Namibia, where 1000 km. flights seem to be more the “rule than the exception” ! JOEY glide!

Can't get around Namibia these days , certainly not when you love long- distance -soaring. More and more kilo-meter-eaters travel to either Bitterwasser, Pokweni or Kiripotib to fly long, longer and the longest flights!
Looking at the OLC list nearly every day a long list of 1000 km.- pilots shows flights from those places and they are getting over 1.400 k. by now as did Bostjan Pristovic last week in the EB 29 ,on December 6 and with a nice speed as well; 166.16 km./h. From the 5 flights he did 4 were over-1000km.
Every day they try again to have the longest distance and they must be admired for their stamina and interest to go again and again and do the same , though weather circumstances and for that reason flights are very different day by day.

My Dutch friends [Daan and Henk] flying from Pokweni, had to get used to the ARCUS M [ and to the LX 9000, ] they leased  but fell in love with the glider ,  having flown several over-1000 km. flights together, even a 1000- FAI- triangle.
Reinhard Schramme [ARCUS M at Bitterwasser] has already 7 x a 1000 and 3x over 900 k. within 10 days and till now, that looks like "working"!
At this time he tops the list of OLC Champions! Of course a lot can still happen, as you need a long holiday to make enough long flights and a long period of 1000-km-weather to be the CHAMPION for 2013.

Being a" kilo-meter-eater" is a "BIG" job,  you also have to avoid , the sometimes heavy thunderstorms, you have to be alert all the time under sometimes demanding situations and sometimes blue thermals make life not easy either as well as the "cold" wave circumstances when you fly p.e from Argentina.
By the way a great flight yesterday in the wave from Jean-Marc Perrin who managed with a nice Southerly tailwind and wave everywhere for a good average;  1. 856.48 km. with 154 km. /h.
Enough "sometimes" but .....they are important for a flight with a good finish.

Argentinian wave soaring as seen 2 years ago by Bruce Cooper.


Sadly enough we just lost an Australian "mate" again during the New South Wales State Comps last week and ....I am sure you agree with me,.....every "lost" pilot is ONE TOO MUCH!!!
He just clipped a tree before finishing at the runway 22 and crashed on the road on the border of the airfield. I have seen that ones in Tocumwal too, but the pilot luckily escaped any damage on his body , though he might have had a bit of damage on the ego and  more  on the glider.

Decisions , decisions?!! What to fly  "18 m. or 21 m." during the South African Nationals in Welkom.
"A problem presented to us " by Oscar Goudriaan , ready to be one of the competitors in this competition . We will know today when  they are back from their first flight , as normally you fly the comps in the conversion of the first day!
There will be 11 pilots flying for the title in club class, 5 in 15 m. and 14 in open/18m. class. Amongst them the winner from the last Grand Prix in S.A. Andy Davis.
The first day-tasks are 534.2 km. for open and 18m class, 426.7 km. for the 15 m. pilots and the club class has to go for 233.7 km. and it looks that Oscar has decided for 21 m. span.

The 21 meter -span -JS 1 as flown in Uvalde, you can also see "my" white [FAI ] tent...

Joey glide started today with an official practise day. Joey is the name for a baby kangaroo in Australia so not difficult to guess that the juniors are flying the Nationals from Lake Keepit, indeed an airfield on a lake.


The Lake and a finish OVER the Lake.

Quite a few well known pilots participate in these comps. Young guy's as Nick and Andrew Maddocks and Nathan Johnson who have experience with JWGC's already and young Matthew Scutter who flew last year a great 1000 k from Adelaide. I guess he and his mates drove al the way from Adelaide to Lake Keepit between 1500 and 2000 km.
In the past and even now, my "older" Aussie friends send their gliders with the crew by road and flew in , in their power planes!
As said before , 2 young guy's from New Zealand participate as well Nick Oakley and Alex Mac Caw and they allowed me to use  those wonderfull pictures. Here are 3 more.


Alex and Nick from New Zealand in Lake Keepit.
Alex flies W3 from Adam Wooley.

"White"  is the world in most parts of Europe at the moment. Severe snow in Germany, Italy and France and "normal" snow in Holland  and certainly here in Alphen with just a few cm. More snow up to the East from our country as you can see on the next FB picture from Aukje.


Winter as seen by some of my friends in Italy and France

For all other news from last week you are welcome to go to
CU next Sunday enjoy your week.
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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