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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

PWC SUPERFINAL, Switzerland

The long-awaited Paragliding World Cup Super Final will be held in Disentis, Switzerland, from the 7th to 18th of August, 2021.

The first ever, Alpine Super Final will launch from the meadows above Disentis with stunning views of dramatic snowy peaks.

From X-Alps super stars, to all the current World and Super Final champions, this event will bring together the crème de la crème from every competition held since the last Super Final, in Baixo Guandu, Brazil, in 2019.

The winners of six out of the eight subsequent World Cups, will also be in Disentis, flying high and fast, to win the ultimate title.

But, what is perhaps the most impressive of all, is that this competition brings together all the Super Final champions since 2014!

All three World Cups in Disentis (2015, 2017, 2020) have been won by Swiss pilots, will it be Emmental, Comte or perhaps Parmesan this time, or all change to Kimchi?

As for the flying, Disentis conjures up images of glaciers, jaggy mountains and great paragliding. The flying is extremely varied, giving very tactically interesting tasks. The house thermal ridge behind takeoff is the starting point for 120-km triangles and any number of panoramic flights, leaving all who fly there, with dreams that will last a lifetime.

There will be no time to daydream in the team competition, with twenty-three World Cup partners. Keep up with the four pilots flying for Ozone in the most challenging team competition ever:  https://pwca.org/events/2021-11th-world-cup-superfinal-switzerland-disentis/results?#content

For those who can’t work out one end of a paragliding competition from another, the live Commentary gives a thermal-by-thermal explanation. As well as the Commentary, you can also see the tracking on the PWCA Live App at https://live.pwca.org (which is now a web app).

Text and photos courtesy of PWCA.org

The Ozone Chelan Open

The 2021 Ozone Chelan Open is wrapped after 4 amazing tasks.

This was an EN-C and below event with mentoring from some of the top comp pilots in the USA. Each day Nick Greece, Josh Cohn, Mitch Riley and Matthew Henzi, shared their knowledge, experience, and advice on how to fly the tasks better.

The overall winner was Mitch Riley, flying his Alpina 4, followed by Josh Cohn (Alpina 4), and Nick Greece (Delta 4) in third.

In the ladies category the winner was Galen Kirkpatrick followed by Alexia Fischer (Delta 3) and Anneka Herndon (Alpina 4).

Ozone Team Pilot and overall winner, Mitch Riley, reports:

“Racing the Alpina 4 around the skies of Eastern Washington for the last week was a blast!! Thanks to OZONE Paragliders and meet director Matt Senior and all the volunteers for putting on this mentoring comp. Many people have asked me how it felt to race on an EN C wing. The racing, the decisions, and the excitement felt just like racing any paraglider. I’ll be back next year! The performance of the Alpina 4/Delta 4 speaks for itself; winning every task and filling the podium, the glider goes well!!”

For Full Results visit: https://airtribune.com/ozone-chelan-open-2021/results

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

See you next year!

Aerial images courtesy of Donizete Lemos

2021 AEROBATIC WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

The 3rd FAI Paragliding Aerobatic World Championships, in Trasaghis, Italy: Ozone team pilot, Horacio Llorens, and his cousin, Raul Rodriguez, won the gold medal in the synchronized category, and Horacio took silver in the solo category.

Raul, the first ever World Champion in 2006, finished the event in a cast covering a broken fibula after a hard landing in the raft.

Six time World Tour Champion, Horacio Llorens, reports:
“These medals are really meaningful to me. Gold in Synchro with my cousin and master Raul Rodriguez who taught me everything in this sport. Silver in Solo, two years after my accident, I can’t be happier with this result. My country took bronze in the Nations ranking thanks to great team work with @pabloandreu89 , @alvacromr and @raul_rodriguez_acro. Congratulations to the Solo World Champion Bicho Carrera who gave his best and proved he has a bright future. A massive congrats to Luke De Weert, the best newcomer to join the most important podium, well done bro!

Thanks to all the pilots and the organizers for such a great event. I can’t forget my love @mariaduelo who supported me in such a difficult and long competition. And of course special thanks to Ozone Paragliders who prepared a new proto Session15m for me in a record time to be ready for this competition!
Now it’s time to go back to Organya, for what? To keep training of course!
-Va por ti Alejandro- 🥇🥈🥉

Congrats Horacio and cheers from all the Ozone Team!

Video by Allen Candela

PWC Kopaonik, Serbia

The second stop of the 2021 PWC in Kopaonik, Serbia has come to an end after four valid tasks.
Ozone R&D pilot, Honorin Hamard reports:

“The PWC in Serbia has finished with a really good score for the Ozone team, 1st place with Honorin Hamard, Stéphane Poulaine, Julien Wirtz and Meryl Delferriere .Eight Enzo 3s in the top 10, with 2 on the main podium with Julien Wirtz second and Honorin Hamard third.

One full Ozone girls podium with Marcella Uchoa in first followed by Méryl Delferrière in second and Constance Mettetal in third.4 very difficult tasks, not so many pilots in goal, amazing views on the plateau to go to A11 which was our 2 last tasks goal…

It was great to share with all the pilots a good race like this one, especially in these times. We played football together and fought for the thermals !”

For Full results go to: https://pwca.org/…/2021-world-cup-serbia-2021…/results

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

Next PWC stop: Disentis, SwitzerlandStay tuned!

Images courtesy of www.PWCA.org

Red Bull X-Alps 2021

The toughest adventure race on earth has come to an end. Athletes battled their way from Salzburg, Austria to Mt Blanc, France, and back to Zell am See, Austria, via 12 turn points in five countries.

At 1,238 km, it was the longest race in the X-Alps‘ history.

Ozone would like to congratulate all of the athletes who trained and committed to this grueling adventure, and a huge thanks to the pilots who chose Ozone for it. It was an honor for us to support Yael Margelisch , Laurie Genovese , Benoit Outters , Maxime Pinot , Michael Gierlach, and Cody Mittanck .

Images courtesy of Red Bull X-Alps

For more visit www.redbullxalps.com