Post 984…with cold Easter soaring at Nitra…SGP at Magalies…great flights here on Easter-Monday and yesterday in the Alps!

With temperatures here in The Netherlands LOWER than with last Christmas [11.7 dgr. C] , it was not the best Easter weekend we could wish; 10.8 dgr.C. In between rain however, there were lovely spells of sunshine and great clouds.
Still nearly ONE million visitors choose our country as their Easter- holiday -destination.
I had a lovely Easter time with my daughter and grand children , we even did some packing ;more full boxes for my removal.
Easter-Monday was still cold here, 10.3 dgr. C , with wet snow and hail showers, but also lovely, heavenly Easter clouds!!!!!
So,…some nice flights!! One of the Dutch pilots , Alexander Venema, called the circumstances “awesome and explosive“!!
When I looked at the OLC in the evening this cold air was super for our pilots.Lot’s of top flights by many Dutch pilots, a total of 89 happy chappies!!World wide 509.
Mark Leeuwenburgh flew from Soesterberg in his ASG 29E/18m.  a distance of 712 km.!!Alfred Paul Alfers 714 in the same glider! Runner up at the JWGC in Narromine Robin Smit flew in the St Cirrus 508 km. And more flights between 500 and 700 km. Great cool but very clear day, I read.
Also our Belgian mates had a good day with over 550 km. flights from the Keiheuvel. Pieter Daems flew 553 km. in the Discus 2 and one leg was 183 km.
A lot of Keiheuvel top-pilots fly in Nitra, but still good flights from those who stayed home.


Alexander between showers and clouds.
As shared by him.

SHOWERS as seen and shared by Patrick .

Also France, Germany ,Belgium and Italy had nice long flights.
AND,…the Perlan Project guy’s, Dennis and Morgan,  flew on this Easter Monday in their ARCUS J 1.594 km.from Inyokern.


The Pribina Cup at Nitra.

As shared by Jeppe.

As every year , with the Easter holiday, lot’s of  pilots travel to Slovakia to find out if they can win in each of the 4 classes from  the Pribina Cup; 25 pilots fly in the 2 seater class, 39 in 15 m. ,32 in open and 55 in club class.
A total of 151 participants , a huge responsibility for the organizers,but they are used to it and Vladimir and his team ready for this annual event.
In the end 134 pilots showed up, 45 in club, 33 in 15m. 25 in the 2 seater class and 31 good amount, in open.

I am LOOKING FORWARD TO THE PICTURES FROM ELFO!!!! All pictures at their site under photos.

Briefing day 1 by ELFO.

Day 1 on 14-04 with task 1;
They flew in all 4 classes but the day was not a valid day in 2 of them.
Club had a 143 km. task and 6 pilots managed to fly the task. A pity that it turned out an invalid day!!! 78 Points for winner Per Carlin from Sweden and the other 6 did well under the circumstances with a speed between 50 and 63 km./h. That’s “fighting” for points. Good on them.
15 m: they got 172 km to fly and 2 of them finished but a lot flew over 100 km. Even 20 of them flew between 140 km. and 171,69 km. so nearly HOME!!!! So sad!!!But at least they had a valid day and winner Bjorn Gintzel from Germany got 441 points. The other finisher, Withold Czarnik from Poland got 431 points. 2 Pilots did not fly so 30 outlandings!!!
2 seater pilots had to go for 174 km. and 4 of them managed to finish. Teams from Germany[ Schulz/Naegel] , Austria [with Wolfgang ], Finland [ with Visa-Mattie] and Italy[with Aldo]
7 Choose not to fly that day and 14 did not finish.
open class got 188 km and with one finisher, Danish pilot Henning Nielsen this turned out to be a not valid day. 11 Pilots did not  start. Nevertheless a great achievement from Henning who flew with a speed of 53 km./h. around in his Ventus 2C/18m.
7 ARCUS gliders in the top 7.

The organizer’s wrap up from day 1:
 The first day of the competition is over and it was not an easy one. Registration went smoothly and 135 pilots decided to compete in PribinaCup 2017. After the opening briefing where Vladimir hearty welcomed all the pilots and family members and went through the important organisation things, the tasks were set. Short racing tasks for all classes. The weather situation was quite complicated due to the humid air mass that was influencing our area. Low cloud bases, weak thermals and thick cloud cover coming from the west disabling the thermal activity caused that many pilots had to land. Some, with the competition thrill, decided to take a second launch. Unfortunately, there were just few pilots that were able to complete the task. /My respect to them :)/ Despite the beginning of the competition was not the best one, we hope for the better end.”

Picture courtesy ELFO.

Day 2 on 15-04; was easy,….just cancelled!Only the organizer’s wrap up;
Although we woke up into a cloudy morning we started to getting ready for another flying day. There were not one but two briefings today. On the second one at 11:30 it has been announced that tasks are cancelled for all classes because of bad weather situation. Unfortunately the cloud layer above us was so thick that it was not possible to compete. Some pilots decided to do some not-competition flights but most of them decided to spend their free time outside of the airfiled. The weather forecast is still looking very complicated for next few days.”

Picture courtesy ELFO.

Day 3 on 16-04; task 2 was set for all class AND there were scores for ALL classes. So a happy Easter for most.
Club; got 212 km. and only 6 pilots did not finish on this first valid day for them.Best speed by Czech pilot Jan Pavlik in the St Cirrus with 96.53 km./h.So well deserved first 654 points for him.
Swedish pilot Gunnar Axelsson had 634 as runner up in a St. Cirrus as well.
15 m; 244.29 km was set for them. 4 Of my Belgium  mates fly in this class and they did well flying together and finishing as number 2 [Jeroen Jennen] -3 [Dennis Huybreckx] -and 4 [Jef Kell] behind daily winner Czech pilot David Mach in his LS 8.The 4th Belgium pilot [Tim Huybreckx] unfortunately must have missed the “Belgium connection” and landed  after 36 km.
Lot’s of LS 8 and Discus- types in this class.
2 seater class; 252 km. so better weather expectations with such a set task. That turned out correct as there were only 4 outlandings one of them by the German winners from Day 1  and one by team Italy with Aldo 4th on day 1 and then one of the 4 finishers.
Winners; from Germany [Thilo Scheffler/Serena Trieber] with 102 km./h……787 points.
Wofgang and his mate had  13 points less and more Belgium mates Wim [Akkermans] and his mate only had ONE point less than Wolfgang so spot 3 for the day.
Open class; 301 km. for them and another Belgium mate Bert [Schmelzer jr.] with a 3d spot and 968 points behind Austrian pilot Heimo [Demmerer 970]and Swiss pilot Rainer Crohnjaeger in his ASH 31 /21 m .[994] 6 Outlandings.

The organizers wrap up from day 3;
Finally this was the racing! The day started not very optimistic. We woke up into quite cloudy morning with the sky covered with thick layer of frontal clouds. Wind was so strong and cold that everyone here had to dress up in the warmest clothes including caps and gloves. We started launching at 12pm into a nice, full of cumulus developed sky. Later during the starts some rainshowers appeared near the airfield and some pilots got really into troubles to reach some height. Few of them had to take their second launch. Although there were many of local rainshowers practically the whole afternoon thermals during the day were strong enough and cloudbase reached above 2000m qnh. Now we can say it was a successful competition day!”



Not yet summer
Courtesy ELFO.

Day 4 on 17-04;
Task 3 for all classes ; 2 hour AAT’s .Just after 1 o’clock the message was ;
The weather still looks very promising. There are a lot of beautiful cumulus clouds above us and no outlanding have been reported yet. Therefore we expect many gliders on final glide just in 30 minutes.”
Club; The Czech pilots did well this day on spot 2-3-4 in ASW 15 and St Cirrus ,but the winner was Polish pilot Wojciech Wojtaczka in his Jantar 2.Only 3 outlandings!!
15 m:a great day for the Belgium pilots. Cousins Jeroen and Dennis were daily winner and runner up and behind them some very good German pilots ,Alexander [Spaeth] , Simon [Schroeder]and Karsten [Leucker] Only 2 out landings so a great day for all.
2-seaters; ah, 3 ARCUS gliders now….. one with the owner of Schempp-Hirth Tilo Holighaus] on spot 3. Wolfgang and Christoph [Koch]  won and Thilo [Scheffler] and Serena  were runner up.
open; Czech pilot Roman [Mracek ASG 29/18m.] had his day and his first ‘win’. In 2 hours he flew 252.50  km. in time 2.05 !!! So 121 km./h. Former WGC champion Bert jr. was runner up and after 2 days on spot 1.
31 Went UP, 30 finished!!

The organizers wrap up from day 4.
Today we woke up into the sunny morning with clear blue sky. The meteorological forecast however did not seemed that much optimistic while the through of low pressure area with cloudiness and rain was coming from Czech Republic. We expected a short flyable window that would allow us to fly short tasks. Therefore the first launched was comfirmed to 11:00 so we use the time till the rain is here. AATs for all classes for 2 hours. Starts went on smoothly, took just 1 hour and all gliders were in the air. The weather at that moment looked great, there were many cumulus clouds and gliders were circuling above our heads without any major problems. When we heard first 10 k on the radio and saw first gliders on final the weather still seemed very good for flying. This day was a big surprise for all of us and most of the pilots were able to complete the task. The cloud bases reached up to 1700m above ground with lifts 3-4m/s. The speed reached were more than 120 km/h. I believe pilots enjoyed their flights and had a great race today. We hope for more surpises like this one. ”

courtesy ELFO.

Day 5 on 18-04;Grid-orders were handed out but…the morning news from the organizers was;
Today we are positioned in the middle of low pressure area. Frontal systems are circling around us. At the moment its cold outside and the sky covered with clouds. However the cloudiness should slowly dissolve by raising temperature. We hope for getting a flyable window in this eye of low pressure that allow us to fly today.”
So waiting is a good virtue and from the past I know that WHEN soaring is possible they fly there even when only a few pilots finish.

AND,….yes they flew all of them a 2 hour AAT and a valid day for all classes. Even the organizers were surprised by the weather.
Club;Swedish pilot Gunnar Axelsson , in his St Cirrus, was the best with 212 km. in 2.20 so a speed of 90.64 km./h. Czech Pilot Michal Lesinger  in ASW 19, was runner up with 201.32 km. in time 2:12:15 [91.33 km/h.]Then 2 German pilots.
15 m.;A super-day for our Czech friends Radek, Jan and David on spot 1-2-and 3.Our Belgian friends/cousins were on spot 5 and 6
2-seaters; Thilo and Serena are doing well ,very well they won another day and their ARCUS brought them over 232.64 km. in time 2.00,5 so AT THE DOT!!! That is “some kind of art”  as well.
The first 5 places were for Germany then Wolfgang for Austria and then at 7 a Finnish team and at 8 Tilo for Germany again.
open: Except for 2 all 31 open class pilots finished. Best distance was 251.53 km. in time 2:03:23, so a nice speed of 122.32 km/h. in the JS 1/21 m. for one of the Polish pilots Lucasz Wojcik. Bostjan Pristavec in the EB 28 Edition was runner up [235.99 km. in 1:58:19]

The organizer’s wrap up from day 5;
During the night cold front passed our area and there was plenty of clouds covering the sky in the morning. It was cold outside also with some rainshowers. We were positioned in the middle of low pressure area and frontal systems were circling around us. Despite that there was a chance that clouds would dissolve as the temperature will raise. During the briefing, AATs with task time 2 hours were set but not many people believed today will be a competition day. First launch was planned for 12:30. We were all waiting what the weather will do. Shortly before first planned start the sun appeared and Cu clouds developed. However strong northwestern wind was blowing and the situation still looked very complicated. Launching procedure was a bit hectic and it needed to be paused because many club gliders were circling low above the airfield and we wanted to avoid dangerous situations. We waited about 15 minutes till the thermal activity improved. Soon after starts sky cleared out a little bit and thermals were active. Race started. According to pilots the flight was not easy, the altitude band was from 400 to 1000m QNH while the cloud bases were max. 1300 QNH. Local rainshower complicated the whole situation as well. The wind was strong, thermals were turbulent but most of the pilots were able to complete the task. Respect to all of you and thank you for a great cooperation! You were amazing!

courtesy ELFO.

TODAY is cancelled.
Due to an occluding frontal system influencing the weather in our area there are no tasks today and no briefing as well. We expect some rain during the day and strong wind blowing from north-west direction.”
So gliders at the ground not in the air.



Trophy and Medals to fly for!
As shared by the organizers.

With 8 participants they started from Magalies the airport from Orient for this 3d 2017 competition from series 8 !!
As said before Orient is situated approximately 50 km west-northwest of central Johannesburg and 65 km southwest of central Pretoria.
ALL JS 1’s here, but several different types.
On the practice day on Easter-Saturday, John Coutts [N.Z. ] was the best in his JS 1 -EVO over the 189 km., so somebody to really take care off.
On Easter Sunday the real race started ;
Race 1. 276 km. was set and John was still in the mood and with a speed of 120 km./h. he raced over the track and received the 8 max points for the day, followed by Oscar [Goudriaan JS 1] with 6, Marcus [Nouwens JS1-EVO TJ] with 5 and Laurens [Goudriaan JS1] with 4 points.

Oscar, John and Marcus as shared by the organizers.

Race 2.
224 km. was set and the regatta start at 13.36!!
This time Laurens was the fastest [ 123.6 km./h.] but only JUST as ‘ little” brother Oscar was a tad slower 123.2 km./h. as well as Marcus with 123.1 km./h.
Must have been a great moment to see those 3 finish,…fast and “furious”!!! And the rest was not much later; John had 122.9 km./h. and Uli [Schwenk JS 1 EVO TJ] ….Sven [Olivier] 122.2 km. and Ronny Erikkson from Sweden 118.9km./h.
One gaggle/bunch of white good-looking JS 1 “birds”.
After 2 races brothers Laurens and Oscar  and John, share the best points; 13 !!!

With Oscar, Laurens and Marcus from l. to r.

Race 3.
With 283.17 km. another day for Laurens who is in the winning mood…125 km./h.. 9 Points for him 7 for Marcus and 6 for Oscar. Good day for Sven , Ronny and Rob [Tiffin] , less good day for John and Uli….1 point for a speed of 106.2 km./h.

This time from l. to r. Marcus, Laurens and Oscar.

Race 4. Has a distance of 256 km. more later.

After 3 races; 1. Laurens with 22 points. 2. Oscar with 19 and 3. Marcus with 18.


This cold, clean and clear air is SO good for soaring. Yesterday was another TOP day. Several flights from over 1000 km.
Lienz Nikolsdorf in Austria; 1.206,9 km. in an ARCUS M and with lift never ever experienced before by young pilots Tobias and Marcel from Germany.Max and Olivier flew over the Alps there as well ;1.165 km. First 1000, so extra special.
Locarno in Switzerland; young Davide flew in his St Cirrus 985 km. “crazy circumstances”.
Puimoisson in France; 2 more young German pilots with former coach Uli Gmelin all over 1000 km.
Sondrio in Italy; 1.070 in the Ventus C and the Oerlinghausen club flies there always in spring in the past with Ingo Renner.
Lasham in the UK;  had some top flights…918 in the ARCUS T by Andy and Garry, Roy flew 823 in his ASG 29 and what about David Masson in the LS 6 WL with 744 km.
Great day out in the mountains!!
Have a look at the OLC on ;

One more week of writing then I really have to pack and move, so most probably no news till half of June.
Sorry CU you then, or in between with ad hoc news, when I have internet AND time!!!
Off to Amsterdam now, by the way we had up to 8 dgr. MINUS last night. Not good for the cherry – and other fruit trees.
Cheers Ritz

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