We’re Open!

It has taken some work, but we’re ready to go for Willi 2017 Registration! You can register at…

Registration was opened a week ago for last year’s participants, and we already have 50 of the available 120 spots spoken for. Register early to be sure you are in, and to take advantage of the early entry discount. Register and pay by June 15 and the entry fee is $100. After June 15, the fee goes up to $150. Everybody who pays before June 15 also has their name entered into a draw for a $50 gift certificate to a local Golden restaurant.

The long weekend is late this year, so the Willi dates are as follows…

  • On-site Sign In: Friday, July 28
  • Comp Flying Days: from Saturday, July 28 thru Sunday, August 6
  • Awards Dinner: Sunday evening, August 6

You can see who is already registered at…

Also, the G.E.A.R. reservation system is now open, and we encourage you to make one soon – they are already filling up. More info on G.E.A.R., and access to reservations, can be found here…

We’re looking forward to flying with you this summer!

Willi 2016 Sponsors and Helpers Rock!

You can’t run a meet like the Willi without great help. Thanks from all of us to (if we’ve missed someone, our apologies)….

  • Great Sponsors – see http://thewillixc.com/sponsors/ and please frequent their businesses
  • Vincene Muller – sponsor and retrieve driver extraordinaire
  • GEAR Owners and Staff – Cathy-Anne, John, Trina, Warren, Brandon
  • The Kitchen Ladies – Nicki and Elyse of Kickin’ Thyme Catering
  • Tracking Service – Dave Wheeler at http://xcfind.paraglide.us/
  • Launch Crew – Glen Kowalski, Stephanie Vegotsky (with notable help from many fluffers and wire people)
  • Spot Landing Monitor – Sotir Popov
  • Merchandising Mavens – Jody Duffy-Osmond, Kim Parkin
  • Social Media Master – Mark Damm
  • Learning Session Leaders – Garth Henderson, Ross Hunter, Kyle Martens, Andrew Berkley, Max Fanderl

Finally, a big thank you to all the pilots who joined us. See you all back next year!

Willi 2016 – Other Winners

Other winners at the 2016 Willi were…

  • Super Sledders (most sled runs): PG-Ernie Reimer; HG-Wendy Fawcett
  • Gord Laing (longest HG out distance): Felix Cantesanu/Ross Hunter 154.7 kms
  • Chris Muller (longest PG out distance): Al Thielman 159.3 kms
  • Spot Landing: Michal Majkowski 1.8 ft (honourable mention to Michael Vergalla for effort)
  • Willi Make It (best screw up): Darren Payne (next year’s mandatory learning session: “What an
  • RV Park Looks Like From the Air”)
  • Thanks for the Ride (local person offering retrieve): Irvine Morneau of Brisco

Willi 2016 Winners

During the 2016 Willi, pilots collectively flew 17,000+ kilometers. Not the best week of flying we’ve ever had, but not bad at all. Congrats to all who flew high, far and safely.

In case you missed them, here are the winners…

  • HG Advanced: 1st-Felix Cantesanu; 2nd-Ross Hunter; 3rd Timmy Middlemiss
  • HG Intermediate: 1st-Rick Maddy; 2nd-Wendy Fawcett; 3rd-JJ Jaugilus/Sotir Popov
  • PG Advanced: 1st-Stefan Miller; 2nd-Peter Spear; 3rd-Gary Penninga
  • PG Intermediate: 1st-Mark Florence; 2nd-Tom Sliepen; 3rd-Jon Lovering
  • PG Novice: 1st-Dan Vallieres; 2nd-Phil Ibis; 3rd-Scott Meyers

First place pilots in each category received hand painted artwork created and donated by our local artist, Timmy Middlemiss. All placing pilots also received a medal and custom made mug from Moon River in Golden. If you did not receive your awards at the meet, please contact us to arrange to get them.

Willi Retro

As you might already know, the Willi XC Challenge turns 20 this year. It is also the 25th year of paragliding in Golden, and 40+ years of hang gliding.

We want to celebrate!!!

So we’re inviting anyone who has flown the Willi in the past, or ever flown Golden, to attend a FREE FLIGHT RETRO PARTY on Saturday, July 30, in the Pavilion at Golden Eco-Adventure Park. The band is booked, the buffet is planned, and the dance floor is being polished. Everyone is welcome to bring their (mostly) true stories and most garish flying apparel to share with others.

We’ve scoured the records and made a list of people we think should be there. You can see the list here…

If you know someone on the list, tell them about the party. If you see a name missing, or have contact info for someone who should be notified, let us know via email to flyfar@thewillixc.com.

Tickets for the party are $25, to cover the venue, meal and band. Participants in the 2016 Willi will get a free ticket in their registration package, but may want to add significant others and friends. Tickets will be available at the door, or can be ordered in advance by going to…

See you at the party!

The Willi 2016 – Open for Business

The snow is flying and it might be too cold and too far away to think much about summer flying. But never to early to plan for The Willi XC Challenge 2016. This is a special year, our 20th anniversary . We’re also celebrating 25 years of PG competition in Golden, and 40+ years of HG at our great site.

As well as the usual meet features and events, we’re planning a big Retro Party for Saturday, July 30. Anyone who has flown Golden will be invited to wear a retired flying t-shirt or splashy flight suit, swap tales with old friends, and dance the night away (we’re getting a band) in the Pavilion at GEAR. You don’t need to participate in the Willi to get in, but as a registered competitor you’ll get in free. If you know someone we should be inviting, let us know and we’ll put them on the list.

Here’s what you need to know…

  1. Book the Dates: July 22 to Aug 1(comp days July 23rd thru 31st).
  2. Register Now: You can register now at: http://thewillixc.com/event-details/willi-registration/
  3. Beat the Cap: Due to launch and other restrictions, registration will be limited to 120 pilots. As of today, almost 50 of your flying friends are already registered.
  4. Save Some Money on Registration:Regular Entry Fee will be $120, but you can save $20 (so pay $100) by registering and paying up before June 15, 2016. Pay by June 15 and you will also be entered into a draw for a $100 gift card to a local Golden restaurant. The registration fee covers the competition, meet goodie bag (with the famous Willi XC Buff), Muller BBQ (July 23), Retro Party (July 30), and Awards Dinner (August 1).
  5. Come to the Retro Party:We want this to be memorable, so we’re getting a band, throwing down some food, and inviting anyone who has flown the valley with us over the last 40+ years. As a registered participant, you will get in for free – guests $25.
  6. Reserve Early at GEAR: Our hosts for the comp will once again be the Golden Eco-Adventure Ranch. To ensure Willi participants get their RV or tent spots booked before the place fills up, GEAR has opened their reservation system for us. Contact Trina and her staff, let them know you’re with the Willi, and book a spot now. Contact details here: http://goldenadventurepark.com/contact-gear/
  7. Get Discounted Tenting Rates: GEAR is setting aside an area in Group Camping strictly for Willi participants. They are also discounting the rate in this area to $10/person/night (i.e. $20/night for 2 sharing a tent), a great saving on their usual fees. Ask for the discount when you book at GEAR.
  8. Help Us Have a Safe, Challenging Competition: Competition rules will be essentially the same as last year – your best 3 flights count. SPOTS is required, with the tracking option on, and Dannie will be there to watch your back. And we’re going to continue with GPS scoring (you will need a GPS to score XC flights) using XC Canada. You can find more details here: http://thewillixc.com/pilotinfo/
  9. But Fun Is What We Really Want: We’re not just about the flying of course. Besides the big events mentioned earlier, count on informative (and brief) pilot meetings, daily prize draws, morning breakfasts (at $5/plate, still the best deal in the valley) and bag lunches ($10/bag at this point) prepared by the kitchen ladies, mid-week beers and movies, rainy day distractions, a random kegger, the Sunday spot landing contest, and use of the GEAR pavilion for checking your email or meeting up with friends. It’s all included in the meet fee.
  10. We Need Some Smart People: One piece of feedback we heard loud and clear last year was do more of the morning educational sessions. We need discussion leaders for these. If you have something to share that would be educational for pilots in general, and XC pilots in particular, please let us know and we’ll put you on the agenda.

If you need more info, check back here (http://thewillixc.com/), follow us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/TheWilliXCChallenge/), or send us an email to flyfar@thewillixc.com. Or for you tech savvy people, we’re now on twitter (https://twitter.com/@XC_Willi) and Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/thewillixcchallenge/).

See you at the Willi!

Follow The Willi here or on Facebook!

Regular organizer updates and pilot posts will be made on this site and on our Facebook page at…

Almost there!

We are so close to our goal for the comp: 96 pilots have signed up, 82 PGs and 14 HGs. 78 of those are paid up, so we’re going to have a crowd no matter what the weather does. In fact, I think it is safe to say The Willi XC Challenge will be the biggest Free Flight event in Canada this year. Whooohooo!

We have a winner!

The winner of the Early Registration Draw is…(drumroll please)….Willi Rens! Congrats Willi!

Willi’s name was drawn from the names of everyone signed and paid up by June 15. He’ll receive a $100 gift certificate for dinner at a local eatery in Golden. See us at registration for your prize Willi.

Check Out Our Sponsors

While we’re talking about all the pilots signing up, we should also mention the great sponsors who are signing on as well. Lots of cool prizes and discounts from great businesses who support the free flight community. Check them out at…