One sunny Wednesday-afternoon, right when the Northern German record summer of 2014 had started, Bill Batesole, his wife Annie and dog Roscoe randomly picked an airfield north of Hamburg to start their trip which ended after four sunny weeks in Arnborg, Denmark at the 42nd Vintage Glider Club Rally. Bill, who had just volunteered to contribute to the VGC News-Magazine offered me a fresh copy of the internationally distributed paper. Of course I asked him if he could perhaps send a report from Arnborg to Soaring Café for everybody; to enjoy the news and some of his pictures. Here it is:
"Wow, look up in the sky, there are gliders everywhere and they are not white! All different colors and sizes, some have gull-wings, some you can see through and they fly so slowly, it is like they are floating birds. This looks like fun!
Welcome to the 42nd Vintage Gliding Club International Rally 2014 at Arnborg Denmark where 100 vintage gliders and 170 pilots (some vintage too) from 17 countries have gathered to fly gliders. The beautiful setting of Denmark’s National Gliding Centre was full of activity. The VGC is the world’s largest vintage glider club and each year an International Rally is held to gather and fly.
The week was full of flying and evening activities. This event was organized by Niels Ebbe Gjørup in conjunction with the Danish Vintage Gliding Club. It took two years in planning and everyone was so impressed on how smoothly the entire event ran. Volunteers from DaSK and other Clubs were everywhere, running the winches, towplanes, LEPOs, event office, towing tractors, morning meetings, camping facilities, weather briefings, food services and hangar organizing. The DaSK Club was most proud of their newly completed hangar to house their historic glider collection. The hangar at the end of the flying day was professionally packed holding up to 35 vintage sailplanes. One of the evenings the scheduled event was the Danish Supper. With 30 Danish volunteers serving and 20 people in the kitchen, the delicious meal was served to more than 400 people! Another evening was the famous International night with local food and drink from each country. Good beer, good schnapps and delicious food were all on offer.
The weather was a bit hit or miss. Super flying one day and a bit of rain the next, but flying was accomplished each day of the rally. The busiest day set a new record for the Danish National Centre in Arnborg with 158 winch launches and 78 aero tows. The winch operations team was able to launch 24 gliders per hour using two double-drum winches.
The true focus of a Rally is the beautiful historic gliders. When you see the gliders first hand and watch them fly, you can really appreciate their role in aviation. All are unique in origin, design and construction and you can view the evolution from the utility training glider to the modern sailplane. Attending glider types included: Minimoa, Grunau Baby, Ka6, L-Spatz, Ka2, Bergfalke, Cumulus 3f, Kranich II, Briegleb BG 12, Condor IV, Slingsby T13 Petrel, Slingsby T21, T31, Mosway, PIK 5C, Mü 13, Foka 4, Weihe, Olympia Meise, Hütter 17, Hütter 28 just to name a few. All gorgeous and all flying!"
Please enjoy the slide show of Bill's wonderful pictures: