What a great time we had in Rayskala !!!CIM !EGC !

Alphen aan den Rijn    Monday July 6 2009

Back home again after a great time in Rayskala.  I don’t know what it is, but those Junior World Championships have something “easygoing” ,less stress , lot’s of fun ! And the young pilots create that nice and friendly atmosphere. Before they start, they hang around together, laugh , make jokes , twitter ….then they put their chute on and depart.
In the evening they come back,… or not that happened also and they have nice get togethers were they make friendships for life. Karaoke was very popular ,as well as air -guitar -playing.

Standard class pilot Felipe Levin was a class apart.  The one day with the more then 600km task, more then in the EGC in Nitra , he came back far ahead of the rest , even his own team mates ! He easily won the comps!
In Club class the pilots were pretty close together on the last day, there was some more tension and then in the end some miss out on only 4 points to come on the podium.

Not all of them were top pilots, though all flew safe, but there was clearly a difference in experience. Some did not have their 500 km. and some flew for the first time in their life more then 9 hours. The 2 Dutch and Norwegian boys managed to stay up till after 9 and tried to come home, but unfortunately they still had to make an out landing at 21.38 after 9 and a half hours of flying!! Not a lot of young pilots have flown till that time in the evening, but this is possible in Finland where you walk home in the middle of the night and it is still NOT dark!
All of them  learned a lot ,  got huge experience and all go home with great memories!
The next JWGC will be in Musbach and quite a lot of the young ones from “now” will be there “then”. Axel Reich the very experienced chief steward in Rayskala, but also competition director of several comps in Germany will be the next director. That is in 2011, long time to go , but time flies.

In Nitra the weather has improved after several days on which the pilots had to fly between showers and thunderstorms. One Finnish pilot damaged  his glider, when they were send to the mountain -and -tree -area, but the pilot was fine, the glider as I heard in Finland, total loss. Even with the bad weather in the beginning, they flew every day.
Bad luck for Dutch pilot, Francois , who damaged his glider on day 1 bringing it to the grid. Luckily it was not too bad, but it needed a full night and day to repair. He missed for that reason the points from day 1. A pity as he is flying very well, today he won the day again with a speed of 129 km/h. In the overall score he is now 6 with one non flying day!!!!They have now 8 days out of 8 and they will fly till Friday.

The CIM in Italy has 83 defenite entries.  They will fly in 6 classes; 15m. ,18m. ,20 m. , club-standard – and open class.The open class Italian Championships will be held during the CIM.
This will be my next job as international journalist  this season, arriving on August 2 and departing from Rieti on August 16.
For next year I do not know exactly what will happen with the Ritz Corner , but when “things” are certain I will keep you informed.
2011 has 2 options as well, anyhow I only do 2 a year !

The OLC is still going strong , several of my friends enjoy their summer soaring to the fullest ;Spain is still good,[ 868 yesterday from Cuenca Sotos] , today Finland [ 806 from Piikajarvi] ] but also Holland with a flight of 618 km. In the USA the weather is also good for long- distance-soaring, specially Truckee and just not far from there ,Minden in Nevada, but also Ely and Parowan.
In Finland I saw a nice small plane on floats in the Lake and seeing that, I still remember that day on June 24 1990 ,when we were in Minden for the Pre-worlds [ the WGC ended up in Uvalde in 1991!] and we were invited to fly with an Albatross to the lake Tahoe , landed there and….had a picknick on the wings ,while “dancing on the lake…!!!!!”

Very sad news from Belgium were a Piper Cub crashed killing the 2 pilots. They did some touch and go’s before their departure to an Open day when something went terribly wrong.One pilot was in his early 60thies, the other one in his early 30thies.

That’s it for now, see you on Sunday evening.
Cheers Ritz