Slovenian stamina shows at Paragliding Accuracy Worlds

With just three rounds to go, the Slovenians, twice world champions, are striding ahead once again at the 4th FAI World Paragliding Accuracy Championship, on Lake Galves, Trakai in frozen Lithuania. With pilots in 1st, 2nd and 10th places and top team position, Slovenia is pulling ahead in these tough, cold and nil wind conditions. Czech Republic is closing fast on the team stakes, while pilots from Bulgaria, Serbia, UK, Macedonia and Ukraine are chasing the individual medals. With stronger winds today, some are anticipating there could be some change at the top. Day 5, Wednesday 14th February, 2007 No-one knows its origin, but some horrible flu-like bug is reaching epidemic proportions Trakai, hitting locals, organisers and pilots indiscriminately. Suspicions are on the UK team, as they appear to be proving reslilient to the virus, so far. Our indefatiguable leader, Violeta, is standing firm. Today she was handing out cloves of garlic to everyone, a Lithuanian defence, apparently, which can be either eaten or worn, to ward off the virus. Tomorrow we shall see how effective it is. Not too cold, not too sunny and not too windy, pretty much described the weather. Overall, this gave us the opportunity to fly another three rounds today. It was tiring for pilots and organisers alike, after a full day yesterday. Stamina was the order of the day. Round 7 started just after 10am, with no less than 23 pilots making pad scores (15cm or less). The very light winds particularly favour the Slovenians and the Czechs, while the island nations, Japan and UK struggled. Individual leader, Matjaz Feraric (SLO) put in three pad scores in today’s three rounds. Team mate Rafael Kerin is showing his mettle scoring even better which shunted him to second place. Bulgarian Tzevetan Tzolov was hanging in, just, in third, while Serbian pilot, Zoran Petrovic jumped to 4th place. The UK’s top pilot, Andy Webster slipped to 5th place, while Macedonian pilot, Martin Jovanoski leapt from 12th to 6th place in just three rounds. He and team mate Zlatko Spirkoski both scored dead centres in the 9th round. The Ukrainian pilot, Volodymyr Yavorskiy is scoring consistently and rises to 7th place, while Czech team leader, the ever-cheerful Tomas Lednik, is finally showing his form with a maximum score of just 8cm in the last five rounds, lifting him to 8th place. Team mate Kamil Konecny is just 2cm behind, scoring 8cm in each of the last three rounds. Japan’s team leader Yoshiki Oka, made two pad scores today with 14cm and 7cm, finally overtaking his team mates. In the women’s competition, Turkish pilot Funda Durusu takes the lead. But the second Czech female pilot, Katerina Pankova, has shown a remarkable improvement with three pad scores, 15cm, 6cm and 5cm – a better performance than most of the top male pilots today. The team ranking is unchanged, with Slovenia leading over Czech Republic, but the gap between them and the third placed, UK team, has widened considerably. The morning’s dose of garlic did nothing to prevent inter-team camaraderie this evening during a party to celebrate St Valentine’s day. Check out the photo gallery and more news at: www.pagaukveja.lt