Getting towed
Picture this: flatlands as far as the eye can see. Further, even, in every direction. Huge, open paddocks, everywhere; no need to worry about squeezing in to a tight spot to land. Hot Australian sun warming the ground. Long days. World-record flights of over 400km done this time of year last season. Sound good?

A few months ago, Joe Ward put out the call for companions for a trip to Oz, in particular for doing a tow endorsement & some flatland XC in Conargo, NSW, with Brian Webb.

Towing has been getting more popular, we’ve been seeing some big flights on XContest & Leonardo over the last couple of years, and Brian Webb is highly regarded as an XC coach & mentor, so I didn’t want to miss out. Neither did Rodger or Evan, so we all locked it in. Early December was the plan, so we could take advantage of long summer days.

Brian got us doing some self-reflection in advance – goals for the season? Flying strengths & weaknesses? Important things to consider when you are looking to improve your flying.

The trip started with a bit of history & theory around towing, and some practice with the bridle. Brian uses a pay-out winch, on a trailer behind his van. A hydraulic brake system regulates the tension of the tow line, but the tow driver can also adjust the tension on the line as they are driving. It’s a fairly simple and reasonably reliable system.

The main tow field in Conargo is massive – about 4km long and 1km across. In fact, most of the paddocks in that area are huge – landing is a dream. The key consideration when you are flying is following roads, because there aren’t that many of them, and you might be in for a loooong walk in hot sun. And no passing vehicles.

We had some early starts for a holiday, 7am at the tow field, to get some practice tows in before it became too thermic. Quick tows to about 800 feet to start, so we could get a feel for what we were doing. As the days warmed up, we’d go higher, aiming to stay on tow until 2000+ feet, and if there were reasonable climbs, stay with them.

Brian had warned us to make sure we followed roads when flying, and not to be fooled by irrigation channels, which might look like roads from the air. The advice he had to be sure something was a road? Watch for cars. I tried watching for cars whilst flying, but you’d be amazed how little traffic there is in the Australian wop wops. So when I found a road, I stayed on top of it. My bravest decision was in one flight, cutting the corner where the road did a dog leg, and I’d have had a good several km walkout if I’d bombed. I also noticed that after landing, even 100m away from a road, it was hard to see where the road was!

Nothing ever goes 100% according to plan, and this trip was no exception.

Evan had to pull the pin on the trip due to an injury (not paragliding related).

Joe came down with some sort of joint stiffness & pain, which put him out of action for a couple of days. Poisonous insect bite? Not sure.

You look silly, Joe...but can I borrow your hat? The flies are killing me.
Rodger became ill with suspected heat or sun stroke, which didn’t stop him flying but put him in low gear for a day or two. There were a couple of days that felt like being in a sauna, with someone chasing you with a hairdryer. You need a LOT of water.

When testing the line pressure in preparation for one of Rodger’s launches, the weak link broke, with a bit of metal breaking under pressure & hitting Rodger’s hand. The weak link exists to provide a maximum limit to the possible tow line tension that can be exerted on a glider, so you know that when it breaks, there’s a sizeable tension. Ouch, it would have hurt – he had massive bruising & swelling. But again, it didn’t stop him flying, so all good.

There was a problem with the pressure during one of Joe’s tows, where he wasn’t really getting up, and after about 400m of getting pulled forward, and up only about 100 feet off the ground, he started coming back down, and ended up releasing from the line and coming back down to the ground. Your wing pitches back when you are on tow, and when you release, there can be quite a surge. The risk when you are low, is that you hit the ground hard as you are pendulumming. Fortunately, Joe had it all under control and managed to hit the ground safely.

On one launch, Rodger had a C-line snagged on his harness zipper. It didn't get noticed until he was in the air, but we couldn't help but notice his glider close to locking out. Joe called out on the radio, and Rodge released from the tow when it was safe, to land & sort it out.

See the line coming from his riser across to his harness? Oops.

The tow line broke on another one of Rodger’s flights, in quite strong wind. Luckily he was quite high, probably around 1000 ft, and was able to fly upwind across the tow paddock, with the line, and release it on the edge of the paddock so it wasn’t at risk of falling on the road.

Of course with a massive tow paddock, there is a drama then finding the line after all that. All eyes were on the drogue at the end of the line, checking where it landed to make sure we could find it again. Then we needed to repair the line, which is another mission. OK, there was no “we” in all this; Brian did all that hard stuff, while Joe & I went off to retrieve Rodger.

Now that I think about, it, Joe & I didn’t hassle Rodger nearly enough for his hopeless retrieve calls on the radio that day.
Retrieve: “Rodger, we’re following you in the car. What’s your location?”
Rodger: “I’ve landed.”
Retrieve: “Which road did you follow north of Conargo” [there is a Y junction past Conargo]
Rodger: “The one past Conargo. I’m on the ground.”
Retrieve: “I’m not seeing your SPOT; send me your coordinates.”
Rodger: “The radio is so clear.”
Retrieve: “Can you send your location, please, drop pin or SPOT or something?”
Rodger: “You must be very close.”
Retrieve: “WHERE THE F*** ARE YOU, RODGER?.”
He was right, we were just about on top of him. J

Well we didn’t break any records, but I did get a new PB with a 115km flight.

Seiko Fukuoka and Charles Cazaux were visiting from France, aiming to break some world distance records. They were on a totally different playing field, only really flying on days that it was close to blowing a gale, and we wouldn’t even consider unzipping our bags.

Check out a video here of Charles practicing for strong wind launches behind a winch:

We booked the tow endorsement & clinic with Brian Webb, XCkms - http://xckms.com/. I highly recommend anything you can do to bring yourself into contact with Brian – he’s a very skilled pilot and coach. He sent us away with a load of homework to improve our XC flying, so hopefully the NZ weather will give us a chance to practice over the holidays.

Brian also has contact details for some local retrieve drivers on his website, if you wanted to organise something independently. Note that you are required to have a tow endorsement in order to tow launch. In any case, you’d be mad not to learn to do it properly.

Finally, a couple of recommendations around comms:

A GPS satellite tracker, eg SPOT or Delorme, is a necessity for flying XC in Oz. In fact, they’re rather useful in NZ too. If you don’t have one already, get one.

Brian heavily encouraged us to get a good remote finger PTT system, and for me, it was up there in the best $70 I’ve ever spent. It’s so handy to be able to talk without taking your hands of your controls. This is especially true for towing, where things can happen quickly & you can’t afford to be dropping your controls to reach for a mic; but I also found it valuable in rough air or when I was getting low, to be able to communicate easily without distracting me from flying.

Towing in Conargo is getting more & more popular, and with good reason. Get into, guys. I’ll be back for sure.

Southern Regional Paragliding Comp in December

The Southern Club is organising a Regional Paragliding Competition in late December.

The dates are 27/28/29 December 2016 
December 30th is a reserve day in case a day was missed due to weather.

This will count towards the National Paragliding Ladder

Organiser is Tim Brown: tjbro137@gmail.com, 034425319

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!

Two NZ overseas records...smashed!

One of our overseas Kiwis has demolished a couple of overseas records.

James Oroc Johnston has flown an Open Distance flight of 319km in Qixada, and also a Declared Goal flight of 218.9km in Chelan during the US Nationals.

These have been scrutinised and declared by the PCC records keeper, Tim Percival, to be the new records.

Keep an eye on this website for a story about these flights soon.


The Asian Games 2018

Paragliding included into the Asian Games 2018.

The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) has agreed to include Paragliding into the 18th Asian Games 2018.

The decision was taken at the OCA General Assembly that took place in Danang, Vietnam, on 25 September 2016.

The 18th Asian Games 2018 in Jakarta-Palembang, Indonesia, will feature 32 Olympic sports and eight non-Olympic sports, including Paragliding.

Canungra Cup - Kiwi Results and updated ladder

The competition season has officially begun, with 26 kiwi pilots flying in the Canungra Cup, which was designated as an overseas league. This gets re-scored for Kiwi pilots only, and the results are shown here. Congratulations to reigning champion, Reuben, who won out of the Kiwis.

The ladder has been updated to reflect this, and you can find it here.

Evan and Roy have both moved up within the top ten. Robbo, Eva and Leighton are climbing back towards it. Bruce Vickerman has re-entered the ladder, earning a fat 37 points in Canungra.

Reuben reinforced his position in the number one slot.


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.

St Arnaud Regional Paragliding Comp in February

St Arnaud Paragliding League and XC Camp 2017
(Incorporating a Tasman Regional Competition)

XC Camp Dates: 
Sat, February 11 – Sun, February 19, 2017.

Fly XC without a set task and see how far you can get. Optional flight logging to find who flies the most kilometres over their best four flights.

Regional Comp. Dates: Feb 11 – 13, 2017 (Sat-Mon). Reserve dates: Feb 17 – 19, 2017 (Fri-Sun).

Contact: Tim Percival percival@actrix.co.nz 03 548 7397 or 022 646 3864

Competition Task Format: Standard competition tasks.

First Briefing: To be advised on the forum of the NZHGPA website.

Sites: Inwoods Lookout, Mt Murchison, Mt Robert (walking access, depending on attendees), others to be advised.

Cost: $5 suggested donation per day, maximum $15.

Required for Safety: PG2 + 20 hours, reserve, back protection, GPS, UHF Radio, maps.

Transport Notes: Mt. Murchison requires 4WD vehicles so if you have one, it would be good to bring it. Vehicles used on forestry access roads must be equipped with fire extinguishers (be sure to contact Tim beforehand if you’re in need of one for your vehicle).

Additional Information
St. Arnaud is an excellent place for a long weekend with a variety of accommodation available including good tenting in the DoC campground, backpackers, and holiday baches for easy rental if you are a little organised. It has a shop and an all important bar. I am hiring a bach to serve as a base, which will be able to accommodate several other comp attendees at an economical rate.

The sites we will be using are high sites (up to 1450m ASL), so they make for some very scenic and exhilarating flying around the St. Arnaud area, which is the northern-most end of the Southern Alps.
(The site records for Inwoods Lookout, Mt Murchison and Mt Robert are 116km, 95km and 91km respectively).

Come along just for the XC Camp if you’d prefer to just fly XC without a set task and designated flying time. Please contact me for further information on accommodation etc. if you are thinking of coming;

Tim Percival
47A Brook Street, Nelson
ph. 03 548 7397 or 022 646 3864


Not inspired to launch
Tuesday we had another go at Hinchcliffe’s, with a task set to Laravale, then down to Hillview and back up to Bromelton for goal.

Conditions were a bit wonky, with a strong and steady breeze coming up the hill, and the low clouds above blasting over the back. As soon as the launch window was open, it was immediately suspended.

After a short wait, there was a re-brief called, and the day was canned.

Heaps of pilots had taken their wings out though, and it looked somewhat flyable, so a few launched. It wasn’t convincing enough for everyone, so most pilots packed up for the drive down. No one flying got very far, and it wasn’t long before rain came in so all had to get on the deck.

Wednesday was the day we had been watching for, with epic looking conditions. We headed to Beechmont early, where it was switching on and off. Not quite epic, but certainly taskable.

The task was set over Locked Gate Valley (guess why it’s called that?) to Coulson, then down to Croftby for goal – a distance of 75km. The conditions were not easy, and saw busloads of strong pilots hit the bombout. Thankfully re-flights were allowed, so most got a second chance.
Kiwis in the launch slots
Wally from Bright won the task (again!), just a few km short of goal. Wayne was the top Kiwi (again!), at 30.29km. That puts him 5th overall!! He definitely brought his A-game, but he’s not sharing his secrets.

Actually he is – get high and fly far. I think we’ll try that tomorrow, thanks Wayne.

Andy Maloney from Wellington won the Fun class for the day.

Thursday’s forecast suggested a blowout later in the day, so we got off for an early start. At the turnoff for Beechmont the buses stopped for a decision on whether to head to Beechmont or to Hinchcliffe’s. After a thirty minute wait, the call was made for neither – it was already blown out.

Ivan the Russian Australian offered to give his famous safety brief, entitled Kill the Bastard. The main takeaway for me was his good news that ‘some of uz not gonna die today’. Also that if you put a fridge on a good wing, it will glide better than a fridge on a crap wing. Guess we won’t dispute that.

Now it’s bush walks, beer drinking, comp barbie and hope for good weather for the last two days of the comp. And try not to be too envious of the crew in the Indian Himalayas, who seem to be getting a whole lot more airtime than we are.

Results are here: Canungra Cup 2016 Results


Sunday's weather forecast was for a lot of South, so we headed to Hinchcliff’s for the best chance of a fly. It was howling when we arrived, and a few optimistic souls were heard to talk about it ‘just being a wee gust’. The wee gust was pretty d*mn persistent.

A task was set, giving us all good practice remembering how to use our instruments. That’s all it was though, because after half an hour of waiting, we decided that the wee gust was not finished with us, so the task was canned.

The forecast for Monday was not looking promising, so we were mostly surprised when the call was made to head to Tamborine on Monday morning. It was the keenest we’ve been, with lots of pilots pulling their wings out to get ready.

The task was set down to Kyogle NSW, with a waypoint at Lions Road, a distance of 78.2km. To borrow Evan’s words, it was a day of low saves, with no one getting very high and only two pilots in goal.

Wayne was the top Kiwi, in seventh place with 60.2km. Roy also made it into the top ten at 49.1km. So tell us guys, how do you like your new wings?!

In non-flying news, we have a Kiwi bootcamp running at 05:30 every morning. Leighton has been giving us drills (military push ups – no cheating!) and we are starting to suspect he’s trying to break us. It’s working, but we’re addicted. Brucie’s been spotted all over town on his unicycle, and Johnny’s juggling anything he can find. 

Fingers crossed for more good flying on Tuesday.

Results are here: Canungra Cup 2016 Results

(Photos all ripped off from Dominique's Facebook page)


Twenty four Kiwis descended on Queensland for the 2016 Canungra Cup, which started today. In the biggest comp here yet, with 95 pilots, this may also be the largest Kiwi contingent for an Ozzie comp.

There was no mad rush at the first briefing on Saturday morning (more on that later). A couple of interesting points of discussion:

  • Rather than EN-ratings, the comp is using aspect ratio to determine the class you are in. Fun class is up to 5.8, Sport class is up to 6.7 and Serial up to 7.1.
  • KLO (km lead-out) was voted on, and decided to drop from 250 to 200 points. Don't worry if this doesn't make sense to you, I get the feeling most of the rest of the field doesn't completely understand it either. Myself included.
  • In addition to the wing classes, there is a Reynolds class as well, which is for pilots with flying weight of up to 90kg.
  • Since the Ozzies have put so much effort into their Paragliding Squad and developing their pilots, they have moved up the CIVL country ranking from 31 to 17. Awesome that they are seeing such results, and I wonder if NZ pilots would be interested in trying to do the same. Perhaps discussion for another time.
Now back to the flying or rather, not-flying. Saturday morning winds were looking strong, and the locals weren't optimistic. However we thought it was worth a look at Tamborine. It felt perfectly launchable, but after hearing Phil Hystek's annual site briefing, another look at the distance to a landing field, and the 20m gum trees in between, it all seemed to make sense when the day was canned.

A few of us hung around at the Polish Club, just down the road from launch. There we had a good view of the ridge, the 2 hang gliders that launched shortly after all the paragliders left (who didn't do much more than a bit of ridge soaring, phew), and the spectacular bird life. And goannas!

Another group headed over to the coast to hit the beach, and ended up watching a pod of humpback whales put on a show out at sea.

Welcome to Australia!

Results (once we get a task) will be here: Canungra Cup 2016 Results

Craigieburn - Regional Paragliding Competition

The Christchurch Club is hosting the first Regional Paragliding Competition of the 2016/17 season.

All qualified NZHGPA member paraglider pilots are welcome.

This will run over Labour Day weekend, 22-24th October 2016, inclusive. Postponed to the 5th - 7th November 2016.

The comp will be held at the Craigieburn site, and is organised by Michal Talavasek and Mark Hardman.

There will be a training day on Friday 21st of October, designed to help newcomers and low airtime pilots to familiarise themselves with comp talk, strategies, instruments and geography.
Also, if enough people confirm will stay overnight for one or more nights, we can arrange to rent a house at Castle Hill village and also use it as headquarters for the weekend (to book contact Michal).

A BBQ will be available for everyone to use. Bring your camp chair and guitar.

There is no on-line registration system - please use the contact details below for further information and to express interest. Results from this comp can contribute towards your national ladder position.

Comp Organiser: Michal Talavasek - michal.talavasek@gmail.com or 022 340 4511
Scoring and Support: Mark Hardman - info@paraventures.co.nz

Here is a link to the waypoints file for the comp:  Craigieburn Competition waypoints 2013.wpt

A DOC campground nearby is also a good option for a place to stay: craigieburn-shelter

Well, that sounds fine and dandy but what if the weather isn’t always on for paragliding? Should I still go? What is there to do??

Castle Hill area is spectacular on its own and offers cool sights and activities for all. The rock climbing/bouldering is great and there is even a cool cave to explore nearby.

The mountain biking is also great and well organised, offering kilometres of established trails. You should get your fix one way or another…

Links are here:
Castlehill Basin
Craigieburn Trails
Craigieburn Forest Park mountain biking tracks
Cave Stream Scenic Reserve

Cheeseman to round hill

Cheeseman ski field to lewis Pass

Inter-Islander Ferry discounts

On behalf of all members Nick Taber has negotiated discount rates with Interislander for NZHGPA members.

This is not just for the the HG & PG National Competitions but throughout the whole of 2017 to cover travel to and from Regional Competitions or simply for NZHGPA members to travel the rest of the year on holiday.

Despite the National comps being the tail end of the peak ferry season, Interislander have offered special competition rates for a car and driver discounted down to Car $113.00, Driver $40 total = $153 to cover a week either side of the comp dates, to allow for traveling to and from over the period 10 February – 12 March 17.

A booking is made direct by individuals with Interislander by simply quoting the NZHGPA Membership Booking reference number FA5650 and showing their NZHGPA Membership card at the check in.

All details for booking during comp, peak and off peak rates is here Interislander ferries discount.

Win Free Entry to the PG-Open 2017

Thanks to Mac Para NZ one lucky pilot will win a free entry to the PG Open 2017.

The winner will be drawn by the Competition Organisers at the registration evening and to be eligible pilots must have paid their entry fee in full prior to the draw.

Prize will be presented in cash.

www.macpara.co.nz facebook@macparanz

New Zealand's Youngest PG2 Pilot

The Tasman Club takes great pleasure to announce the graduation of the NZ's youngest PG2 pilot.

At the age of 13 Sam Hamill has completed his training and is already flying like a champion.

Congratulations Sam,
Good timing for the coming XC season.

2017 Paragliding Open - registration is OPEN

Registration is now open for the PG Open (Rotorua, 26 Feb - 4 March 2017).

Please head to
for more information and registration.

Our Stories

But wait there's more!

Here is another way you can create content for the NZHGPA Web Site.

It is designed primarily for the "long-form" Event Report, Travelogue, Personal Flight Adventure, Review, and the like.

NZHGPA Pilot Members, affiliated Clubs and Schools who want to contribute relevant and interesting stories can do so just by sending an Email.

Photos and/or videos are definitely required.

You can find out more on the Contribute Page.

Until we get your stories rolling in we have used some "demo" articles so you can see what is intended - follow this link - NZHGPA-OurStories


If you are interested in creating content for the NZHGPA Web Site then you might like to know how easy it is to do so.

NZHGPA Pilot Members, affiliated Clubs and Schools who want to report relevant and interesting stories can do so just by sending an Email.

They can also let people know about planned events with a General Notice, or using the Event Calendar.

Any great photos can also be added to the Slideshow, or video to the Playlist.

You can find out more on the Contribute Page.

If you want to see what sort of stuff has been done before follow the links.


Video Playlist

Latest News

General Notices

Anonymous or commercial contributions may not be accepted.

National Paragliding Ladder

The National Paragliding Ladder is ready for the 2016/17 season ahead.

You can download it here.

There has already been some movement, actually, since Mark Hardman nominated the Rat Race as an FAI Cat-2 comp to count towards his ladder score.

Mark has jumped back into the top ten. He fell out of it in the last season while "taking one for the team" and not flying during the PG Open in Manilla that he organised.

Familiar Faces at Chelan

A few Kiwis are dodging the NZ winter and competing at the US Paragliding Nationals.

A good Blog by Nicole McLearn

Results page

Familiar Faces at Chelan Butte 2016

Check out the 1 m 12s mark


A huge congratulations to Mark Hardman and Melanie Heather who took part in the Rat Race in Woodrat, Chelan USA.

Mark managed to take out the Sport trophy with a score of 2992 over 7 tasks. Mark's results can be viewed here:

Mark's results

Melaine came in second in the Women's Sprint. Melanie's results are here:

Melanie's results

Auckland Regional PG Comp - early December

Auckland Regional Paragliding Competition scheduled for 3rd/4th December 2016.

Sites will be around Auckland or as far as Rotorua, depending on weather.

Details and registration here: https://airtribune.com/auckland/info

The comp is free, but pre-registration is very much appreciated.


In 2017 there will be only one round of the PG Open (the National Championship).

The successful bid was from the Auckland Club, and the event will be held in Rotorua, Sunday 26th Feb - Sunday 5th March 2017.

The most likely sites will be the Paeroas and Kaimais ranges.

The competition director will be Xen Zambas, and the main organiser will be Graham Surrey.

The PCC would like to thank Xen, Graham and others for volunteering to run this event for us.

Details will soon follow, particularly regarding registration.


Canungra Cup 2015
Registration is now open for this FAI Cat-2 Paragliding Competition in Queensland, Australia.

Follow this link to register:

Canungra Cup

As well as being FAI Cat-2 sanctioned, this event will also be declared a New Zealand Overseas Paragliding League Event - so your score may contribute towards your NZ national ladder score.

Plus it will be loads of fun!


Well done, Nick Neynens - wins the Paragliding Cross Country Championship for the 2015/16 Season.

Please read an excellent write up of the XC Season here, written by the talented Mr Tim Percival.


Task: Dalby - 31km - Bell - 39km - Macali - 22km - Dalby

Total 93 km

Weather light ENE high cloud

With high cloud the day did not look the best. Most pilots took the first start gate to make the most of the sun that was just getting through.

The run down to waypoint one was made sweeter with $100 for the first pilot to get there. Pilots who got low had a slow climb to get back up or landed as the sun was blocked by the high cloud.

Those who managed the slow progress to get to waypoint two had the shortest leg to goal at Dalby.

Quite a few just landed short of goal with only 23 pilots making it. Derek was the last pilot in and made his first goal of the comp and was awarded a beer for his perseverance. Only 3 other Kiwi pilots made it with John coming in 3 rd place just under two hours.

Paris won the comp and is now flying for NZ for the first time. Curt Warren was only 100 points behind Paris with Len Paton coming third. John Smith was the next Kiwi coming 5 th overall after a hard charge over the last few days.

The Kiwi team lost the Trans-Tasman Cup for the second year running but the margin was only just over a 1000 points this year.

The prize giving party was attended by Vicki and Bill this year as the top three pilots all flew Moyes gliders and after a fantastic meal the celebrations carried on into the night.

Looking forward to next year's Dalby Big Air. For



Getting ready to tow
Task: Dalby - 45km - Kumbar - 64km - Gums - 21km - Surdev

Total 132km
Weather E 20 kph

Thursday, the wind was too strong to launch so the day was cancelled.

Towing started at 11:30 with clouds to the NW and East but nothing over the aerodrome, so those launching early found light lift and a bit of inversion at 3500ft but that soon cleared and climbs to 7000ft were gained.

With few clouds on course to the forest and high cloud to the west after crossing the forests it would be an interesting day.

The first start was at 13:15 with two gaggles, one to the SE and the other to the SW. Start gate two was the larger gaggle and also had two main gaggles. Good climbs were found to waypoint 1 and heights of 8500ft were gained before the crossing of the forests towards waypoint 2.

After crossing the forest things slowed down and climbs took longer to get to the top of the thermal but with good height waypoint 2 was reached and with 20 km to goal and good height it was a glide for most pilots. 41 pilots made it into goal with the first getting 1000 points for the day and the last 391.

John was the fastest Kiwi into goal with Paris second fastest and with five others getting there as well.
Breakfast of Champions

Morning Briefing

Morning Briefing

Morniing Briefing




Task: Dalby - 45km - Kumbar - 175 - Surat

Total 221Km

Weather: SE 20 – 25 kph

With a beautiful sky building above Dalby aerodrome the day was building into a fantastic one and would sort out the men from the boys.

Due to the fresh wind there were no start gates and time would be taken on Elapsed Time. To put the course across the narrowest part of the forest, the first leg was cross wind and for those who did not keep left of the course line the punch into wind at waypoint one could be fatal.

Towing up at Dalby in windy conditions was made even more difficult with strong thermals coming through at times and a few pilots broke weak links and had to re-tow. But once off tow good thermals could be found to get you quickly to cloud base.

Out on course a few pilots found the conditions hard to deal with as thermals were not always strong and having to run down wind to find the next one if you got low was not a good option and quite a few landed along the first leg.

With fantastic looking cloud streets to goal Dolphining was a good option and with a strong tailwind component 100kph ground speed was easy to reach. The going was not always easy and flying over country with no roads, landing was not a good option.

Cloud base went from 5500ft to 8000ft and with twenty one pilots in goal the day was another Classic Dalby Day.

Paris won the day with John, Hagan and Chris the other Kiwis also in goal.


Task: Dalby - 22km - Jimhous - 18km - Macal - 34km - Brigal - 14km - Warra

Total 89Km

First Start Gate 12:30
Weather: light SE afternoon rain

After a day cancelled due to bad weather everyone was keen to give it a go today even though rain was forecast for the afternoon.

The start gate was put forward and hour but as towing started at 11am dark clouds were forming to the east.

By around 11:30 a rain cell was east of Dalby heading our way. The tow up was a long one as lift was to the west of the rain cell 4km from the airfield.

Most of the pilots chose to get lift here and a weather eye was kept on the rain as it slowly moved west towards us.

By the time of the first start gate the rain had still not reached us and most pilots had over 6000ft and a few had climbed up the side of the cloud to get a lot more height.

Good lift was found around the course as we worked our way to the NW in a zig zag route. Everywhere lift was found, rain was not far away and with 1500ft up thermals it made for a quick race.

Good time could be made by picking a good line, as a direct line was not always the quickest way to the waypoint.

Unfortunately for the lead pilots the day was stopped for safety, but it is unclear if the interim results that have been published will be adjusted.


Viv the only ex-pat Kiwi at the Comp
Sunday 10 April   Day one

Task :
Dalby to  Cecil 46km to the south.
Cecil to DDSC 36km to the NE .
DDSC to Dalby 32km to the NW.
Total 110km First start gate 13:15

Weather : light Northerly going to light NW late afternoon.

Towing started a bit late and two extra start gates were added to allow for this, making a total of 6 start gates.

Good thermals were found after releasing from the tow but stopped at 6000ft, so the sky became crowded with gliders waiting for the conditions to get better. Most pilots took the 13:45 start gate, with a few in the first gate and about 12 in the second.

The sky was blue down to waypoint 1 but good thermals were found which kept the field tight. Rounding waypoint one clouds started to fill the sky but lift was not always strong, but this did not stop pilots moving and a few low saves were made.

After reaching waypoint 2, height was needed as a light to moderate head wind was encountered along the course to goal. With 40 pilots in goal it was a classic Dalby day and a good start to the comp.

Paris won the day in 2hrs .08min with John Smith coming in the top ten but his results are yet to be processed. With Derek falling just short of goal, all the other Kiwi pilots made it to goal, with some pilots coming in less than an hour before sunset.

Paris had a good run to waypoint 1 keeping the speed on and pulling out of light thermals. Catching up with the 13:30 start pilots he did not take the thermal they were in and passed the waypoint and picked up a good one further on and kept the pace on to waypoint 2. Getting to cloud base above the Feed Lot he took a line to the right of course to get under the cloud street and had a direct run to goal from 26km out to win the day.

Capt Flocky and Hagan sharing a joke

Camp Kiwi


Saturday 9 April 2016 practice day and registration.

Yesterday half the field turned up for a practice fly and to sort out accommodation here at Dalby.

Seven Kiwis have already set up at the campground at the airfield, which is free and has electricity, a toilet and shower (no hot water). All sorts of accommodation are here from small tents to buses and massive caravan rigs. Last year a few pilots turned up in their private plane.

Things are well set up here with a beer fridge in the hanger full to the brim and at $3.50 a beer you can have a few after landing back at the hanger after a good flight.

This year we have an open air movie theatre at the camp ground and Mad Max, Fury Road was showing last night.

When one is in Australia, native wildlife is always in abundance, with plenty of birds to be seen but it gets a bit worrying when a shed snake skin is lying in the camp ground and it is over a meter long. But so far only a few magpies and three resident frogs in the toilet have been seen, which is a good sign as if the snake was still around the frogs would not be here.

Saturday started off blue but by around midday clouds had formed and it was looking like it could overdevelop. The queue for the tow line grew very quickly and pilots were released into light thermals above the airfield. Lift was light until more altitude was gained and then the climb increased until cloud base was reached, 7500ft. Once there it was easy flying from cloud to cloud or along the cloud streets.

Most pilots got back to the aerodrome and those that arrived today managed to get a test flight in.

NZ pilots who crossed the Tasman; John Smith, Hagan, Guy Williams, Tish and Chris, Paris, Derek, Mark Alton, Neville (Free Flying), Lisa (Free Flying).

With over 60 pilots having registered for the comp, numbers are up on last year by 20%.

Dalby Big Air is becoming a popular event due to its great flying and well run pilot friendly comp.