First big overseas competion is over! Books by Sebastian Kawa and Frank Versteegh!


With hot air arriving from Africa , Holland had a lovely warm couple of days with temperatures up to 23 dgr. in the East of our country. First combined with a little sometimes red rain from a big cloud full of desert -sand, but now with nice dry but grey conditions. A nice gift from the weather gods!

The Kingaroy 2012 Nationals for club and sports class are history , but with 9  days you can call it a good competition with a strong field of participants and nice spring conditions, great nearly vintage gliders and brand new top gliders as the JS 1/21m. from Bruce Taylor .Unfortunately it took more time then expected to get the glider out of the docks in Sydney, so Bruce started the comps with 2 non-flying first days.

The JS 1 21 m.

Day 8 showed different daily winners in both classes. In club class the 3 hour AAT was won by Mount Beauty pilot Craig Collings in the LS 4 a;334 km. in 3.03. Runner up was a Hornet . Toppers Jim, Allan and Adam finished on spot 10-8 and 9. Kingaroy local pilot Stephen O’Donnell went up from 4 to spot 2 overall while Adam dropped to 4 and Allan to 3.
Only one more day to go, …all or nothing?????
In sports class also a different winner for the day; Shizo Takazawi from Narroine was the man. John and Brad on 2 and 3 but not such a fantastic 3 hour AAT – day for Bruce [ 8]  and Lisa [11]
Total scores with one day to go are; John still on spot 1 runner up is Brad ,on spot 3 a Kingaroy pilot Greg Kolb and on 4 is now Shinzo and Lisa is on spot 5.
It seems it was a pretty weak day , “dying” early and unstable clouds but some with good lift.

On the last day of this first over seas event, day 9,  the pilots in both classes got a short 2.30 AAT. This way they could figure out themselves how far to go in the short time with the best weather and be back in time for the prize giving.Weather however was pretty difficult.
Adam mentioned “Last day of the CC Nationals, pushing hard for 2nd place!” and “CCN finished, now we await the results!  Have I done enough to make the Australian Team?  Time will tell…”
AND ” Sunday is looking EPIC – up to 15,000′ under CU!  Screw 750km, I’m going for an out-and-return 1000km (one thousand)!!  Taking a chance with a few things, but lets go for more gold :)”
Time will tell…..
This morning however the next message;

Weather not quite as good as forecast. Out of the 6 that are at the club, 5 are trying for 500’s – including a couple of firsts. Should be a good day, but not THE day.—”
A pity!!!

Winners on day 9; Allan Barnes [7935 LS 1f] finishing as a good runner up behind Kingaroy pilot Jim Crowhurst [8342 ASW19b]. Believe I never met him but he seems to be a good and very consistent pilot topping the overall scores EVERY day except for day 1 when Adam was the best. Adam finished on spot 4 [7770 cirrus 75] and on 3 was Stephen O’Donnell [7836 in cirrus 75]’
In sports class Brad Edwards won the last day  and was runner up overall [8342 in JS1 b] with John Buchanan as the clear winner with 8530 points in ASG 29. WELL done by Shinzo from Soar Narromine in a discus 2 a , on a 3d spot with 7808 points.
Great first competition of this spring season in Australia. Hope there will be a lot more!!!

Just to let you know;The Pre worlds in 2013 in Räyskälä are between June 8 and 18 2013.The 17th  EGC will be in the same time,in Vinon from June 8 till 21!


When Max Bloch, competition pilot and CD of 6 Dutch Nationals and member of the GeZC, asked me to edit a story he had written on request of the OLC , about the OLC success of the most active 2012 club, I said of course yes and started straight away. Now the story has appeared in the on line OLC Magazine,  I give you the full story here; Enjoy! Maybe it is a stimulation for you and your club as well.

Why we fly instead of learning to fly….

The Dutch Gliding Club: “Gelderse Zweefvliegclub” achieved during this year (2012) the unbelievable Top-ranking of : Dutch, European as well as  World Club Champion of the OLC contest. 90 Pilots flew over 283.266km X-Country within The Netherlands, Europe, Africa, Australia and the USA.

Of course this  major achievement facilitated by the OLC Team,  will be celebrated here in Holland. However more important is,  that X-Country flying and making this visible for ALL  by the use of Internet,  will help you to grow as a club, Gliding Nation and as a  soaring Community in total.  It’s now time to share our thought’s and philosophy,  which might / can help you as well.

During  the past years,  the GeZC faced  the same problems as many other clubs. Members became older, we spend a lot of effort in training and still number’s where declining…
During the first 2 years of a membership,  we lost 50% of the students and after 10 years of each 10 persons only one or two were still flying…
Also 50% of the club capital was stuck in training-gliders and only the fortunate ones bought  private gliders,  the rest was lost over the years. In the long term it would mean that not only the “Gelderse” but every club would become a bunch of elderly people talking about the past and would fly only on rear occasions.

We analyzed the situation and asked ourselves “what is the key ingredient to keep one soaring?”. Most of the persons who did fly after 5 years of membership,  where either: Staff, Instructor or Contest/X-Country pilot. Within the group of Instructor’s not that many did fly X-Country,  they mainly instructed others. We also came to the conclusion that after the basic flying training and solo flying, motivation of a person vanished simply,  by the fact that we had learn them how to fly , but never showed our students the reason why we fly.

So we shifted from “learning to fly” towards “why we fly”.

This was the first little step and though we took students on X-Country flights, this was still not enough. Of course they very much enjoyed the flight’s but didn’t realize , that with a Glider Pilot License, one can simply take out a Glider to go for  such a flight. Still we had to make these fresh pilots aware,  that X-Country flying is not what “they” do but what “we” do.

During winter-time we started with X-Country training. Theory for our students and as more clubs in The Netherlands had the same problems, we did invite them to join as well and started the Program SION, which facilitates X- Country flying for beginners , a course with Flying coaches for one week for those who are interested. This all was  nation-wide organized , so we , the “Gelderse” spread out the news (and our wings) and started with telling about X-Country flying , along facilitating the X-Country flying of our pilots.

At the same time the OLC was introduced in the Netherlands and over the years became more and more popular. The OLC shows the Pilot and also the whereabouts of the pilot during that day , instead of someone who mounts the glider, starts, vanishes and after a couple of hours reappears out of the (almost) blue sky. And some one, which you might find at the end of the day with a cold beer at the bar talking about something you didn’t experience yourself. So the OLC makes it possible to share the experience with your fellow -members and the fun part is of course the scoring.

SION had also an off-spring named TABOE which is a dedicated training-program for those who want to become skilled in Speed-X-Country and Contest Flying. This program is nation-wide. Within the “Gelderse” we also have an annual Internal Coaching Competition where our Top-Pilots share their knowledge and enthusiasm for competition X-Country flying by coaching on the job.

In the last 2 years we had at Terlet (the Dutch National Glider Center) the area in Holland with the best thermal conditions and where the “Gelderse” started flying back in 1932, serious problems. One of the 5 users of this glider-site went bankrupt , leaving all of its pilots out in the cold. Most of these pilots (100) where warmly adopted by the “Gelderse” meaning a growth of one third in numbers. Most of these pilots also contributed their flights and are part of the 2012 success.

How did we achieve our 2012 goals: becoming Club World Champion OLC?  

By simply asking Club members to share their flights on the OLC and communicating about the actual Club position over the year.  That way we achieved more and more OLC awareness, which resulted in the final score (with pride) J

For 2013 we set the goal on 1000 flights with >100 pilots ,which will result in …..let’s wait and see?

About: the “Gelderse Zweefvliegclub”


  • Established in 1932 so currently 80 years young!
  • Located at Terlet (Dutch National Gliding Center ) North of Arnhem in the Eastern part of Holland
  • Website:
  • Note: SION:
  • Note: TABOE:
  • Facebook:!/GelderseZweefvliegclub
  • 12 club gliders (2x ASK-21,1x ASK-23,2xLS4,2xDiscus,1xLS-8(18m),1xLS-6(18m),2x Duo-Discus
  • 2 x 4 cable winch, one Husky tug
  • Over 50 privately owned gliders  (K-6 up to Nimbus 4DM)
  • 250 members, of which several are member of the Dutch (Junior) Gliding team, 30 Instructors and ~40 persons < 25 of age
  • The GeZC offers their members all services, from basic flying training,  X-Country, up to JWC Contest Flying almost 7 days a week.
  • OLC 2012: Europe: 210.000 KM, Africa: 51.000 km, Australia: 16.500KM and USA 13.500KM flown by 90 pilots

About the author:

 Max Bloch: Instructor, Examiner, Contest Pilot (Nationals) and former Nationals Contest Director (6 Dutch Nationals). Started flying at the age of 15, over 1500 flying hours.

Max as competition director in 2010, in the middle with Aussie hat.To the right Frank Versteegh also with Aussie Akubra.

Talking about Frank Versteegh. His book NIET VOOR PILOTEN is OUT as said before and his PR around it is top! Yesterday he signed the book in a bookshop in his hometown Oosterbeek and a line of buyers had lined up in front of the shop. New fresh boxes with books had to be carried in.
He is in papers,  on radio and TV,  promoting the book about his exciting flying -life. Frank does not mince matters so it will be prettyt direct as he is. He is a great guy,  good story teller and I love his doggie ” Joe the co” , flying with him when possible and being with him at all times [when possible] !!!! A book about the doggy will be out one day as well.
All money earned with this book is donated by him to KIKA and the Roland Mc Donald house. The book will be out in English somewhere in 2013 and of course I will tell you where and how to order it.
My 2  books have not yet arrived but I hope soon and than I can tell you more about it.

Talking about books; Top-glider-pilot Sebastian Kawa wrote one as well; SKY FULL OF HEAT. The book will be available in the end of November , in time to buy it as a Christmas present. The book can be ordered via John Roake who has the distribution rights and you can reach him on the glidinginternational link above. The lates GI will be here soon , so I will tell you what you can read in it this time.

 Last Thursday Dundee left for his 2d hometown Tocumwal and I guess the kookaburra’s are waiting there for him.

Picture courtesy Dieter Albrecht.

In a bit more then 2 months I will be in Tocumwal as well , catching up with all my friends over there. Guess I take my laptop with me now I heard that the Tourist Information Center has moved to it’s original spot on the Murray River under the Glider on the pole. This means it will be smaller. The permanent exhibition from the history of Tocumwal and the WW2 hangars , which was proudly showed in the past in our briefing room had to move as well and is now to be seen in  the Bowling Club.

 Got a mail from Judy Renner informing the members of the SRGC in Tocumwal about the next;

—“Just to let you know that the National Aerobatic Championships will be held at Tocumwal aerodrome from the 23rd to the 27th of November.  I believe the last day is only a wind up of activities and not competition but not absolutely sure of this.  It would certainly be worthwhile a visit to watch our best aerobatic pilots in Australia competing.  This should not interfere with our gliding activities and you will be briefed about it in the morning.—“
Won’t be there but enough people who can make pictures and share info.

Cheers for now Ritz

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