Pocuinai the venue of the 34 th WGC for “small ships”! Swedish Nationals !Solar Impulse!



The registrations were completed, the local procedures and turn point /airspace files are on line , a lot of participants have driven or flown to Lithuania,  so the show is about to begin.
120 Pilots from 29 different countries will try, in a friendly way, to be the BEST in each of the 3 classes; club, standard and 20 m/2-seater.
The official training will be between July 27 and 29, the opening ceremony will be at 5 PM on the 30thiest and the game starts on July 31 and continues till August 13. On the same day in the evening the farewell party at 9 PM and the next day the prize-giving and closing ceremony at 11 AM.
From yesterday onwards they can practice unofficially.

The weather was not yet spectacular over the last week,so time enough to work on gliders and have them in top condition. This picture was shared by team New Zealand. Young NZ pilots Alex [St. Cirrus] and Nick [Libelle] mentioned on their FB blog;
” We made it! After 3 days of driving and approximately 2500kms we arrived at Pociunai airfield in Lithuania at 3am last night.” First they traveled from NZ to London , then drove to Dusseldorf to pick up Alex’ car then continued to Pocuinai. What a trip!!!!!

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Long way to go,….driving through Poland with great weather!!
As shared by Alex and Nick.

From home, with help from my “contacts” ,I will try to keep you informed the best I can.


Swedish club , 18 m. and 2 seater class NATIONALS.

Langtora was the place where they welcomed 26 pilots to find out who would be the new SWEDISH Champion in the 3 classes.
The first 2 days, tasks were set but not flown, or cancelled , anyhow no valid days on July 15 and 16.
Day 3 was MUCH better with 351 km. for the 18m pilots, 272 for club and 320 for the 2-seaters. In each class out-landings but there were also 1000 points for Gunnar Karlson in Ventus 2cxa,  Thomas Hansen in St. Cirrus WL and Larsson /Fischer in Duo Discus XLT.
After the weather was less good, but flyable and on the last but one day,  on Thursday , good again, with 306 for 18 m. ,267 for club and and 280 for 20 m.
Great to see that good old Ake Pattersson won the day with 1000 points in the 2 seater class flying a DG 1000.With 1 day to go he was on spot 2 overall.
In 18 m.Peter Cutting in the ASG 29 won the day and in club Niklas Lofgren in the St. Cirrus. With one day to go he is 3d overall behind Norwegian pilot Thomas Hansen and Per Carlin.
The last day had a 225 km. task in 18 m.
In 18 m. this day was AGAIN for Peter so he had a great last-couple-of-days-run but that was not enough to be the Swedish National Champion. That honor was for Gunnar . 18 m. Top 3;
1. Gunnar Karlson with 4000 points,
2. Holger Eriksson [ ASH 26 e] with 3924 and
3. Boerje Gustavsson with 3779.[LAK 17 a]

 A 183 km. task was set for club and Per Carlin won the day, his 2d daily win. Most of the days he was number 1 overall , after consistent flying, also on the last day;
1. Per Carlin [LS 1f] 3961
2. Niklas Lofgren [St. Cirrus] 3763
3. Tomas Hansen from Norway[St Cirrus WL]  3732


As shared by Per Carlin in the middle with Niklas to the l. and in the checked blouse Robert.

The 2 seaters had to fly 225 as well.Haven /Sohlberg won the last day in the ARCUS and the competition.
1. Haven/Sohlberg 4266
2. Ake , good on him.[DG 1000] 4077
3. Hans Larsson [DuoDiscus XLT ] 3881

They flew 6 out of 8 days.


Jannen Kisat !

With 3 out of 8 days the popular Jannen Kisat competition in Finland [Rayskala] was not really endowed with good weather .Juha Sorri [Discus 2] won 2 of the 3 days both with 1000 points, so with 2503 points he was the winner.



The Summer competition at Malden Airport is an annual competition specially for them who want to gain points to participate in next years Nationals. Several National pilots fly as well , for fun as Malden is always a great place to be.Part of the Dutch Junior squad is participating too.
4 Of our juniors are flying in club class ; Jelmer, Rick ,Nick and Thijs. Robin , the junior vice world champion flew a few days as sniffer. He leaves soon for Pocuinai to fly in the 20 m. class.
The 4 “young ones” are doing a great job.
As I read in the Tulipe Bulletin [Juniors magazine] the first 3 days were weather-wise good with clouds after a low had passed . The next 2 days were hot [32.4 dgr C.] and blue,  but  those 3 days together “delivered” a total of 620 km. as tasks.
Even better the juniors occupied the first 3 daily spots on each of the days.
Day 3 had a 317 km. task and only the 3 juniors finished. 1000 points for Rick, 991 for both Thijs and Nick.
9 Out-landings in this class , some close as female pilot Doortje,  who just was 15 km. short.

THEN,…unfortunately 3 cancelled days. last hope was for flying on Saturday the last day, as it is not so nice to go home after 3 good days of flying and then 3 days ” sitting and waiting”, though with so many young pilots they always find another sport to do as you can see on the picture shared by Jan Paul.
There was hope for a day 4 on Saturday,a  small task was set 103 km. but it was in vain the day had to be cancelled.

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Playing soccer or “discussing the world” ,they call it nowadays ” chillen” .
Courtesy Jan Paul

Final results in club after 3 days;1. Nick Hanenburg  [1991] 2. Rick Boerma, [1970] 3. Thijs Bastiaanse [1895] As said all 3 are juniors!!
In open class 13 pilots flew 3 out of 7 days and on the best day they got 425 km. None of the pilots finished but they tried hard. The Kuijpers family sharing an ASW 20 cj flew 365 km. for 1000 points. Not enough to pass Edo Kwant who won day 2 and was runner up on day 1.
1. Edo with 2072 points, 2. Kuijpers fam. with 1985 and 3. Jan Willem van Doorn with 1906 points.


French Club class Nationals.

With 34 pilots , 1 from Belgium [Pieter Lievens], one from Switzerland [Davide Giovanelli] both flying HC and both juniors, a lot of young and “older” pilots participate in Buno-Bonneveaux .They started on July 23 and continue till July 30.
The weather was good , something not too normal nowadays and the pilots straight away could go for 337 km and it turned out a 1000 points day.Only 1 out-landing and a speed of 96 km./h as best time.
Even 411 km. for the Sunday…good!! Pretty long distance for a competition with St. Cirrus , several Pegases and ASW 19 and LS 4 and more types.
30 From 31 finished and the 1000 points were for glider with call sign L , a pegase.
On Monday the day was cancelled, but  yesterday a task from 218 km. was set and flown by ALL. An other Pegase won the day this time ED.


First QSGP in the USA .

Iona County Airport in Michigan is the venue for the first USA FAI QSGP.
16 Pilots in total and 5 from them are from Canada.
FAI president Eric Moser opened the race and will be there for the week as referee.
Day 1 was straight away won by Canadian pilot Jerzy Szemplinsky, we know him from many WGC’s ; 8 points.
More next week.


OLC flights.

Yesterday was one of those real Fuentemilanos days and all the guests, 38 were flying,  must have had a ball.The first 49 flights were nearly all from Fuente. Guy Bechtold from Luxembourg who flies there every year flew 1.229 km. in his Quintus M. [1000 km. FAI triangle] He gained a new goal he had set; a new European 1000 FAI  Record with an average speed of 137 km. [it was 120 km./h.] Well done Guy!!!
Congrats from Schempp-Hirth as well: ” Congratulations to Guy Bechtold for a phantastic European Record . The record for 1000km FAI triangle was at around 120 kph and Guy raised it to now 137 kph on his Quintus-M!”
A total of 19 over 1000km-flights among them flights in LS 9 and ASH 26. It’s being at the right time on the right place .
Also at other Spanish places , as Villacastin 2 x 1000 and Cuenca Sotos where my friends the Wiesenthals fly, flights from nearly 1000 [988 and 963 km.] km. It’s hot in Spain!!!!


Soaring related flights!

The Solar Impulse started it’s last leg to fly around the world, in Egypt to fly to Abu Dhabi. Bertrand Picard started his trip to show the world that so much more is possible with sun energy,  on March 9 2015 also from Abu Dhabi.
With wings full of solar cells , [17.000], feeding his engines, he completed his 35.000 km. flight last Monday .
It took the 2 pilots,  each flying legs in the solo cockpit one and a half year, including reparations [ 9 months] on the plane on Hawaii after the batteries were damaged.
Great effort!!!!One of the most difficult parts of the flight was the very last one as the heat over the desert caused heavy turbulence and thermals. The pilots had for that reason to fly much higher than they hoped for and as the air is thinner there , there was less air to cool the electronics as I read. But a bit of a challenge is not bad so on the end of the trip is what Picard said in the end.


Sad news …again!!!!
This is from the British team;
It is with a heavy heart that we report the very sad news that Kay Draper, a dear friend and member of the British team was killed in a gliding accident on Thursday 21st July.”
RIP Kay.

My good mate Tony Lentino died of cancer. He was the one who invited me in 2010/2011, to see his estate in New Zealand to check if it was a good place for soaring. It should be a spot like Tocumwal. He, and his then girl friend Emily,  showed me also around over most of the Nord- Island. It turned out an unforgettable trip with so much warmth, friendship and hospitality.
Not long after and then  happily married , with 2 little girls, he was diagnosed with cancer  … SO SAD!!!!
Got to know Tony in my Sportavia period. He was the one who gave me my soaring.eu- blog and one of his co-operators Phil had set it up !!! I hoped he would survive it, but he lost the battle…..he passed away this weekend. MUCH TOO YOUNG!!!!!!

As said TRAGIC!!!!!
RIP Tony!!!!

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Happy times in 2010/11 with Tony and Emily.

CU next week.

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