Alphen aan den Rijn Sunday January 10 firstname.lastname@example.org
Gosh, this winter is really getting annoying for everybody who suffers from it here in Europe. The UK has the worst snow since 30 years and all traffic by car , train bus or plane gives difficulties, from delay till “not-going-at-all”! Heathrow was closed on Wednesday evening and Thursday morning.
Here around Amsterdam we had on Wednesday evening 180 km of traffic-jam ONLY around Amsterdam. A trip from normally ONE hour took SEVEN hours now. Worse of course are all the people killed in avalanches and car accidents and even more sad the great amount of homeless and elderly people just dying! from the cold. It is “horror” all over [parts of ]Europe!
Today we suffer ” horizontal ” snowstorms with wind up to 7 BFT at the coast and a ” feeling-temperature ” of minus 15 [windchill factor]!! We are not really used to these extremes!
Still fun enough however for the marathon skaters and tour-skaters; there is a run on the “set tasks “on lakes and frozen canals and thousands of Dutchies are skating today and yesterday, whatever weather, not important for them!
Pilots in Africa, Australia and South America do not have problems with cold or snow. Some however SUFFER ….from the heat! 43 dgr. again!
Good old Klaus Ohlman flew a nearly 2000 km flight from Chapelco in Argentina and after so many long flights you would think this is all normal for him, but no this one was a special one again in the Nimbus 4DM, as he claims;” A super thrilling flight most in blue, with a speed of 139 km/h.” More great flights in Argentina last couple of days! As well as in the other soaring “heavens”!
I was most impressed with Ib from Denmark. While flying in the past in Tocumwal , he was not so much “in” for long distance flights but much more for new records. Yesterday he flew a great set triangle over 1000 km from Corowa, which is a new Danish record  with 122 km/h in the ASG 29. Ole , always with him, flew a great 1000 km flight as well. Yesterday was a SUPER day again for Corowa, so they arrived on the right time ! But….in the end Joergen flew the Danish record , but Ib still has 2 and…maybe another day to improve!!!
15 x 1000km flights from Corowa that just feels good , I remember how good and as owner it really makes you happy as well, as well as you feel sad , when the weather is not too good!!!!And ….it IS good for the statistics as well and ……today the briefing at Corowa is half an hour earlier, [at 9 AM] so what can we expect today!!
VERY impressive flight from another Sportavia guest in the past; Peter Raphael , a real vintage-glider-fan flew a set 200 km task [340 in total with a speed of 57.41 km/h] with a few more kilometers added, in his Maupin Woodstock 11.9. Great effort and flown from Raywood [West to Tocumwal and Corowa].
Another very nice flight was from Arney Hartley in his ASW 20 from Narromine. Arney, husband from well-known Beryll, runs a shop at the airport and has not too much time to fly. He must have looked at the sky, must have thought, wow with this weather you have to fly, hopped in the glider rather late , just before 3 PM , with no ideas and no water and flew 524 km. in just over 5 hours! Another great effort and great fun!
If Corowa has great weather Tocumwal has the same, so Terry flew a good 976 km flight in the ASH 26 and Jari must have had SUPER fun in his LS 6, but his [Zander] logger is built in and difficult to quickly read. You really have to go to the glider with a laptop to download. BUT….he flew an FAI triangle, 1029 km. SUPER EFFORT!!! Cloud base was 12.000 ft. and temperature 40 dgr. in Tocumwal.
Day 5 in Chile was SUPER for Sebastian and a bit less for Super Mario, who won in Holland , years ago, the very first JWGC. Great young pilot! But as always we have good ,better , best and Sebastian belongs in the category “best”. On day 5 he won and added 10 points to his total, so being on top with 41 points. Mario unfortunately outlanded maybe being to “eager”.
Day 6 made Mario for sure more careful and he got 2 points while Sebastian received 8. After 7 days Sebastian had 59 points, while Carlos from Chile was 2d  and good old Uli Schwenk slowly reached 3d place  together with Thomas Gostner from Italy.If I remember well Uli won the GP before! Mario is 5th now.
On day 8 the last day of this GRAND PRIX FINAL , the definite places were set by the best pilots from this group of very best pilots in the world at this time over a task of 171 km..Mario fought back with a 2d place on day 8 and Tilo was 3d but Sebastian was ONE again.
Final result of the GRAND PRIX FINAL;
GREAT winner Sebastian Kawa[Poland], who loved flying the Andes and was sad to leave.
Runner up Carlos Rocca [Chile] who was happy “using his experience ” to fly this 3d competition of the GP so well and put Chile on the map. He is ready now to go to Argentina to fly there next week the South American Championships.
Super Mario Kiesling[Germany] deserves the 3d place SO much. What a great pilot he is! He just got one more point to beat his mate Uli.
The South African Nationals are over and 7 out of 12 days were flyable but still with difficult weather. Dad Dick Bradley passed his son Douglas on the last day again in 15 m. class , as he won [1000 points] and Douglas outlanded.[405 points]
Changes also in the open class where Oscar won, but Laurens lost his runner up place to Herbert Martin, organizer from the Luesse WGC. All classes had an AAT in 2.30 and the difference in points on the last day between Oscar and Laurens was 248 points, making Laurens 3d overall.
The Australian Nationals will have today 43 dgr. as I heard and it is VERY dry there. And what happened!? With one cancelled day the pilots flew 5 days now and WHAT days! In standard class Peter Temple won the last 2 days with speed of 148 km/h . over 468 km and today 165 km/h over 416 km. WOW what speed!!!!
In 15 m. where the pilots flew 6 days , speed was 159 km/h. over 492 km. the best speed today.
In 18 m. class Lars Zehnder flew today 168 km/h. over 471 km.
In open class good friend Gerrit Kurstjens won today with 161km/h. over 556 km.
Don’t forget this is happening during the National Competition!!!
Unhandicapped Bruce Taylor flew yesterday 170 km/h. and Lars today 177 km/h.!!!!!Cloud base was even higher up to 14.000 ft. and high clouds were everywhere, I hear it looked spectecular.
The comps are till January 14, so more to expect! I am very pleased Antti has during his OZ visit this super weather, high , dry and fast!
The January 2010 Gliding International is out with again, some very interesting items, as airbags for sailplanes, new world distance record, hide-away propellers for sailplanes and a ” Pagonia-gliderpilots dream “. As personality you will meet -Fred Weinholz- , you are updated with the progress made by Bob Ward in building his own tug, the Finnish PIK 27 TUG KIT , the European Glider pilot licensing [ anxious to find out what will happen there and if they get all European noses in one direction!] and Ritz, Reports on Her Scene, the new title John gave to my blog!
Great to see the awesome enthusiasm of pilots with this SUPER weather!As said it even makes me feel happy!!!
Last but not least; Kim Clijsters won in Brisbane from Justin Henin, both from Belgium, both back from retirement. We are talking tennis now! Kim donated her 25.000 Euro she just won, to the Brisbane Children Hospital, she visited the week before!
Cu next week, cheers Ritz