My first xc from Westbury for ten years!

Sunday 20th June. We we’re staying with friends in Wooton-under-Edge on Saturday night so I didn’t have time to head over to Wales on Sunday to join in the BCC fun and games at Hundred House, so with a light northerly wind the obvious choice was Westbury. I arrived at 1330 ish to the sight of lots of parawaiting going on. A few people had flown but had said it was very rough, however I could see two wings thermalling over Westbury so it was obviously working.

I took off at 1355 and after a few minutes started climbing with Polish Tom on his Omega 7 and another pilot on a red Advance glider. Staying out of the Danger Area is always tricky and I know I clipped the edge of it as I was approaching Upton Scudamore, and at this point Tom headed back to the hill. I carried on and found a nice climb near Upton Scudamore, and then again over Warminster. The other pilot was always further east than Tom and me (ie. well into the Danger Area!) and I believe he landed to the SE of Warminster. I certainly didn’t see him again.

High over Warminster looking back towards Westbury. You can see the quarry near takeoff in the distance
Interesting field patterns on the way over the Deverills

I got quite low after this but found an area of gentle lift near “The Park” gliding field – a passing glider then started thermalling about a km away from me 500′ higher than me so I risked a short glide to it and was rewarded with a nicer climb.

Looking west towards Mere as I cross the A303
I got nice and high again (4,600') once I'd crossed the A303
Still nice and high as I passed to the east of Gillingham

At this point I really thought the coast was an option, but after Gillingham I failed to find any more decent climbs and ended up landing in Shillingstone which is a few kms NW of Blanford, not far from Bell Hill. If only I could have made the ridge I’m sure I would have got up again, but it wasn’t to be on this occasion…

Despite needing four lifts to get me back to Westbury the trip back was good fun – it turned out that the first guy who stopped for me had done a few days paragliding in South Africa and just needed a bit of a kick start to get him back into paragliding – hopefully he’ll follow up on my recommendation of Andre Pearce of Flying Frenzy.

At home later that evening I found out that the first two pilots who left the hill were Simon Fouracre and James Lynch – they flew to near Swanage (81km) and near Dorchester respectively! Fantastic flights both of them, and I’m pretty sure a new site record from Westbury.

One response to “My first xc from Westbury for ten years!”

  1. […] review covered using the B1 Nav in competitions – this follow-up covers its use during a 43km flight I made from Westbury on Sunday 20th […]

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