Southern Regional Paragliding Competition 2018

Southern Regional Paragliding Competition 2018

Tim Brown and Louis Tapper are organising another epic paragliding competition in and around Wanaka for four days between Xmas and the New Year. It is intended that new sites be investigated in and around Wanaka.
Dates: 27th -30th December 2018 ( 4 days).
Location:  Wanaka and environs.
Further details on Airtribune: "Southern Regional NZ 2018"
Open for registration.

James "Oroc" Johnston blasts the NZ overseas XC Record

On the 10th November in Quixada, North Brazil, James smashed his previous New Zealand overseas open distance record by flying 384km. The previous record was 316km also by James. The track can be accessed on XContest. We await more details. Congratulation James.

Wings Out West 2019, Australia is now a NZ nominated PG Regional competition

'Wings Out West 2019' is a tow launched paragliding cross country event organised by the 'Flatlands Towing Club' in N.S.W. Australia and held in Trundle N.S.W from 13th -17th March, 2019.
Trundle is in the middle of NSW: big paddocks, kangaroos and flatlands!
It is an HGFA sanctioned Cat B competition for EN A, B, and C Class wings only and consequently is aimed at Competition entry level pilots.
The competition requires only moderate navigational skills and promises to be a lot of fun both flying and socially.
Six NZ pilots have so far registered for the competition and so it has now been approved as a New Zealand Regional Paragliding competition in accordance with the NZ Competition Rules.
What a great way to ease into competition flying.

Registrations on Airtribune:

Hawkes Bay PG competition CANCELLED

Due to permissions now required as a result of site management changes The Hawkes Bay
paragliding competition for the 24th and 25th November has been cancelled. It is hoped that a future competition can be organised. Stay tuned.

Louis Tapper smashes the NZ Overseas PG Triangle record.

The New Zealand overseas triangle record has been broken by Louis Tapper from Queenstown. Louis was been flying in Bir, India in late October. What was 104.1km held by Evan Lamberton, it now stands at 164.5km. Bir Billing has seen some pretty strong early winter flying with some unusually early snow. 
There have been numerous serious incidents and rescues this year, but for Louis a great week with some serious flying on his Ozone Enzo 3.
Louis's track is for view on XContest.
Well done Louis.

Hawkes Bay Regional Paragliding Competition


                                                    24th - 25th November 2018
                                          Reserve Days: 1st - 2nd December 2018

With the support of the HBHGPGC, Erica Caro is directing a Regional PG competition from Hawkes Bay's iconic TeMata Peak. Other sites such as Burma Road and Kawhahei may be used.
Registration and information are now available on 'Airtribune'. Pilots will be selected on a first come-first served basis to a max of 35 pilots.
"There have been many changes to the availability of launch and landing sites. This is an opportunity for the public to see what we do and showcase the sport to the region"
                                                       Come and fly TeMata!

NZ Paragliding Nationals- Nelson 2019


The location and dates of next years paragliding Nationals have just been finalised.

Hamish Barker, supported by the Tasman Club, is directing and conducting the New Zealand National Paragliding competition to be held in Nelson from the 3rd February - 9th February, 2019.
This will be an FAI Cat2 sanctioned event and is open to just 80 pilots.

On site registration, compulsory briefing and a practice day are on the 2nd February.

Nelson is a fantastic and spectacular place to fly. The primary launches are at: Barnicoat, Takaka, Inwoods Lookout, Mt Murchison, Havelock, Canvastown, Tapawera and Sherry River.

There is a wealth of extra curricula activities for those non-flying days and for families.

Cost: $200 prior to 1st December 2018 and $225 there-after.

Stay tuned to Airtribune for online registration and further information

NZPRS Update

The New Zealand Pilot Ranking System table has been updated with new rankings valid for July this year.

My apologies for the tardiness of this update but, as you may know, I had an accident in Feb so all my energy in the last few months has been focused on learning to walk again rather than updating the NZPRS. Hopefully normal service will now resume.

Congratulations to Louis Tapper for retaining his number 1 spot. Also congratulations to Abe Laguna for an impressive climb of 21 places to 11th after the PG Open (and now 10th). Welcome to Anthony Shepherd, Zhenjun Zhao and Kevin Lee for creditable entries at 24, 25 and 29 respectively.


New Site protocol for flying at Mauao (Mt Maunganui)

In a continued effort to improve safety and ensure long the long term future of flying at Mauao the BOP club has negotiated new protocols that apply to all pilots. 
Mauao is a Historic Reserve under the Reserves Act 1977, and is private land owned by the Mauao Trust. It is used and enjoyed as a public space so in order to maintain good relationships with the land owners and the joint Board (Nga Poutiri Ao O Mauao, which includes Tauranga City Council) it's vital we follow rules to ensure minimal disturbance to the public during our activities.
Please follow this link to get full information about the site before you go flying there.

Mt Maunganui (Mauao) Now open for flying.

Thanks to the iwi, the local council and the good work of the BOP club negotiating team members this site is now open for flying again.

Freedom of Flight Film festival open for submissions until 1 Aug.

The film festival that show cases free flight it all it's forms is expanding and open to new Film submissions until 1st August 2018.

Auckland Hang Gliding league this weekend

As per our rules, we wish to post notification of a the possibility of a Auckland club HG league this coming weekend.


• Name & contact phone number of the Competition Organiser :- Leslie Graham 0211653320

• Time & location of the first briefing :- Corner of Waikite Valley Road and Ngapouri Road. 11.30am Saturday 24 February 2018

• Probable sites to be used for the competition :- Paeroa Range. Kaimai Range

• Format for the competition (Standard or XC only) :- XC

• Entry requirements :- HG Intermediate rating. Waypoiunts downloaded to instrument.

• Cost :- $5 for scoring


Confirmation or cancellation will be posted on thursaday night 22nd Feb 2018.

PG Open 2018 Wanaka – Results are in!

After opening the competition with a good couple of tasks and record breaking high temperatures in the region, the weather packed in. Two days of gale force wind, rain and even a bit of snow for the mountain tops, all kept us out of the sky for a couple of days.

Mountain bikes and climbing equipment came out, as well as a reserve re-pack session with Itai and Instructor seminar lead by Russell to keep pilots occupied.

We were getting ready for a third day of being grounded on Friday, but the organisation wasn’t going to give up so soon. We were called for a late morning re-brief and ended up racing up to TC.

The 38.2km task sent us to Wanaka, with a bit of a cat's cradle along the way. Visiting pilot Anthony Shepherd was the first of nine pilots in goal. This may have been Anthony's first visit to NZ, but I daresay it won't be his last.

The final task on Saturday started with another cat's cradle near TC, then over Roy and finally to Jeff’s Folly at Lake Hawea. 

Louis was the task winner, coming second in to End of Speed but making it up with lead-out points.

As an aside, if anyone knows the story of how Jeff’s Folly got its name, please share. 

Jakub Leder's stunning photo of Kirsten Seeto on Task 2 won the photo competition

The fun continued after the flying was done - Freedom of Flight Film Festival came to Wanaka on Saturday night, getting rave reviews. It was open to the public, and what a way to showcase our sport. See more here: FOFF 

Then Johnny Hopper stole the show at the prize-giving dinner, providing lots of laughs and entertainment, as usual.
You've outdone yourself, Johnny
Photo: Dominique Le Sellin Washer

Congratulations to our big winners:
  • Overall winner: Anthony Shepherd
  • Sport class: Abe Laguna
  • Fun class: Lukas Walton-Keim
  • Women: Eva Keim
  • NZ National Champion: Louis Tapper
  • Jill Borst: Johnny Hopper

A tremendous amount of effort goes into pulling together an event like this, and it wouldn't be possible without those who are willing to put their hands up to make it happen. 

Thanks to the event sponsors, task and safety committees, launch marshals, drivers, wing fluffers and other support crew who helped to make this a successful event. 

And the most massive kudos to Mark Hardman for organising another successful competition.

It’s not all been rosy though. We’ve seen more incidents recently, in and outside of the comp, than any of us ought to accept as ‘normal’. It should serve as a good reminder to all of us to respect the conditions and constantly keep safety as our number one priority. 

Fly safe everyone, and see you next year!

PG Open 2018 was organised by Mark Hardman (Paraventures), and included 100 competitors from 32 different countries. It ran in Wanaka from 27 Jan to 4 Feb.

Find the scores here: PG Open 2018 Wanaka results

Opening days of the NZ PG Open 2018 in Wanaka

The PG Open kicked off at Treble Cone on Sunday, with a 95km task. It was a stunning sight-seeing trip up the valley to take in views of the glaciers before heading back down towards Mt Roy & into the Cardrona valley, then up to Mt Maud & finishing with goal in Wanaka.

Around a third of the field made it to goal, but the task was confidently won by local darling, Louis Tapper. Or so we thought.

A number of scoring issues with track logs kept competition scorer Tim Brown busy well into the night. With those eventually clearing up, the next step was to look at airspace. The usual tolerances are not allowed in this competition, and any breach of airspace results in 0 points for the day.

It seems that a significant number of pilots may be watching barometric altitude on their instruments instead of GPS altitude, which is used for scoring. Or perhaps not using airspace alerts.

In any case, after re-scoring the task to reflect airspace infringements, 14 pilots are awarded 0 points, dramatically changing the leader board and putting James Johnston in the number one position for Task One.
Photo: Kris Erickssen
The second day of the comp we were back at Treble Cone, wary of the NW wind that was due to come in & spank us later in the day.

The task was set with start at End Peak, then up the valley towards Niger Peak, back to End Peak and over to Terras.

The valley wind came crashing in earlier and stronger than anticipated, so the task was stopped after 45 minutes. It made for some dramatic landings, with a few drags and much discussion around strong wind, descent techniques and general safety.

Louis won the task, managing to knock almost 23km off the 81km task in the short time we were racing.

Day three was forecast to be similar to the previous day (building NW), so the task committee determined our best chance for a task was at Coronet Peak. We walked up to the launch site & started to prepare. Next went something like this:

Mark: “Task briefing in five minutes!”
Pilots: Pause to watch a dust devil.
Pilots: Pause to watch another dust devil.
Mark: “Task briefing delayed indefinitely!”
Pilots: Pause to watch several more bigger dusties and vastly increasing wind.
Mark: “Task cancelled”.
Pilots: Pack up & drive to Cardrona Hotel.
Phil Hystek: Unicycle down the hill.

The forecast has us grounded for the next couple of days, so out come the mountain bikes, kites & climbing gear.

Hang gliding nationals are on now too, with some great flying. They’ve headed to Mt Murchison today & it sounds ON.

PG Open 2018 is organised by Mark Hardman (Paraventures), and includes 100 competitors from 32 different countries. It runs in Wanaka from 27 Jan to 4 Feb.

Find the scores here: PG Open 2018 Wanaka results

Louis Tapper now smashes the NZ overseas Triangle Record

The New Zealand overseas triangle record has been broken by Louis Tapper from Queenstown. Louis was been flying in Bir, India in late October. What was 104.1km held by Evan Lamberton, it now stands at 164.5km. Bir Billing has seen some pretty strong early winter flying with some unusually early snow. 
There have been numerous serious incidents and rescues this year, but for Louis a great week with some serious flying on his Ozone Enzo 3.
Louis's track is for view on XContest.
Well done Louis.

Support our Aussie mates on airspace

CASA ( the Aus equivalent of our CAA) are consulting on proposed changes to airspace that could impact severely on hang gliding and paragliding. If you have done, or are considering flying in Australia ( and let's face it who doesn't) please read the associated information and consider making a submission. There is an easy online survey that takes 10 mins to complete.

Another ‘Raging Success’ and Some!

The Southern Regional #2-2017 xc competition recently completed with about 20 pilots flying three tasks over three days in calm and sunny conditions in the spectacular Southern Alps at Wanaka. For pilots that made goal each day about 10 hrs of flying was accumulated over the competition.
By all accounts a fantastic event with challenging and high scoring tasks ably set by Louis Tapper, Grant Middendorf and Abe Laguna. Tasks 1 (60km) & Task 2 (83km) involved going deep up and into the West Matukituki Valley past Raspberry Flats, then back out across to the Buchanans, over to End Peak and beyond and back to TC. The last task (45km), which initially began under grey skies, was a challenging struggle to Mt Niger and back along the range to Mt Roy and finishing in Wanaka.
Louis Tapper took first prize over Tim Brown and Grant Middendorf. Kat west won it for the girls.

It was perhaps the highest scoring Regional task ever in New Zealand. Well done to all those that participated. Thanks to Tim Brown and Louis Tapper for organizing and conducting another ‘raging success’!