Maniacs….or supermen????!!!! HAVE A HAPPY, SAFE and HEALTHY 2015 !

A blog as normal, just the last blog of 2014, on the last day of 2014, but with a bit of  thinking in the end; about SAFETY…supermen or maniacs ???!!!!
By the way this is blog 784. Up to 800!!!

Not a white Christmas this year here, but  only one day later half of Holland was covered by a nice white blanket. After 2 years some better snow again, that is ….for some!
Not here ,…we had wet snow disappearing quickly by rain. A pity.Nice cold night too with minus 8.[The coldest in 2014 which was an extremely ” warm ” year.]

Europe specially the lower winter sport places were praying for snow and they finally got it.BUT,…many on their way for a skiing holiday, got stuck on the road to France and in Germany. A lot even had to sleep in their cars.[15.000  ONLY in France]

zzzzz snow

Snow close to Nijmegen here in Holland as shared by Henriette.


You have to travel far, but then you have ” something “.
For some a first 1000 in Namibia, a palm, or a first 1.300,… for others the ” first ” 2 diamonds as for young Rasmus , who flew the ARCUS M this time alone  from Tocumwal:
500 km. declared FAI triangle.This gave me my first 2 diamonds!!
As his friend Joergen and owner of the ARCUS mentioned;
We managed to make 3 new Danish records, and I trained him for self launch, so he could also fly solo with the Arcus, and fly a declared 500 km FAI triangle. This gave him 2 diamonds, as he has never claimed them, as competition flying hardly gives this opportunity. 
He is a very talented pilot, and will for sure win a lot of comps in the future.”
I agree with that as I kept an eye on him flying as a junior. By the way he is back in Denmark by now.

Rasmus Ingo Jorgen 053

Rasmus, Ingo and Joergen.
Picture courtesy Joergen.

2127 073

Rasmus in the ARCUS, with the famous TOC. bus in the back.
With a few clouds to the East of Tocumwal, but blue thermals on the rest of his task, he had a happy flight.
Picture courtesy Joergen.

More good news from Toc.!
In Toc. most of the GEELONG SOARING ” GANG ”  arrived for their annual camp. Included their tug , but no tuggy. No worries as good-old -Tocumwal- Bill flew for them and good- old-Tocumwal- Bruce, flew the tug from the SRGC.

zzzzbill and donald ZZZZ BILL IN PAWNEE

Bill and Don[ald]  and Bill in the guest-tug the Geelong Pawnee

zzzzz Bruce

And Bruce with guest Lucy.

On Boxingday Ingo was as always on duty as chief pilot doing the briefing with weather and task-setting for those who want this.Not only the ASW 15 went for a flight but also the Calif Caproni and Judies vintage Kookaburra.

zzzzz Ingo

Ingo on duty with in the back Dundees ASW 15 ES, in use by club members.

More to the East is Corowa and they had a much better day last Saturday, than expected too. Dutch pilot Bart arrived fresh from Holland , flew straight away in his ARCUS he shares and flew 966 km. with mate Max, who spends his so-maniest-year in Corowa.

Saturday the weather was already brewing in Australia and no flights in the OLC top 19 that day from Africa. Sunday was a magic day in the Benalla- Corowa–Tocumwal -triangle. The Geelong guests at Toc, were ready for a big day with a cloud base of 10.000 ft.


As shared on the SRGC site.

One of the ” Geelongers” flew 821 km. [645 FAI triangle] in his 18m. LS 8 and Japanese guest Shota flew his first declared 500 km..
448 in a KA 6 was not bad either[300 FAI triangle] . What about 780 [650 FAI triangle ] by Geelong guest Rolf in the 19 m. Jantar??

AND,…more good news from Toc.,….MAC puts Tocumwal as great soaring place on the map again with a 1000 km. flight in his LS 8. In the end it was not the declared one but still a 1000.
YES I know a 1000 is just a 1000 now, but still not many have been flown till now this year in Australia.
For Namibia, with it’s fabulous weather  the norm for the better pilots is more a 1.300 km. to be a ” big boy/girl” .
I knew Mac was in Toc. and of course he knows the area as the best, flying from there many years.You still have to do it, though!!Good on him!
He set a 1000 km. Out and Return .He was glad that he still remembered how to sneak away from Tocumwal in the morning.
 Cu started a bit past Berrigan about 11:10? It moved to NE all the time with movement of trough but there was cumulus also from the Rock to Benalla. So I flew under cu most of the day. My mistake was I did not trust this forecast about cu in S so much,  so I went for OLC speed NW of Griffith , when I learned forecast was not right and my declared 1000 k OR was not on. So I lost many kilometers on 5 point rule.It is more than 1100 km on 6 points.
And he added ;” I checked and with extra tp near the rock counted ,it was 1120km. Nice trip.” 

From Benalla the LS 4 with Tobias flew 776 km.[ 697 FAI triangle] and Bob [ Nicholls from the UK a longtime guest at Benalla] flew 897 in the Ventus 2ct. Good old Graham [Garlick] flew in the ASW 20 656 km [500 Fai triangle].
From Corowa the flights were added a bit later…..reason also long flights,, as 988 [800 FIA triangle] by …again…Bart and Max… they love their ARCUS!!!! I wish them a nice 1000 as well.
All HAPPY pilots in that TRIANGLE!!!!


Boxing day had , as we look at the OLC, 88 flights and 1 x a 1000, Christmas day had 76 flights and 9 x a 1000 all in the mecca of soaring Namibia, where many new palms have been planted.In the end of this season we look back at that.
In Africa’s Kuruman Pi had a great Monday of soaring.My friends flying there had great flights ; 2 x 1000 and an 800 km. flight.Also Douglas Backhouse shared in the 1000 km. happiness.


2014 was a bad and sad year for Malaysian Aviation. Last Sunday they missed an Airbus A 320, with 162 people including the crew, between Surabaya and Singapore in very poor weather.A bit later it could not be anything else than another disaster.By now they found parts of the plane in the JAVA SEA and several bodies have been retrieved from the sea.
Whilst the searched for the victims,… another incident as an AirAsia plane overshoot the runway at Kalibo Airport [Philippines]  , after an emergency landing in bad weather.All went well with the passengers, quickly leaving the plane via the slides.
It was a not too bad year for aviation world wide, but still every fatal accident is one too much. According to a connoisseur [Benno Baksteen in AD] 2014 was relatively safe.The average seems to be 32 accidents this year it was 21.
Unfortunately the amount of victims was higher 986 instead of 676. Most accidents were with smaller airplanes and the MH 17 was not a safety- accident, but a deed of terror.
It might have been safer , it does n’t feel like safer.


To finish this year, also a bit of a concern for flying long distances during your holiday. Is it great fun or when you fly for weeks/months total stupidity and waiting for an accident to happen. I leave the choice to you!!!!

The OLC has created a great platform to see where everybody flies and what results they book.When you have a 1 or 2 week holiday in Namibia you can fly nearly each day as the weather is excellent.No worries!
How smart is it to fly 150 hours in a month? About 10 hours a day or more , with HOT conditions at the ground and sometimes tough conditions in the air [avoiding thunderstorms]?
An airline pilot has his restrictions of under 100 hours and he/she  is a professional. Why should a glider pilot in his holidays fly 150 hours?????
Could this create a danger for these pilots? Is the eagerness to fly more km.’s than the other on the OLC list  a potential danger???
I leave it up to you, but to be honest I am concerned.
Of course it is their own responsibility and I count on the fact that they know what they are doing, but still it is a lot of time in the air .

One of my close friend made some comments lately of what he calls “the OLC Madness” Here is what he said:

OLC was a great thing to give the soaring pilots of the world the possibility to compare their performances and see what the day could have brought had you done everything right. Someone else did….. as you can now see on the OLC. Unfortunately over the years the “game” of lodging OLC flights online has become a “war” where people seem to be quite happy to fly themselves into oblivion, only to get some more points, and maybe become the “OLC CHAMPION”. The signs are there….. look at the hours they fly in their manic pursuit of more OLC points! I just picked a few from the last month or so: Pilot 1 – 164 flying hours in 29 days, Pilot 2 – 109 hrs in 20 days, Pilot 3 – 143 hrs in 20 days and then Pilot 4 – 152 hrs in 20 days.

Now the EU thinks that it is unsafe to fly more than 100 in any period of 28 days. That is the absolute maximum airline pilots are allowed to fly during that period, and they have air conditioned cabins, autopilots and regular supply of served food and drinks.
These OLC maniacs do 50 – 100% more than is considered safe by the EU, and they are hand flying the plane themselves all the time, have no air conditioning and must feed themselves with snacks and power drinks out of a tube usually attached to the boom mike.
Heroes or supermen obviously, or maybe not. Given the harsh conditions under which they operate surely the 100 hours would be a wise guideline to keep in sight! However nice persons these so called kilometer eaters may be, clearly some of them are insane….. Unfortunately it may lead to accidents if some cooler thinking does not come in soon.

Pretty hard / harsh words and I would love to hear from others what their opinion is on fatigue management by limiting the maximum flying hours one can do. Or maybe there is a task here for the OLC management to handicap the scores of the kilometer eaters if their flying hours exceed certain values.

A bit to think about after your ” bubbles to enter 2015″ .

Happy new year!We meet again in 2015.

Cheers Ritz


Merry Christmas to you ALL !!!!!


ZZZZ KERST By Soaring Society of Africa

Love this one!! Merry Christmas to you ALL.
As shared by Aicraft Maintenance Engineers.

Also over the Christmas period, soaring continues as in some parts of the world it is HIGH season. Remarkable weather in Europe as well. We here in Holland had temperatures up to 13 dgr. absolutely TOO high for the time of the year, but to be honest I like it better than the frost.
Europe had since ages [1500] the warmest year, so had Holland. [11.5 dgr. instead of 10.1 !!!]
It looks like those who always warned us for the global warming are right.
We had the shortest day as well, so …..on our way to summer again with every day a bit more light.

Welkom had finally the ” real ”  soaring- weather and most pilots flew on soaring-day 2 the set 300 km. in each class.
Club had as best result 309 km. in 3.16 by AP Kotze in the St Cirrus.
Wayne Schmidt flew 358.5 km. in 2.59.39 in his ASW 27 a.
AND,… Oscar [Goudriaan] won the 1000 points with a flight of 420 km. in 3.06, [135.6 km./h.]in his JS 1 c/18 m. evo.But he only won…just as John [Coutts] had a speed of 135 km./h. and Oscar’s brother Laurens flew around with 134.2 km., whilst Arne had 134.1 km./h.
The first 8 pilots in this class, all got between 910  and 1000 points.

Day 3 had BIG tasks and MANY out-landings. In club class , 3 from 7 finished among them AP.
In 15 m.NOBODY flew the set task of 417.3km. all went ” au vaches”. Best distance was 267.6 km. by Wayne Schmidt.
In 18m/open only ONE pilot finished. Good old John Coutts. Good on him. He finished , after flying the 506 km. at Welkom .
A lot of the pilots aborted the task, some went along.
Sven [Olivier] landed about 160 km. from Welkom , no doubt a GREAT field! He flew 304 km. in total and ” got ” 582 points.
Jeroen ended on the last spot with 91 km. and 165  points.

ZZZ Sven

Nice field choosen by Sven
345 for st./15m.Picture shared on FB.

A lot to talk about after the flight .

Day 4 had in the end in each class a 3 hour AAT.
Jaco Burger in LS 1f won the 100 points in club class with 323 km. He needed 38 minutes more to achieve that.
In 15 m. Wayne Schmidt in the ASW 27 a won the 1000 points flying 338 km. in 2.52.30.
In open /18 m. it was John Coutts flying his ASG 29 over 475 km. with a speed of  155.5 km./h.
A less good day for Sven as he out-landed after 294 km.

Day 5 had a 350 set task in club class and 445.7 km in 15 m. and the bigger planes had to go for 554.2 km.
A great result in this class for Dutch pilot Ronald Termaat who won the day with a speed of 144 km./h.
Day 6 had B tasks with 3 hour AAT’s  and 2.45 for club and 2  sand storms, but only one out landing for safety reasons.Some opted to not fly that day.
Great speed in 18m./open class by Laurens Goudriaan who flew around with 170 km./h. [over 521.4 km.] and in 15 m. great speed as well with 126.9 km. the best in this class during this competition.113.6 km./h in an ASW 20 a was not bad either.
All in all the fastest day of this National SA Championship.


As seen and shared by Jeroen, who flew that day a PR on a 500k task: 167,3 kph! A very interesting final glide…he mentioned.

Day 7 was the last day. What could we expect/hope for?
In Club class AP was 900 points ahead, so the expectation was that he was going to be the new champion.Spots 3-4 and 5 were close and there could be changes.
In 15 m. Wayne Schmidt [ ASW 27 a] was more than 340 points ahead of Rene Coetzee. Nico Leroux won day 6 and if in the same flow he could go up to be runner up. We had to wait!
In 18 m./open John [Coutts] was clearly the best …400 points ahead of Oscar . Spots 3-4-5 and 6 could still change.

Day 7 was described on their site as :
” The final contest day for Nationals 2014. Blue skies and a stiff northerly wind. Last evening three sand storms came through the airfield with one having some rain so that cars are now covered with dust as well as everything else.”
Later the added :
 There is a band running NW/SE bringing in moisture and there is more moisture to the N of Welkom. Winds are more NW up to 20 kph. Boundary level at 3700 m with lift up to 4 m/sec. Conditions will be better to the W and S. Cloud will increase during the afternoon, dew pt. 6 – 8 deg, with temperature 32.3 deg and trigger temperature 30.1 deg. Spread-out at altitude is possible.”
What happened???!!!!
Tasks were set.
Club; 249.7 km.
15 m.;362.9 km.
18m.;425 km.
First of all,…they flew,…..BUT with stormy circumstances, some opted to abandon their flight!

In club class a new name on the daily highest spot; Jean du Plessis in the LS 1d , he won the max score of  836 points. AP had 810 points so he was the clear new National Champion.The rest remained the same.
In 15 m. stress!!!!! Only 2 from 6 finished on this last day.AND,…indeed Nico Le Roux won the day again in his LS 8. Wayne was 2 d so no doubt he was the new champion. But with 2 wins in a row and an out landing from Renee , Nico was the runner up and Rene dropped one place to 3.
In 18 m. Uys and Attie were the best on this day 7 with a speed of 145 km./h. over 425 km.Not enough to be the National Champion as John Coutts won with quite some marge.So ,…as we know John lives in South Africa but is from New Sealand, so I do not know the rules from this National Competition, but it could be that John will be declared the WINNER whilst Oscar is the new National Champion.Attie and Uys are the runners up.
For all scores daily and total you can go to

An exciting competition mostly because of the weather.Great speed on good days, out-landings on bad/marginal/stormy  days.



He won day 1 and day 4 , young Nathan from Temora , flying from Temora at the NSW State Comps.
346.2 km. was his result over a 3.30 AAT.; 97.1 km. in a St Cirrus and 1000 points.
In 15 m. the “fight”  was on between Matt Cage, Tom Claffey and Mac Ichikawa. On this day 4 it was Tom, Mac and Matt.
A 4 hour AAT was set for them and they flew 555 km. with 130.3 km./h. [Tom]  and a bit less and slower for  Mac [516.9 km. in LS 8/15m] and Matt 524.3 km. in LS 8] [  ; both 128.8  km./h.
In open /18 m.the 3.30 AAT showed 484.5 km. for David Peitsch [ who missed the first 2 days]in the JS 1.

Day 5 [1 hour AAT ] and day 6 , the final day with a 3 hour AAT,were both for Nathan as well.He added another 2000 points to his total . In the end this total was 5560, about 800 points head of runner up Les Kinsley from Canberra in his St.Libelle.

Day 5 and 6 in 15 m. class had a set 364 km. and a 3.45 AAT. In the end it was ALL about Matt and Mac. Matt won day 5 and Mac day 6. A total of 5 LS 8 gliders on the first 5 places and the comps was won by Matthew [5890] with Mac as runner up [5415] .Lisa was 3d [4953] and Tom did not fly the last day.

Day 5 [420 km.] and 6 [ 3.30 AAT]  in open/18 m.Paul [Mander] in the ASH 25 won 3 of the 6 days and was on one day the runner up.Day 5 was won by Bill Hatfield from Kingaroy flying an 18 m.  LAK 17 .He flew that day with a speed of 106.3 km. /h. over the 420 km. whilst the ASH 25 flew with a speed of 99.1 km./h.
Paul won the comps and was followed by 3 JS 1’s.
A good State competition!


The Tocumwal–Benalla–Corowa–Temora area had a great day last Thursday with flights up to 760 Terry Ryan [Tocumwal in ASH 26] , sevearal 700 km. flights from Corowa and 500 km. flights from Benalla and Temora.
On Sunday Matthew Scutter flew a 1000 from Pipers Field in his Discus 2a.
Good to get back into the distance flying. First real XC from Bathurst. Had a 1000 declared but was rubbish down south and west, so abandoned and just went for a fly.” But still 1000 km.

Tocumwal had that Sunday, 918 in an ASW 27 and 963 in the ARCUS and Corowa 933 in a Ventus 2 CM./15 m. and Temora 920 in a Discus.Benalla 772 km. in an LS 4!!!

zzzzTOC1 zzzzTOC 2

Toc from above as shared by the SRGC.

Great to see young Rasmus Orskow from Denmark, flying in Toc now with Joergen  from Denmark in the ARCUS.
We had declared a 1000 k FAI triangle but were too slow on the first leg. So we changed plans and did an out and return of 800 k and a 920 k over 3 turn points. This finally gave us 3 Danish records with this single flight.
We have been celebrating with champagne at Tocumwal Airport this evening.”
Yesterday they added another 900 km. direction West.

zzzzz Rasmus

Young Rasmus as shared by Joergen.

Namibia still has 1.300 km. plus-weather, even FAI 1000 km. triangles.Fabulous weather there now!
Great to see that TOPPERS like  Wilfried Grosskinsky take young TOPPERS  like  Alexander Spaeth; 1.300 km [1.076 km FAI triangle ,speed 145.80 km./h in ASH 25EB 28
Argentina topped every list again on Saturday with flights by Klaus Ohlmann and Jim and Dennis.
Both flew Schempp-Hirth gliders. Klaus a QUINTUS M from Chapelco; 1.824.04 with a speed of 144 km./h.
Jim and Dennis the ARCUS M from Nahuel Huapi; 1.645,30 km.
You can read the news from Jim/Jackie and Dennis at


CU on the last day of this year 2014
Next Wednesday.
Cheers Ritz

Welcome at the Welkom Nationals….775 km. task flown from Temora.

They started last Sunday, the 37 pilots participating in 3 classes in the South African Nationals.
On flying-day 1 in club class 3 from the 6 pilots finished at Welkom, after a 2 hour AAT with as best result 198 km. in 2.25.
In 15 m. only 2 from 7 finished and one missed the start, ouch!
12 from 22 finished in 18 m./open class, but all in all it was more a practice day then a real good South African competition day. Though it hurts to loose a lot of points already on day 1.
On the other hand some interesting retrieves as I read and some colorful trailers and cars. Have a look at the pictures shared by Roland Termaat , one of the out-landers.

zzzzSA 2


With such pictures , there is a story to tell, here it is from their FB site, when you have not read it yet;
An interesting day yesterday with the positions as per my report last evening. Although none of the outlanders were more than about 50 km. maximum distance from the airfield, some of the retrieves were more than interesting with navigation along farm tracks, through the veld, locked fields, and following coordinates that do not advise about water hazards or hills in the way. One trailer has been totally ‘re-classified’ – it is no longer pristine white but totally brown with mud and ‘camouflaged’ and the car is also no longer maroon in color!
Some of the retrieves were relatively quick and easy and those pilots & crews were back at the airfield at a reasonable hour, whilst others were caught up in the heavy rains, which not only made derigging more onerous but also the rain was freezing cold. The latest/longest retrieve finally got back about 3 a.m.”
Well, that’s soaring too!
” An interesting day with those that made it home, those that didn’t and those that are out in various fields up to approx. 50 km. from Welkom. The overdevellopment when it arrived, came from the convergence line to the south and came as a very impressive line of cloud and dust and finally rain.” 

Arne out-landed as well, no wonder why, as you can see on the picture he shared.

zzzzArne 2d out landing

The weather was not good on the next day, this can happen also in South Africa.
After 2 scrubbed days in a row they hope to fly today 3 hour AAT’s in each class.
As they mentioned;” What a treat! To wake up this morning to sunshine and partly blue skies – there were scrappy looking small clouds and still a stiff easterly wind and the clouds are already burning off. The pilots are busy rigging, washing, and getting their gliders prepared so obviously eager to have a contest today.”
I can imagine their eagerness.

zzzz arne day 3

Today as shared by Arne,….for sure they are flying!!!!! Good luck all!!!


Temora had a great 2nd day of its NSW State comps.
He was the only one to finish in open 18 m. class; my good old friend Paul Mander who I met already during the pre worlds in 1984 in Rieti.In his ASH 25 he flew 775 km. in 6 hours and 45 minutes. A long sit on a State competition day ,but a great result on this SET TASK.
Dave Shorter in the JS 1 flew 733 km,. the rest around 3 and 400 km.
The 5 hour AAT in 15 m. was won by Matthew Cage in his LS 8; 634 km. in time 5.06.
The 4 hour AAT in club class had a winner as well;St.  Libelle pilot Les Kinsley from Canberra managed to fly 379 km. Less than Nathan who flew 419.7 km. but did not finish loosing a bit under 200 points.

About day 2 Matt said;” It’s what happens when we let the kids task set and then the pilots decide they want to do even bigger tasks ! About 1/2 the outlandings were back at the airfield.”
Young Ailsa just back from the Pre Worlds Joey Glide was one of them.
In 15 m. 7 from 15 finished among them Matt and Tom [over 600 km.]  but Mac  and Peter [Trotter] belonged to the out-landers after flying over 500 km..

After this BIG day the next  was scrubbed.STORM gusting to 35 kts.

Day 3 had an 3.15 AAT in club class and Anderson flew 311 km. in 3.44 in his LS 3a.
In 15 m. 5 LS 8 ‘s in the daily top and Matt Cage was the best flying the set  342.8  km. with 106.4 km./h.  and Mac followed with 100 km./h.Mac won day 1 Matt day 2 and 3 a few more days to go!!!
In 18m./open it was again Paul Mander who won the day, but this time all 9 pilots finished. Task was  a set 353km.



The Angle Sea

Got these great pictures from Rolf, one of my Aussie mates; Here is his story about the Bacchus March Activities.
THANKS Rolf for sharing!
” Pre Christmas greetings from the south of Victoria.
Due to our location handicaps of restricted airspace, closeness to the ocean and hemmed in between the great divide and the big blue water we don’t often fly great distances from Bacchus Marsh. Sometimes however these disadvantages can result in very memorable flights. One of those I had the privilege to experience last Saturday when myself and Alesh flew to the coast and a distance out above the water. The attached pictures don’t really do the actuals views justice.
Another proud achievement was the participation of 3 of our Geelong Gliding Club juniors in Joey Glide. Ailsa placed second less than 400 points behind Matthew in 15m. With that result she probably qualifies for the junior worlds in Narromine next year. Justin in his second competition placed in the club class top 10 and Andrew in his first comp achieved an 11th place out of 20.” 

View towards Port Phillip

View to wards Port Phillip


Since December 1 Guy Bechtold from Lux. flew 13 x a 1000 km-plus flight from Bitterwasser. As I told you a real kilometer eater.Best flight 1.321 km. with 148,33 km./h.
Another kilometer eater is Walter Binder who flew since November 18 a total of 15 till now with as the best flight; 1.344 km. with a speed of 156 km./h.[Pokweni]
Alexander Mueller flew since November 23 a total of 13 over 1000 km./flights also from Pokweni.Best;1.370 with 147.57.
The 1.831 km. [163.36 km./h.] by Jim and Dennis tops this list flown from Chos Malal in Argentinia.


How terribly sad to die ,when you are having a coffee with mates AND even worse  by someone [a raper and killer before]  , who had to be in prison, instead of killing people during a siege in Sydney. Australia mourns and I mourn with them.A young barrister , mother of 3 young kids, who tried to save her pregnant friend and the  manager of the business who wanted to get the gun out of the hands of the intruder,both heroes but they should be still alive!!!TRAGIC!!!!


Cu nex Wednesday
Cheers Ritz
on December 17 2014 one day after my birthday, so THANK YOU FOR ALL THE GOOD WISHES!!!

JOEYGLIDE …. great practice in different weather for the young ones! South African Nationals with many international pilots.

Back on track again and one of the first things after reading my mails was to check and read myself into JOEYGLIDE.
It was  good to have just one week WITHOUT laptop, no news ,no gliding, just having fun and spending quality-time with my grand kids.

On the JOEYGLIDE site I found :

ZZZZJoey glide

” Pilots awaiting launch for the last day of competition.
Congratulations to yesterday’s day winners, Nick “Nuk” Oakley (NZ) in 15m and Ignas Bitinaitis (Lithuania) in Club class.

Today’s tasks are quite short, with a late start and an early finish, making it difficult for competitors who are hoping to pull ahead on the last day. A 2.5 hr AAT for 15m and 2 hr AAT for Club, both in a tight circuit around the airfield in the hope of getting everyone home for the presentation dinner tonight.”

That meant they had 6 days of good to very good soaring but also with a bit of a scary day for some . Look at this!
My opinion, but I am “old”  and not a real glider pilot; you should be better not in the air at such time, but running into a thunderstorm is not always avoidable,on the other hand ALL pilots know to fly around it ,when possible as far as you can,  or to wait when possible, when it hangs over a TP or just to fly back . Quite an experience for such young “kids”  certainly from Europe who are not used to this kind of storms, popping up at places as in Africa and Australia.

ZZZNarromine thunderstorm

Picture shared by  several enthusiastic followers; Danish pilot Frederik Noddelund in the ASW 28.
The picture surely has the WOW-factor!

Let me take you quickly through those days.

Day 1 was cancelled but then the pilots had to fly for 4 consecutive days ; a 2.30 AAT , a set 360 km. ,a 4 hour AAT and a 2.30 one.
Specially the 4 hour AAT was interesting and Queensland pilot, Ben  flew 507.2 km. in in 3.59.47 so a great speed over such a distance in and ASW 20 from 126.8 km./h. Not bad!
Day 5 a 3 hour AAT was a prey for Lithuanian pilot Ignas who flew in the LS 1 f 337 km. in time 3.03.
With one day to go , yesterday, the O’ Donnells from Queensland were up front in the overall scores with 3794, for Joseph, 3756 for Luke and Eric Stauss who flew JWGC already in Europe was only 30 points behind Luke.Don’t forget Eric out-landed on day 1, loosing 700 points, that ‘s not the best of starts !
As said the last day only had a small 2 hour-task, so what could happen????
Ignas got the hang of Aussie soaring and won the last day too.He finished on a nice 6th spot overall, after he out-landed on the the first day  as well, loosing quite some points as the winner James had 857 points , “poor”  Ignas only 124.
A pilot to keep an eye on next year!!!
The O’ Donnells went for the “win”  for Joseph, so Luke started first at 14.16 and Joseph followed at 14.22 . Knowing the experience from Eric they played on safe for the title.
Josph won ,…Eric got the runner-up-spot….and Luke was 3d.

In 15 m.  class it was Matthew Scutter and Matthew Scutter.[Discus 2a]  He of course is used to JWGC’s already but still you have to do it every competition.He won day 1,2,3 and 4, was runner up on day 5 and ” lost” 60 points , but he put that straight,  straight away by winning day 6 again.Of course he was far ahead on the rest with 5519 points. Good on young lady Ailsa [LS 8] who deserved the runner-up-spot 5161 points. Frederik, yes the one from the blitz-picture , was 3d.
Our KIWI friends out-landed on day 4 ,[ a day several pilots got caught by a thunderstorm]  and that cost !Nick won day 5 but it was just not enough to be on the podium.
The European pilots for sure must have learned a lot AND, that’s why they were there! All experience in the bag for next years JWGC.


As shared by the NZ team.

The overall results.

In the 15m class:
1st place: Matthew Scutter
2nd place: Ailsa McMillan
3rd place: Frederik Noddelund

In the Club class:
1st place: Joseph O’Donnell
2nd place: Eric Stauss
3rd place: Luke O’Donnell

The Joey Cup (highest placed pilot weighted by number of gliding hours): Andrew Grandja

Southern Cross Gliding Club Trophy (highest placed pilot at their first JoeyGlide): Ryan Griffin

The George Lee Trophy (highest handicapped speed achieved during the competition): Matthew Scutter, 137.4 km/h

Schempp-Hirth Trophy (voted by the competitors as the pilot showing the greatest airmanship and citizenship): James Nugent

The Catherine Conway Cup (highest placed female pilot): Ailsa McMillan

The Junior Tasman Trophy: Sam Schoneveld (AUS)

The State of Origin Plate: NSW

The JSR Soaring Trophy (highest placed Queensland Junior): Joseph O’Donnell

Australian Air Force Cadets Trophy: Mitch Turner

Congratulations to all of the trophy winners.
Narromine seems ready for the JWGC in 2015.About 120 people attended the farewell dinner, so it must have been a great night!


Pre JWGC /Joey Glide in Australia over and Africa started yesterday  with their Nationals flown from WELKOM.
38 Pilots , 7 in Club, 9 in 15 m. and 22 in 18 m. An international national competition with German, Dutch , Danish, Polish, Slovenian  and UK pilots. AND,…of course ” some ” top South African pilots.
In the land of the JS 1, an amount of 16 JS1’s perform,  in different configuration, both Jonker brothers fly the new JS1 b EVO.
The weather on the way to Welkom, looks as you can see on the picture, shared by the Soaring Society of South Africa perfect.Cloud streets enough , a pity this car could not fly.

ZZZZ cloudstreets Afrika

Talking about the evo,…2 of my Dutch friends own a JS 1evo now as well. Marco was as a club member of the EAC, often our crew in the past and is a colleague from my daughter now, Jeroen is an airline pilot as well and flew many WGC’s. They look extremely happy with their new toy!!! So they should.
Marco flew the JS from Potchef to Welkom, Jeroen flies the comps, starting today with ” only” 2 hour AAT’s.

zzzzJs1 evo 2   zzzz JS 1 evo

A happy Marco and Jeroen and their beautiful glider.[APU]


zzzAfrika via Arne

Uys,[flies the Nationals ]  Marco,[who is sad to go home , but will be back] ,  Ronald [who flies the Nationals ] and Arne, also flying the Nationals.
Clearly before the comps, they look like “trouble”!
As shared by Arne


The New South Wales Gliding Championships are hold in Temora a bit more NE of Tocumwal and for sure a place with good weather conditions.26 Pilots in 3 classes sort out this upcoming week, who is the best.Young and “old”  are flying, so a nice mix.
Former junior Nathan won the first 1000 points today. An AAT of 3.30 was set and he flew 340 km. in the Cirrus with a speed of 97 km./h.
Globe trotter and soaring fan[atic]  from the first hour, Mac from Japan won in 15 m. class, a set 406 km. task with a speed of 118.5 km. in his LS 8.
And in open/18 m. Brian du Rieu was the best on this first day flying his 18m. LS 10 with a speed of 126.4 km./h. over a set task from 396 km.


It’s high season in Africa, so pilots enjoy what they are coming for , good conditions and the 1000 km.- rain continued , also when I was not home.Specially Namibia “does what it should do” now after a slow start.
Kuruman is in the great weather-pattern as well, so it looks.

That’s it for now making up for not writing last Wednesday.
Back next Wednesday.
Cheers Ritz
On December 14 2014


Junior Pre Worlds / JOEYGLIDE;youngsters find out about soaring in Australia!

Enough ” reading-stuff” to share a blog with you today Sunday ,as I am leaving for a week. Next Sunday more about the JUNIORS.


The Pre -worlds , in Australia they call the junior comps JOEY GLIDE after a baby kangaroo, started for juniors in Narromine and the unofficial practice days were not really usable due to the weather.Look at this;


ZZZZNarromine JWG

GREAT picture!!
As shared by JoeyGlide on FB.

Time enough to “bond” for the young ones, whilst looking at the great lightning and for a beer for more ” bonding”.
On the  practice day  on December 5, everybody was ready for it and the weather forecast was looking better for every up- coming day.
This day could only ” handle ” 2 hour AAT’s.

ZZjoey glide

As shared by Joey Glide.

32 Participants in Narromine for this event and some of the European pilots are still saving money to get there in 2015. Others were so lucky to be there as pilots from Denmark and Sweden, from the UK and Lithuania.Of course living closer by but still a few kilometers away the 4 boys from New Zealand.

Day 1 still had some suspect influences so AAT tasks were set from 2 and 2.5 hour .
Both classes flew for a few kilometers the best up to just over 40 and aborted their flight to return “home” .
So a day to extra practice ,rigging , flying a bit ..checking all instruments etc.. de-rigging and back home for bonding.
This cloud was hanging OVER town and was not supposed to disturb the flying.
BUT……”A wall of rain before the first turnpoint caused the fleet to abort the task and turn for home. Despite a squall line going over the airfield, all pilots made it back and landed safely. Congratulations to all for sensible decisions and safe flying in difficult conditions.” as you can read on their live blog;

ZZZDAY in Narromine

With the message on Joey Glide;
A very large cloud building over Narromine township, fortunately not over the task. All competitors have been launched and the start gates are open, they’re off and racing!” 

Kiwi pilot ‘s Alex and Nick keep a blog and on this day 1 Alex wrote;
A big storm developed on task, with only the very brave trying to push through it. In the end everyone turned around and raced the storm back to the airfield. 
It was a mad rush to get the gliders in hangers in time, with lots of people holding gliders down as the gust front passed. A couple of poor chaps had to land in the storm but they pulled it off well. 
No one got a round so no scores for the day.”
He even had time to make some pictures.THANK YOU ALEX AND NICK for sharing.

zzzAlex and Nick 2

zzz alex and Nick 1  zzzAlex and Nick 3

Alex and Nicks Gliding Adventures.

After scrubbing day 1, day 2 was better and 2.30 AAT’s were set and on FB we could see ” flashing finishes” on a video from Andrew [Maddocks] So a better day with in club class 275 km. distance  flown by James Nugent with 97.3 km./h. in the LS 3a and in 15 m . 328.6 km. by Matthew Scutter, [Discus 2b] with a speed of 122 km./h.
Young female pilot Ailsa was runner up in the LS 8.


They are going for it!!!! They??? Pilots who are flying 1.100 -plus! Alexander Mueller [flying from Pokweni] one of the well known kilometer-eaters flew 1.320.81 [959 km FAI triangle] and one day later 1.337 km.[1.102 km. FAI triangle] and 2 over 1.200 -plus! All open class gliders .
Alberto Sironi from Italy flew 3 new Italian records from Bitterwasser. On a pretty blue day with not the strongest conditions he flew a declared 1075 km. FAI triangle with a speed of 140 km./h..
Our Dutch kilometer eaters Jos and Daan, flew another 1000 a total of 6 already.
One day later a total of 5 FAI triangle flights from over 1000 km.
And the ” SHARK” flew another 1000 km from Kiripotib , this time with a Dutch pilot. Another SHARK did the same with a German pilot from Bitterwasser.


Good news from Jonkers; “Another first for JS – the first flapped 18/21m high performance glider fitted with a manual hand rudder control for pilots with reduced leg functionality.

The MRC system has been desigend solely by the young JS engineering team over the last 6 months. According to Mr. Louis van der Walt, the project manager, the complexity was much more than intially anticipated. “The flap handle was modified into the manual rudder control, while the flap control was changed to a electrically driven system. Additionally the airbrake has 5 fixed lock positions, and the wheelbrake actuator is moved to the control stick. Although it seems simple, the complete design consists of more than 300 parts, 17 engineering drawings and more than 35 engineering documents…” This project surely kept our engineering team quite busy… With the flaps now electronically controlled, a fully redundant auto-flap system is being developed in co-operation with LXNav.” Over the next couple of days they hope to complete the certification process and once the certification process is completed, the MRC will be an option on the JS1. In the process they will have the help of the new owner Adam.

ZZZADAM AND UYS  ZZZUys and Adam and team

Adam , with Uys in the glider. AND… The JS Engineering and assembly team with Adam Uys. As shared by Jonkers.

Tocumwal had some thunderstorms but also some real nice lenties and cumulus clouds. Joergen was so kind to share them, as he and his wife Birgitte spend a few months in Tocumwal this year.They fly with the SRGC and they are specially pleased with the briefings by Ingo.
Not yet the super weather in that part of Australia.

ZZZ Tocumwal

ZZZWeatherToc   ZZZZ weather toc 2

Toc from above as seen by Joergen and Birgitte On the first picture you see the airfield , the golf club and where the trees are also the Murray River and in the back the good old town.

By the way I just published at the story about MILVUS, functional  clothes for pilots…..enjoy!


CU next Sunday cheers Ritz
On Sunday December 7 2014

Tragic loss of 2 KIWI mates!Narromine Cup Week.1.200 km. is the aimed standard now!

The gliding community in New Zealand mourns for the loss of 2 of their well known , well respected and very experienced glider pilots.

The tragic loss of 2 top pilots from New Zealand in Namibia shocked us all.

Bill Walker and David Speight, both of Queenstown, were as they mentioned ” shining lights”  in the New Zealand gliding community.
One of Bill’s  proudest moments was bringing the World Gliding Championships to Omarama in 1995.He then worked very closely together with John Roake .[Gliding International] Both are/were great mates.
Bill held numerous gliding world records and, in 2004, was named an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for his services to aviation and industry.
Also David was a record holder .
How tragic!!! On November 30 we lost some mates again!!!At around 5 PM, on their local reconnaissance-flight  , they lost their lives about 50 km. from the field.
Condolences to the families and close friends! R.I.P.


Narromine skies

Narromine, venue of the pre- JWGC in December.

The Narromine Cup-week
is by now very popular and stimulates pilots to fly with each other. Between November 24 and 28 this was all happening and some good flights were made as by Terry Bellair who flew in his 17 m. version DG 400 a nice 773km. flight .
All kind of gliders between Quintus M and LS 1f.
Talking about this  Quintus in Narromine, one of my friends Gerrit Kurstjens owns it and he flew a 1000 on November 27 with a speed of 143 km./h..
When I am correct,this is the first 1000 km. flight in Australia in the 2014 / 2015 season.

Terry mentioned in his comment on the OLC that day; ” when approaching Narromine, some hooked into a convergence which they flew along for 50 km. to the South and back, at between 9.000 and 11.000 without circling”  .
Brian added;
Very interesting day with convergence, late afternoon sea breeze at Wellington and long runs required in the blue to complete a 608 km. declared.”
Brian also flew one day with Ge [Dale ] in the back of the DUO DISCUS having a great time and a great final glide ” A couple of stonking climbs after the turn got us home”,
from a 537 km. task.

Next big event in Narromine is the PREWORLDS for the Juniors. Unofficial practice days  between December 1 and 4 and the comps start on Friday on the 5th with one official practice day and continue till December 13 with in the evening the Farewell dinner.


After they unpacked  the containers in Corowa , with a delay of just under 2 weeks due to ” massive delay”  in the Melbourne Harbor [that NEVER happened before in the 10 years Grietje and Francesco are shipping containers full of gliders] , the well rested pilots started straight away with long flights.Though,…. well rested might be too much to say as they all helped to rig 10 gliders the day before after the quarantine inspectors had left.
Several Dutch  friends over there  and Jos started with a flight up to over 700 km. Max flew for the first time his new ARCUS M and ” sounded”  more than happy with it.
Great to see Anders [Sweden] and Pepe [Spain] back there as well.

IMG_2755  IMG_2757

As shared on the Corowa site.


Young Nick and Alex arrived from New Zealand in Narromine to practise for the JWGC next year. This time they fly the Pre worlds starting next week. They straight away had to deal with ” tough ” weather.


For all the Adventures from the boys you can go to;


In America [ C.P. Rivadavia ] in Argentina 33 pilots flew for the National Clase Club Class title. They started with 2 scrubbed days but then 6 days followed, with 2 hour AAT’s , 3 and 3.30 hour AAT’s and set task with 340 km.
Well known pilot Javier Gaude won several days in his LS 4 , including the set task and the 3.30 AAT. On the last day he nearly ” lost”  it as he finished on spot 25 from 32, loosing nearly 400 points that day and he had to deal with 85 penalty points as well, due to a too high start. In the end he WON with just 40 points on another LS 4 .

Talking about Argentina, Jim and Dennis nearly flew 2000 km. from Chos Malal, with a speed of 163km. /h.[1.831,27 km. ] on not the easiest day they could wish.
 The forecast said that wave would develop in the morning with winds slightly more northwesterly than desired.
The day turned out to be highly variable with different cloud patterns on each leg…from about 0900 local we flew under a high overcast.” 


The S.A Championships in Australia finished with 4 days. Steve Jinks won the first 2 days but lost some points on day 3 and 4. In the end he was the winner in club class just 74 points ahead of  John Orton, who was runner up and daily winner on those last 2 days.
In 18 m. Terry Cubley won 3 out of 4 days and was the SA champion; 400 points ahead of the rest.

The W.A. Championship was a very clear  prey for Greg Beecroft in his LS 8.He won 4 out of 5 days and was nearly 500 points ahead of the rest in this handicapped club class with 13 participants.


A 1000 km. flight, when the weather is “on”  is no news anymore. They fly them in Africa as if they are eating a bread roll, they just do it. Nowadays it starts to get interesting when they fly 1100 km.-plus as many do,.. also my mate Daan Pare with his mate Jos Smit [ 1.176,98 with a speed of 145,56 km./h. in the ARCUS from Pokweni] , or even better 1200 km.-plus as a few did last week [as Reinhard Schramme  as well as Sebastian Beule did [ both from Bittertwasser and speeds around 148 km./h. both in EB 28 and ASH 25EB 28] and / or best 1300 plus as Walter Binder did in his EB 28; 1.344.09 km.from Pokweni. A good speed as well 155.57 km./h.
On the last day of November the first 18 places on the OLC were over 1.000 km. the toppers flew 1.200 plus.A total of 20 was flown, it’s really high season!!!!

My friends Rob and his sister Marianne flew a 1000 from Douglas on their last day in the Nimbus 4DM from Max and though they just missed out on their declared 1000 km. they had great fun.
”  Last thermal did not go high enough to close the declared 1000 km triangle…. Nevertheless a very nice flight ! ”
That’s what it is all about!!!

Kuruman had a few good 1000 as well even up to 1.150 km.

It’s weird “we”  loose some mates and live continues, so does soaring with new over 1000 km. flights. It is as it is, but it has changed the lives of the families.


Also Australia mourns;Really tragic,dramatic, heart breaking news from the cricket-world this week where young Aussie cricket player  Phil [lip] Hughes died after a ball hit the site of his head under his left ear.He was only 25 years old !!Last Sunday he would have turned 26!!!!
He  lost his fight for life in Sydney’s St Vincent’s Hospital.
Phil was a talented left-hander.
After living in Australia for many years you get a bit of the vibe from cricket as well, as it is SPORT NUMBER ONE , THE national Sport in Australia.Top cricketers are “sons of the nation” and such a freak accident turns Australia “black”  and united in grief.
Feel MORE than sorry for his family and friends but also for the young man, Sean only 22 years old, who was the bowler!!!!
RIP Phil.Some of my Aussie friends shared a picture from 9 News and I share it with you.


Phil will be buried today, TRAGIC for the global cricket community and many more in the world.
Even Queen Elisabeth send a message of sympathy  to the family.
Young as he was,he will be a legend for ever!


Our meteorological winter started with 3 dgr. C. pretty cold for the time of the year, but it is dry and sometimes we see the sun as well. Good start, that is,….when you like winter.



In my SoaringCafe -blog on Sunday December 13, I will have an article about functional clothes from MILVUS, for glider pilots. Have a look when you are interested on December 13 .

zzzzMilvus 4  ZZZZ MILVUS 1

Pictures courtesy MILVUS at the Swiss Gliding Converence in Grenchen in November this year.


CU next week, BUT not on WEDNESDAY but in the WEEKEND of the 13th.
Cheers Ritz
On December 3 2014.