Post 985……SGP in South Africa……stormy Pribina CUP…..more great flights …..moving house….

LAST blog for the time being. In the middle of the move to the Southern part of Holland.
Worn out but we are going strong.
Back somewhere in June.
Laptop….out now.

CU and fly SAFE.


SGP in South Africa from Magalies.

After my last blog , only 3 days to go for this SGP, so we continue first with the final results from race 4 on Wednesday with 385 km. All races were under good  and experienced “supervision”  of Dick Bradley.
Even with 10 penalty sec. for a too fast regatta-start  at 13.40, Laurens , who was still in winning- racing- mood and clearly on the GO , won the day and got the 8 points. Oscar followed and Marcus as well so the top 3 slowly is known, BUT you never know for sure till the last minute of the last race. In the end 6 gliders finished in about the same time  between 104.9 and 104. 4 !!!!!!Sven turned out to be number 3 after being lowest in the gaggle but having luck with a great thermal on this blue day with a “slighly overset task”.
A top video about this spectacular finish on
After 4 races Laurens has 30 points , Oscar 25 and Marcus 22.
Laurens mentioned as “secret” to his 3d win, that the EVO wing tips , with whom he flies, make him fly a little bit faster on final than the others ,so it is staying with the leading group and then……a race to the finish.

With Oscar Laurens and Sven.As shared by the organizers.

Race 5.On Thursday….. another day…another task 251 km. …another start time at 13.45 AND  another/different winner.
Splendid weather and as they said, it didn’t pay off to fly with the gaggle that day.
Swedish pilot Ronny Eriksson, had a bit of a slow week till now ,but got the 9 points to bring him up to 16 in total. He did VERY well as he was 12 km. faster than Laurens, so to know how what happened I had to see the ‘short’ story, as I was not home:
Ronny mentioned;” I choose to fly North of the gaggle under the clouds by myself found lift up to 30.000 ft. and a good energy line to the first TP.”  
Coming back was tricky but he was far ahead and could make it.

a new “kid” on the block with from l to r. Laurens Ronny and Oscar.
As shared by the organizers.

Race 6; with 264 km. and it looks like John [Coutts] re-found his winning mood . He won the day and passed Marcus [29] in the overall scores now with ONE point .Oscar was runner up and Laurens was 3d.
SO new total points with one flying day to go; Laurens 42, Oscar 37 and John 30.

Laurens in his fancy JS 1 as shared by Laurens.
Courtesy Bennie Henning Photography.

Race 7. Final day of this South African Sailplane Grand Prix.
257 km. was set for the pilots. I am sure there were still some tactic negotiations before the flight which was set for 13.45.
John, a former world champion,  was still in winning mood and was on a daily spot 1 again, receiving 10 points. That brings him to spot 3 overall with 40 points. Good on him.
Runner up was Oscar with 44 points he was just a tad slower than John . Laurens was quite a bit slower [132.4 km. for 142 km./h. from John] but he had enough reserve and is the South African SGP CHAMPION with 48 points. Congratulations!!!!
Young Marcus, only 21 years old did a great job in being 4th with 34 points.
Skill is required to leave the gaggle after start and be the best and the leader to find the next climb.” is what he said. He was not intimidated by all those WGC pilots all older than him, but with their skills experience and decisions, he learned a lot.

Young Marcus …nice fellow….we are going to hear more from him in the future!!!
As shared on the FB site from the SGP.

The overall winners in real GRAND PRIX style.


The relief after the “stress”. Oldies are young from heart!!!

By the way the next GP in 15 m.  is in Spain in 2 weeks with . I will be VERY busy then but you can read all about it on the site;

And when it is ALL over in SA and a lot of pilots are there anyhow ,they continue with a Conference;


Nitra the Pribina Cup.

Day 5 , ” on track” as seen by ELFO.

After a cancelled day they continued again on Thursday with the message STRONG gusting wind and no grid before briefing.After briefing there was another 2d briefing,…as said before WHEN you can fly , you fly in Nitra.
But ….you could not fly and then,..they don’t fly, even in Nitra, BUT then there was a real 1000- points -day on Friday
Race 4 in club class with 276 km. The weather really improved last  Saturday and Italian pilot Stefano [Ghiorzo] felt that as well and used it to win the day in his Silent2. Finally 1000 points and they were catapulting him in the overall scores from 17 to 5 !!
3 German pilots followed in St Libelle and Ls 1 f. Great job!!! Gerrit, Stefan and Julia flew together and Gerrit and Stefan top the overall scores.
Race 5 in 15 m. class with 364 km. A real German day !!!! The 5 first spots were for German pilots, who flew more or less together. And also here 1000 points for daily winner Simon Schroeder who not long ago flew the SGP. He “jumped up” from 4 to 1 overall!!!!!
As the Belgian boy’s had a less day [ spot 12-13-18-20]on which SO many points could be earned, the toppers lost just under 200 points .
Race 5 for the multi-seaters with  362 km. WOW 9 German teams in the top 11. Only Austrian pilot Wolfgang and Belgium pilot Wim “disturbed” the German list on spot 2 and 8 !!!! 9 Arcus gliders and ,…very nice …2 Duo Discus’.
Race 4 for open class  387 km.with NO no German winner here as Roman [Mracek] won but they were still on spot 2 and 4. Several outlandings one only 20 k out.With the 1000 points Roman moved from 4 to 1 overall.

Busy busy as shared by ELFO.

The organizers wrap up on Friday April 21;
“After competing we enjoyed the goulash and beer in the hangar. Pilots are sharing their experiences from the whole competition but dont forget there is still one competition day ahead of us.”
BUT,….the weather did NOT co-operate so the fight was over and the new Pribina Cup owners known.

The morning news on the last day, Saturday, was clear;”Good morning! Due to the cold front which is influencing the weather in our area there will be no tasks today and no briefing. We expect light rain and also some winds in the afternoon.
The prize giving ceremony will be held at 12 am in hangar.”

Club class;
1 . Gerrit Feige from Germany flying a St Libelle [handicap 98]  2.888 points.
2. Stefan Langer also from Germany, also in a St Libelle with 2.880 points .
3. Gunnar Axelsson from Sweden in the St Cirrus [handicap 100] with 2.809 points.
For the rest from the scores you can go to

Winner Gerrit in his St. Libelle as seen by ELFO.

15 m. class;
1. Simon Schroeder from Germany in the LS 8 [handicap 111.7] with 3.112 points.
2. Dennis Huybreckx from Belgium also in LS 8 with 3.039 points.
3. Jeroen Jennen from Belgium in LS 8 with 3.024 points.

Runner up Dennis in his LS 8/15m. shared by ELFO

2-seater class;
1. team Janowitsch/Koch from Austria in an ARCUS  [ handicap 105] with 3.269 points.
2. team Scheffler/Triebel from Germany in an Arcus with 3.168 points.
3. team Kretzschmar/Gillessen from Germany in Arcus with 3.030 points.

The ARCUS with team Scheffler/Triebel as seen during the last landing by ELFO.

Open class ;
1. Roman Mracek from Czech Rep. in ASG 29/18 m. [handicap 120.9]  with 3.003 points.
2. Bert Schmelzer jr. from Belgium in ASG 29 /18 m with 2.940 points.
3. Robin Sittmann from Germany in Discus 2c/18m with 2.922 points.

Runner up in full action in the great ASG 29/18m. as seen by ELFO.

Club and open had 4 flyable valid days and 15 m and the 2-seaters 5. What turned out to be the last flying-day,  with 1000 points was a good one for those who ended high that day.
As always a nice to follow competition also from home.

To finish this subject some nice pictures from ELFO. THANKS AGAIN!!!!


Some pictures with the beautiful surrounding! By ELFO.


Interesting pictures from landings as seen by ELFO.

The Austrian DUO DISCUS ,[ by the way with “our”  callsign ] saying bye bye CU next year.
Courtesy ELFO.


Such great soaring weather here and over the Alps!

On April 19 another excellent day in our lower countries. Tijl Schmelzer flew a 1000 from Keiheuvel in Belgium  SUPER flight!!! Somebody called him the “king of preparations”, he IS!!! maybe even the emperor!!!!!EVERYTHING is always correct during his flight.

Tijl …here at the BENELUX comps,  such a nice picture!!!!

Not bad either from another field in Belgium Geraardsbergen 744 km. by Daan Spruyt in an ASW 27. Also from there Pieter Lievens flew 801 km. in the St Cirrus in a new Belgian RECORD and Niel Deijgers from Hasselt in the St Libelle 630 km.
That Wednesday Mark flew from Soesterberg in Holland nearly 1000 km;963 with ONE more thermal he would have made it in his ASG 29E/18m.!!!
World wide from Lienz a 1. 334 an Antares and Giorgio flew 1.252 in his Ventus 3 from Trento.
So many 1000 km. flights, even 6 over 1.200 km; it nearly looks like Bitterwasser only not hot but VERY COLD.
One day later it was even better and 2 flights from Lienz in an ARCUS M.  over 1.400 km. [1.490 and 1.452]

Though it is damm cold, the soaring gods have co-operated the last time to “create” absolutely fabulous soaring weather. Spring always is good and strong but this year stronger than ever.
The ALPS are heaven on earth and if you fly from Italy, Austria ,Switzerland or Germany and France it just is good.

On the 25th so yesterday, LASHAM had a superb arctic airmass and several pilots enjoyed a great flight; Roy [Pentecost]  declared a 700 km. and flew it in his 18 m. ASG 29 E !!! With the 743 km. he topped the OLC list. The ARCUS T with Andy [Aveling] and Garry [Coppin] flew 758 km.
We had rain, hail, thunder and 10 dgr. C. here in Holland.


CU later.

cheers R

Post 984…with cold Easter soaring at Nitra…SGP at Magalies…great flights here on Easter-Monday and yesterday in the Alps!

With temperatures here in The Netherlands LOWER than with last Christmas [11.7 dgr. C] , it was not the best Easter weekend we could wish; 10.8 dgr.C. In between rain however, there were lovely spells of sunshine and great clouds.
Still nearly ONE million visitors choose our country as their Easter- holiday -destination.
I had a lovely Easter time with my daughter and grand children , we even did some packing ;more full boxes for my removal.
Easter-Monday was still cold here, 10.3 dgr. C , with wet snow and hail showers, but also lovely, heavenly Easter clouds!!!!!
So,…some nice flights!! One of the Dutch pilots , Alexander Venema, called the circumstances “awesome and explosive“!!
When I looked at the OLC in the evening this cold air was super for our pilots.Lot’s of top flights by many Dutch pilots, a total of 89 happy chappies!!World wide 509.
Mark Leeuwenburgh flew from Soesterberg in his ASG 29E/18m.  a distance of 712 km.!!Alfred Paul Alfers 714 in the same glider! Runner up at the JWGC in Narromine Robin Smit flew in the St Cirrus 508 km. And more flights between 500 and 700 km. Great cool but very clear day, I read.
Also our Belgian mates had a good day with over 550 km. flights from the Keiheuvel. Pieter Daems flew 553 km. in the Discus 2 and one leg was 183 km.
A lot of Keiheuvel top-pilots fly in Nitra, but still good flights from those who stayed home.


Alexander between showers and clouds.
As shared by him.

SHOWERS as seen and shared by Patrick .

Also France, Germany ,Belgium and Italy had nice long flights.
AND,…the Perlan Project guy’s, Dennis and Morgan,  flew on this Easter Monday in their ARCUS J 1.594 km.from Inyokern.


The Pribina Cup at Nitra.

As shared by Jeppe.

As every year , with the Easter holiday, lot’s of  pilots travel to Slovakia to find out if they can win in each of the 4 classes from  the Pribina Cup; 25 pilots fly in the 2 seater class, 39 in 15 m. ,32 in open and 55 in club class.
A total of 151 participants , a huge responsibility for the organizers,but they are used to it and Vladimir and his team ready for this annual event.
In the end 134 pilots showed up, 45 in club, 33 in 15m. 25 in the 2 seater class and 31 good amount, in open.

I am LOOKING FORWARD TO THE PICTURES FROM ELFO!!!! All pictures at their site under photos.

Briefing day 1 by ELFO.

Day 1 on 14-04 with task 1;
They flew in all 4 classes but the day was not a valid day in 2 of them.
Club had a 143 km. task and 6 pilots managed to fly the task. A pity that it turned out an invalid day!!! 78 Points for winner Per Carlin from Sweden and the other 6 did well under the circumstances with a speed between 50 and 63 km./h. That’s “fighting” for points. Good on them.
15 m: they got 172 km to fly and 2 of them finished but a lot flew over 100 km. Even 20 of them flew between 140 km. and 171,69 km. so nearly HOME!!!! So sad!!!But at least they had a valid day and winner Bjorn Gintzel from Germany got 441 points. The other finisher, Withold Czarnik from Poland got 431 points. 2 Pilots did not fly so 30 outlandings!!!
2 seater pilots had to go for 174 km. and 4 of them managed to finish. Teams from Germany[ Schulz/Naegel] , Austria [with Wolfgang ], Finland [ with Visa-Mattie] and Italy[with Aldo]
7 Choose not to fly that day and 14 did not finish.
open class got 188 km and with one finisher, Danish pilot Henning Nielsen this turned out to be a not valid day. 11 Pilots did not  start. Nevertheless a great achievement from Henning who flew with a speed of 53 km./h. around in his Ventus 2C/18m.
7 ARCUS gliders in the top 7.

The organizer’s wrap up from day 1:
 The first day of the competition is over and it was not an easy one. Registration went smoothly and 135 pilots decided to compete in PribinaCup 2017. After the opening briefing where Vladimir hearty welcomed all the pilots and family members and went through the important organisation things, the tasks were set. Short racing tasks for all classes. The weather situation was quite complicated due to the humid air mass that was influencing our area. Low cloud bases, weak thermals and thick cloud cover coming from the west disabling the thermal activity caused that many pilots had to land. Some, with the competition thrill, decided to take a second launch. Unfortunately, there were just few pilots that were able to complete the task. /My respect to them :)/ Despite the beginning of the competition was not the best one, we hope for the better end.”

Picture courtesy ELFO.

Day 2 on 15-04; was easy,….just cancelled!Only the organizer’s wrap up;
Although we woke up into a cloudy morning we started to getting ready for another flying day. There were not one but two briefings today. On the second one at 11:30 it has been announced that tasks are cancelled for all classes because of bad weather situation. Unfortunately the cloud layer above us was so thick that it was not possible to compete. Some pilots decided to do some not-competition flights but most of them decided to spend their free time outside of the airfiled. The weather forecast is still looking very complicated for next few days.”

Picture courtesy ELFO.

Day 3 on 16-04; task 2 was set for all class AND there were scores for ALL classes. So a happy Easter for most.
Club; got 212 km. and only 6 pilots did not finish on this first valid day for them.Best speed by Czech pilot Jan Pavlik in the St Cirrus with 96.53 km./h.So well deserved first 654 points for him.
Swedish pilot Gunnar Axelsson had 634 as runner up in a St. Cirrus as well.
15 m; 244.29 km was set for them. 4 Of my Belgium  mates fly in this class and they did well flying together and finishing as number 2 [Jeroen Jennen] -3 [Dennis Huybreckx] -and 4 [Jef Kell] behind daily winner Czech pilot David Mach in his LS 8.The 4th Belgium pilot [Tim Huybreckx] unfortunately must have missed the “Belgium connection” and landed  after 36 km.
Lot’s of LS 8 and Discus- types in this class.
2 seater class; 252 km. so better weather expectations with such a set task. That turned out correct as there were only 4 outlandings one of them by the German winners from Day 1  and one by team Italy with Aldo 4th on day 1 and then one of the 4 finishers.
Winners; from Germany [Thilo Scheffler/Serena Trieber] with 102 km./h……787 points.
Wofgang and his mate had  13 points less and more Belgium mates Wim [Akkermans] and his mate only had ONE point less than Wolfgang so spot 3 for the day.
Open class; 301 km. for them and another Belgium mate Bert [Schmelzer jr.] with a 3d spot and 968 points behind Austrian pilot Heimo [Demmerer 970]and Swiss pilot Rainer Crohnjaeger in his ASH 31 /21 m .[994] 6 Outlandings.

The organizers wrap up from day 3;
Finally this was the racing! The day started not very optimistic. We woke up into quite cloudy morning with the sky covered with thick layer of frontal clouds. Wind was so strong and cold that everyone here had to dress up in the warmest clothes including caps and gloves. We started launching at 12pm into a nice, full of cumulus developed sky. Later during the starts some rainshowers appeared near the airfield and some pilots got really into troubles to reach some height. Few of them had to take their second launch. Although there were many of local rainshowers practically the whole afternoon thermals during the day were strong enough and cloudbase reached above 2000m qnh. Now we can say it was a successful competition day!”



Not yet summer
Courtesy ELFO.

Day 4 on 17-04;
Task 3 for all classes ; 2 hour AAT’s .Just after 1 o’clock the message was ;
The weather still looks very promising. There are a lot of beautiful cumulus clouds above us and no outlanding have been reported yet. Therefore we expect many gliders on final glide just in 30 minutes.”
Club; The Czech pilots did well this day on spot 2-3-4 in ASW 15 and St Cirrus ,but the winner was Polish pilot Wojciech Wojtaczka in his Jantar 2.Only 3 outlandings!!
15 m:a great day for the Belgium pilots. Cousins Jeroen and Dennis were daily winner and runner up and behind them some very good German pilots ,Alexander [Spaeth] , Simon [Schroeder]and Karsten [Leucker] Only 2 out landings so a great day for all.
2-seaters; ah, 3 ARCUS gliders now….. one with the owner of Schempp-Hirth Tilo Holighaus] on spot 3. Wolfgang and Christoph [Koch]  won and Thilo [Scheffler] and Serena  were runner up.
open; Czech pilot Roman [Mracek ASG 29/18m.] had his day and his first ‘win’. In 2 hours he flew 252.50  km. in time 2.05 !!! So 121 km./h. Former WGC champion Bert jr. was runner up and after 2 days on spot 1.
31 Went UP, 30 finished!!

The organizers wrap up from day 4.
Today we woke up into the sunny morning with clear blue sky. The meteorological forecast however did not seemed that much optimistic while the through of low pressure area with cloudiness and rain was coming from Czech Republic. We expected a short flyable window that would allow us to fly short tasks. Therefore the first launched was comfirmed to 11:00 so we use the time till the rain is here. AATs for all classes for 2 hours. Starts went on smoothly, took just 1 hour and all gliders were in the air. The weather at that moment looked great, there were many cumulus clouds and gliders were circuling above our heads without any major problems. When we heard first 10 k on the radio and saw first gliders on final the weather still seemed very good for flying. This day was a big surprise for all of us and most of the pilots were able to complete the task. The cloud bases reached up to 1700m above ground with lifts 3-4m/s. The speed reached were more than 120 km/h. I believe pilots enjoyed their flights and had a great race today. We hope for more surpises like this one. ”

courtesy ELFO.

Day 5 on 18-04;Grid-orders were handed out but…the morning news from the organizers was;
Today we are positioned in the middle of low pressure area. Frontal systems are circling around us. At the moment its cold outside and the sky covered with clouds. However the cloudiness should slowly dissolve by raising temperature. We hope for getting a flyable window in this eye of low pressure that allow us to fly today.”
So waiting is a good virtue and from the past I know that WHEN soaring is possible they fly there even when only a few pilots finish.

AND,….yes they flew all of them a 2 hour AAT and a valid day for all classes. Even the organizers were surprised by the weather.
Club;Swedish pilot Gunnar Axelsson , in his St Cirrus, was the best with 212 km. in 2.20 so a speed of 90.64 km./h. Czech Pilot Michal Lesinger  in ASW 19, was runner up with 201.32 km. in time 2:12:15 [91.33 km/h.]Then 2 German pilots.
15 m.;A super-day for our Czech friends Radek, Jan and David on spot 1-2-and 3.Our Belgian friends/cousins were on spot 5 and 6
2-seaters; Thilo and Serena are doing well ,very well they won another day and their ARCUS brought them over 232.64 km. in time 2.00,5 so AT THE DOT!!! That is “some kind of art”  as well.
The first 5 places were for Germany then Wolfgang for Austria and then at 7 a Finnish team and at 8 Tilo for Germany again.
open: Except for 2 all 31 open class pilots finished. Best distance was 251.53 km. in time 2:03:23, so a nice speed of 122.32 km/h. in the JS 1/21 m. for one of the Polish pilots Lucasz Wojcik. Bostjan Pristavec in the EB 28 Edition was runner up [235.99 km. in 1:58:19]

The organizer’s wrap up from day 5;
During the night cold front passed our area and there was plenty of clouds covering the sky in the morning. It was cold outside also with some rainshowers. We were positioned in the middle of low pressure area and frontal systems were circling around us. Despite that there was a chance that clouds would dissolve as the temperature will raise. During the briefing, AATs with task time 2 hours were set but not many people believed today will be a competition day. First launch was planned for 12:30. We were all waiting what the weather will do. Shortly before first planned start the sun appeared and Cu clouds developed. However strong northwestern wind was blowing and the situation still looked very complicated. Launching procedure was a bit hectic and it needed to be paused because many club gliders were circling low above the airfield and we wanted to avoid dangerous situations. We waited about 15 minutes till the thermal activity improved. Soon after starts sky cleared out a little bit and thermals were active. Race started. According to pilots the flight was not easy, the altitude band was from 400 to 1000m QNH while the cloud bases were max. 1300 QNH. Local rainshower complicated the whole situation as well. The wind was strong, thermals were turbulent but most of the pilots were able to complete the task. Respect to all of you and thank you for a great cooperation! You were amazing!

courtesy ELFO.

TODAY is cancelled.
Due to an occluding frontal system influencing the weather in our area there are no tasks today and no briefing as well. We expect some rain during the day and strong wind blowing from north-west direction.”
So gliders at the ground not in the air.



Trophy and Medals to fly for!
As shared by the organizers.

With 8 participants they started from Magalies the airport from Orient for this 3d 2017 competition from series 8 !!
As said before Orient is situated approximately 50 km west-northwest of central Johannesburg and 65 km southwest of central Pretoria.
ALL JS 1’s here, but several different types.
On the practice day on Easter-Saturday, John Coutts [N.Z. ] was the best in his JS 1 -EVO over the 189 km., so somebody to really take care off.
On Easter Sunday the real race started ;
Race 1. 276 km. was set and John was still in the mood and with a speed of 120 km./h. he raced over the track and received the 8 max points for the day, followed by Oscar [Goudriaan JS 1] with 6, Marcus [Nouwens JS1-EVO TJ] with 5 and Laurens [Goudriaan JS1] with 4 points.

Oscar, John and Marcus as shared by the organizers.

Race 2.
224 km. was set and the regatta start at 13.36!!
This time Laurens was the fastest [ 123.6 km./h.] but only JUST as ‘ little” brother Oscar was a tad slower 123.2 km./h. as well as Marcus with 123.1 km./h.
Must have been a great moment to see those 3 finish,…fast and “furious”!!! And the rest was not much later; John had 122.9 km./h. and Uli [Schwenk JS 1 EVO TJ] ….Sven [Olivier] 122.2 km. and Ronny Erikkson from Sweden 118.9km./h.
One gaggle/bunch of white good-looking JS 1 “birds”.
After 2 races brothers Laurens and Oscar  and John, share the best points; 13 !!!

With Oscar, Laurens and Marcus from l. to r.

Race 3.
With 283.17 km. another day for Laurens who is in the winning mood…125 km./h.. 9 Points for him 7 for Marcus and 6 for Oscar. Good day for Sven , Ronny and Rob [Tiffin] , less good day for John and Uli….1 point for a speed of 106.2 km./h.

This time from l. to r. Marcus, Laurens and Oscar.

Race 4. Has a distance of 256 km. more later.

After 3 races; 1. Laurens with 22 points. 2. Oscar with 19 and 3. Marcus with 18.


This cold, clean and clear air is SO good for soaring. Yesterday was another TOP day. Several flights from over 1000 km.
Lienz Nikolsdorf in Austria; 1.206,9 km. in an ARCUS M and with lift never ever experienced before by young pilots Tobias and Marcel from Germany.Max and Olivier flew over the Alps there as well ;1.165 km. First 1000, so extra special.
Locarno in Switzerland; young Davide flew in his St Cirrus 985 km. “crazy circumstances”.
Puimoisson in France; 2 more young German pilots with former coach Uli Gmelin all over 1000 km.
Sondrio in Italy; 1.070 in the Ventus C and the Oerlinghausen club flies there always in spring in the past with Ingo Renner.
Lasham in the UK;  had some top flights…918 in the ARCUS T by Andy and Garry, Roy flew 823 in his ASG 29 and what about David Masson in the LS 6 WL with 744 km.
Great day out in the mountains!!
Have a look at the OLC on ;

One more week of writing then I really have to pack and move, so most probably no news till half of June.
Sorry CU you then, or in between with ad hoc news, when I have internet AND time!!!
Off to Amsterdam now, by the way we had up to 8 dgr. MINUS last night. Not good for the cherry – and other fruit trees.
Cheers Ritz

Post 983…..with lot’s of newsy news…Friedrichshafen…… New Aussie competition …..Fabulous early April weather !

AERO 2017 in Friedrichshafen.

Women power in Friedrichshafen with Kathrin from Pilotessa Design-com  and  aviatrix Peggy Valentin.
As shared by Pilotessa

It seems nearly everybody interested in soaring travels/traveled to the AERO Friedrichshafen for the big fair.
A few impressions I found from my friends at FB.


Robert Danewid from Sweden shared these pictures in the Schempp Hirth stand…..” You’ll find us in Hall B5, booth number 301. Our team is looking forward to meeting you!” and looking at Boerjes 7X the brandnew Ventus 3. And at the AS stand.

GP gliders is there as well;


With their text;
“..AND here it is the ONE, that stole the show! Congratulations to the whole team, who’s worked tirelessly almost around the clock for past two months with one extreme aim – to make this glider a reality for AERO. We did it guys!
Full photo report from GP GLIDERS’ booth at AERO Friedrichshafen to follow shortly.”

As shared by Sebastian and GP Gliders.

TWIN SHARK…a 20 m. 2-seater.


The waiting is over ” As said and shared by Craig Lowrie

roomy glider…

as shared by Craig.

One of the Dutch visitors shared this picture. interesting!

as shared by Frits Urselman.

THE DIANA 2 new Performance



as shared by Diana 2 New Performance.
This panel was already shared on March 18.

This is our universe command center and weather management.

But seriously its our new almost ready project of modification a instrument panel and devices optimalised for winning another competitions. It’s new heart and brain of our Diana-2 Demonstrator model. On board for example: LX9000 IGC with FLARM


They skipped one year but now they are back; the Student Aero Club from Delft will organize their 2-day-competition at Terlet on May 20 and 21.
To enter   ;
More info at;


Great weather in the South of Australia!!

Eddie Madden from Sportaviation in Tocumwal, shared a great picture full of fluffy clouds over South Australia. With the text “Unbelievable great soaring over Southern Australia.7000 to 9000 cloud base with light winds” is here the picture.

With Tocumwal [close to Cobram] and Corowa in the middle at the Murray River.

Temora had 380 and Raywood a 470 km.flight in autumn.


New type of competition in Australia.

Talking about Australia,… the next news from Nick [Gilbert] in Australia;

Next season there will be a new competition – we’ve decided to call it “Formula 1.0” as it is a Grand Prix style contest that revolves around the current Australian Club Class handicap point of 1.0, but also includes a bracket in either direction. The following sailplanes are eligible :

Jantar Standard 3
Jantar Standard 2
Jantar Standard (SZD-41A)
LS1 (A,B,C,D,F)
Standard Cirrus
Open Libelle
Standard Libelle
Astir CS
Astir CS 77

There are a large number of gliders in Australia of these type.
The event will be held at Leeton Airfield (in central New South Wales) from the 28th of December, to the 5th of January. Aerotow and winch launching will be available.
To reduce risk of midair collisions, competitors will be split into 2 groups, ordered by overall points. The winner of the lower group still gets very good points, so the make up of the groups will change day by day.
As there is a slight handicap difference, handicapping will be done by applying a formula to a fixed task that varies the size of the turnpoint circles based on handicap – for example, a Standard Libelle may only have to go within 3 kilometres of a turnpoint, but a Jantar Std 3 may have to go within 500 metres. As with all GP events, pending some simple verification, first across the finish line wins.
The purpose is not to get the maximum distance possible from each day, but to set tasks that use the best part of the weather. The focus is on racing, fun, and providing a spectator and family compatible atmosphere.
Management of the contest will be handled by a custom web application that takes care of the circle sizes, scoring and task sheet printing. If you are interested in running one of these events, we are more than happy to make this software available to you.
The website is available at :
Please contact us for further information on the ‘Contact’ page on the above website.


 “Two glider pilots have each soared more than 600 miles across Scotland, powered only by the “exceptional” weather conditions.” [BBC news]

What about that !!!! SUPER!!!!!! John Williams flew in his Antares 1.684 km. in 11 hours and 38 min from Kinross. As John mentioned in his OLC comment;” An interesting Scottish wave day – 3 laps of a declared 500km task.
“It  will not count as an official UK record, as the rules state you cannot repeat legs during the flight.” [BBC news]
Not bad either!!!  Sant[iago] Cervantes flew in his Discus BT, 1.009 km and reached a height of 3.962 m.
Must have been SUPER conditions, such a-once-in-your-life-time- thrill.


10 th JWGC in Pocuinai.

The preparations for this JWGC are in full swing. I was pleased to see that 61 pilots have  entered before the deadline on March 31. Australia sends , at this stage, 3 pilots …Ailsa and Rueben in club and Dylan in standard class and Holland as well, with runner up from last time Robin and Thijs both in St. Cirrus and 3 in Standard  Lars , Sjoerd en Sjors.
Club class has 34 pilots and standard 27 at this stage as reserves will be added later.
The opening ceremony will be on July 29 at 5 PM and the comps are between July 30 and August 13.


South African SGP.

As you can see the next SGP , the 8th edition, will be in South Africa at Magaliesburg from April 17 – 22, with at this stage 8 pilots among them, Oscar and Laurens, Sven, John [Coutts] and Uli [Schwenk].
The Magalies SGP will take place at Orient airfield which lies at 5100ft/1500m AMSL. Orient is situated approximately 50km west-northwest of central Johannesburg and 65km southwest of central Pretoria. ”
More later !


LS 1-f Neo.

Not long ago I wrote about this club class glider and now a team of “wise men” has made the choice on March 22 , to “give”  the glider for a year to Mathias Arnold.
The OLC has a department called the Young Eagle Speed Cup and  the wise men,…Rainer Rose ,{OLC} Holger Back {DG}and Gerd Peter Lauer awarded this glider for a year to Mathias , good on him and good luck in it!!!!
The full story is on the OLC news.


Last but not least……
A great flight by Bert Schmelzer jr. on April 9

Bert jr who lives in Zurich had a remarkable flight in his 18 m. ASG 29.Here is his story and his pictures.

Yesterday we had here one of the best early-April-days EVER.
For that reason I set and out and return from Hausen to nearly Noetsch and back.
In the beginning it was blue, but in the neighborhood of Calanda the first small clouds popped up.
With the wings fully loaded with water , climbing was not easy, but I hoped for the forecasted SUPER weather on the South side of the Alps.
Flying into the Engadin ,there was a gigantic jump in base from 3000 to 4200 m and the lift doubled!!!

Via the South slopes from the Vintschgau it was easy till past Meran and then North of Bolzano direction Dolomites. Flying from my homefield at Hausen, I have never been there before and it is for sure the most beautiful part of the Alps; Sella Ronda,Cortina d’Ampezzo,…. just amazing!!!

 Dolimieten – Cortina d’Ampezzo

Via a small convergence- line I flew into the Gailtal and slowly the base dropped from 3700 to 2300 direction TP.
Because I made up  time during the flight,- after the slow start -, my timing to continue the flight was comfortable, but not over-comfortable.

Gailtal – The TP is at the top of the mountain to the right of the yaw-string/”piefje”.

At the TP thermals were ragged and pulsating ,which led to more cautious flying. Two to three thermals later I got back to the higher  cloud base (and in the better thermals).
 The remainder of the return flight went along the northernedge of the Pustertal because the basis was another 400m higher there.Surprisingly soon I got to the Engadin where meanwhile snow showers were developing north of Bormio and near the Bernina Massif. As compensation the cloud base had climbed to 4,700m!
Engadin – snow-showers from the cumuli with a base of  4700m 
Decision time: at 150 km. from home I had in principle, enough reserve height for the final glide, over the high mountains of Garnerland…..even with the snow storm.
Doing that I would not fly an 800 km free distance, but,….in the West I could still see nice cumuli. The decision was easy,…I flew home  over Sedrun-Disentis-Altdorf .
In between it was 18.30 and due to the heavy snow the cumuli disappeared one by one. The sun was low as well.
Just on the moment I feared that it would be a long glide back to the airfield of Bad Ragaz, a tiny cumulus built up ,on the slope I wanted to try, before returning.
Not much later I could turn my “F2” in the “last- good -thermal -of- the -day” for a long final glide direction Hausen Am Albis
What a fabulous day !!!!
F2 –  just a bit before sunset safely home at Hausen.
Thanks Bert[je]
Bert flew a declared 700km out-and-return!!!!!!!! That day more pilots loved their early April flying;Mathias Schunk flew just under 1000 km. from Koenigsberg in the Quintus M and Benjamin Bachmeier a 600 FAI triangle [675 km.] .
One day later the 1000 km.’s were a fact; Alexander Mueller in the EB 29 with 1.109 km.[698 FAI triangle] from Lesce Bled, Mathias from Koenigsberg in the Quintus M with a  1000 km. [730 Fai triangle] thermal flight and in the Nimbus 4DM 2 pilots flew from Lienz 1026 km.
Oliver Schwenk flew in the ARCUS M “some kind goal flight” from Lienz to Vinon;910 km.
A REAL big area had TOP weather!!!! AND,……….with 1177 flights [on this April 9 ]added to the OLC list , the 2017-season has really started!!!
These Dutch gliders are on the way to Nitra [Slovakia].Hope the weather will be GOOD for the 151 visiting pilots flying in 4 classes!!
They start on Friday,…. more later!!Picture shared by Jeppe de Boer.
Enough newsy news.
CU next time.
Cheers Ritz

Post 982,…..with the USA SGP …..WO back home from Australia,…..interesting flights and Torino Trophy.

SORRY I am late. I had no connection to the server,…so no way to enter my blog, but it seems fine again. Here we go!



With 12 pilots in total , they started this SGP, on Friday March 24, with a pre practice day and one of my USA mates, Tony [Condon] flew this time a JS 1 -a and was proud and happy on his first flight in this great “toy”!
“Only”  5 pilots were flying ,the cloud base was at 5000 ft [ground is at 120 ft] and max start altitude from 4000 ft.
Here is his landing as shared by him.


courtesy; Bozena Michalowski.

Another practice day on Saturday ! With good weather and all pilots up in the air.  Tony mentioned;
Yahoo! Had an awesome flight. One low point but had an awesome flight. Flew the first leg with 7T. Also got to see the Gulf of Mexico!

Tony shared this picture from 7T  [ASG 29] with Jean Fidler who just returned a month ago from the WGC in Benalla,who won the day.

So 12 pilots flying in this 18 m. class event ,with  8 x an ASG 29 in different configuration, one Antares 20 E,2 J1’s [1A and 1C] and a HPH -304 .

The “real thing” ,  race 1, started on Sunday and it was quite a day. Tony ; ” I had an awesome run until I about landed out. Then I wSo 12 pilots flying in this 18 m. class event ,with  8 x an ASG 29 in different configuration, one Antares 20 E,2 J1’s [1A and 1C] and a HPH -304 .as just happy to make it home.”

The 10 points were for Tom Kelley in his ASG 29 flying 336 km. with a speed of 125.7 km./h. Same by the way as Jerzy [Szemplinski] from Canada, but he got the 8 points ,as he got a few penalty seconds .
” Poor”  UK pilot Jon Gatfield ,…he missed the start line by by less than 500 m. ; 5 minutes!!!!!!

Race 2;with 383 km. was won by Jerzy, no penalty points today for him so the full 10 points. He won the last SGP already in the USA, so somebody to keep an eye on. Sean [Fidler] did well as runner up and just a tad slower.
Tony had a good day though 20 sec penalty for a low finish, but he got 6 points!!
”  Finished 15 seconds ahead of Rich, but got a 20 second penalty. Fell off the back of the gaggle at the north turnpoint then managed to catch the leaders at the end.”

Race 3;

As shared by Tony with the text:”Another speed task! 431 km A Task. B is 340. A few wispy clouds so far.”

Another pretty long task with Sean gaining the 10 points and Tom the 8 p. 2 Pilots did not finish one only just after 414 km. and the other after 244 km.
Pete [Alexander] had a good run being 3d. Jerzy was 5th but leads the pact with 23 points after 4 days with Sean and Tom on his heels both with 18.4 Days to go.

With Jerzy and Pete in the middle.
Picture shared by the organizers and courtesy Maria Szemplinska.

Race 4;

as shared by Tony.

So another 400 km. race ,but….. later reduced to 269 km.
First they had a pilots meeting at the grid for a B task , then nice clouds popped up, also “interesting”  blue areas and quite some sink in the end.
As Tony mentioned;””We’ve had fantastic weather. Night and day compared to what they had for the seniors.
AND,..Tony loves flying the JS 1!
The glider is going great, just need to get the pilot up to its speed
Race 4 had 3 non-finishers and Jerzy again as winner.So his lead is growing and now 33 points with Sean and Tom following with 26 and 22.


Waiting for the pilot briefing with the trackers………….and…………Ready to go; my “flying source” Tony, in the USA.
Pic 2 courtesy Bozena Michalowski.

Race 5;


Ready to go for day 5 seen through the eyes of Bozena and shared by the organizers.

During this race 5 the JS 1-C from Jim Lee flew with a speed of 124.4 km./h. over the 294.85 track and with that speed he was the best; 10 points.Tom in his ASG 29 was runner up and with another 8 points he moves to a total of 30 and at this stage , with 2 days to go,…that means bronze.
Jerzy is on top with 39 points and on spot 2 Sean with 31.So it might be exciting for Sean and Tom the next 2 days with only 1 point difference.

Race 6 was cancelled, due to the weather;  forecast for thunderstorms at 2 PM.

As shared by the organizers; full sunrise rainbow at the 2017 SGP in the USA.

so on the last day there was a new chance for

Race 6! “Blue conditions forecast for today with top of lift around 6000. Estimated first launch at 13:30 local.”
So flying is on the menu again for the very last day.Pilots got a 270 km. task!
There is a saying;” What comes from far is good”! This time that turned out to be true as UK pilot John Gatfield had after one week “Orlando -flying in his fingers” and as it was the last day the 11 points were his!!!A speed just under 100 km./h.Runner up for the day was Tony with 9 points so a total for him of 22. He was quite excited “2nd one home, woohoo!!!”GOOD!!!
Jerzy was 4th but that was more than enough to win this USA Sailplane Grand Prix with 45 points. Good on him!!!
Runner up was with 35 points Sean.
Then it was 32 for Tom and Jim [Lee] and 31 for Rich Owen who was 3d on the last day.

Congrats to FAI SGP USA 2017 event winners

1) Jerzy Szemplinski, 2) Sean Fidler, and 3) Tom Kelley!!

courtesy Maria Szemplinska.



All overseas gliders participating in the WGC in Benalla are back at their home field,   including the brand new types as JS 1 and Ventus 3.
Most pilots are flying their toy again and here are a few pictures shared by Schempp Hirth from Wolfgang [Janowitsch], who was happy to fly his WO over his own ” playground” again.
Pictures are courtesy to Robert Zinnecker.


By the way in this Ventus 3 Wolfgang flew on April 1 a great 1.116 km. flight from Wiener Neustadt.[]


45th Tropheo of the City of Torino.

Luca De Marchi  as shared in the gallery.

 17 pilots flew this competition in one handicapped class. They started with a few non-flying-days due to the weather.
On the last day of March they finally went “up”  and with a set task of 258 km. Alberto Sironi in his Quintus M, was by far the fastest with a speed 122.23 km./h.
Runners up in the Duo Discus with team [Luciano?] Avanzini, had a good speed of 105 km./h. Luca De Marchi in his Ventus 2AX  was 3d.
Aldo [Cernezzi] 4th in the ARCUS M.
On April 1 they had a 1.30 AAT.
The ARCUS M. from team Grinza flew 199 km. with a speed just under 100 km./h.[597 daily points] and they were one of the 4 finishers. Among them also team Avanzini with 519 points. Alberto did not finish , he flew 192 km. for 427 points.
As 25 % finished the day was valid.
April 2 had no flying, but there was ,….the reserve day ,they wanted to use.I read however, that a lot of participants did not believe in another day and went home.
BUT,..they flew one more day , last Monday.
7 Choose not to fly and were already home, 9 flew and 6 finished AND, was a 1000 points day!
367 km. was the set task and Sandro [Montemaggi] “got” the 1000 points for his speed of 116 km./ the ASG 29E/18m. followed by the Duo Discus and the Arcus M.

So winners after 3 days were known now;
1. Team Avanzini in the Duo Discus XLT with 2099 points.
2.Team Grinza in the ARCUS M with 2.051 points
3. Luca De Marchi in the Ventus 2AX 2.039 points. These 3 were the only ones in the 2000 points-range.

It’s nice to know such a lot of Italian pilots from all my Rieti visits.

SAD news as well, Aldo Cernezzi, writes a lot about gliding and is involved with news for several magazines [p.e. Gliding International] and books. Last Saturday they have stolen his laptop from the car-parking- spot, during dinner in Torino’s club house and he lost all news and recent news etc …..EVERYTHING also the news on brand-new comps he is involved in!!!!!!!!!!!
Terrible  …..I hope he get’s it back. There was a video camera at the parking spot, that might give hope.
Aldo did not fly on the reserve day, we all understand.


Interesting flights on the OLC.

A lot of pilots choose France again for a check up on their mountain flying. Quite a few training-camps in several places as Puimoisson, Barcelonette , Aubenasson and Gap, Serres and of course  Saint Auban and Vinon.
On the last day of March Italy had a great flight in an ASW 24 from Rubbiano;722 km.
On the last but one day , we had the warmest day ever on March 30 here in Holland , with 21.4 dgr. C. Of course you look at the OLC to see if the conditions were good to fly in our flat-land-country.
AND YES, in his 21 m. JS 1 Rien Bastiaansen flew from Terlet a nice 275 km. distance.On March 22 he flew already 330 km.
Also on the 30thiest our Belgium mates flew 424 km. from Hasselt-Kiewit in a DG 400.
The season is “ON”.
And THEN ,….March is over and,… is April again.

April 1, no joke,  was a great {foehn-}day in Austria as from Wiener Neustadt the WGC- venue from long ago [I believe 1989] , several pilots flew long distances;1.110 km. in a Duo Discus is GOOD!!!!He flew direction West to the area of Unterwoessen and back.
And 942 km.  in an ASH 26, also direction West but more to S. of Zell am See,  was good too.
As said Wolfgang flew one as well.
Lesce Bled [Sl] had some great flights over 700 and 900 km.

Lasham in the UK had great weather as well, for the first time this season a “full house” last Sunday.

as shared by Roy.

and busy, busy in Holland as well with upfront the AG  “Cirrus”  from our juniors, ready for it’s very first flight of the season after winter inspections .

As shared by the Dutch Junior Gliding Team.
From Soesterberg our “kilometer-eaters” Sikko and Mark in their ASG 29E, flew 543 km and my Belgian friends were happy as well; “What an amazing start of the season!! Nice convergence line at the end of the day.” The OLC comment from Niel who flew 465 km in his St Libelle from Diest. Bert flew from there 510 in a 15 m. Ventus ct.
Only from Holland 59 cross country flights were added to the OLC with a total of 14.968 km. An average of 258 km. per flight [source FB; Zweefportaal]
Indeed it’s kilometer-eater-time; On April 3  Alexander Mueller [EB 29] nearly flew his first 1000 for the season [975 km.] from Lesce Bled [Slovenia]. And from Luxembourg Guy Bechtold flew in his Quintus M 824 km.
Many happy pilots in this early spring time in Europe.GOOD!!!!!!


CU next week.
Boxes for the removal arrived this week, let’s see how I go with time over the next weeks. I guess there will be a time with no Ritz-blog, as the connections for the new provider have to be changed. Last time it took 3 months!!!! I straight-away, ended my contract with that provider!!!We’ll see , will keep you informed.
Cheers Ritz