Gliding with the CHAMPIONS.
Nice skies over Namibia.
As shared by ” The Champions”.
…..started with a little “hick up” as you can read in the blog at
Here are a few lines from the blog written on Wednesday November 4:
” Today at 11:30 we got the new overfly permission. Since our first day in Namibia last Friday we were grounded. One military officer decided, glider pilots and there planes are high risk for Namibia and rejected the permission for 2015. We got this notification on Friday morning, much too late to react. So on Monday morning Hans van Hase went to the Ministers to find a solution. Finally four days we had to stay on ground. Not to think about this permission would not have come, it would have been the end of gliding in Namibia.”
So flying could start on November 4. Pffff…….
They fly their training program this year from 2 destinations, Kiripotib where they have been already for the last 2 years and this year they added Bitterwasser as well.
Guest pilots enough,…best to give the “word” to Ludwig;
—“Here in Kiripotib were I, Ludwig Starkl will lead the event the next three weeks, we are starting as Champions with, Janusz Centka from Poland, Markus Frank from Germany, Stefano Ghiorzo from Italy and for the first time here, Lukasz Wojcik the current European champion from Poland. In the second week will come Holger Karow and Erwin Ziegler from Germany, Bert Schmelzer from Belgium and in the third week, the brothers Phil and Steve Jones and Pete Harvey from England and Holger Back from Germany. Erwin, Bert, Phil and Holger Back are also for the first time here with us.”
” In Bitterwasser Wolfgang Janowitsch will start the first week, together with Andy Lutz and Reinhard Schramme in the management and coach role. Stefano Ghiorzo will change over from Kiripotib, and Arndt Hovestadt will come from Germany. Reinhard and Arndt are supporting us for the first time.”
So it all happened last Wednesday :”Today we expect a very nice gliding day, the forecast said the best zone along the edge, the demolition to the Namib Desert.” Which seems to be the best, most beautiful part of Namibia
And ,…..it was a nice day. Straight away the first 8 places on the OLC were occupied by Champion-pilots.No 1000 yet,…. but they FLEW!!!!!
As shared on their site.
Thursday; the best 10 OLC-places were for Namibia inclusive 2 flights from Pokweni. Best flight 751 k. [650 FAI triangle]
Friday ; no changes , but within the best 10 places you find S.A. [Worcester ] with Markus Geisen and Sven Olivier.[625 km in the ARCUS]
Saturday; best 14 places for Namibia and they reach the 1000 on a tad; 993 k in the ARCUS. They called it the first real nice day.
What’s even more interesting is the 500 km FAI triangle in the LS 6/17.5 m. from Lake Keepit [Australia] where they practice for the Club, St. Class and sports- class Nationals at that beautiful lake. Steven Evans from N. Z. was the one!!!
Sunday;was different . Orient was the place to be with a 733 km [500 FAI triangle] by Mark Holliday in the ASW 27. The triangle was flown with a speed of 138 km./h.
Young Simon Briel practicing AT Narromine for the JWGC flew 663 km. in the LS 8.
The CHAMPIONS and their students flew up to 692 from Kiripotib, a more or less out and return by Jean -Yves Germain with as co pilot, Bert Schmelzer jr.
Monday; several more or less out and returns between 500 and 700 km. In between well known USA kilometer eater Keith Essex enjoys soaring life in New Zealand making flights from around 500 km. and it sounds like he is having a ball;
“Spectacular Omarama day.” He flies an ASG 29/18 m.
Tuesday; THE day!!!!
It ALL happened in the 2d week on day 7 and when the weather is good, IT IS GOOD and they all could fly over 1000 km!!!
Lucasz from Poland, for the first time a CHAMPION flew with his Swiss “student” 1.173 km!!!Nice speed as well; 142.57!!!!!
A total of 11 over-1000 km.-flights in Namibia!
And what about the flight from Ludwig himself in his ANTARES 23; 1.105 km. with a speed of 165,63 km./h.
And John Coutts had a brilliant day as well, flying from Potchefstroom; 1.084 km. with a speed of 154.09 km./h in the JS1.
As they mentioned on FB; one picture says more than a 1000 words!!!
2 pictures even MORE!!!
Both pictures shared by Sven Olivier. Courtesy Bitterwasser Lodge and Flying Center.
For all CHAMPIONS NEWS you can read the full blogs at the site as mentioned before.
Not long ago Schiphol welcomed the very first A 350 from Finn Air with all respect belonging to such a first visit.It was a short visit and for the time being the last one.
This month it will be the very first KLM DREAMLINER [Boeing 787] that will be welcomed. KLM is the first to have the 787- 900 version, with computer controls instead of hydraulic systems.
Much more comfort for the passengers as well, as they have more room, better air due to a much better air circulation and bigger windows. I wish I could do my flight to Melbourne in such a DREAMLINER, but I don’t know what Cathay flies nowadays to Hong Kong. I guess to Melbourne will be with an Airbus.
I will tell you in my Toc. diary.
CLUB,STANDARD AND SPORTS- CLASS NATIONALS at LAKE KEEPIT.
One of the 43 participating pilots is Bruce Taylor and Bruce knows how important PR is for soaring, so he and his wife Anita share always news from comps wherever they are. This way we can feel part of it as well.Thanks for that!!!
Last Monday they started with an official practice day, and a 2.30 AAT was set.
Here his first report:
—“Practice day at the Keepit Club, Sports and Standard class nationals. We set a short 2.5 hour AAT which went North West to Narrabri, around Mount Kaputar and East to Bingara for Sports class or Upper Horton for Club/Standard.
Then we came south to a final area near Manilla, and home.
The run north was great, with big, smooth climbs to about 7,000 feet, but then the sky around Kaputar had overdeveloped and that area caught quite a lot of people out, including me!
We had to do a big backtrack to survive, and it was a while before things came good again. Some of the big wings managed good speeds. I haven’t seen any scores, but there was some grizzling amongst the little wings.
Only a practice day!” —
You can read the full stories on FB at Taylors Gliding Page, but I know a lot of people avoid FB, so I help you out.Of course with the permission of Bruce.
When you want to follow the tracking of the Sports class live you can go to
Yesterday they started and it was a better day as you can see on the picture shared by Bruce. They continue till Friday the 20 thiest with a closing ceremony / dinner on the last Flying day. Some then straight go to Junior Worlds but it is only 5 hours NW of Sydney and about 4 hours driving from Narromine. When they can fly they are back there in a flash.
You can find the official scores on www.soaringspot.com
The Standard class ; 10 pilots,with among them Bruce [ASW 24 e] and Allan [Barnes LS 8] and the “girls” Lisa [Trotter LS 8] and Kerrie [Claffey ASW 28] started with a 3 hour AAT and Matthew Scutter flying HC, showed his HUGE talent by winning the day with 351 km. in time 3.01,47, so about ” at the dot ” !!!!
Matthew will represent Australia in St. class together with Dylan Lampard at the JWGC .Dylan also flying HC, was 4th on this day 1. A total of 33 pilots will fly at the JWGC in this class.
The 1000 points were for Lisa. Good on her!!!345 km. in 3.02.
Bruce was 2d with 366 km in 3.18.
Day 1 as seen by Bruce:
“Day 1. We sent Sports class out east into the higher ground, and Club/Standard north west onto the flat. The weather looked quite good, but the air is very moist at present and climbs were far apart, with clouds that didn’t always tell the truth. Reports from the Sports class pilots were varied. Some had great fun, some had a good first half, and the others vice versa. There were a couple of outlandings, and I think one glider and tug are spending the night in a town halfway back home, as the daylight ran out. For the small wings the day improved once we got away from the hills and out onto the flat, with 5 knot climbs to generally 6 – 7,000 feet. However the run home was into softening conditions. We do not have typical Keepit weather yet, as it is very green, and probably won’t dry out in the next couple of weeks. The next couple of days look OK, then there is a big trough line coming which could make things difficult.”
day 2; Today.With a 4 hour AAT the 2 juniors Matthew and Dylan showed they are ready for the JWGC. They both were the best in this class flying 449 and 444 km. Flying together might make them extra strong in Narromine as well.
Bruce [420 km.] was the best of the rest and got the 1000 points with Allan[424 km.] as runner up; 898 points.Lisa was 4th.
As Matthew mentioned;” Having fun at the Standard Class Nationals in Lake Keepit – two challenging days so far, especially today with high cloud, blue holes, wet ground and variable winds.”
Bruce and the glider ASW 24 E, on day 1.Indeed skies REALLY look good!
As shared by Bruce.
Sports class with 21 pilots among them former WGC champion Brad Edwards but also Mike Young from the UK , David Jansen , Mac Ichikawa from Japan and John ” Butch ” Buchanan went for a 3.30 hour AAT .
The day was a prey for David Jansen flying 396 km. with a speed of 113.65 km./h.
Jay Andersen was runner up and Butch was 3d.
Day 2 , today. Rolf Buelter from Geelong , always practicing in Tocumwal, so I hope to see him there this year , got in the preliminary scores the full 1000 points.He flew in his LS 8 400 km. with a speed of 107 km./h.
He mentioned;”Difficult in the beginning, blast in the middle and an adequate end.”
Mac was the runner up and Brad , David and Butch followed. It looks Mike Young is not participating.
Club class with 22 pilots and toppers as Paul Mander, Terry Cubley and Peter Trotter , had to go for a 3 hour AAT.
Terry straight away showed that he and his LS 3 are in top form [already for SO many years they form a “couple” ] ;354 km. in time 3.16 so a speed of 108.22 km. for the “old” LS 3.
Runner up was Peter Trotter in his ASW 20 a: 323 km. in 2.58, speed of 108.96 km./h and 5 points less.
THAT WAS PRELIMINARY in the official scores it was Peter winning[ 997]and Terry  on spot 2 .
Eric Stauss is one of the AUSSIE juniors practicing for the JWGC and he did well with a 4th spot!!!The other young JWGC Aussies are Joe O’ Donnell and James Nugent. 26 In total will participate in this class in Narromine.
Joe flies as well in Lake Keepit so is his dad Stephen.Joe was 6th , Stephen 8th.
Some pilots found the task not long enough:” 3 hrs. Much too short. The day started at about 10.30 and is still booming now at 15.27.”
Day 2; today with a 4 hour AAT.
Preliminary results show a great day for dad O’ Donnell ;421 km. with a speed of 100 km./h in the ASW 20 B.
Eric was runner up. Joe had a bit of an off day at 15, he started very early and only in the end of the day they knew that a later start would have been better,… but better now than in December in Narromine.
There are 6 tugs involved and look at this; 3 female tuggies . I LIKE!!!
“Here are three of the tug pilots. Go Val, Lu and Val.
Not a bad average 50% girl power.”
As shared by WOMEN IN GLIDING.
A credit to it’s master, I guess good old Klaus would have been SO proud!!! The credit however NOW is for his son Tilo, who took over after Klaus died. Together with his mum Brigitte and nowadays sometimes also Ralf , his brother, they run the business with their loyal/ faithful staff the best way they can. And the last gliders have just been good. Not so much maybe the QUINTUS, but the Duo Discus and ARCUS as well as the latest Ventus are toppers.
The picture was shared on FB with the message;
—“The 200st Arcus in our courtyard with our staff – the people who have built this one, the previous 199 Arcus and many other gliders. Thank you to all of you!
And another big thank you to all current and future Arcus owners for being our customers!”
To finish the NZD, the Dutch Soaring Day at 6 several spots at Terlet, where about 300 interested pilots arrived for an excellent day organised by Maurits Dortu and Rene de Dreu in co-operation with the Gelderse, the Thermiekbel and Service Center Terlet.
The hangar from the Gelderse, the hangar from the service center at Terlet, the briefing room in the Thermiekbel, the club room from the Gelderse and the Thermiekbel were all made available, by many helping “hands”.
Displays were outside and in the hangars except for the Gelderse hangar, normally the briefing room at the Dutch National Championships and now for the big events as
—the opening by Marion Rozema , the president of the Gelderse,
—a lecture by Jan Foster , the president of the soaring department of the KNVvl, who shared a nice video of how to get young kids from 10 in, at your soaring place, by inviting them to fly low over trails in some kind of ESG and on a tow!!!Very impressive! This all happens in Lithuania and some kids are a member of the International Children Rotary Camps at Pocuinai , where they fly the LAK 16 [MOKYKLA]This year it was between June 30 and July 12 . A total of 4000 kids have done so already.
We need that as we lost in 15 years 700 members and only in 2015 80.
A glider for children, what an idea!!
As shared on their site.
—more for the Dutch pilots; President of the KNVvL Ronald Termaat, spoke about what they are doing at the head quarters of Dutch -Light-Aviation.Very informative and with witticism so now and then.
—Later in the day this big hangar was used by Shaun Lapworth with his enthusiastic stories about the Grand Prix in particular the last Final in Varese.
—And,…by “our” own 3 1000 km. -boys explaining how it all happened and how they learned from Tijl Schmelzer , Wilfried Groskinsky and Alexander Mueller, all well known kilometer-eaters, how with good preparations a 1000 was possible from Holland!
—last but not least Uys Jonker who spoke about the start of Jonker Sailplanes , with dad and brother Attie when they were still toddlers, in combination with EASA glider Certification. Those test-flights for EASA checking on p.e. flutter and spins, to get JS 1’s in all configurations certified in Europe, their biggest market at the moment look pretty scary, to be honest.
Certifications are done in co-operation with partner M+D Flugzeugbau, in Germany.
Uys is a hero doing all those test-flights.
Organised the day in co-operation with several Terlet business and in between Maurits and Rene from the Glider pilot shop, worked as well.
I went to 3 parallel sessions first and later in the day to the 3 joint events;
—one about Airspace avoid by Marcel Knol [pocket FMS]
—one by Andrej Koller from Naviter [Seeyou]…about meteo and their [good] co operation with TOPMETEO on this subject.
—and the one by Uys Jonker seeing him , Attie and his dad with the first attempts to “built” a glider.
Here an impression about the day, for those who could n’t be there;
European guests as well Arne Boye Moeller was there from Denmark and caught up with Lilian [they met during the WWGC in Arnborg] , I noticed Jean Luc Colsson and Jeff Daems from Belgium too, as well as Hannah Weisenbuehler from the USA.
Shaun and Uys in action.
Courtesy Frans Guise and
this one as well;
an attentive audience.
The 3 outgoing DUTCH musketeers; Mark [Leeuwenburgh] Sikko [Vermeer ]and Alfred Paul [Alfers] . After their very interesting lecture …..my goodness me they went en route very well prepared….they got great presents too as they were the number 1, 2 and 3 on the Dutch OLC list.
Courtesy Frans Guise
Ronald Termaat and Jan Foster from the KNVvL.
courtesy Frans Guise
Catering and food also important.
Bread rolls at lunch ,great BBQ in the evening, organised by the Thermiekbel. Unfortunately owner Sander [Terpsta on the picture with cap ] was injured on one hand.
Courtesy Frans Guise
Jelmer [Wassenaar] from DG was there with the DG 1001 Club WL with a canopy for each pilot.
The JS 1 and Antares.
courtesy Frans Guise
Avionics and Go Pro’s
Courtesy Frans Guise
IT WAS AN EXCELLENT DAY.
THANK you to ALL involved.
And the next day it all happened again , this time in Belgium.