© Andrew Wagstaff - TC MEDIA
Paragliding pilot Patric Stettler enjoys a flight at Hidden Falls near Parrsboro on Friday, May 16, as the 20th annual Festival of Free Flight kicked off.
If sunny weather was not enough to convince people Friday that spring has finally arrived, the sight of paragliders in the skies above Hidden Falls should have done the trick.
May 16 was the first day of the 20th annual Festival of Free Flight, with a handful of paragliding pilots moving a bit inland to make the best of the conditions.
“It’s pretty good flying today,” said Patric Stettler, one of pilots. “We have some really light thermal cycles going on, and not too much wind, so Hidden Falls was a good choice to make today.”
There was not enough wind to provide good lift at some of the favoured coastal launching sites on Friday, whereas the thermal cycles at Hidden Falls allowed them to hold their height longer and gain a couple metres here and there, he explained.
“It all depends on conditions,” said Stettler, former operator of the Pegasus paragliding school. “Obviously, everyone is hoping to have the coastal sites pick up, which means the wind will have to increase to about 22, to a maximum of 35 kilometres per hour. Of course, it also needs to come in straight, and we hope for that. Maybe in the next couple of days it will happen.”
The festival will continue over Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Visit here for the schedule of events, and follow on Twitter or a white board in front of Parrsboro's Black Rock Bistro for updates on flying locations.