Paragliding Benni-Phot

Friday dawned with a light SE wind and a terrible weekend forecast for the Isle of Man.  With that in mind I headed to Benni-Phot with the aim of getting to St Lukes church,  as Martin had very kindly offered to retrieve.  Took off a little below the top and struggled to gain height in the 10-12mph breeze.  Eventually got a massive 11m ato and went on glide towards Carrigan.  Arrived there very low and nearly decked it but headed out towards the steeper face and then slowly gained height all the way along the ridge.  There seemed to be more wind at this end so I opted to just go for glide as far as I could go,  needed a bit of bar.

After what seemed like an age I landed at the little forest behind St Lukes church for 3.2Km.
Nice flight, very safe and relatively easy.   In the summer I  think it would be a lot easier and with more height the cronk would be the next ridge and then hopefully over to Slui Roy.
As Martin turned up we noticed a blue Paraglider on Slui Roy, not doing so well,  which made me glad of going to Benni -Phot……..later I saw the same Paraglider take off again and do very well, lift everywhere!! He then headed off to Greeba Mountain and then down wind paragliding towards St Johns.  By this time I had figured out it was the ever up for it Giles…my turn to drive retrieve.
Not the best looking of days.   Turned out nice though.

This from Giles:
Friday 10th saw me up on top of Slieau Ruy at about 3.00pm where I could see what I assumed (correctly) was Dan on Carraghan.  Had about 8-10 mph so thought it would be a nice top to bottom anyway.
Scratched around soaring for about 45 minutes and never getting above the top of the hill but noticed that I was getting quite a lot of random lift (from thermals off overhead cloudbase) which even though I quickly flew through was enough when combined with the ridge lift to keep me up.  Then, as I was messing around ground handling my paraglider on the slope to warm up for my next soar, a very big penny dropped – I realised that I could use the brakes to turn the paraglider into a harrier vtol jumpjet (well not quite).  Turns out I have been flying very lightly with the brakes so far in my flying career!!

The difference this made was immediately apparent (even to Dan who was watching from his Mum’s) – there was obviously a lot of thermal lift to be had and instead of scratching around I managed very quickly to get above the summit (only about 30ft) by slowing the glider in the lifty bits – and even though I was pretty far out from the slope.  The height ATO (and my new found technique!!) gave me the confidence to head off the hill after about 20 more mins.  Headed over plantation towards the Peel Road and then decided to peel off downwind to see how far I could get.  Ended up landing in a field just before the St.Johns crossroads and Dan kindly picked me up.