We lost an icon!!! Belgium 15 m. Nationals.More 1000 km. flights!


First ,…the still unexpected news that WUBBO OCKELS, our first astronaut [ Challenger in 1985] , our pilot, glider pilot, professor at the University of Delft and scientist  and fighter for a good environment, passed away last Sunday morning. We knew he had cancer[ kidney-] but he fought against it and for a couple of years we all hoped he was OK, but unfortunately for Wubbo this nasty disease returned.
Only last year, Wubbo was in Adelaide to welcome the Dutch car, who won the solar race, as he was one of the engines behind this project. Then he was already very ill and knew that was his last big trip.
Wubbo fought for a better world. His last action was an interview with a journalist from the AD paper , one day before he died and a letter to this paper to make clear once more ” to STOP  destroying our planet earth, our nature and ourselves” !!!
Wubbo …..a very inspiring man. RIP.

Z Wubbo

Wubbo in an ASW 19 in 1993, doing an experiment on flying on height.
Picture courtesy; FB site www.zweefportaal.nl

Summer has started early . We have 28 dgr. C. Not bad! But pretty tough thunderstorms as well.
Over 1500 pilots added their flights on the OLC last Sunday. Another 1000 km. flight for Jim and Dennis, but also great flights in Europe.892 [ 600 FAI triangle] in a Discus 2 T/18m.
A 1.030 km flight in a 20 m.  DG 500 from Bad Regaz in Switzerland on Monday was perfect.
Omarama in New Zealand; Jyri Laukkanen from Finland flew yesterday a great wave flight in a Discus with winglets. He called it ” straightforward wave ” ; 640 km..
And Bayreuth had 2 x 1000 yesterday in open class gliders and an LS 3 flew 843 km. from Antersberg North of the Alps using the N. site of these mountains.


The Belgium Nationals [15 m.] have been flown in St. Hubert and after 4 cancelled days they finally FLEW!
Still difficult as nobody flew the set task from 299 km. but some came close , really close; Jef Kell in the Discus 2T flew 297 km!!! Others had 295 km. so it turned out still a 1000 points-day!
Flying day 2 had a smaller task again; 137.4 km. This task was flown by 11 of the 14 pilots and won by Daan Spruyt in the LS 6.
Daan won the next day as well, a 2.30 AAT and he seems ready for his adventure in the Polish WGC where he flies a Nimbus 4 DM.
That he is ready shows the first spot on the last day where he was the ONLY FINISHER in his LS 6; after flying the set 311 km.
It ” cost”  him 5 hours and 6 minutes and 28 seconds but then he was HOME!!!!
No secret he was the new Belgium National Champion , 272 points ahead of runner up Emmanuel Litt in the 15m. Ventus 2B.[3000 points]
The number 3-4-and 5 were close; 2927 points, 2920 and 2904.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=I759ERCvRoM shows a nice view on this competition.
A production by flashbackx.be

The Dutch Nationals in all classes will be next and start tomorrow .
Today is an official training day and tonight at 8 there will be  an opening briefing.
The weather just turned less good, grrr…
Only 29 participants at this stage , so not too many this year.
Biggest class is club with 12 pilots among them 2 from Belgium.
More in my next blog and I will be at Terlet on the last day!


Competition director at Terlet is Natasja.
This will be her last competition as director. After being involved for 5 years in the organization and  running the show for 3 years as”  boss ” , she thinks  it’s  time to do other things.
She did a great job!!!!!

Wrote last week about the glider Russia AC-4C and it’s pilot Tony Burton. I placed him in California but quickly changed that in Canada when Art told me. Sorry about that.
But that mistake gave me interesting info about this pilot.

The International Gliding Commission has awarded the prestigious Pirat Gehriger Diploma to Tony Burton for his many contributions to gliding in Canada and at the international level. In particular:
• Member of the Sporting Code Committee since 1998 and key contributor to a major overhaul of the Sporting Code in 1999. 

• 22 Canadian records 
• 25 years Executive Director of the Alberta Soaring Council 
• 29 years editor of Free Flight, one of the few gliding magazines with a wide international readership 
• Many other contributions

 He is retiring this year after writing our national soaring magazine and he will  be hard to replace.
His wife, Ursula Wiese, was also a glider pilot and wrote a great historical summary of the mountain wave flying available in the lee of the Rockies.:
STALKING THE MOUNTAIN WAVE   –  written and compiled by U. Wiese  ISBN 0-9682005-0-8, 7″ x 10″ soft cover, 220 pp with index, 44 photos, 21 illustrations and tables.

Thanks for that Art.I know now ,…so do lot’s of others.

Have written a lot over the last days; and…I am  having a guest, we are renovating my front garden after we got after 7 years a nice new lane in front of the house , so busy enough.
Cheers Ritz

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