Despite the gloomy skies of recent days, a hardy group of local Sky Surfing Club paraglider pilots based in and around Petersfield were determined to get their feet off the ground for some much-needed airtime.
With the wind a brisk south-westerly, the nearest suitable site was Meon Shore – a set of low cliffs bordering the eastern side of Southampton Water.
At 7.30am a few were already planning their day, studying tide times to ensure there was sufficient beach to land on.
By 10am pilot Louis Wallace was airborne, encouraging others by phone to join him.
He said: “Meon about as good as it gets – come and play.”
On returning to shore ,he added: “It was a beautiful day on the coast and the first flyable day for almost two weeks.
“The wind turned earlier than forecast so it paid to be on the beach early to take advantage of the low tide.
“The early high-level clouds dissipated, leaving a perfect sunny coastal soaring day, on a par with any other day of the year.”
Sporting attire normally reserved for Santa Claus, Louis added: “The costume was a bit of fun and seemed to be well received by fellow beach goers. Who needs reindeer when you have a steady south-westerly?”
A club spokesman said: “Full marks to Louis for spreading the festive fun and raising everyone’s spirits!”
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