Time is running out before the start of this Air Sports extravaganza - for more information go to their web site on : www.WAG2009.com
The games ended with well organised awards ceremonies (if running a little late) and Parachuting was the last event.
Follow the links at the foot of this page for extra pictures of the medal awards and the events, and the athlete's profiles.
Saturday 13 June - Last Day
By yesterday evening we had two new World Air Games Champions.
Istvan Asztalos (Hungary) in Accuracy with a total of .08 cms
And the Russian Canopy Formations Team with a total of 136 rotations over 8 rounds, ahead of France 133 and Sweden 129.
Their competition had not been without incident, twice landing out in the City of Turin and experiencing serious turbulance at altitude on their 6th round.
Today we see the finals of Canopy Piloting, the schedule has the Final of Canopy Piloting Accuracy at 15.00 and then Speed and Distance at 16.15.
The Closing Ceremony is scheduled for 18.00 hrs. Having had almost empty stands each day, this morning they are filling up as the public comes to view the final day of so many different air sports.
Throughout the Canopy Piloting competition the crowd have been kept fully and informatively aware of the result of each run, plus the background and position of each competitor. Once the loudspeakers were made avaialble, (and the microphones) they were able to do the same for the last rounds of accuracy.
The scheduled changed and we completed the final run of the Speed element of Canopy Piloting in time for lunch. The competitor who flew the fastest combined runs was Francisco Neri, Venezuela with a total of 290,602 points; second was Pableo Hernandez, Spain with 275,254 points and third is Ian Bobo, USA with 271,485 points. The consistnancy of the conditions and winds has been a bonus for the competitors and given us a very close competition.
After the last Accuracy run Jason Moledzki, Canada regained his first place with Ian Bobo, USA in second and Francisco Neri, Venezuela in third. All to go for in the last run of Distance.
With the last distance run completed, the Canopy Piloting competition was over and Jason Moldzki became the World Air Games Champion, even though he only took third place in the distance event: Brent Henderson, Canada scored 288,077 total, Ian Bobo, USA, 263,334 and Jason Moledzki, Canada, 256,774 The organisers were waiting in the judges area for the print out of the final scores and to have them officiated by the Cheif Judge so that they could be rushed in the waiting car to the scoring office and officially published; only then could the medal ceremony take place. Right up to the wire!
And the final Distance run produced some spectaclar efforts to gain that extra cm.
Friday, 12th June
The skydivers have the morning off, as their first event is not scheduled until 15.00 hrs. (approx), everyone will arrive by 13.00 as the schedule is subject to change or modification. This is also a new aspect to World competition, not having to be on the airfield dawn to dusk waiting for your call. The excellent weather is helping the organisers, and it is fascinating to watch the tight scheduling pay off with different air sports co-existing on the airfield. Canopy Piloting is not scheduled at all for today, but we will see the finals of Accuracy and Canopy Formations.
At the end of the day yesterday, the last round of accuracy brought another change to the top of the table; now France, Ronan Henaff is in the lead with .5 cms. with three tieing for second place and two for the next places and only 1 cm seperating each group. The Russians also had a bad round in the Canopy Formations, the team explained that they were having problems at altitude with turbulance, and spent their energy staying together without a wrap - concentrating on living, not working! The result gave them a 11 pt. score which became their throw away round, placing them just 2 points ahead of France .
Friday continued with the last two rounds of Canopy Formations, after the 7th Round Russia maintained their 2 point lead over France, with Sweden 1 point behind. Round 8 is being judged as this is posted
We also completed the Accuracy competition - the last three rounds taking place from 15.00 hrs in the afternoon and completing at 18.30. The wind conditions were very difficult for the 8th round with very light but variable ground winds giving competitors changing approach decisions. The intensity of the competition continued. It has really proved to be one of the most exciting and unpredictable accuracy competitions. The 2 cm disc was used throughout.
Thursday, 11th June
A hot Turin, sunny with a few clouds so a busy day ahead for the organisers and judges.
The day started for the Parachuting competitors with a round of Canopy Formations. The Russians are still in first place, having their lowest score on the 4th round, in second place is France, having also scored 18 points this matched their worst round score in the scond round. Third is Sweden and fourth is Bellarus. It is still a very tight competition, so the 5th round which is scheduled for 17.50 this afternoon could be very interesting.
As I update this site with the latest on the Accuracy and Canopy Piloting, the Canopy Formations round 5 is being judged.
Canopy Piloting - Speed - 2 rounds have just been run and it is a tense time while we wait for the official results. Talking to the competitors they say they enjoy the tightness of the competition due to the small number of high quality competitors of this World Air Games format.
After the results of the 2 rounds were published, Jason Moldezki (Canada) is still in first place overall with Francisco Neri in the lead for the Speed event.
Accuracy rounds start at 16.30.
Will we still have a tie for the top places by the end of the second session today, due to start at 19.05? No, we now have a competitor in First place, Yong Liang (China), .4 cms with the next three competitors tieing for second place, Judrich Vedmoch (Czech Republic), Ronan Haneff (France) and Marco Martin (Italy) all on .5 cms. Another round to go before the end of the 4th Day of competition.
The World Air Games is a very different concept from the usual World Cups or Championships. Parachuting as one of the FAI Commission was offered a number of slots for athelets to compete in the Games. This limited the athletes who could be invited to compete. As this WAG is a showcase for air sports, the IPC discussed at length which disciplines to propose, with a balance of competitors to create a competition. For all sorts of reasons, it was finally decided to use those disciplines which display various forms of canopy control - hence we have Accuracy, Canopy Formations and Canopy Piloting represented here in Turin. Because the number of slots for competitors was limited, the top competitors from the last World Event were invited to compete - 15 from Canopy Piloting, 4 teams (20) athletes Canopy Formations and for Accuracy it was slightly different, the top Nations were invited to send athlete(s) to represent a world cross section, in all 12 nations and 19 athletes.