Minden 18m Nationals and looking back at a picnic on a wing at Lake Tahoe!!!

Qualifying GRAND PRIX in France

The performers!!! Shared by the organizers.

The performers!!!
Shared by the organizers.

The qualifying Grand Prix in France flown from Rennes Saint Sulpice is over and the winner is Christophe Ruch,  who started on "lucky Friday the 13th" with 42 points whilst runner up Christophe Abadie had 28.
They had then, 7 days out of 7 and tasks between 103 km and 322 km. and speed from the winners between 73 km./h. and 103 km./h.

That Friday was more exciting for the 3 numbers 3,  who all had 24 points.Maximilian from France, Gary from the UK and Thomas from Germany. It was a day with blue thermals and a distance of 181.7 km., but before start they saw already real cu's . An exciting  day, with nearly all gliders finishing at the same time, with Gary from the UK gaining the 10 points ,but not such a good day for the 2 Christophes; 4 and 3 points and Thomas had only 3.

With one day to go and 46 points behind his name, nobody could beat Christophe Ruch anymore!!
Christophe Abadie however, lost his 2nd place to Gary who got 34 points.

2 Pilots on spot 3 ,as not only Christophe was on that spot but Maximilian as well.Both had 31 points.The final day was much more interesting for them , they were all in the race for the SILVER.

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Courtesy Christophe Abadie

That last day was yesterday and the message from the organizers was:

"Altocumulus are coming from the North-East. There could be few showers.As a result, the pilots have received a 186 task in the South-East direction.First take-off at 13:00."

A bit later the word HAMMERTAG and BIG SPEED ,....that sounded again as a very good day!!!!


At the picture , shared by the GP organizers, you can see the nice skies!

It wasn't! The regatta start was at 3 PM and only 2 pilots finished the last day's race and got 4 and 1 points! Quite some penalty points as well for a too high or too fast start or  a too low finish.
Who got silver and who got bronze!!!???

In the end the silver remained for Gary Stingmore from HusBos in the UK , he missed out on 8 km to finish and the bronze went to Christophe Abadie who just missed out on 5 km..

The gold winner Christophe Ruch did fly but out-landed, but no worries for him!

This was another good Qualifying Grand Prix . Who has been qualified for the final in Varese in 2015???
Christophe Ruch,Gary Stingmore and Christophe Abadie. Congratulations!

Z Painting ready and signed
Painting signed! Pilotessa Design.com
Courtesy organizers.

Varese, Italy ... Qualifying Grand Prix

Z Varese1  Z Varese 2

By clicking on the pictures you can see the gliders.
Courtesy Varese organizers.

Talking about Varese, ...the Italian Qualifying Grand Prix AND the 18m Nationals will be flown from there and started with the free practice day last Friday, a set 250 km won by Giorgio Galetto and only flown by 5 from 18.  Yesterday was the 2d but this time,  official  practice day, but as Giorgio [Ballarati] said:

"today's weather looks not so good, thunderstorms are expected to be in the area very soon in the afternoon, but anyway the airport is full of people and gliders ,...it will be interesting."

They opened the start line at 2.50 for a 197.4 km. task, but due to thunderstorms in the area not everybody went on track.Those who went did not finish but had good practice between 60 and up to 130 km. [Peter Hartmann from Austria] Practice was necessaryfor some, due to " too high start speed", " time spend out side start area"  and entering restricted airspace.
First day today and they continue till June 22.

Swedish Nationals at Langtora

With 5 / 4 out of 6 days the pilots of the Swedish Nationals in club and 18 m. class did not complain too much. With 2057 points Per Carlin won the club class in the LS1f winning 4 from the 5 days!! So the new Swedish champion in this class. Most of those days were "around-100-km.-days" with one 2 hour 30 AAT, won by Per with 250 km. in 2.46.  Runner up Gunnar Axelsson in an LS 4 with 1946 points.

In 18m class Borje Eriksson was the new National Champion and we know him from many WGC's and EGC's.He flew his ASG 29E to a total score of 2279 points after 4 days. Runner up with 2134 points was Markus Ganev. Who we also know very well is Ake Pettersson, who had unfortunately 2 out-landings, so he was not on the podium. None of the days, in both classes, was a 1000 points-day!

 18m USA Nationals at Minden

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Monday morning ready to go!
Courtesy Dan Gudgel

The 18m Nationals have started in Minden. AND... good old Doug Jacobs straight away won day 1, a 3.30 Turn Area Task [ min. 212 and max 418] from 313 km.in the VENTUS 2CX.

Day 2 was a prey for Gary Ittner in his ASG 29. He flew 369 km. in 3.34 [TAT]

Day 3  was a day with wave and my good friend Rick [Walters] mentioned on the SSA site to Leigh;
"We were towed up to thermals in the normal drop zone with 8-13 knot lift.  at 13,000 feet I connected with wave.  The primary wave was too rough and ill-defined so I tried the secondary and stayed between 13K and 17K all day.  We were never out of final glide for Minden and it was an ideal call for those who've never flown here before." 4B Rick Walters.

Rick won the day and "rushed" to spot 1 overall.

The Dutch team will NEVER forget Rick as he "gave" his glider, a very good discus, in 1991 at the Uvalde WGC, to our Baer Selen who became world champion in it. Never forget the call sign--3R.

By the way Doug Jacobs was on spot 3 in Uvalde that year in 15 m. class. They then flew 12 days!!!!

Rick 004

Rick and me in Uvalde again in 2012,after 21 years, as seen by Andreea.

Day 4 was on Friday and a 2 hour TAT was set.Rick won again, BUT just,... Doug had 1 point less in the daily scores; 703/704! Both are on  spot 1 and 2 overall after 4 days with a difference in points of 25. A scrubbed day yesterday...thickening cirrus!!! You can see the scores and news on http://www.ssa.org/Contests?cid=2252&display=results

Flying in Minden still brings good/fond memories, whilst I was only once there.
When I think of Minden the first memory is the day we were allowed to fly in a Grumman Albatross  , landed on Lake Tahoe and had a picnic on the wings of this beautiful vintage plane. How decadent is that??!!

Z Lake Tahoe
One of the participating pilots, Sean Fidler in 7T shared this picture flying OVER the LAKE TAHOE.

I have written about it before but it remains something VERY special. A few Dutch and Aussie pilots were so lucky to get invited for this trip. I was one of them. We were in Minden for the Pre Worlds,  who were moved to Uvalde 1 year later as, as far as we knew the fire bombers had to be able to fly active at ALL time, which could be a problem with finishes.

We loved Minden and got to know Joe Lodato , the owner of the Albatross, at a BBQ. He asked us if we liked a flight with a landing on the lake. Of course, yes, why not? To be honest we did not really believe it, we had hamburgers and a few drinks, but ,...when we would be at the airport of Carson City, I think it was,  at 6 AM, it would happen. We were there at 6 AM and Joe and the plane were ready, we had a box full of food and drinks for the picnic. The landing but also the start later ON  water , I will never forget! The pick- nick on the wing, was a once-in-your-life-time-thrill.

A few years later we bought the plane and George and his crew  flew it from the USA to Australia [Tocumwal]. Yes, Minden had a big impact on our lives! And with these 18m Nationals it all came back.

Albatross_promotion in Sydney  Albatross_start

Albatross00_4  Albatross on wheels

Picture 1 a PROMO tour in Sydney.
Picture 2 practice on water
Picture 3; at Tocumwal airfield on the grass-runway.
Picture 4 in front of , at that stage our WW 2 hangar at Tocumwal

By the way through all of that, 2 of our tuggies at Sportavia in the past, got their license with us to fly this flying boat/ plane, one now flies as captain, even chief pilot, on a Mallard for Paspaley Pearls the other is captain on an Airbus flying from Hong Kong and living in Thailand. Their lives changed as well!

Z Bones

The Mallard flown by Bones[Ashock]  and shared by him .

Holland has colored ORANGE

Love sport as you know by now and the world championship for female and male hockey was in Holland in the Hague. The Dutch are with both teams in the final. AND both teams  had/have to "fight"  for the title against the hockey-roos/Kookaburra's  from my second homeland Australia.

Difficult ...or in fact not, I will always be happy who ever wins!

"Our"  girls won with 2-0 and we were all over the moon , they most of all!!! Their 7th World Title!!!!!
Today the men play!!!

Soccer at world level, has started as well in Brasil , not enough hours in a day at the moment.
AND WHAT A GREAT MATCH between Spain and Holland. The rebound of the by " us"  with 1-0 lost final [after more then 100 minutes] in 2010,  was won now with 5-1!!!!!!!And " our"   next match is against the Socceroos and then Chile!!!! Hope they keep that " sparkling " soccer till the end.

During the match 8.3 million tweets were send and 7.2 million Dutch people looked at a TV at home and a lot looked somewhere  in a stadium or outside, they still have to be added.I don't know how many people looked world wide, but I was pleased to see Holland playing so well.

It's a good mix from top-players [the BIG 3, Robben, van Persie and Sneijder] busy with their last world championship and when they want to win the world title once in their life,... they have to do it NOW... and young ones just starting and playing their first world championship. And a "weird"  but extremely good trainer, van Gaal who goes after this championship to the UK, to train Manchester United.

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I can't help it....
Love this picture shared on FB by " stuff Dutch people like".

Not such good , in fact very sad news; With a fatal accident with a DG 1000M last Friday killing 2 people in Germany, we are confronted once more with the shadow site of soaring, so BE CAREFUL when you fly.

No blog next Sunday as I will be on a one week holiday with my  High School friends, without my laptop.
Cu later and enjoy the WGC in Finland. They had during the Finnish Nationals not the best weather in Rayskala, but I have seen myself how this can change in a 1000 km. task a few days later!!
Keep an eye on this WGC.http://www.wgc2014.fi/

Cheers Ritz

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  1 comment for “Minden 18m Nationals and looking back at a picnic on a wing at Lake Tahoe!!!

  1. C A
    June 15, 2014 at 9:05 am

    At the French Grand Prix Christophe Ruch flew the last day but he outland

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