Leighton breaks Auckland PG distance record


Leighton Joll has broken the Dill's Hill site record with a 77km open distance flight which is also the longest flight ever in the Auckland area.

Eleven thermals and couple of low saves, and Leighton ducked under the Whangarei MBZ.

Previously, the longest flight in the Auckland area was 67.2km by Evan Lamberton from Moirs Hill.

Leighton was accompanied, most of the way, by his wing man, Lukas Walton-Keim.


PG Open 2019 - last days and RESULTS!


Friday was another Murchison day and the forecast looked like we’d have better flying than the day before – woohoo! Spoiler alert: meh.

In a light SW, the task sent us to Murchison, with a quick tag in the Matakitaki Valley (which everyone remembers from Thursday’s task) then downwind toward St Arnaud.

Conditions looked good with little clouds forming over most peaks. But it was a bit scratchy to start, as Toni Skerrit found out after he launched early and didn’t find any lift and decided to go for a slope landing.

It only took a few minutes for things to improve, and soon the sky was filled with competitors.

Things change pretty quickly and it didn’t take long for ‘Level 2’ calls to start coming in over the radio. Graham Surrey decided to demonstrate his skills in turbulent conditions, with a few mighty collapses and multiple twists. It was quite a show and nice to see him recover it.

The task was stopped shortly after. Richard Castro won the task with his distance of 12km. He scored a whopping 60 points for that effort.

The last day of the comp was called off early, so we reverted to our second favourite activity – talking sh*t about flying for hours on end. And that means we have reached the end of the event.

Congratulations to our very worthy competition winners:
No respect!
Well done Louis, Mark & Richard

Overall – Louis Tapper (Enzo 3), with Richard Castro (Enzo 3) & Mark Hardman (UP Meru) tied for second place
Women – Eva Keim (GIN Bonanza 2)
Serial – Mark Hardman (UP Meru)
Sport – Lukas Walton-Keim (GIN Bonanza 2)
Fun – Clancy Pamment (Nova Mentor 4 Light)

All the results can be found here: 

We were lucky enough to get three days of flying at stunning Mt Murchison, and one at Barnicoat. In spite of having four tasks though, the competition did not get the 2000 points required to be considered valid for selecting our national champions.

When that happens, we look to NZPRS to determine our national champion and women’s champion. The other classes are not awarded.

In this case, the NZPRS champs are the same, so congratulations again to Louis Tapper & Eva Keim.

Congratulations Louis & Eva

Other prestigious national awards were awarded as follows:

Jill Borst award for outstanding contribution to the NZ flying community – Wayne Rohrs
Leo Geary award for a newcomer demonstrating potential in competition flying – Nicholas Sand
Personal Best trophy – Annett Teichner

Congratulations to you all.

Now for some thank yous!

Thanks to our Task Committee of Rob Boyle, Mark Hardman and Louis Tapper, for working hard to give us the best tasks the weather would allow.

Thanks to the Safety Committee of Evan Lamberton, Claus Petry and Chris Connolly for extra special attention to safety in the competition.

Thanks to Rob Boyle for launch directing and not shouting at us too much.

Huge thanks to our drivers for getting us up, getting us down and getting us around.

Thanks to the Tasman Club for your support and sharing these spectacular sites with us.

Last but not least, a very special thanks to Hamish Barker for putting your hand up and organising another successful PG Open.

So what’s next? Keep an eye on Airtribune & the NZHGPA website competition calendar. 
23-24 Feb is the Auckland competition (fully subscribed).
1-3 March is the Canterbury regional competition.

If you are interested in organising next year’s PG Open, submit a bid to the Paragliding Competition Committee before the end of May.

PG Open 2019 in Nelson - mid-comp update


Every paragliding comp seems to have a few forced rest days. This one is no exception.

We had a couple of days off due to strong wind, where pilots reverted to canyoning, mountain biking, blow-karting and drinking. No reported injuries, which really is a little unusual for non-flying days at competitions.

Thursday looked like it might be another one of those days, but we went to Mt Murchison on the slim chance it would be taskable. 2 degrees on launch and howling winds made for a cold bunch of pilots all morning. And early afternoon. 

Russell Read asked if he could be a wind dummy, so we all watched him scratch around. He topped landed & reported that it was fine, but pilots weren't exactly running to get their wings out. 

Russ testing the air. 


However it did back off eventually so a task was set with launch opening at 15:10.

Just a quick race down to Mataki Corner & back up to Murchison for goal. Richard Castro looks to be the provisional task winner for this one. He definitely brought his A-game to the comp. But he's not the only one so these last two days will be important.

You can follow the competition live tracking here:

Results are here:
PG Open 2019 Results