R.I.P. Rick Walters !QSGP in ZAR with 3 days! ALL 66 pilots “aux vaches” in Zwickau !


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Fabulous airport on the slopes of the ZAR mountains, where the ZAR Mountain Gliding school has been host for many pilots.
As shared on FB by the SGP.
courtesy Fot. Wojciech Englert.

The Qualifying Grand Prix in Poland [ 18 m. class gliders] flown from the airfield of ZAR,  finally, after 4 days,  got a day with points. GOOD!!


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Nice finish from Sebastian, as seen by Fot. Wojciech Englert and shared by the organizers. An album with 69 great pictures.
More pictures and news  to be seen at :http://www.sgp.aero/poland2015.aspx?contestID=6452

Last Wednesday a task of 123.87 km. was set and the daily winner was ,……Sebastian [ASG 29] even with a turn to the right before the start-line opened,  which was not allowed according to the rules [SGP rules p.8.7] .
He was not the only one as 4 from 6 did the same.
Anyhow he got the 7 points for the day;speed 107.78. km./h.
Runner up Petr Panek got 5 points flying with a speed of 101.33 km./h. in his JS1C.
Rasmus got the 5 points.[ASG 29E]
See picture below , when the podium was out for the first time.

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On Thursday the regatta start was at 1.07 PM, for a 132.4 km. flight. Before I knew they were all back. First,…of course Sebastian with 103 km./h.
Runner up was Rasmus with 101.44 km./h.
Only 7 pilots were flying.
On Friday the regatta start was at 12.05  and pilots had a nice task from 270,51 km.and the 8 points went to,….Rolf Gerzmann from Germany.
After 3 days , with ONE day to go, Sebastian tops the list with 18 points, followed by Rasmus with 12 and Petr [Panek] with 9.

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Preparations to be ready for the last day.
as shared by the organizers.

Saturday,last day of this QSFP. Briefing at 10 so early starts expected.
At 11.10 AM launching was supposed to commence for the last time.
But..it was postponed till 2 PM.THEN the day was …….. cancelled!!!!

3 Days out of 8. What can you do?Look at the happy smiling faces of the 3 best??? YES!

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With Rasmus , Sebastian and Petr.
As shared by the organizers.


Zwickau, German Nationals for club and 20 m. class.


As shared by the organizers.

In Zwickau , the club and 2-seater pilots flying their German Nationals, finally could fly for their 3d day. Launches at 15.15, so pretty late , BUT they flew.
In the 2 -seater class nobody finished during a 2.30 AAT. Best distance was by Uli  Gmelin, in the ARCUS T;164.6 km. and for that he got 215 points. Better than nothing!
Did the ARCUS gliders perform well in the 20 m. class ,in club class the St Libelles  had a good day as well. No, ….nobody finished ,as it was a tough day for the 42 pilots in this class, even to fly a 1.30 AAT .
Most pilots started straight away at 16.53, some pilots started after 5 PM., one even after 6 PM. It all was in vain as it turned out an invalid day.[ 25 %  should have had over 100 km.] Best distance 85 km.but the Libelles were with 5 in the top 10.

Indeed as expected and hoped for the weather changed and on Thursday, a “good”  task was set for the 2 seaters, ” dosis”  called in Germany;417.6 km. straight over the Bayerischen forest. So a nice day 4.
The club class had to go on their day 3, more N. for a 3.30 hour AAT.
They started first and for the 2 seater-pilots a new task B was handed out at the strip; one about 50 km. shorter.
At 13.30 they were launched.

Club class was won again by Stefan Delfs in the St Libelle;998 points as he got 2 penalty points, as he was a tad too high passing the start line.41 Pilots in this class finished!
After 3 days Stefan leads.
In the 20 m. class Marcus Geisen, partner from Karin [Wiesenthal] and a colleague- writer for Gliding International, won the day!! Good on him. In their ARCUS M.He flew the B task, 357.8 km. with a speed of just over 100 km.;108.51.
16 Pilots flew over 100 km. Uli was the last of those 16 and NO outlandings here either.

Friday LAST DAY;Another tricky day and not only the weather was unsettled, it made a proper mess of the overall scores as well.It turned out a valid day so they finished with 4 days out of  11 in club class.
Stefan who flew so well did not do so on this last day.During the 2.30 AAT he out landed and was 12 th for the day.
Only 8 pilots [from 42] finished and as said the overall scores changed.
BUT NOT FOR Stefan [St Libelle]  on all 4 days he was the number 1 overall,  in the club class so a deserved winner with a small marge, but who cares; 3591 points. Runner up Jan Rothardt [LS 1 d] one of the finishers, still 6 on day 3, had 3558.
Fabian Peitz , [St Libelle] another finisher, climbed from 6 to 3 so at the podium;3549 points.
And whilst it is so close; number 4 coming from 8, with 3546 points, Dennis van Deest-Behnke [St Libelle] who finished as well.
By the way these 4 gentlemen form the new German club class team for this year.
Our young junior pilot Nick Hanenburg, did well finished on a 26th spot with 2895 points in the St Cirrus. Both, glider and pilot, will represent Holland in Narromine. Nick had a “bad”  last day, not only because of the weather ;he flew a while, with the wheel out, after he opened the doors earlier to loose and keep height before the start.Better now then in Narromine.


Stefan in his St Libelle.
As shared by the organizers.

In the 2 seater class, they flew 5 days and the last day was for some, “hell” too.Not for Serena Triebel she stood firm with her ASG 32 MI; 3298 points.
11 From 32 finished the 2 hour AAT. We had one Dutch team participating and by being 3d on the last day ,they moved overall from 12 to 7. Well done Bart [Renckens] and Max [Dolfin] in the ARCUS M.
Norbert Sommer, ARCUS T, moved up from 8 to 3[2972]  , even with an out landing and Uli Gmelin, dropped from 4 to 5. Martin Theisinger from 3 to 6. Thomas [Viehmann] stayed on 2
The new German 2 seater team for the upcoming year is; Serena, Thomas, Norbert and Martin.

A pity that such a last day has such an influence on the scores but that ‘s soaring too.At the party on Friday night for sure, everybody had forgotten about the weather and only celebrations were on.

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Very happy Club Class Zwickau winners , with Jan, Stefan and Fabian.
courtesy Daniel Seitzinger.


1.026 km. in an LS 6 with winglets is “not bad”!!!This happened in Parowan and Thorsten Streppel from Germany was the lucky one.More pilots [at least 17 from Parowan] enjoyed the great wave-conditions there on June 24. Though the visibility as I read , was not everywhere too good, due to forest fires.
Also Ely had that nice wave-weather.
The next day was a as good in the USA , Thorsten flew a 1.063 km.flight and from Ely an FAI triangle  from 1.006 km. was flown by Steve Koerner.[ASW 27]
On June 26, Ely had a 1.011 km. [889 FAI triangle] by Uwe Kleintempel in the 18 m. Ventus 2CM. Parowan had flights up to 987 km. again in the LS 6 with Thorsten.
The top 35 on this day had , a total of 21 flights from Parowan and Ely[Arpt] ,so only enthusiastic pilots about the fabulous weather the cloud streets , with great thermals and wave:” the thermals under 15K where rough so stayed in the upper levels; worked great” was what one of the pilots mentioned on the OLC.
AND…….June 27 was a great one as well. A great week over there now with the 2d 1000 for Steve flying from ELY and the 3d one for Thorsten. That is called,” being on the right day,… at the right spot.”
June 28 was also good in this area but better in Europe, A SUPERDAY .
3 Pilots flew an FAI 1000 km. triangle and one just; he flew 932.6 km. [1.025 km]
3 Of them in open class gliders , but kilometer eater Matthias Schunk in an 18 m. ASG 29;
June 29; Mitch Polinsky-day from Ely.” Declared 1002.5 km triangle. Made all the turnpoints except the finish line. Very challenging day weatherwise. Plus all three turnpoints turned out to be in the blue.”
On the last day of June, yesterday Utah with wave/thermal flights from Nephi, had great weather: Nicholas Kennedy in an LS 3 flew 815 km. He mentioned on the OLC;
“Nephi OLC event is on fire; the awesome mountains and desert thermals and the fine rural Utah hospitality. Awesome day with a few scattered storms cells to play with and some friendly gliders to thermal with.”
At least 31 gliders were flying that day from Nephi.
Germany topped the list with kilometer eater Bernd Goretzki with 944 km.in the Ventus 2 CM/18 m. from Locktow.

Last Monday [June 29] another good 500 km. day in Holland and Finnish pilots flew up to 733 km. from Rayskala.On the picture below from Juha, you can see how beautiful Finland is from above.
By the way we are going to be HOT. 38 Is predicted for Saturday when the Tour De France starts in Utrecht , the heart of Holland. That’s 16 dgr. higher than the average for this time of the year.

zzzzFinland by Juha


2015 US Club, 18 m. and Open class Nationals  flown at Hobbs
between June 23 and July 2 2015.

They started with 2 practice days and their first day was on last Tuesday. Assigned task’s for all on a good day with a cloud base up to 10.000 MSL. Weather ,the older ones between us, remember as Kees [Musters] became world champion in Hobbs with such great racing conditions.
Open class had 10 participating pilots and Dick Butler in his majestic CONCORDIA straight set the level in this class winning and gaining the 948 points for the day. Ron Tabery was 2d and Heinz Weissenbuehler  4th both flying ASW 22 BLE. They all had to “fight”  with the wind!
Day 2; This day Dick got himself 1000 points , another assigned task and he flew 301 miles using 3 TP’s.
Day 3; AAT’s for all classes and Dick is now used to them. He did not win, Ron did,[391 miles.  with 83 miles./h. and 1000 points] .. but he was runner up.[990]
day 4; no task, due to the loss of 1 tug by mechanical problems , due to cross wind and expected thunderstorms.
day 4;DB is going strong,…another 1000 points for him.
day 5; more points for the CONCORDIA , Dick won again.336 miles with a speed of 84.10 m./h.Not an AAT but a MAT  today for all classes.Not everybody seemed to be happy with a MAT [Mod. Assigned Task] as ” they don’t prove anything.”
Restday, well deserved for all!
Day 6;” NO ” news DB won [5938 total] and leads the pact and Ron [Tabery is runner up with 5723].The number 3 with 2 days to go including today has 400 points less.


DB’s CONCORDIA DB at the strip in Hobbs.
Shared by the US Sailplane Grand Prix Qualifyer in in Ionia in 2016.


In 18 m. class Gary Ittner flew himself to 1000 points in his 18 m. ASG 29. A lot from the 21 pilots in this class I remember from Uvalde 2012 as Ken Sorenson, then the CD, Jerzy Szemplinski who won the first PANAM  this year, Ray Gimmey, Pete Alexander and Dennis Linnekin , the TC from the USA team at many occasions.
Day 2; 1000 points for Jerzy.
day 3; same story,..1000 points for Jerzy. He flew 335.88 miles. with a speed of 83 miles /h.
Day 4; no task
day 4; a good day for Ken , he won the 1000 points. Jerzy was 3d.
day 5 ; Good old Ray Gimmey won this day with Jerzy as runner up again.
Rest day!
Day 6 ; Jerzy won and this time Gary {Ittner} was runner up. Good on him. Gerzy leads with nearly 200 points.

Club class with 18 pilots, with as the best on day 1 Sean Franke in the LS 1f. Garret Willat in the ASW 19 was runner up.
Day 2 ; was for Robin Clark in an LS 6  Garret was runner up.
day 3; was for Bif Hus in his Discus 2b.
day 4; Mike Westbrook is doing well in his St Cirrus. He won the 2.30 AAT and leads overall as well , before Sean and Garret and Boyd Willat. The first 6 pilots are between 3537 and 3675 points!!!!
day 5 ;Daniel Sazhin in the LS 4 won the day; 223 miles one more than the runner up with a speed of 65.3 miles /h.
day 6; 1000 points for Garret.
Rest day !
day 7; A Dutch name Tony Smolder won this day and the toppers Sean and Garret finished on 5 and 3.Between the number 1 and 4 [Boyd ] only 130 points so there is more possible in this class.

You can follow it on www.ssa.org


And then there is out of the blue this message on FB. I nearly got a heart attack!!! Remembering Rick Walters,…uh was he dead!!?? He was supposed to fly the nationals in Hobbs!!!!!


Rick, who we got to know in Minden[ Nevada] during the pre worlds in 1990 and even  better one year later in Uvalde in Texas, when he “gave”  his glider to Bear Selen, who became world champion in it!!!
We celebrated with bubbles.Have lot’s of beautiful pictures from those moments.
Rick who I met again in 2012  again in Uvalde and we went on where we stopped in 1991, lot’s of stories and changes in our lives. I knew he had been  sick ,but battled it.
Rick ,  a guy NOBODY had trouble with to like , he was beautiful inside and out side and someone you connected to straight away. What a tragic loss for his family.What a tragic loss for all of us , his mates!!!
Only 60 years old!!

Uvalde Ritz and Rick 2  Uvalde Ritz and Rick1

Rick and me with Andreea in 2012.

Rick 003  Rick 004

Rick with Andreea [made by me] and with me [made by Andreea].
R.I.P dear friend.

And then I heard that he had an accident with his bike !!!!!He had a new high tec. bike and went to ride it in the Alpine County, riding the Blue Lakes Loop…. he lost control…fell…. striking his head…. suffered blunt head trauma …..then the shocking news , that he died. A bloody BIKE!!!!!?????
How is it possible?I am lost for words.

CU next week when we will have some kind of heatwave in Holland with temperatures up to 38 dgr.
The highest we EVER had was 38.6 dgr. C. in August 1944.
By the way Spain has OVER 40 dgr. From Ocana 24 pilots fly in 4 classes for the Spanish National titeles.[you can find their scores at www.soaringspot.com] They will be “HOT”  but are more used to it and flying high is “COOL”.
Cheers Ritz

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