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12/01/15  Week 1 .Wilderness.Paradise Ridge/ South Africa  Rush 4




After some hefty hours of travelling on trains, planes and auto- mobiles it was touch down in Capetown. Very tired our group of 12 endured another good few hours travelling to a night stop at backpackers lodge at Hermanus.


Hermanus is famous for it's Whale watching at certain time of year and one of the group had arrived early for a session in a cage with the great Whites.


Next morn (11th) More travelling and driving arriving at Wilderness early afternoon to check out our digs with Jan of Cloudbase paragliding. Very nice indeed.


Looking at wings flying the beautiful coastline we opted to leave it till the next day. tiredness and all that.


It was flyable 6 days out of the 7 and our group enjoyed fantastic flights at various sites around the coast at paradise ridge. Jacques take off set in the dunes is awesome  with a little hut /bar next to launch. Most of the group got in long flights with cracking ridge runs.


I had a nice 2hr flight on one occasion taking in the views, big dunes, big waves and sunshine. I spotted a pod of dolphins playing and jumping through the waves but failed to get a good photo from high above.


Just down the coast is "Map of Africa" another fantastic coastal site and flown by us on 3 occasions. The launch reminded me of the "pimple" at Rhos with it's steep curving short grass and simular approach to top-landing. Quite difficult to get down when the breeze picked up.


The hotel launch between two buildings was different and short flights were taken from there. We ventured just inland on the last fly day to Sedgefield a site with some thermalling ad XC potential. It wasn't working great but a few of us managed to scrape a decent flight out of some light thermals out front before hitting the spectacular turf landing fields.


Our group of pilots are mostly very low airtime and new pilots so this Paradise ridge setting was great for getting them some easy airtime, some gaining over 10 hrs on magical coastline in shorts- t-shirts with temps over 30 degrees 8) 


The food and drink is great and cheap here. King prawns, seafood and steak top on my menu.


Great first week in SA.    6hrs for me.
Week 2. 19/01/15  Porterville. S.A  Rush 4.


Travelling from Wilderness Sunday with a long 6 hr drive , shared driving with Myself and Russ. Beautiful scenery through SA vineyard country with endless mountain ranges for the entire drive. South Africa is amazingSmile

Porterville is a bit of a wild-west one street town. Maybe not a place to be late at nightWink

But the flyer's lodge where we stay is great and looks after all your needs. You don't need to go in to town. Pool/ Bar/ Food do I need to go on.

Our group of Low-airtime pilots had a great week flying everyday 6 out of 6.Starting slow but improving through the week. All breaking personal goals and distance records.

Me and Russ shared flying and driving retrieves for the group.  So only 3 flights each and my first 2 were not great. With a low inversion and taking off first I only managed a few km Down the ridge. It's all about timing here,and you get one chance.

My final fly- day with the group was Friday and a better day. Taking off at Dasklip I minced down the ridge North Finding some nice thermals joined by 2 of our group. At 20 km and the big ridge of rock they call Bumpy I jumped over the back for a glide into the Citrusdal  Valley.

Low and worried Sad But on a glide East onto the foothills of the next mountain range. I found Nice climbs but had to keep thermalling and tacking to reach my crosswind goal at Citrusdal. (Wind  More west than a preferred SW)

Somehow I done well over a slow period of time and from 5km short of Citrus low and thinking of Landing I passed over town at nearly 6000ft. Clive one of our pilots (red ribbonWink was on landing at town and I passed the message on to Russ where he would be.

I pushed on for the next point where the roads meet before the Pass (Constriction)  but decided to wing it down for a landing. Russ was on his way and it was 3:30pm and the air was getting a bit feisty.

It was hard work finding the sink but finally I picked the last land-able field before the pass for 51km OD. Nice to be on the ground with forward speed(only just) An active hands on landing.

Beautiful flight and a great week with great people. Well done to all the group. Especially 2 red ribbon pilots Clive and Robbie who flew to Citrusdal for 35 km on 2 daysSmile

Week 3 I stay by myself. My aim is to compete with myself and do a flight better than 51 km, my new Personal BestSmile


I know I need to fly faster here and leave the climbs early on the Porterville ridge else you run out of time. It took 3.5hrs for my best flight and you end up running into a low strong wind. Fly Fast and FarWink 5hrs
25/01/15  Week 3 Porterville  Rush 4


Well it was worth staying an extra week for some free-flying. Great at the flyers lodge and Jan from Wilderness had turned up with a German group. With space on his bus me and Ryan a Canadian grabbed a lift up to launch. First day 25th I tried to fly fast down the ridges but bombed early after 15km.


I had some decent flying this week with flights to Citrusdal and beyond 45km on27th. I flew with some hot french pilots for a while but couldn't keep up. Wink Nelson is a french X-alps contender this year and it was great watching him zooming low below me on his enzo and X-alps paper pod one minute and the next he was 1000m above and 10km out from launch(only 22 years as  well;(


My best chance of getting to Clan William for 80 km was on the 28th but I messed up..lol. Getting to 15 km odd fast after 40 mins I took a climb over the back into Citrusdal 5000ft leaving 2 swedes pushing down the ridges porterville side.  They done great pushing on to the pass and eventually Clan, I hit big sink and struggled slow crosswind grabbing bits of lift landing short of Citrusdal for 30km .Waste of the best day. But the 2 swedes who made it spent 5hrs in the air and were landing backwards.


It's nice to be safe out here and it get's rough and strong around 2-3 o'clock most days. Distance will come again. I physically chose to land on certain day's where I could have gone on but it's some of the roughest mind concentration flying I have ever done.  After 3 hrs plus you are drained.


Watching 2 reserve deployments this week don't help the mindWink But they could have well been avoided!


Today Thu 29th was great. With a brief from Bradley at the lodge saying the wind would strengthen early, I was up on launch early at 10am and with a busy launch (40 pilots Swedes/Germans) parawaiting I glide off first.  I shouted" see you in the turkey field"(landing) and was nearly there..lol


But a low low save and a couple of birds going up and lot's of patience  in slow climbs with a light NW drift I pushed out front in the flats. I was rewarded with a flight back to the lodge for a free beer 40 mins later :like only 12km. Really wanted to do this flight and left it to the last day. First off and first back to flyers Lodge.  After an hour later pilots started coming in 19  to be exact. Free beers so a big hole in the fridgeSmile It was a good decision as the wind was howling through at the lodge by 1:30pm.


Big thanks to Terina at the flyers lodge.Cracking food and service. Bradley who runs retrieves and his partner Janine :like


Think I will be back here next year for sure. 8hrs this week. 4 flightsSmile Chuffed with my 51km flight probably 60km odd tracklog!! I'll book them in XC league when it opens,


A great flying venue, for the active pilot who want's a booming flight :like
10/02/15  Algo. Poniente (W)  Rush 4


Nice to be back in Spain although a big change in Temp after South Africa :unlike  It's cold at the moment when the sun's not outWink


Our group of Danish pilots had a decent flight off the SE in the day, some flying for 2hrs odd and pushing out in various directions making my retrieve interestingWink The best day of 2015 so far I believe. (One pilot done 60km)


I had the second flight with the group off the West (poniente) and although a warm front was expected later with grey cloud already above there was some nice light ridge lift and bitty thermal activity above the ridge. Got 700ft ato and pushed out in the valley to extend the flight for 30min.

Putting it down in a cold Bull-ring landing field to meet Pepe's mobile bar at 5pm. Not bad for FebWink

Link to Stu's 50k+ flight in S Africa  XC League Flight
20/02/15  El Bosque Rush 4


On my own with a small low airtime group so not much flying for me this week. Just driving and watching! On Friday it was off to El Bosque. Johan a dutch guide living in Algo offered to take me back up for the van at end of day so a flight after watching the group off :like


The air was good with height gains up to 5000 ft for me. Topping up above take off I pushed out from the hill a few km and it was easy flying!! Think it would have been easy to fly back to Algodonales.


Everybody filled their boots with some nice flying( 2 flight and 3hrs for some) and It was real quiet in the air as the masses had gone to Algo  Lijar West launch.  50 mins for me. Landing early because my hands were cold..lol Must remember my gloves next time :o
23/02/15  El Bosque  Rush4

Few days off from today and although it was cloudy and cold decided to jump on the bus with a small group. Needed to sort out a new speed bar and lines. Smooth conditions and CB not far above take off. Only 600-700ft before the white-room..lol Pushed out front over the town but too cold for me so down for a spot landing after 36mins.
24/02/2015  Montellano  Rush 4


Always love Monte, but forecast was looking strong and North (takes NE) Because sun was out decided to grab a lift with the bus. It was as predicted, but I grabbed a decent couple flights out front. On the first pushing north down the ridges to the castle.A ridge facing more into wind. Beuatiful climbing  close to the rock face up to greet the moorish castle.


Got some climbs but not enough to take me over the back. It was nice to be high down the other end on my own when the main ridge was cluttered with scores of pilots trying to thermal and ridge soar in a cross/stiff breeze at lower level.


Landed out and got the bus back to take off. Stronger on launch and cross. The wind strength and direction was breaking the lift and too many people using the small north facing end of ridge so I pushed out the valley and landed in the only non-cropped field.


Not a waste of a day, better than expected..Looking better for an XC 2mrw :like  1hr flying. Weather and Temp improving here in Andalucia Smile 
Andalucia March Rush4


Sorry guys/girls, been busy and have missed my blogs this month. Its been great the last few weeks( Bit of rain last week, but counted nearly 5 weeks before without a drop)


Couldn't manage any XC's but I have done a lot of flying/thermalling  out front. Some memorable flights at El Bosque pushing out 8 km or so on a light wind day and getting back to the hill. Smile Had a great day at Ronda la Vieja 2 weeks ago, flying out front 3 km or so and getting very low on an into wind olive grove slope I soared for a while,  took a climb and managed to get back up to take off. Pushed out again and got the same low climb again, same place. This time me and a client took it back higher 2000ft ato and on our way to RondaSmile Then back to Launch.. Nice


Had some cracking flights off the Mountain (Lijar) as well, some small xc's. One great Sat afternoon rushing back from the airport Gliders were heading East under a great sky, picked a few up on the way. grabbed a lift from landing to take off late for a couple of hours of lovely flying with great height gains for 5pmSmile Earlier in the day a few flew 100 km plus towards Cordoba.Smile


Been doing a lot of CP plus weeks ( low-airtime) so not a lot of chance for xc but some quality flying on the hill. Will try and keep up with my blogs form now onWink  12hrs 30  since my last blog.Smile






5/04/15  El Bosque  Rush 4


Been busy of late but still getting the odd flight in here and there. Logistics not good for XC flying for me although I'm keeping in line with plenty of thermal practice.


A small guided group this week and a nice flight at Bosque. Hang gliders out weighing pg's today due to a Spanish comp. An active cloudbase and light wind I pushed out 4km or so, finding little bits of lift to extend my flight to 2hrs before getting rather low and making a downwind  b-line for the landing field and just missing the spotSad


It was quite exciting sharing a thermal with an Atos hang glider joining me from below. Been reading your blogs and watching the xc league back home and wish I'd spent the Easter weekend in Wales..lol The weathers been much better than here last few days :x
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