UPDATED!!!!! HAPPY 2019!!!!!!!!1.118 km. in 15 m. LS 8 by Mac and 1.040 by Akemi on Christmas day!!!

Holland at it’s best. [Ravenstein]
Courtesy ;Jan de Luij

Hope you had lovely Christmas days. It remains a special part of the year.
I even went to church and though I not often go, it felt as a “raised catholic” ,very good.
The church was full of light and Christmas trees , the choir was singing exceptional good in Latin and Dutch and church was …..full. All grey heads like me , a few kids only.
Just before mass started I felt a buzz from my mobile.
I had a quick look as I knew that Akemi and Mac were trying a 1000 km. flight from Tocumwal.
Christmas team George and Bruce helped them up in the air on Christmas-day.
At 7 in the morning I got already the message in Holland  that Akemi was still flying at 5PM Aussie time, had 300 km. to go with a cloud base of 3.300 m.So a 1000 must be possible.He had not heard from Mac then .
So the buzz -message before mass said; Akemi flew her first 1.040.80 km. in an 18m/LS 10 and Mac flew 1.118 km in a 15m. LS 8!!!To be precise he flew CR free 3tp distance 1095km (olc 1118km)”
I wondered if it maybe was the first ever Japanese female 1000 ,but it was n’t.
No Reiko Morinaka has flown in wave her 1000km in Argentina. But  Akemi is first  Japanese lady  in thermal”
Good on her!!! Congratulations Akemi, who is very ready for the Leeton WWGC pre worlds.
CHRISTMAS PRESENTS AT CHRISTMAS DAY. AND,…those messages I got in church. HAHA. No better HO,HO,HO.

Good old Bruce with 2 Japanese toppers Akemi and Mac.
As shared by Bruce.


No WHITE CHRISTMAS here as it was 10 dgr. C plus .
We even had the “warmest but one” year. Only 2014 was warmer, can’t even remember; 11.4 as annual average and 11.7 in 2014.
Remarkable ; in the 30thies the average temperature was 8.9 ,so that proves that things are chancing.
Now it’s looking ahead at 2019. What will it bring us?
Will the weather be so good as last year ,at least for soaring? And so devastating for other parts of the world???
The climate change is and remains a huge problem.Climate tops are till now , not very successful  as hard as they try and tried in France and Poland.
Hope they find solutions to improve the world for the future of our grand children.
My Christmas thoughts!!!

By the way on the 21th we had the shortest day and INDEED it was a very short day as after 9 AM it was still dark and it rained like hell and at 4.30 it was dark again. I know not Lapland but still….
Good thing; days are getting longer again and it’s just waiting for spring and summer to come back .No worries!!
Summer it is at the moment in parts of Australia . Narromine had already temperatures in the low 40thies, Tocumwal has them this week up to 45!!! Sydney-people are all at the beach only comfortable place with temperatures in the mid to high 40thies!!!!! They are used to the heat, but this is pretty tough, specially because it is not one day but at least a week.
With flights up to 939 km from Tocumwal by Mac and Joergen in the ARCUS M last Saturday and 963 k.  by Hans Juergen Lange in the 18m. Ventus 2CM.
And of course the fabulous flights by our Japanese friends.
Yesterday had a few nearly 1000 km.flights from Narromine and Corowa and good old Ingo flew in his Discus from Toc.758 km.[745 FAI triangle].
Bob Nicholls flew from Benalla in his Ventus 2CT/18m. 815 km.

AND TODAY..….the message ; 16.500 ft cloud base and BIG 1000 km.flights from Tocumwal.…..
And yes a 1.030 FAI- triangle [ 1.063 km. speed 125.87 km./h.] by John Dyson in the 21 m. JS 1 and a 1.015 FAI-triangle [ 1.030 km.] from Lumpy Paterson in the JS 3,with a speed of 148.95 km./h. Good on them, GREAT job.
After paperwork this might be a new Aussie record I read, so extra GOOD and I keep an eye on it!!!!
Comment from Lumpy on the OLC ; “YOU RIPPER!!!!
Also Corowa had a 1000 with 142 km./h. by Dutch pilot Jos Schrier in the ASH 31 /21m..
When there are more such great flights I add them later today.
And then good “old” Brian Du Rieu adds his flight from Temora!!! In his LS 10/18m.  he flew 1.129 km.[881 FAI triangle]Great effort!!!!
Brian’s comment:”Started with a declared 1100km FAI triangle but the first leg was blue (vs forecast cu) with deteriorating conditions heading North, so I turned short towards the cloud. Much nicer under the cu on the direct route to Ivanhoe and a nice tailwind for the 342km home.”

AND then LAST BUT NOT LEAST…I knew Mac was trying again. He did: a 1.026 FAI TRIANGLE [1.193 km in total]  and Chris Davison also an FAI TRIANGLE 1.045 km in his JS 1/21 m. Nice guy, longtime guests [his wife always came along too]  with us in the past.
Mac topped the Ocean OLC list TWICE now!!!!

959 from Toc is worth mentioning too in a PIK 20B. Jaroslaw Mosiejewski ,one of the annual Geelong guests flew it.
WHATADAY in Toc. All Geelong guests had great flights. At Eddie’s ,where most stay in the caravan park it’s “buzzing” this time of the year. 5x Toc in the top 6 today!!! Pretty special.
I still know the feeling, when we had 11 x a 1000 on a very good day.
You have to forgive my Toc .-enthusiasm , but part of my heart stayed in Tocumwal after living there for so many years!!!

Also VERY special!!!! One of the young ones , allowed to fly the Ventus 3 in Bitterwasser, Simon Briel flew 1.308 km. with a speed of 165.50 km./h. Keep that name in mind!!!!
On BOXING day Africa was top again with 27 x a 1000 -plus!!!!



—–It’s still far away , in January 2020, but….. the WWGC PRE WORLDS are soon, time to look at some of the participants. Specially cause I hope to be there in 2020 at the 10th FAI WWGC.
This is about Sarah , who flies next week with her USA mates in the pre worIds.
I met Sarah from the USA as tuggie at the WGC in Uvalde 2012. Lovely lady. I met her and Jason again at the WGC in Benalla and yesterday I found more about her as shared by team USA.

Sarah Kelly Arnold was raised on a farm in British Columbia, where, as a 13-year-old, she learned to fly in a single seat Quicksilver ultralight. She was instantly hooked, and thus began a lifelong passion for aviation.
In 2004, Sarah became the owner-operator of Chilhowee Gliderport in Benton, TN where she eventually met and married her husband Jason. Together they’ve worked to improve the airport, train a new generation of pilots, and host soaring camps, seminars, and contests. Sarah organized the 1st FAI Pan American Gliding Championships in 2015, and serves as treasurer on the US Team Committee. In 2017 she was inducted into the Tennessee Aviation Hall of Fame
Sarah’s first competition was the 2006 Perry Regionals with Charlie Spratt as CD. Five years later she won the Sports Class Nationals and earned a position on the US Soaring team in Club Class. She was the first woman to represent the United States at a WGC event in Argentina 2013.
Sarah maintains a take-no-prisoners attitude which propelled her to two FAI podiums at the Women’s World Gliding Championships in France (bronze) and the Czech Republic (silver). This season, she and Karl Striedieck were the 20 Meter Multi-place National Champions. She went on to another podium finish, placing 2nd in the 15 Meter Nationals at Uvalde, 2018.

Sarah, along with Sylvia and Kathy, will represent the US in the WWGC pre-worlds beginning at the end of this month. Good luck, Sarah#wwgc#ussoaringteams” 


Sarah one of the WWGC participants in Lake Keepit and soon at the pre worlds.

More about Lake Keepit’s Pre Worlds in the next blogs.
Diana is flying there as well. So is Ailsa, Akemi, Lisa Turner and Lisa Trotter, Kath and Kerri, Sabrina[Germany] and Ayala [UK]Sylvia and Katryn and Jo ,Jenny and Sarah.
By the way , the USA girls arrived safely and Kerrie shared some pictures;


Looking still fresh and “new”. Lot’s of luggage and as Kerrie mentioned “Four American glider pilots, their luggage, parachutes, tools, etc squeezing into the Soarer – only 4 bags on the roof racks – job done! If anyone finds any stray bags enroute Sydney – Keepit, please deliver Keepit



——-More friends from the USA are guests in Australia at the moment.

Look at this picture shared by Tony Condon from the USA.

Nice picture from Tony and Ingo with the text;
Today we met our glider for the contest, A DG-100, EG. Got the oudie installed, found the trailer, passed my check flight with Ingo in the club Lark, and made an hour and a half flight in the glider. Good day.”
Comment after flight;”Checkout flight in the DG-100. Good lift in the blue. Pushed out to the edge of glide back to Toc. Nice glider.”

I know Tony since Uvalde 2012 ,where I met him and many others also Sarah. Tony is going to fly the Formula 0.1 GP in Leeton.
Not long ago I told you that Leeton was the place where my ex George won the Nationals a long time ago. I was in Leeton only for a very short time ,as I had to go home again and Ralf [Holighaus] was so kind to drive me to Tullamarine. He and his dad Klaus [R.I.P.] had visited us first in Tocumwal.
The Formula 0.1 contest starts on the 29th of December 2018, and concludes on the 6th of January 2019, with a warm-up day on the 28th of December.
It’s a competition centered around the club class handicap of 0.1,which means that pilots can buy a competitive sailplane for less than $10,000 to participate. Hence the rent of a DG 100 from SportaviaTocumwal.
More in my next blogs.


—–Matthew Scutter and his dad flew in Kiripotib. AND,…they loved it!!!! Matthew is involved in SKYSIGHT; “Weather forecasts for most regions where there are glider pilots.”

“Great experience flying this year at Kiripotib Soaring. Every single day of our trip was 1000km weather, we managed five out of an attempted six (blew the final glide on the last one).

Our expectations for Namibia was that it’d be a ramshackle tin sheds miles from dusty airstrips with occasionally booming weather, but Kiripotib Soaring is an oasis in the desert that feels like it has been transplanted from a resort on a Greek island. With the gliders parked 50m from the pool, bar and rooms, everything is taken care of and all we had to worry about on any given day was landing before last light.
The weather was phenomenally consistent, the only limitation on your speed is maintaining safe landing options which takes some care as you try and do longer and longer flights. Botswana brings home the meaning of “tiger country”.

One of the main objectives of the trip was to tune and adjust SkySight for the local conditions, we found it was already predicting the convergences very accurately and we made some tweaks to the cumulus to better match our observations.”

Beautiful Africa as seen and shared by Matthew.


—-News from Schempp-Hirth AND,….it all sounds good!!!!!
#ventus #selflaunch #ventus3M yesterday we had a weather window and Bernd Mangold performed test flight of the Ventus-3M number two. New ILEC management system (updated from experience on V-3M number one) for easiness in the air, new stop propeller finger for easy retraction of the propeller, integrates « garage » bugwipers and plenty of power for high loaded high altitude high temperatures conditions. The test pilot is happy! We will focus on these details and new things in next news so please stay tuned.”


——Frank Hiemstra, one of our top pilots created a poll in Holland for Zwevers , with the question;
IF it will be necessary to bring back the WGC to 3 classes, which class would you prefer
The results were interesting.
1. club class 97 voters
2. open class 89
3. 18 m class 72
4. 20 m. class 54
5. Standard class 43
6. 15 m. class 7
7. electric sustainer E class 4



And to finish this very special picture shared by the British Gliding Association with the text:
Now here’s something you don’t see every day.
A unique Lasham Gliding Society photo with jet operations fitting in complete harmony with gliding.”

When it’s possible and safe,…why not!? BUT,…now my grand children are going to fly ,…I think twice….

CU next year!!! Have a HAPPY, SAFE and HEALTHY one!!!!
Cheers Ritz


Picture is a few years old [ made at Terlet] but still OK to start the new year.

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