Still very hot weather in Australia !Still very cold in Europe!

Alphen aan den Rijn      Wednesday January 13

While people in colourful clothes are skating  on the canal in front of my house, I only walk on boots with heavy profile to do my shopping and go by train to Amsterdam.
In the UK already 26 people died  in one of the coldest and snow-rich winters and about 100 drivers got finally help at the A 20 highway in Germany after having been trapped for hours!!!! Lyon airport closed for all traffic having the care of finding a bed for hundreds of people . Poland lost 120 people till now! Terrible!It IS winter in Europe !Even the beach in Spain is WHITE !!!
On the other site of the world , yes down under , some problems as well, as I heard that some people on Monday morning were waiting in vain for the train, like we do here . No no , no frozen points over there ,but MELTED!!!! Only in Melbourne 70 people were brought to hospital for dehydration , fainting and  burns!!!! One extreme to the other!

Last Sunday after I finished the blog,  2 more 1000 km flights were put on the OLC , one from Narromine,  by Czech top pilot Tomas Suchanek and one from Temora by Ian de Ferranti.
998 km.was flown from Corowa in a discus 2T ….what can you say!
Unfortunately one of the pilots flying the Nationals in Waikirie damaged his glider badly that day , no way he could continue and….lucky he was not injured!
It is good to see another top pilot, now from Germany, Werner Meuser, flying in Australia this time in Tocumwal with the club, in the glider XX [discus] from Ingo Renner. Good to see several top pilots in Australia!
And…the Danish pilots are flying Danish record after record! Great use of the day as I heard the weather is still good, but with a later start. So 300 and 500 speed records are great for such days!

The guests in Corowa from the Victorian Gliding Club, flying there for a week, had an awesome first day! Roger Druce sold his Janus double seater to Tocumwal and he flew a duo discus last Sunday with the comment;”What a great flight” ….897 km with a speed of 114.4 km/h.!!! He flew many flights in the past , also with Pepe , specially the Horsham week and though he has a” handicap “, he is a great pilot and a “bonzer bloke”! Well done Rodger!

The Australian Nationals  lost 2 more  days one with 43 dgr. a 50 knot wind and the expectation of thunderstorms, but no worries , after the really speedy tasks and the very hot weather on the ground,  it is good to have a day of leisure.
I was impressed with the comment of David Pietsch after the accident , where a pilot flew through the trees breaking both wings of his glider etc.., claiming very bravely,  ” he was distracted , became overloaded and ran out of options.”
  I have n’t seen David for ages but I know he is a very knowledgable pilot . As I told you the pilot was unharmed but the comment might help you, to think about this as well as  this was the 5th landing accident at consecutive competitions. He talked about hypoxia and the fact that on a hot day the density altitude means, you need oxygen at lower levels and that this effect persists even at lower levels! Keep it in mind, to fly safe! [source; Mandy Wilson author of the comps news]
 Normally I do not write too much about accidents, as tou know, but I thought this might help ALL pilots.
Talking about the OZ Nationals; it really is thrilling over there, with one day to go!!
With 6 out of 9 days in standard class Michael Durant is still number one with WGC pilot Peter Temple as runner up.
In 15 m. class John Buchanan won a lot of points when he flew a 3 hour AAT yesterday in exact 3 hours covering 326 km with a speed of 108 km/h. Concurrent Helge had 140 points less ,Lisa 200 and Terry 240!!!
In 18 m. class Lars lost a few points and his first place ,to Bruce who took over spot 1 overall, with still ONLY 19 points!!!
 Impressed with the great flying of friend Tony! Was a few times 2d and now 3d overall!!!!
In open class a big “fight” between Finnish pilot Eric Heinonen , number 1 from day 1 on , but NOW number 2 behind David Jansen, who flew that great 1000 km in Queensland and is “hot” this year and ….who is ahead with ONE point now,  with one day to go!!Another good friend Gerrit,  is 3d and maybe this was his last competition in  the Nimbus 4T  as he and Pam have an Antares on order!

Talking about Antares, I was wondering last if Bruce Cooper  flying in the Antares , was the Bruce I know and….yes he is! Just got a mail from him. He is on his way from Lago Nahuel in Argentina to Omara in NZ now,  but will share with us some news about his great flights in the Antares and Nimbus 4DM. So wait and see! What a great life by the way!
On December 1 he flew in the wave  1.471 km. in a Nimbus 4 DM.
On December 28 he flew same place , same glider; 1.654 km.
On January 1 he flew, same place ,  different glider the Antares this time, a  1.217 km flight on January 8 another Antares flight with 1.469 km on the clock. Impressive! In total he made 20 flights in Argentina. Looking forward to his stories!

From Tocumwal I received  the first weekly  Southern Riverina Gliding Club News  by e mail from Kim. Good initiative! Interesting to see and read that good old Ingo flew his Kookaburra last Sunday from Toc to Urana via Jerilderie back home; 4 hours and 50 minutes over 235 km with a height of  12.500 ft,, making this flight the longest ever in the Kookaburra! On Monday Dundee was the happy chappie, as he was invited to come with Ingo in the Kookaburra flying up and down to Deni[liquin] and reaching a cloud base of 13.500 ft. 
While Ingo flew Kookaburra , top pilot Werner Meuser,  who I met at several EGC and WGC ‘ s in the world, flew the discus XX from Ingo and Judy and “made” in 6 days 3800 km.
Dundees good friend from Germany , Wolly, has arrived on the right time in Tocumwal to fly the ASW 15. Good to see that both the club and commercial centre in Tocumwal are busy enough! And fantastic to see young Jake , still 14, practising in the powerplane, he will be a great pilot in the future! Was already hanging around at the field when he was 4 years old!!!
 And today was the check flight from the famous ASW 17 from Dick Butler bought by my ex George. Mike Burns and Ingo did a lot of work to get the OZ paperwork done!

That’s it cu you on Sunday January 17!
Thanks Peter for your nice comment on your flight in the vintage plane. Great to hear that the Bendigo Gliding Club is going so well. Kilometer eater Terry Bellair flies there as well!
Cheers Ritz

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