Grand Prix! Nationals !

Alphen aan den Rijn    January 6 2010

Great gliding the last couple of days for all  “overseas” pilots and local pilots.  Terry Bellair, who loves distance flying,  flew  a 650 and 761 km flight from Raywood in Victoria in Australia. Best flights in Corowa were all OVER 700 km and Tocumwal had with Terry Ryan also a 742 km flight and.. …..Jari [LS6] has arrived a REAL kilometer -eater !
Pokweni and Bitterwasser had over 700 as well. Great to see Didier is flying there now!
And…luckily the good weather returned to Gariep Dam yesterday , with some very nice flights, a few over 1000 and several over 900 km.

After 4 days of flying in the  3d World Sailplane Grand Prix  in Chile the “fight”  is between Sebastian  from Poland [31 points] and Mario from Germany [33 points]. But a lot can still happen, as there are a few days to go with , as they expect good weather  and Vidal [26], Thomas [25] and Uli [24] also still have a chance . The Opening Ceremony was yesterday as well, yes in the middle of the comps! You can read all the news on

The South African National Gliding Championships  suffer a bit from the weather and some pilots had to land in real muddy fields! Out of 10 days they flew , at this stage 6 , with in open class both Goudriaans on top in JS1 !!In 5 m. Douglas passed his dad with 37 points!

The 48th Australian Multi Class National  Championships have started in Waikirie. In standard class 20 pilots “fight” for the first prize.
In 15 meter, 15 pilots and it is great to see that Helge from Germany won the first day. He was the number 3 during the last EGC in standard class  , just loosing from the 2 Dutch boys. This time , I guess , Terry , Lisa and John will be his opponents.
In 18 m . 8 participants and in open class  9 . In  open class a Finnish pilot Eric Heinonen is number 1 on day 1 and Antti Lehto ,  a top pilot from Finland and a real nice guy, is in Waikirie as well. Great!!!! He flew many 1000 km flights and several EGC and WGC ‘s and is on top of that a great musician, playing in a band with his sons and those sons are even better in music!
Yesterday the day was cancelled for 3 classes and 15 m. was allowed to go  with Helge feeling the pressure of the Aussies ,m so he is 4 after 2 days with Terry, Lisa and John in front of him. I know Lisa is a great pilot but it is good to see she is doing so well!

A sad Sunday for the family of a 76 year old, as they say,  very experienced female pilot  crashing the Cessna she was flying, killing her and her 74 year old male passenger in Belgium. More luck for the passengers from an Air Berlin flight from Dortmund to the Grand Canarian Isles. The Boeing 737 was stopped by the pilot during start , when he saw that one of the instruments was not working. With the speed , the falling snow and snow on the runway the plane slipped off to the side of the runway. All 165 passengers and the crew from 6, left the plane with no harm done to them.

It is minus 12 in the night here and we are back to a white country but also with sunny conditions. The “11- towns- trip- on -ice -fever ” is getting higher but natural ice is still not strong enough due to the snow.
Cu with the results of the Grand Prix and the Nationals and other news next Sunday


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