“He put a few 1000 Aussie dollars in front of me and wanted to spend that on flying with Ingo”!

Can't say anything else then; FLYING WITH THE CHAMPIONS was a great success. The concept from Ludwig Starkl and Wolfgang Janowitsch with 10 trainees and 6 WGC Champions in Kiripotib, was very moreish.


The last landing at Kiripotib this year.
Courtesy; www.rent-a-glider.com

When thinking a bit more about it,  the concept is not so new! Whilst running the Sportavia Soaring Centre ,we did this as well. Different, but still!!
We were so blessed to have Ingo Renner as our instructor and already in the 80thies under Bill Riley and a bit later under Jeff and Don, and certainly in the nineties, when we were running the show with our staff, several pilots specially flew in , to be trained by Ingo.

During our early November "OUTBACK"-competition [ long-distance-flying] , we also invited junior pilots. They had to pay their own trip down under, but got except for the drinks everything free; so food, a bed, a glider [2-seater or to practise, what was learned, a single seater] and INGO. For this event we invited the Dutch junior champion from that time Alfred Paul , in another year a Belgium top junior Tijl and from Finland Pekka, also a promising young glider pilot.
I had contact with all of them later and with Alfred Paul and Tijl still and they all raved about the time they spend with Ingo in the air. They still use knowledge from then now!

From the past, I also remember several guests, who ONLY came to fly with Ingo. Most of them were Japanese and European pilots. Some booked him for a week some for a day, to just have the experience.

One person I remember very clearly. He was German, but lived in Canada. He was old, skinny and looked "poor" , wearing shoes were the nose was cut from, to fit his large feet. He had booked an inside-room, normally only used by young Japanese students, who wanted to wake up in the morning , look through their curtain and see an old WW2 hangar,  FULL of rigged gliders and tow planes. They preferred to spend their money on soaring!

Hangaar 3 binnen
Hangar with IS 28 and Blanik upfront.

Our new Canadian friend was not happy with  the matrass on his bed, so I offered him a better room with a better bed, for the same price, because he looked so fragile and a bit lost. No , he wanted to stay in "his" room. So we changed his mattress and he was happy. He had booked Ingo ahead for a week and after feeling more relaxed and satisfied , he put a few 1000 Aussie dollars in front of me at the desk in the office. He wanted to fly as much as possible in that week and Ingo took him up in the Duo Discus, the Blanik and IS 28.He did not talk too much , but his face said it all, though he was pretty worn out after a long flight. We spoiled him with extra's as well.
Not long after,...we heard he had died.
It was already amazing that he could fly up and down from Canada, to a tiny little place with 1375 inhabitants on the border of NSW and Victoria.4 Times World champion Ingo Renner had that effect.

Anxious to see what happens to Sebastian when het get's older. He is even more decorated then Ingo now. At this stage he is on his way to the Himalaya to fly there, hopefully as the very first near or around the Mount Everest as no glider has EVER done that;

This Canadian gentleman did not want to learn,  as the pilots in Kiripotib, he only wanted to fulfil a dream and have the experience to fly with an icon as Ingo.
"Just" a glider pilot can achieve that.

But, what happened now, in Kiripotib in  Namibia, to put 6 top pilots on one spot where you can expect great soaring weather , with in 2 weeks 2 groups of 4 and 6 and the VERY best gliders, good food and accommodation, yes that's something new!

That the "students" were happy I totally understand. Also the TOPPERS were happy and even more the organisers, [how lucky have they been with the gorgeous soaring-weather, 21x1000 km. tasks were flown as well, including the very fast 166 km./h. flights from Ludwig in his new Antares 23E!] who as they more or less said,  continue with the event ;

"Finally ten trainees participated and flew fourteen days. They all learned a lot, so we think our idea was a great success. Now we have to learn from this experience for the things to come."

Champions3 champions 4

Courtesy; www.rent-a-glider.com

I like to point out the link from an Austrian trainee ,who kept a blog and by clicking on English , you can read it when you don't understand German. He tells us all about the ...WHY!
WITH some pictures as well!

You can read here all reports by Gerold Auerbach


All the other news,  also more from Kiripotib, you can read at ; www.soaring.eu

Till 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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