Potchef! ALL about the UK National Ladder!!!! News about NEWS!


On Wednesday last week,  the 18 m.  pilots in Potchef had day 3; a 2 hour AAT . On the day before , the 523.5 km. flight ,  the Jonker brothers “were in a hurry” and raced over the circuit with 138.4 km.[Uys] and 136.6 km./h. [Attie] Not bad!
The 2 hour AAT was won by Oscar who had a bad first day only gaining 42 points whilst Uys had 771.
Day 4 was with a 1.30 AAT even more challenging, but not for Oscar who won again, but it did not deliver him lot’s of points only 489. He flew in time 1.26 a distance of 184.5 km. with a speed of 123 km./h.
After 5 days ,[ they had 259 km. on the last day ]  the Jonker brothers were proudly on top with a difference of more than 200 points for Attie and nearly 300 for Uys.
4 Days in club class and only 3 in 15 m., but it is still very early in spring over there.
By the way Oscar and Laurens were on spot 7 and 6.

Uys 1

Winner in 18 m. class; Uys Jonker.


Via Jo I got the next news about the 2 seater comps in Narromine;
“Narromine Gliding Club are hosting the 20 Metre  2 Seat Class National Gliding Championships from Thursday 28 November 2013 to Friday 6 December 2013 inclusive, with registration available from Wednesday 27 November.

This is the second time this event has been held at Narromine Gliding Club, it was a great success last time and promises even better weather this time around.

It is a Stand Alone National Championship and the winners are eligible for selection to compete at the World 20m 2 Seat Class Championships.

Duo Discus, DG1000 (and variants), Arcus and any other 20 metre 2 seat gliders are eligible for entry. There must be a crew of 2 and so this is a great opportunity to put an experienced pilot in the back seat of your club two seater and try your hand at competition flying.  It is a great and fun competition.

For information and competition entry simply click on the following link (or copy/paste it into your browser) to go direct to the Competition website.


For all those who want to practice in Australia certainly for the [European/USA ] young ones  flying the JWGC over there in 2015, this is a great opportunity. I hear you say; MONEY!  Maybe you can fly in the back with the owner of such a glider, he will be experienced and show you the area, just try and contact them !!!

Mind you ; it overlaps the tradional annual Narromine Regatta as the schedule is just very full, but Beryl “chose to clash with her own regatta rather than upset anyone else.”.
That’s Beryl!!


The Fall has brought interesting weather that has been good for three cold fronts and three “thousanders” in eight days.”
These are the words from by now famous kilometre eater Jim Payne. He took the Perlan Project DG 1001M  for a flight with Mitch Polinsky over 1.113 km from Minden in Nevada on Tuesday the 24th.
It turned out to be a challenging day with blue conditions first , an  unexpected wall of clouds , into wave,  out of wave and a landing back at Minden after a bit more then 9 hours. The full story with pictures at; www.soaringcafe.com


This week in Cooma , at the Bunyan Airfields [Victoria in Australia]  a  camp was attended by 37 skilled pilots in high altitude wave soaring.  As you know Australia is big, but from all parts pilots arrived for this by now 25th event. Some fly in and it takes sometimes days to get to Cooma. The Fergussons, Kerrie and Stuart invite already NOW everybody for next year’s camp.

What a season, What a camp.
We flew Every Day; pilots reported Mountain
Wave Every Day.
One pilot flew his Gold Height Gain in the morning and his Diamond Height Gain the same day in the afternoon.
Rule No 1; you have to be there 😉 – start planning for next year.”

The Morning Glory up North, is still active as well, that’s a different way of wave flying but for those who love it optimal FUN.

Morning Glory Wave morning Glory 2

Morning Glory as seen by Jo Pocklington last year.


Some might not have heard about it, I did, but have to admit do not look too often. But now I am going to change that.
From Roy I got the next info and it is good to share it with you. It’s about the UK National ladder!
There soaring season is virtually over,  “but it has been a good year in the UK. I have flown over 270 hours this year including two weeks at Bitterwasser, two weeks at Minden in Nevada,  one week at Reinsdorf in Germany (great to witness the 1000km flight in a Cirrus by Michael Ebel, surely the flight of the season on OLC!) and the 18m Nationals in the UK.I thought I ought to brief you on our UK version of OLC, the UK National Ladder.”
So here we go!

UK National Ladder

Although quite a few Brits post flights on the OLC, of more prominence in the UK is the British Gliding Association’s National Ladder, here is the daily scores page:


I thought I would like to acquaint readers with some information and thoughts on the UK National Ladder.

Like the OLC, big flights in lower performance gliders attract most points but there are some subtle differences:

While the OLC is effectively a post-flight analysis so you can continue the increase your score right to the end of the flight, the Ladder gives much more credit for declaring your flight turning points in advance of take-off and also credits speed points into your score.

In the UK, it is difficult to compete with continental Europe for big flights. To give you a perspective, only two 1000 km flights in thermals have been completed in the UK, one by Chris Rollings in an ASH 25 and one by Russell Cheetham in an ASW22, so both Open Class. No one has yet completed 1000km in thermals, in an 18m or lower class glider, in the UK.

With the emphasis on better scores for FAI triangles, here is the largest triangle ever flown in the UK, some 823km that also in the Open Class EB28.


So you can a 1000km triangle such as those flown in Germany or Spain would be tricky in the UK.

Of course over 1000km has been achieved several times in wave by experts like John Williams in his Antares 20E, here is one of his memorable flights, 1015km flight in 2008:


In fact John’s UK official distance record is 1108km but really over 1200km OLC.

There is a friendly rivalry between us ’flat earth’ southern pilots who try to fly big triangles in thermals and the Scots like John Williams. In the south we have the advantage that big triangles are possible, in the north, longer wave flights are the norm, limited only by daylight but mostly cross-wind so lower scoring with multiple turn-points.

UK Ladders run from January to December, in fact there are two ladders, the Open Ladder for all flights and the Weekend Ladder only for flights on weekends and public holidays. Having a full-time job, the Weekend Ladder is my main target. Your best 6 flights in the season are counted towards the trophies. This year I had a great rivalry with my friend, Patrick Naegeli, who also has an ASG29E. While Patrick seems to be comfortably winning the Open Ladder: http://www.bgaladder.co.uk/DispLadder.asp

We are very close for the Weekend Ladder. At the end of August, I was about 500 points behind Patrick. On 31 August, I could see on the TopMeteo and our local guru, David Masson, forecast that a big flight might be possible. I fitted the 15m wing-tips to my ASG29 for lowest possible handicap (index) and declared a 500km FAI triangle which I completed in  5 hr 50 min:


Imagine my surprise when I entered my flight on the web to find my score (my second best in 2013) enabled me to exactly Patrick’s 6 flight score


Now the thermal soaring season, at least for 500km+ flights is over in the UK, we have the usual wait while we see if the Scots can overhaul us in the peak Autumn wave season until we learn if Patrick and I will have to share the trophy, awarded at the BGA Conference next March.


Roy Pentecost
Thanks Roy for sharing this with us!


In Lake Keepit they started soaring-news as well. Good on them. Here are the links to read it.
”  The first  issue contains the normal lot of made-up news and stories with some nice contributions from:

 Harry Medlicott: Improving Glider Safety.

 Peter Krygger: Rough intimacy at Sisteron.

 Dave Shorter: Getting your L/D over 100:1

 Just saw again that great picture from Andrew Maddocks flying over the Lake from Lake Keepit. Here it is again;Just because it is so nice and as a tribute to the organisers of the news letter.

Lake Keepit finish by Andrew Maddocks in 2012

Courtesy Andrew Maddocks.

 And,…more news about news . This time shared by Andreea;
Finally a website that includes soaring in aviation and has a glider pro as a contributor, Garret Willat. Looking forward to follow them!”
So do I.

And to finish a great picture by Al Mcd published in Zwevers;

 My ASW22 at 22,000ft over Tahoe.”Minden by Al Mcd

See you next Wednesday
Cheers Ritz
on Wednesday October 2 2013.One day after Jo’s birthday , happy birthday Jo!
Jo shares a lot of Aussie news with me, thanks for that!





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