Paragliding XC Pre-Euro Launched in Pegalajar
The test event of the 17th FAI European Paragliding Championships has launched in Pegalajar Spain. It is supported by the Spanish NAC, CTNP, and the municipalities of Jaen and Pegalajar. The event will be held from May 1 to May 6, 2023, followed by Paragliding World Cup that will start here on May 7, 2023.
This event is also the Spanish National League event still it has a very strong international representation - 134 pilots from 18 countries all over the world came to compete to Pegalajar. The geography is wide from Cuba to the Philippines. The nations with numerous participants are Spain, France, Portugal, and Italy.
Among them, there are also 10 females from 5 countries (Spain, Belgium, Portugal, Italy, France) and 13 Juniors from Spain and France. It is remarkable to notice the age spread - the oldest pilot is 75-year-old while the youngest pilot is only 16. This vividly shows that paragliding is a true sport for all.
Pegalajar is located in Andalucía province of Spain the nearest airports being Granada and Malaga. The flying site covers a lot of valleys intersected by small hill ranges. It is famous for its vast olive tree plantations. The terracotta soil of Pegalajar gives birth to numerous thermals that can be rather strong up to 7-8 m/s. But the current season enjoys gentler conditions 3-5 m/s on average. The take off "7 Pilillas" is just 2 min from the town centre. It is not a high mountain it dominates the valley by just about 500 m but it has a couple of permanent lifting places on both sides of it - the slopes of the ridges to the left and right side of take-off always provide good thermals. In general Pegalajar flying site is considered to be an easy place for beginners as you can find thermals and landing in the majority of places.
The first task of Pre Euro was 98 km of optimised distance and 115 non-optimised with a zigzag route that resulted in over 80 pilots in goal. The average speed of over 40 km/h and the maximum reached 70 due to the tailwind towards the north.
The winner of the day was a young Portuguese pilot Rui Martins Aguiar. Followed by Luis Martinez Iturbe and Roger Pifarré Abad from Spain.
You can read a goal interview with Rui in CIVL Facebook page. On goal he was also congratulated by his PG instructors Eduardo Lagoa and Carla Alves. They were very happy about his success as they said it is the first international competition abroad for Rui. Eduardo also takes part in the competition, he arrived 28th.
The first female pilot is Maite Moreno Benito from Spain. The winner in Junior is Roger Pifarré Abad a 25-year-old Spanish pilot.
You can find the results on the official website