Accuracy Pre-Euro in Kobarid, Slovenia: Success, Luck and Victories
The organisers of this competition should have bought a lottery ticket this week. For the second day of the event, the weather was again perfect for this paragliding accuracy with smooth light winds of only 0.5 to 1.0 m/s and it is satisfying to report there were no complaints, protests and more to the point no incident let alone accidents.
With talented flying by the competitors, combined with excellent event management from the organising team, all six rounds of the competition were completed in two, rather that the scheduled three days, which is very fortunate as the weather for the final Sunday is forecast to be heavy rain showers.
The final round run was completed in reverse order of the penultimate round five individual pilots' positions, and the pressure was such that there was a complete change in the final event positions. All of the medal positions were decided by the competitors’ final flights.
Long-time competitor Tomás Lednik (CZE) was the popular overall champion, winning his first major title with a superb total score over the six rounds of 8cms. He was closely followed by Goran Djurkovič (SRB) on 11 cms and Elisa Manueke (IDN) on 13cms.
Having led throughout the event, Markéta Tomášková (CZE) was victorious in the woman’s category with a total of 28 cms. She was followed by Katie Lawrence (GBR) who jumped into second place in the final round with 34 cms overtaking Adriana Lis (IDN) who finished on 51 cms. Wiayanti Rika who had been leading overall at the end of Round 5 finished in fourth place behind Adriana.
The team event was won by the team with No Name, with Czech Team and Garuda Prima 1 in second and third places respectively. (see photo on top)
The event ended with a Closing Ceremony on the target area with the Deputy Mayor of Kobarid presenting the individual medals. He made the promise that the municipality would be further investing in the infrastructure of the paragliding site access and that he would be closing the main square and through road in the town of Kobarid such that the Championship ceremony would be held there. It is obvious to the outsider that the sport of paragliding is a significant feature of the local and regional community and the municipality's support demonstrates they have sufficient confidence in the PG schools and organisations to provide investment for the future.
This was competition was also the final round of the PGA World Cup. Elisa Manueke won the overall event, with Roni Pratama and Rio Indrakusumah, taking the second and third places. In the women's category Rika Wijayant, won followed by Milawati Sirin and Ike Ayu Wulandar were the winners. Teams Garuda Prima 2, 1, 3, and 4 took the top four slots respectively.
It should be noted that Indonesia competitors featured significantly and, as well as taking all the titles, the 16 top individual places were Indonesian pilots.
This was an FAI Cat 2 ‘test’ event and it can be reported that its success was because of an ideal flying site, a well-prepared organisation, significant local municipality support and of course suitable weather; this promises well for next year’s FAI 6th European Championship.