14th FAI World Paragliding Championships, Colombia 2015 — Task 1&2

Andre Rainsford reflects on the action in the first 2 tasks at the 2015 Worlds:

The 14th FAI paragliding world championships have started with a bang for GIN Team pilots!

Two tasks and two GIN Boomerang 10 pilots appearing on the podium in fine style.

The first day was fast and furious with almost the entire field moving around the course together in one or two huge gaggles. The day was extremely good which resulted in strong climbs and full-speed transitions as pilots flew from cloud to cloud joining the dots around the course before the flat-out sprint to the line. The end of speed section was set four kilometers from the physical goal line causing anxious moments for many.

The eventual task winner, Peter Kostrhun (CZE) cut the finish to the bone by diving for the line leaving almost no altitude in reserve before scratching his way up from tree height in order to finish the race. As you know, you have to cross the goal line in order to claim your time points and we were all greatly relieved that Petr managed to do that after his desperate bid for line honours.

The second day stretched the field with a task of more than one hundred kilometers. The task committee set a smart race allowing for multiple routes. It started out in a similar vein to the previous day with a sense of urgency. The majority of the field chose to fly over the hills to the west of the course line before crossing the valley after the start. This first part was completed at considerable pace.

All went well until high cloud began to shut the day down toward the end. Seventy or more pilots were forced to change gear and grind out the last few kilometers into the nasty headwind in order to complete the race.

The final glide saw a dozen or more unfortunate pilots less than a thousand meters from goal littered over the countryside like colourful crumpled napkins. One glider was neatly draped over the middle of a cane field with the pilot invisible in the three meter deep vegetation.

This was not the case for Christian Maurer who romped home in second position on his Boomerang 10. Torsten Siegel also managed a top ten finish.

All in all an emphatic start for GIN pilots who all seem to agree that the new glider is superb for a variety of reasons. Above all it is an absolute joy to fly the Boomerang 10.



Photos: David Ohlidal

 

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