Powered paragliders hunt for new home

THE Australian Paramotoring Championships and Anzac Cup will take place in Gloucester this Easter.

More than 50 powered paragliding enthusiasts will travel to Gloucester for the championships and the cup, which pits Australia’s best pilots against those from New Zealand.

Powered paragliders use a large propeller strapped to their backs and complete various tasks on and nearby an airfield.

Event organiser Brett Coupland said this would be the first time the championships had been held in Gloucester, with a view to making it the event’s permanent home.

“The event has been looking for a home for a number of years now,” Mr Coupland said.

“We’ve previously held the championships in Nowra, Gulgong and Kempsey, but every time we’ve come up against something.

“Gloucester’s a great spot to fly, the aero club here has been very welcoming and the scenery is fantastic.

“The other major attraction is people can watch the tasks happening from the airfield. It’s a really good spectator venue.”

Paragliders traditionally do all their flying in the early morning or the late afternoon. Mr Coupland said he hoped that would appeal to Gloucester residents.

“Typically we fly between 6am and 10am and then again between 4pm and 7pm,” he said.

“The middle of the day is when it’s really thermic and it’s not really comfortable for flying and it can be dangerous.”

Mr Coupland said the 50 or more competitors would hold a practice day on the Thursday before Good Friday, with competition to be held across the first three days of Easter.

Easter Monday will be a carry over day if required.

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