By PHILIP CHANDLER
Queenstown hanggliding pilot Ian Clark has rolled back the years to win the New Zealand champs for the first time since 2011.
In winning the event at Murchison, near Nelson, the 49-year-old — who owns Skytrek Tandem Hanggliding and Paragliding — made history by making goal each day of the eight-day comp, which finished last Saturday.
Distances to goal averaged 80km.
Clark was competing for the first time since 2012 due to Covid making his business quieter than usual — about 45 pilots were in the field.
‘‘I am stoked,’’ he says.
‘‘After winning the Wanaka nationals back in 2011, to come back 10 years on and win again is a dream come true.
‘‘The competition was intense, coupled with perfect flying conditions making it very challenging both physically and mentally.’’
Second place was one of Clark’s pilots, John Smith.
Queenstown’s Southern Hanggliding and Paragliding Club brought home the Kahu Cup, awarded to NZ’s top club in the comp.