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Despite some rough weather conditions Tuesday afternoon â€” including lightning and heavy rains â€” the 2013 U.S. National Hang Gliding Championship remains on-track to wrap up one of its best years Saturday at the McMahon-Wrinkle Airpark.
According to U.S. National Hang Gliding organizer Belinda Boulter, the pilots â€” more than 40, including competitors from the U.S., Mexico and Guatemala â€” continue to enjoy amazing flying conditions in and around the Crossroads area.
â€śMonday was a blue day, but the lift over the canyons was excellent and there was a strong tail wind,â€ť Boulter said. â€śPilots got well over 9,000 feet, and the winners averaged nearly 40 miles per hour.â€ť
With a lack of clouds â€” which pilots use to identify areas providing thermal lift â€” in the early afternoon, Boulter said the pilots prepared to take to the skies earlier this week with a slightly different game plan in mind. However, that plan gave way quickly when not only clouds, but thunderstorms moved into the area.
ee was still anticipating a blue day, so they chose a task to Brownfield where they felt they would have the best chance of clouds,â€ť Boulter said. â€śBy the time launch opened at 1 p.m., clouds were indeed developing in that area and they were growing quickly."