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XContest UK 2024

Welcome to The XContest UK!

Welcome to The XContest UK!

This is a three flight XC league for paraglider and hang glider pilots in the UK. We want to promote the adventure of XC flying on our small islands and encourage you on, whatever you fly!


What’s the big idea?

A lot of thought has gone into this new format. Firstly, a three flight score helps make things more equal for those in areas where opportunities to score big days are rarer. Secondly, we’re leveling the playing field with a handicap system – meaning that EN A, B and C paraglider pilots can score more equally each day with higher performance flyers. Third, the multipliers for triangles and ‘free’ triangles encourage circuit flying on lightwind days, but equalise the challenges of such flights with the complexities of open distance flying. We think scoring should reflect the fact that there’s only been two 300 km straight line flights in the UK done by paraglider (Richard Carter and Hugh Miller), and two by hang glider (Carl Wallbank and Nev Almond).

Also, we’re keen to award prizes for the big milestones, to help celebrate your achievements. Fly your first 100 km straight line XC and you’ll be sent a Cross Country XContest 100 T-shirt. Go on to crack your first 200 points, and you’ll earn a Cross Country Speed Top (with gold sleeves).

Above all this is a pilot-represented league, run by a committee, who are here to listen to pilots’ views and shape the contest accordingly.


The XContest UK ends 30 September, and restarts on 1 October each year.


Dear reader, If you're wondering, "What did I miss? Where should I have been on the 20th of April?" the first picture surely answers that question. Leckhampton was bustling, perhaps as bustling as it can get, with approximately 80 pilots crowding the Cotswold Way. The first gaggle took off to the south shortly after 11 am, and three more followed suit soon after. Despite some gusty winds and occasionally wobbly take-offs from the steep, cliff-like hill, we were fortunate to avoid any major accidents. Over 20 pilots surpassed the 100 km mark, with quite a few landing on the southern tip of Portland Bill! All in all, it was another fantastic day. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves. Pictures Courtesy of Anna Dabal, Will Rome, Tom Janikowski & author Check out daily UK flights @ https://www.xcontest.org/united-kingdom/flights/daily-score-pg/ Marcin Egiert XContestUK #xcontestuk #crosscountryflying


This is nothing short of a spectacular flight in stunning Scottish scenery. Check out Oliver's excellent write-up and stunning pictures from his fantastic flight from the foothill of Ben Nevis, south across Loch Leven, and along Glen Etive.


Sundays, April 14th, seemed promising, but I don't think many anticipated a 200km+ day. The north of the UK was blown out, and in the south, the place to be was Frocester. Despite windy conditions, a few pilots set ambitious targets of 150km+! Several reached their goals, but one flight stands out because it was the longest and also because, unlike others, it was not flown on a D wing but on the modest Niviuk Artic 5 - a C class wing! When I asked Adam how he managed to fly for 7 hours in the middle of April, in the UK, under the cover of high clouds (!), he said, 'I will always try to fly until the end of the day; goals are personal challenges, flights to the goal are more exciting, and it also gives me confidence in my own flying and planning abilities. Initially, I aimed for Huntington, but my brother, who was watching my live track, offered to pick me up from wherever I landed, so I carried on. Thank you for the pictures and congratulations to Adam Kozlowski. https://www.instagram.com/ficom1 https://www.xcontest.org/united-kingdom/flights/detail:cosmovsky/14.04.2024/09:57 Marcin Egiert XContestUK #xcontestuk #crosscountryflying


The five-star forecast timidly revealed itself over the past week, culminating in a very successful day, albeit marred for some by poor decisions leading to being in the wrong places (yours truly). Nevertheless, the first 100k+ flights for the 2024 season have been completed. In the southern region, Milk Hill emerged as the place to be. Two groups of pilots embarked on the course toward Birmingham, with Ludek Munzar and Zsolt Gaspar making the right call and heading west of Birmingham, covering 134 kilometers in just over four hours, thanks to favorable windy conditions. David Smart flew 118km from Windbank in the Yorkshire Dales. It appears he was headed towards Bergen in Norway, but I suspect sea thermals are not as strong this time of the year, leading him to land on the beach in Newcastle. Congratulations to all the pilots! Here's to longer days and stronger thermals.🍻 Photos courtesy Mincek Minkiewicz and Cass - https://www.instagram.com/paraglidecass/ Marcin Egiert XContestUK #xcontestuk #crosscountryflying


Cross Country UK Update: March 24th Hey Pilots, Yesterday, March 24th, witnessed some decent cross-country flights stretching from the rugged Pennines, through the scenic landscapes of Wales, and down to South England, culminating at Selsley Common. Pilots capitalized on the favorable conditions and managed to traverse considerable distances across diverse terrains. While it wasn't an exceptional day, it certainly provided a solid opportunity for those eager to explore the skies. We've been hearing about some good flights and picturesque views along the journey. If you were part of yesterday's flights, share your experiences and any highlights you'd like to mention, and if you missed out, remember, there's always another chance to chase those cross-country dreams. Don't forget, if you haven't already, upload your flights to the XContestUK! It's a fantastic opportunity to showcase your achievements and be part of the flying community. Check out the latest flights on our contest page, safe flying, everyone! 🌤️ https://www.xcontest.org/united-kingdom/flights/daily-score-pg/#flights[sort]=distance@filter[date]=2024-03-24 Photos Courtesy of Aga Zaborowska, Kacper Kinstler and Justin Simmonds Marcin Egiert XContestUK #xcontestuk #crosscountryflying


The forecast indicated a warm front approaching from the west, and high clouds shut down thermic conditions over most of the country early in the morning. A small area in the east remained flyable, but you had to be on the hill early and not linger. I had a quick chat with Tom after his flight, and that was his take on the day. 'I knew it had to be an early one to dodge the front. It was all clouded over just 45 minutes after I landed. Facing a 2500ft airspace to the North, I tracked upwind to gain time and distance from the airspace. I also left climbs early to stay below 3500ft to make sure I didn't hit it.' Congratulations, Tom! Looking forward to more of your flights this season.