Easter Paragliding

Friday looked excellent , but a little windy….it was forecast to die off so I planned to leave it late.  Swalesey had other ideas though and called to say he was going off Sartfell under a very promising sky.  He then called to say he had got just above the Ginger for a magnificent 9.2KM and had gained 600m + ATO.  At this point I agreed to pick him up as the sky looked a little off and us Daddy’s must stick together!  As I drove through Michael I noticed Watty going for it towards Freogane.  He then rang to say he had got to Sulby Reservoir car park for 4.7km…so I decided to go and get him too.

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Paragliding XC from Sartfell

Lovely looking day.  Northy was on North Barrule in the morning…he reported very light winds, bouyant…….

When weatherjack starts to get excited I start to get excited.  Very strong thermals till 6pm he promised and so with that myself and Swalesey cashed in some brownie points and got ourselves to the top of Sartfell for a 5pm take off.  The sky had looked awesome all day but now looked cloudless,  there was however a 6mph to 15 mph gusty breeze showing that there was still thermals about.

As soon as my feet left the ground it felt very bumpy,  which was a little disconcerting being so low and so rusty. Up, down, lift, sink …all very small and punchy.  Saw Swalesey take off and do a bit better and then connect with something decent over the Gulley…I headed that way connecting with a steady 2 m/s up trying to stay with the now circling Swalesey…Soon we were circling over the snow covered back of the hill…,, where I fell out of it at 150M ATO.  Swalesey carried onwards and upwards, I headed back to the hill ending up at 100m ato keeping half an eye on the, by now, tiny Phil.

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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.

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Kick-off 2006

A very busy weekend kicked off 2006 for the Isle of Man Paragliding Club.
On Saturday Bulgham Bay was flown for the 1st time.  Watty, Keith and Simon were off first.  It looked absolutely fantastic and I look forward to hearing  an account from them for this.  I took off a little later from the take off by the side of the road!  Straight up,  dead smooth and really spectacular.  Not for beginners this site as there is not much in the way of bottom landing…very scenic place to fly though with a little bit of cloud suck added for extra height , taking me to 100M ATO and an easy topish landing around the laxey headland area….the others got a lot higher.  Noel also had a go….

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Review of 2005

As 2005 draws to a close I thought I would write a few words to reflect how the year went for the club. 

Weather wise it was not a good year nationally or locally but the year started well with a good turn out on Ballaugh in January with very light conditions gradually building all day.  Goldie flew off to the north recording the first entry on the new XC league table…..he was to stay on top of this league for a lot longer than expected.  Namely due to the usual spring thermal patch of weather not showing up.   Personally I never got to cloudbase once this year and never saw a single para swarm thermalling above Snaifell either…very poor.

February’s parachute repack with Bill Morris went very well indeed,  cheers Bill.  I think everyone got something out of that and hope we can run it again in 2006.

Before we knew it we were all off to a wet Annecy for the annual trip…again the weather was not so good.  Nice trip though and it was good to see a couple of pilots doing the triangle around the lake.

On our return we found a very successful course being run in near perfect training conditions……We gained 7 new pilots with their own gear, ready to rock! Welcome Giles, Stephen, Ean, Chris, Karl, Marty and Northy.  We were also joined by the elusive Stu…..So quite a crop of new pilots, which should prove interesting next year.  By my reckoning we are up to 25 equipped and capable pilots on the Island now.  What that would look like on Staarvey is anyone’s guess.

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November Flying

At last a decent  flying day!
Its been really poor weather for weeks so yesterday morning had me checking ‘Who Where’ on the mobile to see The Swaleses on the road and Keith and Si on top of North Barrule.  Action stations….By the time I had hit the hill Keith and Si had headed off to Snaifell after making the grammar school.
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Paragliding 30-08-05

Slui Roy was busy last night. Keith, Tony, Si, Ste, Ean and Chris all did extended top to bottoms.  I was late as usual.  Hiking up just as Ean took off I could see it was fairly buoyant, but down in the valley the smoke was going straight up.  Not a good sign, but after so many nappies I was very reluctant to go down.  On take off there was a breeze and a crazy cirrus sky showing things were on the change.  Took off and scratched to about 10M where everything changed.

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Ballaugh 20-08-05

Superb day on Ballaugh on Saturday.  Myself, Watty, Keith, Jamie and Tony enjoying great thermals and relatively light winds.  Plenty of top landings and thermallling back – but not too far.  Ballaugh has not been this good for a while.  The airwaves were crackling into life as we watched some other pilots (Chris and Ean) fly off Slieu Curn… Eventually we all packed up and left a perfectly flyable hill – well the practices were starting.

Tried out Keith’s new ‘Who Where?’ WAP system last night – very good.

Congratulations to Stephen on getting his CPC at Daweseys last week.  He even got his first 45 minutes on Bradwell and top landed – not bad for a 15 year old.  Well done Ste.

Just received the first report from Manx Paragliding Club sponsored pilot Noel Humphreys at the World Paramotor Championships.

Paragliding 16-08-05

There was a few out on Tuesday night.  Jamie flew off Slui Roy with Giles a couple of times making it to the bottom LZ. Giles seemed to find some lift over the cables, but had no vario.  Next thing Jamie and Tony went off finding the same lift, Tony went down but Jamie found a little of the lift gaining maybe 100 metres.  With a little encouragment on the radio he was off towards the Crosby hotel, landing just outside the TT course for 2.6k.

This is the furthest I have seen anyone get on a straight flight out from the hill.  Its safe and very do-able for most pilots.

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Watty takes XC lead!

Sunday dawned with a low cloudbase and clouds scudding across the sky at a great rate of knots.  I was surprised to get a call from Watty on top of Ballaugh with Martin to say it was light there…but they were going to give it a go.  Got a further call about an hour later from Watty to say he had got to Ramsey Grammar School for about 8.2 k…Fantastic flight and I look forward to his write up. This is the longest flight so far this year and beats my best of last year too.. and I think 1st place in the league?…Well done Watty..

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