The gaggle climbing out over Mystic

The Bright Open was held in early February. There were seven ACTHPA pilots who took part in this year’s Bright Open, out of a field of 53 competitors:

  • Kari Ellis,
  • Alistair Dickie,
  • Phil Robinson,
  • Alex Chapman,
  • Alex Boiko,
  • Daniel Thuillier and
  • Johno Quinn.

Astute readers will notice the absence of Graham Rose, who put himself out of the running by crashing his mountain bike on Mystic. Stick to a safer sport Grum – like paragliding!

Alistair also sponsored the competition, giving away a stack of BlueFly varios for good sportsmanship or personal achievements.


Results are up on airScore. As are the tasks we flew.

  • Daniel Thuillier came 2nd in the fun class, and 1st in the intermediate (under two years and 250 hours flying),
  • Alex Chapman came 26th overall, 6th in the sports class,
  • Johno Quinn came 29th overall,
  • Phil Robinson came 41st overall,
  • Alistair Dickie came 46th overall,
  • Alex Boiko came 47th overall, and
  • Kari Ellis was just along for the ride (not officially in the comp),
Dan 2nd in fun class in his first comp!
And first in intermediate!


There were three tasks this year, tasks 1 and 3 from Bright to Mystic, and task 2 from “Ray’s” to the NSW border. Take a look at Daniel “Wally” Arcidiacono’s Ayvri “Horse Race” compilations below to watch the races.

Task 1

A 75km race from Mystic to Mount Beauty. Check out the results here, and the horse race here.

Task 2

A 59km ‘speedrun interval’ (multiple start times, best time wins) from Ray’s, a long low ridge, up to the NSW border. The biggest challenge in this task was avoiding the low airspace in the first part of the race, with big thermals making it hard to stay low. Check out the results here, and the horse race here.

Launching at Ray’s
Climbing out
A sometimes-friendly eagle guarding the ridge

Task 3

A 58km race from Bright to Mount Beauty. Check out the results here and the horse race here.

In the gaggle waiting for the start
On glide after the start gate opened
On approach at Mount Beauty
Landing at the Mount Beauty airport

About the Bright Open

The main launch is Mystic, overlooking Bright

Bright is a beautiful mountain town in Victoria, about five hours’ drive from Canberra. It is a regular flying destination for Canberra pilots, but is also a favourite for Melbourne pilots, interationals, and has a thriving local scene including several instructors.

From the Bright open website:

Bright Open 2021 is a one of three legs of the Australian Nationals (SAFA) AAA sanctioned competition of the 2020-21 season. The Open will consist of one round which will count towards a pilot’s WPRS score. All tasks over the 8 days will contribute to the AAA Sanction / Aussie ladder / Team Selection Ladder. Being AAA rated, this will see 450 points available for the Aussie ladder, however, if Covid - 19 restrictions mean that some pilots cannot travel interstate then the event might be downgraded.

Note that the open has since been downgraded to a B sanctioned event.

After the Bright Open, many of the pilots will move on to the Corryong PG Open.

The Sites

Bright flying site is located in Victorian Alps to the North East of Melbourne surrounded by beautiful mountainous landscape of various national parks. It is situated in between Mount Buffalo, Mount Bogong and Mount Feathertop that dominate about 1000-1200 m above the valley with peaks about 1500-1800 ASL. There are two mostly common used takes off Mystic and Gundowring. Both sites are privately owned.


The competition is open to all pilots with a minimum of an Australian PG 4 rating or equivalent (IPPI 4)


Trophies for Fun, Sport, Serial, Open, Female, Intermediate and Reynolds categories. Classes will be defined by Aspect ratio and EN certification (as well as PG rating, weight and gender). Individual female pilots may choose to to opt out of the female class.