A sad loss; Leonardo Brigliadori passed away!


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Leo in Eskilstuna in 2006

It’s with great sadness, that I have to mention the loss of a good soaring mate; our Leo.
Soaring brings people together, it’s one of the goals of our beautiful sport to fraternize with people from all over the world.
Sometimes you meet somebody and you feel straight away a strong connection, one which never goes away, also not when you do not meet regularly.
This is what I had when I met Adriana and Leonardo Brigliadori, LONG time ago. I can’t even remember which competition. For sure in 1984 when we were in Rieti with the Pre Worlds.
Arriving at an airfield I heard and still miss  that, Adriana’s cheerful voice “CIAU Ritz “and we dropped or stopped doing what we were doing and hurried to meet each other.

Still see/visualise  Leo in my beloved Tocumwal , where we were with 50 pilots from so many different countries, attending a HOLY CHRISTMAS mess in the practise period for the Benalla world comps in 1986/87. Outside, as it was hot even  in the middle of the night and we were too many for the small church .We all in our summer clothes, moths flying around and settling down on the white clothes of the priest.


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Adriana [to the r.] at the WGC in 2008, when she was already sick, but still so strong minded.

I spend quite some time in Rieti later , as editor as both Leo and Marina were “fans”. I noticed the drive Leo had to be a fantastic CD in 1987 and 1988 with the JWGC and WGC.
Even when Adriana was diagnosed with cancer .
Marina deputy contest director during the JWGC in 2007, kept a good eye on him as being so busy he sometimes forgot things and she was there to remind him. And on the days he HAD to go home ,  deputy Giorgio [2008] took over as CD . Oiled teams! All great mates!

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Giorgio and Leo working together at several comps.

Adriana died a few years ago. Leo struggled, but still was involved in soaring and found his friends helping him through the dark period.

Can’t tell you HOW MUCH he did for Italian soaring!!!! Others can do so better! A HUGE amount! He really was of great importance for Italian soaring.
Since October 2008 he was the president of the Italian Gliding Federation.
In the end it sometimes was a bit of a struggle,  as there are [maybe too] many important people in Italian soaring, at least that’s what they think.
Not that long ago I got a mail he had given up all his functions .

dag 11decision made  dag 6 clouds and leo en brian 003

Leo always active as CD , here with his stewards in 2008.

Of course he was World Champion in 1985 in his Rieti,  won more comps,  as the EGC in 1982;  he just was a great pilot.
He also wrote a book “Competing in gliding”, with his son Ricky , sharing the experiences both had in competition flying. Promoting this book,  he was invited to Holland , where I met him again.
I received the most beautiful book about the WGC in 2008,editorial co-ordinated by Aldo Cernezzi, full of great pictures and most of my stories,  in which Leo as CD said:
The most important factor of a gliding competition is always the weather. And in this respect we can certainly say that Rieti’s skies have offered the best 11 out of 13 available days inclusive the compulsory rest day, with generally much higher speeds than in other places”

one of the goals we wanted to achieve was safety, in flight and on the ground.”

He was a true gentleman, a lovely and caring person to ALL of us, a lovely husband and father and grand father.
Last time I was in Rieti we,[ Leo and Giorgio’s aunty,]  went to the old town of Cantalice, close by and he was fit as a young man walking up and down along all the stairs. No cars allowed there!

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Big walking and climbing. Now worries for Leo.

When in Uvalde I made some pictures from Ricky and his wife and children and send them to Leo, to make him a bit part of that WGC. He was more than pleased and grateful. That’s the last contact I had with him.

Last weekend Leo unexpectedly died of a heart attack. Only 74 years old!
A great man/pilot, has flown away from us…buon volo LEO. He was buried yesterday and the ceremony took place at the airport of  Verzago.
As I heard more than 500 friends attended and Luigi Bertoncini flew with a low pass as an ultimate SALUT over the field.
He will be sadly missed by MANY, also by me. Rest in peace Leo.

Marina wrote on FB;
Leonardo Brigliadori left us tonight for his last flight. The whole Italian gliding  community is weeping for a great champion of life and Sport.
We will miss him so much.
Marina Vigorito Galetto

leo 001 closing ceremonie 020

Leo and Marina and Giorgio in Sweden and also in Sweden with the German TC Rainer, taking the FAI flag home for the 2008 WGC.

Life continues [ Leo would only agree with me!!!,]  and as said, we look ahead on the JWGC the last BIG FAI Soaring cat. 1 event this year.

 JWGC Leszno

Flags are ready for the  JWGC.

The British juniors have practised already and on their first practise day…”we were treated to 6,500ft cloudbases with 6 knot climbs. We had a good look around the local area and checked all the kit still works. Everything seems to be going to plan so we’ll look to do a task tomorrow.” Which was Monday.
Quite a few people from Ostrow moved to Leszno. As said 3 of the Dutch pilots flew there as well!
Leszno wakes up…! Office is being set up, restaurant is getting ready for us, new tents and caravans are appearing on the camp ground. Looks like big part of Ostrow is now in Leszno.”
News as written on the official site.

Yesterday was the last un-official trainings day and scrutineering and registration started. More young ones arrived and today the official practise starts.I love the way the juniors deal with the social media, they have blogs , make pictures and share them, a great way to make our sport more popular.

 JWGC vertrek Jeroen

As shared by Belgium pilot Jeroen; on his way to Leszno!
To all; good luck and safe soaring!

My Aussi friends have arrived in Leszno as well. TC is the well known Beryl Hartley. Whilst being there she looks ahead already on the next JWGC in Narromine.[Australia]
Today we are ready for both Ailsa and Eric to fly. The weather is expected to be excellent again. The numbers are building daily and the first large briefing will be held in the hangar this morning. The team is settling and we have set up Aussie base camp.
Aisla is one of the girls flying in Leszno. Great to see so many.
Met Aisla last year in Benalla where she flew the Nationals. She will when she has time share news with us in the blog.
Of course Matthew flies there as well and by now you know how good and informative a blogger he is.
Today he mentioned; “Rigged, weighed and ready to get back in the saddle for training day 1.”

JWGC Matthew new covers

Courtesy Matthew AND glider with the brand NEW covers. Must help!!!!!


We ,[ atleast I do, ] enjoy a real HEATWAVE , yes HERE in Holland; 5 days above 25 and 3 of them over 30, even up to 34.5!!!! Who would have thought that after a winter from more or less 6 months.
Last Sunday it was not only hot but also nice cu’s appeared  and flights from over 400 km. were flown from several airfields here in Holland and on Monday even 600k.  from Malden in a Nimbus 4DM .

Congratulations to our Belgium friends with their new young king . Belgium has now 3 queens [Fabiola. Paola and Mathilde] and 2 kings [Albert who stepped aside for his son Filipe] as they all keep their title.
Congratulations as well to the UK friends and from the Common Wealth Countries; a BABY boy is born 3d in line for the crown. Nobody has missed that news!!! Poor little kid!

Cheers Ritz
on Wednesday July 24 2013
ritzdeluy@hotmail.com     www.soaringcafe.com      www.glidinginternational.com


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