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Your comments to this race diary written by Stefan Maikowski are welcome under


  Day 14 End of Contest
18:30 Here the names of the winners:
  15m Class: 1st Györgi Gulyas Hungary, 2nd Janusz Centka Poland, 3rd Mark Leeuwenburgh Netherlands!
  18m Class: 1st Olivier Darroze France, 2nd Ronald Termaat Netherlands, 3rd Karol Staryszak Poland!
  Open Class: 1st Michael Sommer Germany, 2nd Tassilo Bode Germany, 3rd Laurens Goudriaan Republic of South Africa!
  Wow, a speed finish price giving ceremony! Long lines of trailers already on the tow hooks standing on the airfield in the morning. Others with their lids open being prepared for the trips back home. At our regular briefing time, ten o' clock, everyone was assembled in the richly decorated briefing hall. Up front a long table covered with trophies, a winner's rostrum, photographers and camera crews surrounding the honorary guests and competition directors.
  The Youth Symphonic orchestra of the Haendel school set the atmosphere for the celebration. What a relief not having to listen to long winding speaches. Everyone - the Competition Director Herbert Maertin, Minister President of Land Brandenburg Matthias Platzeck, Mrs. Silke Kaden of Lufthansa and Tor Johannessen President of the Jury and Representative of the International Gliding Commission - was concise to the point with their adresses. They really reached everyone in the hall. One of the messages given with a laughing eye was: One of the two most important sports events in the world has come to a successful end allowing people to now concentrate on Olympia. 8 competition days, 1234 flights, more than 340.000 kilometers flown, a contest without a protest and without accident, and the name Luesse well known in our global gliding community.
  Roaring applause as the winners of each class came to the front and the first three climbed onto the winner's rostrum and were given the trophies. They are absolutely outstanding pilots having everyone's great respect. National anthems being played by the sinfonie orchestra and flags being raised added to the moment.
  Besides the honor of being World Champions György Gulyas, Olivier Darroze and Michael Sommer received the traditional invitation to take part in the next Barron Hilton Cup. For Michael - already acting World Champion - this is already his second invitation. The other invitation extended to them was to the Helli Lasch Challenge at Kyosho Airfield in South Africa next spring.
  Much laughter as there was a Ladies' cup presented to the three women participants Alena Netusilova SZE, Katrin Senne GER and Nina Shalneva RUS. Instead of Alena who was not present Team Captain Petr Krejcirik light footedly stepped on stage to accept a piece of fine porcelain extended by the Russian team. Herbert Maertin was somewhat reluctant to hug the "replacement lady pilot" Petr as closely as the other two ladies.
  Just a short note from my side: I've received a lot of positive comments about this race diary. With all these long hours spent during the last weeks writing, mailing, shooting photos and feeding the internet it surely feels good to know the effort was well received. And the key word for the day is "transformation". Already the Briefing hall is being reverted to a glider hangar again. Starting tomorrow we'll have a summer camp in Luesse and many of the more ambitious pilots plus the tugies have already moved on to Brandenburg, where the qualification for the German Nationals is starting. May they have lots of "weather windows".
  Safe flights and best regards stefan

08/15/2008 (continued)

  Day 13 Evening
17:30 (Written the day after): The rain that lasted all day had convinced everyone, that the day had justly been canceled. The clubhouse full of people talking in all languages, exchanging anecdotes, making plans and enjoying being amongst their friends. People queuing up at the reception desk to clear their bills or buy some last souvenirs for their friends and families back home. Hectic activities on the upper floor to prepare the farewell party and price giving ceremony. In the competition room a vast collection of trophies and cups, diplomas and certificates waiting to be signed by the directors.
  The evening started with a superb dinner party in the briefing hall. The rough wooden tables that had served the teams to spread their maps and inspect task sheets during briefings had been covered with white tablecloths, steaming food lined up at both of the hall, and the room filled with a huge happy crowd. The food would have been an honor at any state banquet and everyone found plenty to his taste. Lots of toasting to friends and successful pilots. After the last rounds of desert a brass band made sure noone would get tired after such good food. Gradually most most people moved over to the event hall, where Elmar once more proved that besides piloting airliners he can always start a career as a popular discjockey. Then fireworks illuminated the party and afterwards a lot of dancing until late at night. By that time the full moon had come out shining on a misty airfield as the guests were leaving - many long hugs to old or new friends.


  Day 13 - (Last possibly Competition Day canceled for all classes)
10:40 Fred Gai, Deputy Director and Task Setter said the most important words of today's briefing: "No tasks today"
  Erland Lorenzen received enthusiastic applause for his last competition weather briefing, although he started out saying, that unfortunately he can't anounce the best weather today. Today's weather key word again was "multilayered" clouds presented on a "multilayered" picture showing a white blanket of clouds covering all the competition area thanks to warm air gliding up on a slope of cold air below. Light rain down here to prove his forecast. The "multicolored" radar picture also depicts high reaching clouds, which are just bringing thunderstorms to Poland, that have luckily passed us. Behind the solid cloud cover there are thick clouds lurking in the west. So the decision to cancel today was made easy by the clear forecast. Positive the outlook for tomorrow: We're behind the warm front and in front of the next cold front. The key word is "High pressure Ridge" tempting Herbert Maertin to suggest another flight from Luebeck to Biarritz to HW Grosse, who's also here as a guest.
  Farewell party tonite and price giving ceremony to take place tomorrow at ten.
  Another big round of applause went to the tuggies this morning, who will be leaving to their home clubs as soon as weather permits. They got very close to the goal of getting all 130 planes into the air within an hour. Yesterday it took them one hour and six minutes!
  Besides looking ahead to the next World Gliding Championships in Hungary we were shown an interesting presentation of the next European Championships taking place in July 2009 in Russia/Orel some 200 km away from Moscow. A competition area completely void of control zones and other obstacles. Excellent reliable thermaling conditions in summer and priceworthy hotels and camping possibilities (contact:
  So, our championships are coming close to an end. We'll give you a last report after tomorrow's price giving. Also later on today we will add some more photos to the gallery.
  The results currently have the status "unofficial". Time limit for protests ist tonite 20:00 hours.

Bremen Radar of Reinsdorf area on 08/14 afternoon

Radar image of Reinsdorf area (circle) with some gliders close (little white spots) at 17:05
Radar image of Reinsdorf area (circle) with some gliders close (little white spots) at 17:05
And with this one you can actually see the gliders - taken at approx 17:25 local
And with this one you can actually see the gliders - taken at approx 17:25 local


  Day 12 - (competition day 8)
20:00 By the way Tango time at 20:30. We'll hear lots of South American rythms like Tango, music from France and Israel and other world music to join in.
19:45 Here also some notes on the 15m class. An excuse first: We're sorry, that we're putting so much attention on those who are likely to get to the podium and only rarely mention most other pilots, who have given an absolutely astounding performance of reliable flying in not always easy conditions. Those very few outlandings on most days and high average speeds are a proof of this. But championships are about winning, So in the 15m class first today the Aussies 1 TF Parker, Graham, 2 4D Jansen, David followed by 3 VW Karl Striedieck USA. Two fourth places go to Italy: 4 VS Stefano Ghiorzo and also on the same position 4 GT Thomas Gostner. In the 15m class overall score steady as a rock on first place and now approx. 450 points ahead György Gulyas. He's been in the lead ever since day 3! Only a few pilots managed average speeds just above 100 km/h today. Quite a lot dropped back in one of the areas with high cloud cover. One of them LE Leigh Wells, who only got to position 29 today with an average of 87 km/h and thus he dropped back from second position in the total score to fourth position being overtaken by K1 Mark Leeuwenburgh NEL, now on second place - Frouwke Kuijpers the Team Captain rightly mentioned him as a candidate for the podium. VS Stefano Ghiorzo ITA climbed up to position 5, 6th place V Jean-Luc Colson BEL - providing there are no score changes... Of course we Germans are interested in how our team members perform. The Theisinger brothers were heavily out of luck in the beginning with Georg having gone "deer hunting" on the way to the start line on day 2. Now they're in adjacent positions again at 15 and 16. And BG Karin Senne had already mentioned, that though being the World Womans' Champ she knows how tough her competitors are and hoped to maintain a position somewhere in the middle. 24th place it is. The other 15m lady, Nina Shalneva from Russia not so lucky, probably on position 40 in the overall score. The third woman on board is Alena Netusilova AJ from CZE. She's flying in the open class, got onto the podium on one day and will probably finish 19th in the overall score.
18:25 The first day positions in the open class read like a who is who of gliding: 1 X Karow, Holger GER today ahead of his team mate HM Michael Sommer, GER, who came in third behind A Elmgaard, Steen DNK. Then Germany again on position 4 VB Bode, Tassilo, followed by 5 ZX Laurens Goudriaan, who had been in the overall lead for several days at the beginning. If there are no further scoring changes the overall score will show no change in positions 1- 4: 1 HM Sommer, Michael GER, 2 VB Bode, Tassilo GER, 3 ZX Goudriaan, Laurens RSA, 4 XXL Aboulin, Laurent FRA. Holger Karow, having come in second today would advance to total position 5 having passed N1 Harvey, Peter GBR.
18:15 Amazing! There are still 15m class gliders returning (MM, André-Emmanuel Litt BEL, although the sky is absolutely grey now.
17:45 I'm a bit reluctant writing about any results as we're most likely having the last competition day and the score will lead to the final overall score. Mind you this is very preliminary still. At least in the 18m class almost all loggers are in. Only one file missing of our Greek Competitor YY, who's had difficulties with thte strong winds already on other ocasions. Day score 18m at the moment: 1 DJ Jacobs, Doug USA, 2 HE Heinonen, Erkki FIN, 3 SM Delfabro, Mauricio ARG (felicidades a los Argentinos qien han llegado aqui de muy lejos!). On 4 and 5 most likely 71 Walters, Richard USA and 5 RB Brigliadori, Riccardo ITA - all of them with just a 40 point spread and their average speeds varying only 1 km/h. So, that's very close. If there are no mistakes found or penalties given or other correction occur in the scoring the first four pilots in the overall score will remain the same as by yesterday: 1 EW Darroze, Olivier FRA, 2 XTC Termaat, Ronald NLD, 3 PL Staryszak, Karol POL and to soothe our German nerves on 4 MS Leucker, Hermann! They are really exceptional pilots to have held the lead so constantly with no mistakes in these partically very difficult conditions! A bit out of luck today MO Mogens Moelgaard (day position 18 or sim), probably falling back on the overall score from position 5 to 9. On 5 now RB Brigliadori, Riccardo ITA
17:20 The picture above is probably pretty unreadable to any normal person. Thomas Pflug, Bremen Radar sent me a picture of his radar screen taken by his camera and we've uploaded it quickly. The circle is Reinsdorf. And the gliders are just very small specks on the image. The 18m and open meter class he says was much easier to detect. The radar only sees the reflection of metal parts in the gliders, so they are much harder to detect than a motorized plane.
17:00 The 15m class is getting us a bit worried. Bremen Radar still cant locate them anywhere on the screen. No news from the long reaching areals of Team Germany either. The cirrus cloud cover is getting stronger. And the day isn't going to last all that long any more.
17:00 Several open class gliders just turning at Oehna.
16:47 And here's our info hotline from Bremen Radar, Thomas Pflug again: The first open class glider ist about 10 km east of Oehna, the others following lined up with 4 km distances on a long string to Brand. By the way Thomas from Bremen Radar corrected me: The excellent radar quality hasn't got anything to do with the ADIZ/Non interferenze zone, but rather with modern software abilities to compose a radar picture from several sources like Dresden, Leipzig, Tempelhof and other places yielding a much better picture quality than in the old days with rotating beams around one radar source.
16:30 Bremen Radar again: Last open and 18m class 10 km west of Brand at the VOR Klasdorf. He's lost the 15m class out of sight. They must be somewhere in the air though. So far only 1 outlanding in all classes and that was in the 15m class: Z1 Ross Drake NEZ, who's already been to Lüsse last year at the Lilienthal Glide. He went "to the cows" after a distance of 178 km.
16:22 1 Stephen Crabb IRL has landed five minutes ago, Just arriving JS1 Attie Jonker RSA.
16:17 About 6 - 8 gliders 10 km west of Brand - possibly open or 18m and 2 or 3 behind Brand.
16:10 Looks like our internet provider specialists have finally learnt their tricks of the trade and are at least supplying us with a stable internet presence on the last (or before last) day. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it'll stay that way this afternoon.
16:10 Bremen Radar reporting again. He's pretty certain, that he's spotting the 15m class above Finsterwalde now.
16:06 Our regular guest from Japan, M "Mac" is just coming in pretty low. He was a bit out of luck this year, currently on overall position 19. Earlier on this year he already very succesfully flew at Klix and has been our guest on many German nationals with good success.
16.00 Now we know who those 2 guys ahead in the 18m class were that Bremen radar had seen first: Two "Papas" PL Staryszak, Karol and SP Nieradka, Zbigniew both from Poland the first 18m gliders to land with average speeds at 120 km/h.
15:50 Bremen Radar again: Many Open and 18m class gliders close to Brand. It looks like most 15m class gliders are flying in the Cottbus area (no guarantees given - they don't have transponders on board or at least haven't gotten them activated). Fascinating to see how well our relatively small glasfibre and carbon planes can be spotted in the air by a low reaching radar! I wouldn't wonder if this great radar coverage has its origins in the old non interference zone along the polish border (ADIZ).
15:15 2 to 3 18m class (correction: not open class) gliders seen over Brand by Bremen radar, many above Lieberose probably the 18m class. The open class at Guben.
15:00 More news from Bremen Radar: 1 or 2 gliders above Lieberose the 18m turning point, possibly low, because he lost him at times on the radar screen, most others above Fuerstenwalde, some 3 or 4 into Poland. He can't see the 15m class at the moment. Thomas, thanks a lot for your vital info. Team Germany mentions high cloud fields moving into the Lausitz area, where the 15m class has its next turn point at Rothenburg. That cloud cover may also spread to Lüsse possibly making the returns harder than had been estimated before.
14:35 We've got a great information source. Bremen Radar responsible for Berlin approaches/departures just tells us they can see the open class at Angermuende with 3 or 4 gliders ahead at Fueürstenwalde, the 15 m class just went off the screen, they'll find 'em,when they're near Rothenburg.
12:45 In the 18m class only about a dozen pilots have started within the first half hour after starte gate has been opened and 8 pilots in the open class within the first half hour. If those cloud streets hold all the way around Berlin especially on return, they all could be quite fast i.e. the first returning within 4 to 4 1/2 hours.
12:40 We're in the middle of an Autobahn. Cloud streets to the east and to the west. Thermals up to 4 or 5 m close to Lüsse letting some gliders fly practice boxes behind the tow planes.
12:30 That was my first chance to see the launches from close by, you'll see the pixs tonite. Here the most important info: Opening of starte gate for 18m/open/15m: 12:02/12:18/12:44. We're getting quicker every day thanks to having placed the release areas closer to the airfield. Only one or two restarts because of technical problems i.e. motor oil on the canopy by a recently serviced prop.
11:15 First 18m gliders starting. About 2 octa and cloud base now at 1500m.
11:00 Hi, the first Wilga engine is warming up. Readiness for launch in 15 minutes. The 18m class to start first, then the open and 15m class. Racing tasks for all taking the 18m and open class around Berlin and the 15 m class on a triangle into Poland at Budachow and back via Rothenburg in the south. Distances range between 507 for the open and 422 kilometers for the fifteen meter class. Tasks B also prepared just in case.
  The weather is similiar to yesterday. Strong winds of 20 - 25 knots at altitude 1500m. Cloud base may rise as high as 2200m, a possibility of the drying off somewhat in the afternoon and of some cirrus fields coming in. Cloud streets may form again, but will not spread out as much as yesterday.
  Quite possible that today is the last flying day - the one that will decide about the final ranking.


  Day 11 - (competition day 7)
17:00 In the open class only four pilots missing still and most igc-files already uploaded and evaluated. Today's winner HW Heinz Weißenbuehler USA, second X Holger Karow GER. Third and fourth position go to the British team: N1 Peter Harvey and 110 Steve Jones. The other two German team members Michael Sommer and Tassilo Bode today a bit behind on position 10 and 11 according to the current scoring. This probably won't change their overall leading rank, which may stay the same for positions one to four: HM Sommer, Michael GER, 2 VB Bode, Tassilo GER, 3 Goudriaan, Laurens RSA, 4 XXL Aboulin, Laurent FRA. They are all only 150 points apart, so changes within these ranks are still likely. Also the competitors on rank 5 to 9 are not far behind.
16:50 In the 18m still many exclamation marks on the day score meaning we only have a time score and their igc-files have yet to be viewed. On the first places names we've had there many times before: First: EW Olivier Darroze FRA, second EF Frederique Hoyeau FRA, third XTC Ronald Termaat NLD (time score only). If there are no changes happening during further scoring the overall score will remain unchanged in the first four positions. First EW Oliver Darroze, second XTC Ronald Termaat NLD, third PL Karol Staryszak POL. And of course we Germans are proud to see MS Hermann Leucker GER again on fourth place. About 250 points currently separate him from the podium and some 150 points ahead of E1 Russel Cheetham GBR.
16:35 Many igc-files have been uploaded by now. I would have placed bets that in the 15m class with the strong headwind on the return, a lot of outlandings would happen. So far only 3 have been reported and no data of 8 further gliders yet. We seem to have two first places today both going to British pilots: Z3 Timothy Scott GBR and LE Leigh Wells. Both at speeds of 113 km/h. Third RP Janusz Centka POL. In the total score - if no changes happen on the first places of the preliminary score V8 György Gulyas HUN stays well ahead of everyone else. LE Leigh Wells GBR may climb up to second place from position 7 and Louis Bouderlique FRA today had a bad day (pos 19) drops back to position 7. Of Y Christophe Ruch so far third the igc-file hasn't been interpreted yet, so his current position 3 in the total score may still change.16:10
15:55 And now the first arrivals in the Open Class: KS Christoph Matkowski POL, WB Bostjan Pristavec SVN and X Holger Karow GER. As we don't know where they turned in the turning area of the AAT tasks the first score without logger doesn't tell us very much. Quite possible that their ranks will change, when the loggers have been evaluated.
15:40 Now more than a dozen pilots in the 15m class made it back home! Third today V8 György Gulyas, the pilot who's on number one position in the overall score further cementing his lead! V Jean-Luc Colson, 2nd in the total score, today on position 10th so far, and EQ Louis Bouderlique not back yet. György lead will be very hard to contest now as he's got more than 300 points advantage on Jean-Luc in the overall score.
15:30 Surprise, LE and Z3, two 15m class gliders are already back!
14:15 YY, our Greek competitor in the 18m class has returned to Luesse. Strong winds aren't his speciality.
13:50 Back again - sorry health matters have priority. All classes are in the air and probably by now half way to their first turning points/areas close to Poland. With 25 to 30 knots from 230 °, cloud streets having formed and cloud base now probably above 1600m they should be fast on this leg as long as they don't get low, where the wind is disturbing the thermals heavily. Open class start gate was open at 12:05. They were the only class changed to the B task, 15m at 12:32 and 18m at 13:03 local. The 18m class had to struggle to get up and behind the start gate due to big clouds having formed and short rain showers. There were some restarts in the 18m class.
  If the 18m class manages an average of 100km/h, they could be back by 16:00, and the open class possibly at a similar time. I wouldn't want to do any guessing with the 15m class. Especially on their way to the second turn point, when flying directly into 25 knots head wind, they'll have to fight to stay up.
11:10 I'm sorry to say that I have an urgent appointment right now, which will probably bring me back here within an hour or an hour and a half. So please bear with us until then. At the moment the Wilgas still at the side and everyone else ready on the grid and ist has just been announced that the Open class is changed to task B (Speed AAT with the same turnpoints, but with a 20 to 25 km turning area full circle around them. So, they'll have to do some quick reprogramming of their Winpilots, SeeYou's and StrePla's.
10:45 Racing tasks for all three classes with tasks B (Speed AAT) already handed out just in case... Readiness for launch at 11:15, first launches to be expected at 11:30. Open class to start first followed by 15m and 18m class. Task length 386/294/313 km for open/15m/18m class. First turn point close to the Polish border (Guben, Cottbus, Guben - Polish airspace is open today), then Oschatz/Schwarzheide/Finsterwalde and back.
  Weather windows are not our concern today, but the wind at speeds of 25 - 30 knots below cloud base will make flying especially difficult for the 15m class. Cloud base rising to 1500 or 1800 meters during the day with 1 to 3 octa and some chance for overdeveloping clouds and some rain - as Erland Lorenzen mentioned the rain a short shower was just beating on the roof of the briefing hall. There will be a sniffer starting first, it's the DG 1000 visiting us and "manned" by Christine Grote and Katrin Wötzel. Katrin was second in the Ladies World Championships in 2007 and Christine, her team mate third. So we're sure, the open class will be launched into flyable conditions.

08/12/2008 Tuesday

  Day 10 - (no competition day!)
12:50 Yes, the day has been canceled at the second briefing. There's a bit of fun flying happening now. And people should equip themselves with windbreaker jackets. Tomorrow and the day after are going to be at least as windy as today. With the windows question solved the wind question remains for tomorrow.
11:00 A quick summary first: Competition flying today most unlikely.
  And here more weather details: One of the most used words at briefings is the word "window" - it is neither mentioned in context with glass windows nor with Bill Gates. The windows, Erland Lorenzen is talking about are always very small and mostly either late or early. They are weather or sunshine windows and primarily exist in pilots's language. Today's window seems to have arrived too early and is too small. According to Erland it will last from 11.00 to 14.00 local time and is currently giving us a bit of sunshine once in a while with an otherwise overcast sky. Another one of those special words is "multilayered clouds". They will be around us most of the day. If this little sunshine window lingers around longer than expected, until the cold front arrives ("scheduled" to arrive in the early afternoon), any forming cumulus will quickly overdevelop into cumulo nimbus clouds with rain and thundershowers. In addition the winds above us are pretty strong - 20 to 30 knots at least. Talking about windows. There is another one predicted for tomorrow and that one is an "optimistic window" with more sunshine and very little rain chances on either side of the window. If there are many more of these windows we'll employ a window cleaning-service.
  All this translates into the message: There will be another briefing at 12:30, no grid orders yet - and my personal guess, that the day then will be canceled. Instead of competition flying we'll have safety driving - an opening for some 20 drivers to practice their skills on the nearby ADAC (Germann AAA) obstacle course in the afternoon.

08/11/2008 Monday continued

  Day 9 - (competition day 6)
21:00 Nice to see lots of people in the club house in the evenings too. There is the rock band Exelsis playing in the event hall. And tomorrow the Czech and Polish teams have invited to a nation's evening. So we'll be looking forward to Budweisers (the real ones) and Krakauer sausages.
20:45 There are two frontal systems approaching us tomorrow. The cold front approaching in the afternoon will probably follow the warm front moving thru earlier on too quickly to allow task flying. But we all know that the weather doesn't always act as expected. More news after tomorrow morning's briefing.
20:30 In the 15m class all pilots in the lead seem to absolutely reliable in getting to top positions every day. Today's place one (according to the preliminary....) goes to TF Graham Parker AUS, second RP, Janusz Centka POL bringing further fame to the Diana glider and third V8 György Gulyas, who continues to be in the overall lead 200 points ahead of the second position. All other first positions unchanged in the total score (2 V Jean-Colson, 3 EQ Louis Bouderlique, 4 Y Christophe Ruch). There is a 500 point separation between György on 1st place and 11th place Stefano Ghiorzo. Hard to imagine that any one can still climb up 500 points. Much more likely that someone has an unlucky day and drops a few hundred points behind.
19:30 In the open class the German Team had its winning day. HM Michael Sommer and VB Tassilo Bode were not only today's winners, but also climbed from place 2 and 4 to the top of the overall score. ZX Laurens Goudriaan RSA now back to third place followed by another "Laurent" - Laurent Aboulin, XXL FRA. In the open class the 500 point spread reaches from position one to position number ten, X Holger Karow GER. Among the first ten the British N1 Peter Harvey and 110, Steve Jones on place 6 and 8 to be possible candidates for the podium. As we mentioned before all these are excellent pilots. So any one of them stands a good chance to move up to the podium.
18:50 At least we can take a short review and look at what has happened today: 18m class: The day winners according to the preliminary score are 1 EW, Olivier Darroze FRA, 2 PX, Petr Krejcirik, CZE, 3 EF, Frederic Hoyeau FRA - I've written their names at least 3 times earlier on and every time they were scrambled by the webserver. The weather must have been a lot better than feared. A best average speed of almost 124 kilometer demonstrates this. In the overall score Olivier now on place 1 having passed Ronald Termaat NLD now on second position. 180 points behind him again Karol Staryszak on third place. Stably on 4th place in the overall score Hermann Leucker, GER. With only three or four more days to go, it is unlikely that many of those excellent pilots further down the score will make it to the top. Candidates for the podium are probably to be found within the first 5 to 8 positions. The spread between 1st and 8th position is approx. 570 points. Among those there are pilots from Canada, Finland, Austria and Denmark besides those already occupying the first places.
18:45 The internet is functioning stably again. My technical understanding in this area is pretty limited. I have been told the server is one of the fastest available. The bottleneck is the amount of parallel demands or threads it can handle. This setting screw has already been adjusted by a factor of 100 besides having moved servers. Obviously to no avail in peak times.

Frouwke Kuijpers the Dutch Team Captain about Roland Termaat

Frouwke Kuijpers Dutch Team Captain

Roland Termaat, XTC flying a Ventus 2cxa has been the leading pilot in the 18m class for the last three competition days. He’s currently about one hundred points ahead of EW, Olivier Darroze, FRA (after comp. Day 5, that is).

Roland is the current European Champion in the 18m class. He gained his title in Issoudun, France in 2007. He exclusively flies in the 18m class and has been among the first ten pilots in many championships.

Asked about how much gliding Roland does every year Frouwke tells us, more...


08/11/2008 Monday Part 1

  Day 9 - (competition day 6)
17:05 Our webserver is suffering from overload again. You've probably noticed it as well. No use in trying to give immediate info. So I'll be back after the traffic is thru. Please look at the results pages if availabe.
16:50 Many open class ships arriving, among them VB and HM.
  The 18m score changing quickly. Even the last landing pilot may be the winner of the day.
16:43 Some loggers have been uploaded in the 18m class. At the moment on position RB, Riccardo Brigliadori, ITA followed by MO Hoelgaard, Mogens DNK and MS Leucker, Hermann GER.
16:35 By now 2 or 3 open class ships have come in as well.
16:30 The two sentences continually repeated over the radio are: "Wind 250 degrees, 5 knots" and "long landings please".
16:20 Many others 18m on final now, among them XG, WE 1, M, HI, 71, BB, WG, PL, SP, SM, DJ. You'll see their scores as soon as there loggers are uploaded. Time scores taken by stop watch are of no use with AAT tasks. So you'll have to wait a little while for the first results.
16:10 First 18m class gliders in (JOY)!. Looks like he came 10 minutes ahead of the minimum time. Apparently on the last leg the rear wind and the thermals were stronger than expected
15:30 Here in Luesse the sky looks almost perfect with 4 octa and some thin cirrus clouds here and there. While the gliders are underway probably the best informed source is Team Germany (see link on our home page). They have one of the longest reaching areals at the team captain's tent and often manage to stay in contact with their teams over larger parts of the flights.
14:00 All classes on AAT tasks with minimum times of three hours. Thus the earliest returns possible will be at 16.06. The 18m class had started first. They probably didn't linger about for long and should be returning sometime around 16:15 and 16:30. The open class is to arrive 15 minutes later and the 15m class half an hour later - all depending on the chosen start times.
13:27 They all are in the air now. 15m class start line open at 13:46 also with a limit of 1200m for the start line. The cirrus clouds still to the west of us. Looks like it may be flyable underneath this light cloud cover.
13:22 4 15m class gliders still on the ground, among them V7, who is reparing a tyre that has gone flat.
13:05 The open class is in the air with the start line opening at 13:21 on task B - altitude limit for the start line is also 1200. The 15m class gliders are starting as the last class. They already had a speed task, so no change of task was necessary.
12:46 SM was the last 18m to start. Start line open at 13:06 and the start line altitude limit has been raised to 1200m for the 18m class.
12:45 The last 3 or 4 18m gliders are to be launched now.
12:19 First launches taking place now. Cloud base at 1350m continuing to rise. Maybe it will be possible to raise the startline max for the open and 15m class.
12:10 The Wilgas are warming up their engines.
12:05 In times of short weather opportunities obviously the duration of launching is a critical factor. There are 12 tug planes in Luesse now, and it takes about 1 hour 25 minutes to launch 112 gliders. Despite all efforts more tug planes are not found anywhere within a reasonable distance. In order to reduce launch times, the release areas are being moved closer to the airfield. The original placement of the release areas further away from the airfield was in abidance with IGC safety wishes.
11:50 Change to taks B for 18m and open class. The task setter wants to avoid sending them into turn points with cirrus cloud coverage. Readiness for launch still at 12:15. Such changes are anounced via radio to all participants and by SMS to the team captains.
11:45 Readiness for launch has been postponed for half an hour. Cloud base is still too low. There shouldn't be any more delays, because of the cirrus clouds coming in.
11:15 And here comes Erland's weather info for the day: We're on the rear of a warm front that has passed us last night bringing along warm and humid air. There are high cloud fields drifting in coming from south west and moving north east. Before their arrival some of the cumulus clouds should have been burnt away by the sun. Their thermal strength depends on the cloud cover above; 2 to 4 octa cumulus clouds are to be expected with cloud base rising from 1600 to 1800 m, end of thermal activity 18.00 hours. Tomorrow sounds like the english cricket slogan: Rain stops play with the rest of the week looking brighter again.
10:30 Hi, we're in business again. Readiness for launch at 11:30, first launches to be expected at 11:45. Most gliders are already on the grid. Up front the 18m class, behind open and 15m class.
  Racing tasks for the 18 and Open class of 308 respectively 366 km laid out in a rectangle, first into the Spreewald to Lübben and Lübbenau, then in a south westerly direction to Oschatz and Falkenberg, then heading northwest to Oranienbaum and Burg, and then back to Lüsse. The 15m class starting last has a speed assigned area task in the same area with large turning areas (Luebben, Torgau, Zerbst). Minimum distance 262 km, maximum 473 and 3 hours minimum time. The B tasks handed out for 18m and open class hopefully will not be used (AAT).

08/10/2008 Sunday

  Day 8 - (Air show and Day canceled for competition flying)
19:20 Talking about competition: Erland Lorenzen's outlook for tomorrow seems still to be valid. Moderate thermals forecast, probably a few cirrus and altostratus clouds too many to make it a good day, but flyable. More news tomorrow after the ten o' clock briefing.
19.00 A championship without a competition director (not not for long): The Ju52 made her last take off followed by some spectacular low approaches over Luesse before waving its wingtips and disappearing with humming engines. Our competition directoer Herbert Maertin was one of the passengers on the flight back to Tempelhof. The last guest plane remaining is the Antonov. Despite the not so bright weather we had a lot of visitors. I'm not good at estimating large crowds, but would imagine, there were approx. five thousand people or more here. The queues at the various snack, beer and souvenir stands were just long enough to be acceptable and people seemed highly satisfied with the presentation of the air show. Those who stay in Luesse now can concentrate on the competition again.
16:40 To look at things from the bright side: There's no snow on the roads and the harvest will be good due to the rain, which is just ceasing. The Antonov is returning to Tempelhof and maybe with the weather getting better, we'll see some more of those exciting aerobatics of Henry Bohlig with his Extra 300. He's truly an aerobatic champion!
13:20 Lots of people here, lots of planes in the air and on the ground. It's a very special sight having the Antonov or the Ju52 starting right next to our historical gliders like the Grunau Baby, the Slingsby T-21 or the Phoebus. We've had parachute jumps, simultaneous flighing of the Ju52 and the Me 108 and fascinating speed finishes of our competition participants. About 25 of them showed how launches are down and how speed appraches look like. Aerobatics to take place in the afternoon: Henry Bohlig on Extra 300, the Lo 100 triple team, also to be mentioned high quality model glider aerobatics. Amidst all this starts and landings of the Ju52, the heavy Antonov, the Me 108 and many others. It's been overcast so far, and the warm front advancing much slower than we would have liked to see. The airfield is crowded with spectators. Noone seems to mind the few drops of rain that come down every now and then.
11:55 We'll be back a little later in order to collect some more photos. Some first pictures are already to be seen in the pictures gallery.
10:45 We'll probably see the most exciting finishes of the whole competition today! The day has been canceled for all classes. But as part of the air show that has already started, about 25 pilots have volunteered to do demonstration launches and speed finishes at noon. As there are no penalties to be feared it is very likely that these speed approaches will fit well in with the other aerobatic demonstrations.
  Erland Lorenzen points out in his daily weather briefing that meteorologists only can interpret the weather but not make it. Those thick clouds above us are part of a low pressure area that has come in from Iceland. By 14.00 local we'll be directly under the warm front. In the early afternoon some clearing up and then multilayered clouds possibly bringing some rain in the later afternoon. All this as a description of a day not suitable for competition flying. Later at night the cold front arriving. Fortunately no strong winds and thunderstorms expected, so many particpants will keep their gliders rigged up.
09:45 A pleasant low engine hum to be heard. The Antonov - the biggest double decker existing - is on final approach.
09:30 Hi. One hasn't got to be a meteorologist to see that today it is unlikely for competiton flying to take place. A solid stratus cloud cover above us and moist air that smells like rain. No gliders on the grid. We'll know for sure after the briefing at ten. Looks like we can concentrate on the air show today. For this purpose the weather is quite acceptable. According to the DWD weatherforecast cloud base will be between 1500 and 2500 m - high enough for aerobatics to take place. And the sun has promised to peep thru the clouds once in a while.

08/09/2008 Saturday

  Day 7 (Competition Day 5)
22:30 A last look at the scores: No changes in the 15m class day score. On first positions: 1 V8 György Gulyas HUN; 2 C64 Paul Crabb IRL, 3 V Jean-Luc Colson BEL. In the overall score György is in the lead by 200 points ahead of Jean-Luc, followed closely by Louis Bouderlique and Christophe Ruch both from France. The German 15m class team in the middle with Martin Theisinger on position 23, Erik 30th and Katrin Senne on 34.
  In the 18m class the score has remained as described below. In the overall score here Hermann Leucker GER on fourth place.
  The results of the open class have changed completely now taking into account the distances they have flown on their speed AAT task. Today's winners in the open class will be according to the preliminary score: 1 HW Heinz Weissenbuehler USA, 2 AJ Alena Netusilova CZE - her being one of the three women taking part, 3 XXL Laurent Aboulin FRA. Laurens Goudriaan came in 11th today and will keep his lead in the total count ahead of HM Michael Sommer GER and LSJ Francois Jeremiasse NLD.
22:00 The halfway party is under way now. The day ended with an impressive triple tow of three Lo 100 to 1500m and a marvelous aerobatic performance to the music of Pink Floyd. Afterwards an Extra 300 rounded off the day with its daring aerobatics in mild evening sunlight. Talking about the weather: Worst case for our air show tomorrow would bee a Sunday drenched in rain. Looks like we won't catch colds, but maybe some light drizzle and an overcast sky, definitely not ideal for cross country flying. We'll see what can be done tomorrow morning.
18:15 Let's take another look at the 18m scores: Most loggers have been read (exclamation mark removed next to the position No. on the results page); there are only three pilots who didn't complete the task. First place today 1 EW Darroze, Olivier FRA, 2nd place WO Janowitsch, Wolfgang AUT, 3rd: EF Hoyeau, Frederic FRA. Best speed 125 km/h. In the overall score Ronald Termaat will probably hold his first postion; Darroze, Olivier FRA now on place 2 of the overall score changing places with Karol Staryszak POL.
17:50 HM anouncing 10 kilometer distance. At the moment KS, Christoph Matkowski, POL on position No. 1 today. The results of the time score in the open class are not of much use as we don't know how far the pilots flew. So we will have to wait for their loggers having been read out. 21 out of 36 gliders returned so far - and all of 'em with a speed score.
17:40 Several open class ships have landed by now, First so far A Steen Elmgaard DNK, then XX Hegedus, Laszlo and on third position KS Matkowski, Christoph POL. Best average 135 km/h.
13:30 In the 15m class we have several loggers read out confirming V8 György Gulyas' lead from HUN, 2nd now V, Jean-Luc Colson, BEL, 3rd, RP Janusz Centka POL. If there are no changes in the preliminary score György and Jean-Luc will also be first and second in the total score followed by EQ Louis Bouderlique FRA on third place.
17:20 MV had problems getting his undercarriage out and landed her as softly as possible at the far side in order to disturb noone.
17:10 In the 18m class in the lead so far EW Olivier Darroze Fra followed by JS Attie Jonker, South Africa in his self designed JS1. JOY Jürgen Schuster and MS Hermann Leucker both GER started half an hour later, so they still stand a chance to make today's first positions.
17:00 There are fifteen 15m gliders in by now and only one outlanding has been reported, VW Karl Striedeck USA. In the 18m class eighteen gliders back home and also only 1 outlanding/engine restart, YY Joannis Tatsios, flying under the greek flag. In the open class everyone still in the air with no outlandings reported.
16:50 First 18m glider on final approach, PL Karol Stayszak, POL.
16:50 Fastest in the 15m class so far V8, György Gulyas HUN, leader in the overall score with an average speed of 116 km/h by time score followed by C64 Paul Crabb. They may still be overtaken by others having started later and not yet returned.
16:45 Just a reminder that you can see the results the moment the gliders cross the goal line in the internet by means of a time score. And for the first time today our internet is stable. We're keeping our fingers crossed, that the measures taken by the provider will be successful.
16:35 We're in business again. First 10 km warning: V, Jean-Luc Colson, FRA coming in. All gliders arriving now are from the 15m class: C64, V, RP, AZ, LT
16:10 First gliders to be expected in about 20 minutes.
13:37 Last launch open class - X, Holger Karows, GER.
13:21 First launches of open class - a quick calculation. Start gate for 15m class was open at 12:48. They will probably need 3 1/2 hours to complete their task. If they have started within half an hour after opening of starte gate, they should return at approx. 16.45. The start gate for the 18m class opened at 13:24. They'll probably return just after the 15m class depending on how long they postpone their starts. With the open class their return remains "open", minimum time 3 hours, so the very first return possible will be around 17.00, more likely half an hour later.
13:04 Last 18m starts right now - one restarter to follow, HE Erkkii Heinonen, FIN.
13:00 For the open class there is a change to task B being anounced right now. A Team Captain meeting is ordered on the grid. Task B is a Speed AAT with distances ranging from 290 - 520 km, turn points at Tangerhütte, Roitzschjora, Spremberg - radiuses 20 and 30 km. The reason is the current spreading out of clouds. The AAT areas will give the participants better choice of turnpoints where there is lift.
12:50 What a sight! The Ju52 with blinding landing lights on final. A few Wilgas rushing in ahead, and then a soft and short landing of the Ju on the grass runway! Next glider launchs taking place within a few seconds afterwards. 6 octa now, fortunately only one "relanding" - a motorized ASK 21.
12:40 Some concern about the clouds overdeveloping. Erland Lorenzen looks at the satelite pictures and arrives to the conclusion that this is only temporary creating no serious problems. Everyone staing up so far.
12:28 Last 15m glider starting now. 18m class to follow immediately afterwards.
12:20 Amazing the short runway the Ju52 took to get into the air. 4 octa and there is lift below the clouds. A gaggle right above Luesse and no relandings yet except for 5A, who has tried to solve some technical problem and is restarting now.
12:05 The first launches (15m class) right on the dot at 12:00, Talking about launches: The Lufthansa Ju52 is our next "self starter" ready for take off and just starting her three engines
  Next info at 12.00.
10:45 Hi, this will be a flying day for all classes with good chances of much fewer outlandings than on our last competition day - which isn't all that difficult. Readiness for launch at 12:00. The 15m class up front followed by the 18m and the open class.
  The cold front which has passed thru yesterday with last showers during the night has cooled down the air noticably. A more stable air mass has moved in. Our weatherman, Erland Lorenzen tells us: The cumulus clouds we can see right now with cloud base at approx. 700m gradually will rise to 1800m in the afternoon. There is a small risk that they will dissolve in the southern task area, and also some outspreading of high clouds in the north west may occur. Thermal strength moderate to good unless outspreading happens. End of thermal activities around 19.00 local. Winds stable from 290 ° at 10 - 15 knots. The outlook for tomorrow: We're at the far end of a warm front. Some clouds, small possibility for light rain, flyable.
  Racing tasks for all three classes ranging from 405 km for the 15m class (Gardelegen, Torgau, Lübben) to 491 km for the open class (Haldensleben, Riesa, Cottbus). The 18m starting second also with a first leg towards the west - Nahrstadt, then Roitzschjora, Bronkow and back - 418 km alltogether.
  Bustling activity on site, the Ju52 has arrived yesterday - their captains also glider pilots (although the request for aerow tows using the Ju52 as tug plane had been denied at the briefing). Today a lot of Lufthansa VIP' will give us company and we expect many visitors. Last preparations for tomorrow's air show are happening. Another VIP guest, Klaus Ohlmann, who already held a lecture about the Mountain Wave Project in the Andes last night.

08/08/2008 Friday

  Day 6
11:00 The day has been canceled for all classes. Rain and thundershowers are to be expected druring the day. Behind the coldfront a very unstable airmass has moved in to the competition area. Although the weather looks nice at the moment, changes may happen very rapidly. So all those who have been on long retrieves can recuperate today. Tonite at 20.00 there will be a lecture and video by Klaus Ohlmann on the Mountain Wave Project in the Andes. Everyone is invited. In the meantime people take advantage of the thermal baths at Belzig or are going sightseeing to points of interest in the area and to Potsdam or Berlin.

Titbits - Carol Clifford - Team Captain South Africa

Team Meeting South Africa

Titbits talks to Carol Clifford, Team Captain Republic of South Africa, about Laurens Goudriaan – currently leading pilot in the Open Class

Carol, how come  Laurens is such a successful pilot?
Carol: Behind every successful man there stands a good woman.

Susie, Laurens wife standing nearby, nods firmly and tells us, that her recipe is letting her husband do the flying and her doing the talking. She prefers to stay on the ground or occasionally fly along on the rear seat. Besides going gliding the two regularly enjoy skiing in the Austrian Aalps, where they visit friends.

Carol tells us, that Laurens grew up in a gliding family and became a pilot in the South African Airforce and has been flying for over 40 years. His first international competition was at the World Championships in Paderborn.  more...  

08/07/2008 Thursday

  Day 5
23:00 A storm warning has been given out again. The cold front is just passing over Lüsse, a second front line with even stronger rain and hail will arrive later on during the night. The cold air flowing in behind is extremely unstable and will repeatedly produce showers druring the day tomorrow. If any flying is to happen at all tomorrow it rather looks like a very short taks for one class.
22:30 Back alive again; so what happened (besides an overloaded webserver): The 15m class has been sent to the paddocks without any exemption. Closest K1 and P3 Mark Leeuwenburgh NLD and P8 Dave Springford CAN followed by V Jean-Luc Colson BEL. All of 'em about 50 - 60 km away from Lüsse. Half of the scoring at the moment still a time score with arrival details communicated over mobile phones. There will be quite some trailers on the road tonite. If thist most preliminary time scoring doesn't change too much after inspection of the igc-files, V8 György Guluas stays up front in the 15m class, 140 points ahead of Mark Leeuwenburgh, who leaped up from position 11 to second place. Third place EQ Louis Bouderlique FRA, who moved up two places. Now we know, that the weather forecast was too optimistic today re thermal strength and estimation of cloud base. It also didn't help that everybody had waited for 45 minutes or even longer before crossing the start line.
  The 18m class had started last. Their 413 km speed task also had almost been turned into a distance task. The exception were 2 pilots who returned home. AB Arne Boye Moller DNK and 71 Richard Walters USA, who was most successful at the Lilienthal Glide last year - they both were the only ones to return home with average speeds around 90 km/h. Karol Stayszak Pol got within 2 kilometers distance to Lüsse and the rest lay on the fields equally distributed over the whole task distance, many of them within the last 100 kilometers. Their disadvantage was the late launches/opening of the start gate. XTC Roland Termaat, who had come in fourth will keep his first place in the overall score (providing no changes in the yet preliminary score), PL Karol Staryszak POL on total position 2 and EW Oliver Darroze FRA on third position.
  The task for the open class had been spot on. 20 out of 36 ships made it back to Lüsse. First X Holger Karow GER, followed by LSJ Francois Jeremiasse NLD and KS Christoph Matkowski (this time sailing under the Polish flag). All of them with average speeds just under 100 km/h. Tassilo Bode and Michael Sommer on positions 4 and 5. In the (preliminary) total score Laurens Goodriaan and Michael Sommer stay on the first two positions. Steve Jones has dropped one place down to third place. Unlucky today PS Javier Gaude ARG who already landed out after 147 km.
20:00 We’re giving up trying get live data uploaded for the time being. Just the general info again that Team Germany is inviting everyone to roast piglets and beer.
19:35 The 15m class is the one with the highest percentage having gone “to the cows”. 17 outlandings reported and over 20 still out or without landing reports. In the 18m class 3 completed, many pilots outlanded about 100 km away; in the open class 9 pilots out so far and still in the air or missing data on 4 pilots.
19:30 10 Hadrian van Nes 18m coming in without time score, other 18m pilots: AB, 71, and LK, Hermann Leuker GER made it with time score.
19:10 We try to give you instant coverage. Our webpage is so popular though, that during arrivals it gets overloaded and cannot be reached. We’re already on the biggest server of our provider, and seems difficult to get a more stable solution quickly.
18:50 Outlandings: 6 gliders in the 18m class, among them DJ, Doug Jacobs and 1 Steve Crabb, PX, Peter Krejcirik CZE. In the 15m 14 outlandings, among them Gary Ittner, the complete German team – the Theisinger brothers and Katrin Senne. In the Open Class, two outlandings reported, among them PS Javier Gaude ARG.
18:45 Several open class ships like 4M landing now without time score. They used their motor somewhere along the task and did not complete. Only their distances until motor start will be counted.
18:22 Laurens Goudriaan coming in, Michael Sommer just landed.
18:15 First Open Class gliders to arrive at any moment. The German team 23 km away. 5 outlandings in the 15m class so far amongst them Martin Theisinger team Germany.
17:20 No one in sight or to be heard yet.
17:00 We just heard that the German open class team is close to the turn point Cottbus. The thermals weaker than expected (1 - 2 m), and top of dry thermals at 1200 - 1300 also lower than expected. First small cumuli forming now. It'll be tough for the 18m class that has started last.
14:50 A low flying jet-airplane directly above the airfield. Not the airforce, but a Schleicher ASW20 equipped with a turbine. Actually it's making much less noise than expected. In the meantime pilots in the 18m class are starting or restarting.
14:07 Last 18m glider in the air. Start line to be opened at 14:27. First gliders are to be expected back at about 5:30 p.m.
13:58 Still about 15 18m ships to be launched. There should be flyable conditions until 19.00 h local. And the 18m will probably need them having started last.13:38
13:29 Last 15m in the air. Startline open at 13:49 local (at Räuberberg). 18m class being launched now.
12:56 15m class starting now, A Nimbus 4 quite low fighting to stay aloft
12:50 GX restarting now. Startline opened for the open class at 12:48 (Rabenstein) Probably another 5 - 10 minutes until 15m class will start.
12:40 One Open Class glider down for a restart (GX, Egon Rehn, Brazil) and one restarting of engine. The open class is the only class allowed to restart using engines. In the 15m and 18m class gliders with engines will have to land and restart, so they don't have an advantage over the gliders without engines. In the open class where gliders are very heavy due to their water ballast, they are allowed to restart in the air for safety reasons.
12:30 Last open class glider in the air. A short break before launches of the 15m class will take place in order to be sure there are not too many restarts. Launching isn't easy today with side winds at 10 knots or stronger.
12:20 We'll soon know whether they'll stay aloft. Temperatures at 32° now, thermals should have formed at/above 28°. With no single cloud a bit hard to judge. Top of dry thermals probably around 1300m.
12:15 First tow (open class) happening right now.
12:00 First launch to be expected at 12:15.
10:45 Hi, a great sunny day ahead. Readiness for launch at 12:00 local time. And it's gonna be hot. Open class first to start, followed by 15m and 18m class.
  Racing tasks for all of them: 491, 405 and 412 kilometer distances respectively with a short leg to the north west i.e. Gardelegen for the open class, Then down along the river Elbe to Torgau, Roitzschjora or Riesa, then eastwards to Lueben, Bronkow or Cottbus. So, they're all flying in the same general direction, but sufficiently separated as not to form large gaggles.
  A low front over the UK will be reaching us in the late afternoon headed by a convergence line with a more instable air mass. It should not affect the competition. During the day mostly blue skies with a small chance for 1 octa forming. Thermals should be moderate to good. Top of dry thermals rising to 1600 or 2000 m at best, cloud base to 2200m. Few cirrus likely to appear in the afternoon. 33° max. temperature.
  The cold front will bring along thunderstorms, hail and strong rain. Only a slim chance for competition flying tomorrow.
  A warm welcome and a big thank you to all tug pilots as they were greeted at the morning briefing. Technical support is being provided by Mr. Spindelberger for Cobra trailers and Johannes Garrecht for Volksloggers, both on site. Tonite Team Germany invites to beer and roast pigs. Tickets should be bought today for the halfway party (Bergfest) on Sat. night with good food and a live rock band playing.

08/06/2008 Wednesday

  Day 4 - finally canceled for all classes
16:00 After all, now we know for sure: The day is canceled! Time enough to collect bathing suits and trunks and take a dip in the pool to be well prepared for a hot Thursday - probably sunny in the morning and showers in the (hopefully very) late afternoon.
15:45 And now we're waiting until 4 o'clock. I can't imagine that the decision to cancel the day can be postponed any longer unless we can convince the sun to postpone today's sunset.
15:40 In 10 minutes we'll finally know whether anyone will start or not.
  Those with experience with competition flying will understand these postponements. For the other readers a short explanation: With just a bit more sun coming thru the gliders would have stood a good chance to stay in the air. The participants would be quite unhappy, if the tasksetter would have canceled the day, that later on turned out to be flyable. So, normally the task setter will wait to the very last moment, consult with the Team Captains and only then decide to cancel a day.
14:45 The result of the Team Captain meeting is: Readines for launch postponed to 15:15
14:15 Grid meeting of all Team Captains to be held at 14:30 - all further decisions afterwards.
13:40 Readiness for launch for the remaining two classes at 14:15 - the sun is coming out and everyone ist trying to grab a bite to eat before launching starts. Quite likely that the minium time of the Speed AAT tasks will be reduced due to the late start.
13:15 18m class canceled - still overcast
12:00 Readiness for launch now changed to 13:15. The sky still grey.
11:15 Hi, this will be a tricky day weatherwise. Berlin had beautiful blue skies this morning. Just outside of Lüsse the overcast sky started with high level stratus clouds making everything look rather drab. Erland Lorenzen, DWD gives us hopes that the cloud cover will cease between 12.00 and 14.00 local time.
  We're lying at the rear end of a high pressure ridge. A weak warm front has moved in, that is advancing very slowly. Once this front has passed thru in the early afternoon blue skies are expected with a small possibility of 1 octa cumulus forming. Cloud base starting at 800 meters rising to 1500 max. Moderate winds of 10 - 15 knots. Looks like the ideal day for team flying and unfortunately also for gaggles forming.
  All three classes on Speed AAT taks. Up front the open class with a 2 1/2 hour minimum time followed by 15 and 18m gliders (2 hours respectively 1:45 minimum time. Grid closed at 12.00 and readiness for launch at 12:15 (providing the sun respects our schedule and arrives in time). All classes first fly in the general direction of Torgau at the river Elbe, then eastwards to Bronkow or Finsterwalde and back to Lüsse. Task length ranging from a minimum of 166 km in the 18m class starting last to a max of 357 km in the open class.

08/05/2008 Tuesday

  Day 3
18:45 In the 15m class it looks like V8 György Gulyas will be first (111 km/h). And those pilots already occupying leading positions in the total score again up front today: 2nd VV Gary Ittner USA, 3rd Y, Christoph Ruch, 4th LT Georg Theisinger GER.If the preliminary score doesn’t change, V8 already has got a comfortable margin of more than 100 point to Z3 Timothy Scott. Approx. 9 pilots, who either haven’t completed yet or with missing landing info.
  In the 18m class higher speeds. On place No. 1 CX Branislav Jesensky, SVK (119.51 km/h) followed by PX, Petr Krejcirik, CZE taking him to position 4 in the overall score. XTC Ronald Termaat on place No. 3 possibly bringing him to No. 1 in the total count. Here Mac's score is still missing. 37 time or logger scores existing in the 18m class by now. Again, patience is needed for a complete view of the situation.
  In the open class PS, Javier Gaude ARG seems to be the upshooter of the day being on first position (121 km/h) followed by Laurens Godriaan, RSA on place 2. Third Tassilo Bode GER. Behind them Steve Jones GBR. Approx 10 scores missing yet. If the day score stays unchanged in the first positions Laurens occupies place No. 1 and stays more than 100 points ahead of Michael Sommer, who came in 6th in the total count. Out of luck today, Martti Koivula, FIN, who was one of the last to return in the open class today.
18:05 Right on time upon arrival of the gliders our wgc2008 website has gone down again. Obviously the many clicks onto the results page are too numerous. At least the connections were established again much faster then yesterday. So, more news in a moment.
16:40 The next 15m class pilots coming home now. Best speed so far (time score) 118 kph.
16:15 The first 15m class glider has just returned - V7 Sandor Laurinyecz, HUN. It'll take a while before the others will follow. Sandor started about 45 min earlier than the rest of his class.
13:00 The last open class launches taking place now.
11:50 15m class is in the air. First launches of the 18m class. Strong gusty winds.
11:20 First launches now in the 15m class
11:00 Everyone is on the grid. The Wilgas are just moving over. Readiness for launch in a few minutes.
  15m class has a racing task (task A) over 420 km, first to Riesa via a turn point nearby, then into Poland (Tuplice) and back via Oehna. The 18m class a similiar racing task slightly longer (492 km, task A). In the open class a task C has just been handed out with minor changes to task B now in the internet - a Speed AAT between 380 and 580 km also heading in the same direction.
  The Briefing today again very short - no questions or queries. There has been a glider change by LT, Georg Theisinger - such changes are checked by the jury against the rules. Besides the tasks the most important part is the weather briefing.
  Erland Lorenzen pointed out that there still are strong winds between 25 and 35 knots at 1000 m or above, probably receding somewhat in the afternoon. Cloud base now is at 1000m and will rise to 1500 and later on to 1800 or even 2000m. There is a good chance for cloud streets forming again. Thermal strength between moderate and good, difficult in the low altitudes due to the strong wind. The outlook for tomorrow: A warm front centered over the UK will be moving in with Lüsse at the edge of a stratus area - with flyable conditions most likely and rising temperatures.
  Click here for winner's pictures
  The winners of day2 15m class: 1 V8 Gulyas, György HUN (106.95 kph); 2 LE Wells, Leigh GBR 3 Z3 Scott, Timothy; 18m class: 1 M Ichikawa, Makoto JPN (113.97 kph), 2 XTC Termaat, Ronald NLD, 3 EW Darroze, Olivier FRA ASG 29; Open Class: 1 HM Sommer, Michael GER (118.80 kph), 2 ZX Goudriaan, Laurens, 3 VB Bode, Tassilo GER
  On the overall score first in the 15m class: Z3 Scott, Timothy GBR and V8 Gulyas, György HUN (both same amount of points); first in the 18m class: M Ichikawa, Makoto JPN about 40 points ahead of Ronald Termaat NLD; Open Class: ZX Goudriaan, Laurens RSA, 70 points ahead of X3 Koivula, Martti FIN.

08/04/2008 Monday

  Day 2
19:50 It looks like the weather will be similar tomorrow wind speeds slightly less than today.
19:45 Despite the strong wind there have only been few pilots, who did not complete their tasks. In the open class 3 pilots did not complete. And of course we're happy to see that Michael Sommer according to the preliminary score came in first and Tassilo Bode fourth. 6 pilots did not get back in the 18m class. On first position "Mac", Makoto Ichikawa, Japan with a 114 kph average. In the race class 8 gliders, that did not complete, amoungst them Katrin Senne and Georg Theisinger. Up front there György Gulyias, Hungary, followed by the British Leigh Wells and Timothy Scott. Just a reminder: We're looking at preliminary scores!
19:10 The 18m score to be found under results is pretty complete now. A few interpretation hints: If you see these characters: (*) they indicate that the pilot did not make use of the minim time. If he flew 2:26h instead of the required 2:30 his speed will be calculated using the minimum time and not the actual time.
  If you see an exclamation mark next to the rank number, i.e. "2!" in the open class Peter Batenburg, it means his flight so far has only been time scored (stop watch flying over the goal line and radioed start time). With an AAT task this type of measurement is pretty inacurate. So you should wait for the explanation marks to vanish or wait until we have a final score instead of a preliminary score.
18:50 Looks like we are online again, starting right now. The server was overloaded by the huge amount of traffic and had to be changed. Despite the warning given by us earlier on, this took unduly long. All our own information lines have been cut off druring the last two hours, too.
16:50 So far no sign of anyone returning.
17:00 Amazing, that only a few outlandings have been reported by now despite the prevailing strong winds. In the 15m class BK, Katrin Senne and Georg Theisinger, LT both from Germany went to the cows before crossing the start line. In the 18m class YY, Janis Tatsios from Greece had decided not to take any risks and 29E John Buchanan, Australia landed out nearby. In the open class A, Elmgard Steen Denmark and TEX, Danilo Trovo Italy returned without completing their tasks.
14:05 18m class in the air, open class starting now
12:25 In the second briefing the tasks were given out. Speed assigned area tasks for all three classes with a minimum time of 2 1/2 h for 18m an open class and 2 h for the 15m class starting last. Readines for launch at 13:15 local. Chances for cloud streets forming. The first can be seen forming right now.
11:30 Gridding is starting now.
10:50 There will be a second briefing at 12:00. Gridding to be announced via PA system.
10:45 Yesterday's winners: Open Class: Steve Jones (GBR), Martti Koivula (FIN), Laurens Goudriaan (RSA); 18m class: Karol Staryszak (POL), Arne Boye Moller (DNK), Makoto Ichikawa (JPN), 15 class: Timothy Scott (GBR), Christoph Ruche (FRA), Louis Bouderlique (FRA)
  The very moment our meteorologist Erland Lorenzen was showing the radar charts and pointed to the rain area over Lüsse, the rain drops started drumming on the roof of the briefing hall. He explained that a small dry airmass is moving in behind the frontal line that is just pasing thru. He expects the sky to clear up at noon, then 5 - 6 octas cumulus forming. The thermals will be sufficiently strong at 2 m/sec. The problem will be the strong westerly wind blowing at up to 35 knots above 1000 m. Gusts at ground level up to 25 knots. Cloud base will start at 13:00 - 14:00 at 900m rising up to 1500 to 1700m. Just a reminder that the daily weather sheet can be downloaded in the weather area.
  Tomorrow Lüsse will lie at the rear of a low pressure area over the baltic sea giving us good soarable conditions.

08/03/2008 Sunday

  Day 1
22:00 There is a storm warning out for the late night/early morning with strong winds and lots of rain possible.
22:00 Today the 15m class, which had started last, encountered least problems. They only had 3 outlandings according to the preliminary score. The 15m class had the advantage of an assigned area task – so they choose their flight path to an extent.
  In the 18m class 15 out of 36 came home. The best average speed at 78 kph (Karol Staryzcak, Poland) according to the preliminary score tells us, that they all had a hard time. Many landed out within the first 90 km encountering bad weather along the river Elbe.
  The open class, which had started about half an hour before the 15m class, had better luck. 26 of 36 pilots managed to get home according to the preliminary score. Best average speed above 110 kph. Nearest outlanding at 126 km distance (Christoph Matkowski, KS, Poland).
17:23 28 outlandings or motorstarts in the 18m class by now. For them a most difficult task. Those still flying now are some 70 km away.
17:00 Now the German pilots of the Open Class are coming in. Judging by the preliminary score Steve Jones, 110 from GBR and Laurens Goudrian, ZX from South Africa are today's winners in the open class. Quite some class pilots still out, but they started too early to get o a winning position today.
16:16 2 Open Class ships landed. You can already take a look at the first preliminary scores under tasks/results and see for yourself who has outlanded or already returned.
16:15 2 Aussies in the 15m class, 4D and TF, David Jansen and Graham Parker are about to land as the first who have completed their task.
15:45 First gliders returning, but they all have not completed their tasks. So far in the 18m class 18 gliders have outlanded or returned without completion of task. We already have some of their flight logs and can see, that most of them started their engines or landed out to the west close to the river Elbe, where they had a turning poin, where there probably were too many clouds and too little sun.
  In the open class KS returned using his motor. KS - Christoph Matkowski, Poland started his engine at a distance of 127 km from Lüsse and thus returning without completing his task. In the 15m class to our knowledge all are still in the air.
13:45 The 15m class is in the air now, too.
12:45 The 18m class is in the air. The start of the 15m class is postponed for 10 minutes - we're waiting for the sun to come thru in order to avoid restarts.
12:15 Two motorized open class gliders restarting close to the airfield.
11:45 The first launches are taking place - open class first followed by 18m and 15m gliders.
11:15 Grid time 11:00; first launches to be expected shortly.
  The briefing took less than half an hour. Rule details regarding altitude measurement, start altitude and restart procedure were clarified and explained. All rules have been Ok'ed by the jury. There are no protests.
  Erland Lorenzen explains, that a cold front has passed thru leaving us with a very small hi pressure area - big enough for tasks for all three classes. The next low pressure area spreading out from a low over England is expected to arrive in the afternoon around 17:00 hours local time. Later on in the evening rain will set in. At the moment 4 octa cumulus and some receding stratus. Cloud base will rise to 1500 m, max 1800 m, thermal strength 2 - 3 m/sec. In most other parts of Germany today the weather will not be suitable for cross country flying. Tomorrow ther rainy and stormy weather will prevail making competition flying unlikely for the day.
  The open and 18m class have race tasks of 340 and 317 km. The 15m class a apeed assigned area tasks with a distance ranging from 173 to 340. The participants have a minimum time of 2 hours and can decide themselves how far they fly within the task range in order to return with the best speed.
09:30 Briefing at ten. The sun is out and it looks like we will have competition flying on day 1. A front is expected in the late afternoon.


  Begin of Championships and Opening Celebration in Belzig
  Thanks to our media partner, the RBB radio station, there was a great party atmosphere at the opening ceremony in Belzig. Everyone was bussed from Lüsse to Belzig. We enjoyed a relaxed hour of party music and then at at 16:00 hours sharp the ceremony began. A real eye catcher the Lufthansa stewardesses and stewards guiding the teams one by one to the stage and welcoming most of them in their native languages! They all had lots of applause, even if a stewardess occaionally would get country name wrong and had to look it up again on the big placard displaying the country's name. Then the speeches of the policticians, the sports officials and the Lufthansa representative - our official partner - followed. Also present on stage the acting World Champions. Afterwards free beer was given out in Lüsse - everyone happy abou a perfectly organized opening ceremony!
01:30 There is much to be said about this great opening ceremony. For the time being we will let the photos in the picture area tell the story.
13:00 There will be bus transportation for everyone to Belzig leaving at14:30 from Lüsse. At 16:00 the Guidance of the Nations onto the market place will take place followed by speeches of politicians representatives of the gliding world. The ceremony will last until approx. 17:30 to be followed by a party on the streets of Belzig.
12:45 It was a fantastic opening briefing. The organizers, the stewards and jury were presented at first by Herbert Märtin. Then each team. Afterwards the last changes to the rules were communicated by Natalie Lübben. Chief steward Dick Bradley proposed a Safety Commity with Stefano Ghiorzo, Doug Jacobs and Holger Karow as members. Our meteorologist Erland Lorenzen promised us sunny skies by the afternoon. At the moment it's overcast and we had heavy thunderstorms last night. He also mentioned that tomorrow there will be a very small high pressure area coming in giving us some chance that day 1 will be flyable.
10:30 Opening briefing at 11:00. The big opening celebration in Belzig will start at 16:00.


  Last Training Day
15:00 The first gliders returning. Details soon under tasks/results. On the weather page you can see, that the rain area is very close now. The wind has freshened up and it is getting more and more overcast.
14:00 15m taks neutralized. 18m and Open flying.
12:10 Now we know for sure: First launch at 12:15. The thermal scout encountered 2 1/2 m lift.
11:45 First launch time now delayed for 12:00
11:00 Briefing: The technical inspection and registration of all gliders has been completed. All gliders will have to pass over the 3 waying stations set up in front of the grid every day. Today for the first time we'll have approaches on runway 24, whereas take offs take place on runway 06. The training has also been used to test the loggers. Fortunately yesterday there were only 6 loggers with malfunctions. First Team Captain's meeting today at 18.00.
  The weather - although blue skies again at the moment - will be tricky. There is a low pressure area lying over England stretching down south. Two small cold fronts are moving in ahead of it, the first one right now to the west of the river Elbe the second one following closely. They are moving at 20 kph and will arrive in the afternoon bringing rain and probably thundershowers with strong gusty winds up to 30 knots and a possible squall line. There is some possibility that the Fläming range will divide the frontal system, letting the storms pass to the north and south of Lüsse. By tomorrow afternoon the main front should have passed thru giving us sunny weather at the opening celebration in Belzig at 16.00 hours. It looks like on Sunday a small high pressure will arrive making flying possible.
  Assigned area tasks have been handed out despite the weather warning and can be downloaded in the tasks/results area - AAT tasks for the open and 15m class averaging at 270 km and a racing task for the 18m class of 225 km. Grid time 11.00 with the first launches expected at 11:30 - unless it is decided in a field briefing to cancel the task.
  Happy to Attie Jonker/South Africa and Jutta Lentz, a long time FCC member, always present, when help is needed.
10:30 After the big straw fire two days ago right next to the airfield (see picture gallery 07/29) we are all a bit edgy now just having another fire ignite in the same area - this time it is a small one heading away from the airfield to where it can do no harm. God to hear the fire brigade arrive a few minutes later extinguishing it quickly.
09:45 Briefing at ten. Then we will know how long the blue skies will last today.


19:15 Another fantastic and hot training day
  The 15m and the 18m class flew assigned area tasks (AAT) and the open class a racing task. All three classes with distances ranging from 270 to 330 km. All tasks lay to the south and east of Lüsse. First launches around 13:15. For the first time a grid order clearly separated by classes. In the open class the first gliders returned at approximately 4 o' clock local time. Best average speed Holger Karow team Germany with 144 kph. The 18m with the best speed of 140 kph by Russel Cheeham/GBR/E1; and the 15m class led by Janusz Centka/Poland at 138 kph.
  These are not only training days for the pilots, but also for the scoring team and our whole organization. The scorers have put up purely for training purposes a list of the daily results (see tasks/results). There you find the task details as well as the results here called "daily" - today with absolutely amazing speeds!
  Tomorrow a cold front will move in druring the day. We'll know after the briefing at 10.00 o' clock, if there is sufficient time for a small task to be flown.


13:45 Day "cancelled"
  After those last super days noone should be too sad having a day off today. It was just announced, that today's task has been cancelled. The cold front that has moved in from the west giving us comfortable temperatures around 25 degrees for a change - is pretty stagnant. It is moving against the upper wind direction and thus getting ahead only very slowly. At the moment we have overcast skies with a moderate easterly wind. Time to relax or get organized.


  First official Training Day accompanied by an uncalled for bonfire
21:15 Right on time, at ten o'clock we had our first briefing. All vital information was presented by means of a beamer. To keep it short, only the most important infos were given. Excellent weather again with a few octas to the south. First launches at midday - a first task given out for training purposes. Like last year the pilots can upload their igc-files after returning to Lüsse themselves. There are 8 terminals in the event hall linked to the intranet, where they can easily upload their flights, which then are evaluated by the scoring team.
  Like at the Lilienthal Glide last year the scoring is done using scoring*StrePla.
  Every day there are more gliders on the grid to be launched. It's a smooth operation by now, although one or two Wilga tug pilots had to watch the engine temperature or take a short break - no wonder at temperatures well above 30 degrees.
  Then in the early afternoon – the pilots were already flying their tasks on their training flights – all of a sudden dark smoke clouds rose into the sky directly next to the club house and trailer park. A combine harvester had been busy since early morning harvesting the field adjacent to the airfield. Somehow a spark must have ignited the straw and within minutes the flames leaped into the air leaving thick clouds of smoke rising up high. From a few hundred yards distance it looked like the airfield was in flames. Luckily the strong wind blew parallel to the airfield. Luckily the neighboring field is separated from the airfield and trailor park by an earthbank. Luckily also, that the flames didn't leap over this bank too strongly and could easily be extinguished by the fire brigade, which (luckily again) had shown up rapidly. Everyone present rushed to the fire, and we have some impressive shots. They'll be uploaded later on tonight. By the way more and more fields are being harvested these days - thus making outlandings easier.
  Thursday by the way will be similar to today. We have invited the press to a "press-flying". This type of event has proven in the past to be something much more attractive to journalists than boring press conferences. It assures good press coverage of the championships. So, on Thursday you'll have to be patient with the race diary again.
  By the way, there is a small cold front coming closer from the west tonight. At the moment it looks like it may not cross the river Elbe. We'll see tomorrow and listen attentively to Erland Lorenz' weather briefing.


  Full house at last unofficial Training Day
24:00 More photos in the picture area. Tomorrow the first briefing of the first official training day will be held at 10.00.
21:00 A red hot sun setting behind the trees in clear skies.
20:30 The last glider coming in half an hour before sundown, and a balloon hanging in the sky.
17:15 Yesterday cloud base climbed as high as 2.600 m in the afternoon in the Lausitz area to the south east. We all would have loved to change our working space from hot stuffy offices in the attic with the pilot's seat up where it' s a lot cooler. Holger Karow, Team Germany yesterday managed a speed of 137.4 kph in his Nimbus 4M, and the three time Finnish Champion Anti Lehto, also flying Open Class made good use of a late start and flew over five hundred kilometers in the afternoon. Nice to be able to just fly straight on for over a hundred kilometers without a single circle!
  Today some some small cumuli formed again at noon and dried off in the afternoon- so there is no danger of thunder storms developing today making it possible to fly almost until sundown. At twelve o clock some thirty gliders were circling above Lüsse before starting on their training tasks. Team Germany had selected an AAT task for training purposes. Those pilots, who didn't go cross country flying today are making last adjustments to their gliders. And the ground crews - when not busy helping - are finding out, how to get to the nearest beach at one of our many lakes. The internet specialists are still fixing cables, links an routers to help all these bits and bytes travel thru the world.


20:30 Blue Skies all Day long
  Dr. Erland Lorenz - our chief meteorologist - isn't really thinking about going back home. At the moment his job is quite easy, though. There is going to be good lift everywhere tomorrow. Question just is, if there is the odd cloud about to show the way - dry air coming in from the north. So up there we'll have blue skies. No need to get up early tomorrow. Thermals will be starting around 11:00.

About 100 of the more than 130 participants have arrived by now. The camping area is most lively now! The technical glider control is taking place, and people make use of the excellent weather! The question most often heard is: Does the internet function now?


17:30 Refreshments delivered on Time
  At 32 ° the arrival of those dark thunder clouds, which have formed within the last half hour is most welcomed. A few kilometers further on the rain is pooring down just for a few minutes - enough to cool down the earth to comfortable 24 ° - with little steam clouds rising everywhere.
14:00 Talking to "US Ground Control"
  Team Captain Sam Zimmerman is fully established in Luesse. The entire US crew has already arrived with most of them up in the air enjoying this hot sunny day. Doug Jacobs had just picked up his new Ventus 2aX "DJ" from Schempp. Tilo Holighaus lent the very first serial No. 1 Ventus 2 to Gary Ittner, who will be flying in the 15m Class. Heinz Weissenbuehler had his Nimbus 4T shipped from New York State. And Karl Striedek flies Gerhard Waibel's ASW27. Garret Willat managed to get an ASH25 from the Netherlands. Quite an internation glider collection!
12:00 Arriving
  Bustling activities all over the place. Trailors coming from everywhere. Tents being put up, helpers busy getting everything into place. Those, who have already installed themselves are enjoying a hot summer day - 32 ° with the first cumuli setting in at noon. Take a look at our pictures. They show what's happening here!