The weekend of 6.-8. of March brought to us the annual gathering of manufacturers and pilots from the centre of Europe and beyond.

Along with our Austrian dealer, Klaus Donat from Take Off Paragliding and Martin Schwarz, our German dealer, we had many gliders and harnesses available for pilots to try.

The new FIDES 5 and ANAKIS 3 were the stars. We were busy making a photo shoot of the new wings so I flew quite a bit with the FIDES 5 and was reminded that this humble training glider is actually so much more than that. A rarity in its class, in that whilst being an extremely safe and stable glider, it delivered ample degrees of feedback and handling that made it a pure pleasure to fly with a big smile.

Flying the ANAKIS 3 was the start of a beautiful relationship. I flew one of the first pre production wings back in December on our Morocco dealer days and had a very nice climb out on the machine. Flying it here at Stubai, I was reminded of it’s forgiving yet subtle handling. Even launching in some back winds, inflation and take off was impeccable and straight forward. Circling in the lift was very coordinated and soon we were climbing up to the peaks. Strong wind above the peaks was whipping the snow off the mountain, so caution was required near the top of the climb. The security that was offered by the ANAKIS 3 was very reassuring when we touched the wind shear. An amazing glide, the best I have honestly ever experienced from an EN A glider, took me out in to the valley and back to the warmth and calm with the fair below. A few more photos and we were back on the landing field, again with a huge smile. This is not just another EN A glider but a very competent wing for the B class pilot who will discover that relaxed, yet rewarding cross country flights will be a common occurrence at the weekends whilst delivering levels of safety to keep even the most occasional weekend warrior happy for many seasons.

Many pilots tried out the ANAKIS 3 and the feed back was very positive and as per that of which I have described.

Hannes from Munich quoted ‘It was fantastic. I could not believe it was EN A, so good handling and performance!’

Martin from Garmisch ‘Wow, wow, wow! So much handling and easy to use and always in the back of my mind, when it got a little rough, I knew it was an EN A! Incredible.’

Caroline from France ‘I want one now! The pink one!’

Tomas Lednik, Sky’s conjurer of the air, demonstrated the SKY DRIVE steerable Rogallo reserve system. With a newly developed harness, Tomas showed that he could deploy the reserve very quickly and the glider was automatically cut away leaving him to glide to the spot landing under the reserve.

It was great to see the ARGOS still making an impression in the air, and several pilots commented that this simple yet sophisticated wing was the sweetest thing they had ever flown. A couple of Antea pilots tried the ARGOS and swore they would make it their next glider.

So, we had a great time catching up with old friends and meeting new and flying high. I can highly recommend visiting Stubai next year and I hope to see you all there!

Tim King

Team Sky