A Short History of Free Flight in the Piedrahita Area

The launch area, of what we know as Piedrahita, fell out of the towns ownership some 500 years ago Skywings Feb'07 Piedrahita the first 500 years - Steve Ham.

Because of the tarmac road to the top off the pass, it is likely that the area attracted the attention of hang gliders pilots in the early 1980s, though throughout that period, the site of Arcones dominated the hang gliding scene in central Spain. When Steve Ham arrived in 1991, looking for a venue to set up Airwave Spain S.L, it was being regularly flown by a handful of Pilots from Salamanca and Avila. At that time, the take off was essentially the road and small cleared area below.

The town hall chief administrator, Salvador Cerrada Ortega, was instrumental in setting up the local club, and along with Steve Ham, organising the first hang gliding and paragliding competitions and attracting the attention and funds of the provincial government. The support of Avila’s provincial government and the town hall of Piedrahita has been essential in keeping the site open to the pubic.

History of Records and Competitions in Piedrahita

Below is a list of the mayor flying events and records. From the year 2001 onwards there is a reduction in the number of events due to problems with landowners, partially resolved in 2007.


Spanish open distance record from Peña Negra by Gabriel Cañada with 59km.


Spanish open distance record broken by Steve Ham on 3 occasions with flights of 97km, 100km and 105km (Airwave Voodoo M).

Sierra Classic hang gliding competition is run from la Hoya, on the Bejar mountain, attracting top international competitors. XCMag'93 Sierra Classic - Kevin Ramm


European open distance record broken by Steve Ham with a flight of 162.4km (Firebird Navajo L).

Spanish Paragliding League.

Spanish Hang Gliding Championships. Organised by the Delta Club de Barcelona and Steve Ham and Salvador Ortega of the Club de Vuelo Peña Negra.


British Hang Gliding Open. In this event Blay Olmos broke the European open distance record with 321km.

British Paragliding Open.

Paragliding Word Cup. Directed by Steve Ham. During this event, British pilots Judy Leden and Sarah Fenwick achieved the World record for an FAI triangle of 50.1km. Sarah also gained the World record for a flight to goal of 101km (Peña Negra to Fuentemilanos goal).


Paragliding World Cup. Directed by Steve Ham. An outstanding event with multiple national record flights for the goal of 170km to Arcones, and a staggering 140km out and return flight with 50 pilots in goal.


European paragliding record of 241km by Xavier Remond from Lastra del Cano during the PWC.

Spanish Hang Gliding Nationals. Organised by the Club de Vuelo Piedrahita. Director Steve Ham.

Airwave Challenge. The first of a number of fun events for club level pilots.


Spanish Paragliding Championships Directed by Steve Ham, the largest nationals to that date with 175 pilots flying in the event.

Hang Gliding World Series. Directed by Steve Ham. An event of speed gliding, XC, and some acro demonstations by John Heiney. Included a completed 150km FAI triangle task.

British Paragliding Open.


Swedish Paraglding Nationals. Directed by Steve Ham. Organised by Swedish Club.

Paragliding World Cup. Directed by Steve Ham. With a massive demand of the 237 pilots registered, 170 were admitted. John Pendry, who was to win the World Championships later in the year was the overall champion.

International Pilot Trophy. Organised and Directed by Jocky Sanderson and Steve Ham


Spanish National Championships. Directed by Steve Ham, female champion Puri Almansa.

European Paragliding Championships. Directed by Steve Ham.

International Pilot Trophy. Directed by Steve Ham and Jocky Sanderson.


Paragliding World Cup. Directed by Steve Ham.

International Pilot Trophy. Directed by Steve Ham and Jocky Sanderson.

Spanish paragliding tandem open distance record for Steve and Puri with 117km from Peña Negra to Segovia.


British Open Paragliding Championships.


British Open Paragliding Championships. Directed by Steve Ham.

Nordic Open. Directed by Steve Ham.



British Open Paragliding Championships.


Spanish open distance record Steve Ham with 244.6 from Peña Negra.

mag article Parapente VLmag ( in Spanish )

Spanish open distance record Patrice Quillet 280km.

Spanish paragliding league event. Competition report (in spanish).


British Open Paragliding Championships.

Dutch Paragliding Open.


British Paragliding Championships . See the competition report.

Nordic Open Paragliding Championships.

French Open Distance Competition.

XC World Series. Competition report.


XC World Series. Competition report.

German open. See the competition report.

Spanish paragliding tandem open distance record for Steve and a journalist with an Avila newspaper, with 126km from Peña Negra.

Peña Negra site record of 247K by Bruno Croué.

Skywings Feb '09 How To Secure A Scoop - Steve ham


Campeonato de España - Spanish Nationals. See the competition results.

British Paragliding Championships. See the competition report.

Peña Negra site record of 254K by Bruno Croué.

XC World Series. Competition report.


Spanish Paraglding Nationals.

Pre World Paragliding Championships.

XC Open World Series.


Distance record of 314km from Peña Negra by Thomas Puthod.

Spanish National Championships.

FAI World Paragliding Championship.