The Corryong Paragliding Open took place in late February, with five Canberra pilots competing: Kari Ellis, Johno Quinn, Alistair Dickie, Phil Robinson, and Alex Chapman.

Results

The final results were:

Canberra Pilots

  • Kari Ellis: 3rd overall (only 7 points behind 1st place!), 1st woman,
  • Johno Quinn: 24th overall, 1st in reynolds class,
  • Alistair Dickie: 46th overall, 2nd in fun class,
  • Alex Chapman: 59th overall,
  • Phil Robinson: 62nd overall.

Overall

  • 1st: Gareth Carter (Ozone Enzo 3)
  • 2nd: Daniel “Wally” Arcidiacono (Gin Leopard)
  • 3rd: Kari Ellis (Ozone Enzo 3)

Women

  • 1st: Kari Ellis (Ozone Enzo 3)
  • 2nd: Kyla MacDonald (Nova Mentor 5)
  • 3rd: Erica Caro (Skywalk Cumeo)

Serial

  • 1st: Daniel “Wally” Arcidiacono (Gin Leopard)
  • 2nd: Richard Perkes (Ozone Zeno)
  • 3rd: Andy McMurray (Flow XC Racer)

Sports

  • 1st: Brian Webb (Flow Fusion)
  • 2nd: Ivan Anissimov (Flow Fusion)
  • 3rd: Jorry Furnell (BGD Cure 2)

Fun

  • 1st: Cameron Lawrence (Nova Mentor 4)
  • 2nd: Alistair Dickie (Nova Mentor 5)
  • 3rd: Conan Burch (Advance XI)

Reynolds

  • 1st: Johno Quinn (Ozone Zeno)

Novice (under 250 hours)

  • 1st: Tom Lines (Gin Carrera Plus)

Task 1

Task 1 was a 44.07km race down the Thowgla valley, across to Colac Colac, back to Mt. Elliot, then over the back to Khancoban. It was won by Gareth Carter in a time of 1:12:05, after Kari Ellis landed just a few metres short of goal in a time of 1:11:56. There was some controversy at the start of the race, with wind over the back on launch meaning that only 35 of the 73 pilots were in the air when the task started. A protest was filed but turned down by the protest committee. All pilots did eventually manage to get in the air, and 50 pilots made it to goal.

The Canberra pilots’ results were:

  • Johno Quinn in 36th in a time of 1:43:22,
  • Kari Ellis in 43rd,
  • Alistair Dickie in 50th in a time of 2:26:01,
  • Phil Robinson in 59th, at 32.7km when the task was called off due to developing rain and thunderstorms. Phil was at 1736m AMSL when the task was called off,
  • Alex Chapman in 62nd, at 29.35km.

Task 2

Flying during task 2

Task 2 was a 55.3km race from Towong to Cudgewa, across to Chinaman’s Hat, back to near Cudgewa, then back up the valley to the Mt. Elliot LZ. It was again won by Gareth Carter, who was the only pilot to make goal, just before the race deadline. The 5pm deadline was a factor because the start had been delayed by changing weather conditions around midday, and by the tasks committee’s decision to set a late start time to ensure that everyone got off the hill before the start.

First turnpoint: Cudgewa

Most pilots opted to launch early today, before or during the open window. This meant that there was again a long queue on launch, which would be a topic of intense discussion on the following day. But the launch delays were less, and soon most pilots were in the air with plenty of time before the race start. Most spent this time either high over Mt. Elliot, or struggling in weak lift near the start cylinder.

Waiting for the start over Towong

The race started at 2:45pm, with most opting to make the shortened valley crossing to Mittamatite before heading along its ridgeline towards Cudgewa. A couple of pilots went straight down the valley, making slower progress but not losing too much ground because their route was more direct. Some opted to cross to Mittamatite further along the valley, with much less luck. The day had big clouds, but also big blue holes and extensive shade cast by the clouds. The clouds made for strong climbs, but between them the sink, rarely punctuated by weak thermals, meant that there was a stead attrition rate throughout the race.

The Canberra pilots’ results were:

  • Kari Ellis in 3rd, at 51.47km with 76.9 lead-out kms, currently in 21st place overall,
  • Johno Quinn in 23rd, at 41.03km, currently in 31st place overall,
  • Alistair Dickie in 26th, at 40.17km, narrowly missing out on 1st place in Fun class, currently in 39th place overall, and 2nd place in Fun class,
  • Alex Chapman in 46th, at 26.09km, currently in 59th place overall, and
  • Phil Robinson in 52nd, at 16.37km, currently in 62nd place overall.

Task 4

Task 4 was a 71.48km race to Tumbarumba via Walwa. It was won by Peter Slade on a Flow Spectra in a time of 2:34:22. 31 pilots made it to goal, with many succumbing either to sink and scarce thermals on the first leg, or strong winds around Pine Mountain.

The Canberra pilots’ results were:

  • Kari Ellis in 3rd, in a time of 2:36:06,
  • Johno Quinn in 16th, in a time of 2:59:51,
  • Phil Robinson in 52nd, at 35.99km,
  • Alex Chapman in 61st at 12.08km, and
  • Alistair Dickie in 71st, at 6.93km.

Task 5

Task 5 was a 54.7km race across to Mt. Mittamatite, across to Cudgewa, along the length of the Cudgewa valley to Welumbra Creek, then back to the Mt. Elliot LZ. It was won by Richard Binstead on a Flow XC Racer in a time of 1:17:09.

The Canberra pilots’ results were:

  • Kari Ellis in 8th, in a time of 1:19:34,
  • Johno Quinn in 22nd, in a time of 1:45:59,
  • Alistair Dickie in 40th, in a time of 2:24:10,
  • Alex Chapman in 56th, at 22.33km, and
  • Phil Robinson in equal 63rd.

About the Corryong PG Open

The Corryong PG Open takes place every year, attracting some of the best pilots in the country, and a few from around the world. Corryong is only 3 1/2 to 4 hours’ drive from Canberra. It is a small town in a huge valley surrounded by hills and bordering the Snowy Mountains. It’s an amazing place to fly – easily one of the best in Australia. Mt. Elliot overlooks the town and offers plenty of height and plenty of thermals, and its easy launch and landing make it suitable for beginners as well. The only limitation is a requirement for a VHF endorsement to fly within the Corryong CTAF.

The view from over Mt. Elliot

From the Corryong Open website:

The Corryong Open is a high level AAA/CAT2 competition with 450 ladder Points available, it’s sanctioned by the HGFA and aimed at experienced inland intermediate to advanced rated pilots. If you fit this category of pilot we would love for you to come fly with us and experience the magic of flying cross country in Corryong. The Corryong open is the final AAA event of the Australian season and is therefore a pilots last chance to gain Ladder and team ladder points.