The (unconfirmed) rumour is that three time Class 1 World Champion and four time Class 2 (Swift Light) World Champion Manfred Ruhmer will be flying for Austria. He left hang gliding competition flying five years ago, but has started dabbling again - he just won Bassano in Italy.
Wil he or won´t he be in Laragne? And if he is, will it make Austria unbeatable?
Saturday, April 11, 2009
And it is beginning!
The new poster for the Worlds 2009 has been unveiled, along with a smart new seven page press pack.
The press pack is in French, so here is a rundown in English of what it says:
The biggest hang gliding competition in the world is coming to France from 20 June to 4 July 2009.
130 pilots representing 34 countries over 12 days of flying
The French team is the fourth in the world, and has the world number one, Mario Alonzi, on the team, and they know the site well
Laragne is an exceptional HG site in the southern Haute Alpes
It’s been used for comps before: The Europeans in 1994, GB champs in 2002, 2003 and 2008, Pays Bas in 1998 and 2008 (what is Pays Bas? Is it Holland?), and French champs in 2000, 2003 and 2006.
It’s a good XC site. The French triangle record was set from here in 2007 by Gil Souviron – he flew a 275 km triangle via Mont Ventoux, Dormillouse and Grenoble before returning to Larange. Bon Vol, Gil.
It’s going to be a hot comp: French star Mario Alonzi will be there – he was fourth at the World Championships in Texas 2007. Current World Champ Attila Bertok will be defending his title, while all eyes will also be on youngster Blay Olmos, the 20-year-old Spanish superstar. But watch out too for Scott Barrett from Oz, who won the pre-World Championships here last year.
In the teams, all eyes will be on France battling it out against the current World Champs the Brits. Scorchio!
On the what-to-look-forward to pages, it tells us there will be:
20 June: Registration
21 June: Official opening ceremony with ‘musical animations’ in the streets
26 June: The Fete de Monteglin, and feu de la St Jean … from memory this is a big fire in the square, with beer
27 June: Pizza and Paella night in nearby village of Ribiers … not to be missed, as the paella is good and pizza excellent
27 – 28 June: The Fete de l’air and Fete du Sport .., a weekend of great fun stuff to do for kids, including acrobungee (?? sounds exciting), model aeroplane comp, and lots of things flying in the air
30 June: Evening cinema … 4000 years of aviation history
30 June: Spaghetti Party in Chateauneuf de Chabre … a new one for me … sure to be a hit
2 July: Cultural evening from 9pm
3 July: Musical evening from 9pm
4 July: Closing ceremony.
There will also be exhibitions:
15 June – 6 July: Hang gliding cartoons, in the Tourism Office
15 June – 27 July: ‘Imaginary flying machines’ (perhaps by children? I’m not sure)
And during the comp an exhibition of the history of hang gliding. Reminisce and laugh about how they used to billow …
Alongside all this there will be some people flying hang gliders and a competition. Hope to see you there. If not see you there, then make sure you check the blog regularly – we will be all singing all dancing with updates half a dozen times a day.
Roll on June. Vive La France!