Paragliding World Championships 2013: Kick off

Sopot, Bulgaria. Photo: www.para-sopot2013.com

Sopot, Bulgaria. Photo: www.para-sopot2013.com

The 13th Paragliding World Championships 2013 kicks off in Sopot, Bulgaria on 14 July.

Some 150 pilots from around the world are in Sopot for the FAI Category 1 competition. Pilots had hoped to fly a training task on Saturday 13 July but a strong north wind kept pilots grounded for much of the day.

World Championships are held every two years and the Sopot World Championships is the first Paragliding World Championships to be held since Piedrahita, Spain in 2011. That competition was cancelled after two pilots died on task two.

Charles Cazaux picks up his pilot goody bag in Sopot. Photo: www.para-sopot2013.com

Charles Cazaux picks up his pilot goody bag in Sopot. Photo: www.para-sopot2013.com

Organisers and pilots in Sopot will be hoping for an accident-free competition. There have been three fatal accidents in total over the last two World Championships, while a fourth pilot, India’s Dilip Kotecha, died at the Pre-World Championships in Sopot last year. As a result concerns over pilot level, competition gliders and task-setting have plagued the FAI paragliding competition scene in recent years.

The World Championships is due to last two weeks, from 13-26 July and will see selected pilots from each country compete against each other in team and individual categories. Pilots will be flying EN-D rated competition gliders.

Saturday 13 July saw the opening ceremony in the evening, while 14 July is earmarked as a training day. The competition flying days are 15-26 July. Prize-giving is 26 July.

Official website including links to a full pilot list and live tracking is here.


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