Alphen aan den Rijn         04-01-2009

The first blog in 2009! I hope 2009 will be a fantastic year for all of you personally and for soaring. You never know what’s around the corner! I found out in 1988. After a great world championship [1978 Benalla!] in open class in a nimbus 3 D flying as the first father/son combination in a world comps ever, we lost our son Dennis on January 3 1988 due to a tragic accident in the Belanca Scout while on a retrieve to Jerilderie 50 k north of Tocumwal. He was exactly 18 1/2 years old and had just finished his pilots training in Holland. He had a fantastic, but too short life; 21 years ago now , but never forgotten!

In Welkom , the South African National Gliding Championships 2008/2009 are flown.
After 4 days of flying, with the 4th day finishing difficult to bad storms causing out -landings and landings for finishers on other places, the 5th day was cancelled. Well known names competing are of course the WGC pilots for years, the Goudriaan brothers Oscar and Lourens, 2 more pilots who are flying World comps , Sven Olivier and Andries Bester and father and son Dick and Douglas Bradley both flying and involved in WGC and JWGC . Of course the Jonker brothers are well known for both soaring and ” their” glider the JS 1 [with the very caracteristic wing tips,] causing some commotion during the last WGC.
Was the idea of the fuselage “stolen”?
And…competition director Herbert Martin from the Luesse WGC flies in an ASH 25 with Natalie Lueben.

The comps started on December 28 and are going till the 10th of january.
After 7 days, the last ones were weatherwise not the best ones ,the overall results  are;
Club class Andries Bester in ASW 20 with 4765 points.
15m. /standard Oscar Goudriaan in ASW 27 with 4394 points.
18m./open class Uys Jonker in the JS1 with 4919 points.
About the weather I quote Peter Wyld the editor of the Nationals;
“The view from the scoring office window is becoming depressingly familiar.Sky blackening to the South -Bloemfontein  area -[ this is where  Robert from Sweden is flying!] followed by some flashing and banging followed by the sky becoming red from te dust and the slamming of windows and doors as the storm hits us.
Some gliders have made it back before the storm , we wait to discover the fate of the rest”.
So far the editor on the site of the Nationals. Hammer weather and storms , I know all about it!The 2 worst ones I remember were in Narromine , years ago, where a tree with a diameter of nearly one meter just cracked like a match and one of the sheds just collapsed hurting one of the soaring-staff.
Tocumwal had once a down draft coming so quickly that one glider was not back in the hangar in time and had damage while due to the heavy rain the veranda of the sunroom collapsed . I do not like violent weather , but we all know, sometimes it is part of the super weather!

Last week I wrote about the 1250 km. flight from Tocumwal with Christmas. George remembered well too and added that this day was probably the best day Toc. ever had, though it did not look like it. Not even in the morning at 9 when Gerrit was “hanging around ” his glider not knowing what to do. Only when Ingo and George,  flying together in the duo discus,  had said over the radio that the weather was great ,that they headed without problems to Jerilderie after being launched at 9 AM  and urged him to start too,  he “hopped in” and flew this big 1250 km. distance.

 On the last day of 2008 another 6 1000km. flights were added to the Gariep Dam list. 
From Benalla [ Australia], the flights from Michael Sommer are remarkable, he really is a great champion [ 800 km in an ASG 29]. But what about Tobias Geiger? He did very well in his LS 4 flying 714 km.
In between the Victorian State Comps have started in Benalla with 34 competitors. First day [03-01-2009] was a nice one with a 3 hour AAT with 3 cylinders ; 159.9 km/416 km. 
3 classes fly; club/standard–15m–18m./open.
Best speed in open class by Graham Parker in open class; 365 km. with a speed of  121.8km/h.[ASG 29 18m]
The comps will end on Jan 10. Will keep you informed. For the Australian Nationals later, Jo will keep us updated!

I have started as I told you with “Ritz’s newsy news ” in Gliding International and I have only done that because I REALLY liked the magazine,  when I got it in Rieti for the first time in my hands.
So I finish with the message that new subscribers for the Gliding International during January and February will receive a complimentary copy[pal format] of WINDBORN the world’s biggest selling gliding DVD. This copy is limited to the first 300 new paid subscribers.
New subscribers can enrol via the secure website www.glidinginternational.com
Price for Europe; Euro 36 for 1 and 66 for 2 years.
For Australia; Aussie dollar 64 for 1 and 120,- for 2 years and for
Canada and the USA; US dollar 56 for 1 and 100 for 2 years.
South Africa ;Rand 340 for 1 and 640 for 2 years.
The january issue is out now full of news . I quote a few words from the magazine, when John asked Tilo , if there was any news on the Schempp-Hirth front.

“New products,YES!!!! We are working on a completely new project!It will be called  “ARCUS” -a 20m flapped two-seater. This will be a very nice and “handy” alternative to the large and heavy open class two-seaters.It will appeal to the growing world-wide 20 m. two-seater contest community. We will offer it as a glider, a turbo-version but also as a self launcher. A novelty here too; beside the existing well operating SOLO-2625-2 version, we also offer an electric version installed by Lange Aviation. We are trying to get the ARCUS in the air during 2009- and that possibility looks promising.”
So far a short part from the interview between John Roake and Tilo Holighaus, for the full story  you have to read the magazine. Sorry, but you will find it really is good and the price is nice too!!!!

That’s about it!Thank you for the many good wishes for 2009 I received! You are all great mates!

Cheers Ritz

One thought on “HAPPY NEW YEAR !

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.