The New Zealand Paragliding Competition Season has finished for 2014/15 and the National Ladder is now final.

Please download the ladder from here

Congratulations to Grant Middendorf who is still top of the ladder. with Reuben Muir still in second place. Eva Keim is the highest female in eighth place.

Derek Divers has re-entered the Top Ten at the expense of Nick Taber.

Visiting pilot Hugo Robben did well at the PG Open and is the pilot on the ladder who has scored the most points, however that's just what happens when a visiting gun-pilot comes to the PG Open, so kudos really goes to Louis Tapper who scored 76 ladder points.

Joint biggest ladder climbers are Johnny Hopper and Kyla MacDonald each climbing 11 ladder places this season. However, MacDonald is quick to point out that she has scored 61 ladder points; 1 more than Hopper and has therefore, apparently, "won".

There were exactly 100 pilots on the ladder at the end of the season, 39 of which mainly fly in the North Island and 61 of which mainly fly in the South. This more or less directly matches the distribution of points. While this shows that the South Island has more competition pilots it also shows that we are equally bad.

 Before next season all pilots will have their points reduced by 10% which means that 278 is the magic number... if you've got this or more ladder points then you will survive the cut, as all pilots with less than 250 points are removed from the ladder between seasons.

Any questions, queries etc... please contact the PCC


Nick Neynens to compete in the World's toughest adventure race.

New route and Prologue for 2015 Red Bull X-Alps revealed. 6 countries, 10 turnpoints, 1,038km – and a new one-day Prologue in Austria.

It crosses six countries and Europe's highest mountains in a grand arc, from the historic city of Salzburg, Austria to the Mediterranean sea of Monaco. The route of the 2015 Red Bull X-Alps has been revealed – and it could be the hardest yet! There's also a new twist to the event – a one-day Prologue. This will see athletes in a hike and fly battle around the lakes and mountains of Austria's Salzkammergut region.

Nick Neynens is the first New Zealander to compete in the Red Bull X-Alps, and is one of just 33 competitors selected to race from around the globe.

"I competed in the X-Pyr, and although it was a more amateur competition with shorter distances, I think that definitely helped with the selection process for Red Bull X-Alps, as it demonstrated my flying strength.” Says Neynens.

After seeing the release of the new X-Alps 2015 route, Neynens says the unpredictability of the event resulting from the different choices of route makes it great to watch, let alone compete in.

“The reason I like the Red Bull X Alps concept is because there is a lot of freedom in terms of where you want to hike and fly. In a traditional paragliding there is much less variation and obstacles. It is usually a lot more constrained. With X Alps you’re in the mountains and you chose your own path.”

“There is just over 1000km in the race and nine turning points, which are generally 100km or more apart so there are a lot of different and exciting route options. We can study the map and study the terrain but the weather on the day will determine our navigation!”

On average only 12% of athletes make it to the end of Red Bull X Alps. Whoever is successful in 2015 will be among the most skilled adventure athletes around today.

Powertraveller Prologue
Taking place on July 2, the Prologue will see athletes compete in a tough hike and fly race around the mountains made famous in the movie, The Sound of Music. For the first time all athletes will be concentrated in a single area, starting and finishing at the same point, Fuschl am See.

The first three athletes to finish will each be given a five-minute headstart in the main race start on July 5. They’ll also be rewarded with an additional Led Lenser Nightpass to journey through the night and steal a march on their rivals.

The Route
The route has a straight-line distance of 1,038km, just a few kilometers longer than the 2013 course – but there the similarity ends. The 2013 race resulted in a new record of 6d, 23h, 40m for winner Chrigel Maurer (SUI1) – helped of course by favorable weather – but the 2015 route is unlikely to see such fast times. The reason? It is significantly more demanding, says race mastermind Hannes Arch.

“It places a far higher demand on tactical skills. In many places there is not an obvious flight path to take and athletes must use all their skill to stay airborne. If you are forced to land, the consequences can be critical.” Says Arch.

To see the full list of Turnpoints, check out the route video and more, go to

Meet the athletes, explore Live Tracking and download the route map and more at


The forecast improved from average to quite reasonable. 

The Auckland PG’s were quick to realise this and called their league. We followed suit. 

Unfortunately, predicting 2 flyable days in a row, on a weekend, in Auckland, wasn’t going to eventuate for us, this summer.

An early rise Saturday morning and drive to the Paeroas was untaken for a meeting time of 11am. We were only slightly late due to Marks ‘scenic route’ which took us in a complete circle! 

The sky was starting to look promising with the odd cumulus cloud forming. The PG’s briefed and were off while for us a task was set to Rangitaiki, some 56km away on the Taupo-Napier road.

We launched, some boated around waiting for maximum height, others left quickly. The thermals were broken, some with strong cores which appeared to move about, proving difficult to stay centred in the strongest lift. 

Most pilots made it to the vicinity of Mt Tauhara, Geoff and Rick venturing up the Taupo-Napier highway and Mark debating whether to venture over the forest. 

The PG folks didn’t seem to have any qualms about landing in the forest and walking out but that was too daunting for us.

The only bummer for the day was James having his glider stolen from the roadside after he walked 200m down the road to check road signs. He witnessed a van going past with a HG poking out the window and did not realise it was his until he returned to find it gone. Fortunately the glider turned up as the remover thought better of it and contacted the police. It may have suffered a little damage due to poor handling but at least he got it back.

Next day saw similar conditions and a task was set with a turn-point at Whites Road (@26km) then back to Reporoa (@21km). Climbs appeared a little bit slower and perhaps a little further apart but again, most got away with 3 getting to turn-point 1 and Geoff showing his skills at reading the conditions and making goal.

All in all, a great weekend's flying. Thanks to our PG friends support crews for bringing all the cars off the hill enabling us to be home by 10pm instead of midnight. Scoring to follow once we get all track logs in.

Les Graham


Day 1
Day 2
Rick 900
Baz 733
Baz 1362
Geoff 882
Les 578
Geoff 1311
Mark 767
Bill 488
Les 1286
Les 708
Geoff 429
Rick 1190
Baz 629
Rick 291
Bill 1116
Bill 628
Dave 175
Mark 767
Dave 193
Neville 142
Dave 368
Neville 155
Aaron 142
Neville 296
Aaron 155
Mark 0
Aaron 296
James 155
James 0
James 155


Saturday Task Briefing
Wow, it was another wildly successful weekend for flying competitions!

The Auckland Regional Paragliding Competition – The Last Blast, was held at the Paeroas over the weekend.

It was a great turnout, with representation from Hawkes Bay, Bay of Plenty, Waikato and of course Auckland.

The hang gliders had also been eyeing up the forecast, and joined us for a League of their own.

Saturday’s task was pretty straightforward, taking us up over the back and about 53km south to Rangitaiki.

Jeff Ripley won the day with his 38km flight. Emlyn Revell-Nash put in a notable effort, but was penalised heavily for a couple of indiscretions and ended up losing all his points. Still, he won the coveted ‘Thermal Core-gette’ prize for his struggles. Keep an eye on this guy, I reckon.
The massive Thermal Core-gette
Sunday had us up and down the ridge, then up and over to Deep Creek and back to Broadlands.

Again, Jeff reminded us that he is indeed the Talented Mr Ripley, being first to goal.

Debriefing and prize giving was done up the road at the Reporoa Pub. Congratulations Jeff, for winning both the overall comp and the Fun Class trophies! 

And the Winner is...

Kudos went to Mavis and Steve Wright for getting all the vehicles down from launch, and to Janice for being a super launch marshall.

It was great to see a lot of pilots dipping their toes (or wings?) into the competition scene for the first time. Hope to see you back for more next season.

Thanks again, Johnny, for organising. And for remembering to line up good weather this time.

I know the hangies also had a superb weekend with some great flights, but no news yet on who won the HG league. I can’t handle the suspense!


So the second attempt at the Auckland Regional competition was a success! Phew, what a relief.

It wasn’t looking good as we sat on top of Moirs on Saturday morning waiting for some wind to come up the hill. And especially not after seeing a couple of pilots head fairly quickly to the bomb-out paddock.

However, Andy Spierer kicked it all into action when he launched and seemed to take an escalator to the clouds.

The task took us over to Dark Summit then to a massive 16km cylinder around Waipu.

Wayne was the day winner, being the only pilot in goal, followed by Anand & Evan, who also made it through the Dome Valley. A smattering of pilots was left along Woodcocks Rd & SH1, trying to avoid the rain that set in later in the afternoon.

Sunday was a pretty clear day for Dills, and we headed up early. The forecast was looking hot. Task was set to take us slightly north to Dills North, then over to Ahuroa and finally goal in Rewiti.

It was another slow start, with the sky looking great but nothing happening on launch. A few free-flyers and students weren’t finding anything lifting, and we had a couple of front-runners taking one for the team and bombing down below.

But the time came. Rodger, Robbo, Graham & Andy chanced it, and got up and away. That kicked us all into gear. It was a bit of a grind, but most of us managed to eventually get up and away. No pilots in goal, but some good flights. Joe Ward must get a special mention for climbing up from the bomb-out twice, and getting away on his third flight, well and truly incentivised to stay up.

The drama started when we got to Kaukapakapa pub for a debrief and to load track logs. Rodger was clearly in the lead, and we were certain the trophy would go home with him. Until the penalty kicked in for a minor accidental rule infringement. Ouch!! Graham’s track log was then scrutinised. Another ouch!! Robbo, who was now in the lead, also appeared to have a breach! After a bit of forensic analysis of Robbo’s instruments and flight log, Comp Director Hopper determined that Robbo had in fact stayed within allowed limits. 

That meant Robbo won the day, and was also the overall competition winner. Way to go, Robbo!

You’re not going to get the trophy past Rodge without a tussle though!