7th June turned out to be a record day for XC flying in the UK: 130 pilots logged XCs totalling 12,261km. The biggest flights of the day were from Leckhampton in Gloucestershire, and The Lawley and Long Mountain in Shropshire. Ceri Brown (Niviuk Icepeak 7) and Guy Anderson bagged the highest scoring flights from Leckhampton, with a 152km flight to goal.
Flying cross country in the UK offers many challenges and unique experiences. In this article I have tried to summarise the action from the most successful XC season in history, so grab a cuppa and enjoy the lengthy report at your leisure. There's lots to learn from reviewing the days that worked well, and what pilots chose to do.
Getting the most out of a good XC day often comes down to a simple decision: do you leave the hill as soon as you can (and try to stay up all day) or do you wait till it's good and blaze a trail on speedbar to cover more ground during the strong part of the day?
Carlo Borsattino recounts his decisions and tactics on an epic flight from Selsely common, when his leading position on his Skywalk Cayenne 5 (EN C) was put to the test against the relentless racing of Mark Watts on his Ozone Enzo 2 (CCC).
Having already enjoyed some of the best XC flights I've ever had in the UK spring and early summer, you might suppose that the XC monkey would get off my back and let me be. Quite the opposite, in fact! These experiences were so amazing that I just wanted more.
Each year the BHPA presents the Wings Over The Cloud award for inspiring writing published in Skywings Magazine.
This year Carlo Borsattino has won the award for his articles: Super Sunday and If We're Lucky We'll Make Bexhill.
In these articles, Carlo shares his knowledge of analysing the weather forecasts, planning a route and making the right tactical decisions to remain airborne to enjoy some extended flatland cross country flying.
The Ion 4 is Nova's new entry level EN B glider. It's suitable for talented beginners, but most pilots will enjoy its superb performance to safety ratio. With its lightweight concept it should also be a hit with the Hike & Fly market and those who just want a lighter pack. It can be ordered with student risers or with a speedbrake riser (for XC pilots wanting to steer on the rear risers without affecting the camber and spoiling performance). Greg and Simon at Flybubble tested the Ion 4 out. Read their reviews below.