Local sport

Paragliders take to the sky above Barberton

The paragliding open provides a massive financial boost for Barberton.

The Barberton Paragliding Open 2024 is presently being held in Barberton. The event started on June 16 and will end on June 22.

It is taking place at the Lone Tree Hill paragliding launch site and is hosted by the Lowveld Slope Soaring Club (LSSC). Barberton has become famous for hosting
this event since the area is one of the best paragliding hotspots in South Africa.

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The site is used exclusively for winter flying, where thermal strengths can vary from less than one to approximately five metres per second, with an average of around two to three metres per second. The flying day usually starts around 12:00, although flying from 10:00 is not uncommon.

With the area being a summer rainfall region, rain is not anticipated and temperatures are expected to vary from around 10 °C in the mornings to 28 °C in the early afternoon.

Over the last couple of years, the site has delivered an average of five successful tasks per competition, with the other days often being flyable but not “taskable”. The best flying takes place between about 12:30 and 15:30, with tasks often set to start at about 13:00. Task distances usually vary from 40 to 60km.

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