The Dutch Gliding Day!

Alphen aan den Rijn

25 november 2007

Yes the DAY , was a great day! I did not know that I knew such a lot of glider pilots and to be honest I was amazed to see how many more know me and a few times I had a problem to find out who they were. But in the end I could place ALL of them!

VERY nice  to see was how many of the 300 guests have been in Tocumwal in “my” Sportavia period!!Lots of young ones, who worked for us! Sorry to hear that some got married and split up not long after. A bit confronting:You clearly see that you really are getting older, but what’s wrong with that.

We were welcomed with ” vlaai “, the real Limburg traditionel baked round flat cake,[ more or less,] with rice or apricot or prumes. Just yammie!!! After the opening words a very intertesting item about safety  presented by Belgian pilot, flight instructor and examinator, Rik Moons. He spoke in a very open , direct and honest way about Human factors in flight, the pilot and his restrictions. A full hour of things to learn from!

After that there were parallel sessions  and with applying you could give your perference. I decided for ” Coaching ,a succesfactor with a European or world competition. ” This time it was about the Europeans were Ronald Termaat won the title coached by Baer Selen former 2 times world champion. Of course I knew as TC a lot about it , was even pleased to see that a lot I started was /is still used. Great story  by both.

Time for lunch and time to talk with Leonardo and Ricky who were going to present their story in the afternoon. My friends from Belgium were there all 4 Schmelzers and happy . They just heard last Tuesday that both Tijl and Bert jr are selected by the Belgium authorities to fly in the 2008 World comps in Rieti. The Dutch are hopefully going with 4 now, as I found out that Bas Seijffert will fly too.Only “minor” problem, he needs a few days off.

The afternoon I selected a meeting with the people involved with the new European rules. EASA is busy with new rules for licenses , medicals maintenace etc all in ONE European regulation. Interesting, it should be all working in another 4 years and it starts slowly in spring 2008. I was impressed by Matthias Borgmeier.

Then another interesting item ” Competing in gliding-Winning with your mind” , by father and son Brigliadori who both wrote the book with the same title. They spoke about their experiences in gliding, with winning and even compared gliding with a business ; how to manage, how to anticipate. Great story.

After prizes were given for the OLC winners in Holland and the clubs. Also prizes for the best pictures made by amateur photographers and all published in de “Thermiek” , the best Dutch gliding magazine!

After a drink with many, even Eric who lives in France now ;he still flies KLM and was runner up in Sweden during the World comps. He told me he was leaving today for “his boss” to Africa and was going to pay a visit with Boudewijn to Dick Bradley in Bloemfontein. Of course he took my best wishes for the WHOLE Bloemfontein team! My Belgium friends Bert and Hilde move to Bitterwasser soon and Daan has left for Pokweni….and I am still here, sitting in the rain!

Back home after a 2 hour trip, at 1.30 AM after a fine dinner with nice friends, including the Brigliadories. At least 2 world champions on ONE table. Baer and Leonardo.

Enough for now, cheers Ritz

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