In Memoriam Goeran ….New season carefully started !!

R.I.P Goeran…another legend gone…..

A recent picture from Goeran in the ASH 31 Mi.
Courtesy Robert Danewid.

—-I start this blog with sad news ,very sad news.No details yet , but a car accident has cost the life of our mate Goeran Ax.
Who does not know Goeran?? Twice World champion, friend, IGC member for Sweden and passionate glider pilot and competition pilot. I am sad , very sad!!!
Goeran [1943] started his career flying Saab J 29 and 35 in the Swedish Airforce . Then he flew years for SAS as airline pilot. I got to know him at several comps and WGC’s, my first acquaintance in 1981 in Paderborn where he won in 15 m. class in an ASW 20. Ake was runner up then and “our” Daan Pare 3d.
Already in 1972 he was world champion in open class in a Nimbus 2 in Vrsac .

2 Pictures from the past;
Paderborn in 1981 with Goeran again on the TOP SPOT !!!

  Goeran in 1993 in the briefing room during the Borlange WGC. He was runner up behind Janusz Centka.

R.I.P. Goeran ,you will be missed by many not only in Sweden but far beyond.


——-The last comps for this season down under are in Stonefield in the West . A GRAND PRIX WEEKEND on February 24 and 25 ,with 8 participants in one class.
Cathy [Conway] had an interesting and enthusiastic opinion about  day 1 of 2 from this GP -weekend, which was cancelled in the air;
“Best no-contest day ever! Convergence over the airfield. 3 1/2 hours. 500km without a thermalling turn. SeeYou reported L/D of 495 for the flight 1% circling. Ridge in the sky. We wouldn’t have done the task though.”
Day 2 had a 221 km. set task won by Heath L’Estrange in the St Cirrus ;5 points. Cathy had 1 point.


As shared by Catherine who flew 289 km. along the convergence line in the Ventus 2CT/18m..

And,…in the East,  the Lake Keepit Regatta [February 24 -March 3] with 28 pilots, also in one class with handicaps. This 2018 Regatta is a fun and informal competition to learn more and test your existing skills.
So coaching, team flying ,mentoring it’s all available.
Lake Keepit is the venue for the next WWGC ,so Aussie female pilot’s ,Jenny and Kerry are there to practice.
AND,……Keepit had, as often, very nice weather. Last Sunday they flew over 300 km. in an LS 6.
Monday was cancelled.
2 more days with today a 3 hour AAT won by local pilot Justin Smith in a Discus 2.
After 3 flown day’s out of 4 he is on spot 3 with 17 points less than Jason Kath [Speed Astir…2678 points] who is runner up and Dave Shorter in the JS 1 leads the pact with 2.789 points.
A pity there are only 2 “girls” practicing in this event.

Talking about this WWGC , Marina vice president of the IGC , just shared this picture and message this week.


Lake Keepit, Cumulus Skies, Orange Sunsets, Boundless Wildlife, Great People, Starry Nights and Gliding!
as shared by the 10th WWGC.

And don’t forget the great lake, you mostly have to pass , sometimes low, on final.



——-Very carefully the first over 200 km. thermal-flights have been flown in Germany. GOOD!! This week however it seems,  new cold-records will be broken with the fresh, NNEasterly bringing clear Siberian air to Europe. Quite a phenomena this late in the winter season.
YES,…tomorrow the meteorological Spring starts here in Europe.
the Beast from the East takes aim sweeping across large parts of Europe!
With the windchill factor it is easy about minus 20.
With some wave , German pilots could fly already over 700 km. from Offenburg Baden [ Württemberg] in an 18 m. ASG 29.
Also some  Belgium pilots flew yesterday and it was so cold that the tube of the camel-bag full of water was frozen!!!
Here is the OLC comment from Niel Deijgers [St. Libelle…364 km.]  who started with his mates Bert Van Eyken [Ventus CT /17.6 m…..464 km. ] and Daan Spruyt [ASW 27….393 km.] for flights up to nearly and over 400 km. in thermals and freezing cold conditions!!!
 Nice way to start gliding season 2018! 
Very cold underneath the cloudstreets but it felt so nice to be in the air again!
Temperature in the cockpit dropped to -15ºC, the tube of my camelbag froze so I was happy I had an extra bottle with me.
Good airmass but with 35-40 kp/h of wind with an empty Libelle it was really the limit…
Excellent forecast by SkySight.”

They started at Brasschaat not too far from the Belgium border where I live all the way to East of Terlet in the middle of Holland.
Flying between shiny ice-crystals is for sure special in Holland and Belgium. Heroes!!!!Respect.

——-“So the Adventure Trip HELLI LASH CHALANGE has startet with all the world champions. So after I bursted Uys Jonkers tire of the trailer and after we all got stuck in the sand with cars and trailers Laurens Goudriaan has done a wonderful job pulling us all out again with his 4 wheel drive. now al the gliders are rigged ready to go.”
This was the FB message from Katrin Senne, German’s female TOP PILOT. She shared some pictures as well.


After some “minor”  problems the real fun can start. Mac is there as well and promised to update me.


——-Ballooning; Don’t know a lot about it , but got this message so we can see how good Germany is in this sport.
Title: 10th FAI World Hot Air Airship Championship
Type : World
Date: 15.02 – 22.02.2018
Location: Tegernsee (Germany)
Final Results :
1st : Andreas Merk GER
2nd : Ralph Kremer GER
3rd : Juergen Huetten GER
The full results can be found at the following address: FAI congratulates the Winners and thanks the Organizers of the Championship.


—–Schemmp-Hirth news
 “Schempp-Hirth CEO Tilo Holighaus used the great (but cold) weather conditions for a longer longer flight over the winterly Swabian Alb with the new Ventus-3M, and he was excited. For a (German) report, please check…/gliding/flightinfo.html….

Such a new glider doesn’t stay undetected for long, however – Lars Reinhold from aerokurier spotted him soon and shot some great photos that we are glad he shared with us. Thank you!
here are a few.


Picture1 1; Inside the cockpit of Ventus-3M
picture 2; Finding Lars Reinhold in the blue sky with Ventus-3M
Picture 3; Ventus-3M showing the Hahnweide airfield with its left wingtip
Picture 4;Time to land with Ventus-3M


——Olympic’s are over ! Another 4 year waiting now ,before China shows what they have done to entertain the world’s best winter sporters and all of us. With 20 medals [4 less than 4 years ago] the Dutch team [33 performers]  was very happy; 8 gold, 6 silver and bronze, for a no-winter-sport- country, a very good result.
Some of the Dutch speed skating trainers moved away and got gold for Korea, Japan and Canada. They are heroes there now.
The only thing “we” can do is  skating both on short track and long track and it seems we are still good in it, though the concurrence opened their eyes and come closer.
Looking at the medals the best country is Norway , then Germany and Canada and The USA and on 5 our totally NOT winter-sport country Holland.
Though,…it’s so cold that tonight the first marathon will be skated on natural ice!!!


——Last but not least. After TOO many years the Sportavia area looks good again. A big clean up shows that all dead trees and all rubbish is gone. Look also at the tie-down area, no grass to be seen anymore, excellent. They started that already when I was there.
Now some [big]  repairs to the hangar and all is in good order again.

We’ve had a very big clean up around the old hangar lately…… must say it’s looking awesome…. big thanks to Peter Wright and Jorgen Thomsen…..
Picture courtesy Joergen Thomsen.


Cheers Ritz

2-seater Nationals at Narromine continued !

The over-seas-season is nearly over. Last Monday only 19 flights were added to the OLC.
Still some very good flights from Worcester were the “Worcester-magic” still seems to work; Marcus Geisern …736 km. with a speed of 155 km./h. in the ARCUS M.
And ,…for some still  “huge”  achievements in the after-not-too-busy- season, as FIRST SOLO in the IS 28 and  “2 follow up flights of 1 hr duration today. great effort“.

Celebrating first solo from Jackson ,…. congratulations Jackson….with Ingo and SRGC – tuggy Bill.
as shared by SRGC.


—–2-seater nationals continued;

Narromine Airport.

—–Narromine; ONE day it looked that they did not start, but ….OUCH,….they still had the start point from the day before in the logger , so the start on task 3 was not registered; TRAGIC.They then won 3 days; David and Harry. So no champions but great pilots. They won 4 from 7 tasks!!!!!
And,….. only the first two place-getters will be eligible to represent Australia at the World 20m Two Seat Championships,of course subject to ITC approval.
Since Wednesday , when I left you, they had a 3 hour AAT [task 4] won by David and Harry [ARCUS M] with 340 km. in time 3.02 so a nice speed of 112 km./h.  The Duo Discus ,Brad [Edwards] flying with his brother Bill , was  runner up;104 km./h.
AND …they have to be much faster ,otherwise they loose on handicap.
By the way a day on which they changed the task from 450 km. racing to a 3 hour AAT.
Task 5 , another low blue day, but no worries for ARCUS M-team UHM, it was a prey for them again; 2.30 AAT with 278 km. in time 2.32.
Task 6 ,with a racing task from 349 km. and …yes…it’s getting boring, but Harry and David won again, SO sad they lost one day due to a mistake, but it’s all part of “the fun”. Runner up was the other ARCUS M with Lumpy and Joergen who top the overall list after task 4.
Another blue day but with a few clouds to be seen and not to be really reached.

“Day 6 20 Meter Nationals… look two Cu’s”
as shared by Bryan.

Task 7 and LAST DAY :at last,…a CU-day.Not too much to gain or loose anymore….. or ?
Allan and Matthew won the last 1000 points with 550 km.during a 4 hour AAT in 4.02.
Though Lumpy and Joergen were 5th on the last day gaining 843 points ,they did not get into trouble and are the NATIONAL CHAMPIONS in the Australian 2-seater class; 5.914 points and not winning one day,..but flying very consistent AND making NO mistakes and they were not  troubled by bad luck either . Congratulations!
Due to the 1000 points on the last day Matthew and Allan moved up from 3 to 2 …good on them; 5.878 points. They won 3 from 7 tasks. Would they not have had an under carriage problem which dropped them 400 points,”if”they would have been…?????
My friend Brad , worldchampion in 1991 in Uvalde was 3d with his brother who as far as I know is not a real glider pilot; 5.817 points !
Harry and David missed out on ONE point to be 5th so ended overall on spot 6.[5.423] Add 700 points for a pretty average day and USING the logger correct ,”if” …..?????
Well done for Toc. mates Lumpy and Joergen. Their club [with Ingo] the SRGC was as happy;
“Congratulations for winning the Narromine 20m Two Seats Nationals 2018! Jorgen Thomsen and Lumpy Paterson your triumph will ring through the history of our club. WE ARE PROUD OF YOU!


——-Glide Omarama shared the next news last Friday;
A possible new WORLD RECORD was flown today!
Keith Essex – 500 km, 15 m glider, 255 kph, Omarama.
Subject to verification. Fingers crossed!”
Also on the 16th Jyri Laukkanen from Finland,who flies a lot in NZ, flew in an LS 3 a, 1.037 km. from Omarama. A fast and high day; speed 154 km./h.
A few day’s later,…same place ,same glider, same pilot…another 833 km.


—-Tocumwal Residential Airpark news;
“The Councillors of Berrigan Shire Council would like to invite you to join us in opening the Tocumwal Aerodrome Subdivision (officially)
Friday 23 February from 11am at the Tocumwal Aerodrome.
There is a lot happening at the airport. Great news!!!

On January 30 the last news was :”Things are ticking along with deposits now being held on Lot 42 and Lot 37.”

This all happens on the South side of the old WW2 airport and Sportavia hangar, for those who know Toc..


——-Corowa containers are about to leave after a nice season. Under supervision of Grietje and Francesco,they pack the containers tomorrow and then the 2018-season is over .On the OLC  they finished this year [on February 20] on spot 12 .
They flew mainly on very good day’s, in spiffy gliders and still made quite some kilometers; 132.746,96 in 242 flights. And that with only 18 pilots. Good result.
They changed their set up a bit, selling the 2 Pawnees and hosting pilots with self launchers. Those pilot’s bring their gliders in the 2 Corowa-containers or have the glider already in the hangar.


——-AND,…the season here nearly starts ….. what will it bring us. We have had some glorious day’s already with nice cu’s but very cold, so only to wet the appetite !!Next week we really will have FROST,…brrr…. too cold for me.Up to minus 10 again , so it looks “we” can “skate” on natural ice again.
Preparations for the new gliding-season however are in full swing , cleaning, repairing, checking, form 2 etc., AND  if you don’t have them already think of Jaxida covers for gliders ,trailers etc. Have a look;

“Jaxida Covers keep your glider dry in the trailer.
For all who have no space in Hangars an important advantage ”
Jaxida Cover Uli Schwenk



——Talking about the new season   Aussie pilots Adam “Woolley” and John “Butch” have practiced flying together already for the WGC.
So did Brazilian pilot Henrique Navarro and he shared a nice picture about his practice from Bebedouro in Brazil, also for the next WGC .  They all start early so will be there very well prepared!
Next WGC’s are in Poland [15 m. standard and club] and Czech Rep [.[Open, 18 m. and 2 seaters]

Training for the next WGC. Czech Rep., here we go!!”


——AND,…to finish this great and HAPPY picture shared by Gagula Darko. You know him from the fabulous real leather inside of gliders. Here on the picture with Scottish  wave specialist, John Williams.

Big privilege for me. Scottish gliding king John Williams.


CU next week, one more week of Olympic Games, love it.
Mind you some of the new Olympic Champions in speed skating, who are not Dutch ,are trained or have been trained by Dutch trainers!!!! They all speak some Dutch too.
We still try to keep to therms with the loss of the 10 K from Sven, though he is more than disappointed he is  very realistic, so he helps”us”.
Cheers Ritz

Matamata;done and dusted! Aussie 2-Seater Nationals !Olympic Games!!



Day 11, task 8.
Pictures shared by the Piako Gliding Club

—–The NZ Nationals on the N.Island of NZ are over and the winner in standard class was clear from the beginning. Auckland team Thompson&McIver , in the Duo Discus, showed their supremacy with a total score of 1000 points MORE than the runner up. What about that?
They were runner up on Thursday on task 9 the very last day, but NOBODY finished the 2 hour AAT!!Best distance , 68 km,., was not good enough to make it a valid day. They called it a ” day with an uninspiring sky!”
So 8 out of 12 day’s in this class and TOPWINNERS/champions; Thomson & McIver with 6.270 points in the DUODISCUS.
Runner up Steven Care in the ASW 20 had 5.211 points.

In open/18 m. the battle was going till the end. Keith [Essex] came closer and closer to Pat [Driessen] who leaded from the beginning, but in the end, with 1 day to go the difference was only 45 points and that’s NOTHING !!!
Task 9 was valid in this class but also here NO finishers !
Pat flew 166 km. for 337 points and Keith just 100 for 203. Matthew was in the middle with 112 km and 229 points.
Champion; Pat Driessen in the JS 1 with 7.797 points.
Runner up Keith Essex from the USA in ASW 27 18E, with 7.618 points.
Steve Wallace was also in the 7000 marge as number 3 ,he had 7.196 points.
Matthew finished this new adventure on spot 9 with 5.172 points.


Packing up another competition “done and dusted”.
As shared by the Piako Gliding Club.

The farewell words by Matthew:
Had a great time at the Matamata Nationals in NZ. This part of NZ doesn’t get many tourists, which is not surprising as it is a very challenging place to fly, but after two weeks I have left with an appreciation of the diversity and complexity of conditions it serves up which makes for very interesting flying. We set tasks on the ridges, in convergences, in wave, and in thermals, all in a single competition, and many days relied on starting in one and transitioning to another.
The conditions well and truly had me beat, with local expert Pat Driessen taking out the advanced class, but I think I discovered a new bottom gear to my gearbox and am well prepared for another season in Europe!”

With not a lot of tourists Matthew for sure means soaring-tourists, as the N island is absolute gorgeous one of the most beautiful places I have seen.

The organizers shared this last news and I was a bit puzzled by the VERY young ones winning the racing class in the Duo Discus. Mind you with over 1000 points so they must be young aces.TALENTS !!!!!
What a final night dinner! Quite a spectacle. Congrats to Campbell and Allie for winning the racing class in DX, and to Patrick for winning the open class. Very tight race with Keith Essex, and it came down to a few points. The dinner was amazing too. Thanks to all the helpers from the MSC for making the contest a big success.”

The Champion’s.


Allie and Campbell “Two weeks of hard competition and a lot of focus brought them fantastic results.” and Pat.

During the comps the news JS 3 was introduced, so there is one now in NZ too;
“Look who got a new glider! Brett is a little chuffed after a quick test fly. Introducing XB the JS3 18m. She even has electric pedal control (to move it forward and back) and foot warmer. The wings are higher than normal, and look at that wheel brake. Plus, someone almost 6’4” can fit!



As shared by the Piako Gliding Club.


——-One of my Aussie mates shared this news and like her I looked at the BREAKING NEWS on CNN to follow the launch. Exceptional /unbelievable, specially that the 2 outer boosters came back at nearly the  same spot !!!
Screen shot taken by me today from the livestream of Elon Musk’s SpaceX Tesla Roadster cargo in space with ‘Starman’ at the wheel. Falcon Heavy successfully launched from Launch Pad 39A overnight (yes I didn’t get much sleep) and returned the two outer boosters safely to Cape Canaveral. The centre booster didn’t quite make it but I’m sure they will have that sorted out soon. Falcon Heavy is the most powerful rocket to ever launch from Earth since NASA’s Saturn V rockets during the Apollo program. The 27 Merlin engines generate more than 5 million pounds of thrust (equivalent to eighteen 747 aircraft). Today’s successful launch is a huge step forward in the space program.

As shared by Lesley.


—–The Diana 2 New Generation production is in full swing as you can see.


——-The OLYMPIC GAMES have started and the Dutch straight away did well!! In 2 day’s we had 5 medals 2 gold, 2 silver and 1 bronze and topped the medal list. Not for long as Norway, Sweden, Germany and many more are the REAL winter-sport- countries, but we have been always good in speed skating. With a “clean sweep”  the ladies on the 3000 m. set the high standard for these Olympic Games.
Sven Kramer of course is an ACE and well known over the world, but the pressure on his shoulders to ALWAYS do well is enormous. He handles it well and is a real nice guy too.
Irene Wust is now after another gold and silver the best ever Dutch Olympic sportsperson  male or female, summer or winter games inDutch history; 5 gold medals since Turino in 2006 and several silver and bronze that I lost track.
Both Sven and she are ICON’s and I do understand the frustration of the skaters performing in the same era.

by bthe way ‘WE’ have 10 medals now after 4 day’s. 4 gold , 4 silver and 2 bronze and we hope for more as we still have some potential medal-winners.

Today there is STORM, so bad that even the journalist -tents outside the skating hall are closed. For skiing it is another day of waiting.

This upcoming Friday, one of the daughters of my Aussie friend Bruce, Belle Brockhoff, performs in snowboard cross, yes a girl from sunny down under in winter sport!!!
Looking forward to her race.


—–Two-seater Nationals in Narromine in Australia;
Matthew, yes just flying in Matamata, was back in Oz and straight away hopped in a Duo Discus with Allan Barnes to practice for the 2-seater Nationals at Lake Keepit. Unfortunately storms on Sunday stopped practicing, but the 9 teams flying in Duo Discus variations and 2 x an ARCUS M are all familiar with the area.

Australia is still HOT. They suffer from heat waves and it’s nearly “normal”  to have 40 dgr. C.
294 km. was set as task 1 and only ONE team finished!!!
Good old Harry Medlicott and David Jansen, good combi, won the day in the ARCUS M and were the ONLY finishers. Team Miles Gore Brown/Andrew Ward, Bob’s son,   was runner up with 286 km,. and Allan and Matthew were 3d.
Heard from Bryan that it was a “ Tough, tough day today, with high cirrus overshadowing the whole course.”
He mentioned that the best part of the day was the stunning sunset!! I totally agree only seeing the picture.

As shared by Bryan Hayhow

Task 2 was flown by all. A 4 hour AAT was set and Allan and Matthew did very well this time; 464 km. in time 4.03. It looked like Duo Discus-weather as the Arcus from Joergen and Lumpy was on spot 4 and the one from Harry and David on 6.
Lumpy shares his thoughts on this day 2;
Day two….. well every one got home today which is a big plus on yesterday ….. mixed tales told during tea about the conditions. 4 to 5 kts to around 5500 feet with a few getting higher on occasions, with some very sink in between. The thermals were a little all over the show, some good cores but you needed to continually re-centre. 
We had a pretty good run for most of the day but “fell in a hole” after the 3rd turn and ended up at 1000 feet…… which cost us 15 mins 😔 we finished with the second fastest speed for the day but in 4th place after the Handicaps…..”

Task 3 today; another 4 hour AAT , so still great weather in Narromine though “ Very windy and blue again” , AND Allan and Matthew did it again; 1000 points for 469 km in time “at the dot!!!” 117 km./h.
Runner up the Tocumwal team Joergen and Lumpy in the ARCUS with 487 km. in time 4.03.
So to see team Harry and David did not start, have to find out why.120 km./h.


—–Worcester in South Africa is still good too; February 10….Marcus [Geisen] and Karin [Wiesenthal ], calling flying there ” Worcester Magic” ,…. showed this was true with an over 700 km. flight, late in the season, in the ARCUS M.
Tocumwal is good as well. February 13 …Chris Davison in JS 1 C /21 m…..,625 km.[614 FAI triangle]
And whatabout Omarama; February 12 ….Max Stevens…..742 km in Ventus 2C/18 m. …speed 142.40 km./h.


——Carnaval this last weekend, so I did my best but it was COLD ,WET and CROWDY. No worries though. My daughter arrived with a colleague from Amsterdam and we had great fun. I went home in the early evening , they in the early morning.


CU next time, ALAAF,…. Ritz

COLD !!!! Recent superb wave flights from Greece ! NZ Nationals. Horsham Week !

We thought spring was around the corner ,when we had just over 14.5 dgr. C., a few weeks ago. My garden thought so too, but King Winter has arrived [again] with this week up to minus 10 !!! I know,….. “nothing”  for my Scandinavian mates and even for my USA friends who have been hit hard by “the king ” this winter, but still,…..
Also the people from the Mediterranean area, so the South of Europe, as Spain and Portugal, are cold and  have SNOW!!! Very unusual.
The good side; ice-skating is on at least for one week!!! We here, are not only born on a bike, but also on [speed-] skates!!! There is a hurrah mood at the moment.

—–When I was down under ,I missed a few interesting and as they called it “groundbreaking mountain wave flights. Flown from Kopaida Air base, by Legend Klaus Ohlmann and Greek co-pilot Alexis Anastasiou in the Stemme.

Klaus and Alexis.

SO , here you are, better late then never!!!! With some great pictures;
Two groundbreaking mountain wave flights with the legend, Klaus Ohlmann.
The first one was 1083km OLC / 1052km Free 3TP up to the northern border of Greece and crossing the gulf of Corinth to Argos.
The second was to the southernmost point of the Balkan Peninsula and second southernmost point of Europe, Cape Tainaron. Many thanks to the ATCs who made this possible
You find the flights on :…/gliding/flightinfo.html……/gliding/flightinfo.html…


Greece and wave flying at their best !
Pictures as shared by Alexis.

So when I asked Alexis, if he could add some personal touch with this great flight he wrote :
“Yes, that all my records were broken and I was very happy for this!
And the day of the long flight was by no means exceptional.
Also, that Klaus is not only an amazing pilot but also an amazing person.
There is great potential for very long flights in Greece and I have a lot of “work” to do.

So we will hear more from Alexis and soaring in Greece in the future.Looking forward to that !!!


——-EUROGLIDE 2018 !!! The 14th edition !!!
Some hearts are banging loud , now EUROGLIDE 2018 is nearly “on” .
Never heard of EUROGLIDE???
In short as written on their site;” Contrary to a standard gliding competition, when each day a task is flown from the same airfield, Euroglide has only one task of approximately 2000 km:”Depart from Venlo airfield,[in the S of Holland]  round the turnpoints and return to Venlo as soon as possible, but at latest on the last competition day.”

Each day, after landing (out) the teams have to find a suitable airfield for the next day and arrange take-off facilities themselves. To a certain extend, it is allowed to travel towards a turningpoint with the glider in the trailer.

The registration is closed now and 81 teams have announced their participation.Some teams exist out of 4/6 pilots so a “huge bunch” of happy chappies!!! Many are longing for 2 years for the next edition, after they were part of it  .
Pilots are from the UK, Germany, France, Belgium ,Poland ,Slovenia , Swiss and Holland.


——The NZ Nationals in Matamata [27-01/10-02] continued and after the first week with 5 out of 9 days and one week to go , the DUO Discus in the racing class with 10 pilots was better than good, winning 4 day’s one even as sole finishers; their total after week one is 3.652 points and looking at the runner up with 2.581 they are 1000 points ahead.No reason for team Thompson and McIver to forget about week 2 ,…but they could ; at least they want, take it easy and fly on safe.
In open class the first 5 pilots ,after one week, were between a total score of 4.555 and 3.926, so a lot can still happen here.
After the first week those 5 first are Pat Driessen, Keith Essex, Steve Wallace, Tim Bromhead and Tony van Dyk, more or less as expected.On task 5 the last day of week 1 , Pat lost over 300 points and Keith won the 1000. The day was lower and tougher than expected, but no worries for Pat , his lead was substantial.
Unfortunately Aussie Matthew Scutter [Discus 2] outlanded on day 1 loosing 905 points in his first NZ comps and then it is a bit difficult to motivate again, but he got the feeling for NZ soaring, which is of course  different to Aussie soaring,[though flying on the S island with all the mountains would have been REALLY different]  and slowly he found his way up.From spot 14 [from 16] to 10, 7 and spot 9 after the week, as he lost some points again on task 5; 1000 for Keith  and 160 for Matthew .He even was runner up one day.
Here is what Matthew wrote in his Matthew Scutter’s Gliding blog about day 1.
“Day 1 of NZ North Island Nats… needed a relight, got sent to the back of the grid but conditions deteriorated with the sea breeze coming in and some cu nims shading big patches of the first leg. Took 1kt to an altitude I thought would let me make the jump across a tongue of sea air and shadow but just short of the other side the landing options ahead looked terrible and if I missed the climb I’d be landing in a postage stamp on rolling hills. Deviated to a couple of wisps in the sea air but less than minimim sink. Paddocks were all terrible and the airfield database airfields either didn’t exist or I couldn’t find them. I did find an unmarked agstrip nestled on top of a hill made for an easy outlanding. Wheelbrake appears to be U/S so tonight will be busy too.”

AND that he learned every day is written as follows; “Low and slow, but not low enough to see the hobbits. First time racing on a ridge, two laps for 340k with almost no turns. This is what I came to Matamata for!”
That day [task 4] he was runner up!!!

What happened more with from today on only 2 days to go?
The new week on Monday started good with task 6 for Pat who won and Keith [from the USA] as runner up. Not so good for Tony as he outlanded.  Matthew did not start ,maybe more job’s on the glider.
Also a few outlanders in racing class .
Yesterday showed over 300 km. flights  and Matthew was runner up loosing ONE point to Steve.
The DUO-team lost 10 points but who cares; now 5.398 for 4.273 points.
Today; task 8 with a 2.15 AAT in racing class and only 8 started now in this class with 5 finishers one of them ,on spot, 4 team Thompson&McIver. They were the first to go on track.
In open same task different winner; Keith was the best again for the day. One outlanding and Pat was runner up. Matthew was 4th. He seems to have problems with this glider as now his battery was dead and he could not make any radio calls whilst landing.
More next week!

With these words Matthew shared his “learning curve” to cope with the weather in NZ;
Weird easterly wave at Matamata today. 35kts on the ridge, 2kts at 5000ft.”

As shared by Matthew in Matthew Scutter’s Gliding.


——–Horsham was very busy with the Australian FAI SGP  , then with Horsham coaching week 2018 and now with the annual and very popular Horsham Week; February 3-10.
30 Competitors in 3 classes and in open straight away a 300 km and 490 km. Not super-doper- hotshots at this competition, but pilots who love competition soaring and some still learning to get more practice to be a future “hotshot”.
Great weather as expected this time of the year in the W of Australia with AAT’s from 4 hours and pilots flying 605 km. with a speed of 146.70 km./h. in a JS 1 in open class.
Another good day yesterday , 37 dgr. C. with a 3.30 AAT for club class won by Bernie Sizer in his PIK 20. He goes like a rocket in his own new glider!!! 403 km. in time 3.42.
In open/18 m. Scott [Percival]  arrived for the last few days, with his ASH 25 /26 m. and straight away won the day; 325 km. with a speed of 136 km./h.
Horsham TODAY had 3 ,3.30 and 4 hour AAT’s so a long day and no scores yet. But some flights were over 500 km.
To be found at


——-Looking at the OLC, some great recent flights from Australia in the after-season time.
Last Monday 830 km. from Tocumwal by Chris Davison in his JS 1cTJ. The B-C-T triangle did well as from Benalla over 700 [ASG 29/18 m] was flown and from Corowa 834 km in the ASH 31/21 m.
A day earlier Milan Petcovic flew in his DG 100 519 km. from Toc. and on February 3 Tobias Geiger flew in his LS 4 a distance of 970 km [840 FAI triangle] from Benalla.
Also Narromine had great flights by Tomas Suchanek; all around 800 km.
On February 2 Stefan Soell topped the list with an LS 4 flight from 741 km. WITHOUT water!!
Great Aussie weather also yesterday when Eddie from Sportaviation wrote;
All gliders off and racing with the best set of weather for the season cloud base 10,000+ nil wind .”
Mind you day’s are REALLY getting shorter there as they are slowly getting longer here as well.
Today; Tomas Suchanek flew from Narromine 822 [ 800 km. FAI TRIANGLE], Bendigo much more to the W. showed a good flight from Terry Bellair in the DG 400/17 m. 760 km. Benalla same distance by Bob Nicholls.[Ventus 2C/18 m.]
Showing from W to E ,…..Australia is still good!!!

——-The Bitterwasser containers have left on February 5 ,….the Namibia season is definitely over …..and it was a superb season!!!The gliders arrive in the Rotterdam harbor around February 25.

You are up to date,…… Struggling with my internet connections,  but they check all lines this afternoon.
Cheers Ritz