QSGP in Italy! CAE-BENELUX comps in Holland! WGC 2017, only 227 days to go !

Qualifying Sailplane Grand Prix in Italy.


The Qualifying Grand- Prix in Varese continued and it was more a penalty-festival than a Grand Prix.
18 Pilots did fly last Wednesday and 8 of them  got a penalty from airspace violations,   too low finishes, too high start altitudes , too high start speed and again…… missing the finish-line. How can pilots still miss the finish line,…. it must be hidden!!!
Still some good points for the winners. Peter [Hartmann] had no penalties so he won the day and the 10 points and his lead is growing to 34 points.
In the end the task was 131,75 km. and the regatta start at 2 PM.” a great , short, sweet race” according to Russell [Cheetham] and  2.5 m. was his best lift . Russell was runner up but had to detour [too much] in the end , had not a good energy line , so others could “get” him. Only 3 flew with a speed of 109 km./h. ; Peter, Russell and Luciano who was 3d for the day.

They declared Thursday May 19 as a rest day.

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They shared a picture with a great view on the Monte Rosa. Fabulous picture………… And the first launches on Friday.

RACE 5 on Friday, with one to go on Saturday, had a 323 km. task and after the rest-day,  the pilots were eager to go for 2 more days. Peter is ahead with 34 points followed by Mike with 25 and Luciano with 21. When you are now on the 2 days, a daily- winner , you receive 21 points, so maybe there are still possibilities…..though Peter is very good in those mountains!!!!
Launches at 1, regatta start at 2.30 .
Mike won the mainly-blue-thermal-day and got closer to Peter as he got “only” 4 points for the day whilst Mike got 10. Luciano did well too and was runner up with 8 points and Giorgio was in the top 3 as well with 7 points.
Mike was in the beginning about 10 km. behind , but by being alone he climbed better and caught up  again. Giorgio had a very careful final glide to be sure he would NOT have any penalties this time.
So for the last day it will be exciting as both Peter and Mike are experienced but sometimes , how do I say that carefully… “tempt fate” , as I noticed in the past.
So when the last day starts it is Peter with 38 points, Mike with 35 and Luciano with 29, whilst Giorgio is back after missing the finish-line on the second day ,[ costing him 5 minutes ] and entering a forbidden area with a[virtual  out-landing at the point of entry at 78 km. ] to 25.


Nice finish shared by the organizers.

 RACE 6 last day with 279 km.! “Ultimo giorno di gara!”

Bostjan Pristavic won in his JS 1 this special last day with 11 points. As Peter was runner up in nearly the same time , he got the 8 points and that was enough to be the VARESE QSGP CHAMPION [46] . He found most tasks pretty difficult,  the last one as well; “ sometimes you have to be patient to get a nice climb or to have good altitude to pass the mountains”.
He found flying with his colleagues in a GP,” more a circus than a real valued competition.”
Interesting quote! I mentioned it already , this time it was more “a penalty-festival”.
Mike had a total of 41 and won 2 days as did Peter.  Luciano [33] , remained ONE point ahead of Giorgio.[32]

And to finish the compliments from Mike to Varese;”“If it’s one thing as a glider pilot you should do before you die, that’s to come and fly in Varese. It’s just wonderful!!”

The next Grand Prix starts in 9 days in Rennes Saint-Sulpice in France.Will keep an eye on it!!

As shared by the organizers.


Where would they be without the tuggies.
as shared by the organizers!!!



The BENELUX comps in Holland.

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3 Great pictures again from Willemijn. You can expect more !![ASH 30MI]

The CAE OBGC [Open Benelux Championships] started Wednesday with difficult weather. The day before ,when they practiced ,they had a small window with some great practice flights , on day 1 they only had a small window as well.
Day 1;
Tasks were set for all classes. The pilots tried hard . Most of them unfortunately did not reach the important 100 km. marge , so ONLY in 1 class  day 1 was valid; 18 m.
In 18 m. both Sikko Vermeer and Peter Millenaar finished and flew the set 144.56 km. in their ASG 29 E. Time was unimportant [ 56 and 51 km./h. ] but coming home was more important. So a “good” day for them , still only with 139 and 132 points . A total of 4 from 17 pilots flew over 100 km. so a valid day.
Hadriaan van Nes [JS1 B] and Dennis Schouten [ASH 26 e] had 120 and 109 points,  they out-landed close by after 135 km. and 122.
In open class Ronald Termaat showed once more how good he is. He was the only finisher for the day and flew the 148.90 km. in I guess one of the slowest times in his life; 44.08 km./h. He received 62 points for his effort.
Mark Wering just arrived on the first day with his  brand new Antares 23 T and was runner up with 81 km. and 31 points.
But in the end after all files were in , Ronald was the ONLY pilot who flew over 100 km. so,… NO valid day… no 62 points, but no worries for him. Great effort ANYHOW!!!

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Mark,…just in time to fly the OBGC in the ANTARES 23 T. Marion best crew in the world and Steven, who won many Nationals and was European Champion.Last 2 pic’s specially for Art.
By the way , both pilots fly the WGC in Benalla 2017 Mark in open , Steven in 18 m. class.
Pictures by Willemijn.

Day 2; Should be better than yesterday,  it looks different here though,it RAINS,  but I am about 125 km. more up NW.
They know what they are doing over there,in the East of Holland.
Box time at 12. Tasks; club and the combined Standard, 15 m and 20 m….3 hour AAT, Open and 18 m. 2.30 . Club and combi upfront and 18 m. and open behind.
Tuggies Sjoerd, Bertje , Zweef [Evert] and Daan are ready. So is the marshal!!!! Sjoerd, Daan and Bert are about my age , but still going strong , very experienced and loving their towing-job. All 3 are retired KLM captains. Zweef is , as you can see, much younger and still flies KLM.

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Pictures courtesy Willemijn.

It was waiting and waiting, delay to 1.30 PM and 2 PM. I had hope here for all of them there,  as at 1 the sun carefully tried to show it’s face from behind the clouds. But after 10 minutes it disappeared again and it became grey!!!!8/8 of “soup” . But as said,…I am far away from the action, AND,……at 6 the skies cleared here.

At 2.30 the window was already there and they started with a B task in the pocket .Quite a lot of pilots finished . Anyway in each class it was a valid day, with pilots in open class starting after 4 PM.
Club; 2.30 AAT….A bad day for Annemiek. After 30 km. she was “aux vaches” and last for the day. Tim Kuijpers won in the LS 4, with a relative late start at 3.46 [one hour after Annemiek] ; 188 km. in 2.37.
Combi: 2.30 AAT…..From the 10 pilots in this class, 5 are from Belgium and they are mainly from ONE family so they help each other whenever possible and they always do that well. Both Dennis and Tim [they worked and flew with us in Tocumwal!] are from the well known Huybreckx soaring-family.
Dennis is a son from Eddy and Tim from Mark Huybreckx. Wim [Akkermans] married Dennis sister Sofie and Jeff[Kell] married Tims sister Gitte. Can you still follow me? Not belonging to the family but a great mate is Rik van den Boer. He had not such a good day , he out-landed. Unfortunately one of the Dutch toppers in this class ,Bas Seiffert, out-landed as well after 89 km.
Dennis won with 227 km. in 2.53.

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Winners ; Steven, Dennis, Ronald and Tim.
Pictures shared by the organizers.

18m.; 3 of 17 did not finish the 2 hour AAT , 2 of them got the distance where they entered the Deelen CTR below 450 m..
Day 1’s winner Sikko , with a relative early start, flew 64 km. and got 96 points. What a pity.
Steven Raimond won the day in the ASG 29 ES and flew 201 km. during in 2.03. Rene de Dreu in his new ASG 29 E was runner up with about the same distance and time.Good to see that Hannah is there. Rene and Hannah met in Uvalde [Texas] in 2012.
Open; NO points on day 1 for Ronald,…. this time 715. He flew in the JS 1C, during the 2 hour AAT 216 km.in 2.17,  the ONLY one over 200 km. Runner up Jeroen Oostendorp in the ASW 22 BLE flew 181 km. in 2 hours AT the dot and got 668 points.10 From 11 finished.
More day 2 pictures by Willemijn.

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Onno[Blankenzee] to the l. with Sikko who drinks a coke before flight. It did not help unfortunately for a win.For Frank []Hiemstra] there is for sure a career as soccer player and Brutus came to visit.

Finishes as well.

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Jeroen Verkuijl in the JS 1C.

Friday was cancelled.

Saturday, day 2/3. I wanted to visit that day , but unfortunately my health did not allow so.
Tasks were set; Club 207 km. …Combi 256 km……18 m. 301 km. and open 333 km.
In the end B tasks were handed out.
Club; 158.66 km. …AND..the enthusiastic soccer player on the picture above , won the day; Frank Hiemstra in the ST Cirrus [handicap 99.6] Tim Kuijpers was runner up.One Belgium pilot in this class flying the lovely St Libelle, but he had not the best day and was 1  of 5 out-landers.
Combi;  200.65 km….The 5 Belgium pilots combined their efforts again and with result. This time  Rik was the best. He moved from the last spot on day 1 to spot 1 on day 2. Good on him
2 Tim, …3 Wim…4 Dennis….6 Jeff. Bas [Seiffert] was in between, on 5.
18 m.; 246 was set and flown by ALL. Sikko, who won day 1, out-landed on flying day 2 , won day 3 again. Sikko has been in” my team”  several times at WGC and EGC and I know how good he is!!!! He showed it again. Younger pilot Peter [Millenaar] was runner up . In this class 4 pilots from Belgium and 1 from Germany.
Open;251 m. for the long wings and Jeroen Verkuijl won the day in the JS 1C [above on the picture] Ronald who won day 1  was now 5th. Jeroen started 1 hour LATER [3.07] than the runner up [2.07] and the first departing pilot was Ronald at 1.59. So in hindsight a later start was better.

Todays pictures by WILLEMIJN;

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1. With Joost Wolff flying in the ARCUS T with Erik Borgmann who was runner up in Borlange WGC and Max Bloch, several years the CD from the Dutch Nationals.
2. Jeff Kell, husband from Gitte Huybreckx.
3. Wim Akkermans and Sofietje Huybreckx.

NO TASK on Sunday !!So place enough for a picture of  the well known Dutch Hiemstra family from Friesland with dad Ben, OUR Dutch webmaster [from Zweefportaal] , young topper Frank and daughter/sister and glider pilot Ilse.



The Dutch Termaat family very well known in Holland,  in fact world wide .
Great family picture shared by Caroline ; daughters Anouk and  Elin, Caroline and Ronald [son from Joke and Karel Termaat] and of course THE DOGGY.


Monday; With 700 km. of morning-traffic -jam due to heavy rain, I knew already that Monday would not be flyable as well. Would they be able to squeeze another day in? That was the question.Doubtful,…but there is always HOPE.

Tuesday; Tasks were set, a small window ,  so , to make it a valid competition they have to try every possible day.
Race tasks ; Club 125 km,…combi 100 km,…. 18 m. 166,….open 184 km.
In the end B tasks were used; about the same but in  AAT’s.
Sadly enough the weather-gods did NOT co-operate and the day had to be cancelled.

Wednesday; TODAY.Briefing at 11 and GRIDDING till 1 PM. I HOPE SO MUCH they can fly!!!!
You will read it next week.
More possibilities to fly; the weather will improve , a bit more sun, less rain and an occasional thunderstorm are predicted for Thursday and Friday.


Lancaster in the USA.

“Bermuda High is located in the “Flat Creek” area of Lancaster County” and that’s the place where the USA 18 m. Nationals were flown between May 11 and 20 and the CD was Eric ” Herbie” Moser. One evening Ed Kilbourne performed. I should have been there !!!!
25 Pilots participated and quite a lot I know , so interesting to follow.

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Ed Kilbourne. AND….when we met in Uvalde in 2012.
Picture 1 courtesy Leigh Zimmerman.

Day 1 , with a 3 hour turn-area-task was won by  Canadian pilot Jerzy [Szemplinksy]  in the ASG 29. Al Tyler was runner up.Sarah [Arnold] was 3d in the Ventus 2ax in a tie with Dave Springford.[Canada]  Only 11 finished, the others were cut off by thunderstorms, as Rick [Sheppe] wrote.
Day 2 was cancelled.
Day 2 was difficult again .As Rick wrote; “Cloudbases were low all day.  Everyone worked hard to stay in the air and to make progress.  It took at least three hours for the finishers to make it around, and the completion ratio was about 50%.  There were only two field landings, and the other non-finishers came home under power or by aerotow.”
Winner  on day 2; Bill Gawthrop in a JS 1 B. The next 9 places were occupied by ASG 29 pilots. Sarah unfortunately had a less good day , was on spot 21 and dropped to 11 overall.
day 3; Rick mentioned ;” the  forecast was very promising , 4kts, 6k top of lift, and SW wind of 15-20 mph at altitude with streeting likely. ”  But the 2 days before they had slightly over-enthusiastic forecasts  so “the assigned task was brilliantly called by CD Eric Mozer and his advisors Al Tyler and Jerzy Szemplinski.  That said, it was certainly challenging and several pilots appeared to press a little too hard on final leg and received penalties for low finishes.”
Scores; Dennis [Linnekin] ,the TC from the USA team at several WGC’s, was the best!!Good on him. Lovely guy!


Day 3 weather.
Courtesy Leigh Zimmerman.

Day 4 ;a Turn Area Task that started out with two very small (3 mile) circles was set.  The third circle was large, so the pilots would have some running room.  The nominal distance was 192 miles, and the minimum time was 3.5 hours.
Jerzy won the day and it is really interesting to see that the 18 m. top overall at this stage exists out of 4 Canadian pilots!!!!
Day 5; Expected was ,  weak lift, few Cu, and thin, scattered high level clouds. Also southerly winds at launch time, so for the second time in this contest they had to grid  at the upwind end of the runway and waited for the wind to come around.
That took a while to happen , so the task was downgraded to 2 hours and the first launch at 3 PM.
Some had wave “enroute” , some just raced around the track.
As Sarah did, she had a  great day ,as she WON and climbed from spot 13 to 8 overall!!!!!

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Day 5 winner Sarah. And the task she won.
Courtesy Leigh Zimmerman and Rick Sheppe.

Day 6; was a rest day so a new day 6 was set but in vain. The weather was NOT good and the forecast for Friday was not good either , so Jerzy was in the end the winner of the 18 m. Nationals.Good on him and congratulations to him and Maria.
As Rick said it so beautifully; ” The sun peeked out at 13.45, but it was evident by 14.00 that we were done for the day, and for the contest.”
Wish my English was as good as his!!!!


Jerzy, the new USA 18 m. Champion.
The apron is a gift from the host BHSC to all competitors.
Courtesy Leigh Zimmerman.



227 days to go !!!!
Last week I gave you the link to the Benalla 2017WGC.
More news; New Zealand is sending six pilots, two in each class, to this WGC 2017 Benalla. Team Captain Julian Elder said, “It’s great to be bringing a full team to Benalla for the Worlds – a first for NZ in a long time”  NZ is a “neighbor” from Australia so nicely close by.
Other pilots flying are; 15 m. Alan Belworthy and Steve Wallace, 18 m. John and Tim Bromhead, open class Brett Hunter and Mark Tingey.


John Coutts.
as shared by  the Benalla organizers.


The Dutch will be sending six pilots to compete at Benalla as well. Alfred -Paul Alfers and Ronald Termaat will fly in 15 m. class. Alfred flew in the past with us at Sportavia. He won as best junior in that time the Dutch junior comps and we gave him the opportunity to practice during the OUTBACK soaring comps to fly with Ingo on one day and practice what he learned in a single seater on another day. So he has been in the Benalla area already but a long time ago. At the moment he flies in Vinon.
For me it’s rather new that Ronald flies in 15 m. Interesting!

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Alfred Paul and Ronald.
Pictures shared by Sean Young ;Webmaster, Editor Gliding Australia,Media Relations .
I met him last year a VERY COMPETENT and good soaring-journalist.

In 18 m. it is Steven Raimond, who used to always fly in 15 m. class in his ASW27, but now owns an 18 m. ASG 29 ES and Maurits Dortu. In open Jeroen Verkuijl and Mark Wering.

The Austrian team has 1 pilot in 15 m. Werner Amann, in 18 m. it is Wolfgang [Janowitsch] and Andy [Lutz] not flying together in a 2-seater  but each in an 18 m. one. In open Ludwig [Starkl] and Sebastian Eder, yes son from….Josef Eder.
Look for all the news about Benalla 2017 at www.wgc2017.com  or at http://www.gfa.org.au/ or at FB.

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Wolfgang and Andy this year on Jan. 15.


A few interesting OLC flights  last week!

On May 20 another pretty-long-task in the Perlan Project DG 1001 M from Inyokern in the USA ; 1.367,55 km. The flight took 11 hours and 27 minutes. Luckily, ladies can take during a long flight , their own “toilet” as in a pee -system or the good old pampers. I presume Cindy Brickner,as co-pilot on this flight with Dennis Tito,  did so as well.
One day earlier they had about the same flight in a DG 1000/20 m.  , a tad shorter with 1.340 km. and a departure from Minden Tahoe.Speed 143 km.h. so “only a sit” of 9 hours and 21 minutes.
May 21; showed some great flights  in Austria ; from Micheldorf  824km. [683 FAI ] in a Duo Discus [Eduard Supersperger] and  797 km. in an ASH 26 E.
From Italy [Bolzano] a good 716 in an LS 6 , from Germany [Koenigsdorf] in an LS 1 F 634 km. so the ALPS were pretty active though the weather was as I read on some days not as good as forecasted.
Plasy in the Czech Rep had a good flight in a Mosquito; 613 km. {600 Fai Triangle}
1683 flights were added that Saturday.
May 22; nearly winter down under but Allan Barnes still manged to fly 401 km. in his LS 1f from Lake Keepit , the next venue of the WWGC, where lot’s of kangaroos at the field welcomed him. ” Roos on the strip made the landing interesting – at least 100 of them bounding around.” I remember that. He practiced a 3 hour AAT. Good on him!!
406 From Nagano in Japan is worth while mentioning too even it was flown in a Ventus Ventus 2CT/18m. Wave and thermals up to 3892 m.
Europe , THE ALPS, had spectacular soaring conditions  again,  specially around Koenigsdorf in the far South of Germany [Bayern] . Wave, thermals, foehn, ridge soaring  it was all there  in the Alps from W to E and back…
It gave another LONG flight for Matthias Schunk in the Quintus M. 1. 271 km. his 8th over 1000 km. flight in May. Also the first 1000 km. flights for young German pilots flying in an Arcus T [Vincent]  and M[Florian]  , even first over 5 hour flights, that is,…sitting in the back for that time but still![total time 10.26 ]!!!!!
And,.. Benjamin [Bachmeier] managed to fly 830 km. in the LS 1f !!
AND,…..there is Eduard again, not in a Duo Discus this time but in a KA 6E flying an epic 786 km.in foehn [Austria Micheldorf] ! ” Back to the roots” he mentioned in his comment. Good on him !
Bert Schmelzer jr flew a declared 870 km. task from Hausen Am Albis in Switzerland.
From Lesce Bled,  in the NW of Slovenia, Boris [Zors] flew a 748 km. flight direction WNW, in the St. Cirrus.


Benjamin even had time to make a picture and share it with us. He only started at 1 PM after some technical problems but his goal to check in Switzerland some Hang- flight- routes was a success.


THE JSF [Joint Strike Fighter] F 35, arrived from the USA for it’s first flight to Europe , to be exact to Friesland to the Airbase of Leeuwarden. An historic moment. Holland ordered 37 of this type. The 2 which arrived here last Monday evening are going to do test-flights over a couple of weeks .


And to finish a great picture by Matt Michael from the USA ” Sky voyaging with Cory, Chad, and Tony[Condon.]”
We had fantastic soaring weather for all 6 contest days and the practice day. That is quite rare for spring in Minnesota. We were very fortunate.” Paul Remde.


Tony  flying in his Cherokee II glider in the U.S. Region 7 Soaring Contest in Albert Lea, Minnesota.
On the 18th Tony wrote; “Smoking day in northern Iowa and southern Minnesota. Should be about 45 mph for the Cherokee and Woodstock on 3.5 hr task.”


In my last blog I wrote about a donation instead of flowers for Swaantje. I added  more and full info now in the blog below. Swaantje has been cremated and her ashes will be spread over Australia, so she will be back there for ever.

Cheers Ritz

Denmark with great soaring weather! QSGP and 18 m. Nationals in Italy! CAE BENELUX comps started!

Danish Nationals .


They had a very nice long task last Wednesday and what-a-day!!!!
Task 7;
10 From 11 in Club class flew the 325 km.-task and the Libelle 201B, with Thorsten Mauritsen won the day ; 102 km./h. [handicap 98]
Jan Andersen was runner up in the ASW 20 and Rasmus [Orskov] was 4th.
ALL 9 pilots in St Class flew the 398 km. task and Mogens Hoelgaard was with 132 .83 km./h in the Discus 2B the best for the day. Just as 2 other pilots who flew 132 km./h as well.
All 13 pilots in 15 m. class flew the 398.52 km task!!! Stig Oye was the daily best , he was that many times in the past as well, with 130.28 km./h.
Only JUST,….. as the runner up lost ONE point with 130.22 km./h.
The 3.30 AAT in 18 m. class was not for Arne, but for Peter Eriksen with 467 .45 km. in time 3.14 so a speed of 133,56 km./h.
Arne was on spot 4 with 444 km in time 3.18.
Arne still leads with 200 points. All pilots finished !!
In the 2 seater class they had the same AAT . Best distance here was 428 km in time 3.27.All 11 teams finished.


Arne with mate Michael Rasmussen, well dressed for the [sunny] occasion.

Task 8; was shorter.
Club had a best speed of 90 km./h. by Jan . It was good enough for all pilots in this class to finish.
St Class; 99.97 km./h. for Mogens who was the best in this class overa 2.15 AAT.All 9 pilots finished!By the way , Mogens is one of the pilots flying at the French QSGP. As I read in their introduction Mogens was Danish Champion in 2004, 2006, 2011 and 2012 and runner up in 2014 and 2015. After 8 tasks he was preliminary 1 for 2016 .
15 m. ;one pilot flies over 100 km./h. over 216 km. and wins the day;Knud Moeller Andersen. 11 From 12 finished!!One did not start.
18 m. ;AGAIN Arne and Peter are the best in this class and clearly; 117 and 114 km./h over 217 km. Number 3 had a speed of 109 km./h
2 seaters; a 2.15 AAT and the best distance was 239 km. All 11 teams finished.

On May 9 Arne made some great pictures and shared them . Here are a few.



Gaggling over Venø Fjord enroute to the north. Absolute fabulous view for glider pilots and for all of us. As Arne mentioned :
” And exciting! Fjord and bay crossings always adds that little bit extra.  After the first 200km or so scraping around in the strong wind the weather finally changed gear and measly 1-2m/s thermals suddenly was replaced with 2-3,5m/s thermals.” 

Task 9; is the 9th successive day. BUT,… though tasks were set , the day had to be cancelled.I guess nobody had a problem with that. Arne clearly had another opinion ;”Cancelled days sucks but it has it’s perks.”
The next day had NO FLYING/task.


As shared by Arne on May 14.

Task 9 again and LAST DAY; All pilots well rested , so the last day was THE day.
AND WHAT DAY….club had to go for 404 km., standard for a 4.30 AAT, 15 m. for 451, 18 m. for a 4.30 AAT and the 2-seaters for 451 km.
Club; the 1000 points were for the future young new daddy Rasmus [Orskov] in the LS 1f. All 10 starting pilots finished. Rasmus flew the 404 km with a speed of 96.13 km./h. Jan [Andersen] was runner up and stayed with that result on spot 1 overall and is the DANISH CLUB CLASS CHAMPION with 6620 points. Rasmus stayed on spot 2 [ 6567] and so did Nicolai Larsen on spot 3 [6147] in an ASW 19B. Henrik [Breidahl] in the LS 4 was on spot 4 with 5808 points.
For a long time I am a fan from both Jan [ who I met when he was still young and unmarried and flying in open class] and Rasmus [ who I met at several JWGC’s ], as well as Henrik, [who I know from several WGC’s]. They know I am fan.


Standard class ;Mogens Hoelgaard is THE man and the new DANISH STANDARD CLASS CHAMPION with 5995. He won 6 of the 9 days including the last one. In his Discus 2A he flew 467 km. during the 4.30 AAT in time 4.31!!!![103.23 km./h.] All 8 starting pilots finished and the overall top did change as Frederik [Noddelund] in the LS 8 came in as runner up and passed with that the daily number 3 Thomas [Laugesen] who lost just over 100 points on the last day. Frederik had 5782 points and Thomas 5683.


15 m. class; 2 out-landings in this class and the new DANISH 15 m. CHAMPION is Johhny Reichstein Jensen with 6287 points . He won in the ASW 27b the last day and passed the overall topper from the 3 days before, Jan Hald [Ventus 2CT] . Jan was runner up on the last day . He was overall runner up now with 6272 points and the difference is small, only 15 points.
Stig [Oye] still is GOOOOOD!!!!! He finished on spot 3.
In the beginning it was Jan Schmelz Pedersen who topped the overall list. On day 7 he dropped from 1 overall to spot 5 by loosing 224 points.That day he started 36 minutes later than the first starter.


18 m. ;Excitement there as well, though …..it was nearly impossible to win from Arne, but Peter did his utmost best.He won the 4.30 AAT with 485 km in time 4.28,45. Arne was on this last day “only” 5th and lost 143 points, no worries as he was more than 300 points ahead of Peter. So my friend Arne Boye Moeller is the NEW DANISH CHAMPION IN 18 m. with 6598 points , Erik is runner up with 6496.And as you see he did his best as the difference in the end only was 102 points.
It was not even sure if Arne could fly the Nationals as he is working full time on a project in Finland . He just managed to fly home the evening before. So with less practice.
Arne  also broke the Danish Nationals record with his 152 km./h flight. ” Record being in the sense of the fastest flight on any given day in the nationals. ” Congratulations Arne.


2 seater class; Tom [Joergensen] and Henning [Nielsen ] have been on the overall spot ONE, every day.[ Duo Discus handicap 101]  On the last day they kept this place and are the DANISH 2-SEATER CLASS CHAMPIONS; 6645 points, clearly winners as the runners up, my friend Ole Arndt and his brother Joergen had 6040 .[DG 1000-T]
They moved on the last day from 3 to 2.
Ole flew several years with us in Tocumwal and he still flies now with Eddie at Sportaviation. I met his brother also in Tocumwal and I caught up with both of them when they visited me in Uvalde in Texas, when they traveled through the USA.
Ole was involved with the Danish JWGC juniors in Narromine last year when I met him again.
The last daily winners Henrik [Bill] and Johnny [Andresen] moved from 4 to 3.[ Duo Discus T]
Over the last couple of days Filip [Bojanowski] and Sonny[Jakobsen] occupied the 2d place overall. Unfortunately they lost on the last day 208 points and dropped to spot 4.[5985 in Duo Discus T]


What great weather, what good pilots over there in Denmark. A pleasure to follow from home this competition.All pictures from the prize winners are shared by the Danish Soaring Association.[Dansk Svæveflyver Union.]



As you know , not long ago Swaantje had to give up her battle against cancer. Here is an extraordinary tribute to her by one of her mates Kathrin  [ Pilotessadesign.com] and I share it with you;

-“During the last 22 years Swaantje and I have been participated in about 25 competitions together. We went to Australia for the Barossa-glide (pre-worlds). She motivated me to participate with the old Nimbus 3 of my dad at the international competition in Issoudun / France, while she flew her ASH25. Swaantje was my team mate in several German Nationals and few World Championships. Gliding was here motivation for life. Only two weeks before she passed away she has cancelled the German Nationals. I Know it was here biggest wish to fly that competition and she was fighting so hard!

Until few days before I was ready to cancel the Nationals as well. But than I realized: I HAVE to go. I HAVE to fly, even without any training. Of course I’m not prepared at all and I’m still not able to clear my mind. But this time the result is NOT important. This time there is no NEED to win. The ONLY important thing is to FLY.

The glider is the same Standard Cirrus I flew in 97 during my first EGC at Prievidza, together with VS. I only removed my old competition number...

So, tomorrow I’ll try my best, because this time I FLY FOR YOU SWAANTJE.


I am sure , Swaantje sits with a huge smile on her pink cloud. On Saturday the 25th of May, they will remember her in a service. They ask to not bring flowers or so,  but if you wish you could give a donation for the Dr. Angelika Machinek Foundation . They support women in soaring and Swaantje has been in the past supported like that too.She would have appreciated your gift.
IBAN: DE12 6115 0020 0100 5133 56
Here is the FULL info;
Information for bank transfers:
IBAN: DE12611500200100513356
Kreissparkasse Esslingen-Nuertingen
Bahnhofstr. 8
73728 Esslingen, Germany


Italian 18 m. Nationals and QSGP at Varese/Calcinate.[May 15-21]


20 Pilots were ready at May 15 [continuing to 21]  for the combined 18 m. Nationals and the QSGP. On the practice days there were no really set tasks due to the weather, but on one day they could look around a bit. Of course the opening had good food and drinks and the welcome-opening -briefing, good “ears” and chairs.

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[1] Sophisticated opening- briefing, [2] Aldo during the first-day-briefing,[3]  nice food, [4] the organizers with Aldo Cernezzi and Margot  Acquaderni, who last year the Pelagia Majewska Medal.

Sunday May 15 ; day 1. 382 km. was set so the weather had improved dramatically in the good way. The Aeroclub Adele Orsi Acao was ready for well known pilots as Giorgio Galetto, Stefano Ghiorzo, Mike Young, Russell Cheetham ,Peter Hartmann, Luciano Avanzino, Thomas Gostner , Bostjan Pristavic and Alberto Sironi.
6 Different nationalities, 8 x an ASG 29 in 2 variations, also 8 x a Ventus in 6 variations and gliders as LS 8, JS1 in 2 variations and LAK 17.
Day 1’s task!


As shared by the organizers. A nice way to see their flying areas. Sondrio was the place Ingo took his guests to.

Good weather, good pilots, experienced organizers ……So ” only  ” a day of flying was waiting.
Giorgio Galetto flew himself to the first 10 points. Bostjan was runner up with 8 and  Peter [Hartmann] from Austria got the 7 points ,he is a frequent flyer in Italy. Uk pilots;  Russell had 6 and Mike 5.
Penalty points as well up to 5 minutes for missing the finish line or for violating the airspace, which means …out-landing at the entry point.

Day 2;


Ready on day 2 for a 398 km. task. Weather is looking good but the first start was postponed to 1 PM.
Picture shared by the organizers.

After the start the pilots raced over the set task. BUT,…several made “mistakes” and got up to 300 sec. There you go for a tough race to find out that you rounded a TP incorrect  or even worse you missed the finish line!!
There was a winner as well and on day 2 this was Peter Hartmann. He has after 2 days 16 points . Giorgio has 12.

Day 3 ; 320 k. was set for this day. And again,….lots of points lost by penalties for a too high start, too low finish not crossing the finish line or entering for bidden zones.All these pilots are experienced , I wonder why this happens!!??
Anyhow there was a winner , this time Mike Young from the UK, but he more or less lives and flies in Grenoble in France. He loves racing over the mountains, but sometimes when I follow him on tracking he nearly gives me a heart attack. So Mike collects 10 points, Peter 8 and 8 as well for Luciano Avanzini. Looking at the overall scores; Peter 24, Mike 19 and Giorgio 18.


As shared by the organizers.

Day 4 ; For TODAY,……180 km. is set.


OLC ;Interesting flights.

May 12; Great weather in Finland, good to see. Several flights even up to 814 km. A total of 29 added flights in Finland only. Rayskala, Nummela and Kymi, Immola …all were busy.
May 14; time for the UK to fly in great weather and Lasham pilots enjoyed it to the fullest; Garry [Coppin] and Andy [Aveling] flew in the ARCUS T, a nice distance up N.W.  from Lasham…732 km. [600 FAI triangle]. Roy [Pentecost] flew in the ASG 29 620 k. [ 592 FAI triangle] . Also from several other UK-fields some great flights.
Canada had a “happy chappie”  as well; ” The 500 km was my goal for the last 3 years. Finally it happened, and was a lot of work and fun. The Kestrel 19 is a fabulous glider.” 527 km. /513 FAI triangle.
Good May soaring in the USA as well; ” Unusual conditions with high clouds.” Flown from El Tiro in an LS 3; 475 km.
May 15; Another great ridge-day, with snow showers though, but also very strong thermals and still good for a 1.109 km. distance flight in a Discus b M, from Greater Cumberland in the USA. The very first 1000 km for Karsten Peztold all the way from Germany.
Mathias Schunk added his 6th 1000-plus flight all flown in May !!! This time from Bolzano but as always in his Quintus.
May 17 ; A pretty good day in Austria, Italy and France,  with a flight up to over 1000 km from Noetsch in Austria in a 18 m. Ventus 2C.


BENELUX CAE Nationals.[May 17 -May 27] OBGC 2016


All set and ready to go.
Picture shared by Marion.

After days with fabulous soaring weather in Holland, we had a “dip”  during Pentecost,[coldest day in 80 years] but on the first day of the BENELUX comps the weather started to improve again. Our Belgium mates had arrived , the Thermiekbel [restaurant] was ready, so were the organizers and the popular meteo -guy from TV shared his look on the weather for the upcoming week with all viewers on SBS 6 and the team and some pilots around him.
On May 17 an official- practice-task on a rather good day certainly going up N. from Terlet. Tasks between 160 and 200 km. and several pilots finished. Also Annemiek Koers in het St. Cirrus with call sign AU, yes the glider AND “girl”  from the Narromine JWGC.
Another junior Rick Boerma started in his LS 4 at 14.33 [57  km./h.] and Annemiek about ONE hour later. [63 km./h.] BUT,…both finished and were 1 and 2 so good practice!!


As always GREAT pictures by Willemijn.

So today they start and tasks were set and I wish all my Dutch and Belgium friends a great and safe competition ;
Club 113.23 km.,…..st,15 and 20 m combined 140 km. and 18 m.144 km whilst open gets 148.90 km.


The Provisional Entry for the Benalla WGC  is now online https://tinyurl.com/jjz5tzn


entries are now open and the website is live for Club & Sports Class Nationals, proudly hosted by the Waikerie Gliding Club from 11th – 19th November 2016. Send your entries in, follow the link to the entry form and payment details found on the web site. Updates will be ongoing so check the Blog and Facebook sites for the latest information.

And talking about Australia;The arrival of the world’s biggest plane/jet  at Perth Airport last week didn’t disappoint.
Wow so many wheels! And what a plane!! The Antonov AN-225 , flew in from Ukraine, arrived at Perth,  with a 2 hour delay due to extensive air-traffic congestion at Kuala Lumpur and continued yesterday to Germany.
20.000 people hurried to the Perth airport to see this impressive ship. Though some were disappointed in the waiting time, they forgot that straight away when they saw the “monster”.


As shared by Duncan Watkinson.


What about “our”  Max????
First ever Dutch Formula 1 winner and with 18 the youngest Formula 1 winner ever in history!!!!!
LIKE!!!!!!!I am a huge fan!!!

Cheers Ritz
Nearly sick for 4 months now. Was in hospital yesterday  to check my lungs. Result next week.

Very INTERNATIONAL 50thiest Hahnweide! Fabulous weather in parts of middle Europe !


After the accident during landing at the field, killing a 21 year old female pilot, the organizers neutralized the next day and on that day they also decided to not continue with the competition.
When you are interested in the final scores after 5 days [4 for st class] you can go to www.aeroteam.de

You can go  to Wettbewerbe , then to Wertungen and Gesamtwertung from every class.




The skies on day 5 and the morning-message from the organizers;” Any questions”?
As shared by the organizers.

So day 5 was a great one!!!!No doubt about that. So after the miserable weather with several cancelled days the organizers and pilots had GREAT fun, and that’s what’s all about.
Standard;  had to go for nearly 400 km. and Michael Buchtal raced over the course with a speed of  127.7 km./h. in his Discus 2 A. The runner up , Cornelia in her LS 8, was fast too , but not as fast; 124.93 km./h .
NO out-landings  of course ,but a few struggled with the start height and got some penalty points.
After 3 days Michael leads followed by Howard from the UK and Adam from Australia.
15 m; got a task from 445 km. and all 9 pilots raced over the course as well and nearly all flew with a speed of over 120 km./h.
Freddy Hein was the fastest with 127.39 km./h in his Ventus 2ax.
After 3 days he leads the pact but only just;14 points difference with Nils Prokisch in the Ventus 2a.
18 m ;498.64 was set for the 38 pilots in this class and they were like all others ” in a hurry”. Matthias [Schunk] only needed 3 hours and 42 minutes and was back home; speed 134 km./h. He was followed by French pilot Christophe [Abadie] and Tijl and Bert Schmelzer from Belgium.
Some were so eager to go that they went too fast some too high , but great soaring on track.
Matthias out-landed on day 1 but won day 2 and 3 and moved up from 19 to 10 to 7 overall.
open class; “only” their 2d flying day and they were on a mission. Task 543 km. gave them all possibilities.
All 16 pilots had a ball and the winner was Conrad Hartter in a JS 1, ahead of ASW 22 BLE,  Antares 23 T as well as Nimbus 4 DM or EB 28.
After 2 days former World Champion Holger Karow [Antares 23T] is on spot 1 just ahead with 25 points on Stephan Beck in the ASW 22 BLE.
2 seater class; they had to go for 410 km. and they did,…ALL of them. Best was the ARCUS T with Mayer and Willems 135.14 km./h  as Wolfgang and Andy flew a tad slower; 134.85 km./h.
After 2 days the daily winners were on 1 and Wolfgang and Andy on spot 3.

Day 6 on May 5 had reasonable but tricky weather. Only 3 days to go including this one.
A difficult day with mainly blue conditions , a strong Easterly and early in the morning a low base,  later good visibility.
St. Class; 249 km and the 3d win in a row for Michael. Howard was runner up , Cornelia on spot 3.
15 m; 254 km. and the 2d win in a row for Freddy Hein. Bernd Weber from Schempp Hirth was runner up. Tim Scot [UK] on spot 3.
18 m; 295 km. Daily win for Belgian pilot Bert Schmelzer jr. He was the fastest for the day with a speed of 116 .69km./h. Runner up Swiss pilot Rolf Friedli.[ 116. 59]  Matthias was 3d.
open; 292 km. and  Swedish pilot Jim Acketoft was in before French pilot Sylvain Gerbaud.
2 Seaters; 246 km.and Theisinger /Koster won the day in the ARCUS M.


On the first row; Matthias Sturm, Katrin Senne, Conny Schaich and Bert Schmelzer jr., not former as I wrote last but still the current WGC Champion.
Behind them 3 Jones brothers [Phil, Steve and Howard] , behind them  Wolfgang Janowitsch and Michael Buchtal and to the r. Holger Karow and Andy Davis. Great shot!!!!!Shared by Boerje Eriksson.

Very INTERNATIONAL but also a very high level as I read on their site:”  The 50th International Hahnweide competition has totally 114 Teams in all classes. This year participates 11 world champions. It’s the highest level of pilots ever seen in our competition. That means statistically: in one of ten gliders is flying a world champion.” NOT BAD !!!!!
You can find pictures from the 11 and of course their names on the site; http://www.wettbewerb.wolf-hirth.de/


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Some air-shot’s from the field as shared by the organizers.

Day 7 ;”Good morning! The sun is shining! We are expecting another great competition day.”
AND….. “In our area we will have mostly blue thermals, but over the mountains there are some good cumulus with cloud-base up to 2400 meters. For this reason today’s  tasks are going direction Black Forest.”
What ‘s there more to say ??!!
Relative late starts, so no time to mess around at the start-line , as ALL had to go for the A task.

Standard class; 336 km….4th consecutive win for Michael, now 129 points ahead of Howard.
15 m. ;356 km….3d consecutive win for Freddy , 372 points ahead now of Nils and UK pilot Tim Scott.
18 m; 375 km…. 3d win for Matthias , after climbing up from 7 to 3 he is now at spot 2 !!!! REMARKABLE run from him.
open; 389 km…each day another winner, now French pilot Sylvain. At spot 4 now overall.
2 seaters; 329 km….also here each day another winner. Thos time the The Broquevilles from Belgium, climbing from 5 to 3 opverall.

Morning message; ” Today we are expecting good weather conditions again. Later in the afternoon there will be some showers, into the black forest might be some thunderstorms as well.The tasks are between 354km (15m) and 399km (18m).”
So a very interesting , maybe even tricky day where the correct choice of departure might be more than important.
Small differences in overall scores,  so EVERYTHING is possible in the top 10.

St. Class; as Michael Buchtal was the best on the last day AGAIN, it was no secret that he was the new champion in this class. He flew the set task of 357 km. with a speed of 126 km./h.
On day 1 he finished on spot 7 after he won EVERY day, so a deserved winner.[5294] Runner up was Howard Jones [UK] with 4996 points and on spot 3 German pilot Soeren Noelke.
5 out-landings one of Andreas Belz, who was on spot 3 when he started the last day, but out-landed and dropped from 3 to 10. He started in the middle not too early not too late…..

15 m.: Freddy Hein did not win the last day but  the result was still good enough to win the 15 m. comps;5238.
UK pilot Tim Scot , 3d on the last day moved up to a runner up spot [4912]With being 7, Nils lost around 240 points which gave him a 3d place.[4811]

18 m.; Young Swiss pilot , [the Swiss do have a few good young ones] Rolf Friedli, got the 1000 points on the last day, ahead of toppers like Reinhard Schramme and Bert Schmelzer jr, on spot 2 and 3.
Overall Simon Schroeder was the best. He did not win a day but flew very consistent. Good on him.In his ASG 29 E he gained a total of 5060 points over 6 days. Matthias was runner up [4948 and a great result!!!] and Bert on number 3.[4886]

open; 5 out of 9 days so less days to proof themselves .But some did. Specially the last days , Swedish pilot Jim Acketoft in the EB 28 proofed his class .[4591] He did not win the last day, he was runner up, but overall he just was better than Holger [Karow] and Sylvain [Gerbaud].Sylvain won the last day and moved from 4 to 3[ 4519]. Holger remained on spot 2.[4550]

2 seaters; Team Martin Theisinger and Juergen Koster  won the last day in the ARCUS M and with that result the comps. [4338]
They started after 2 days on a 5th spot overall. They won task 3 and 5 and moved from 5 to 4 and to 1 at the LAST day.
On the morning of the last day  Mayer and Williams were still on spot 1 , but they did not have a good last day and lost nearly 300 points dropping from 1 to spot 4.
Runners up were the THE BROQUEVILLES [4278] and Andy and Wolfgang finished on spot 3.[4261]

And then it was over and out ; a great competition that 50thiest edition at the Hahnweide!!


Finishes on the last day as seen by Kathrin.



With a check by Uli Kremer  at the Schleicher Airfield, the brand new ASG 29 Es, with call sign GPS was ready for Dutch pilot and former European champion [Pocuinai] , Rene de Dreu to take home. Rene is the Schleicher representative for the BENELUX.
Good luck with and in the beautiful glider.


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As shared by Alexander Schleicher.


Denmark ; Danish Nationals in 5 classes .


Ready to go as shared by Arne Boye Moeller.

They started on May 5 with good/top weather and still have good weather.
11 Pilots in club and after 6 days Jan Andersen is on spot 1 followed by Rasmus Orskov only 28 points behind and on spot 4 good old Henrik Breidhal.
9 Pilots in St class and Mogens Hoelgaard is the leader at this stage, with only 22 points on Frederik Noddelund.
13 Pilots in 15 m. class and at this stage, also after 6 days Jan Schmelz Pedersen tops the overall list.Good old Stig Oye is on spot 4.
12 Pilots in 18 m. and a better difference in scores for Arne Boye Moeller in this class; over 300 points on Peter Eriksen. Arne won 45 of the 6 days and on the not-winning-day he was runner up.
11 Teams in the 2 seater class and Tom Joergensen leads with his mate with quite a big margin in the Duo Discus [3991] . They won day 1 , flew consistent after and topped the overall list till now. My friends the Arndts in the DG 1000T are on spot 2 at this stage as the comps continue till the 15th.[3545]

TODAY  TASK 7 and long distances;
Club 325 km,……St. Class  398 km……15 m. 398 km…..18 m. 3.30 AAT…..2 seaters 33.30 AAT as well.
More next week !!!!!


Interesting OLC flights ! SO MANY!!!!!!!

The great weather was “ON” and you could see that on the fabulous flights. Some toppers were flying comps so could n’t do what they wanted to do , but others enjoyed soaring to the fullest. Clouds EVERYWHERE!!!! On the map it looked like a million sheep had disappeared out of Australia and walked over European soil !!!
May 4; 33 over 1000 km. flights ,  flown from Germany, Holland[1 ]  Luxembourg [1 by Guy Bechtold 1.141 km. 1000 FAI triangle in the Quintus M] and Belgium [1 by Jean Luc in the 18 m. ASG 29 E], what about that and what about a 970 flight [700 FIA triangle] in the St. Libelle by Marco Barth!!!!!?????A total of 1284 flights on a Wednesday, but in Holland most had the day off because of Memorial Day.
From the 33 even 4 x an FAI triangle !!!
Tilo [Holighaus]flew  in his brand-new Ventus 3, the longest flight till now in this fabulous looking ship.1005 km.[817 km. Fai Triangle]
On FB he said ;  “I was a bit hesitant in the morning and only declared an 800km FAI flight. After finishing, the weather still looked great so I added another 200 km to the flight.”

EVEN a 1000 from Holland flying direction NE. Great flight by Robin van Maarschalkerweerd and Jeroen Kole in the NIMBUS 4 DM. AND,…784 [641 FAI triangle] in an LS 4 by junior team squad member , Rick Boerma, is not bad either. All in our flat-as-a pancake- country. Great stuff as well; junior pilot Jelmer Vis flew 786 [ 300 FAI triangle] in the St. Cirrus.Both flew more or less together from Hoogeveen.
By the way the Dutch 1000 km. was on spot 71 on the OLC for points. So a tremendous good day!!!!
A 700 km. out and return in a Duo Discus is worthwhile talking about too. A total flight of 830 km and the out was to Stendal 350 km from home and back to Veendam in the N.E.  of Holland by Alexander and Allard. Clearly happy chappies!!!

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Well deserved cold beer after a long flight!!!
Picture shared by Alexander. Chapeau !!!  And the 1000 km from Robin and Jeroen. Picture shared by Lars Groot.

May 5; We in Holland celebrated our Freedom , LIBERATION DAY, so a day off , but blue.
2 Dutch top pilots Sikko Vermeer and Alfred Paul Alfers started for a short European tour leaving on Thursday and coming back on Sunday direction Germany ,Czech Rep and Poland.They first flew to Bayreuth and from there they flew into the Czech Rep to eventually land later in the day at Klix.
One 1000 was flown in an ASG 29 /18m. from Burg Feuerstein.

May 6;1.100 km. flight by Matthias Schunk in the Quintus M. from Ohlstadt. 818 in the St. Cirrus by Boris Zorz from Lesce Bled.

May 7; Matthias Schunk was not yet tired and flew now 1.155 km.[Germany]
904 km. from Lienz in a Kestrel 17 is not bad either; [Austria] 851 in an LS 6 from Bolzano, just TOP!!!![Italy]
Rainer Cronjaeger flew his first declared 1000 FAI tringle in the ASH 31 MI/21 m. from Hausen an Albis [Switserland].
So another 3x 1000 km.

May 8;On this day a 372 km. was flown in Australia from Kingaroy in a Mosquito and from Itakura in Japan 303 km. in a DG 400/17 m. So not only the middle of Europe is good.
Rainer added another 1000 km. flight to his list .
From Mifflin County in the USA great outstanding ridge-soaring-flights from 1.032 km. in a Schweizer  [1-26] by Dan Sazhin and        1. 240 in an ASW 20 by Evan Ludeman.


Pictures shared by Dan on FB.

May 9; a just-1000 km, from a place I never heard of in Germany . So good the flight was added to the OLC , as I know now about Alkersleben !!![NW of Bayreuth] Must have heard about it when I was at the WGC in Bayreuth.
great weather in Norway, where Arne Martin Guettler [Discus BT] flew together with Per Morten Lovsland [LS6]  ; 608 and 554 km.

May 10; yesterday Poland topped the OLC list with an 822 km. flight in an 18 m. ASG 29 E.


Sailplane Grand Prix in Russia.

The new airfield of Usman had a total of  7 days out of 8. Sebastian Kawa was the clear winner with 45 points. Petr Krejcirik had 35 points and Vladas Motuza had 30.
The last day had 265 km. task
I copied and pasted for you the organizers news of the last day.
“Eighth (seventh racing) day of FAI Sailplane Grand Prix Russia 2016 Usman. That was really grand finale: unexpected champion of the day, [Anton Minskiy] expected champion of the whole competition (who else but Sebastian Kawa) and overall joy. This was the open day, so general public came to designated area, got acquainted with small aircraft and gliders, and enjoyed the aerobatics show by Chelavia and First Flight aerobatics teams. “

VARESE in Italy is next ;May 14 till 21.


French St Class, 15 m and 2 seater Nationals.

43 Pilots were active and with 6 out of 8 days it was a good competition in one handicapped class.The first flying day, straight away had a 500 km task which  was won by Christophe Cousseau in the ASG 29.
After,.. it was more around 300 km and AAT’s from 3 and 2 hours.
Champion; Louis Bouderlique Discus 2A and 5133 points,  runner up, Christophe Cousseau in ASG 29 and 5032 points and Christophe Ruch finished on spot 3 with 4899 points in a Ventus 2 AX.

GIRO d’Italia!

Not the Tour De France , but the Giro D’Italia, talking about cycling now,  raced through Holland. Starting at Apeldoorn with a time trial and the next day racing from Arnheim to Nijmegen and on Sunday the other way around. After ,…all ” bikers” and staff fly to Italy.
Close by Nijmegen is the NIJAC the club at Malden. So as helicopters flew over, a bit of great PR was made to draw some attention for soaring as well.


Picture from TV . Shared by Albert Alders from the NIJAC.


That’s it, feeling a bit better now.
By the way we moved up in temperature from the coldest April 27 [ 8 dgr C. winter coats] to the hottest May 5. [25 dgr. C.shorts] Last Sunday we had 27 dgr. C. Upcoming long Pentecost-weekend back to 12!!! Yes the weather remains the weather.
Hope it will be flyable for the 51 participants from the CAE- BENELUX comps here at Terlet in Holland.[May 17-27]

My soccer club PSV won the Dutch title on the last day and totally unexpected . Ajax was the favorite for the title with equal amount of points but a difference of 9 goals in their favor,when they started on the last day. With  3 points for Eindhoven and 1 for Amsterdam, a huge party exploded in the S. of Holland.
Very pleased.

Cheers Ritz

One of my good friends , Theo, passed the flower beds in Lisse,…… great is n’t it?
Please do not forget to read the article below. It’s important for everyone.


A must-read-article by former World Champion Karol Staryszak about competition flying, loosing a mate, risk versus demand and responsibilities by organizers , pilots and crew.

I got this article via my Australian friends and it is a MUST-READ-story not only for competition pilots but for all pilots. It’s written after the accident during the competition [Flight Challenge Cup]  at Prievidza. I wrote about it in my blog.
This season has started with TOO much incidents and accidents. NOT GOOD !!!
So I publish it straight away !!!!!!
A reflection on our sport should make us think and hopefully fly safe.
We all want to go home after a competition or a soaring camp,  to share exciting stories with friends and family at home.
As I have said many times before;[competition] flying is good, winning even better, but going home after ….best.

Here is Karol’s story;

To Turn Back Time.
We’ve all had a moment in our lives when we’ve wanted to undo what has already happened. It is not possible; we don’t have a time machine to change the course of events. That’s life; our every action has irreversible effects. It is impossible to restore life to our friend Marcin, though I would give everything for it. Somehow I cannot pack and leave Previdza. My instinct to repair and improve things doesn’t let me sleep at night. My friends went to collect the remains, and I want to do something, and the only thing that comes to my mind is to pour on paper all my rattling thoughts. I apologize to all whom I may hurt in this time of mourning and wistfulness, but I cannot do anything else except brutally state the truth. I’m crying as I write this, but I know I have to do something.

Haste In Aviation Is a Recipe For Disaster.
This tragic day started nervously; briefing had been rescheduled from 10:00 am to 9:00 am. Although this had been mentioned previously, it was still a surprise to many. There was rushing to fill gliders with water and confusion on the grid. Some of the pilots were ready but I was in a different mindset. Fortunately, something clicked, and I decided that a quiet breakfast was more important, so I finished eating and decided to skip the briefing and fill my ship instead. However, all the water spigots were still taken, so I did go to the meeting, picked up the task sheet, and went to fill my plane. The Cu were forming and the start was confirmed for 10:00 am. Too soon for me, but I could still make it…. I positioned myself behind the grid, knowing that they would let me start after all classes were launched. I was ready few minutes before the start, I still had time to look at the sky, send a text and relax. I also saw many pilots in first rows, running to their planes.

Flying Behind the Best Pilots.
For most of my flight I was following Sebastian. It was an unbelievable run along the slopes in difficult conditions. At any time I could reach the fields or return to the valley. We approached the Tatra Mountains and it got very difficult, with only a turbulent ridge lift, snow clouds covering the mountain tops, and gusty winds up to 30km/h. I wasn’t surprised when suddenly Sebastian went up and I stayed 300m below. Instead of staying in this lift, I followed a different glider along the slope above 500m AGL. I was still full of water—why? We only did 100km and had 500 km to go. Pure stupidity. The weather on the Polish side was getting worse. I had serious doubts about finding landing fields in front of us and I told my colleague that there was no place to land ahead. He reminded me that he had an engine, and that was a sobering moment for me. I turned around, returned along a no longer working ridge and landed on beautiful even grass, with my heart rate exceeding 300 beats per minute. I got out of the glider. It was intact, so with a smile of relief on my face I said aloud, “Life is beautiful!” I was so happy that this fight ended safely for me that I wanted to sing.

In the Field.
I was happy. I have achieved Zen and I was delighted that the weather had improved and that gliders were thermalling above me. I was thrilled they were still flying while the sun was out and new, and healthy Cu were forming. It was quiet, the birds were singing, the mountains around were beautiful. I went for a little hike and enjoyed the views. I called Marcin—he was supposed to retrieve me—but he didn’t answer. I thought he was lucky; he most likely had stayed in the back, waited out the weather and was going back home…or maybe he had made the turnpoint and was on his way home…


Like a Herd of Sheep.
We fall into a trap by following someone else; we forget about ourselves. This someone may be much better than us, as is the case with Sebastian and me. He may see more, he may have a plan of his own, and we are counting on him for help. Wrong! In critical situations we are alone, without any help! We always have to have our own plan! A pilot who is in front of us and higher than us has a different perspective, sees more, can fly farther, is less stressed and therefore makes less mistakes. Usually, the higher you are—the stronger the lift is, the ridge works better, and there is less turbulence. If we are lower and want to catch up, we actually might need to slow down, take a good lift to the top, and avoid their mistakes by optimizing our own flight path. On this ill-fated day I forgot all about that, I followed Sebastian, even though I was lower than him, in very difficult terrain. I’ve heard quite often that you fly behind someone to learn. In my opinion, you can learn only by working together on the radio, where you can discuss and consider options, such as what to do when the ridge or cloud does not work. Passive following only makes you dumber. The only way to learn is to compare your and others’ decisions. Sometimes you will pay for your decision with a landout but sometimes your idea is better. This brings the biggest satisfaction. I used to fly with Janusz Centka; I remember one competition when we flew two Jantar 2B in weak weather. It started to rain; I was a bit lower and it looked like a landout was inevitable. Janusz was telling me about a certain field further down past the road. I couldn’t see it, but there we were approaching another field, and I decided to land there. I turned and landed with the wind, of course forgetting about the landing gear. Janusz landed comfortably 2km further on a big field without any problems. Was my decision right? Of course! It’s just a shame I made it too late.


Flying With an Engine.
I wish I had an engine, I thought at the foothills of the Tatra Mountains, I would have been home by now. It seems to me now that I would have taken the risk and flown further. Maybe I would have made the turnpoint but maybe it would have ended much worse. I cannot exclude the possibility that I would have pressed forward as much as Marcin did. Flying with an engine requires mental and practical preparation. You need to assume that the engine will not start. You should find a good field, plan the landing, make a pattern, drop the landing gear, and with safe altitude—preferably on your downwind leg— start the engine. Starting an engine without the starter requires strange maneuvers low to the ground—we never practice them that low. I once saw my friend starting the engine over the airport; he almost crashed but landed with the tail wind in the field nearby. Twice, I have landed an engineequipped glider in a field, knowing that I was too low to try to start it. A few years earlier my engine didn’t start at 500m so I had to land in the field. A few too many cases like that.. Do you remember Henio Muszczynski? I don’t think his engine ever started.

Always start your engine OVER THE FIELD. You need an option in case of an unsuccessful start!
In gliders with an engine without a starter, a raised propeller creates a significant drag. Acceleration with a windmilling propeller results in a big loss of altitude, so if you need to try again you can lose up to 300m. You have to remember that; you have to have an altitude limit below which you will not risk starting the engine—you just land in the field.

Outlanding Penalty.
It is difficult to make a decision to land out, especially when others are still flying; you know it is the end of the flight for you and that you will give away hard-earned points. I landed once in the field on the last day of the World Competition and dropped from first place. It was a great disappointment. But do you know what I think now? I don’t give a damn. I don’t remember what year it was; if I didn’t have a video clip from the award ceremony I wouldn’t even remember that I was there. So what if I didn’t get the first place medal—I have another one and I don’t even know where it is. The most important thing is the satisfaction from flying. If you can’t get satisfaction from the competition where you didn’t finish first, stop competing. It’s pointless and will only get you in trouble. Landing in the field always is a setback. Sometimes it costs you a competition, sometimes just a late night return, with a hurried morning the next day, but we should allow ourselves to be rewarded for a good, safe outlanding. Buy yourself something, go out for a nice dinner. Let’s reward others for the same. If you think that a landout or a lost competition is a failure, think about Marcin…

Before the competition.
I have often heard “Show them how it’s done,” or “Get them,” before a competition. This is the worst thing you can tell other pilots before they fly. What should you say? “Fly for pleasure.” “Have fun.” “Enjoy your time out there.” “Make your own decisions.” “Gain some experience.” “It doesn’t matter if you win, it is important that you are happy.” “Fun first, then the result.” “If you are not sure that what you are doing is right, don’t do it.” It doesn’t matter if it is the World Championship, FCC or maybe KZS; the name of the competition is meaningless if you don’t come back healthy. I once wrote on a piece of paper, “Think ahead,” and attached it to the instruments panel so I could see it all the time; I had (and still have) an issue with that—quite often my quick and poorly thought-out decisions got me in trouble.

Responsibilities of Organizers and Task Committees.
It is often said that the organizer should do this or that… They should call a day, they should create an easier task, they should make sure there are landout fields along the task route, they should not launch so many gliders at the same time, etc. But the task is not an order, you do not have to fly it; the decision to fly is yours and yours only! Whether I go over an area with no fields and no option to return, or my final glide is below the glide path, or I fly in a peloton, or in the clouds—this decision is only MINE! The last day of the FCC was so close to being successful—perhaps one more thermal or a moment of sunshine would have allowed Marcin and others to return to better conditions. There would have been many stories that evening of how some of the pilots had recovered. It’s worth keeping in mind how fine the line is between good fortune and tragic bad luck. Never, after a flight, tell yourself that you should have taken that risk, that chance. If you made a certain decision that resulted in a safe outcome, it means that it was the best decision, worthy of the title of World Champion.


You are a Champion if you made a professional decision to abort the task, landed in the field and landed safely!
I assure you there are plenty of professional pilots who cannot do that. Obviously, the organizer ought to consider every aspect of the competition, but sometimes it isn’t so. We need to assume that the organizer could unknowingly send us into trouble and may unintentionally endanger our safety. In 1999, just before the start, I had a technical problem. I ran to the grid manager, who was overseeing the launch, and said I could not take off. “Get out of here!“ he shouted, pointing at my glider, so I pulled my 2B (which was full of water) by the tail to the side. Sometimes we meet people who do not wish us well. They are frantic, have their own goals and don’t pay attention to others and their problems. We, the pilots, have to be immune to this, we need to stop the course of events—and say STOP to ourselves.
My request to the organizers and managers: take into consideration the weaker pilots—don’t look only at Sebastian, who flies at the speed of sound. My request to competitors and pilots: don’t criticize the CD for setting a task short, not following the streets, or on a blue day. If you see that he needs help—help him. Create a group that can help with task setting; maybe it is not very sportsmanlike, but soaring is not fair anyway. My request to the teams and ground crews: if you see something is not right—address it! Do not ignore the voices of others; perhaps they are justified. My request to everyone: if things do not go as they should, if you feel that something is out of control—stop the course of events, land out, and go back to the airport. Do everything to end the day well. In a month, or a year, when you want to compete again, you will take off to fly another task, you will fly another pattern, you will practice again.

Enormous energy.
We do not realize how much energy we have to manage when we fly a glider. It is so easy: we fill the wings with 150–200 liters of water, we hook it up to the car and pull it to the start; we get a plane tow to 600 meters. Then, with gentle movements of the stick we turn, accelerate, and release. We do not feel the energy used to bring us up to 600m and how much additional energy we got from the thermal. All this energy returns to zero after our 150m roll after landing. Think how tiring it is to walk up 10 flights of stairs. In a glider 10 times heavier, in order to lift it 10 times as high, we can do it with two fingers. When gliders collide or when one crashes to the ground, we can compare it only with an explosion; if someone survives such a moment it should be considered a miracle.


Winning the competition.
I am writing that it is not worth it, that it’s better to let go, that we shouldn’t take risks, but if we are serious about soaring, we want to be successful. We cannot collect laurels without putting something at stake. The win is just the opposite of the disaster. You begin with good preparation, you arrive for the competition early, fully rested and ready to start your first day. You have to be mentally prepared for success, but also failure. Winning consists of a series of good decisions without unnecessary risk (a necessary risk, for example, is landing out but never endangering your health). The guy with bigger balls wins sometimes, but those are isolated cases. Flying this way, you can win a competition but you can also lose your life. A competition which you are going to win usually goes well; you feel like you’re not forcing anything, it just “works”. If you are trying hard to win and things do not go well—just let it go. Instead, focus on why you fly at all and why you like it. Soaring is beautiful and you spend time with people you like. If you can reach the balance between the fun of flying and the fun of competing—I guarantee you are going to win. You may not necessarily win the race but you will gain the satisfaction from flying.

Life goes on.
Marcin is already gone. Why did it affect me so much? Maybe because he was a wonderful man. I didn’t know him very well but I felt I was his friend—as simple as that. He was open, honest, and extremely humble. He was normal! One would want to be around people just like him. It moved me so because I know how tough it was, where he ended up; because I know how hard it is to land out when others are still flying. I know I could have been in his shoes, I could have been in a situation where I would run out of luck, skill or common sense. I also know that when it is too late you need to save yourself, set full flaps, go upwind and control the glider. But would I be able to do this properly under unimaginable stress, with critically low altitude and the sight of approaching trees? I do not know and I hope that I never will. We will continue to fly, continue to compete, but to our surprise, we will catch ourselves getting too low. Marcin would want us to draw conclusions from his tragic flight. He would certainly say: “I put myself in a situation with no way out; never do this.” Thank you, Marcin. I am grateful that I knew you, that I was a part of your circle. I regret that I couldn’t tell you my thoughts, I regret that we had so little time together. You don’t know how much I wish I had accidentally driven my car over your wingtip so that you couldn’t fly that day, and how—I know—you wouldn’t even have cared that much, you would have just smiled wryly and then said, “No problem, nothing happened.” That is how Marcin was. I wish for myself and for everyone who reads this, that we can, at the right moment, say.
“Thanks guys, I am landing now.”

Karol Staryszak

This article has been translated from Polish This article can be reproduced only in its entirety.

Swaantje !! QSGP in ….Russia!! 50 Years Hahnweide comps!! 24th Klix with another sad accident!!



We all knew it was going to happen, we knew we could do what ever we wanted to do ,  to keep her alive ……. but,…we could only loose against this form of cancer.
The way she fought it, she dealt with it and she shared it with all her mates, made her extra special.
In Benalla I knew this was our last encounter. As I said before it was a miracle to me that she WAS flying there; so fragile, not eating much and still be able to fly under hot circumstances. I guess she had to do it, as she knew as well that this would be her last competition.But still……the determination struck me.What a trooper !!
She loved competition soaring, was a member of the German female  team and nearly won the WWGC in France ,when her brakes would have not caused her problems.
She loved Australia .
One of her Aussie mates [ Baldrik Hovood] published this picture from the sculpture at Benalla. I share it too as this is just a beautiful tribute to her.
Farewell Swaantje you can lay your head to rest now, too early , …..but life is not always kind. You will be sadly missed by many!



Hahnweide 2016.

One of the comps Swaantje might have flown,  would have been  the 50 thiest edition of the HAHNWEIDE competition at Kirchheim Teck, HOME OF SCHEMPP-HIRTH.
They started last Friday with a practice day, with  117 competitors in 4 classes;  shared over standard, 15 m,. 18 m., open class and 2-seaters. Unfortunately the weather was not always kind during the first days . The first 2 days  for open and 2 seater class had to be cancelled.
Till now they flew in the other 3 classes 2 out of 5 days.BUT today seems to be  GOOD!!!!!

That Friday,as it was so close by anyhow, former world champion Bert Schmelzer jr, flew the latest “ship”  from Schempp-Hirth the Ventus 3 and straight away made the longest flight till now in it;700 km. and with a speed 126 km./h.
great practice, next day he flew for the comps his ASG 29 E again.
In his OLC comment he praised the new glider; ”

—“Thank you for the opportunity to fly this amazing glider.
During the first 10 seconds I already felt at home in the well designed cockpit.
Thermalling is easier than ever before and cruising underneath strong energy lines is a shear joy with this agile racing machine.
Congratulations with your new flagship.—“

Patrick Puskeiler started the comps in the ARCUS T with a first flight for the season and straight away an unforgettable one flying over the Jura area, over the Alps , the Vogesen, Schwarzwald and the Alb. Sightseeing at it’s best !744 km.

Flying day 1 had tasks  between 187 and 250 km.
In St Class Andreas Belz was just ahead of UK pilot Howard Jones; 627 for 622 points, both flying a Discus 2 A. Australian mate Adam Woolley finished on spot 8 in an 15 m. LS 8.
13 From 26  finished. Not all pilots at the field had finished but returned of bad incoming weather.
15 m; the 229 km. were flown by 6 of the 10 pilots in this class.A pity for the girls Katrin [Senne] and Stefanie [Muhl] , they only got  34 and 36  points, whilst the winner  Stefan Lichtmannecker “got” 784.
18 m; Reinhard Schramme is still a pilot to keep an eye on. He won day 1 in the 18 m. Ventus 2CXA. 657 points. French pilot Christophe Abadie was runner up for the day.[ASG 29E/18m.] 12 From 36 finished.

Flying day 2 on Sunday May 1; ” labor-day”. With a morning still grey and wet, but hope for better circumstances.
“NO LABOR ” for the pilots as in flying,  as the day was cancelled for all classes.

Flying day 2 on Monday May 2. AND,..the first flying day for open and 2-seaters and WHAT day; 533 km. and 394 km.
And not bad either; 390, 394 and 490 km. for st.,  15 m. and 18 m.
14 from 15 in open managed to fly the long distance. Best speed was 114 km./h.in a Nimbus 4 M.
23 teams started for the 349 km. and finished. GOOD! Best speed 121 km./h in the ARCUS T.

Yesterday was cancelled for all classes but the forecast was good for the next day.

For today the message after briefing was; “Good morning! Briefing is over. We are expecting a fantastic flying day with lifts between 2.5 – 3.4 m/s. Cloudbase over the Alb up to 2400m.” 



Another top competition at the same time flown from Klix, the 24th edition with a fabulous first day last Friday; cloud-streets over 500 km.
First launches straight at 12 last Friday and within an hour all pilots  in 4 classes were airborne.
433 km. on this first day for the 26 pilots in open class and a Dutch winner Hadriaan van Nes in his 18 m. JS 1.
In St class 33 competitors and a great first day for the LS 8’s; 1-5 for LS 8 !
Club with 30 pilots had a 213 km. task and Sabrina Vogt in the St Libelle won the day.
22 In the 2-seater class and best for the day; a Polish ARCUS M.

Day 2; Last April day.Saturday with booming conditions and 470 for the open class pilots. Booming turned out not too booming and only 7 from 22 finished. Among them 2 Dutch pilots Hadriaan and Tim Kuijpers former JWGC Champion.
339 for standard and again good places for Dutch pilots. Most of them don’t fly there for the first time. Sjaak Selen was the daily winner and Tims mother Frouwke was one of the finishers. Good on her, as only 17 from 33 finished!!
In club 26 from 30 finished so a good day for all of them.
415 km. for the 2 seaters was in the end TOO much. Only 6 from 24 made it home.

Sunday May 1;day 3. In 1 hour and 14 minutes all 116 gliders were up in the air.
Open class; Helge Liebertz in the ASH 25 with 2 Dutch pilots as runner up; Robert Werts on spot 2 in the Nimbus 3D and Hadriaan who had a good day again on spot 4 in the JS 1. A 2.30 AAT was set.
Standard had a 3.30 AAT and best distance combined with time was flown in an LS 8;319 km. in 3.36.
3 Hour AAT in club and Sabrina in the St Libelle had the best score ;1000 points for 268 km. in time 3.26.
2 Hour AAT for the 2 seaters and 600 points for the ARCUS M with call sign WK.

Monday May 2; Day 4….another flying day !!! Great weather there in good old Klix.
AAT’s from 2.30, 3 and 3.30 were set. The 3.30 was for the 2 seaters and nearly all finished.

Yesterday, day 5, another good soaring day.3.30 in open class, 2.30 in Standard and club and 3 for the 2 seaters.

Today is neutralized as yesterday during landing an accident happened with one of the female pilots. Sadly enough she did not survive it. TRAGIC. As I read, only 21 years old.
TOO many incidents AND EVEN WORSE accidents this season and it only just begun !!!!!





Nice to see a QSGP flown from the new airfield at Usman in Russia. Even nicer to see that all pilots fly a JANTAR.
” Just ” a Jantar or a St Jantar or St. Jantar 2 or 3.
The PR machine started straight away with the introduction of the pilots and certainly toppers like many-times-world- champion Sebastian are fabulous ” PR TOOLS.”

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Sebastian inside with Sergey Klyuev and outside with press and TV, ….and not yet the best weather.

Among the pilots who started on May 1 as did Sebastian, other names as Petr Krejcirik and Petr Panek from Czech Rep and Jakub Pulawski from Poland.
The only participating Russian  pilot I know is Dmitriy Timoshenko.
Day 1 was a day with several penalty points and Sebastian who won , but no points were given.
The next day was cancelled.
Day 2 yesterday was again for Sebastian but this time with 10 points. Petr was runner up with 8 points.


The first 10 points in the pocket for Sebastian.
As shared by the organizers.


Gauteng Regionals.


Oscar in the new ASG 32 MI with    Martin Attwell.
Shared by Jason Adriaan.

Day 4 was on and a small, just under 200 km. task was set in open class. Not many points to gain but still 420 for a nice speed by John [Coutts] of 127 km./h.
Day 5 was better . 376.76 was set . After 4 days John [ JS 1] and Oscar top the list with a marge of less than 150 points, so everything was possible.
All 8 pilots in open started and finished and best was Mike Barenbrug in the 18 m. Ventus 2CM; 607 points for a speed of 125.65 km./h.
Oscar was 2d and John 3d. He still leads the overall scores with 99 points now on Oscar.
Day 6 was for John and s the last day was cancelled the pilots knew who were the winners of this regional competition; John Coutts in open , Wayne Schmidt in 15 m., and Mark Howse in club.


OLC flights.

Pretty special the flight in Japan [Kakuda] from Takeshi Saito on the last day of April; 909 km. in a Discus BT. Have a look at his track, flying over the island with a sea to the left and right.
One day earlier a few 1000 k’s in Germany, one of them a 1000km FAI triangle; good on Alexander Mueller in the EB 29, flying from Bayreuth.
Swiss pilot Daniel Rossier flew 1.120 from Yverdon in Switzerland in the ASH 31/21 m.
May 1; great weather in Finland and 620 km. in an ASW 20 by Kristian Roine.
May 2; Great weather over Holland with 500 km. flights!
May 3; 1000 km. from Locarno by Swiss junior Davide in the St Cirrus. “763 km 3 TP flight declared for the badge
Also in Holland TOP weather with a 726 in a St Cirrus by runner up at the last JWGC Robin Smit.
Even 939 km. was possible yesterday from Holland, after WORK so a relative late styart at 12by Mark Leeuwenburg . As Mark said; ” Never had such a day in Holland” . He even claims that 1100 would have been possible.
For some pilots in Holland it was a first 300,500 and 600 km.!!!


Still not well. Sorry !

Cheers Ritz