Omarama XC Classic

Omarama XC Classic  2021 

Saturday 6 February to Sunday 14 February 2021

This summer, Monday 8th is the public holiday so even if you are working, that’s still 5 days you can fly. This time of year gets the most flyable days with the least strong winds and turbulence, so gives the most XC flying opportunities.

Flying there is spectacular; expect to get 9 or 10,000ft and an easy 20km to over 100km depending on your skill and luck. Expect to beat your Personal Best; height, distance etc, move up the XC Champs table, or maybe fly to Mt Cook!

It can be hot, sometimes windy and sometimes strong thermals but the landing areas are massive and the competition format is stress free;  No queues or waiting. 

Fly the whole week, just the weekends or just the days you want, when you want. It’s up to you, only your best 3 flights count. You decide when and where to fly and an unlucky flight or two won’t ruin your score. 

All types of accommodation are available; free camping, cabins, caravans, motels and luxury hotels. The gliding airfield campground welcomes hang glider pilots and has weather briefings at 10am each day.  

For more information, site briefings, maps etc; contact Bill Degen or check for updates

Omarama XC Classic  2020

Last year forecasts weren’t inspiring but as usual they didn't always get it right. We still had many days of good flying in spite of relatively stable conditions. There was good thermalling and even a smooth wave day that allowed a long flight around the Mackenzie.

Omarama XC Classic Results 2019

Heres the final placings for the 2019 event. It was a slow start with very hot but stable conditions for the first few days. A passing front cooled things down but we still didnt get as much height as usual; just 8000odd feet. A good ridge/convergence flight down the Ohaus from Magic followed plus another lowish day. We flew both Magic and Buscot where some got up to 35 kms but were trapped in the Omarama Basin area.

On the best and probably the easiest day we flew from Lower Magic  in strongish NW but most decided not to fly, as winds usually get stronger. Those that got off in time had a great flight down the Waitaki of around 80kms with an easy retrieve. The remaining days saw Derek up on Magic early but no long distances. We tried Magic again and Buscot but all decided conditions were too strong.

I didn't hear of any glider breakages this time, which was great as there were several newer as well as some less competitive pilots flying.  We were down on numbers this year as forecasts wern't great and many had decided they'd had their time off work already for the Nationals. It was still a good week of flying even in the the relatively stable conditions.

If you would like to see a replay of flights on the best day, Steve Blackler has put our tracks on Ayvri;

Omarama XC Classic Results 2018

It was another successful event with only 3 days not flyable. The rest of the time we had llight winds and XC flights every day. Congratulations to Derek McKee the overall winner, John Smith for longest flight, Marney Kent took the driver award for driving Ollie to Timaru and back to get his arm checked. Best kingposted glider pilot was Adriel Kind. Results were;


Omarama XC Classic Update 2018

The road was graded last year and likely to need clearing next or the following year. Pattersons (landowner) has been paid at last and now myself, Rod Stuart and Kevin McManus have a joint account to make sure the road fund can now operate as required. We do need to ask each time before going up and all pilots and drivers need to sign a waiver form, which you can do at Longslip Station, just into the Lindis Pass near the Ahuriri turnoff. Also please remember to log vehicles in the book at the gate by the lower launch. 

During the Classic, you don't need to get permission each day but do need to sign the waiver and log into the book at the lower launch.
The waiver form can be downloaded and filled in prior to dropping off at Longslip.Station. Download below.
We have an account for  Magic Mountain road maintenance, which needs bulldozing roughly every 3 years. Withdrawals can only be made with consent from Rod Stuart, Kevin McManus and Bill Degen.
You can contribute to the Magic Road fund by making deposits to account 01-0797-0951056-00. Please put your name on the deposit.


Saturday 3 February to Sunday 11 February 2018

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 or check for updates

Omarama XC Classic 2017 Update 11/2/2017

There's been quite a few days off due to  strong winds but still some great flights have been done. Here's the preliminary results, There may be more not entered yet.

Omarama XC Classic 2017 Update

The 2017 XC Classic is due to start this Saturday 4th Feb and run thru to the 12th. This year has so far been plagued with strong winds so we are hoping the weather will settle for the coming comp. week. Those who have been worried about the condition of the track will be relieved to hear that Pattersons intend to widen the track with a bulldozer this week. The club has asked that we ask $30 per pilot for the week which will help with Pattersons cost to clear the track. 

Long range forecasts are giving conflicting opinions right now but some light days are forecast as is rain. Well we know that often rain dose'nt make it in to Omarama and likewise some strong days turn out to be light. We're all looking forward to getting some spectacular flying at Magic Mountain this year.
See you there...

 The Omarama XC Classic 2016

UPDATE 9/2/2016
The 2016 XC Classic Camp has finished with just one day off. There was plenty of flying every day and lots of xc kms for those who tried. We had 2 at Mt Cook and 3 at Tekapo with flights in the 80s and 70s on one day. The longest single flight distance was 131 kms from Magic to Teviot (south of Roxburgh).
There were a few pick-up problems resulting in people spending the night out in cars and farm buildings but no crashes in spite of thermals reaching up to 2400fpm and altitudes of over 10000’ being reached. The only casualties were vehicle breakdowns.
Warren Simonsen won most days but Bill Degen had the longest flight and highest total kms over 3 flights. The top 3 pilots flew Wills Wing T2C gliders.
The day after was good too with 2 at Lake Dustan and 2 at Tarras flying through the Lindis Pass. 

The table below dosent show all the flights asc some havent entered their flights.


We are looking for donations to keep the Magic road safe and less scary for drivers. So far this year the following pilots have donated $20 or more; Bill Degen, Mark Alton, Guy Williams, Warren Simonsen, Andrew Blair, Marty Smith, Kevin McManus, Rod Stuart, Niail Mueller, Mark Nichols, Adriel Kind, 

Pledges: Steve Bankier, Dan Campbell, 

Total received so far this season is $680. The club did a collection last year, I don't know the amount but that will be combined for the next road works.

Please email me at if you'd like to donate.

 Thanks everyone, I hope you all get great flying.

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