2018 Paragliding World Cup – Aksaray, Turkey – Task 1 and 2

Andre Rainsford reports from the World Cup in Turkey

"We are in Aksaray, Turkey, for the final world cup event of 2018. Aksaray is a city of around 380,000 inhabitants situated in the the Anatolia region of Turkey not far from Capadocia. Capadocia a famous for it's fourth century AD troglodyte dwellings carved into the the soft rock called 'tuff' which is the result of volcanic ash deposits. Aksaray is an ancient city dating back to the eighth century BC which has survived the influences of various civilisations including Hittite, Roman, Byzantine, Selcuklu and Ottoman.

The launch site for this event is situated on the slopes of a volcanic mountain south of the city. The site marks the edge of extensive flat-lands to the west which meet a plateau to the east scarred by weathered gorges in the relatively dry landscape.

Dry and hot makes for great flying conditions albeit challenging as was demonstrated on the first task. A seventy kilometer race was set which involved flying to the east over the plateau toward a developing storm before running away to the relative safety of the flats. The course required running a gauntlet under ominous clouds that laced most of the field with sleet and rain before an intended leg into the flat-lands to the west. Another area of over development over Aksaray to the north put an end to the task. The ensuing gust front wreaked havoc on the entire field with war stories all round as pilots fought to land safely in the dusty fields surrounding Aksaray. The task was not validated being two minutes shy of the required minimum time.

Day two was looking to end the same way as the first task with ominous clouds building early over the peaks of the volcano and to the North-East of launch with reports of lightning early in the seventy kilometer task. Thankfully the conditions moderated as the task drew the field away from the over-development to the north. The flat-lands developed beautifully as the competitors crushed the course in record time with almost the entire field reaching goal. Amazingly, the first seventy five pilots arrived at goal within ten minutes of one-another in what was a real crowd pleasing day. The Gin team were well represented by Andre Rainsford, Julian Robinson, and Oguzkan Sadeer crossing the line within seconds of one-another to finish fourth in the team event.

We hope the weather holds for more amazing flying in this magical arena."

 

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