Paragliding United Kingdom (UK) cross country (XC) season report for Summer and Autumn 2015.
Summer 2015 UK Paragliding XC
7th June turned out to be a record day for XC flying in the UK: 130 pilots logged XCs totalling 12,261 km. The biggest flights of the day were from Leckhampton in Gloucestershire, and The Lawley and Long Mountain in Shropshire.
Flying cross country (XC) on a paraglider in the UK offers many challenges and unique experiences. In this article Flybubble's MD and Chief Flying Instructor, Carlo Borsattino summarises the action from the most successful UK paragliding 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.
The Pilots' Tales section offers a unique perspective from some of the leading pilots in the UK. To make it easier to read we refer to the 2015 UK Paragliding XC League as 'the League' and have rounded all distances to the nearest kilometre.
Flybubble's Carlo Borsattino has been flying cross country (XC) by paraglider since the early nineties, and has a reputation for his ability to stay aloft for hours even in the weakest conditions. But it takes more than patience to fly over 200 km in the UK. He analyses the technical challenges, tactical moves and saved mistakes that helped him to achieve his personal best distance to date.
You don't have to fly a hotship to achieve great flights! Although having more performance helps, you don't have to fly a Performance Class or Competition wing to achieve your Big XC dreams. The gliding and climbing ability of the modern Sports Class (mid EN C) is now remarkable!
What's it like taking on the mountains with nothing but an aircraft that runs on air? Greg Hamerton attempts a solo traverse of the Pyrenees via paraglider and discovers the magnitude and magic of a road less travelled.
Advance Iota: simple, and lightweight for a standard production glider. Performed well in a wide range of conditions. Next time I’ll get an even lighter wing, it’s really worth it for bivi flying to reduce weight wherever possible.
Kolibri harness: swallowed up all gear and had room to spare.
Never having been a part of the British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association (BHPA) British Club Challenge (BCC) I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. In 7 years I’d not quite got beyond being a lone ranger of the skies (well, ridges, more accurately). Whenever I’d previously thought about attending, the dates had never coincided with my being free of other responsibilities.