News from QGP in Sweden! FAI meeting was in Antalya..Lilienthal Gliding medal for Giorgio!


The time difference between most parts in Australia and Europe is 10 hours again, now the clock has turned back to “normal” here and forward Down Under,  in the night from Saturday to Sunday.
And …..autumn has started as well, no worries  IT IS autumn here, with 8 dgr. and minus 2/5 in the night and VERY sunny here.Up North we even had the first Dutch -wet-snow and the first trucks drove around with salt to avoid roads and  bridges  to be slippery! This morning my car was white from frost and the E of Holland had MINUS 10!!!.
The ski season started this weekend with world class-competitions in Austria [Sölden] . So…up to winter…!’

Further away from here, “Sandy” is a scary huricane, killing already 44 people on her way and “travelling” direction New York, Delaware and Virginia. The possible combination/collision with a winter storm,  might make things worse for the USA East coast. Airlines in the USA are anticipating already on the storm .
Today it seems less of a worry as Sandy decreased to a tropical storm, but precautions are still in full action.
I once felt such huge storm in Newark Delaware, while visiting for a month in summer. Trees, big thick years-old – oak’s , just collapsed and we had no electricity for a long time.
Really scary, as the one and only category 4 cyclone I had , while living at Curacao in 1996. As said before I DO NOT LIKE tough WIND.
Another disaster as a 7.7 earthquake has hit West from Canada in the ocean. At this stage no damage there BUT a tsunami is on it’s way to Hawai. Not good!

Spring however , in Omarama , were Gavin Wills had a great flight in the Duo Discus on as he called it  ” a wild wave day“; 603 km. with a speed of 140,72 on the clock,  going S. and N. from Omarama over Mount Cook.
Loved his story about Mountain Thermal Soaring in the G.I.
Interesting guy this Gavin [ cousin from Justin , who is the son from Philip] , knowing with his 8000 hours,  EVERYTHING you should know about flying in the mountains. He operates Mountain Soaring School at Omarama in New Zealand.

Wave as I noticed it in NZ on the N Island.

VERY pleasant soaring weather in Australia, both on the East,  as well as on the West and South now, in fact ALL over Australia where there is a possibilty to fly;
547 [409 FIA triangle] in a PIK 20 a by Geoff Pratt from Queensland [Mareeba] and 288 km [FAI 222km.] from Cunderdin in Western Australia in an Astir CS. Also Benalla had already some good flights yesterday with kilometer-eater Tobias Geiger flying his first flight for the season in the LS 4.[278 km. /  FAI 256 km].
Best flight from Benalla was 346 km in a 17m.  Kestrel , though there was a cold hard southerly blowing and no cu’s above Benalla according to Charles Day.
Good to see , [ also in W A] activities from Beverley! 352 [ FAI 343 km] yesterday but thay started already with the season on October 12.
Also happy first flights from the beautiful airport of Mildura in NSW on the Murray River and from the airport in the Victorian Mountains, Mount Beauty where they started already  on October 9.
And from Warkworth members from the Hunter Valley Gliding Club [NSW] have flown already 4x flights over 400 km. in PIK 20, Duo Discus and 2x LS 3.
Another kilometer-eater,  Terry Bellair started his season from Raywood [Bendigo / Victoria] last week and flew in his DG 400 yesterday , 276 km.
And the Geelong Soaring Club at Bacchus Mars [Victoria] has already over 30 [shorter] flights, while the club from Camden close to Sydney [Southern Cross Gliding Club] showed the first flight in an SD 55  .
Biggest Aussie Center , Corowa will follow  as soon as the gliders have arrived in November and Tocumwal and Narromine started already too and are ready for the guests who arrive soon.
Waikirie, Stonefield and Gawler will be soon on the map as well and I surely forgot a few well known places, but will mention them when approperiate.
The Aussie season has “kicked off”  and can ONLY get better when it get’s hotter.

Told you last time about the Qualifying Sailplane Grand Prix about to start in Potchefstroom [on November 2] and a bit later in Lake Keepit [on November 12] . Both a bit far but here is one closer by for European pilots , so I add 1 more in Sweden in May 2013.
Got this news from Äke Pettersson, who is the Director from this GP;
—”We in Stockholms Segelflygklubb are happy to invite pilots for this event May 4-11 on our airfield Långtora.
This is an opportunity for pilots in the Nordic and neighbour countries to qualify for the final event in France 2013.
Please communicate this competition to interested pilots. They can register NOW by filling in the Entry form.

The website for the Qualifying Grand Prix, Långtora, Sweden is now up and running, so when you click on Qualifying Grand Prix 2013 on the link below, you can read what to do[ in ENGLISH] ,  when you are interested in going:

For those who do not know exactly about the rules and or the history,  here is what Äke added;

—”The Sailplane Grand Prix is a new type of competition for gliders, both more spectacular and more easily understood by the public than conventional competitions. The latter have proven to be of little interest to the public and the media because they are difficult to follow mainly because most of the time, the gliders are working far from base. On top of that, even in speed races round a pre-determined course, the first pilot to cross the finishing line is not necessarily the winner of the day as the competitors can choose the moment to leave. Finally, results based on a points system, arrived at by complicated formulae, often published long after the pilot arrive back. Because of this, these competitions contributes very little to the promotion of our sport.

The International Gliding Commission of the FAI ( has tried to remedy this state of affairs by thinking up new forms of more media-friendly competition. The Grand Prix concept is based on a much simpler set of rules: all gliders start simultaneously (regatta start), fly relatively short courses, even passing back over the airfield, and the pilots Are classified according to placing, just like in Formula One car racing . To render this competition more attractive, new technologies, based on satellite transmission of the GPS position and on computer flight simulation are used to produce three-dimensional virtual pictures of the gliders  in flight. These pictures  can be displayed on a big screen on the airfield and broadcasted on the internet so that the spectators can follow the racing in real time. In addition, a very sophisticated info-technology model will allow virtual images of the gliders in flight to be shown. Video footage taken from the gliders or from an accompanying aeroplane or helicopter can also be broadcasted.

The first experimental Sailplane Grand Prix events were held in January 2001 inGawler,Australia(parallel to the first Club Class World Gliding Championships) and in June2003 inSaint-Auban,France.

The first official FAI World Sailplane Grand Prix was held from the 2nd to the 11th of September,2005, inSaint-Auban,France. ( ) (

 The second FAI World Sailplane Grand Prix was held in December2007 inOmarama,New Zealand. (, NewZealand.

 The third FAI World Sailplane Grand Prix was held in January 2010 inSantiago, Chile. (

The fourth FAI Sailplane Grand Prix was held in August 2011 at the Wasserkuppe (Germany.


 The rules

Grand Prix the gliders race in competition close together around a pre-set task. A smaller number of competitors reduces the risks of the simultaneous start. A place-scoring system provides rewards for excellence without unduly punishing a poor performance.

  • A task, typically 2 hour in duration and between 200 and300 km. in length is set.
  • All gliders start at the same time (similar to a yacht regattastart).
    • The gliders must cross the short start line not above a set height and not faster than a set maximum speed.
    • The start/finish line is generally close to the airfield so that it can be observed by spectators.
    • Gliders race around the task. No team flying is permitted. The first one home wins as they all started at the same time and there is no handicapping.
    • A place scoring system is used, with 1 point for every finisher you beat, plus a bonus point for coming home first. (similar to a Motor Grand Prix).

The complete rules can be downloaded on the IGC website:

6-9 qualification Grand Prix are organised all around the world and the two or three first pilots of each qualifying race qualify for the final

For more details see :


German readers and readers reading German, should read the  soaring-prose  from young German pilot Benjamin Bachmaier. He looks back on his flights and visits all over the world , also as a sport-soldier , while filling in his logbook and starting a new one. Well done Benjamin!

South Africa ‘s season has not started yet , which is good, when you look at the weather.
Oscar told me that it is “It is soarable, but slightly colder than normal. There was a serious hail storm in Johannesburg this last week. I wil try to send you a photo.—”
And here are  the pictures from October 12 with the note;”  Someone must be planning a gliding contest!”.
So  just before the Orient competition, reason why they had only 2/3 days of soaring in that week [ 14/20 October 2012]  ;


Hail as seen by Oscar while travelling to Potchefstroom.

AND…the pictures send as promised from Johannesburg , look at this;


Thanks Oscar for sharing and GOOD LUCK in the Qualifying Grand Prix in Potchefstroom, where the weather hopefully will be TOP!!!!!!
pictures; courtesy Flight Zone.

THE FAI GENERAL CONFERENCE  meeting was this year in Antalya in Turkey from October 18 to 20 and it was already edition 106. Norwegian president John Grubbström was re- elected, as president for a period of 2 years. Also a Dutch face from now on in the FAI , with Frits Brink the president of the Dutch KNVvL. He is a member of the FAI board of executive directors now. Alvaro is still the vice-president.
Before the plenary 10 people got an award or medal, one of them,  the Lilienthal Medal was for our Italian friend Giorgio Galetto. Marina was with him on this special day, as Giorgio said “I owe much to her”. There is a link to the interview on ; and click on Giorgio’s name.
Breitling is the official partner of the FAI and announced 2 more awards for the future;
the Breitling Youngster Award and
the Breitling Milestone Trophy.
In the past I told you about the Alvaro De Orleans Borbon [father from Alvaro] Grant and this prize was given to Todd Reichert for the “Atlas” Human- Powered helicopter project.

You are up to date, CU next Wednesday, and…still to come the story about the accident from Giorgio [in English], which was published by my friends from “Segelfliegen” and will be translated by Marina. A very gutsy decision to share what happened with him , to help YOU to avoid getting in the same situation!!
Also the MORNING GLORY STORY from Jo and Tony [TT] will be published soon.
And TODAY in SoaringCafe the story from Terry Cubley from 1975 about the 750 k!!! Enjoy!
cheers Ritz

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Since before the word “blog” was created, Ritz wrote about her experiences every day after flying at the Sportavia Soaring Center in Australia, where she helped run a successful business from 1996 to 2005. Her first blogs on date from June 2006, and she has been blogging ever since, joining Soaring Café in January 2011. She says her experience as columnist for Gliding International and blogger for Soaring Café has enriched her world more than she can say and that her soaring friends keep her young and ”going”.

Read Ritz' full bio under the menu item About -> Our Contributors.

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