Autumn may be in full flow, but members of the Petersfield-based Sky Surfing Club (SSC) are still taking flight when conditions allow.

“Autumn is here and long gone are the cross-country dreams of summer flying,” said Russell Winters.

“We have to grab what airtime we can, and take advantage of those challenges we are lucky enough to find.”

Winters enjoyed an expedition to East Sussex – and flew 10km along the coast. He was joined by fellow paraglider pilots and SSC members Zack Hart and Andy Ruff. Winters said: “The recent fine weather opened up an opportunity to fly from Newhaven Fort to Brighton Marina and back – a task yet to be accomplished.”

Hart added: “With uncertain forecasts we headed to Newhaven hopeful that the wind gods would favour us.”

With the wind blowing from the south-east initially, only a small section of cliffs above Newhaven Beach was usable, and became crowded very quickly.

However, as the day continued, the wind veered to the south and strengthened as forecast – opening up the main run of cliffs to Brighton.

Hart said: “Having never flown the area before, I was apprehensive to start with.

“Luckily we encountered some sea thermals and within minutes I was able to climb within 500ft of cloud base. I eventually reached Brighton Marina. Heading back it was a nice easy return trip to the launch point at Newhaven.

“Russell, Andy and I had a fantastic flight as a trio, enjoying the beautiful sunset and the floaty conditions.”

Winters added: “It was an interesting way to see the sights and all the more fun with friends.”

Brian Parkins