La Cerdanya, another great QSGP race is over!!!

In the end of the season the “old members gliding club” here in Holland, gathered during their autumn camp and Bert [Kuyper] was there to fly , to tow and to make some great pictures which I share with pleasure.


zzzBERT 2 zzz Bert 5

ZZZ BERT 3 zzz Bert 4

ZZZZ bert 1

Great pictures! Thanks Bert.

In Spain at La Cerdanya the QSGP continued on Wednesday with flying day 3.

But first the press release I had to share with you before it all started so you knew why  a Libelle flew against an ASW 27.
“In the beautiful setting of the Valley of Cerdanya in Catalonia The Aeroclub of Sabadell is host to the Spanish Sailplane Grand Prix where 15 top sailplane racing pilots will compete to qualify for the final of the Sailplane Grand Prix series in Varese in 2015.

There are several experienced SGP pilots competing who are committed to gaining a place in the 2015 final and from this group we expect the winners to emerge.

Four of the favourites flew in the last SGP finals in Sisteron in May this year Tilo Holighaus (GER), Kai Lindenberg (GER), Petr Panek (CZE) and Mike Young (GBR), of these pilots Mike and Tilo are the most experienced SGP pilots and on current performance we would expect them to be near the top in the final results. However in sport you never know, ask Lewis Hamilton about that.  Sailplane racing provides excitement and entertainment as the leading have to keep flying on the edge to stay at the top, lots of surprises come every minute producing great entertainment in great scenery. A real modern sport drama.

The contest also has several new pilots who have entered to find out what SGP racing is all about and we will bring you more news of their progress as the week goes by. Two of the competing gliders are of a much lower performance than the new hot 15 m. sailplanes but if you want to get a taste of SGP racing you have to compete in the sailplane you have.

By the way the SGP is better and better with their PR. I got the news in time but unfortunately, not on my favorite email-address.
Loved the interviews with the daily winners.

They were all in good mood on day 3 as you can read;
 Pilots have smiley faces this morning, so everything is perfect. The race 3 is now on, a double flat triangle mainly towards west part of the area as showers are still expected on the eastern part. Up to 3000m under cumulus and good lift will make it fast. “

zzGP 2 zzz GP

As shared by the organizers.

253 km. was set, so a nice day to race with and against the concurrents. The start was at 2.40 PM , cloud base at 3100 m.,  so a good racing-day.
Just after 4 the news was that most pilots were on the 2d run and that Tilo was in the lead.Indeed it  was going fast. Tilo won the day just ahead of Kai. Just ???? Tilo flew with a speed of 116.6 km./h. and Kai with 109.9 km./h.
Most unlucky pilot was Fridolin who could have been 2d BUT, used the wrong start point,…..the one from the day before. OUCH!!! That hurts as he dropped from 3 to 6 overall.

day 4 was another racing day with 250 km. and this time with a mass finish and again somebody was the best , but it was close . Look at this; winner Kai got the 10 points as he flew with a speed of 132.9 km./h. whilst Tilo flew 132.8 km./h.
Last but not least was the St Libelle with 89.2 km./h. the rest flew between 105.9 and 132.9 km./h. 10 from them were between 128 km./h. and that 132.9 km./h. So indeed a mass finish.

Great picture from Kai , finishing on day 4 , as shared by the organizers with the great text showing the ” concurrence-fight” between the pilots:
 Don’t dream other pilots. Kai’s gear is down so it was not his speed finish and he will not get penalties.” 

zzzz KAI  zzzzTilo above Cerdanya

And Tilo above La Cerdanya.

Day 5 had a task of  288.6 km. so they expected even better weather ,a bit more wind from the NW  and less moisture.
The message from the organizers was super enthusiastic;
“Her comes the race of today with an astonishing finish crossing the mountains just north of the airfield and last control point on Puycerda for a great show. ”
At 2.45 they started and the St. Libelle was set to go straight away as nearly 300 km. is quite a bit for this gorgeous little plane, certainly when there is a race on.
I found it very brave/courageous/challenging from this French pilot , Jean -Francois Billy, to join in between the others. Chapeau!
And,….he finished again; 72.4 km./h.
That was different to the top speed from Tilo who won the day with 114.9 km./h. And what a great finish between Tilo and Werner who flew the task with 114.8 km./h.
A not-so-good-day for Kai, who somewhere got low , returned home and “received”  0 points.

LAST day of the QSGP in La Cerdanya,was with live comment from Brian, which was great. With the 0 points from Kai, Tilo was clearly on top with 38 points and Kai with 28 on spot 2 , Werner on 23. So on the last day they were the pilots for the top spot. We know how much CAN happen on a last day so it was interesting to follow it.
Only when Tilo would have  0 points and Kai would win the last race , Kai could still win.
193.8 km. was the task and I was ready to follow the pilots and Brian. It all was a bit later as the weather was not co-operating as expected.
Mike Young looked as ” on a mission” when they were on track , with Werner behind him but 500 m. higher. They had to get over a mountain top but Mike was only at 2000 m. too low to get over the top. Werner passed him, so did the rest of the followers. Kai was 2d then behind Werner, who moved on alone after a good climb at 3000 m. on his way to the first TP flying back N of the track where the others tried to reach the first TP.
Mike, not giving up quickly,  joined in with Kai, combining efforts.
Tilo was in the ” bunch”  behind them, but higher meaning he could pass them.

Werner crossed the valley, still very high [2700] reached TP 2 ,whilst the others were still struggling to reach TP 1. Mike and Kai decided to go straight on track to TP 2, not like Werner going N of track and then passing the valley.
According to Brian, the last part of the race would be more difficult as clouds were spreading out.
Kai and Tilo cruised through the skies enjoying the scene as they were not ” really’ in a hurry, they only had to stay up and finish.
Werner did an amazing job, staying high and going FAST, passing the 5 TP’s and cruising home.On his way to the final TP 5 he was high enough to be on final glide.
A great WIN for Austrian pilot Werner , [32 points] smoking home, [116.6 km./h.] on this last day and a well deserved spot 2 overall for him, behind Tilo [43 points]  and ahead of Kai .[33]
Interesting to see how Serge [Leclercq] [103,09 km./h.]  flew low over the slopes after having  3 m. lift first and then still found enough energy to race pretty low, there  AND  feel comfortable and  be 3d for the day behind Mike, [109.8 km./h.]who called Werner an ” ACE”. As Tilo was high,  he could pass the slopes easy with 200 km. on the clock to be 4th.

With the bonus-point Werner got 11 points and was just ONE point ahead of Kai. Some pilots elected to abort the task and fly back, as they were low and late, but not Mr. Billy, he finished again this time with 74 km./h. He nearly had ONE point; I give him 10 points!!!!


Werner, Tilo and Kai the ACES of La Cerdanya. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!
Pictures shared by the organizers.

The organizers were happy in Spain , so were the pilots and “we”  looking over their shoulders how they were doing, as well.
La Cerdanya will definitely become a “classic” as it gets beautiful scenery, great weather conditions, nice airfield facilities and great people who always carry on. “ 


From Potchefstroom in South Africa a first real nice flight from 541.07 km. in the JS 1-C by Pieter Nouwens on September 12. Also Oscar Goudriaan flew that distance in the ASH 25.
The beginning of the season is there!!!!
Holland still had up to 350 km. flights in autumn on the same day. And Brasil had 832 km. [750 FAI triangle]  .
The East of Australia 502 in a PIK 20E and the USA had a few over 700 km. flights.
From Formosa in Brazil they fly with 25 pilots the Nationals with till now pretty good weather with flights just under 500 km..

Talking about South Africa some sad news: The Soaring Society of SA shared the next news:
“It is with a sad heart that I have to announce that Klaas Goudriaan has passed away. Our heartfelt condolences go to the family during this time. Klaas was an Icon in the world of gliding and a true humanitarian. He will be missed. RIP” 

One of the reasons Oscar was not in Lesno during the last WGC was the health situation of his dad. Indeed Klaas was  as I heard a GREAT man and a fantastic glider pilot. A pity I never met him. Without Klaas soaring in South Africa would have been different.
I wish Oscar and Laurens with their families  and their mum, a lot of strength. May he rest in peace!

And to finish this blog another great picture shared by the Tocumwal Residential Air Park. I remember those great clear nights with skies FULL of stars, indeed no pollution there:

zzzz Toc by night

Brad Perkins captured this stunning shot of the Tocumwal rail bridge against a dramatic starry sky. No “light pollution” here!

CU in a week.
Cheers Ritz
On Wednesday September 17 2014

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