CORRYONG CUP: Oh, hang on, we’ll go grab a beer instead

STRONG winds cancelled the first day of the Corryong Cup hang-gliding competition yesterday.

Disappointed pilots found ways to keep themselves entertained as they hoped for better conditions today.

Pilot Rory Duncan, 20, lying in a hammock drinking beer, was naturally disappointed.

“Hopefully this is the only day we have to sit around and camp,” he said.

The Newcastle resident has been hang-gliding for the past four years.

“When you are up there you don’t think about anything, you are in your own world,” he said.

“It can be relaxing and there’s also an adrenaline rush that comes with it.”

Pilots, as they’re called in hang-gliding, fly over Mount Elliot and across alpine country as part of the competition.

Winners are judged on how long it takes them to get to a landing point.

Competition director Dustan Hansen said winds were around 30 knots, about 55km/h.

“Some pilots chose to fly for fun, but there was no competition,” he said.

“Safety is our top priority and it’s just not safe at that speed.

“You’ve got a mix of very good pilots and very new pilots, so you have to be mindful of that.

“We still have seven more potential competition days.

“Obviously we are dictated by the weather and it’s blowing a dog off a chain today.”

Mr Hansen said online entry tickets for the event sold out in 27 minutes.

“We sold 75 spaces in 27 minutes, that’s how popular it is,” Mr Hansen said.

Hosted by the Newcastle Hang Gliding Club, pilots from all over Australia compete.

“The forecast is for less wind, so hopefully that is the case,” Mr Hansen said.

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