Life changer….

The year 2020 is a real life changer. We all started it happy. I did in Lake Keepit.
Great …., no a fantastic time there, till the moment we heard of the problems with the Aussie team.
As you could read in my last blog, the last words have not been said yet.
Have n’t heard anything new.

Then we thought that those small problems were big, we were all full of it.
NOW we share CORONA!!!!!What a disaster, a real disaster…..That’s a problem.
Loosing family and friends, not be able to see the elderly and doctors and nurses who work so hard that they nearly fall over.
Lock downs, young people who are restricted to their houses and can’t go to school.
People loosing jobs, also friends flying for airlines . Some are at home waiting for better times to come,….they might still hope.

The world will change. I even think the aviation world will be hit worst, still hope not TOO bad, but I do not see me quickly back in Australia, where I lived and worked with so much pleasure for so many years.
There will be a new reality and when we stay healthy and safe we should already be happy.
So let’s stay optimistic and enjoy what we have and can do.Not a lot of soaring, though the weather here has been great for it.

I still noticed some flights on the OLC world wide, though most clubs here are closed and some countries even closed the airspace for soaring.
Best day in April was last Sunday, that is ,..looking at how many flew; 310 world wide.
Even 3 over 1000 km. flights in Germany [2] and Czech Rep.
Specially the Swiss pilots have had some great runs.Just over 1000 km. on April 24.
Yesterday also a 1000 km-ridge-flight in the USA, set as a 750 FAI triangle ,but the weather did not co-operate as low clouds stopped the pilot to reach the TP, but a nice long flight in a Ventus 3. Speed 143 km./h.
Also in the USA…. ,Tony [Condon] flew in his Cirrus nearly 500 km ,after his wife Leah towed him with the CAR , to about 1400 AGL on April 25.
He loves the post frontal weather, he mentioned.
They are so lucky they can fly.
Mind you ,…worldwide, on April 26 in 2015 there were 615 flights and on April 27 last season 505 ,but on Saturday, April 20 1886!!!!!
So showing that a lot of pilots are looking at great skies.
We had yesterday the first rain in 6 weeks,…yes VERY DRY here.

From Claudia’s Gliding Page this great picture
” German gliders are following government guidelines “
courtesy one of Claudia’s German friends Ute.

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Here is a mix of some nice pictures to cheer you up too. Don’t know from all who took them, but they are in my file “special pictures”.

2015 FAI Awards Ceremony Rotterdam, The Netherlands 24 September 2015 Photo credit: Frans Guise
Narromine Nationals ..long ago.
Picture courtesy Brutus.
Bones on the wing of the Mallard. One of our tuggies in the past.
Manfred Radius at the airshow cutting the ribbon with the tail. He was a regular guest at Sportavia.[SSC]
The SOARING CAFE team in Uvalde in 2012, with Carol, Bill, Ritz and Rand.
GREAT picture,no words needed.Courtesy Jacek Lewinsky.
Fabulous finishes in the UK.
“Good old “Dick Butler in his CONCORDIA
Courtesy Jacek Lewinsky.
With Bill Riley [RIP] , founder of the SSC ,in front of Eddie’s hangar.
Joey glide..finish in Lake Keepit, when there was WATER IN THE LAKE.
I believe it is Nick from New Zealand.
Finishes at Terlet “Courtesy Arjan Vrieze.
No idea where this was. Sorry,….Maybe Nitra????
Long ago…..Mac and Stan Witek [RIP].
Last but not least SARAH, the winner in Lake Keepit this year when everything was still “normal”.
The VERY last one for this blog,…granddaughter Indya to the left after going solo at Terlet.

CU next week in good health and spirit…Stay safe certainly all friends as old as I am or older…..
Cheers Ritz

Aussie ladies share their opinion and back to 2014…. LESZNO!!!

As I wrote in my last blog the ladies from the Australian team were then planning an appeal, here is a message about their appeal.

A message from the WWGC Australian Team Pilots

The Australian team pilots from the WWGC have not spoken to date about the penalty controversy but are aware that some people want to hear what we have to say. This is a brief statement to explain our position.

One week ago all of the Australian team pilots lodged an appeal via the Air Sports Australian Confederation (ASAC) to the FAI. The appeal documents have been received and we are waiting to learn of the process that the Appeal Panel will follow.

Suffice to say, the International Jury process that took place on the last day of the Competition was non-compliant and failed on the most basic principles of fairness. As a result, the case for the team pilots was not properly examined and the Jury’s decision to impose a points penalty to each pilot was based on factually incorrect information. The team pilots believe that when the full facts are considered that the penalties will be withdrawn and the final results revised accordingly.

The GFA determined not to appeal the penalty, again without all the facts, and advised the Australian and international gliding community of this unilaterally without advising or consulting with the team pilots.

The team Pilots prepared and funded the appeal document themselves and submitted it to FAI with the support of ASAC which is the National Airsport Control (NAC). Further, the GFA Board unanimously agreed less than one month before the closing of the appeal period “to not stand in the way of any separate appeal that the pilots wish to make through the NAC (ASAC)”.

The intention of making this appeal is that the team pilots can access a fair hearing in accordance with due process as stipulated by FAI.  

Jenny Thompson (as spokesperson for the Australian team pilots at the WWGC)

16 April 2020

So,…as far as I heard the TC’s have had to react quickly as well, as the deadline was mid April. They did.
Here is a statement by the BGA on April 21!!!.
The UK’s Royal Aero Club (RAeC), advised by the BGA, and the German Deutscher Aero Club (DAeC), advised by its gliding section, have made a joint appeal to FAI requesting a review of the judgement by the FAI/IGC Jury on a protest submitted by them during the WWGC 2019 at Lake Keepit. The decision to appeal was made to ensure that the FAI tribunal were presented with all the facts related to the use of live tracking during the WWGC.

Following additional rules approved by the FAI/IGC in March and the publication of a report by the Gliding Federation of Australia (GFA), the gliding authorities in the UK and Germany had previously advised that an appeal was not in the best interests of the sport. The subsequent submission of an Australian appeal shortly before the expiration of the appeal deadline despite previously stating they would not appeal has caused this decision to be revisited.

The RAeC and DAeC remain concerned for the integrity of gliding and fair play in competition.  Our joint appeal asks the FAI to uphold the international sporting principle that competing sportspeople are held responsible for the actions of their team and impose the correct and appropriate penalty

Well, I agree that the jury lacked time to do the proper procedures!
There should have been more time for “words and re-words” with the team captains, organizers and juror/steward, as written in the annex.

BUT,…..the real point is that ,…when we allow pilots to enter the by a WWGC given compulsory tracker ,…to get rid of the 15 minute delay,….WITHOUT telling the CD,…… so having a huge advantage on all the other pilots, they are cheating. I can’t make it more friendly than this. The other 9 countries had no clue, from what was going on!!
That had to be punished and it was a fact admitted by the one who still had the ” key ” from the tracker to open it…still blows me how he dared too….and by the Aussie TC, ….so for sure the penalty points should stay like that, as cheating NEVER can be part of a fair competition. More words or re-words ,..that would not have helped.
Then we better stop competition soaring!!!!!
My opinion!!!
I continue to look into this matter, no worries!!!

One of my friends wrote the next sentence;
It’s a shame that the Australians did not decide to draw a line and chose to submit a formal protest which prompted an inevitable response. “
I can only agree with this. NOW, ….It might not only be points, they loose but maybe even worse…..
Let’s wait for the FAI to decide.

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Looking back at the 33d WGC at Leszno where I was for a long weekend to feel the WGC spirit of 2014. [26-7/10-8-2014] A short impression from East European tug’s, a nice International fleet of gliders , good weather and a memory on the lady who ‘s name is on my award!!!!

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Great new hangar.As shared by Frits.

A few years ago in 2015, the EAC [Eindhovense Aero Club] HAD to leave Eindhoven airport after nearly 100 years. [started Oktober 1932!!!!] Commercial flying was more interesting for the industrial- Eindhoven-area. Nowadays Eindhoven Airport is abase for airlines as Transavia, WizzAir and Ryan Air. Also the Air Force uses the field.
In this Corona time not a lot is happening.
Venlo, about 70 k south,a very “old” club as well, were I started gliding with the ZES in 1967 [the student aeroclub from Eindhoven was guest at Venlo] was so kind to give their mates-without-a-field , a new home to fly from.
The VEZC [Venlo Eindhoven Zweefvlieg Club] was born. https://vezc.aero/
This week they finished the last jobs on the brand new hangar and the special “tarmac” in front of it.
info@vezc.aero

Good luck with this brand new hangar!!!
As shared by Frits Urselmann.

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Message from Schempp-Hirth;
We could test fly four new gliders. Thank you Markus Voelter for the nice photos.
We hope all glider pilots will be allowed to fly again soon!
Thank you to all of out team for being engaged, careful and loyal! We could n‘t cope without your continuous support.
Another thank our loyal customers who still collect and pay their new toys even though most of them won’t be allowed to use then (yet)
.”

Pictures courtesy Markus Voelter

Enough for now,..will keep you posted.
It might take a while before we hear the final outcome by the FAI
Though it should not take too much time, as it is all pretty clear.

Not the fittest person in the world but slowly getting there again.
Cheers Ritz

WWGC….2020, not over yet….

—–EASTER, in The Netherlands had 2 “faces”. Easter Sunday was like summer with 25.6 dgr. C , the warmest ever April 12. Easter Monday the temperature dropped to 8 dgr. C with some rain……grrrr…..Just back to fall again….After today it should be better .

Pretty cherry blossom in my back garden. A pity it stays for just ONE week.

—-About the next WWGC held at Husbos,…..
The Women’s World Gliding Championship 2021 (WWGC21) which was to be held at The Gliding Centre at Husbands Bosworth in August 2021 has been postponed until August 2022.
Full details of the WWGC22 will be published in due course.”

——The last one in Lake Keepit is still fresh in many “heads”.
NO DOUBT at all, that Lake Keepit put on a GREAT SHOW. Never met so many enthusiastic volunteers and members of the club, who had to work really hard and not from 9 to 5, but still had time for their guests!!
Also the organization under the leadership of Mandy stood!!!! EVERY DAY…..
That the WWGC finally turned out “difficult” had NOTHING to do with Lake Keepit.
Also not with the organizers ,who were shocked as well and had to take unpopular measurements.
This last WWGC is still “boiling”. Till mid April an appeal is possible to the FAI, about the final results. As you know they changed after the Australian TC and his helper, admitted in a briefing, they had access to the tracking system without the 15 minutes delay.
For that reason the Aussie girls had an advantage over all other girls. They were “punished” with 25 points per day a total of 225 ,costing Jo Davis her title which went to Elena and Lisa Trotter her 3d place.
From the 10 countries flying there, 9 protested against this in their eyes unfair behavior of the Aussie team.NOBODY ELSE HAD THAT INFO!!!!
3 Countries [Germany, the UK and Luxembourg] filed a protest to the IGC which was honored.
Just before Easter I heard that the Australian team has filed an appeal against this punishment with the FAI.
So the international teams could protest too, by their NAC. Their last possibility to do so!!!
Till now there was only that protest to the jury at the end of the WWGC .
Will follow it for you. Though I really feel for the Aussie girls, as I like ALL of them, their problem is that they never can prove anymore why they did so well thanks to the involvement of their TC.
I like Terry but what he did was wrong,….he knows,..he admitted to what they did,….the girls should blame him for bringing them in this terrible situation!!!!
AND,..as far as I read or heard that has not happened,…WHY????
I don’t know, do they still believe in him …. do they know perhaps more than we do, OR…… are they not allowed to talk????

A few memories from not so long ago at Lake Keepit!!!! To never forget the joy there was as well.

4 of the 9 Aussie girls in good spirit!!!Jenny,Lisa [Trotter] and Lisa [Turner] and Jo.
And,…the 3 girls from the USA….Sarah,Kathryn and Sylvia.
The Italian ladies Elena and Margot and TC Ricardo.
CD Mandy. …Chief steward Frouwke and deputy CD Anita.
The very successful French team, a real close team as well. Pilots, crew and TC.



—–The gliders from Corowa arrived back in Holland last week. All in top condition,..what do you want more. A season to fly….maybe??????

—–Today the Dutch Government talks about the aviation in Holland. How to continue after corona/great losses.
Very interesting and a bit scary, as lot’s of my friends fly KLM and Transavia.
I just read that Qantas “culls its flying fleet to 3 aircraft. A drastic downsizing”!!Pfff…….Not to think of all those people who have lost their job’s already!!!!! Bloody virus!!!!!
Even worse…..about 125.000 people died world wide and it ain’t not over yet.

Not much to say today. Stay SAFE!!!
CU next week again.

Cheers Ritz

Time to get back in history!HAPPY EASTER !!!!

All pilots from the WGC in 1991!!! In 2023 the WGC will be back in Uvalde.
I was there in 1991 and 2012.

Yes,…. 2 times I had the pleasure and honor to share with “my” Dutch team the WGC in Uvalde [Texas].So I grabbed my books again to see how we spend our time over there.

The Dutch team with me and Dick Reparon[RIP] , Baer, Gerrit and Sikko, Daan with crew Hans [Disma] , Jan [ RIP…crew from Gerrit] Christianne [RIP, partner and crew from Baer].
And the airport from above in 1991.


We loved the cartoons from Alf from Sweden.

By Alf Ingeson Thor ,TC from Sweden.
Gretha Musters who wanted to be part of this WGC, after her husband Kees [WGC champion in Hobbs New Mexico] died in 1987, with Hans Disma, crew and the Dutch table with Daan Pare, Baer Selen [WGC champion that year] Sikko Vermeer and Gerrit Kurstjens.
I am sitting at the table in front of them, …my neighbor…. Christopher Davison, who I later met again as Chris ,flying with us in Tocumwal at the SSC. By the way,..all of them are still my friends. Chris lives in Monaco and Corowa nowadays and still flies from Tocumwal.

Lot’s of coverage in several papers!!!!
With Ian…Nimbus …Newman, to the right [Aussie team] and Adrian Schuit, brother in law.

The young ones had a lot of fun as well and friendships -for- life started, some growing so strong that they still exist.

Young ones from the UK,[ Sally plus 2] ] from Australia Brett and New Zealand Jamie and my daughter Inge.
We will not forget him ,..as promised!!!
The Prize giving and champions in standard class.
With “our” Baer Selen on spot 1 , Janusz Trzeciak from Poland on 2 and Eric Moser from the USA on 3.
Great weather,..very hot though,..great company,..a great team and great hosts there in UVALDE in 1991.
And, …some statistics after 12 day’s of soaring.

News from NOW!!!!
Not good! But ,…understandable!!!
My Friends,
I have just received the following notice from the organizers of the WGC in Stendal:
Dear Eric,thank you for the swift arrangement with the Hungarian Soaring Association.After receiving your email earlier today, we aligned in the organizing team and made the decision to move the 36th WGC at Stendal from 2020 to 2021. We believe that it is highly unlikely that the Corona Crisis will settle down in a timeframe that allows competitors to make all the necessary arrangements. Delaying the decision to move until May may also cause further financial damage to the teams.In addition to that decision, we propose the following schedule for the 36th WGC 2021 at Stendal:- Beginning of training: July 18th, 2021- Opening ceremony: July 25th- Closing ceremony and prize giving: August 8th.
The Hungarian Soaring Association (HSA), the organizers of the 37th FAI World Gliding Championships in Hungary, were incredibly understanding of the world wide COVID-19 situation and its impact on the 2020 competitions.  They have swiftly acted and graciously agreed to move their WGC to 2022.  On behalf of everyone at IGC, I wish to thank HSA for this decision. 
I hope you, your family and colleagues are all safe and healthy in these difficult times,
Eric Mozer
IGC – President

I presume the WGC for the small ships …..36th WGC at Châlons-en-Champagne is not yet postponed …. August is still far away. ..123 day’s!!!!Though this is what I received this morning;
Dear Eric,
We read carefully your letter received on 30 March 2020 and we thank you for the new opportunities proposed by IGC bureau.
Health situation is still degrading in Europe and we don’t know when the epidemic peak will be reached. Meanwhile, we received many informations from pilots and volunteers regarding their lack of availability next summer. So, we are now considering that conditions won’t be gathered to organize a good WGC in 2020.
Hence, as proposed in your letter,
we actually wish to postpone the WGC in the Club, Standard and 15m classes to the summer of 2021. It will allow us to organize a successful WGC in the french flatland.
We wish you, and all the IGC members, a safe and healthy period home.
Yours sincerely,
Jean-Emile ROUAU

More “bad ,…but also understandable news, now from the FAI SGP.
Due to the uncertainty of future travel restrictions and national restrictions affecting gliding the following changes are being made to the 2020 SGP events schedule. “
The next one should be in Russia in Usman between August 25 and September 1 2020.
That means that several GP’s have been scrubbed.
France [Rion-des-Landes] has reacted with a date in 2021;
The SGP France 2020 is postponed to May 2021 (contest days 1 to 8 May)
Sweden [Boras] postponed as well;
” The decision has now been made. Due to the spread of the covid-19 virus, we postpone SGP in Borås to 9-15 May 2021.”
Italy [ Varese]
“Dear pilots. It is with much regret that we inform you that due to the global situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the QGP Italy 2020 is postponed to June 2021 same week (June 19th to June 25th).
USA [ BERMUDA HIGH].              
The 2020 event is still on schedule with a confirmation decision on the April 10th. If it is not possible to hold the contest in May 2020 there will be a postponement to September 2020.

20th edition of Pribina Cup is postponed to 2021.

FOR YOU; Holland is THE country from flowers in all varieties specially tulips!!
Mooiwatbloemendoen

A beautiful tulip from my garden for ALL OF YOU, as well.
Stay healthy!!!
And,…sport-minding people like I am,…I think we best forget the year 2020 and try to stay safe. That might be already difficult enough.
Cheers Ritz

For all of you!!!!


The influence from CORONA on soaring and the aviation world!

Our flying “mates”.
Courtesy Arjan Vrieze

APRIL 1 2020….no time for jokes!!
Whilst the world still tries to deal and cope with COVID-19, the first signs of a new crises are mentioned already.
After we lost too many people worldwide and we are till loosing them mostly in the USA now as far as we know, too many got sick with lung problems, now a lot lost their jobs, hence [temporarily] no money to live or for gliding anymore.
SURVIVING is the word!!!!
For some “no worries” for others the loss of a way to relax in these difficult times.
Clubs are closed at the moment, but try to help where possible by asking no money or postponing the membership with 6 months as there is no soaring now.

Great picture by ARJAN VRIEZE.
They still can fly!!!! Arjan Vrieze

In several countries the spring weather however, looks very promising for the summer flying,…indeed when flying is on!!!
I showed you earlier some pictures from Holland and Belgium in spring time here is Australia in autumn time, in the “heart of the continent” Alice Springs.

On the ground. All gliding in Alice Springs cancelled.
Courtesy Robert Smits.

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More bad than good news nowadays ,so here is as it seems some REAL good news from OMARAMA;
Update from Glide Omarama

Glide Omarama is now shuttered down and isolated and the unfortunate glitch with CAA is behind us. The plan is that towing and training services at Omarama will reopen in September, subject of course to lockdowns and a degree of economic recovery.

Luckily Glide Om has no debt so the business can survive a long period of inactivity provided we still have some instructors and tow pilots available.

In the meantime, all the best to our friends and gliding community in these difficult times. We hope to see many of you again at Omarama next season! Thank you for your support. Please follow us on Facebook for updates
Glide Omarama

Glide Omarama

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Related to COVID-19 is the EARLY retirement of the 747 in both The Netherlands and Australia.
The Qantas Boeing 747 ‘Queen of the Skies’ journey comes to an end today. After 5 decades flying for the ‘Spirit of Australia’, the final flight took place today as VH-OEE landing into Sydney Airport on 28th March 2020. Qantas 747 retirement 747 final flight Qantas Jumbo Jet. “
A few of my Aussie mates flew this type for years!!!
In Holland was last Sunday the forced last flight from the 747. After nearly 50 years; 49 to be accurate.
Also one year earlier than foreseen. The freight ones continue flying.
Several “spotters” came to look and say good bye ,but were send away because of the virus.
By the way, KLM replaces them for the more economical , twin engine 777 and the DREAMLINER 787.

—–To show you how bad this virus is for the aviation world , here some pictures shared by Casey. No more words needed!!!!

TOO sad for words…who would have EVER thought this could happen in our modern world????

Some of my friends are hit HARD!!!! I share some of the heart breaking news they shared.
Hard to imagine that only a few weeks ago I thought this was all a storm in a teacup. After 8 years with the same employer, I find myself looking for work at a time where a lot of people are doing the same thing.”

Last Wednesday the Virgin CEO told us most Virgin pilots would be stood down temporarily but all Tiger pilots would be stood down permanently ie made redundant. He said that all aircraft will remain – no fleet reduction. TigerAir as an airline will fly again and even the TigerAir cabin crew will remain. BUT when flying starts he will use Virgin pilots to fly the aircraft.  “

To those that are in lockdown, be patient. To those that are not, keep your distance.
Hopefully we can soar again soon
.”

That’s it for now, try to enjoy life …I try too. But above all….stay safe!!!!

Cheers Ritz

A very quiet world!!!

With the corona virus now nearly in EVERY part of the world, it feels like there is a stand-still in everything.
The Netherlands were organizing the Eurovision Song Festival, the EC soccer AND for the first time in years the F1 circus would be back at Zandvoort….it’s not going to happen!!!!
A pity? ….yes , a disaster…. NO.Of course not.
If China is the example for all of this, then we know that we are stuck with it for at least 3 months, depending how strong the reactions were from when it started in a country.
From no worries, as said by Trump in the USA and Bolsonaro in Brasil , Johnson in the UK an Kim in N Korea , TO ACTIONS AS A TOTAL LOCK-DOWN.
Our health is the MOST IMPORTANT, so let’s listen to those who know and advise!!!!!

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Seminole;

Courtesy Bo.

Soaring day 3; task  TAT (Turn Area Task) of 178 miles nominal distance with a minimum time of 2:45.
John [Good ], send them all up in the air after a nice St. Patricks day, though the Florida Governor closed the bars at 5 PM.
Corona still has a big influence as I read in their daily blog:
With two days left in the contest, we are still being very careful with social distancing, no pilots meeting, lots of hand washing and dinners being served with volunteers in gloves.  It was a little awkward to do away with the pilots meeting but now everyone is getting used to it.  Information is delivered electronically but a paper task sheet is available with Rick Sheppe outfitted in blue dish gloves.  “
About the weather and the flying;
”  Cloud bases were around 4,500ft around the gliderport rising to almost 6,000ft later in the day.  Lift averaged 4.5kts on average with some topping out at 8kts.  Biggest blast of the flight was a cloud street that went almost 70 miles from Norton to Gore.  How you handled this leg was the difference between the leaders and the rest of the field.  As you approached the southern section of the task area, the clouds were disappearing in some of the area around Winter Haven.  However, there was a small line of clouds you could work towards the lake.  “
”  Karl Striedieck and Sarah Arnold took the day running away from the field in an Arcus.  Their 216 miles was covered at a blazing 77 miles an hour.  Phil Gaisford finished second with a raw speed of 68.32 mph in a Discus 2b with Rich Owen finishing third in a trusty LS-8 at 68.09 mph.  The score sheet is really tight right now with the top 10 pilots separated by about 200 points. “
So Karl and Sarah clearly are used to the for them new ARCUS and instruments, winning the day , which is good for Stendal.

Yes indeed a senior competition. Courtesy Bo.

Soaring-day 4; task…. 3 hour Turn Area Task .
About the weather….. cloud bases starting at 3,000 feet at launch to right at 4,400 feet when the gate opened.  Lift varied between 3 knots to right at 6.5 knots in the task area. 
About the flying…. “Most of the pilots were looking for the nice streets that were around the task area yesterday, but few were found. Rich Owen finished in first place with a 64.19 mph raw speed over a course of 194 miles.  Phil Gaisford finished in second by a narrow margin, flying 196 miles at 64.07.  Fernando Silva finished in third. “
Scorer is Rick [Sheppe].
Soaring day 5 and the very last one!!!!!
Even with further corona -restrictions in the USA, they squeezed a last day out; a 2.45 TAT, won by Phil, …AGAIN, and then it is no secret that he is the overall winner too in his Discus 2b. 4.963 points.
Rich in his LS 8/15 m. ,was 3d for the day but runner up overall; 4.849 p.
And the ARCUS team, Karl and Sarah, had a bit of an off-day after an early start, being 10th for the day, but still a 3d place overall for them;4.776.
This was edition 30 and I read that one pilot attended all 30 senior-comps and even won the first one; Don Wasness, good on him.

And then this awful news for all ….
On a very sad note: Cathrine Eaglin, in her early 20s, who ran the launch line in a very professional way for a number of years, both here and at numerous contests, was killed in a car accident Thursday night. She will be greatly missed. “
VERY SAD!!!! She was there this last week helping out as well. My sympathy goes to all at the comps and specially her family!!!!!
I know their feelings.

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With a NE wind, bringing polar air, we had a couple of pretty cold day’s and lot’s of sunshine. We even had -6 , 2 nights ago, the coldest and lowest temperature this entire winter.
The season could have started, with cold but great soaring conditions with great clouds,…but no worries next year there will be the next spring and is it all over…I hope!!!
The last flights in Holland were on March 14, after ….the clubs have been closed.
Only a few flights with this great weather last Saturday; One from Denmark, Switzerland,Germany and Sweden.
From Australia still a few flights…” We are still flying… for how long nobody knows. “
From NZ ;” Best way to ‘self isolate’, not many people on the Mt Cook summit!  “
In Tocumwal the club from Ingo , the SRGC , has decided to not fly for the next 6 months. It is the beginning of the winter season anyhow, so a good idea.
Only 23 OLC flights on Monday. The best was in Poland ;401 km. in a Pegase.
13 Yesterday with one from Europe.
Heard that the EUROGLIDE has been cancelled too. Next year then,…
Everything …next year!!!!!Olympic Games as well.

Everything is different. And it will change every week. It’s a weird world we live in now.
Soaring-news is not very important at the moment.
Let’s hope all the rules have worked and we will have less death.
Obey,…stay safe and healthy!!!!

CU next week
cheers Ritz

Spring soaring ! G.I! Senior Nationals 2020 in Seminole!

Blog 1.200!!!!!
As every year the Senior Nationals are hold at Seminole Lake Gliderport at Clermont [Florida] in the USA.
This is the 30th edition of the Senior Soaring Championship. What started as a friendly competition between friends have turned into a highly competitive event ” .
March 13 official practice-day and contest between March 14 and 20.

As every year ALSO great pictures from Bo.
courtesy @Bozena Michalowski.

They started with 3 practice day’s to get in the rhythm on March 11 for the 67 pilots!!! From them I met 12 .
THEN it was March 14 with,
Day 1 ;with 50 starting pilots , corona around the corner [ Disney World and Universal closed their doors.We decided to cancel all meetings and provide the information via electronic means using email and WhatsApp. ] but also reasonable weather for some good flying.
A TAT [Turn Area Task ] was set from 2.45 hours.
Clouds popped up “Good Cu, nice long runs under well formed clouds, and some markers on course.  “
Phil Gaisford in the Discus 2 b, was the best….distance 198 miles in 2.49! Good old Karl Striedeck ,once a topper always a topper, is practicing already for the WGC in Stendal in the ARCUS M . A pretty new glider and instruments for him, but with Sarah in the back they were runners up. Good to see them together in Stendal.
Day 2; No briefing,…no get-togethers…because of corona, but flying…yes.
Today, the pilots started launching a little early due to the good weather.  Climbs were 3-4 knots to about 4,300 ft at the start.  The 2:45hr TAT took us for a tour of southern Florida. “
Phil won the day again , collected 2000 points in total and no doubt,..leads the pact:another 2.45 TAT…183 miles in time 2.48.
Karl and Sarah were on the 19th place and share spot 4 overall with 2 other pilots.
Day 3; Part of their news for the day;
After a successful launch, the day did not look like the previous 5 days. Cu were forming but a mid deck of clouds was moving in from the East.  Climbs were 3 knots to 3,200ft but as the task opening time approached, the mid deck covered much of the task area. Since the next few days of weather are forecasted to be good, the CD decided that it would not be a fair day and cancelled the task.  “
Day 4; today….is St Patrick day and they all wanted a day off so they got it. No flying!!!But the announced already…”tomorrow will be a race day!!!!”

Lovely weather on the first days …and more to come.
Courtesy Bo.

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Still good soaring in autumn in Tocumwal as you can see….busy and great clouds.

AND,…also there the grass is getting greener!!!
Tocumwal Soaring Centre
Tocumwal Soaring Centre

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Back to sailing for a minute; About glider pilot Bill Hatfield’s fabulous sailing trip.

The WORLD SAILING SPEED RECORD COUNCIL has ratified Bill’s record here in the news:
“The WSSR Council announces the establishment of a new World Record Reference Time:
Time: Around the World Westabout. Singlehanded 40ft
Yacht: “L’Eau Commotion”. Northshore 38. Monohull
Name:  Bill Hatfield. AUS
Dates:.8th June 2019 to the 22nd February 2020
Start time: 02; 04; 10 UTC on 08/06/19. 
Finish time: 00; 28; 19 UTC on 22/02/20
Elapsed time: 258 days 22 hours 24 minutes and 9 seconds
Distance: 21600 NM
Average speed: 3. 48 kts
Comments:.No previous record – hence this will be listed as an “Initial Benchmark Time”tter No 317

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CORONA.

The Netherlands are pretty much locked down now schools, bars and restaurants are closed as well ,till April 6. People worked already at home ,planes are at the ground and trains [85 % less passengers on Monday morning,…[unheard… never happened before in history!] and buses have a special schedule. In fact Europe is partly locked down!France totally for 2 weeks. Also Italy and Spain and since today also Belgium have a “lockdown”.It seems the out side borders of Europe are closed as well.
This is a great disaster for the health of our world and of the global economy.
Where it ends?? I don’t know. As you could read briefings in Seminole are via internet, also the openings briefing from the NIJAC in Malden here in Holland, was last Saturday via social media.
Will they fly??? Guess not!! It would be my grand son’s first soaring day in Holland at the Club from the Gelderse, this upcoming Saturday.
Let’s wait and see.
As long as EVERYBODY STAYS SAFE!!!!
Proud on the Netherlands as everybody is obeying VERY well what has been ordered.
Our prime minister Rutte, was just GREAT when he spoke to all of us. Last time a prime minister spoke on TV and radio to the country, was in 1973 with the oil crises.

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GLIDING INTERNATIONAL.

The March /April digital version arrived in my mail box and it had lot’s of —-news about the WWGC.
Statements , from pilots, crews, Aussie TC, CD ,the president of the GFA and other interested soaring-people and ….a sharp note to start with.
The results of the 2020 WWGC at Lake Keepit In Australia in January, is proving to be a major embarrassment for the Australian Gliding Movement and their executive team.Few will have ever experienced its like.
Gliding International does not propose to be judgmental on the situation the Australian Gliding Federation now faces ,but list known facts.
Of course after the IGC meeting some news has changed, as the TC Terry Cubley had to step down from all his FAI and ICG functions.
A nice picture from the champions in 18 m. on page 1. And then lot’s of pages with the opinion of John Good, the GFA report, the jury report and the protest from the TC’s and some questions for Germany’ s Katrin Senne …19 pages from everything you need to know.
——Fires in the Aussie summer were terrible, also for soaring.
—–And ….fire in a Experimental Jet Powered Glider…highlighting the need for better fire protection.
—–it seems that the climate change makes the summer down under twice as long as winters.
——an alternative contest format from Italy.
—–lot’s of international aviation news for glider pilots [6 pages] and of course “things with wings”.

Great spring weather here at the moment , so I rush out side to make my garden even more beautiful.
Stay safe!!!!!
Cheers Ritz.

IGC meeting ! OMARAMA ! Blog 1.199.

With the IGC meeting last Friday and Saturday ,I was hooked to my laptop to follow mainly the tweets in live time.
I felt for the first time ,what it means when people follow a live blog , as I did at several comps.Interesting!!!
Day 1 ;
—- The period of international competitions has been changed from 16 days to 15 days .
—- A long discussion about the use of mobile devices while flying . I know that you need a mobile for uploading SkySight in flight in the LX computers. And now????
—- We have voted to clarify the definition of unsporting behavior in competitions.
IMPORTANT after the WWGC!!!!BUT,…unsporting is unsporting,…my opinion.BUT ,…it is in WORDS now and to those words organizers can handle.
—IGC Treasurer Dick Bradley is giving his report. He has been our Treasurer since 1996 and is retiring this year. Thank you, Dick!!!!
Well done Dick, such a nice guy!!!!
—- A long discussion about the use of the Pilot Event Marker to mark the start.
AND,….. We have approved the use of PEV to mark the start. This procedure is a “Start Option” available to the Organizers.
—- A new method of handicapping is approved: the “Distance Handicapped Task uses variable turn-point radii in the Racing Task .
—- The IGC Champion Pilot of the Year 2019 is presented to Melanie Gadoulet of France.
Congratulations Melanie!!!

Day 2; a few important notes/tweets from the 37 delegates and board.
—- The 2023 World Gliding Championships in the Open, 18m, and 20m Multiseat Classes is awarded to USA.
—- The 2023 Junior World Gliding Championships is awarded to Poland.
—- The 2021 World Gliding Championship in the 13.5m Class is awarded to Lithuania, in combination with the previously-approved European Gliding Championships . I guess this must be E glide!
—– The 2023 Pan American Gliding Championships is awarded to USA.
—– The 2022 Junior European Gliding Championships is awarded to Lithuania.
—- The 2022 European Gliding Championship is awarded to Poland.

Gisela …now owner of the 2020 Lilienthal Gliding Medal….and I in Lake Keepit at Harry’s.

—- Proposed wording: “Data communication between competitors, or between them and the ground, is prohibited except as required for safety purposes, for anti-collision warning, or as specifically allowed by the Organizers.”
Later this is approved!
—- No change to turn point geometry .
—- Limitation of finish penalty points (a finish penalty cutoff altitude) is approved .
—- A proposal to allow free gridding in competitions is defeated .
—- A proposal to mandate a 30 minute delay between last launch and gate opening is defeated .
—- A Year 1 proposal to mandate limits of start altitude and ground speed is approved.
—- We have voted to continue funding the IGC Tracker project.
—– We have voted to change (modernize) the way competition results age, at the recommendation of the Ranking List Committee.
—- We have voted to increase the weight of SGP results in the Ranking List calculations.
—- We have awarded the 2020 Lilienthal Gliding Medal to Gisela Weinreich (GER)
Congratulations Gisela.
—- We are reviewing and approving the list of FAI/IGC Officials for the 2020 and 2021 World and Continental Championships .

After this IGC meeting we HAVE TO LOOK back at the WWGC:
I still think it was “unwise” from Terry to not resign. BUT,….Terry thinks he has dome nothing wrong as I heard, so……
There is however a bureau decision, after the “debacle” at the WWGC.
The Bureau decided that Mr. Terry Cubley will be removed immediately from all his duties and roles in the IGC.
These include the stewards working group, the IGC Safety Committee,the Sailplane Grand Prix team and the annex A committee.

Mr Cubley will not be considered as eligible to hold any position within IGC until march 4 2025.”

The championship management committee had advises too.
the management decided to produce guidance in addition to existing jury handbook which should provide jury presidents with guidance related to communication vis-a-vis other jury members and igc.
and
they confirmed the role of the Championship Management Committee in management and nomination of jury members for IGC Championships.
This is good and “triggered” by the WWGC.

The jury decision from the WWGC seems to stand!Could not find more news about that.

Next meeting will be in Copenhagen in Denmark in March 2021.

Aeródromo de Garray at Soria, shared by Kiki. Great picture.

A spin-off of this meeting is the next news from Kiki; [Jacky Clairbaux]
” My dear Gliding Friends .
I have the great pleasure to inform you that IGC meeting in Budapest has decided to give the organisation of the next WGC women in 2022 to Airpull on the airfield of Soria .
The team of Airpull is honored with this trust . We will be happy to help the Spanish Gliding Federation , in total collaboration , to make of this event a big success … For the promotion of the women in gliding and the aerological conditions in Soria.”

A new gliding spot in a very pretty village , in Garray, Castilla y León, Spain.
As shared by Kiki


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[BAD] News from Omarama, for now pretty sad, but I am sure they will be back as strong as ever!!!
There are too many angry people after the announcement.
Here is Justin’s first news and at that stage I still had good hope:
Please note that all Glide Omarama services will be suspended from 15 April 2020.

After 20 years of flying from the Omarama Airfield without a Trial Flight incident the Civil Aviation Authority of NZ requires GlideOmarama to re-certify its operations from being a Recreational Aviation Organisation under the CA Rules Part 149, to an Organisation Conducting Adventure Aviation Part 115, and to re-license its pilot/instructors accordingly.

This certification process, consisting of negotiations, applications and approvals, is expected to take several months to complete.

Glide Omarama therefore has decided to suspend its operations from 15 April 2020, until the procedure is complete.

However, in anticipation of successful outcomes, the company is happy to receive bookings for the Soaring School and Trial Flights scheduled from 1 September 2020 onward.

Bookings scheduled for dates up to and including April 14 2020 will be honoured. Bookings scheduled between April 15 and August 31 will be refunded or rescheduled as directed by the client.

Glide Omarama regrets any inconvenience this suspension may cause to Club members, glider pilots and visitors. Throughout the period of self-suspension our office, phones, web site and email will remain live.

Thank you all for understanding and for your support to the Glide Omarama team at this difficult time.

Gavin Wills
Glide Omarama
7 March 2020

Sometimes life is just UNFAIR!!!!!And as we have to wait for a while , a great picture from this season, published on January 24 .

A great flight with Paulo over Mount Cook .
As shared by Glide Omarama

Later on there was more news and even more devastating for Omarama;
Glide Omarama is to cease operations from today (Monday, March 9, 2020.) with the loss of 21 jobs.  “
That was to be on April 14 . However,…… this morning [Monday] it announced the company would cease operation altogether from today .
From the Omarama Gazette;
Unfortunately, we at Glide Omarama have experienced unexpected re-licensing issues with the Civil Aviation Authority and have decided to cease all operations from 09 March 2020 for the foreseeable future.  It is unlikely we will be reopening.”  In an interview Mr Wills said staff were told this morning ahead of the announcement.  “It’s heart-breaking.  It’s been a wonderful experience, the last 22 years.  I’m very proud of what we have built up. We are all devastated.”  Support for the family-run business was coming in from around the world, he said. “
And more news from Justin in this paper;
“The reason we have to close down is the CAA claim we are breaking the law, as it is, by undertaking these trial flights. We argue we are not, but we’re not prepared to go to court to prove it.  We asked to be allowed to continue until the end of the season, another five weeks, to be in a better financial position [to deal with it] but they are unwilling to allow that to happen.  There is no safety case to suggest we should be shut.”

BUREAUCRATS!!!!!!!!We had to fight them in the past as well, so I know the feeling!!
TERRIBLE!!!!!!!
AND to be fair ,.. there are always 2 sites on a story,..here is what the CAA had to say on the subject in the Gazette;
Glide Omarama was informed by the Civil Aviation Authority last year that it would need to become certified as an adventure aviation operation in order to continue offering its passenger glider flights.
Glide Omarama had been offering paid glider flights which were described as ‘trial flights’, but it is the Authority’s view that many of the flights on offer were adventure aviation flights, rather than the type of trial flights which would be available at gliding clubs elsewhere in the country.

Under Part 115 of the Civil Aviation Rules, adventure aviation operations are required to be certificated before they can offer recreational flights to paying passengers, including flights in gliders.  This rule was first introduced in November 2011 to regulate the adventure aviation industry, and require operators to be certificated in much the same way as air transport operators.


In order to gain certification, operators need to satisfy the Director of Civil Aviation that they have appropriate management systems, structures and operating procedures in place to ensure compliance with the relevant safety standards.  They also need to demonstrate that their employees are appropriately qualified and trained, and that their equipment is appropriate for the task and properly maintained.  These rules are in place to keep the New Zealand public and tourists safe, both in the air and on the ground, when they pay for adventure aviation flights.

The Civil Aviation Authority will continue to work constructively with Glide Omarama, and would welcome an application for Part 115 certification.”

Mr Wills said discussions with CAA had been “ongoing since 2002”.  The problem was the level of compliance it required was “burdensome in cost and in ongoing applications.  We’re financially unable to do it.  There’s no other country in the world that certificates gliding in this manner, no one.”
Omarama Gazette.

Is there maybe some hope;
Mr Wills said the council-controlled Omarama Airfield Company were aware of the situation. 
“The airfield company is in a sound financial position and will now be working with interested parties to ensure that services to the gliding community are available in the year to come
” .

Sorry this a lot of news on one subject but …I REALLY FEEL FOR THEM!!!!
And… from another source [Star News] :”Wills said the company already followed most of the requirements, and the only new thing it would have to do was random drug testing.But at the end of the day, it could not afford to apply for a re-certification and he said the 22-year business would be no more.”
Justin also said “the end of Glide Omarama would be a huge loss to the international gliding community.
I totally agree!!!!!!It should NOT happen.

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More sad/bad news now for my soaring mates in Australia.
Got a message about 2 gliding centers well known and existing already for 50 years; Southern Cross and Sydney Gliding, based at Camden Airport.
What happens????
On short time notice, they got a proposal for an increase of 225 and 500 % on their rent price from Sydney Metro Airports!!!!!
NOT GOOD!!!!!

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First flights of the season in The Netherlands and Belgium on March 7!!!

First flight of the season from Pieter from Keiheuvel in Belgium.
And from Terlet in Holland as shared by Robert. Gliders with call sign E 7-12, belong to the club the Gelderse.
More E-gliders ready for the beginning of the season.
As seen and shared by Arjan Vrieze

By the way,…the Aussie mates still fly over 500 km. Even in a Kestrel 17m.
And the BITTERWASSER gliders are back in Europe in time as well for the new season.

Many hands make the work light. As shared by
Bitterwasser Lodge & Flying Centre

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And to finish a WOW factor picture;

“Absolute ripper of a day at the 2020 Tyabb Airshow, many thanks to all who helped organize it.
Here is just the first of many photos to come; Glenn Graham and Paul Bennet going over the top! ” as shared by Mayday Photography

Sometimes you loose friends, who are special. That happened yesterday when Theo Hagenberg passed away after a short battle he could not win, age 76.
I got to know him on March 29 in 1967.He was a member of the ZES [Soaring Club of the students from Eindhoven] and for many years an instructor.
He visited us at home as a real house-friend, together with Kees[Musters] and Peter[ van Nieuwland] They all passed away now.
RIP dear friend.

Cu next week, with news from the Gliding International issue March/April.
Nearly forgot….International WOMEN’ S DAY..on March 8.
OK ……an extra honor for the always smiling , successful and exceptional French girls from the glorious Lake Keepit WWGC!!!!

The french girls, they were so good!!!!!! As shared by
FFVP – Fédération Française de Vol en Planeur

Newsy news! Post 1.198!!

—–2020 Lake Keepit Regatta.
As you know “The Keepit Regatta is a fun, friendly and informal regatta, with entries restricted to 30 gliders. The idea is for early cross country pilots to be able to fly with experienced pilots to gain experience and confidence without the pressure of a competition. We found out that many experienced pilots come along just for a great no stress flying week.
Coaching, team flying and mentoring are all encouraged at this event. There will be possibility for flying in pair either in lead-follow with two gliders or in a dual seater.”
Restriction; All the pilots need to be current, have at least a Silver C and  be a current member of the GFA .
They continued on February 26 with another 2 hour AAT , knowing there was a huge thunderstorm at the first turn point.
A day with a 15 km finish circle due to forecast of storms .
Another win for Brad ;214 km. in time 202.He really shows others how to do it.Of course…he has the glider to show it!!!
On February 27, flying-day 4 ,with task 5 ,CD and also scorer Casey set another AAT , a bit bigger;2.30.
Brad won the day again even with his handicap.[1151]
He flew 279 km in time 2.33. Dave was runner up with 261 in 2.29 and Jacques 3d with 270 km. in 2.35. Both fly JS 1.[1170]
Later it changed as due to a glider change by Ranjit Phelan, to the DIANA 2, there was a scoring correction and he had as many points as Brad .
This is by the way the 2 day Brad competes.The other day’s he did n’t fly. He is clearly there as coach/mentor.
I had to laugh about Allan’s comment.He is really flying for fun there and even was n’t upset when he found out he flew the wrong task:” What wasn’t perfect was that I had picked up the wrong task from the printer – yesterday’s instead of today’s. Still, no complaints – I had a great day.
And;” Got into some nice shear wave, and since I was just flying for fun I took it up to see how high it went. About 6000ft was the answer,  “
February 28 ;2 hour AAT and it really pleased me to see Jacques was the winner. I know it is not a real competition , but at least for some it is.
He started and finished together with CD Casey, who flew his first Nationals in Tocumwal in December and even won a day; both 200 km in time 2.06. Both got 612 points.
Brad got 553 for being 5th. Dave was 3d.
February 29 …last day. 3 hour AAT.
Casey showed you can be scorer and CD and win 2 day’s. He won the last one ;354 km. in time 3.01.
Paul Dickson in a Slingsby. T-51 Dart-17R [ handicap 1106] was runner up with 337 km. in time 3.08.
Dave and Allan were 3d and 4th. Brad did not fly.
For what it is worth….3 JS 1 gliders in the top with Dave, Casey and Jacques.The only 3 over 3000 points and very close.
Dave had 3.123 points, Casey 3.115 and Jacques 3.115, so 2 runner up’s.
Always nice to follow this Regatta and as you know I have been once in Keepit maybe 20 years ago and I liked it,…now after being there again for the WWGC , I even like it more.

—–Helli Lasch Challenge;

as shared by Lillian.

Last Sunday I got a mail from Lilian, partner from Sjaak Selen. They arrived in AFRICA at Tswalu…if I was interested in news and pictures.
Of course I was, so I share her news with you.
By now I do not have to explain anymore I guess what the Helli Lasch is .
They all arrived on Saturday and as the weather was beautiful, a few short starts were made straight away.
Which was good as on Sunday it was cloudy…no soaring weather but a good day for game drives and lectures.
The European participants …all WGC champions …are Wolfgang [Janowitsch] Felipe [Levin] and Katrin [Senne both from Germany] and Lukasz [Grabowski] from Poland.
Members of the S A. team and juniors and promising pilots are there as well.
The organisation is in good hands by Carol [Clifford] and Martin [Leslle]
John [Coutts] facilitates it all.

Flying from the Swalu- estate as seen by air, I guess by Sjaak on the first flying day and shared by Lillian.

——Bitterwasser looks back at their season;
One is missing
A bit of statistics on the Bitterwasser season 2019/2020: just one flight is missing to make the 100 flights over 1000 kilometers full. Mind you the number of flights that ran over 1000 kilometers and still remained under 1100 kilometers! So the Bitterwasser season 2019/2020 was not bad, in comparison it was quite good. A total of 172 flights exceeded the 1000 km mark, one led over 1400 kilometers. That was not possible in the previous season.
Dirk Skura – with a little vacation break in the flight office all season – has meticulously kept track of everything. He registered that the season even outperformed the previous one regarding the OLC points. A few more pilots and flights took the top spot. But you can still dream of the super season 2017/2018. Then the pilots in Bitterwasser managed to top the 1000 Kilometer mark 382 times
. ” Bitterwasser Lodge & Flying Centre

Bitterwasser Lodge & Flying Centre

——Great weather again in OMARAMA;
On February 27 Omarama was the place to be for some great flights. No wonder they topped the OLC list that day with 5 good flights.
Good wave. Winds 40-60 knots aloft. We saw 20 knots up indicated a couple times. The wave was marked by rotor clouds, then a few lennies, and toward the end of the flight moisture from an approaching front resulted in lots of clouds almost everywhere and rain not far the west of the airport .”
Comment from Nicolas Bennet and ScarlatNorbert-Alin  in the Duo Discus flying that “old” 2-seater around with a speed of 158 km./h.over 758 km. Good on them !!!

N.Z. yesterday after the rain cleared……. somebody made this stunning picture!!!

as shared by Glide Omarama


—-IGC meeting …2020 plenary….in Budapest;
starts this upcoming weekend in Budapest in Hungary. Guess CORONA will not be a spoilsport.More in my next blog.
Rick [Sheppe ] from the USA normally shares his notes with me. Will follow the tweets as well.

—-New Competition;
As shared by Jacky “Kiki” Clairbaux.

” To all my gliding friends . Please share this information . Thanks . I wait for you there

—–“Longest thermal flight”;1.582 km goal flight with a speed of 144 km./h.
David Jansen from Australia was wondering if his flight from January 2 in 2015 STILL is the longest flight EVER .
Last Monday he published this note:” 1,582km. Is this the largest glider flight ever done in the world using just thermals? Any bigger one you know of? No wave or ridge or cloud flying allowed .”
He flew from Kingaroy in 10 hours and 57 minutes to Benalla.
The first over 1.500 km. flight in Australia and I guess,…. it still stands!!!!!
A year earlier, Adam’s dad Chris flew in one line from Kingaroy to Tocumwal; 1.250 km.

—Corona virus;
We were lucky for a while here in the Netherlands, but after it came closer and closer via Germany and Italy, we could only wait before it hit us too.
A business man visiting Milano came back …BENG,…corona was in Holland too.
Also in Amsterdam a lady who visited the N of Italy is in quarantine now. Her husband and 1 of the children are sick too.
A total of 23 infected people at this stage. Most coming back from winter sport in N. Italy.

—–You might have heard about the tornado’s in Nashville in Tennessee.
I found a picture shared by Paul Arnold,one of our a gliding mates in the USA and involved in flying and seeing this picture , you feel the pain.
Even worse …..this destructive tornado killed at least 25 people and this number might rise.
The total damage is huge!!!! Stupid weather!!!!

That’s it for now. Nearly at blog/post 2000!!!!!
CU next week.
Cheers Ritz

2-seat NATIONALS ….always fun for 2 ! WWGC investigation !

Post 1.197

Starting with some news from the WWGC investigation written by the president of the GFA Peter Cesco!!!

I am writing to all members in the interests of transparency and honesty about the recent issue of Unsportsmanlike conduct at the World Womens Gliding Championship. “

Peter writes a lot, shares apologies from the Australian TC Terry and helper Matt, [pretty poor in my opinion ] and addressed the International soaring world, by writing to the IGC.
Both Terry and Matt, have been “punished” .
By the way, Terry has NOT resigned from his function as delegate for Australia as member of the General Conference.
I think the report [….into the access an use of undelayed tracking data obtained from the G-track live system….] attached to the letter, is pretty good and covers a lot, but still in a way ” what we did was not REALLY wrong”.

I guess this is not over yet!
AND,…. I guess it will be properly looked at again, at the IGC meeting in March in Budapest on March 6 and 7. Not Ireland as I abusively mentioned… sorry!!!!.
I wanted to be sure of the date and checked google on IGC meeting saw March 8 OK,. IGC ..OK, Ireland ..must then be OK too..
BUT NO I looked at the IGC meeting on MARCH 8 in Ireland and IGC meant don’t laugh. [I never made such a stupid mistake!!!!] Institute of Guidance Councellors….will never forget that anymore!!!

The whole WORLD TOP of soaring people will be in Budapest , that is when the Corona virus does n’t spoil it ,with an, I hope and expect, objective opinion.
IMPORTANT!!!
As it was a WORLD Gliding event cat 1, it needs the attention of the total soaring world, so it never happens again.
Soaring is and should be, an honest/fair and clean sport.


Narromine 2-seat NATIONALS!!.

The grid on February 19 as shared by Ian Steventon

No secret that Adam loves his flying and ,..if possible,…always wants to win.
For those who want to learn from Adam as “influencer” here is what he had to say;
I’ve realized that I’m flying with a different attitude & mentality this summer. In short, last 2 seasons, I have been flying with a ‘demon’ or ‘mongrel’ like attitude, I was going for the day win, plus some extra every day. This season, I’m flying at 90%, not pushing at all, expecting a 900pt day – which happens, but not reliably. “
Flying with Keith is fun and,..winning a day was now a fact as well at Narromine….back in the old mood for a day???
Thursday was day 6 and task 5; a set racing task from 296 km. So a race from tp. to tp. is “easy” start, fly and return.
No, it’s not what always happens, certainly not on a blue day.
But Adam and Keith won the day and they were the only ones over 100 km./h. ;102 to be precise. They started as the last pilots and raced to their first WIN during this competition.
Adam;” Winner winner, today, the moment I saw the task, I could see the winning tactic for the day clearly. Start last, the other 9 will start almost together, at worst, bunch up around half way, Keith & I will then catch up by clear air, then coast home – this is exactly what happened, & we were rewarded .”
More in his Adam Woolley’s Gliding Adventures
Bruce and Brad were runner up with 98 km./h showing it was not easy. Also Lumpy and Joergen and Alland and Harry had 98 km./h.
Bruce mentioned in his Taylor’s Gliding Page ;
Absolutely blue for yesterday’s flight. It was one of those scratchy days when you are always looking for the next climb. As a pair of loners we decided to leave when we wanted, rather than later, when we should have, and of course that always costs us. We did a good flight except for the middle of the leg coming East where the sink hammered us down to treetop height before we climbed away. By that time the crowd had caught us and we came home with them. Congrats to Adam and Keith who did start at the right time and put together a nice flight. “

A happy Keith and Adam as shared by Keith.

Friday was another flying day …2.30 AAT and a bad one for some!!!
Not for the Duo Discus XL from the Hunter Valley. Mich Webster won the day and the speed says it all; 89 km./h….not an easy day ,but still 230 km. in time 2.33.
Only 6 from 10 finished and with the “outlanders”, also Adam/Keith after 255 km.
Adam;” Almost got home, but in the end we had to fire the engine 15km from home.. ” Longer story in Adam Woolley’s Gliding Adventures

2 Gliders started rather late at 14.59 , one finished Bruce and Brad and one was out, Lumpy and Joergen. What Happened?
Here is Bruce
Another tough day… for us anyway. My turn to fly under some quite heavy mid- and high-level cloud, and I did my best to slim down our lead . We worked really hard to stay in the sun all day, which was rule number 1 when I learned how to fly, but after some head scratching post flight, I think Brad has figured out what went wrong. We went far deeper in the first turn than everyone else, and while we were indeed in the sun for all of the next leg, we had inadvertently flown into a more stable, drier airmass, behind the main line of cloud. Despite the sun we had to be content with really weak climbs, and continually falling below 2,000 feet agl, even down to about 800 feet just before our last climb, which just allowed us to squeak home. Crazy thing was, the last climbs were better, as we had flown back into the better air, even though it was nearly dark!
Photos are of the sky in the task area after we landed, and the happy but hapless pilots .
One day to go, still in front of the chasing hounds
. “

They landed at 18.43 whilst the winner was back at 17.11. But they flew 299 km. in time 3.43!!!

Taylor’s Gliding Page

Saturday LAST DAY!!!!
with 2 teams on an equal 4th place,…so a lot can still happen.
But clearly…. the winners will be Brad and Bruce, OR Allan and “good old Harry”…….2.885 for 2.820, so that’s exciting!!!!AND,…about 400 points difference with the next pilot Butch in the Duo Discus T.
A 3 hour AAT to finish this comps and in 3 hours you can do a lot “right” and/ or “wrong”.
417 km . in time 3.13,…that’s good…129 km./h.! Adam and Keith had a great last day. Winning 1000 points and climbing from 4 to 3 so PODIUM.
Bruce and Brad lost with their 380 km. in time 3.12 some 130 points but they still had enough to be THE CHAMPIONS.
Harry and Allan consolidated their silver!!!
Here are some comments;
Bruce…” Great fun day for the final flight. Adam Woolley did a screamer to finish up and won the day by a mile, but we managed to put together a good, solid flight to maintain our lead. Probably the nicest day of the comp, apart from the practice day, with nice cu and some excellent streeting. Not super high, and the sky was slightly European, so we saw some cycling and plenty of clouds not working, but pretty straightforward .” Taylor’s Gliding Page

Adam;” Well that was a bloody lot of fun! Read the sky like a book today, there was CU to 5000′, with lots of streeting. I said to Keith as we crossed the line, “let’s just have fun today & (sorry) no one will be able to keep up with me”, arrogant I know, but that’s the mood I was in – favorite flight of the summer, what a way to finish – thanks Keith Gateley!
It was very much a European day, not that high, but extreme streeting, I think we did 150km+ without turning, at one point we had our thermalling down to 15%!
Adam Woolley’s Gliding Adventures

Final results :
1. Brad and Bruce in ASG 32MI with 3.753 points and CHAMPIONS.
2. Allan and Harry in ARCUS M with 3.680 p.
3. Adam and Keith in ARCUS M with 3.340 p.

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Something totally different, but when I read the story it has to do with soaring as well.
An 81 year old glider pilot , Bill Hatfield , sailed as the oldest person ever NONSTOP AND UNASSISTED AROUND THE WORLD, in a yacht designed by gliding colleague Hank Kaufmann ,……..yes Anita’s dad.
It took him 8 months, but what an achievement!!!
A dream,…since he was 7…came through.
He set a world record as the first person to sail round the world solo unassisted non-stop westabout in a boat under 40′ – and as a bonus being the oldest person to sail round the world solo unassisted non-stop in any direction (which seems to be the media focus)

Enjoying his first steak in 8 months,”…shared by Kerrie.


The achievement is all the more impressive considering he sailed west, battling against the prevailing winds and currents .” was the comment of regional rear commodore for North-East Australia Nick Halsey.

Picture shared by Kerrie [Claffey] who followed him all those 8 months!!

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Still great late summer weather down under,…. specially last Saturday. What about a 728 km flight some kind of out and return past Temora to the NE ,with a little triangle there, from Benalla in an LS 3 by a German pilot, Marius Gerke. TOP JOB!!!!!Sitting for more than 7 hours!!!
Tobias Geiger had a great flight too 654 km [579 triangle] in his 15 m. Ventus 2ax.
From Tocumwal Chris Davison flew 683 km in his JS 1 .
AND,…what about yesterday!!! I read that it was unexpected good and all who were in Toc had great fun.
Chris flew 792 km [647 triangle], Grant is his St Jantar 616 km,[566 triangle] and Lumpy , just back from Narromine , 934 in his JS 3 .It looks like nearly an out and return passed Mildura ,so to the NW with one leg from 456 km out.

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2020 LAKE KEEPIT REGATTA
February 22-29

32 Pilots are at the moment flying in good old Lake Keepit in one class for all. The REGATTA is in progress. I have a special feeling since I have been in Lake Keepit for this field and the hard working people over there.
The first 2 day’s unfortunately had to be cancelled . Then there were 2 small AAT’s
Last Monday showed a 2.15 AAT with only 1 finisher; Milan Sejka who flew in his LS 8 a distance of 176 km in time 2.47, so a real difficult day but,…. he finished and “got” 208 points. 2 Other Pilots flew over 100 km.
Tuesday had a 2 hour AAT and a tad better weather. 2 Of my new Lake Keepit mates were the best; Casey who organized my lovely room and Dave the meteo man ,who could cook very good as well, I tasted it ;227 and 216 km. both in JS 1in time 2.01 and 1.59. Casey started at 14.42 and Dave at 14.27.
Kimberly, who “did” the FB site during the WWGC was 15th in her Pegase.
Today; Another short 2 hour AAT and this time won by Brad in his mighty ASG 32 MI. With this kind of glider and a former WGC Champion in it you can fly as the only of the bunch over 200 km……229 to be precise in time 2.02!!!
Dave was runner up and starting this time 10 minutes later than Brad [ 190 km. in time 2.01] and Casey was 6th [ 177 km in 2.01] with Jacques [Graells] as 7th.[172km. in time 1.53.
A few more day’s to come.

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Not long and it is Easter. Got the Easter eggs already at the table. That means that the first real big competition in Europe starts at Nitra. [Slovakia]
The PRIBINA CUP from April 10 -18!!
Noticed already 114 pilots at the list of the 20thiest version of this always very well organized competition!!!
36 In open class, GOOD!!!!!,…37 in club,……28 in 15 m.. and 13 in the 2-seat-class.
Another early European competition, this year the very first I see, will be flown in Italy [hopefully with this Corona virus over there!} between March 29 and April 5 with at this stage 22 participants.
Torino is the place to be for the Trofeo Citta di Torino 2020.
There will be one handicapped class and I noticed a lot of 2 seaters.

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AND last news from the OLC;
OLC direct claim with two gliding IT systems stopped……You can read the reason why at the OLC page under segelflugszene.
In 2014, the OLC signed a preUpload agreement with three hardware and software companies, under which IGC flight files can be uploaded directly to the OLC from their systems.
Meanwhile it is known that it is unfortunately no longer possible with two of these systems to upload IGC flight files directly to the OLC. The reason for this is that the operators, in violation of the terms of the respective contract of 2014, unauthorized stored the IGC flight files of participants on third servers or in their own cloud
. ” MORE at
https://www.onlinecontest.org/olc-3.0/segelflugszene/cmsnews.html?month=022020&news=2953#2953

That’s it for today, “transition from scenes” means that there is not a lot of competition news, but enough to keep you satisfied.In the worst case I’ll dive in my photo books for some history!!!
Cheers Ritz