Omarama 1216,5 km.

Alphen aan den Rijn                    16-11-2008

It looks I am to much focussed on Africa and Australia to see the first 1000 km flights for the out-of-Europe-season. As…yesterday the flight was made in Omarama, place from the World comps a few years ago. Great flying over the mountains in a more or less out and return with for sure good wave conditions.Max Stevens was the certainly very happy pilot flying a discus with a speed of 106 km. p/h. Distance;1216,5 km.
Young NZ pilot Dane Dickinson who flew several World junior Comps had a great flight too in  his LS 8;774 km. I expect a lot from him in the future world comps.Nice fellow, great pilot.

There are some “voices” who would prefer an OLC for thermal flights and wave flights. It is a different way of flying , with different conditions , but still soaring.I don’t mind!

S. Africa had great flights with p.e. Hans Wiesenthal, who likes to fly the real flights; set FAI tasks.This time a beautiful triangle with a speed of 107 km p/h. from Gariep Dam.
Australia had some early spring flights and I loved the one from Pepe , another pilot who prefers the set FAI tasks with 0ver 800 km. from Corowa .Pepe has flown in this flight over all familiar areas as Benalla, Tocumwal and passing Euroa, all gliding fields and even “touching” the mountains close to beautiful Beechworth.
But…the flight I liked most , this week, is from hang glider pilot Mart Bosman. Yes a Dutch name but he lives already for a long time in Australia in the neighbourhood of Mount Beauty. He and his wife are very good hangglider pilots and Mart learned how to fly gliders with us in Tocumwal a few years ago. Now he flew an LS 6 in one of my favourite gliding places Lake Keepit. A lovely not to big airfield on a lake.His comment on this flight;” Good day , lasted not long enough due to cirrus.Still 10 knots up to 9300 is n’t too bad.” Proud and glad to see he has gone so far with his gliding too.

The Grong Grong boys, 3 Japanese friends who tried in the past  to fly their first 50, 300 and 500 km. ,have arrived again in Tocumwal. Every year they came back , sometimes twice a year and when the weather was good, Grong Grong was set.  We were ALL happy and we rang the bell for them and gave them flowers on each distance  they had achieved, including GRONG GRONG!!!!
Still flying from Tocumwal, the place they just like most. Great gentlemen, I had a few sake’s with them in the past.

The Australian gliding museum is OPEN! About 100 guests with some VIP’s enjoyed a nice sunny spring day at Bacchus March airfield.A longer story will appear in the next Gliding International. I will come back on it too.

That ‘s it. Had a busy week and 2 more very busy weeks to come, but I will be there again next week.

Cheers Ritz

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