Bitterwasser and Kiripotib, glider mecca’s for Flying with the Champion pilots. R.I.P David Wilson.

—–The 2 ,Flying with the Champions-weeks, are over now. Two 7-day courses  between November 4 and 17 are a pleasure/feast for champion and student. The last day was on Friday with around 500 k’s.
AND,…a very special day. Bitterwasser pilots against Kiripotib pilots.
The “champions” have their last day. And it is a special one! They compete with the other “Flying with the Champions” camp from Kiripotip!
So it is a real challenge! Normally you find these top class pilots on a World Gliding Championship – today you can find them racing the Namibian sky.”

The weather was mostly good and from less good days ,you might even learn more. On a day with 30 kts wind they do other things as looking at the specific animals in Africa.
So to see the weather was not as good as last season but still enough great flights!

Now other pilot’s take over the glider’s. From Finland Antti and Juha did some  “ 20m class crew training. Declared 755 km FAI triangle in blue. Later clouds.” They flew 1.015km.from Kiripotib.
So 1000km-flying continues in Bitterwasser, Kiripotob ,Pokweni and Veronica.

Ludwig, now had time to “work”  on his records again. He tried hard for a WORLD record on a 1000 km. FAI triangle, but,….
Today I tried it again, I missed the Speed World Record by 5 Minutes. At the last turnpoint I was at 180km/h average, 10 faster than the WR, but on the last leg the thermal was not good enough.
That was close , very close indeed but normally good for an Austrian record; 1.021 km. with a speed of 169.1 km./h.

As you can see on the picture from Antti the weather was good in Namibia;

As shared by Antti.

PR for Bitterwasser is not necessary they are BIG. But I would like however, to share this news from the Bitterwasser- site :
“Bitterwasser is a top spot! But it’s not only a place for top gun pilots. Here you can find conditions, every pilot is having fun with. If you want to fly your first ever 1000km or if you prefer a relaxed flight with some sight seeing – everyone is welcome.

If you want to step further to the next level of cross country flying, you should take a closer look on Flying with the Champions“.
Johann Posch from USA joins the camp this year. Yesterday he was flying with Wolfgang Janowitsch in an Arcus. You can see that he loved it. He is smiling all the time while talking about it. Posch has been flying for many years now but there is still something to learn. He already noticed some little things that are crucial to success. „The way Janowitsch sees the sky is very special. He is seeing things I didn’t focus on too much before. In the end of the day this is something that takes him faster, further and makes him more successful than others.

Wolfgang and Johann as shared on  

Also on you can find more news.


—–It’s mainly Africa and Australia I write about, but of course New Zealand belongs to the overseas destinations as well. So I copied and pasted for you from the Omarama Gazette as shared by GLIDE OMARAMA;
“Glider pilots from around the world have begun arriving in Omarama ahead of next week’s South Island Regional Glider Races.
The early arrivals are attending Jerry’s Mountain Soaring Course, named for glider pilot Jerry O’Neill, hosted by Glide Omarama, in preparation for the tasks and challenges to be set for the races next week.
South Island Regional Glider Races spokesperson Daniel McCormack said about 30 pilots using 25 gliders had registered for next week’s event and about ten of those were attending this week’s course.
Glider pilots were coming from as far afield as Europe, the United Kingdom and Alaska for the races.
The field will include last year’s winner and US champion Keith Essex, and Australian champion Tom Claffey. 
As well, members of Youth Glide, including Omarama’s Sam Patterson, will be competing, with instructors.
Renowned top level New Zealand glider pilot Justin Wills is to head up the coaching program.
Predictions were for warm, settled weather.”


As shared by GLIDE OMARAMA.

After Kerrie and Tom arrived from Australia , they ran into Keith who is there already for a while ;”discussion turned to flat land flying – the man who’s done 30+ flights over 1000k says “flat land is really hard, you don’t know where to find the next thermal!”
Poor Dutchies we ALWAYS have to cope with flat land, maybe that’s why we have such good pilots here,… ha ha.

Kerrie made a flight with Justin Wills.
Here is her report and some fabulous pictures;
“SI Regionals practice day – had the huge opportunity to fly with Justin Wills – this country still absolutely awesome and absolutely terrifying! So “fly” meant flying on the few occasions we got above the scenery & turning into a blithering passenger when we were down amongst it – the fact that I was with one of the best pilots in the world who’s lived & flown here for 30 years didn’t stop me squirming into the furthest corner of the cockpit away from the hard bits!”

Justin still going strong!!!


Thanks Kerrie for sharing.


The South Island Championships [November 19- November 25] of course from Omarama, started with a rather good day. 2 Classes with 15 pilots in open and 12 in the racing class.
Keith Essex [ASG 29]  won day 1 in open , so 1000 points for him. 11 Finished Patrick [Driessen] was one of the “out- landers”.[98 points]. Tom in the ASH 25 was on spot 6 .
8 From 13 flying, finished but still a 1000 points day.
Frank Saxton in the Discus  B won the first 1000 points in 15 m. class.
Day 2 was cancelled.
And flying day 2 was won again by Keith a 3 hour AAT ; 348 km. in time 3.16.
In racing class only 6 finishers and the winner from day 1 was unfortunately  “out” after 87 km. The daily winner Alex Boyes in the LS 8, flew 239 km in time 3.02 ; 900 points.
AND then,… mail box and mobile are full of news this early morning and normally that’s not a good sign.

The main message :
We regret to inform members of The Gliding Federation of Australia that on Tuesday 21 November 2017, we lost one of our members in an accident near Lake Hawae in the Wanaka region of NZ.  The deceased member is Mr David Wilson, an experienced and well known Victorian glider pilot. He was participating in the NZ South Island Regional Competition, operating from Omarama NZ in an 18m Discus 2.  We understand he collided with terrain on a ridge on the Hunter Range late afternoon.

The accident is being investigated by NZ Police, Coronial authorities and NZ Civil Aviation Authority.  GFA assistance is being offered as required through Gliding NZ. Members will appreciate that more investigations are required before firm conclusions can be drawn.

Our thoughts and condolences are with David’s wife Judy, his family and his many gliding friends.

Peter Cesco
GFA President

I guess EVERYBODY who has been at Benalla knows David!!! He was one of the nicest, kindest pilots from Benalla. You HAD to like him. Very experienced and in my eyes more or less the face of Benalla.I am very sad.
RIP David.

—–The Gliders for Gariep Gliding arrived as well on November 17 and the containers were emptied straight away, ready to go flying, as the season was ON already.


 As shared on their site.

and a less good windy day “Some weather moving in but our flags are flying high....”
As shared by Gariep Gliding


—–The Gliding Federation of Australia shared the next message. Still an opportunity for European friends to go to good old HORSHAM GRAND PRIX ;

“The Australian leg of the World Sailplane Grand Prix, coming to Horsham 22- 28 January 2018, promises to be a great event. With just 10 places remaining, now is your chance to take part in some truly exciting competition.

The contest will be held over seven days, allowing pilots the opportunity to compete in different conditions. The start adds to the excitement as all of the competitors stream through the 5km start together and takes place around a closed course of 200 – 400km during the strongest part of the day. The races last about two to three hours depending on the weather conditions in the race area.

The location is over a wheat-growing region near the Grampians National Park, ideal for high-speed finishes. Most paddocks in the area are suitable for safe outlandings.

All interested pilots need to register online at

So far, Horsham Flying Club has received enquiries from pilots in South Africa and Italy, and expects more in the coming weeks. Apply today!

Arnold Niewand 0429857275
Contest Chairman

AND…..The 52nd edition of the Horsham Week Gliding Competition will be held at the Horsham aerodrome from 3rd to 10th of February 2018 and will run in conjunction with the VSA State Gliding Championships.

Horsham Week registrations are now open, enter via an on-line entry form:


More information can be found on the recently  refurbished competition web page:

—– News from the next WWGC;
Following requests from competitors and Team Captains from the WWGC championships earlier this year, the dates for WWGC 2019 /2020, are being amended.The new dates are
29 – 31 December 2019  Unofficial Training
1 – 3 January  Official Training
3 January  Opening Ceremony
4 – 17 January  Competition (13 days)
17 January  Final Party
18 January  Closing Ceremony

Just to let you know!!


—–After some up-to-750-km. flight in Narromine the weather changed and according to William they had “a good drop”. Rain, heavy thunderstorms and hail caused flooded roads but also a great picture shared by William.
By the way the annual NARROMINE CUP has started with good weather and flights up to over 600 km.  in a Discus 2B. I counted   20 pilots who entered their flight on the OLC. One 300 km. gold goal-flight was already achieved too, by Tony Carling in the ASW 28/18m..

On the border of Narromine Airport.


—–WOW,…the future looks bright for AIRBUS.  Looking at the Financial news , the European manufacturer AIRBUS has announced his biggest order ever,  at the Dubai airshow. Investors from the USA ,Indigo Partners, has ordered 430 planes. That order means 50 milliard dollar or 42 milliard Euro.
The types A320neo en A321neo have been ordered for several price fighters, they represent. They are for short to middle distances.
One of them is Wizz Air from Hungar .they get 146 new planes. I might see them more often then,  as they fly from Eindhoven Airport and fly straight “over my head”.

Also Boeing got a big order at this Airshow; “FlyDubai from the United Arab Emirates wants 175 aircraft from the 737-series and has also taken an option on another fifty of those aircraft. This involves a total amount of 27 billion dollars. The Boeing 737 is also intended for short to medium distances.”


—-After the happiness for the YES-vote for marriage equality [ now it is up to the Parliament to make their move fast;  clearing the way for legalization will make a lot happy] , there was more happiness Down Under.
The Socceroos, talking soccer now of course ,placed their selves for the World Championship in Russia. That’s better , much better than the Dutch and Italian team ,who should have been there looking at their past , but they are just not good enough anymore. Time to work on a new generation and here in Holland that should not be a too big problem. Pretty sad though for many here in Holland and even more in Italy.

You are up to date for this week  My blog was ready to go but then this morning I had to add  the bad news.So I need a break as scores and all other interesting results are less not important anymore today.
CU next week.
Cheers Ritz

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