VARESE GRAND PRIX FINAL and more or less the FINAL of the European 2015 season!

To NOT create a TOO long blog, I publish already today on Sunday at noon.

Lot’s of news about the GRAND PRIX, which is good. The PR and maybe for that reason , the interest  is getting better and better.


Varese from above as shared on the site.

I share one of the “teasers” by Terry Cubley from Australia, so you know all the in’s and out’s as well. Of course their Tom Claffey flies in Varese.
” From 5 to 12 September 2015, twenty amongst the best gliding pilots in the world ,will battle out to win the 6th FAI World Sailplane Grand Prix Championship at Calcinate Del Pesce Airport in Varese, Italy. This exciting competition, which can be followed live online, is the finale of a series of seven qualifying races that took place during the course of the year in different places around the world.

The line-up of the competition is impressive: fresh from his victory at the 18th FAI European Gliding Championships in July, multiple FAI Sailplane Grand Prix Champion Sebastian Kawa from Poland will try to gain back the title lost to Didier Hausse from France at the 2014 Finale in Sisteron. This year he will certainly want to make sure that he doesn’t let the gold medal slip through his fingers.

Among other favourites are Giorgio Galetto from Italy, who will have the advantage of flying with detailed knowledge of the competition area, Cristof Ruch from France and Roman Mracek from the Czech Republic, while Rasmus Orskov from Denmark may create a surprise after his great second place in the Polish Qualifying FAI Sailplane Grand Prix. In total, five of the pilots who made their way to this finale are in the top 20 of the World Ranking List.

The format of the competition, which is designed to be media and spectator-friendly, will allow the general public to see most of the races just as they would in a yacht race. They will also be able to follow the race at the airfield, next to lake Varese and at the Volandia Museum on giant screens set up for the occasion. A series of animations on aviation including seaplanes, model aircraft, hot air balloons and a glider simulator are planned to provide a good insight into different air sports.

A 3D video representing the flight both graphically and accurately will be streamed directly via the web to the public, thanks to an electronic tracking device fitted in the glider and which transmits its position in real time. Regular updates will also be made on the dedicated Facebook page and Twitter account. Videos will be also published on the SGP Youtube Channel.”

They started at Saturday ,after a few practice days with pretty crap weather , lot’s of wet- sight- seeing in the area and preparations, specially for Tom as he comes from far.
Here you see him with his wife Kerrie, nowadays his secretary,one of the members from his crew and faithful supporter.
” Today was scrutineering, weighing, paperwork for registration etc. we arrived at lunchtime at the hangar so waited for the crew to come back, worked well as we were able to sort out the paperwork.”

zzzzVarese Tom

Picture courtesy Jill Spreckley and shared by Tom.

On Friday the weather improved and pilots had a real race on the last possible and compulsory practice day.
After briefing they went for a 126 km. task.Ricardo [Brigliadori] was the fastest and ONLY one with a speed over 100 km./h. he got the 8 “practice -points”.
2 Pilots with airspace violations, meaning outlanding at THAT spot,  so better now than during the race.

Today is the last practice day at the long awaited FAI Sailplane Grand Prix Final in Varese. Giorgino has briefed the task, the pilots are rearing to go.The sun is shining.”


The competitors at Fridays briefing as shared by Jill[Spreckley]


their names and nationalities.

During the flights this week, 2 experienced pilots ,one from the UK Shaun [Lapworth] and one from France Benjamin [Neglais] , will “take you by the hand” and accompany you, looking at the tracks, departures or arrivals from the 20 pilots.So you can SEE and HEAR  everything.Interviews before and after flying belongs to their job as well and indeed a few interviews you can follow on their site.  and click on live coverage.

zzzzVarese wires

With the message; “Mind the wires”!

Saturday September 5 day 1; The early morning had a thunderstorm, and the weather during the day would be still under the influence from a frontal system, but maybe they could fly later in the day;that was what Giorgio [Ballaratti] had to say during briefing.He will be doing the radio on the finish line as well.
A task was set , gridding after briefing and ” compressing” at 12.30 and the first launch ,depending on the weather, at 2 PM or maybe [last opportunity] for 3 o’clock and mainly from and to airfields so easy to land when necessary and just in the close area of Varese. Distance 149.43 km.
A dry air mass is arriving in the evening and the weather will improve for the next days.
At briefing they all got an umbrella with their name on it.

zzzzVarese 3

An umbrella for sun and rain. Rasmus, the youngest pilot,  still fiddling around with his glider on the practice day.
As shared by the organizers.

DAY 1 unfortunately had to be cancelled . They launched but as Tom mentioned ”  the day was cancelled a while after that and we scurried for home from about 20kms away. Some practice comp finishes were done!”

Sebastian was so kind to make some pictures and shared them with us. Here you are;

zzzzVarese Seb 1  zzzzVarese Seb 2

zzzzVarese Seb 3  zzzzVarese Seb 4

Thank you Sebastian.

AND thank you to Giorgio and Tom, who by the way flies Mike Young’s ASG 29, showing us why the day was cancelled.

zzzzVarese Giorgio

zzzzDAY 1 by Tom

Sunday September 6, day 2, race 1;
A Sunday with lot’s of visitors due to “a day off”.
The pilots will start with blue conditions but going East they will find cu’s, that was what Giorgio had to say during briefing this morning.
Grid 12.30 and compressing straight away.First launch expected at 13.00.Regatta start expected at 14.00.
” CU on the grid fly carefully ” and off they went to prepare their loggers for a task of 264.8 km.!!!!


It feels like autumn here and it looks like it. EVERYTHING is WET.Wetter than ever before. I heard September had in it’s first 4 days more rain here than normally in a whole month!!!!
In the area where I live we had 52 mm of rain , whilst the average for September is 75 !!!
Rieti still has good weather with up to 900 km. flights.
A rare 2015 wave day – declared 611km at 157kph. Nice views of west coast and Iona” was the news from the UK by John Williams flying the ANTARES from Kinross.[648 km]
September started with only 78 flights world wide!!!Last year this was 243 on September 3 and 579 on September 7.
Porta Westfalica had a great day of ridge soaring; several nearly 500 km flights gave a lot of joy!!


When in Australia, I will visit the Preworlds at Benalla.Tim Shirley , writes here what’s happening and how for ONLY a few, there is still place available.
“Hi all,

 Look at the entry list and I can see there are currently 51 Australian and 13 foreign entries for the Nationals and Pre-Worlds at Benalla.  Total of 64.

 We have set a limit of 80, 60 Australian and 20 foreign.

 So right now we have just over a month to go before the early entries close and in that time we can accept 9 more Aussies and 7 more from overseas before we have to start looking at seeding lists.

 So if you are considering an entry, or you know anyone who is planning to come but is not on the forum, could you please let them know?

 Website is www.ozglide.comI have just put up Version 2 of the Local Rules there, which includes some clarification on team flying and mobile phone use.”


I will be also visiting the JWGC for a few days in Narromine, from December 9 till 13 , so I can attend the prize giving as well at 11 on Sunday.The official entry list was closed on August 30, but till the 30thiest of September reserve pilots can still enter.
I counted now  29 in club and 23 in standard class.
I was pleasantly surprised to see countries as Lithuania,  Czech Rep. and Hungary with quite a big delegation. So one way or another,they managed to find funds for their young ones.
Lithuania has entered 5 pilots, Czech rep. 6 and Hungary 2.
Lot’s of Standard Cirrus’ in club and a lot of LS 8 gliders in standard.
On the site I noticed a great picture from August 9, mind you their winter, with great clouds.

ZZZZ Narromine August

 “ This is Narromine today. Not bad for winter. Bring on December.
By Brad Naylor.


The German team for open class and 18 m. looks as follows;
Open class: Michael Sommer, Stephan Beck, Tassilo Bode and Holger Karow.
18m-class: Mario Kießling, Matthias Sturm, Michael Streit and Sebastian Huhmann

Cu next Wednesday

Cheers Ritz

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