The AIRBUS PERLAN MISSION 2 !!!OLC stats in the different countries.AWARD DINNER !

but first 
the other news.



The Perlan Project aircraft/glider , I mentioned it already last week,  made its initial flight last Thursday. “And who else than Jim Payne and Morgan Sandercock were the pilots. Flying up to 90.000 ft. for tests in 2016 in Argentina  is NOT NOTHING!!!
But this day they went up to 5000 ft. behind tuggy Silvio in his Pawnee.
the world’s first engine-less aircraft designed to reach the edge of space, achieved its successful first flight today in a historic moment about 5,000 feet above Robert’s Field, the Redmond Municipal Airport in Oregon. This was the first test flight of the aircraft, which next year will attempt to set a new world altitude record for any airplanes to open up a world of new discoveries. “

zzzzPerlan 2 by Paul

As Shared by Paul Remde.
Soaring News by Paul Remde of Cumulus Soaring, Inc.

The final goal from this project is : “to open up a world of new discoveries related to high-altitude flight, climate change and space exploration.” 

” The Perlan II has a wingspan of 87 feet. It follows the Perlan I, which was a regular glider retrofitted for higher altitudes. The Perlan I set an altitude record for flying at 50,972 feet. If the Perln  II gets above 51,000 feet, it will set a new record. “

I copied and pasted for you their MISSION.But, as mentioned,  for the first flight they did not go that high.
 The Perlan 2 will fly to 90,000 feet at the edge of space to explore the science of giant mountain waves that help create the ozone hole and change global climate models. This will require the engineering of a spacecraft with glider wings that can fly in less than 3% of normal air density and at temperatures of minus 70 degrees C, conditions approximating the surface of Mars. These missions will provide education and inspiration for young people seeking careers of exploration and adventure in engineering and science.”

zzzzPerlan Project

As shared by the Nevada Soaring Association.
And again is the link
and on AirbusGroup Press Release.

 Morgan Sandercock is heavily involved in this project. Morgan just flew so well during the very first 13.5 m. WGC in Pocuinai. And then,…in the middle of this busy period I ask him 2 questions about this 13.5 m class and ,……he took time to answer me. That will be all in the next Gliding International and later in my blog.

A first reaction on the maiden-flight from Morgan:
“It’s very stable at low speeds. The control power is excellent as soon as the glider is moving faster than a slow walk. We did not explore the speed range in the air – there are a lot of test points to be completed in later flights – but I can say the stall speed is less than 38 knots. Possibly much less.”


As promised I dived in the names and facts of the champions in several parts of the world.So here we go.
by the way Geoff Pratt flew from Mareeba in Australia during a very early spring flight 543 km in the PIK 20 and was the first “topper ” on the new 2016 OLC list on September 22.
One day later it was Dutch pilot Jeroen Verkuijl flying from the Bahia airfield in Brazil, for a flight of 725 km topping the world wide list that day, in a 25 m Nimbus 3 T.His first flight by the way, he said, on a NIMBUS 3T.
So to see the weather is good for the Brazil Nationals in Bebedouro.

The Australian champion 2015 is a DUTCH guest. He , Bart Renckens, flew himself from Corowa to over 6000 points.
The Gliding Club of Victoria [Benalla] leads the airfield stats with 102.182,00 km. flown by 56 pilots during 248 flights.
The best Aussie-flight was by David Jansen; 1.582,26 with 144.44 km./h.
Nick Woods flew in 62 flights 27.688,92 km. best in Australia.

Herman Peeraer is the OLC champion with 3586 points just a few more than Daan Spruyt.[3568]
The Keiheuvel- LSV Viersen -club in Balen was the best .
St Hubert was the busiest airfield.
Best flight by Dennis Huybreckx [ 761.25 km . ] in an LS 8 just before Jeroen Jennen [ 760,66 km.]
Baudouin Litt flew 6.932,50 during 25 flights.

Innocent Baptiste is the French OLC winner.
Fayence was the club champion  with 51.000 points plus.
Best flight in France  by Klaus Ohlmann; 1.435 the Stemme 10.
Looking at all flights Gerard Lherm was the champion; over 30.000 points and the runner up had over 24.000.
Puimoisson was the busiest airfield also WORLD WIDE.
Vinon the busiest club;104.555 points.

Alexander Mueller is the German CHAMPION.
The Club champion is Burgdorf.
Best flight by Alexander Mueller; 1.168 km. giving him 1.184 points.
Looking at all flights Matthias Schunk was the best in Germany;23.512 points.
Klix was the busiest airport.
Oerlinghausen was just a bit busier than Burgdorf; 191.985 points for 191.456.

The Netherlands;
The Dutch OLC Champion is Sikko Vermeer with a great 1000 km. flight[out and return]  from Holland far into Germany and back. Sikko is a member from the Amsterdamsche! The second best club in Holland behind the Gelderse.
The best flight was by AlfredPaul Alfers and in fact also for Mark Leeuwenburg who missed out on “tad”; 1.071,52 for 1.071,24 both with about the same speed.[117.91 for 117.80] Both flew their brand new ASG 29 E/18m.
Looking at all flights young Nick Hanenburg won with just over 10.000 points!!!
Busiest airfield Terlet [Gelderse and other clubs] just ahead of Soesterberg [Amsterdamsche] and Venlo in the South where, due to more civil-air-traffic at the airfield of Eindhoven gliding is “gone” and those pilots moved to Venlo and Malden.[spot 5]

the UK;
David Masson is the UK Champion.
The London Gliding Club is the club-champion.
Best flight by Steve Lynn, 765 km from Dunstable in the ASH 25 EB 28 with 805 points , just ahead of Dave Masson with 804 points.
Looking at all flights it was Dave again; 13.460 points.
Dunstable was busy;over 37.000 points .Lasham as runner up had 20.365 points.
Best UK club; London Gliding Club.

Alexander Mueller as guest in Pokweni flew himself to OLC champion.
Club champion; the Magalies Gliding Club [SA]
Best flight by Bostjan Pristavic ;1.368 km. from Bitterwasser.
Looking at all flights Klaus Engelhardt was the best ;30.967 points.
Bitterwasser was the busiest airfield; 612.000 points.

North America;
Club champion the SS of Boulder.65.933 points.
Best flight; Jim Payne ; 2.907 km. with a speed of 249 km./h. in the ARCUS M.
Looking at all flights; Keith Essex.
Moriarty is the busiest airfield.
The Moriarty Gliding club tops the clubs.163.513 points.

For all the other statistics you can go to

And,….don’t forget to print your own certificate [see the link…. look under news]


Dutch pilot Jeroen Verkuijl flies from Bahia in Brazil and topped on 3 consecutive  days the OLC with nice long impressive flights in the Nimbus 3T [25 m]; 752 km., 740 km.[500 FAI triangle] ,818 km. [600 FAI triangle]
Last Sunday 835 km. was on the clock.


zzzzBahia 2  zzzzBahia 3

Landing half an hour before sunset so a long day, though he started late with not the best conditions in the beginning; very blue!!
Courtesy Guilherme Purnhagen.


Last Sunday I traveled to Amsterdam with the most gorgeous clouds on the skies. OF COURSE I looked straight away in the evening how our Dutch OLC was looking; good,… happy pilots with flights up to km. 378 km. by Baer Selen from Venlo in the ASW 28E/18 m.
And sharing pictures as this one by Sikko, [359 km. in Ventus BT 17.6 m.] with the remark that making the picture “moved” the red string.He flew to Haamstede an area at the Dutch Nordsea, coming from Soasterberg.

zzzzSikko  zzzzSikko 2

Also the Spring situation down under was good as you can see on the picture of Swiss Chris, who after the form 2 checked his glider, with the comment;
What a nice spring day! Cloudbase 1600-1900mAGL but reliable and with some streeting  kept circling below 20%. 480km with 105km/h that was fun. Cruising MC would have made the landscape look scary.”

zzzzChris H

Around Tocumwal as seen by Chris Hostettler

More good early spring-flights that Sunday ;
Justin Smith from Lake Keepit; 514 km [FAI 400 km triangle] in an LS 6/17.5 m
Gerrit Kurstjens with 536 in the Quintus from Mc Caffery Field.
Rolf Buelter from Bacchus March with 418 km [300 km FAI triangle] in an LS 8 /18 m.
It’s definitely building up to another good summer though from friends travelling through Australia up to North Queensland I heard ; ”   it is terrible to see the drought having so much impact even in and around Townsville  – the palms are dying.” 


The FAI Congress in Holland [Rotterdam]

zzzzFAI Congres

The opening of the congress .
Shared by the organisation;  KNVvL.


As they call it on the IGC site;
” The air sports personalities distinguished at the 2015 FAI Awards Ceremony.

We just made it in time. Leaving Amsterdam at 4 to be in Rotterdam for sure at 5.30 PM for a drink first, BUT,….many were late as it happened we had the busiest traffic jam in 2015 JUST on this day!!We quickly moved to our table just over 6.30 as the entree was served [carpaccio] .

It was a lovely evening and to be honest I was not nervous at all, just happy and proud.We had a table of 12 with 2 more “winners” from New Zealand [Edouard Devenoges….] and Chile[Bruno Winkler..]  both winning the Paul Tissandier Diploma , with my family of 5 and a Norwegian couple and Jan , the president of the Aeroclub from Malden. More than pleasant.
My grandson became friends with the family Winkler from Chile and even got an invitation, when he is old enough to visit Chile.

DSCN1286    DSCN1285

With Bruno and his wife and Edouard with his wife

Great to see good old mates as Eric “Herbie ” Moser  from the USA, Visa Matti from Finland, Alvaro from Spain, and the “girls” Marina from Italy and Susanne from Germany.Shook hands and had a word with Klaus [Ohlmann] .I wrote a lot about him and his achievements ,but never met him.
Was impressed with the young skydiver Jarrett [25] , in his wheel chair after a para gliding accident when he was 18. He got the BREITLING youngster award.Paralyzed from the spine down, he was back in the air in 6 months and in 2014 he was the only disabled skydiver participating in the FAI word championship for the US Parachute Team.

DSCN1334  DSCN1344

With Alvaro and Frouwke and Hans Akerstedt from Sweden who won the FAI GOLD AIR MEDAL.

DSCN1352   DSCN1362

Last picture with the Dutch president of the KNVvL [Royal Dutch Association for aviation] to the right; Mr. Frits Brink  and to the left the president of the gliding section of the KNVvL ; Mr. Jan Forster

By the way; Not that many women and lots of grey hair.

And, as shared by the IGC;
British balloonist Brian Jones, well known for teaming up with Swiss pilot Bertrand Piccard on the around the world record flight in a balloon in 1999, was the special guest of the event. He presented his inspiring “Dare to Dream” project which aims at facilitating the training of disabled balloon pilots throughout Europe.”

Lost ALL my pictures!!!! Downloaded and saved them the next morning and put them in a folder with the name SS Rotterdam,…..gone!!!!Where ,… clue.Was nearly in tears.
BUT,….my “old” ZES friend Theo found them the next day looking via team viewer in my laptop .VERY grateful!!!!
Unbelievable what they can do nowadays.
Some impressions.

IMG_4484   IMG_4485

IMG_4492  IMG_4501


with Susanne [ Schoedel TWICE former WWGC champion 2009 and 2011, nowadays secretary general at FAI in Lausanne and Marina, juror ,steward ,deputy CD at Rieti and Vice President of the FAI Gliding Commission Bureau.


That’s it for now . It was quite a week!!!!
Thank you for following my blogs, being a friend during EGC’s, WGC’s ,JWGC’s and WWGC’s and National comps and that includes  Keiheuvel as well.
This means; this award is FOR ALL OF US!!!
And on the 12th of October we celebrate again, as the KNVvL has invited us, our families and friends for an informal “drink” .
Also the numbers 2, Jacques Selen and 3 Jeroen Verkuijl, from the last EGC will be there to be cheered on.

Cheers Ritz

Quiet period! FAI Awards!!Great 1000 km.-flights for some ! OLC 2015 season is over,..some stats!

SS rotterdam 5

“The SS Rotterdam is a restaurant, hotel and a perfect venue for business events and meetings,beautifully overlooking the river Maas and the skyline of the dynamic city of Rotterdam.
La Grande Dame invites you to a unique experience.”
In the past is one of the ships from the Holland-America line.

It’s a quiet period right now which is good for my neck.

Enough excitement as well as both Prof. Loek Boermans [  Delft University and OSTIV president for years]  and I will be rewarded tomorrow evening during dinner, with our awards at the prestigious former steam ship the SS ROTTERDAM.
Loek gets, during the first day of the General Conference of the FAI,  the Lilienthal Gliding Medal and I the Pelagia Majewska Medal.
Both NOT for records, great flights or other flying achievements , but for our contribution to soaring!!
UNIQUE,…. as NEVER before , a Dutch person was nominated for an FAI AWARD.

For those who are interested and have no clue what these awards mean here a bit more info I found at the internet.
VERY pleased: Loek, will have as I heard at his table tomorrow good old Bernald S. Smith, who did SO much for soaring. He must be nearly 100 now as I know him such a long time. Bernald got this award in 1993.

“Lilienthal Gliding Medal – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lilienthal Gliding Medal – the highest soaring award in the world, established by Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) in 1938 in honor of Otto Lilienthal, a German pioneer of human aviation. It aims “to reward a particularly remarkable performance in gliding, or eminent services to the sport of gliding over a long period of time”. The award is made at the annual FAI General Conference. Medal was designed by  Austrian artist Josef Humplik.

The first winner of the Lilienthal Gliding Medal in the world was  Tadeusz Gora for his record-breaking 577.8-kilometer flight on May 18, 1938, glider PWS-101 from  Bezmiechowa to  Soleczniki (near Vilnius] .”

  Lilienthal medal 2


“This Medal was created by the FAI in 1989, following a proposal by the Aero Club of Poland, in memory of Madame Pelagia Majewska, eminent Polish glider pilot awarded the Lilienthal Medal for 1960, and holder of 17 world gliding records, who lost her life in an air accident in 1988. The Medal is offered to the FAI by the Aero Club of Poland.

It may be awarded annually, on recommendation by the FAI Gliding Commission, to a female glider pilot to reward: a particularly remarkable performance in gliding during the past year, or eminent services to gliding over a long period of time.

All nominations submitted will be screened by the Awards Committee. Only those nominees found qualified will be submitted to the Board for presentation to the National Aeronautic Association who will make the formal nomination to the FAI committee by the end of the year.
It will be presented at the Opening Ceremony of the annual FAI General Conference.

  Pelagia Majewska

More and pictures next week.


Last Sunday young Bert Schmelzer had another great flight in the  mountains in the DISCUS 2 T; 805 km. from Hausen Am Albis [CH] .
He wrote about his flight;
“Early tow into the sunrise: simply beautiful.


The usual entry point (Eggbergen – Schächental) didn’t like me today: Wasting 3 hours of precious daylight.
Due to the cooperative controllers of Zürich Info/Delta and Innsbruck Radar, the main part of the flight was a blast.
On the way back from the impressive Grossglockner, extensive cloud cover forced me to leave the wave system. To make things worse, snow and rain showers nearly prevented to get back on the western side of Arlberg pass. Thanks to very weak ridge lift the Discus and I could get back to Switzerland.
Late in the evening it took me quite a while to enter the Swiss wave system near Sargans.
In general: a very nice flight above the autumn colors of the Alps “.

Preview from Bert’s wave flight:
“As seen from 7.300m”

zzzzBert 1

Courtesy Bert Schmelzer jr.
The FULL picture story including video at;


Australia’s spring sun is shining already , reason enough for “kilometer-eater ” Allan Barnes to try AND fly a 500 FAI triangle from Lake Keepit.
In Europe pilots, also some Dutch, tried the “Hang”  from Porta Westfalica and flew up to 415 km.
Wednesday one week ago [September 16]  great flights . 4 Times a 1000 k from 4 different airfields;
Rainer Crohnjaeger , flew in his ASH 31 MI a fabulous 1.303 km. distance with a speed of 121 km./h. He started from Hausen Am Albis in Switzerland . He mentioned there was ” more in the day.” Sometimes a bit TOO manu clouds but on the other hand great rotors.
1.265 for Jim Payne flying in Minden [USA] in the ARCUS M and part of his comment on the OLC was ;
“A commute from Minden to Rosamond.
The forecast said the FL180 winds between Lee Vining and Mojave would be excellent…the low level wind speeds would be less than optimum…the forecast Bishop sounding showed instability to 16,000 feet.
Blue except for a very few rotor wisps.
The Sierra in the June Lakes area had a good dusting of fresh snow.
Young Benjamin Bachmeier  flew 1.114 km. from Koenigsdorf  in the DISCUS 2 and he called it one of the better foehn-days ; humidity OK, wind from the East just strong enough and in the west good. Only dissonant; the west component in the wind, which was as he called it apocalyptic large  ;210 as best and 250 in the worst case.
Jan Lyczywek flew from Unterwoessen 1.077 km in the Antares 18 T.

By the way; the 2015 OLC-season has closed!!!! Here are some stats!
JIM PAYNE is clearly the 2015 world wide champion. Congratulations to Jim, who will be present at the 3d of October- OLC -Liga-Final, when Germany celebrates their German, OLC stars in the townhall in Gersfeld.
Number 2 world wide  is Keith Essex and number 3 Guy Bechtold .
The CLUB- OLC shows 2 clubs from HOLLAND, VERY proud on that. The Gelderse as before , already since 2012 !!!! on 1 and the Amsterdamsche on 2. Great result.
107 Pilots from the Gelderse made 482 flights flying 171.520,00 km and the Amsterdamsche Soaring Club had 81 pilots making 346 flights , flying 144.927, 61 km.
BEST FLIGHT by Jim Payne; 2.907, 47 with a magic speed of 249,83 km./h. !!!! Flown from Minden.
Looking at all flights Keith Essex was the best flying from Minden .He raced over a total of 58.071,44 km.
BUSIEST AIRPORT; Puimoisson in France, with 290 pilots, making 1853 flights and flying 744.277,70 km !!!!!
Bitterwasser was 2d with 105 pilots, making 805 flights and flying 618.425,02 km.
With Serres La Batie as 3d on the list France had a  VERY busy year 2015!!!!!

Next week I’ll have a look at the OLC champions in the different parts of the world.

As you know Jim represents as well the PERLAN PROJECT . This week, today,  is important, when you are interested here is the link: CLIMATE RESEARCHERS PLAN GLIDER MISSION TO END OF SPACE!!!!!

Not a lot is known about the weather at 90,000 feet above the earth’s surface, so a team of scientists and aviators are going to fly there using an engine less aircraft to learn more about what the weather at such extreme altitudes has to say about climate change.”


I told you already Kerrie [Claffey] is a funny lady, very smart and she writes well too. This year she flew as a participant, in Denmark during the WWGC and she crewed for her husband Tom in Varese during the GRAND PRIX FINAL.
Last Monday morning she got a smile on my face again with pictures and words written to us, but above all Arne [Boye Moeller] who lives in Denmark.
Clear fact ; they did not have the best weather in Arnborg.
” Arne,… THIS is sunshine and THESE are cu’s – and see the distance from the cloud to the ground – that’s called ALTITUDE!!!! – and it’s only the spring equinox!”

zzzKilgandra 3

zzzzKerrie 1   zzzzKerrie 2

Keep in mind JUNIORS Dubbo is close to NARROMINE.
On the sign ; left to Kilgandra ,right to Dubbo.


Also in 2016 the Dutch Nationals will be combined with those from Belgium and Luxembourg. Looking ahead on that, as it will be close by for me this time @ Terlet , at the beautiful VELUWE.
For my Belgium friends; Great tent and caravan area AT the airfield, when you are not into that…..the Postiljon Hotel is ” around the corner” and you will find great food and lot’s of different beers in the by everybody well known Thermiekbel.

Period;May  17-27  2016.


That’s it for now , not really so quiet,….having a good night rest to be fresh and new tomorrow.
Cheers Ritz

Overseas destinations! 2015 Sporting Code Annex C.

zzzzzPrize giving

Kathrin with the prize made by her. Christophe Ruch was the lucky one to receive it.
Pilotessadesign – Artwork for Pilots

It must have been quite a party over there in Varese after the challenging GRAND PRIX FINAL.
The last day, on which pilots had to fight really hard with stress for those in the top, finished with 20 [virtual]-out-landings and the release- feelings were high for some.
I noticed pictures , from the French” dressed ”  in the pool, from dancing pilots at the table and only smiling , no better said,…laughing faces.
I presume also with the organizers, as it is always a huge responsibility, even with the best pilots in the world ,…even with the HUGE experience from Brian and Roland.
So now we can look ahead at some qualifying grand prix’ and the final edition again in November 2016 in South Africa [Potchefstroom]

They even thought of a present for the ZERO POINTS CLUB members , what a playful  idea!!

zzzzzzZerp points club1   zzzzzZero points 2

The very prestigious Zero Points Club received special diplomas – and of course the Top Ten Club received diplomas.”
Courtsey Kerrie Claffey on her way back home now with Captain Tom.


Talking about Africa; Not only the containers for Australia have been packed,but also for Africa. Namibia will have a few,going to
Bitterwasser [http://www.bitterwassercom ]  ,
Kiripotib [ ]and
Pokweni, []
so will South African places as Kuruman []  ,
Douglas Airfield [] and
Gariep Gliding  [ ] and more as

Bitterwasser in Namibia has invested in their airfield, with a new new shadow roof near the work shop, the hangar runway is revised  and extended and there is a new road to the Lodge.

Tocumwal club from Ingo Renner;

zzzzCzech cont 4   zzzzCzecg cont 3

zzzzCzech cont1   zzzzCzech cont2

And……. Czech container  “nearly” on its way to Narromine.
As shared by the Czech Rep Gliding Team.


First this news :
Next UK bound Shark Jet…Complete with Delux by Gagula interior… Hopefully will be born very shortly..

Clearly the birth could wait no longer…. This UK-Bound Shark Jet took to the skies for the first time at Dusk... “


zzzzzShark2   zzzzShark3

 Great Photos…!
As shared by
HpH Sailplanes UK


Important news for those who are involved with competition, badge or record flying. The 2015 Sporting Code Annex C is available now. Here is the news from Ross Macintyre.

Dear Friends,

The Sporting Code Committee are pleased to report that the 2015 edition of Sporting Code Annex C is now available on the FIA website.  A direct link is: <>

The opportunity has been taken to clarify and correct some errors in the Sporting Code 2015 which have become apparent:

Error corrections:       •  3.5.2b last line: changed “distance to a goal” to “ straight distance”.

·         4.3.2 now reads, ” Complete FAI Claim Forms (see 3.6) for a record flight or NAC equivalents for a badge flight.”

Editorial changes to correct cross-reference errors or to clarify text:

•  1.4.2d   definition simplified to “A COURSE without TURN POINTS  starting from RELEASE or a declared START POINT.”

•  2.2.1a   definition simplified to “ a straight distance flight of at least 50 km from the release point.”
•  Reference in 2.2.1b changed to 2.4.4b •  Reference in 2.2.2b changed to 2.4.4b
•  2.3.1a   delete last sentence ( “Internet base…” )
•  3.2.1 italic note at end: “See Annex C-2.4 …. and C-6.4 on …”
•  4.1 first para, last sentence:   “See Annex C- 1.2 and 1.3 for …”
•  4.2.3a italic note:   changed to “Annex C-1.3

Both SC3 and Annex C have been extensively rewritten along with the changes incorporated by recent proposals. Other FAI documents that refer to SC3 or the Annex may have references to them which are no longer correct.

Best regards,

Ross Macintyre, Chairman, IGC Sporting Code |Committee


Short news today due to a very painful neck.
CU next week.
Cheers Ritz

The CHAMPION, The FES, The Heroes of VARESE. Very exciting last day with ZERO points!

As a die-hard reader, you have for sure seen that the Wednesday and Thursday have been published already ,making blogs not TOO long.

Varese by Tilo

A WOW factor picture by Tilo flying AND making great pictures [ during race 5] from the air. Good on you Tilo!!

Talking about Tilo he shared with one of the organizers his thoughts about the FES, bringing him home during race 5. I share it with you when you have missed it, otherwise you can just SKIP IT.

” Whilst having a lovely lunch in the tent a few days ago, Tilo was kind enough to talk to me about his Front Electric Sustainer (FES). This is an electric engine developed by Luca Znidarsic from Slovenia, and which he installs in his own factory. Tilo reckons Luca has fitted about 30-40 units since its invention several years ago, originally for Lak and Silent but now in many manufacturers types of sailplanes.

What does Tilo like about the FES concept? Tilo appreciates that it is so simple and quick to deploy – just one flip of a switch. The whole installation is also very light – less than a turbo installation including its fuel. Also, a for top level competition pilot who prefers to remove the engine for some championships, it only takes minutes to disable. Simply remove the batteries (16kg) and propeller, a real plus.

Tilo also explained that when the engine is running it is still easy to soar the glider normally – with little vibration the vario still works and means one can still search and use lift. With no discernable drag, field landings are much safer. In a high density environment the installation works well. What is not to like?

More generally, we chatted about possible future competition developments involving motor gliders. Up to now new classes have been added to the calendar but using the classic Speed Tasks,AAT or SGP formats. Tilo would like to see different disciplines, perhaps concentrating on longer tasks using motor gliders. Maybe there is a niche for the FES.” 

zzzzTilo with FES

As shared by and on
MUCH MORE NEWS on that site.


Friday September 11 no race  ;14 years ago the twin towers were attacked something we never forget.
In Varese they set 214 km for the 20 pilots . The clouds were low so the task was made smaller…162 km….. the first launch postponed from 14.00 to 14.15.
Then all pilots had to come to the front of the grid;
The day was cancelled due to a too low cloud base.
So only one day to improve,…or to loose points.

zzzzNo day

zzzzNo flying

Cancelled! Briefing at the grid by Fabio.
seen by the Aussies picture above and they shared also;  2 pictures from Kathrin’s Art;

zzzzKethrin1   zzzzzKathrin 2

One of the GRAND PRIX WINNERS  will go home with one of her art pieces.
It turned out to be Christophe Ruch. Good on him.

They were not bored during the day.
”  This afternoon the falconers visited us. Stories of them carrying animals up to 14kg in weight, flying at speeds of 400 kph and having ‘zoom’ eyesight enabling them to tell the difference between a brick and a mouse from 7km! We know their beauty in flight and respect their soaring capabilities.


Saturday September 12 race 6;LAST DAY !!!!
Briefing at 10. Schedule, podium at 6 closing ceremony at 7 PM and dinner at 8.Later changed in 8 PM for podium,prize giving and dinner.
Todays weather is grey, light winds.
It is forecast to clear….but it may be a bit of a wait.
Task A 195 km ….Task B 161 km
What will bring this last day of this again exciting Grand Prix Final???????
5 Pilots still in the race. 10 points , PLUS a bonus point are possible today.
So Max, [36] Christophe {R} [33],Sebastian [29] , Roman [27]  and Giorgio {G} [25] still have chances to be the new CHAMPION.
I have seen Roman doing interesting “things” on a last day, so very much looking forward to see what’s going to happen.But then he should win ALL points and p.e Max should have 1 or zero.

Will they fly?? It was raining during briefing and the forecast was not TOO good.” We have to wait,” was what Giorgio {B} had to say. BUT,….would the flyable window be in time??????
The briefing was closed with the words ;”we stick to the daily routine also on the last day. We can only start launching with a cloud base of 1200/1300m. and we need 1500 m to start.”
A SELFIE from ALL participating pilots was made [and shared on FB] and then Sebastian said something to his mates and got the FULL attention of ALL pilots, but briefing was over so was the broadcasting.


A selfie with a few missing.

After the briefing the pilots and organizers discussed the format and rules with Brian.I guess Sebastian put” the cat among the pigeons ” with his remarks about wing loading in the participating gliders.

Also the 2 leaders, Max and Christophe,  looked a bit worried.
zzzzLast day!

BUT,..there was also fun as the pilots with zero points formed a pact .  Kerrie , who has fabulous feeling for humor, shared, after her husband Tom, got his first point;
After a meeting of the Bored, there may be a resolution of the communication ban with the ZPC – a proposed merger with the OPC (One Point Club) to form the BC (Binary Club) as a united front against the MPC (Multi Points Club)”
Here is the verdict;
“Breaking news
Due to the unexpected desertion of a long serving member of the Zero Points Club yesterday, Tom Claffey (AUS), the remaining members have formalised the rules (in the bar late last night)….

1. On 10 September 2015 the Zero Points Club (ZPC) has created Annex F of the SGP Rules
2. At the beginning of each SGP, all 20 pilots will be invited to join the ZPC
3. To leave the ZPC a pilot must declare, BEFORE the control point, his intention to leave
A. If he succeeds in leaving the ZPC, there is no penalty
B. If he fails in leaving the ZPC, the penalty is 2 bottles of wine for the remaining members at the final dinner
C. If he fails to declare his intention to leave the ZPC but then leaves, this is considered CHEATING and the penalty is 4 bottles of wine for the remaining members at the final dinner.
4. Once a pilot leaves the ZPC, there is no coming back – and all further communication with the remaining members of the ZPC must cease!
5. There can be no President because at any time he may leave the group.
6.These rules have been ratified by steward Roland Stuck who approves both the rules and the penalties (because rules without penalties are of no use!)
There is a motion to merge with the One Point Club to form the Binary Club…

AND,…more fun ……an Italian podium??????
With the message;
ANYTHING could happen today!!!!
With only 2 Italian participants they could add , local heroes Giorgino or the president of the club and female WWGC pilot Margherita Acquaderni.


So time , after all the fun, to follow the last day;
At 12.30 a tweet; the sun is out!!!!GOOD news!!!
The sniffer goes up! “Poor visibility “,he mentions.
Brian goes up to see for himself.” Just wait for the cloud base to rise and the visibility to improve!!!
We wait as well. Time to share what my friend Laurens had to say about the JS 1 EVO he flies;
” The glider EVO is owned jointly by the Jonkers factory and Anne Ducarouge, Womens World Champion, and her husband Yann Forestier. This allows it to be flown by different pilots in the European season. It has spent the summer at various International Championships throughout Europe. These included the European Championships in Hungary, Rieti and the German National Championships.

This Jet engine is a ‘sustainer’ version, the self launching model is under development. Other Jet versions of sailplane engines include the Shark but the JS version is the only one under commercial development.

Talking more generally about the JS1 21m, Laurens recounted his experience of learning how to fly it most efficiently, in particular, discovering best speeds to fly. He found in the World Championships in Uvalde, strong conditions, that the JS1 preferred to be flown fast. That suits Laurens ……” 

Delay, ……more delay……. but still hope…. it’s only 2.
After Brian landed ,another 20 minutes and, was all going to happen!!!!
At the screen I see the gliders ready for launch!!!Live stream…HURRAY!
All gliders are airborne.
I have to run up and down , between laptop and TV, as down stairs history could be written on the last day of the VUELTA where Dutch cyclist Tom Dumoulin could be the 3d in Dutch history to win this tour through Spain.
Did not happen since 1980. AND,…it did not happen this time. He dropped from 1 to 5 was very disappointed of course he was, but did a great job. The VUELTA was only ONE day/ 2 cols,  too long/high for him.

2.33 my time; Last glider behind tow plane, meaning the tuggies are ready and did a great job!
Regatta start at 3 PM with a max height of 1400 m.
The French for sure would help each other.They had good height but were not in the lead in the beginning.
Max ,I only heard just now, was invited as an other  pilot could not come.What a great and  extra ordinary job he does !!!!!
Werner and Sebastian are in the lead going to TP 2 . As we have seen over the last week, Sebastian is always high.
80 km to go and 8 km. lead for these 2 guy’s, at 1300 m. ,but from the past I know this does n’t mean anything.
Giorgio [B] comes in with the last weather;some high cover coming in from the West moving into the East, so stay HIGH,”  the sky is not really looking well“!!!!
With only 60 km. to go Werner and Sebastian keep going in some kind of cloud-street with 170 km.speed and if they don’t get in trouble they are going to win with some margin.
BUT,…..The cloud street stopped, so did the lift and the 2 in-front -guy’s  felt the breath of the followers.
1700 or 1800 m. would bring them home it’s 4.39 here now.
Not all pilots will finish this race as they pass “home”  and will land as they were not in the position to be the new WORLD CHAMPION .

The group is now together and most probably they will stay together now, is the comment from the connoisseurs Giorgio [B] and Brian. Then the wind is increasing and pilots have to rethink their final glide!!!
I should better not listen anymore,…Stressssss…..!!!!!!
Then….about Giorgio [G]  ;All is ok,…… but he out landed , luckily at an airfield and will be towed back.
” Not nice looking” ,…” enough words spend at briefing about out-landing-possibilities, they know” …” Tricky……very very tricky” …”   middle air clouds are coming in very fast.” …. “half an hour more lift would have made the day but the weather is too fast”…..
No finish,……means  NO points during this GP.
OUCH…it’s getting worse!!!!!
Max , not happy with gliding in sink moved and was on top now together with Werner and Sebastian, Christophe [ R] controlling the rest behind him.
Sebastian is the most experienced and he has a great safety feeling, so hopefully they stay together and help each other.4 Still form the leading pact.

We even see Giorgio at the airfield where he landed,…how different than 40 years ago.
Cloud cover has died the lift, when there is no ridge- lift either,  it will be impossible to fly home.
How will this day end??????
Sebastian and Max are together, so are Werner and Christophe, the rest is far behind or out at an airfield close by or used the FES or engine/sustainer.

Max , Werner and Christophe have NO ENGINE!!!!! Poor guys all are still short of height to get home. They see the finish line, but are too low to make it.
Max has made the decision to fly back to land at the airport of Alzzate.
So the race is over, fact is to fly safely to a good paddock.Only 20 km. in front of the finish.
Task B could have made the difference, but …..they went for A.
So now we can only hope if their out-landing skills are as good as flying skills!!!
Werner and Sebastian go to the same paddock and Christophe landed also “aux vaches” .


Great skills in a pretty small field with lot’s of wires!!!
As shared by Sebastian.

Exciting day, great race, but no finish,  no points so MAX IS THE NEW SGP CHAMPION!!!!!!
Christophe is runner up and Sebastian stays on 3.

I was not the only one following the race, many more did also at the airport as you can see on the picture from Kathrin.


Stefano [Ghiorzo] , the brand new 13.5 m. WORLD CHAMPION, doing the comments today with dad Kawa sitting with him at the table.

6 PM. They all landed safely!!! GOOD!!! Great decision also from young Max.When he has his ATPL and flies at Air France or KLM , I will fly with him, no worries very reliable young man.

THE CHAMPION with his JS 1.

zzzzMax JS!

and the RUNNER UP and 3d podium place.


2 Pilots from France one from Poland.
As shared by the organizers.

Shared by the organizers as well ; an interesting  link at where Tom Claffey, Tilo Holighaus and Christophe Ruch talk about differences in  the sailplane models flown in the 6th FAI SGP Final; The Ventus, the JS 1 and the ASG 29.
6th FAI SGP Final-The Machines.


And to finish another  Fabio Bossi -picture .
Next GRAND PRIX FINAL[number 7]  in POTCHEFSTROOM in South Africa [November 5-12 2016]
Cheers Ritz
CU on Wednesday.


2 other exciting FAI GP day ‘s have finished !!!


The latest on Wednesday and Thursday.

zzzzVerese by Fabio

Courtesy Fabio Bossi, he makes such fabulous pictures!!!!!

Wednesday September 9 race 4;
I left you on Wednesday morning early, so in Amsterdam I had no time to see what was happening. First I noticed back home, this picture from today’s  happy winners .
Look at them.

zzzzVarese winners Wednesday

Uli , Christophe [R] and again Sebastian.
As shared by the organizers.

The organizers helped me with a short message having everything in it we need.
” Todays Race 4 won by Ruch (FRA) followed by Schwenk (GER) and Kawa (POL). The circuit was 157 kms won at a speed of 113kph with all pilots finishing – the slowest speed (after penalty) was 86 kph

and the task shared by Fabio, not the 210 A task , but the 157 km. B task had to be flown.


Overall results after Race 4; 1. Max with 26 points, 2. Christophe [R] with 25, 3.Sebasian with 23 and on 4 Roman with 22.Giorgio still has 21 points so it is NOT OVER YET.NOT for these 5 pilots!!!!Everything is possible as long as they can fly!


11990444_885425254880532_892960305708092551_n  11145020_885428968213494_4581311604181355006_n

12009755_885444284878629_8274106747034628440_n  zzzzLaurens

Christophe , Uli and Sebastian, the daily winners as shared by the organizers.AND troubled by penalty points Laurens,[this picture courtesy Jill]

Every day is a day and the winner gets 10 points. 10 Points can make or break a pilot- score. Giorgio had not such a good day and “dropped ” from 1 to 5 overall.So points are very ” expensive ” here.
Laurens was fast ; he get’s the hang of the Italian mountains, won the day ,…..but got penalty points for a too high start altitude and a too low finish altitude, so no 10 but 5 points for him. At least POINTS!!!!

Tom had his own way of saying what he found of this day :
“Not such a good day today, only 150km.
I got an OK start, a little low, late and slow but on the correct side of the line for the first hill.
The first few turnpoints were very close with weak, low conditions and thermalling up the sides of the hills in 2kts max. Once back near Varese we got a 5kt climb (almost the best climb I have seen), to a nosebleeding 1500 metres (start altitude). I was with Christophe Ruch at this stage, who eventually won the day. Typical of this comp I didn’t go with him over the flat country as I could see a bunch ahead quite low, I took the scenic mountain track with Didier.
Had a pretty good run but the flatlanders did better. Around the last turn I could see more than 10 ahead and above so dumped most of my water and took a long climb for a conservative final glide home.
Gee points are hard to get here.”

Yesterday Tom did SO well he was on his way to be with the best 3, but then,
Tom was now on the most the direct route, deep in the valley, but Tilo managed to find the best thermal of the day in the foothills near the train station just South of Como, allowing him to lead the group home on what was sure to be a very exciting final glide for the lead pilots.
Tom found himself a few meters low on the glide and approaching the ridge line at Varese town decided he did not have the altitude to cross it safely and made a very good decision to land in a field before he had no options available.” as shared by the SGP journalist.


A WOW -factor picture shared by today’s winner Christophe who raced with Laurens to the finish line.

Thursday September 10 race 5;

208 km. is on the organizers schedule today as an A task and the B task will be 162 km., so also for the 20 pilots.All depending on the weather.

The south of Italy had appalling weather yesterday with flooding, but Varese is up North and they could fly .
Today is dawning a little grey in Varese but the airfield is beginning to come alive for SGP Final day 6 – Race 5.”

Race 5 started at 14.30 and had in the evening  3 worthy winners !
The first 6 finishing pilots arrived with a speed of 123 km./h.

Max, the race 5 winner, said that he was during the day not in the lead ,but he was in the end and raced to the finish, winning from aces as Sebastian and Christophe [R] .
Christophe had a great final glide as well  and passed Werner and Sebastian, but,..Max was too far ahead.
Werner was more than happy with his 3d place .
Race 5 was about as close as it gets for a 200km circuit. The first eight gliders finished within 45 seconds of one another and the winners speed was 123kph. There was one ‘outlanding’ Tilo Holighaus who was forced to use his Front Electric Sustainer (FES).”

zzzzMax wins race 5

zzzzChristophe 2d   zzzzWerner by Fabio

Another series of great pictures by Fabio from todays winners!!!!

zzzzday 5 winners

Today’s podium as see and shared by the Aussies.

Tom was happy with his point and finished in style.

zzzzTom 2

Sebastian stirred up our soaring-world a bit by mentioning in an interview about the  wingloading from participating gliders. It’s good he brings this in the open and many will talk about it and this discussion is not over yet.
He confirmed what he then said in writing;

” I think it is obvious now that equal wing loading is not fair in GP. Gliders have been designed with a different philosophy, to fulfill equal weight, 600kg limit. Some designers choose to have bigger lift coefficient others choose bigger wing area. Now as a result gliders flying equally in world gliding championships have no chance with those who have bigger wing because they had almost not changed weight! ASG had to reduce it by almost 70kgs. You can’t win when they stick to your tail all day, you start final glide 40m higher and come one minute later than they on finish line.

I hope next days we will have weaker, more complicated weather and that this is the last competition with this rule which originally was to force.”


Told you about the Dutch juniors who packed their 4 gliders in the containers from Corowa together with several other guests for this season.
The UK juniors have done the same now. Also their gliders are on the way down under.Here is what they shared:
“After several weeks of hard work fitting, packing and painting the container the junior teams gliders are now on the way to Australia for the Junior World Gliding Championships. Special thanks to the British Gliding Association and Will Chappel from Apogee Industries for all of their help with getting the container on the way.”

zzzzUK gliders 1   zzzzUK gliders 2
The UK juniors have packed their gliders for Narromine.
As shared by British Gliding Team.


More news on Saturday evening/Sunday morning.
Cheers Ritz

FAI GRAND PRIX FINAL Varese…continued!

Last Sunday I published a blog already on day 1, a cancelled day,BUT …..with launches, some flying and practice for a finish, last Sunday the RACE really started here we go;


As shared by the organizers.

Sunday September 6 race 1;
as said before….
A Sunday with lot’s of visitors due to “a day off”.
The pilots will start with blue conditions but going East they will find cu’s, that was what Giorgio had to say during briefing this morning.
Grid 12.30 and compressing straight away.First launch expected at 13.00.Regatta start expected at 14.00.
” CU on the grid fly carefully ” and off they went to prepare their loggers for a task of 264.8 km.!!!!

zzzzzVarese Brian and Giorgio

Giorgio [B] and Brian during briefing.
Picture courtesy Fabio Bossi and shared by the organizers.

So off they went and it turned out a ” clean sweep ”  for France with 3 pilots in the top claiming the 10,8 and 7 points before Giorgio with 6. Not because the ” 3 musketeers”   were the fastest,  but this happened AFTER some pilots had lost points to penalties.
Late regatta start at 14.30 due to the fact that some pilots the first, were released at 1000 , some at 750 m and in the end they had some problems to keep high so,  the organizers wanted a fair start for all.
For those who have not read the story on the site, here it is fresh copied and pasted:
The thermals started slowly causing some difficulty for the first gliders launched to gain altitude which caused a delay in opening the start line. But by 14.20 everybody had climbed up to start altitude and were able to make a maximum altitude start. During the first leg of the Race to Gandino there was a slow seperation of the competitors as the leading gliders slowly pulled ahead by better choice of route and starting their climbs quicker. Thomas Gostner was first at the turn and scorched along onto the second leg but his strategy of flying low on the south facing hills did not pay off as the valley wind had not become strong enough to give him the energy he needed. Riccardo Brigliadori also pushed hard onto the second leg but did not find a good enough climb and eventually had to take a weaker one. This combined with the extra distance he had to fly on the ridges cost him a lot of time.

During this leg a small group came together and working together slowly pulled ahead of the rest of the field. This group with Sebastian Kawa, Romans Mracek, Cristof Ruch, Christof Abadie, Maxmilian Seis, Giorgio Galetto and Peter Panek. Sebastian lead this group as they came onto the Campo Fiori mountain near the airfield but the rest stopped to climb behind him and he continued to the end of the mountain. When he turned he realized they may be climbing better and returned to their thermal losing the slight lead he had built. The group flew into the 2nd turn point with Giorgio out front then back to the Campo Fiori where they climbed together. It was now a game of tactics, no one wanted to take the risk to push ahead or to lose the group, they stayed together taking two more climbs until they all had a comfortable final glide. The outcome was a spectacular finish with all the group crossing the finish line within a few seconds of each other but Sebastian and Romans descended just a little too low in the last kilometre and incurred a time penalty which knocked their position back several places. The top three places were taken by French pilots with Maximilian 1st Christof Abadie 2nd and Christof Ruch 3rd a great day for the French pilots but a special day for Max. He is the youngest pilot in the competition and probably the least experienced at this type of racing a warm congratulations to him for his excellent performance.”

” The race coverage was very intermittent due to some technical problems with the tracker data but the presentation on the new Silent Wings viewer was very special causing Giorgino Ballerati to remark that is was just like being up there with them.”

2 Pilots even “out-landed”  before start due to a airspace violation. A total of 11, so more than halve of the competitors was punished for flying too low, too fast or in forbidden areas . REASON to take better care of start and landing AND airspace.
You come from far to be the best and loose already on day 1 by “things you could/should have known” .Such a waste!
You can find the scores on .

RACE 1; A great day for the French pilots.

zzzzzVarese winner race 1

Number 1 ;Young Max[imilan] Seis in the JS 1 EVOLUTION.
Number 2 ;Christophe Abadie in the ASG 29.
Number 3;Christophe Ruche in the JS 1 EVOLUTION.
picture courtesy Fabio Bossi.

Max is still a very young pilot , so we do not know a lot about him. He flew once in an 18 m. class competition [this year during the French Nationals …spot 8]  , he started this GP with only 2 flights in the  JS 1, he is sponsored by his parents , studies for his ATPL in Coventry [airline pilot] , likes flatland more than mountains because he is from Bordeaux ,so he has not a lot of mountain-experience. He loves the pure racing experience and has not flown at Varese before. The long story is on the FB-site from the FAI  Sailplane Grand Prix.

zzzzMax seiss  zzzzzzMas Seis

Max with Brian and in his glider.
As shared by the organizers.

Monday September 7 race 2;
The “high”  is OVER Varese, no wind and mainly blue thermals , some cu’s and thermals up to 2.5 in the afternoon.So a pretty good day, not tricky but you never know is what Giorgio said and as the day before he explained all out-landing possibilities en route and special those spots where there are none!!!
Grid /push back at 12.30 and first possible launch at 13.00. Task; 250 km.

KILOYANKEEPAPA was mentioned, during briefing,  as sponsor and one of the prizes for the winner will be a  tailor-made SPEED TASK overall. Also daily prizes will be theirs. Here is the 2016 premiere.

zzzzYKP1  zzzzKYP 2

As shared by Kiloyankeepapa soaring sport apparel

The race started at 14.10 and the winner with 121.81 km./h. was “the wild card”  ,local hero Giorgio Galetto, followed by Roman and the 2 French Christophes. Giorgio decided already in the morning, to take “this flight in his own hands”, in the beginning he flew with 3 other pilots to where nobody else went , but at the TP they were all together again . So he took his own decisions once more, admitted he was lucky as well and after finish he did not know if he had won, but it turned out he was the best .During the flight he raced over the ridges and turned less then the other pilots to achieve this.
Max was 6th behind Sebastian.

Giorgio  11951997_884286261661098_6567259175102599381_n

Giorgio .
As shared by the organizers.

Giorgio  [G] “walks around” in our soaring-circus already for years. ” This year my family celebrate 100 years of flight.” Both his dad and granddad were pilots.His dad, 91 years old now still flies , his granddad started flying in 1915.
In 1999 Giorgio was WGC champion in Bayreuth. I was there!!

In 2012 he was awarded the Otto Lilienthal medal.
This year [September 24] as you might know this medal will be awarded to Prof. Loek Boermans AND ,….. still very proud on that I will get the Pelagia Majewska medal. 2 Medals for Holland VERY unique!!!
You will hear all about it later.
Here are the race 2 winners;


Roman,  Giorgio in his new first-prize-jacket and Christophe.
Courtesy Fabio Bossi.


And,….an excellent picture of a finish, shared by the organizers.

And some words from Tom who is a bit disappointed about his ranking but,…it is not over yet!!!
“Well the scores show the story, less than 5 minutes off the lead for 10th place, zero points.
Last launch by a margin, got dropped off in sink but managed to climb up to a good starting position. Got left a little on the first leg but recovered well and apart from a few small mistakes getting onto final glide almost had a top five result.”

Sebastian mentioned that he has never flown before in Varese and really has to get used it.Small mistakes and being extra careful , flying conservative, cost some time.

Tuesday September 8 race 3;
Briefing at 10 and when possible I am ready to follow it. Today I was !
Roland [Stuck] was honored for ALL the work he does. The race 1 scores are official now.
I noticed pilots wear jackets so it is not warm.
The final control point has moved 1 km. to the East, so it should be safer.The hospital in town was the reporting point ,but yesterday an emergency helicopter coming in at the roof of the hospital was n’t too happy, with the glider-mates passing him!!!!The new weigh points list is on the internet.
Giorgio told the high pressure is still there but it does n’t look like like it,not on the maps neither when you look at it,….clouds appeared in the morning and the temperature and clouds are low!
They still prepare for a race as “glider pilots are optimistic”, as around 13.00,  cu’s could appear and the “rubish ”  should disappear.
A short task was set in the very close area.
Grid at 12.30 and push back and the estimated first launch will be at 13.00
Another day….another weather. This morning is a bit grey but we are planning to race later. A task of 149km has been set.”
“The pilots have an exciting last few minutes in final-glide, crossing the large town of Varese which is 150m higher than the airfield.Today the reporting point will change to give pilots a better line past the higher ground in the last few km’s.” as shared by the organizers.
So that should be much better!!!


All middle high clouds and the drizzle from the morning have disappeared and at launch -time at 14.00,  it was sunny and blue with some clouds.All times were delayed so the regatta start was quite late at 15.15, but no worries as the task was only 150 km.
1600 m. before start for some, showed the weather was much better than expected.
The first leg is only 35 km.
After 15 minutes Laurens was leading the pact with Tilo and Rasmus.
As Giorgio [B] said ; “Being low is not an option today.Pushing is not good ,flying conservative is better.” Luckily all pilots are flying very well and climbing, so they can cross the Lake of Como. Rasmus was a bit too low to cross the lake , so he went back to the mountain to find lift.He found it and with ridge flying he could hang in again with the 5 best !!!!!!

Didier reached the TP first but LOW, starting another 43 km.leg.No worries,… back in the mountains he pulled up and climbed back to the rest.Meaning he had a 6 km. lead on the rest.All around 1500 m.
Max was 2d and Uli, who celebrates his 31th marriage- anniversary,  was 3d.
The group is divided ,the only one pushing today seems Didier.
Sometimes it is a bit to exciting for me, certainly when I hear the voices from Shaun,  Giorgio or Brian, going flat /worried, because a pilot is low.
Didier is a bit low again ” uncomfortable ” the guy’s call it,   but goes and goes over those ridges at “only” 800 m./450 m. He is all by himself but found lift. And,..there is forbidden airspace as well, he has to avoid that and fly around it.He is using the energy of the slopes, doing pretty well and Brian who thought it was over for Didier long ago, is amazed to see him still flying.
He needs a “killer climb” to finish them all off, or the others will pass him; they mentioned.
Still 6 km. ahead.
It’s interesting to see that pilots go to the left and others to the right on such a small task.
Sebastian keeps it safe and flies high ALL day, very conservative the guy’s call it;  it makes me feel better. Tomorrow and the next 2 days, I can’t follow it , which might be better for my heart.

Didier , who is at the next TP now at 4.11, starts his 39 km.leg, followed by Ricky and Rasmus. BUT,…Max goes better and higher with Christophe, so they are the number 2 and 3 at this TP with Tilo behind them.
Didier continues his “aggressive”  ridge flying, where others are patient, find lift and glide; so a difference from height between 500 m. and 1500 m.
But,…he climbed again over the city of Varese.So it was working well in the “flat”  now.

Werner, Tilo and Kai “use” the valleys to climb the rest [about 10 pilots] stay over the mountains.
Only 13 km. to go, for the last TP and NOW Tilo leads the pact.
Aussie TOM is doing well too, flying all alone, over the valley on his way to the TP and HOME;Only another 200 m….lift.
Giorgio [B]finished his comment and  moved to the finish line to do the radio.
Who will have the best final glide????A pretty stressful final glide according to Brian, certainly when you are not that high.
The weather started bad, got better with the start and less again during the flight.
Sebastian moved from his group to reach the leaders.3 Different groups race to the TP now and then it is ” just going home”.
Didier is behind now after such an adrenaline-race …..a pity!
Tilo is going straight to the finish line with 1000 m. and 24 km.including the check point.

Werner is still in the race as well, a bit lower so more stress for him.
Tilo is the first to reach the control point  with 200 km on the clock just before 5 PM.
Werner is 2d and Sebastian 3d all according to the tracking system.Max on 4 and behind him a big gaggle.
Now it is waiting for penalties and the scores.
All came in with low energy.
No “killer climb” for Didier today, the current GRAND PRIX Champion, was 12th with 0 points after such a day!!!!

Great pictures by FABIO BOSSI!!!!!!


zzzzWerner zzzzSebastian

Tilo is first to cross the line today. Tilo’s winning glider today is a Ventus 2 cxa with Front Engine Susutainer. The glider is owned by Luca Znidarsic from Slovinia who developed and fitted the installation into the Ventus2 amongst other gliders. Tomorrow we will review the glider with some of the others flying this week.” As shared by the Organizers.

Today’s flight made it a valid competition/GRAND PRIX .GOOD!!!

zzzzWinners race 3

Werner, Tilo and Sebastian
Courtesy Fabio Bossi

When we were in Uvalde and went out for dinner to the Italian team, Tilo told me how much he loves the GRAND PRIX.For that reason I find this picture TOP.
As shared by the organizers.Courtesy Alexander Georgas.

zzzzTilo wins day 3

After 3 days the scores are; 20 points for Max and for Giorgio [G] and 18 for Roman, who flies very consistent,[Roman may very well be the dark horse of this competition according to the SGP journalist] . 16 for Sebastian and 15 for the 2 French Christophes ,13 for Werner and 10 for Tilo.


Euroglide 2016

Preparations for Euroglide 2016 have started.

Date Euroglide 2016 will take place from Monday 20 June 2016 until Saturday 2 July 2016.
Take off in 286 days

Subscription will open on Sunday 29 November.

Route concept ;The south of Poland is explored.

Euroglide 2016

There will be a rush again to enter this EUROGLIDE.
Picture and text shared by the Organizers


With the message yesterday I share some pictures from Narromine from above:
“Not long now (83 days 12 hours 15 minutes) until our little airfield is buzzing with JWGC2015”

Narromine 1  narromine 2

Talking about Narromine,…the Dutch Junior gliders and other gliders ,have been packed yesterday in Venlo under supervision of Francesco and Grietje from the Corowa Soaring Center in Australia. They continue today with more gliders as they fill 3 containers with 17 gliders from Europe [from Germany, Italy, Spain ,Sweden , Finland and Holland as far as I could see].
Several pilots do this every year and stay in Corowa for most of the overseas season.
Grietje and Francesco  are very experienced and pack gliders already for years.[18??]
The juniors will get used in Corowa to climate and flying and move then to Narromine.
First estimated flying day in Corowa will be 31-10-2015.


zzzzVenlo2  zzzzVenlo 3

As shared by the Dutch Junior Team.


CU most probably next Sunday with the latest on the FAI GRAND PRIX FINAL
Cheers Ritz

VARESE GRAND PRIX FINAL and more or less the FINAL of the European 2015 season!

To NOT create a TOO long blog, I publish already today on Sunday at noon.

Lot’s of news about the GRAND PRIX, which is good. The PR and maybe for that reason , the interest  is getting better and better.


Varese from above as shared on the site.

I share one of the “teasers” by Terry Cubley from Australia, so you know all the in’s and out’s as well. Of course their Tom Claffey flies in Varese.
” From 5 to 12 September 2015, twenty amongst the best gliding pilots in the world ,will battle out to win the 6th FAI World Sailplane Grand Prix Championship at Calcinate Del Pesce Airport in Varese, Italy. This exciting competition, which can be followed live online, is the finale of a series of seven qualifying races that took place during the course of the year in different places around the world.

The line-up of the competition is impressive: fresh from his victory at the 18th FAI European Gliding Championships in July, multiple FAI Sailplane Grand Prix Champion Sebastian Kawa from Poland will try to gain back the title lost to Didier Hausse from France at the 2014 Finale in Sisteron. This year he will certainly want to make sure that he doesn’t let the gold medal slip through his fingers.

Among other favourites are Giorgio Galetto from Italy, who will have the advantage of flying with detailed knowledge of the competition area, Cristof Ruch from France and Roman Mracek from the Czech Republic, while Rasmus Orskov from Denmark may create a surprise after his great second place in the Polish Qualifying FAI Sailplane Grand Prix. In total, five of the pilots who made their way to this finale are in the top 20 of the World Ranking List.

The format of the competition, which is designed to be media and spectator-friendly, will allow the general public to see most of the races just as they would in a yacht race. They will also be able to follow the race at the airfield, next to lake Varese and at the Volandia Museum on giant screens set up for the occasion. A series of animations on aviation including seaplanes, model aircraft, hot air balloons and a glider simulator are planned to provide a good insight into different air sports.

A 3D video representing the flight both graphically and accurately will be streamed directly via the web to the public, thanks to an electronic tracking device fitted in the glider and which transmits its position in real time. Regular updates will also be made on the dedicated Facebook page and Twitter account. Videos will be also published on the SGP Youtube Channel.”

They started at Saturday ,after a few practice days with pretty crap weather , lot’s of wet- sight- seeing in the area and preparations, specially for Tom as he comes from far.
Here you see him with his wife Kerrie, nowadays his secretary,one of the members from his crew and faithful supporter.
” Today was scrutineering, weighing, paperwork for registration etc. we arrived at lunchtime at the hangar so waited for the crew to come back, worked well as we were able to sort out the paperwork.”

zzzzVarese Tom

Picture courtesy Jill Spreckley and shared by Tom.

On Friday the weather improved and pilots had a real race on the last possible and compulsory practice day.
After briefing they went for a 126 km. task.Ricardo [Brigliadori] was the fastest and ONLY one with a speed over 100 km./h. he got the 8 “practice -points”.
2 Pilots with airspace violations, meaning outlanding at THAT spot,  so better now than during the race.

Today is the last practice day at the long awaited FAI Sailplane Grand Prix Final in Varese. Giorgino has briefed the task, the pilots are rearing to go.The sun is shining.”


The competitors at Fridays briefing as shared by Jill[Spreckley]


their names and nationalities.

During the flights this week, 2 experienced pilots ,one from the UK Shaun [Lapworth] and one from France Benjamin [Neglais] , will “take you by the hand” and accompany you, looking at the tracks, departures or arrivals from the 20 pilots.So you can SEE and HEAR  everything.Interviews before and after flying belongs to their job as well and indeed a few interviews you can follow on their site.  and click on live coverage.

zzzzVarese wires

With the message; “Mind the wires”!

Saturday September 5 day 1; The early morning had a thunderstorm, and the weather during the day would be still under the influence from a frontal system, but maybe they could fly later in the day;that was what Giorgio [Ballaratti] had to say during briefing.He will be doing the radio on the finish line as well.
A task was set , gridding after briefing and ” compressing” at 12.30 and the first launch ,depending on the weather, at 2 PM or maybe [last opportunity] for 3 o’clock and mainly from and to airfields so easy to land when necessary and just in the close area of Varese. Distance 149.43 km.
A dry air mass is arriving in the evening and the weather will improve for the next days.
At briefing they all got an umbrella with their name on it.

zzzzVarese 3

An umbrella for sun and rain. Rasmus, the youngest pilot,  still fiddling around with his glider on the practice day.
As shared by the organizers.

DAY 1 unfortunately had to be cancelled . They launched but as Tom mentioned ”  the day was cancelled a while after that and we scurried for home from about 20kms away. Some practice comp finishes were done!”

Sebastian was so kind to make some pictures and shared them with us. Here you are;

zzzzVarese Seb 1  zzzzVarese Seb 2

zzzzVarese Seb 3  zzzzVarese Seb 4

Thank you Sebastian.

AND thank you to Giorgio and Tom, who by the way flies Mike Young’s ASG 29, showing us why the day was cancelled.

zzzzVarese Giorgio

zzzzDAY 1 by Tom

Sunday September 6, day 2, race 1;
A Sunday with lot’s of visitors due to “a day off”.
The pilots will start with blue conditions but going East they will find cu’s, that was what Giorgio had to say during briefing this morning.
Grid 12.30 and compressing straight away.First launch expected at 13.00.Regatta start expected at 14.00.
” CU on the grid fly carefully ” and off they went to prepare their loggers for a task of 264.8 km.!!!!


It feels like autumn here and it looks like it. EVERYTHING is WET.Wetter than ever before. I heard September had in it’s first 4 days more rain here than normally in a whole month!!!!
In the area where I live we had 52 mm of rain , whilst the average for September is 75 !!!
Rieti still has good weather with up to 900 km. flights.
A rare 2015 wave day – declared 611km at 157kph. Nice views of west coast and Iona” was the news from the UK by John Williams flying the ANTARES from Kinross.[648 km]
September started with only 78 flights world wide!!!Last year this was 243 on September 3 and 579 on September 7.
Porta Westfalica had a great day of ridge soaring; several nearly 500 km flights gave a lot of joy!!


When in Australia, I will visit the Preworlds at Benalla.Tim Shirley , writes here what’s happening and how for ONLY a few, there is still place available.
“Hi all,

 Look at the entry list and I can see there are currently 51 Australian and 13 foreign entries for the Nationals and Pre-Worlds at Benalla.  Total of 64.

 We have set a limit of 80, 60 Australian and 20 foreign.

 So right now we have just over a month to go before the early entries close and in that time we can accept 9 more Aussies and 7 more from overseas before we have to start looking at seeding lists.

 So if you are considering an entry, or you know anyone who is planning to come but is not on the forum, could you please let them know?

 Website is www.ozglide.comI have just put up Version 2 of the Local Rules there, which includes some clarification on team flying and mobile phone use.”


I will be also visiting the JWGC for a few days in Narromine, from December 9 till 13 , so I can attend the prize giving as well at 11 on Sunday.The official entry list was closed on August 30, but till the 30thiest of September reserve pilots can still enter.
I counted now  29 in club and 23 in standard class.
I was pleasantly surprised to see countries as Lithuania,  Czech Rep. and Hungary with quite a big delegation. So one way or another,they managed to find funds for their young ones.
Lithuania has entered 5 pilots, Czech rep. 6 and Hungary 2.
Lot’s of Standard Cirrus’ in club and a lot of LS 8 gliders in standard.
On the site I noticed a great picture from August 9, mind you their winter, with great clouds.

ZZZZ Narromine August

 “ This is Narromine today. Not bad for winter. Bring on December.
By Brad Naylor.


The German team for open class and 18 m. looks as follows;
Open class: Michael Sommer, Stephan Beck, Tassilo Bode and Holger Karow.
18m-class: Mario Kießling, Matthias Sturm, Michael Streit and Sebastian Huhmann

Cu next Wednesday

Cheers Ritz

VARESE… GRAND PRIX FINAL. Autumn/Spring! Gliding International.

An early blog [as I go for a short break] on the very first day of September. A warm but also very WET month here and more thunder and lightning, WITH damage than I can remember in any other year.
We even go from 31 in the SE yesterday to 18 dgr. today!!!But summer was not too bad, in fact pretty good.For sure weird!!!


The Grand Prix final in Varese in Italy should be great fun again.They start on September 5 and continue in their 18 m. gliders till September 12.
19 Pilots have qualified for this event and 1, Giorgio Galetto , got the wild card for the pilot from the home country.

Aussie Tom Claffey prepared in France for a couple of days , but the weather was n’t too good,… as it was in Varese. He managed however in the weekend to fly from Sisteron to Varese. Easier job for his wife Kerry who flew the WWGC in Arnborg [also in pretty marginal weather] , as she had to drive the now “lighter” trailer through the mountains.
She mentioned it was “an epic trip” from Sisteron to Varese.

zzzzVarese Tom  zzzzVarese Kerry

Tom and Kerry enjoying life before the GP starts.
As shared by them.

Luckily the weather improved and Sebastian, who is there  too with already 3 GP-wins under his belt ,  had a nice “ride” to the Mont Blanc not in the car but his glider, as you can see on the picture he shared,a bit further than they will fly this upcoming week.
As he said;” A warm up, easy task for fun. Weather was much better so it was possible to go where you have no turn points for GPX. “

zzzzzVarese Mont Blanc

For all the news about the pilots and pictures;


The latest GLIDING INTERNATIONAL, arrived again and I was straight away touched by the very personal story from the editor John Roake [my ” boss “] writing about the loss of his friend Bill Walker who died in Namibia about 8 months ago. Bill and his mate /colleague, both from New Zealand , crashed with the EB 28 , both very experienced pilots.
A ” special Minden Experience” by Elke [Fuglsang-Petersen] , brought me back at that soaring field where we practiced for the WGC , later “given” to Uvalde in 1991.Jim [Payne], who lives in the Minden area nowadays,  invited her for a flight in the new Perlan ARCUS M, over this area.
Elke also visited the WSPA [Women Soaring Pilots Association] Seminar 2015 in Minden and shares her thoughts about that.
Aldo [Cernezzi] shines his light over the ” SUNSEEKERDUO ” …flying with solar cells on the wings; the future?
Joseph King mentions that ” the Perlan project” is closer to lift off .
Robert Downe, tell you all about “how to improve your contest flying”.
And more stories and lot’s of short world aviation news.


Talking about the WSPA, who celebtated it’s 30thiest birthday [ it was founded in June 1986 in Tucson Arizona ] the August Hangar Soaring is posted on

The next WSPA seminar will be in Varese, Italy from June 27-July 1,2016.They hope that many of the European women will join them. Also the locale for the 207 seminar ,date pending, has been announced: Chilhowee Gliderport (Sarah Arnolds gliderport).


Talking about Minden /Tahoe and talking about Jim,….. then you know a long flight has happened again; on the 29th of August Jim flew on a good wave day in the ARCUS M a flight from 1.328 km. [500 FAI triangle in it ] with a speed of 134 km./h.
Keith Essex in another ARCUS M flew about the same distance , a bit  less, but he had some problems  with a broken cable at start and other stuff in the glider did not function as normal. Luckily nothing to really worry about.
Looking at the longer flights this week, Rieti had some really good ones!!!


The meteorological autumn started yesterday in this part of the world and  spring down-under and how can you better share and show that , then with beautiful pictures.

Joke 3


Gorgeous purple heather as seen by Joke [Termaat] at the Veluwe.


Spring tulips as shared by Leslie [Daniels] in Australia’s ; Araluen Botanic Park

and from Narromine, the venue of the 2015 JWGC  you can see the yellow canola in full flower already.


Lovely last Sunday of winter flight taken by local member Kah Chong flying VH-WVS one of the clubs Duo Discus.


Busy week so more pictures than text.Last I showed you some WET pictures from the RENCONTRE ASK 13 in St Crepin. Also there the weather improved and now I can share some, by them shared pictures in the sun and ,…from flying gliders!!


zzzzRencontre 2



CU next Week.
Cheers Ritz ……off for a few days.