Team New Zealand
Friday was another blowout, but an obvious one, so people made alternative plans early – kitesurfing, surfing, whale-watching, tramping, site-seeing – whatever. Just no flying.

As pilots do, we were starting to get depressed, being stuck at alt=0m.

Saturday, the last day of the comp, promised to be EPIC. We had something to cling on to.

At 8am Saturday morning, the call came through on the radio – buses leaving at 8:30am.

We raced up to Beechmont, and saw there were already 2 hang gliders and a few paragliders about to hit cloudbase. Yeehaa – it’s on!!

The task was set with a Beechmont start cylinder of 8km, heading 95km to the west at Maryvale. It was an early kickoff of 9:50am open launch, and start gate at 11:20. All pilots had launched well before the start opened.

It definitely was the epic day we were promised – what a way to end the comp! Almost half the field made it in to goal, including Reuben as the first of several Kiwis. Wayne fell for the old trick of hitting the End of Speed section, but not quite hitting the Goal Cylinder. This was due to instrument failure, and he was only 150m short, dammit.

No competition is ever without its dramas, and today saw a few – tree landings, wedgie attacks, helicopter rescues and DOMS (google it) from early morning bootcamp, preventing Joe from flying.
Saturday was the prize giving ceremony and competition dinner.

In the end, Reuben was the top Kiwi, coming 16th overall. We had a couple of Kiwis on the podium, with Andy Maloney winning third in the Fun class, and Eva taking home third in the Women’s class. Congratulations, and nice flying!

This comp was also an overseas league, so Johnny will be re-scoring for team NZ based on NZHGPA rules, and sharing the results soon.

1 comment: