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Interview with Takeshi Maruyama, Japan, flying JS3 (AX), on 17 July 2019, day 10 of the championship

Good evening, Takeshi! Did you have a good day? How was your flight? 

So-so. I had to use weak thermals once, 0,9-0,6 m/s. Today at first the weather conditions were very good. I flew 135-140 km/h, I was fast. But then the weather conditions decreased and I had to use weak thermals. 

What was the most difficult decision you had to make during your flight? 

The start.  I started at 14:41. The weather was getting better and better. I was wondering when I should start. Also, I wanted to start with the others. The others were waiting, so I also waited. We started together.

What is your first impression of the new rules of declared start? 

I think it is difficult because current logger and the flight computer do not care about the new rules (smile). The logger has a function to press “Event” but I need to memorise or write down what time I put the event. I cannot see on the display when I put the event. The display does not have such type of function. 

So I had to write the time when I pressed the event on the back of my hand (laugh)

Oh, I see. My next question would be if this is the first time you are flying in Germany? 

Third time. Before I came here, I flew World Championships in Lüsse in 2008 and in Bayreuth in 1999. 

So, you will be coming next year for the World Championship in 18m class?


How do you find gliding conditions here in Germany? 

I think it is very easy for flying because there are big forests and big fields, rivers, basically flatlands. I can land everywhere. I think it is pretty easy.

What about gliding conditions in Japan, where you fly? We know so little about it…

In Japan you can fly cross-country, about 300 km, 500 km. In the mountains, waves, also in the flatlands. But the season is from March to May, basically three months. And the place for outlanding is very limited. We do not have such big wheat fields. Basically, in Japan we have rice fields. And rice fields are not so big. 

Are rice fields not wet? 

They are wet starting from May. In March and April they are not wet but the space is very small – let’s say 100 meters by 35 meters. It is difficult, impossible for such kind of gliders.

The fact that the rice fields for potential outlanding get wet starting from May – is that what limits the gliding season? Or do thermals also get weaker after May?

Yes, we can have thermals. But cities and villages alternate with rice fields. You have a city – thermals, then a rice field – no thermals. Then a village – thermals, a rice field – no thermals (laugh).

And when there are thermals, are they good? 

In March, April, May, when cold air comes from the north, thermals can be very good. And then strong northwesterly wind comes, there are mountains in Japan and we cannot enjoy them [thermals].

Whereabouts in Japan do you fly?

I live in Tokyo and I fly around Tokyo plain areas. There are seven or eight glider fields in this plain areas. My glider field is 80 km from Tokyo, so it takes me one and a half hours to drive there. 

Thank you very much, Takeshi, for this interview and we wish you the best of luck! 


The interview was taken by Evgenia Alexeeva.