The wedge-tail eagle hovering over a paragliding takeoff area at Mount Borah on Sunday seemed to spook some State of Origin competitors, who were in a holding pattern waiting for a decent wind cycle.
The majestic birds of prey have been known to attack the wings of paragliders.
In a thick European accent, one of the competitors explained that the wedge-tail eagles at the famed paragliding location were not known to attack wings.
In fact, he said, they showed pilots where the best wind thermals were.
On the final day at the three-day event on Sunday, finding those thermals proved difficult after the wind died off compared to the first two days.
Suspended last year due to COVID, the 25th showing of the annual sky spectacular lured a maximum 200 pilots.
The final result was pending on Sunday night, with Queensland ahead going into the last day. In 2019, Queensland won by a point.
Godfrey Wenness, president of the Manilla Sky Sailors Club, said Friday was "a really good flying day" - with some pilots getting out towards Narrabri.
He said that Saturday was "a lot more tricky, with a lot of wind in the morning", which dissipated in the afternoon. The best pilots got out towards Boggabri and Gunnedah.
"The novices struggled a little bit in the windy conditions," he added.
It was "over-clouded" for most of Sunday, he continued, meaning there were no cross-country trips for competitors.
Wenness said a number of pilots recorded personal-best distances, further enhancing the mood at the event's campsite outside Manilla.
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