CHAMPIONS happy,… trainees even happier! Being a guest at VITACURA!

The CHAMPIONS finished their jobs in Kiripotib and they and all their trainees went home with a smile and lots of new impressions, as I heard.
“Finally ten trainees participated and flew fourteen days. They all learned a lot, so we think our idea was a great success. Now we have to learn from this experience for the things to come. ” were the last words from the organisers on their site.


The last landing of FLYING WITH THE CHAMPIONS!

Looking back on the last days;
On Wednesday the forecast was GOOD, but turned out much BETTER then GOOD. ALL TRAINEES flew their first 1000 km., all 6 teams had an excellent day with as biggest distance 1181 km. and best speed 151 km./h. and a ground speed sometimes of up to 300 km./h. What do you want more!?
Ludwig in his Antares 23E showed again the potential of this glider. With 166,56 km./h. over 1029,72 km.,  he flow the best speed of the day.
Remarkable is the speed on OLC speed, where the fastest 2.5 hours are counted, here he made 195.28 km./h. , 488 km in that time, not so bad. “As written on their site!

I am not a chauvinist but proud on my country,  as well as on my 2d country. For that reason I was pleased to see Marten on top of the OLC list on November 13. With Holger in the back he showed what he had learned in Kiripotib.

On the last day the weather showed his less sunny site, a day you normally would leave your glider in the hangar, BUT again no worries for the “students”. As the organisers said; ” We followed the target that our trainees had to show what they learned, so they had to fly on their own with their champion only as a passenger.”
So they did! With a grand prix task and despite the weather 6 finishers.
As said a great concept, with pilots who have not enough words or superlatives to express what they experienced! That’s what it is all about in soaring,  is n’t it?
Here is a link to one of them , an Austrian pilot; Gerold Auerbach

When you are full of excitement as a glider pilot after a flight in a for you un-known area, something special must have happened. And that’s what I read in the blog from Ian from Mount Beauty, back home now down under, from his trip to Europe [ where we met] and Chile.
In Chile he had the chance to fly in a Duo Discus with Rodrigo and his host took the best out of the day AND flight for his Aussie guest. Here are some impressions I was allowed to share with you.
THANKS for that Ian.

—“Well. Today is the day. Rodrigo Lavanderos, Operations Manager of the Club de Planeadores de Vitacura, called to say that he had found a pilot to take me on a flight into the Andes – himself.”

Andes 5 Vitacura from above

Vitacura from above

—” We released at around 4,100 ft close to the western ridge of Cerro Manquehue and  after scraping the ridge for a while gradually gained height in ridge lift.”

Andes on tow

On tow

—“We made our way north using mainly 2 to 4 kt ridge lift with the occasional thermal  sometimes averaging over 9kt and occasionally using “S” turns to gain altitude before  proceeding along the next part of the ridge. Passing through 10,000 ft it was time to put  on our oxygen masks. Our maximum height was about 15,000 ft. above some  wispy cumulus cloud.”

Andes 3 instruments

—“About 50 min into the flight we encountered quite a reasonable  thermal. Rodrigo thought that we  needed proof so that we  could exercise bragging  rights. So he took this  picture of his instrument  panel with his phone.  The picture shows an  average climb rate of 4.9 m/s or about 1,000 ft per  min. The OLC GPS record shows a peak climb rate in this thermal of 5.5 m/s—“

Andes 1 by Ian

The partly frozen Lake Cuadrada

—” Maximum northerly point was 134 km north of Vitacura, and about 25km east of  Chincolco airport at a mountain called Y Griega (Greek Y) a bit north of Laguna  Cuadrada (the square lake, still partially frozen over] ). We then turned south at about 1 hour 55 min into the flight  at around 13,700 ft.
It was an easy glide back to Vitacura, averaging around 145 kph and landing there just  after 17:05 after a fantastic three hour flight.”

Andes 2 boys

Ian [to the r. ] with Rodrigo

This weekend the NSW State Comps  started at Lake Keepit, always a good comp to follow:

Here is what Bruce {Taylor}  wrote about the practise day;
Finally, back in the saddle again. I am at Lake Keepit for the NSW State Gliding Championships, starting tomorrow for one week. Practice day today, with a huge storm passing through early afternoon. Most elected not to fly, but I managed to sneak away just before the chaos. I escaped to the north, all the while thinking that it may well be a one-way trip. It ended up with a super flight to Moree and WeeWaa, climbs to 12,500 feet at 11knots near Moree, then a 115 km glide home behind the storm. Sure beats feeding the sheep!”

Adam { Woolley} was on his way to Keepit as well and when he has time he will update us on his site:
Had to pull over to take this panoramic, wall to wall of goodness!!
CU’s at 9000′ at least.”

Adam 2

On day 1 today and 1 day later than the picture, they had a change of task at the grid. The weather ” looks ok on the surface, though some of the locals here are talking that it may storm later on? In the distance you can see high cirrus of the trough, let’s see what today brings – hope we fly!”
NO results yet!

Adam at Keepit
Courtesy Adam.

Just read; “Really interesting day for the beginning of the competition. Initially we set a task to the NW, but on the grid that area was covered by high overcast, so I pushed for a task to the SW and West. There were storms about, but not so violent as yesterday, and the task was challenging in places – great fun in others. Don’t know any scores yet, and won’t make any predictions, except that I think I was a bit slow. Enjoyed the flight.” by Bruce Taylor.

I wrote in my last blog, about the next 2014 Grand Prix ‘s and the final is in Italy , Varese in 2015. Marina , being Italian ,shared a document from Brian about Varese and I share it with you as it is about feedback.

—-“Class for 6th SGP final in Varese 2015

The bid for the Sailplane Grand Prix final to be held in Varese in 2015 was for the contest to be held in the 18m class, in previous finals the contest has been held in the 15m class.
After considerable discussion within the IGC bureau and with the contest organisers it has been… decided by the SGP management group to accept the bid for the contest to take place in the 18m class, with the condition that the change from 15m to 18m class is agreed at the IGC plenum meeting on the 7th of March 2013.
Changing the class for the SGP final may have an affect beyond the Sailplane Grand Prix events and we welcome any feedback or comments from any pilots who have a view on the most appropriate class for the SGP events.
Please address you views by e-mail to
Brian Spreckley SGP management group—-

Talking about the Grand Prix the website from France for their 2014 Grand Prix is on line now;

CU you next Wednesday. Cheers Ritz
On Sunday November 17 2013.

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