The 701 km. , in Holland, set for open/18 m. was a once-in-your-life-time-thrill for pilots crews and organizers.
The first in history as far as I know so history has been written.
Lines were open for club at 11.36, for the combi’s at 11.53 and open/18 m. could go on 12.14.
The experience learned that pilots don’t play cat and mouse when they have to fly such a big distance.They just go on track!

Z Bertje 2

As seen and shared by tuggie Bert.

At 3 PM, here in Alphen just in a very short time, the sun and azure blue sky was covered ” by 50 shades of grey”!!
The temperature dropped , I could feel it, the wind picked up , it felt like some kind of sea breeze and a ” halo”  appeared around the sun. NOT GOOD!



More people noticed the HALO as did Jeroen[Jennen] from Belgium who flew 648 km. in his LS 4 all the way up to Hoogeveen in the N. of Holland.

But still high clouds here and a bird “soaring”  high. Not too much to worry I hoped!
I looked at the site; 2 out-landings by combi- class pilots!
They use a live-scoring-system at Terlet ,so you can see straight away who has out-landed or finished. GREAT system!


Z ES and E2

Finishers E2 and EC and as you can see the blue of the sky is NOT blue there anymore either!
Shared by  NK organizers.

In the end in each class pilots finished,with only 2 outlandings in club and combi class, proving the task setters right!!!



Rene,  our former European Champion made it home in open /18m. class.
He flew the 701 km. in just under 7 hours. HEROIC!!!!
And in an ASG 29 /18m. not a real open class glider! Good on him! He showed once more how good he is!!!
The real open class gliders,  Nimbus 4T  and the NIMBUS 4DM,  finished as well.
For the rest,the less good weather came too early,  the day was too short/  or the wings too short or the task too long!
7 From 10 went ” aux vaches” .

71 With Jelmer [Wassenaar] just did not make it.[692.4 km]  I looked via FB at his co-ordinates ;
Latitude ; 52.02460
Longitude ; 6.08926
Not too far from Arnhem, ONLY 10 K. OUT!
He flew  for over 8 hours and knowing Jelmer  ” there was nothing more”.
Hans Biesters [692.2 km.] had the same experience.

610 km. was the distance flown by the pilot ” on the last spot” so a great achievement by all, certainly with those grey skies, when racing-time is over and  surviving starts!

Don’t forget that the effort from the Club class pilots was as big.
525 km. For such a small ship during a competition is pretty tough, certainly when you know that not all pilots have the same experience.
One of the new ones is Robin Smit. His dad , Martin, our club member at the EAC in the past and when he was young  our crew at Nationals on Terlet , now flies already for years for KLM and is a great photographer.Have a look at;
Son Robin loves his soaring and finished on a great 5th place. Not long ago he flew his first 500 k.

Z NK Robin

Robin on his 3d day at his first  Nationals.
Courtesy Frans Guise.

Frank Hiemstra is more experienced and he showed that by coming in first.His 2d  daily win!!!
He is a member of a REAL Dutch soaring family from Friesland and part of a real Frysian soaring culture!
His dad Ben and sister Ilse fly as well. Dad is the web master from the Nationals and the founder of the Dutch soaring site, www.zweefportaal.nl
Annemiek ,the only female pilot this year,  finished at nearly 8 PM. She flew for 8 hours and 14 min. Chapeau!
AND….she finished!!!
Only 2 outlandings in this class and both guy’s did well , still flying 484 and 328 km. in their St Cirrus and St. Libelle.


Z Finish long day1  Z finish long day 2

Finishes after the LONG day!!!
Courtesy Reint Veldkamp.


The Combi pilots started around 12 and after 2 less good days, Steven showed his class by winning the day.
Top job also by Bas Seiffert, not giving up and flying for 8 hours and 8 minutes , to finish as the last pilot in his class.
He flew the last  430 km. without water and his bug wipers were not yet repaired as well.
For sure that job will be done before he travels to Finland.
Also Bas is a member of a real Dutch soaring-family!
His wife and 2 children were there to support him so was his brother and dad, who flew already  before, I ever had heard the word soaring.
Only 2 outlandings !

At 8.46 all 28 pilots were counted for and a  total of 10 outlandings on a day with such tasks is a pretty good record! One non-flying pilot and that for a good reason; Jeroen  Verkuijl ,now father of a new lady-pilot-to-be in the future, had other things on his mind.


HEROES they are!!!
As shared by the organizers.

Day 5. Briefing at 10.30 and gridding postponed. A bit of a sleep- in might have been necessary for some.
The weather changed and rain and thunderstorms were predicted.
A rest day was welcome.The day was cancelled!

Z noodweer Flight deck

Flight Deck,  who run their business from Terlet, shared this picture . No more words needed!

Day 6 was pretty wet as well, so will be today ,…..3 days of rest,…..but tomorrow and Friday , the last day , will be good again. Let’s wait and see, how good!!!

So after 4 flying days and 4 cancelled  days the overall top positions are for Frank Hiemstra in club class [St Cirrus]  and runner up is Hinse with a difference of  73 points.
Bas Seiffert is on top  in the combi class [LS 8] , with 83 points on the ARCUS from Peter Batenburg and Paul Schepers.
Mark Wering [normally flying at Lasham where at the same time the UK Nationals in open class are flown!] leads  in the Nimbus 4T. Runner up with only 33 points difference is Rene.
EVERYTHING IS STILL POSSIBLE!!!!! As long as they can fly!!!

I’ll travel up to catch up with a lot of friends and to listen to all stories. On Sunday, I share it with all of you in 2 blogs, one on www.soaring.eu and one on www.soaringcafe.com .
The impressions from Rene, who flew his ASG 29/18m.  over 701 km. just under 7 hours, will be published in SOARINGCAFE that Sunday!!!!His comment after the flight,” it was not easy”!!

Something to look out for, CU then

cheers Ritz

CAE Dutch Nationals, with one of the pilots becoming a FATHER and for today a 700 km. task!!!!



First day ,…ready to go!
Picture shared by the NK organizers

On Thursday,the first flying day at Terlet from the CAE Dutch Nationals , the pilots started with small but interesting flights in 3 classes.
Practice , on the day before was impossible due to the weather.

Tasks were set from 147.3 km. for the 10 club class pilots , among them 2 Belgium pilots Rik and Stijn van den Boer flying the St. Cirrus and St.Libelle.
Also Annemiek , yes from the NUON-solar- car- race in Australia is a participant during this competition. She flies the St. Cirrus. A total of 6 St. Cirrus gliders, 2 Libelles and 2 Discusses.

In the combi class 8 pilots among them European champion and WGC pilot at many occasions, Steven [Raymond], as well as Bas Seiffert[WGC’s] and well known Dutch open class glider pilots at several WGC’s.
One , Francois [Jeremiasse]  flies this time a Ventus 2 and the other, Peter Batenburg flies the ARCUS.
They had 189.8 km. as recipe for day 1.


Z NK dick

Dick Teuling flies in open class in the Ventus 2CT/18m..
Familair face?
Yes he was my instructor in 1967 and he is on my FB picture letting me solo!
As shared on FB by the organizers.

In open class 11 pilots, had to fly 217 km. Also in this class a few WGC pilots and former JWGC pilots as Jelmer Wassenaar and Rene de Dreu former European champion.
As you can see a pretty strong ” field” and then still 10 pilots fly later in the WGC’s and have no time now, or fly somewhere else,  though from those 10 , 5 participate; Francois, Steven, Jeroen , Jelmer and Bas.

NK dag 1 Bertje  Z NK pawnees

My 3 mates Daan,[Pare] , Bertje [Kuijper] and Sjoerd [Talsma] are the tuggies again,… as always flying the Piper Pawnees.
Picture courtesy organizers and Reint Veltkamp.

Day 1 straight away was a difficult one. In Club nobody finished but Annemiek managed to fly the longest distance; 68.7 km. whilst the runner up flew 23.8 km. !!!
In the combi class no finishers either , best pilot was Francois with 104.3 km. followed by Steven with 97.8 km.Good on them!
In open class, no finishers, no points, no day!
For all classes we can forget day 1 , but at least they TRIED!!!!

Z NK buitenlanding

Outlanding from and photographed by  Philippe Hendriks.
tomorrow is another day.


Fantastic sunset
courtesy ; Hinze Osinga

Day 2, another difficult day with the forecast for showers in the morning but better circumstances in the afternoon so the first launches were set for  1.30 PM. later postponed .
Tasks; 125 for Club and combi and 155 for open were set.
At 3 PM we had here in Alphen around 3 4/8 of CU’s, at 4 2/8 and at 6 it was azure blue, no clouds.
And indeed the nice weather was at Terlet as well.
Late starts though ; club at 15:48,  open class at 16:08,and combi-class at 16:24 and they went for the  A-task.
It WAS possible and a great window to fly in had arrived.


Later in the day great looking skies.
As shared by the NK organizers

BUT,…not for all. Some got into trouble , but points were not too expensive. The winner Bas [LS 8] , who flies in Rayskala  later, won in combi class [334 points]  , but Steven [ASW 27]  who flies in Poland lost 170 points on him and was one but last.
In club young Frank Hiemstra [St Cirrus ] won and worked hard to get 373 points.
In open class Max [Leenders]  normally ” used”  to his Nimbus 4DM , won the day in the Ventus 2CT/18m. [388 points]
Jelmer [LS 10/18m.] and Jeroen [ Ventus 2CXA] both preparing for Leszno were on spot 3 and 7.
In club and open class the pilots being patient [ departure at 4.26 and 4.33] and going as last on track won the day.
Only one out-landing !And lot’s of nice finishes! As seen by  Reint Veldkamp.

Z finishes day 2 2  Z finishes day 2

Z NK libelle

Day 3 yesterday: The morning was grey here, and  as I heard also over there. A small front was passing by and then,…..later,…soaring could/would/should be possible!
Tasks were set and pretty tough tasks, with in the back of the head an always awesome and very busy BBQ for that night;
Club-klasse 167 km. – start-line opened at 1.37 PM.
Combi-klasse 233 km. – line open  at 1.52
Open-klasse 298 km.- line opened at 2.02

Around 4.30, club class pilots finished and the fastest pilot was Hinze in the Libelle on the picture above; 76.3 km.
Annemiek landed in a paddock, just 20 km. short of Terlet.
In combi class Bas had his 2d win in a row and looks ready for Finland.[speed 93.3 km.] Bad day for Steven , who seems less ready for Poland, though a bad rehearsal………anyhow he outlanded.
In Open class Mark in the Nimbus 4 T won.
The BBQ could start, BUT a late night was not advisable as the message arrived on all phones; Tomorrow May 25, grid open at 7 and closed at 9 , briefing at 9.30.

By the way the weather turned good here as well around 5 PM. [ 4 sun-time] with  great and HIGH cu’s , whilst ,as the morning-forecast said,  thunderstorms in the N. [Groningen]arrived at 2 PM. And all of this  happened on Saturday  in our small country!!!

Day 4 today; an early morning, for the crew members , for some after a late night .At 9 [8 sun-time] we had here blue skies no wind and very sunny conditions.
What would it be about 100 km. to the S.E ????

Z webcam

Webcam on this morning,…blue as well!
Shared by the organizers.

A SPLENDID day anyhow, for Jeroen after 2 days on a 6th spot, but clearly somewhere else with his mind, as he announced this morning the arrival of his first born child a beautiful little girl. So the comps are over for him but I am sure he is not unhappy with that, as much as he loves his soaring!

But more splendid news, I don’t think any time in Dutch history a 700 km. task has been set on a National competition!!!!!
525 km. for club class with 6 TP’s 
605 for the combi pilots  with 7 TP’s and 
701.4 for open class with 7 TP’s

ABER HALLO!!!!!!Looking forward to see how this turns out today, but clouds popped up here already early , disappeared as quickly however and to the WEST huge Cu’s with dark overcast, but that’s HERE as said 100 km more to the NW.
All pilots have been send direction East into Germany.
For those interested and living in the USA or Australia,  the task is on www.soaringspot.com 
Wish I was there today!!!!!!

On May 21 the organizers from the German Women Nationals mentioned that other pilots were welcome in 3 classes club standard and 15 m. So all women with the correct documents could  participate in this strong National competition in the oldest airfield in the world [ as they claim] in Stoelln /Rhinow.  Don’t wait too long there is a dead line!

More news today at www.soaringcafe.com also about the Hahnweide competition, they had day 1, the JENA CUP [ they struggle with the weather] the Polish Nationals in Standard class [ they had day 6] and the UK Nationals in 15 m. and open class which started yesterday.

Cheers Ritz
at May 25 2014

We lost an icon!!! Belgium 15 m. Nationals.More 1000 km. flights!


First ,…the still unexpected news that WUBBO OCKELS, our first astronaut [ Challenger in 1985] , our pilot, glider pilot, professor at the University of Delft and scientist  and fighter for a good environment, passed away last Sunday morning. We knew he had cancer[ kidney-] but he fought against it and for a couple of years we all hoped he was OK, but unfortunately for Wubbo this nasty disease returned.
Only last year, Wubbo was in Adelaide to welcome the Dutch car, who won the solar race, as he was one of the engines behind this project. Then he was already very ill and knew that was his last big trip.
Wubbo fought for a better world. His last action was an interview with a journalist from the AD paper , one day before he died and a letter to this paper to make clear once more ” to STOP  destroying our planet earth, our nature and ourselves” !!!
Wubbo …..a very inspiring man. RIP.

Z Wubbo

Wubbo in an ASW 19 in 1993, doing an experiment on flying on height.
Picture courtesy; FB site www.zweefportaal.nl

Summer has started early . We have 28 dgr. C. Not bad! But pretty tough thunderstorms as well.
Over 1500 pilots added their flights on the OLC last Sunday. Another 1000 km. flight for Jim and Dennis, but also great flights in Europe.892 [ 600 FAI triangle] in a Discus 2 T/18m.
A 1.030 km flight in a 20 m.  DG 500 from Bad Regaz in Switzerland on Monday was perfect.
Omarama in New Zealand; Jyri Laukkanen from Finland flew yesterday a great wave flight in a Discus with winglets. He called it ” straightforward wave ” ; 640 km..
And Bayreuth had 2 x 1000 yesterday in open class gliders and an LS 3 flew 843 km. from Antersberg North of the Alps using the N. site of these mountains.


The Belgium Nationals [15 m.] have been flown in St. Hubert and after 4 cancelled days they finally FLEW!
Still difficult as nobody flew the set task from 299 km. but some came close , really close; Jef Kell in the Discus 2T flew 297 km!!! Others had 295 km. so it turned out still a 1000 points-day!
Flying day 2 had a smaller task again; 137.4 km. This task was flown by 11 of the 14 pilots and won by Daan Spruyt in the LS 6.
Daan won the next day as well, a 2.30 AAT and he seems ready for his adventure in the Polish WGC where he flies a Nimbus 4 DM.
That he is ready shows the first spot on the last day where he was the ONLY FINISHER in his LS 6; after flying the set 311 km.
It ” cost”  him 5 hours and 6 minutes and 28 seconds but then he was HOME!!!!
No secret he was the new Belgium National Champion , 272 points ahead of runner up Emmanuel Litt in the 15m. Ventus 2B.[3000 points]
The number 3-4-and 5 were close; 2927 points, 2920 and 2904.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=I759ERCvRoM shows a nice view on this competition.
A production by flashbackx.be

The Dutch Nationals in all classes will be next and start tomorrow .
Today is an official training day and tonight at 8 there will be  an opening briefing.
The weather just turned less good, grrr…
Only 29 participants at this stage , so not too many this year.
Biggest class is club with 12 pilots among them 2 from Belgium.
More in my next blog and I will be at Terlet on the last day!


Competition director at Terlet is Natasja.
This will be her last competition as director. After being involved for 5 years in the organization and  running the show for 3 years as”  boss ” , she thinks  it’s  time to do other things.
She did a great job!!!!!

Wrote last week about the glider Russia AC-4C and it’s pilot Tony Burton. I placed him in California but quickly changed that in Canada when Art told me. Sorry about that.
But that mistake gave me interesting info about this pilot.

The International Gliding Commission has awarded the prestigious Pirat Gehriger Diploma to Tony Burton for his many contributions to gliding in Canada and at the international level. In particular:
• Member of the Sporting Code Committee since 1998 and key contributor to a major overhaul of the Sporting Code in 1999. 

• 22 Canadian records 
• 25 years Executive Director of the Alberta Soaring Council 
• 29 years editor of Free Flight, one of the few gliding magazines with a wide international readership 
• Many other contributions

 He is retiring this year after writing our national soaring magazine and he will  be hard to replace.
His wife, Ursula Wiese, was also a glider pilot and wrote a great historical summary of the mountain wave flying available in the lee of the Rockies.:
STALKING THE MOUNTAIN WAVE   –  written and compiled by U. Wiese  ISBN 0-9682005-0-8, 7″ x 10″ soft cover, 220 pp with index, 44 photos, 21 illustrations and tables.

Thanks for that Art.I know now ,…so do lot’s of others.

Have written a lot over the last days; and…I am  having a guest, we are renovating my front garden after we got after 7 years a nice new lane in front of the house , so busy enough.
Cheers Ritz

Catching up with a Toc.friend brings back memories on LIBERATORS and historic hangars!


Z Sisteron

The Sisteron Area.
courtesy Aussie team

The Grand Prix Final at the moment  is more exciting than ever before, at least that’s what I think. All those social media involved, make us part of the show.
All live- news on www.sgp.aero and great videos on their FB site  [www.facebook.com/FAIWSGP2014]  and,…during the day or in the evening on www.soaringcafe.com , as we ” are passing the word out”  as they wished us to do.
Great pictures and videos as well, have a look.


What happened more in our world then in Sisteron .

We here in Holland had some kind of autumn period but luckily it seems over again with temperatures up to 22 dgr. on Sunday. The Dutch Nationals start on May 22 so it is important that we keep the good soaring weather. Will come back on the Nationals next week.

The Canadian Rockies were working and give flights up to over 700 km. in a Ventus 2 CT from Invermere.
Both Invermere and Chipman had good flights, the last one with a 692 [ 672 FAI triangle] in an ASW 15.
Ocana in Spain had earlier some good conditions as well.

A special glider topped the OLC day on May 12 flying from Black Diamond from Alberta  Canada. The comment from pilot Tony Burton was :
 first 500 triangle in the Russia. Great run south on the first leg down the Porcupine Hills. Mostly blue coming home into wind but the 2500m agl thermal tops helped a lot.”
I have seen many gliders but never heard of a RUSSIA AC-4C!! If you have n’t either I googled it and here is what I found.

—-about a C model.
—-Is the retractable gear model with increased performance. It is an excellent solo glider for students transitioning from nose wheel two -seaters like the ASK-21. Features include automatic control connections on all surfaces, a wide range of pilot weights and heights, adjustable rudder pedals, excellent visibility, and crisp handling. Performance enhancements include an optional retractable main gear, faired tail wheel, wing root fairings, and the same wing finish that has brought praise from flight testers.—

And a bit more info about the AC-4 polar…..
The data of flight polar was extracted thanks to the series of test flights of the AC-4C, onboard № 045, executed by Chad Moore (USA).

According to recommendation proposed by Dick Johnson, on the glider AC-4C had been established fairings in a place of fastening of a wing and fuselage. Such type of fairings are established practically on all gliders of the “AC” series.

Chad Moore published results of the tests in article:
“Performance Testing of the Russia AC-4c Retractable”, printed in the American magazine “Soaring”, September, 2002.

Found this news on http://www.aviastroitel.com/en

AC-C model

Something totally different.
I had the pleasure of catching up with the grand daughter of the founder of one , maybe even THE FIRST  International gliding center in the world Sportavia Soaring Center; Bill Riley. Pilots from Europe were invited about 45 years ago, to come and fly in their winter to enjoy the great and sunny weather and great soaring conditions in Australia on a former military WW 2-airfield.
An airfield  were from 1942 the RAAF took over and stayed there for 18 years.
As my good friend Bob Brown writes in his essay over the airfield;
All types of aircraft came in,…battered planes from combat zones for urgent repair, new planes ferried in from overseas to be serviced , modified , armed and made fully operational”.


2014-05-12 12.40.24

My daughter Inge to the left and Rosi to the right,

54 Of the BIG LIBERATORS were stationed there , but in 1960 it was quiet again in Tocumwal.
And more then sad, the LIBERATORS and about 700 other planes were chopped and melted down in ingots of aluminium, necessary after the war to make pots and pans and parts for the new HOLDEN car.
You can read the full essay written by Bob  on ;

Bill Riley decided  , about 45 years ago, to start a gliding school there. Ingo Renner , who had moved from Germany to Australia in 1967 was his chief instructor , living part of the year in Tocumwal and part in Oerlinghausen, having the best of the 2 soaring worlds.
Bill supported Ingo in his ambition to fly comps and helped him and often accompanied him on WGC events. As you know Ingo won 4 of them.

Bill now is in his nineties , just moved to a hostel for elderly people and the beautiful WW 2 hangar , 100 x 50 m.  and a real historic building, is nearly falling apart which is more than SAD!!!
As Bob wrote:” With an absent and non-occupying owner the level of maintenance will inevitable decline putting the war time structure at serious risk.”

So you see what a lunch with Bill’s granddaughter Rosi has done to me, getting back all those memories.

2014-05-12 12.38.43

Rosi and Inge

More memories as Inge flew in the LANCE from Rosi’s uncle David, about 20 years ago the at that stage 5 year old Rosi and her mum sister and brother and 2 friends, from Tocumwal to Byron Bay on the East Coast and after a week back again. A big event for a just 20 year old pilot. But they all had great fun and both still remember those good times.
The bond between our 2 families is strong since we met in the early eighties.

Nowadays the South area of Tocumwal airport is the host for more overseas guests as Eddie and Cheryl run Sportaviation there . For more info; www.sportaviation.com.au
Ingo is still in Tocumwal as well as chief pilot of the SRGC, a big club with also overseas members.

Z sportaviation by Eddie   Z EDDIE

The Sportaviation hangars seen from above and converting  to an LS 4 for the 2 guests from Thailand,who are there at the moment!!
Courtesy Eddie Madden

Enough memories now. CU you mainly every day in the SOARINGCAFE for news on the GRAND PRIX FINAL and next Wednesday again in this blog.
cheers Ritz on Wednesday May 14 the day Dundee arrives here. He was and is a frequent Tocumwal-visitor after Ingo told him in Oerlinghausen to visit him in Australia. Unannounced he arrived.It was a hell of a job to find him a room for 3 months in high season , but we did and he still spends 6 months in Tocumwal.

f aircraft came in – battered planes from combat zones for urgent repair, new planes ferried in from overseas to be serviced, modified, armed and made fully operational.

Norway; 30 hours and over 2200km. in 4 days!


Good morning, a Sunday blog today on soaring.EU. As you might have found out I write a daily blog from Alphen with the help of the social media, tracking and video systems in Sisteron, about the final of the SAILPLANE GRAND PRIX. Enjoy that at: www.soaringcafe.com

EU, it was a late night/early morning with the European Song Contest Final in Denmark. As Holland was in the race for a place in the top  , according to the bet -stations, I looked with 180 million other people to the show, won in the end by Austria with a Drag Queen, the ”  lady with the beard” ,who got a lot of emotion- votes, as she/he  made a statement for FREEDOM in Europe for ALL. I was pleased with that , though I find that a Eurovision festival is not really the place to make statements other then GOOD music. The Queen could sing as well, but I don’t know what would have  happened without the ” sentiments”.
Our Dutch Ilse and Waylon , as the Common Linnets, got the 2 d place, the best for Holland since 1975 when “we” won. Good on them, GREAT song!
Ilse and Waylon do not come home empty- handed today, they won the prize for best act and best song as seen through the eyes of the complete press. That says something too.

Z Ilse

As shared by Ilse on FB
“Whoooot!!! We already won two Marcel Bezencon Awards for best song and best artistic performance! “

Back to soaring as a lot happened last week.


Z Arne 1  Z Arne 2

Flying over beautiful Norway.
Courtsey Arne Martin.

Scandinavia was blessed with awesome weather in the beginning of May and I wrote already a bit about it. A reaction on that blog from Norwegian pilot  Arne Martin, gives all of us more inside- information  . That’s, as you know the inter-action, I love:
” I saw you mentioned my flight in Norway in your latest blog entry:

But that was just the start, the last week has seen some exceptionally good conditions here, and my personal record of 548 km that Sunday lasted only a few days as on Thursday my new record became 725 km.

In total out of 5 flights in just over a week 4 of those were over 500 km.
Considering that I had only once before made a flight of over 500 km, that says something! And I wasn’t the only one, OLC will reveal there were a lot of long flights in Norway, particular from Notodden.

Picture report from my flights:

[Please have a look at this link as those pictures are absolutely beautiful and interesting  stories are going with it , ENJOY  !!!!]

And also Sweden had exceptionally good conditions. Wilhelm Wendt and Jim Acketoft did the longest flight ever in Sweden in their EB28. 
According to the rules for the Swedish cross country contest that flight was 1200 km!
Meanwhile Jan-Ola Nordh in his Discus 2 did no less than 2 
flights of more than 1000 km these days!
Arne Martin Güettler and a BIG thank you to him.

As he added; In total I flew more than 30 hours and over 2200 km over the four days, by far the most and longest I’ve flown in such a short time-span!

Z Arne

Tracks of area we covered in the four days.
Red is first day, purple second, brown third and blue last day.


The Flight Challenge Cup in Prievidza was blessed with good weather too. 2 Days with over-500-km.- tasks. Out of 12 days they had one rest-day, 3 cancelled days and on all other days  they flew .
The 116 pilots finished the comps with a 3 hour AAT in each of the 3 classes on Thursday.
Good to see Lubor win the last day in the mixed class [ 320.3 km. in time 3.03] and he finished on spot 5 overall after 8 days. 3 Polish pilots and 1 French pilot were in front of him. They all flew ASG 29!
3 Different gliders in the top in club class; an ASW 15b, a St. Cirrus and a St.Jantar 2. 2 Czech pilots and 1 Hungarian in the top 3.
In 15 m. French pilot Christophe Ruche lost 250 points on the last day and with that the runner-up place overall. He dropped to spot 4. 2 Lithuanian pilots[ Discus 2A and LS 6]  were in the top with 1 Polish pilot.[Discus 2A]

All results are on www.soaringspot.com


Venue of the French Nationals in open and 20 m. class.

Z Alain 2  Z Alain 3

The French Nationals have continued again after 3 cancelled days,with flying day 4 ,with 223 km. for the double-seaters and 326 km. for open class.
5 From 15 missed out on finishing in the 20 m. and 9 from 18 in open class went in real or virtual ” aux vaches” .

Z Alain 1

Z Alain 6  Z Alain 4

The great pictures are courtesy to Alain Bachellier and there are many more have a look at;
THANKS to CHRISTOPHE for the link to

Last day was yesterday, but it had to be cancelled. Still enough days to have Champions in both classes.
In open class Peter Eriksen from Denmark was the winner [3232 points]  , but the French champion was Eric Bernard in the ASG 29, [ 3186] before Louis Bouderlique. [3128]
Jutta finished on spot 9.
In the 2-seater class , 3 Duo Discusses in the top with Eric Soubrier as the new Champion.[3135 points]

Z Champions in Buno    Z Champions in 20 m.

The Champion, runner up and number 3 , with Peter as the best 2d to the r. AND the 20 m. CHAMPIONS.

All other scores at ;http://www.soaringspot.com/buno2014/results/

Aosta, the place we visited in the past to go skiing [me, from Pila] and soaring [height gain for the men] had a good day on Friday. Pilots in ASW 24 and LS 8 flew over the edges of the the French and Italian Alps,  distances of 925 km. and 711.
Topping the OLC that day ,was again the DG 1001 M, from Jim and Dennis , with a wave flight from 1.015 km. with the nice speed of 155 km./h.
Also a pretty good day in Israel where pilots from Beer Sheba Teyma, flew distances from 331 km in the DG 500 /20m. with Rafi in it and 258 in a PIK 20. Yesterday Rafi even flew 458 km. in the Speed Astir.
AND…403 km. from Nagano in Japan is worthwhile to mention too.Flown in wave up to 5464m. MSL.[4376 m. AGL]
Nice to see that Shinzo who runs his own flying school in Narromine,-Soar Narromine-  is flying the ARCUS T  in Itakura in the Australian winter.
Talking about the Aussie winter , have a look at the weather today ; Picture shared by Eddie, owner of Sportaviation in Tocumwal.

Z Toc.

Morning wave over the first cu .

And to finish ; This great picture shared by ” Stuff Dutch people like” and I know that more than only Dutch people will like it.
Was the visit  from Obama good for the Rijksmuseum, the visit of the wife from the Chinese president , during that Nuclear top was super PR for the Keukenhof. Did they have last year around 30.000 Chinese visitors, now they had 2 weeks ago already 31.000 .So there will be quite a few more, when they close at May 18.

Z Tulips in Holland keukenhof.

Holland on it’s best.
Courtesy ; stuff Dutch people like.

Cheers Ritz on Sunday May 11 2014. CU later on www.soaringcafe.com

Glorious weather,…but also ” not the best sky today!”

After that glorious Saturday-weather, Sunday was a bit different here in Holland. The sky was not as blue as blue should be, but a kind of milky-blue .Still great and high clouds however and a much nicer temperature. As I read  some of the pilots had to really work hard to get back home . But still several flights over 500 km..One , a VERY FIRST 500 by Robin Smit in the LS 8.He is a happy chappie, so he should!

Around 2348 flights were added to the OLC. Eight  of them  European 1000 km. flights 6 from Germany and 2 from Austria  and one from Sweden. And 4 from Minden in the USA. Alexander Mueller flew a 1000  FAI triangle [1.155 km] from Bayreuth in the EB 29. Michael Sommer flew one from Oberhinkofen and Josef Eder flew from Schaerding and flew over  German top soaring places as Klippeneck and Hahnweide and via the WGC town Bayreuth.The Ventus 2 from Eduard Supersberger flew the other Austrian 1000. from Lienz.
Swedish pilot Jan-Ola Nordh flew one in a Discus 2T and we can congratulate him as it is the first 1000 km in Sweden in 15 m. class!!!
Another superb day in Europe , with flights in an LS 1 d from 712 km. and 748 in an ASW 19. Not bad for the beginning of May, but as you know  spring can be awesome!

1237 km. From Minden that day in an ASW 27 was very  special too , but SUPERB was the word for Mitch Polinsky’s wave flight from Minden on May 4 as well. He topped the OLC list on Sunday with only his 3d wave flight;he flew 1.516.6 km. He still is grateful for the flights he made in the back of the gliders with Jim Payne and Gordon Boettger where he learned to fly in wave. GREAT teachers!!!! Mitch flew in his ASH 31 MI/18m.

Polinsky--31Mi after July 2, 2013 record flight (1)

Mitch here after a flight in July.

Talking about Gordon: On the same day we ALL got by several social media, the message to keep an eye on the flight of Gordon. What a great idea!
He wanted to share  a” distance record attempt along with Hugh Bennett in the Duo Discus sailplane.  Our intention is to be towed up by a towplane shortly before sunrise around 0530 PDT from the Minden Tahoe airport NV (KMEV), release and head in the direction of Rapid City, SD (KRAP), landing near sunset after flying over 850 miles.  If we can go beyond that, we obviously will.  As most know, we will be making this attempt in an unmotorized sailplane utilizing mountain wave updrafts to stay aloft.  The weather is favorable for this intended direction but weaker forecast winds might make slow going. If the flight is aborted due to technicalities or unfavorable weather, Walt Rogers will post on his twitter account (below).  We intend to climb up to 28,000 feet before proceeding east.  As most know, there’s no way to tell how far we end up going.  It will depend on what the weather allows.  It will be cold as the cockpit is unheated and unpressurized.  There are too many factors involved to tell how far we end up, which also makes it quite fun to watch from the sidelines on the ground.  Our call sign for the flight will be N55LK. 

I will also be posting live pictures and video feed (workload permitting) and be in satellite communication with Walt Rogers, our meteorologist and dispatcher.  You can follow his excellent twitter feeds with weather updates and our progress and inflight pictures by going to:

My goal is to share this wonderful adventure and beauty of unpowered flight with the rest of the world.  Without being in the cockpit, this is the best way we know how to share it.   Feel free to share this with your friends.

Enjoy the ride,

 Gordon Boettger


Good on Gordon to take us with him during the flight . Who would have believed in the past , when we were fiddling around with camera’s and barographs that this would be possible.
Walter Rogers is a retired NOAA forecaster . On the site he is called the soaring-aviation-forecaster-guru!! Still interesting after the flight to read his tweets!
All the news about this record flight  in the DUO DISCUS, you can find on ; www.skylines.aero  and a blog with pictures on www.soaringcafe.com.
Although Gordon and Hugh didn’t make their declared goal at Rapid City, South Dakota, they did land safely at Hullett, Wyoming, which is approximately 870 statute miles (1401 km) from their takeoff site at Minden, Nevada. That’s about 170 miles longer than the existing U.S. Free Distance/Multiplace record, which they set on April 15, 2013.”  source SoaringCafe.

A bit of a tougher day for the French Nationals in Buno. The 2 seater -pilots got a 322 km. task and 9 from 15 finished. Among the 15 are 2 couples flying HC as they are not French.
In open class 4 from 18 are HC. Great day for Jutta Storm in the ASH 25 /26m.,  as she won the task over 383 km. with a speed of 82 km,/h. meaning it was a real tough day!
Day 3 was a real tough day with a 2.15 AAT and only 3 pilots finished . Not too much points to loose or to win.
In open class same task and same amount of finishers. In nearly 3 hours the runner up flew in his ASW 22 BL a distance of 193.6 km. That says it all.
Yesterday was cancelled!


Z Sisteron

The French Pegase as PR tool

The preparations , now also for the pilots , for the SAILPLANE GRAND PRIX FINAL in Sisteron are in full swing.
Arne Boye Moeller was so kind to drive from Denmark to France to bring his glider AB for Bruce to fly.
As we did in the past they swapped gliders. Arne flew Bruces glider in Australia, Bruce flies his glider in Europe.
Great and friendly deals they are, love [d]  them.

Z Bruce in S3

Bruce in the glider from Arne-Boye in France.
Courtesy aeroclub from Sisteron.


First impressive flights by Bruce over the mountains.

Z bruce in S 2  Z Bruce in S.1


3 Aussie- mates  in this GRAND PRIX; Bruce Taylor, Tom Claffey and Graham Parker and specially Tom is excellent in sharing his pictures. Here a few from his practice time.

Z Tom runs the parcours  Z Tom sees Bruce.

Z Having fun in blue condition

Picture 1; Running the “par cour”
Picture 2; This is AB, Bruce, over Digne.
Picture 3; Having fun at Pic de Bure with Bruce, Graham and John Coutts, on a good day but too blue to go North all the way to Mt Blanc.
Courtesy ; text and pictures Tom Claffey.
and this is TOM.

Z Tom

The Gauteng Regionals in S.A. finished with not too many days;  a total of 4 out of 8 in 18 m. class , but don’t forget it is autumn over there.
Day 4 in 18 m. class however, showed a high-summer-speed of 156.5 km.h. over 288 km. by Oscar Goudriaan , [JS 1 C in 21 m. configuration]. He won in his class, after being the best on the last 3 days. Good on him!For the scores also from club and 15 m. class you can go to; www.soaringspot.com

Z Oscar gauteng

Oscar winning 3 days in a row.
Picture as shared  Jonker Sailplanes.

The 13,5 m. Italian Nationals in Alzate Brianza had 5 days and Ricardo Brigliadori won 3 of them and the TITLE.
Parallel with these comps the Club class flew and had 4 days. Davide won with 300 points ahead of the runner up. So a good champion and a very nice young man.

Prievidza continued with their competition, blessed with a few REAL good over 500 km. days. After 2 cancelled days , good for a nice rest of the pilots, they continued again on Monday , day 5, with;
537 . 7 km. in the mixed class, 504 km.  in club class and the 15 m. pilots  had to go for 544 km.

19 from 28 finished in the mixed class. Best speed 107 km. in an ASG 29.
32 from 52 in club class managed to do so. Chapeau! A long day as some flew over 7 hours.
15 from 36 arrived home in 15 m. class.

Tuesday in Prievidza; a 376 task was set and flown by nearly all pilots in the mixed class, same as the 333 km. for the club class.A few out-landings in 15 m.They went for 379 km.
Today tasks of ;1.45 AAT’s in each class.

Antti Lehto, has arrived last week with his brand new ARCUS in Rayskala when there was snow on the ground. His first real cross country flight was a REAL good one. Last winter he practiced in Bitterwasser and he found the weather circumstances yesterday in Finland a bit alike ,only the temperature was totally different. BUT a great flight 1000 km!!!! Good !!!

That’s all about the news for today on May 7 2014. More news in my soaringcafe blog on Sunday at www.soaringcafe.com
Cheers Ritz