A brief sunny interlude was sufficient to tempt members of the Petersfield-based Sky Surfing Club to take the opportunity for a flight with their hang glider or paraglider wings.
“A few sailplanes darted about between the crispy cauliflower cumulus clouds, but on a hang glider it was not such easy going. The sinking air was extreme in several places as I fought my way upwind, like a high-speed elevator going the wrong way.
“My route took me back over the north side of the downs, approaching the village of Cocking. The sun had disappeared behind a heavy sheet of decaying grey cloud with cold air tumbling out. I was descending fast and had very few options other than a landing.
“However, I found what we optimistically call a ‘blob’, and clawed my way back in this thermal, almost to the clouds again over Uppark House.
“This allowed me to glide over to Petersfield before a sore neck forced me to head back to Wether Down.”
Atkinson had to watch from the ground because of the light conditions – but he managed some time in the air a few days later from Wether Down and was joined by Jose Pinto.
On this occasion conditions were at the opposite extreme with a stiff breeze and small, strong and rough thermals.