Rory Duncan wins 2018 Forbes Hang Gliding Competition

Friday saw the end of the 2018 Forbes Flatlands Hang Gliding Championship.

Split into two separate classes, which are the Open Class and the Sports Class, the Championship saw 59 hang gliders compete in seven events between December 30 and January 5.

Rory Duncan took out first place in the Open Class edging out last year’s winner, Jonny Durand, by one point. Josh Woods rounded out the top 3 in the Open Class.

Competition Organiser Lizzy Nevins said they flew very consistently over the event, though Jonny started the competition well behind Rory Duncan.

Mrs Nevins said the pilots who secured poll position in the Open Class are three of the best pilots in the country currently.

In the Sports Class, Peter Garrone took out first place with Leon Brown and Scott Ireland taking out second and third respectively.

Competition Organiser Vicki Cain said the weather was consistently good apart from the first day which was cancelled due to a storm. However the cancelled day was made up with pilots flying for the following seven days consecutively.

“It proved to be one of the most consistent flying conditions in the world for hang gliding competitions,” pilot Ollie Chittty said.

The Championships ended on a high note for more than just the winners with a new world record set for the longest glider task.

Sixteen gliders completed the record task - a 388km flight from Forbes to Manilla, a town 40km north of Tamworth.

Previously, the longest task in a hang gliding competition was a 368km journey from Forbes to Walgett, set during the 2016 Forbes Flatlands Hang Gliding Championships.

Mr Chitty said the competitors in the Open Class flew an average of 200km per flight and flying for a total of 1,400km over the whole competition.

Mr Chitty estimates that the competitors in the Sports Class flew a total of 500km over the course of the competition.

“This is the biggest competition on the Australian circuit and plays host to many of the world’s best pilots who travel far to fly in what is considered one of the best competitions,” pilot Jonny Durand said.