Kimmeridge Khmer Rouge


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Kimmeridge Khmer Rouge

Kimmeridge is a semi-coastal site that combines sea breeze effects with thermals from the extensive farmland and patches of forest between the hill and the sea. Most of my paragliding training, in 2000, was carried out there.

The club site guide is essential reading, especially if you fly a hang glider there.

1970s

Photo of a 1970s rigid hang glider in flight

Rob Stokes flies the Icarus V rigid hang glider in 1976. Photo by Dave Lewis.

The photo of Rob Stokes flying the Icarus V rigid hang glider in 1976 might be at Knitson rather than Kimmeridge. Although the two ridge tops look alike from this angle, Knitson should not be confused with the Kingston end of Kimmeridge! However, he certainly flew it at Kimmeridge. I clearly recall the difficulty he encountered landing it in the sloping field we used as an LZ in those days.

In contrast, the standard Rogallos that most of us flew had such poor glide performance that getting down before the hedge at the end of the field was not a problem.

Roly Lewis-Evans flying his home-constructed Skyhook IIIA standard Rogallo at Kimmeridge in 1975

Roly Lewis-Evans flying his home-constructed Skyhook IIIA standard Rogallo at Kimmeridge in 1975


These photos by Roly, sailmaker for Birdman Sports in Wiltshire, were taken in early 1979.

Roly launching from Kimmeridge in a Birdman Cherokee in 1979

Roly launching from Kimmeridge in a Birdman Cherokee in 1979

Incidentally, although it might look as though he used the flat-rigged hang glider as a launch trampoline, I am sure that is an optical illusion!

Peter Tindley and Roly share the air

Peter Tindley and Roly share the air

Peter T’s Hiway Superscorpion partly obscures Roly’s Birdman Cherokee.

Roly, Peter T, and Roly's mum with flat-rigged hang gliders behind the stone wall at Kimmeridge in 1979

Roly with his mother and Peter T among flat-rigged hang gliders behind the stone wall

Roly readying to fly assisted by Derek McCann at Kimmeridge in 1979

Roly readying to fly assisted by Derek McCann

Peter Robinson landing his Birdman Cherokee at Kimmeridge in 1979

Peter Robinson landing his Cherokee

Peter Robinson started hang gliding in 1975. I recall soaring the Kimmeridge in my Skyhook IIIA standard Rogallo and Peter, in a white Hiway standard, was always a little higher than I was. He became the area distributor for Birdman and I recall him flying a Solar Wings Storm at Weymouth white horse in 1980 (when I was flying a Cherokee). Peter subsequently became a top paraglider pilot before transitioning to sailplanes.

See also Birdman and Solar Wings in Hang gliding 1978 and 1979 part 2.

New century

This new century keeps bringing you down
All the places you have been

— from the lyrics of Supreme by Robbie Williams, 2000

Hang gliders: Aeros Discus 148 and Airborne 154 Sting 3
Harnesses: Solar Wings Edge 2 and Aeros Myth 2
In-flight camera: Ricoh FF-9 compact 35mm film

Hang glider in-flight photo

Here, I am setting up for a landing near the mansion below Kimmeridge.

This photo was in August, 2005. The wing is my high-performance Aeros Discus 148.


Camera test

Extensive farmland and patches of forest between the hill and the sea…

The photos of my black and white Airborne Sting 3, taken on a light sea breeze day at Kimmeridge in June 2010, are of poor quality. I include them because hang gliding is a rare occurrence at this once popular site. Indeed, access and parking is so problematic there that, by 2015, it is not used much even by paragliders. (Ringstead serves the same wind direction — south west — and it has a public car park on the top of the hill.)


Hang glider in-flight photo

Nearing the west end of the ridge

See Hang gliding 2010 for details of my camera at this time, including how it was attached to the glider.

Hang glider in-flight photo

Solar reflection

Notice the people walking along the path behind the stone wall. At this height in a paraglider, you can wave and even say a few words to them. In a hang glider, you are worrying about staying high enough to reach a landing field if you encounter sinking air.

Hang glider in-flight photo

At the south end of the ridge

In the photo taken near the south end of the ridge (the Kingston end) the ridge on the right is at a right-angle to the main ridge, which runs parallel to the fence and style just visible at lower left.


Hang glider at Kimmeridge, Dorset, England

Gary D in a Clubman

The Clubman, an easy-handling double surface wing, was originally made by Southdown Sailwings, but production was taken over by Avian.