On as usual, this summer during the week of Waitangi Day.
It should be hot again this summer. At this time of year Omarama gets the most flying days with least strong winds, turbulence and the most cross country flying opportunities.
It can be hot, maybe windy and sometimes rough (thermals up to 3000 fpm+) but the competition format is stress free. Fly the whole week, just the weekends or only fly the best days.
Flying will be spectacular; expect to get 9 or 10,000ft and an easy 20 to over 100km depending on your skill and luck. You’ll probably beat your Personal Best; height, distance etc, and move up the XC Champs table, or maybe fly to Mt Cook!
The track up Magic Mountain is limited to 4WDs with low ratio gearing for safe descents. The track was bulldozed again last season so should still be in good order. To help maintain this track we’ll ask everyone for a donation but the competition is free.
THE MISSION; Fly open distance, in any direction from the Omarama area that you choose. Enter any number of flights. Take any days off, only your best 3 flights get scored. Flights can be entered each evening at the cottage next door to Omarama Hotel or at the camping area entry boards.
Required; Advanced rating with mountain/XC skills. Pilots with lower skill ratings may fly only if under supervision and if conditions are suitable. Printed site briefings are available.
This is mountain high desert country so essential equipment is; a 2.5m rope for securing gliders during dust devils, radio, cellphone, maps, GPS, water, survival gear (days can be over 30°C with frosts at night), basebar wheels, spare uprights, glider fully checked and a repacked chute.
A satellite messenger such as a Spot is recommended for pickups as cell reception is patchy. Buying an extra sim card for the other phone network is a cheap and easy way to maximise coverage.
An Emergency Locator Transmitter may be wise. Airtribune is a free tracker for Android cellphones that can allow your pickup crew to follow you (within cell coverage).
Remember to write your phone number, radio frequency and place where you are staying on the list with the scoring clipboard (with Bill or Rod) so that if someone goes missing we can find them and avoid a Search & rescue callout. Pilots in each vehicle should check that all their crew is accounted for at the end of the day. Remember, if someone is injured we only have a short time to search and nights are often freezing in this area.
Note; airband radio (118.6 Mhz) is mandatory for flying North of Ohau if you want to head for Mt Cook.
Bring a brave but careful 4WD driver, and a spade is essential for clearing slips off the access road and for some pickups.
Or bring your aerotow or car tow set-up.
All types of accommodation are available; free camping, cabins, caravans, motels and luxury hotels. There’s hot pools in Omarama for after flying too.
For more information, site briefings, maps etc; contact Bill Degen firstname.lastname@example.org or check www.hgpg.co.nz for updates