14 Oct 2021

PGA Worlds 2021: A D-day for Korea

11th FAI World Paragliding Accuracy Championship competition activity was interrupted by a sudden snowfall on a most crucial point. Two rounds were scored and 2 suspended with scope to resume at any given occasion. In round one 48 pilots managed to have a flight and in round four - 97. So it means that just 22 flights are missing to announce the competition as valid. Another complexity of the situation is that both suspended rounds were held on different take-offs - one with foot launch another with winch launch. It means that they have to be resumed on the same take-offs, weather permitting. Considering that the competition ends in 2 days and the weather is very unfavourable, we may end with only 3 rounds at best. If the conditions favour towing, the chances to have a valid competition are higher, as round 4 will not need much time to be accomplished.

Looking at the provisional results of the championship we do feel how finishing any of the given rounds may shake the classification considerably. The peculiarity of the situation is that the Overall leader of the 2 scored rounds Korean 26-year-old pilot Seungil Ahn (on photo) has not yet flown neither in round 1 nor in round 4. He finished rounds 2 and 3 with 000 each. The same can be said about the Korean pilot Dagyeom Lee ranked no 1 in the Female category. While their main rivals from the Czech republic - Vlastimil Vachtl and Marketa Holubova Tomaskova - have both flown in round 4. If round 4 is finished first, their results will be 3 and 5 points respectively. And it leaves extremely little maneuver gap for the Seungil Ahn and especially Dagyeom Lee with their 0 and 4 points after two rounds. On the contrary, if round 1 is started and the 4th does not happen at all, Seungil Ahn will have to face competition from Kazakhstan pilot Almas Ahmetov with his 4 in Overall for rounds 1, 2, 3.

The top ten pilots, for now, leading in case of round 1 scenario are:

  • Almas    Akhmetov Kazakhstan - 4
  • Tzvetan    Tzolov    Bulgaria - 8
  • Vlastimil    Vachtl    Czech Republic - 8
  • Jihun    Yoo    Korea - 10
  • Anton    Svoljšak    Slovenia - 10
  • Umut    Akcil    Turkey - 13
  • Boguslaw    Pelczar    Poland - 15
  • Sandor    Kaszas    Hungary - 16
  • Borjan    Jovanoski North Macedonia - 16
  • Cristian    Alejandro Cruz León Colombia -25

The top ten pilots, for this moment, leading in the case of round 4 scenario are:

  • Vlastimil    Vachtl    Czech Republic - 3
  • Marketa    Holubova Tomaskova Czech Republic - 5
  • Nikita    Melnikov    Russia - 7
  • Yauheni    Vikhor    Belarus - 7
  • Tzvetan    Tzolov    Bulgaria - 8
  • Felipe    Arboleda    Colombia - 8
  • Matjaz    Sluga    Slovenia - 9
  • Almas    Akhmetov Kazakhstan - 11
  • Seongmin Lee    Korea - 11
  • Umut    Akcil    Turkey - 13


All this puts tremendous pressure on the young Korean pilots, will have to face the challenge. We wish them luck and self-control. The next flying day will be decisive.

We express gratitude and compassion to the organizing, judging, and Jury teams, that have to work under such nasty weather conditions with that growing pressure. Wish them to be most attentive to ensure a fair and safe game.

Stay tuned.

Photos by Yauheni Vikhor (Belarus) and Andy Cowley (UK)