Our test pilot and reporter took the podium of the championship after 4 tasks held in Chile’s capital city, with good conditions -including some condors flying with the pilots- and friendly ambiance. The Open finished yesterday, Tuesday 3rd, with a race of 50 km around the site of Vizcachas. The organization announced that the Open 2014 will be a Pre-PWC event.
Nearly half a hundred pilots took place in the Open, held for the first time at the end of Spring instead of January, and with a new promotional class for pilots who wanted to improve their XC level and had the chance to have a guide (Francisco Fluxa) for each task. That meant that the Open category had a discrete participation of only 22 pilots from Chile, Argentina, Bolivia and Switzerland, who –nevertheless- displayed all their skills to complete each task as fast as they could, making it an interesting and fun competition along the Andean pre-cordillera.
The first task was a 86km race from Vizcachas to the North of Santiago, in Lo Barnechea, that Daniel completed in 2 hours and 27 minutes aboard his Swing Core 3 paraglider. Conditions were good, although turbulent as usual over the mountains.
The second task started from Vizcachas as well, this time for a 81km course to Colina, a site about 30km to the north of the city. Conditions were strong with good climbs on the mountains that allowed Daniel to take a good lead and finish some 12 minutes ahead of the closest followers, who were the Argentines Francisco Mantaras (Ozone Enzo) and Michel Guillemot (Niviuk Icepeak 6), just like the previous day.
The third task launched from La Piramide, a small hill impressively placed right in the city, from where pilots had to work hard to climb under a whitish sky scattered with cirrus. The low base made the 65km race quite technical and only 4 pilots could complete it, with Mantaras first, Daniel second, and Mike Christiansen (Gin Boomerang X) third.
The last task was a short circuit with take-off and landing at Las Vizcachas, also in difficult conditions with low base at only 2000m, but nearly half of the pilots managed to complete it. First in goal was Mantaras, who pushed hard in this task but could not escape from Guillemot, who came in a few minutes later securing his 2nd place overall, and Daniel third after flying conservatively also to secure his victory. Mantaras took the third place overall.
“It was a great Championship, the flying area always works, more or less strong, very dry and turbulent but manageable. The Organization was very good and the atmosphere was relaxed, although -of course- we had a healthy competitive attitude”, says Daniel.
The prize giving was a family-like meeting and the organization promised to make the next Open 2014 a Pre-PWC event, in order to attract more international pilots to enjoy flying in this great and consistent area, where it is flyable practically every day of the hot season.
1st Daniel Crespo (ES – Swing Core 3)
2nd Michel Guillemox (AR – Niviuk Icepeak 6)
3rd Francisco Mantaras (AR – Ozone Enzo)
“A paraglider works by magic”, says USA’s pilot Matt Beechinor about cross country flying. In this video you will not only learn something about distance flying but also see some of the stunning landscapes flown by Matt, Nick Greece, Nate Scales and Gavin McClurg as they tried to cover big distance in the US during their last paragliding expedition.
After several years without hosting a world-class paragliding event in Venezuela, November saw this international open competition in the state of Yaracuy, with 5 tasks flown in difficult conditions –none of which was worth a thousand points-, and with many bomb-outs near the takeoff despite the high level of the pilots, including world champion Aaron Durogatti.
136 participants gathered at this pre-PWC which served the Organization and the area as a test with a view to hosting a Paragliding World Cup event in the near future.
No doubt the tasks were marked by difficult conditions: The first day was cancelled due to bad weather, and the second day only Colombian Julian Andres Carreño (Ozone Enzo) could complete the 51 km course, but such feat was worth only 280 points.
The third task was somewhat more open, but still only three pilots managed to complete the distance of 63km: Sebastian Pardo (COL), and Venezuela's Ernesto Hinestroza and Kilber Pereira, all flying Ozone Enzo gliders.
The 4th task was hard-fought, with nearly 60 km that this time 12 pilots completed, with Micky Von Watcher (VE, Ozone Enzo) first, Carlos Cordido (VE, Niviuk Icepeak 6) second, and Julian Andres Carreño (COL, Ozone Enzo) third.
The 5th day was again very difficult for the competitors and only 2 top pilots reached goal: X-Alps pilot Raul Penso (VE, Ozone Enzo) completed it in 1h50m, followed by world champion Aaron Durogatti (IT) three minutes later on his Boomerang 9.
The sixth task had to be cancelled due to bad weather so everything was defined on the last day with a 38km race that was won by Micky, followed by Venezuela’s Carlos Daniel Gomez flying his Gin Boomerang 9, and Aaron 3rd, positions that were close to the final podium:
The top Italian paraglider pilot and record holder has just added a new milestone to her career, after completing the longest flight in a straight line achieved by a woman in the world –starting from the famous site of Quixadá, Brazil, where the previous record set by Seiko Fukuoka last year also started. Nicole flew a Niviuk Peak 3 glider to accomplish this challenge, after 4 years of attempts..
On November 7, the Italian took off at 8 in the morning from Quixadá along with some other pilots but after some time she was alone. However, she managed to go on for 9 hours and landed in Barras past 5 o'clock at 376,5 km from the start, thus beating the feminine distance record achieved by Seiko in 2012 (336 km) by 40 km.
This is how the happy pilot recalls it*:
“Quixada is a very special place that can put yourself in a state of mental stress because bad days are often more than happy ones and it is not always easy to keep your motivation high when you bomb 7 out of 8 times like it happened to me. Waiting for a good day is sometimes also very frustrating when it seems that that day will never arrive! Patience is very important and this year in Brazil I trained a lot, believe me!
On 7th November conditions did not look so good early in the morning so I spent some time on the takeoff hanging around, talking with other pilots, and waiting for a good window. Then at around 8:00am I took off and left the hill after a few minutes together with other 5/6 pilots. The first part, that is usually very tricky, was easier than expected and I started to think that probably it was not such a bad day.
We flew to Madalena and we arrived there quite quickly, afterwards we started to spread out a little bit and I flew further to Monsenhor Tobosa with my husband. In the area of Nova Russas the sky was all blue and my only mate bombed out. For the rest of the flight I flew alone, I just met some urubus from time to time. In the area of Piripiri I had a couple of low saves and I lost a lot of time climbing in some very smooth thermals. After crossing Piripiri, I started to feel the smell of success… in the morning I put the waypoint of Barras on my GPS and now I was really focused on it. I landed at 5:15 pm in the middle of the town after communicating my intention to the retrieve car that was following me.
My glider, the Peak 3, behaved perfectly: it climbs well and it is easy to handle also in the rough and not well organized thermals of Quixada.”
During the last Coupe Icare, the Korean brand anounced this new intermediate model aimed at cross country pilots in progression or even confirmed, since it is a glider originally developed for the upper category. They also had the light wing Boomerang X-Alps, the Rage for acro, and their range of light harnesses..
The best of the Carrera is its great maneuverability thanks to a very precise and efficient control, and excellent performance for distance flights, according to Andy of Gin Gliders, with whom we talked in St Hilaire (see video). Add to that a good level of passive safety, despite its aspect ratio of 6.2 points and 59 cells – as it was designed as an EN C glider. At the moment size M is certified EN B and the rest are in process.
Also new at the Coupe Icare was the light series-glider based on the one used by pilots such as Aaron Durogatti and Kaoru Ogisawa in the last X-Alps, the Boomerang X-Alps. This is a 3-line concept wing, with aspect ratio of nearly 7 points, and 69 cells, designed for high performance flights but with easy inflation and take-off in adverse conditions, according to the manufacturer.
This model is only available in size XS (22.55m2) with a total weight of 3.9 kg.
To go with it, Gin had their harnesses Verso –light and reversible, with seat board and airbag-, the convertible Yeti –with optional airbag and only 1.4 kg of weight-, and the minimalist harness Yeti Extrem, of just 500g of weight
The new EN B model from the Czech manufacturer keeps the qualities that have made the Eden series known and appreciated, with high performance in glide, a wonderful turn, and good performance also for paramotor, as we saw in our test flights.
The Eden 5 surprised us with nice handling and sportive, harmonized turning behavior both to climb to cloudbase in thermals or to play in freestyle mood.
But the rest of its performance is not left behind: good glide and sink rate along with high passive safety make it an interesting option to address distance flight safely.
And it flies very well with paramotor too!
With her victory in the Paragliding Worlds of Bulgaria, in July, the Polish female pilot confirmed her great form and evolution as a pilot, assisted by a Niviuk Icepeak 6 glider suited to her size and needs. We interviewed her at the last Coupe Icare in France.
Still enjoying the feeling of being on top of the Worlds podium, Klaudia says it was her dream since she started flying 13 years ago. A member of the Niviuk Team, she tells that she moved to the Spanish brand because she “had no choice” as the Icepeak 6 is the only competition wing available in a size 21. Luckily, it was a good change for her: “After flying Open class gliders for 5 years, being on an Icepeak 6 is like flying on holidays!” And to that she adds “good performance, good thermalling, good handling”.
About the Worlds in Bulgaria, Klaudia recalls feeling comfortable flying there as she already knew the place well. “What I needed is learn to be constant, how not to do stupid mistakes, how to be in goal every day in good time… and it looks like it worked!”
Asked about her plans now, Klaudia says that her goal has never been only to have good results. “My goal is to progress, to improve my skills, to improve as a pilot, and to improve as a person”.
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Video: Interview to PG World Champion, Klaudia Bulgakow
As the season in the northern hemisphere is coming to an end it is time for us to let go of some free flight and paramotor gliders, as well as a couple of harnesses, which we have used for reviews and personal flights here at Ojovolador.com. They all have low airtime, and unbeatable prices!
Among the gears for sale are two paramotor wings in great conditions: A Powerplay Scorpio 26 and a Paramania GTR 20, both top quality and excellent options for powered-flight lovers.
For free flight, the Skywalk Chili 3 is one of the current leading models in the EN B class, and this one in particular is in ‘mint’ conditions, nearly new. Also with just few hours of use are the harnesses: an Advance Axess3air, light model launched this summer by the Swiss manufacturer; and the Dudek Pogo, an XC-comp model with removable fairing.
We met the French pilot at the Niviuk stand during the last Coupe Icare in France, and we took the chance to ask him about his recent FAI Paragliding World Title and a few flying tips to share with our visitors ;-)
The Golden Icarus of the film Festival that closed on September 21 was for this French production in which a ragtag group of funambulists, BASE jumpers, paragliders, acrobats, clowns and musicians share their craze and art while they travel through Europe. The 31st edition of the most important Festival in the world dedicated to air and flight films awarded ten prizes to movies from different countries.
In their lively and large stand at the Coupe Icare, the Spanish brand had their full range including the last addition: the Konvers, a light and reversible harness. They also announced the upcoming release of the Takoo 3, and celebrated their double paragliding world title of this year with the house pilots and world champions Jeremie Lager and Klaudia Bulgakow.
Watch the official video of the 40th edition of the biggest paragliding festival in the world, with the best moments of the flying disguises show and the acro displays. Every year there are more amazing costumes that manage to take off, from giant fish to superheroes sliding on surf boards or ice skates down the launch turf.