Back to normal !? VERONICA…. the place to be in the future?!

Benalla …the day after!!

No blue skies in Benalla on the day everybody departed. The Usual….!
The normal weather is back.
as shared by the successful team UK.

One of the worse things of a WGC is packing at the end and going home. Of course you are happy to see your family again when they are not with you, but you step out of a bubble back in the reality.
Containers have to be packed, tickets to be found again somewhere under in the bags/suitcases and you have to be in time at the airfield. Now is Benalla only a 2 hour drive, so not much can go wrong there.
Glider pilots often are airline pilots and they have the time to fly the comps ,but have to return back to work straight away, so the “heavy jobs after” more or less waits  for the TC and crews. No worries part of the job!!
I guess a few pilots will maybe still have nightmares of the gaggles and see everything in  BLUE .
BUT..they also go back with great memories on a fine well organised competition …forget about the weather for a moment….and on great friendships ,lovely get-to-gethers and unforgettable moments.

Life continues so do we, but there is not a lot happening in our world at the moment. Gliders will take a few weeks to be shipped home again also from Namibia and South Africa where they had a great season . In S.A they still fly around 819 km. in a Duo Discus [Gariep Dam]
From Corowa not far from Benalla, they flew last Monday 750 in an ARCUS M, but with pretty strong wind and a drop of rain more N.
Stefan Soell in his LS 4 flew 500 from Tocumwal. Swiss Chris flew again from his homefield in Tocumwal and mentioned :
“2 days after WGC 2017 the good weather is back.” Grrrr……
Chris did a great job in sharing news and fabulous pictures over the last 2 weeks. Thanks again Chris!!

Got some new Polish FB friends, so I do receive some more nice pictures. Here is one shared by Maciek Labno ;

Sebastian now has eight FAI World Championship gold medals across different classes and is the most successful competition glider pilot in history.


Time to look at VERONICA in Namibie. I did not know a lot about it, so I asked Bert Schmelzer sr. who flew there with his wife Hilde for his impressions and as you can expect from Bert he did this detailed and with a lot of pictures!!


Veronica Flying Lodge Namibia


The well-known spots in Namibia as Bitterwasser, Pokweni and Kiripotib are for sure on the “to-do list” of many gliderpilots. A brand-new destination for friends of “long distance flights” with gliders is available since November 2016 in Namibia.

Veronica is a big farm of 180 km² with a huge animalstock of all sorts, including black rhinos, giraffes and all those African animals. Besides a farm, it is also customized as a Game-drive lodge, and during Namibian winters as a hunter lodge.

Bernd Dolba, a real seasoned maker, started Kiripotib already more than 10 years ago and was the responsible CFI of flying there. Under his watchful eye Kiripotib flourished, and is still a nice place with high activity.

Bernd gets intrigued by the Veronica location, laying at the Olifant-“river” in a beautiful surrounding with lovely red Kalahari-sanddunes. Close to Kiripotib direction ESE and NE from Bitterwasser, meaning excellent located in the morning when heading to the east to find good thermals during the first hours when long distance flights are planned. The imposing Lodge and the luxury Bungalows are located on the top of the dunes and one can watch the animals at the watersources, and admire the real African wide scenery. And belief it or not, Bernd realized in a mum of time an airfield with hangar, two outstanding runways (RW 08-26 / 2000m x 90m and RW 02-20 / 1600m x 60m) and one short emergency runway for landing of 700m, a powerful radiostation and an automatic weather-information-service every hour at the airfield, all readable over 100km.


How did he do it? With bulldozers, the right people, and an incredible energy, the untamed will to do and the talent of persuading the right people. The whole project was created from zero until the first take-off in less than six month, chapeau.

That first season, November 2016 until end of January 2017, was a rehearsal. Many plus thousand kilometer flights were made with only six self-launching gliders type Arcus M and one ASW-22.  More wasn’t scheduled but all went perfect and showed that next season twelve or thirteen self-launchers will be welcome.

Bert Sr. Schmelzer / Antwerp-Belgium

 Bert, with  Jaroslav Potměšil Czech owner of  the SHARK manufacturer and Dr. Med. Juergen Koch , a wellknown German long distance pilot . Juergen was so kind to send me lot’s of fabulous EXTRA pictures about Veronica. TOO many to publish now, but I keep them in my file.They are made with a CANON Power Shot SX710 HS.
Thanks Mr. Juergen Koch.

Flying in Africa must be awesome!!!!

See you in VERONICA!!!


CU  next week
Cheers Ritz

Last 1987 and 2017 -WGC- blog !Back with the regular blog on Wednesday!

Flying over a lot “of nothing”.
As shared by WGC champion Sebastian.

Listening to a lot of pilots,  the last day of this 2017 competition was a terrible one. Some even mentioned they should not have started but, they did .
2000 ft. over the field, over 100 gliders many dumping water mostly in 15 m. class as they were up first.

As I was not there I can not ” feel” the atmosphere so I stay out of that.
From 1987 I know the task setters had a hard time. And then they even had 12 days out of 12 with one compulsory  rest-day.
For both comps counts that the weather was not really Aussie weather. Both times cyclones up N had influences ,this year even worse than in 1987.

During both comps the Benalla people and the town were more than supportive, warm and friendly as I noticed .Town people invited teams for dinner or a real Aussie BBQ and shops made PR for soaring.Lot’s of pictures from happy people in town.

At both comps ” friends-for-live” were found or re-found. That is such a beautiful aspect of our sport!!! I relighted my enthusiasm by looking back at the pictures.
I can be honest or polite about 1987; when I am polite  I loved every minute there as anyone else did,  but when I am honest ,  we and a lot of others thought…. everywhere in Australia is good for a WGC , but not in Benalla anymore.
After 30 years they were back just there.

New gliders as EB 29R, JS 3 RAPTURE and VENTUS 3T, all of them showed their potential and will be seen even more on the next WGC’s. The DIANA 2 did a superb job.

What struck me most, creating this combination blog is that so many people are not with us anymore!!! All those nice friends so many gone due to illness or accidents.
Who could have ever thought that both Kees and Dennis would die within a year!!!! Tragic and unbelievable!!!! Kees during a hang glider accident in France and Dennis in his tug on a retrieve in Australia. Already………30 years ago this year.

Gaggle flying!!!! A hot item this year but also 30 years ago. The comps were pretty similar.
In the blue you stick together,…yes but with so many and some only looking at their instruments and relying on their FLARM , it is more and more dangerous. A mid air in 1987 and in 2017 with some near misses as well.
Also one in Uvalde in 1991 with a fatal accident involving Anssi Passila from Finland and one in 2012 with one pilot landing the other bailing out.[Peter Hartmann]
So in 30 years nothing changed. About time it does. We do now have the “intelligence” of trackers showing exactly what’s going on. Ask the pilots involved for a comment first, if that is not good enough …..disqualification.
That’s my humble opinion.

As shared on several social media.

I will continue with my Wednesday blogs now again. Mac has promised already to shine his light over this WGC. He did a great job. Being on that important spot 1 overall for a few days , but with “Sebastian and Lucasz on a mission” , it was nearly impossible to win, but he showed how good he is and I was surprised when Sebastian straight after finishing got a “mike” under his nose and said when he heard Mac was not yet back ; ” Mac not yet back?” He was some kind of surprised as well, so Sebastian had his doubts too, he proofs he is  “just a normal guy” but a very TALENTED new icon/ legend Ingo has quit competition flying already for a while.
The new Ingo.

The soaring icons/ legends for ALL of us.


Different times, different gliders [no engines], different instruments, but both more-than-once-WGC-winners.


For the last time back to 1987.
Here is the material I used ;my photo book and some papers I kept.


The book and papers and the book front and back with stickers from that time.

THE WW 2 HANGAR in Tocumwal from the in and outside in 1987.
About 10 years later we bought Sportavia including this hangar. Around 2006 the then sole owner R.C sold everything on an auction. As said before the SRGC “lives” in it now, with Ingo as their president.

Dutch pilots; Kees with his mate Bruce and Gerrit talking to the “red men”/helpers.
We always had MM, this time SX,  Kees always MS and Daan NL and Baer SB
Bruce later bought this MS.

USA pilot Eric Mozer ” Herbie” for friends  with his crew and the very involved French TC Jackie Clerbaux “Kiki”  for friends.

My friend Sue and I  and Inge, me , Giep and Kees….. just looking around the corner.

PARTY TIME after the comps. First a dinner together with the team, then drinks at the pub bar or the other way around.

Adrian,  Jo [from Tocumwal] and George enjoying drinks
Baer Selen ,2 times WGC champion and his partner Chris, Adrian ,Kees ,Giep and Daan , Gerrit, David and Robyn Riley ,George and Dennis and Piet all relaxed and in our hotel the Executive Hideaway for dinner and ” words”.

Great memories.
MUCH more work than I thought,… but I loved it.
CU on Wednesday.

“It’s all over” Part 2.


The very successful UK team shared some nice pictures from the champions and indeed with a gold for Russell and the team Cup and a bronze for Mike and Andy , they did extremely well. Looking forward to their performances at the EGC in Lasham.

The team effort. Excellent!

Germany with Walter , UK as winner with Max and for France Eric.


The champions in 18 m. CONGRATULATIONS !!!

15 m. class  with Mike [3] , Killian [1] and Mario [2] ,……and still BLUE skies!!!!


THE VERY HAPPY WINNERS from the other side.



With Andy [3], Russell [1] and Michael [2] , well done guy’s.



courtesy Maria Szemplinska one of the best photographers in the world
With Lucasz, Sebastian and Mac [Makoto]
and shared on FB by Gliding Team Klinika Kolasinski.


the “10 best players of the WGC game in 15 m.”  as shared by the French.

Good to see French pilot Anne on spot 9 and   UK pilot Derren on spot 6!!
Loved the comment of young Aussie Andy Maddocks who wrote;
“Firstly congratulations to the team for a great overall result. This post however I would like to talk about one of the happiest guys at the competition, Derren. Derren managed to come 6th place at his first WGC and as he told everyone that would listen at the final night party, in a 20+ year old glider. I’m sitting here this morning seeing people upset about 2nd or 3rd etc and you have this guy that makes this sport so amazing to be around. Congratulations Derren. You are a great of this sport and I look forward to seeing you on that top step one day soon.”




unfortunately I did not find one from 18 m. class.


Uys flew this speed in the JS 3 RAPTURE and,… no they did not win,… but proofed again that they built an excellent glider with a few very high scores.


Party time first yesterday for Bruce, so it should be relaxing first and then re-flecting . Here is his promised comment ;

It’s all finished. We are mostly packed, and now waiting to fly one of the new gliders which appeared here.
Yesterday was another tough day, which began with the15m class circling over the airfield so low we could have thrown some lunch packages up to them. Slowly it improved, and all of us were launched on the final task. I almost fell down for a relight, but crawled away, and it improved a bit more through the afternoon. The people like me who were down the list started as early as possible to make sure we got back, while the leaders played the terrible games they have to play. Mostly we used 4 knot climbs to 4500 feet, sometimes better, but as we came south towards home it got steadily worse. By the time we arrived over the Warby hills east of Benalla it was desperate, with conditions deteriorating rapidly as we struggled to find enough height to get back. Finally I left my last thermal a few hundred feet low, sneaked around the final checkpoint and set off towards the airfield. It was not until I flew through some friendly air around 8-10 km from the finish that I considered it a possibility that I might make it back, which I did. The leaders who started late all had a real struggle and finished slowly… just.
It is a sad measure of how this competition has been for me, that yesterday I made no real decisions of my own, and finished in third place! I just followed the pack, and for me, that is not a measure of skill. We need to do something about this. The answer is not simple, but many pilots I have spoken to feel very jaded about this problem.
Many thanks to all the followers through these past weeks, and for the many very kind and supportive comments. I enjoyed the time here, mostly for the beautiful people that are all part of this soaring community. I will miss them all until we meet wherever next time may be. Thank you one and all.”

THANK YOU BRUCE, for sharing this WGC in your view with the world.


The final words from WGC PR man Sean

Final Competition day at WGC Benalla

Low, blue, windy, yup, a really poor flying day, Australia-style. In Europe, it may be more straightforward – rain. But not at this comp. However, no matter how crummy the day was, it was still sparable. It was proven to be sparable by the pilots who made it around the course, complaining that they had to start at only 600 metres AMSL. Yes, it looked tough from the ground, and the look on the faces of the pilots when they landed said it, too. A bad day. All pilots had the same look – except for young Marcus Nouwens from South Africa, who says he had a good, challenging day.

Still, the pilots made around the course and finished the championships. Please have a look at the numerous videos I have posted with pre-launch interviews with many of the pilots as well as their reactions after they landed. What they said and how they looked at the sky, will tell you more than I ever could about the most difficult flying day of the championships.

At the end of it all, we have three new World Gliding Champions. Russell Cheetham in Open Class, Killian Walbrou in 18m Class, and a not so new champion, but a champion nevertheless after holding off his great rival Mac Ishikawa – Sebastian Kawa.

More from me in the morning. I know most of you are just waking up on wintry Saturday morning. Make a pot of coffee, forget the newspaper, just look at the videos from the final day of WGC Benalla.

Sean Young

More later with the last pictures of the 1987’s.

“It’s all over again!” Part 1.


The official results AND the results of the team cup, as I got them. Thanks!!!

Some last reflections;

—-A few were unhappy/disappointed with the meal at the closing dinner:
 But this….! $30 dollars later and this cold meal is apparently all the land of out door meals can offer at the culmination of 12 days of competition. What a disappointment. Skipping this affront and going to a restaurant with my team.”

NOT GOOD!!!I remember fabulous dinners in fancy restaurants in Italy in the past.


I guess the French team was TOO HAPPY to see what was on their plate, though one face says enough….

As shared by the French.


The British Gliding Association was HAPPY, so they should:
We have a new World Champion for GB and the British Gliding Team with an awesome performance in the Open class by Russell Cheetham. Andy Davis has taken Bronze in the Open class and Mike Young has taken Bronze in the 18m class! And a fantastic team achievement by all in a difficult competition resulting in the team Gold medal!”


—-Anita reflected on Bruce and Bruce on the comps:
Anita; “A picture says a thousand words!!! Brucey may come back to you later tonight…. “a few days ago I flew really well, fell in a hole and came just about last…. today I never made a decision and came third!” Not quite true, but a ridiculous reflection of how the comp has gone.

Bruce relaxed with a nice cool beer. DESERVED!!!
As shared by Taylor’s Gliding Page.


The comment on the last day from John Good, TC from team USA
—–“The final day of WGC2017 was also the weakest, lowest, bluest and slowest – and the one with the fewest total finishers.  It was a serious test and thus perhaps a fitting way to end what has been a very challenging contest.

15-Meter pilots were first to launch, and thought to be in need of a true challenge, to compensate for having achieved only 5 scored days. And they got one, in the form of a long area task with a first leg into the eastern hills.  As has been the pattern, nearly all pilots waited until very late to start. (When you start a 3.5-hour task well after 3pm on a day when lift is predicted to be weak by 5:30 and dead by 6:30, your return home may be in jeopardy.)

In all, 13 pilots failed to complete their task.  Those who did turned in notably low – bordering on pitiful – speeds.  If this morning you had told Sebastian Kawa he’d manage just 81.5 kph, he’d have been sure his quest for yet another 15-Meter World Championship had failed.  Yet this speed was good for first place, 1000 points, and a comfortable win.

In view of the 15-Meter class struggles (which were apparent well before the full class had been launched) the “long winger” classes had their tasks scaled back to semi-reasonable distances.  Yet we still saw 8 outlandings in 18-Meter class, and 7 in Open.  Speeds in these classes were a notch or two above pitiful, but still quite low (easily the worst of the contest).

In 18-Meter class, Killian Walbrou of France had little trouble holding his first-place position: he won the day (at 98 kph) and with it the championship.  In Open class, results were not so straightforward: all pilots standing in the top three overall  had uncharacteristically poor results.  Michael Sommer managed to beat Russel Cheetham of Great Britain – but by only 12 points, which was not enough to overtake him, so Russel is the new Open Class champion.  (Here again, had you suggested before the flight that 91 kph would keep Russel in first place, you’d have earned some strange looks.)

This contest has to be seen as a triumph for Jonker Sailplanes.  Thirty-two of their models were competing here; they took first place in both Open and 18-Meter classes, and their brand new JS-3 achieved notable results on several days in 15-Meter class.  Another new model here was the 18-Meter Ventus 3; by taking 3 of the top 5 places, it has begun to establish the sort of reputation that the Schempp-Hirth factory was hoping it might.


The hard working jury without the president Rick. They look”old and wise”!

As shared by Rick.

“A family affair”

And a few from the past, just nice pictures to share the 1987 feeling from our family, we had a great time, I still have a good feeling.

Very fancy: Our Dennis flew to Tullamarine with his instructor John Williams to pick me up.

Our daughter Inge went solo ,[ just turned 14 in November when it was too cold to go solo,]  in Tocumwal in the weeks before the WGC.
Mum is a bit  “scared/worried” , as brother Dennis was the tuggie ,so 2 kid’s in the air, dad and Kees only can smile. Dad with flowers.


 our Inge, gorgeous from the inside as well as the outside. And still….
Asked her permission to publish this picture. No worries!

The last couple of pictures tomorrow,…. I scanned 75 already!!!
More news in part 2 and the 2017 prize giving.
Cheers Ritz

Benalla..last day part 2!

To good for words!!
Richard Geytenbeek,…thank you!!!

Not a lot happening with the scores now ,so there might be a point more or less but here is how it looks;

15 m.
1.  Sebastian Kawa from Poland  in the Diana 2 …..5417 points and WORLD CHAMPION!!!!!!
2. Mac Ichikawa from Japan in the Ventus 2a  ……….5261 points and vice world-champion.
3. Lucasz Grabowski from Poland in the Diana 2 ……5212 and winner of the bronze
just 7 points  ahead of Lourent Aboulin. So that changed .
And,.. a very impressive spot from Belgium pilot Andre Emmanuel Litt , not Baudouin sorry!!, on spot 5 [5153] The rest of the pilots was in the 4000 range.
The brand new “raptures”  were on spot 11 and 12.

18 m.
1. Killian Walbrou from France in the JS 1 ….6607 points and one more day of flying.WORLD CHAMPION!!!!!
2. Mario Kiessling from Germany in VENTUS 3T……6513 points.
3. Mike Young from the UK in ASG 29e……6477 points. 30 years ago crew member now on spot 3 for the bronze. Well done.
Matthias on the “nasty”  spot 4 had 6439, Boerje at 5 with  6432 and Wolfgang on 6 with 6409.
So  4 brand new Ventus 3 T gliders  were in the top 7 a great result!!!

open class
1. Russell Cheetham from the UK in the JS c  ….6562 points and WORLD CHAMPION.
2. Michael Sommer from Germany in the EB 29R….6549 so only 13 points difference, but a good vice world champion.
3. Andy Davis from the UK in the JS 1 c…..6520 points
Good old Oscar Goudriaan was on the 4th spot.[6455]

Peng Du flew 60 km. on this last day , but he can say he flew a WGC!!! He finished on the last spot [1378] even with 2 pilots NOT flying over the last days!!

So all in all great results for the UK with 3 team pilots in the top 3’s taking a gold, and 2 bronze medals home , Poland and  Germany ,  each good for 2 medals ;  Poland with gold and bronze , Germany with 2 times silver.
Well done to Mac and Killian , for taking gold  back to France and silver to /for Japan .

The South African pilots straight away started packing the containers for the long trip home.
I guess the South African team is a bit disappointed ,they  had hoped for more ,as many others.


Back to the last day of 1987!!!!

The chase for the title was in each class between 2 pilots.
In open Marc and Ingo with 171 points difference in favor of Ingo.
Mike Opitz was on the heels of Markku 185 points in standard class .
Brian was only 97 points ahead of Holger in 15 m..
It was a good LAST day, strong blue but up to 9500 ft. So tasks were long for a last day but close by . The whole task was close around Benalla ,a band direction East and West.
Open had 572 km,..Standard 538 and 15 m 570 km. With such distances “Things”  can still happen ,….good or wrong.

On top of , that part of the task went into the mountains  and nobody liked that as it was” miserable flying” there  as they found out earlier.
A lot of talking before about tactics.
But in the end in open class Marc won with 118 km./h so 1000 points and Ingo was 3d with 989 points. Janusz Centka was in between. So that was good enough for Ingo to World Champion AGAIN…his 4th WORLD TITLE.
1. Ingo Renner Australia in ASW 22B …….11.019 points.
2.Marc Schroeder from France in ASW 22b…..10.895 points.
3. Bruno Gantenbrink from Germany in Nimbus 3….10.770 points.

Ingo on his way to receive the 4th gold medal .

In 15 m. Our Dutch world champion from Hobbs in New Mexico was 3d for the day, his mate Daan 4th. But it was all about Holger and Brian and also Doug Jacobs, who  tried with a “coup” together with Eric Mozer to maybe reach the top if the others would fail.
They did not as Holger won the day with a speed of 121.5 km./h. Not enough to beat Brian who was 2d for the day with 120 km./h.
Doug got himself in trouble over the mountains,he was ahead but when there was no lift to be found he had to go in survival mood and hanging around on not much,  the gaggle with Holger and Brian passed by,……..

1. Brian Spreckley from the UK in LS 6 with 10.314 points  WORLD CHAMPION!!!
2. Holger Back from Germany in LS 6a with 10.254 points
3. Doug Jacobs from the USA in LS 6b with 10.077 points.

with from left to right. Jacques Aboulin Mike Opitz and Markku Kuittinen, from standard class
Ingo Marc and Bruno from open and
Brian and Holger from 15 m.
Between Bruno and Brian Wally Wallinton and another official.

standard class .Another daily win for Leonardo who flew around with 105 km./h on the clock.[1000 points]  Andy Davis was runner up  [ 987] and Markku  “only” got 925 points . But no worries for the first time in history a FINNISH world champion. They celebrated till the morning.
1. Markku Kuittinen from Finland in DISCUS A with 10.536 points.
2. Mike Opitz from the USA in DISCUS B with 10.393 points
3. Jaques Aboulin from France in DISCUS with 10.281 points .His mate Alain Delylle had 10.163 on spot 4.

AND all of them again now also with Doug Jacobs to the right.

There were 12 days and the weather was like this year not as it should be , but at least they had many more days.

THE PRIZE GIVING WAS HOT 40 dgr.C. AND ” BOTHERED” and everybody was tired, some even fainted….

The Dutch team with a flag as shadow, on the first picture you see how somebody had fainted from the heat.

Kees [spot 4 overall] and Giorgio Galetto on spot 28. This year on spot 27 in 18 m. class.


one more  parade and off we went all home again….

Australia with Ingo and crew Peter in front and the Italian team.


The Dutch Team


The German team and many more

Cu tomorrow with some kind of epilogue and pictures from the prize giving. And on request some extra pictures from 1987!
Cheers Ritz

Good evening, Benalla and friends down under, good morning Europe! LAST DAY!!!Updated all the time!!

Shared by the organizers.

Had a long conversation yesterday evening with Bruce, who was on his way to Benalla. He will hand over the Bruce Brockhoff Trophy to the pilot with the fastest speed during this WGC during the prize giving ceremony.
We are both sad about this weather.

January 21 2017 last flying day in Benalla ;
Point was ,…would they fly?
It was all not so good with this weather this season  , UNFORTUNATELY, but NO WORRIES they did!!
But,…it was not an easy day not at all. After launching some pilots re-landed and some thought seeing those big gaggles again, this is it, it was OK not more for me!!
Tasks were set and changed again for 18 m. and open to B. They even had to re-grid.
A day on which you can loose a lot or gain a lot. Water was dumped at departure so empty or nearly empty gliders but against the blue skies this looks great as you can see on the picture shared by the Dutch team.

As shared by the Dutch team.


15m. 3.30 AAT  on day 11 with task 6;
Well it looks pretty clear now that Sebastian Kawa is the new WORLD CHAMPION. He won the last day as a good champion should , with 311 km. in time 3.49 with a relative late start at 3.06. Stefano in the VERSUS started 10 minutes earlier but still was runner up for the day with 288 km. in 3.36. At this stage Belgium pilot Emmanuel Litt was 3d for the Day.
Where is Mac the number 1 overall??? He flew 300 km. in 4.13 and was one of the early starters at 2.58. His day showed a 19th spot and that means that Sebastian has passed him and moved from 2 to 1 overall.
Mac at this stage is on a silver spot and I think this will stay like that, as Louis finished as number 6 for the day. He will be 3d overall. .
Still all very preliminary!!!

Sebastian by FABIO. From my archive.

18m .Racing task 281 km. on day 11 with task 7;
The scores for 18 m. were in first and it looks like French pilot Killian won the WGC  and he won the last day as well. Good on him.All results of course preliminary at this stage.
German pilot Mario was runner up today and though he started about the same time as his mate Matthias [3.11 for 3. 14 PM]  he was faster ,must have had a better run and Matthias lost some time/ points.[About 100 on the number 1 and as scores were SO close in this class it costs!!!
Result Mario will get the silver jumping up from spot 4 overall and Matthias drops from 2 to 4 just behind Mike Young from the UK who looks as number 3 for the bronze at this stage. Mike was 4th today just behind Wolfgang, who will be 6th overall after a good 2d week.

A very moving moment for Killian and his TC Eric [Napoleon] Both a class apart!!!


Open Racing task 302 km. on day 11 with task 8;
Interesting last day!!!! Ricardo flew himself and his glider to a 2d daily win, [103.8 km./h.] but not enough to make a difference in the overall scores.
More interesting was also the daily spot for Michael Sommer  on 16 and Tassilo Bode 26 after an out landing after 294 km. So close by!!!
Russell was only 19th for the day and Andy 21st. When they started this day it was Russell, Andy and Michael, it looks now Russell as WORLD CHAMPION, Michael good for silver and Andy for bronze. Great results for the UK.
Several out landings in this class, Laurens and Tassilo ,Antti and Bill. Not nice on a last day!!

Russell and Lisa who did a great job as reporter.
As shared by team UK.

Definitive results later!
BUT it looks like we have 3 new GREAT WORLD CHAMPIONS.
Killian from France in 18 m. , Sebastian from Poland in 15 m. his so maniest WORLD TITLE and Russell from the UK in open class.

A thank you from team UK on this last day:
“A number of local shops and businesses are supporting individual countries taking part in the World Championships. The British Gliding Team would particularly like to thank #Specsavers #Benalla for their support in providing two of the Trackers.

More later, In the end the early starters had a better day ,as in the end the day collapsed totally.


Benalla; the last 2 days in 1987.

While waiting for the results from the last day in Benalla here is already the one but last day in 1987. Enjoy!!

Day 11 in 1987 with one day to go…. not a real fabulous day!!!!
It turned not out to be the best day of the comps, for sure yes with the longest tasks. Murmur,like this year, when a big task was set, was there in 1987 as well.
Open had to go for 840 km. standard for 695 and 15 m. for 755 km. Normal distances for Australia but not at comps, not in Australia not at any comps, as there are several level’s of pilots and launching can be time- consuming and …then the day is nearly gone.

Anyhow at this stage, this was the longest distance ever set at a WGC.
[I was so lucky to be at an EGC in Finland [Rayskala]  when a 1000 was set in open class and flown by most in 2005.]
Forecast; 32 dgr. C….thermals predicted up to 8500 ft….3-4 octas cu’s and moderate NW winds.

BUT,…already early in the morning the sniffer could not get very high, pilots were launched and at that stage it was BLUE and only up to 4000 ft. Grrrr…… they were not happy with the task setters.
BUT …they went all on track

open; with their longer wings these pilots could make speed enough with hope to make it home. En route the weather improved and thermals up to 8 kt. brought pilots up to 7000 ft. Luckily the pilots passed high as the desert and scrub under them ,did not look very inviting. Late in the afternoon the open class reached the Murray and with Ingo in the lead, yes he who knew this area as the best, all but one  of the pilots finished at Benalla.
Ingo won the day still with a speed of 116 km./h Marc  was runner up and Bruno 3d,  so after such a fight and so many kilometers nothing really changed certainly not in the overall top with Ingo, Bruno and Marc .
Our Dutch pilot Gerrit finished on a good 4th spot.
George and Dennis finished on a 9th spot and en passant flew a new Dutch record over an 850 km. triangle, by taking another startline.
As I read NOW in the Dutch papers I still have, can’t remember to be honest, George flew so many records in Australia and Kees tried hard as well certainly in the practice week in Toc. and sometimes took George’s glider and son for a few “rides” I believe Kees flew his 1000 after the comps in Tocumwal together with Holger and Giles and 4 others.

Kees and Dennis ready for another 1000 km.try and Gerrit gives the last advice.

standard class and 15 m. class; tried hard . 15 m. only reached their last TP at 6 PM and …the wind had changed into a slight head wind.
All crews moved direction Tocumwal and waited there for what would happen.
In the end nobody from these classes finished and the gliders were situated as white dots on  the many big paddock’s.
BUT,… standard 37 of the 42 pilots had scored better than 942 points , so all not too far out!
2 Daily winners from Sweden and Switzerland Ottoson and Leutenegger both 1000 popints after 674 km.
In 15 m. same story. A good Dutch day for our Daan Pare who flew 726 from the 755 set km. He received the 1000 daily points. Martyn Wells flew 714 km.
Those who landed did so in mostly very isolated areas , no secret that most were back “home ” in the early hours of the last flying day!!!!

Daan ready to go.

With one more day to go the scores were;
standard class;
1.Markku Kuittinen [Finland]  with 9551 points
2. Michael Opitz [USA] with 9366
3. Jacques Aboulin [France] with 9245

15 m. class ;
1. Brian Spreckley [UK]  with 9351 points
2. Holger Back [Germany] 9254
3. Doug Jacobs [USA] 9155

open class;
1. Ingo Renner [Australia] with 10.030 points
2. Marc Schroeder [France] 9851
3. Bruno Gantenbrink [Germany] 9826, then it still was western Germany. Times have changed!!!

SO one more day to go!!!

As they said in FINALGLIDE on the last but one day, ” If anyone was going to make a move up the scoresheet, it would have to wait until the last day. IF anyone had energy left.”

You have to wait a bit longer for day 12, but it will be there today!

Benalla day 10 on January 20 2017 !

Day 10…….had tasks….
open: race 407 km
18m: race 356 km
15m: AAT 256 / 467 km (Task duration: 3:30)


Matthew shared this picture with the text;”Launching in 2 hours. Righto.”

After a lot of rain in the morning,..then everybody at the grid,..then launching begins,…then TOO much and very gusty crosswind and….the day is cancelled!!!!! Another day, is it possible.In the afternoon it looked much better but still gusty wind.
So if tomorrow is a flying day there will be only 6 days in 15 m. ,7 in 18 m. and 8 in open class. Such a pity for a country as AUSTRALIA.

On the way to the grid as seen by Swiss Chris.

Swiss Chris describes the day :
“Wait and see
Grid orders have been received 15m 18m Open at 9am
We drove through the rain to the scales, which don’t like moisture
The satellite scans promise some blue sky after lunch time.
Soon thereafter 18m and Open class got cancelled.
The 15m had to grid on the hard runway 26.
The procedure created some more waiting time at the weigh station and on the taxy way.
Finally the weather got better but wind also increased, turning from SW more to S just while we started with towing the gliders out.
Some tow pilots seemed at the limit of their comfort zone with the combination of cross wind and heavy gliders in tow.
After two borderline tows the day unfortunately had to be cancelled for 15m as well under a sky full of cumuli.
The gliders got unstacked, turned around and towed back to tie down.
Fortunately Tim makes phantastic coffee at the Gliding Club House 🙂
Gliders are ready for the last competition day.”

His next pictures at 7.30 in the morning show what was going on.


Another day to visit wineries, pet kangaroos or just sit in the pool. Not really why they all came to Australia, but as said a thousand times,…the weather is the weather!

Time also to check out the new gliders as Sebastian did already earlier.

“only just finding out if it fits “??
Sebastian in the JS 3 RAPTURE
As shared by the USA team.

Angry/concerned people as well . Born Dutch, but already living in the W of Australia for ages is Robert Smits. I guess he says what a lot of people think;
Now I am confused… Again at briefing we’re told dangerous flying “is unacceptable”.
Yet it seems nothing is been done to stop it. So in fact it actually is accepted.
In my club if you show bad airmanship you get grounded. At the worlds you might get a day win and get away with risking other people’s lives.
If there are no rules in place to penalize such behavior it might be about time something gets changed....”
Please read the story below about gaggles!!!!!!!!It looks like nothing has changed!!!!!
AND,…when they know those dangerous pilots are only a few and known by the organizers….do something!!!!!!

And time enough now to read what Bruce has to say about the day before:”
Sorry, I was distracted by the international party last night, and didn’t get to post my usual story. However, the party turned out to be everything that the Australian night wasn’t. It was free, it was fun, and the entire WGC gliding community came together to enjoy each other’s company.
Yesterday? In some ways it was more frustrating than the day I outlanded. At this stage of my competition, a day win would be a good outcome, and I went within a whisker of getting one. Andrew and I left last, and that part worked a treat, except that he sadly missed a climb that I got as we went into the hills at the first turn. It was at a really critical point, and meant that while I flew ahead and caught the early starters, he had to spend a lot of time surviving before he got going again. I ran along just behind the Germans, until 10km before the second turn, where we all got low and I managed to find a better climb and jump the gaggle. Then I lead for a while, around the next turn, with the three big German gliders breathing down my neck! At this stage I knew I was very well placed, and we had come together with both the other classes heading home. The last 70 km to Benalla was more challenging, and unfortunately I missed two climbs under other gliders, from where I got very low. I used a lot of time to get up, and by then had lost my lead. I swore a bit, but I had been pushing hard and finally paid the price. It was fun while it lasted, and seeing the tracker blinking quietly on my shoulder, I knew that there were plenty of spectators enjoying the ride too. Bit of a shame, but gliding is such a game of consistency, and I didn’t quite keep that going.
Last night it rained a lot, with storms and rumbling, but the weather looks like it may be flyable today. Strong winds are forecast, which could be the limiting factor.
Sorry no photos, but if you go back and look at all the others, then yesterday was just the same….. blue, blue, blue. 😎

More fun news now!

Young meets “old”.
loved this story from Antti Lehto on FB yesterday.

Today in the WGC2017 international evening I met George Lee. George won his first World Champion title in the open class in Räyskälä 1976. I was 15 years old and worked in the hangar restaurant cleaning the tables. George was back then one of my biggest sports heroes. Just like Ronaldo or Messi for today’s kids. I had an interesting conversation with him and George is still active in gliding flying his Nimbus 4 DM.”

George and Antti now
George and his wife
in 1987

Not really changed!!!Still the same smile.


And back to the fut…no past.
Day 10 in 1987 in Benalla
The briefing was already set for 9.30 AM, so something was “brewing”, certainly,… when was said that the first launch would be at 10.30. The wind expected to come from the N. bringing good dry conditions, made everybody think of long distance’s ,but looking out side they could see a band of cirrus and the satellite pictures confirmed that and showed ,it would stay during the day.
So tasks from just over 500 km. again for all classes.
A great day for the USA pilots winning the day,  in 2 classes. BUT also a day to think about!!!
No big gaggles necessary with this weather , but still it happened. Stan Witek in my friends glider and Leonardo Brigliadori touched in a gaggle over the TP at Deniliquin.

Here is what FINAL GLIDE said about it, after one of the USA pilots said over the radio around 5 PM:
There is a piece of wing fluttering down through my gaggle”

There had been a midair. Brigliadori’s glider pitched down violently .He reached for the canopy jettison knobs and prepared to leave his Discus. A second pull on the stick showed him that the plane might still be flyable. After getting it under control, he slowed his airspeed and jettisoned the ballast.Fortunately he was direct over the [Deni] airfield .Carefully he pulled the spoilers and landed. What he saw when he climbed out sent a chill through his body.Fully half of the Discus elevator was gone. Witek requested an air-to-air inspection of his glider by a nearby pilot and was told there was no visible damage. He flew back to Benalla ,where he landed safely.” 

As far as I remember Leo could not open the canopy to jump, but in the end it was not necessary. He was damn lucky.
And…. you remember I wrote he out-landed a day before , LOOSING A LOT OF POINTS, cause he HE DID N’T WANT TO FLY IN A GAGGLE AND FLEW ALONE!!!!!
And hearing what happens now in 2017 in Benalla in blue thermals, 30 years LATER, the situation has not changed at all. A huge job is waiting for the FAI/IGC.

Open 512 km;As said the USA had a fabulous day. Ray Gimmey won the 1000 points racing with a speed of 127.3 km./h. Runner up was Bruno with 941 points so a few k. slower [124.3 km./h.]
And Ingo flew consistent over the area he knows so well . In fact he sends all guests from Sportavia who wanted to fly their 300km. to The Rock.

Standard 519 km;John Byrd was the other USA pilot winning the day. According to FinalGlide, he radioed his wife, while preparing for final glide “this could be an opal day” referring to the daily prizes that year; fine wines and /or opals. Finnish pilot Pankka was runner up and Austrian pilot Heinz Hammerle was on spot 3.

15 m. 509 km.;  Holger Back was the man of the day. He flew the distance with 120. 6 km./h. His 2d win that week in the LS 6 a. He was slowly closing in to Brian in his LS6, still 1 overall ,as Holger jumped up to spot 2 . A late  start and slow flight was not good for Gilles Navas;he only got 468 points and “tumbled down”  .Werner [Meuser] was runner up and Sefano Ghiorzo 3d, with ” our “Kees as number 5 behind Lizzy’s and Leigh’s dad  Martyn Wells.

That evening the notice board said; PREPARE FOR AN EARLY LAUNCH AND LONG TASK.
AND ….it happened!!!!! You can read it tomorrow.

Some more nice pictures from Mount Buffalo on the rest day.

to the left Gerrit Kurstjens and Heinz Hammerle, Adrian in the middle with camera and Robin Riley, George, Kees, Janet and Giep.

Janet Hider Smith involved in the daily bulletins . She died of cancer a few years ago.

Our daughter Inge, who had not only a fan club of birds,…….LOL.
She is an airline captain now.

CU tomorrow, when Trump is PRESIDENT of the USA, I hope he looses his bad temper and bad manners and behaves like a real president.
Cheers Ritz

Benalla on Thursday January 19 2017.Only 2 more days! Updated several times !!!!!

Have to start , with this very DRY comment from USA TC John.
Benalla’s dry heat can be put to other uses than keeping motorless aircraft aloft: it provides about the best clothes-drying conditions found anywhere.  Homes in this area typically have a washing machine but no dryer – the latter would be a waste of money and space in a climate where the first clothes hung on a line are dry before the last ones are pinned up.”

What happened today with 2 more days to go?
, the Aussie pilot involved in the mid air who had to bail out [,as had the other one , German  pilot  Michael [Eisele]]mentioned:
“At the Briefing this morning, Stephen O’Donnell described his experience bailing out last week.
He impressed upon all of us the need to”rehearse it in your mind,” and to anticipate the difficulty of getting out under a g-load.
He also urged us to look into the sizing of our parachutes – he said that his canopy looked “like a beach umbrella.”
The audience gave him an extended ovation.
Here is how Carol TC from SA describes it;
At Briefing today Stephen O’Donnell, the Australian pilot who was one of the pilots involved in the mid-air a few days ago, spoke to everyone present. It was a very sobering experience to listen to him – he is obviously still understandably quite shaken by the experience, but he had some excellent advise to all the pilots. He asked them if they know what size the canopy is of their parachutes. The majority of pilots did not know the size. He said when he eventually got out of the glider, he looked up and thought the chute looked like a ‘beach umbrella’. He also said having loads of straps to undo on landing is not the best, but rather have quick release clips, as with the strong winds he was dragged along the paddock on landing which was not nice as he was unable to get rid of the chute quickly. He also said trying to get out of the cockpit was difficult and he battled to decide how best to get himself out and eventually put out one leg and then the forces helped him finally get out. He also recommended that all the pilots should rehearse in their minds how they would best deal with such a situation and to think about what they would do. He extended many thanks to all who had supported, sent wishes and of course those who had deal with everything. He was given a long applause.”

In the evening is the INTERNATIONAL PARTY so I guess everybody wants to be back in time, though the soaring is more important for the pilots than partying. On top of that most out-landings are technical anyhow!!

courtesy Swiss Chris.

The FAI FLAG IS STOLEN…sigh …again….and there were some witnesses,no it was not Baldrick but somebody dressed up as an ape!!!! I guess/hope just fun and then it will be back in time for the ceremony.
As the UK team mentioned;”They tried and they failed. The FAI flag has been knocked off. Solid effort” and “Despite threats of dangerous snakes and spiders lurking, and even threats of electrocution, it’s gone!”

Courtesy Charlies Towing Adventures.

The weather for today;base at 5000/6000 ft….wind 5/10 kts….from N. but changing to W during the day, accompanied by a mid level cloud layer,  forecast to move over the task area later in the afternoon by about 5:30 PM ….32/34 dgr.C and lift up to 2/2.5.

Day 9: task 5 for 15 m. class; 370 km.
Sebastian and young Matthew started at 2.57 and 2.58 so about the same time. AND…what’s even better,…they finished again with 3 minutes difference as there should be between the “master and the pupil”. So a good day for both with a speed of 118 and 117 km./h and this was also the case for Mac who was 3d. and started at 2.59 PM.
It looks like Matthew and Mac fly together and keep a BIG eye on Sebastian who’s right-hand Lucasz was 4th today.
This is going to be an interesting “situation” over the last 2 days.
Mac still leads overall with 4450, Sebastian has 4417 and  Lucasz 4303 points.Louis has only 28 points less on spot 4!!!!
Only one out-landing today!
Here is Matthew;
Had two back to back good days (3rd and today 2nd) after the outlanding, thanks to the weather improving. The weather has been strong enough that individuality is starting to get (slightly) rewarded, and Mak and I have been flying accordingly.
Unfortunately it’s not strong enough for the gaggles to not form at all though, and the ones that are forming are atrocious. Despite a sobering talk from Steve at briefing today, the behavior in thermals was like a pack of wild dogs fighting over a scrap of meat. I left thermals several times because of other pilots behavior. We were given forms to report such behavior (which we filled out and returned) but the usual suspects were back at it again today.
I had a GoPro facing forwards in the glider today which I expect will be interesting to review.
Good on you Matthew!!!

Day 9 :task 6 for 18 m. class;384.5 km.
And after winning a day Wolfgang is back in winning mood and won another day . Good on him!124.4 km./h. AND the other VENTUS 3 T flown by Mario  was runner up ;123.9 km./h.
Wolfgang must have “lost” his mate en route as Andy [Lutz] finished on spot 30.
Matthias [Sturm] left more than 35 minutes EARLIER than Wolfgang and finished on spot 3. He likes flying by himself and is good in it. A bit like Ingo who likes to fly by himself too even in the blue!! Good job ….COURAGE!!!……and Matthias still is 2d in the overall scores [5593] behind Killian who was 4th today .[5661]
Mike Young is on spot 3 overall with 5588 but Mario is on his tail with 5583!!!!
Wolfgang is on spot 8 now with 5509 points….you never know…., but it will be hard to be the champion as the other pilots are top too.
All pilots finished today except for our Chinese friend who landed after 160 km.

Day 9: task 7 for open class;499.51 km.=500 km!!
Hungarian pilot Peter Szabo flew himself in his JS 1C to a daily victory!!! Nice speed as well 120.68. Just a fraction slower …Tassilo with 120.60 and just 1 more fraction Stefan Beck 120.54 and 3 more pilots arrived at the about the same time;Andy, Sebastian [Eder] and Gyorgy another Hungarian pilot.
A lot of finishes in this class around 5.40 PM, great for spectators.
Disappointment for Jan Andersen from Denmark and Aussie Andrew;they did not finish.
The UK pilots top the overall scores with 2 days to go and they started earlier than the German pilots,  so they do their “own thing”.
4 out landings today and 2 pilots in this class do not fly anymore.

All scores for today still preliminary.



Another good week for all OSTIV participants and interesting news about the Perlan Project by Aussie Morgan Sandercock who moved to the USA to be better involved in this project. I heard that also the event with the TOP manufacturers was a good one.
Here is some of the news shared on the organizers site;
“The congress is always held alongside the competition, and many of the presentations attracted pilots, as well as those in Benalla specifically for OSTIV.
 “Ostiv is the worldwide scientific and technical research organisation for sailplanes, and we try to promote technical progress of sailplanes,”
“We give advice to sport organisations like FAI and the International Gliding Commission to get many things right in the sport.” 
Subjects covered by the 43 presentations included flutter in ageing sailplanes, monitoring physiology such as oxygen saturation levels in pilots, FES development, mountain wave research and a report from the Perlan Project’s year in Argentina.”
The rest you can find at ;

The TOP manufacturers and DR. Loek Boermans.

30 years ago OSTIV was active as well in Benalla.

The OSTIV in 1987 as shared by Anni Kehn . Her mum Elke, did all the administration for OSTIV  that year.


The most interesting flight on the OLC yesterday was from German pilot Philipp Butz, not in Australia where Gerrit flew from Narromine 774 km. in the Quintus, not from Namibia or South Africa,where father Hans and daughter Karin flew 831 km. task[750 FAI triangle] from Kuruman Pi, in their ARCUS,…. but in the middle of winter in Germany from the airfield of Offenburg not far from the Black Forest; 741 an 18 m. ASG 29.
Extraordinary good conditions in the SW part of Germany,[ between Karsruhe and Freiburg, ] was the comment from the pilot.
The only thing I know is that it is extremely cold here.


More later!!!!

Continuing story DAY 9 IN 1987!!!

Day 9 in 1987 was a pretty good one with tasks from 621.9 km. in open, 536.1 in 15 m. and 521.2 km. for standard class.
BUT,…. not a good day for George and Dennis in open class, who just missed out on 300 m and out-landed at the other site of the airfield. 285 points on a 1000 points-day, that hurts!
On day 9 blue thermals again;I quote;
With the prevailing blue thermal conditions, pilots  were still finding that the fastest routes around the course meant finding the largest gaggle and staying with them until the opportunity came to make a break.
This type of flying was both dangerous and very unsatisfying , but the point penalty one faced if he attempted to fly alone and was not succesful [ as Leonardo did the day before!!!]was enormous!!”
SO ,…after 30 years NOTHING changed which should make us THINK!!!!!!

With Daan [18 m. mate] , Adrian, brother from George, Inge,[daughter and sister]  Giep,[ TC] Hans, [TM] George and Dennis.[pilots]

Open class;Marc Schroeder won the 1000 points with a speed of 112 km./h.  Ingo as runner up lost 26 points on him but he still was in the lead overall.[his speed 111.5 km./h]  Bruno was 3d.[111.3 km./h.

Standard class;  a nice long-over-500-km-task, and the French pilots Aboulin and Delylle “mastered” the gaggles best and won the day; 1000 and 997 points. New overall leader was Marco Kuittinen and the French slowly could nearly  ” sniff ” him as he “only had 827 points for the day.

15 m. class;Great day for Danish pilot IB Wienberg. HE WON.
Now  in 2017, Ib is TC for the Danish team. The 2 UK pilots Dave and Brian followed with 986 and 979 points, so Ib did something REALLY good that day!


Ib in action 2 years ago in Tocumwal at Sportaviation. He opens a champagne bottle with a sword!!!

More tomorrow!!

Cheers Ritz still the 1987 day AND task 10,11 and 12 to go!

Benalla on Wednesday January18 2017! Updated with 1987 !!!!!!

On this picture of the Bureau for Meteorology you see and band of mid level clouds move slow , too slow. So pilots and gliders were in the shade.Only 20 dgr. C instead of the 40. Later in the day it moved away and there was a bit of sun. Too late ……

Good tasks , as 324 for 15 m., 296 for 18 and 286 for open, were still set  and they tried HARD, but in vain.

First 18 m. and open were cancelled and for 15 m. they prepared a new task, postponed the launch to 2.30 PM,  but also that task had to go in the “fridge” No flying, canned as the young ones use to say.So time to cheer us up with the daily cartoon from Richard.

 and for day 8

Love them !!! Thanks Richard!!! I have seen more daily cartoons over the years but these are very special and to the point.

Tomorrow it seems to be better. The forecast for tomorrow is sunny with temperatures in the low 30s. It looks like it will be a blue day with 4-6 kts up to 4000 – 5000 ft.
Only 3 days to go. Who would have ever thought that Australia ‘s weather , would create so few days.

Carol, TC from South Africa was sad as well and you “feel ” her sadness:
Another sad day in Benalla. The top cloud cover was definitely not moving as had been hoped for and the temperatures were a lot cooler than was required for the trigger temperature. So first the expected first launch time was delayed at least twice, then the Open & 18m. classes were cancelled, so their gliders were removed from the grid. The 15m. class was kept waiting with a further delay in launch time, then a change of task to the C task which would have been a 2 hr. AAT, and then finally the sniffer/task setter took a launch. Tow ropes were deposited at each glider with a call for 20 mins to first launch, before the decision was taken to cancel the day.
Sadly another non-flying day. We will hope for better conditions tomorrow. It should be noted at Briefing this morning that tomorrow was definitely more promising, with Friday less so again. We have heard on several occasions that the weather in Victoria can be very changeable, and so it is proving to be the case.” 

Tomorrow INTERNATIONAL EVENING, so time enough to prepare.


Back a bit later with the “old ”  news with nice pictures send by Anni.

Here we are again. First a nice picture from Clear Goal Media shared by an Aussie friend Ernst.

This brings it all in perspective!! Australia “filled”  up!!!

BACK TO 1987.

Day 8 in 1987!!!
Finally a real Aussie day,…did I say that yesterday as well for 2017…?!
Open had a task to the Rock and Jerilderie all N of Benalla and N of Tocumwal.
15 m. got 339 and standard 367 into the Berrigan area.
A blue day BUT, lift up to 6000 ft and increasing wind later on the day.
No worries you would think ,…go early,… but some still played the waiting game.
NOT INGO!!! He just “disappeared”  in the blue  and yes he found some cirrus but his long-winged-ASW 22 B [first time in Australia] but he kept a good ground speed over an area he knew so well as Tocumwal was his home base.
Here is FINALGLIDE on Ingo that day and I quote:
Ingo had been frustrated in the contest so far. The weather was strange and his competitors were extremely good, especially the French ,Schroeder and  Chenevoy, but also Gantenbrink.
Renner needed to uncork a great flight and put some distance on the dangerous French.
After finishing and putting the glider back on the tie-down he and his crew began to wait. They had started close together and Schroeder was not back yet.
Could today be the day?
Schroeder arrived 20 minutes later and Ingo knew he had finally done it.He had beaten Schroeder by 20 minutes and Bruno by 17.”
1000 points for Ingo and 810 for Schroeder and 825 for Bruno. Marco Gavazzi, Janusz Centka and Ray Gimmey all got more points and finished on spot 2,3 and 4.
The day victory started for Ingo??!! YES on the last 4 days he was always in the top 3 and even won day 11, the last but one day!!


Bruno with his lovely wife Inge,
As shared by Anni Kehn.


Ingo won already in 1984 in Rieti as well.

A happy Ingo in Italy. This picture was always in our, better said Peter’s work shop, in the Sportavia WW2 hangar now owned by Lumpy and used by the Southern Riverina Gliding Club where Ingo is president.

Here is Ingo now,.. with Katja from Finland …the excellent webmaster.

As shared by Katja.

15 m.;a great day for Doug Jacobs again. He won the 1000 points , 2d in a row, ahead of “our”  Kees Musters , who started rather early and got the 918 points. Quite some difference in points though , but Doug had the race of his life. Flying to Urana  he NEVER circled and arrived at 4500 ft. The difference with Brian and Holger was even bigger,…250 points and with Gilles 120.

Kees and his wife Gretha and Kees with one of the tasksetters Tony Tabart and Daan Pare another Dutch participant in 15 m.
After a few less good days [3, 4 and 5] he was on his way to the TOP.

Standard class; A good day for team USA as Mike Opitz won the 1000 daily points and as runner up John Byrd the 978 points. A bad , no very bad day for my good old mate Leonardo Brigliadori. He, the then current world champion from Rieti,  out landed. He wanted to avoid gaggle- flying, left the “white Cloud” to enter cirrus and had to pay for that. Not fair!!!
Leo won 3 days in total …day 1, 5 and 12 and “only finished due to the 162 points for this day on an overall spot 14.

Leo’s son Ricky flies NOW in 2017 in Benalla and is nearly a “copy”  from his dad.

Some more pictures from 1987 shared by Anni.

AUSSIE team; With behind the flag TC Peter Griffith “Griffo” and Mike Giles and in between Ingo. And Jimmy Coutts.

Holger Back from the German team.

And a young Herr Waibel.

And to finish a nice picture from old mates George [Schuit] and Bruce in the Benalla Club House, as shared by the Dutch team.

CU tomorrow!!
Cheers Ritz