Magic 3

Magic 3

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Around this time I must have felt the need to "trade up", and purchased this Magic 3 from Robin Rhodes who had flown it for a year in the League, and placed fourth. Maybe it was the very wide streamlined uprights, or maybe I felt some of his expertise would be inherited with the kite. The image on the left was early in May on its first outing at Flixton, where after one of my launches I managed to land on the aforemention pile of stones. Somewhat red-faced, I blamed my grip on the wide uprights. A week later we ventured to Lavenham. By now I had fitted a speed bar with neat wheels, and you can see the banana connection at the hang point, my trusty ventimeter and a smaller (electronic) vario (plus garden altimeter) on the left upright, with the camera on the right upright, and an airmap rolled up around my left arm! So I was definitely in go-for-it mode, but a 1000' cloud base prevented any XC prospects - it didn't stop Graham Drinkall doing a loop on his kite though!

Ireland - May 1985

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Why was it so difficult to do a significant XC in East Anglia? I took a couple of weeks holiday and drove to Ireland with the Magic 3, met up with Ian Cross of Ulster HGC near Belfast and tried some of the beautiful sites (mostly coastal though!) there. This is Magilligan, looking east towards Coleraine. Great friendly flying experiences, but no XC's. Then to Eniskillen to stay with friends and chance my arm with some solitary hang gliding in spectacular mountains. A 4.5 mile XC was all I managed. Launching unaccompanied in remote areas was just too risky I decided. The final few days were spent down south in Dublin with Doc and Declan and others. We flew from Mount Leinster. Conditions looked good. I got away in the northwesterly wind. Three thermals and 2 hours later I had run out of land to fly over and descended at Churchtown in the very south eastern-most point of Ireland. 36 miles!!

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But of course, Ireland is not the UK, so I couldn't claim the flight in the National XC League for the NHGC. Aw, shucks! Nevertheless, I had the remarkable luck to meet Phil Chett whilst returning via Merthyr in South Wales, and was able to bragg unmercifully to him about it.

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