Kicking off the comp season

Goal at the end of the peninsula.
Pretty special.
Photo: Matt Senior
Auckland kicked off the season big style with the first competition of 2016/2017.

Great to see representation from Bay of Plenty, Waikato, Tasman & Southern clubs, some new faces to the scene, and of course loads of the usual characters making up the 36 competition pilots.

Saturday morning started with a lot more cloud cover than we were expecting, and it stuck around a lot longer than we wanted it to. When we rocked up to Moirs it was a bit fresh, but looked reasonable for a 42km task up to Mangawhai. We just weren't sure whether to get straight into it, or wait for more sun to break through.

The tourists were so excited by the possibilities our world-famous Auckland sites offer, that we had three out-of-towners (Hamish, Matt & Abe) leading the launch, within seconds of the window opening. Conditions for launching were tricky, with lots of pilots needing second and third attempts.

Jeff decided to launch with a nice big cravat, which took a while to clean out, but it didn't distract him from going on to win the task, making it 35.27km along the courseline.

Sunday's sky had more blue in it. What a gorgeous day for a flight out to Tawharanui. A whole heap of pilots thought so, with 14 making it to the End of Speed section, and 9 of those following Jeff into goal.

Overall, Jeff came out on top. His name is becoming a familiar sight on the Auckland Regional Competition trophy. In hot pursuit was Bruce Vickerman, King of the Waikato, coming second & also top of the sport class. Rob Gillard is never far away from Brucie, and this comp was no exception - he came third & top of the fun class (in his first ever PG comp - great going!).

Results are in: Auckland Regional Paragliding Competition Dec 2016 Results

Big thanks to Johnny for organising, and remembering to bribe the Ministry of Weather and getting us two great days of flying; Janice for keeping us organised on launch; Diane for keeping our wings organised on launch; and Rodger (aka Santa) for helping everyone got off safely.

And as always, thanks to all the pilots for good times & good flying.

Hurry up & take the photo - it's ON!