At Cypress Gardens, Florida, a 24 year old Australian, has retained his title in the Fourth World Cup Glider Championships.
At Cypress Gardens, Florida, a 24 year old Australian, has retained his title in the Fourth World Cup Glider Championships. The competition attracted thousands of people and indicated the growing popularity of the sport.
SYNOPSIS: Hang gliding has come a long way since it was developed from kite flying more than 20 years ago. Since then, improvements have been made to the gliders such as the delta wing design and swing type harness to improve stability. Good hang gliding depends on rising air thermals, and Cypress Gardens with its subtropical conditions proved an ideal spot for the competition.
Australian Steve Moyes was the favourite going into the competition having won last year's event.
But it wasn't easy for the young Australian whose glider was built by his father, himself a famous free flight pioneer. At one stage Moyes' two line tangled with his glider and forced him to abort the flight. But Moyes was awarded a second flight and it was enough to give him the points needed for victory, and a 1,500 dollar (870 pounds sterling) first place prize. His closest rival was another Australian, 29 year old John Ogden, a nightclub owner. It was his first meet in the United States and he had the longest flight of the competition when he found a thermal and stayed up for more than seven minutes after releasing from the 500 foot tow rope. His first American event netted him a 1,000 dollars (580 pounds sterling) and second place. Coming in third was seventeen year old American Jackie Williamson and Pennsylvania. His reward was 500 dollars (280 pounds sterling) and his placing means he will be among the top flyers for the next few years.