Unstoppable Carter goes 250km!
Richard Carter, already seven times holder of the UK paragliding distance record, flew 256km on August 9th to claim the record yet again.
Richard flew his Ozone Mantra M3 from Bradwell, taking off at 10am in 10 - 15mph winds, and landed at Beaumont in Essex at 5.15pm. "It didn't look like a 250km day to me," he reported, "but I was anxious to knock off a 100km flight this year.
The RASP forecast didn't look brilliant; I thought I'd maybe get to Norfolk before it overdeveloped, but there was enough there for me to take the risk of getting away early. And I thought Bradwell might get blown out later too. Base was at 4,000ft to start with, rising to about 5,800ft later in the day.
I got low, down to about 1,500ft, around Newmarket, but was able to get going again. Nevertheless I only got to cloudbase five times in the whole flight." Beaumont is about 6km from the coast at Frinton-on-Sea. "I wanted to still have a reason for going back to Bradwell again," joked Richard.
Apart from the Mantra M3, Richard is flying with the same flying suit, vario, helmet, boots and harness with which he broke so many records back in the early 1990s. "If anyone wants to sponsor me with a new harness, I'm up for it!"
Richard's flight, the first-ever UK 200km flight, eclipses John Silvester's record of 194km set in 2007. Flight details are at www.xcleague.com/xc/flights/20112107.html.
Thrilling end to Red Bull X-Alps
At 16:22 on July 27th Race Swiss ace Chrigel Maurer won the Red Bull X-Alps race for the second time.
Chrigel arrived at Monaco in style, doing fly-bys of the take-off and pulling acro moves in front of a cruise ship before landing. Nothing is certain in the the X-Alps environment but Chrigel was always considered the top prospect even by most competitors.
Once the leader has landed the race continues for a further 48 hours, and all eyes were on 2007 runner-up Toma Coconea (Romania) and Austria's Paul Guschlbauer, lying neck-and neck around 65km out from Monaco. Both had flown well through the southern Alps to get within range within range of goal.
The final day became a tortoise-and-hare with Coconea, on foot, only 20km short of goal at 0930. With good conditions forecast, Guschlbauer elected to hike to Maurer's final launch spot and fly for goal. However Coconea, surrounded by a crowd of Romanian supporters, launched into a gap in the clouds to glide over the line and secure second place with the Austrian only 9km adrift.
Behind them, Martin Muller (Switzerland) flew well to clinch 4th place, 73km from goal, while Brit newcomer Jon Chambers held on to 5th place 113km out. The race had begun at Salzburg's Mozartplats on July 17th, eight turnpoints and 864km of treacherous mountain terrain away from Monaco (there's lots of detail and tracking at www.redbullxalps.com).
The X-Alps mission is simple: "Fly. Hike. Conquer." Indeed... nothing on this earth is tougher.
Card-carrying is good
A British pilot turned up to on a site in Northern Cyprus and was asked for proof of his flying rating. The pilot was not carrying his BHPA card or an IPPI card and was refused access to the site by the local operator, who in this case functions as an agent for the site on behalf of the military.
This is not the first instance of a pilot being refused access to fly an overseas sites without proof of having some kind of pilot licence or rating. A BHPA card will sometimes suffice, but the best solution is the internationally-recognised IPPI card, now compulsory in some countries.
The International Pilot Proficiency Identification card uses an internationally agreed common pilot-rating format: the Safe Pro system for hang glider pilots and the Para Pro system for paraglider pilots.
An IPPI card can be purchased from the BHPA Office and will be issued with the "Pro" level that matches your Pilot Rating under the BHPA scheme. Details and an application form can be found in the documents area of our website.
BHPA on Facebook
The BHPA now has a presence on Facebook.
The BHPA page exists to promote the sport to potential newcomers rather than existing members; it has links to the "learn to fly" and "schools" pages of the BHPA website. It is at present a work in progress; it will soon have students' training blogs, photos, videos and more.
Go to http://tinyurl.com/43mmbw7, or click the Facebook link at the bottom of the "latest news" column on the right of the BHPA website front page.
Southern Club bash
The Southern Club's annual bash will be held at Plumpton, near Ditchling, on September 10th.
They say it will be bigger and better than last year's event. It is open to other clubs and there will be something for all the family to enjoy. Attractions include ground-handling, GPS and thermalling workshops, a GPS-inspired treasure hunt and a helicopter display, plus live music and a barbecue and hog roast in the evening.
Activities for children will include a bouncy castle, face-painting and a movie tent. Tickets cost £20 in advance and £25 on the gate and include evening food and camping.
Full details are at http://www.shgc.org.uk/bbq.
For further information about the British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association and skywings magazine, please visit our about the BHPA and Skywings magazine pages on this website.