QSGP in Italy! CAE-BENELUX comps in Holland! WGC 2017, only 227 days to go !

Qualifying Sailplane Grand Prix in Italy.


The Qualifying Grand- Prix in Varese continued and it was more a penalty-festival than a Grand Prix.
18 Pilots did fly last Wednesday and 8 of them  got a penalty from airspace violations,   too low finishes, too high start altitudes , too high start speed and again…… missing the finish-line. How can pilots still miss the finish line,…. it must be hidden!!!
Still some good points for the winners. Peter [Hartmann] had no penalties so he won the day and the 10 points and his lead is growing to 34 points.
In the end the task was 131,75 km. and the regatta start at 2 PM.” a great , short, sweet race” according to Russell [Cheetham] and  2.5 m. was his best lift . Russell was runner up but had to detour [too much] in the end , had not a good energy line , so others could “get” him. Only 3 flew with a speed of 109 km./h. ; Peter, Russell and Luciano who was 3d for the day.

They declared Thursday May 19 as a rest day.

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They shared a picture with a great view on the Monte Rosa. Fabulous picture………… And the first launches on Friday.

RACE 5 on Friday, with one to go on Saturday, had a 323 km. task and after the rest-day,  the pilots were eager to go for 2 more days. Peter is ahead with 34 points followed by Mike with 25 and Luciano with 21. When you are now on the 2 days, a daily- winner , you receive 21 points, so maybe there are still possibilities…..though Peter is very good in those mountains!!!!
Launches at 1, regatta start at 2.30 .
Mike won the mainly-blue-thermal-day and got closer to Peter as he got “only” 4 points for the day whilst Mike got 10. Luciano did well too and was runner up with 8 points and Giorgio was in the top 3 as well with 7 points.
Mike was in the beginning about 10 km. behind , but by being alone he climbed better and caught up  again. Giorgio had a very careful final glide to be sure he would NOT have any penalties this time.
So for the last day it will be exciting as both Peter and Mike are experienced but sometimes , how do I say that carefully… “tempt fate” , as I noticed in the past.
So when the last day starts it is Peter with 38 points, Mike with 35 and Luciano with 29, whilst Giorgio is back after missing the finish-line on the second day ,[ costing him 5 minutes ] and entering a forbidden area with a[virtual  out-landing at the point of entry at 78 km. ] to 25.


Nice finish shared by the organizers.

 RACE 6 last day with 279 km.! “Ultimo giorno di gara!”

Bostjan Pristavic won in his JS 1 this special last day with 11 points. As Peter was runner up in nearly the same time , he got the 8 points and that was enough to be the VARESE QSGP CHAMPION [46] . He found most tasks pretty difficult,  the last one as well; “ sometimes you have to be patient to get a nice climb or to have good altitude to pass the mountains”.
He found flying with his colleagues in a GP,” more a circus than a real valued competition.”
Interesting quote! I mentioned it already , this time it was more “a penalty-festival”.
Mike had a total of 41 and won 2 days as did Peter.  Luciano [33] , remained ONE point ahead of Giorgio.[32]

And to finish the compliments from Mike to Varese;”“If it’s one thing as a glider pilot you should do before you die, that’s to come and fly in Varese. It’s just wonderful!!”

The next Grand Prix starts in 9 days in Rennes Saint-Sulpice in France.Will keep an eye on it!!

As shared by the organizers.


Where would they be without the tuggies.
as shared by the organizers!!!



The BENELUX comps in Holland.

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3 Great pictures again from Willemijn. You can expect more !![ASH 30MI]

The CAE OBGC [Open Benelux Championships] started Wednesday with difficult weather. The day before ,when they practiced ,they had a small window with some great practice flights , on day 1 they only had a small window as well.
Day 1;
Tasks were set for all classes. The pilots tried hard . Most of them unfortunately did not reach the important 100 km. marge , so ONLY in 1 class  day 1 was valid; 18 m.
In 18 m. both Sikko Vermeer and Peter Millenaar finished and flew the set 144.56 km. in their ASG 29 E. Time was unimportant [ 56 and 51 km./h. ] but coming home was more important. So a “good” day for them , still only with 139 and 132 points . A total of 4 from 17 pilots flew over 100 km. so a valid day.
Hadriaan van Nes [JS1 B] and Dennis Schouten [ASH 26 e] had 120 and 109 points,  they out-landed close by after 135 km. and 122.
In open class Ronald Termaat showed once more how good he is. He was the only finisher for the day and flew the 148.90 km. in I guess one of the slowest times in his life; 44.08 km./h. He received 62 points for his effort.
Mark Wering just arrived on the first day with his  brand new Antares 23 T and was runner up with 81 km. and 31 points.
But in the end after all files were in , Ronald was the ONLY pilot who flew over 100 km. so,… NO valid day… no 62 points, but no worries for him. Great effort ANYHOW!!!

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Mark,…just in time to fly the OBGC in the ANTARES 23 T. Marion best crew in the world and Steven, who won many Nationals and was European Champion.Last 2 pic’s specially for Art.
By the way , both pilots fly the WGC in Benalla 2017 Mark in open , Steven in 18 m. class.
Pictures by Willemijn.

Day 2; Should be better than yesterday,  it looks different here though,it RAINS,  but I am about 125 km. more up NW.
They know what they are doing over there,in the East of Holland.
Box time at 12. Tasks; club and the combined Standard, 15 m and 20 m….3 hour AAT, Open and 18 m. 2.30 . Club and combi upfront and 18 m. and open behind.
Tuggies Sjoerd, Bertje , Zweef [Evert] and Daan are ready. So is the marshal!!!! Sjoerd, Daan and Bert are about my age , but still going strong , very experienced and loving their towing-job. All 3 are retired KLM captains. Zweef is , as you can see, much younger and still flies KLM.

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Pictures courtesy Willemijn.

It was waiting and waiting, delay to 1.30 PM and 2 PM. I had hope here for all of them there,  as at 1 the sun carefully tried to show it’s face from behind the clouds. But after 10 minutes it disappeared again and it became grey!!!!8/8 of “soup” . But as said,…I am far away from the action, AND,……at 6 the skies cleared here.

At 2.30 the window was already there and they started with a B task in the pocket .Quite a lot of pilots finished . Anyway in each class it was a valid day, with pilots in open class starting after 4 PM.
Club; 2.30 AAT….A bad day for Annemiek. After 30 km. she was “aux vaches” and last for the day. Tim Kuijpers won in the LS 4, with a relative late start at 3.46 [one hour after Annemiek] ; 188 km. in 2.37.
Combi: 2.30 AAT…..From the 10 pilots in this class, 5 are from Belgium and they are mainly from ONE family so they help each other whenever possible and they always do that well. Both Dennis and Tim [they worked and flew with us in Tocumwal!] are from the well known Huybreckx soaring-family.
Dennis is a son from Eddy and Tim from Mark Huybreckx. Wim [Akkermans] married Dennis sister Sofie and Jeff[Kell] married Tims sister Gitte. Can you still follow me? Not belonging to the family but a great mate is Rik van den Boer. He had not such a good day , he out-landed. Unfortunately one of the Dutch toppers in this class ,Bas Seiffert, out-landed as well after 89 km.
Dennis won with 227 km. in 2.53.

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Winners ; Steven, Dennis, Ronald and Tim.
Pictures shared by the organizers.

18m.; 3 of 17 did not finish the 2 hour AAT , 2 of them got the distance where they entered the Deelen CTR below 450 m..
Day 1’s winner Sikko , with a relative early start, flew 64 km. and got 96 points. What a pity.
Steven Raimond won the day in the ASG 29 ES and flew 201 km. during in 2.03. Rene de Dreu in his new ASG 29 E was runner up with about the same distance and time.Good to see that Hannah is there. Rene and Hannah met in Uvalde [Texas] in 2012.
Open; NO points on day 1 for Ronald,…. this time 715. He flew in the JS 1C, during the 2 hour AAT 216 km.in 2.17,  the ONLY one over 200 km. Runner up Jeroen Oostendorp in the ASW 22 BLE flew 181 km. in 2 hours AT the dot and got 668 points.10 From 11 finished.
More day 2 pictures by Willemijn.

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Onno[Blankenzee] to the l. with Sikko who drinks a coke before flight. It did not help unfortunately for a win.For Frank []Hiemstra] there is for sure a career as soccer player and Brutus came to visit.

Finishes as well.

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Jeroen Verkuijl in the JS 1C.

Friday was cancelled.

Saturday, day 2/3. I wanted to visit that day , but unfortunately my health did not allow so.
Tasks were set; Club 207 km. …Combi 256 km……18 m. 301 km. and open 333 km.
In the end B tasks were handed out.
Club; 158.66 km. …AND..the enthusiastic soccer player on the picture above , won the day; Frank Hiemstra in the ST Cirrus [handicap 99.6] Tim Kuijpers was runner up.One Belgium pilot in this class flying the lovely St Libelle, but he had not the best day and was 1  of 5 out-landers.
Combi;  200.65 km….The 5 Belgium pilots combined their efforts again and with result. This time  Rik was the best. He moved from the last spot on day 1 to spot 1 on day 2. Good on him
2 Tim, …3 Wim…4 Dennis….6 Jeff. Bas [Seiffert] was in between, on 5.
18 m.; 246 was set and flown by ALL. Sikko, who won day 1, out-landed on flying day 2 , won day 3 again. Sikko has been in” my team”  several times at WGC and EGC and I know how good he is!!!! He showed it again. Younger pilot Peter [Millenaar] was runner up . In this class 4 pilots from Belgium and 1 from Germany.
Open;251 m. for the long wings and Jeroen Verkuijl won the day in the JS 1C [above on the picture] Ronald who won day 1  was now 5th. Jeroen started 1 hour LATER [3.07] than the runner up [2.07] and the first departing pilot was Ronald at 1.59. So in hindsight a later start was better.

Todays pictures by WILLEMIJN;

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1. With Joost Wolff flying in the ARCUS T with Erik Borgmann who was runner up in Borlange WGC and Max Bloch, several years the CD from the Dutch Nationals.
2. Jeff Kell, husband from Gitte Huybreckx.
3. Wim Akkermans and Sofietje Huybreckx.

NO TASK on Sunday !!So place enough for a picture of  the well known Dutch Hiemstra family from Friesland with dad Ben, OUR Dutch webmaster [from Zweefportaal] , young topper Frank and daughter/sister and glider pilot Ilse.



The Dutch Termaat family very well known in Holland,  in fact world wide .
Great family picture shared by Caroline ; daughters Anouk and  Elin, Caroline and Ronald [son from Joke and Karel Termaat] and of course THE DOGGY.


Monday; With 700 km. of morning-traffic -jam due to heavy rain, I knew already that Monday would not be flyable as well. Would they be able to squeeze another day in? That was the question.Doubtful,…but there is always HOPE.

Tuesday; Tasks were set, a small window ,  so , to make it a valid competition they have to try every possible day.
Race tasks ; Club 125 km,…combi 100 km,…. 18 m. 166,….open 184 km.
In the end B tasks were used; about the same but in  AAT’s.
Sadly enough the weather-gods did NOT co-operate and the day had to be cancelled.

Wednesday; TODAY.Briefing at 11 and GRIDDING till 1 PM. I HOPE SO MUCH they can fly!!!!
You will read it next week.
More possibilities to fly; the weather will improve , a bit more sun, less rain and an occasional thunderstorm are predicted for Thursday and Friday.


Lancaster in the USA.

“Bermuda High is located in the “Flat Creek” area of Lancaster County” and that’s the place where the USA 18 m. Nationals were flown between May 11 and 20 and the CD was Eric ” Herbie” Moser. One evening Ed Kilbourne performed. I should have been there !!!!
25 Pilots participated and quite a lot I know , so interesting to follow.

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Ed Kilbourne. AND….when we met in Uvalde in 2012.
Picture 1 courtesy Leigh Zimmerman.

Day 1 , with a 3 hour turn-area-task was won by  Canadian pilot Jerzy [Szemplinksy]  in the ASG 29. Al Tyler was runner up.Sarah [Arnold] was 3d in the Ventus 2ax in a tie with Dave Springford.[Canada]  Only 11 finished, the others were cut off by thunderstorms, as Rick [Sheppe] wrote.
Day 2 was cancelled.
Day 2 was difficult again .As Rick wrote; “Cloudbases were low all day.  Everyone worked hard to stay in the air and to make progress.  It took at least three hours for the finishers to make it around, and the completion ratio was about 50%.  There were only two field landings, and the other non-finishers came home under power or by aerotow.”
Winner  on day 2; Bill Gawthrop in a JS 1 B. The next 9 places were occupied by ASG 29 pilots. Sarah unfortunately had a less good day , was on spot 21 and dropped to 11 overall.
day 3; Rick mentioned ;” the  forecast was very promising , 4kts, 6k top of lift, and SW wind of 15-20 mph at altitude with streeting likely. ”  But the 2 days before they had slightly over-enthusiastic forecasts  so “the assigned task was brilliantly called by CD Eric Mozer and his advisors Al Tyler and Jerzy Szemplinski.  That said, it was certainly challenging and several pilots appeared to press a little too hard on final leg and received penalties for low finishes.”
Scores; Dennis [Linnekin] ,the TC from the USA team at several WGC’s, was the best!!Good on him. Lovely guy!


Day 3 weather.
Courtesy Leigh Zimmerman.

Day 4 ;a Turn Area Task that started out with two very small (3 mile) circles was set.  The third circle was large, so the pilots would have some running room.  The nominal distance was 192 miles, and the minimum time was 3.5 hours.
Jerzy won the day and it is really interesting to see that the 18 m. top overall at this stage exists out of 4 Canadian pilots!!!!
Day 5; Expected was ,  weak lift, few Cu, and thin, scattered high level clouds. Also southerly winds at launch time, so for the second time in this contest they had to grid  at the upwind end of the runway and waited for the wind to come around.
That took a while to happen , so the task was downgraded to 2 hours and the first launch at 3 PM.
Some had wave “enroute” , some just raced around the track.
As Sarah did, she had a  great day ,as she WON and climbed from spot 13 to 8 overall!!!!!

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Day 5 winner Sarah. And the task she won.
Courtesy Leigh Zimmerman and Rick Sheppe.

Day 6; was a rest day so a new day 6 was set but in vain. The weather was NOT good and the forecast for Friday was not good either , so Jerzy was in the end the winner of the 18 m. Nationals.Good on him and congratulations to him and Maria.
As Rick said it so beautifully; ” The sun peeked out at 13.45, but it was evident by 14.00 that we were done for the day, and for the contest.”
Wish my English was as good as his!!!!


Jerzy, the new USA 18 m. Champion.
The apron is a gift from the host BHSC to all competitors.
Courtesy Leigh Zimmerman.



227 days to go !!!!
Last week I gave you the link to the Benalla 2017WGC.
More news; New Zealand is sending six pilots, two in each class, to this WGC 2017 Benalla. Team Captain Julian Elder said, “It’s great to be bringing a full team to Benalla for the Worlds – a first for NZ in a long time”  NZ is a “neighbor” from Australia so nicely close by.
Other pilots flying are; 15 m. Alan Belworthy and Steve Wallace, 18 m. John and Tim Bromhead, open class Brett Hunter and Mark Tingey.


John Coutts.
as shared by  the Benalla organizers.


The Dutch will be sending six pilots to compete at Benalla as well. Alfred -Paul Alfers and Ronald Termaat will fly in 15 m. class. Alfred flew in the past with us at Sportavia. He won as best junior in that time the Dutch junior comps and we gave him the opportunity to practice during the OUTBACK soaring comps to fly with Ingo on one day and practice what he learned in a single seater on another day. So he has been in the Benalla area already but a long time ago. At the moment he flies in Vinon.
For me it’s rather new that Ronald flies in 15 m. Interesting!

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Alfred Paul and Ronald.
Pictures shared by Sean Young ;Webmaster, Editor Gliding Australia,Media Relations .
I met him last year a VERY COMPETENT and good soaring-journalist.

In 18 m. it is Steven Raimond, who used to always fly in 15 m. class in his ASW27, but now owns an 18 m. ASG 29 ES and Maurits Dortu. In open Jeroen Verkuijl and Mark Wering.

The Austrian team has 1 pilot in 15 m. Werner Amann, in 18 m. it is Wolfgang [Janowitsch] and Andy [Lutz] not flying together in a 2-seater  but each in an 18 m. one. In open Ludwig [Starkl] and Sebastian Eder, yes son from….Josef Eder.
Look for all the news about Benalla 2017 at www.wgc2017.com  or at http://www.gfa.org.au/ or at FB.

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Wolfgang and Andy this year on Jan. 15.


A few interesting OLC flights  last week!

On May 20 another pretty-long-task in the Perlan Project DG 1001 M from Inyokern in the USA ; 1.367,55 km. The flight took 11 hours and 27 minutes. Luckily, ladies can take during a long flight , their own “toilet” as in a pee -system or the good old pampers. I presume Cindy Brickner,as co-pilot on this flight with Dennis Tito,  did so as well.
One day earlier they had about the same flight in a DG 1000/20 m.  , a tad shorter with 1.340 km. and a departure from Minden Tahoe.Speed 143 km.h. so “only a sit” of 9 hours and 21 minutes.
May 21; showed some great flights  in Austria ; from Micheldorf  824km. [683 FAI ] in a Duo Discus [Eduard Supersperger] and  797 km. in an ASH 26 E.
From Italy [Bolzano] a good 716 in an LS 6 , from Germany [Koenigsdorf] in an LS 1 F 634 km. so the ALPS were pretty active though the weather was as I read on some days not as good as forecasted.
Plasy in the Czech Rep had a good flight in a Mosquito; 613 km. {600 Fai Triangle}
1683 flights were added that Saturday.
May 22; nearly winter down under but Allan Barnes still manged to fly 401 km. in his LS 1f from Lake Keepit , the next venue of the WWGC, where lot’s of kangaroos at the field welcomed him. ” Roos on the strip made the landing interesting – at least 100 of them bounding around.” I remember that. He practiced a 3 hour AAT. Good on him!!
406 From Nagano in Japan is worth while mentioning too even it was flown in a Ventus Ventus 2CT/18m. Wave and thermals up to 3892 m.
Europe , THE ALPS, had spectacular soaring conditions  again,  specially around Koenigsdorf in the far South of Germany [Bayern] . Wave, thermals, foehn, ridge soaring  it was all there  in the Alps from W to E and back…
It gave another LONG flight for Matthias Schunk in the Quintus M. 1. 271 km. his 8th over 1000 km. flight in May. Also the first 1000 km. flights for young German pilots flying in an Arcus T [Vincent]  and M[Florian]  , even first over 5 hour flights, that is,…sitting in the back for that time but still![total time 10.26 ]!!!!!
And,.. Benjamin [Bachmeier] managed to fly 830 km. in the LS 1f !!
AND,…..there is Eduard again, not in a Duo Discus this time but in a KA 6E flying an epic 786 km.in foehn [Austria Micheldorf] ! ” Back to the roots” he mentioned in his comment. Good on him !
Bert Schmelzer jr flew a declared 870 km. task from Hausen Am Albis in Switzerland.
From Lesce Bled,  in the NW of Slovenia, Boris [Zors] flew a 748 km. flight direction WNW, in the St. Cirrus.


Benjamin even had time to make a picture and share it with us. He only started at 1 PM after some technical problems but his goal to check in Switzerland some Hang- flight- routes was a success.


THE JSF [Joint Strike Fighter] F 35, arrived from the USA for it’s first flight to Europe , to be exact to Friesland to the Airbase of Leeuwarden. An historic moment. Holland ordered 37 of this type. The 2 which arrived here last Monday evening are going to do test-flights over a couple of weeks .


And to finish a great picture by Matt Michael from the USA ” Sky voyaging with Cory, Chad, and Tony[Condon.]”
We had fantastic soaring weather for all 6 contest days and the practice day. That is quite rare for spring in Minnesota. We were very fortunate.” Paul Remde.


Tony  flying in his Cherokee II glider in the U.S. Region 7 Soaring Contest in Albert Lea, Minnesota.
On the 18th Tony wrote; “Smoking day in northern Iowa and southern Minnesota. Should be about 45 mph for the Cherokee and Woodstock on 3.5 hr task.”


In my last blog I wrote about a donation instead of flowers for Swaantje. I added  more and full info now in the blog below. Swaantje has been cremated and her ashes will be spread over Australia, so she will be back there for ever.

Cheers Ritz

2 thoughts on “QSGP in Italy! CAE-BENELUX comps in Holland! WGC 2017, only 227 days to go !

    1. Sorry Rick I never answered but to be honest I never read the comments because I forget about them and check not enough.
      Any how VERY kind of you. THANKS!!!!
      Tomorrow I am busy writing from Holland for 10 years!!!!
      In total I have written at least 20 years.

      Cheers Ritz.

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