18th FAI World Paragliding Championship

Chamoux sur Gelon,

20 May
03 Jun 2023
29 May 2023

PG Worlds 2023 - 9 days - 6 tasks

Despite challenging weather conditions the 18th FAI World Paragliding Championships managed to get 6 tasks during 9 past days. The conditions were very tricky task committee members used all their knowledge and creativity plus the brain force of the Safety Committee to make the competition roll on.

After 2 days of rain and wind, the sun returned to Savoie. Still in the morning the ceiling kept rather low about 1500 with a raise over 2000 closer to 2-3 p.m. Also every time with a risk of rain in the range from drops to showers. The pilot flew a task on each of the 5 following days - 400 km in total.  And wherever they launched the landing was always at HQ in Chamoux-sur-Gelon.

On Friday, May 26 - a 99 km task was set from the take-off La Forclaz on Lake Annecy. This was a remarkable experience for many pilots who were for the first time in that place. A stunning view over the aquamarine blue lake with the background of green mountain ridges, which resemble giant sleeping dinosaurs. The pilots told this view will stay in their memory forever. It was also the most interesting and demanding task for many of them. They had to fly north and take 2 turnpoints on the same side of the lake and then cross it heading towards Aix-les-Bains, turn left, cross the Isere River, and land at goal in Chamoux-sur-Gelon. More than 100 pilots got to the goal. The three French Luc Armant, Maxim Pinot, and Honorin Hamard continued to be the first in Overall. In Women the first were Nanda Walliser CHE, Johanna Hamne SWE and Meryl Delferriere. Every day a few pilots on goal were interviewed to try to get a picture of the day from different angles. Task 3 goal interviews are here.

On Saturday, May 27 a 93 km task was set from Mont Semnoz closer to town Annecy - it is a huge wide ridge allowing to launch almost in any direction, but then you have to overcome several ridges to get to any designated landing e.g. Doussard, or as in our case Chamoux-sur-Gelon. But 119 pilots made it to the goal. It took 2h24min for the first one and 3h30 for the last one to do it. The winners have changed. Top 3 in overall were Martin Petz GER, Stephan Morgenthaler and Baptiste Lambert FRA. In women Meryl Delferriere FRA, Nanda Walliser CHE and Constance Mettetal FRA. Watch pilots' goal talk here.

On Sunday, May 28 the conditions became worse. A conservative task of 70 km was set from Montlamber in the direction of Semnoz then back to Isere valley. Only 99 arrived at goal in the time range from 1h51min for the first till 3h16min for the last. The winners of the day were  Joachim Oberhauser ITA , Maxime Pinot FRA, Manuel Quintanilla FAI (Mex) in Overall. Meryl Delferriere FRA , Isabel Bernal COL  and Nanda Walliser CHE in Women. The Italian team flew very well that day and was the first Nation of the day as well. Pilots' impressions on the task by this link

Monday, May 29 brought similar to the previous day's conditions. The task was made Task 6 of 78 km was set. The route started at Montlambert going first towards Aix le Bains and after back to cross the Isere and land at Chamoux-sur-Gelon.  On video here you can see the launch of top French pilots.

This task would have ended in an interesting intrigue. After crossing Isere the pilots as usual flew in a train along the ridges but then Dominik Breitinger, Russel Ogden and Luc Armant followed by the cameraman Jean Mi Ara left the ridge and went in the valley in front of all, thus making the shortest possible route along the line of optimisation. Dominik landed just a hundred metres after HQ towards Gran Arc. Russel and Luc got as low as 280 m AGL but managed to find thermal and gain height up to 450m AGL (about 900 m ASL). Christian Biasi, William Pardis, and Manuel Quintanilla followed them. The rest were still remaining on the ridge behind Montendry where they gained up to 1500-2000 m ASL. Martin Petz was leading in the ridge gaggle followed by Pierre Remy, Honorin Hamard, Meryl Delferriere, Darko Stankovski, Juri Vidic, Alexander Schalber, and Stephan Morgentaler.

It was fascinating watching the two groups using 2 different strategies compete - which one would get to the last TP first? But they united just before it. The first to take the TP was William Pardis from Philippines. He continued on the course left by the valley group. Scratching the tree-tops of the forest on the slope, he took the 5th turn point (the last but one before ESS) on just 70 m AGL (1400 ASL). But after a small group of 10 pilots took it after him the storm cloud arrived closer and the rain started over Grand Arc. The task was stopped and scored back 5 min. The winners of the day became naturally William Pardis PHI, Russell Ogden GBR, and Martin Petz GER. In Women Meryl Delferriere FRA, Galen Kirkpatrick USA and Constance Mettetal FRA. With UK and German teams winning the day. Watch goal interviews here.


Useful links:

Official website https://civlcomps.org/event/pgworlds-2023

Day blog https://civlcomps.org/event/pgworlds-2023/blog

Results https://civlcomps.org/event/pgworlds-2023/results

Live tracking https://lt.flymaster.net/bs.php?grp=5121#

Live video broadcast https://paraglide.webtv.live/en