A valid QGP in SA…but just! “Cloud and cloud-making-machines!”


ritzdeluy@hotmail.com     www.glidinginternational.com     www.soaringcafe.com

Visited yesterday the OPEN day from the glider pilot shop in combination with Schleicher  BENELUX at EPST in Maarssen.
CLOUD and cloud-making-machines were some trigger words for the day and the guest speakers Bert[ jr.] and Tijl Schmelzer and Andrej Koller.
In the big room a display of several instruments , as well as that beautiful “toy for the boy ” the ASH 31 and lot’s of guests.
The ASH 31 is very popular by some of my friends who really “love” this glider. Noticed this morning that Hans who arrived for the season in Kuruman [SA] had a great first flight in it; 891 km.[815 FAI triangle!]  He flies there with long time friends the Kalisch. And Pepe started his season-soaring in this glider in Corowa.

With the engine out and from above!

After arrival I rushed upstairs straight to ” Morroco” , as I heard that Bert Schmelzer jr. was going to talk about the family trip with Belgium and SA records in Ouazarzate. Great slide show and the story about solid preparations, very hot conditions and unforgettable flights. Ouazarzate is  situated on 30 dgr. N. as is Uvalde in Texas but also Gawler in Australia. Did not know that.
Though it is according to Bert the best place in the world for thermal-long- distance- flights,[ looking at Namibia the average is around 750 km. for Ouazarzate it is over 1000 km.]it is not a place to have fun,  as soaring there is HARD work and May seems to be the best month to fly there. The answer on the question if they would do it again was YES!

Bert jr. with his father and Daan Pare and Bert jr. answering questions.

Bert talking to attentive listeners in the small room , later in the big room.
Picture courtesy Frank Hiemstra.

After a nice lunch and a look in the battery room and a simulator from the EPST -European Pilot and Selection Training [students continued while we were there]  we listened to Andrej Koller,from Naviter/SeeYou,  who had after working hard for a year, BRANDNEW NEWS!!!
The SEEYOU app is out for Android and as soon as the approval is in… also for Apple ‘s iPad and i Phone.
I am not very familiar with all those new gadgets , but the  new SeeYou  “cloud ” as in social media-language is secure and private and can be shared with those you want them to share with, but on www.naviter.com you can find all the news.
The SeeYou mobile helps glider pilots of all levels understand soaring while it is happening!!!”


Andrej with Dutch Jip,  both” wizz-kids” and with the young good looking TC from Slovenia.

Tijl Schmelzer told us all about his 1000 km. flight from Belgium and again was PREPARATION a key-word, he prepared himself over a long period, looking at all different weather models, trying out flights and using ” the cloud making machines”  the power plants for good lift .And then it is still waiting for THE day. You can read about his preparations on his face book site.

Tijl with his mum Hilde.

It was really nice to catch up with a lot of friends and thank you to ALL specially Maurits and Rene on the pictures below!
More in SoaringCafe as well!


Back to South Africa to Potchefstroom now;

Line up at Potchefstroom
Courtesy; Hennie Boshoff.

Of course after 3 days of great racing the QGP is a valid and official one, as 3 days were necessary. This you can’t take for granted , as QGP’s have had in the past also  ZERO days. But unfortunately the next days they were struggling with the weather in Potchefstroom. Not on day 3 , as you can see on the pictures.

preparing his glider before the start



touch down on day 3 by Oscar
Courtesy; Hennie Boshoff.

NO-Day 4 ; it ended  in a day- safari for some and a night safari for others!
The weather was not good, the sniffer went “up” and came “down”, after not too long.   Houston did not have to get their act together and after the 3 days of concentrating and really pushing hard the boys had a well deserved day off, not that they wanted that , but it was “forced upon them” by the weather-gods!
So after 3 days the overall scores are as follows; 1. Andy, [ 28 p.] 2. Oscar [18 p]   3. Laurens [16 p]  4. Robert [11] and on 5 John [10] . The other 10 pilots have between 0 and 9 points!
Time to think also on other things on such a non-flying-day, so here is what I copied and pasted for you:
—“Whilst some of you are aware of the amount of history involved in gliding world wide, you will be please to know that the SSSA is celebrating 100 years of glider flight in South Africa this year. It just goes to show that we are one of the finest soaring destinations anywhere in the world, in any part of our amazing country. The first recorded glider flight was conducted by a pilot by the name of Sydney Vine. He was assisted by 6 people in launching his bi-plane glider off the hills in Krugersdorp, and soared down to the bottom of the slope to achieve the first non powered fight in South Africa. With the advancement in technology, gliding has moved forward in leaps and bounds world wide, but closer to home, South Africa is proud to be one of the finest 18m and Open class glider manufacturing countries in the world.—“

No  GP -flying on Thursday, they had an A [251.4 km] and B [206.4 km.] task, but with the message about thunderstorms in the NE. But…moving off to the NE as well. 7 Pilots were launched but ….it was difficult to stay up. So launching was stopped. Attie and Uys were airborne “and gave the remaining spectators a wonderful   air display to end the day.”

Last Friday the day had to be cancelled and that happened with the pilots already up in the air, by not opening the start-gate. A storm was brewing up  and as safety goes first , the day was scrubbed.
Storms are not normally a problem, but this monster is slap bang in the middle of the task area.”
Can’t say they were not trying hard!!!
Some took the opportunity to fly and used wave for and enjoyable afternoon. One of them, Sven Olivier who shared some pictures on FB.

South of the Vaal River on the left picture and  “with a rotor cloud below!”
Courtesy Sven Olivier.

Yesterday we ALL hoped for a last day!BUT IT WAS NOT MEANT TO BE! A pity but what can you do. Anyway the soarable days were great ones and even here at home they gave me goose-bumps.
Congratulations to Andy ,[28]  super job done but also by Oscar, [20] the runner up,  loosing that day instead of winning it!!! Brother Laurens was with 16 points on spot 3.
The first 9  gliders were JS1 and 2 S.A pilots flying the  ASG 29 ,Mannie  and Pieter [Ventus 2 CT, ] shared spot 10 with 6 points.
I really liked it , THANKS for sharing the news!So up to the next one in LAKE KEEPIT.

Over and out! GREAT  3 days a pity from the rest of the days during this QGP, but”all in the game”.

The first practise day in the Qualifying Sailplane Grand Prix in LAKE KEEPIT was yesterday and will be flown in  18 m. Not the best weather in Lake Keepit either!Best distance was 52 km..
Today was the 2d practise day and a BETTER one! Tom Claffey got the 10 points before Graham Parker and some were punished as they exceeded the start speed limit, but this is practice!
Will keep you informed over the week!

Soaring in Australia and Africa , elsewhere then Potchefstroom continued . From Raywood in Victoria Peter Rafael flew in his MAUPIN WOODSTOCK 11.9 a nice 244 km [206 km. triangle] Long ago Peter used to fly at Sportavia in Tocumwal. Always pleased to see he is still enjoying it and taking his beautiful “toy” out for a ride.
Flights in Namibia from Pokweni and Kirpotib just don’t make 700 km. in open class gliders,  but this is good practise for the first 1000 km. and 1000km.- PLUS flights, later.
They try hard for the first 1000 km. in Namibie and with 941 in an ASW22 BE,  they are getting close.
Gariep is pretty active now with flights from 878 km. in DG 808/B 18m. Kilometer -eater Uwe Thiele flies there as well as Klaus Engelhardt. By the way there is Gariep Dam Aviation and Douglas Gliding Center now. Bit confusing , but we will sort it out! On both sites you can read news about  what’s happening.
http://www.gariepgliding.com/  and http://gariepdamaviation.com/wp/

Soaring along the coast line in Holland started on November 7 with the first 2012/2013 flights. Using the lift of the dunes along the west coast with a favourable west wind , direction dunes. It started with 10 to 15 kt. also used by the parapenters, later by the ASK21 and then also by a KA 6 and junior. Not yet high and stable enough, but still 2 1/5 hour along the beach [close to Castricum]  is not bad. Here some pictures from last years dune- soaring!
November 8 was a bit of a better day with 2 hour flights.




An update from the Geelong Gliding Club send by Rolf.
—“Another short note on activities of the Bacchus Marsh clubs. Members of all three, the Victorian Motorless Flying Group, Beaufort Gliding Club and Geelong Gliding Club went to the traditional cross country seasoning oper at Raywood for the Melbourne Cup day long 4 day long weekend. the weather was mixed with some nice flights on Saturday and a few more extended ones on Sunday. Local ace Terry Belair was oncle again unbeatable and posted the highest score on Sunday. A trough line, stretchin all the way from the far north of western Australia down to southern Victoria prevented us from cross country flying on Monday and Melbourne Cup day tuesday. Meanwhile back on the farm (Bacchus Marsh Airfield) the vintage crows had a very successful few days with most of their airworthy fleet getting airtime. —”

You are up to date enjoy later in the day the news on www.soaringcafe.com
Cheers Ritz

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