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HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM OZONE!

As flying people know, life often reproduces the ups and downs we experience in the air. 2021 was another year of low saves and high climbs for Ozone. Our pilots swept up prizes on the competition scene, flew to the highest places on earth, but we also faced challenging conditions in our production facility in Vietnam due to the pandemic. This impacted our ability to deliver products and launch new models. We are pleased to announce that we have now returned to full production and that our delivery times are starting to improve. 

Our teams are working hard to fulfill outstanding orders as fast as possible, so that we can also release the exciting products our R&D team has been working on. Here is a brief update on future developments.

The Zeno2 is nearing completion and will be released by summer. 2022 will likely be the year when the 2-liner EN C comes of age, and naturally Ozone will be at the forefront of this new generation of gliders with an exciting model. Watch this space! The Swift6 will follow in the footsteps of the highly successful Rush6. Harness development is also progressing apace, with a totally revised Forza2 on the way, as well as a new beginner harness. Launch dates for these products are still dependent on progress at the factory, but we can assure you they will all be worth the wait.

As always, our focus will be to keep a smile on the faces of everyone who flies Ozone. We thank you for your patience and understanding and wish you all the best for 2022. Fly high!

In the image: Thomas Jeanniot flying the Tour du Mont Blanc this past September on the Rush 6.

Photo by Olivier Laugero @olivierlaugerophoto

HERNAN AND MARCOS SET NEW ARGENTINIAN TRIANGLE RECORD

On Saturday the 4th December, Ozone Team pilot Hernan Pitocco and our friend Marcos Rosenkjer set a new Argentinian Record, flying a 217.9 Km FAI triangle in  Patagonia.

Hernan reports: 

Tuesday November 30th I received an audio from Manu Canale informing me that there were two good flying days coming ahead in the Bariloche-Bolson area: December 4 and 5th. 

I´d already asked Manu to keep me posted as soon as he detected a good flying window in the complicated meteorology of the place. Flying days do not abound in Patagonia, but when they happen, it is one of the most amazing places that I have ever flown. Asap, I spread the good news in one of the WhatsApp groups that I share with friends interested in doing triangles or vivac in that particular area.  

There was no time to lose because Patagonia is quite far from where I live, 1700 km South of La Cumbre. Meanwhile, the only pilot from the group able to cut himself loose from his obligations and be ready like a soldier for the adventure in such short notice was Justo Firpo. The same day he confirmed, we purchased the air tickets Buenos Aires-Bariloche in the only flight available. I still had to figure out how to do the 800 km that separate my house in Cordoba from the airport in Buenos Aires. Since there were no seats in the only Cordoba-Buenos Aires flight, I had no other option but to hop on a bus. I traveled all night and arrived the next day in the morning. Finally, as I was boarding the flight, I wondered if all the hassle would be worth it.  

We arrived to Bariloche Friday December 3rd in the afternoon. We were welcomed with a great vibe by Leonel who also accommodated us in one of his apartments. To our surprise, he also pulled out a huge vinyl printed map of the area. Immediately, we stretched it on the floor and started brainstorming our flight! 

Then came Hernán Dilonenzo and a bit later Ernesto Gutierrez, two old wolves of the air from Bariloche with ample experience in the area, and they finished frying our brains out with all the info of the place! We had skipped lunch, it was getting late and we were quite worn out by the long trip so we went for a bite to the first place we found a couple of blocks away from where we were staying. We came back, left all our gear ready for the next day and finally went to sleep.

The alarm went off loud and clear 6 am that Saturday…Marcos Rosenkjer came to pick us up in his car and drove us to the base of the Cerro Catedral. The three of us trekked uphill for about half an hour with our backpacks to more or less half the height of the mountain. The idea was taking off as soon as the condition allowed it but it was mild, too mild, there was no sign of activity whatsoever, not even a single light breeze. It was like the air had altogether vanished. We watched a group of young pilots starting to take-off below us but no, nothing was going on. 

At around 11 am, the day seemed to get started. As soon as we were ready, we took off. It was 11 30 and the condition was good but the roof was still low and the thermal quite mild. We made good use of it and gradually began to ascend until we were mounted on the higher peaks behind, moving up with the topography.

We made one pass over the astounding needles that give the Cathedral Mountain its name. Then, we transitioned to the next mountain. The adventure had begun! There we were, Justo, Marcos and I, flying together as a team. The 3 of us were quite prudent at first but soon we started getting loose, together with our understanding of how the thermals worked. More or less, everything seemed to work. That is, were we looked, we found. Though nothing was very potent and we were always left with a final altitude between 2300 and 2700 meters. 

We started making our way ahead jumping from one mountain to the next. The valleys are very narrow, many of which have no access at all. We had to be careful to not be too low in any of them. They can be hard to escape.  

After three hours and forty five minutes, having passed an area of flight of unbelievable beauty that is also quite wild, we reached our first turning point. It was the farthest South we got in our route. We were over the Puelo Lake, in the watershed international border line. In fact, in those final kilometers before heading Northeast, we even crossed the border to Chile for couple of meters. That was a critical point in our flight. We were too low and were forced to drag ourselves across the Bolson Valley that is very wide in that part. That´s when we lost contact with Justo, who was a bit low over a hill trying to climb up again. 

Meanwhile, Marcos and I managed to reach the Southern tip of the Piltriquitrón Mountain, where we caught some nice bombs but they didn´t take us high enough. That rocky section of the Piltriquitrón was also the most turbulent part of the flight. I could see Marcos´ wing moving and feel mine, that´s when you are happy to be onboard such a safe paraglider as the Ozone Zeolite!    

From the mountains to the steppe, but first, we had to cross an area of almost unknown peaks. As far as I know, Marki Green is the person who most adventured himself into that area. Nevertheless, our route was way farther to the East than that.  

The topography had changed. The ground was becoming more and more arid, in all shades of brownish colors. Again I thought that being low and having to land anywhere in that section would be complicated. This was a recurring thought that I had. The best option, if worse came to worse, would be to spend the night in some hilltop and take off the next day. I was going over that thought, when all of the sudden, right when we thought that Justo had already landed in Bolson, we heard Justo´s voice on the VHF radio informing us that he was low in a complicated area and he was going to land. Immediately, we made sure to squeeze every drop of thermal we had to secure our height. It was getting late. The only indication that could lead us to close our triangle was a single line of clouds formed by a convergence that was even farther to the East than us. We rowed and rowed our boats until we finally reached it! That was where Windy had forecasted a 4300 m roof and so it was. We had reached that super roof at last! 

The temperature had dropped considerably. You could feel it in the hands, the nose and the forehead. But who cares! We just stepped on the speedbar and glided the straight 35 km line of pure bliss we had earned ourselves on that highway. A highway with awesome landscapes in the golden afternoon light. When we got off that street and looked back, we saw the clouds starting to dissolve. We had crossed in the brink of time!    

One final glide from an altitude of 4000 meters, where we could barely scratch the very last bubbles of the day and it was over. We landed on a nice set of fields with horses, a few kilometers South of the Nahuel Huapi lake. Before we could unbuckle ourselves from the harness, there was already an unknown pick-up truck waiting for us. Who immediately drove us back to town! 

For Marcos´ surprise, we had marked a new Argentine FAI record triangle! 

Justo´s story is worthy of a complete separate chapter. He spent the night in his sleeping bag on a hilltop, next to a lake, under a starlit sky. He admitted to hear feral sounds that night, and that in three opportunities, he turned his head hoping it wasn´t a puma! 

He managed to take off the next day and fly to an Estancia that happened to be owned by a Qatar prince. So the employees were ready to inform him that he could not be there and kindly helped him find a ride out, back to Bariloche with a Swiss guy who´s been living in Argentina for years buying sheep from all over Patagonia.  

Our buddy finally made it to Bariloche the next day at around 10 30 pm, with an interesting sheep stench. We got together in a bar to celebrate. We shared our experiences, ate and like it should, cheered with a well-deserved Patagonian draft beer”

To see Marco’s track click HERE 

 Congrats and cheers from all the team at OZONE!

RUSS, HONO, LUC, SWEEP WORLDS!

Russ Ogden, Honorin Hamard, and Luc Armant, all members of the Ozone R&D Team, have won the world championships in first, second, an third overall. They each flew the Enzo 3 with the new Submarine harness. 

Ozone Team pilot, Yael Margelisch, was crowned the queen of the worlds, followed by our own Seiko Fukuoka in second, and Klaudia Bulgakow in third. All flew Enzo 3s. Team Great Britain won the nations podium for the first time ever.  

Seventeen out of the top 20 overall flew the Enzo 3! Thanks to all of the pilots who flew Ozone and congrats to all who participated. 


Ruth Jessop, of PWCA.org, reports from the last task in Argentina:

“Today dawned with blue skies and sunshine. An 80 km task was set with a short leg north then a long leg south, via two turn points.

In the overall rankings it was all down to Russell Ogden and Honorin Hamard. In the ladies’ rankings any of the top ten could win, and the nation rankings were wide open too. So, the atmosphere on launch was nail-biting.

Stephan Morgenthaler pulled away at the beginning of the race and stayed near the ridge when many struggled with the cloudy conditions and landed. The day then improved, and he consolidated his position and dominated the front of the race. He crossed End of Speed first with 100% of the lead out points, making the day his.

Russell and Honorin danced round each other all the way round the course, nearly landing so many times.

It was a day of changing wind directions, often with a head wind. Endless breath-taking low saves on the part of Russell and Honorin brought record crowds to follow the race. In the end, they crossed the End of Speed within 1 minute and 32 seconds of each other, which wasn’t enough for Honorin to take the title.

For the first time since Bruce Goldsmith won the title back in 2007, we have a new Paragliding World Champion from Britain, Russell Ogden.

For the first time ever, Great Britain has won the Paragliding World Championships. Well done to Russell Ogden, Martin Long, Idris Birch, Sebastian Ospina, Theo Warden (Current European Champion) and their team leader, Jocky Sanderson.

Well done to Yael Margelisch who flew a great race today landing in goal as the new Ladies’ Champion and in 18th position overall.

At the start of the race Yael told us: You can surf on the wave, but the wave doesn’t last forever. I want to get a good result here so I can stay on the top of the wave. Mission accomplished, with a very big wave!

Well done to all those who have put so much into organising this competition and making it such a success. Meet Director, Sergio Bujazha and General Organiser, Matias Fortini will go down as legends in the paragliding history books for making a Paragliding World Championship happen, with 150 pilots, in the middle of a pandemic!

Thank you, lovely Loma Bola, with its jungle terrain and challenging skies, see you again soon we hope”

For full results, Click here

Congrats to all the pilots and cheers from all the team at OZONE

OZONE WELCOMES JOACHIM OBERHAUSER TO OUR TEAM

Joachim is one of the very few pilots in the world who have won World Champion, European Champion, and National Champion titles. A longtime friend of Ozone, he is a charismatic and humble pilot who is always willing to share advice and positive vibes with the pilots around him.

Unfortunately for Joachim due to the travel restrictions in his homeland Italy, he won’t be able to defend his current World title in Loma Bola, Argentina. He will be ready to get back into the Worlds arena in 2023.

We look forward to supporting Joachim on his future flying missions and comps.Cheers, from all the Team. 

OZONE COLOMBIA OPEN 2022

From January 15th to 21st the First Ozone Colombia Open will be held in Pie de Chinche. Continuing the legacy of the Ozone Chabre Open, this is a fun and educational event for pilots looking to hone their XC skills and experience the fun and excitement of competition flying, without the stress and pressure of an overly competitive environment. Legendary XC coach, Jocky Sanderson, will be on location along with a mentor pilot to be confirmed, give pre-task advice, and daily debriefings. With the focus being entirely on fun and learning, this is the perfect event for intermediate pilots who want to level up their flying. 

Entry is limited to EN C wings and below. 

Like the other spectacular events we have helped to create (Ozone Caribbean Open, Ozone Krushevo Open), this will be a professionally run competition organized by local experts. The Airnomads Team has a 12 year history of successful competitions, including 2 PWC, 2 Super Final PWC events, 2 British Opens, One FAI World Championship, and other international opens. 

This is a smaller than average event and slots are limited, so we recommend securing your place ASAP.  Register at:  https://airtribune.com/ozone-open-colombia/

Cheers from all the Team, we’ll see you in the tropics! 

WINTER IN COLOMBIA: A note from Lucho, comp organizer.

Over the past eleven years Colombia has become more and more popular with foreign pilots as a winter destination. The first reason is of course that during the northern hemisphere’s winter, Colombia experiences the best of our two summer seasons that we have here in the tropics. As the paragliding scene has developed here, a more important factor has emerged: The citizens of the Cauca Valley have come to embrace paragliding and its importance to the local economy. The influx of free flight visitors has greatly improved the economy. Cooperation between civil authorities and private enterprise has strengthened infrastructure and improved things for both the locals and visitors. Today Colombia and the Cauca Valley region is a destination not only because of excellent flying conditions, but also because it is recognized as a safe and culturally interesting place to visit. Brilliant natural landscapes, welcoming local people, and a thriving multi-ethnic society make this a wonderful place to visit. exploring natural marvels and exchanging the happiness of the multi-ethnic society. 

Colombia is more than a paragliding trip, is an opportunity to get out of your comfort zone and discover the real comfort of being welcome anywhere you go — it is a place to enjoy the air but, more importantly, a place to learn the meaning of simple life while you are on the ground.

Colombia will welcome you with wide open arms, come alone, with your family, or with your friends! If you are interested in different activities contact Airnomads Colombia:

http://www.airnomadscolombia.com

17TH FAI WORLD PARAGLIDING CHAMPIONSHIP, TUCUMÁN, ARGENTINA, 2ND – 12TH NOVEMBER, 2021

In 1991 Robbie Whittal was crowned the first ever Paragliding World Champion. 

We are therefore delighted to be able to celebrate thirty years of World Championships here in Argentina. This competition is particularly special as, even just a few weeks ago, nobody thought it would happen. Meet Director Sergio Bujazha and General Organiser, Matias Fortini, have earnt their places in the paragliding history books for undertaking to organise what, at times, felt like Mission Impossible. 

The competition will start on Tuesday the 2nd of November. There will be a maximum of 10 competition flying days with the prize giving on the 13th of November.

The competition is being held close to the town of San Miguel de Tucumán in northern Argentina, 1,250km northwest of Buenos Aires. The pilots will be taking off from the 1350m high jungle ridge of Loma Bola, which is where the flats meet the foothills of the Andes. The pilots will be flying tasks over flat farmland out in front, creeper covered slopes and arid flat lands to the north. 

The FAI Paragliding World Championship is held every two years. It gives a nations and individual championship title. 

Each national team consists of a maximum of 5 pilots (including 1 woman), with the 2 best scoring. Pilots who haven’t been selected for their national team can still compete as long as they too meet the FAI selection criteria. 

This World Championship is going to be a chance for a lot of the up-and-coming newer pilots to prove their place in their national team. 150 pilots and 37 countries will be competing. 

Three South American teams stand out as being contenders for the podium. Argentina is a clear favourite with a very thermic team and a lot of local knowledge. Brazil and Colombia are also fielding full teams with a lot of very current pilots. 

From Europe, Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Switzerland are all fielding full teams of four male and one female pilot. They have taken part in a lot of the World Cups which have restarted recently in Europe. 

There are a lot of smaller, but perfectly formed teams, which will also be well worth watching, North Macedonia and Serbia to mention but two.

From Asia, team Japan is here and hungry for more medals. South Korea have so far won all the medals for spending the most time in the air to get here: 120 hours each. Hopefully after a change of aircraft, their next stop will be the team podium.

The pilots from the United States hold the record for the most cancelled flights. Wing tips crossed, their flights over the next two weeks will all take off on schedule.

The French team are a favourite, but Loma Bola is very different to the Alpine conditions many of their team players are used to. Team Germany have an essential ingredient; some of the most experienced pilots and veterans of this competition. A team competition often relies on tactics and knowledge of how to work as team players, rather than just individuals.

On an individual basis, some of the favourites taking part: 2018 European Champion, Theo Warden; 2017 World Champion, Pierre Remy; 2016 European and 2015 World Champion Honorin Hamard; 2014 European Champion Torsten Siegel; 2012 European Champion Yassen Savov. 

Keen to get a good overall ranking and a place on the ladies’ podium will be Seiko Fukuoka-Neville, former ladies’ European and World Champion; former ladies’ World Champion, Klaudia Bulgakow; and former ladies’ European and World Champion, Petra Slivova.

The 2020 Pan-American Champion, Rafael Saladini, from Brazil, and Shauin Kao from Argentina, are also favourites along with Keiko Hiraki, the 2012 Asian Champion.

As far as the scoring is concerned, each pilot’s score is comprised of three parts: Distance points, Time points and Lead outpoints. Each day is scored out of a maximum of 1000 points. 

For more, You can visit: https://airtribune.com/17th-world-paragliding-championship-tucuman-argent/blog

Stay tuned!

Text Courtesy of Ruth Jessop

Photo Courtesy of Veso Ovcharov

PWC LA RIOJA, ARGENTINA

The PWC in La Rioja, Argentina has come to an end after  four grueling tasks.

 French Pilot François Cormier (Enzo 3) was crowned a very worthy winner of the competition. He flew consistently well, always up with the leaders. He was in the top ten in all four tasks and fastest round the course in task 4.

Well done to the first lady, US pilot Violeta Jimenez (Zeno), flying in only her second ever World Cup. She was first lady in two tasks and 43rd overall.

Eight out of the top 10 overall flew the Enzo 3. 

For Full results go to: https://live.pwca.org/scores.php?comp=29

Congrats to all the pilots and cheers from the Ozone Team.

Images courtesy of Veso Ovcharov / PWCA.org

PWC AKSARAY, TURKEY, 4TH -11TH SEPTEMBER

We got off to a flying start in Gemona, Italy in June, with an exciting 7-task competition. Followed by four tasks in Serbia, where some of the younger pilots proved that they are the new paragliding force to be reckoned with. The Super Final in Disentis exceeded all expectations, adding a further seven tasks to the tally so far.

Next stop Turkey. With strong thermals, Aksaray promises to be a very exciting competition and a great place to launch the 2022 season.

Aksaray is a truly stunning venue with take-off on the flanks of the spectacular Hasan Dagi, a 3270m high, dormant volcano. Apart from the rugged, conical mountain the take-off is on, the flying is mainly over hot, dry, arid flat plains, with small hills and some impressive gorges. Racing is technical, switching gears often being the key to success.

Keep up with all the highlights and low saves at https://pwca.org and on the Live App at https://live.pwca.org

Text and photos courtesy of PWCA.org

LUC AND SEIKO WIN 2021 PWC SUPERFINAL

The most important race of the year, and of the last several years due to Covid cancellations, has just wrapped up in Disentis, Switzerland, with Ozone designer, Luc Armant, winning overall gold.  Seiko Fukuoka Naville took the women’s gold medal (her 16th PWC gold and her third Superfinal champion title! #GOAT).

103 of the world’s top competition pilots were reunited in the heart of the Alps to fly seven tasks over the rocky peaks and glaciers of the Alpine main ridge. More than 500kms of task distances were set. 

Flying his new Submarine prototype harness, Luc Armant, won three tasks and the overall Superfinal Champion title. Despite a very competitive glider field, pilots reported that Luc’s innovative Submarine harness design delivered a significant edge to him and the other two pilots flying it. 

The top 10 overall:

1st  Luc ARMANT (Enzo 3, Submarine)

2nd Aaron DUROGATI

3rd Adrian HACHEN

4th Stephan MORGENTHALER (Enzo 3)

5th Baptiste LAMBERT (Enzo 3)

6th Christian MAURER 

7th Honorin HAMARD (Enzo 3, Submarine)

8th Joachim OBERHAUSER (Enzo 3, Exoceat)

9th Julien WIRTZ (Enzo 3, Submarine)

10th Ferdinand VOGEL (Enzo 3)

Out of the top 10 overall pilots, seven were flying Enzo 3s and all three Submarine protos in the event made the top 10. 

Top 5 ladies, all in Enzo 3:

1st  Seiko FUKUOKA NAVILLE

2nd Meryl DELFERRIERE

3rd Nanda WALLISER

4th Yael MARGELISCH

5th Constance METTETAL

Top 3 Teams

1st Ozone

2nd Gin Gliders  

3rd Niviuk 

For Full results visit: live.pwca.org/scores.php.

Congrats to all the pilots and to the PWC for such an amazing event.

Cheers from all the Ozone team.

Photos courtesy of Andy Busslinger / PWCA.org