Let the games begin … The promo clip for the Euros 2012
The 12th European Paragliding Championships is due to kick off in St Andre, France Monday 3 September, for two weeks of high level competition among some of Europe’s best competition pilots.
Poor weather in the region however means the competition may have a difficult time with the weather until mid-week, with storms and winds predicted until Wednesday.
Emile Van Wyk makes the best of conditions on the practice day on Saturday 1 September. ‘Mild compared with Sun Valley!’ he said on his blog.
Twenty-six countries are participating, including: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden Switzerland and Turkey. A full pilot list is here.
As the highest profile FAI Category 1 paragliding competition since the accident-hit World Championships in Spain last year, all eyes will be on safety at the competition.
Meet director is Francois Gerin Jean, with Chris Calvo Burns as safety director. A full list of officials is here.
Last week Team Germany said they were looking for a podium finish for their team and their pilots, while Team GB saw some last-minute shuffling to fill their team slots. (One change is that Craig Morgan, who was planning to blog for xcmag.com has now withdrawn due to work commitments – he sends his apologies to his fans.)
A quirk of the rules means Germany and GB are joined by France, Czech Republic and Spain in sending 10 pilots each – four pilots more than a standard team of six. The large teams include a handful of non-scoring pilots who are there to help make the competition financially viable.
The competition runs until 15 September. Tasks will be broadcast live online via live tracking.
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