Wet start of the 2017/18 season…..Looking back at a pretty wet WGC in Borlange in 1993…. Flying with the Champions about to begin.!


The 3 first comps of the season, 2 in Australia and 1 in South Africa,had wet weather. But from one of my friends in Australia I got the “message”  that the upcoming summer there, will be /should be hot and dry. Let’s wait and see.

Gliders arrive soon down under and should be already in Africa this week, where the season starts already early November . The main season in Africa is rather short so I hope it starts booming and does so till at least mid January.

The Namibia 2017 starts for Bitterwasser [ Namibia about 230 km. south-east of Windhoek ] and Kiropotib [Namibia about 160 km. southeast of Windhoek] on November 4 with  Flying with the champions- a very successful project.
Who never heard about it, a refresher…. here in short what it is all about. It is set up by Ludwig Starkl and Wolfgang Janowitsch both from Austria.


Whether you are just doing your first steps towards cross-country soaring, or you are already a well-experienced pilot, expecting the finishing touches with professional feedback on board: Flying with the Champions offers that in one of the world’s best gliding regions.

Effective training with top pilots in double-seaters – regardless of the trainee’s present level – makes learning progress much faster. Whether you are aiming for maximum distance, close team flying or competing against each other: Flying with the Champions is the most effective training available in gliding. Lessons learned are reflected in briefings and debriefings, consistent training flights give an idea of possibilities. A highly qualified team on ground and in the air, well structured lessons as well as the outstanding weather-reliability but above all that the joy of flying are the ingredients to make this course a first-class-event…

Who are the coaches this season;
The names of the Champions are always subject of changes, but we have confirmation from: Holger Back, Markus Frank, Stefano Ghiorzo, Arndt Hovestadt, Wolfgang Janowitsch, Reinhard Schramme, Lukasz Wojcik, Erwin Ziegler, Holger Karow, John Coutts, Andy Davis, Pete Harvey, all of them former European/World Champions, respectively National Team Trainer!

When can you do such a course?
7-day courses each:
4. – 10..11. 2017
11. – 17.11. 2017

How does it work?
With a champion in a double-seater, direct transfer of knowledge is possible. With his feedback, the coach supports the development of the trainee’s physical and men­tal skills. The structured training ensures defined goals. The trainee gets tools for his further individual development.

What do you pay for this course?

Entry fee: € 6.900,-

Price in Euro per person, including all costs for: glider (incl. oxygen and fuel), individual coaching by one of the Champions, navigation- and seminar documents, membership fee, all support needed for flight operations (briefing, ground handling, landing fee…), WLAN, transfer from and to Windhoek Airport, 8 days accommodation, full board including common sundowner, afternoon tea/coffee and cake, VAT and tourist tax. Not included are alcoholic drinks & personal expenses and, if applicable, costs for accompanying persons.

For more news; http://kiripotib.com/soaring/wp/en/flying-with-the-champions_en/

And; http://www.bitterwasser.com/


Looking back at BORLANGE 1993.

Talking about wet conditions ,…we had them in Borlange at the Dala airport during the 23d WGC in 1993. I was Team Captain for the Dutch team and here we are ready to go for it.

My “men” and me,  with Sikko [Vermeer]  and Baer [Selen 2 x WGC champion] , Max [van Bree] in the glider, me , Martin [Smit yes dad from Robin] and Roland [Termaat] and sitting our junior Eric [Borgmann] and our “senior” Gerrit [Kurstjens]. Great team!!!And a big one with 7 pilots as Bear was the 1991 WGC winner from Uvalde where I was the TC too. All these pilots still fly, one more than the other!!!!
And ,…maybe all bodywarmers were a bit too big.

We went home with the silver for Eric . He flew with a total of 49 pilots in standard class ,so a great achievement ,as he was number 2 behind Andy [Davis] after 9 days of flying.
With all the rain, open class still had 11 days and 15 m. a total of 10.
Pilots from 25 different countries visited Sweden.

The opening was wet, very wet !!!!


So from l. to r. Holland, France with Kiki as TC and 6 pilots, Gerard Lherm,Marc Schroeder, Gilbert Gerbaud, Eric Napoleon, Denis Flamant and Jean Claude Lopitaux ,
Then the very proud and official looking very big team of Australia with Bruce [Brockhoff] as TC and Ingo to the left and Brad [Edwards] in the middle and a very young Bruce Taylor was there, as well as  Mike Giles, David Jansen,Paul Matthews , Miles Gore Brown and Mark Laird.
team Argentina with Mr. Hossinger as their TC and one pilot Fernando Repicky,
Team Germany with Uli Schwenk and Klaus Holighaus, Holger Back,Hans Obermayer, Martin Theisinger, Peter Fisher and Erwin Ziegler,
Team UK with Andy [Davis] and Brian [Spreckley],Alister Kay, Martyn Wells ,Justin Wills and David Watt and as TC Andy Lincoln, team Denmark with Jan [Andersen] , Edvin Thomsen, Kristian Hansen, Ib Wienberg [who flew later with us in Tocumwal with his mates], Jan Schmeltz Pedersen, Ojvind Frank and Stig Oye and
Belgium with Paul Borgard and Jose Jaime and
team Finland with Simo [Kuusisto], Kari Lappalainen[ who flew with us in Toc as well] Jouko Maenpaa, Vesa Pajunen, Juha Sorri and Antti Taimioja.

and the last pictures I have from the opening.


South Africa with to the l. Hannes Steinmuhl, then already 80 years old and Carol [Clifford] as their TC and as pilots 27 year old Oscar Goudriaan , Keith Ashman, Dietrich Heiriss.
Under the Russian team with big smiles, they were not put off by the rain with good old Alexandre Silvanovitch who offered me “Space-food and the
Swiss team with Tomas Badum as TC and 6 pilots,Frederico Blatter, Fridolin Hauser, Werner Danz, Rickard Haechler, Markus Gaumann and Basil Obris .
Then last but not least team Sweden , with Claes Hagnander as TC and 7 pilots; Goeran Andersen, Goeran Ax, Torbjoern Hagnander, Ake Pettersson, Urban Hansson, Rainer Laino and Curt-Olle Ottosson and
the USA. with “big” Rick [RIP] with a small umbrella and Ray Gimmey, Eric Mozer, Richard Hall , Karl Striedeck , Ken Sorensen [CD in Uvalde in 2012] and Doug Jacobs with the well known Jim Payne as TC .

The story about day 2;

The Austrian TC Otmar with Ingo and the Swiss TC Tomas with Baer.

Holger Back’s dad and Ake and a smiling  Klaus with Uli against the glider and the parents from Anni and Chris Kehn.


And about day 4;

Briefing time with Holger Back and Klaus Holighaus [RIP] and Uli Schwenk.

And my Aussie mates

Above; David Jansen, Brad Edwards , Bruce Taylor, Miles Gore-Brown and TC Bruce

Under; Ingo, Giles [Michael] and Paul [Matthews]

I remember that cost of those rescues was HIGH !!!!!!
So here is the last news from Borlange;

I am more then interested in open class as my ex George flew in that class and I got to know most mates there. Now,…NO picture from this class, sorry about that.Must have been too excited by the silver from Eric our youngest pilot.
But of course the final result: The champion in open class was Janusz Centka with 9897 points.He won the 1991 Uvalde WGC as well, so 2 in a row!!!! Followed by Goeran Ax with 9525 points and the bronze was for Brian Spreckley with 9391 points. 27 Pilots in this class.

But here , with pictures , is the 15 m. class with 2 CHAMPIONS. Very exciting for that time. Both Eric Napoleon and Gilbert Gerbaud had 8220 points. ONLY 4 points less for my mate young Wolfgang [with hair] 8216.
YES the Wolfgang from Flying with the Champions!!!
The French , helping each other had a better last day with 941 daily points whilst Wolfgang had 885. A total of 40 pilots in this class.

AND the standard class

With Eric [silver] Andy , who won 3 day’s [gold] and Tomasz[Rubaj] bronze. To the r. Baer Selen who won the last day and finished overall on spot 9.


The Italian team with Smilian to the r. Giorgo to the l. his crew Roberto with the Viking hat,  behind the sign Leo [Leonardo Brigliadori and his wife RIP] Roberto Monti and Luciano Avanzini to l. of Smilian. Also flying Stefano Giorgio .

VERY PROUD moment;  from all the many TC’s [24]  including Kiki [France] and Fred Gai [Germany] not to forget Smilian Sibic from Italy] to the r. on the picture above , I turned out to be “the best.” At least , I guess, the most devoted to the team.


I don’t even remember,…. but I was chosen as the best TC, so you see a happy smile. Bigger picture to show our sponsor “de Nederlandsche luchtvaartpool NV” an insurance company with whom I really had a good contact.
De Nederlandse Luchtvaartpool was founded in 1932,making it one of the oldest aviationinsurers in the world. Today NLP forms an integral part of the Aviabel group, although the company name was retained after the takeover in 2001.”

Hope you liked looking back with me to the Borlange WGC. It brings back SO MANY memories!! Even with the off-weather we had a fantastic time and the Borlange crew did a great job. By the way we went on a 24 hour cruise to Sweden and back.
By the way the CD was Alff Ingesson -Thor and his deputy Robert Danewid ,who was later  the Eskilstuna  CD and I was there too, on invitation to be their editor.
President of the jury my friend Tor Johannessen.
Cheers Ritz
CU next week.

Goondiwindi Nationals “washed out”.

A bit later than normal, as I had to return from Amsterdam first. Enjoy!

We had up to 25 dgr. C this weekend.WEIRD!!!BUT,…lovely!!!!Even 26 in the S. on Monday and that on October 16!!! That’s 10 dgr. HIGHER than the normal average for the time of the year, so a day with lot’s of broken weather records!!
Even more weird , but as I heard one has to do with the other, a tropical storm hitting  Ireland and the N of the UK.
Ophelia ,”lost her feeling for direction” went on the Atlantic Ocean, not West,…. but East and grew from a storm to a hurricane cat 1 with up and over 130 km./h. gusting to 180 km./h..
Code RED was in place, schools closed and no traffic on the roads.
“Debbie”  in 1961 was the last severe one on September 16, hitting Ireland with 18 casualties and huge damage.
Sadly enough with all the precautions still 3 people dead this time and huge damage, but not as bad as in 1961.



Rain spoiled a lot, no spoiled it ALL. It was a big job to get some gliders from the tie-down-area to the grid and  the grass/airfield was so wet on Friday, that only one class [club] was sent up from the tarmac. So airstrip restrictions were in place.
35mm overnight, overcast skies now, cancelled day – sadly the weather doesn’t look to good for the remainder.”
With a 2.45 AAT the club classer’s happily went on track and Tobias [Geiger] from Benalla flew in his LS 4 a distance of 312 km. with a speed of 108 km./h.
16 From 17 pilots finished, so  a good day at least for one class. What a pity!!

“A shame not to be flying, but totally understandable.”
By Adam.

Saturday and Sunday were cancelled. They got out  to the strip, but back as well. More rain.


This picture [1] from Mike Codling who flies a HORNET during this competition, say’s it all;”Another tricky day to task, there’s not much enthusiasm on the grid.
At the same time, other part of the world,…..a very special sunny weekend on picture 2, in autumn at the airport in Venlo in Holland [shared by Luc Akkermans. ]

Not much better on Monday:”A glimmer of hope today, but still not looking good. Always smiling, can’t go too far wrong when you’re at a gliding field, with mates & not at work.”[Adam]
It did n’t get any better , though the last day [Wednesday] was flyable with 2 hour [club] and 1.30 AAT’s, but a lot had gone home already. A bit of a pity as,though the day was very wind,y it turned out better than expected; Tom flew 194 km. in time 1.40 [speed 116 km./h.] Allan won in club class with 189 km. in 2 hours at the dot and in 15 m. Butch was the daily best with 180 km. in time 1.38 !!!
Final results;
Club ; 2.447 points for Tobias Geiger [LS 4]  after 3 days of flying, so there is one CHAMPION this year. Congratulations.
Runner up Jim Crowhurst [ASW 20] with only 37 points less.
15 m; 1.220 points for Adam who was the winner and 1022 for Butch after 2 days.
open; 1.468 for Tom ]Claffey] in ASG 29/18m. also a winner and 1.179 for Brian [Du Rieu] in LS 10/18m.

NEVER in history the number of days at a National Competition in Australia was SO LOW!! A pity!!!


Newsy news.

—–The NUNA 9 from the University of Delft won the 14th Bridgestone World Solar Race for the 7th time. Good on them.
Due to new rules the average speed was 82 km./h. and the best speed was 110, the max for the car,mainly  driven by 3 girls.
The cruiser from Eindhoven, in the other class,  was very unlucky, they could nearly smell the finish when their [steering-]wheel broke of . Such bad luck!!!
BUT, they were so far ahead that they could repair it and still WIN!!! 3d win in a row for their 5 person-car!!!

Happy students from Delft, in Adelaide the final destination of the race.
Picture shared by NUON.

—–SGP-news from Orlando……..USA.
Seminole Lake Gliderport
March 26 – April 1, 2018

 20 pilots maximum (15 USA/Canadian pilots, 5 foreign).Just to let you know, as when you want to fly your own glider you have to ship it in time.


More early SGP news this time from France;“For the 4th time, the Grand Prix France will take place in Rennes Saint-Sulpice.
The races will be from the 3rd to the 9th of June 2018 in the 18m class.”


—–Great PR,……picture-impression by Takeshi Saito in Japan who used to fly with us in Tocumwal;





When I mailed with Takeshi I got some more info.:
“This is not museum.
This is information corner and outside monument of Takikawa station.Glider is an important tourism resource for Takikawa City.All gliders have an information board, so visitors can see closely the stored glider.
And…. the Takigawa glider field has the best facilities and fleets in Japan.

When the Takigawa glider club staff visited Tocumwal, they were impressed by seeing the glider’s monument at the entrance to the town of Tocumwal., and it seems that this monument was made at Takigawa station.
So Sky museum is not a real museum. The main use purpose of this facility is a glider hangar.”
So now you know too!!! Thanks Takeshi-san.

—–Nice news for long time TC for France and a very good pilot as well.
Benjamin Neglais started a new career [ Innovation, Production, Communication and Accompagnement] with….Schempp-Hirth in Germany. Good for both!!!!!

That’s it for today. CU next week.
Cheers Ritz

First comps of the new season finished !VERY SAD,….already 4 people killed in 3 gliders in Australia..please be careful!!!!

The “left overs” from hurricane Maria, reached Europe and though Holland and Belgium were hit,  specially the N. part of Germany and Poland had the worst bit. In Germany  6 people were killed , mainly due to falling trees. Berlin and Hamburg had a rough time without electricity. It’s a bad hurricane season with HUGE damage bills worldwide and even worse too many killed and too many who lost EVERYTHING.
By the way, on Sunday night we had in the East of Holland the first frost!!!1.2 minus!!!!The forecast for this upcoming weekend is 20 dgr. C PLUS .


With 2 comps in early spring , one in South Africa’s Potchefstroom and the other Down Under in Warwick [Queensland] the competition season 2017/2018 has started.
Both comps had to deal with WET spring-weather, hence not a full week of soaring.

In Potchefstroom , after 3 day’s of soaring [ “Day 3 started with 12.000’ base … got lousy but then picked up and infighting all the way to final glide which was very cool and fast 90km out ” by Arne] and another rainy day on Thursday ,[ “The air today is cool and there is still a lot of moisture from the north west as the front is now sitting over Potchefstroom so that there will be no chance of a task today” ] they only had 2 days to go.
Those day’s could be  VERY interesting.
Look at the overall scores in 18 m./open class; 1. Oscar with 2.093, 2. Laurens with 2.070, 3. Arne with 2.062, 4. Attie with 2.058 and 5. with 2.054 points Uys Jonker.
The card’s were not yet shuffled, BUT,…the weather should co-operate as well.

Laurens ready to go.
shared by Laurens picture courtesy Bennie Henning.

What happened?
The Friday news after launching part of the gliders for small tasks:
Oh dear – what a great pity. 
We managed to launch the 15m. and 2-seater classes gliders, and then it was agreed to stop launching, as there were a few 15m. gliders landing, and the sky was getting darker to the north west of the airfield and an approaching storm. Although conditions were much better out on track, it was then a matter of the gliders that had landed, if they had another launch whether they would get away once airborne again, and so it was finally agreed to cancel the tasks for the day for all the classes. It is likely that once the storm has passed, conditions will re-generate, but the ground will then be wetter still. 
We live in hopes for tomorrow, but there is no guarantee that it will good enough – we will see. So more news in the morning.”

“Towing back to the hangars with sinking hearts.”
Shared by Arne.

All hope was set on the last day then:
BUT,……Saturday’s message;
After a heavy storm with some hail, it has been decided to cancel the day. The weather is just not going to allow all the pilots to get airborne before the next downpour, so very sadly after only 3 days’ flying, the 2017 SA Nationals are now over. ”

AP Kotze won in club class with 2.170 points in the St. Cirrus on 3 out of 8 days.
Best in 15 m. was Mark Holliday in ASW 27 with 2.101 points.
Nothing changed to the 18 m./open scores I mentioned ,so Oscar won just ahead of his brother Laurens;2.093 points.
The 2-seater-win was for team Schaap/Taljaard in a DG 505M/20m. with 1.816 points.
Congratulations to the NATIONAL CHAMPIONS from South Africa.


In Warwick, on the other site of the world, the weather was a not much better….. they tried hard on Friday to create day 3. Small tasks but in vain. Only 2 days and 3 winners with not too many points;
State comp-winners;1.Justin Sinclair with 1.373 points in Sports class,2. Mike Codling in club with 1.596 and 3. Ivan Teese in 18m./open with 1.782.

No worries,…as for quite a few of the Warwick pilots , the first Nationals in down under, were about to start and they straight away traveled from Warwick to Goondiwindi ;
The Sports Class Nationals in good old Goondiwindi between October 9 and 18 with 37 pilots in club, 15 m, and open class.
On the practice day already very bad news!!! The Chronicle had breaking news;
 “An experienced glider pilot has been killed in a crash near the Queensland-NSW border this afternoon.”
Good old Simon, the warmest, most jovial guy in gliding died after , what witnesses saw, his JS 1 spun in to the ground, after he was released.
RIP Simon.
I share the words from Anita [Taylor] , words so  spot on:
Simon, who would, and often did, go above and beyond for his friends… and there were many…. who always called it to your face, and always with a smile and always with unconditional regard….. who would look out for others, simply for the joy in being able to help …. big, in every sense… as will be the void.”

Here the official words from the GFA, I praise them for doing this ,even when it is TOO often at the moment:

“With deep regret, we inform members of The Gliding Federation of Australia that on the afternoon of Monday 9th October 2017, we lost one of our members in a single glider accident in a paddock close to Goondiwindi Airport. The deceased member is Mr Simon Brown, an experienced glider pilot and member of Gliding Club of Victoria (GCV) and numerous other gliding clubs. Simon is well known to many pilots across Australia.

GFA Operations and Airworthiness investigators were immediately mobilised, and are now assisting Police and Coronial authorities. Organisers of the Goondiwindi national championships provided valuable immediate assistance.

Simon was flying his JS1C single seat glider. He had released from aerotow and was seen flying straight for a few minutes and then the glider was observed descending vertically at high speed into the ground.

Pilot medical issues will be investigated by Coronial authorities. Considerable further work is needed to access flight records and reconstruct the flight, and correlate with meteorological data. Members will appreciate that more investigations are required before firm conclusions can be drawn.

Our thoughts and condolences are with Simon’s family and his many gliding friends.

Peter Cesco
GFA President

Mind you the beginning of this season is terrible for my Aussie mates. 3 Gliders with 4 people died after a crash in a short time.

On the Goondiwindi-practice-day , most choose to talk and be together to come to therms with this very tragic loss.
They started today with a 3 hour AAT in open/18 m. won by Tom [Claffey] with 352 km. and a speed of 117 km./h. and as runner up Lumpy Paterson from Tocumwal.
In 15 m. a 2.30 AAT was set and won by Adam[Woolley] with 345 km and a good speed in his Ventus 2 from 132.5 km./h. The Trotter’s were runner’s up but with 50 km.plus less.
In club Jim [Crowhurst] flew in his ASW 20 a distance 350 .55 km. during a 3 hour AAT in 3 hours at the dot!!
All scores from today are preliminary.


 Newsy news !

——The Chilhowee Soaring Association announced their October fest between October 20 and 22. The spot to be, as Sarah and Jason are the organizers !


——Gariep Dam Gliding shared the next message:
“Good Afternoon to all the Pilots out there. Some exciting news to share with all of you. No more lack of electricity at the Clubhouse and Hanger. We have new solar Panels and a new Inverter system installed. So now we have sufficient power. Also on top of that a solar geyser was installed. So now permanent Hot water for everyone.
See you all soon as we can’t wait for the Gliding season to kick of this November.”


As shared by them.

—–They will be only flown in the beginning of next year ,but when you want to fly your own glider at Vitacura in Chile at the WORLD FINAL  of the  Sailplane Grand Prix in Chile, you have to send your glider now. That’s what the European pilots are doing right now.

17 Qualified pilots during the series and 2 wild cards for Rene Vidal and Carlos Rocca both from the organizing country Chile.


Hope they arrive without damage.
As shared by the SGP
the last one by Giorgio Galetto with his text:”Pilots from 8 different nations to load the frame. 9 hours of hard job under the supervision of Spindelberger”

——Bahia Gliding in Brasil. Good to see they are busy enough this season and some nice flights as well.628 km.  and a 500 FAI triangle in a St Jantar is for sure good fun. It’s just waiting for a 1000 km. flight this season they came close already, with 983 km.

—-HOT WAVE… no not as in warm but pretty good; Kinross [Scottish Gliding Center] and Aboyne [Deeside Gliding Club] the wave mecca’s in Scotland . Edward Downham flew in the ASH 25/EB 28 1.100 km. [ max. height 5.184 MSL, 4427 AGL ]from Kinross , which is situated South of Aboyne.
John Williams flew 936 km.  with a speed of 152 km./h. in the 20 m. Antares and from Aboyne Roy Wilson flew the ASH 31/21 m., over 624 km. with a speed of 156 km./h.

—–World Solar Race from Darwin to Adelaide.They started last Sunday and drive over more than 3000 km. in car’s on solar-energy only. Universities/students try to be the best in 2 classes, single seater’s for speed and “the cruisers”  for efficiency.
There are 3 teams from Holland ; one in the efficiency class ….a family car with 5 students from the Technical University in Eindhoven who  try to win like they did last time and the students from Delft and Twente are again in the race to be the best in the speed class.

—–HARVEST time in Australia; One of my [soaring-] friends Gerrit Kurstjens did well in Holland ,but does even better in Australia. On their site, Kurstjens Farming Australia,  they showed this picture and,…he and Pam still have time for gliding;

“We’re ready for harvest.”

And to finish this fabulous picture, AGAIN from New Zealand and shared on FB,  by GLIDE OMARAMA from COLAB CREATIVE !!!

With the text;
“I still can’t believe we pulled it off! 3 gliders in formation ridge soaring Mt Cook.”
pictures from this dual tow were taken from a helicopter. Great stuff, I remember dual tows from our field at Toc. pretty impressive.

“Taking off on filming work

Cheers Ritz

Back on track again !! And,….more newsy news!!!


Sorry…., for sure the die-hard-readers have noticed, that my last blog was published, but  finished rather abrupt.

Reason is clear,..problems with my laptop.
One of my Dutch friends Theo got rid of the problems after quite a few hours hours on phone and view-reader and en passant he installed Norton, refreshed google and cleared all other problems as one with my blog. It told me that  my IP , which turned out NOT MY IP ,blocked/ blacklisted me entering; so the future looks bright. Thanks Theo!!!

My friend Bill from the USA , had to help me with my blog. He could enter it ,I could not!!   Bill gave me a new login and password which worked well with him but not with me. He was so kind to publish already the text I had finished, but not really checked.
So another viewer- reading this time via SKYPE.
And…..no doubt… he had solved those problems very quick, so here I am again. Thanks Bill!!!


Lot’s of newsy news!

—–September was a weird month weather wise, here in Holland and in more places in  Europe. It was the wettest since 2001. An average of 130 mm. [87 is normal!!]
Hence, the average temperature was 0.8 dgr. lower .
We had the coldest EVER, 16th of September but last weekend summer revived with up to 25 dgr. C.


Autumn !!
Walking in the weekend,  through a park and a nature- reserve called “the Groote Heide” close to the Achelse Kluis a convent from the order of  the Trappists. We met some bird watchers and they showed us a fish-eagle, which was looking at their enthusiasm, pretty spectacular in this area.

This  message from the British Gliding Association I really love to share;

Mylynn and Dina, from Oxford University gliding club, both completed the Standard Aerobatic badge this week at Bicester – learn more about glider aerobatics at https://members.gliding.co.uk/pilot-resources-flying-training/aerobatics/


as shared by the BGA.


——-Branco Stoikovic topped the first day of the 2018 OLC list. He flew in a Nimbus 3 T /25 m. [ Gugui’s Big Bird], a nice flight from 805 km. from Bahia Gliding in Brazil. This included a 750 FAI triangle.
A few days later he flew 960 km [866 km.FAI] He enjoyed some great flying .

——Matthew Scutter published the new handicap list for club class; I am sure more will be interested,  so here is the list also published on his blog Matthew Scutter’s Gliding;


——The SOUTH AFRICAN NATIONALS are in progress in Potchefstroom.
In Club class 11 participants, in 15 m. 13 , in 18 m. 22 [ and several European mates in this class]   and the 2-seaters fly around with 6 gliders, so another 12 pilots!
In 18 m. class Oscar Goudriaan flies his brand-new JS 3 . Already 7 of this successful JS 3-type fly in this competition.

You can see the speed even on a picture!!
As shared by Oscar, but picture courtesy Robert Atkinson .


As shared by Jonker sailplanes.

These comps will finish this upcoming weekend. But the first days [September 30 practice and October 1] there were no tasks due to poor weather, on October 2 however it improved and all were airborne in just over an hour for 2.45 and 2.30 AAT’s!!

One of the long time guests at Potch, is Arne Boye-Moeller who flies now in Potch a JS 1.

BUT,…..Arne with Uys, “test-sitting” the JS 3.
I “liked” his text with the picture and for sure,  through time , I knew what he means;
An expensive moment “.

October 2 turned out an exciting day with good and bad circumstances as huge rainfall but still finishers. In 18 m. even 16. The top 5 was JS 3 then Arne in the JS 1. Winner;Hungaryan pilot Zoltan Kore; speed 137 km./h.over 363 km.
Followed by the brothers Laurens and Oscar and the brothers Uys and Attie.
One pilot mentioned ;
” an AAT of which the second leg ended under a huge CB , so a little detour was needed…
Still a very nice gliding day !”

Ready to go ….”only”  waiting for the cu’s.
As shared by Arne.

The October 3 official “after flying news” ;
After Flying – 6.30 p.m.
The first pilot back did not complete the task, with some others following who also didn’t complete the task, but overall the pilots had a good day and some enjoyed the flight, whilst others found it a bit difficult. Some battled to get up for start, and the overdevelopment did not materialize. It seemed that it was fairly blue with more clouds in the second two sectors. It was a much drier than was expected, so overall – a good day’s flying. Thankfully everyone managed to get home with no out-landings so that is always pleasing, and now the beer sales are doing well!
The provisional results show that in the Club class Jaco Burger has won the day with a speed of 96.06 kph, Pieter Geldenhuys 2nd, and AP Kotze 3rd.
In the 2-seater class Mark Hutchings at 85.12 kph came 1st, with Arjan Schaap 2nd at 95.36 kph and 3rd Bruce Cherrington.
In the 15m. class Nico Le Roux managed 114.5 kph ahead of Dick Bradley at 110.39 kph, and 3rd Mark Holliday at 110.08 kph.
In the 18m/Open class Oscar Goudriaan led the field at 136.05 kph, with Laurens just behind him at 135.79 kph, followed in 3rd by Brett Hunter (NZ) at 128.64 kph.”

For today October 4 I share the next news:
” This morning there is once again cirrus upper cloud, but the wind is not as strong as yesterday, but the morning has a different feel to it. Pilots are getting their gliders weighed and out to the grid with the hopes of a flying day. The prediction for the booming S.African conditions do not appear to be working for this week. They are hoping to have a task today, but I gather tomorrow is not too hopeful. We will learn at briefing what the weather is going to be.
Tasks today: Club…203 km, 15 m. and 2-seaters a 3 hour AAT and 18 m a 284 km. task.

——same time but on the other site of the world , the first Australian competition in the new season; The Queensland State Comps flown from Warwick, with also a few ” off-day’s ” in the beginning and today they have their first soaring day. They have 2.30 in sports {7 pilots} and club class {7}  and 3 hour AAT’s for 18 m.{8}
All pilots finished with 341 km. in time 2.59 for Ivan Teese in 18m/open in his ASG 29E;1000 points and a speed of 114 km./h.

The season did not start well in Australia, here is the sad news:
With deep regret, we inform members of The Gliding Federation of Australia that on the afternoon of Saturday 30 September 2017, we lost one of our members in a single glider accident in a paddock off Murray Rd, North of Benalla VIC.  The deceased member is Mr Richard Robinson, an experienced glider pilot and member of Gliding Club of Victoria (GCV).
Richard was flying his LS8-18 single seat glider that he recently acquired.  His glider was observed by a witness flying low near Murrays Rd, between the Midlands Highway and Benalla-Yarrawonga Road.  The glider was observed in a turn when the into-turn wing dropped and the glider impacted the ground.  ”
“Initial investigations have not indicated any airworthiness issues with the airframe prior to ground impact. Pilot medical issues will be investigated by Coronial authorities.”
Parts of the mail shared by Peter Cesco…GFA President.
Sincere condolences to his family and friends.

——Children grow up !!! And …too fast, meaning we are getting older!!! My long-longtime friends from Belgium, The Schmelzers ,celebrated the wedding of their son Bert jr and his by now lovely wife Barbara last weekend. I wish them ONLY HAPPINESS !!!

A very happy Bertje [ former WGC champion] and as happy, his beautiful wife Barbara.
As shared by Barbara.

—–Very sad about Las Vegas.. my family just visited this beautiful and normally HAPPY TOWN. Sometimes I do not understand our world anymore!!

——-GLIDE OMARAMA in New Zealand published the next news with a happy beginning of the NZ season!!
Today I had a beautiful spring thermal flight with Steve Curtis from Tocumwal. We flew up the Murchison valley at 7500′ with Mt Cook towering above us on our left. We took a thermal to get above the ridge-line and crossed into the Jollie. Nearing Omarama, we decided to go west and flew to Lake Hawea via the Dingle range. The clouds upwind were building and becoming showery so we ran downwind to the Lindis, and finished by running a honking convergence on the St Bathans range. Our soaring season has well and truly started!”


Mt Cook from the mouth of the Murchison valley ” and ” Convergence on the St Bathans.”

AND,…indeed the season started GREAT. Frequent NZ -flyer from Finland, Jyri Laukkanen,  flew on his first 2017/18 season-flight, in good wave 889.97 km. with a speed of 137 km./h. in an LS 3A.

——To finish the blog one of those great pictures by Geoff Soper also from New Zealand.

early evening aurora“.
By Geoff Soper.

CU next week, so happy…….. this laptop is going like a “rocket”  again.

cheers Ritz