Four days after the start of 6th FAI World Paragliding Accuracy Championship in Kuncice pod Ondrejnikem, Czech Republic, the suspense as to who will be crowned the next world champion amongst the 84 pilots coming for 15 countries continues.
So far the weather conditions only allowed the completion of one round - but what a fantastic one it has been !
This result put more pressure on his opponents who were eager to make amends in the following round. However, on Sunday the second round that was taking place on the site of Velký Javorník was interrupted due to dense clouds. Unfortunately these conditions repeated themselves on Tuesday.
Back at the competition centre, pilots were preparing their strategies and reviewing their tactics. Much discussion took place regarding the take-off and landing areas. "There are two flying sites for the 6th FAI World Paragliding Accuracy Championship", explains Kamil Konecný from the event organisation. "The main site is Ondřejník Skalka, which is oriented South-West. The pilots taking off from this site are landing on a football pitch. The take-off area is small and is surrounded by trees, which can be testing for the pilots. The landing is also a bit tricky as it is in the centre of Kuncice village, with a building on one side and a line of trees on the other, which forces the pilots to perfect their final approach for a precise landing. However, during the first round from this site, pilots proved to have the skills necessary to achieve good results on this challenging site. The second site is Velký Javorník where pilots took off on Sunday and Monday; the take-off isn't the easiest either as it is small with a slight slope. The landing area is on a slight slope as well, which can surprise pilots because of the changes in wind that it can create."
A lot is still to come in this championship, as more favourable weather conditions are forecast for the rest of the week. For the spectators it will mean more exciting competition with the possibility to observe the different strategies, flying techniques and approach choices!
For all those who follow the competition from home, live streaming and videos including the presentation of the teams and a daily competition report are available on the competition website.
As only one round has so far been completed, the championship is still open and the possibility for one of the 24 competing female pilots - the greatest number ever in a world championship - to steal the Gold medal is very real !
As all paragliding accuracy fans would say, the beauty of this discipline lays not on the physical strength of the pilots but on their skills to control their gliders and on their mental ability to resist the pressure as the competition develops.
This is why more and more people from all around the world are joining the paragliding accuracy comunity. This growing interest has led to several successes: the inclusion of this discipline in the programme of the 2013 World Games in Cali, Columbia, and the creation of the 1st FAI Asian Paragliding Accuracy Championship in Yilan, Chinese Taipei - paragliding accuracy is definitely on the rise !