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British Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association

British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association

Skywings Archived News

Skywings Archived News - Apr 2008

2008 National Paramotor Championship

The number of Paramotor pilots registering for this years Championship is rising by the day. There are now five powered hang-gliders and pilots from five visitor countries. So NATS08 looks like "the" place to be from Friday May 30th to June 3rd.

The top UK pilots from this Championship will be competing for places in the British Team going to the European Championships in Poland at the end of July. The current reigning UK Champion and World Silver medallist, Michel Carnet, will be defending his title against a bevy of pilots all hoping to de-throne him. The International guests include five pilots coming all the way from Lithuania to compete in preparation for the European competition, as well as guests from France and Belgium.

This will be the first year that there are sufficient numbers of powered hang-gliders competing to make this an official class. Amongst them is an Australian pilot, further adding to the International feel of the Championship.

This year the championship will be held at Northrepps airdrome, near Cromer, Norfolk. Northrepps is a great place to fly with both coastal and inland scenery, with lots of room to set both the navigational and field tasks.

The Competition Director, Andy Phillips, has been flying the area to plan for the tasks, set and check the turnpoints. The competition HQ will be a recently aquired port-a-cabin. This will carry sponsors logos, so if you'd like your company name or logo on the HQ, please contact the Committee on natsppgsecretary@live.co.uk.

The main event sponsors are the BHPA, BMAA and OnRisk insurance, with other smaller donations from various companies.

If you want to compete, please reserve your place and register at www.flymicro.com/footnat08, just follow the links to Pre-registration/Comps. Non-competitor pilots and general visitors will be welcome, but if you wish to free-fly, please check the web site to ensure you meet the necessary requirements. Non-pilots and general visitors are most welcome. Camping is available on site for a small charge.

The UK Paramotor Championship is a real friendly affair, so if you haven't attended before, put May 30th – June 3rd in your diary now.

2008 Sport and Leisure Aviation Show

The British Microlight Aircraft Association and the British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association are pleased to be able to confirm the dates of the Sport and Leisure Aviation Show as the 29th and 30th November 2008.

The show will be held at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham.

Further details will be available as they are confirmed on the show website www.theflyingshow.co.uk.

Enquires should be addressed to:

Karakorum expedition

Eddie Colfox and John Silvester left the UK for Karakorum at the end of April to attempt to fly the fabled Silk Route from Pakistan to China. They will start at Islamabad and fly north to Hunza, a sector that will take up to two weeks depending on conditions. "On the way to Hunza we pass peaks in excess of 8,000m," said Eddie. "Last time I was there we flew at around 7,500m and crossed cols of over 5,000m."

From Hunza the pair hope to continue to Kashgar in China. "The two biggies are Rakaposhi (7,789m) and Nanga Parbat (8,125m), the ninth highest peak in the world. On this part of the trip the passes get higher and then it gets even more remote." The pair will not use supplementary oxygen to save weight. They aim to be back in the UK in early June. Eddie will fly a purpose-built lightweight Axispara Vega II.

The X-Lakes!

The Cumbria Soaring Club is holding a new X-Lakes competition on July 4th - 6th. Inspired by local pilot Chris Scammel's mammoth bivi flight across the Alps in 2001, and the more recent X-Alps competitions, the X-Lakes will be a sprint version of the X-Alps - a flying, running and walking race around a 54km Lake District course.

Starting from Keswick at 6am on Saturday July 5th, pilots will be routed around the Lake District on a triangular course. Taking off above Keswick, they will head south to the first turnpoint at Scafell Pike (at 3,206ft it is England's highest peak). Competitors will then turn east for the 3,116ft summit of Helvellyn before heading north for the final turnpoint of Skiddaw, standing over 3,000ft above Keswick. Pilots will then descend to the finishing line and the events base at Fitz Park in Keswick. The course is 54km as the crow flies, but the actual distance travelled will be nearer 70km and include around 16,000ft of ascent.

To walk the whole route would take around 22 hours based on Naismith's Rule [an hour for every three miles forward, plus half an hour for every 1,000ft of ascent]. To gain the turnpoints there will be endless possibilities for flying parts of the route, and the choice of walking options will be equally diverse. Competitors will be allowed 35 hours to complete the course, and there will be numerous prizes for various age groups and distances flown. The race will close at 5pm on Sunday July 6th. Minimum qualification is BHPA Pilot rating; the entry fee of £20 (£30 on the Friday) covers free camping at Fitz park and a route map. If you feel brave enough, or simply fancy a unique personal challenge in a beautiful area at your own pace, check out: www.cumbriasoaringclub.co.uk/events.

Pagen seminar at Laragne

Dennis Pagen's 2008 hang gliding XC seminar will take place at Laragne, France from July 26th to August 2nd. A maximum of 12 students will receive intensive training from Dennis with the help of one or two other top pilots.

The seminar will run alongside the Dutch hang gliding Nationals and just ahead of the British Nationals at the same site. Pilots will have theory lessons in the morning, discuss the competition task of the day and then fly their own task in small teams, each with an instructor, and debrief during the evening. The core of the seminar will be theoretical and practical competency for XC and competition flying. The seminar will cost 450 euros including transport to launch and retrieves. Students will need a rating of at least IPPI 3 standard and some experience of thermalling. A 2m radio is required. Fees must be paid by June 1st. For details contact harm.annet@planet.nl.


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