Ozone put something back
Ozone, who will have been operating for ten years in 2008, has taken a decision to play an active role in charitable causes in the regions where we fly. They feel that pilots who enjoy travelling to underdeveloped countries, particularly equatorial nations, to fly should actively ensure that they leave a positive impression and support the local people, not just the local hotel owners.
There's more information on this remarkable project at www.flyozone.com/paragliders/en/adventure/ozone-giving-back/. We believe Ozone are the first paragliding company to take this step and hope that other manufacturers will also consider the idea. Hats off to Ozone for taking a stand on sustainable tourism.
Coast to coast in Devon
Tuesday September 18 saw Joe Jordan fly 87km from his local coastal site at Woolacombe in North Devon to Sidmouth on the south coast. "I'm not sure if anyone has done that sort of distance from a proper coastal site in the UK before," says Joe, "but it was coast to coast.
I could have gone further but ran out of land!" Joe was well cared for on landing; local pilot Paul Hook, who owns a Sidmouth hotel, took him under his wing. "Talk about landing in the right place," said Joe later. "Free beer!"
Ireland paramotor record
On Wednesday September 5 Jason Killian, Ireland's leading paramotor pilot, landed at Blackrock, County Louth having set the record for the country's longest paramotor flight at 140km. Jason had taken off two and a half hours earlier from Ballyshannon, County Donegal and was able to average 56km/h over the ground.
He reported low cloud, turbulence and light rain at the beginning of the flight but conditions improved once he got clear of the mountains, and the flatland part of the journey was without incident.
The route was carefully planned to avoid airspace. Jason was flying a Dudek Reaction TST /Bailey 4-stroke 175 combo and used only used half a tank of petrol. The record flight has been validated by the IHPA.
Brits win Worlds silver!
The British paramotor team returned from the World Paramotor Microlight Championships at Chang Ping, China, in September with the Silver medal for the foot-launched solo (PF1) class.
The French team took Gold and the Spanish won the Bronze medal. Michel Carnet won the individual Bronze medal in the same class, having held second place until former World Champion Mathieu Rouanet won a protest after a cancelled task to move from third to second. Ramon Morillas - of 1,105km World Record fame and also a previous World Champion - won the Gold medal.
Of the other Brits, Paul Bailey was seventh and Dave Hairs ninth. Last but not least, John and Tom Kemp, the father-and-son tandem (PF2) combo who have only been flying tandem paramotors for six weeks, came away with a Bronze World Championship medal! An excellent performance from two guys who gave their last spare prop to their main rivals! John and Tom really were the "Men of the Match" in the
eyes of the whole team.
Holzmüller leads rare birds to freedom
Nova test pilot and former world paragliding champion Walter Holzmüller is working on a project to reintroduce endangered young birds to the wild. The Northern Bald Ibis used to live in central Europe but almost disappeared in the 17th century due to the depredations of hunters. There are just 450 birds were left in their current natural habitat in Morocco, but many more live in captivity. Recently some birds were bred in captivity but they lack the navigational skills to successfully migrate - they don't know where to go.
Enter Walter, these days a bit of a paramotor specialist, and his Nova Bigmax. On August 13th Walter led 19 young birds from the Austrian-German border across the Alps to Tuscany. It is hoped that the young birds will have learned the way and will be able to lead their own young across the migration routes in due course. A BBC film of the project will air sometime soon. There's more about this fascinating initiative at www.waldrappteam.at.
Brits are World Champions!
The final result of the FAI World Championships at Big Spring, Texas, that finished on August 19th - Great Britain: Gold Medal!
A solid and consistent
effort from the whole team saw the Brits beat the French and Austrian teams into second and third places over seven tasks at a well run but rain hit meeting.
Hungary's Attila Bertok is the new World Champion.
But brilliant team flying from Gary Wirdnam (6th), Carl Wallbank (8th), Dave Matthews (16th), Robin Hamilton (17th), Richard Lovelace (29th) and Bruce Kavanagh (42nd) secured a Gold Medal for the Great Britain Team.
Excellent flying, guys. Well done!
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