Spring Flying

We had nine pilots out on the North westerly face of Sartfell on Saturday.

The lift was weak and the breeze was light which made for a more social get together.

Bill seemed to have the best of it getting quite high above take off and making a nice top landing.

Eventually a large patch of Icelandic ash came over… killing the breeze totally and prompting a mad dash of top to bottoming down to the cars. Maybe Sunday would be better. It was apparently, though I missed it! Anyone sending a report in?

Paragliding Weekend 29th-30th September 2007

The BBC prophecy of clear blue flying skies proved completely unfounded as Saturday gloomily dawned.  Si and Keith had been out and found everything clagged in. It …looked like it was clearing a tiny bit…. I had a quick peek from Santon and saw a dot taking off from Beinn-y-Phott – Giles and Chris Mis were out braving the clag. At that very moment a patch of blue sky appeared above my head – time to get busy.

Half an hour later saw myself, Giles, Chris Mis, Ste, Si, Keith, Bill, Ean and Gold stood on Phott in the gloom. The cloud had been up and down but now looked like it was lifting a little. Not very inspiring but hey we could always try for Carrighan …and it’’s always a different day there.  The wind was a little off to the north. First to cross the gap were Giles and Si and we watched with interest as they seemed to climb easily on the next ridge. Next to go was Keith.  I was, however, stuck – not managing to get up to even to the top of Phott.  Eventually, after a long sweaty scratch, a blip came through that got me level with the top and I was off.  The glide was easy and Carrighan was working well as usual.  Just head for the gate and up you go.

Continue reading Paragliding Weekend 29th-30th September 2007

Is Winter Over?

Seemed like it on Saturday.  Very light north westerly had Martin, Si and Keith and Watty on Ballaugh waiting for the cloud to lift.  They were then joined by Giles and The Swales brothers just as the cloud lifted. All were soaring about by the time I got there.  Light and very smooth with the occasional gentle thermal eeking us up above the clouds to 71m ato. Lots of top landing practice and everyone seemed to give each other plenty of space.  Great start to the new year.

Heard rumors of snow later in the week… maybe winter is not over yet.

At last!!!

Well it’s been a long time coming but we have just a flyable weekend!!

Friday saw Martin on Ballaugh easily staying up more than a grand ATO.  Myself, Giles and Northy assembled on top.  I took off first into the light NNW breeze.  Scratched a bit then  gained some and then got rapidly blown back for a swift landing on the C risers…….It was forecast to drop…So northy and Giles later had a go and enjoyed a long soaring flight till dusk..I had to go.

Saturday dawned very light and saw some pilots on Snaefell whilst Watty decided on South Barrule.  I thought I would join him and was rewarded with the sight of him staying up on my arrival. When I got to the top he had gone down ..So it was scratchy….just the way I like it.  Take off, scratch a little and then slope land.  Did several of these with the occasional decent thermal coming through, one of which hoisted me up to about 200’ ato allowing my first few 360’s over the back from the hill of the year.  Lovely view of the old fort..  Noel then appeared and had a scratch.. This was about the time the first fire appeared….Someone had lit a fire on the path up the hill.  It was very spectacular to fly over.

Things then picked up as the thermals died giving easy soaring to the pilots who had come from Snaifell (Keith, Si and Jamie, Giles and Ste…7 on the hill) as more and more fires were lit it necessitated flying over or through smoke to get to the landing area, this gave me a right chucking about at one point….See Noels pics.

Sunday saw several pilots on Snaifell and Slui Curn.  Still waiting for a report.  I went to Snaifell later but it was blown out and clagged in..

Nice to get the legs working again..



Well after a terrible run of weather it was good to at last get out and get some flying done.

On Saturday Giles, Northy, Noel and Stephen paraglided on Staarvey whilst Martin flew Curn, by the time I got there it had picked up too much but apparently everyone had a great time with Giles and Northy going ‘XC’ towards the coast………

Sunday dawned with a lighter breeze that saw Myself and Keith floating around at 300’ above Staavey.  As usual it was pretty bumpy low down but once up it was smooth with the occasional very weak thermal coming through.  It was great to get up after such a long lay off.  We were able to work the whole length of the ridge even though the southern end was not working at all (too much north)  Eventually top landed (where it was dry). In the mean time Martin had flown from Curn to CronkyVoddy.

Keith than went off to join Swalesey, Si, and ??? on Curn where apparently it was a bit light and scratchy………..

This run of weather is in for the next few days for those that can slope off work……let us know how you get on.

Some of you may have read about Dave Ward Smith’s accident in New Zealand in Skywings.  Dave was instrumental in helping set up the Manx hang gliding club,  and was also the first person to fly a paraglider on the Island (circa TT 1988).  According to my sauces his injuries were very severe but he has been making very good progress and will hopefully be up and about soon.   We wish him all the best.

Autumn flying

Sunday dawned with a strong wind warning which seemed weird as there was no wind at all. It was forecast to increase however so it seemed to be a good plan to get flying sooner than later.  Keith , Si and Chris Miss were first to hit the hills climbing up Snaefell and finding no wind…they eventually  top to bottomed with K and S landing down in the fields next to the Reservoir.

We then regrouped and decided to fly according to the SE forecast off Mount Stupid and try and get to Hibernia.  By this time a large group of pilots found themselves on Stupid.  Myself, K, S, Bill, Swalesey, Chris Miss and Gold were on the summit-again becalmed…..Plenty of time to catch up on the gossip and compare how long it had been since we had all flown….the wind then strengthened to 14mph…perfect…and then disappeared!  This was to be repeated again and again as we waited on the top for some sort of steady breeze to materialize.  Watty then appeared on North Barrule….took off and sort off stayed up.  This seemed to spur everyone on as the next breeze to come along had everyone taking off and going up.  Not willing to mess about on Stupid a flock of manxparagliders was soon floating along towards North Barrule praying for the breeze to stay switched on….It did not and switched off just as everyone arrived…slope landings all over the hill.  Some walked back up a little and took off again to get to Hibernia…some walked.

Nice to get out after what has been a very poor spell of weather.

I have just received a copy of the Steve Lamson’s DVD featuring our paragliding competition.  Nice film with a bit of everything for anyone who has an interest in the IOM.  The paragliding is  limited to the top of Snaifell,  but you certainly get a feel for what’s going on.

There is a meeting this Thursday at the QB.  I seem to inherited a few harness’s and bits and bobs.  So if you missing a harness please come along.

Airways Manx TT Competition 2006

For those of you who could not make the Competition here is a little run down of what happened.

Once in a man’s life, he will feel the need to run a paragliding competition.  It’s an unnatural urge really, fraught with huge logistical and metrological risks.  An urge so abhorrent to most sane people that it probably takes a little bit of madness mixed in with an irrepressible dose of optimism, coated with a dream like hope that everything and everyone will not let you down, finally topped off with a hopelessly misguided thought that success will put something back into the sport you love.  But hey, as a pilot you have to be a pretty optimistic sort of person.  You have to have faith.  If we thought it was not going to work we would never take off.  So I took off.

Getting a paragliding competition up and running needs publicity.  The Isle of Man Tourism Board Special Events team kindly offered to underwrite us for the cost of the advertising in Skywings.  Colin at Skywings offered to sponsor us with a great deal in the Magazine.  Full colour page, the works.

Chris Dawes at Airways agreed to come over and take control of the task setting and supply the main prizes.  He was a godsend.  Other prizes and funding were provided generously by XC magazine, Microgaming and Peter Jenkins.  Swales Flooring agreed to provide a sponsored bus to transport pilots around. The Snaefell Mountain Railway people agreed to provide a free tram and trailer to the summit of Snaefell for each day of the event.  All these people were more than generous with their help and enthusiasm.

Continue reading Airways Manx TT Competition 2006

Airways Airsports Manx TT Paragliding and Hang Gliding Competition 15th July 2006

Its the competition this weekend and the forecast is good!

There are a stack of prizes with top prize being an all inclusive trip to the Ozone Master Class in Austria with transfers & spending money.  Other prizes are a Woody Valley Peak harness, Ozone and XC Mag goodies!

The competition weekend should kick-off on Friday night with Pilots arriving from foreign shores.

Friday Night
Simon, Keith and whoever else will be in the bar at the Claremont Hotel to welcome pilots, tick them off on the register and make a note of their departure time on Sunday.  Martin will also be around to assist the Hang Gliders.

Saturday Morning
Its probably a good idea to make a packed lunch before you get on the bus.  Marks and Spencers is close by and has a good selection of posh sandwiches.
The bus will leave the Claremont Hotel at 10:00am and will make another stop at Creg Ny Baa before heading off into the hills.

The competiton window will open at 11:30am

The Bus will be used to collect everyone at the end of the day and return to Douglas via Creg Ny Baa

Saturday Evening
Hopefully go out for a restaurant meal somewhere in Douglas.  Will confirm on Saturday when we know how many would like to join us and what time we are likely to be finished.

Similar start to Saturday, may have to finish earlier to get pilots back to the boat in time.

Classic Ballaugh Flying

Myself and George Flew from North Barrule down to the grammar school,  pretty sinky but ok.
Chris and Ean the did the same later that evening,  very smooth, nice 1700′ T2B.

Great forecast- sun and light winds.  Got a text from Watty early on to say it was on at Ballaugh, 10-13mph…….with that myself, Watty, Martin, Goldie, Keith , Si, Jamie, Bill, George, Ste, Chris and Ean (Phew!) all found ourselves floating over the top of Ballaugh in big , wide, easy thermals that took some to 220M ATO.  Classic Ballaugh day. Top land when you like, have a chat, take off again straight up to 150m plus ATO.  Everyone seemed to crack at least an hour.  Keith went off XC along the Sulby straight for 3.9km.  Must have been quite a sight with us all up at the same time.  It was not crowded though with loads of space for everyone.

Great day.

Forecast looking light all week then getting good from Wednesday…..Saturday looking very good.

See you soon.