36,000 Wheelbarrows of Sahara Sand Arrive in Holland!

Nitra is Ready for the Famous Pribina Cup!

Nitra is Ready for the Famous Pribina Cup!

As it looks now, 133 pilots will fly the " flapped"  33rd WGC in Poland from 33 countries. GOOD!!

Twenty-six different countries and 122, including the co-pilots in the 20 m 2-seater class, will participate in Finland. GOOD!!

Interesting to see, that within the first 20 places last Thursday on the OLC, places were occupied by Switzerland, Australia, Romania, Sweden, Germany, Poland and Slovakia. That means more countries have started the season.

On Friday all well known names in the top four of the OLC were from different states/countries:
Baudouin Litt  from Seminole Lake in the USA with 517 km in an LS-8,
David Jansen from Kingaroy in Australia with 564 km in an ASG 29E/18m,
Petr Svoboda [CZ]  in Europe from Letkov with 511 km in an LS-8,
And last but not least in this small line up, Gerard Lherm with 412 km from France (St Martin de Londres).

Yesterday was a great day at Mid Atlantic Soaring: 1.014 km in a Discus B with wave, ridge and thermals; ALL ingredients were there to make it a fabulous day for Michael Higgins. Only the 3rd cross country day for the season from Mid Atlantic and straight away a perfect one!
 AND, a 572.5 km in an LS-3 from El Tiro, Arizona isn't bad either— good day for the Tucson Soaring Club members.

In Slovakia, from the airfield of Prievidza, a small place on the Nitra river and in the recent past the venue of the 31st WGC in 2010, one of the German pilots flew in a LAK 17/18 m without water on a nice 315 km task.

Not long and Nitra (Slovakia) will have that BIG competition called the Pribina Cup and this more or less opens the European competition soaring season. CD Dominik Jancik is ready with his team.

This International Easter Gliding Competition will take place between April 19th and 26th, and a total of 136 pilots from 18 countries will fly in four classes: open class with 40 participants, 20 m with 15, 15 m with 29 and club class—very popular; 51 will vie for the highest honor here.
 As sporting director Vladimir Voltin said, "Our goal is to organize an exciting and great, but relaxed and especially safe event."

I look forward to this competition and will keep you informed my way. You can find all the news on www.pribinacup.sk. The unofficial training starts on the 12th, so next Saturday.

In the beginning of this 2014 season, Italian coach Giorgio Balarati invited the top squad from Italy for training, both practical and technical. Nearly all toppers were there and 17 participants flew over four days from Calcinate del Peche in a mixed class.

Alberto Sironi won in his QUINTUS  AND, the 2nd spot for Luciano Avanzini was also in a QUINTUS. On day two they both had 1000 points! By the way the very first day was a "prey"  for 2 ARCUS T gliders—424 km with a speed of 137 km/h. Third place overall was taken by Luca Di Marchi in a Ventus 2.

For sure you have heard or maybe have it already on the shelf, the book ONE YEAR OF GLIDING by Bert Schmelzer jr. LOVED IT/ LOVE IT!!
If you  want to order a book, here's the URL:  www.bertschmelzer.com

This week Bert started his soaring again and straight away put some nice pictures on his site. As you know, Bert is from Belgium but lives and works in Zurich in Switzerland. Here's a link to his first pictures of the season on a weak wave day with, as usual, text from Bert jr.!


Z bertje 1

After rejecting a couple of weak rotors, I suddenly find myself low down and struggle to find positive air in the vicinity of these three huge mountains.

The LX9000 indicates just 11 kph of wind and I'm mentally prepared for a long glide towards a safe outlanding spot near the city of Thun.

The final option -which I only know from extensive OLC analyses- saves the day: 
At the southern end of the Lauterbrunnen Valley I find a very weak but smooth rotor. 
During the first couple of turns, the glider remains stationary. Though, as soons as the ASG29 has gained 100m, the wind picks up again, and the lift becomes stronger.
Sometimes you need a bit of luck. This seemed to be the bottom part of the rotor.

The Alps amaze me every time again: 
10-20 kph of wind, and still these massive mountains produce consistent updrafts.


Z Bertje 2

After this low point and a lucky escape from a near-sure outlanding, 
I decide to turn back towards the area with "stronger" (20 kph) wind speeds and more reliable updrafts.

With the warm weather and the expected upcoming rain today, they expect a huge amount of Sahara sand, which will be blown with the southerly flow to Europe, also reaching Holland. For Holland they expect, as I heard, five million kilo's (36.000 wheel barrows) and according to weather online, it will be shared per square meter in parts of 130 milligram. So my clean car will be  dusty again .

Enjoy your week!

Cheers ... Ritz

Follow me


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.

Follow me