Blog 350 !!!!

Alphen aan den Rijn    Sunday October 17 2010

The wettest ever Australian Nationals are over. As said they finished already 1 day earlier on Thursday instead of Friday and for some still earlier ,as they did not believe in the weather anymore and left Dalby. A pity!!!
BUT….it was a valid competition with new national champions, AND…it was  qualification for the Uvalde and Chaves WGC in 2012. They even managed , pretty unexpected, to fly 5 days.
Standard class; They had 5 days with 4 AAT’s. Even on day 5 they managed to fly a valid , but devalued day.Kilometer eater Alan Barnes flew in the task time of 2 hours ,135 km with a speed of 67.6 km/h. Shinzo owner of one of the schools at Narromine was second on the last day and climbed on the overall scores to spot 2 with 3920 points  , while Alan in the SZD 55 won with 4105 points.Mike Durant was 3d and the rest more or less gave up.
15 m. class ; Miles [Gore-Brown] won 3 and Peter [Trotter] won 2 days, making Miles after many years again National champion. Peter’s wive Lisa was on spot 3 . Well done!
18 m. class:10 from the 18 pilots continued and the struggle for spot 1 was between David and Graham, each winning days. On the last day [5] they were only 6 and 7 with 30 km less flown then last-day-winner Tom Claffey, [186 km] also not the first one in Australia. Francesco [ Corowa] had a great last flying-day being  4th with 171 km in 2 hours. Graham only had 16 points on day 3 while David had 535. David is the new Australian 18 m. champion with Bruce in the JS1 on a good 2d spot and Lars , [who was so unlucky in Szeged ], on a 3d place. Graham ended on 5th spot.
open class:John Buchanan] [Butch for intimi] won EACH DAY!!!!! No secret that he is the new champion. He flew already our ventus in 1985 during the WGC in Rieti. Had a great run over there but after a full day of heavy rain he did not check his [wet] pitot , had to come back and that was not such a good day for him then, which was a pity.
Pam was runner up here in Dalby[ congratulations] with husband Gerrit in the Antares on spot 3. Gerrit had a bad 3d day , only flying 58.7 km , while Pam flew 123 km and Butch 154 km. Only 4 from the 8 participants finished the comps.
A very challenging competition due to the wet circumstances and for that reason early-departing pilots, BUT nobody had to land in a wet paddock, no gliders were damaged and no pilots hurt and that means it was a good competition as ….the weather is not in our hands.
By the way ALL winners were from Queensland!!!!
And….I hope all pilots can safely  travel home as wild water lashes Queensland and there are floodwarnings for  NSW, while snow has fallen in Victoria in the Dandenongs and some  “sleed” in Canberra , where the tulpis flower already!!!!!!!WOW, not to good!!! But I know several are member of the Darling Downs Soaring Club so they only had to travel about 60 k from Dalby to Jondaryan.

A Qatar Airways  captain died, while doing his job , flying from A [ the Philippines] to B [Qatar] . The co pilot diverted to and landed at  Kuala Lumpur, where a new crew took care of the rest of the flight. As you can understand,  delay for the passengers was inevitable. Very sad for the family of the pilot. Qatar did not re-veil the reason of his death.

Yesterday a friend asked me if I had a picture  of another friend in our soaring world. I had a look in my photo books and was amazed to see how many pictures and books I have from so many different comps all over the world. I was very pleased to get some nice memories back , but also a bit sad to notice that a lot of friends have died already. It is very clear I am getting older , but that’s good the older the better.

We finally have a new government  and the Queen welcomed the “new 12” [ministers] in her palace and on the steps for a fotoshoot. This all happened on Thursday.  Our Belgium friends are back to 0, starting all over to get their new government.By the way the members of our government have spend over the last 4 years 4.6 million on private flights. In fact they can only do so when the government -plane is not available or one of the military planes suitable for passengers.

Great to see Aljoscha doing an AIC in Tocumwal. On the Sportaviation pictures I noticed both Stephan and Terry flying with their son. I love that!!!! A pity they had so much rain as well, but hopefully that helps growing the farmer- products, so they will be happy now with the sun, as the pilots will be. 106 mm is a lot and according to Eddie the most since 1974 in October. It seems 2010 is a year of wet records!!!!
Most of my friends visiting Sportavia in the past have visited/flown to The Rock as well. Yesterday 29 elderly residents of a nursing home were evacuated along with 6 carers after the nursing home flooded. Lot’s of major roads are cut off by flooding and the field of the Tumbarumba soaring club must be under water as the town was evacuated due to failure of the Mannus Dam. 

We are slowly going into winter , I noticed  white frost on my car this morning, today however we have  temperatures around 10 dgr. [13 is normal for this time of the year.] , but with the blue skies and the sun it looks fantastic and NO rain.

Cheers Ritz

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