Venlo, Holland

August 15 - 29, 1993


The world glider aerobatic championships in Venlo, Holland, was really an event that I'll never forget! But more in a negative then in a positive sense!


I was to be a judges assitant and was signed up accordingly. Rooms were booked well in advance, but when we got there, there wasn't a room for ME! So, the first night I shared a room with two of the judges! The event was so poorly organised, that now only me and Tommy but also some of the other judges and flyers were thinking of leaving on the first day already! The only highlight was my second-degree cousin, Deet, coming to visit me from Apeldoorn.


        The opening ceremony was very modern. A so-called artist made a contraption that was supposed to have something to do with flying. There were children that danced around it. Then the organisers realised that they forgot to have the flying teams being introduced! So they quickly announced each team and had them march into the center of the stage..... hmmmm..but they forgot to call the Germans and Hungarians!! If it had only been the Germans that had been forgotten, you can imagine what affect THAT would have had!!


Everyone received computer cards as ID's for meals and drinks... those cards never worked! (and the main sponsor was a big computer company). None of the contestants or judges recieved anything... from T-shirts to other souvenirs we had to pay everything from out own pockets (and believe it or not, except for room and board, the judges did NOT get paid!).


 The second day was extremely hot. The wind direction made the judges pick a field quite a distance from the big party tent where all the catering was being done. We set up our chairs and tables, then called in to have some one bring us something to drink. After all, we had a world championship to judge and it was already over 30° C! The answer we got I'll never forget: they offered us luckwarm water!! Well, we then organised things ourselves, sending one of us to the store to pick up something nice and cold! One day our pasture was filled with cows.... and the Austrian judge turned into a cowboy! Otherwise we made the best out of the situation. The weather varied from extremely hot and humid to rain.







The poor organisation continued for the whole competition.


The weather was guite hot most of the time. The competitions lasted all day, giving us very little time to do any sight seeing. In the evenings the judges sat together... there was very little, actually no contact to the pilots of the competition.


The competition finally finished but it was still a day to go before the winner was to be announced. There was a party at a local hall for all competitors, judges, and helpers. Interestingly enough, all the Dutch helpers received free tickets for food and drink, the judges and competitors did not!


I had felt it our "duty" to stay until the awards ceremony. We soon wished again that we had left for home... before the evening of the party. When we got to the hotel, we discovered that our room had been broken into and some valuables like our video camera had been stolen! I forgot to mention that our hotel was being renovated... construction mess was everywhere. The doors were "secured" by computer cards. But as we demonstrated to the hotel manager, it was very easy to open the door using a normal credit card... just slipping it between the door and the frame. The hotel manageer didn't believe us... he didn't over apologies, didn't over a glass of wine as compensation... nothing! It was about midnight, and when we suggested to him to call the police, he said they wouldn't appreciate that and that it would be soon enough in the morning. Well, in the morning the policeman really told this guy off! He said we SHOULD have called, no matter how late. The policeman was the second highlight of our ordeal... he was extremely nice! And this wasn't the first break-in. A few days earlier the car of the American judge and his wife had been broken into and things stolen from it... right in the front parking lot of the hotel!


The next day we gather for the awards ceremony. During it, airplanes were starting to arrive for the air show planned for the following weekend. No one was interested in the awards ceremony... only in the arriving aircraft. It seemed that the whole competition had only been seen as an unimportant side-show. And the prizes that the winners got....   not very WORLD championship worthy! We were glad when we finally got on the road home. The whole thing was a disgrace in my eyes. Normally I would support the Dutch, being half-Dutch myself, but in this case I was really ashamed.....



The adventures of judging!!


The show began with heat and sun

Chaos reigned around us,

The stress was great (and this is fun?)

Dutch "organising" had found us!

To sleep, to eat, to drink, to go,

Nothing worked out right!

No rooms, no food, no drinks, no....

We were all ready to fight!

(Pal Kovacs, Hungary)


The head judges bell rings, we gather together

Again it's a briefing for all.

Someone is missing, who can it be?

Of course, our Hungarian, Pal!


 ???, France)


Bonjour monsieur, a quiet man,

He hardly said a word.

With elegance he made his scores,

(The airplane was a bird!)


(???, Russia & ???, Poland)



              Playing cards to use the time

              Plays an important role

              For poker-faces scoring planes:

              The Russian and the Pol.



 (Otto ???, Austria)


      Comfort is big on Otto's list

      He proved it each day anew,

      Umbrellas, chairs, arranged with a twist,

      That talent have very few!







            On Tuesday, what a funny sight,

            The cows were in our pasture!

            Otto, without fear or fright,

            Turned into herding master!



(Thomas Knoll, Germany)


Thomas the tiger, when angered beware!

He'll get what he wants in the end!

Ask him to tell you a story, just dare!

You'll die laughing! I warn you, my friend!!



(Tommy Bäumler, Germany)


The second week was cold and windy,

Tommy, poor guy, was aching.

Trying to look and give good scores,

His chair was always breaking!




 (Tapio Valkama, Germany)


Tap tap Tapio, what a funny fellow!

With charm and with his suttle wit

(in flirting he's especially fit!)

Watched over us and helped the boss

For us he was the hit!



(Ray & Lois Rose, USA)


From far away they came to us

To helpus with the scoring.

For Ray and Lois I can say

It wasn't very boring!


(Peter Wansura, Germany)


Peter was our boss, our chief,

His nerves were growing thin.

With all the tailslides, turns, and loops,

His head was in a spin!


In spite of all the stress and strain,

The heat, the cold, the thirst, the pain,

The days at Venlo were not a bore!


AEROBATICS, forever more!!!