Prievidza,…. very sad in the end! Another QSGP finished !


When I left you, there was only 1 more day to go, but we still have to look at Wednesday soaring day 9 with long distances. Here we go;
At the grid they changed for club into a B task from 300 km. as the 500 km task would lead them into bad weather circumstances over the High Tatra mountains, their first TP.
The other classes still got 553 and 631 km.
BUT,…..Club was cancelled.
For 15 m. it was a STRUGGLE 553 is far, 631 even further but with better gliders they were supposed to get farther.
BUT THEN …. the day was stopped/neutralized ..…..

AS there was the sad message/official report from the director:”On Slovakian – Poland border one glider fell down into the forest. Based on reported SAR it was told that the pilot is dead. We immediately announced to all participants immediate landing. There would be no mass crash,as reported by the media. All other competitors have returned to the airport in Prievidza or safely landed at other airports or on the ground.”
” Commemorative farewell to the deceased racer Martin Mężyk will be tomorrow morning at the briefing at 10:00. This is followed by the declaration of the results. Organizers express sincere condolences …”

Sad very sad…..another accident….. TOO many in a TOO short time.Some pilots only heard it when they were in radio contact again after a long flight. Sebastian flew 552 km. not knowing that his Polish mate had died during his flight in the same combi class.On flying day 6, Sebastian and Marcin were even 1 and 2!!!!!
R.I.P Marcin and condolences to the many Polish pilots flying from Prievidza and all other mates involved in this competition.Not to forget the organizer,s also for them these are tough moments, I know all about that.

The last day was cancelled.When you are interested in the final scores you can find them on ; www;





Racing the mountains around La Cerdanya.
Courtesy Philippe De Pechy.

Day 4 turned out to be a tricky day and the race was postponed to 14.30. They started at 15.20.
In the end the winner, Christophe Ruche flew the set task from 176 km.  with an average speed of 198 km./h.
Louis flew 187.2 km./h and Philippe 174.2 km./h.What do you want more?
Philippe has not only time to race the mountains , but also to make another interesting picture from 6 balloons.


Courtesy Philippe.

Day 5 ; Rain in Spain.


Courtesy Philippe.

Day 6;Ready to go!! With the morning news:”weather clearing for a possible race today starting at 14.00 with low cloudbase and weak thermals it should be very exciting.”
So race 5 was on and……Won by “racer”  Mike Young from the UK  ;9 points for him, though he did not round the last TP correctly. He accepted a 5 min. penalty, which was 300 s.but still remained the leader for the day. [a total of 24 p after 5 races]
Christophe was runner up [33 p] and Louis 3d.[39 p]

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Courtesy Philippe de Pechy.

Race 6 never happened unfortunately:” The last day is cancelled because of Thunderstorms growing on the first track. Congratulations to Louis Bouderlique a worthy winner.”
I can only agree.


From l to r. the 3 French Musketeers; Christophe, Louis and Philippe.
Courtesy Philippe.

By the way the Qualifying GRAND PRIX from France will be in June at Rennes. As far as I know the 2 winning participants Louis and Christophe will fly there as well.

Before that the “circus ” goes to Russia, with Jantar’s only [May 1-8 at Usman] and Italy [May 14-21 at Varese] .


Courtesy Laurent Couture


The CAE OPEN BENELUX Comps 2016.

This contest will be flown between Mai 18 and 27 and till May 10 you can enter. At this stage 53 pilots have entered; 11 in 15 m./standard, 13 in club class , 12 in open and 17 in 18 m. class.


In between the Dutch pilots flew a ONE-DAY-COMPETITION in Holland from Terlet.; organized by the Gelderse for that reason called  The Gelderse-one-day-competition.
The weather , last Saturday, looked and was pretty miserable at times, cold, {minus 10 in the cockpit}hail , a bit of sun as well but also unstable and  great clouds…… the organizers ” FOUND A WINDOW” ,…..SO THEY flew. And good they did as one day later there was PURE snow in the East of Holland, not in the air but at the ground causing several incidents and accidents on the road.
4 Classes,.. 44 pilots ….so for this weather still enough die-hards. And what’s more,…they had GREAT fun!!!!


Picture courtesy Ronald Stellaard.

In club class 138.44 km. was set and 8 pilots were ready to try. They did well!!! 5 Finished and the winner was  Frank Hiemstra with 87 km./h in the St Cirrus. Runners up were Nick and Robin who participated earlier in the year in Narromine at the JWGC.
In the combi class 6 pilots started for 154 km. and 4 finished; Winner Jeroen Verkuijl in an LS 6 with a good speed; 103.59 km./h. The runner up in LS 8 had 97.48 km./h.
Open class had 16 on the list but 12 started and flew the task from 193 km.and 9 finished. Winner; Peter Millenaar in the ASG 29 with a speed of 117 km ./h. Ronald Termaat was on spot 3 in the JS 1-C/21m.
12 Teams for the 2-seater class and 8 finished their 159 km. task. Jasper Keuper and Jan Willem van Doorn in the Duo Discus flew remarkable faster than another duo Discus who was runner up;113.83 km./h. for 94.21 km./h.

All in all a nice day, one of the first of the many competitions in Holland this year. Some impressions as always great, from top photographer Willemijn.


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finally a picture of a GP glider. They were supposed to fly at the first 13.5 WGC , but everybody had to wait a bit longer. Nice result here at the picture by Sebastian from the glider at the big AERO in Friedrichshafen.


Roomy cockpit.
Courtesy Sebastian Kawa.

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In Slovakia at Martin Glider Airport,  FATRAGLIDE 16 , started last Saturday and they continue till May 4. They do have some problems with the cold and bad weather in parts of Europe. No flying till yesterday. A 2 hour AAT was set in club class and 2.30 for the combi class.
3 From 7 finished in the combi class with the SHARK on spot 1.[206.63 km. in 2.14]
In club the St Cirrus did a great job again; 141.37 km. in 1.56.


Club class NATIONALS in Italy.

The Italian Club Class Glider Pilots gathered at the airport of Alzate Brianza, to find out who will be the new 2016 National Champion. For me all new names from the 8 Italian pilots and 1 Swiss pilot with a very Italian name; junior Davide Giovanelli. I wrote about him not so long ago after he added a very nice flight on the OLC. He is a member of the Swiss Junior team.
They started last Friday with a set task of 208 km. and Davide won day 1.
A non flying day followed and on Sunday they continued with 263 km. won AGAIN by Davide.
Finally a good day of soaring with a 3 hour AAT on Monday. Italian pilot Franco Poletti won the first 1000 points during this competition in the Discus B wl; 362.24 km. in time 3.48. Other pilots flying that day from Alzate flew up to 781 km. in a Ventus 2cxa, flying up N to the mountains.
No task yesterday.



From Orient the Gauteng Regionals were flown starting last Sunday in 3 classes.
Open class has 7 pilots among them Oscar [Goudriaan] and John [Coutts]. They got on their first day a set task from 294 km. and  the weather was ” challenging”,all 7 went on track, but nobody finished .
Oscar flies the new toy the ASG 32.
In 15 m. class 8 participants among them husband and wife  Maneste and Wayne Schmidt.
Dick Bradley flies HC in an ASH 25.
They set on day 1, 203 km. for 2 ASW 27 ‘s , 1 Ventus and 5 ASW 20’s.In the end the day was cancelled also for club with 3 pilots.
Today they have a set task from 261 km. in open, 205 in 15 m. and 145 for club.


Some great OLC flights last week;
Last Sunday, one from Italy Aosta, by Alessandro Busca in an ASW 24; 1.020 km !!!!
And 2 from Switzerland, Locarno; 2x just over 1000 km by Bert Schmelzer jr [ASG 29/18m] and Rainer Cronjager.[ASH 31 MI/21m]
One later on Monday an ITALIAN WAVE- day with 5 x a 1000 plus, though Austria Lienz,  was good as well with 1.126 in the Antares.
1.211 km. for Giorgio Galetto from Trento in the Ventus 2 cxa and from Calcinate Alberto[Sironi], Davide [Schiavotto] and Peter [Hartmann] each with an over -1000 km.- flight.
Yesterday was pretty normal again with over 500 k-flights in the UK !!!COLD though….!!!!!!

Pneumonia is back in full action. Extra heavy antibiotic now! Hope it helps this time.
A month ago ,a lower dose did n’t do the job.Never had pneumonia now 2 times in 2 months.
Very tired, so not too much news!!!!!
Kingsday in Holland. I was supposed to sell “things”  at the free market with my grand children. Looking to the TV in bed now!!
Cheers Ritz

Prievidza ; today task 9 with 500 up to 631 km.! QSGP flown at LA CERDANYA. Fabulous weather over Holland !


With the words ” The essence of happiness, my fave photograph of you ” Vivienne Drew from Benalla supported Swaantje in her battle against cancer.
Many, many support her on FB and I guess she got strength out of that, so we keep going on with SUPPORT.

I caught up with Swaantje last in Australia. First in Narromine. When I saw her ,I was to be honest ,shocked. She was very fragile and had lost a lot of weight and spoke with a very  soft voice. Her face had some kind of “aura” , it was sweet like an angel , her blue eyes, shining as never before and then for the first time I thought this might be her  last visit to Australia. I keep hope like so many other friends.
I wondered how she coped with the 24 hours between Germany and Australia, she only smiled.
She told me she was going to participate in the Benalla pre- worlds. I was more than pleased  that she could fly with somebody in a 2-seater and told her so. NO she said I am flying the ASW20. I doubted if she was able to do that.
AND……. SHE DID. This ” fragile little bird”  flew under hot circumstances the comps. NEVER seen such a fighter. For me that was a miracle and I hope the miracle will continue in a longer life , more visits to Australia. When Kathrin another top female pilot from Germany and good friend, shared the news on FB after visiting her in hospital, that things were not good,her body did not accept the chemo anymore, I was truly sad.
This is the last picture I took from her during the closing-dinner at Benalla .Only 3 months ago.

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Only 3 months ago, after she flew the Pre Worlds !!!
With her crew to the r. Swaantje even organized a flight for her crew.

BUT THEN…..Last weekend her friends took her out from hospital straight to an airfield for a flight in a 2-seater;TEARS. It must have done her so good. She was worn out though but must have felt the power of friendship.
Latest news;   she started chemo again and fights on. Catherine Conway [to the left on the first picture] arrived from Australia and so did Kerrie Claffey, yes down-under-friends caught up with her as well.

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More sad news as our former Sportavia secretary, tuggy and glider pilot , Michelle Lappin , mother of 3 and wife from Gerard died of lymphoma after a battle of 18 months.  When I met her first, she was one of those young “dogs”, a real cool chick,  running through life with pleasure. She was already with Sportavia ,when we arrived there for the first time in the eighties. Our son Dennis joined her as a tuggy for a season “to make hours ”  in 1987/1988 [ he died on January 3 1988].
She combined a job as secretary,[she knew all the guests every year again, as did Maureen our other secretary, who died already a couple of years ago] and tow pilot and when necessary she hopped in the back of a Scout to retrieve a glider  from a paddock.The pilot then took over the back seat in the Scout and she brought the glider home.
When we were involved she stayed for a short time and did all jobs she used to do.
She left Tocumwal somewhere in 2002 and her husband Gerard and she started their own business Aereal Extras,  somewhere at Latrobe Valley. Flying was in her blood. She was still young , only 49 and her youngest son [I met him only once] is 12 years old. Daughter Chloe and son Ben are in their twenties.I know them as little children ,nicely strapped in, flying in the backseat of their power plane with mum. Even their doggy flew sometimes with her. I wish the family well!!!!!


Michelle Lappin ….RIP.



When I “left”  you the pilots started on flying day 3 and that turned out to be a good one. A 1000 points -day and more finishers than out-landers on this day with a 3 hour AAT in each class.
Day 3 in club;
Fabian Peitz from Germany won the very first 1000 points in this class. 272 km. in 3 hours a the dot in his St Libelle!!
He is not only busy with great pictures for the blog Segelflug Hoch Zwei but flies well too as we knew already from his early junior time. Also his mate Dennis shares in good flying, news and pictures.
49 From 57 finished. 2 German pilots [Fabian and Dennis] in St Libelle in the top on spot 1 and 3. In between Boris [Zors] in the St Cirrus.
Day 3 in 15 m;
1000 points for Lithuanian pilot Arturas flying an LS 6!!He flew 323 km. in 2.57. He was “followed” by 3 Czech pilots , Pavel, Miloslav and Jana. For them 999 points and 960.37 From 42 finished!!
Day 3 in the combi class;
368 km. in 3.59 was good for 1000 points in this class and the one winning them was Karol Staryszak from Poland followed by Sebastian 993 points. Sebastian “lost”  on handicap, the JS1 [ 121.1] against the ASG 29 /18 m.[120.9]
All 28 starters FINISHED, 2 did not fly!!!!

Pilots were happy with the day though for some specially the last part was difficult “it was not easy and specially on the last part of the track it was difficult to find  lift.” 

They expected a front to pass by so no flying on April 14.


Some of the pictures shared by Segelflug Hoch Zwei [Fabian and Dennis] on April 13.

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Flying day 4; a non-ballast-day.
With another 3 hour AAT for CLUB  and 208 km. in 3.15 for the Ukraine winner Darius;756 points for him.
From 57 a group of 21 managed to finish.
Fabian, with call sign FH just made it. Still 629 points for him.
So off they went and some came back. Already before the start they knew from the meteo and saw from the field a thick shield of clouds approaching from the SW. A good beginning of the day, less good end for a lot.

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Pictures shared by the organizers on

In 15 m. class a 3 hour AAT was set as well and won by Maros Divok who flew 237 km. in in 2.57. ONLY 8 from 42 finished.
In the combi class Pavol Cerny [18 m. Ventus 2CX] won and Sebastian [JS 1 b/18 m.] was runner up. Both pilots were the only ones flying over 100 km./h. flying just under and over 230 km. 21 From 28 returned home.

Flying day 5;with  ….3 hour AAT’s and ……..water allowed again and 2 fabulous pictures shared by  Sebastian from his mates Karol and Adam close to Priviedza.



Pictures[ by Sebastian] with the WOW factor.

Back to flying day 5 , sorry, my attention was diverted by the awesome pictures.
Club had a 3 hour AAT as the other 2 classes and with 39 from 54 finishing it was a better though still a tough day. In the morning they heard :
There are several nice cumulus clouds over Bojnice already, but they are not very high. Exactly as was predicted by our meteorologist Mr. András Gyöngyösi. He is not expecting very high cloud bases today. Only around 1700m MSL on north and 1500m MSL south of Slovakia. So it seems that there will be another hard task for our competitors. Good luck and good lifts to everyone!”
2 St Jantar’s in the top with a Polish and a Lithuanian pilot.
In 15 m. the LS 6 was the best with Polish pilot Piotr Jarysz. 1000 points for a nice distance of 316 km. in 3.04. The runner up “only” had 304 km. in 3.02.[LS 8A] 38 from 42 finished!!
In the combi class only one out landing and 1000 points for Sebastian, what a pity about the invalid start on day 2!

Flying day 6;
Club was cancelled due to too strong wind.
211 km. for 15 m.was set and good to see,….the Duodiscus won the day with one of the pilots Radek Krejcirik from the Czech Rep. Not JUST a pilot,…… a good one!
549 points for a day better finishing than starting,….with good clouds.
In the combi class Sebastain AGAIN was the best.He flew together with Polish mate Marcin, starting together and nearly finishing together; 392 for 387 points.Only one pilot did not make it home.

After 6 days the overall scores are as follows;
club ;Tim from the UK, with 3.148, Petr from Czech Rep. with 3.101 and Kestutis from Ukraine with 3.046, they are the only ones in the 3000 marge.
15 m; Pawel, Pavel and Pjotr are over the 4000 marge with 4.091, 4.030 and 4.018. Excitement enough. 2 Polish and one Czech pilot.
combi; Polish pilot Karol[ASG 29 /18m]  is the only one in the 4000 marge with 4.140 points, Polish pilot Adam [JS 1C /21 m.] has 3.737 points and Romanian pilots Kessler and Jurca in the ARCUS T have 3.711.
After a zero points day Sebastian “fought”  himself to spot 4 Good on him; 3.671 followed by another Polish mate Marcin with 3.662 points.


As shared by the organizers.

Flying day 7; with set tasks up to 248 km. in 15 m. and the rest had a bit shorter.On a day in the morning NOBODY believed it could be a flying day, surprise, surprise. In the end the tasks were changed in each class to a 2 hour AAT AND they flew.
” Now we can see that Andráš really has the weather under control! Exactly as he told, the frontal clouds are disappearing, here comes the sun and the competition starts exactly at 13:00.”
Till now Sebastian was 4 times 1 and 2 times on spot 2.ONE unlucky day with zero points , but nobody doubts he is the best pilot . After 7 days he moved OVERALL from spot 20 on that “rotten” day to 3 now!!! AMAZING.
30 From 55  finished in Club and best was Boris in the St. Cirrus with 155 km. in 1.59.
In 15 m. some flew over 200 km. A bad day for Miloslav Cink  as he was the first out-lander from 3. One of them virtually out-landed by flying in a restricted area.
In the combi class Sebastian added his 4th win to his impressive list.4 Polish pilots in the overall top 4. They are so good those Polish pilots!!!!

Flying day 8 yesterday and now they got the weather we got here before; tasks OVER 500 km. in each class.
—“Today’s route is among other things also interesting by the fact, that it runs through three states. The first turn point is the town of Glisy in Poland. The second is Lysa Hora in the Czech Republic and then pilots returned back to Slovakia.”
Another preliminary 1000 points for Sebastian flying the set 526 km. in this class with 123 km./h. nearly 8 km. faster than the Romanian pilots in the ARCUS.[116 km./h]who were runner up.
Czech pilot Pavel in his LS 8 won in 15 m.
In club 2 Czech pilots ,Jan and Marek and Tim from the UK, all 3 flying St Cirrus in the top.
All scores from this day preliminary and not all are scored 


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Pictures from flying day 8 as shared by the organizers on

TODAY FLYING DAY 9 ; 500 km. for club, 553 for 15 m. and 631 for combi !!!!! They are first at the grid. First start expected at 10. Briefing was at 9 AM.
Closing ceremony and last flying day tomorrow!!!



www.sgp.aerospain2016 for info


One by one the guests arrived and the early birds straight away started with their practice under good circumstances.Here is the news from last Thursday.
—-“Good morning from La Cerdanya valley!
We wellcome Silverio della Rosa and Jean-François Billy, who have just arrived and are ready to take off!
Expected conditions for today are:
– cloud base 2.700 msl, dry thermals to the east and scatttered cumulus to the west. There are also some cirrus, but moving away
– Westerly Wind 15 knots at 1000 msl and 25-30 knots at 2.600msl, so west wave is possible
– No rain expected.-–“

Sunday April 17th was the first race day of the second Sailplane Grand Prix 2016 in the beautiful valley of Cerdanya, nestled in the eastern Pyrenees. After a quiet sunny morning ,…..but ” by the time launching started we had a westerly wind of more than 20 knots (37kph) and broken cumulus on the mountains. The forecast was for 30kts (54kph) of wind at flying heights, cumulus clouds at around 3000 m. and possibility of over development and showers on the massif.
French Louis Bouderlique coped best with the circumstances to win the 10 points with behind him his mate Christophe Ruche, who gained 8 points . UK pilot Mike Young got the 7 points.
Day 2  showed that “pushers”  are not always winners. From the beginning Mike pushed as he did in the QSGP in France at some days as well. This time it was not good; no lift when necessary. A group went via the W , in the end the best one , another one via the E.
French pilot Philippe de Pechy was the best and “got”  the 10 points followed with-in 8 seconds by Louis.[8 points]


Winners of day 2 as shared by the organizers.
1. Philippe. 2. Louis and 3. Jon Gatfield from the UK.

Day 3 was yesterday was a prey again for Louis [7 points] followed by Swiss pilot Fridolin Hauser [5 ]  and Mike from the UK[4] .
Louis is clearly at the top with 25 points.Philippe and Christophe have both 16 points. So 3 French pilots. Mike and Jon from the UK have 15 and 13.



—-Dennis Tito with Morgan Sandercock in the DG 1000 from Inyokern;1.343 km.SUPER wave up to over 7718 MSL [ 6932 AGL].
—-a declared 500 km. triangle from Locarno [Zwitserland] by Davide Chiovanelli, a member of the Swiss junior team. Total distance 750 in a St . Cirrus.
—-870 km last Sunday [April 17] from Holland [Soesterberg]by Mark Leeuwenburgh on an extremely good but cold spring day. He flew together with his mate Alfred Paul [862 km.] both in ASG 29 E/18 m. ” dealing with ” rain, hail and snow,  but also a terrible good view. They topped the world-wide-OLC -list with their flights.
Our young ones did well too; Runner up in Narromine Robin flew 536 in the S. Cirrus from Deelen and junior Jelmer Vis [St. Cirrus] flew from Deelen as well he flew 559 km. More top junior achievements that day ; Rick Boerma from Hoogeveen ;559 in LS 4 and Narromine pilot Nick Hanenburg 532 km. also in a St. Cirrus. He called it a day to never forget flying mainly over Holland along the IJselmeer up to the Friesland . They followed an “epic convergence-line” up NE first and later direction Wadden Isles. Pretty special indeed, a flight with everything as rain, hail and snow and incredible visibility.
2 St Cirrus-gliders belong to the junior foundation; AG and AU.
Daan Spruyt from Belgium flew 589 km. in an ASW 27.
In the UK great weather too; Dave Masson flew 653 km. in the 18 m. LS 6.
—-Monday was another great day but not everybody had the day off. Jean Luc Colson from Belgium had….. and from St Hubert he flew 689 km. in the ASG 29E/18 m.
And from Malden Frouwkes son Caspar flew in an LS 4 a distance of 502 km.
Yesterday Caspars brother, former Junior World Champion Tim Kuijpers added another 548 km in the ASW 20.A few REALLY good days in Holland.

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Holland , Terlet to be correct, as seen last Sunday by Frank Hiemstra and a “superstreet” shared by Robert Jungblut who just turned to be a granddad for the 2d time.


AZ CUP 2016 !

With in the end 131 pilots participating in Prievidza you would think that nearly all competition pilots in Eastern Europe are busy. Not true!
Another 77 flew in 2 classes the AZ CUP 2016 from Zbraslavice in the Czech Republic.Among them Tomas Rendla and Tomas Suchanek.
The first days no tasks could be set. They flew only day till now.A 2 hour AAT. They must be weather-wise just on the wrong spot.
They continue till April 23.


Till the end of this month entrees are accepted for the very first Rayskala Masters 2016 at one of my favorite airfields.
“Räyskälä Masters will be arranged from 11th to 18th of June 2016 in 15 meter Racing class and Open class, Finnish gliding nationals will be arranged at the same time in 15 meter racing class. Finnish national rules, which are very similar to FAI Annex A section 3, will be used. Handicaps will be used in both classes.”

Cheers Ritz,
not to forget that our deceased friend and former WORLD CHAMPION in Hobbs [New Mexico] Kees Musters, would have turned 70 last week. [1946-1987]

“Corowa” gliders back in Holland! Prievidza !

The overseas-“Corowa”  gliders are back in Holland and as always the organizers Grietje and Francesco had the lead in how to do things. They are GOOD in that and very experienced. The Dutch Juniors , flying last December in  Narromine, were eager to get their gliders out to fly in the Dutch and European skies, as all other pilots. Several not from Holland as gliders from Finland , Sweden Germany and Italy were in the containers as well. Some participated in the Benalla Pre Worlds.


Grietje and Francesco surrounded by eager pilots to get their gliders back again before the good weather really starts. Many, many gliders……. big job.
All pictures courtesy Dutch Junior Gliding Club.

As you can see on the picture below ,lot’s of gliders back “home”. Upfront ,AG and AU, belong to the Dutch Junior foundation .

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2 Juniors Annemiek and Ronald helping out .


Closing a dream-year for the young ones!!!
As they say; ” The end of an epic adventure”!!!


PRIEVIDZA FCC Gliding 2016 !

Prievidza 4

131 Pilots gathered for the next East European contest. This time in Prievidza to “fight” for  the 9th  Flight Challenge Cup.They fly in 3 classes between April 10 and 21.
59 In club class, very popular class and many from Poland, 42 in 15 m. and  30 in a combi [mixed] -class. Not only East European pilots also from Germany [Fabian Peitz] , the UK  [ Tim Milner ] Austria and France.
Another well oiled competition with experienced organizers as the flight- school Košice and the Aeroklub Prievidza .
As the competition director  Ing. Jozef Horňák said;
” As the founders of one of the biggest competitions we are glad that we managed to organize races, which all participants enjoy and come back to us again.
I am delighted that even young pilots have an opportunity to compare their flying skills with experienced gliders.”

On the site you can find the news from Fabian Peitz, a young German pilot who participates in this competition. He flies the St. Libelle /WL with call sign FH.

No practice-flying on Saturday . RAIN there as well.
My goodness gracious ….rain ,rain and more rain here in Holland and in between a tiny little bit of sun…..between 10 and 12 dgr. C. Not bad though for my newly planted bay- bushes.
So they started last Sunday and  the weather improved on this part of  Europe . But unfortunately not in the East so the official opening was held, the meteo was done, but the message was short …..RAIN and no flying.

Prievidza 3   Prievidza 2

Pretty clear; TOO wet!!!
Pictures shared by the organizers in their gallery

Prievidza 1

On Monday was the first day and though the meteo was still not flash, tasks were set and pilots left , some to finish later in the day, some to find a hopefully not TOO wet field somewhere else.
Start for club class was at 12:42, for the 15 m class at 13:30 and for combined class at 14:13
Flying day 1;
Club class had a 2.30 AAT and best-of-the-day was UK pilot Tim Milner, “our”  former tuggie at Sportavia. [St Cirrus] Good on him!!!
He flew 161 km. in 2.32. From 59 pilots in this class 9 finished. Some flew around after the start and landed again.
For a hard-day-work Tim got 175 points.
In 15 m. the pilots had to fly a 2 hour AAT and Gintas [Ventus 2ax] from Lithuania was the best. He flew 167 km. in 2.02.
18 From 41 finished.
In the combi class not” what else” [George Clooney] but WHO else than Sebastian Kawa won the 2 hour-AAT-day with 190 km. in 2.07 flying a JS 1B/18m.
3 Polish toppers in the top!!!

Flying day 2 :
At 12.30 the sign was there; GO.
For CLUB they had set a 2 hour AAT and 192 km. in a St. Jantar 2 in 2.15 gave the Polish winner, Mikolaj Zdun  615 points. Tim was on spot 8. Polish female pilot Joanna Biedermann flying an LS 4 was on spot 13 and Czech female pilot Hana Treslova was the first on the list of out-landers; spot 37 was hers. 36 From 57 managed to finish.
15 m. had a 2 hour AAT as well; 229 km. was the best result in this class in 2.14. From 42 , 28 pilots finished. Gintas was 4th this time.Young Miroslav Cink, great pilot, shared spot 1 with 695 points.[LS 8A]
In the mixed or combi class a “black”  day for Sebastian as he missed the start; it was not valid. Not like Sebastian! He flies the JS1 with call sign GPS. As he mentioned on FB it was in the morning all to fast and too much so not every instrument was set correct.
The ARCUS M was the winner with 217.87 km. in 2.02 so a nice speed of 106 km./h. A tad faster was the ASG 29E from Polish top pilot  Karol Staryszak with a speed of 109.65. On handicap was he runner up. Roman Mracek was on spot 6.


Yesterday,….shared by Segelflug-Hoch-Zwei. Fabian [St Libelle] was one of the out-landers and on spot 41.

Day 3 today ; 3 hour AAT’s in all classes so better weather there now as well.


Looking at some flights on the OLC!

Australia still has nice soaring weather. Kilometer eater Terry Bellair flew in his 17 m. DG 400 a 300 triangle and a total of 493 km. last Saturday.
That’s from Raywood, his home field ,  in the SW of Australia close to Bendigo.
But the East [Kingaroy] was good as well with flights in an ASW 20 from 485 km.
Europe’ soaring get’s more awake every day and though most longer flights are over  the mountain areas , places as Burg Feuerstein had flights up to 728 km. in an 18 m.  Ventus 2 CM last Friday.
The weekend was just GOOD; 1281 flights on Saturday and 1217 on Sunday.Several nice some [first] flights on Saturday; From St Hubert 582 km.  in the 18 m. ASG 29E and 591 km.  by Jean- Luc Colson]
From Dahlemer Binz 722 in DG 800/18 m.and 935 km. in Nimbus 4 M.
From Useldange in Luxembourg a 729 by kilometer eater Guy Bechthold [Quintus M] and so slowly on all pilots we know fly again.
Also on Saturday ; great flights in Holland….567 km.  in ASG 29 /18m …..596 km. in ASW 22 BLE….496 km. in DG 500.
Sunday was even better!!!!
Sunday was a fabulous day for Klaus [Ohlmann] in the Stemme, flying from La Cerdany in wave to the West to see the Mediterranean Sea and back, passing St Gaudens where Carl Audissou started for his flight in the 18 m. DG 800, to fly to the West as well but not as far as the sea but still  close by;1263 km.
Monday was an Austria-day with  several flights up to 808 km.
Yesterday the weather in Austria was still  GOOD and hopefully that weather moves to Prievidza NOW.
1.065 km. for kilometer-eater Alexander Mueller, flying from Lienz Nicolsdorf flying in the EB 29. Great flights as well by gliders with less wingspan, as the ASH 26E flew 821 km. and the 18 m. DG 800 also over 800 km. Great racing over the ALPS.
“Best” flight , 1.133 km. however yesterday on the OLC was by Klaus Ohlmann and then you know already the Stemme did well again as well as he. From Morgal in Spain he explored this time the Cantabric Pyrenees with Stemme and Mountain-Wave-Project e.V. He flew to Cerdanya and used the engine to cross some stratos field. The full story is on the OLC comment and I copied it for you.
“A fantastic plane, great weather and some long-term dreams…A good mixture..
After a really good day in the French Pyrenees, the rest-day was welcome, but as well used to fly with Motor to Morgal, a nice airfield just south of the Airport Asturias.On the way first notices of wave-activities were made.And today was absolutely fantastic. We could even have an earlier start and fly much more to the west, but once again we had to make a “deicing” in the morning. But the…nice Rotors, beautiful mountains and very cooperating Controllers…thanks a lot to Asturias, Santander,Bilbao und Madrid..and finally Montpellier. Just a pity that there was a huge Stratos field with very low cloud base. I preferred to use the Motor to cross it.Thanks as well to my Russian friend Alexander who shared this new adventure.



Talking about Cerdanya ….they have superb weather at the moment. Hopefully it continues , as in the weekend the Qualifying Sailplane Grand Prix in Spain starts and that goes on till the 23d of April. They fly in 15 m. class and among the pilots Christophe Ruche, Louis Bouderlique, Mike Young, Fridolin Hauser and Philippe de Pechy.
At this stage 15 approved pilots flying ASG 29 [4x] in different variations, de Ventus [4x] also in different variations, ASW 27 [3x] in variations, ASW 20 and ASW 20 C with winglets , Discus CS and a LAK 17 b.
With 4 days to go and already 2 pilots there to practice the “bubbling”  starts.


The season in Europe has not yet really started, but “things”  are not good. Another incident, this time in the area of Braunschweig-Wolfsburg in Germany !!!
A  25 year old pilot was badly injured after he  crashed on a playing ground for children,……. but nobody was hurt , as there was luckily nobody there at the moment.


picture courtesy DPA.[ ]

Cheers Ritz and I wish ALL strength to our soaring mate Swaantje, who really suffers with her health NOW.

Pribina Cup with up’s and “down’s” ! Some great April flights…no joke!


After 2 non flying days they continued in Nitra with a  small task. Early Easter means that the weather is not always too good and unfortunately that week was not the best and in this year March is very cold, certainly higher up for the pilots.
The organizers wrote for March 31;”The weather outlook for today:
There is fohn creating over the Alps that might effect the weather today. Due to the fohn effect the coming air mass will be drying up and warming which will lead to stabilizing the air (not what we would wish for). Therefore there will be higher temperature needed to create thermal activity. Accoarding to the predictions the maximum temperature should be high enough to create cu clouds with 1,5 m/s clims and 1600 m cloud bases. It means RACING TASK for all classes from 150 to 230 km and first launch planned for 12:30. ”
SO,… they set tasks and they flew. 154 km. in club class and 19 from 26 finished, Francois [Pin from the USA] being the last finisher .
In 15 m. Belgium mate Dennis [Huybreckx ] won another day; 187 km with a speed of 76.74 km./h. After 4 days he tops the overall list ahead of 4 German pilots and Jana Treslova. Good on her !
The 2-seater-class had 7 ARCUS gliders in the daily-top. 15 From 19 pilots flew the set task from 192 km.
In open/18 m, another EB 28 won the day, ahead of Matthias [Sturm] in his 18 m. ASG 29. 16 From 22 finished the 224 km. set task.

And,…then it is APRIL 1.But April started with a cancelled day. There was a strong blowing wind . The day had to be cancelled, though some pilots tried some ridge soaring,

April 2 had great tasks between 250 km. and 400 km. and sunny conditions ,BUT, the weather changed a bit and B tasks were handed out.
No flying in the end, as an incident , a mid air collision between an 18 m. class glider and a club class glider, caused the cancellation of the day. They straight away said; All pilots OK which was good for followers at home.
One pilot could land at the airfield, the other , 38 year old Czech pilot, jumped out of his plane before it crashed on the roof of a house. Luckily the  family living in the house was out for lunch.The pilot had minor injuries on his nose and landed in the garden according to the Slovak News Now.
They flew 4 out of 9 days.

Normally I do not like to share pictures after incidents but as they were already on FB and nobody was hurt…… here we go . Maybe to learn from ??? Lessons in life?



As shared on FB by Mattheus Nube and Zweefportaal with the message ” A parachute is your best friend”.

TOP-Competition- Director Vladimir Voltin took his responsibility also in less easier times and informed all pilots and crews about the incident before the prize giving. Serious faces, serious listening.
As they wrote on their site;” The final speech of Vladimir was a heart talk that earned standing applause. For those who were there it was quite a memorable moment.

Nitra Vladimir by ELFO   Nitra by ELFO serious faces

Pictures shared on the NITRA site.
Courtesy ELFO.

Prize giving;

Nitra by ELFO prize giving.

To the right my Belgian friends Bert and Tijl, Dennis and USA mate Francois Pin.
Courtesy ELFO.

Winner in club class Michal Lesinger from Czech Rep. in ASW 19.

Nitra 2016 Club by Elfo

1. Michal Lesinger,2. Stefan Delfs, 3. Zsolt Siket.
Courtesy ELFO.

In 15 m. Dennis Huybreckx .

Nitra Dennis by Elfo

1. Dennis from Belgium, 2. Thilo Scheffer,from Germany 3. Michael Buchtal from Germany.
Courtesy ELFO.

In 20 m former World champion Wolfgang Janowitsch and Mathias Wersonig from Austria.

Nitra by Elfo 2016

20 m. winners; 1.  Wolfgang and his mate from Austria, 2.  Lasse and Hannu from Finland and 3. Tilo and Sebastian “Krumel” Nagel from Germany.
Courtesy ELFO.

In open /18 m. there was only 8 points difference between the winners in the EB 28 Enrique and Simon with runner up former world champion Matthias.[ASG 29/18m.]

Nitra 2016 by ELFO

1. Enrique Levin and Simon Briel, 2. Matthias Sturm, 3. Robin Sittmann.
Courtesy ELFO.


On the last day of March , a VERY nice day, the combined class flew a 3 hour AAT.
ONLY AAT’s during this regatta, to promote self initiative. Tom  [Claffey] won the one and only day he flew with  368 km. in time 3.02.
In the Woolley family, Adam was this time the best and runner up  with with 348 km. in time 301 whilst dad Chris was on spot 3 with 350 km. in time 3.04.
April started great here in Holland, with sun and temperatures up to 13 dgr. C , in the weekend even 20 !!!
But Warwick prepares for winter and still …….they had flights from up to 446 km. during their regatta [ASH 31/18 m].
But also the St. Cirrus- pilot ,Phillip Southgate,was impressed with the weather flying 355 km.
He mentioned  ;” Another cracker day at the Warwick Easter Regatta … just gets better and better.”

Unfortunately April 1 had to be cancelled. NO joke.
April 2 , last day of the “comp”  was good again with flights up to over 300 gliders as St Cirrus, LS 1f, Speed Astir , ASW 20 and Lak 17/18m.

Everything was there again this year, time for speed/winning, coaching , learning, fun flying etc.
As they said;
” Team flying encouraged – this is a regatta to encourage XC – not a competition !”

Look for all the different scores in 7 disciplines after the 5 out of 9 days at

Great OLC flights.

ARCUS M solo, not the engine, the pilot ...” was the comment from Robert Prat on his wave-yo-yo- flight over 1.379 km. from St Gaudens.[Pyrenees]And a couple of day’s later he flew with Helen another flight from 1.252 km !!!! For a couple of hours,…. just racing at 5000 m. MSL.
SPEED:182.51 km./h. Great effort in the cold.
LA Cerdanya in Spain is settled on the same good wave line over the mountains and from there 3 x a 1000 was flown by German guests on MARCH 30, most of them on a Akaflieg Frankfurt Wave Research Camp.  Klaus Ohlmann,flying the Stemme  started 2.5 hours late due to ice on the wings and canopy but still flew 1.195 km.  and the 2 the 2 ARCUS gliders just over 1000 km.
The weather forecast was better than they found but still a great day.
On April 1 the enthusiastic Dutch “young dogs” Mark Leeuwenburgh and his mate Alfred Paul Alffers, flew 553 km over flat- as- a- pancake Holland to Oerlinghausen in Germany and back. WOW, great early spring flight for Holland, flown from Soesterberg, with not the best thermals , but with nice “streets”. Both fly the ASG 29 E/18m.
From Innsbruck in Austria a nice LS 8 flight. Out and return from 936 km. by David Richter-Trummer!!!!
Yesterday the UK had some good early spring flights as well . From Lasham 2 good flights ; 440 km. by Gary Coppin in the ASG 29 E/18m and nearly 400 [398]  by Dave Masson the LS 6/18 m..


The Australian team for the Lithuanian WGC  is announced. 5/6 Pilots are going.
Club class Tobias Geiger and Allan Barnes.
Standard class Adam Woolley and John “Butch ” Buchanan.
2 Seater class 2 TOP young pilots; JWGC Champion Matthew Scutter with his mate/co pilot a very talented young man Dylan Lampard.
All of them experienced in WGC flying only for Dylan it is a new experience though he flew the JWGC in Naromine in 2015. As Matthew said he was a great “right-hand”.
WGC is between July  30 and August 15 2016.


Quickly off to Amsterdam. CU next week.
Cheers Ritz