2017 Paragliding World Cup Pico Do Gavião: Task 3

PWC Pico Do Gavião Task 3: "Fighting fire with fire" - Andre Rainsford reports...

"After two successful days in fairly difficult conditions we were gifted with a better forecast. Top of lift was predicted to be almost three thousand meters and light winds resulted in an eighty seven kilometer race.

The start was fast and furious with several Boomerangs leading out as has become the standard. The initial part of the race to the first turnpoint south was fairly straight forward given the potent thermals reaching five meters per second. The course then turned west and just when we thought it would be easy, a huge fire near the second turn point cast a hazy shadow over the ground suppressing the lift.

The field fell apart during this phase as pilots scrabbled to find a climb anywhere that seemed promising and not necessarily on the course line. In the end some of us got up above the fire which caused the problem in the first place. This put us into orbit and allowed a hassle free glide downwind to goal. It was, however, not good enough to beat Kim Hyeong Joo who 'smoked' the field by a full eight minutes!

Kim was followed by Andre, Jules, Samuel, and Yongtae making for another great day for Gin Gliders. A clean sweep for Gin on the day winning the individual and team event. The team moves into second place overall with Andre and Frank both charging in the top six.

The other good news is that the forecast is improving all the time!"

Photos: PWCA / Philippe Broers


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