Crossing the Alps with the Eders! A gliders tale!

TWO blogs today, my regular Wednesday blog , which you find below this remarkable story I got from Sebastian ,about  a mission he finally fulfilled AND …..together with his dad.

The links to the OLC  from the flights to and back and the pictures are going with it.
Those pictures are SPECTACULAR!!!!! And,…a short story goes with them!

As Sebastian said in the end;

” We made it.Till the last 2 hours I did n’t really believe it would be possible, but our team effort made it happen!!!
A truly wonderful moment!” 


A TEAM-effort!


There,….and back again ….a gliders tale!

—— I thought I would contribute to your blog and tell you about a mission I was looking forward to for a long time now.
As a junior I was in St.Auban for our national junior training camp with Karl Rabeder a couple of times. On two occasions I tried to fly from there to Austria at the end of the training camp instead of driving all the way.
2006 I got to Innsbruck, 2007 to Samedan.
Since then me and my dad were talking about doing a team-flight from our home-airfield at the Austrian-German-Check Republic-border (Schärding- Suben: LOLS) through the alps to the Provence and back.

10 days ago (07.06) we finally attempted this exciting adventure: Crossing the alps from Upper Austria passing Zell am See, Zernez, Ambri, Zermatt, Bardoneccia and landing in Puimoisson.
The conditions in Austria and Engadin were marvelous, but got worse all the way from there.
From Rheintal to Mattertal the air was getting more stable and warm which slowed us down and finally in the Aostavalley a thick overcast darkened the sky.
A friend of ours, Philipp Keller who started 100km west of us close to Unterwössen, sadly had to land in Aosta and we could just barely get to the last thermals above the ridges before they died down in the whole area.
After crossing into the Modane-valley we had one final thermal all the way to Lac de Serre-Pocon where we could find some lift at the ridges below Mount Morgon that got us to Puimoisson.
As my gliding-calculator finally told me that we would make it I almost couldn’t believe it after such a long time without sun, but the Provence is somewhat special. It seems to generate lift without any energy-input.
One just has to love the French Alps 🙂

Alfred Spindelberger, Helmar Gai and many others were extremely welcoming and helped us with everything we could possibly want.
As a bonus Swiss friends of ours (Felix Schneebeli, Stefan Sidler, Jürgen Haas, and others) came to Puimoisson that evening for a week of vacation. So the night got a little longer than we expected, but we were delighted to meet so many friends so unexpectedly.

The next day (08.06) we tried to do the exact same route back, but got delayed due to a late thermal-start in Provence and a warm airmass all the way north until Engadin.
After crossing from the Aosta-valley to the Rhonevalley , we allready heard our Austrian friends on the radio talking about the exciting conditions in Austria and Engadin.
While we were working thermals between 1,3 and 2,0m/s, which seemed to be determined not to be nice and round, we heard them talking about cloudbase above 4.500m MSL and thermals up to 6m/s.
As we finally reached the Engadin , there was a big rain shower in the area of Samedan, so we had to stay north and got the last few thermals with 3m/s. as the air was already dying and we still had quite a long way to go.

The high cloudbase helped us jumping easily over the ötztaler and zillertaler mountains to the Ennstal.
There we caught the last thermals of the day to prolong our glide east.
Together with an eagle I worked the last 0,3m/s thermal to get a final glide to an airfield in the Eastern part of the Alps to start my engine and also have an easy way out of the Alps heading north.

At 20:15 local I got to the airfield of Niederöblarn 130km South-East of my airfield,  where I started my engine to get home before ECET at 21:30 LOC.
After 9:30 hours of flight I got to Schärding-Suben (LOLS) where my dad already was having a cold beer while waiting for me, as he had to use his engine a little earlier in the Area of Dachstein.

The conditions were far from the great forecasts, but allowed us to do these two wonderful flights which I will look back to for a long time. Maybe even more so because of the unexpected difficulties and surely because of the wonderful sceneries we got to witness (Dom, Matterhorn, Ecrins, etc.). 
Most of all I value, that me and my dad, who will be my teampartner at the WGC in Leszno later this year as well, could experience this adventure together.

At I made an album with photos of the flight to Puimoisson ->
On the way back to Austria we didn’t make any pictures as we simply had no time to do so :))

OLC-Link Suben-Puimoisson:
OLC-Link Puimoisson-Suben:

Greetings from Austria,

Thank you SO much Sebastian and good luck together with dad in Leszno at the World Comps. They both fly in open class,  father Josef in the EB 29 [FJ]  and Sebastian in the ASW 22 BLE.[BY]

The Wednesday blog follows now. Enough to read when I am on a holiday.

Cheers Ritz

“1000 km…Thank you dad for the glider today”!! Rayskala pilots are ready for WGC! Varese QGP!

Last weekend the Amstel Glide Grand Prix 2014 was flown from Soesterberg in 3 classes. The weather was reasonable , the pilots ready for a nice day of competition soaring!

z Amstel glide 3

    the ASW 22 BLE /27 m. XXL
Courtesy Frans Guise!

The regatta start in the combi class was at 2.48 PM and 13 pilots went for a 244 km. long task in planes as Duo Discus, Discus, LS 8 and ASW 24 .
The Duo Discus T from Philippe and Neander was back after 3 hours and  9 minutes and 57 seconds and they were the best and got the 6 points.The rest needed at least 14 minutes more. Only 6 pilots finished.

In club class 10 pilots and the regatta start was at 2.58 PM. Glider AG , a St Cirrus, won with Nick Hanenburg in it . He is a member of our Junior squad.
186 .5 km for them and he flew the distance in 2.54.56. Some other pilots flew 1 hour longer and a few out landed.

By the way the St Cirrus with call sign AG, AND  the AU also a St. Cirrus are owned by the GLIDING Netherlands Foundation Event ….I will come back on this foundation closer to the JWGC in Narromine, but when you are interested , you can read all about it already on the junior site under ” airplanes ”  at
It’s available in English!!!
This foundation takes care of the young squad-pilots , depending on club gliders for comps [National and International] and when nothing is available this foundation can  help!!!


Both St .Cirrus’ are owned by a foundation for special use by the juniors.

In open class 268.2 km. and a start at 15.08 for 6 pilots and from them 2 finished gaining 2 and 1 point[s]
Sikko in the ASG 29 won the day in 2.58,38 and the runner up Matthijs [Ventus CT] needed 15 minutes more!
Some great pictures from the finishes at Amstel Glide by FRANS GUISE!!!!


  z Amstelglide 2   Z Amstel glide 1

ASG 29  M2 from Sikko ………..and …………..the Discus CS MP from Erwin.

A 500 km. O&R  record attempt was tried by Arne Boye Moeller from Denmark.
Here is the story he shared on FB, for those who ” hate”  FB.
Conditions looked favorable Saturday June 14th for an out-and-return 500 km. record attempt form my home club in Herning to Hamburg in Germany.
Crossing from the southern Jutland peninsula into Germany’s Schleswig ditto is always an interesting adventure with the often wet lowlands, channels and erratic thermal energy distribution.
This day the wind was from the NNE with thermals yielding 1-2.5m/s and luckily more convergence than hoped for.
After having run to the south with 144 kph I had to divert all the way to the west coast in Germany and run the wet seabreeze until the prevailing winds won over the sea-breeze well into Denmark again. With 117kph average I believe I have broken the old 98 kph record.”
He added some great pictures with a story ;

Z Arne 1

The evening before, a huge cloudstreet told us something about the instable airmass passing Denmark

Z Arne 2  Z Arne 3

                      Oh…clear nights heralds clear airmass!
                                              Having just turned Itzehoe, suburb to Hamburg.                                  

Z Arne 4   

A view of the river Elbe emptying into the North Sea with Kieler Channel from the Baltic Sea joining in the confluence.

Z Arne 5  Z Arne 6

Looks doable…just before the seabreeze roared in                                  The Kieler channel 

Z Arne 7  Z Arne 8

Here comes the seabreeze.                                                                              Oh what joy!                        


Z Varese opening  Z Varese opening 2

The opening in Varese with CD Giorgio Ballarati to the r. And great food to share!
As shared by the organizers

I left you with the 2 practice days of the Varese Qualifying Grand Prix last Sunday in ” THE CAFE”.
At Sunday they started with their Italian week of qualifying for the FINAL in their own VARESE in 2015!

At the briefing they got a task from 197.4 km. and the announcement for the first start at 2 PM. Thomas [Gostner] was ready for it though the weather predictions said ” heavy thunderstorms”. Anyhow the sun was shining and there was hope!

In vain!!! They did not fly!

Z Varese briefing  z Varese thomas

Briefing and Giorgio [Galetto] and his mates pay full attention and Thomas and crew are ready to go.
Pictures shared by the organizers.

On Monday they had a briefing but at the same announcement was said that the weather was so-so. Anyhow 172 km. was set for the first flyable day.
AND,…the skies looked great according to the CD Giorgio . The regatta- start opened at 2.15 PM.
The weather turned out even better then expected!!! So before they knew the pilots were back again!!
Peter Hartmann, who has had such great flights lately, was the first to return already at 3.45 with  a speed of 1.08 km./h. !!! The first 10 Points in Varese!!!

His Austrian Mate Werner Amann arrived, not much later and got the 8 points. Italian pilot Ricardo Brigliadori got the 7 points.

Z Varese skies

Indeed good looking skies.BUT,…later we heard not all clouds worked properly!
As shared by the Varese Organizers.

On Tuesday the briefing was reset for 2 PM. and after Giorgio had a sniffer-flight the day was cancelled.
For more short news from the CD Giorgio and the scores; 

And at

RAYSKALA….. 33d FAI WGC in Finland

In between,  most pilots have arrived in Rayskala for the WGC  one of the 2 FAI TOP EVENTS in our soaring world this year and the weather welcomed them in a better way ,after the early- birds had seen more than enough ENOUGH rain!!
Cold nights though [ 4 plus C.]  , but finally the by Finland-connaisseurs,  expected better conditions.

One of our Dutch pilots , Alfred Paul, shared some great pictures from his very first flight in Finland on the day BEFORE!!!
The day AFTER,  his 2d flight ,  he flew 628 km. AND ….saw the East and West Coast of Finland.

z Rayskala1  zRayskala 2 bu AP

As shared by Alfred Paul on day 1


on day 2

Z AP 2  Z AP1

It was,…as I said to my Aussie friends already, ” just ”  waiting for the days to come.
Sunday one of those days  was  there; 646 in a Discus, 780 in an ASG 29/18 m.
Guilherme  Purnhagen from Brasil [Bahia Gliding!] had his first practice- flight in the Discus 2T and was just HAPPY; 504 km.
Mannie from South Africa is in Rayskala to fly the ARCUS with German pilot Martin Lesle who spends his winters in South Africa and they had a good day to start with ;266 km.
Still not the super weather as some pilots had to deal with sea-breeze, parts of dead -air  with 8/8 of cu’s, but at least they practiced and some flew for 8 hours.

Z rayskala by Tijl   Z rayskala by Tijl 2

First impressions from the airport and the area, shared by Tijl Schmelzer from Belgium

On Monday they started with an unofficial training day WITH a briefing at 10 AM,  scrutineering started at 12 and you could register in the competition office from 9 AM onwards. Good day for jobs as the weather was not as good as the day before, as you can see on the pictures.

Z Adam  Z Rayskala at 12

In the morning and at noon. Fast changing circumstances, as shared by Adam and the organizers.

On Tuesday they woke up with sleet!!!! Snow yes in summer, and during all the years I have been there I did not see any snow!!!!You nearly needed glasses to see the white powder but it was there.But ,..after the snow there was sun again and a 3 hour AAT was set.

IT”S ABOUT TO BEGIN this 33d WGC !!!!!!!!! I will miss the first week, but there will be MORE than enough news.
Official news on ;
All teams have their own site or FB site. Enjoy, you don’t have to miss anything!!!!!
And when you are on the WGC site have a look at the ” head ”  WINGLET, great stories one about the history of the PIK 20  THE FINNISH STAR of the 1976 worlds by Jiri Raivio. Good reading!

z Raysk briefing

first briefing on unofficial practice day.


I am also going to miss the start and finish of the 2014 EUROGLIDE!!!! Already the 12th edition!!!
A pity, but for sure you keep an eye on it yourself. Here is the link; 

70 Gliders with teams existing out of 2 till 6 pilots per glider leave on Monday May 23 and have the time to fly the over 2000 km distance till July 5.

Contrary to a standard gliding competition, when each day a task is flown from the same airfield, Euroglide has only one task of approximately 2000 km:”Departure, round the turn-points and return  as soon as possible, but at latest on the last competition day.”
They have changed the start location this year due to the huge amount of competitors …
Now there are three start airfields instead of one: Eindhoven (Selflaunchers and Low Turbos), Malden (Gliders) and Venlo (High Turbos).
The “equal opportunity for all“, has changed to “equal opportunity per class” now.
The finish will be in Malden.

There are participants from several countries as Belgium, France, Germany, Denmark, the UK, Canada [ my friend Jos specially arrives from Canada to be part of this edition in a Dutch glider a Duo Discus,  with his former EAC mates] , Slovakia and Holland.
And these pilots fly a numerous type of gliders.


Last Sunday was a good soaring-day with several 1000 km. flights [ 7 in Germany] and a nearly 900 in a Discus from Munsingen [NE from Klipeneck in Germany] A total of 2260- plus on the Sunday-Fathers-day-OLC list.
One of the nice flights was the 1.131.5 km. FAI triangle from Michael Sommer from Oberhinkhofen in the EB 29, passing  en route Hahnweide, Klippeneck and Bayreuth .

The flight from Ouarzazate [Morocco] by Robert Pratt [from France] in the ARCUS with the ” belle Helene”   in the back , was a good one too;1.248 km. And Bernd Dolba flew with a Polish pilot a 1.165 km. in the ASH 25 EB. A 3d 1000 from Ouarzazate was flown by UK pilot John Bally.

It was fathers day as well and what’s nicer then to have a thank you-daddy-for-having-the-glider-today on the OLC; a 1000 in the ARCUS M for the son and his mate!
Some fathers spoiled their selves after having been spoiled already by the family in the early morning, with a nice day of flying; 500 km [566] triangle from Terlet in Holland and many great flights in Germany.
You even dropped from page 1 from the OLC flying 853 km. in an ASH 25/26m.
A 500 k triangle in a KA 6 is worth mentioning!!! The only 500 on page 1 on a well deserved spot 47 !!!!!
And a 733 km.[ 675 FAI km]  in an LS 4 WL,…great stuff. Not to forget the LS 1d flight from 662 km.TOP!!!!!!!

Also on Monday some great flights in Germany and Switzerland.
A lot of superlative were used by pilots.
When Michael Sommer with his experience says ” Wahnsinn tag”  , it must be a SUPER DAY.He had a super glider as well [ EB 29] and flew this time;1.356 km!!!!!!!!
In his comment he said thank you to  Walter and Oliver and he mentioned he flies for a new club; LSV Regensburg flying from Oberhinkhofen.
The last flights from Michael  on the OLC from this airfield show since April 17 a total of  10 flights, 5 out of this 10 were a 1000 km. PLUS!!!! You can fly, or you can’t!

A 1000 km. in a St. Cirrus is another piece of cake but it happened on Monday as well. Robert Schymala was the pilot who flew a yo-yo from Stillberghof  along places as Hahnweide and Klippeneck over 1.016 km. and was most amazed himself that you can fly one with such a light , pretty basic glider. Good on him.
Stillberghof had another 1000 in an 18 m. LAK 17 and in a Discus. I think a few nice beers have been spend after, on such a great day .

Former WGC host -field Eskilstuna in Sweden had a flight from 888 km in the Ventus BT by Jan Rotthhardt from Germany. I remember from when I was there that German pilots have an annual camp there.

And ….very pleased to see Michael Schumacher return to the world. He is out of his long time coma. Hope his re-validation will bring him back to normal.

Off on my annual -1-week- holiday with my high-school friends, without a laptop!!!
Sorry, but….Cu on July 2!!!

Cheers Ritz

On June 17/18 2014.

Danish and Swedish Nationals ..and ..Gliders, pilots , crews and early organizers on their way to 2 WGC’s!

With 37 dgr. C. it was the warmest Pentecost in history in Germany. But the heat did not only bring joy, as at least 6 people were killed by falling trees in the state Nord-Rhein Westfalen . Trees , surviving 2 World Wars dropped like matches under the up to 150 km.h wind.
Here in Holland we had 30 dgr. C which was more then enough and code red for the Southern part of Holland !! So thunderstorms here as well , but not as violent as in Germany, where hurricane wind was measured in some towns specially Dusseldorf  . Also France and Belgium got their bit of heavy weather.

MALDEN ….. Open Military Championships….the last day!

 Z Aukje

Great picture shared by Aukje.
They left the cable at 250 m. but did not find connection, so they “had to do it”  again.

The pilots from the Open Military Comps in Holland, flown from the beautiful  and always friendly / inviting airfield of Malden had only 5 days to show their skills. And from those 5 days, they had 3 pretty good days to do so and 2 to have fun, socialize and TALK about soaring. With 380 km. on Monday , 314 on Tuesday and 335 on Friday the open/18m.  class pilots  had enough kilometers to show their soaring-skills. The other classes , club and combi had a just a tad shorter tasks. Friday looked fabulous here with nice blue skies and 3/8 of high big CU’s, so I had high expectations.

Z Last OMK day

Last day skies! Shared by Ben Hiemstra

Club left , on this last day, with fresh Dutch Champion in club class Frank,  on spot 1 with 59 points on a not Frysian pilot but still from the N.[Hoogeveen..Drenthe] ]  and on his dad Ben [ 67] and 2 other Frysian pilots. That FAC is a really fun group of lovely people ,supporting each other and all very close. For sure they would  try to have 3 Frysians on the podium on this last day. AND…that happened between the ” bond” of the Frysian pilots , Hoogeveen pilot Ide, might have felt too eager or overpowered, I don’t know, but he out-landed and sadly enough, dropped from 2 to 7. Frank and his dad , what do you want  more for such a close soaring-family ….stood on spot 1 [ 2839 points] and 2. [ 2601] And a 3d member of the Frysian club, Sander Terpstra was on a third spot[ 2558]. Congratulations!!!

Z Frysians

All Frysians fitted on the picture on the BBQ evening at Malden courtesy Sander Terpstra

In combi the last day showed 3 DUO Discus types up front an XL, XLT and XT. They topped the overall scores as well with Tjeerd and Francis on spot 1, Evert Jan on 2 and Jeppe and Wolfert on 3. From the 5 pilots , 4 fly for KLM and 1 works for Transavia.

In open class Erik Wijers in an LS 6 C 17.5 m. topped the overall list on each of the 3 days, on the last day with less than 100 points on 2 and 3. He won the last day over 263 km.  got 1000 points and the overall-number-2 from the morning Ben from Eindhoven out-landed. So with more than 400 points on the runner up,  Erik  won the OMK.
Congratulations to all!


Some pilots and crews are already in Rayskala and participated in  the Finnish Nationals in Standard and Club class. They acclimatize and prepare for the WGC starting on June 22 with the opening ceremony the day before on June 21. Poland is only in July/ August, so there is some time but countries far away have send or are sending their gliders now. Not too much flying, due to rainy weather ,but those who participated claimed they had learned a LOT!

The S.A team has send their gliders to Poland. In the 2 South African containers are SEVEN JS1 gliders. Here is their news and their pictures. I  only hope the container is not on the highest spot on the ship as with scary, read VERY turbulent  weather,  they dump those containers in the sea first!!!
And away they go!!! Two containers full of JS1s left Durban harbour on the MSC Rita to Bremenhaven. Final destination: Leszno Poland for the 33th World Gliding championships. This is a historic moment with 7 JS1s on the the same ship….talking about all your eggs in one basket..” 

Z Jonkers naar Polen 2  Z jonkers naar P{olen 5

Z jonkers naar Polen 1  Z jonkers naar Polen 4

Z Jonkers naar Polen 6

As shared by Jonker Sailplanes.



Z Take off day 4

Before start  1 PM on Tuesday. Shared by organizers

In France  in Rennes Saint Sulpice, the first training day for the  Qualifying Grand Prix was on Thursday. 5 Pilots in total from the entree list are not from France but  from Germany [3] , the UK [ 1] and Slovenia [1] .
On Thursday they started with their first practice day.
On Saturday with the first day , won by German pilot Kai Lindenberg. A short task from 103 km. exciting enough , with wave but also outlandings.
On Sunday was day 2 and pilots were send on a B task , 207 km. this time at 13.45. Christophe Abadie was the daily winner with 8 points.Only 7 finishers , Jutta among them.
Monday was a 122 km. day and Alain Mazalerat won the 10 points. Alain, a retired airline pilot,  arrived  before the Grand Prix started,  by glider from Paris !!!!!
We got to know Alain in Angers at the Huit Jours d’Angers, a long ,LONG time ago. Great to see he is still so enthusiastic for soaring.

Yesterday was a day with great clouds and a task of  255 km. and the line opened at 2.15 PM. Christophe Abadie  in his ASG 29E,  “got”  the 10 points AGAIN and the 2 German pilots Thomas and Michael [Eisele, son of the Bayreuth competition director Walter] got the 8 and 7 points.
So today at day 5 ,they start with Christophe Ruche on 1 with 10 points on number 2 the other Christophe [Abadie], from Buno and Alain and Thomas both on spot 3 with 16 points . More in my Sunday blog from SoaringCafe.

Lot’s of lovely  pictures from Jean- Pierre Henry at:

ARNBORG ….Danish Nationals.

Z Arne by Joergen Eriksen

AB ; Arne on final as seen by Joergen Eriksen.

The Danish Nationals were flown between May 29 and June 8 in 5 classes. They had more flying-days as cancelled days; 6 for 5!! Several over 300 km. tasks, so good days to see who would be the National Champion in each class.
In Club class one of my mates Ole Arndt won day 1, whilst , through all those years,one of my favorite pilots Henrik Breidahl unfortunately outlanded and one of the pilots I got to know when he was still very young and talented , Rasmus Orskov flying the LS 1 f , flew the 319 km. with 68 km./h.
Rasmus had a few outlandings but won the last day and a 3d spot overall in the end.
Champion was  Ulrik Soerensen in the St Libelle  with 2704 points, whilst  good old Ole was runner up with 2562 points ! 18 Pilots in this class.

Ole and Jörgen 001

Ole [to the l.] here with Joergen visiting at Uvalde.

In standard class the only pilot I knew [out of 11] from several comps was Jan Andersen . He was on spot 1 overall EVERY day. So the new Danish Champion.

In 15 m. class,2 from 11 I know from comps or visits to Sportavia [Ole by the way flew there as well] Ib Wienberg and good olg Stig Oye from long ago. Ib finished as 4th and Stig 7th. Quite some out landings in this class , costing points. On day 3 only 3 pilots finished and Ib was one of them. On day 4 Ib was 1 of 2 finishers again. But on day 5 [ a 2 hour AAT] with no finishers Ib only flew 12.4 km. good for 31 points, whilst daily winner Stig had 398 points for 160.2 km.
The new 15 m. champion is Johnny Jensen.

Denmark 005

Ib ready to uncork the champagne bottle

In the 18 m. class 10 pilots and the ones I know are well known by all ; Arne Boye Moeller and Peter Eriksen. How did they go? Peter won day 1 but he lost some points on day 5 when Arne managed to finish. Arne won the last day over 395.2 km. and Peter was 3d. Arne was crowned as the new Danish champion in this class. He won 2 days and was on 3 days runner up, a good enough reason to be called CHAMPION.Peter finished overall on spot 3.

Z Arne on spot 1

Arne as the new National Champion. As shared by Arne.

7 Gliders in the 2 -seater class , all a variation of a Duo Discus and 1 Taurus. Henrik Gormsen in the variation XT won the comps. For all scores ;

LANGTORA ….Swedish Nationals

Hopefully 7 days [between June 7 and 14] of flying for the Swedish Nationals in 18 m and club class. Till today they had already 4 days ! 21 Pilots in club class and day 1 over 110 km. was won by Per Carlin ,who I remember as a good photographer at Eskilstuna during the WGC. He did not fly there for this WGC, but made some great air-shots when he flew when all were gone for the day and before start making those great pictures of the gaggles. With the crash of my last laptop I unfortunately lost all the Eskilstuna pictures.
On day 2 only 2 finishers who flew the 192 km. Day 3 over 186 km. was a prey for Per [LS1f] again and on day 4 they had a 2.30 hour AAT.
The 3d victory for Per, who flies as good as he makes pictures!!! He flew 250.6 km in time 2.46.

13 Pilots in 18 m. class and the most well known are Borje Eriksson and Ake Pettersson. Boerje won day 1 [ 119.5 km.] and 3 [254.5 km.] and was 3d on day 2 [263 km.]
Yesterday they had 248.8 km. and all 13 pilots finished!! Borje was 2d behind Tonny Olsson, who is 3d now overall after 4 days. Borje is still in the lead.
No task as yet for today! They continue till the 14th. All scores on soaringspot!


Z Minden

great picture ; Minden from above as seen by Pete Alexander  with to the left  Rick Walters Shared by the SSA on FB.

Next weekend the 18m. Nationals in the USA will be flown from Minden in Nevada. Can follow it a bit for you , but I depart on a 1-week-holiday with my high school friends on June 20, WITHOUT my laptop so I will miss a few crucial comps, but so be it.

Talking about Minden, Jim Payne flew another 1000 from there on Monday. The day before Konigsdorf was the place to be as 4 pilots flew a 1000 over there in Arcus , Quintus [2] and ASG 29 . It was the 5th 1000 for Mathias Schunk since April 24. Good on him!
Also a great race from Bolzano by Giorgio Galetto, in his Ventus 2cxa; 1.051,39 km.
And,…919 km. from Insbruck in an LS1f is GOOOOD!!!!
Also the Ouarzazate visitors have good 1000 km. weather . Since May 30 they flew 20 x a 1000 plus from there.

Some interesting planes arrived in Holland, certainly for “spotters”.  One arrived last week in Maastricht with a big red mouth on it; no doubt…. the Rolling Stones,  who performed last weekend at Pinkpop.
And the 787 DREAMLINER , arrived from Seattle  with the name ARKE on it.  They own the first Dutch 787 and to show how happy they were with it , they flew low over some airfields in Holland as Eindhoven and Rotterdam as well as over the 4 head quarters from TUI [ARKE is part of them]  to show it for those on the ground as well. They bought the plane mainly for their trips to Curacao, Bonaire and Aruba and can take 307 guests with them.

You are up to date, cu next week.

Cheers Ritz

Finnish Nationals as practice for WGC @ Rayskala Airport.

  Z Finland from above
Finland from above.
courtesy Eric Stauss

The last preparations in Finland for the WGC for ” small”  ships are in progress . They test all what’s necessary for a smooth show during their Nationals in standard and club class and pilots practice from the field to see how the area looks.

Day 1 was straight away a difficult one. In club class NOBODY flew the 3 hour AAT  though 12 pilots tried hard. They all found a landing spot somewhere else and the best pilot flew 216 km. Tim, from the UK flew 184 km. and “our”  Dutch glider NL1 with USA pilot Garret 130 km.

Z Garret in Finland

An American pilot in a Dutch glider in a nice big green paddock  in Finland!!!
Picture by Adam.

It is not easy to find good landing spots in Finland with all those beautiful trees and lakes and that’s why the organizers always put a lot of effort in showing on the map WHERE you can land.So they all practiced straight away.

As Adam from Australia mentioned in his blog;
” Day 1 weather didn’t match the forecast ! Maximum height I saw was 2700 agl. Early on some good streets and 5 knot climbs, but then we headed west and the cloud base dropped and the lift decreased.

This was right in the area that was totally unlandable. Always had a glide to somewhere, but only just. ” 
More news at  Adam Woolleys gliding adventures.

Another very nice blog with great pictures from Aussie pilot Eric and his crew  ;

20 Pilots in 15 m. class and INDEED Mac had traveled straight away to Rayskala and flew on this day 1 a distance of 223 km during a 3.30 AAT. He was 7th.
Nice to see father Martti [ASG 29] and son Petri [ LS 6 ] competing both in this class.
Nobody finished but the day 2 forecast was GOOD!!! The weather can change very quickly in Finland. We had once 4 days of rain and after only perfect weather.


Z Finland day 2

Day 2 as seen by the crew from Eric, with the remark:
” Nice skies but also a band of alto cirrus coming in which is definitely getting closer”

Day 2 looked much better and had a 3 hour AAT for 15 m. and 261.7 km. for club.
But it turned out different as a warm front was moving faster than expected.

” After watching club class sent to an almost inevitable out landing as the warm front was moving in faster that expected, the rest of us were re-tasked with a 3 hour AAT”

2 Pilots finished in club class,  one flew 153,4 km. and the best of the rest flew ” only” 88km. and less.

 A new airmass moved in, was quite windy – just couldn’t get high again after falling low. ” was Adams comment, after his first REAL out landing.[The day before he landed at Forssa  Airport ]


Z Buitenlanding Adam  Zbuitenlanding2

Z warm welcome

And a warm welcome from the farmer and his wife!
Courtesy Adam


In 15 m. Juha Sorri flew 292.5 km in 3.03,32. The area they flew in had much better weather hence only one out landing … Mac  He unfortunately outlanded after 96.5 km. He was the only one!!
Young Petri did not start [exams] and I don’t know what happened with Martti Koivula as he was not scored  , I know though , as he flew with us in Australia in the past, that he is a very good pilot!

Yesterday was scrubbed! And they got MORE GOOD info on out landing fields from one of the Finnish competitors.

For today the Aussie team is not very enthusiastic:
” Day 3 take 2. We have either a 2.5 or 2 hour AAT for racing class. Forecast is either for a storm, many storms or the whole country covered in storms. In all cases, Rayskala will have storms !1st launch in an hour for club class. “



Z Aukje Malden

As shared by Aukje who flies the comps at the moment.

The open military comps in Holland started on Monday from Malden with 42 pilots in 3 classes . A 310 km. task was set for club, 331,4 km. for combi and 379 for open class.
Except for 1, all 14 pilots in club FINISHED!!!Good on them!
In combi class Jeppe and Wolfert won in the DUO DISCUS XL  from 17 other pilots.
Jeppe was 4 years ago the CD during the Nationals , so before Natasja, as he did it only one year.
Great to see Stephanie and her husband Patrick as competitors flying the DG 1000/20 m. . Stephanie worked for us in Tocumwal years ago.
In open class 2 outlandings and an LS 6/17.5 m. won on handicap on a Nimbus 3DT.

No flying in Finland but another day yesterday in Malden.
263 km. in club class and the new Dutch Champion won the day. His dad was on spot 4. Frank left early and dad more than half an hour later.All  pilots finished. GOOD!!!

Z Ben

Dad Ben as seen by Frans Guise.

By the way 5 from the 15 in this class are members from the Frysian Aero Club, be assured they will have a great time/holiday.
AND,..they fly well too, occupying after 2 days spot 1-3-4-5.
3 Outlandings in the combi class and reserve-tuggy from the Nationals,  Evert Jan won the day over 303 km.
And Ben Zwaga from Eindhoven won the open class -day over 314 km. in the Ventus 2CT/18m.

No tasks set as yet for today! It’s raining here but Malden is about 125 km. to the SE.


On the Schleicher Site  you can find wonderful pictures about the new ASG 32Mi.

ASG 32 Mi

As they wrote on their site:
Under optimal summer conditions Schleicher’s new 20m two-seater passed the first tests with flying colors.
Michael Greiner and CEO Peter Kremer made the first flight.
This glider contains a lot of technical innovations.
After the landing it was clear: the 
ASG 32 Mi fulfills the high expectations in all points. ” 

ASG 32  ASG32Fuselage

The above pictures from Australia Mount Beauty pilot Ian Cohn are not that old. He visited Schleicher and got a nice tour there and was even allowed to make pictures from the ASG 32. Now the glider made it’s maiden flight. Congratulations to all working on this new model .

Ash 32 first launch  ASH 32 maiden flight

The first launch and first landing.
in full flight.

Asg 32 mooi

Pictures courtesy Schleicher site via Rene.

Got some nice pictures from the HAHNWEIDE comps and some extra news from my friends who have been there. As always appreciated!!!
All had a real good time . Other than on WGC’s or EGC’ s there was less stress and a lot of time to socialize, certainly on rainy days. They compared gliders and changed news.

IMG_0074 IMG_0075 IMG_0143 IMG_0068

Line up ,having fun, the Schmelzers and Joost and Max.
As shared by Bert sr.

On the last day they luckily had a big task, [to the satisfaction of all pilots],  to finish this competition and to find out who were the really winners.
It’s always nice to hear the inside stories. In the 18 m. class the race was on to to drive Bert jr. from the throne he was sitting on , on this last day. Toppers as Werner Meuser [champion at EGC and WGC ] and Reinhard Schramme [winner from an ECG and as we all know kilometer-eater in Bitterwasser last year] and Bernd Weber [from Schempp-Hirth and flying with us in Australia in the past] , they all had the intention to be the number 1 and…. that was still possible. But as you could read in my last blog they were not successful and Bert maintained his top position.


Young Bert surrounded by toppers as Werner and Reinhard.
As shared by Bert sr.

And to finish for those who could not log in or don’t want to log in on SoaringCafe, here is when you have not seen it yet, the EXTRA blog below , about the Dutch Nationals.
Talking about the Nationals; Natasja who was 3 years the CD and a very good and relaxed one ,wrote on the site a nice thank you to ALL pilots , crews and the members from her team.
It looks like the Dutch Nationals will be different , in the future, maybe even with our Belgium friends and once in Belgium [St Hubert?] and once in Holland [Terlet?]
Anyhow now she is preparing for the Womens in Germany, as preparation for the WWGC  next year in Denmark. Last time she participated for the first time in France , but unfortunately got sick.

I have seen many CD’s here at the Nationals , all good to very good,but never such a relaxed one as Natasja and her easygoing but correct way was shared by pilots, crews and team members. Good on her!
As she said :
It was a competition with VERY good weather and very bad, too much rain.
11 Pilots declared a 500 km. during these comps and the biggest task ever in Dutch National Soaring-competition, was set 701 km. and …..524 and 604 were not bad either.
Till the last day the contest was exciting.”
A competition with gutsy tasks , a bit ” out of the box” ,  but all were flyable except for day 1 when everybody was “out”.

Enough reading-stuff so time ” to go” .

Cheers Ritz

Very interesting Dutch Nationals 2014! Hahnweide and Lasham finished with 4 and 3/2 days!

From quite a few friends I heard that they have difficulties to log in at soaringcafe.
You only have to log in with a password …..and it’s free and ….. VERY easy.
Please let me know when you have problems and I will send your reaction to Bill, or you can reach him straight away.

So I decided to copy and paste the last blog to give everybody the possibility to read Rene’s exclusive story on the historic 701 km. task the longest ever in Dutch National Gliding Competition . Another important issue is the great photo gallery I got from Frans Guise, so here we go, not exactly the same but a lot of copy and paste-work to make EVERYBODY happy, also those who refuse log in’s!
SERVICE is n’t it???? Could n’t get all pictures on the correct spot but at least you can see them and by clicking on them enlarge them to see the full quality!!
When you have read it already, Wednesday there will be a new blog on!


IMG_0276-2  IMG_0358-2

A very special edition, this 2014 CAE Dutch National Championship.

  • exclusive story from historic 701 km. during a Dutch National championship by pilot Rene de Dreu
  • the birth from a gorgeous  baby girl
  • a marriage proposal
  • scores totally mixed up by tricky weather/out-landings on the last day
  • from spot 7 up to spot 3 in open class, …never give up is the motto
  • met USA pilot Garret Willat at Terlet
  • caught up with Dennis [ and his girlfriend ]and Eddie Huybreckx from  Belgium.
  • 28 pilots finished after 4/5 days with a REAL championship and Dutch National champions in 3 classes
  • one day later AFTER the comps 700 km flights in Holland [and over 800 even in Belgium!]

That ALL happened at Terlet ,…here is the full story as promised, with fabulous pictures from Frans Guise!!! When you click on them you see them in FULL GLORY!!! Enjoy!


To start with, the story from Rene also as promised. He flew last Sunday in the ASG 29/18 m.a 701 km. task, finished with only 2 other gliders in this class [from 10]  , both open class gliders and won that day. Never before in history a 701 km. was set, during a Dutch -National-Gliding- Contest .

Here is his story which was in Dutch so , I translated it for you;

” A couple of days before, it looked already that Sunday [May 25] would be a real good day.The organizers were talking about a big task and they set one, in each class; 525 in club class, 605 in combi class and 701 in open class.The line up on the grid was in this order as well.

The weather developed as expected , the only worry was a layer of Cirrus , moving slowly into the task area.This development made me careful in planning the time-schedule for the day and was reason for me to start early, straight after the line opened.

That was at 12.10 and I departed with the first group together with Jelmer Wassenaar and Mischa Konings. The first 140 km.-long-leg did n’t look like well developed and lift was not very good, so I doubted if the task was possible at all.We only had  an average of low in the 90 km./h. , BUT after we passed the SAUERLAND  the speed increased and I could race ahead of my fellow pilots.

After about 400 km.,course was steered for Holland again , BUT the already in the morning expected Cirrus was visible.The speed dropped again, BUT under the high level cloud cover, there was still good lift. Due to the fact that we had to return to a way-point in Germany again, we had to pass this cloud cover 3 times on the way to Terlet. In the end there were still small cu’s giving enough lift.

After a nice long final glide in quiet air , I returned at Terlet , as the first in my class .Cause I flew most of the task by myself [500 from 700 km.!] I had no idea how good or bad I was, but ,…it was a daily win! A nice long task full of challenges!” 

Rene bel

Picture via Rene.

THANK you Rene!!!!!Also for the  picture belonging to his story.

Rene flew with an LX 9070. He used that brand new GPS system for the first time a few weeks ago at St Hubert.

” The LX 9070 is a navigation and vario system with extremely bright color 7″ WGA display readable in all sunlight conditions with backlight automatically adapted using photo-sensor running on Linux operating system. The LX 9070 has preloaded world terrain maps, airports and airspace databases, high level IGC-approval and integrated Flarm collision avoidance system.”
{Glider Pilot Shop}

Z Rene met GPS

Rene during his flight On Saturday one day after the comps. Great weather as usual!!!

Rene is also since 2011 the representative for Alexander Schleicher in the BENELUX!
Next week I ”ll have a look at the new ASG 32 Mi in my blog, I heard the pictures are on the site; 

 After that day unfortunately 3 days were cancelled. Friday was the last day and to have a valid championship 4 days were needed!They HAD to fly! I arrived on Thursday, but the expected /hoped for window arrived too late; at 6 PM. Another scrubbed day!
BUT,….a good day to ” trick” our long time open class EGC and WGC pilot Peter Batenburg.” Something was wrong with his glider he should go there and look at it himself. ” So he went,… a bit worried! He removed the canopy cover to find in the cockpit,  his girl friend Judith in a nice black dress , smiling at him and asking him if he wanted to marry her!!!! He said yes and both really were shining!

IMG_2487  IMG_2952

A present at briefing and receiving congrats also in the camping area by Patrick.
courtesy Frans.

As at many comps it ALL happened on this last day, nothing was sure in the morning. Relatively long tasks were set  direction East [Germany] into an area still looking very over- developed. BUT they had faith in the pilots!In the end they were right.


IMG_0252-2 IMG_2556-2

Hinse in the Libelle as seen by Frans.

They left early, the club pilots, around 1 PM. for a 341.6 km. flight, with in the morning Frank Hiemstra on spot 1.At 5 the message was there; out landing Frank! About an hour later young, 19 year old ,talented Robin Smit finished in the St. Cirrus . He flew his first Nationals and climbed from spot 4 to 2 . Runner up !!! Pretty good!Only one more pilot finished in this class.

IMG_2944-3   IMG_0266-2

Robin before flight and finishing. Courtesy Frans Guise.

Hinse Osinga was still 2d in the morning but out landed pretty far away , arriving back just in time for the prize giving, dinner plate in front of him on the table!!He ” dropped ” unfortunately to spot 4.


Hinze to the r.

Frank landed not too far out! HE KEPT HIS FIRST PLACE!!! Congratulations to him for his first National Champion title!He won 2 days and was runner up and third on a day, so pretty consistent.

IMG_2587-2  IMG_3041-2

Frank before start and at the PODIUM on spot 1.

Number 3 was Steven Huiskes, who flew the WGC in Uvalde!

IMG_2590-2  IMG_2589-2

Courtesy Frans!


2 Pilots finished in this class on the last day.Daily winner was Steven Raimond! But he had 2 less good days so this time he was NOT on the podium.We all know how good he is though.He will ” shine”  again in Leszno!


Steven .

Francois Jeremiasse normally flying in open class flew the Ventus 2 and finished as well. In the morning he was on spot 3 in the evening he was on the highest spot in his class; Dutch National Champion.

IMG_2645-2  IMG_0387-2

Before and finishing!Congratulations!!! courtesy Frans Guise.

In the morning on 1 in the evening on 3 is the other site of the medal. That happened to Bas Seiffert. He landed about 200 km. out and just arrived back for the prize ceremony at 10.15 PM. Bas will fly in Finland.

IMG_2691-2  IMG_0276-2

Bas before his last flight during this competition and a REAL -BAS- FINISH  the day before! As seen by Frans.

In between these 2 so on spot 2 in the overall scores, was the ” lucky groom to be ” Peter with his mate Paul, flying the ARCUS.  They occupied that spot during the whole comps.

IMG_2658-2  IMG_3066-2

Peter and Paul and the WINNERS.Francois with his son on spot 1 and National Champion! As seen by Frans.


He flew that magic 701 km. , Rene de Dreu, but it was not enough to make him Dutch Champion in open Class. Mark Wering , living in London and a member at Lasham as well, flew a real open class glider 4T,  a Nimbus 4T,  owned by Peter Batenburg [by the way this glider is FOR SALE] and was the new National Champion.He was on 1 overall every day except for day 1.

IMG_2933-3  IMG_2930-2


Mark who flies also at Lasham too is the new NATIONAL DUTCH CHAMPION . Congratulations! Pictures by Frans.

Rene flew an 18 m. glider and did extremely well.He was 2d overall during each of the 4 days. The “weirdest”  result was by Hans Biesters, he climbed from spot 7 to spot 3 so ON the podium. Never give up is the motto, it’s only over after the last day.

IMG_0339-2  IMG_3089-2

Rene finishing and Mark with his proud crew [sons] and Rene and Hans Biesters who climbed from 7 to 3!!! Congratulations!

It was a VERY interesting championship, now it is waiting for what’s going to happen in the future. Are we going to combine this championship with our Belgium mates?? We have to wait and see.

Nice was that I met USA pilot Garret Willat at Terlet, who came to collect NL1, the  Dutch glider [Cirrus] flown by Robin during this comps and with his 2d place the glider had a perfect rehearsal for Garret to fly to the same spot in Finland.
Garret did a lot for our Dutch team at Uvalde and they help him now in return! That’s the way!!!

Belgium pilot, Dennis Huybreckx who flew a competition from Weelde in Belgium landed on on his 400 km. task direction Germany at Terlet. Dad Eddie was quick there to collect him  with Dennis girlfriend to give a hand as well. To finish 2 more pictures from FRANS. It is great to work with him!!! Thanks Frans!

IMG_2893-2  IMG_2904-2

The ASH 30 MI and 2 finishing gliders.


Their last day was yesterday with a pretty long task to see who is the best, after only 3 days of flying!!! It was wet,WETWET over there! 420 km. Was set for standard class and only 2 out-landed . The daily winner Joachim, flew with a speed of 107 km./h. and finished as number 3 overall. Helmut Koelle won this class .

In 15 m. class the “fight”  was between Japanese pilot Mac and Austrian pilot Wolfgang.On the last day Wolfgang went 20 minutes later over the start line, but Mac managed to come back in a better time;4.hours and 31 .56  for  4.36.22. Mac was the winner from this Hahnweide comps 2014, with Wolfgang as runner up.[52 points difference.]

Z Winners 2

Mac must have been on his way to the next comps again. WGC in Finland first and later WGC in Poland.
Courtesy organizers.

In 18 m. class young Bert Schmelzer had a real good soaring event being on spot 1 overall EVERY day. A TOP podium with Bert as said on 1, Werner [Meuser] on 2 and Reinhard [Schramme ] on 3. 113 points difference between Bert and Werner and only 6 points between Werner and Reinhard, both old hands in our sport. On the last day they flew 537.6 km.a good distance to show what you can !!!

Z Hahnweide winnaars

As shared by the organizers..

Open class had a lot of toppers.The last day with 527 km. was a prey for the Belgium pilots de Broqueville [ speed 131 km./h.] with the French racers Kilian and Sylvain on their tail. Kilian won this event in the JS 1C with Holger Karow [ANTARES 23 T] as runner up and Sylvan Gerbaud QUINTUSM] on spot 3!
Alexander Mueller left the bad weather and comps and flew yesterday a great triangle from Bayreuth; 1.114.9 km extended to 1.235.55 km .
It’s weird weather this year with top days and soup-days in areas not even that far from each other in Europe.

Z winnaars

As shared by the organizers.

2 seaters had 3 days as well and a 457.6 km. task on their last day.The Stouff brothers had a bad 2d day with an outlanding in their ARCUS T ,but they were 2d on the last day. Good on them!I told you already not to underestimate Sigi Baumgartl , not the youngest anymore but still going strong. He was runner up overall behind another ARCUS T.Only 48 points difference!


Lasham had rain as well and not even a good day when we had it here, as Saturday one day AFTER the comps, Holland had a top-day again with over 700 km. tasks from Holland and over 800 km. from Belgium. Our Nationals just ended one day too early, looking at the weather.
The UK nationals Open class had their 2d day on Saturday with only 2 finishers Andy and Pete, both gaining 102 points flying 200 km.with a speed of 57 km./h. No more words needed!
They had a much better and last day 3 yesterday [ 453.2 km] and day 2 in standard class.[366.3 km] AND I can tell you they will be ready for it after waiting and waiting !!!
Winners are after 2 days of flying; Jez Hood in standard [1993 points flying LS 8 ] and Andy Davis in open after 3 days.[Flying JS 1c 2102 points]  I presume they need also 4 days to call their selves CHAMPION.

MORE than enough reading stuff and pictures so CU on Wednesday in this blog.

Cheers Ritz