Europe slowly awakes!Looking back; 5 Aussie destinations in OLC-World-wide-top 11.

Valentijns dag 2013 2

Did you have a happy and pleasant VALENTINES day?
I had the flu, did not do TOO much,…. but feel slowly better again.

The season is about over and it’s waiting now for gliders to come back and for the spring season to begin here in Europe!
Last Thursday only 24 flights were added to the the OLC list.
On Friday the 13th , not everybody hided….30 pilots took the opportunity to fly.

Last Sunday we had early SPRING weather; blue skies, 10 dgr C. and and a full sun. I guess everybody here went out walking , biking or visiting the beaches for a long good walk with the doggies.
SPRING is on it’s way!!!!!

Looking at the stats of world wide airfields on the OLC from Australian destinations on February 15 ,4 ended in the top 10.
Mind you most places fly till Easter and the East Coast can fly through winter as well, so some more flights will be added ;
Benalla on spot 6 with 69 guests , 563 flights and a total of  208.000.08.
Benalla will be busy over the next 2 seasons with the pre worlds and worlds.

Benalla night 002

Corowa on 8 with 29 guests mostly staying for the full 3 months so they do not have to fly every day, but still made 339 flights and a total of  192.707,08 km. WHEN they fly, they really fly big distances!
They added to their list; 80 briefings and 114 tows AND 2097 hours.
Their containers are on the way home now !

IMG_4500   IMG_4484

Leaving with such nice soaring-weather is not always easy.
Picture from their site at ;

Narromine on 9; Their squad week started last Sunday so they will add a few more flights. With 83 guests and 446 flights they flew a total of 171.990, 89 km. The SQUAD week delivered yesterday a nice distance by Matthew Scutter in his Discus 2 a; 628 km. Other toppers as Mat [Cage] and Tom [Claffey]  participate in this week as well.
Today was according to Morgan Sandercock a ripping day with thermals up to 11 kts . He even had too much lift to get down and that when it is nearly autumn!!!! 420 [300 FAI triangle] in the Duo Discus and the day before 480 [400 FAI triangle]
Tom flew 512 k. with the next message; “ Task too short for AAT timing. 147kph, cannot change start times?
And Brian Hayhow flying the Discus 2 mentioned:
” Great day out at Narromine… 123kph task speed for a 369km task a maxed out AAT… good streeting on second leg really helped and everything just lined up beautifully… my fastest speed dry!” 
Narromine will be extra busy end of this year with the JWGC.

Narromine skies

Tocumwal on 10; 73 guests flew a total of 129.289,76 km. during 343 flights. They will be busy till Easter and had during the last few weeks several Japanese pilots. Toc was always a very popular place for Japanese pilots but also for the Chinese pilots. All willing to learn or improve their skills, in the quiet period .Again several declared FIRST  300 and 500 km. tasks were flown. A few of the happy chappies as shared by Sportaviation. CAMPAI !!!!!

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Lake Keepit on 11;with 59 guests they had  332 flights with a total of 116.824, 07

Lake Keepit finish over Lake

A great finish over the LAKE.

Looking at the stats for Australia only, these places are on 1-2-3-4-and 5 and Waikirie proud on 6.
Looking at the top 5 from the OLC Aussie CHAMPIONS till now 2 Dutch pilots Bart and Max are on top , then a German pilot Hans-Juergen and a Spanish Pepe and Mac from Japan.
The first 3 ONLY flew from Corowa, Pepe used mainly Narromine and Corowa and Mac flew from everywhere.[Narromine, Temora, Tocumwal, Waikirie and Gawler.]

Looking at the best flight in Australia according to the OLC, David Jansen is the top ONE with his 1.582 flight from Kingaroy to Benalla in his ASG 29e/18m..
Pete Temple follows with 1.121 km from Waikirie in the ASG 29/18 m. and
Mac on 3, flew 1.061 km. from Tocumwal in his LS 8.
Within this TOP 10, 3 flights from Tocumwal, 2 from Corowa , 2 from Waikirie , 1 from Kingaroy, 1 from Pipers Field and one from Benalla.

Looking at all flights in Australia; Benalla had 2 pilots with Nick Woods [55 flights] and Bob Nichols [48]  flying over 25 000 km. each.
Pepe had 1000 km. less in 39 flights.
You are up to date again.



Day 3 at Horsham week had a 3 hour AAT, but unfortunately the front arrived earlier than expected and the early starters were lucky to get away, though most of them did not arrive “home”  .
412 km. was the best distance , flown in 18m./open in an ASG 29 by Craig, his second win that week and a nice speed of 113.4 km.
Peter Busser was runner up with 332 km. [110.8 km./h.] and Morgen Sandercock, yes the one from the Perlan Project was 3d in the Duo Discus from the Hunter Valley.[255 km. in time 3.01]
In club class only the JANUS d finished ;223 km. in 2.56. All other pilots did not start [ 5] or did not come home [9]
In st. class [2.30 AAT] nobody made it back and in 15 m. one pilot tried at 3 and one at 4 but they decided to go back.

Day 4 was cancelled at the strip ,maybe as well,as you look that it was Friday the 13th!!!!…..for some a day to ” stay in bed” and what’s worse they have 2 more this year!!!!!
On Valentines-day , a much more happy day, they had the last briefing from this Horsham week and squeezed out another day 4.
As I heard the weather was not as good as hoped for that week;
” Only 4 flying days and not good conditions despite a booming forecast the week before.
It is, as you know,…as it is.
This last day with a 3 hour AAT in 18m./open and a 2 hour AAT in  club  and even 3.30 in standard class and 15 m., they can look back at another good Horsham Week.
Rolf Buelter in his LS 8 won the last day in St Class .He trained with his Geelong club 2 weeks during their summer camp in Tocumwal in December/January, so he had some hours of cross country flying under his belt.
With just under 100 km./h. he flew 345 km.
Winner in this class was John Orton, flying the SDZ 55 to a total of 3751 points, more than 800 points on the runner up.

Peter Buskens won the 18m/open class . Great to see Bernie Sizer from the Southern Riverina Gliding Club from Toc win the last day and overall he finished on spot 2 in the PIK 20 b.In 15 m. another PIK 20 b , moving up from 3 to 1 overall, won the week.

My friends Tony and Jo were there for the week as Tony [TT] had to defend his title as Victorian State Champion but he did not succeed , this time, though he tried hard.On the first days he was in the race like any other of the competitors being 3d and 6th  ,but on day 3 the winner of the day had 1000 points and Tony ” out-landed ” and had only 424 and you can’t make up that loss in one day, even being third on that last day.Mind you Tony is 78 and still very active !!!!! Compliments!


Looking at Soaring in Europe in February, you can say it’s slowly , very slowly starting in the mountain-wave- areas. The UK had some good flights in Scotland from Kinross in the beginning of February,even  one from 655 in the Antares. On February 6 , an ASW 20 flew 667 km.from Offenburg Baden in Germany.
Ocana in Spain had a glorious spring day on Friday the 13 th ,used for a 200 km. flight.


The 50thiest open military championship in Holland will be flown only in June, to be precise from June 1 till 5 and you could register from last February 1. In NO time , 24 hours, they had 50 pilots and now more than 60. SOARING IS ALIVE!!!!!


To finish;
David Ferguson who died unexpectedly , age 78. David was an excellent guy and a great pilot and glider pilot.He lived and worked in Australia [Ansett 1963/1989 based in Melbourne ] and Singapore as a captain 747.

CU next week.
cheers Ritz

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