Happening now, the 47th Annual Hang Gliding Spectacular

The 47th Annual Kitty Hawk Kites Hang Gliding Spectacular is happening through the weekend at Jockey’s Ridge State Park. Somehow with all the other event taking center stage on the Outer Banks right now, it seems to be flying under the radar.

The Spectacular is the oldest and longest running hang gliding competition in the world. It actually predates the founding of Kitty Hawk Kites by two years.

How the Hang Gliding Spectacular is Judged

It’s a fun event to watch, although it may seem a bit mysterious at times. The basic idea is for a pilot to launch and land within a fairly small circle. Points are awarded for how close to the landing circle they come and their form.

Some of what really makes the Spectacular fun happen away from the official competitions. Pilots will find a spot away from the crowd that has a nice slope and see who can fly the farthest. Or stay in the air the longest.

There is always a dance Saturday night. It’s a great event. Because the KHK hang gliding school has been around for so long the weekend and dance in particular becomes a homecoming for instructors of the past few decades…and there have been a lot.

A nice touch this year, tomorrow, Thursday any pilot over the past 46 years who placed in the top three in competitions are invited to a pre-competition. It should be, according to the Spectacular website fun. 

“Intended to reunite former winners in a fun, one day competition, all invited pilots are welcome to fly, but the spirit of the event is pure camaraderie,” they wrote.

Yes, there’s music everywhere in the air this week, but for anyone looking for a change of scenery, stop by Jockey’s Ridge State Park and check this out.

There is always something surprising happening on the Outer Banks. Make your reservation with Brindley Beach Vacations and discover the hidden Outer Banks.