Historic day ;701 km. flown by 3 from 10 pilots, but ” spoiled” for 7 ” by 50 shades of grey ” !?



Z finishlong day 3   Z finish Arjan

Spectacular finishes at Terlet in front of the club house/restaurant , as seen and shared by Liesbeth and Arjan Vrieze

Last Sunday  was one of those exceptional soaring-days in Europe ,but especially in Holland.
194 Pilots added their flights to the OLC here and world wide 2658.
8 Participating glider pilots declared their 500 km.!!! Well done and congratulations !!!!!

Setting a 500, 600 and 700 km. during a National Competition  is a big responsibility , but it also shows GUTS. Luckily Natasja and her team members are very experienced,  so is meteo-topper Hans.
Will ask them tomorrow if they felt ” jitters”  as well?!
Still remember the first day at the Europeans  in Rayskala, where I was as steward, and one of  the first to say YES to a 1000 on the first day!
Only later when they are all flying you HOPE they can make it, I even was a bit nervous [I felt those jitters]….  so was Silva the CD. But when the first pilots in open class finished, the burden disappeared and all felt extremely happy and proud.
This set 700 km. was flown by 3, but between daily spot 10 and 4 ,the pilots still flew 610 to 692.4  km.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
A great effort by ALL.

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Ready to go as seen by tuggie Bert.

Z Bertje 3

The 701 km. , in Holland, set for open/18 m. was a once-in-your-life-time-thrill for pilots crews and organizers.
The first in history as far as I know so history has been written.
Lines were open for club at 11.36, for the combi’s at 11.53 and open/18 m. could go on 12.14.
The experience learned that pilots don’t play cat and mouse when they have to fly such a big distance.They just go on track!

Z Bertje 2

As seen and shared by tuggie Bert.

At 3 PM, here in Alphen just in a very short time, the sun and azure blue sky was covered ” by 50 shades of grey”!!
The temperature dropped , I could feel it, the wind picked up , it felt like some kind of sea breeze and a ” halo”  appeared around the sun. NOT GOOD!



More people noticed the HALO as did Jeroen[Jennen] from Belgium who flew 648 km. in his LS 4 all the way up to Hoogeveen in the N. of Holland.

But still high clouds here and a bird “soaring”  high. Not too much to worry I hoped!
I looked at the site; 2 out-landings by combi- class pilots!
They use a live-scoring-system at Terlet ,so you can see straight away who has out-landed or finished. GREAT system!


Z ES and E2

Finishers E2 and EC and as you can see the blue of the sky is NOT blue there anymore either!
Shared by  NK organizers.

In the end in each class pilots finished,with only 2 outlandings in club and combi class, proving the task setters right!!!



Rene,  our former European Champion made it home in open /18m. class.
He flew the 701 km. in just under 7 hours. HEROIC!!!!
And in an ASG 29 /18m. not a real open class glider! Good on him! He showed once more how good he is!!!
The real open class gliders,  Nimbus 4T  and the NIMBUS 4DM,  finished as well.
For the rest,the less good weather came too early,  the day was too short/  or the wings too short or the task too long!
7 From 10 went ” aux vaches” .

71 With Jelmer [Wassenaar] just did not make it.[692.4 km]  I looked via FB at his co-ordinates ;
Latitude ; 52.02460
Longitude ; 6.08926
Not too far from Arnhem, ONLY 10 K. OUT!
He flew  for over 8 hours and knowing Jelmer  ” there was nothing more”.
Hans Biesters [692.2 km.] had the same experience.

610 km. was the distance flown by the pilot ” on the last spot” so a great achievement by all, certainly with those grey skies, when racing-time is over and  surviving starts!

Don’t forget that the effort from the Club class pilots was as big.
525 km. For such a small ship during a competition is pretty tough, certainly when you know that not all pilots have the same experience.
One of the new ones is Robin Smit. His dad , Martin, our club member at the EAC in the past and when he was young  our crew at Nationals on Terlet , now flies already for years for KLM and is a great photographer.Have a look at;
Son Robin loves his soaring and finished on a great 5th place. Not long ago he flew his first 500 k.

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Robin on his 3d day at his first  Nationals.
Courtesy Frans Guise.

Frank Hiemstra is more experienced and he showed that by coming in first.His 2d  daily win!!!
He is a member of a REAL Dutch soaring family from Friesland and part of a real Frysian soaring culture!
His dad Ben and sister Ilse fly as well. Dad is the web master from the Nationals and the founder of the Dutch soaring site, www.zweefportaal.nl
Annemiek ,the only female pilot this year,  finished at nearly 8 PM. She flew for 8 hours and 14 min. Chapeau!
AND….she finished!!!
Only 2 outlandings in this class and both guy’s did well , still flying 484 and 328 km. in their St Cirrus and St. Libelle.


Z Finish long day1  Z finish long day 2

Finishes after the LONG day!!!
Courtesy Reint Veldkamp.


The Combi pilots started around 12 and after 2 less good days, Steven showed his class by winning the day.
Top job also by Bas Seiffert, not giving up and flying for 8 hours and 8 minutes , to finish as the last pilot in his class.
He flew the last  430 km. without water and his bug wipers were not yet repaired as well.
For sure that job will be done before he travels to Finland.
Also Bas is a member of a real Dutch soaring-family!
His wife and 2 children were there to support him so was his brother and dad, who flew already  before, I ever had heard the word soaring.
Only 2 outlandings !

At 8.46 all 28 pilots were counted for and a  total of 10 outlandings on a day with such tasks is a pretty good record! One non-flying pilot and that for a good reason; Jeroen  Verkuijl ,now father of a new lady-pilot-to-be in the future, had other things on his mind.


HEROES they are!!!
As shared by the organizers.

Day 5. Briefing at 10.30 and gridding postponed. A bit of a sleep- in might have been necessary for some.
The weather changed and rain and thunderstorms were predicted.
A rest day was welcome.The day was cancelled!

Z noodweer Flight deck

Flight Deck,  who run their business from Terlet, shared this picture . No more words needed!

Day 6 was pretty wet as well, so will be today ,…..3 days of rest,…..but tomorrow and Friday , the last day , will be good again. Let’s wait and see, how good!!!

So after 4 flying days and 4 cancelled  days the overall top positions are for Frank Hiemstra in club class [St Cirrus]  and runner up is Hinse with a difference of  73 points.
Bas Seiffert is on top  in the combi class [LS 8] , with 83 points on the ARCUS from Peter Batenburg and Paul Schepers.
Mark Wering [normally flying at Lasham where at the same time the UK Nationals in open class are flown!] leads  in the Nimbus 4T. Runner up with only 33 points difference is Rene.
EVERYTHING IS STILL POSSIBLE!!!!! As long as they can fly!!!

I’ll travel up to catch up with a lot of friends and to listen to all stories. On Sunday, I share it with all of you in 2 blogs, one on www.soaring.eu and one on www.soaringcafe.com .
The impressions from Rene, who flew his ASG 29/18m.  over 701 km. just under 7 hours, will be published in SOARINGCAFE that Sunday!!!!His comment after the flight,” it was not easy”!!

Something to look out for, CU then

cheers Ritz

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