History


The British Hang Gliding League was conceived by Brian Milton, not just as a competition series to decide the national champion but as a training ground for world beating pilots. It was not long before the results began to justify his vision.

It was 1977 when the first UK Hang Gliding League took place and it was a close run event. At the final in Wales the pilots had flown in poor conditions for three days, including fog, to complete slalom, 360 and spot landing tasks. Johnny Carr led going into the final round, but Brian Wood emerged as the winner after miraculously completing an astonishing fourteen 360s in a thermal! In an earlier round, Bob Calvert had flown 17 miles from Llandinam on a Hiway Scorpion, marking the beginning of XC competition tasks in this country. The pilot list from 1977 was impressive.

The League went on to become the model for other countries' national championships, the springboard for many internationally respected pilots' careers and the breeding ground for several victorious British teams. Once described by John Pendry as 'the hardest competition in the world' to win, the League, though changed almost out of recognition over the years, remained a tough, demanding and respected competition. Eventually the demands of the international competition scene made attendance at such a series difficult to achieve and the league split into a single meet national championships and the British Hang Gliding Series - which retains many elements of the original League concept.