Follow and support our Hang Gliding Team heading to the World Champs.

It's less than a week to go now before the first members of the 7 pilot NZ Hang Gliding Team head off to Italy to begin final preparations for the 22nd World Hang Gliding Championships, 13-26 July 2019.  

The selected New Zealand Team consists of:

Viv Clements - Team Captain
John Smith
Shane McKay
Derek Mckee
Tom Kelner
Piers Throssel
Matt Barlow

We feel incredibly honored to be representing our Country and are looking forward to the challenge of flying with and against the Worlds best. Our goal is to achieve a top 5-10 finish in both the Individual and Team categories.  However to do this will be no small feat given the calibre of the field including four time World champion Manfred Ruhmer, two time World Champion Alex Ploner, and one time World Champions Christian Ciech and Attila Bertok just to name a few! 

If you would like to follow the teams progress you can do this via the following methods:

-Our WHATSAPP supporters group.  Just text 0221537965 and ask to be added to the group. 
-Airtribune - Good for replays of the tasks and display of results
-Competition Organisers Website
-Live Tracking will be used for the Championships however we do not have a link yet.

Lastly thank you to those of you who have supported the team by making a donation via our teams Give A Little page. If you have not done so yet, but would like help offset the teams considerable expenses please do so here:  No donation is too small :)

At last some clarity about recreational access

Negotiating site access might just have got a little easier thanks to recent clarification of the responsibilities PCBUs have for recreational users on their land. We're overjoyed to see the new guidance from worksafe that makes it clear:
  • PCBUs* don’t have to manage the risks of the recreational activity. That’s the responsibility of the person doing the activity.
  • PCBUs aren’t responsible for naturally occurring features that aren’t part of, or affected by, their work.
  • If someone accesses land for recreation and hurts themselves as a result of the recreation activity, the PCBU who provided access isn’t responsible.
Full details are at . There’s a link to a document called Frequently Asked Questions: Recreational access and the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015. It might be worth putting a copy with your map or downloading it to your phone, so that you can show a concerned landowner.
*PCBU = Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking. A PCBU is the person is responsible for safety at a workplace.

Two Kiwis to take on world’s toughest adventure race

Two Kiwis to take on world’s toughest adventure race
Demanding the highest level of physical strength, mental fortitude, technical mountain skills and sheer determination, two kiwi paragliders have been selected to compete in the world’s toughest adventure race next month.
Nick Neynens and Kinga Masztalerz will be representing New Zealand when they take on the world’s best in the Red Bull X-Alps in Europe this June.
Starting in Salzburg, the X-Alps traverses the European Alps, crossing six countries before finishing on the beach in Monaco. Neynens and Masztalerz will race 32 hand-selected international athletes as they attempt to cross 1138 kilometres of mountainous terrain in less than 13 days with nothing more than their feet and a paraglider.
Masztalerz, 33, is a newcomer to the race, and is one of only two women who will be competing in this ultimate challenge of body and mind.
Residing in Auckland, she is an accomplished rock climber, physicist and ultra-distance runner. She is also the female record holder for long-distance paragliding in New Zealand. Her record-breaking 400-kilometre multi-day hike and fly through New Zealand’s Southern Alps prove she has the skill and resilience needed to compete in a gruelling race like the X-Alps which has had only three female competitors since it began in 2003.
“No woman has previously crossed the finish line. I will do my best to be the first,” says Masztalerz.
Neynens, 36, will be returning to the race, having competed in both 2015 and 2017 and placing in the top ten both times. Born in New Zealand, Neynens currently works as a meteorologist in Sydney, though he likes to spend as much time as he can flying in New Zealand where he works his way around the South Island by paraglider, visiting family on the way.
Neynens has traversed alpine terrain all over the world and his background in tramping and weather forecasting offers him a competitive advantage in the race. He has spent the last decade flying and camping (known as “vol biv”) in the difficult mountain conditions of New Zealand. Neynens holds the record for the longest distance paragliding flight undertaken in New Zealand, having flown 230 kilometres through the mountains from south of Mount Cook to near Arthurs Pass in one day.
Neynens became interested in competing in the X-Alps after he met Lloyd Pennicuik, a former contestant, in early 2008, soon after Neynens learnt to fly in southeast Queensland.
“I always thought New Zealand would be the perfect training ground, and couldn’t understand why Aussies would fly those flat, tree-covered hills when the Southern Alps are so close! The wet, wild and windswept backcountry of New Zealand makes Europe look like a garden in comparison,” says Neynens.
This year, the large amount of snow still remaining in the European Alps will make the race, which follows an alpine route, even more demanding.
The President of the New Zealand Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association, Duncan Macnab, is one person who is backing both Masztalerz and Neynens to succeed in this year’s race.
“Paragliding can seem an effortless sport to those viewing it from the ground. In the air, it’s a different story, especially in a race like the X-Alps. Kinga and Nick will have to use significant skill and caution to negotiate the turbulent and dangerous air currents you can find in such big mountain ranges. They’re both at the top of their game and the paragliding community in New Zealand is excited to see how they will fare,” says Macnab.
The race starts on 16 June 2019 and a Facebook page has been set up so New Zealanders can keep track of progress as our athletes prepare their bid for the finish line (
Both athletes have established Give a Little pages to help their ground support crew meet the significant costs they incur ( and  

For media inquiries please contact Lorraine Johns at