Alphen aan den Rijn                             March 16 2008

Everybody realizes that we have to do something to keep this world in good condition. No need to tell you , that the weather has changed. And it might happen every 1000 year or so, nothing new, as some people claim,but just looking outside or even worse on TV, you are confrontated with it daily.
A hurricane trough the heart of Atlanta is not something that happens every year. Most people can not even remember a day that such a storm with up to 230 km “hit ” a town, but with the CNN head quarters damaged, we are fully informed. Sad enough that so much is damaged and that people happily waking up in the morning, die unexpectedly on such a day. And…more hurricanes are expected in the USA.
What about Australia? They “suffer” from 41 dgr. in Melbourne and the first Grand Prix , won by Hamilton , was a very unusual one due to the fact that the circuit “heated up ” to 50 dgr.
Some cars did not like that! Then a crash in the first curve , some more incidents , perhaps due to the dehydration and only 7 cars make it to the finish, 15 from the 22 had to go back to the pitch, by theirselves or with some “help”.
But Heidfeld and Rosberg, won’t complain about their 2d and 3d place!
In Holland they plan on building whole new towns in the future, on 5 meter high levybanks, to avoid flood when the water would rise .As you know half of Holland is BELOW sealevel.And…today we can ,again, expect steady rain .

So no gliding in Holland today, though the season has started with annual briefings for ALL club members, to inform about the rules for this upcoming season.
Some of the clubs move to their spring camps and they mostly visit the mountains in Saint Auban , Gap Tallard, Sisteron or Vinon for wave and if possible thermal flying.

2 More weeks and we will know the final entries for both world comps! 31 of march will be the deadline! As you know I visit as editor Rieti again and to our social drink with a nice bottle of red, more and more people join in. The parents ,[ both glider pilots and very much involved in gliding, ] of the Dutch TC Maaike, will visit us for a few days. Some pilots will visit as well, you will read it when they have arrived.

The TC for the UK is appointed. Good friend Hugh Kindell [ he will join in with the social parties ] will have the very busy job! Why so busy? His team counts 7 members!!!!Very special is, that there are 2 women flying in this team and not “just” women , as both are the reigning world champions in their class.On top of that world champion Leigh Wells will fly in Rieti as well. Here are their entries as far as I got them;
Standard class;Leigh Wells , Richard Hood, Jay Rebbeck and Sara  Kelman.
Club class;Pete Masson , Gee Dale and last but not least Jill Spreckly. Her husband Brian will be there as chief-steward.
A VERY strong team, as ALL of them flew already in World comps and….they are still so young. As I am not sure if I know Gee Dale, I can’t tell you if he was already performing in a World competition.

Only found out today that between all the spam and nonsense in the comment -part of this blog, were 2 good ones. Sorry to Zdzislaw Borawski, who commented on the nice long flight from Jelinia Gora,already on February 7 2008. He added to that story that this flight was NOT a thermal flight , as we already expexted, but one in wave , still a good one though. They hope one day to fly 1000 km from this field in autumn or winter. As I can’t read his email adress, it is too long and the final part is missing I just want to say thank you to him.

Other comment was on Tocumwal. Noel Brittoner from New Zealand wrote already on November 13 2007, that he is very much interested in the WWII airbase “Mc Intyrefield” , the airport of Tocumwal. I will quickly write him back with some more news.Thanks!

On March 9 Terry Cubley , another good friend,flew , in his LS 3, 622 km in Adelaide [Australia]. And….it is already MARCH!!!!Good practise for him as he is one of the participants in Rieti.

That’s it for now. Just booked my ticket and I will arrive in Rome on July 1. Time to write already about the practise week ! Really looking forward to those 3 weeks. Good weather, lovely people in Rieti, great airfield, LOTS of good friends from all over the world, great food and a nice glass of perhaps even bubbles! What do you want more!? Yes…a fantastic and safe competition with the best pilots of the world in these 3 classes !!!

See you, Ritz

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