Tragic loss of 2 KIWI mates!Narromine Cup Week.1.200 km. is the aimed standard now!

The gliding community in New Zealand mourns for the loss of 2 of their well known , well respected and very experienced glider pilots.

The tragic loss of 2 top pilots from New Zealand in Namibia shocked us all.

Bill Walker and David Speight, both of Queenstown, were as they mentioned ” shining lights”  in the New Zealand gliding community.
One of Bill’s  proudest moments was bringing the World Gliding Championships to Omarama in 1995.He then worked very closely together with John Roake .[Gliding International] Both are/were great mates.
Bill held numerous gliding world records and, in 2004, was named an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for his services to aviation and industry.
Also David was a record holder .
How tragic!!! On November 30 we lost some mates again!!!At around 5 PM, on their local reconnaissance-flight  , they lost their lives about 50 km. from the field.
Condolences to the families and close friends! R.I.P.


Narromine skies

Narromine, venue of the pre- JWGC in December.

The Narromine Cup-week
is by now very popular and stimulates pilots to fly with each other. Between November 24 and 28 this was all happening and some good flights were made as by Terry Bellair who flew in his 17 m. version DG 400 a nice 773km. flight .
All kind of gliders between Quintus M and LS 1f.
Talking about this  Quintus in Narromine, one of my friends Gerrit Kurstjens owns it and he flew a 1000 on November 27 with a speed of 143 km./h..
When I am correct,this is the first 1000 km. flight in Australia in the 2014 / 2015 season.

Terry mentioned in his comment on the OLC that day; ” when approaching Narromine, some hooked into a convergence which they flew along for 50 km. to the South and back, at between 9.000 and 11.000 without circling”  .
Brian added;
Very interesting day with convergence, late afternoon sea breeze at Wellington and long runs required in the blue to complete a 608 km. declared.”
Brian also flew one day with Ge [Dale ] in the back of the DUO DISCUS having a great time and a great final glide ” A couple of stonking climbs after the turn got us home”,
from a 537 km. task.

Next big event in Narromine is the PREWORLDS for the Juniors. Unofficial practice days  between December 1 and 4 and the comps start on Friday on the 5th with one official practice day and continue till December 13 with in the evening the Farewell dinner.


After they unpacked  the containers in Corowa , with a delay of just under 2 weeks due to ” massive delay”  in the Melbourne Harbor [that NEVER happened before in the 10 years Grietje and Francesco are shipping containers full of gliders] , the well rested pilots started straight away with long flights.Though,…. well rested might be too much to say as they all helped to rig 10 gliders the day before after the quarantine inspectors had left.
Several Dutch  friends over there  and Jos started with a flight up to over 700 km. Max flew for the first time his new ARCUS M and ” sounded”  more than happy with it.
Great to see Anders [Sweden] and Pepe [Spain] back there as well.

IMG_2755  IMG_2757

As shared on the Corowa site.


Young Nick and Alex arrived from New Zealand in Narromine to practise for the JWGC next year. This time they fly the Pre worlds starting next week. They straight away had to deal with ” tough ” weather.


For all the Adventures from the boys you can go to;


In America [ C.P. Rivadavia ] in Argentina 33 pilots flew for the National Clase Club Class title. They started with 2 scrubbed days but then 6 days followed, with 2 hour AAT’s , 3 and 3.30 hour AAT’s and set task with 340 km.
Well known pilot Javier Gaude won several days in his LS 4 , including the set task and the 3.30 AAT. On the last day he nearly ” lost”  it as he finished on spot 25 from 32, loosing nearly 400 points that day and he had to deal with 85 penalty points as well, due to a too high start. In the end he WON with just 40 points on another LS 4 .

Talking about Argentina, Jim and Dennis nearly flew 2000 km. from Chos Malal, with a speed of 163km. /h.[1.831,27 km. ] on not the easiest day they could wish.
 The forecast said that wave would develop in the morning with winds slightly more northwesterly than desired.
The day turned out to be highly variable with different cloud patterns on each leg…from about 0900 local we flew under a high overcast.” 


The S.A Championships in Australia finished with 4 days. Steve Jinks won the first 2 days but lost some points on day 3 and 4. In the end he was the winner in club class just 74 points ahead of  John Orton, who was runner up and daily winner on those last 2 days.
In 18 m. Terry Cubley won 3 out of 4 days and was the SA champion; 400 points ahead of the rest.

The W.A. Championship was a very clear  prey for Greg Beecroft in his LS 8.He won 4 out of 5 days and was nearly 500 points ahead of the rest in this handicapped club class with 13 participants.


A 1000 km. flight, when the weather is “on”  is no news anymore. They fly them in Africa as if they are eating a bread roll, they just do it. Nowadays it starts to get interesting when they fly 1100 km.-plus as many do,.. also my mate Daan Pare with his mate Jos Smit [ 1.176,98 with a speed of 145,56 km./h. in the ARCUS from Pokweni] , or even better 1200 km.-plus as a few did last week [as Reinhard Schramme  as well as Sebastian Beule did [ both from Bittertwasser and speeds around 148 km./h. both in EB 28 and ASH 25EB 28] and / or best 1300 plus as Walter Binder did in his EB 28; 1.344.09 km.from Pokweni. A good speed as well 155.57 km./h.
On the last day of November the first 18 places on the OLC were over 1.000 km. the toppers flew 1.200 plus.A total of 20 was flown, it’s really high season!!!!

My friends Rob and his sister Marianne flew a 1000 from Douglas on their last day in the Nimbus 4DM from Max and though they just missed out on their declared 1000 km. they had great fun.
”  Last thermal did not go high enough to close the declared 1000 km triangle…. Nevertheless a very nice flight ! ”
That’s what it is all about!!!

Kuruman had a few good 1000 as well even up to 1.150 km.

It’s weird “we”  loose some mates and live continues, so does soaring with new over 1000 km. flights. It is as it is, but it has changed the lives of the families.


Also Australia mourns;Really tragic,dramatic, heart breaking news from the cricket-world this week where young Aussie cricket player  Phil [lip] Hughes died after a ball hit the site of his head under his left ear.He was only 25 years old !!Last Sunday he would have turned 26!!!!
He  lost his fight for life in Sydney’s St Vincent’s Hospital.
Phil was a talented left-hander.
After living in Australia for many years you get a bit of the vibe from cricket as well, as it is SPORT NUMBER ONE , THE national Sport in Australia.Top cricketers are “sons of the nation” and such a freak accident turns Australia “black”  and united in grief.
Feel MORE than sorry for his family and friends but also for the young man, Sean only 22 years old, who was the bowler!!!!
RIP Phil.Some of my Aussie friends shared a picture from 9 News and I share it with you.


Phil will be buried today, TRAGIC for the global cricket community and many more in the world.
Even Queen Elisabeth send a message of sympathy  to the family.
Young as he was,he will be a legend for ever!


Our meteorological winter started with 3 dgr. C. pretty cold for the time of the year, but it is dry and sometimes we see the sun as well. Good start, that is,….when you like winter.



In my SoaringCafe -blog on Sunday December 13, I will have an article about functional clothes from MILVUS, for glider pilots. Have a look when you are interested on December 13 .

zzzzMilvus 4  ZZZZ MILVUS 1

Pictures courtesy MILVUS at the Swiss Gliding Converence in Grenchen in November this year.


CU next week, BUT not on WEDNESDAY but in the WEEKEND of the 13th.
Cheers Ritz
On December 3 2014.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.