The Willi XC Challenge
July 29 - August 6, 2023
Welcome! This is the official website and your definitive information source for The Willi XC Challenge – a hang gliding and paragliding event at in Golden, BC, Canada. The 2023 edition of the Willi will take place at the fantastic Mount 7 flying site and Skyview Ranch from July 29 to August 6.
You can also follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheWilliXCChallenge
Known by the regulars as “The Willi”, this co-ed hang gliding/paragliding meet began in 1997. This will be the 27th year of what started as a side bet challenge amongst a small group for flying friends and has grown into an annual XC pilgrimage for many pilots from across Canada, the US, and elsewhere.
With The Lookout on Mount 7 as the launch point, the competition focuses on Open-Distance XC and Out-and-Return flights at one of the premier XC sites in North America. This is your best, safest and most fun opportunities to fly big distance in the mountains.
Don’t let the word “competition” deter you. Our focus is “fun”. While experienced pilots will pit their skills against their peers, it’s all done in the spirit of good fun in a relatively low-stress environment. For intermediate and veteran pilots, this is a chance to build your XC chops at a big mountain, big air site. Low air time pilots can gain XC experience while learning from more seasoned pilots. We welcome all level of pilots, even if you just want to hang out at launch, watch what more experienced pilots do, then take a glass-off sledder at the end of the day. In fact, our intent is to reward you for doing just that – safely and well.
And the Willi isn’t just about flying. Golden is a great setting for both adventure and relaxation. The local area features attractions and activities to keep keep pilots, drivers, and their families busy all week. Or, just relax and enjoy the splendor of our Canadian Rockies.
Here’s what you can expect…
The Willi is scheduled in the core of Golden's XC season, when our big air is at its best. 300+ kms of mountain range facing the prevailing wind, long flying days, and relatively easy valley retrieves provide ample opportunity to pursue your personal bests.
Multiple classes of competition ensure everyone is challenged to compete with their flying peers. Absent the "launch window" pressures of race comps, and with 9 days to fly your best 3 flights, even low-time pilots can enjoy earning their competition chops.
There is no safer time to fly Golden. Daily briefings provide information you need to make responsible flying decisions. All pilots must fly with a SPOT or InReach tracking device so flights can be monitored continuously by our experienced safety staff.
The Willi isn't just about flying. Morning breakfast every day, nightly Bomb-Out Burger Bar, and the Muller BBQ (all free to pilots) provide ample opportunity to make new flying friends. And, we always look for a beer sponsor to make conversation more lively.