Attila glides to victory in Hang Gliding Championships

Saturday saw the end of the annual Forbes Flatlands Hang Gliding Championships after a challenging week of weather for pilots.

Split into two separate classes, which are the Open Class and the Sports Class, the Championship saw almost 50 hang gliders compete in four events between January 3 and January 11.

Due to poor visibility and strong winds over the opening days of the competition, the Open Class were only able to complete four tasks, while the Sports Class were able to complete three tasks.

Event organiser Vicki Cain said overall everyone was understanding of the extreme conditions that they experienced while here.

Hungarian pilot, Attila Bertok took out first place in the Open Class by a wide margin, edging out Australian pilot Josh Woods by 146 points.

Rounding out the top three in the Open Class was last year's winner, Australian Jonny Durand.

Ms Cain said Atilla made his mark early on in the competition, winning two of the tasks and finishing strongly in the other two tasks.

In the Sports Class, Peter Garrone from Australia took out first place with Jonghwan Kim from Korea and Abdul Mustopa from Indonesia taking out second and third respectively.

The competition's final day of flying on Saturday, January 11 saw one of the shortest tasks ever set for the Open Class, with a distance of 87.5km.

Ms Cain said they assigned this task because of difficult conditions forecast at the start of the day, but the pilots were able to make goal in a really short time as the conditions improved.

For next year's Forbes Flatlands Hang Gliding Championships, Ms Cain said organisers are considering changing the date to February or March in the hopes that the weather will be kinder to competitive flying.

Ms Cain said they would like to thank the Forbes Shire Council and the Forbes Aero Club for their generous support of the competition, as well as the Vandenberg Hotel for hosting them this year.