Trundle will be the epicentre of Australian Paragliding over the next five days with Australia’s first ever ground tow competition. A total of 35 pilots, including members of the Australian team, will take part in the Wings Out West ground tow paragliding competition at a tow paddock 6km west of Trundle. Pilots will be towed to around 800 metres above ground where they will release from tow and fly a challenging air navigation course using GPS technology.
The towing technology has been developed by a Dubbo local, Phillip Mansell of Fly Dubbo, and is used at most flight training facilities around Australia. During the five-day competition starting today, each day’s task could take the pilots anywhere within a 100km radius of Trundle depending on weather conditions. The central west is a popular location for cross country flying with the flatlands around Trundle offering some interesting challenges.
The navigation tasks take them to designated GPS turn points and will require the pilots to generally fly for three to fourhours covering 50 to 100km. Pilots score points for being the fastest to the designated GPS goal mark. The pilot with the most points over five days will be crowned the 2018 champion.
Paragliding is a growing adventure sport around the world. At the recent World Championships, the Australian team came 5th, well above their ranking of 14th.
To fly a paraglider, pilots are required to be licensed, receive specialist training and to maintain their rating each year. Paraglider pilots stay aloft by riding rising currents of air. Pilots need to be able to identify the location of the rising currents (thermals) by looking for clues on the ground and in the air.
For more information contact the organiser, John Brassil on 0419 285 802.