Kitty Hawk Kites celebrates 47th annual Hang Gliding Spectacular with former champs

The Kitty Hawk Kites Hang Gliding Spectacular continues through Monday. [Kari Pugh photo]

The longest-running hang gliding competition in the world is underway on the sands of Jockey’s Ridge State Park, as Kitty Hawk Kites presents the 47th Annual Hang Gliding Spectacular and Air Show through Monday.

And for the first time on Thursday, top finishers from the 46-year history of the meet were honored during a special Tournament of Champions.

Open to all pilots who placed 1st, 2nd, or 3rd in any of the 46 events held to date, the Tournament of Champions reunites former winners for fun competition that celebrates the camaraderie of the sport.
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All top finishers are encouraged to come back to the dunes even if they no longer fly to remember the the essence of dune flying: gathering to celebrate friends and free flight, remembering a time when questions at the end of the day weren’t “How high did you get?” or “How far did you go?” but rather, “How many flights did you make today?”

Competitions take place each day, with free viewing for the public and fun activities all day long. Dune competitions will be held today from noon to 5 p.m. with a film festival from 8-10 p.m.

Dune competitions Saturday will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with an instructor alumni reunion and Woody Jones Memorial Street dance on Saturday night.
On Sunday, dune competitions are from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. with event awards from 4:30-5:30 p.m.
On Monday, Aero Tow competitions take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
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