Commentary - Day 7

16:18 If you haven't already done so, don't forget to install the new World Cup app before the Super Final so that you can keep up with all the action and your favourite pilots much more easily on tablets and mobile phones. The App includes the live commentrary, tracking, leaderboard and the task by task results for the last five years. Available for Apple devices at iTunes (search for PWCA) or the Apple store and for Android at the Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.pwca.liveapp

16:10 Everyone has now landed and the scores are being calculated to take into account the lead out points so that we can see whether Stefan Wyss or Tim Bollinger has won the day and exactly who has earnt one of the precious Super Final places from this competition.

16:04 I've mentioned a lot about Super Final places in this competition. One who won't mind missing goal today is Harald Wilhelmi, as he definitely won't be joining us at the Super Final as he'll be on Cloud 9 (like Semih) being a very new Dad in January.

16:00 When Patricia moved to Valle de Bravo in Mexico she saw everyone flying. She went tandem XC for her first flight. Before her feet had even touched the ground at the end of that first flight she had decided that she needed to learn to do it herself. That was 9 years ago, the rest is history.

15:59 The last 2 pilots in the air are approaching goal Patricia Letona and Harald Wilhelmi.

15:57 Veteran Gin pilot Kaoru Ogisawa has just landed in goal, making 43 pilots in goal on a day which looked far from promising. Well done to Meet Director Byron Coronel for believing in today.

15:45 Well done to 2nd and 3rd ladies today Joanna Di Grigoli and leading lady Keiko Hiraki, just 10 minutes behind the leaders.

15:40 Just a reminder that anyone, whether an individual or a business, can become a Paragliding World Cup Partner. This lets you have a team and your name or logo on our prestigous banners. To become part of our big paragliding family and help support the continued success of paragliding competitions around the World, contact the Paragliding World Cup Association.

15:34 Yigit Yildirim has just crossed Ess and it's not clear whether he's crossed the goal line. He's the man behind team Reaction Paragliding Oludeniz, who competed as a team here for the first time.

15:30 For the ladies Yael Margelisch was first today (11th overall across ESS), 7 minutes ahead of leading lady this morning Keiko Hiraki.

15:26 Maxime Bellemin was 6th this morning and 10th across ESS which should confirm his place once again in the top 10.

15:23 British Champion Guy Anderson, 2nd this summer in the Worlds, was 8th overall this morning and 9th across ESS today, so that should confirm his right to take part in this years Super Final and continue where he left off last time - he definitely has some unfinished business to do - one to watch me thinks!

15:20 Zoran Labovic was 3rd overall this morning so 8th across ESS should keep him in the top 10.

15:19 Bernardo Medina Sastre was 33rd this morning so today's 7th place across ESS will really help him.

15:17 Brad Gunnuscio was 21st this morning so today's 6th place will really help him.

15:15 Dominik Breitinger already has a Super Final place from a previous World Cup.

15:14 Max Jeanpierre was 22nd this morning so his position of 4th today will really help.

15:12 Honorin Hamard has already qualified as he is a legend having won the Worlds in 2015.

15:11 Tim Bollinger was in 81st place this morning, and as I said, any one up to 85th place, if they flew well enough could make it into the top 15.

15:10 Stefan Wyss as a legend already has a place.

15:07 So for the Super Final places...

15:06 It's incredible here, it seems to work with absolutely no sunshine at all, there are nice thermals all around the goal.

15:05 The top 20 have crossed ESS and are either in or coming into goal.

15:04 First lady today Yael Margelisch has just got to goal.

15:03 Honorin Hamard has just got to goal. Will his 86 point lead be enough to keep him on the top spot? He crossed ESS 2 and a half minutes behind today's fastest pilot Stefan Wyss.

15:01 So has Stefan Wyss on his Ozone Enzo 3. Wings-wise, at the recent World Cup in Brazil it was once again parity all round, with four Gin Boomerang 11s and four Ozone Enzo3s making up the top 8 overall winners. We have just seen the same here in Ecuador, well done to both manufacturers.

14:59 Tim Bollinger on his Gin Boomerang 11 has just landed in Goal, will his lead out points win the day for him?

14:58 Overall leader Honorin Hamard is just behind them.

14:57 The've got ESS!

14:57 It's neck and neck to end of speed with Stefan Wyss and Tim Bollinger together. Stef and Tim are on 7.5:1 to goal - will they make it? They are both at 170m above the ground.

14:55 The leaders have got the last turn point and are now racing to ESS. Stefan Wyss, Tim Bollinger, Honorin Hamard, Max Jeanpierre and Zoran Labovic.

14:53 If Stefan wins this task it'll put him top equal in the list of recent task winners. At the moment in the task Winner's Ladder, are Torsten Siegel (6 recent task wins) and Stephan Wyss (8). It couldn't be closer at the top, with Maxime Pinot (9) and Yassen Savov (7), not here.

14:50 It's neck and neck at the front between Stefan Wyss and Tim Bollinger.

14:49 The wind is easterly around the last turn point and goal area.

14:48 The leaders are getting blown away from the 2nd turn point.

14:46 For those of you, like us, wondering what Semih Sayir is doing heading for goal without having got the last turn point - baby blues is all I can suggest!

14:45 Yanick Lettry is there too, at 900m, he's making sure he doesn't land out today. He had an unconventional retrieve when he landed out in the middle of nowhere, in very tall grass during task 2. With the Ceibos trees (enormous leaf-less statue like trees) looking down on him, with no roads for miles around, he somehow managed to get a lift back in a rubbish lorry!

14:40 New pilot Andrew Williams is there too. He won the Ozone Chabre Open in 2015. Clearly having a very good day, Andrew also won a brand new Ozone paraglider in the prize draw, which he generously decided to auction for charity, the proceeds being donated to a Parkinson's disease research charity. I bet he wished he'd bought a lottery ticket on the same day!

14:37 Federico Nevastro's bag of magic mushrooms in his flight deck are working well today, he's within sight of the leaders as they pass Lomas de Sargentillo.

14:34 25 pilots have landed so far, the light conditions today are making it very difficult. Even some of our top, very experienced pilots have already landed including 'Flaco', Alejandro Alfonzo. Flaco means slim. Raol Penso explained to me recently, 'we gave him than name when he was a lot younger'!!!!

14:30 The lead gaggle have just flown over Isidro Ayora.

14:28 Carlos is used to flying in hot conditions. His local flying site is the Chilean Atacama Desert, thirty kilometres north of Iquique, accessible only by 4x4 with tall rainbow coloured coastal mountains sliced by riverbeds which have not seen water for two hundred thousand years and endless Pacific beach far below. Jealous?

14:26 To the north east of the course line, François Cormier and Carlos Curi are working well together and catching up with the lead gaggle.

14:25 Max Jeanpierre on the new Kortell harness which has been great to have a look at on launch this week is also with the leaders to the south west of the course line.

14:24 Owen Shoemaker currenly lying 2nd overall is also right at the front in the gaggle to the south west of the course line. For Owen, exploring is what it's all about. "Paragliding is a great sport for the adventurous traveller!"

14:21 Gin test pilot Tim Bollinger is still pushing ahead, he's proved so many times this year that he can lead out and leave the best of them behind. Amongst his most notable recent wins were none other than the first 2 tasks in the 2016 Super Final!

14:19 The lead gaggle of about 20 pilots have got a reasonable amount of height, they are all about 700m off the ground but the climbs are very weak, between +1 and +2, with full cloud cover and only a little bit of sun shining through.

14:16 This task has really seperated everyone out. I don't think I have ever seen a task with so many seperate gaggles.

14:13 The route to the south west of the course line seems to be working much better.

14:11 The first pilots are just reporting back having landed out due to the light conditions today.

14:09 Brad Gunnuscio who was 3rd in the 2nd task is with the leaders to the south of the course line. Brad is currently setting up courses in Columbia for pilots to do SIV before they do an XC course. This new venue is a perfect spot for getting in a bit of practice in winter time, it's 2 hours from Bogota and over a lake, very different to the dried up plains with scattered villages and cattle ranches the pilots are flying over at the moment.

14:04 In the gaggle to the south of the course line, there are a lot of big names and some very long ones too.

14:03 Well done to the task setting committee, Sebastian Ospina, Michael Sigel and Juan Carlos Moran. Today's task has really split the pilots up. Two main routes have emerged, one to the north of the course line and one to the south.

14:00 Just a recap on the typical wind direction here which pushed pilots off the course line a bit at the beginning of the week. The wind around launch is from the south. As soon as you get over the back it changes, by the road junction at Nobol it is more south easterly. The further west you go, the more north easterly the wind becomes.

13:59 As Peruvian champion, Franz SCHILTER, told me 'you have to earn the kilometres here, it's very changeable, strong one minute then smooth mellow air the next. Birds are important, there are a lot around. Even the shade works here which the European pilots aren't used to.'

13:57 Ahead of the pilots at the goal there is not much wind making today difficult for climbing.

13:55 Benedicte Saury is right up with the leaders too today (currently lying 3rd lady overall). Apparently cats Swing and Nell are clapping their paws and cheering Mum on with loud meows back in Annecy.

13:51 On that note, did you know that there are only 43 shopping days left until Christmas? (EeeeeeaK) If you buy the World Cup App for everyone you know, you could have your Christmas shopping all finished in less than 5 minutes, for the bargain price of 2.99 euros per person! If you haven't already done so, you can buy the new World Cup app for iOS at iTunes/Apple Store or for Android at the Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.pwca.liveapp

13:50 This is a problem that you won't experience if you are following the race on the new World Cup App as the app syncronises the data, taking out any leap-frogging.

13:46 There is a lot of leap-frogging going on at the moment on the live tracking. Tracking points are sent from the Flymaster Live Trackers at one minute intervals. But they are not synchronised which explains why the pilots appear to leap-frog each other.

13:44 Joanna Di Grigoli is right at the front, go Joanna, this will really help her bid for a Super Final place.

13:42 Tim got his first specially designed GIN wing when he was only 6 years old.

13:41 Tim Bollinger has taken the lead. He's looking to get a Super Final place from this World Cup in Ecuador. Tim just missed automatic selection by coming 15th in damp Disentis (automatic selection was reduced due to the lack of tasks).

13:40 The second gaggle are now getting to the first turn point. Pavel Alcocer is about to take it. He's one of the most colour coordinated pilots in the competition, wearing an orange t-shirt, orange trainers, an orange rucksack and to match, a ginger beard! He lives in Caracas - 'in Venezuela we fly above the problems' he told me, what a wonderful, profound thought from the World Cup's favourite fashion victim.

13:36 The leaders have now go the 1st turn point: Deonir Spancerski, Honorin Hamard, Fulvio Polcini, Gianbasilio Profiti and Maxime Bellemin.

13:34 Shaving the tolerance zone means that in the case of a 50 km cylinder, you shorten the task by almost 0.5 km. Which starts to add up if you multiply that by 4 turn points. However, remember there is no such thing as a free lunch, you may end up paying a high price, everyone else getting to goal and you being scored back to the first turn point!

13:33 With a 50km radius cylinder there's a 500m (in and out) 'tolerance' zone. Rather than shaving the cylinder, some pilots now advocate shaving the tolerance zone – a risky business – shave when you fly at your own peril!

13:33 Cylinder Tolerances. A tolerance of 0.5% of the radius of the cylinder is built into the scoring system to accommodate the differences in measuring which occur between different instruments.

13:33 Needless to say, the object of the exercise is to shave the cylinder as closely as possible, but not too closely. If you don't cross the cylinder you will be scored to your furthest point along the course line towards the goal before the turn point you missed.

13:32 The leaders are approaching the first turn point. They don't need to go to the centre of the cylinder but just cross the cylinder line.

13:30 Back to the lead group. Deonir is storming ahead.

13:26 Fellow Italian pilot Luciano Pagnoni has also just got out of the slums and over the open countryside. When I asked him what the best thing he has done in his life was he replied, 'helping Federico eat 25 kilos of magic yellow mushrooms!'

13:24 Federico's goal for this competition was to not need the 'Ecuatorial tree to HQ front door' delivery service that he took advantage of in the Coeur de Savoie World Cup earlier on this year!

13:22 Federico Nevastro will be happy to get out into the open countryside. When I asked him what was the best thing he had ever done (e.g climbing a big mountain), 'finding 25 kilos of magic mushrooms in one day', he replied without even having to think about it!

13:20 The leaders have now cleared the urban sprawl and are flying over the open countryside.

13:18 Close on Deonir Spancerski's heels is Semih Sayir. No matter whether Semih has his feet on the ground or not, during this competition his head is in the clouds, and has been since the arrival of chatty (who does she get that from?) daughter Jasmin 7 weeks ago.

13:17 The conditions are clearing all the time. There are climbs despite the 100% cloud cover so today will be slow and hard going but it does seem to be working.

13:15 Robert Vandenbegine is at the front as well today. More than 60 pilots made a 226km goal at the US Paragliding Nationals in Chelan in July 2016, making it the longest successful competition paragliding task ever flown. Getting to goal first but placed second behind Josh Cohn because of fewer lead-out points was Robert Vandenbegine.

13:12 Pushing out in front Deonir Spancerski. We saw Deonir pushing out a lot in the Pico do Gaviao World Cup, definitely one of the new leaders.

13:10 The main gaggle are taking a route to the east of the course line. Amongst them Stefan Wyss, currently lying 4th overall. Everyone at Skywings (Stefan's tandem operation) in Interlaken will have put down their tandems and be cheering in front of our leaderboard today I think.

13:06 They are currently flying over the not so chic housing estate behind launch.

13:01 Task 1 winner Manuel Quintanilla is already out in front.

12:54 There is also a strong contingent of pilots who really know their way around having been flying the Ecuadorian Open here in Bototillo Guayaquil (and winning it) for many, many years: Juan Carrera 1st in 2013; Jose Andrade Mayorga 1st in 2014 and 2nd in 2017; Adrian Martin Acosta 1st in 2015 (winner of task 7 at the recent Pico do Gaviao World Cup in Brazil); Bryan Carrera (1st Ecuadorian) in 2016; Edinson Alvarez Suarez, 1st overall in 2016. The 2017, winner of the Ecuadorian Open here in Bototillo Guayaquil and competing today was none other than Juan Carlos Moran Reinoso (Titos) our General Organiser for this comp.

12:49 It's worth watching the top lead out point baggers (those who are consistently up at the front of the race) at the start where the lead out points are more heavily weighted. In this competition the lead out point baggers have been: Manuel Quintanilla, Honorin Hamard, Stefan Wyss, Julian Andres Carreno Colonia and Brad Gunnuscio.

12:45 The start is now open, let's see how they get on, in this last, decisive task of this first ever Paragliding World Cup in Ecuador.

12:42 A lot of the pilots are quite low over launch but the day is improving and there are now patches of blue.

12:37 Meanwhile back in the grey 100% cloud covered sky, the big question is whether they are going to have enough height to fly over the long stretch of jungle behind launch to get to the dried, fried plains behind.

12:29 So, the most important thing: enjoy yourself, the spirit and take care that you don't get addicted to flying World Cups - it can change your life!'

12:28 Today's Thought for the Thermal comes from Torsten Sigel, PWC winner and one of the individually highest ranked task winners over the last few years: 'I did my first World Cup event somewhere in the stone age and as far as I know I missed the top 100 only by a few points. From there to now I can't remember many results (which shows how important they are, at least too me) but I remember all the unforgettable impressions with friends and pilots from all over the World.

12:27 Talking of thermals, to coincide with the new World Cup app, we are also launching 'Thought for the Thermal', a few words of advice each day from one of our more experienced pilots about competition flying.

12:25 The pilots are distributed in several big thermals so hopefully today we'll have a nice task once the gate opens in 20 minutes.

12:23 Meanwhile on launch everyone has taken off and are circling at a maximum of 100m above launch!

12:21 For Torsten Siegel from Gin Gliders flying the first Ready For Certification glider in the World Cup, this has been a great opportunity to show the pilots their new wing and discuss it with them.

12:12 The vultures are enjoying the thermals today and swooping low showing the humans on their top of the range paragliders how to do it.

12:08 What am amazing sight. Over 100 colorful gliders brightening up the grey Ecuadorian sky all trying to gain height above launch.

12:03 The media have taken great interest in our colourful sport this week. There is a big article this morning in Ecuador's most popular newspaper El Universo, about the World Cup, with photographs and interviews.

11:58 There is a big gaggle of pilots thermaling about 200m above launch.

11:57 More than half the pilots have now launched. There is a gentle southerly wind onto the launch but still 100 % cloud cover.

11:51 Maxime Bellemin has launched. Amongst his great achievements are his book Parapente Performance to help pilots improve their XC and comp flying, let's hope his own advice works for him today.

11:44 For those of you used to seeing Honorin flying a blue Enzo 3 and wondering why he is now flying Luke Armant's old green and purple Enzo 3, apparently his beloved Olympique de Marseille logo was causing too much drag, well that's what he told me.

11:38 Honorin Hamard, current leader. has just launched.

11:35 Guy Anderson has just taken off. He came to the PWC after years of Vol Visa (hike and fly staying in posh hotels) not having succeeded initially at comps as he wasn't good at taking turn point photos - ah, those were the days.

11:30 Joanna Di Grigoli has just taken off. She works as a translator for our partner XC magazine which is produced in English, Spanish and Portuguese. After the comp here she is going back to Quixado in Brazil to try and fly further than her own personal best of just over 400 km.

11:25 The pilots are taking off for a 64km task flying north. There is a 100% cloud cover but those who have already taken off are maintaining.

2017-11-04 - Paragliding World Cup : Guayaquil - Bototillo, Ecuador - Day 7 [10:13]

The task has been updated - todays race is now a 64.12 km Race to Goal The window will open at 11:15 Local Time and the Start is at 12:45

Flymaster Live Tracking (1 second tracking) Is HERE

** BRAND NEW ** Flymaster 3D View Is HERE

Paragliding World Cup LIVE 3D Google Earth View => HERE

.Paragliding World Cup Live App => Get it here

The Taskboard, the Live Leaderboard and all the other info for the task are HERE

For those with iPads etc - the pure Live Leader Board is HERE

.Split Screen View (Map + Commentary) - also works on mobiles => HERE

Commentary - Day 7

11:12 There are some great interviews on World Cup TV with Theo Warden, Owen Shoemaker and Patricia Letona along with a review of the new Kortell harness and the shiny new World Cup app which is now available at the Google Play Store and for Apple devices at iTunes, search for PWCA.

11:10 Top 3 teams: Ozone, Gin Gliders and Wind.

11:09 Keiko HIRAKI has won 7 World Cups (second only to the legendary Seiko Fukuoka Naville who has won 12) and two Super Finals is giving all the men a run for their money here, currently 19th overall! Don't underestimate Daria KRASNOVA, 1st lady in two World Cups, she's a very experienced competition pilot and about to start paragliding guiding in Ecuador, so she knows this area well. Another one to watch, France's new first lady Yael MARGELISCH (from Switzerland), 1st lady (15th overall) in the 2017 French Open in Laragne.

10:57 For the ladies, the top 3 get Super Final places. Keiko is currently in the lead with 1355 points, followed by Yael with 1298 points and Benedicte with 1225.

10:53 Any one down to 85th place could get a top 15 Super Final place.

10:52 It's all to play for today. Anyone down to 57th place could win if Honorin decides to take the day off!

10:50 A mere 30 points separate 2nd and 15th place.

10:49 Owen Shoemaker is in 2nd place.

10:48 Honorin Hamard is leading by 83 points.

2017-11-04 - Paragliding World Cup : Guayaquil - Bototillo, Ecuador - Day 7 [09:47]

A provisional task has been set - todays race will be a 64.12 km Race to Goal
The window times and start time are not yet declared - an update will be published when they are set

Flymaster Live Tracking (1 second tracking) Is HERE

** BRAND NEW ** Flymaster 3D View Is HERE

Paragliding World Cup LIVE 3D Google Earth View => HERE

.Paragliding World Cup Live App => Get it here

The Taskboard, the Live Leaderboard and all the other info for the task are HERE

For those with iPads etc - the pure Live Leader Board is HERE

.Split Screen View (Map + Commentary) - also works on mobiles => HERE

Commentary - Day 7

10:45 Just a reminder that the top 15 qualify for the Super Final.

10:23 Base is already 400m above the hill with +2m/sec thermals.

10:22 After a lot of praying to the Avocado Thermal God by Honorin Hamard it looks as if we are going to have a great day today.

10:20 Hello and good morning from the Bototillo launch, where the sun is shining!

2017-11-04 - Paragliding World Cup : Guayaquil - Bototillo, Ecuador - Day 7 [08:01]

The final day is here - and the sky looks much better. We may get a last task today. News will be along at about 11:30 so keep watching...

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2017-11-03 - Paragliding World Cup : Guayaquil - Bototillo, Ecuador - Day 6 [13:19]

Today is cancelled due to low cloud

Commentary - Day 6

13:16 However once again it is perfectly possible to free fly so the launch frenzy is on!

13:14 And on that note today is cancelled.

13:13 Meanwhile, back at launch in Ecuador, even Technical Delicate Ulric Jessop's Happy Sunglasses aren't making the sky look any bluer!

13:10 Just a reminder that if you aren't viewing this on the new World Cup app, you can see some screen shots of it in the latest Free.aero/voler info online magazine article 'Light and Bivouac' page 12. The app is easy to install by going to: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.pwca.liveapp And as of today search for PWCA at the Apple Play store to install it on iOS devices.

13:04 Also a big thank you to Joe Schofield for all his help with research for the Commentary. There will be a full report on the World Cup in Ecuador in the next Skywings (the British Hang gliding and Paragliding Association magazine).

13:00 Whilst we're waiting for the weather to improve, I'd like to say a big thank you to World Cup pilot Bill Hudson and local organiser Titos Moran for all their help with information for the commentary, very much appreciated.

12:55 Meanwhile back in Ecuador, there is no wine and no wind on launch. The guardian of the windsock keeps having to get out his wooden ladder to climb up the pole and reposition the wind sock. As soon as he comes down, the very slight breeze changes and up he goes again to reposition it.

12:51 A note from the commentary team: In addition to great flying, the wine tasting in South Africa is, of course, second to none too!

12:51 The latest site record was set by Wim Verhoeve in January 2016 with a straight line distance of 188km. (Western Cape Record).'

12:50 Pampoenfontein is the most commonly used take-off site in and around Porterville. It is the safer of possible take-offs in anything south of west, due to its height, and that it faces more directly into the prevailing thermic cross-wind.

12:37 The town itself is situated in the vast Swartland valley stretching West, South and North. On the East it is bordered by the Winterhoek Mountain range, which serves as a natural barrier from Atlantic winds passing into the centre of the country, known as the Karoo.

12:36 Just a reminder about the Pre World Cup in Porterville. 10/12/2017 -16/12/2017. Stephan Kruger from Fly Cape Town Paragliding told me: 'Porterville is located in the South-Western part of South Africa, about 90 km from the Atlantic Ocean, and 120 km North East of Cape Town. It offers a good mixture of thermal and dynamic flying, offering big-distance flights on the 70 km ridge and in the flats.

12:30 We should be able to set long and challenging tasks that reflect and compliment the high skill set of competitors. The reliable weather conditions and dedicated organisation team will all play their part in making this a superb sunny event, at a time when Europe will be shivering under a blanket of slushy snow.'

12:29 I am really looking forward to returning to Mexico and working with Miguel and his professional team, who have worked so hard to build new, big and safe take-off sites, amid stunning flying scenery.

12:29 This is what Jocky told me, 'For those who don't like European winters, the Pre-World Cup in Zapotiltic, Mexico, will be a good comp to combine with the Monarca Open in January 2018.

12:29 Jocky Sanderson, well known as meet director for the Ozone Chabre Open in France, will be officiating the Pre World Cup, making this an outstanding competition and no doubt a lot of fun, definitely one not to miss.

12:28 The exciting news this year is that ALAS DEL HOMBRE have just opened a new site with massive potential at Zapotiltic, on the other side of the Tapalpa massif so it gets the Pacific winds and is very consistent. This new competition venue will be the base for the Mexican Pre World Cup 02/12/2017 to 09/12/2017.

12:27 Our partner ALAS DEL HOMBRE has organised several Paragliding World Cups and the Monarca Open held every January since butterflies began paragliding. (This year the Monarca Open is from the 14th-20th of January).

12:21 If you either haven't qualified for the Super Final or can't wait that long for the next competition, it's worth bearing in mind that there are two amazing Pre-World Cups coming up very soon:

12:20 A lot of the parawaiting conversations on launch this week have been about the two up and coming Pre PWCs, in S.Africa and the new venue in Mexico.

12:17 Today's Thought for the Thermal is a little list of dos and don'ts from PWC and task winner, Michael Sigel: Don't drink too much during a competition: take it easy - the results are better if you follow the others (instead of trying something on your own): try something on your own, it's much more fun :) : keep an eye on good pilots and try to guess why they do what they do :enjoy the competition: Don't be frustrated if it does not work out in the first few PWC's: Respect other pilots and don't fly aggressively!

2017-11-03 - Paragliding World Cup : Guayaquil - Bototillo, Ecuador - Day 6 [11:15]

A provisional task has been set - todays race will be a 43.96 km Race to GoalThe window times and start time are not yet declared - an update will be published when they are set

Flymaster Live Tracking (1 second tracking) Is HERE

** BRAND NEW ** Flymaster 3D View Is HERE

Paragliding World Cup LIVE 3D Google Earth View => HERE

.Paragliding World Cup Live App => Get it here

The Taskboard, the Live Leaderboard and all the other info for the task are HERE

For those with iPads etc - the pure Live Leader Board is HERE

.Split Screen View (Map + Commentary) - also works on mobiles => HERE

Commentary - Day 6

12:14 To coincide with the new app, we are also launching 'Thought for the Thermal', a few words of advice each day from one of our more experienced pilots about competition flying.

12:13 Music on launch is from DJ Theo Warden playing Do It (by Tuxedo) and Mr Blue Sky by Electric Light Orchestra. How appropriate!

11:59 The conditions are better than yesterday, although we still have 100% cloud cover, the wind dummies are going up and there are plenty of thermals.

11:56 Briefing is taking place for the same task as was set yesterday. 44km zig zagging in front of launch.

11:51 So, we ended up by designing a completely new harness from scratch with less projected area, optimized streamline shape, smooth surface, no steps and an inner shape re-designed for better body support.

11:50 As I've already mentioned Torsten Siegel is here from Gin Gliders, he told me, 'During the 2017 Worlds we tested the first prototype of our new Genie Race 4 harness. At the start of development, the idea was to update the Genie Race 3. But then we worked with a completely new, thinner protector and realised that we could reduce the projected area and therefore the drag quite a lot.

11:48 Our partner Woody Valley became well known as a harness manufacturer many years ago with the Peak, followed by the Voyager Plus. Their latest harness, the Haska 2, came out in May 2017, an XC harness for experienced pilots. Their famous Wani light harness is loved the World over, a reversible bag/harness with a lightweight seat weighing 2.6 kg in size L. Eagerly anticipated for this autumn, has been the Wani 2. Woody Valley's main strengths have been the quality of finish and the attention to detail clearly visible in their harnesses. In the World Cup, and in the wider Competition World, Woody Valley is well known and represented through its jewel cocoon harness the X-Rated 7.

11:46 It's been a good opportunity to see our partners' new harnesses. It's great to see the new Kortel harness here in Ecuador. 'The new Kanibal competition race harness from our partner Kortel has reduced drag making it very tolerant to changes in the airmass. They have improved the comfort and behaviour in the air to making it more gentle, more damped and more progressive in the roll. It is more compact and efficient. It has a stabilisation system to make it more efficient when turning and more versatile in thermals.' Max Jeanpierre told me.

11:35 Although this week hasn't been very taskable it has been very sociable and a good opportunity to catch up with the latest new equipment news whilst we parawait on launch.

11:27 The App includes the live commentary, live tracking, leaderboard and results making it much easier to follow the World Cup here in Ecuador this week and the Super Final.

11:27 The Android version is available: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.pwca.liveapp

11:26 Having gone through a World of pain to roll out our App in Android and iOS we are now there! So enjoy! The iOS version of PWCA Live is now available on the App Store search for 'PWCA'.

11:24 The big news this morning is that the World Cup App is now available for Apple Devices!

11:22 However as General Organiser: Juan Carlos Moran Reinoso (Titos) winner of this year's 2017 Copa Viennatone Campeonato Nacional Ecuador, which if my Spanish is correct, makes him Ecuadorian champion told me, the clouds are all active and there is a nice breeze blowing up take-off. Let's wait and see..

10:46 Here we are at Guayaquil Bototillo launch in Ecuador. Once again it feels like a summer's day in Belgium. 100% cloud cover.

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13:44 Just a final comment to say that the conditions are perfectly flyable today and there has been a real launch frenzy on take-off. However as the base is low, and the thermals weak there wouldn't be enough space for everyone to wait around at the Start.

2017-11-02 - Paragliding World Cup : Guayaquil - Bototillo, Ecuador - Day 5 [13:36]

Unfortunately despite the best efforts on behalf of the organisers and task committee today has been cancelled due to the covered sky and sparse thermals.

Commentary - Day 5

13:27 Unfortunately despite the best efforts on behalf of the organisers and task committee today has been cancelled due to the covered sky and sparse thermals.

13:23 2017 Results page on the app: A full breakdown of the year's scores by event and task. Touch a name to see a pilot's time, speed, distance, speed pts, lead out pts and ranking. Horizontally, more task information is displayed.

13:23 Latest Overalls page on the app: Vertically shows the Overall scores: Open, Women, Teams and Nations, touch a name to have their task by task scores in the competition. Horizontally, more task by task information is displayed.

13:23 Latest Task page on the app: Shows the commentary for the most recently scored task plus that task's scores: Open, Women, Teams and Nations, touch a name to have information about how a pilot flew the task (time, speed, distance, speed pts, lead out pts and ranking). Horizontally, more information for the task is displayed.

13:22 Live Action page on the app: Live Commentary of the current task. Tracking and Leaderboard, touch a name for more details about your favourite pilot (glider, nationality, climb/descent rate, position in the race and in the air). Press the 'Follow' button to see their position (centred) on the live tracking with a larger icon. Otherwise you can go straight to Tracking via the menu. The Start cylinder is also now easier to spot as it is a red circle on the App.

13:21 We hope to have it available for Apple very soon too.

13:21 The World Cup app, written by Ulric Jessop, has four pages: Live Action, Latest Task, Latest Overalls and 2017 Results. If you haven't already, you can easily install it by going to: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.pwca.liveapp

13:20 Just a word whilst the parawaiting continues about the new World Cup app.

13:16 Just to complicate things, the wind dummies are now out climbing the leaf BUT it has back winded.

13:00 Hum, the leaf is still doing better than both Philippe and Bruno!

12:59 Bruno Ullauri has just taken off to the sound of a launch crowd vario oohing and aahing every up and down in his flight.

12:53 The concertina bag which converts into a hammocks is just being patented and trialled in the middle of the take-off area by Guy Anderson with Theo Warden being used as a crash test dummy!

12:46 A leaf is currently thermaling up rather nicely in front of launch. Making it all look a lot easier than Philippe did!

12:34 Cameraman Philippe Broers is taking off to the sound of bagpipes playing the Brave Heart theme tune.

12:31 Stop press: the sun has just been sighted!

12:30 The main activity on launch is currently photographing giant blue butterflies.

12:24 Just a clarification of my explanation of RFC (ready for certification) Gliders in Paragliding World Cups yesterday. I omitted to say that each manufacturer can only enter one RFC glider per competition.

12:21 For those of you still trying to find Bototillo launch at Guayaquil on your globes, it is 250 km (2 degees) south of the Equator.

12:19 If you would like to get a better picture of the landscape here you can see aerial footage of Guayaquil and Bototillo in Ecuador on World Cup TV in the Media box on the left of the home page along with some fantastic still photos.

12:15 Beautiful royal vultures fly here. They are twice the size of normal vultures and very distinctively white on top of their wings. Usually soaring in a pair, they are a good sign of strong lift. If you see them nearby while flying, fasten your seatbelt, push full bar and get to them quick to enjoy a fun ride to cloud base. However even these masters of flight are having a day off today!

12:12 Guayaquil has a tropical savanna climate. From May to December, rainfall is minimal due to the cooling influence of the Humboldt Current, with usually cloudy mornings then blue skies from 11h onwards and evening breezes. However, as we all know, Paragliding World Cups are capable of inducing rain in the driest of drought ridden regions! Or at least 7 days of 100% cloud cover!

12:06 The launch faces south over stone quarries for cement, followed by urban sprawl and beyond that there are extensive scenic salt water mangroves and shrimp farms which then give way to the Pacific Ocean, with the famous Galapagos islands 1000 km out in front.

12:04 Many local competitions have been held here. The launch is at an altitude of only 330m making it 325m above the valley floor! The plain in front is at roughly 5m above sea level.

12:02 Apparently, there are over 54 species of mammals in this protected zone, most notably the jaguar and the howler monkey! There are also 220 species of birds, including the Guayaquil parrot. Another attraction is the extensive flora, including various plants, flowers, and trees unique to this Ecuadorian coastal zone (including the majestic Bototillo and Ceibos trees).

12:01 The take-off is inside a protected tropical forest called Cerro Blanco, which is one of the best locations near Guayaquil for ecotourism. It's a private reserve encompassing over six thousand hectares and one of the last surviving remnants of dry tropical forest in the Ecuadorian coastal area (due to agriculture, urbanization, and deforestation).

12:00 Just a little bit about the Bototillo launch where we are waiting under a cloudy sky for conditions to improve.

11:56 The wind dummies are maintaining and it is definitely brightening to the west of launch over the proposed course line.

11:49 A wind dummy has just launched.

11:45 For those of you looking at the team scores and asking who or what is team Reaction Paragliding Oludeniz? Let me explain. Yigit YILDIRIM set up Reaction Paragliding Oludeniz in 2003 so they have a lot of experience behind them. It's a travel agency and tandem operation employing 24 pilots - wow! They have done 11,000 flights this season! They all fly Ozone tandems which they find reliable and hard wearing. As well as Yigit YILDIRIM, three other pilots are here from Reaction Paragliding Oludeniz and all in team RPO: Dora Goksal, Oguzkan SADEER and Tuncay TAHTAKIN.

11:41 We hope to have it available for Apple very soon too.

11:40 The World Cup app, written by Ulric Jessop, has four pages: Live Action (Commentary, Leaderboard and Tracking), Latest Task (results and commentary for the last task scored), Latest Overalls (results in the comp so far) and 2017 Results (task by task results for all the World Cups so far this year). You can easily install it by going to: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.pwca.liveapp

11:39 Just a reminder about the new World Cup App.

11:33 After the task: the most important thing to remember about your flight isn't the result, but the pleasure.'

11:32 During the task: avoid flying on your own.

11:31 Before the window opens, study both the weather and the task, concentrate and be ready.

11:29 Today's Thought for the Thermal comes from Team Luxemburg, Monsieur Etienne Coupez: 'Before the competition make sure you fully understand both your wing and your instruments.

11:28 To coincide with the launch of the new World Cup app, we are also launching 'Thought for the Thermal', a few words of advice each day from one of our more experienced pilots about competition flying.

11:22 A 44km task has been set but window open and start times haven't been set.

11:16 I would also just like to say well done to all the pilots here for their safe flying and good behaviour in the thermals. Technical Delegate Ulric Jessop has already given pilots zero for the day for aggressive flying in both the World Cup and the Europeans and he'd really rather not have to do it again, so it's worth remembering the following: You must turn the same way as everyone else in a thermal. Don't barge in, don't disturb an existing pattern. When you disturb the gaggle, everyone climbs more slowly so you don't really accomplish anything. In a thermal don't try and turn inside everyone else. Lots of pilots think that they can turn tightly inside everyone else's thermal to make more of the core than the others further out and thus go up faster, please don't do that, it's just dangerous. If you see a pilot getting a climb, don't approach on mass and push them out of 'their' thermal, remember, one day it might be you, be nice!

11:12 Just a note on gliders in this competition. Manuel QUINTANILLA on a Gin Boomerang 11 won task 1, Honorin HAMARD on an Ozone EnZo3 won task 2. Whose toy will win today? Well done to both manufacturers for such an amazing season.

11:10 Briefing!

11:08 With two 1000 point days so far, this competition is now fully valid as far as automatic selection places for the Super Final are concerned. We've had 5 fully valid competitions (including the 2016 Super Final) and one not fully valid competition due to very poor weather conditions (Disentis, Switzerland) giving a total of 85 automatic overall places and 17 women's places. This gives a total of 102 places, plus legends, plus PrePWC winners. Of course some of these places are duplicates due to pilots qualifying several times and some Sky Gods can't make it. However you do the maths, there won't be many top up places available in the 2017 Super Final, at the very popular venue of Roldanillo in Colombia, making it the highest pilot quality World Cup competition we've ever seen.

11:03 As we have already mentioned, a lot of pilots are here looking for one of the last few Super Final places.

11:00 A big thank you also to Josue CORONEL, Byron's son, who has done an amazing job translating all the briefings.

10:58 As this competition has once again proved, behind every great meet director and competition organiser (Byron Coronel and Titos Moran), there is a very organised woman, well done to Andrea Vargas who has done such an amazing job this week.

10:53 A big thank you to competition organisers Andrea Vargas and Titos Moran for last night organising the messiest, most original, pilot meal we've ever had in the history of the Paragliding World Cup! An entire ocean's worth of crabs were served to a restaurant full of pilots wearing white plastic pinnies (aprons) and hammers instead of cutlery! The meal was literally very 'off the wall' as bits of crab were being continuously scraped off the walls! As British Champion Guy Anderson put it, 'you can always rely on the PWC to be a world leader in originality!'

10:52 So that you can picture the topography in front of launch there are plenty of places to land but the landscape is dominated by acres and acres of flooded rectangular fields where they farm prawns. In fact, it looks rather like Holland, with prawns growing in the fields rather than tulips!

10:43 Again we have 100% cloud cover but the task committee are optimistic that a good task racing along the front of the ridge will be perfectly possible.

10:40 'Hola desde el despegue de Bototillo' which means 'hello from the Bototillo launch'.

2017-11-02 - Paragliding World Cup : Guayaquil - Bototillo, Ecuador - Day 5 [08:28]

Its cloudy this morning - but we know that things can change a lot here. The pilots are all on the way to the launch and we will see what the weather decides to do in an hour or so. More news as we get it....

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2017-11-01 - Paragliding World Cup : Guayaquil - Bototillo, Ecuador - Day 4 [12:02]

Today's task has been cancelled due to low cloudbase on the takeoff

Commentary - Day 4

12:59 And on that note, today's task in Guayaquil in Ecuador has sadly been cancelled due to the low cloud in front of launch.

12:57 The wings being trialled must fully comply with the current CCC regulations. They can't be some stupidly ridiculous prototype as in the past. Glider measuring will take place to check that the CCC ready gliders conform to the CCC regulations. This can be done by measuring the angle of attack and speed.

12:56 For Bruce Goldsmith Design that's a significant step forward. 'BGD will definitely be taking advantage of it to hone our top of the range Diva CCC wing which has the feel of a 3-liner whilst benefiting from the performance of a 2-liner.'

12:56 UP pilots flew uncertified wings alongside the Coeur de Savoie PWC but weren't scored. From Ecuador onwards, they will be able to be part of the competition.

12:55 Torsten Siegel recently added 'Gin Gliders is very pleased about this new opportunity to test some development steps for the next generation of CCC wings during real race conditions in a World Cup. Therefore, we're planning to start with our first RFC glider during the PWC in Ecuador, when the RFC rule takes effect for the first time.'

12:54 Yesterday's winner Honorin Hamard told me we really need a competition environment to try a new wing. This will make development a lot easier for us if we can make a proper comparison in real competition conditions.

12:50 Russel Ogden from Ozone: Testing in a competitive environment has always been the best way to properly evaluate new ideas and concepts so we are in favour of the proposal, especially if it encourages more manufacturers to return to the competition scene.

12:49 As Torsten Siegel explained in the April 2017 edition of XC Magazine: The PWC have come up with the idea of opening the competition up so that partners of the Paragliding World Cup can fly CCC ready gliders in each competition without the intense technical restrictions. That way we'll maybe get people like the Valic Brothers, Konrad Gorg, Mac Para, UP coming back in. It will allow other companies to test alongside different wings in a competitive environment. We had a meeting in Brazil with Ozone, Gin and the World Cup, and everyone was in favour.

12:47 This is a great new opportunity for glider manufacturers. RFC (ready for certification) Gliders are now allowed to take part in World Cups.

12:45 One bit of World Cup news which has been discussed a lot on launch this week is RFC (ready for certification) Gliders in the World Cup.

12:38 Sebastian Ospina is giving his sponsor, Cross Country magazine, a nice bit of publicity boating about on his red and blue Ozone Enzo 3 logo-ed up wing.

12:34 A few pilots have taken off and are maintaining (just).

12:33 The parawaiting continues!

12:17 Today's Thought for the Thermal comes from British Champion Guy Anderson (4th in yesterday's task): 'I'd say if you can possibly afford the time come a couple of days early so that you can check out local conditions, get an understanding of the main geography and make sure your glider, harness and instruments are all working properly. Very important to have your A game ready for the first task.'

12:16 To coincide with the new app, we are also launching 'Thought for the Thermal', a few words of advice each day from one of our more experienced pilots about competition flying.

12:14 2017 Results page on the app: A full breakdown of the year's scores by event and task. Touch a name to see a pilot's time, speed, distance, speed pts, lead out pts and ranking. Horizontally, more task information is displayed.

12:14 Latest Overalls page on the app: Vertically shows the Overall scores: Open, Women, Teams and Nations, touch a name to have their task by task scores in the competition. Horizontally, more task by task information is displayed.

12:13 Latest Task page on the app: Shows the commentary for the most recently scored task plus that task's scores: Open, Women, Teams and Nations, touch a name to have information about how a pilot flew the task (time, speed, distance, speed pts, lead out pts and ranking). Horizontally, more information for the task is displayed.

12:13 Live Action page on the app: Live Commentary of the current task. Tracking and Leaderboard, touch a name for more details about your favourite pilot (glider, nationality, climb/descent rate, position in the race and in the air). Press the 'Follow' button to see their position (centred) on the live tracking with a larger icon. Otherwise you can go straight to Tracking via the menu. The Start cylinder is also now much easier to spot on the app as it's a red circle.

12:11 We hope to have it available for Apple very soon too.

12:10 The World Cup app, written by Ulric Jessop, has four pages: Live Action, Latest Task, Latest Overalls and 2017 Results. If you haven't already done so, you can easily install by going to: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.pwca.liveapp

12:09 Whilst we're waiting I'll tell you a bit about how to use the new World Cup app to help you find your way around the menu pages.

12:07 Behind the launch, there are apparently occasional visits to the trees by curious and sometimes noisy howler monkeys, not a great place to go to quietly spend a penny before you take off!

12:05 When you get to the top, you feel as if you are about to drive off the top of the world!

12:04 On the way to launch we frequently see vultures sitting in the majestic Bototillo and Ceibos trees, obviously waiting for the weather to improve too. The Ceibos trees are enormous leaf-less statue like trees which you could imagine lifting their great roots out of the ground and going walk abouts!

12:01 Launch is a 20 minute drive through the city of Guayaquil, the pilots then take 4x4's up through a quarry, past a forlorn looking plane which needs a nose job if it is ever to fly again. Past a boat graveyard then up a vertiginous dirt track through the forest.

11:58 Whilst we're waiting for the cloud base to lift, let me tell you about the scenic drive to launch.

11:56 Manuel QUINTANILLA on a Gin Boomerang 11 won task 1, Honorin HAMARD on an Ozone EnZo3 won task 2. Whose toy will win today? Well done to both manufacturers for such an amazing season.

11:55 One pilot getting such good time and lead out points can be a disaster for the other pilots, when they normally all arrive in goal within seconds of each other, making it impossible for them to catch up during the rest of the competition, especially if there are not many tasks (We've only had one untaskable day here so far).

11:54 When 1 pilot gets to goal much faster than those in 2nd and subsequent places, this compresses everyone else's scores. In task 2 Honorin HAMARD got to goal 6 minutes and 52 seconds ahead, time points: 439.1, the next pilot: 388.1. Lead out points: 153.7, the next pilot: 127.5. Giving Honorin 1000 points for the day, compared to 923 for second place. (Distance points for both 407.2).

11:53 Task 2 will be a discard day for virtually everyone except Honorin HAMARD.

11:53 Well done to task 2 winners: Honorin HAMARD, Julian Andres CARRENO COLONIA and Brad GUNNUSCIO and to the top 3 ladies: Keiko HIRAKI, Yael MARGELISCH and Benedicte SAURY. Top teams: Wind, Reaction Paragliding Oludeniz and Gin Gliders.

11:50 It's worth bearing in mind that as Richard Butterworth told me 'the air mass in front of launch is different to the one behind, so although we're looking out on thick, low cloud to the south, behind launch, to the north, could be different.'

11:49 However the forecast looks as if there is a 90% chance of rain every day but then it never actually rains!

11:45 I would have written that the weather looks very British but as French pilot Maxime Bellemin pointed out, it isn't actually raining... yet!

11:40 However a 60km task going over the back with lots of turn points has been set so let's wait and see.

11:35 I think one of the best ways to describe the sky here this morning (in the words of our cameraman Philippe Broers) 'it's like summer in Belgium,' i.e. 100% cloud cover!"

11:34 Good morning from Guayaquil Bototillo launch in Ecuador.

2017-11-01 - Paragliding World Cup : Guayaquil - Bototillo, Ecuador - Day 4 [09:04]

The weather in Ecuador is pretty consistent. It is quite windy in Guayaquil this morning but the forecast looks good for later. The pilots are all on the way to takeoff and we should have task news along at about 11:30

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2017-10-31 - Paragliding World Cup : Guayaquil - Bototillo, Ecuador - Day 3 [18:58]

What a good day - we had a full goal field (64 in goal) and everyone is safely back at HQ. The results are now available online - we start again tomorrow at 0900.

Commentary - Day 3

17:07 Anyone who thought this World Cup would be an easy way to get a place in the Super Final should eat more avocados!

17:04 Everyone has now landed. Today will have radically changed the scores. Honorin Hamard, Theo Warden, Michael Sigel and Torsten Siegel are the only pilots who were in the top 15 in both tasks so far. I think we may also have a new first lady.

16:11 We hope to have it available for Apple very soon too.

16:11 If you haven't already done so, try the shiny new World Cup app, which makes it much easier to keep up with all the action from the pool side, or wherever you are in the world. You can easily install it by going to: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.pwca.liveapp

16:07 Antonio Golfari is working hard to get enough height to get end of speed, he's at 695m, with 6 km to go. His wife Nicoletta is also in front of our Live leaderboard shouting 'Vai, vai, vai' which, for those of you who don't speak Italian, means 'too late I've gone to the pool!'

15:58 Etienne Coupez is 3 km from goal at 800 m. Wife Maire Jo is cheering him on in front of our Live leaderboard in HQ 'Allez allez allez Etienne.' Which for those of you who don't speak French means 'would you please get a move on as I'd like to get back to the pool!'

15:51 Yvonne Dathe is about to cross Ess. She is one of the very few women to have competed in the X-Alps - big respect. She took part in the 2015 event. Well done Yvonne.

15:48 At the moment we have 30 in goal and 30 still flying.

15:40 Benedicte Saury has just made goal too. Her partner, World Cup pilot Olivier Henry, will be raising a glass to her in their home in France on the shores of lake Annecy.

15:37 Well done to first lady in goal today Yael Margelisch, she's just back from Oludeniz in Turkey where she was taking part in an acro exhibition, fortunately she didn't need to use any acro in todays task.

15:32 Oscar Yesíd Alvarez Cáceres is about to cross Ess. He's been flying really well this year: 1st Columbian, 5th overall in the 1st Roldanillo Columbian Open and 2nd in the second Columbian Open also in Roldanillo.

15:29 He told me on launch that he thought Ecuador sounded really interesting. So far, he's found it mellow, soft and gentle and living up to expectations as far as being interesting is concerned. He's really enjoying there NOT being massive mountains with big valley crossings. Where he normally flies in Montana it is less common to fly flats. He's finding Ecuador very technical because it's light giving an odd combination of trying to race in the slowest conditions possible.

15:28 Andy Macrae is about to cross Ess.

15:20 Benedicte Saury is at 1000m on 11:1 to goal so she should make it.

15:18 Benedicte Saury and Keiko Hiraki are racing towards end of speed with 9 km to go, well done ladies.

15:15 Cristian Andres Agudelo Escobar, Brad Gunnuscio, Balazs Racz, Michael Sigel, Deonir Spancerski and Bjornar Trondsen have all made ESS and are flooding into goal.

15:13 Julian Andres Carreño Colonia, Torsten Siegel, Bernardo Medina Sastre and Oguzkan Sadeer have all got ESS

15:09 The rest of the competitors who aren't powered by avocados are about to get Ess.

15:07 That was sensational! Well done Honorin!

15:06 Clear the cars from the goal field - Honorin is coming in to land and doesn't want another car landing ticket, as he still hasn't paid the one he got at the Worlds.

15:05 Honorin has taken ESS in 2:18. What an amazing solo flight

15:03 Honorin is going to make ESS and goal no problem at all, he's at 950m and 2km ahead ot the others with 4 km to go to ESS. This is vintage Honorin.

14:59 We tend not to beat records in the World Cup as there is generally an into wind leg as we had today. If we tried to beat the PG World record of 564km set in Brazil on 15/10/2016 by Paragliding World Cup pilots Samuel Nascimento and recent winner Rafael Saladini, we would be collecting pilots from half way to the Galapagos Islands!

14:58 This 68 km task will seem fairly short for Michael Sigel who has come here straight from Brazil where he flew a stunning 530 km two weeks ago!

14:57 Michael Sigel and Dominik Breitinger are battling it out at the front of the gaggle following the course line.

14:55 Honorin is used to making his own decisions, he did an amazing 240 km triangle this August taking off from the Cheiron take-off above Greolieres in the South East of France at 9.30h which put him in first position in the French XC league.

14:51 Meanwhile still hunting for giant avocados to the south of the course line to help power his Enzo 3, Honorin seems to be storming ahead all on his own.

14:49 Maxime Bellemin has already won a World Cup (Serbia in 2013) and was 8th in the 2017 French Open in Laragne.

14:46 Joachim Torn has had some great results this summer: 4th in the 2017 German Open in Slovenia and 4th in the 2017 Schmittenpokal, Austrian Championship.

14:44 Julian Andres Carreño Colonia is one of the stars of Columbian paragliding, very experienced comp pilot who started flying when he was 11 years old!

14:41 Mean while back on the course line Julian Andres Carreño Colonia, Joachim Torn, Maxime Bellemin, Balazs Racz, Allly Palencia, Zoran Labovic, Dora Goksal and Brad Gunnuscio are out in front.

14:35 Stefan Wyss and Honorin Hamard have taken a much more southerly route - no doubt Honorin is on the hunt for giant avocados!

14:29 Julian Andres Carreño Colonia is with the leaders, he was 2nd in the Pre PWC here in Bototillo Guayaquil in 2014. Allly Palencia was first.

14:24 Italian champion Marco Busetta is in the lead following the route along the course line. Last year he designed and marketed the Bullet speed bar which has received a lot of positive feedback from amongst the pilots.

14:21 Honorin is still in the lead to the south of the course line. The more popular route seems to be following the course line.

14:13 Launch is on a ridge that leads up to a wide plateau behind it. You can boat around in front of it on the sea breeze. The plateau behind is carved by deep river gorges and has a meagre retrieve road network which is a bit intimidating. 500m of height can be enough to start your journey over the back. The plateau is the gateway to a big flatland area behind it and once you've cleared that you'll be flying it with the Andes just 100km ahead.

14:12 XC Magazine's excellent travel guide reviewed each of the Paragliding World Cup destinations in 2017. Here's what they had to say about Guayaquil, Ecuador.

14:02 Yanick Lettry is in this very widely spread out lead group. I loved this quote from Yanick after competing in the X-Pyr in 2014, "My best memories: landing in my grandfather's village in northern Italy". What a humble, human sport paragliding is, let's hope it remains that way.

13:59 Torsten's just back from testing the first version of the new 'BabyBoom' at Salt Lake City. 10 days of great testing in all kinds of conditions proved the strength of their new concept. The brand-new "BabyBoom" is an easy version of the Boomerang 11, planned as an EN-D certified wing.

13:58 Torsten Siegel is also with the leaders, it looks like the route south in the concentric circle part of the course worked well.

13:57 Zeljko Ovuka is with Honorin but taking a line nearer the course line. Zeljko was Meet Director at the very successful Serbian 2017 PWC. Zeljko is the only Meet Director I've met who can get pilots to be on time, which is frequently much more difficult than herding stray cats.

13:53 This task has really spread the gaggle out with Honorin in front and a wide spread out following gaggle.

13:51 Hot on his heels are Stefan Wyss and day 1 task winner Manuel Quintanilla.

13:50 Honorin is in +1.8m so he is starting to climb.

13:49 Honorin Hamard has pulled ahead but he needs a climb, he's at 365m above the ground

13:48 Up at the front with Honorin are new pilots Theo Warden and Luke Nicol.

13:42 Honorin Hamard, having gone south as well with Michael Sigel and Torsten Siegel has got the small cylinder in the middle for the second time and is now racing north west on his way to Ess with 30 km to go - those giant avocados are working again today!

13:37 It looks as if the top 30 have now got the outer cylinder and are heading back into the centre again before heading north west for a long leg up to goal.

13:34 It looks as if nobody has taken the route north.

13:34 Most of the pilots have taken the South west route but Gin test pilots Michael Sigel and Torsten Siegel have gone directly south to get the outer cylinder.

13:32 It doesn't look super strong today. A few trackers are showing +4 m/s.

13:31 The sky is lovely and blue in this part of the course still.

13:27 This probably explains the popular choice to take the fastest route to sweep up the most lead out points (more heavily weighted at the beginning of the course) during the first leg by going down wind south west.

13:24 It wasn't obvious before the pilots got to this part of the course what the wind would be doing. It tends to be southerly in front of launch but then turns south easterly or north easterly the further north you go.

13:22 This was Yassen Savov's strategy during task 9 of the Super Final. Although, he didn't make goal, he got 109.5 lead out points by flying down wind in the concentric circles task similar to this one.

13:18 Don't forget those who chose a line with the wind behind them during the first part of the course will get the most lead out points as they are more heavily weighted during the first part of the course.

13:15 Going across the small cylinder will put them in a better position for the last leg north west. There is also a very nice little ridge to fly along to get from the small cylinder to the big cylinder and back.

13:14 If they go north to the outer cylinder they will have the wind more behind them but will have to go 800m extra across the 400m radius cylinder.

13:12 If they go back the way they have come to go back to the outer cylinder, they will have the wind against them BUT they will have the pilots behind them as thermal markers.

13:11 From the small cylinder in the centre they have to go out and back to the big cylinder.

13:10 So, they are now approaching the cylinder in the centre where it will be decision time.

13:09 Promising new comer Steve Bramfitt is also up with the leaders.

13:05 The leaders are arriving at the first turn point, Yigit Yildirim from Reaction Paragliding Oludeniz is one of the first to cross the cylinder.

12:53 Today's Thought for the Thermal comes from Honorin Hamard, World and European Champion: Don't attack stupidly and don't follow stupidly! Think about the choices you are making, do an extra turn whilst you are thinking about it, if you aren't sure.

12:52 To coincide with the new app, we are also launching Thought for the Thermal, a few words of advice each day from one of our more experienced pilots about competition flying.

12:51 We hope to have it available for Apple very soon too.

12:50 Don't forget the commentary, tracking, leaderboard and results are all much easier to read on the new World Cup app which, if you haven't already done so, you can install for the price of a beer by going to: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.pwca.liveapp

12:49 There is a big cloud of paragliders under the conveniently placed cloud at the Start gate.

12:45 The Start is open.

12:45 The pilots are all now on the tree covered hills behind launch about to take the Start cylinder.

12:40 The concentric circles part of the task is where today's race will be won or lost.

12:38 They then continue into the middle of the big cylinder to the little cylinder. Then out to the edge of the big cylinder and back in again to the little cylinder, followed by a long leg north west to goal.

12:27 The wind will be behind the pilots for the first part of the race, from the Start to the first turn point.

12:26 There is a bit of cirrus high up behind launch but otherwise the sky is totally blue.

12:25 The last few pilots are just taking off with 20 minutes to get to the Start they should all get there in time.

12:17 Worth watching are the 3 highest ranked pilots here from the 2016 Super Final: Michael SIGEL (4th), Stefan WYSS (5th) and Torsten SIEGEL (7th).

12:17 Stefan Wyss one of the highest ranked pilots in this competition is taking off.

12:06 It's not easy flying, pilots will have a lot of different options in a territory where the best route is not obvious. Smart moves could make the difference.

12:05 Bototillo is a very interesting flying area, the take-off is on a low ridge running from Guayaquil to the west. Typically, tasks have a first part on that ridge and then out into the flats in front of it towards the ocean, and then going behind, flying north on the hills following the river Rio Daule.

12:04 This is the first ever PWC in Ecuador. This is an amazing area, first of all the weather should be very reliable and consistent, as Ecuador has two long seasons. The coastal area, where Guayaquil is located, is usually dry and warm from May to December, so we should be able to have a lot of sunny days. That's obviously really important when you travel from all around the world to attend an event.

11:59 Antonio Golfari, Official Observer for the 2014 PrePWC in Guayaquil told me:

11:58 Antonio Golfari is on launch about to take off

11:55 Launch is temporarily closed as we have a pilot top landing.

11:53 Torsten Siegel is staying in the shade of the launch tent as it isn't going to take long to get to the Start today. 'And I'm an old man' he added grinning!

11:51 The pilots are now all launching no problem and climbing nicely in a thermal above launch.

11:48 Well done to task 1 winners: Manuel QUINTANILLA, Honorin HAMARD and Stefan WYSS and to the top 3 ladies: Keiko HIRAKI, Yael MARGELISCH and Benedicte SAURY. Top teams: Ozone, Cross Country Magazine and Gin Gliders.

11:33 Today's launch order is according to pilot's position in Task 1.

11:33 The first pilots are launching into a lovely blue sky with just a few clouds about.

2017-10-31 - Paragliding World Cup : Guayaquil - Bototillo, Ecuador - Day 3 [10:18]

The task is set - todays race is a 67.48 km Race to Goal The window will open at 11:30 Local Time and the Start is at 12:45

Flymaster Live Tracking (1 second tracking) Is HERE

** BRAND NEW ** Flymaster 3D View Is HERE

Paragliding World Cup LIVE 3D Google Earth View => HERE

.Paragliding World Cup Live App => Get it here

The Taskboard, the Live Leaderboard and all the other info for the task are HERE

For those with iPads etc - the pure Live Leader Board is HERE

.Split Screen View (Map + Commentary) - also works on mobiles => HERE

Commentary - Day 3

11:11 The start will open at 12.45.

11:10 Take off will be in 20 mins at 11.30.

11:09 Who will 'do a Yassen' here in Ecuador today?

11:02 In Task 9 in the 2016 Super Final in a very similar task Yassen Savov, in the concentric circles task, took a very different down wind route to everyone else putting him ahead in the critical first part of the race, giving him 109.5 lead out points putting him at least 6 places ahead of those he landed beside.

10:59 It's always worth bearing in mind how lead out points will affect a task. Their effect was clear in the 2016 Super Final.

10:55 Lead out points will have a big affect on today's task, being more heavily weighted at the beginning of the task may affect route choices. Their effect was clear in the 2016 Super Final in a similar concentric circles task.

10:50 Just to add to the interest there are 3 different wind directions in this area and a choice of mountains and flats!

10:48 The task committee have just finished deliberating and have set a very interesting 68km concentric circles task.

10:39 The conditions are looking a lot more promising than yesterday with only 50% cloud cover and some nice blue holes showing through.

10:35 Good morning from the Bototillo launch in Ecuador.

2017-10-31 - Paragliding World Cup : Guayaquil - Bototillo, Ecuador - Day 3 [08:28]

Day 3 is here - the weather is still looking reasonable so the pilots are on the way to take off. We should have task news at about 11:30

------------------

Now available, the shiny new Paragliding World Cup App (for Android and iPhone).
Get it at the Google Play Store (iTunes to follow shortly).
The app simplifies access to the colourful commentary, revamped live tracking, leaderboard, pilot list (for current and future events) and results.
The app will make it much easier to follow each event on your mobile phone or tablet, wherever you are in the World. Some sample screenshots are below or, for more details, see the Article Here


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2017-10-30 - Paragliding World Cup : Guayaquil - Bototillo, Ecuador - Day 2 [12:11]

Today's task has been cancelled due to launch conditions

Commentary - Day 2

13:09 After a brave effort on the part of the organisers and task committee today has been cancelled due to the low cloud. But pilots can free fly if they want and a few are currently taking off.

12:58 A local pilot is trying to top land but despite the 100% cloud cover it's too lifty! I so don't understand the weather here.

12:33 There is still 100% cloud cover, for Scot Andrew Williams if this was in Scotland we would have packed up and gone home a long time ago. However, the Ecuadorians are optimistic. So like yesterday, which came good in the end, let's wait and see.

2017-10-30 - Paragliding World Cup : Guayaquil - Bototillo, Ecuador - Day 2 [11:27]

A provisional task has been set - todays race will be a 58.25 km Race to GoalThe window times and start time are not yet declared - an update will be published when they are set

Flymaster Live Tracking (1 second tracking) Is HERE

** BRAND NEW ** Flymaster 3D View Is HERE

Paragliding World Cup LIVE 3D Google Earth View => HERE

.Paragliding World Cup Live App => Get it here

The Taskboard, the Live Leaderboard and all the other info for the task are HERE

For those with iPads etc - the pure Live Leader Board is HERE

.Split Screen View (Map + Commentary) - also works on mobiles => HERE

Commentary - Day 2

12:27 We hope to have the App available for Apple very soon too.

12:24 A big thank you to all those of you who have supported and contributed to the live commentary over the past year. Hopefully it's now much easier to read on mobiles and tablets thanks to our new World Cup app which, if you haven't already done so, you can install by going to: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.pwca.liveapp

12:18 Food interlude: Guayaquil is a foodies heaven. For carnivores, there are all manner of grilled meats and intestinal tubes on the menu. For pescatarians there are delicious ceviches made with crab (one of Guayaquil's specialities), prawns and fish marinated in lime, onion and fresh herbs. The fruit juice made from 'ciruela', a fruit which looks like an enormous blackberry, is second to none. Not so appetising are the Granadina which look like oranges on the outside and alien's eggs on the inside.

12:17 Whilst we are waiting for the cloud base to lift I thought we could have a food interlude, let me tell you about some of the 'interesting' meals we've all had.

12:12 Kostiantyn Goncharenko, Andrii Chugaiev and Igor Shatalov all agree that climbing at the beginning with too many pilots and not enough space due to too low a base and not very strong thermals, will be the big problem today.

12:09 For Stefan Wyss the difficulty today will be climbing, the thermals need to improve a lot before anyone can take off. We still have 100% cloud cover.

12:07 Briefing is taking place but for the moment the task is a provisional one.

11:47 The task committee have just finished deliberating and set a 58 km task going north to a turn point on the river then north west to Resinto Las Palmas with goal at Pedro Carbo.

11:33 Steve Bramfitt is following Honorin Hamard 's competition strategy from yesterday and tucking into an enormous avocado!

11:23 At the other end of the tent Kaoru Ogisawa is recounting tales of long long ago X-Alps and beating courageous team Jessop!

11:20 In the briefing tent there is the sound of gentle snoring from the jet lagged Europeans catching up on a few Zzzzzzzzzs!

11:18 We're also having problems with the live leaderboard due to the large gaps in the tracking data... We're working on it, the joys of this fantastic new venue.

11:16 Apologies for the problems with the live tracking yesterday, for those of you who believe in the competition fairy, hopefully he scattered some fairy dust over the trackers last night and they will work better today.

11:15 But the cloud cover doesn't mean it won't be taskable. As Guy Anderson told me, it'll be possible, if a bit tricky with a crazily low base giving not much head room to boat about at the Start.

11:11 Here we are again on the Bototillo launch in Ecuador under a 100% cloud covered sky.

2017-10-30 - Paragliding World Cup : Guayaquil - Bototillo, Ecuador - Day 2 [08:51]

Day 2 has arrived - its been busy in HQ this morning because we had some technical problems with the cellular systems in the trackers so the news is a bit late.

The pilots have all left for takeoff and the rest of the organisation are not far behind - task news will be long at about 11:30 - we should have a great race...

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2017-10-29 - Paragliding World Cup : Guayaquil - Bototillo, Ecuador - Day 1 [17:49]

Its been a good task today - we finally had 80 in the goal with a few landing just a bit short. Everyone is now back, the results are processed and are available online now from the link at the top of the page. Tomorrow's weather looks good for another task so we will start again at 0900 tomorrow.

Commentary - Day 1

17:22 As for the goal, Bastien De Luca told me they all got such an amazing welcome as the came in, children rushed out to greet each pilot, the entire village came out see them! Ecuador has won a lot of pilot's hearts today!

17:01 Honorin Hamard described the day as one where the leaders were constantly rotating, there were strong thermals low down but unfortunately they fizzled out at about 800 m making the day difficult. They used the clouds and birds more than the terrain with the shade making it difficult.

16:58 Having missed the bus to launch this morning, apparently Manuel Quintanilla, on his blue Boomerang 11, spent the rest of the day making sure he didn't get left behind!

16:57 As I said earlier, there were a lot of unknowns today due to the patchy coverage of the phone network. There were reports of a blue Boomerang 11 right out in front today. So who's the mystery pilot on the blue Boomerang 11 was the question everyone asked as they handed back in their trackers.

16:42 The pilots are nearly back at HQ with their Flymaster trackers so we should be able give you the lead out points and winner for the day very soon.

16:39 It looks as if one of the big stories today is new comer Theo Warden crossing Ess within a minute of the leaders! Theo got his Club pilot rating at age 14 which is really unusual in the UK. At only 16 years old he was already flying over 200km in the UK!

16:07 One of the big unknowns today will be the lead out points. It was very difficult at times to see who was leading due to the problems with the patchy phone network affecting the live tracking.

16:03 80 pilots have made goal! So it looks as if we won't have any problems with land by time afterall!

15:46 Out of 118 pilots, 20 have got round the course so far today so end of time points and task dead line might come into play as 40 pilots are still in the air.

15:40 Those who are in orbit at the task deadline should be on the ground reading this bit of my commentary.

15:39 Not to be confused with the task deadline of 17.30 h which is the point when the pilot's score will be taken if they are still in the air. They can maximise their score by gliding as far and efficiently as possible directly along the course line to optimise their utilisation of the day.

15:38 When the time points stop is calculated from the square root of the winner's time. Today the leader got to goal in 2 hours and 5 minutes. Therefore the time points will stop 1 hour and 27 minutes later (the square root of 2 hours and 5 minutes) at 16.32.

15:28 If 90% or more pilots are in goal, the spread of points will be 162 lead out points, 477 time points and the rest are distance points i.e. 361.

15:27 In a paragliding competition the score is made up of distance points, time points and lead out points (which reflects the amount of time the pilot flew with the leaders).

15:16 Keiko Hiraki and Yael Margelisch are the first ladies to land in goal.

15:15 Michael Sigel, Maxime Bellemin, Gianbasilio Profiti, Yoshiaki Hirokawa, Honorin Hamard and Jan Richard Hansen have just landed in goal.

15:13 Honorin Hamard, Michael Sigel and Maxime Bellemin have got end of speed.

15:11 We hope to have it available for Apple very soon too.

15:10 A big thank you to all those who have helped and supported us with the launch of the new app. If you aren't reading this on the app, then you can easily install it by going to: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.pwca.liveapp

15:10 Honorin Hamard is about to get end of speed. Oh I forgot to say, that amongst Honorin's notable firsts (World Champion in 2015 and European Champion in 2016) he was the first to buy the new World Cup app!

15:05 Talking of harnesses, there is some great harness news from our partner Gin. Torsten Siegel flying here from Gin Gliders told me, 'During the 2017 Worlds we tested the first prototype of our new Genie Race 4 harness. At the start of development, the idea was to update the Genie Race 3. But then we worked with a completely new, thinner protector and realised that we could reduce the projected area and therefore the drag quite a lot. So, we ended up by designing a completely new harness from scratch with less projected area, optimized streamline shape, smooth surface, no steps and an inner shape re-designed for better body support. Definitely one to look out for.

15:03 We are not getting any decent signal from many of the trackers today which is why they keep jumping about, giving the impression that the pilots are on springs rather than sat in comfortable paragliding harnesses!

14:59 Maxime Bellemin is in the lead at 800m and just about to get the last turn point.

14:54 Cameraman Philippe Broers flies a top of the range wing (Boomerang 11), not only does he manage to keep up with the best of them, but takes some amazing footage for World Cup TV at the same time! Having done a full day's top level flying, he then spends all night editing to produce some of the most stunning films ever made of our sport. Helmets off to Philippe - undoubtedly one of the great heroes in the world of paragliding.

14:52 As our World Cup cameraman Philippe Broers told me this morning, 'Forget all your preconceived ideas about flying and finding thermals, here it's totally different, you have to relearn how to thermal as at the Equator the air mass behaves very differently.'

14:50 There looks to be a lot of searching for thermals going on in the struggle to make the last turn point.

14:49 Some of the leaders look to be struggling a bit but Honorin seems to be nice and high at 800m, I think the rest of you need to eat more avocados!

14:46 The leaders are approaching the town of Lomas de Sargentillo, 5km to go to the 3rd and final turn point.

14:40 France's new first lady is competing here too and right up at the front with the leaders, Yael MARGELISCH (from Switzerland) was 1st lady (15th overall) in the 2017 French Open in Laragne.

14:37 Max Jeanpierre from our partner Kortel Design who was second in the Paragliding World Championships back in 2005, is giving young pup Bastien De Luca a run for his money in the lead gaggle alongside Balazs Racz.

14:30 Honorin Hamard is also right up at the front. At registration last night he told me 'the Ecuadorians are all really nice, the food is amazing, especially the avocados which are the size of coconuts, excellent! I'm looking forward to trying the Enzo 3 out in the unusual flying conditions here. The tasks won't be easy, but it will certainly be very interesting.'

14:28 Oh and Luke told me on launch that he was going to treat today as a practice day so he wouldn't get put off by the stress of flying with all the PWC Sky Gods! No chance of that, he's leaving them all for dust!

14:26 Luke came to paragliding from the dark side, having initially been a keen hang glider pilot. Mr Consistency coming 5th in both rounds of the 2017 British Open - unfortunately the scoring wasn't super consistent, so Luke came away with a position of 7th overall!

14:26 One of the front runners is new comer Luke Nicol.

14:21 Also here, and with the number of World Cup wins in brackets after their names: Stefan Wyss (3) plus Super Final winner in 2015; Honorin Hamard (1) plus World (2015) and European Champion (2016); Michael Sigel (2) and Torsten Siegel (1) plus European Champion (2014).

14:19 Maxime Bellemin is one of the leaders. He's one of five pilots here who have already won a World Cup.

14:12 Personally I think old master Kaoru Ogisawa had the best strategy, 'enjoy, keep high and try and fly like I did 25 years ago!!!!!!!!'

14:11 Thomas Ide told me his strategy would be to watch the locals and was looking forward to flying over some interesting new terrain with hopefully a lot of people in goal today - let's see.

14:08 As Torsten Siegel told me, this is the first day so everyone is going to be afraid to go out on their own so it'll be slow with everyone sticking together.

14:06 As Semih Sayir told me at launch, a day like today where you can't see the cycles, is going to require a lot of skill.

14:04 The day does seem to be improving with hot sunshine and 50% cloud cover.

14:02 Don't blame yourself and don't give up if the results aren't what you were hoping for. Try harder next task, keep focused and you'll see how fast you will improve flying among this tremendous tribe of pilots. See you in goal!'

14:01 Ecuador will be a great first Paragliding World Cup for the newcomers. I don't think it will be a full speed racing style event, so it won't be too stressful. Nevertheless, the pilot quality is quite high and will show how flying in a World Cup is completely different. It will change your style forever and you'll learn fast not to waste your time: little mistakes here make huge differences.

14:00 Today's Thought for the Thermal comes from Antonio Golfari, Official Observer for the 2014 Pre-PWC in Ecuador. Here's his advice to all our new comers: 'First of all, welcome. The World Cup is a very friendly community of pilots and I hope you'll enjoy joining us.

14:00 To coincide with the launch of the new World Cup app, we are also launching 'Thought for the Thermal', a few words of advice each day from one of our more experienced pilots about competition flying.

13:59 The leaders have just got the second turn point. Now comes a tricky long leg north west to las Canas. This is going to be difficult because there are no mountains, just a meandering river and a wide valley.

13:53 The leaders are now flying into wind across some flats with a small ridge before they get to the Country Club at turn point 2, where in this heat, it would be mightily tempting to drop down for a cool beer.

13:48 British champion Guy Anderson is also here, he's had a great XC flying season in Britain this year. He started the season off with a 250 km flight from Milk Hill almost beating the British record and in June he set a new 127km UK record triangle

13:44 2017 Italian champion Marco Busetta is also up with the leaders getting the first turn point.

13:38 With a south east wind today the leaders are reaching the first turn point and will then have a more into wind leg to challenge them.

13:35 I asked Brad Gunnuscio who flew so well in Columbia what he thought of the conditions on launch, 'I'm too fat for today' he told me blushing!

13:30 We've got a lot of pilots from the Columbian flying scene in this competition. Allly Palencia from Venezuela, 1st in the 2014 Pre PWC here and 1st in the 1st Columbian Open in Roldanillo in 2017. Sebastian OSPINA, PWC task winner and winner of the 2nd Colombian Open in Roldanillo in 2017. Brad Gunnuscio 1st overall in the 2016 Colombian Open and Bernardo Medina Sastre, 1st Columbian in 2016. Carlos Andres Hernandez Castañeda who won the Columbian league in 2016.

13:26 Oscar Yesíd Alvarez Cáceres who was the 1st Columbian and 5th overall in the Roldanillo Columbian Open in 2017 is also one of the leaders.

13:22 Harald Wilhelmi is one of the leaders at the moment, he is one of only 9 pilots in the competition with AA letters so definitely one to watch.

13:21 The leaders are currently flying over tree covered hills.

13:13 One thing I should also mention is that the micro weather systems here should also encourage the more adventurous pilots to try different routes in a bid to see what works, where and for whom will the thermal be triggered.

13:10 We are having a lot of problems with the trackers being off line due to the terrain in front of launch.

13:01 The Start is Open, the first task of the first ever Paragliding World Cup in Ecuador has started.

12:51 The leaders are just reaching the Start where they then have to wait until 13h before heading north to the first turn point.

12:41 If you are watching this on the World Cup app you will notice that the Start is a red cylinder which will turn green when the Start opens at 13h.

12:35 Last but not least Luciano Pagnoni and Goran Dimiskovski are about to take off so that Mr President can herd the stragglers to the Start.

12:30 Shauin Kao has just taken off to great woops of joy which I think has made the sun come out and the sky turn blue, well done Shauin!

12:27 Those on the task committee have launch priority too which perhaps explains why we had a record amount of enthusiasm to be on the committee this time. Well done to Juan Carlos MORAN and Michael SIGEL who were voted on at registration last night.

12:24 The Bototillo launch has enough space for 3 gliders to take off at a time so there is a launch priority today according to pilot's letters, AA being first. The World Cup Tour Selection Qualification letter isn't the British bra size of each male or female pilot! How the letters are allocated depends on the pilot quality of each country competing in the World Cup, i.e. where the top 3 pilots from each nation are placed in the World Cup. In 2016 for example, the top 4 pilots in the Swiss nationals got an A, the top pilot from a country which doesn't have many pilots competing in the Paragliding World Cup, would only get a B.

12:20 The pilots are launching in a steady procession but there are still about 50 to get off. The big worry is that there won't be enough time for them to get to the Start for it opening at 13h.

12:10 Leading ladies Daria Krasnova and Nao Mochizuki are ready to go.

12:00 Deonir Spancerski, Yanick Lettry, Harald Wilhelmi, Hans Kristjan Gudmundsson and Bjornar Trondsen are just launching.

11:58 Despite the launch only being big enough for 3 people to take off at a time everything seems to be remarkably calm.

11:57 The first pilots are taking off.

2017-10-29 - Paragliding World Cup : Guayaquil - Bototillo, Ecuador - Day 1 [10:51]

The task is set - todays race is a 57.44 km Race to Goal The window will open at 11:45 Local Time and the Start is at 13:00

Flymaster Live Tracking (1 second tracking) Is HERE

** BRAND NEW ** Flymaster 3D View Is HERE

Paragliding World Cup LIVE 3D Google Earth View => HERE

.Paragliding World Cup Live App => Get it here

The Taskboard, the Live Leaderboard and all the other info for the task are HERE

For those with iPads etc - the pure Live Leader Board is HERE

.Split Screen View (Map + Commentary) - also works on mobiles => HERE

Commentary - Day 1

11:34 The trackers are now being given out.

11:22 Meet Director Byron Coronel in Spannish, with competitor son Josue doing an English translation are doing the briefing together, showing that Paragliding is the sport with a wingspan across the generations.

11:11 We don't have a start time yet as the conditions need to improve drastically but the organisers promise the skies will be blue in an hours time!

11:07 I'm not sure whether we are all sheltering in the tent from the potential rain or sun!

11:06 There is absolute silence on launch except for the sound for 120 beeping instruments having today's task entered under the cover of an army tent.

11:00 Soheil Barikani and Honorin Hamard are pretty confident that this is normal conditions for Ecuador and that blue skies and sunshine will be here soon.

10:56 Briefing in 5 minutes, everyone is wandering off to get their instruments. There are a lot of very new nervous looking faces, and some of the golden greying oldies are looking a bit nervous too!

10:54 The pilots are all on launch looking expectantly at the cloudy sky, the teak forests out in front, the flooded fields and housing estates. That isn't making it sound very attractive but I think once you get over the back, it will be a completely different story.

10:52 A gentle breeze is beginning to come up launch.

10:49 A 61 km task has been set zig zagging north south taking pilots over the back.

10:48 We have 100% cloud cover, but looks can be deceptive here as everyone has discovered during the practice days.

10:47 Well we're sitting on a hill in a tropical rain forest and surprisingly enough, it looks to me as if it's about to rain.

10:45 So today's conditions...

10:41 We hope to have it available for Apple very soon too.

10:41 To make it much easier for everyone to follow World Cup competitions, we now have a shiny new app which is easy to install by going to: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.pwca.liveapp

10:39 So there are 9 - 15 overall places which could be filled from this competition plus 2 - 3 women's places.

10:38 59 men have qualified for the Super Final, 6 of whom are here: Dominik Breitinger, Yoshiaki HIROKAWA, Sebastian OSPINA, Torsten SIEGEL, Michael SIGEL and Stefan WYSS.

10:37 So far 9 women have qualified for automatic selection, one of whom is competing here: Merve ARSLAN along with legend Keiko HIRAKI (twice winner of the Super Final) who therefore also has an automatic SF place.

10:36 Remember the top 15 overall and top 3 ladies qualify automatically from each fully valid World Cup, plus the winner of each fully valid Pre-World Cup.

10:36 This is the 5th and final round of the 2017 Paragliding World Cup tour and the last chance for all the wannabe-Super-Final-Champions to qualify.

10:31 'Hola desde el despegue de Bototillo' Hello from the Bototillo launch in Ecuador!

2017-10-29 - Paragliding World Cup : Guayaquil - Bototillo, Ecuador - Day 1 [07:25]

Event 5 of the 2017 Paragliding World Cup is here and everybody is settled in Guayaquil in Ecuador. The weather forecast indicates that yesterday was the 'bad' day for this period (and the weather yesterday was quite pleasant). This morning we have quite an overcast sky but it is set to improve later. The pilots are all on the way to the launch and we should have task news for day 1 in a couple of hours.