Auckland Hang Gliding league this weekend

As per our rules, we wish to post notification of a the possibility of a Auckland club HG league this coming weekend.


• Name & contact phone number of the Competition Organiser :- Leslie Graham 0211653320

• Time & location of the first briefing :- Corner of Waikite Valley Road and Ngapouri Road. 11.30am Saturday 24 February 2018

• Probable sites to be used for the competition :- Paeroa Range. Kaimai Range

• Format for the competition (Standard or XC only) :- XC

• Entry requirements :- HG Intermediate rating. Waypoiunts downloaded to instrument.

• Cost :- $5 for scoring


Confirmation or cancellation will be posted on thursaday night 22nd Feb 2018.

PG Open 2018 Wanaka – Results are in!

After opening the competition with a good couple of tasks and record breaking high temperatures in the region, the weather packed in. Two days of gale force wind, rain and even a bit of snow for the mountain tops, all kept us out of the sky for a couple of days.

Mountain bikes and climbing equipment came out, as well as a reserve re-pack session with Itai and Instructor seminar lead by Russell to keep pilots occupied.

We were getting ready for a third day of being grounded on Friday, but the organisation wasn’t going to give up so soon. We were called for a late morning re-brief and ended up racing up to TC.

The 38.2km task sent us to Wanaka, with a bit of a cat's cradle along the way. Visiting pilot Anthony Shepherd was the first of nine pilots in goal. This may have been Anthony's first visit to NZ, but I daresay it won't be his last.

The final task on Saturday started with another cat's cradle near TC, then over Roy and finally to Jeff’s Folly at Lake Hawea. 

Louis was the task winner, coming second in to End of Speed but making it up with lead-out points.

As an aside, if anyone knows the story of how Jeff’s Folly got its name, please share. 

Jakub Leder's stunning photo of Kirsten Seeto on Task 2 won the photo competition

The fun continued after the flying was done - Freedom of Flight Film Festival came to Wanaka on Saturday night, getting rave reviews. It was open to the public, and what a way to showcase our sport. See more here: FOFF 

Then Johnny Hopper stole the show at the prize-giving dinner, providing lots of laughs and entertainment, as usual.
You've outdone yourself, Johnny
Photo: Dominique Le Sellin Washer

Congratulations to our big winners:
  • Overall winner: Anthony Shepherd
  • Sport class: Abe Laguna
  • Fun class: Lukas Walton-Keim
  • Women: Eva Keim
  • NZ National Champion: Louis Tapper
  • Jill Borst: Johnny Hopper

A tremendous amount of effort goes into pulling together an event like this, and it wouldn't be possible without those who are willing to put their hands up to make it happen. 

Thanks to the event sponsors, task and safety committees, launch marshals, drivers, wing fluffers and other support crew who helped to make this a successful event. 

And the most massive kudos to Mark Hardman for organising another successful competition.

It’s not all been rosy though. We’ve seen more incidents recently, in and outside of the comp, than any of us ought to accept as ‘normal’. It should serve as a good reminder to all of us to respect the conditions and constantly keep safety as our number one priority. 

Fly safe everyone, and see you next year!

PG Open 2018 was organised by Mark Hardman (Paraventures), and included 100 competitors from 32 different countries. It ran in Wanaka from 27 Jan to 4 Feb.

Find the scores here: PG Open 2018 Wanaka results

Opening days of the NZ PG Open 2018 in Wanaka

The PG Open kicked off at Treble Cone on Sunday, with a 95km task. It was a stunning sight-seeing trip up the valley to take in views of the glaciers before heading back down towards Mt Roy & into the Cardrona valley, then up to Mt Maud & finishing with goal in Wanaka.

Around a third of the field made it to goal, but the task was confidently won by local darling, Louis Tapper. Or so we thought.

A number of scoring issues with track logs kept competition scorer Tim Brown busy well into the night. With those eventually clearing up, the next step was to look at airspace. The usual tolerances are not allowed in this competition, and any breach of airspace results in 0 points for the day.

It seems that a significant number of pilots may be watching barometric altitude on their instruments instead of GPS altitude, which is used for scoring. Or perhaps not using airspace alerts.

In any case, after re-scoring the task to reflect airspace infringements, 14 pilots are awarded 0 points, dramatically changing the leader board and putting James Johnston in the number one position for Task One.
Photo: Kris Erickssen
The second day of the comp we were back at Treble Cone, wary of the NW wind that was due to come in & spank us later in the day.

The task was set with start at End Peak, then up the valley towards Niger Peak, back to End Peak and over to Terras.

The valley wind came crashing in earlier and stronger than anticipated, so the task was stopped after 45 minutes. It made for some dramatic landings, with a few drags and much discussion around strong wind, descent techniques and general safety.

Louis won the task, managing to knock almost 23km off the 81km task in the short time we were racing.

Day three was forecast to be similar to the previous day (building NW), so the task committee determined our best chance for a task was at Coronet Peak. We walked up to the launch site & started to prepare. Next went something like this:

Mark: “Task briefing in five minutes!”
Pilots: Pause to watch a dust devil.
Pilots: Pause to watch another dust devil.
Mark: “Task briefing delayed indefinitely!”
Pilots: Pause to watch several more bigger dusties and vastly increasing wind.
Mark: “Task cancelled”.
Pilots: Pack up & drive to Cardrona Hotel.
Phil Hystek: Unicycle down the hill.

The forecast has us grounded for the next couple of days, so out come the mountain bikes, kites & climbing gear.

Hang gliding nationals are on now too, with some great flying. They’ve headed to Mt Murchison today & it sounds ON.

PG Open 2018 is organised by Mark Hardman (Paraventures), and includes 100 competitors from 32 different countries. It runs in Wanaka from 27 Jan to 4 Feb.

Find the scores here: PG Open 2018 Wanaka results