Kalahari Big Sky Challenge 2014/15: Call for entries

The Kalahari's Big Sky

The Kalahari’s Big Sky


Dates for the Kalahari Big Sky Challenge 2014/15 have been announced. The four-week world record encampment will take place from 13 December 2014 to 17 January 2015 in Groblershoop, South Africa.

Announcing the event organiser Oscar Plange said he hoped to attract at least 20 of the world’s best XC hang glider pilots to attend for the whole month.

Records to be attempted will include Open Distance, Declared Goal, Out-and-Return Distance and Triangle Flights.

The event will be hosted at the Thuru Lodge near Grobelarshoop in the Northern Cape. The Northern Cape in South Africa is the scene of several world record sailplane flights as well as Nevil Hulett’s paragliding world record open distance flight of over 500km.

The major weather engine for the Southern African region is a strong high pressure system over the Atlantic Ocean, which periodically sweeps around the country to link up with a high pressure system over the Indian Ocean.

The outstanding, and for soaring, most important feature in this “concert of air masses” is the formation of a heat low over the interior of Southern Africa during the summer months. Due to its elongated shape (NW to SE) this is frequently referred to as the “trough line”.

Organiser Oscar Plange

Organiser Oscar Plange

Subsiding air just west of the trough line forms an inversion – so vitally important for successful soaring flights.

Thunderstorm development is limited – instead, perfect conditions with cloudbase of 5,000m and above set up.

Pilots who want to take part should express interest before the end of April 2014.


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