Local paraglider pilots took to the skies over Lake Dunstan during the long weekend impressing those on terra-firma with skill, glider control, smooth and clean manouveres, execution and choreography during Acrofest 2021.

Paraglider pilots licensed under the HZHGPA (New Zealand Hanggiding and Paragliding Association) and members of the Southern Hangglisding and Paragliding Club covering the Southern Lakes region as far south as Invercargill took part in the annual event.

Blake Round from Paratow nz towed the guys and three ladies up to 3000ft above Lake Dunstan where for this event, they performed aerobatic manevours while being judged from the ground.

What looks like an effortless, smooth and tranquil glide from the ground requires glider control and much skill from those performing and Cromwell locals certainly didn’t mind craning their necks to the sky to watch the performances from pilots.

“Cromwell has been very welcoming, it’s a great place to hold the competition, and the locals have been fantastic, special thanks to the team at The Moorings who went out of their way to make us feel welcome,” Blake says.

Para Tow NZ runs the winch which pulls gliders into the air, ensuring the correct heights over the water are achieved for safety.

The first event to be held in Cromwell attracted 18 paraglider pilots from a national number of 1400, with 350 pilots belonging to the Southern Lakes club.

Cromwell boasts two launch areas, one at the Cromwell Yacht Club in McNulty’s Inlet and the other in Pisa Moorings.

“Depending on the direction of the wind, we can choose from two launch sites and Cromwell is also outside of controlled airspace making it possible to be flying here,” he adds.

Southern Lakes Hangglising and Paragliding club members look forward to returning to Cromwell in the future, as they look to training and further competitions throughout the year.

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