With all the talk and attention being paid to what a spectacular weekend of events we have on tap on the Outer Banks, one of the oldest and best events of all seems to have been overlooked.

The Kitty Hawk Kites 45th Annual Hang Gliding Spectacular at Jockey’s Ridge State Park is this weekend. Yes, that’s right—45th Annual going all the way back to 1973.

Along with being one of the longest running annual events on the Outer Banks, it is also the oldest hang gliding competition anywhere.

The competition is fun, but it has become a gathering of old friends as well. The Kitty Hawk Kites hang gliding school was the first of its kind and the number of hang gliding pilots who earned their first rating at Jockey’s Ridge State Park probably runs into the thousands.

There are a number of different levels of competition, from beginning where pilots fly in a straight line and attempt to land their glider as close to the middle of a landing zone as possible, to more advanced that require a pilot to maneuver their craft along a course.

It’s all dependent upon the wind, of course, so the weather forecast plays an important part in this. 

Looking at what we have on tap for the weekend for Jockey’s Ridge, winds look light and variable this morning but should pick up a bit this afternoon. Tomorrow looks good and Monday when everything wraps up should have good conditions as well…if the weather holds. Winds are predicted to be from the NE which is a good direction for some of the best flights.