Competition Dates


2019 World Championships

31 December-02 January 2020: Official Practice Days
03 Jan January 2020: 19:00 hrs Official opening
04-17 January 2020: Competition Days - 14 in total
18 January 2020: 10:00 hrs Official closing ceremony.

Flying conditions around Lake Keepit in summer are mostly great and often outstanding. There's little in the way of other traffic and airspace to worry about and with an interesting topography and lots of places to outland, Keepit has a deserved reputation as being one of the best places to fly in Australia.

Typically, the cloud base is 6,000-8,000' with occasional days up to 13,000'. Thermal strength is 4-5 knots on a bad day and can your can often get a rowdy 11 knots on good days. Most thermals are marked by CU and there are plenty of easy outlanding fields.

There's controlled airspace to the east around Tamworth so most tasks are set in the 180º semicircle to the west which stretches about 3500 km towards the Indian Ocean. Outside controlled airspace, there's not a lot of traffic. While all gliders use Flarm, it's see and avoid for the the other traffic.

So generally, it's a great and relaxing place to fly.

By January, there are very few insects in the air so your wings stay clean and fast. Visibility is normally over the horizon except if there are bushfires around the country when it can get a lot less.

The topography is nicely varied, especially compared to some of the other often boring flatland sites around Australia where you can do a single turn in a thermal and find yourself lost. This makes flying more interesting and makes it harder to get lost because after a few flights, you can orientate yourself using the local ranges and towns.

Keepit itself is ringed by several ranges of hills, the Carrols, the Kelvins, the Mount Kaputar ranges and Mount Borah. Mount Borah is an internationally well known launch site for hang gliders and paragliders and can get busy over the weekend, especially in January. Mostly these gliders fly downwind but be aware that they're likely to be around.

The highest point in the region is Mount Kaputar to the north west, which towers almost 5,000' above the plain and is snow covered for all but 364.95 days a year. To the east of Kaputar, there are several valleys heading towards the Queensland border mostly a few kms wide with good outlanding fields. To the north east, the ground slopes gradually up towards the Northern Tablelands. Though tasks are not often set far in this direction, you can often find great convergence there.

Like much of the high ground in the region, there are plenty of escape routes to the plains either side which makes our high ground rather more relaxing to fly than other high ground such as the alps.

Our region can have 'big weather' in Summer.

You can get localised overdevelopment and storms in the afternoon on unstable days in the hot months. Occasionally, these storms will join up with remarkable rapidity into a large storm front covering a huge area. These are to be avoided. The German or Polish paraglider glider pilot Ewa Wisnierska achieved a world record height gain while practicing for the 2007 paragliding Worlds close to Mount Borah. She and some others tried to get between two storm cells. The cells rapidly joined up, along with two or three other to form a massive storm front. Ewa was sucked up to over 32,000' and was very fortunate to survive.

It can be a hoot flying storm clouds but sometimes, even flying close to VNE, you're still going up at 10 knots while trying to escape and things can turn hairy very quickly.

Information for Pilots