Statistics,….. boring? …not really! Australia continues with some great soaring!

Z bitterwasse by Hugh

Bitterwasser area as seen by Hugh Kindell.

The Namibia season was over on the 23d of January in Bitterwasser and also the 3 containers from Kiripotib  have left  and their gliders are on the way back to Europe.
It’s quiet in Namibia again and  all 3 resorts had a good season. I told you already about the excellent  Bitterwasser-season, now I looked at the stats from Pokweni and Kiripotib according to the OLC, as well.

Kiripotib was very busy in the beginning of November when the CHAMPIONS were flying there for 2 weeks. The organizers,  Ludwig and Wolfgang and all their guests,   were blessed with great weather so early in the season .
Pilots could fly several over 1000 km. flights  and other long flights , “students”  learned a lot and the Champions enjoyed sharing their soaring knowledge. And as the experiment/dream  worked from both sides  they continue in 2014.
In the end of their season, Kiripotib had a 2d spot on the airfields stats from the OLC with 84 pilots , making 521 flights and 372.090, 21 km.
Last year, 2013,  they had  47 pilots , making 370 flights and a total of 288.887, 36 , so this year was a great success, also for them.
The preparations for the 2014/15 season have started straight away and you can find the info on;
For flying with the Champions;

Pokweni closed up in the middle of January and 3 containers were ready to sail back on a ship to Europe. This year they were number 3 on the list.
In 2013 they were on spot 5 with 52 pilots , making 458 flights and 341.672,91 kilometers .
This year they had 47 pilots, making 414 flights and 317,266, 23, which is a bit less  than the year before.
They had a couple of days just before Christmas , with a lot of rain but straight after,  some perfect days with in 3 days 19 x a 1000 k. and 3 even over 1.300 km!
To fly next season at Pokweni Soaring you can go to;

Z 1000 record

The Molopo River, the border between SA and Botswana
Courtesy Max Leenders.

South Africa has been very active as well this season.At several places a lot of guests had happy times, flew comps or records or just enjoyed the skies of this beautiful part of the world.
Still have n’ t had time to go there but one day I will and combine that with a visit to the Namibia’s resorts.
What happened;
Gariep Dam was 4th on the OLC list, with 44 pilots , making 495 flights and a total of 297.655, 85.
Compared with 2013 the year  was a bit better , as they then had 42 pilots,  394 flights and 234.908,79 kilometers.
Since 2012 the airfield of Gariep Dam is , after 10 years, exclusively owned and operated by by Gariep Dam Aviation.  [Mr. Gunter von Versbach.]
So 2013/14 was in fact their second year and they did well.

Douglas Back House was on spot 6 this year, with 46 guests , making 333 flights and 211.819, 48.
Not bad either, as they more or less ” belonged”  to Gariep Dam in the past, but started last year their flying from Douglas.
Max Leenders and his mates made some great flights and arrived home with 7 claims on Dutch open class records from Douglas and  as the organizers are not very ” busy”  on line with news, I checked yesterday on a 50 thiest birthday-party with one of the pilots who flew there.
He said that the Douglas area is VERY good for flying. This year they could fly and use the storms whilst others at other fields had to stay on the ground, or could not fly home as storms would n’t allow for that.
In 2012 Martin Lessle has moved his operations from Gariep Dam to Douglas.
(his business is still called GariepGliding /

New Tempe Bloemfontein, very much loved by the UK pilots and ran by Dick Bradley and his team among them daughter Jennifer, had 36 guests who made 258 flights and 123.682,40 kilometers.

Some friends who flew at Tocumwal and later at Gariep Dam in the past , moved to another spot ; Kuruman Johan Pi. With a small group of people, who know each other well, they [ 13 pilots] made 76 flights  and 63.839,04 kilometers.

The list of the OLC will change of course when the European season starts.
When you are interested in MORE , I refer to the current OLC list .


Still great weather in the Benalla/Corowa/ Tocumwal area, with on Thursday a light wind , high temperatures in the low 40thies, lot’s of blue skies in the beginning, but a bit more up N. great cu’s up to 12.000 ft. and cloud streets up to 150 km long,  direction NW and the expectation of  over-development and showers in the evening to the S.!
Yarrawonga, not far from the 3 airfields had at 20.30 on Thursday evening, still 33.4 dgr. So the expectation for long flights was high even with sunset at 20.29 edt.
Remark on the hot weather from one of my young friends , Kait, in Australia;
 Getting rather over the temperature updates. We grew up with the heat and it hasn’t changed. Living in the Riverina (and yes sometimes Melbourne) and complaining about heat is like whinging about sand at the beach or cold at the snow.
Tocumwal .[NSW] ;
Kilometer -eater Stephan has flown in his LS 4 now  in 9 days, starting on January 20 ,1 x a 400 plus, 4 x a 500 plus [up to 592] and on the last 3 days 3 x over 600 km.!!![ up to 671]
Great to see Bjoern from Norway back in Toc. and Danish Joergen [and Brigitte] have moved from Stonefield to Tocumwal as well and Joergen started with a flight from 634 km.
Kari in the LS 6 WL,   flew a 600 k.

Corowa; [Victoria] Swedish guest Markus flew a very nice 750 FAI triangle in the ASG 29E/18m.
Roger Druce and his Brasilian mate Eduardo flew in the ARCUS M 780 km.; they loved the day but it was a a pity it started a bit late.
Pilots are busy with their last flights for the season, as the container will be packed soon and some gliders have been packed already.
They had some nice flights on Friday as well; Aussie pilot Terry Bellair flew in his DG 400/17 m nearly 800 km.[793] , no worries for him as he can bring his glider home himself.
Mac arrived back in Australia from Japan and flew from Corowa in his LS 8 straight away a nice 911 km.
Pepe  flew 844 km. in his ASH 31.

Benalla; [Victoria] Junior pilot Ailsa flew in the LS 8 a distance from 566 km.On Friday it was even 41 dgr. C and young Ailsa flew from Benalla now 816 km. [660 FAI triangle]
This year she also flew from Narromine a new record on December 16 over 500 km. record;129.29 km./h. .
The claim has been received and is awaiting finalization.

From the 46 flights on the OLC, 32 were from this area on the last day of JANUARY!
Reason to specially focus on it!

The 3 Czech pilots flying in Narromine [NSW]  each flew over 500 km.on Thursday.
AND in January a record-amount of solo pilots was counted at Mount Beauty.; 5 in one month. Congratulations!

And what about the flight from the ASK 21 with JWGC participant  Eric,  who flew with a  “60kg bag of gravel strapped in the back seat” ;  560 km.!!!!!Eric flew from Balaklava NW of Stonefield. In 2013 he was one of the Aussie junior pilots in standard class flying the ASW 28 from Leszno .

Some other news;  about a STEMME, flying over the Himalay a tn Jan. 23, capturing the first of many images that an international science team hopes will save lives.Here is the link when you are interested to this news on AOPA.


Remember you can still enter for the 33d WGC in Finland for club,standard and 20 m. multi-seat-class till February 28!!!!
Detailed schedule, pricing and other related information can be found in the Bulletin 1 published in the documents section. Please follow us also on Facebook and”

Finnish gliding Nationals 2014 will be arranged at Räyskälä 1st – 7th June (no reserve days) in club and racing class.
Competition is open for international competitors.
Registration opens 1st February.
More info at competition website

And to rent accomodation or gliders, tools or car’s, here is a link;

As I have been there a few times I can tell you it’s an awesome airfield, LOVED it there, the weather can be fantastic and the people are very, very kind. There is a camping area in the forest with clean toilets and showers,  also a nice motel with roomy rooms and of course several sauna’s with the lake behind it , with real cold water I nearly ” died” after jumping in the first time in 88. A small restaurant with good food is a place to go to in the morning , for lunch[crews] or dinner. The outside terrace in the front, with nice wooden tables is the place-to-be before and after flying as well as the lake for a fresh swim.
Sometimes there can be lot’s of mosquito’s but in fact only in 88 we had problems with them all the other years NOT.


Z camping2  Z camping1

1988 on the camping. We stayed at the camping too, just along the tennis court!
Pictures courtesy Kai.

Not a lot more news as it is getting quiet in our soaring world,  till spring and summer hopefully spoil all pilots with fantastic weather.
More news later in SOARINGCAFE. About the drought and the devastating impact it has on people, land and animals with a contribution from our soaring-mate Bruce Taylor.

Cheers Ritz
On Sunday February 2 2014.

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