The Ozone Slalom Series
Recently the slalom flying and competition became popular. There are lots of pictures, videos, discussions and comments in the magazines and internet about this kind of “new fashion” flying. I have noticed that more and more less experience pilots are trying small size wings designed for slaloms and too many of them are ending up hurting themselves and equipment in 99% caused by piloting mistakes. Only 5 – 6 years ago this type of flying was no existing and small size advance wings were not at all popular even among more experienced pilots. Our paramotor sport has obviously changed.
Since a long time I have been thinking what would be the best way to minimalize number of accidents but same time to meet current (actual) pilots’ needs. It is inaccurate to simply say that “low flying” is dangerous. And to constantly hear warning about how a danger of low level flying doesn’t really help to change / improve the situation. Already a year ago we came out with an idea to organize an event a slightly different type than most of them. Slalom events like Parabatix and Fly Games are private competition / show only for invited pro pilots and wide public. French Slalomania is FAI competition open for all the pilots with FAI license. OZONE Slalom Series is a completely different idea. OSS is designed to be fun and friendly event for all PPG pilots to experience slalom flying and competition in friendly learning atmosphere under the supervision of OZONE pro pilots. This way we create safe environment and open an opportunity to anyone, who is interested to try this kind of flying, to learn proper flying technic since the beginning.
During the weekend of August 3rd, we held the inaugural event in the OZONE Slalom Series, in cooperation with Raffaele Benetti in Viareggio Italy.
Without much advertising we were surprised how many Italian pilots did appear. Pilots at the event were able to demo OZONE wings, including the new Slalom. Team Pilots, Alex Mateos, Emilia Plak, Raffaele Benetti were on hand to give tips and instruction on the best techniques for Slalom flying, and PPG flying in general. All 3 of them were task directors, timing marshals and instructors same time just to make sure all is done in proper way.During the weekend we had wonderful weather conditions. Every morning and evening we set up 12M pylons for fun flying or competition. There was plenty of time to try different wings, try new flying technics, ask questions, get an advice and put it in practice under supervision of Ale, Raffaele and Emilia. During amateur competition we run 5 tasks following current WPSC FAI rules, where everybody could have a go and compare their timing results between each other and with pro pilots. All of the pilots were briefed individually by pro pilots before and after flying a task.
Although the focus was the pylon course, all pilots went for a spectacular XC flight along the coast at Viareggio on Saturday evening.
“It was breathtaking experience for me to see so many pilots flying close together with OZONE wings. Excellent.” – says Emilia Plak
“OZONE Slalom Open was a great opportunity for me to promote OZONE and safe and fun paramotoring in Italy” – says Raffaele Benetti
“I was happy to meet Alex Mateos. He is my idol” – Leo (Leonardo Pezzini)
“Really nice landscape to fly paramotor. Great to meet Italian pilots, new faces in new location” – Alex Mateos
“Currently I fly Speedster 26. It was a great opportunity to try Speedster 22 and Slalom 21. Now I know, which one to chose!” Francois Blanc (FRA)
“Last evening I was practice (or at least I tried) or technical tips I have received from Alex and Emilia during 2 days of OZONE Slalom Open. Finally I feel I approached the true potential of my wing! I rediscovered all the differences in response, discovered narrow turns, clean and healthy behavior and … the real speed! I still have a lot to learn, but at least now I have a point of reference and a technique to learn. Many thanks to all the OZONE Team Power!” Guglielmo Brunello
“I really appreciate to be able to compare my slalom results with my friends and with pilots from other countries, who participate in this event!” – Baroni Fafrizio The youngest pilot in the event was the 17 year old, Leonardo Pezzini, flying his Speedster 19. He finished 7th.
Good and enthusiastic feedback for Italian pilots after the event has proved to me that all the idea / concept was an excellent idea. OSS In Viareggio was a great place to meet, to learn, and enjoy paramotoring together.
OSS I planned to be yearly event organized by OZONE Power and OZONE dealers and friends in different locations around the World
Watch the video from the event and become part of the OSS!
Emilia Plak and OZONE Team.