More Welkom! Namibia…no doubt the place to be this year if you like fast and far!

Alphen aan den Rijn    Wednesday December 21 2011

Oscar in 2006 [courtesy dvd WGC Eskilstuna]

What good flights at Welkom last Sunday when I let you know they were going to fly 664 km.  on day 7 and most of them did so in 18 m. class. Oscar won again with a speed of 134 km./h.
Here is what Bruce had to say;
—“Today they dropped a 665 km task upon us, with weather that was to be similar to yesterday, except generally more moist. As we waited on the grid, things looked to be cooking up earlier, and by launch time it was already going very well. Surprisingly a number of the club class landed back, but off tow I quickly found a strong climb. My intention was to go early, as the cloud tops were already push…ing up and I was worried it might explode. I managed to get into position to go shortly after the gate opened, and left right away.
Things went pretty well today. There was a slow spot for me just after the second turn, and the South African gaggle came by, so I basically spent the rest of the day with them. We negotiated a large storm cell down near our southern turn, which was fun, and after that we had to be more careful as the active areas became very widely spaced, which called for some long glides and deviations. As it turned out, the task was very well chosen. Had it been much longer there would have been trouble for most of us. My gaggle ended
up with most of the top places, so I was lucky they chose to run into me!
I have scratched back up to 6th place, and feel a bit better about my flying. More good days to come, I hope.—“

A nice flight as well from Douglas, the son from FAI official Dick Bradley in the Ventus 16.6 m.. He just missed out on 40 km. to make it home.
His sister Jennifer flies in club class, where they had to fly 330 km and an ASW 15 won with handicap the 1000 points.

Day 8 had a 3 hour AAT for club and the Twin Astir flew 335 km in 3 hour 19 and won on handicap.
—“So, today the Club Class was won by Todd and Hitler (yes, really!) in the venerable Twin Astir. It just goes to show that the concrete swan can actually go alright given the appropriate rates of climb, and a couple of super pilots. Well done, Todd!—“Bruce Taylor
In 18 m. a 3.45 AAT was set and more Bruce about their task: ” 
—“The first half of today was some of the best weather I have flown. I think the first few climbs were all better than 10 knots, and a couple were better than 12. There were about 8 of us trying to share the fun, so it was pretty hectic till we spread out a bit. Up near the first turn it softened a little and 6 or 7 knots was acceptable. I had quite a good run through all of that, but then didn’t find a climb before we headed out into a dead area on the final area. I didn’t do the last bit of the flight well, and only just whispered over the finish line, with nothing up my sleeve.
What a day! Reminds me of “the day” in Waikerie a couple of years back. Sometimes the sky feels incredibly BIG, and we are just little specks…”
Arne won the day and Oscar is still 1 overall. Between Oscar and the number 5 at this stage Uys is a difference in points of 243 points and the next pilots, Ronald, Arne and Attie.

Day 9;does n’t give Carol, who writes the good daily reports on the soaringspot-site, a promising feeling, but Sven who does the weather thought it would be more or less as  the day before.
This is what Bruce thinks before starting; “Another day. We have a 3 hr AAT. On the grid the weather is much slower to start, but the sniffer has reported lift good enough to throw us in the air. It’s quite breezy, and still no cu to be seen in our task area. Away we go!”

It changed into 2.45 and Oscar keeps going with 415 km in 2 hours 49 minutes winning the day again and making his overall spot 1 more firm.
—“I have had a day of everything, highs and lows. Our 3 hr AAT was shortened to 2:45 in the air, and the timing actually worked pretty well. After wandering around the start waiting for the day to fire up, John CouttsandI found a nice strong climb that got us right up in time to go. We sort of flew the first hour together, before we split up and both got low! I managed to eventually climb well, but wasted some time there. Then I ran the storm front, thinking that I was all alone until all the South Africans arrived under me! The rest of the flight was fast, and I made up for the low point a little. Finished mid-field, but OK on points. Big storm here tonight.—“ is what Bruce found about the day.
In club class the winners from day 8 [2 hour AAT] had a less good day,  ending up on the last spot by landing out after 185 km. A pity for them. The winner was Konrad Stark his second day-victory in the ASW15 this week; 205 km in 2 hours and 5 minutes . He is on a 2d place overall as well at this stage.

Namibia gives the guests where they are coming for.  Weather to fly long distances. A few 1000’s again! One of the flights was an 800 km out and return by Dutch pilot Lodewijk de Beukelaar who flew in the Nimbus 4 DM , this task with a speed of 137 km./h. To avoid thunderstorms they had to make some more kilometers, 904 in total.
On Monday 23 more 1000 km. flights. It is a good Namibia season I told you already. Loved the 1.236 km [speed 133 km/h] flight from Bostjan in the EB 28, an FAI TRIANGLE of 1.166 km with speed of 125 km./h. 

Yesterday Alexander Müller  flew yesterday from Pokweni  a great 1.357 km [triangle 1.128] in his EB 28. In his comment he says he started later [3-/45 minutes] due to oxygen  problems, but then he flew 400 km . straight on with 170 km on the clock !!!! He even passed Rostock Ritz, nice!!!
I have given up counting the 1000 km’s, but like mentioning one as from Johan Luyckx from Belgium flying  from Bitterwasser;1.164 in a LAK 17/15m. !!!!!

Very nice to see so many familiar names back in Tocumwal. After Björn and Lis and the 3 Japanese friends now Anton and Andrea have arrived from Austria. Anton flew already 500 km. and 544 km.  in the LS 4. Andrea normally loves local soaring. Hannu from Finland, still there,  flew a nice 592 km. task last week as well in the LS 6 and today 513 .Not too bad weather in Australia as well. Maybe not so many 1000 km flights but the season is longer in Australia then in Namibia,  so a lot can still happen.
Corowa , the  center for Australia is with  less guests [ 29 till now and 215 flights] then in Namibia [Bitterwasser  98 guests till now with 518 flights]  still number 5 , while the smaller scaled actions from Tocumwal bring them at this stage on spot 8 with 24 guests adding 119 flights to the OLC.
And lot’s of new -arrived-well-known names in Corowa as well, with Reinhard and Chris,[ pretty sure with Linda.]Luckily they have great weather too.Today again with more long flights!!

Biggest order ever for Boeing. This time 150 planes of the type 737 MAX. The order is set by the USA company Southwest Airlines. Only in 2017 this type will fly for the first time. On top of that Southwest ordered 58 Next Generation 737’s. A good Christmas time for Boeing and a great 2012 plus in these pretty difficult economic times.

And….our Dutch astronaut Andre Kuipers is in Kazachstan ready for his trip into space.  Even the Queen wishes him well. He departs , his second go, at 14.16 Dutch time for a 2 day trip to the space station ISS, where he will ‘LIVE’ for 5 months. He arrives just in time, to open , with permission from ground control the year 2011 best 2000 singles[music] in Holland . I am going to see the start of this special flight live on TV.

Enough….CU you on Sunday for a MERRY CHRISTMAS special, short unfortunately, as I have guests. And……looking forward to spring again now the shortest day is over here.
cheers Ritz

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