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Flowerdale (3 Sisters)
This site is normally an easy site to fly to the North although can become quite turbulent in strengthening winds or if the wind swings. To the South you need to be careful on takeoff due to the turbulence produced by the trees in front of launch. Cross Country has potential, but works best when some initial height can be gained from ridge lift before having to work and possibly commit over the back in thermals.
10 / September / 2014
Once in the air, the main beat is around a kilometer long, however on a good day pilots can cross the carpark and fly down to Mount Eliza, total distance is around 8km. There are plenty of well shaped bowls along the ridge and good height can be obtained.
Craigie Rd
24 / April / 2015
There is no decent landing area below takeoff for use as a bomb out, so be conservative when evaluating takeoff conditions. There is a point immediately to the right of takeoff. If the wind is too far north, it generates turbulence. The wind is usually off to the left a bit. Watch your wings - we've had a few low hour pilots drop the left hand wingtip on takeoff and end up in the bushes. The site is sensitive the local council are not really keen on us flying there, so be polite and careful at all times. Keep an eye on the wind lines. In general, the winds on the bay tend more southerly with time. You should be able to see a southerly swing coming and make it to the appropriate landing area before it gets to you.
8 / February / 2015
In lighter winds, the dune takeoff at the Graveyard (on west side of the path in to the beach) is preferred for hang gliders, as the embankment take off further West around the rocky point is quite low and is suitable only for stronger winds. The dune face is broken and uneven further to the East, but there's a good high soarable dune face about 400m long at the Graveyard takeoff. In a good wind (15kts), it is eminently soarable, but beware - this site has claimed a life in light winds when scratching the low dunes.
Cairns Bay
The flying beat is 1 km and down the coast to Flinders ramp as well as along the coast to the right but this can only be done in great conditions. Fly the bowl and around the cliff to the left of launch. Some great flying can be done here, the area suits a SW just great. Make sure you have at least 50' above the cliff top before venturing around the cliff to the left of launch and only fly around the point if the wind is straight on launch the rotor on the point has caused some moments of grief for some. Soaring at Cairns Bay is a doddle, but can be very potentially dangerous if the wind is slightly cross to the West or East. If inexperienced pilots fly out and in front of the large cliff to left or right of takeoff, the rotor can be horrendous. Several severe accidents have taken place on this stretch of coast due to point-induced rotor - and there is nowhere to go but into the sea. Don't go out of the bay area on your own, or without talking to an experienced pilot first.
Ocean Grove
9 / November / 2014
The Point Lonsdale Run is approximately 10km one way and you will rarely get over 100'. Only one very long gap, about 1km east of Collendina, three or four smaller gaps on the way. Excellent view of "The Rip" at the Point Lonsdale end. Pilots flying this trip should be intermediate minimum, able to self launch and should fly in pairs since there are not many people on this area of beach.
Bright - Mystic Launch
Ridge soaring, once above the height of the trees behind launch is quite easy (but sometimes bumpy). In order to get to that height, passes across the launch bowl in the best lift are often required. Once below launch height, head towards the landing paddock and you may be lucky and catch a thermal above the spur on the way down. When thermalling there are a number of places to head for. Thermals seem to gather above the spurs to the left and right. In general, the whole hill is a trigger point so be prepared for some monster lift straight away. During summer, the lift is quite strong and rough between 12 and 3:30pm. It is safer and more enjoyable to launch before or after. Many excellent XC flight have been achieved after launching as late as 5:30pm. During other seasons Bright hill can be flown almost anytime. The site is centred amongst prime alpine flying country, so excellent XC flights are possible. Over the back to Harrietville, right to Tawonga Gap and the Kiewa Valley, or left to Porepunkah Hill, the Ovens Valley, Mt Buffalo, Myrtleford and onwards. On epic days try for Wangaratta or the McDonalds on the Hume Highway SW of Wangaratta.
From the Bowl, pilots can enjoy a trip up the coast to the Blow hole point, about 1.6km away. You may wish to take a vario. It is common in summer for quite bouyant bubbles of air to lift from exposed rock areas on the beach. Some have spent many happy times floating about 700ft above takeoff riding these bubbles whilst less fortunate souls without varios whiz about only one or two hundred feet above launch.
Flinders Monument
The Monument site offers excellent lift in any soarable E-ESE wind. The best flying is in October/November when there are lots of easterlies. In light winds the site is generally flyable from just south of takeoff to where the cliff peters out about 500m to the left, but in reasonable winds, you can cross to Boyds Point to the north. In excellent winds, it is possible to fly all the way to Shoreham and if the wind is East, high performance hang gliders can make the return trip. It can sometimes be very difficult to get up in light conditions. In fact, in very light conditions it can seem soarable, but there appears to be some form of block which destroys lift below cliff level at the sheer cliff end. The boats anchored by the pier in front of the site offer a good indicator of wind direction. There is an excellent, and usually wide beach available to the right for landings, and plenty of lawn beside the car park there to pack up on.
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