A tough competition involving some of the best pilots in the world, the British Paramotor Championship has been an annual event since 1997. It takes more than just great skill to win a title like this when competing with pilots who have mastered traditional competitions for a big part of their lives.
Michel, reigning World champion, was the man to beat there. He was flying a 31m2 Dudek Nucleon WRC with a similar sized engine, but he did not do so well in the first navigation where Deano was second. After 5 tasks, Deano was 1st, Phil Jennings was 2nd and Michel was 3rd in the British ranking, with ex French champion Pascal Vallee winning the Open.
For Deano, it was a very special achievement: “During the previous week, I had attended the French Open Championship where, despite a well-publicised lackluster performance, had actually recorded the highest top speed, best speed range, hit all of the numerous spot landings (one of only very few pilots to do so) and collected vital information and data for the more important British event. Armed with all of this information and a more powerful and efficient motor in a chassis put together just a few days before, my focus was to utilise our newfound data for high level consistency throughout all the tasks which proved to be a winning formula, despite fierce competition from many others”. For him, keeping in tune with the international competition scene is vital, “not only to keep one's skill level up, but also to keep an eye on what others are up to”.
As an official Paramania pilot, the Nats were also a testing field of the new GTR glider in classic FAI comp tasks, not only the slalom-type that are its specialty. Here are Deano’s comments, interviewed by Pascal Campbell-Jones (Paramania):
How did you come to win the competition?
I believe it had to do in part with the testing we did at the French competition just before; the best test is a live test. Laurent Salinas and Mike Campbell-Jones came to meet up with me and tweak all our wings for some final experimentation as the worlds are coming up soon, those GTR tweaks proved successful.
How does the GTR compare?
Some people's strategy is to take a large wing, but with the new GTR and the superior efficiency of the MCJ design, we do not have the loss of agility and added weight of a larger wing. The old school way of wing development and flying is becoming more and more outdated as the MCJ technology moves us into a different realm of flight; high efficiency, fast and safe wings. I actually had the greatest speed average recorded at the comps, as well as a highly competitive speed over distance fuel economy advantage.
How did you use the GTR to your advantage?
Knowing I could cut through what thermal activity there was and stay on course I flew up high to let the thermals soften up a bit for the navigation task, flying fast and straight as an arrow. Also, on day two the conditions were great so they ran the figure of eight. I came in second only to Pascal Vallee and this put me in first in the league for the win. I had the best of all worlds and with my new Polini 200 and Parajet Zenith I could keep up with the GTR's desire to fly.
And what about the pilot?
Well yes, the pilot does have a role to play. If you blow a task it is impossible to climb back to the top so strategy is important, doing very well in each task with no penalties. Not to necessarily win every task but squeeze the most out of them with no mistakes.
*The next Paramotor Worlds will be the arena where the latest gliders, motors and the best pilots will display their qualities to become world champions: August 26-31 in Marugán, Spain.
**Paramania are recruiting aspiring pilots in their GTR pilot team. If you are interested in competing in future FAI and Slalom style competitions or breaking world records, contact Paramania: firstname.lastname@example.org