Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Wilderness Wizard Champs day 1

Richard "boom" near the clouds, or white room as we call it. He is over our Sedgefield landing zone.

We are running the 2011 Wilderness Wizard Hang Gliding Championships. It is a small, informal and social hang gliding meet from the 27th till the 31st of December, aimed at having fun and just promoting the sport in general. We have been doing it for the last 4 years and believe it or not have had the same winner every time. Could this be the year of an upset? The competition between the competitors are certainly getting better...

The following days will be a report on this fun and friendly event.

After the innitial long term forcast of rain, the fiirst day turned into a boomer. At first we thought we would not even get a leg off the ground but ended up running two full tasks. Sedgefield was the choice and the very large field of 6 pilots made their way to the top where they were greated with a beautiful view - not one dangler in sight. Of course it did not last but for a while it was good. ;)
Our task was simple. Get as high as you can, fly for as long as you can and then do a spot landing. Of course you needed to get airborne first and in what was probably a first in SA (and almost a hat trick for Mother nature!), first Dirk and then Wally broke an upright on their launches. What can i say - rookie mistakes... (Thank goodness that was all that got broken). The result was that Anthony followed with a very nervous but good launch and finally the day's task was under way. Soon Richard, Pete and Anthony were climbing all the way to cloud in what was innitially good lifting skies. After about half an hour everything shut down and they were forced to go for the spot. After collecting these three pilots we were back for task two. It was simple once again - another go at the same thing; get as high as you can, stay up for as long as you can and then do a spot landing.

This time round flight times were much longer and Lennox, Wally and Dirk joined in the fun. Dick in the meantime arrived at the beach hotel and opted for a flight there. He did ok in the light conditions and scratched at take off height for 15 minutes before landing on the beach and climbing those long stairs back to the car park. Meantime plenty of white room time was had by the gang at Sedge and then some very interesting landing approaches to say the least. Anthony mentioned breaking many personal bests - good one Ant! The evening was rounded off with beers and a braai and of course watching the many gopro videos of the days happenings (Great fun!). We will see what the scores are for the day but rumour has it that things are very close with Richard "boom" in the lead. Tomorrow looks to be even better with more pilots joining in the fun. See you up there!

And yes, wish you were here! Wilderness Wizards 2011! Go man!

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