Looking back at the JWGC with Champion Peter Millenaar and his parents!

JWGC dutch flag  JWGC Peter en vlag

When I was going to interview JWGC champion Peter Millenaar, for this blog,  I knew straight away that I wanted to know how his parents felt as well.
So here you are; an interview with an interesting look on the comps by Peter and the "chronicles " from 6 weeks Poland by his parents.
Enjoy! By the way , the pictures on the top are from Rob Millenaar; finish from Peter!

JWGC by frouwke parents

Peter, Janni and Rob Millenaar.
Courtesy; Frouwke Kuijpers.


Peter , congratulations with your title as junior world champion 2013 in standard class. Since 1999, when the first JWGC was held in The Netherlands only 16 young pilots know the feeling. Can you describe it?

Thank you very much! It's a great feeling, -hard to describe actually! During the price giving ceremony I actually still couldn't believe it. Now that I'm back home I'm starting to realize it more. My dream finally came true! Being the best of the world in my class!
Last Saturday I started working again as a commercial pilot, doing scenic flights and trial lessons from Teuge. My friends and family planned a surprise party for me. I had no idea! So I finished the last flight of the day and my boss came walking towards the airplane (Cessna 172), we (passengers and I) stepped out of the airplane, and before I could shake hands with the passengers my boss asked me to come with him. Me: Where? Why? What 'swrong? -Just come he said. So we walked to the restaurant. I still had no idea. We walked towards the door and the last 2 meters I realized that the curtains were closed...
"Why is that? What's this?" I thought , but before I could find an answer, the door opened and many of my friends and team members were all there; SURPRISE!!! We had a nice party! I got some awards, a silver honorary award from the KNVvL, a nice painting, and the exchange-trophy for every 'champion' in either an EGC, WGC or JWGC.

JWGC groepsfoto
Surprise Party time!

JWGC peter met kunst  JWGC 2 dutch world champions

Presents enough . One presented by the last JWGC Champion in Musbach; Tim Kuijpers, so 2 Dutch JUNIOR World Champions on this picture!
Courtesy Frans Guise!

You spend quite some time in Poland , flying the EGC in
Ostrow first. Did that help you? And how does it feel to win 3 times from TOPPER Sebastian. Was it by the way frustrating to "fight" against 3 Polish pilots?

Yes, we spent over 6 weeks in Poland. We had a great time. Of course the EGC in Ostrow was a great preparation for the JWGC. We had some really great weather in Ostrow, - my kind of weather, nice cumulus, strong thermals and great alignment of clouds (not always cloud streets, but sometimes you just didn't have to turn for over 50km's). In this time I learned that the best thermal area's are definitely the wooded/forest area's. Whenever you have the possibility to choose a path either over the fields, or a path over forest area's, it was an easy choice. I also learned that almost every day the thermals started getting weaker quite fast around 4.30pm, and most of the days it was a bad idea to get below 700m MSL. Having this knowledge was of course quite an advantage in the JWGC.
Flying against the 3 Polish pilots was never frustrating (although I hope that they will be using Flarm soon!). They are really good as a team. I observed them a few days and the team-flying is just perfect.
Of course it's awesome to have 3 day- victories! I especially liked the day when I was over 6km./h. faster than Sebastian Kawa, who was 2nd that day . It was just my day; every cloud worked the way I expected it.

You prefer to fly "alone", take your own decisions , share
info with the team and other pilots , but you do not fly together as in a pair-flying. Why is that?

Yes, I prefer to fly alone. In my competition flying history I actually never had much opportunity to practice pair-flying with other team members.
Sharing information like different paths, weather situation further on task and opinions about weather development has my preference.
I think that whenever you want to do pair-flying, you should
have had a lot of training with each other before you attempt to do it in the competition.
If you still have to learn it when the competition already started, it's not going to work.
Also, I get more satisfaction from having my 'own' flight, rather than from flying in a pair where of course you would have taken  some decisions that you wouldn't have done otherwise.
For example about the WGC in Argentina, I regret that I didn't follow my own idea's and opinions in certain situations. I still wonder how they would have worked out...

We all expect more from you, how does the future look as in
the junior world not everybody remains in top soaring; study, career sometimes precede. What do you expect/hope for?

Well I would really like to go the the WGC in Rayskala next year. Unfortunately I probably can't go, but it's for a good cause: I just got hired by Ryanair as a First Officer! I'm starting in February 2014.
Finally my other dream is coming true!
So next year will be difficult for competitions. I also don't know yet where I will be based. Preferably at an airport close to somewhere I can still fly gliders.
Hopefully in the near future I will have the opportunity to fly major competitions again. Of course my next goal is to become the European or World Champion

And my last question is already for 20 years the same,...what
do you want to tell us I did not ask?

Hmm, let me think... Not really. Please have a look at www.MillenAir.nl, my webshop for some interesting gliding products.
Around mid-September there will be some very interesting news!

Thank you so much Peter and good luck in the future, I am going to keep an eye on you.

Very kind of the parents from Peter to react on my question to look back through their eyes. Here is the story!

Crew Chronicles from Poland

An introduction: we are Janni and Rob Millenaar, the crew of Peter. We have been Peter’s helpers ever since he started participating in national (in Holland) and international championships. And this year was no different, with the European and Junior World Championships organised in Ostrów and Leszno in Poland respectively. Yes, we spent six (6!) weeks in Poland this summer for those events, and have loved every moment of it.

The glider pilots have their memories of all the tasks they flew, the colleague competitors in the air, often in huge gaggles, the strategies followed, good and bad thermals along the way and the good and not-so-good results when the scores came in over troublesome internet connections. And crewmembers will have their own memories of how they lived through the stress, the excitement, the elation or disappointment. Here are some of our impressions from the past events as Peter’s crew in Poland.

The EGC at Ostrów was marked by a number of days with great conditions, which allowed high task speeds. But on the first competition day many competitors had a difficult time completing the task, let alone fly fast. Peter was 23rd (Standard Class) and was rather disappointed with that result, but he could see where he could do better in the differing Polish conditions. The next few days he did a lot better, but already it was clear that the Polish threesome, headed by Sebastian Kawa, were in a league of their own. Nevertheless we saw Peter’s confidence steadily grow as he was catching up from behind. It was remarkable that he always decided to fly his own races and not cling to the group of followers that were on Kawa’s tail for many rounds. In that way he climbed up to 4th place overall, with three daily wins. Even though a better first day would have narrowed the gap with Sebastian, Peter still was very satisfied with the way he flew the competition, and that he could call himself “the best of the rest”, right after that great Polish team.

And then onwards we went to Leszno, the place for the JWGC, with one training week to spare. Peter had participated in the 2009 edition of the Juniors, in Räyskälä, ending in 6th place in Standard Class. He had to skip Mussbach in 2011 because of his studies, and now was his last opportunity to participate before getting “too old”. We noticed that his confidence after the EGC was already quite firm and after taking it easy for a few days he was raving to go again. On the last training day he didn’t hold back and finished first with 126.1 km/h in good weather conditions. And that was the last day of excellent weather because after that we saw many marginal and average days. But Peter flew a very consistent series of tasks, which put him in the lead overall with a comfortable margin.  On the final competition day he could have stuck to the number two to defend his lead, but he chose to start early and race ahead. Unknown to him a fantastic cloud street opened up for the others some 20 minutes later. The speed at which the followers flew could jeopardise Peter’s overall position, and over the radio we could hear that he was fully aware of the danger. Dutch team members Jan-Willem and Ronald were updating him with the follower’s progress. It was clear that after the first leg of the task he was getting into the danger zone. No more transmissions from Peter at that point as he was concentrating on flying as fast as possible. For the ground crew these were very tense moments because we had no way of knowing his progress. That is until he came back on the radio reporting final glide. A sigh of relief for us, but the game wasn’t over yet. He landed first back at the field. He wasn’t sure that he maintained his lead and seeing the number two land not many minutes later it was clear that there would be very tense moments ahead until the final scores would be in. To make the long story short: yes he had built up enough margin to claim the title!

As Peter’s crew and as part of the Dutch team we have had a great time in Poland. The JWGC was the culmination of the team efforts. We have had many celebrations and last Saturday the Dutch team surprised Peter with a party. It was great to see many of the members of the two three-week Polish expeditions that have been so successful.

Rob & Janni Millenaar

Team Y1

A big thank you to Janni and Rob.

Well, I am very pleased with this blog, hope you have the same feeling!!

See you next Sunday

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 soaring.eu 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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