The Willi XC – Big Distance, Big Air, Big Flights – Kevin Ault

// by: MWO

I just returned from participating in “The Willi XC Challenge”,  a hang gliding and paragliding event held annually at the fantastic Mount 7 flying site in Golden, BC.

Busy Launch on Mt. 7

 
Compared with other comps, this is quite a simple format. Launch and go as far as you can, usually south “down range” above beautiful places like Invermere and Radium Hot Springs. Some pilots have actually flown all the way to the US border, which is over 250 kilometers!

For me it was simply about learning more about flying and doing better than my previous best flight of eighty-six kilometers at the 2015 Willi.

Winding up in a Thermal

 
On July 24, the second day of the comp, I flew 146 kilometers to Canal Flats along with sixteen other pilots. The flight took over six hours and the air during the first three hours was some of the most challenging air I’d ever flown in – very turbulent in places with lift of up to eleven meters a second!

Getting a Ride Back to Golden after an Epic Flight

 
I’ve got a great Doarama animation of this flight. Click here to see it.