After-summer,pre-summer !

Alphen aan den Rijn     Wednesday February 10

As I told you the after-summer in Australia can be very good.  It was proved by several pilots last Monday ,though we all know that the days in this period of time, normally start later and are shorter!
Pepe the well deserved FAI-OLC  winner for AUSTRALIA, managed to fly that day a nice big task from Corowa to the SW and NW making 802 km. adding some points to his “title” , while yesterday 8 pilots flew between 700 and 800 km.
On top of that Pepe was today one of the flying pilots to bring Corowa to a new milestone ; all pilots flew together 500.080.29 kilometer in this successful Corowa-season . Great achievement again !.

In both Szeged and Prievidza  organisers are very busy with the preparations for the WGC. 87 Pilots have preliminary entered already  for Hungary and I see BIG names!!!
In Slovenia I noticed 90 pilots on the list with  more or less defenite , 27 pilots in club, 29 in standard and 9 in World class. BIG names here as well. They will be great comps in both countries! Looking forward to it!

In the French mountains  top pilot Gerard Lherm made a nice flight from St Martin de Londres, claiming that , though he lost 2 hours in the Ganges area, he really enjoyed this early European flight in the Ventus b/15m. of 519 km.

From February 8 onwards  pilots here could enter to fly in  the Dutch Nationals at the Military Base of Twente. Within 24 hours 21 pilots did so on line! Pilots can still do so till April 1 2010.The organisers are very busy with presse-releases,talking to different parties who are involved, having the site ready and what’s more to do.
I noticed that the current European champion Rene de Dreu will fly, as well as his runner up in club class Tim Kuijpers. With Ronald Termaat who was European Champion in France [Issoudun] in 2007 and runner up in Luesse during the WGC in 2008 and Steven Raimond, who was the EG champion in Finland  in 2005 , the Dutch Nationals will be a TOP EVENT.On top of that the JS1 will fly for the first time in Holland and Ronald will fly this glider.

In Horsham a lot of pilots enjoy the real great soaring weather  in the West with great distances as well. What about Rolf who flew at day 3 from the comps a 787 km task in the LS 8/18 m. As I hear they still have good soaring conditions,  but also storm cells on track. Yesterday day 4 had an AAT  task set to the S. over the Grampians with rainstorms over the 2d and 3d circle , so not everybody could complete the task.
Day 5 today still distances up to 351 km in a Standard Jantar. 

Saw an impressive  programme on National Geographic   about the tragic flight from the Concorde flying from Paris to New York, crashing just after the start on an hotel in Paris on July 25 2000. Unbelievable how in fact “small” things [ a strip of titan!] can cause such a disaster, killing 100 passengers , 9 crew and  4 people on the ground. Last week the court has started on a 4 months during case who is to blame for this catastrophe, after already in 2004  a preliminary investigation concluded that ” this strip” from a Continental Airlines plane caused the disaster.

Slowly I prepare myself for the long nights  to see specially speed-skating on the TV as the Olympic Winter Games start on Friday.I was a bit worried as temperatures in Vancouver reached 20dgr. but it seems that there is snow everywhere, even if they had to bring it  by trucks and helicopters , to do skiing and snow-boarding on good pistes. Enjoy , as we hopefully will, our hero Sven Kramer! He is JUST GOOD!

Off to celebrate  CARNAVAL now for the weekend, not sure when I will be back, but I will be back.
Cheers Ritz

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