flag by Carol Clifford (Team Captain)

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2001's Worlds in Mafikeng !


It dawned clear and blue and promised to be good.  We had to move out of the gite and Madame was there very promptly to check it out and ensure that all was in order.  It has been a day of sorting out final matters, paying accounts, cleaning the Team hut, giving out gifts, and so forth.

Tasks were set - 318km. for the Standard, 341 km. for the 15m. and  365 km. for the Open.  Laurens was the first pilot to take off.  A few gliders later the unfortunate Knud Andersen of Denmark was on his belly further up the take off path.  Not sure whether he struck a bump, but the wheel collapsed and a door came off.  He held up the launching slightly whilst his glider was removed.

After the gliders had launched Dick and Laurens were saying that the conditions were not as good as they looked on the ground.  After a while however they had started and next thing I know I am called to the outlanding office - first off first down.  Laurens had landed out on the first leg.  Great disappointment indeed.  Dick however managed to complete the task and finish which is pleasing on his last flight since he had several outlandings.  Provisional scores are out and Dick and Laurens are sitting at 31st and 32nd.  Despite the poor end result, we have had a good time, been good ambassadors for the South African team,
And  of course we have had numerous enquiries and lots of interest about flying in South Africa both at the Worlds in 2001 and before then.

And so the results for today - unofficial for the Open, and still preliminary for the other classes:-

Open:   Glider  Speed  Pts.  Cum.   Place
1.  S. Kawa, Poland ASH.25  124,62 kph. 973 pts.  6980 8
2.  R. Schroeder, Germ. ASW.22BL 123,84 kph 961 pts.  7518 3
3.  D. Hauss, France Nimbus 4 123,13 kph 950 pts.  7523 2
4.  G. Lherm, France ASW.22  122,76 kph 944 pts.  7533  1
5.  U. Schwenk, Germ. ASW.22BL 122,78 kph 920 pts.  7380 4
1.  M. Grund, Germ. Ventus 2a 114,87 kph 990 pts  7675  2
2.  J. Wills, GB  ASW.27  114,60 kph 986 pts.  7255 5
3.  T. Gostner, Italy Ventus 2a 113,87 kph 974 pts.  7027 9
4.  G. Galetto, Italy Ventus 2a 113,78 kph 973 pts  7647  3
7.  W. Meuser, Germ. Ventus 2a 111,81 kph 941 pts.  7806 1
28 R. Bradley, S.A. Ventus 2  94,60 kph 662 pts.  3978  32
33 L. Goudriaan, S.A. ASW.27  41,71 km. 45 pts.  4313  31
1.  A. Davis, GB  LS.8  125,27 kph 816 pts.  6918  6
2.  P. Hartmann, Austria LS.8  123,19 kph 792 pts.  7023 4
3.  B. Taylor, Australia LS.8a  122,55 kph 784 pts.  6126 15
4.  J. Lopitaux, France LS.8  122,26 kph 781 pts.  7052  3
7.  J. Caillard, France LS.8a  121,07 kph 767 pts.  7266  1
7.  J. Barrois, France LS.8a  121,07 kph 767 pts.  7132 2

Signing off with thanks to all the readers of the S.African aspect of the 25th WGC and to Denis Flament of the WGC organisation for his assistance with this task.
To one and all, a bientot, au revoir, Carol


Bonjour Afrique du Sud readers,

The last day seems to have come around so quickly, although everyone is really very tired.  Days are very long - up early and flying or retrieving until quite late has certainly taken its toll on us all.  Yesterday was
Another of those days when the weather and the task did not quite seem to gel together for many especially the S.Africans.

At briefing a fairly ambitious task was set of 367 km., 395 km. and 410 km. respectively, but the tasksetters had covered their backs with a Task B for the "just in case" situation.  The was far less ambitious and was not giving out good vibes about the weather for the day and said that where rain has fallen the previous day/night, it will occur again the following day.  And sure enough - the rain fell on the 15m. class dropping zone as they were being launched.  Task B was the task for the day with 276 km., 290 km., and 337 km.

Again, it proved to be a tricky day with much weather moving around, and the final legs being killed by the rains.  We watched several gliders heading southwards over the airfield at very best glide angle to reach the final southern turn point.   Laurens decided that it was pointless heading south into nothing but an inevitable outlanding, so did a GNSS outlanding at St. Auban.  Dick meanwhile persevered and headed to the south and landed with Michael Grund - Dick not having reached the turnpoint, but Michael had - hence the difference in distances flown.  It turns out, having enquired why Laurens has been given zero points for yesterday, that he missed the starting zone by a short distance - so effectively he did not start.  Sad news indeed.

So Unofficial cumulative results at present are as follows:-
1.  Gerard Lherm, France  ASW.22  6589 pts.
2.  Didier Hauss, France  Nimbus 4 6573 pts.
3.  Robert Schroeder, Germany ASW.22BL 6557 pts.
1.  Werner Meuser, Germany Ventus 2a 6865 pts.
2.  Michael Grund, Germany Ventus 2a 6685 pts.
3.  Giorgio Galetto, Italy  Ventus 2a 6674 pts.
29 Laurens Goudriaan, SA  ASW.27  4268 pts.
32 Richard Bradley, SA  Ventus 2  3316 pts.
1.  Jean-Marc Caillard, France LS.8a  6499 pts.
2.  Jean-Denis Barrois, France LS.8a  6365 pts.
3.  Jean-Claude Lopitaux, Fr. LS.8  6271 pts.


A rather indifferent morning - an early morning Team Managers' meeting, followed by one briefing at 10.30 a.m. and a second one at 12.15 - followed by a task being set at about 1 p.m.  The launching was due to start at 2.15 but was delayed a couple of times before eventually the announcement of the task being cancelled.  So for me, it was a chance to catch up with some of the paper-work! As well as wash a very dirty car - but Murphy's Law took over - having cleaned it and it was grey in colour again, the heavens opened, so it got all brown and dirty again as we live down a farm track which is muddy especially after the rains of the evening.

After the two outlandings on the previous day, we have Laurens and Dick well down the field, but at least they got points for the day, unlike several of the Standard Class pilots who played a "follow-my-leader" game at the start zone and failed to go through the correct zone which has resulted in them receiving zero points for the task.  Others also missed the start sector when they turned for a proper start, but  were fortunate that earlier in their flight they had passed through the start zone - so they got points but for a much slower speed as they passed through the start sector maybe 30 minutes earlier.  So herewith the cumulative scores after seven tasks:-
1.  Uli Schwenk, Germany   ASW.22BL 5942 pts.
2.  Robert Schroeder, Germany  ASW.22BL 5933 pts.
3.  Gerard Lherm, France   ASW.22  5863 pts.
1.  Michael Grund, Germany  Ventus 2a 5865 pts.
2.  Werner Meuser, Germany  Ventus 2a 5865 pts.
3.  Giorgio Galetto, Italy   Ventus 2a 5843 pts.
26. Laurens Goudriaan, S.A.  ASW.27  4268 pts.
32  Dick Bradley, S.A.   Ventus 2  2612 pts.
1.  Jean-Marc Caillard, France  LS.8a  5736 pts.
2.  Jean-Denis Barrois, France  LS.8a  5634 pts.
3.  Jean-Claude Lopitaux, France  LS.8  5509 pts.

We also distributed our Information Sheet on gliding in South Africa and more about the venue for 2001.  I will try to include it below so that those of our readers who are not at St. Auban can also be informed.


All gliding activities in South Africa fall under the aegis of the Soaring Society of South Africa.  There are 17 gliding clubs in the country.  Visitors are very welcome at all Clubs, but anyone wishing to bring their own gliders should liaise with the Soaring Society for assistance with customs clearances, approval of operation, licencing, etc.
The Soaring Society of S.A. can be contacted at P.O. Box 1993, Halfway House, 1685, or
c/o the committee members listed below:-
Anna Kienhoffer
Dick Bradley
Carol Clifford
Treasurer & Team Mgr.
Ian Molesworth
Jeff Harrison
John Ellis
Training & Safety

Keith Ashman

Paul Armstrong
Soaring Development
Peter How
Stephen Thomas

-    Mafikeng (Mmabatho) Airfield, approx. 350 km. west of Johannesburg.
- There are scheduled flights on a daily basis to Mafikeng from Johannesburg
International Airport.
-    To drive - approx. three and a half hours on good tarred roads.
- Mafikeng has a population of approx. 210 000, has over 1200 hotel beds (currently costing approx. $45 per room), a casino, sports stadium, university and mega city shopping centre.  Nearby game reserves, swimming pools, and further away Sun City.
- Cost of living - good value for money (evening meal could cost $16 - 20).
- Not a malaria area nor yellow fever.
- Airfield - 4,5 km. long tar runway, 45 m. wide, terminal facilities, hangars, water,
2nd runway.
- Task area - turnpoints would be small towns, silos, road and railway
- Outlandings not a problem.
- Mobile telephones operational in the task area.
- Weather would be good with temperatures ranging from 28 - 32 degrees C with a
maximum of 38 - 40 degrees C.

- Nationals - to he held at Mafikeng from 28th December '97 - Fri, 9th January '98
- Entries required by 15th October latest.

- There are limited possibilities to hire in South Africa and you would be encouraged to
ship your own, or contact Brian Spreckley who runs the International Gliding Club of
S.Africa at Mafikeng from early November - early February each year and has gliders available to hire.
 To make enquiries and/or bookings, contact Elaine Townsend at tel: (44)181.444.6457 or fax: (44) 181.883.8096 or through Brian on his e.mail address:

- A map showing the airfield locations can be seen in the S.Africa Team Hut.
- Below a list of Clubs and their Chairmen & contact numbers.

+27 51 31 4136
+27 51 31 4136
Kevin Coleby
+27 21 808 4930
+27 21 8084033
Paul Bailey
+27 31 202 7180
+27 31 21 5058
Warren Massey
Eastern Province
+27 41 555 126
+27 41 55 7736
Mark Hardman
+27 31 705 2997

Richard Whitley
+27 577632886
+27 572128522
Laurens Goudriaan
+27 33 230 3396
+27 33 230 3396
Billy Whittal
+27 31 306 0177
+27 31 301 0811
Jon Apsey
+27 177 171 25408
+27 177 171 25408
Graham Taylor
+27 82 568 3162
+27 531 861 2042
Tiaan van Tonder
+27 562 24169
+27 562 31994
Lood Klenhaans
+27 83 310 6393
+27 11 802 7409
Eric Paetz
+27 11 440 8315

Richard Becker
+27 13 246 1442
+27 13 246 2296
Alan McFarlane
+27 291 42010
+27 291 41105
Marius Heyneman
Vaal Reefs
+27 18 477 1971
+27 18 478 3371
John McEndoo
Whispering Wings
+27 11 813 2220
_27 11 813 2229
Chris Dewe

Over the course of many years South Africa has been a popular and successful venue for the record breakers and the record books reflect that some 17 of the current world records were made in the country.  This is in addition to the 1000 km. attempts  which are flown each year.
A map of the task area is at the S.African Team headquarters and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have.

- o O o -


Not a good day for South Africa.  We have both pilots outlanded and over twenty of the 34 in the 15m. class back having completed the task.  But as they same, more is nog 'n dag (or however it is spelt!!)

Tasks were 448 km. for the Standard, 477 km. for the 15m. and 533 km. for the Open class.  The day promised to be good and the tasksetters were ambitious, but on the forecasted conditions it was possible, and judging by the results - it obviously was - just not for the Suid Afrikaaners!  Laurens landed with Patrick Stouffs on an airfield and they had an aerotow retrieve which certainly saves time, but not necessarily money - still have to establish what that will cost!  Dick has the long route via road so have no idea what time he will get back.  Arnoud, Laurens' Belgian crewman, has accompanied Brenda and Claire as the glider has to be lifted over a fence and Dick asked for an extra pair of strong hands!

On the positive side - both gliders are fine, and it isn't pouring with rain!  The weather has been lovely and the wind slight - though the  clouds did however start developing in the late afternoon, so not too sure what we have in store for tomorrow.

I know you are all accessing the website to get this, so don't really see the point in repeating the scores and speeds, but suffice to say, South Africa is there, albeit on the lower side of the scale!!  Dick sitting at 32nd, and Laurens at 26th as at the end of today.


Tuesday 8th and it is a gorgeous day with nice white cloud streets and much less wind than the last few days.  The forecast was very favourable for a good day's flying so we hope that our guys have had a good flight and enjoyed themselves.

Tonight the New Zealand Team will be hosting their  country's party and we have it on good authority that they have about 8 000 lamb cutlets as well as apples and kiwifruit.  Sounds good!  That is not to say that we haven't eaten well - Susie Goudriaan has been feeding us very well and this has worked out much more economical than eating out at restaurants every evening.  Unlike the Americans who are staying in a hotel close to the airfield and the cook was laid off work after cutting his hand and has not been replaced.  They do get breakfast - but no evening meal available there!  I believe they renegotiated the price that they are paying!

We are delighted that both Dick and Laurens are back having had a good flight although still quite a bit slower than the winners.  Dick has even given his crew a treat! - they are not derigging the glider, but tying it down for the night - what a pleasure.

We are still awaiting the final scores for Day 4 - there were a few problems that had to be resolved, but I doubt that it will affect our Team's scores.

Preliminary results for today, Day 6, are as follows:-
1.  R. Tabery, USA ASW.22  124,77 kph .
2.  D. Hauss, France Nimbus 4 124,32 kph
3.  G. Lherm, France ASW.22  124,29 kph
1.  G. Galetto, Italy Ventus 2a 134,31 kph
2.  S. Ghiorzo, Italy Ventus 2a 133,72 kph
3.  T. Gostner, Italy Ventus 2a 132,90 kph
21 L. Goudriaan, SA ASW.27  116,84 kph
31 R. Bradley, SA Ventus 2  103,25 kph
1. E. Borgman, N'lands Discus  127,42 kph
2.  A. Davis, GB  LS.8  126,88 kph
3.  J. Lopitaux, France LS.8  125,90 kph


Another task slightly shorter than yesterday - 388 km. for the Standard,  402 km. for the 15m. and 472 km.   Conditions are forecast to be similar to yesterday with possible wave conditions to the west.

The day started well, but did not really improve for Dick.  He landed shortly after take-off with a problem with the controls - although a positive check had been done, the shelf at the back of the Ventus had moved and was interfering with the flap controls.  So he took another launch but failed to get away, so took his third and final launch for the day by which time it was getting quite late so he only started the 402 km. task at 16.15.  He managed just over 220 km. so at least scored some points.

Lourens meanwhile had a reasonable flight and although he didn't find any wave, he did complete the task in a good time, 6 kph slower than the winning time.  Positions change on a daily basis and having lost over 18 places the previous day, he should pull up a few places with this day's flight.  At this stage the scores are still preliminary:
1.  R. Schild, Switzerland  113,30 kph 1000 pts. (7th)
1.  D. Thut, Switzerland  111,29 kph 1000 pts. (6th)
3.  R. Schoeder, Germany  111,01 kph 996 pts.  (2nd)
4.  D. Hauss, France  108,95 kph 969 pts.  (4th)
5.  U. Schwenk, Germany  108,76 kph 967 pts.  (1st)
7.  G. Lherm, France  108,20 kph 960 pts.  (3rd)
1.  M. Dedera, Czech  110,65 kph 1000 pts. (11th)
2.  W. Meuser, Germany  109,73 kph 986 pts.  (1st)
3.  M. Grund, Germany  109,37 kph 980 pts.  (2nd)
16 G. Navas, France  104,72 kph 909 pts.  (3rd)
20 L. Goudriaan, S.A.  104,28 kph 902 pts.  (24th)
33 R. Bradley, S.A.  223,83 km. 240 pts.  (33rd)
1.  H. Weiss, Germany  113,25 kph 1000 pts. (12th)
2.  J. Coutts, NZ   109,01 kph 937 pts.  (13th)
3.  J. Caillard, France  108,41 kph 928 pts.  (1st)
4.  J. Lopitaux, France  108,36 kph 927 pts.  (3rd)
5.  J. Barrois, France  108,29 kph 926 pts.  (2nd)
Until tomorrow - Carol


Sunday, 6th July has dawned clear blue and sunshine.  The temperatures early were low, but have gradually risen during the day to being at least 28 degrees, I would say,  and the wind was quite strong, though anticipated to be much stronger the higher they go today.  Tasks for the day were 404,38 km. for the Standard class, 469,35 km. for the 15m. class, and 508,83 km. for the Open Class.  Although there was good wave yesterday, the metman was not sure whether there would be today or rather more slope soaring.

Being the weekend, the local community is out in force today watching various flying activities - aerobatics, kites,  model aeroplanes, etc, etc.  Various local stalls have also been set up by local people selling a variety of goods - food, oils, sweets, furniture, as well as gliding people with t-shirts, books, and so forth.

For German beer lovers, we have the German Team's party this evening which promises lots of German beer, sauerkraut, ribbetjies, etc.  They will also give us more information about the next World Gliding Championships which are to be held in Bayreuth, Germany in 1999.  The 26th Worlds at Bayreuth will be held as follows:-  practice 24th July - 30th July, with the opening ceremony in the afternoon and the contest 31st July to 14th August 1999 and prize giving on the 15th August.  Bavariaglide 1998, the pre-world event will be held practice 25th - 31st July practice, and contest 1st  - 15th August, prize giving on the 16th August 1998.

Today  was a long flight for our guys - they took off at about 1 p.m. and Dick only landed at after 9 p.m.  The winds were very strong and Lourens found heading into the last but one turnpoint impossible so he didd a GNSS outlanding and came back to St. Auban for a safe landing on the airfield.  Dick did likewise but managed to do a  GNSS outlanding point further on than Lourens.  They were both exhausted after the flight and managed to enjoy enough of the German Team party hospitality for survival before crashing to bed!!
And so to the preliminary results of 6th July, task 4,  and Lourens' and Dick's performances:-
1.  R. Schroder, Germany  102.47 kph 1000 pts. (2nd)
2.  U. Schwenk, Germany  102,39 kph 999 pts.  (1st)
3.  G. Gilbert, France  100.81 kph 973 pts.  (6th)
1.  A. Pettersson, Sweden  86,16 kph 1000 pts. (20th)
2.  G. Galetto, Italy  84,92 kph 994 pts.  (5th)
3.  M. Grund, Germany  83,73 kph 988 pts.  (3rd)
32 L.Goudriaan, S.Africa  219,38 km. 403 pts.  (28th)
29 R.Bradley, S.Africa  269,96 km. 496 pts.  (33rd)
1.  G. Rossier, Switz  93,59 kph 1000 pts. (27th)
2.  B. Taylor, Australia  93,67 kph 997 pts.  (35th)
3.  P. Louzecky, Czech  89.49 kph 974 pts.  (26th)


At last a task that the pilots could get their teeth into!  The thunderstorms that were forecast for late yesterday evening and did not materialise in fact arrived in the early hours of this morning with a good downpour of rain.  The briefing at 10.30 a.m. gave us tasks of 406, 385, and 341 km. distances.  Gliders were readied and due to take off at 13.00.  The 15m. class was to fly initially to the northern areas but it was quite evident that there was rain on track.  Soon tasks were altered and shortened so that the Open had 384 km., 15m. 343 km. and Standard 301 km.  Take off was delayed and only began at 13.45.

The Low over France was gradually moving and fine weather moving in from the west with a High over the Atlantic.  Winds were predicted to become more north-westerly during the afternoon and wave and slope soaring was expected.  Pilots were launched - Open, Standard and then the 15m. classes and despite a few low gliders initially and two relights, there were soon reports of being in wave and heights of 12 000 ft. and more.  Apart from a few unfortunates in the Standard Class who outlanded, the task was completed by all.

Both Dick and Lourens reported no real problems but were approx. 10 kph slower than the winning  pilots who managed speeds of approx. 128 kph.  They both reported reaching heights of 16 000 ft. or so in the wave.  Quite a few of the pilots, who one would expect to have done very well, found themselves in trouble and having to scrape away from low points - which of course is costly when it comes to speeds, but better than outlanding.  So the preliminary results at this stage as follows:
1.  Robin May, GB ASH.25  124,22 kph 1000 pts.
2.  Daniel Thut, Switz. ASH.25  117,57 kph   893 pts.
3.  Ingo Renner, Australia ASH.26  115,66 kph   862 pts.
1.  Regis Kuntz, France Ventus 2  128,98 kph 866 pts.
1.  Thomas Gostner, Italy Ventus 2a 128,95 kph 866 pts.
1.  Fridolin Hauser, Switz. Ventus 2a 128,95 kph 866 pts.
22 L. Goudriaan, SA ASW.27  118,78 kph 733 pts.
28 R. Bradley, SA Ventus 2  110,22 kph 622 pts.
1.  J. Caillard, France LS.8a  116,89 kph 831 pts.
2.  C. Triebel, Germany LS.8  109,48 kph 755 pts.
3.  J. Lopitaux, France LS.8  107,95 kph 739 pts.


No, I haven't fallen off the earth's surface for the last day or so - there has been nothing of note to report about.  Sadly the weather has been very otherwise and there has been no flying whatsoever.  On Wednesday, 2nd July - my last report (which I would add I gave to the guy in charge of the website on the 2nd, but there seems to have been some problem - not sure whether on my disc or on his side - hope to sort it out this morning !!!), (Webmaster note : I apologize, I had lauch uploading to the website but it failed somewhere and I could not be aware that the version online was the older one... here in France days have only 24 hours ;-) we visited Digne-les-Bains in the afternoon - a wet drizzly afternoon.  In the evening the Team Managers were invited by the Championships Director and his Operations Director for dinner at a nearby restaurant - very nice indeed!  This was to appease the Team Managers that had not heard the invitation over the p.a. system on the Opening Day to attend a lunch in the Briefing Hangar!

On the  3rd July, they announced that there would be no task at all, although there would still be the normal briefing at 10.30 a.m.  Dick had a few problems with his car, so once that was collected from the garage we all took a drive to the lovely town of Aix-en-Provence.  Narrow streets with numerous interesting boutiques, bars, coffee bars, icecream parlours and so forth - all very appealing and expensive!

Yesterday, 4th July we had the Open and 15m. classes flying a small task of 187 km. and 170 km. respectively.  The forecast was that there would be a short gap of a few hours during the afternoon which would allow a small task to the south before overdevelopment and possible thunderstorms arrived.  Already by 5 p.m. we had the majority of pilots home and the sky was still looking very good.  I think the Standard pilots were probably very upset that they could not fly.

Both Dick and Lourens started about half an hour after the gate was open and finished almost together but in fact did not fly together at all.  The first leg of approx. 70 km. was not so easy with lower cloud bases further south.  At this stage we have the following unofficial results:-
1.  G. Gerbaud France  Nimbus 4D 128,87 kph 383 pts
2.  D. Hauss France  Nimbus 4 128,43 kph 380 pts
3.  R. Schoeder Germany ASW.22BL 127,32 kph 374 pts

1.  M. Grund Germany Ventus 2a 138,82 kph 290 pts
2.  W. Meuser Germany Ventus 2a 138,10 kph 287 pts.
3.  J. Wills Gt.Britain ASW.27  137,85 kph 286 pts.
28 L. Goudriaan S.Africa  ASW.27  126,33 kph 240 pts
29 R. Bradley S.Africa  Ventus 2  125,20 kph 233 pts.

This now moves Lourens into 4th place with 1146 pts, 3rd W. Meuser 1147 pts., M. Grund 1149 pts, and G. Galetto still in 1st with 1153 pts.  Yesterday's flight was so short and so few points it has really made the points in the top 10 or so places all very close with a mere 20 pts. Between 1st and 10th place.  Dick is right near the bottom rung of the ladder, but has only one way to go from 33rd and that is upwards!
Let's hope that we can now get some good long flights so that we can get a decent competition.
Till the next time - a bientot - totsiens - Carol


It is a sad day indeed!  The tasks today have been cancelled and Lourens was cheated of his preliminary first place with the unofficial results by 1 pt.

There is a low sitting over Gt. Britain with a trough between there and Spain, and another trough line moving from Spain towards the south of France.  The task setters were optimistic that the gap between the two systems would allow small tasks of less than 300 km. for all classes to be flown before the rain and thunderstorm activity arrived by the late afternoon.  Unfortunately the Gods were not smiling on the task-setters and the flying for today was cancelled at about 1.15 p.m.  The prospects for flying tomorrow are also not at all promising.

The unofficial results are now out and the Standard and 15m. preliminary results have changed slightly.
1. U. Schwenk  120.49 kph  961 pts.
2. R. Schroder  117.43 kph  917 pts.
3. J. Andersen  117.17 kph  914 pts.

1. G. Galetto  112.88 kph  907 pts.
2. L. Goudriaan  112.80 kph  906 pts.
3. G. Navas  111.79 kph  890 pts.

1. D. Jacobs  112.65 kph  771 pts.
2. B. Selen   112.54 kph  770 pts.
3. H. Weiss  109.69 kph  733 pts.

Right, we are off to do a little sight-seeing.  Carol


The first contest day came and went for the South Africans.  Gliders were readied and put on the grid.  Tasks A and B were announced at Briefing.  Once on the grid and waiting to launch with clouds and rain all around, it was announced that pilots would fly Task B.  After about an hour of wondering whether they would fly, the Organisers finally announced that the Open and 15m. Class tasks were cancelled.  Very disappointing as there had been no real flying since the previous Wednesday.

The Standard Class were given a third task and went   212 k.  There were storms all around, but amazingly only six pilots outlanded, and congratulations to the Kiwis on two of the first places - John Coutts the youngest competitor at 22 yrs. old won the day and also received a Dieter Heiriss "stick pin" for his efforts.

And so to today - tasks were not long and the long term forecast for the next day or two are not very encouraging.  Anyway the tasks today were for the Open 349,62 km., 15m. 312,33 km. and Standard 273,51 km.  The 15m. class was the first to be launched and their departure point was soon enveloped in rain and what looked to be rather tricky conditions.  Both Dick and Lourens started - Dick with only a short time to spare before the start gate closed.  And then before we could say too much he was telephoning in to say he had outlanded - a great disappointment for Dick, but a safe field and no damage.  On the other end of the spectrum we have Lourens in the preliminary results as TOP OF THE POPS!  This is certainly great news and we know that Dick has only one way to go - upwards, and hope that Lourens retains his high standing.

Results - as I say provisional at this stage:
Open Class:
Uli Schwenk  Germany ASW.22BL 119,94 kph
Robert Schroder  Germany ASW.22BL 116,96 kph
Jan Andersen  Denmark Nimbus 4 116.93 kph

15m. Class:
Lourens Goudriaan S.Africa  ASW.27  113.11 kph
Giorgio Galetto  Italy  Ventus 2a 112.96 kph
Eric Napoleon  France  Ventus 2  111.57 kph

Standard Class:
Baer Selen  Netherlands LS.8  111,85 kph
Doug Jacobs  U.S.A.  LS.8a  111,84 kph
Herbert Weiss  Germany LS.8a  109,60 kph

That's all for today - sausages and mash are calling!!  Till tomorrow - Carol


The day has arrived for the first Championships task. After a week of extremely mixed weather - Dick and Lourens have managed to fly four times during the practice week. Having arrived on Saturday 21st June, Sunday was spent readying the gliders, they managed to fly on Monday (familiarise themselves with the gliders, instruments, and so forth), Tuesday (to attempt the task set - Dick outlanded and Lourens cut short the task or else he too would have outlanded), Wednesday (they both flew the task with Lourens finishing 2nd and Dick 20th), and Saturday (the task was finally cancelled, but Dick and Lourens chose to take a flight anyway). Thursday, Friday, and Saturday were unfortunately no good and no tasks were possible which has resulted in very little serious practice flying taking place. Perhaps we should be pleased that our guys managed some flights - there were a few pilots who only arrived on Thursday and Friday which has meant that they have had no practice whatsoever.

Saturday - a task was set and pilots waited patiently on the grid as the clouds developed and increased until it was 8/8th's and not looking at all encouraging. More from frustration and lack of something to do both Dick and Lourens took a flight and in fact had about an hour soaring on the nearby ridges and made sure that all the instruments, GPS's, etc. were functioning OK.

To make us feel almost homesick, the American Team (whose Team "hut" or pannetjie as we have nicknamed our "hut" is alongside from ours) decided to have a bar-b-que to which we were invitied - so as it was a 'bring and braai', we thoroughly enjoyed local wors, sosaties, steak (for the pilots), garlic bread and salad together with some of our best South African wine. It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening until it started raining.

The Opening Ceremony morning, 29th June, dawned very wet and grey - gloom and despondency, knowing that we would have to stand around for at least 2 hours - in fact the rain stopped and the clouds lifted and it was a very pleasant morning. Teams assembled at the International Village at approx. 10.30 and marched to the music of a Military Band. There were then speeches from a variety of dignatories after which Teams could disband and enjoy the afternoon's Air Show - there were Harvards, radio controlled models including a magnificent Saab of approx. 4 m. wingspan, three Epsilons of the l'Armee de l'Air, a wonderful collection of kites, excellent gliding aerobatics in a Swift, and a most impressive sequence with three Nimbus or should I say Nimbi., as well as a wingwalker on a Stearman.

Today, 30th June - dawned blue skies and looked promising. However by the time Briefing had arrived the skies were looking distinctly ominous. Showers were evident all around, and at 2 p.m. the organizers announced that the tasks for the Open and 15m. classes were cancelled. The Standard Class were to fly, but neither the 1st or 2nd tasks that were given at Briefing, but a 3rd and as I write, the Standard are being launched and have a 212 km. task to fly. Naturally disappointment for our pilots who after almost a week still won't have the opportunity to fly a task today. The metman is more optimistic for tomorrow with less humidity and a more stable air mass - let's keep our fingers crossed.

More news, hopefully in a day or two! Bonne chance!

SOUTH AFRICAN NEWS - 27TH June 27, 1997

A fairly uneventful two days since the last report. The good news was the practice flights on Wednesday provided us with Lourens in 2nd place for a task of 356 km., and Dick in 19th place. That in fact has been the only full flight that both pilots have managed.

Yesterday, 26th, was no flying - a grey overcast day - so it provided both pilots the opportunity to tidy up all the last minute details that needed to be done. Increasing tailplane numbers/letters to 40 cm., fitting ft. altimeters, checking all the turnpoints and outlanding fields on the maps and in the GPS's, marking maps with circles, covering with clear plastic, ensuring the Cambridge GPS's were working, etc, etc. All GPS's had to be registered and calibrated, and some of the GPS software was proving a problem to the organisers! Let's hope all these problems are no longer problems by the year 2001!

A Team Managers' meeting at 2 p.m. was called at which the organisers told us that instead of two frequencies being used on final glide and finish, only one would be used. The Team Managers then gave the organisers a few problems to sort out, as well as suggestions and hopefully productive ideas to implement.

Today, 27th, dawned wet and very low cloud over the mountains. As the day has progressed it has cleared and there is even weak sunshine as I write, but it hardly looks encouraging for a World Contest! The forecast for tomorrow does not seem too much more optimistic. After briefing today the pilots were given a run-down on the known suitable outlanding fields, and later on a talk from Dave Ellis on the Cambridge GPS's which was very good - although unfortunately too short.

I think we really need to get everyone airborne - the crews are getting bored - they are now talking about playing some cricket or some such! The pilots too would obviously prefer to be flying.

Preparations are in full swing for the Opening Ceremony on Sunday which starts at about 10.30 a.m. followed by an Air Show in the afternoon which promises to include parachutists, gliders - old and new, T.6's, Yak-11, Vari-eze, helicopters, balloons, etc., etc.

Right - time to go and get some fresh air - until the next time in a day or so - a bientot.

25 June

The Team reached St. Auban late on Saturday 21s t June after a drive through France in wet dismal conditions - typical! - arrive at a gliding competition and it is raining! The last hour of the journey in the gathering nighttime was through mountainous areas which was a pity as I am sure it would have been spectacular scenery in the daylight.

After a gentle wake-up on Sunday morning, it was to the airfield and get ourselves organized. The airfield at St. Auban is quite spectacular - it is on a plateau, with a massive chemical factory below and to the east which may not be overflown, The mountains are visible all around the field. The airfield is large and grassed although when it comes to launching it is not dissimilar to Vryburg - fairly dusty!

Lourens is flying his own brand-new straight from the factory ASW.27 - very nice too. Dick is in a Ventus-2 which we have hired from Steve Jones in England. Claire drove it from England and met us at an airfield to the south of Paris.

The organizers are getting themselves organized and getting the pilots into shape as well - they have told us that briefings will be 20 minutes long only, but have so far taken about an hour. They are being very strict about the rules - a point that all of us will have to consider when we have WGC.2001. Tailplane numbers are supposed to be a minimum of 40 cm. high, and if you measure the majority of gliders fall a lot short of that size, so there have been a variety of additions to glider numbers from the amusing and arty, to easy and difficult (depending on your competition number and/or letters)! All gliders have also had to put anti-collision markers on the wings, (2 per wing for the Standard and 15metre) and (3 per wing for the Open). There has also been strict measuring of weight, as well as wing spans which have come in for a lot of discussion - there being several gliders which are longer than they should be. The final decision has been that for every 10 mm over the pilot will be penalised a point per day for every task flown - Lourens with a little help from Gerhard Waibel of the Scheicher factory is OK, but Dick unfortunately will get a 2pt. penalty every day. The measuring was done both full of water and empty.

GPS loggers have had to be calibrated and most pilots seem to be carrying two (one as back-up) rather than bothering with the old-fashioned method of photography. Both Dick and Lourens have had three flights now and seem to be getting familiarised and comfortable with the gliders - Dick even landed out yesterday.

On the organizing side there have certainly been some problems, but it all seems to be coming together - I can even get onto the Internet now, so we must be getting organized! So those of you in SA who wish to contact me can do so on my e.mail address:

Hopefully you will be getting news from me on a daily basis, but during this week, perhaps only every other day. Vasbyt!

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Visit Philippe de Péchy's "Vol à Voile" (Soaring) server : infos, ad's, glider pictures, GPS turnpoints coordinates, competitions results and an unofficial ranking of all glider pilots in the world.

Other sites of soaring interest : 
  • World Gliding Championships 1997, Saint-Auban, France (championnats du monde de vol à voile) 
  • L'aéro-club du Bas-Armagnac, Nogaro (Gers, France) Aeroclub of Bas-Armagnac 
  • Classement Vuillemot - French Soaring Pilots Permanent Ranking 
  • Classement International - Results and Ranking 
  • Fédération française de vol à voile - French Soaring Association 
  • Les cumulus vus par satellite (Université de Strasbourg) - See cumuluses via satellite
  • NOAA visible

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    Certification d'audience E-Stat  Web page by Denis Flament (from Nogaro aeroclub) 
    consulted  times since 27-Jun-97 
    updated : 27-Jun-97