Bit late, but back on track! Kari Lappalainen!

SORRY,…..the transfer from my posts to another server took a bit longer than expected, hence a later post .
“Scribbles” ,….so many, from 2006 on ,with pictures,….a hell of a job!!!
But Bill did WELL as always!!
 HUGE THANK you to Bill!!!!

The Namibia season was short but strong.
Looking at the last week there were some great flights from Worcester in South Africa, where Frerk and Marcus flew in the ARCUS M a distance of 1.209 km. …853 km FAI triangle.
Also from Australia ,great flights ; the Tocumwal- Benalla- Corowa, triangle was GOOD.
Tobias Geiger flew on January 10 , a 1000 km FAI triangle from Benalla in a 15m. Ventus 2AX. GREAT JOB!!!
And what about 918 km. that day, also  from Benalla in an LS 3!!!
Francesco from Corowa flew in his ASG 32 MI a distance of 757 km and from Toc. Grant in his ST. Jantar 709 km.
Earlier on January 8 the WEST of Australia was good with 1000 km. flights from Norm in his JS 3 from Beverley and 1.134km in an ASH 31/21 m. from Cunderdin by James Cooper.
He flew 500 km OUT to the N. and returned over mostly scrub areas, where nobody lives.
Temora had a lot of pilots and several great flights up to and over 1000 km. Several set 1000 flights but even with the great weather and the longer days, it is sometimes not so easy, as we all know.
Flights from 996 and 987 and 981, are fabulous but do not give THE great pleasure of a 1000 k flight, even if you have already 10 or more.
Certainly, when you, like Matthew [Scutter] set a 1000 , fly it in your DIANA, and for the OLC is it 996!!!
Why does OLC optimize this to 997 but LX and CU to 1000.5? Will just do it again tomorrow
Some pilots abandoned their flight to be fit again for the next day to fly it again.

Looking back at the Comps, the 2021 S.A State comps were won by Pete Temple in 18 m. with 6 days flown out of 7.
5.152 points and Pete won every day!
In club class Bernie Sizer won in his PIK 20B with 4.962 points.
The New Zealand National Multi Class Champions had an exciting finish in open class . They had 5 out of 9 days and Keith Essex won the last day and JUST finished 2 points ahead of Mike Oakley in the ASH 25.
In racing it was young Nick Oakley with more than 500 points ahead of the runner up [4.787 for 4.226]

Today in my post,  a mail I got from Kari [Lappalainen] from Finland. He and Jari Julin flew in our early SSC period in an LS 6 brought from Finland ; JJ.
The glider has been LONG in Tocumwal and later Martti Sucksdorf flew in it as well. Kari , every year, did the inspections!
Reading through his eyes, shows another perspective on great times in Tocumwal, than my own perspective ,which you know about now.
He send pictures with it as well and he sends his greetings to all readers who flew in his time at Sportavia.
He allowed me to share it with you so here we go.

Hello Ritz!
As you know, this time of the year, in my view in the afternoon,  it
should look like in the picture which Swiss Chris sent to you for your
blog. But in reality, it looks like in these pics here. These were taken
in Räyskälä on 6 Jan 2021 at 16.00 loc. How do I survive? Only one
summer / year this time.

But there is nothing I can do about it in these circumstances. Visitors
are not welcome to Australia at the moment and I have to stay in Finland
shoveling the snow! Blaaah!
All this means that I have to start to use the Ventus2 of my club more
during this season. During past 20 years I have done most of my gliding
in Toc but now I have to learn to navigate around Räyskälä again .

You have long story about Toc in your blog. I have a lot of warm
memories  from Toc also. And I have got many good friends and nice
memories during my holidays there.
Some friends have passed away , some moved a way, some moved away and then back to Toc again (like Tove and Grant) , some friends I have still
met every year  in Toc or at their homes in Toc or in Melbourne. Some
overseas friends  have  been faithful to Toc and been coming there 
after Sportavia died, operating under umbrella of Ed . And some oversees
friends I have not seen since Sportavia was gone and this is sad of
course. Sad because memories of gliding there is only one thing,
memories of the time spent with friends there is very important also.

 From my flights with Sportavia I have a lot of memories and some  pics.
Here you get  two memorable ones from my flights. They are like
extremes. Triumph (2003) and almost disaster (2002).  You maybe remember these.   My guess is that no one has made outlanding any closer to the airfield. If some one likes to make measurements, the JJ has been turned around in the pic. I had to make ground loop in the end and tail was
pointing to the airfield and was a bit closer.
It was the stormy day when LS4 was turned upside down by the storm. I
was coming back from NE and we were advised to land somewhere and wait until  storm was gone in Toc .  Myself and  other pilot landed on same
paddock and waited for the tug in sunshine.  Later on the storm was gone
and tug came to pick us up.

I went first. It was still windy and Ed recommended  me to land on
platform so they could  grab my wing before wind turns me over.  Well,
no problem, I have landed smaller paddocks in Finland. In strong wind
you have to keep altitude and speed high on circuit. On final I was much
higher than normally and for a moment I thought that I will overshoot.
But then downburst started from blue sky. Brakes in, nose down…speed
is still disappearing, flaps negative, nose more  down, still not more
than 120km/h. And very soon I was getting low, not sure if I could make
it over the fence and trailers. Quick decision,  less risky to try to
land in between the remains of  basement of old building and the fence
of airfield.  Now we knew better and advised the other pilot to land on
18 and aim at the crossing of runways. He tried but barely got to the
airport.  Down burst was still there!

I have had many great flights with Sportavia and under Ed’s umbrella but
those two in pics are the most memorable.

1000 km. and…OF course Ritz with bubbles.
almost disaster 1
All ended well on a terrible down- burst- day with a collapsed roof of the sunroom due to heavy rain and an LS 4 going with the wind even hooked on a car!!!.Bones was on the wing but “flew” over it.

Maybe you do not remember the story how my 22 year long relationship
with Toc started. You were the key factor in process!
My self and Ilkka Toijala had our club gliders booked for our gliding
holiday periods on same time during two seasons in a row in Räyskälä. On
both times it rained. We were sitting in cafeteria on our last days of
holiday 1998. We decided that something has to be done. We went to
internet. Typed Gliding Australia in Google. Got a list of gliding clubs
in Australia.  We sent inquiries to few Gliding Centres.

 On next day (I think) we got first reply. It was from you!! Other
center’s  came  week behind and were  terribly late. We had already done
our bookings with you. And the rest is history!

Our gliding season 2020 in Räyskälä was delayed roughly one month
because of covid restrictions. But after that it was quite good as you
have seen in OLC.

Best wishes and Corona free year 2021!!!


All jobs,…done by Kari
Another job,towing in our SCOUT ..VH -SFO
Last but not least the briefing room at the SSC.

A huge thank you to Kari as well. SO nice to see the soaring from the guest/friends site as well.

Without problems I will be back next Wednesday!
Cheers Ritz

First comps cancelled in ’21. 1.250 km. badges!!


Courtesy Arjan Vrieze.

——–The F 1.0 continued in beautiful Leeton, where George once, years ago 1985?, became THE WINNER, as……, as a Dutchie, he could not be Aussie champion.
There was a day with hail and snow during that competition ,but I missed that, as I was on my way home to Holland already.
Young Ralf Holighaus was so kind to bring me by car to Tullamarine Airport. His dad Klaus flew the comps too and before we all went to Leeton they stayed , as we did, at the SSC in Tocumwal.
All was practice for the 1987 Benalla WGC.
Back to now.,…On January 1 in 2021 there was the next message;
It’s been a trying few days. Poor weather and storms have rolled in, and both yesterday and today we have been unable to get a sufficient window to run a task. Also, with the recent COVID-related border closures, several of our competitors and tug pilots have had to derig and make a mad dash for the border before they got locked out. It was a risk we were always aware of, but unfortunate nonetheless.
The competition is still running, so stay tuned for the next task.”
So those from South Australia and Victoria who were there, had to rush home. What a weird beginning again of this year.
Eddie made a video from his Fox, flying over the highway to the Toc bridge where the border is from NSW and Victoria; ONLY CARS!!!! Huge traffic jam!!!! NEVER ever saw such a thing in Australia.

The St. Libelle from Christian.

Looking back,…..Day 2 was won by Nick Gilbert, flying a St. Cirrus. He is the son from Jane and Tom from Temora. Nick is VERY involved in this F 1.0 flying. He is also the comp organizer ,but as he lives in SA he had to go back before the end ,but keeps an eye on things from there.
Then a few non-flying days and one more day for the few pilots who were still there.
Day 6 with as winner Scott Lennon in his Libelle; 10 points in the pocket!
Their daily news
Good morning race fans! The weather has given us a window of opportunity, and we’re going for it. Newcomer ninja Jenny Thompson is currently leading on 17 points, Scott Lennon is on 12 points, but days like this can change anything. Weather is very uncertain the next two days, so this might be IT !178km racing task today, starting early, and getting home before overdevelopment or rain kicks in.”
Indeed the scores changed. Scott has 22 points in total now and Jenny 20, as she was 7th and “got” 3 points!!

6 Libelles were participating, 3 are still flying after pilots had to rush home because of a new corona lock down. As shared by Formula 1.0

Monday was cancelled. Rain in the morning but much better after 3.Maybe one more day to go???
YES!!!!!! Day 8 showed 158 km and the day was won by F 1.0 pilot from the first moment AND just married….Christian Streifeneder in the St Libelle.
A low and blue day as they called it, but at finish time great clouds!!!
Well done to Christian Streifeneder, winner of the final day! Not the most straight forward of days, many pilots battled a long into-wind leg and very broken thermals – but Christian got high, stayed high, and smoked the field! Well done on your first day win!”
Another Libelle was runner up and till now good flying Jenny, daughter of Jenny Thompson who flew the WWGC in Lake Keepit, lost a few spots as she was 9th and got 1 point. For her first participation AND winner of day 1, a great result!!!!Congratulations “young” Jenny!!!! Mum was there as crew so what do you want more!!!
So in the end, after 4 flyable days , it was
1. Scott Lennon in the St. Libelle with 30 points.
2. Christian Streifeneder in the St. Libelle with 24 p.
3. Charlie Ianson in the St Cirrus with 24 p. AND Jenny Thompson
in the Hornet with the same amount.

Last day weather at the start with already clouds at the horizon
as shared by Adam who was ‘relaxed” there.

A pity so many had to leave, as the set-up from this competition is “inviting” for all.
“Conventional gliding competitions can require a huge financial commitment. Formula 1.0 is centered around the club class handicap of 1.0, which means that pilots can buy a competitive sailplane for less than $10,000. In the first running of the contest in the 2017 / 2018 season, the contest was won by Nathan Johnson in a borrowed 1976 Glasflugel Hornet.”

——-Since 2002 the IGC keeps a list of pilots who have flown their 1250km badge.
The first to do so was Terry Delore on March 1 in 2002.
The last one , till now, was in 2020. Tijl Schmelzer on June 29.
He is number 32 on the IGC list for 1.250 badge-holders.
2020 showed 3 x a 1250-badge also for Baptiste Innocent on August 4 and Max Stevens on January 12.
It’s remarkable that 2018 had 7, the most of all in one year and 4 flown in Africa.
3 Of them on January 6 so,….a real good day by Uys, Oscar and Pieter [Nouwens] !!Max Leenders from Holland, flew one on January 13, also in S A..
April 2018 … on the 29th, it was Bert Schmelzer jr. [ Belgium], who flew one.[ number 26 on the list]
The other 2 are Carl Audissou[France] on April 2 and Mike Oakley [ NZ] on November 7.

——-Looking at the IGS lists, it is interesting to know who starts 2021 as the best ones, on the official pilot ranking list. Here is the top 5.
1. Sebastian Kawa with 1000 points.
2. Michael Sommer with 999.6 p.
3. Wolfgang Janowitsch with 996 p.
4. Felipe Levin with 990.8 p.
5.Tomasz Rubaj with 990.4 p.

——Also the Perlan Project suffers from the Covid-19 virus.
Here is their news I got;
“The world-wide pandemic kept Perlan from traveling to Argentina this year to continue our quest to reach 90,000 feet and achieve the highest, wing-borne human flight in history.”

——The first comps for the 21 season has been cancelled. The Junior Nationals in Australia are “off”. They were scheduled for end of this week but due to new “lock downs” , it’s over and out.
BUT,…….there is ….”Good News! QLD will be holding a Junior Regatta at Kingaroy from the 10th-16th of January! The single-seater competition and two-seater coaching program are full steam ahead after the disappointing news of the cancellation of JoeyGlide in Leeton.
The South Australian State comps are on right now in Waikirie with at this stage after 3 days of flying Pete Temple as number 1 [from 4] in 18 m. and a bad day today for Bernie Sizer in club,[7 participants] as he was “out” after 103 of the 230 km and dropped overall from 1 to 3.

—-AND: The UK team is already organized for the JWGC in Pocuinai, here they are…Good luck guy’s;

For more info;

——–ALL depending on COVID -19 the The Australian 2-seatgliding championship will be flown from February 13-20 in Narromine.
Till now they have been 100% corona free and they want to keep it like that !!!! SO strict rules have to be obeyed.
The competition will be a single class event for both 20m 2 Seat Class gliders and Sports/Open Class which is literally ANY 2 Seat Glider from a K13, Pipistrel, DG505 through to a Nimbus 3/4DM or ASH 25/30.
The competition will be ballasted and run in accordance with the GFA National Competition Rules and will employ the GFA National MultiClass Handicaps

——-The last day of the year 2020 showed good flights from Worcester in S.A. My friends Karin and Markus flew in their ARCUS M a nice 1000 km[860 FAI triangle]
So did Swiss pilot Yves and USA pilot Nicolas;1.053 km. to the right and to the left from Worcester about 300 k out on each site plus some more km/s.
The first day of the year 2021 showed on the OLC , still good weather in Worcester , with a 761 km. flight from Sven and a few nice nearly 600 km. flights from Beverley and Waikerie in Australia.

You are more or less up to date, so CU next Wednesday with news from the N. Z. NATIONALS flown from Omarama between January 2 and 10!
At this stage Mike Oakley/Morgan leads after 2 days of flying before Keith Essex both fly in open class in ASH 25 and ASG 32.
In 18 m it is Mike’s son Nick who leads after 2 days in a Discus 2A. Tony van Dyke won day 1 but was out on day 2. A pity.
Today was their message;
“Unfortunately the day has only got a wee bit better. Very still on the airfield with high cloud overhead meaning that nothing much is happening to keep gliders in the air! Not taskable so the day has been cancelled.”
So the 2 hour AAT was cancelled.

HUGE THANKS to Bill, who is making my blog even more safe to less login-hick-ups!!!
Cheers Ritz

To finish a great picture from Swiss Chris on New Years Day when a storm approached the airfield of Tocumwal.

“7mm rain only while that wall passed here. Southerly winds for a few days.”
Courtesy Swiss Chris

Happy new year…HAPPY NEW YEAR….

A bit later than normal….had some problems to get in the blog error 500 it was called, BUT Bill fixed it, as he did with the pictures!!!

2 Days to go and we finish this weird year and start ,with high hopes, the year 2021.
Looking back….2020 started good. I was in LAKE KEEPIT at the WWGC and I believe we all had a superb time, though it was dryer than dry, for that reason no grass at the airfield so lot’s of dust and there was smoke from the surrounding fires.
It still felt all pretty good as it was very well organized.
BUT,…the message in the last week, that the home team apparently had done things, which were not allowed, kept and still keep a lot of people busy.
Such a pity that this TOP-WWGC had to end like this.
By the way it might not take that long anymore before we hear the result of the appeal,….the highest soaring-gods are {still} busy.

Straight after travelling home , we heard that a new COVID-19- virus was already in China. No worries,….we thought,……far away.
We know now! And HOW!!!!
The whole world knows.
Carnival in February, created more “cases” here in Europe , so did the winter-sport and other holidays.
And now, as in a flash, the year is already over , after we were in a “friendly, intelligent ” lockdown, as our leaders called it,
….. a tough lockdown ,
…… after staying at home and more at home
…… after not seeing many friends or family,
……. after doing not a lot ,except of course for them who take care of the elderly, the doctors , nurses ,police etc…..HUGE RESPECT FOR THEM ,…..but we all did it / still do it….no worries, the virus HAS to disappear.
The world agrees on that!!!!
Lot’s of comps were cancelled, some flown but all with “zoom” briefings, 1.5 m. , mouth masks etc. Also no worries, they could fly!
AND,…flying is NOT the most important “thing” in life.
CORONA PROOF was the word!!!
Now there is the vaccine and the hope that there is light on the horizon.
HOPE!!!!What a nice word.

The BREXIT ,finally in the end , creates a softer farewell from Europe to the UK , now a trade-deal has been reached. One, where the top on both sides, think they did well.
I read already many angry articles. Yes,…from both sides.
BUT,…everything is better than a NO DEAL!!!!
This morning the post-Brexit-trade-deal was signed by Europe and send by plane to the UK, where the UK parliament and Boris Johnson signed it too.
It’s all happening.
I read that Europe “looses”, on January 1, a population of 68 million , 243 thousand square km sea and an economy of 2200 billion euro.

Storm BELLA, raced last weekend over parts of Europe and …The coastal areas of the UK and France had the worst part of it, with damage and flooding. Worst wind in the UK at the coast up to 195 km./h. in France up to 174 km./h.
We had wind here, on the Nord Sea coast from 90 to 110 km./h. Even here, inland, it was noisy!!!
Code yellow and BFT 9 and 10 in our coastal areas.
The first winter-storm.
Norway had a land slide today with several people missing and Croatia had a 6.4 earthquake yesterday, with several people killed and injured.

VERONICA is hot this year. In Namibia they fly with real good weather -circumstances and the 2 Polish pilots, of them Sebastian Kawa…flew before the weekend in the ARCUS M. distances from up to 1.252 km [1.115 km FAI triangle] .They continued….
On Sunday ;they flew 1.275 km. with 149 km./h.
On Monday….1.132 km. with 137 km./h.
The TWIN SHARK flying from Veronica flew with Bernd [Dolba from the VERONICA team] and a “pupil” 1.274 km.
In the “shark” Petr and Radek flew earlier a new Czech record ; a declared 1.150 FAI triangle, I wrote about it last time, but now I see it was a new Czech record!!!

Petr to the r….I saw him in LAKE KEEPIT in the beginning of this year as RTC from a big Czech team….and Radek in the middle.As said a very talented young pilot.
As shared HpH Sailplanes

Bitterwasser, saw young Simon Briel arrive there again and straight away he flew on Christmas and Boxing-day , 1.012 and 1.131 the ARCUS M.
One day later, on Sunday, it was even more fun for him; 1.318 km. with a speed of 143 km. h. He flew 4x, flew 4x a 1000-plus and off he had to go again.
As I wrote earlier, Bitterwasser has now weather cam’s , sponsored by Wilfried Grosskinsky, looking to the Nord ,East , West and the Palmalley.
Great picture last Monday.

One of the web cams as shared by Bitterwasser Lodge

Yesterday Sven [Olivier] flew a 1000 from Worcester.

Today, Grant [Heany] flew from Tocumwal, in his St Jantar a distance of 734 km …..A 600 FAI TRIANGLE !!!!! Chapeau Grant!!!!He called it ” a nice day out”.
Grant came to Toc , years ago, as a hang-glider pilot and straight away loved gliding and was and is good in it!!!He and his Norwegian wife Tove [ a world champion hang gliding] even came to live in Tocumwal and for a short while they were managers under then sole SSC owner, Richard, who then sold the business. Argh…..

Eddie shared this picture today with the message; “Splendid day early start;”

Grant was not the only one flying today!!!!
As shared by Eddie from SPORTAVIATION Tocumwal.


THE GRAND PRIX FORMULA 1.0 in LEETON has started and before it all began, there was already big news!!!
Last night two of the founders of the GP got married, at Leeton, of course!”
Congratulations to Christian and Sarah Streifeneder.
Tune into!c=27 for live tracking!
They started on the 28th with a practice day.
Day 1 saw Jenny Thomson win in a HORNET ….”Low, blue but with less wind than the practice day, we’re off to Coolamon and Ardlethan for a total round trip of approx 178km.”

Day 1 showed TOP weather.
As shared by F1.

Day 2Today’s task is a double triangle, with the all-important bonus point for the first pilot to claim it when they round Leeton the first time. Weather looks to be unstable… a large trough line has set up shop over the top of the area, promising big climbs and potentially bigoverdevelopment.”
Winner for the day; Nick Gilbert in the CIRRUS.
They continue till January 5, so next week more news, but you can follow the tracking at the above link and here is the link to the site;
You can read there more about the GP and see the results.


Wishing you ALL a very
In which we can go back to NORMAL!
Hope this happens when summer starts or,….if possible earlier for smaller gatherings!
Let’s “work” on it, in doing the CORRECT things.

CU next year and…
Cheers Ritz


First,….THANK you for all the birthday wishes. I felt really privileged and happy. Phone calls from Germany , Australia and South Africa ,lot’s of FB-and messenger messages , e-mails, phone calls from close by and 2 visitors, as more was due to the strict lock down, not possible.


WELKOM, hosted with the SOUTH AFRICAN NATIONALS, the last TOP-competition in 2020.
22 Pilots in 18 m. class, among them pilots from Switzerland, Germany and Denmark.
GOOD weather, not the real booming S.A. weather, but still days with a 500 and 300 km. task and several AAT’s one from 3 hours.
For some countries mouthwatering!
And…. HUGE speed, so only 2x a 1000-points-day!
Task 1 , with a 1.30 AAT, was straight away a day to try and come home. The 81 points from the only finisher, John Coutts, made him the first overall winner. At nearly 5 PM he left and it took him nearly 2 hours to fly over 178 km.
Task 2 ,with 285.78 km. was a prey again for John in his JS 3.His speed , 146 km./h was clearly more than the day earlier, when it was 89 km./h. Oscar and Laurens [Goudriaan] were on spot 2 and 3.
Task 3, was the 520 km.-day! And,..yes it gets boring , but John won again with 125 km./h. Dolf [Pretorius] and Oscar followed.
Only 7 fished some pretty close.
John is a born KIWI but lives already for ages in South Africa. When I met him the first time he was still a junior. A very talented pilot!!!!
Task 4 , had a 2.30 AAT which was won by Oscar AND on my birthday and he and his brother and Sven made even time to congratulate me.
124 km./h was the best speed and Katrin in the ASG 32 was runner up with 118 km./h. All 21 who started, finished!
Task 5,had a 2 hour AAT but was cancelled.
Task 6 showed a 3 hour AAT and Arne Boye Moeller won the 1000 points for 436 km. in time 3.09.[speed 138 km./h]!!!!
John and Oscar were runner’s up with 971 points.
Task 7, 196 km. was set and John was in a real hurry; 157.45 km./h!!!The “slowest” with respect flew with 122 km.h. so a GOOD , FAST DAY!!!BUT,….
Only 299 points for daily winner John.
Task 8, on the last day showed 351 km. Marcus Nouwens flew around with 153.56 km./h in his JS 3 , so another FAST day with devaluating points as he “got” 714 points for his speedy performance. As he was quite a bit faster than Oscar[144 km./h for 636 points] he took over his runner-up spot overall, by 4 points. Swiss pilot Yves Gerster [JS 3 /15m.] was runner up.

The 2020 South African National 18 m. champions;
1. John Coutts with 4.379 points.
2. Marcus Nouwens with 4.192 points.
3. Oscar Goudriaan with 4.188 points.

Laurens was 4th, Arne 6th and Katrin 9th.


More and more pilots find or have found, their way to VERONICA in Namibia. A few years ago I published an article about Veronica from Prof. Dr. Bert Schmelzer sr. who had flown there and shared his experience.
Sebastian Kawa flew together with a Polish mate, last Saturday a distance of 1,137 km. in the ARCUS M with a speed of 144 km./h.
A bit slower, BUT, 2x an FAI 1000 km-triangle was flown by the Israelian mates and father , Petr and son Radek Krejcirik from CZ.
On December 10 Radek wrote:” First accomodating flight in Veronica this year. Blue with awesome cumulus in Botswana in almost 6000mtrs.”
Since then they flew in the TWIN SHARK, 6x over 1000 km. the best 1.355,79. Great effort even during top-conditions!!!


I am very much used to high temperatures over Christmas, worries I spend at least 30 Christmas periods down under,…BUT, this time I am in The Netherlands and it is 15 dgr. c.,…. PLUS…. it is!!!!UNREAL!!!!
It should be less than 5!!!!
We had the hottest ever year in this world. I guess….Something has to be done. NOW!!!!
On that note,…we, here in The Netherlands, had the shortest day [around 7 hours daylight I read] here so,…we are on the way to the longest [around 17 hours] again, which means spring and summer. Let it come!

MERRY CHRISTMAS dear friends!!!!!
No pictures sorry, a hick up in the system, BUT,….as usual Bill is looking into the “case”. Where would I be without him???

CU next week.
Cheers Ritz

Quiet PRE-FESTIVITY period! Several FAI-1000 km. triangles!

——This is the picture, out of 300, who won the Dutch aviation-photo – award 2020!!!!The winner is Raymond Esveldt.

My Orca[ model-glider] flies in the Kitzbuheler Alpen, at the snowline. In the morning fresh snow was fallen and the model started from that fresh snow at a height of 1900 m. from the top to the very right on the picture. We look at the valley which goes from Mittersill to Zell am See.”
As shared by the KNVvL.

—–Unexpected 1000 km.-flights are the best. Here is Lumpies story, with the message “Now that’s a bucket list item done ….”:
1.126 km. with a speed of 126 km./h in his JS 3/18m. from the Airport Cunderdin in Western Australia.
Always nice to hear a story from the “horses mouth.”
“Well that was a hoot ….
All started at 8pm last night when I got to Cunderdin, rigged LP under lights in the awesome Soarabilty Hangar (Thanks again Damien) as I knew it would be an early start in the morning. Skysight was spot on today with the WX so a launch at 10.12 went as planned. The air changed noticeably 4 times during the flight, there was a different air mass south of NGN …. still good though, only 16% circling to the first turn point. The long leg was just that, I had to change gears a few times and picked the eyes out of the sky, still over 135kph at the second turn, but the third leg was all over the show. I couldn’t read the clouds, everywhere I tried….. nothing ! Reboot the brain and started again, things happening better now, although I’m sure the day cycled during that period as well….. turned the last turn point and just milked everything going home….Highest was 9k AGL twice, spent most of the day between 5 and 8k. 1000k in WA was on the bucket list ✅Thanks team GCWA …. 1126 kms at 126kph …. great WA day !”

At the second turn point, convergence line out west
As shared by Lumpy Paterson with the message;
Made the most of the day”

Another 1000 was flown on December 12 as well, also from Western Australia but now from Southern Cross by Norm Bloch, who got his JS 3 at the same time as Lumpy. I was there , in Tocumwal, when they got their gliders…Butch “go” one too.
Norm flew an FAI triangle from 1.005 km. with a speed of 123 km./h.
Norm mentioned ” Nice day yet not booming, proves what can be done.”
So right!!!

—–Talking about super weather,….. look at “the heart of the continent” ,…..with other words Alice Springs. This picture was shared by Robert with the message “Nice day in Alice. And better it will be in the days to come… .

—–More words about SUPER WEATHER, but now on the other side of the world. 4x an FAI 1000 km triangle,…not bad!!!
Bernd Dolba flew in the Super Shark 1.181 km in total and a triangle of 1.029 km. from Veronica in Namibia.
Father and son Petr and Radek Krejcirik, [CZ] both well known from WGC comps, enjoyed such a flight as well, same glider same airfield;1.123 km and an FAI triangle of 1.110 km.
“Our” Israelian soaring-mates Rafi and Avron flew and FAI 1000-triangle as well in the ARCUS M.
Already longer there is Dieter Prang and he flew one too.
Several 1000 km flights from Bitterwasser and Worcester as well last Monday.
FULL-TOP-GLIDING has started again!!!!
Yesterday great weather too, but “only” 1 x 1000 km by Rafi and Avron [1.014/962 km] and OUCH,….999 /965 km, by the Krejcireks.

——Benjamin Neglais , from Schempp-Hirth, was the one to test a brand new Discus-2c FES above the Alb Plateau for a full 1h check about glider behavior, sturdiness and all systems inside. Strong West wind was blowing so ridges were usable. Unexpected as there was no wind on ground and we even took off facing East .

No flight with not a pass on the Teck castle” by Benjamin Neglais

After the flight he shared some data:
Technical data of the flight shows 1.8m/s average with 17kWh output (max 23kWh) and total gain with engine without optimization above 900m with 2 phases @17kWh and one @8kWh plus one extra just for long leveling @5kWh for 10 minutes. So a gain above 1000m was possible. Great glider as always and great FES system.”

CU next week, just before Christmas, by the way today I turn 74!!!
Thank you already for he early-bird-birthday-messages.
Easy- going-covid-19-day! We got a FULL lockdown on our Dutch plates yesterday, so max 2 visitors on one day!!!
We will survive that too,…no worries.
Cheers Ritz

As shared on FB,……so true!!!And soon in Holland as well.

Springfield Soaring Championship 2020 !E-Glide!

Courtesy Tim Bromhead ;”Wave on the ground after flying.”
December 2..cancelled day!

In New Zealand 30 pilots flew the Springfield 2020 Soaring Championship from Canterbury, in a class, with a “nice” name; enterprise. It seems an interesting concept.
“Old” guns as Tim Bromhead, [Ventus CT] but also young guns as Nick Oakley[Discus 2A] and Alex Mc Caw, [St Cirrus] former junior members of the NZ team, were trying their best to win this “enterprise” title.
They had 6 days to do so , but the “young ones” both had an off day with Nick on day 1 missing a TP and Alex on task 2.
Task 1….208.69 1;” According to the organizers “A challenging day with low thermals on the plains. The goal for the day was to get to a series of turn points spread across the Canterbury Plains. There was also bonus points for any pilot who could get out to sea. Three pilots achieved this, OP, JK and TF, however only one of the three gliders made it back to Springfield. Well Done Tim in OP. There were a few other landouts at various locations across the Canterbury Plains.”
Task 2 …max. 588.58 km. on day 3,with 11 TP’s after a “no-task-day.!!!
Wave up to nearly 6000 m. MSL. But the best pilots in the ASH 25 Mike Oakley [Nicks dad] / Karen Morgan, flew 344 km with a speed of 64.77 km./h! For 532 points!!!
Nick was 3d Alex 4th and Tim 11th for 191 points.

Mike and Karen in the ASH 25. At this stage number 1 overall.
As shared by Canterbury Gliding Club

A task was set ,but another day cancelled on December 2 but Tim Bromhead did fly and with mixed feelings he wrote about the day:
Didn’t quite make the 1000km, but still had a great, albeit terrifying at times, flight. It was some wild weather today, 70 knots wind (130km/h) to contend with at times at 16,000 feet”
He flew 403 km.
So …a good idea to cancel the day.
Task 3 on day 5 with a possibility of 718 km and 12 TP’s.
616 and 626km was flown by the ASH 25 with Mike [president of the club]and Karin and ASH 25M by team ZF.
Derek Kraak in the ASG 29 E flew 505 km and was 3d.
When you wonder where Keith Essex is,…he is one of the tuggies!

At the grid…ready to go for task 3.
As shared by Canterbury Gliding Club

Task 4 on day 6 with 2 pilots “earning” the same amount of points; Tim in the Ventus CT [ starting at 13.49] and Alex [ start at 13.32] in the St. Cirrus;637 points for 304 km and 258 km.
An hour later the ZF , the ASH 25M started but they only flew 116 km and lost 185 points for the day.

Tim Bromhead in his Ventus CT.
As shared by Canterbury Gliding Club

NO task 5,…. so with 4 out of 7 day’s with thermals , wave so several challenging days, this was real N.Z. -weather.
Winners were no “news”, as they were winners already for a few days.
1. Oakley and Morgan in the ASH 25 with 2.394 points.
2. Tim Bromhead in the VENTUS 2CT with 2.084 p.
3 .Team ZF in the ASH 25 M. with 1.933 p.
Tried to find out who flew the glider but could n’t.
Alex [ chief pilot at Canterbury] and Nick were 4th and 5th [1.894 and 1.837 p], IF,….
The extra bonus points “to reach the sea” invited pilots to fly distances they otherwise would not do. So a lot of individual “thinking” ,a nice creative concept.


One of the new concepts in soaring is virtual flying. E glide. In Château-Arnoux-Saint-Auban, in France this virtual happening started on December 4 and continues till December 19 under the name Condor FFVP [ Federation Francaise de Vol en Planeur] e Sport Series..
It is possible to follow it on you tube. This is day 1 on December 4 with 217 km.
Nearly 50 pilots are involved, so a lot of interest in “our” winter in this kind of soaring.
The FVP is organizing for the first time a Condor 2 competition that comes as close to the real competitions as possible! 5 races and 1 training sessions are offered to you, mixing plains and mountains theft. The circuits will be drawn so that all participants can easily realize them. Objectives of the competition:
Offer a Condor competition that comes as close as possible to the real competitions (regulations, guidance, flight conditions).
• Offer a playful and training animation.
• Promote the glider competition and eSport. All competitors are asked:
• a sympathetic attitude towards the problems that this first match might encounter;

Apply the same security rules as theft in real gliders. Dates and opening hours of the following messages:
Friday 4 December 2020….. Friday 11 December 2020….. Friday 18 December 2020 ……. Wednesday 23 December 2020 ….. Wednesday 30 December 2020 u

Competition website:…/condor-ffvp-esport…/
View the training day:
More information about the glider:

To finish,……. a few pictures from the “past” because most of you seem to really like them.
The Awards Ceremony in 2015 in Rotterdam, at the SS ROTERDAM, where I was awarded with the Pelagia Majewska Medal….. still a proud moment.

2015 FAI Awards Ceremony Rotterdam, The Netherlands 24 September 2015 Photo credit: Frans Guise
THE UVALDE SOARINGCAFE TEAM in 2012….with Rand and Bill.
My 2 instructors in 1967 Kees Musters and Dick Teuling. At Terlet with the old wooden Thermiekbel!
A picture from a finish in the UK. A lot of people have this picture on their phone or laptop, do I. Stunning!
Manfred Radius from Canada, who practiced with us in Tocumwal, before going to the Avalon Airshow. AMAZING,……cutting the ribbon with the tail inverted!!!!

A few good flights last week on the OLC. One last Monday from Keith Essex, travelling back to the South Island where he runs a club/business at the moment with planes brought from the USA. He flew in wave 1.202 km in an ASG 29/15m. with a speed of 147 km. Going far up N. and less far S. from Omarama.
Took a while to get into the wave. Lots of low level instability. Most of it was weak meandering wave. Wave petered out in the north. Very southerly that made the trip south very slow and require lots of jumping wave bars.”
Also the “boy’s” from the Cu Nim Gliding Club had a 1000 in their ARCUS M not as far as the week before though and mainly because they tried “An experiment, playing with Mountain Wave (not fun), and going as far north as possible (lots of fun)”.1.067 km.
A few 1000 k’s from Bitterwasser and Veronica [ since December 3 every day 2 1000 km. flights in the ARCUS M and/or ASH 31/21 m. and some in the Shark] and on Saturday also 3x a 1000 from Douglas Backhouse in JS 1 , JS 3 /18m.and Ventus 2CM/18m.So they have started too.

Nearly Christmas and “end of 2020” ,what a weird year it was. Looking ahead at 2021 already.
30 Days to go for JOEYGLIDE in Australia ,….a competition as well as coaching program for the young ones according to the COVID -19 rules!!!The borders between the States are as far as I know open at this stage. They are considering a REGATTA in Leeton [NSW].

Last but not least and I am REALLY PLEASED to see this…….
“our” former pool is up and running again!!!!!

Just so good to see. That pool could tell you so many stories!!!!! I remember how it was “built” It was for a few years after we left, empty , filthy and broken and now it is back in full glory!!!! Hopefully covid-19 will be OUT in 2021 and guests back in. I noticed the table and chairs, donated by one of our guests in the past , are still looking good.
Tocumwal Soaring Centre

For all those who flew with us and were sad about the loss of the place, looking at this picture they will be happy again.
Tocumwal Soaring Centre

Cheers Ritz

WAGA 2020 State comps!! 1.312 km. from Gawler.

I was playing with the convergences ” Was his comment AND …”SkySight forecast was spot on”. YES, Matthew and his SkySight- team are doing such a great job!!!!
BUT,……Peter Temple flew from Gawler , close to Adelaide, on Friday November 27, a magic distance from 1.312.7 km. with a nice speed of 136 km./h!
TOP JOB!!!!!Of course he is a great pilot , flies WGC’s etc, BUT such a distance must be another dream come true for him!!!WELL deserved!!!!
Congratulations Pete and what a superb beginning of the down-under-season!!!
And….. on that day only 3 pilots added their flight from Gawler on the OLC, the rest I guess had to work!!!; Alex Wallis in the St. Libelle with 753 km….great job as well….must be a happy chappie too and Geoff Wood in a Pilatus B4 with 353 km.

One day later Pete wrote on his Pete Temple Gliding
“1312 km yesterday – and this is how. Cloud base 15000 ft in a convergence running from Port Augusta to Horsham (although I wasn’t game to stray far into Victoria). This was the view coming home.”

Courtesy Pete Temple.

That same day Canada had superb weather too. Look at this news from the Cu Nim Gliding Club :
“Incredible performance by Chester and Patrick in a Schempp-Hirth Arcus M today. Can you believe an average sped of 212km/h over 971km in the Chinook wave? Dig into the flight and find a 156km leg with an average speed above 300km/h!6th best flight in the world, and possibly another new Canadian record. Congrats fellas!

Of course Schempp-Hirth reacted as well;
Looking for another flight spot? Canada seems to be one for the bucket list! And the season for wave is definitely open. On 27th of November, Chester Fitchett and Patrick McMahon, in a Schempp-Hirth Arcus-M, flew an average speed of 212km/h over 971km in the Chinook wave (near Calgary)!!!Flight data analysis with SeeYou shows a 156km leg over 300kph ground speed!!! 😎…
Congratulations to the pilots and to the club of Cu Nim (Black Diamond Airport) for another great adventure in the sky!
https://www.cunim.orgAnd another time thanks a lot to ATC for allowing pilots to perform such flights! It seems to become a good habit 🙂

More pictures from the sometimes unforgiven environment they flew over at
Cu Nim Gliding Club as shared by one of the pilots Patrick McMahon.


As shared by John Welsh who is one of the tuggies at Narrogin in the PA25 VH-ALA.

When I left you, there were no scores, but of course we have them now.
Day 5 had the 3 hour AAT and 8 from the 22 still flying from Narrogin, flew over 300 km. One pilot, in fact 2 in one glider the DG 1000/20 m. was/were ” out”.
1000 points for Greg [Beecroft] , in his 18m. LS 8 for a speed of 108 km./h over 339 km. Not a real fancy day, I guess looking at the speed.
Lumpy [Paterson]had 924 , Don[Woodward] 880 and Norm [Bloch]had 842 points.

Some info; Narrogin is in Western Australia about 192 km. SE of Perth.
This is how the field looks!

Impressive picture!
Courtesy Lumpy.

The next day was a no-flying-day , due to wind and conditions!
So they flew again on Friday with another 3 hour AAT on their schedule.
Task 6 on day 7; A FAST day and many kilometers were flown. Look at this;
Norm in the JS 3/18m. won the day with 451.72 km. and a speed of 141.21 km./h!!!
Runner up was Lumpy same glider , even more kilometers…454.31…but more time was needed so speed was 137.36 km./h.
Don did a great job in his ASG 29/18m. …he flew 457.38 km. with a speed of 130.57 km./h.
This is what Lumpy had to say about the day;
The task was set into the Cu area for today, which was interesting as not far to the north of us it was blue and to the south it was over developed and soft. There was a convergence line forming to the south as seen in the photos, I only managed to use it for around 50km as it was too far south to be of benefit for the run home but assisted getting to the second turn point. The first two legs went very well for me and was doing over 150kph as I turned but got bogged down on the run home sadly, all in all a pretty good day though. Great to see Greg is human after all, first time out of the top three all week, he flies consistently well.
Greg was 5th.

The Convergence line to the south.
Courtesy Lumpy.

Task 7 on day 8 the final day!!A 2.47 AAT was set and 10 pilots flew over 350 km. Quite some differences in speed as the daily winner Don, had 358.74 km with a speed of 128.34 km./h. missing out on 4 points to be as number 3 at the podium.
That spot was for Lumpy, he hold on, BUT…he lost 197 points by being 5th for the day with 359 km. with a speed of 115,65 km./h!!!!
Runners up for the day were Norm and Greg.
It was a blue day with a mix thermal arrangement, some climbs were 6 kts and other only 3… mostly going to around 5k agl. I started pretty much at the front and spent most of the day finding thermals for others and not really making the break away from the group, until 30k from the last turn. There was some really strong sink streets today and it was difficult to work out which way to move out of them ( well for me anyway )found myself low a few too many times for my liking.” as told by Lumpy. Who won the 3d prize AND the prize for the ” the fastest 300 for the comps.” 152 km./h!!!!

Heavy stuff, those prizes. Congrats!!!
As shared by Lumpy.

Final results after 7 out of 8 day’s of great soaring in the West from Australia;
1. Greg Beecroft in the 15 m. LS 8 with 6.173 points.
2. Norm Bloch in the JS 3/18 m with 6.118 p.
3. Lumpy Paterson in the JS 3/18 m. with 5.912 p
4. Don Woodward in ASG 29/18m with 5.908 p.
Close scores, hard fighting for the honors!!!
The pilots from Beverley Soaring Society won the team trophy.

Impressing prizes for Norm, Greg and Lumpy!!![l to r]
As shared by Lumpy. THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONTRIBUTION!!!! Very much appreciated!!!


News from the future Nationals in Australia;
This year has been a difficult year to plan, and both the October Multiclass at Kingaroy and the December Club/Sports Class Nationals at Tocumwal had to be called off. The two events have now been merged into a single Nationals for Club, Std, 15m, 18m and Open class. This event will be held from the 13-20 March 2021, either at DDSC [Darling Downs Soaring Club ]or Dalby depending on numbers. The decision to hold such a late Nationals was made to maximize the time available for travel around Australia to return to normal, and to give pilots from all over the country as much time as possible to regain currency. The late timing also meant that the only practical location was Queensland, where the weather is still excellent during March. COVID is impossible to predict, and politicians are even less so, but to be clear: if signed-up pilots from any state are prevented by regulation from traveling to the Nationals, or cannot return home without supervised quarantine, then the contest may still take place, but will not be counted as a Nationals and won’t be used for international team selection points.

A signed-up pilot is any pilot who has registered to attend and has paid their deposit.” Alan Barnes


News from Bittwerwasser;

Small but nice…A small group of about 20 guests are currently enjoying their stay in Bitterwasser. Everything is a bit smaller and more familiar than in the years before. Yesterday was the first good flying day. With Cumuli early over Bitterwasser the day started promising. In the afternoon showers and thunderstorms made the flight exciting after all. With 1043 km on the speedometer Tobi Welsch and Tore Graben finally arrived home again with the Bitterwasser Arcus RL. Dirk Reich and Frerk Frommholz flew a proud 955 km. The rest of the troop preferred to land a little earlier and flew distances around 700 km.”
The first 1000 k. has been flown as well.
And on the last day of November 3 x a 1000 and 1 from Worcester and 2 from Veronica. Summer has started , winter here!

great Bitterwasser weather
courtesy Bitterwasser Lodge & Flying Centre
AND…to perform even better they got now “Three new webcam’s for weather observation.
Wilfried Grosskinsky has sponsored three webcam’s to watch the weather. These are now in operation on the hangar, far outside, and can be viewed on the Bitterwasser website. Unfortunately, the north-facing camera gave up the ghost after a short time. Replacements are on their way and will arrive here on 15.12

The construction of the new TOCUMWAL MUSEUM is going fast and steady and the exterior is now beginning to take shape.

looks stunning!!!FINALLY…there will be a museum!!!!
As shared by Berrigan Shire Council


And to finish a picture from TOBIAS BARTH, who won the 2020 ZIELFOTO AWARD.I do understand why he won. CONGRATULATIONS!!!
Photographer of the Gliding Calendar – Fotokalender Segelfliegen prevails!!!!Our photographer Tobias wins the finish photo award, announced by photographer Stephan Wiesner in cooperation with Gearflix. The quality of his work prevailed against about 4000 pictures from Northern Germany on the topics “landscape”, “sea” and “city“.

As shared by Tobias Barth

CU next week. With news from the Springfield Soaring Championship in New Zealand from November 29 till December 5.
By the way some parts of Australia suffer from an early -spring-heat-wave with 40 dgr. C plus. We had minus 6.5 here in the night from Sunday to Monday!!!!
Here a picture shared by my friend Brad:

As shared by Edwards Aviation

December 1st and summer has arrived! 41 degrees and a few little cells at Nyngan today but it’s nothing new for our experienced pilots.
With extensive time operating in places such as the Kimberley, Central Aus and Far North QLD, our pilots make sure your flight is safe and comfortable even in the hottest locations
Edwards Aviation
Edwards Aviation is a premium air charter service offering corporate and private flights in a fleet of fast, luxurious aircraft. We offer quick, comfortable and efficient travel solutions to the highest standards of safety and service.”

Keith Gately mentioned this morning from Lake Keepit:
New record 500k out and return in 20m 2 seat class. 141.8 klm. Nice one Adam Woolley 2 flights 2 records. Not a bad couple of days gliding. Another verification to be confirmed.”
The day before they flew a new record together a 300 km. out and return ;139.9 km./h from Bathurst.
And another THANK YOU:” Thanks Matthew Scutter for SkySight and it’s wickedly accurate plotting of the convergence.”

In a few day’s time 2 new Australian 2-seat records in the mighty ARCUS by Adam and Keith.
Courtesy Adam Woolley’s Gliding Adventures

Cheers Ritz

Lake Keepit! WAGA State Comps ! Results N.Z.

Courtesy Mac.

The New South Wales State comps continued in Lake Keepit with day 5/task 5 on November 19 and the weather for this day was pretty good again:
” Cu and the glancing influence of a trough with a cold front to follow in the coming days.  Light and variable winds and 4-5kts to 4,500′ AGL at 12pm will kick off a day capable of 575-805km flights.  By 3pm, competitors should enjoy 5-7kt Cu-marked climbs to 9,500′ AGL and perhaps 1,000′ higher in the north.  Conditions are forecast to weaken considerably by 5pm.
So off they went!!
Open class; 387 km. with 3 JS 3 gliders in the daily top; Mac , who is really on a mission, flew around with a speed of 142.89 km./h!!!Brad with 136,56 and Jacques [Graells] with 134.47 km./h!!! Bruce was 4th, lost some points, but still leads with just over 50 points.
All 12 pilots who started finished as well!!
Task 6; a 3 hour AAT was set for the “long wings” and it was Bruce again “setting the points on the i”; 377 km. in time 3.01 so a speed of 124.62 km./h. Brad in the JS 3 was a tad faster 389 km in 124.69, but needed 6 minutes more.
Mac was 4th and lost 130 points.
Good to see Nick [Singer] in his JS 1 on 4. Nick is a really nice guy, great cook as we found out last WWGC and a very dedicated club instructor.

Got to know Nick last year as a very fine person.
As shared by LK.

Task 7 and the last one!!!
“A gust front forecast to arrive at 1730hrs has resulted in a minimum 2,000′ AGL finish height at 15km.  The temperature trace at Tamworth is a degree ahead of Skysight’s forecast and the tasksetter has made the following decrees for the final day of racing.
Long wings: 3hr AAT 250.3km/592.9km (393.3km)
461 km. was the longest distance by Mac in his JS 3.But,..he did not win the day, Bruce flew 421 km but needed 20 minutes less to do so; 1000 and 916 points. Handicap for ASG 29 is 1075 and for JS 3 1085.
So in the end the final scores are pretty clear,
1. Bruce Taylor in 18m ASG 29 with 6.182 points.
2. Mac Ichikawa in JS 3 with 5.915 p.
3. Brad Edwards in JS 3 with 5.812 p.

On a good 4th place Jacques Graells in the JS 1 still in the 5000 points-marge with 5.489 p
On a very good 5th spot…Kerrie Claffey with 4.623 the 18 m ASG 29.

Sports class; 314km race and good speed here as well as Allan, flew around with 115,76 km./h which was quite a bit faster than David Pickles in his PIK 20B with 106,48 but great speed for the PIK. Kimberly in her Pegase was 3d with 100,84 km./h.
All 11 pilots finished!!!!
Day 6, task 6 a 2.30 AAT was set and this time David was the better one winning the last but one day. Allan was runner up and the difference was very small…..259.91 km in time 229.44 and 259.88 in time 2.30.
Handicap from David’s PIK 20 B is 1055 and the one from Allan ‘s LS 8 is 1085.
So 800 and 755 points for the day.
Day 7 /task 7 ; Short wings….3.30 AAT 338.7km/489.9km (333.9km)
419 km in time 3.38. Great result by Allan . He flew quite a bit further and faster than runner up Paul in his LS 3…..346 km in time 3.32; speed 114.87 for 98.03!!
So a more than deserved total win for Allan.
1. Allan Barnes in LS 8 with 6.062 points.
2. Paul Dickson in LS 3 with 4.939 p. and Winner from club class.
3. David Turner in ASW 27 with 4.695 p.

Good 4th spot for David Pickles in his PIK 20 B.

Courtesy Mac.

I hope more comps will follow in this covid-19 time!!!
AND, yes

The WAGA STATE COMPS in Australia followed straight away from Narrogin, with 23 competitors in one class ..sports class.3 Fly HC.
They started on November and continue till the 28th.
Some good pilots in this competition so on day 1 with a 2.35 AAT those good pilots topped the list ;Norm Bloch with 361 km and a speed of 139.28 km./h. in his JS 3/18 m..
Then Greg Beecroft in LS 8/15 m. with 361 km. but speed of 126.60 km./h. On the daily spot 3 Lumpy Paterson in JS 3 /18 m with 362 km …speed 133.80 km./h.
Spot 4 was for Don Woodward in ASG 29/18m. with 361 km. ;speed 131.50 km./h.
These 4 fly national and some international comps!
Day 2; 252 AAT and the same 4 in the top 5 with one pilot in the middle; Ashley Boyle in his ASW 27.
This day was for 1000 points; Greg got them. Norm got 973 and Ashley 932 with 929 for Lumpy and 877 for Don.
Day 3 ;a 3 hour AAT and the “little” LS 8, won on handicap with Greg flying 388 km [speed 124.12 km./h] Don flew 433 km [speed 129.84 km./h] and Norm and Lumpy about the same.
Day 4; a 2.14 AAT and HUGE SPEED!!!!! So no 1000 points. Lumpy was in a hurry and flew around with 151,76 km./h over 340.79 km.!!! Pff….
Distances from Norm , [147 km./h] Greg [136 km/h] and Don [141 km./h] and Ashley [135 km./h.] about the same, speed a bit slower.
17 Pilots were “in”.
Day 5 ;TODAY, scores yet but a 3 hour AAT was set!!!!More next week.
After 4 days the overall scores are; Greg 3.455, Norm 3.418, Lumpy 3.319 and Don 3.232.

In between the South Island Championships were flown in New Zealand, between November 15 and 21.They had 4 days with 2 3 hour AAT’s and set tasks from 292 and 430 km. in open class .Not bad!!!!
Keith Essex won in his ASG 29 E 3 days and with 3.986 points. The day he did not win was for young Nick Oakley who finished as runner up overall with 3.786 p.
In racing class “good old ” Tony van Dyk won so is still going strong in his LS 8. GOOD ON HIM!!!!3.930 points.
Terry Jones, also in LS 8 was runner up with 3.866 p. He won 2 days ,Tony 1.


Great show to start the 1993 WGC with. You see not the best weather…but those pilots did a sterling job.

The number 2 [ from 49 participants] , in Borlange, you remember… the WGC 1993 in Sweden , just behind UK pilot Andy Davis , was Erik Borgmann. Last weekend captain Erik, retired after 33 years of flying for KLM to start a” new life after retirement”.
To look back on Erik’s WGC life here a few pictures.

With Erik [Discus Bt]and Andy [Discus B] and Tomasz Rubaj [SZD 55-1]And one step lower Peter Fischer and Erwin Ziegler from Germany and “our” Baer Selen.
The Dutch team in Borlange with Sikko[ Vermeer] and Baer[ Selen] to the l. Max [van Bree ] in the glider. Behind me Martin [Smit] and Ronald [Termaat]and in front of me Erik and Gerrit [Kurstjens].

During that 1993 WGC , pilots as Mac, Brad and Bruce , now flying the state comps in Keepit, flew as well. It was one of the wettest and cold comps I remember. My mate Bruce Brockhoff was their TC, he was mostly “frozen”.
Standard class had 9 days, 15 m, had 10 and open 11. So not bad!!!
In 15 m. with 40 participants, it was French pilot Gilbert Gerbaud who won with Eric Napoleon[ both in LS 6B] , as runner up and Austrian pilot Wolfgang Janowitsch as 3d.[Ventus B]
In open, with 27 pilots, it was Janusz Centka[ ASW 22 B] from Poland, followed by Goeran Ax [ ASW 22BLE] from Sweden and Brian Spreckley from the UK.[ASH 25]
I remember, that Frederico Blatter landed in a Lake and had to be carried out by a helicopter. A very exciting happening. For that reason he did not fly the last couple of days.

Talking about Erik and Joyce makes me think of my 50thiest birthday too.
My daughter wanted to talk me in to dressing up, but knowing I was going to visit Erik and Joyce in their fancy farm house with 2 children, I decided to stick to my jeans and body warmer.
Surprise surprise,. A SURPRISE PARTY!!!On November 29 in 1996, organized by Inge , Joyce and Erik and a lot of mates!!
I was shocked, but they did a FABULOUS job and Joyce is a more than talented cook.
50 Guests or more and as you can see I REALLY DID N’T know. It was a total shock!!!

50 candles …a lot of blowing! Inge and George smile and the others at the picture you remember from my blogs too; Marco who “solood” Indya , and Joost and Marlous another soaring family.
A happy girl you can see in black jeans and a bodywarmer. HaHa.

In December we celebrated my birthday in Australia, with my Aussie mates. Different party ,..but now with all my Australian mates. Around 100 arrived in car’s or in planes as from Canberra, Melbourne , Sydney and Brisbane . Friends from town but mostly out of our soaring world.

An also well organized party…..loved both of them.
For sure better dressed there with Eddie and George and Michael [Giles] Flying in from Melbourne and Griffo.[Peter Griffiths]flying in from Brisbane.

Looking back in my old books I feel always very sad to see how many of those mates from 1993 and 1996 are not with us anymore now. It’s part of life, I am getting older too.


The building of the TOCUMWAL MUSEUM is going steady on. The roof is on now .
The team have done a great job of insulating and cladding in fairly windy conditions the past week but the majority of cladding work is complete with only the northern end and hangar doors remaining.

As shared by Tocumwal Aviation Museum

That’s it for now.
CU next week.
Cheers Ritz

Good spring conditions! State comps in Lake Keepit! G.I.

For some pilots, their heart beats faster when they only think of Namibia. We all know that Namibia is not only Bitterwasser, or Pokweni or Kiripotib, but over the last years Veronica makes hearts beating faster as well.
The container arrived there and from November 8 onward you can find flights.
Looking at the OLC some great flights have been flown already by Bruno [Gantenbrink] and Dieter Prang on November 12. Indeed in great gliders as ETA and ASH 31 /21m, but still…over 1000 km. and nearly a 1000 triangle. Those longer 1000 km flights for sure will come.
On you can find more info over the next weeks.

Some of my friends have arrived in Worcester, a place they love and return to, every year. 2 Flights over 700 k in the ARCUS M since November 9, by Marcus and one of the German top girls Stefanie Muehl, are promising for the season there.
And Orient had already nearly 700 km. flights as well.

Down under in Kingaroy flights from 878 km. by David Jansen on November 11 in the ARCUS T , though , as he shared, smoke spoiled the last 100 km. and 743 km by Adam in the Ventus 2CM/18m on November 15.
It’s great to see that Chris Hostettler , as you know I call him Swiss Chris, moved, now he is retired temperately from Tocumwal to the East “KINGAROY,….What a great place to fly over winter and in spring especially this year. Great club, members and food 😉. I sure will move to QLD over winter again next year. So far statistics say 16 flights, 60 hours and 6000km. Never had a spring like that in Australia – but partially that’s the benefit of retired life“.

Tocumwal hopes to be active as always again asap;
Here is a message from Tocumwal Soaring Centre
“There is still uncertainty around if and when all the borders will be open again.We are still working to ensure all our friends and customers will be looked after and be able to continue to fly with us at TSC once normality returns. Our LS4 GNP is in the final stages of its complete refinish and is looking awesome. The recovering of MPG ( super tug Callair ) is almost complete as well. We have added yet another glider to our fleet during these quite times and caters to our Schempp-Hirth fans. Along with our 4 x LS4’s and Cirrus in standard class, we can now also offer a Discus B. All of our gliders can also carry water if your looking to add some speed to your tasks.”

the new Discus….picture is definitely NOT in Toc.
! as shared by Tocumwal Soaring Centre.



The NSW State comps started last Sunday in good old LAKE KEEPIT!!!
They continue till the 21 with a presentation dinner that evening.
Wonder if that is in the club house, where I had my little but perfect room during the WWGC.
22 Pilots will “fight” for the highest honor, in 2 classes,11 in sports [club, standard, 15m.] and 18m/open. [12] Among them Brad Edwards, Bruce Taylor, Mac, Alan Barnes and some of the new friends, local pilots, I made there, as Chris and Lindy Bowman, Tim, Jay, Nick, Jacques , Dave and more !!!
Presentation of scores will be amended to two groups only: ‘Sports’ (Club/Std/15) and ’18m/Open’. The final awards for the 5 class-based winners and state champions won’t be affected.
Casey is the “organizer, scorer and “social media dude” operating from Hong Kong where he lives and has to stay due to COVID-19.Mac flies and keeps an eye on the weather. Bruce flies and is task setter.

Task 1 had a 339 km set task and was won by Bruce [Taylor] with a speed of 123 km./h. flying the 18m ASG 29 .Followed by his mate Brad Edwards in the JS 3 and when Brad is there, there is music and singing as well.
Day 1 winners;

Allan and Paul from sports class,…. Bruce from open.
Allan Barnes, Paul Dickson & Bruce Taylor (L to R) sporting the first bottles of liquid celebration and engraved glassware to go out the door at NSWSC20.”

Task 2 was a good one, much better than day 1 .
A trough with high cloud-base was forecast to the NW so a 4hr AAT was set. Windy and started in the blue, got to the clouds NW of Narrabri and had a great run West then North to the top of the circle. The climbs were much less strong on the way south, at least there was a tailwind. It looked like to door might shut with rain and heavy OD before I got home but got a climb onto final glide at Mt Kaputar. Worth the price of entry!” as said by Matthew Atkinson flying his 18m Ventus 2C.
Some 12 kn. thermals were mentioned up till 12.000 not bad!!!
Daily winner Bruce [Taylor] with 616 km. in time 4.33.
Task 3 ,with a set task of 253 km was won by Mac; 132.29 km./h, BUT Brad and Bruce were on his tail; 132.14 km./h and 129.51 km./h.
Casey mentioned ;”Weatherman Mac Ichikawa (1M) gave regular updates to the grid as temperatures climbed and cloud departed the tasking area.  He reported conditions for the most part following the forecast.”
Task 4, today, was indeed on a great soaring day!!
501 Km. was set and Mac’s combined skills in both disciplines, fabulous soaring and knowledge of weather, “translated” in a speed of 142 km./h, in his JS 3 !!!!So preliminary another day-win!!!
Bruce was runner up with 139 km./h .He still tops the overall scores with 3.429 points after 4 good soaring days.
Mac is runner up with 3.244 p.

Clouds popping up on day 4!!!

Sports class;
Task 1 was a prey for Allan [Barnes] He flew 318 km during the 3 hour AAT in time 3.03; 104 km./h.
He was 10 km./h. faster than runner up Kel Burgess in a Discus 2.[94 km./h over286 km.]
Task 2 had a 3.30 AAT and AGAIN Allan was the best in his LS 8. ;361 km in time 3.32.
Kimberly , who did the social media during the WWGC , flew her PEGASE to a nice 4th spot.
Task 3, 235 km and as they are used to see by now on spot 1 was Allan, with 112 km./h, BUT the runner up was interesting; Chris Bowman in his LS 8.
He departed half an hour earlier [14.23 for 14.01], and flew around with just over 100 km./h
During the WWGC he was busy as a bee with organizing nearly everything not in the least the total financials. When necessary HE took Gisela, Frouwke and me to the big hall where dinner was served every day for the staff.
So it pleases me now to see that he was runner up. Casey was pleased as well;
“Chris Bowman (PO) had a stellar day and perhaps achieving a personal best at 100.6kph, a mere 134 pts behind Sports day winner Allan Barnes (S7).  Chris reported: “It was a good day with fantastic thermals.  8-10kts repetitively with the only complaint being large areas of equivalent sink.  The sky was completely blue but no matter what we did, we kept managing to blunder into strong climbs.  I tracked along the edge of the Pilliga scrub, looking down on others more cocky than I that ventured deeper into that unlandable terrain.  It was a great day and tomorrow promises to be even better!
OH,…I remember all those names so well; Pilliga,Pine Ridge Narrabri…

Sometimes we had dinner in the club house, Chris with the blue pullover is sitting to the left.

Task 4 with 382 km. was NOT won by Allan, but by Paul Dickson in the LS 3; 107.95 km./h. Runner up was David Turner in an ASW 27 and Allan in his LS 8 was 3d. No problems for his overall scores; 3.423 points for 2.990 from Paul. So a nice comfortable lead!!!
As they flew today the scores are preliminary.

The next couple of days you can follow the scores on


Happy 100th birthday Qantas. Times are tough, but don’t forget you’ve been an amazing part of so many people’s lives, and will do so again in the near future! Thinking particularly of all the Qantas and Aussie tourism staff doing it tough at the moment.” written by one of my Aussie mates.
I hope this COVID-19 is over soon and the world including aviation turns back to normal.

as shared by Canberra Airport


Talking about history here is a Dutch story, with a 54th birthday.
54 years ago TRANSAVIA, the company where George flew and Inge still flies, flew for the first time to Naples in Italy on November 16.
This week the HV 6411 flew again to Naples, 54 years later!!!!
Transavia in nowadays a 100% daughter of KLM.

John Block to the left was the CEO.
as shared by Transavia


The NEW November Gliding International, the magazine I have written for , for several years because I found it a magazine with all kind of interesting news , not only technical also empathic, had a beautiful Polish cover. A photo-montage from a glider and Leszno…..THE place to be in Poland for soaring.
Further on news on the
—–LS 8 E- neo with FES; High performance paired with a lot of security.
Lot’s of data and pictures.
Good to see that Holger Back is the CEO there. I remember how he, after the WGC in Benalla in 1987 ,flew his first 1000 km from Tocumwal.
—–“Fly like a girl”…a film which is more than a film. Most inspiring!!
7.9 % of the total pilot population in the USA is female! An interview with Abbie, Abigail Harrison, an astronaut at the Kennedy Space Centre Visitors center.
—–The Purdue University developed a new white paint that can reflect over 95 % of sunlight.
—–a beautiful story about the epic flight from Hanna Reitsch in 1937 from Salzburg to Pieve di Cadore. An excerpt from her book “Fliegen mein Leben” translated by Aldo [Cernezzi].
—-great pictures in the PHOTO ALBUM.
—–The Wilga 32… tow plane. When I saw a WILGA for the first time I was truly amazed to see how high “it stands on it’s legs”.
—-How do you judge when it is better to stay at the ground?
——Could your canopy be the source of power for your motor glider?!
—–The federation of aeronautical sports of Russia and COVID -19.
An interview with Sergey Ananov, President of the Russian Federation of Aeronautical Sports.
—-Flying away – The experience of flying away from home by George Frost and where of all paces??? In Iran.
—-And lots of International Aviation news for glider pilots AND of course “things with wings”.
For subscriptions;

That’s it for now.
Next Wednesday the final results from the Queensland State comps in LAKE KEEPIT and what’s more interesting for all of us.
By the way, this morning I saw on the news the fires not far from Reno and south of it. When we were in Minden Nevada, for the pre worlds, there was one problem. Finishes HAD to be stopped when the fire bombers had to go out. We all understood why,…but that’s the main reason the WGC was moved to Uvalde in Texas.
Seeing those fires now I even understand better!!!
Cheers Ritz

Enough happening !Romain Fhal..AEROBATICS!!

——-Yes a lot of things are happening in this world. I followed with interest the USA elections,…Will keep my mouth shut,…but maybe I can confess that I do not understand , the voting from a lot …nearly half….of the people in the USA.
Hope this soap ends GOOD …NOT for the “red or blues” but, for the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.


Geen beschrijving beschikbaar.
Courtesy Romain.

….One of my FB mates celebrated his birthday and of course my annual congratulations were send to him. I do not know Romain personally but I am impressed with the fabulous results in the year 2020 .
This is what I noticed;
END! of the 2020 special season. 8 medals 4 gold 4 silver and 2 cups in unlimited aerobatics power and glider😊🥇🥈🏆. This week end will be the CIVA meeting and soon we will have news about the next season! now It is time for winter training camps.”

Geen beschrijving beschikbaar.
in a power plane and a glider as shared by Romain
Geen beschrijving beschikbaar.

CONGRATULATIONS Romain,.. so,…I got anxious to “see” the man behind the medals and decided to contact him for a bit more personal news.
I was very pleased to see that Romain reacted straight away ,so NOW we All know more about him .
“”I’m French and Russian .
For more then 10 years I was in the French team.
And won 6 national championships in different categories and was one time European champion per team, two times World champion per team and vice world aerobatics champion in 2014 and winner of 6 titles of world champion in unknown programs.
Unfortunately due covid -19 there were no international championships this year , so he only flew 2 National championships….
During the first, he was 2nd in unlimited Extra330LX. And the second was the Russian gliding national championship unlimited category and he won the two unknown and the championship in Swift S1.

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both pictures shared by Romain.
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 123593013_2804200846566215_2388722051439876149_o.jpg

After several requests from international competitors he became aerobatics coach (Romain FHAL AEROBATICS) in 2012. 
 “Since then I coach pilots on international level from intermediate to unlimited and organize from January to December training camps in Spain (winter time ) and in Hungary (spring and summer time)”
 In 2019 he and his partner, who is a coach as well, created a company called (FVA) and they bought 2× Extra 330SC in order to provide high performance training to their students.
From time to time he also coaches pilots in their own aircraft and when necessary he flies with them in two seater planes. 
I live in Moscow and fly and coach with my wife and our students here in Russia also. “
What a fabulous job and lifestyle …and to be able to share this with your wife …just amazing and very challenging!!!!
In between when he feels like “just flying” he hops in a Nimbus 4 as well.
He also told me that his first job was instructor in the French military air force, nowadays he wins all these prizes with one of the most difficult disciplines in our aviation world….aerobatics !!!!!CHAPEAU!!!!
For more info you can reach him at

Geen beschrijving beschikbaar.
with his wife Svetlana who is world champion aerobatics as well..
, shared by Romain.

——Tocumwal gets a fence around the airfield. I wrote about it last week. Here is a picture .
Building the New Kangaroo proof fence

t’s going to be a mighty looooong fence. Work is well underway on the perimeter fence around the Tocumwal Aerodrome.

—–More Tocumwal-news, as I was touched and very pleased to see how Eddie and Bones trimmed the oleander at Dennis grave. With this corona we can’t go there and to have the feeling that more people care ,… feels tremendously GOOD. For that reason, I share these pictures .

Geen beschrijving beschikbaar.
Before the trim from the oleander. Still withy the flowers from Bones…
Geen beschrijving beschikbaar.
“It looks brutal,” ….they said, but a good trim is the best thing happening for an oleander.
And they cleaned up as well!!!
Geen beschrijving beschikbaar.
A HUGE THANK YOU to Bones and Eddie!!!!! You remember the song…”That’s were friend are for”. I can sing it all day!

——–Whilst living in Australia, we were always looking out for the new calendar from the Bureau of Meteorology . It’s an excellent weather show as seen by different people who send their pictures to them.
The Bureau of Meteorology has revealed the winning photographs selected for next year’s 2021 Australian Weather Calendar. Check out these incredible shots of the Land Down Under!
I have selected 2;

FEBRUARY…..Image: Dust storm approaching Mildura, Victoria – Robert Klarich
Both shared by 7NEWS Brisbane
Image: Lightning over Gulf St Vincent and Happy Valley Reservoir, Adelaide, South Australia – Jody Shadgett picture for April

——-What about building your own plane ???? HP-24 Kit Sailplane can help.

Sneak preview, on November 3,of the next HP kit. Available as either sustainer or self-launch, both electric .
Compared to HP-24, it has a new cranked wing planform, a new nose profile, and of course it is only available as self-launch or sustainer.”

—–Great news from Omarama.
Alaskan-born Keith Essex has gone to great lengths to return to Omarama and to return gliders to its skies. “Kiwi” Keith, as he is known, was in Alaska when fears about the Covid-19 spread began to limit travel and close borders. Nonetheless, he decided to come back to New Zealand with two tow planes, a Dynamic and a Carbon Cub, complete the quarantine programme and set up a new towing operation, Southern Soaring Ltd. “I’ve been in aviation my whole life.” From the mid-80s, Keith owned a fixed wing and helicopter operation in Alaska.He began living in New Zealand about six years ago and gained residency.He sold the helicopter business two years ago.“I still work there, but at a lower level, to give me more time to help on the airfield here.” The new tow planes were the way of the future. “They’re more modern, more fuel efficient, they drink a 1/3 less fuel and are extremely quiet.”They have been built to meet stringent overseas noise abatement requirements. “Since we’re starting from scratch, we’re being conscious about the way we do things,” Keith said. Keith’s planes have been employed since mid-October. “We’re expecting [the activity at the airfield] will be similar to that of years past with the exception of the overseas tourists.” However, he was expecting more domestic travellers to visit.“Kiwis are movers.”
A lot of North Islanders are planning to come here who haven’t been here in years.”

Picture supplied to the Omarama Gazette

——News from Schempp-Hirth about their BEAUTIFUL ARCUS,…loved by many!!!
The new updated Arcus-M and Arcus-T type are now fully EASA certified.MTOW updated to 850kg, new thinner elevator, new wingtips, electrical retraction gear with redundancy, new ILEC engine controller on the “M” with fully readable information, new interior with not only good looking enhancement… BIG THUMBS UP to our engineer team and to the builder of each part of this amazing sailplane!!! Share your stories of adventures around the world with Arcus!”

As shared by Schempp-Hirth

No comps, not a lot of gliding, still no news about the appeal from the WWGC, but the “on-the-site’ news is interesting too.

To finish a fabulous picture shared by the British Gliding Association

For me and many others, they are a memory , symbol and tribute to fallen soldiers ,..not only from WW 1. Last Sunday was Remembrance Sunday in the UK and Common Wealth countries. In Australia we remembered the day as well.

By the way Berlin has a brand new airfield…finally… interesting to read was, that “our” glider pilot and Air France captain, Christophe Ruch flew the last plane from the old airfield TEGEL.

courtesy Air Plus News

CU next week, with news from the latest G.I.
Cheers Ritz