Manfred Ruhmer has become Hang Gliding World Champion for the fourth time after winning the World Championships in Forbes, Australia.
In a closely fought battle Manfred (AT) beat Alex Ploner (IT) into second place, finally winning by a margin of 139 points. Manfred scored 9,010 points across 10 tasks versus Alex’s 8,871. Filiippo Oppici (IT) was third with 8,560 points.
In the Women’s, Corinna Schwiegershausen (DE) won ahead of Kathleen Rigg (GB) and Tove Heaney (AU).
In the Nations, Italy took Gold, the USA took Silver and Great Britain took Bronze.
Some 104 pilots took part, from 23 countries. There were eight pilots in the Women’s class.
The competition was a spectacular success – “The flying couldn’t be any better!” Alex Ploner said of conditions at Forbes before the comp started – with 10 big tasks and one non-flying day (day 2).
Starting with a 157km race to goal on day 1 tasks of 162km, 127km, 180km, 192km, 220km, 228km 190km, 248km and 192km followed.
Manfred Ruhmer is one of hang gliding’s most decorated pilots and was World Champion in 1999, 2001 and 2003 and European Champion four times before retiring from competition in 2005.
He returned to the comp scene in 2009 for the World Championships in France but was beaten by Alex Ploner. Alex also won the title at the washed-out Worlds in Italy in 2011.
Manfred and Alex are team mates on Team Icaro and both fly Laminars.
Congratulations to all pilots and organisers for a great competition – look out for a full report in a future issue of Cross Country magazine.
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