Summer is over. Memories…..back to the last day of the year 1989 and the first day’s of 1990 !!

We thought this 2018 -summer was never ending here in Holland, but on Friday , the day the astronomical autumn started, it turned into REAL autumn with wind BFT 9 , heavy rain and… a drop of temperature from 27 on Thursday to 15 on Friday.
Sunday was RAIN and more RAIN over 20 mm.
By the way it was the coldest EVER 23 d of September in history with a temperature of 10.9 dgr C. measured at the official meteo- station of De Bilt.
My friend Art in Canada suffered from the first snow in autumn and wind breaking trees. Ottawa was hit by a tornado and lot’s of houses an trees were ruined!!
My Aussie mates “splash” in early spring weather and fly up to over 600 km.!!!

Several “lucky ones” are looking ahead with great joy to their overseas trips. Most had a great European summer, but  also in the soaring-scene the grass is ” greener ”  on the other site.
It’s a bit like competition soaring ; a feast of recognition from friends with the same interest.
Sportaviation welcomed his first overseas guest already.

So I looked , as there is not a lot happening , in my holiday books and found a few interesting ,old pictures for you.

We are going back to the last day of 1989 in Tocumwal and the first scary day’s from 1990 with the huge fires around the Tocumwal airfield.
Most of you know and remember the day our Dennis crashed with the Scout between Tocumwal and Jerilderie close to Finley. That was on January 3 1988. So this was our first holiday , back to the place we loved,after this tragic event and our family was with 3 now; George and Inge and I.


mother and daughter.                     Stan Witek [RIP] with some Polish friends. Stan was then instructor at Sportavia.

After Dennis died the founder of Sportavia, Bill Riley,  did not want to continue. The story is that he said so at a bar in town. 3 Farmers Don Escott, [RIP]  Jeff Close [RIP] and Stewart Crawford heard this and after thinking about it they bought Sportavia.
Here at the picture Don and his wife Joan and Stewart, who was there only for a short while. Not at the picture but working very hard, Jeff and Margie. It was Don and Jeff  and Margie with CFI Eddie who ran the business.Not to forget David Riley, Peter Menhennitt and Corkey working on the gliders and planes.
Don sold his shares to us in 1995.

And then it was day 1 of 1990 and the party went on till the early morning.
Then disaster struck again !!!!AND,…again on January 3.
A huge fire , one of the biggest in Australia , hit Tocumwal too and the airfield was surrounded by huge fires and smoke. The worst inferno since 1983, ASH Wednesday, when 72 people died in Victoria.
At Tocumwal 6 houses burnt down including the Tocumwal Hotel and 1500 residents and campers at the Murray River were threatened. The fire even “jumped over” the river.
This all happened on January 3 and I wanted to be at the cemetery at 5PM, but was n’t allowed to go. Only the next day I saw why no…..t the fire just moved along the street there.

Scary moments we wanted to leave but that was impossible as the fire surrounded the hangar area.
We were lucky ,…the wind turned and the airfield was saved, not the forest on the East side and many animals died. SAD, very sad!!!!

My friends Gerrit [Kurstjens] and Geoff [Moar] looked at how close the fire reached to Geoff’s house. He kept the area wet by standing on the roof with a hose. The fire brigade was nor really happy with that.
Gerrit took Geoff’s wife and 3 children in the car to safety and went back later.

Shortly after the fires , happier times again, we moved to the NATIONALS in Benalla and caught up with Bertje [Kuypers ] from Holland and Wolfgang [Janowitsch] from Austria. YES with beautiful hair!!!

Bruce [Brockhoff] and George [Schuit] participated as well.

Another weird year full of stress but also fun. A memorable 1989 /1990. Hope you enjoyed the memories.

By the way Benalla was in the news this morning!!! GOOD news. In September 2015 the gliding club of Victoria  started negotiations with the Rural City Council:
“Three 25-year leases have been finalized for the Gliding Club and its hangars, the Aeropark for the accommodation area and the State Gliding Club for the clubhouse.”
Absolutely fabulous news!!!!!!!


—- Competition  in progress this week in Brasil from Bebedouro,September 22-September 29 in open ,[7] racing [10] and club [7] class!! They had great weather with good tasks till now.

60º Campeonato Brasileiro de Voo a Vela


Ready to go .
Courtesy Henrique Navarro.

Open; day 1 started with a 3 hour AAT and Henrique Navarro in the Nimbus 4T won the day with 392 km in time 3.05.1000 points!!! Only 4 from 7 finished!!!
Day 2; 440 km. was a prey for Henrique again ;speed 142 km./h.
Day 3; 485 km. Herique-time  again; 137 km./h.
With 3000 points he leads at this stage overall.

Racing;3 hour AAT and 10 participants . Luis Affonso flew in St Jantar 340 km. in time 3.05 and “got”  the 1000 points. All finished.
Day 2; 357 km. and Itamar Lessa was the next daily winner; speed 129 km./h in ASW 20 B.
Day 3; 405 km and the win from the day earlier tasted after more….Itamar won again now with 116 km./h on the ” clock”. 2836 points after 3 days for Itamar and 2.735 for Affonso. Everything is possible.

Club; 3 hour AAT and 7 pilots started AND finished. Winner was  Sérgio Bassi in and Elfe S4; 261 km. in 3 hours at the dot!!!!
Day 2; 288 km. and,…it’s getting boring but also here the same winner as the day before;Sergio flew around with 98.91 km./h.
Day 3; 2.30 AAT …also for Sergio with 237 km. in time 2.42.
One of the pilots in the club class is Valéria Caselato. She shared this picture and text to the groupe Female Glider Pilots. She flies a St . Libelle and was 6th. on day 1, unfortunately out on day 2 and 3 , but that’s practice as well .

My first experience as a competing pilot in the Brazilian National Gliding Championship: I and my Libelle! My goal is going to Australia 2020… maybe 🙋🏼😃😊”

Not only one lady but 2 and they shared more news from Bebedouro.
This is the first Brazilian championship that counts on the female participation of two competitors, Valéria Caselato and Carolina Foganholo. For 10 years there were no women participating in the national stage of the competition. Another important fact is the participation of the Air Force Academy, with a tugboat, 3 gliders and all its staff. For 17 years the Air Force Academy Sailing Club did not participate in competitions.”

Carolina flies in the KW 1 Class and is 5th from 7 participants. Good on her.



—-Whilst most gliders are on their way to overseas destinations, the S.A gliders just arrived back in time for the Nationals. They start on the 29th and “go” till October 6 with 37 participants in 4 classes from Potchefstroom.

As shared by Oscar.



——-And,…last Monday it was a long “sit ” again for Klaus Ohlmann and co pilot  Marcel Zemauli from France;1.268,43 km from Serres in his Stemme . A goal flight from one site of the Alps Serres in France  to the other Lesce Bled [Slovenia];
We are very happy!!! Weather exactly like in the forecast. We followed the windfield, used some thermals in the Pustervalley and then Karawanken Surf like planned.
Marcel first time from Serres to the end of the Alps, first time 1000 km, first time Austria. Total happiness…….” was the OLC comment.
Starting from Noetsch , to the West of Lesce , but in Austria, a 1000- up -and -down, was flown by Johannes Hausmann from Austria in an 18m. Ventus 2C.
And a bit later a flight from Noetsch was added in a KA 6; 693 km. good on you Dietmar Poll.

CU next week.
Cheers Ritz

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