Our family soaring history !

All who know me , know as well that when I am sad, happy or proud I have to write. And that already for more than 40 years.
In my posts,… that’s mainly about soaring,…… normally I do not write about my family, otherwise than when it fits in a story. So only FOR ONCE,…here is a bit of our history with permission of all mentioned.

First about last week….When our grandson…… Dexter who is 14 went SOLO during the autumn camp from the Gelderse [www.gezc.org] at Terlet last week, that triggered writing and sharing. After grand daughter Indya went solo last year, now the total family has flown solo!!!!
Grand pa George and his wife Diana, Grand ma [me, only 4 solo flights no big achievement due to lack of orientation feeling,, BUT, I got another soaring achievement, you might remember, THE PELAGIA MAJEWSKA MEDAL in 2015], mum Inge and dad Rodger, who went solo in Tocumwal after a course during his holiday and last season sister Indya. As said before,…a family affair!!!
It’s so great to see the 3d generation so much involved with what I love so much too.
The circle of life” as one of my Aussie mates mentioned!!!

Dexter moved from solo in the ASK 21 to flying the LS 4. He seems to make REALLY nice landings I heard!!!
Courtesy Willemijn Nijhoff.

Granddad and Diana were so kind to give them last week, the key’s/use of their camper. With ZERO at the ground it was “chilly”,….. in their words “bloody cold”!!!!!

They started more interest in gliding during our holidays in Tocumwal, one way or another we ALL seem to love Toc.
You can’t do anything else when you see a big WW2 hangar full of gliders!!!Impressive!!!
Indya was there already when she was 2 years old, proudly walking with her doll- pram between the gliders in the WW2 hangar.
As said a very proud grandparents and parents!!!!

A “framed” Indya.
Courtesy Hana Zejdova.

Our family-soaring-history!! Some nostalgic moments of our family-soaring- past.
In the past I wrote regularly about soaring families, now there is not a lot of international soaring news, so I look at my own family .

Our children;
Our kids , Dennis and Inge, have been involved in soaring from the moment they were born. Cold or hot outside ,in a pram or just walking, they were always at our site.
First at the club either the ZES or EAC, later they came along to comps.
In 1976 they went with us to Malden, where the Summer-competition was flown. I believe it was the first competition we attended as family.

Dirk Wolff [bronze]with his son Joost, now the president of the Gelderse and father of 2 soaring kids as well,…another well-known soaring family…And Inge and George.[silver]

Talking about the Wolff family,…Joost’ wife Marloes and their children Marit [now 19 and 18 on the picture below] and Thijmen [16] fly as well .
They are together at the field with my grand children now!!!
Another 3d generation, with granddad Dirk and grandma Franny, …we know them already for years…. , son Joost married Marloes…also from a soaring family…. and their children….the entire family has their license now.
Joost was a good mate from our Dennis as well.

Marit and Thijmen
Courtesy Marloes.

Here is a nice anecdote shared by Marloes. Through all those years, Grand ma Franny has NEVER flown with her husband, or son, BUT,….last September she hopped in the glider behind her grand daughter and off they went!!! TOP!!!!

Franny and Marit, both very pleased!!!!Flying with your grand mother ,what do you want more??
as seen by Marloes.

Already in 1978 our kids went “international” to France, to the 21 CUP d’ Europe!
Dennis won the jeu de boule competition and got a beautiful set as prize. We still have it!!!!

Very proud on his new jeu de boule set. With the CD and meteo. When I remember well, monsieur Hersen sr. and Monsieur Serge Bossetroux.

That year Inge kept notes at the briefing. Good practice as many years later she was the Dutch TC at a European competition.

Inge and Dennis in Angers. They have been there several times.

Granddad was 3d and the kids VERY proud!!!

With Dick Reparon [RIP] ,Marc Schroeder as winner of the open class and George. Later George won twice! Once,…. on the last day when Gerard Lherm out landed. I was happy for George to win, showed that,.. you know my enthusiasm…but the crew from Gerard came to me and said I should be quiet…it was not nice for Gerard. NEVER ever forget that!!!!
Lesson learned!!!!

Dennis knew already at kinder garten, that he wanted to be pilot.
BUT…gliding first…He even started his competition flying the same way as his dad, with the Summer Competition at Malden. Later he flew the KEIHEUVEL CUP in Belgium , being first on the last day, with quite a few really good pilots, he lost some points on a 300 k.[to Terlet] on a day with bad visibility. He was 3d in the end!
And flew the brand new DISCUS from his dad!
Then he started his flight education in Tocumwal where he got his PPL with John Williams.
In Holland he finished the NLS and as a present from “opa” he was allowed to travel down under to fly in Tocumwal as a tuggie, to make “hours”.
The rest of the story you know, he never came back and is buried in Tocumwal.

Inge did a bit of soaring both in Holland and Australia. She did a lot of towing in Tocumwal and as her brother her PPL with John.
Whilst young she never wanted to be a pilot, but IS one now. For years already a proud Transavia captain, following up her dad.
She also has a bachelor degree in law and master of science degree in human factors in aviation.

Master degree at the University of Coventry.

The grand children;
For our grand kids it really all started in Tocumwal as well.
Though they liked playing at Terlet when we visited.
AND,…later at Bailleau, they were for the first time crew for Diana and they felt/tasted the friendship and camaraderie for the sport.
Like all children hanging around at a field with their parents, they sometimes were allowed to fly with somebody as well.
Indya and Dexter were introduced to flying on a holiday in Tocumwal a few years ago. George asked his friend Simon [Holding] if he would fly with them to see if there was any interest. A Christmas present!!!They liked it!!!
At that stage,….Not more not less, but the seed was planted. Good on you Simon!!!!

Dexter as 12 year old, when Simon Holding introduced him to gliding.
Indya [14 then] and Simon,…would they be interested yes or no…in soaring?

Last year when Indya was 15 and Dexie 13, Indya became a member of the Gelderse , the club were mum Inge and uncle Dennis [RIP] flew as well. Like in the past when Dennis flew , Inge came along, but had no interest in the beginning. Now Indya flew and once in a while Dexter came along.
She went solo that year and moved on to the LS 4.

With instructors Bas and Marco, both our friends as well.

Indya is very sportive , easily goes with Inge for a 50 km. long skeeler trip through the fields and plays competition-volley ball with the seniors [she turned 17 last September]and seems to be , already for a few years, a real good “teacher” for 5/6 year old, who want to learn volley ball.
She studies at the university of Amsterdam [ started by the way at 16] and in February 2021 she starts at the hogere hotel school, where she really looks forward to the compulsory dormitory -life.

This year with COVID-19 , life became a bit more pleasant for them by the summer camp/ holiday at Terlet. All of course in a “corona-bubble’ following the COVID-19 rules!!!!So no drinks after his solo, for Dexter and his mates…as they did with Indya’s solo.

Indya [ to the left] …..last year celebrating with her friends.

Dexter got more interest and started his course, but he is a keen cyclist as well, so time was precious with study [high school] , a job in a supermarket and soaring.
Now both love their holidays at Terlet, get along with the same young enthusiast’s for soaring and….. most of their instructors, we know as grand parents or parents, too.
AND,….there are more interesting things to do as…driving a golf cart to pick up gliders.
Life is good,…even in fighting and beating “the bloody corona virus”!!!The young ones live in a difficult time too.

Our last soaring-family- holiday with 4, was in Benalla during the WGC in 1987.
George flew in 1981 his first WGC, but we stayed home,..Gretha [Musters] and I ,only visited for a weekend.
Down under, George and Dennis flew in the Nimbus 3D as the first ever father and son combination during a WGC.
On a no-soaring-day we went sight seeing. One day to Mount Buffalo to see the rosella’s and to climb to the top where hang-glider pilots jump down. Climbing took over half an hour over huge rocks and between very small caves!!!

Inge with one of the rosella’s!!!
Climbing to the top was difficult for Daan [Pare] he hated height and stayed up till we were gone and carefully came down later as well.
With Inge and me, Giep the Dutch TC, my friend Janet Hider Smith [RIP] Kees [Musters RIP] and poor Daan, sitting and waiting till we were gone.
Pretty scary!!!

Flying this WGC was very special. Meeting all those international pilots, crews and organizers in a country we started to love straight after our arrival I guess in 1985!!!!It was our first WGC as a family. George had flown as practice already Austraglide and a few times in Tocumwal.
In older posts I have remembered this WGC with pictures fro many of the participants!!!

Inge and me cleaning the glider, Dennis sits on the wing and George talks to Bruno[Gantenbrink] , Tony [Tabart]and his brother Adrian, who crewed for him.

After the prize giving Mike Young and Dennis shared some thoughts in their team clothes.

Mike , who is a top glider pilot now and an airline pilot, and Dennis, …….I believe Mike was there as crew then!

To finish this family affair,….a nice picture from Kees Musters [RIP]and Theo Hagenberg [RIP March 2020],who both with George were building in, the instruments for their new bought CIRRUS 75. As you see in our sitting room. A lot of Irish coffee helped them!!!

George, Kees and Theo intensively involved with the instruments. Both Theo and Kees studied at the technical university of Eindhoven and were electro technical engineers. George was an airline pilot. Kees and Theo and another house-friend Peter [van Nieuwland a very good glider technicus1] are not alive anymore…it’s getting quiet now. We really miss them.

I had to make a new blog as I could not save the pictures anymore,…post was TOO long!
So cu later again….with the regular blog.

Back in the NOW….55.000 covid-19 cases here in Holland in one week!!!! Not good…I am fit again ,..but not yet tested, that system is not yet up to date here in my area.
Cheers Ritz

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