After 2 rain days, we were ready for more flying on Friday.

The call was made to go to Beechmont, but the usual rush to get wings out and ready was missing. Might have been something to do with the full cloud cover, damp ground & limp windsock.

The 54km task was set to 41 JOSE, with goal at MARG, and once the windsock started moving in the right direction, we were ready to go.

There were several safety calls shared on the radio, due to congestion around launch. It's hard work keeping close to 90 pilots in the air along a small ridge when cloudbase is just a few hundred feet about launch.

A few pilots got up and made their way to the edge of the start cylinder, but the task was thwarted by rain. A few splatters hit pilots flying near launch, then a few more.

The task was stopped 10 minutes after Start - just in time for some & too late for others. The weather came in fast, with pretty steady rain hitting many pilots. I suppose it would have been good if your glider needed a clean.

I heard it made interesting (and confusing) watching on the Live Tracking. In the end it was too short a day to call it a task.

Things did get better though - in the evening, local hang glider pilots Rangi & Shirley hosted a Kiwi barbie, which was a great success. 


On Sunday arvo Rob Gillard a Raglan chipppie did an awesome new PG flight.

His Leonardo XC score 45.95 beat my 2013 score from the same site of 44.53 but his flight was a very ballsie route compared to mine.

He flew from Harry's (Thames) to the sports field in the centre of Whangamata. This is the first unpowered PG crossing of the range by a paraglider in this area of the Coromandel.

As the North Island goes not bad distance but a very inspiring new route that may be hard to copy - or wise to not copy! See Leonardo and congrats Rob for a new site record from Harry's. Bruce Vickerman.


Question: What do you call a gaggle of 90 keen pilots, and not a wing in sight?

Answer: A non-taskable day.


It was another day of marginal looking conditions, with thunderstorms forecast to come in from the south.

We weren’t sure it would be taskable, but headed up to Tambo to check things out.

Task was set to start at North Tamborine, then down in the south west to Laravale, and over Locked Gate Valley to goal at Coulson.

The sea breeze came in shortly after the task started, and everyone kept a good eye on the clouds building to the south & east, but the course line was clear. For a couple of hours, anyway.

Eventually the sea breeze hit the course, as well as rain, and the task was stopped. The timing was probably right to stop the task, because although it seemed fine in the air, there were a lot of vertical landings.

Evan was the lead Kiwi for the day, making it to goal. Unfortunately due to the 5-minute countback from Task Stop time, it’s not scoring that way.

Cameron had another great flight too. Not hearing that the task was stopped, he carried on to goal. Soiling himself all the way, it should be noted, as landing options were few. Had he known that it was Locked Gate Valley he was flying over, he may truly have needed a change of pants. If you hadn’t guessed, Locked Gate Valley is so named because of the big padlocked gates preventing retrieve vehicle access.

All pilots made it back to the pub before the massive thunderstorm & lightshow hit Canungra.


Kris E's 3-day old wing shredded
Monday’s forecast sent us to Mt Tamborine, with mixed views on what the day would bring.

It’s a long glide out to bomb-out at Tambo, and we’re told it’s not uncommon to see pilots kicking trees on the way down, so the Task Committee was apprehensive about the wind picking up.

The task was set to 41 Josephville to the south west, then carrying on in the same direction to goal at Maroon.

Due to the concerns about the conditions, Brooke Whatnall was asked to launch prior to the launch being formally open, to give us an indication of what was happening out there. Brooke went up, and reported that winds were light, so the task was ON.

The famous Australian wedge-tailed eagle paid a visit to at least 6 pilots, and she wasn’t there to give us a warm welcome. Kris was the unfortunate winner of the Eagle Class, having a huge chunk of his brand new wing stolen. Now some lucky wedgie has a very colourful nest made of light-weight but durable material, suitable for hike & fly.

Jean Brossard was the sole Kiwi to make goal, and managed to do it with a leg injury sustained when launching during Task 2 (banged his leg against the carbon foot board on the harness). Good work, Jean. It turned into a great day.


Evan & Mark celebrating GOAL!
The forecast for Sunday was looking more promising, so the pilots headed up to Beechmont for more action.

There appeared to be something wrong with the windsocks though, as they were all blowing backwards. Fortunately we are a patient bunch (Tui ad?), and we started to see puffs coming up the hill.

The task was set to Bord with a 5km radius, then Pale with a 10km radius, and goal at Rath. Dave Gibbs, the Comp Organiser promised us 30% of pilots would be in the bombout, but he got that wrong - turns out about 30% made it to goal.

That included a few Kiwis. John Smith was the first to make it there, followed closely by Evan Lamberton & Mark Hardman. Roy Tingay just missed out, making it to End of Speed but not quite touching the goal cylinder.

Cameron had the most exciting flight of the day though, getting 40km around the track then getting smashed by the sea breeze. Twas a bit strong on landing, and he went for a bit of a roll. Fortunately it was on his left side, and Task 3 will be a right turn day.

Cam about to start a great flight. Photo credit: Uncle Don Kennedy

Nice legs Cam. But the flight made it all worth while. You deserve that beer. Photo credit: Johnny Hopper


The Kiwi team rocked up with high expectations for some great flying in Canungra, especially after seeing one of the Ozzie’s pull out a 247km flight here last week.

Looks like we aren’t the only ones, with 90 pilots registered for the competition.

Those in the know told us the forecast for Saturday was pretty marginal. Ever the optimists, we headed up to Beechmont for a look. The task was set, with a 7.5km start cylinder, and goal at Kalbar, a distance of about 60km.

Launch had to be suspended a few times due to congestion, with 60 to 70 wings fighting to stay in up, but in the end all pilots managed to get off, with a smattering getting away. Dave Snowden managed the furthest distance, just under 23km.

Kris Ericksen is New Zealand’s national hero for the Task, being the top Kiwi & winning the Fun class prize for the day. First flight on his new wing, so let’s hope this is a sign of things to come.

See here for scores:

And check out the Live Tracking – this is quite cool:

 Good team preparation.