2017 Paragliding XC Championships Wrap Up

2017 New Zealand Paragliding Cross-Country Championships

April 1st 2016 to March 31st 2017

Updated by the administrator of the NZ PG flights database, Tim Percival.
Last updated 11 July 2017.


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At the end of the flying season, contrasting with the joy and exhilaration one gets from a great cross country flight was sadness with the news of the deaths of James Maaka on Apr 18, and Ben Letham on Apr 22.  Both had been active cross country pilots: James' NZ flights had included the Treble Cone to Wanaka town 'test piece'; while this season Ben had opened his XC Champs account with a 30+ km flight from Cardrona to Mt Maude. My thoughts and sympathy go out to their families and close friends who must still be hurting very much.

~/~/~

Champs’ wrap-up report.  Overall it seemed to me to be a season that was “condensed” into just two to three good weeks, plus the extra odd excellent flying day here and there depending on where in the country you were.  In the South Island there was a great period from Dec 20 to Jan 5, while in the North Island the Kaimai Range was putting up nice days from late January through to March. Of the other days, Oct 30 was one where personal bests were flown at Mt Ida, Cheeseman and Inwoods Lookout; Dec 5 saw PBs and six flights scoring over 150 points from Roys Peak and Treble Cone; Feb 16 saw five PBs over 25 km from Blowhard and Cheeseman; and on Mar 2 a great day and XC task at the Nationals saw four PBs over 30 km from Kaimai. Although the pace of NZ paragliding record setting eased back, we did see Guillaume Chatain with passenger Flora Charrieau set a new tandem open distance record.  Nick Neynens showed what you could do if you launched early (around 10:00am) and was rewarded with two very long flights that were the season’s best.

Here’s a list of some particular highlights:

  • NZ's Tandem Open Distance record broken, the mark is now 109.3 km (Guillaume Chatain, Treble Cone).
  • NZ's 4th and 5th best open distances (Nick Neynens, 191 km from Mill Creek, Glenorchy West; and 182 km from Stair Peak, Glenorchy East).
  • NZ's 3rd best FAI Triangle (Dave Watson, 121.6 km, Roys Peak).
  • A 182 km ‘out’ flight followed by a 101 km ‘back’ flight the next day (Neynens).
  • Five NZ100km open distance flights achieved from three different sites on the same day (Stair Peak, Coronet Peak & Mt Maude on December 29).
  • Eleven NZ100km open distance flights in total.
  • Four NZ personal bests over 100 km (Watson, Glen Stevens, Michal Karnik and Nick Taber).
  • Nineteen NZ personal bests over 50 km.
  • A new regional open distance record for Waikato (Mark Macdonald, 80.9 km, Kaimai).

For details of other site records flown during the season, look for asterisks in the right hand column of the Season Site Best Flights tables.


2017 NZ XC Champions and Category Winners
XC Champs Table - Final Standings
North Island Table
2017 Season Site Best Flights
2017 Season Milestone Flights

2017 NZ XC Champions and Category Winners


Title/Category

Pilot

Notes

1st place and
2017 NZ XC Champion

Nick Neynens

Nick's two weeks in NZ was enough time for him to defend his title, through some committing and canny mountain flying which achieved the season's two longest flights. See www.sharemyjoys.com for details of his adventures!

1st Runner Up

Dave Watson

This season Dave found his GPS download cable and logged some of his mountain XCs!  Great stuff including NZ's 3rd longest FAI TRiangle flight ever, and becoming just the 6th person to fly NZ 150 km open distance.

2nd Runner Up

Bryan Moore

Bryan’s flights included flights over 100 km XC distance from three different Otago sites! (Roys Peak, Mt Maude and Sharks Tooth).

2017 Women's XC Champion

Helen Jeffery

Consistently good flying - three flights over 50 km XC distance, South and North Islands - has netted Helen her first women's XC title. Helen's 280.7 points total is the second best by a female pilot since Leonardo scoring began.

Best Rookie
(first-time PG2 competitor)

Rob Hughes-Games

Rob’s tally included flying an open distance best of 68 km! (from Blowhard, Marlborough).

North Island Champion

Evan Lamberton

Evan's best-of-season flight from the Paeroa Range was the highest scoring flight ever from there (89.9 km via 3 turn points).

Longest North Island Flight

Shaun Gilbert

93.4 km from Te Mata Peak, Hawkes Bay.

Longest South Island Flight

Nick Neynens

191.3 km from Mill Creek, Otago.

Well done all of the above! (Especially Nick) :)   Thank you to all who submitted flights so we could see where there was good flying to be had.

2017/2018 NZ PG Cross-Country Championships

Please note: For the coming 2017/2018 season, the online web site for scoring and uploading your track logs to is XContest at:  http://www.xcontest.org/newzealand/

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2016/2017 NZ PG XC Champs Final Standings (top 40 placings)

For detailed flight information and relative rankings of all NZ resident pilots, see the 2017PG XC Champs Table at Leonardo (Leonardo season name: “2016”).

(Note that for the NZ PG XC Champs, the Leonardo table is an approximate table only: international pilots are incorrectly excluded from the NZ ‘club’ competition, while a flight submitted more than 30 days after the day of the flight is incorrectly included).


Pos

Pilot

Club

F1

F2

F3

Total

1

Nick Neynens

Southern

306.6

298.9

170.0

775.5

2

Dave Watson

Southern

251.2

243.2

157.8

652.2

3

Bryan Moore

Southern

214.8

204.8

173.6

593.2

4

Louis Tapper

Southern

210.2

210.1

145.3

565.6

5

Glen Stevens

Canterbury

199.3

186.5

137.9

523.7

6

Michal Karnik

Southern

202.6

145.9

145.3

493.8

7

Stew Karstens

Tasman

161.5

146.6

111.2

419.3

8

Michal Talavasek

Canterbury

173.1

140.5

91.0

404.6

9

Nick Taber

Tasman

179.3

102.1

100.8

382.2

10

Jean Brossard

Canterbury

144.1

126.4

109.4

379.9

11

Peter Groves

Southern

167.8

107.1

85.1

360.0

12

Mark Hardman

Southern

172.2

99.6

87.8

359.6

13

Doug Patterson

Southern

151.8

101.6

98.6

352.0

14

Mark Macdonald

Waikato

140.8

114.7

83.8

339.3

15

Evan Lamberton

Auckland

134.9

106.4

97.8

339.1

16

Jiri Hanc

Canterbury

118.2

113.6

98.4

330.2

17

Bruce Vickerman

Waikato

111.8

107.9

107.0

326.7

18

Derek Divers

Southern

112.4

105.4

104.8

322.6

19

Rob Gillard

Waikato

113.8

107.9

98.0

319.7

20

Martin Kraemer

Southern

138.7

89.6

89.4

317.7

21

Matt Senior

Tasman

160.3

146.4

0.0

306.7

22

Dylan Vickerman

Southern

175.0

79.0

38.2

292.2

23

Aaron Ford

Southern

146.2

78.6

62.2

287.0

24

Shaun Gilbert

Hawkes Bay

156.1

67.6

60.4

284.1

25

Jeff Ripley

Auckland

116.1

93.9

71.5

281.5

26

Helen Jeffery

Southern

100.4

94.9

85.4

280.7

27

Gert van Maren

Southern

101.9

96.9

77.1

275.9

28

Steven Christophers

Southern

152.1

71.3

50.2

273.6

29

Rob Hughes-Games

Canterbury

109.5

93.1

70.0

272.6

30

Rob Boyle

Tasman

98.8

92.7

80.0

271.5

31

Elliot Revell-Nash

Auckland

99.7

96.6

72.8

269.1

32

Rhys Akers

Bay of Plenty

119.1

98.3

48.5

265.9

33

Emlyn Revell-Nash

Auckland

115.4

103.7

44.8

263.9

34

Wayne Rohrs

Auckland

99.1

83.8

78.6

261.5

35

Rory Devine

Southern

109.4

108.4

42.5

260.3

36

Blake Round

Southern

116.8

69.5

66.4

252.7

37

Henry Dumbleton

Waikato

99.5

94.1

56.9

250.5

38

Kinga Masztalerz

Auckland

131.9

109.5

0.0

241.4

39

Steve Bramfitt

Southern

240.0

0.0

0.0

240.0

40

Dean Straker

Tasman

150.9

57.6

26.9

235.4

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North Island Table (top 20 placings)

(Top scoring from North Island flights).

Pos

Pilot

Club

F1

F2

F3

Total

1

Evan Lamberton

Auckland

134.9

106.4

97.8

339.1

2

Bruce Vickerman

Waikato

111.8

107.9

107.0

326.7

3

Rob Gillard

Waikato

107.9

98.0

93.4

299.3

4

Mark Macdonald

Waikato

140.8

83.8

73.5

298.1

5

Shaun Gilbert

Hawkes Bay

156.1

67.6

60.4

284.1

6

Jeff Ripley

Auckland

116.1

93.9

71.5

281.5

7

Elliot Revell-Nash

Auckland

99.7

96.6

72.8

269.1

8

Rhys Akers

Bay of Plenty

119.1

98.3

48.5

265.9

9

Emlyn Revell-Nash

Auckland

115.4

103.7

44.8

263.9

10

Wayne Rohrs

Auckland

99.1

83.8

78.6

261.5

11

Henry Dumbleton

Waikato

99.5

94.1

56.9

250.5

12

Kinga Masztalerz

Auckland

131.9

109.5

0.0

241.4

13

Andrew Cavaney

Auckland

100.1

73.0

57.5

230.6

14

Rob Boyle

Tasman

98.8

80.0

49.6

228.4

15

Matt Harrison

Auckland

99.4

65.6

58.6

223.6

16

Roy Tingay

Southern

99.5

56.5

48.5

204.5

17

Joe Ward

Auckland

79.0

77.5

45.2

201.7

18

Dave Washer

Auckland

105.1

49.2

40.1

194.4

19

Doug Patterson

Southern

101.6

51.2

36.2

189.0

20

Nick Taber

Tasman

100.8

64.0

22.6

187.4

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2017 Season Site Best Flights (from entries)

Open Distance

Region

Site/Site Group

Distance

Pilot

Date

Take Off

SR

Northland

Kamo

28.3

Joe Ward

11/09/2016

Auckland

Moirs Hill

35.8

Jeff Ripley

03/12/2016

Auckland

Pakiri Hill

24.5

Lukas Walton-Keim

31/01/2017

*

Waikato

Alans Hill

30.6

Pete Martin

06/01/2017

Waikato

Harrys Hill

17.9

Rob Gillard

28/08/2016

Waikato

Kaimai Range

80.9

Mark Macdonald

30/01/2017

(Kaimai)

**

Bay of Plenty

Paeroa

68.2

Evan Lamberton

28/01/2017

Hawkes Bay

Burma Road

21.5

Robbie Kerr

30/04/2016

Hawkes Bay

Te Mata Peak

93.4

Shaun Gilbert

28/01/2017

Hawkes Bay

Turiri

38.5

Shaun Gilbert

11/02/2017

Wellington

Mt Climie

21.3

Chris Connolly

21/03/2017

Nelson

Inwoods Lookout

113.5

Nick Taber

30/10/2016

Nelson

Mt Murchison

94.9

Matt Senior

26/12/2016

Nelson

Takaka - Riwaka

12.1

Jude Tarr

05/01/2017

(Takaka Hill)

Marlborough

Blowhard

76.7

Jean Brossard

16/02/2017

Marlborough

Canvastown

15.5

Nick Taber,
Josh Benjamin

20/08/2016

Marlborough

Okiwi Bay

23.2

Pepijn Wyffels

05/01/2017

*

Canterbury

Avalanche Peak

90.6

Jean Brossard

09/02/2017

*

Canterbury

Craigieburn Range

37.1

Jiri Hanc

30/10/2016

(Cheeseman)

Canterbury

Hunter Hills

12.2

Rob Hughes-Games

11/02/2017

(Mt Studholme)

*

Canterbury

Port Hills

19.0

Matt Stanford

07/08/2016

(Mt Pleasant)

Canterbury

Sealy Range

80.6

Glen Stevens

30/12/2016

(Sealy Tarns)

Otago

Cairnmuir

49.5

Glen Stevens

21/10/2016

Otago

Cardrona

46.7

Benjamin Kellett

05/01/2017

Otago

Coronet Peak

155.0

Dave Watson

29/12/2016

Otago

Hawea Eastern Ranges

47.5

Michal Karnik

01/12/2016

(Lake Hawea East
Pt 1410)

Otago

Hawkdun Range

28.5

Blake Round

14/03/2017

(Hawkdun Pt 1658)

Otago

Humboldt Mountains South

191.3

Nick Neynens

05/01/2017

(Mill Creek)

*

Otago

Matukituki

103.3

Bryan Moore

20/01/2017

(Sharks Tooth)

Otago

Mt Ida

41.9

Ian Douglass

30/10/2016

Otago

Mt Maude

122.1

Bryan Moore

29/12/2016

*

Otago

Glenorchy E. Ranges    

182.7

Nick Neynens

29/12/2016

(Stair Peak)

*

Otago

Roys Peak

58.9

Louis Tapper

04/12/2016

Otago

Treble Cone

104.9

Glen Stevens

28/12/2016

* Site Record
** Site and Regional Record

FAI Out-and-Back

Region

Site/Site Group

Distance

Pilot

Date

Take Off

Waikato

Kaimai Range

62.7

Rhys Akers

05/01/2017

(Kaimai)

Nelson

Takaka - Riwaka

15.5

Jude Tarr

05/01/2017

(Takaka Hill)

Canterbury

Craigieburn Range

30.7

Michal Karnik

05/01/2017

(Cheeseman)

Otago

Hawea Eastern Ranges

23.6

Gert van Maren

09/10/2016

(Pakituhi Spur)

Otago

Mt Maude

51.7

Michal Karnik

24/09/2016

Otago

Roys Peak

102.3

Dave Watson

04/12/2016

Otago

Treble Cone

73.9

Louis Tapper

30/11/2016

FAI Triangle

Region

Site/Site Group

Distance

Pilot

Date

Otago

Roys Peak

121.2

Dave Watson

04/12/2016

 

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2017 Season Milestone Flights

NZHGPA Cross-Country Milestone Achievement stickers are awarded the first time a pilot surpasses the ‘milestone’ distances of 25, 50, 75, 100, 125, 150 or 200km (open distance) on a hang glider or paraglider in New Zealand.  This table lists the pilots who achieved milestone paraglider flights during the 2017 season.

Table 1 lists the pilots who achieved milestone paraglider flights during the 2017 season through to the end of April.

In the North Island, 8 pilots surpassed 25km for the first time, flying from sites Kaimai (7) and Moirs Hill (1); while in the South Island, 15 pilots logged that mark flying from a spread of sites: Blowhard, Mt Murchison, Cheeseman, Cardrona, Treble Cone and Coronet Peak. Great stuff!

In the North Island, where it's typically harder to fly 50km than the South Island, we had four pilots achieving that for their first NZ50km flights:  Mark Macdonald and Elliot Revell-Nash flying in January from Kaimai and Paeroa respectively, and then on the same day in February, Emlyn Revell-Nash and Henry Dumbleton flying from Kaimai (with Emlyn adding an extra 20km to bag the 3rd best open distance ever from Kaimai).

At the end of January, PG2-rated Macdonald went on to achieve his 75km milestone too.  If achieving your first NZ50km flight in the North Island is rare, then achieving your first NZ75km flight on the outlying island is even rarer!  To find when it was last achieved, I had to go back eighteen years to 1999, when Te Mata Peak was still in vogue as "the place" for distance paragliding in the North Island (see Table 2, below, for a list of historical N.I. paragliding 75km milestone flights). Mark’s flight was also the Kaimai site record and Waikato regional record (paragliding open distance).

In the South Island, sites of Nelson/Marlborough, Arthurs Pass and Central Otago contributed to the tally of 50km and 75km flights.  XC Champs’ Best Rookie Rob Hughes-Games and acro pilot Blake Round bagged 50+ km from Blowhard; Matt Senior at last got the weather around Christmas for a 75+ km flight south from Inwoods Lookout; and Michal Talavasek teamed up with Jean Brossard to fly 75+ km from Avalanche Peak. The Central Otago action included a couple of tandem and acro pilots taking days out: Todd Weigand and Steve Bramfitt logging NZ50km open distance for the first time, Steve's effort being part of a massive loop around both Lakes Wanaka and Hawea from Treble Cone. Doug Patterson, last year's Best Rookie, bagged his 75km milestone flying 92km from Treble Cone to Mt Buscot in the Mackenzie Basin.

And last, but not least, Michal Karnik and Dave Watson joined the 'NZ100km Club'!  Karnik picked a good day (December 29) to visit Mt Maude, teaming up with Bryan Moore and Glen Stevens to fly 100+ km to Mt Cook Village.  On the same day, as mentioned in the wrap up report on the XC Champs, Watson, with a decent leave pass for the day (and the next), flew a monster flight of 155kms from Coronet Peak to just south of Mt Cook Nat. Park. His flight is the first time a pilot has achieved their 100 and 150 milestones in the same flight, and Dave becomes just the 6th paraglider to bag NZ150km (the others in that group being Bryan Moore, Angus Tapper, Grant Middendorf, Nick Neynens and Louis Tapper).

Table 1.  2017 Season Milestone Paraglider Flights

Pilot

Milestone Achieved (km)

Flight Date

Open Distance

Site Name

Andy Spierer

25

2/03/2017

33.6

Kaimai

Benjamin Kellett

25

5/01/2017

46.7

Cardrona

Benjamin Letham

25

5/01/2017

33.0

Cardrona

Blake Round

25

9/10/2016

41.8

Coronet Peak

Blake Round

50

16/02/2017

70.9

Blowhard

Clemence Cadario

25

16/02/2017

28.0

Cardrona

Dave Washer

25

2/03/2017

32.2

Kaimai

Dave Watson

75, 100, 125 & 150

29/12/2016

155.0

Coronet Peak

Dominique Washer-Le Sellin

25

5/02/2017

26.2

Kaimai

Doug Patterson

75

20/01/2017

92.0

Treble Cone

Elliot Revell-Nash

50

28/01/2017

57.3

Paeroa

Emlyn Revell-Nash

50

11/02/2017

72.6

Kaimai

Henry Dumbleton

25

5/02/2017

28.5

Kaimai

Henry Dumbleton

50

11/02/2017

59.9

Kaimai

Jenna Hughes-Games

25

16/02/2017

30.0

Blowhard

Jeremy Fletcher

25

4/12/2016

28.5

Treble Cone

Jiri Hanc

25

27/12/2015

32.8

Inwoods Lookout

Josh Benjamin

25

1/12/2016

27.2

Mt Murchison

Jude Tarr

25

2/03/2017

32.4

Kaimai

Lloyd Greenfield

25

26/12/2016

28.9

Mt Murchison

Mark Macdonald

25

4/12/2016

26.2

Moirs Hill

Mark Macdonald

50

5/01/2017

51.8

Kaimai

Mark Macdonald

75

30/01/2017

80.9

Kaimai

Matt Senior

50 & 75

20/12/2016

92.5

Inwoods Lookout

Michal Karnik

100

29/12/2016

120.7

Mt Maude

Michal Talavasek

25

30/10/2016

35.0

Cheeseman

Michal Talavasek

50 & 75

9/02/2017

82.6

Avalanche Peak

Paul McGinley

25

5/01/2017

26.1

Coronet Peak

Pete Helliwell

25

5/01/2017

46.2

Cardrona

Pete Martin

25

5/01/2017

33.4

Kaimai

Peter Jones

25

5/01/2017

30.6

Kaimai

Rob Hughes-Games

25

28/12/2016

26.7

Treble Cone

Rob Hughes-Games

50

16/02/2017

68.4

Blowhard

Ryan Scarlett

25

16/02/2017

28.7

Cheeseman

Steve Bramfitt

25 & 50

4/12/2016

58.4

Treble Cone

Todd Weigand

50

8/02/2017

50.5

Coronet Peak


Table 2.  List of Historical North Island Paragliding 75km Milestone Flights

No.

Pilot

Milestone Achieved (km)

Flight Date

Open Distance

Site Name

1

Shaun Gilbert

75 & 100

23/01/1996

112.0

Te Mata Peak

2

Lee McLelland

50 & 75

25/12/1996

77.0

Te Mata Peak

3

Barry Sayer

75 & 100

3/01/1999

115.8

Te Mata Peak

4

Grant Middendorf

50 & 75

3/01/1999

95.1

Te Mata Peak

5

Mark Macdonald

75

30/01/2017

80.9

Kaimai

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