This seems to be a problem in South Africa especially with the pilots flying XC across the bushveld where numerous thorn trees hamper our landing efforts.

Most pilots forget that their wing is wider than they realize and often they snag the wing tips, lines etc, which results in swinging the rest of the wing towards the obstacle or tree thus creating more wing in the tree.

With modern gliders having such effective glide ratios we seem to need more space to land in.

Again, I would suggest picking a spot cross wind (so to eliminate landing short or long) or directly into wind (if it is at constant speed) as far away from the wind shadow potentials as possible. Applying BIG EARS and keeping them in until landing (VERY IMPORTANT!!-never let big ears out near the ground, else you risk a spin/stall situation) will reduce your glide, limit your gliders’ wingspan and should see you making it into the small space.

Obviously the landing is faster and possibly a little harder due to the increased angle but will see you giving yourself less opportunity to snag the wing. I find a big ears entry with a good hard flair gets me down in the smallest of spaces.

Dropping the wing once touch down would best be achieved by “rosette front tucking” the glider by pulling on both central A risers immediately followed by Full Breaks, thereby reducing its surface area and collapsing the wing down behind you. Another method is pulling down on only the A riser on one side followed by both brakes in short succession. This should twist the wing as it collapses ensuring the falls on the collapsed wingtip. These need to be practiced on open landings

As always a good approach and knowing which direction the wind is coming from aids in this type of landing. This is also a possible place where a butterfly landing could be implemented but this will not reduce your wing-span area but should shorten your landing distance required.

The above methodologies does not take into account a thermal that may release just as you come in, so there’s always the element of uncertainty, but we can limit the uncertainties as much as possible.

Preferably just stay high and land in a big open space or at Goal.