Xc Title
Cloudbase Paragliding advert
Christopher Hille  All flights
National League 2023
Flight type image
Tow-launch Turnpoint Flight on a Paraglider
Ozone Delta 4
7th April 2023
2hrs 52mins
North Luffenham
Nr Royston
52.62478, -0.61292
52.62478, -0.61292
52.62945, -0.60560
52.14958, -0.18550
52.11623, -0.03010
52.05082, -0.04302
52.05127, -0.04222
Distances and Score
Leg 1
Leg 2
Leg 3
Leg 4
Open Distance
Use full pilot name
Flight map

This map gives an overview of the flight, using the turnpoints to plot the track.

Use the for a detailed map and flight track.

Duration 0:00   Takeoff Distance 0
To animate the flight: click a point on the track, use the slider, or click the Play button.
Track color
No data
Track data
Time: No data
Height: metres
Climb: m/sec
Speed: km/h
Distance: km

Climb and Speed averaged over 4 second intervals.

These values may be lower than those shown by a flight instrument, which has access to continuous raw data.

Metric units are used for all chart data, except for Height which is shown in feet.

Height   -   Pressure data
Maximum Height
4518 ft
Lowest Save
1224 ft
Takeoff Height
82 ft
Landing Height
-59 ft
Total Ascent 20003 ft
Height Gain
Above Takeoff 4436 ft
Maximum 4446 ft
Low Point
72 ft
High Point
as Maximum Height
4518 ft
Climb   -   Pressure data
Maximum Climb
9.5 m/s
Minimum Climb
-4.0 m/s
Maximum Speed
66.6 km/h
Average Speed
around course
27.7 km/h
Average Speed
over track length
38.2 km/h
Flight Duration 2hrs 53mins
Track Points 5194
Recording Interval 2 secs
Statistics Interval 4 secs
Track Length 110.3 km
Flight instrument
Type Indy Flyer
Model Xc Guide
Firmware 1.516

Climb and Speed averaged over 4 second intervals.

These values may be lower than those shown by a flight instrument, which has access to continuous raw data.

Average Speed around course is measured from Start to Finish points.

Track Length is the cumulative distance between track points from Takeoff to Landing.

You can change the default units displayed - see the Options page.

Well, it was a difficult choice. High pressure was moving across the UK, it looked like Combe Gibbet may just be in play, possibly Leckhampton as well. I was torn the night before, but early morning forecast indicated lighter wind than even the previous night's forecast. Rutland it was. I hadn't flown Rutland in Northerly wind direction before. That direction gave one of the shorter track lengths, light winds also didn't contribute much to my optimism.

The team were set to go, a general gathering around the launch gate ensued. A few clouds started to pop off raising hopes, the first few launches didn't add to those hopes. Flights just about back to launch were on offer. My turn, not a hint of a thermal, at least I'd got off the ground, first time form the winch this year, nice to get that out of the way.

The wind was so light, the launch martial made the call to move the winch to make use of the full length of the field and tolerate the slight cross wind. General mulling around for a while ensued whilst a new line of attack was organised. The wind duly increased and the first few launches included interactions with the launch pole but without much success of note.

I seemed to find myself unintentionally at the front of the launch queue but without a dongle attachment, whereas Anthony Pettit right next to me was fully equipped. I graciously offered Anthony the option of stepping into the front to the queue which he politely declined. Bugger, no choice but to clip in then.

Off I went, second winch of the year the full length of the field, height gain wasn't great but I was encouraged by the sight of the previous chancer circling and seeming to not go down quite as quickly as they should. I released at 950ft into a scratchy climb. I clung to it like moss on a stone, anything off the winch is gold. I tend to think of the first hour of a flight as a fight to survive, and I was fully in survival mode. If I could just make it through until better conditions developed I might have a chance of goal 78km south to Royston. I gritted my teeth and summoned my patience and held on, climbing, climbing, it was a slow, slow start. Clouds were forming as I climbed though, 30 minutes into the flight and in the same climb I was at 3000 ft. I was now confident I could make it to the first cloud ahead of me over Southwick. It was costly though, 1700ft lost over a few short minutes, 1300ft over the ground before I connected with anything else. I survived. Another scratchy climb took me over to Oundle, and an hour into the flight I found what felt like a genuine solid climb for the first time. I was up at nearly 4000ft, and the sky to the south was starting to look very welcoming, happy days.

I zipped up my jacket and donned my winter gloves as the cold started to bite and settled in for a fight against the elements and gravity. I was using XCGuide as a navigation tool, and compared to my Oudie 5 pro the screen was proving much more useful. The side view through airspace indicated a clear line through to the south, I tapped forward to my next navigation point, south of Huntington and set my course. I could see Grafham water ahead, some tasty looking cloud streets and the A1M snaking south. I ditched my cloud over Oundle and headed for one of the clouds north of the lake. I connected with another climb without too much trouble that took me to 4500ft and the start of a cloud street.

The invitation to surf the suck was accepted, I drifted towards the cloud edge as I approached base but otherwise didn't need to take any other evasive manoeuvres to avoid the white room. On I went towards St Neots, where the cloud street ended and a blue hole between me and my course. I took the defensive line and hopped onto a few clouds around the edge of the trap. A few sail planes joined me and dipped their wings to message they'd seen me, I wingovered a reply and noted the FLARM radar on my xctracer max was in good working order before heading on.

Some aerial acrobatics were being performed off to the east, smoke trails, engines roaring. I decided to give them a wide margin for error and drifted on a more southerly track. The Cardington airship hangers helped me to stitch the sky together, that part of the jigsaw is visible from the south at Sharpenhoe clappers, known territory! The A1M to my right had been another possible path, the track to the train station at Arlesey off in the distance was served by 4 other train stations should I bomb out. The track to Royston from St Neots on the other hand was devoid of train options, long walkouts and trickier retrieves awaited. But the sky remained good and I couldn't imagine not making it.

I was starting to think about my plan, Royston or east towards Cambridge, squeeze between Duxford airspace and the Cambridge ATZ. There was plenty of time left in the day and I'd drifted over to Arrington, just to the north of Royston which was an easy glide away. Cambridge had been calling to me for a while, I knew this track well as an escape from Dunstable through to the crumble run and my mother in laws in Stowmarket. I started to push east but changed my mind. I doubled back the lure of the beer and easy train option won out.

Landing was in a well cut field on the outskirts of town. A quick pack up, check in with the telegram group and a short walk to the city centre just in time for beer o'clock. Sitting in the sun outside the Manor House, quaffing ale and cheese and onion crisps. I was pondering another when Luke Jones appears over the chimney line under his new weapon of choice, Ozone Photon. What a maiden voyage! Happy days, much banter, laughs and trophy pictures followed.

Thanks to the Rutland team. How could I ever have doubted it would be anything other than a cracking start to the winching season. Thanks also to Oli for retrieving the car and scooping us both up.

Use this page to set various display Options. You can choose which units are used to display flight data, which map to show when the starts and which tab to show each time you view a flight.
Units settings

Metric units are used by default for the Statistics and XC Player pages, except for Height data which is shown in feet. You can choose your own custom settings here.

  Use default
XC Player settings

When the XC Player starts, the track data is shown on the Hybrid map. You can choose a different map here.

Main Map:
  Use default
Tab settings

The first tab shown when you view a flight is the Flight Map. You can choose a different tab here.

First Tab:
  Use default

This page uses cookies to save your settings for future visits.

If you have disabled cookies for this site then any changes you make will not be saved.