WHILE farmers and gardeners look to the skies for rain, paragliding pilots in Manilla are celebrating the best year of flying yet.
For the next week, the best pilots will take to the skies above the small town to test their skills and fly as far as Queensland in the Manilla Paragliding XC Camp 2014 competition.
Organiser Godfrey Wenness said the flying over the weekend was “pretty good”, with pilots on Saturday flying past Wee Waa.
There are 75 pilots, with more registering every day, representing 14 countries competing this week, including from Tamworth and Manilla.
Mr Wenness said the past 12 months had been terrible for farmers but good for paragliding and the best he’d ever seen.
The pilots use rising currents of warm air called “thermals” to provide lift to heights of up to 3000m.
And, if they find a number of thermals, pilots could end up as far away as southern Queensland, the Hunter Valley or Walgett each day.
Mr Wenness said visitors were welcome to visit Mt Borah during the competition, with the launch site providing a vantage point for spectators to see the gliders take to the air.