2018-06-30 - Paragliding World Cup : Gemona, Italy - Day 7 [17:54]

Its been a tricky last day but its always good to finish on a high. An awesome 85 pilots made goal today.

Its the end of the competition and the results are now available online.

The Paragliding World Cup Association would like to congratulate our winners Jurij VIDIC (Open), Seiko FUKUOKA NAVILLE (Women) and Team Ozone (Teams).

The prizegiving and party will be held in Venzone - transports start leaving headquarters at 18:00

Commentary - Day 7

17:19 As for the task winner, it looks as if Honorin might have done it again, bringing his task wins to 8 and his automatic qualifications to the 2018 Super Final also to 8. So if anyone is interested in a second hand Super Final place, speak to Honorin, and I think he might be able to chuck in a couple of AA qualification letters too! And as for the overall competition winner, the waiting is now over and the scores are on line, at the end of an absoluely amazing competition here in Gemona, Italy.

16:48 So what was today's winning tactic? Primoz Susa told me that before the last turn point he climbed to base, then went full speed to catch up the ones who were lower than him out in front, being high he could see what was working for lower pilots slightly ahead of him. His altitude let him push on faster than the others and cross ESS first.

16:41 By the way there is a great pilot profile of Silvia in the May 2018 (issue 189) edition of Cross Country magazine.

Silvia Buzzi Ferraris,
16:40 Silvia Buzzi Ferraris, 1st lady in the Poggio Italian Championships earlier this year, 1st lady in XContest in 2012, 1st lady in the World Cup in Gemona in 2016 and 1st lady in the 2017 Italian Open in Gemona, has just reported back and summed up today in the same words as many pilots reporting back today. 'Beautiful, absolutely beautiful.'

16:35 Simon Bonfadelli is bravely trying to climb on a tree covered knoll to get enough height to get end of speed however with the fading afternoon sunshine, the thermals are even harder to find and so he has unfortunately landed just short of goal.

16:25 Unfortunately the lucky nail varnish didn't work today and poor Kari has just landed. However, she is a really great sport so I am sure she will come in smiling as always.

16:23 However one thing that really did impress me about Kari is that she has her finger nails painted in green and gold in the colours of the Aussie sports teams, even after 90 km her nails aren't chipped.

16:21 Whilst we wait for the last 3 pilots, here are a few things that Kari told me she has learnt about comp flying: learn consistency. Forget about the fast pilots (seriously - let them go!) and just concentrate on flying XC to goal EVERY day.
- Step 2: learn racing! Once you know how to make goal, it is time to learn how to go fast!
- And of course - always remember to have fun! We fly comps on our vacation time!!!

16:19 Kari has had quite a quiet end to the Australian flying season, having had to take things easy recovering from a shoulder injury.

16:18 They are having a really difficult time because the wind is pushing them north away from ESS and goal.

16:16 The last three pilots are now making their way to end of speed: Kari Ellis, Kenneth Haugan and Simon Bonfadelli.

16:14 Dmytro Balykin is just coming into goal.

Igor Shatalov
16:13 Igor Shatalov has just touched down now too.

16:12 Daria, Denis and Bastien have just made it.

16:11 All eyes are on the sky watching them.

16:11 Can they scrape over the potatoes and make goal?

16:08 Daria Krasnova, Denis Chouraqui, Igor Shatalov and Bastien De Luca are just coming into sight of the goal field in the bright afternoon sunshine.

Daria Krasnova
16:07 Daria Krasnova has just crossed Ess ahead of the other 3. She normally measures the difficulty of the task in the number of Pampers nappies she has to wear. After nearly four hours racing, I think this will have been a big Pampers day out!

16:04 Bastien De Luca is with Denis about to get ESS. Bastien went to Pôle Espoir de Font Romeu in the Pyrenees with several other rising stars of the young French paragliding world - Simon Pellissier, Constance Mettetal, Loïs Goutagny, Hugo LARONZE, Téo BOUVARD and Meryl Delferrière.

15:59 2.5 km out from ESS are a group of 4 led by very experienced PWC pilot Denis Chouraqui, who is quite a flat land pilot so the first part of today will have been rather a challenge I imagine.

15:56 Jost Napret has crossed Ess and has got 1 km to go to goal, no speed records today unfortunatley.

Yongtae Ahn,
15:50 Will pilots like Yongtae Ahn, 9th this morning, and 11th across ESS today keep his top ten place?

15:48 So out of the top 5 this morning, Durali Karaca (4th) crossed ESS 1st 3:06:20, next Torsten Siegel (2nd) 3:06:35, Gareth Carter (5th) 3:07:15, Jurij Vidic (1st) 3:07:16 and Jonathan Marin (3rd) 3:07:32. So let's wait and see how the differences in their time points today and lead out points affect their overall scores.

15:41 As you can see from the lead out points on the PWCA app, it looks as though Honorin, although 4 seconds behind Primoz, will have won the day on lead out points.

15:37 Jurij Vidic, in the lead overall this morning has just crossed ESS 2 minutes behind the leaders and got to goal.

15:36 First lady today, Yael Margelisch, has just landed in goal.

15:35 For those coming along later, the cloud has now really spread out and is putting a lot of shade along the course line.

15:33 The first 50 have just made ESS and are now coming into goal thick and fast.

15:32 Out of the lead gaggle who were first across ESS, Luc was the lowest on that final glide to goal so the others should make it and most are just swooping down into this fairly small goal field.

15:30 Luc told me his tactic for today was not to have too many tactics, just stay constent and make goal - which he has just done!

15:29 Luc Armant is in the lead but he isn't as high as the others, only 154 m above the ground.

15:28 When you cross ESS is what counts, as long as you get to goal to validate your time points score.

15:28 There is a second group behind those who have just crossed ESS who are much higher and could over fly the leaders, but as long as the leaders stay airborne they will claim their time points and be positioned ahead of the gaggle behind them, even if they land in goal later than the gaggle behind them.

15:27 So how are they going to get on with this into wind leg, into a small field and if they land short they land in the potatoes (literally)? There is no wind in the goal field. The leaders who have just got ESS are visible from the goal field but not high enough.

15:24 Next across ESS and with not much height to play with Stephan Morgenthaler, Honorin Hamard, Tim Bollinger, Tilen Ceglar, Michael Maurer, Torsten Siegel, Russell Ogden, Joachim Oberhauser.

15:23 Primoz Susa has got Ess but is he going to make goal?

15:21 Russell Ogden is in 11th position on the leader board but has the best glide ratio to goal of 8:1 at the moment so is really in the lead.

15:18 The top 5 are on 10:1 to goal at the moment but Honorin has a very comfortable lead in the lead out point column.

15:18 The World Cup App, now available for iOS and Android (search for PWCA), shows each pilot's glide ratio to goal. Why is this interesting? If two pilots are racing to goal, one higher but further back, one lower but ahead, the glide ratio is a good indicator of whether either, or both, will make goal, or do they need to stop and climb a bit more in which case the pilot in 2nd place could overtake.

15:16 There is a maximum of 67.5 lead out points if nobody gets to goal, 70 if only 1 person gets to goal, rising to 162 if everyone is in goal. Therefore, until the last pilot has landed, the lead out points and thus the task winner can't be calculated and given in the Commentary during the race, which is why we just give the % of lead out points available which each pilot has.

15:15 All pilots whether they got to goal or not qualify for lead out points which reflect how much of the race they were with the leaders.

15:15 After the End of Speed Section (ESS) they can land whenever they want in goal. If they land before goal they only get distance points. If they get to goal they get distance points plus speed points reflecting how long it took them to get round the course to ESS.

15:14 There is now a standard of 2km between ESS and goal. Pilots race to the ESS, this is the point when they could have a collapse. So having a requirement that they then fly another 2km means they aren't racing into the ground and having a collapse too low to throw their reserve.

15:14 For those of you wondering why the race always ends near a village called Ess let me explain. The implementation of End Of Speed Section (ESS) in about 2003 in competitions was one of the biggest improvements ever made in the safety of paragliding competitions.

15:13 They now need to fly 8 km to ESS and have the wind behind them but then they have a treacherous into wind glide to get to goal.

15:10 Whilst I was trying to type at World Out and Return record speed across my keyboard, 40 pilots have got the last turn point! 9 km to go to ESS.

15:09 Jost also claimed the previously unset 300km out and return speed record at 32.11 km/h.

15:09 Jost told me 'the weather has changed a lot in the Alps recently, so we tried earlier in the year than before, which proved to be the right decision. The thermals had already started working by 8.30 and we took off at 9.00 a.m! We flew from Sorica, over the Soca Valley, crossing Gemona, then on to Longarone followed by a waypoint south of Agordo and back to home. The impressive scenery over the snowy Alps and the Italian Dolomites rounded up the perfect day! A day when they spent 9hours and 24 minutes in the air, flying at an average speed of 32.11 km/h.

15:08 He's had a great start to the season. 1st in the 2018 Schöckl Pokal in St Radegund, Austria plus a World Out and Return record (302km) under his waist belt.

15:07 World distance record holder Jošt Napret has just got the last turn point ahead of the others (by about a metre!)

15:06 Che took part in the 2017 X-Alps, (apparently, he sent off his application for the hardest paratrekking race in the world when his girlfriend was out for dinner one night) unfortunately he had to retire from the race due to injury. These australian men really know how to treat their better halves well!

15:04 On launch, Che Golus was one of the ones laughing the most at Gareth's clearly defined strategy about not pushing out ahead this morning, and has now just pushed out in front himself.

15:02 The pilots are scattering everywhere in a bid to get this last turn point, one would think we were tracking a herd of cats, not a pack of paraglider pilots looking at the tracking at the moment.

15:00 Actually what Gareth really said was that the plan on the ground was not to take risks and push out. Well looks like that master strategy lasted just as long as the time it took Gareth to launch.

14:58 Whilst the main gaggle have headed south towards the course line, Gareth Carter, Tim Bollinger and Marco Busetta have just straight lined it. Gareth did say to me this morning that he would have to just straight line it round the course today to get home early to make wife Louise's birthday cake. Let's hope he keeps enough puff to blow the candles out too.

14:51 This into wind leg is really proving difficult.

14:50 Durali Karaca who was fourth this morning is also right up with the leaders at the moment.

14:49 The air seems to be a bit more bouyant now and they seem to all have plus figures on their varios.

14:48 Jonathan Marin 3rd this morning, is about 1 km behind the leaders.

14:46 Torsten Siegel 2nd overall this morning is about 2 km behind the leaders.

14:45 With 5 km to go to the last turn point this is going to be very close. As far as those who are doing well overall in the competition, Jurij Vidic, 1st is about half a km behind the leaders.

14:41 Constance Mettetal was another of the stars of the Pre PWC, 5th overall (4th in 1 task and 6th in the other) in the 2018 Pre PWC in the Pyrenees at Cerdagne Targasonne. However today she hasn't been so lucky and has landed on the flats just behind the lead gaggle.

14:36 Meryl famously came 10th overall in the 2017 Super Final, she also came 3rd Overall (2nd and 5th in the 2 tasks) in the 2018 Pre PWC in the Pyrenees at Cerdagne Targasonne a few weeks ago.

Méryl Delferriere
14:35 Méryl Delferriere is right up with the leaders, and leading lady a the moment.

14:34 The lead gaggle have now caught up with Tim and they are all working together, the highest being 550 m above the ground, this is going to be a long tough struggle to get the last 24 km to goal today.

14:32 Leading the charge behind Tim, is former Super Final champion, Stefan Wyss on his Ozone Enzo 3.

14:30 They are all to the north of the course line with Tim Bollinger pushing out on his Gin Boomerang 11, but he really needs to watch his height, 313m above the ground. He's just found a weak climb and stopped to make the most of it.

14:27 It's fairly stable in the flats, the thermals are few and far between, quite a bit of southerly wind, in a word, super difficult.

14:24 The leaders are all getting a climb on some small hills in the flats.

14:22 Bogdan Bialka is going over to join them. Although Bogdan is originally from Poland, he now lives in Ireland and is Ireland's top paraglider pilot.

14:20 They are both test pilots, in fact Michael's motto is: 'Sleep, eat, paraglide!'

14:19 Honorin Hamard and Michael Maurer are out in front, trying to get climbs off the buildings, but they are both less than 400m above the ground.

14:18 The flats have really separated the pilots out.

14:15 Fingers of cloud are now stretching out into the flats, which are also giving a fair bit of shade.

14:13 There are two big groups as they brake out into the flats, one to the north of the course line and one following the course line. The conditions are pretty weak, there are not many good climbs to be had.

14:11 If you are high: GO! If you have average height and potential triggers are ahead: GO! If your average climb starts to deteriorate, skip the last turn you would usually do and: GO! If other pilots go and it is not completely shaded: GO with them! If you see someone around you climbing faster - GO (there)!

14:10 When it comes to tactics, my TOP5 to overcome hesitancy in moving on are as follows:

14:10 If you are willing to improve your flying, there is no better resource than joining a comp. Especially when you do your first comps, have the attitude of learning and enjoying the community. Seeing how fast it is possible to move can be really eye-opening! The Game is all about efficiency, I love it!

14:10 Today's Thought for the Thermal, a piece of advice from an experienced World Cup pilot for those who are just starting out in competitions comes from Lex Robé:

Alexander Robé
14:09 Twice winner of XContest (2015 and 2017), Alexander Robé is with the leaders just coming past Gemona well on their way to the last turn point.

14:02 Rémi Bourdelle (who eats for three, including the PWC staff sandwiches) is still quite light on his glider. He's with the leaders but may have found the strong conditions in the mountains a bit difficult. Remi explained that the heavier you are loaded, the slower you go up in a thermal, but you go faster on the glide. It is best to have more ballast on strong days and less ballast on weak days. Today we have had strong conditions in the mountains but medium in the flats, so the rest of the course might suit Remi better.

13:57 None of those 3 are in the top 35 overall in the comp so they really have nothing to lose by pushing out and marking the way for those behind.

13:56 The three leaders at the moment are Stephan Morgenthaler, Honorin Hamard and Michele Boschi.

13:55 There is a nice line of clouds, like a tongue coming out of the mouth of the alps that they are just crossing, after that out into the flats it's blue, blue, blue.

Rolf Dale
13:51 Norwegina champion Rolf Dale is at the front with the leaders as well today. Has been one of the top pilots for a long time, a real old hand who used to even compete against our Scorer and Technical Delegate, Ulric Jessop!!!

13:48 Russell Ogden is also with them. When he was being a bit chattier earlier on in the week, Russell told me: Take only the strong lines, go with your instinct, the clouds show where the climbs are, use the energy lines like the sun on the ground. Everywhere here works. Go for the path of least resistance. Be well positioned in the gaggle. Always try to be at the top of the gaggle.

13:46 Arduino Persello's route further north seems to have worked and he is now at the end of the ridge with the leaders.

13:45 RFC (ready for certification) Gliders are now allowed to take part in Paragliding World Cups. The glider must be manufactured by one of the World Cup partners and be flown by one of the manufacturer's test pilots.

13:45 Just behind him is Tilen Ceglar on the new 777 RFC wing with 130 cells.

13:44 Michele Boschi is leading the charge back along the ridge.

13:42 The leaders coming back are using those going to the turn point as thermal markers.

13:40 On the team scores you will also see a short one line explanation about each of our partners. There is also a link to their websites on the front page of the World Cup website.

13:40 'The way the teams work is classic Xavier Murillo, he was always five years ahead of everyone, it's genius, who cares what the first person in the team is doing, it's what team work is all about, getting the rest of the team to score.' Ulric Jessop World Cup Technical Delegate told me.

13:39 Thus the score depends on at least half the team doing well – both the first AND the second pilot in each team need to be fast. Therefore there is no need to do lots of complicated mathematics adding up all the team pilot's scores. This simple, but incredibly effective idea, was the brain child of Xavier Morillo.

13:39 Each Paragliding World Cup partner has a team. Each team can have up to three pilots and at least one or more female pilots. Points are given based on the position of the 2nd person in the team. When the second pilot in each team comes into goal decides the whole team's position in the team rankings.

13:39 How do the teams work?

13:39 We have 19 teams in this competition – an all time record for the Paragliding World Cup.

13:38 Just a note on Russell Ogden, who has just got the turn point with the leaders. Russell was surprisingly shy on launch today, but he did tell me that today was all about getting a good team place.

13:37 Now they have a leg south east which will take them out onto the flats.

Zoran Labovic,
13:35 The top ten have got the turn point: Stephan Morgenthaler, Honorin Hamard, Luc Armant, Tilen Ceglar, Michele Boschi, Jonathan Marin, Clement Latour, Zoran Labovic, Russell Ogden and Christian Biasi.

13:32 Stephan Morgenthaler, who was first in task one is in the front and has taken the turn point first, but just as far off the course line as those taking it to the north.

13:30 Meantime, further north, local knowledge is working well and Arduino Persello and Denis Soverini are having no problem getting the turn point, but now they will have to fly south back to the course line.

13:29 Those taking the turn point from the south are having to skirt round it to get high enougn to take it, there are about 50 pilots all within a km of the 2nd turn point stuck in that valley to the south of the turn point.

13:25 Damien Lacaze, on his way to the Himalayas, is the nearest with 2 km to go.

13:24 They are all now trying to gain height to literally get up to the turn point which is very inconveniently on the side of a mountain.

13:22 Honorin has 7 task wins but is catching up fast!

13:21 Honorin Hamard has stormed off ahead - again. After 2 tasks that didn't go to plan at the beginning of the comp, he is now just after task wins to try and overhall Stefan Wyss's 21 and Hans Bollinger's 29 task wins!

13:19 They are all now trying to get enough height at the end of the ridge to go for the turn point. They do not have to go right to the centre of the turn point, just cross the 'cylinder' around it.

13:16 Michele Boschi is in the lead and has got to the end of the ridge and now has a tricky valley crossing to get the second turn point 4 km away.

Bastien De Luca
13:14 Having just crossed the river and now about to join the next ridge well on his way to turn point two, Bastien De Luca told me on Tuesday, it would be great to get into the mountains as we are so near the Dolomites. For him, 'the plains are nice, but the mountains are better.'

13:11 This mountainous route will be pleasing a lot of people.

13:11 This is really difficult to keep up with, the leaders are absolutely storming ahead.

13:09 This winter Helly realised one of his dream, to ski mountaineer in Alaska. He and Paul Guschlbauer explored wide, white Alaska by propeller plane. Landing and skiing down steep couloirs and through forests of perfect powder.

13:09 Helly did a lot of vol biv with skis this winter, the high point (literally) was going to Alaska...

Helmut Eichholzer.
13:08 The main gaggle are streaming across the wide river bed. Amongst the top 15, one of the other mountain men in this competition, Helmut Eichholzer..

13:06 We've got two distinct groups at the front. Local pilot Denis Soverini going far to the north into the big rocky mountains. Followed by the other local in this comp, and distance record holder Arduino Persello.

13:04 Damien and Antoine hope to do a 1200km fully autonomous vol biv across the Himalayas, crossing the Karakorum Massif. Their aim is to fly as high as possible, and possibly even above 8000m! They also hope to climb a 7000m peak (Le Spantik), taking just 2 days rather than the usual month, thanks to their gliders.

13:04 On Monday Damien is going off to the Karakorum in northern Pakistan to do 6 weeks of vol biv with Antoine Girard, returning just in time to put on a clean pair of socks and take part in the World Cup in Bulgaria!

13:03 Damien Lacaze is just coming to the end of the ridge and about to start the valley crossing. Today's task in the mountains will have been good practice for his trip next week.

13:01 Michele Boschi is taking a more southerly route as they fly over the smooth cobbled streets and covered arcades of Gemona, with a dramatic mountain backdrop. Just an interesting fact about this beautiful old town, in 1976 a massive earthquake (6.4 on the Richter scale) hit Gemona. The stones of the village which stood in ruins were then numbered and the old town was rebuilt stone by stone. To this day you can still see black numbers on many of the stones in the old town.

12:59 Local pilot and task committee member Denis Soverini has taken the lead taking a route more to the north.

12:57 Here they all come streaming out over the town of Gemona, colourful little specs in the blue sky.

12:57 There is a lovely puffy white cloud over that end of the ridge which I think is acting like a comfort blanket.

Last climb before crossing the big valley
12:56 That looks like quite a traffic jam at the end of the ridge.

12:55 Hot on the heels of the record breaking Slovenians that April weekend were Luc and Honorin. Honorin did 278 km. The following day Luc completed a 300km O/R from Gourdon to near Grenoble and back whilst Honorin went for 320 km, but landed short.

12:54 Honorin Hamard and Luc Armant are with the leaders.

12:53 They are now coming to a change in the relief and a big valley crossing. Decision time.

12:52 He also set a new Italian distance record of 425 km back in 2012.

12:52 Arduino set a 280km out-and-return paragliding world record in June 2012 from Sorica in Slovenia to Longarone in Italy and back. He was in the air for nearly 11 hours. He bet the previous record (which he also held, by 16 km). His record stood until April 2018 when it was beaten by 4 Slovenians (Dusan OROZ, Jost Napret, Bojan Gabrsek and Primoz Susa) who are also in this competition.

12:51 Arduino is one of only two local pilots here (along with task committee member Denis Soverini) and one of the other big distance record holders in this competition.

12:50 Further back Arduino Persello is pulling away and possibly going to make a break.

12:50 Everyone seems to be taking the same route along the ridge going west at the moment, with Tilen Ceglar on the new 777 RFC (ready for certification) glider in front.

12:45 It is totally blue out in front of the mountains, there are clouds forming in the mountains but no overdevelopment yet and there is a nice breeze coming up from the south.

12:43 The leaders are now racing back along the ridge going west, over Gemona, to the next turn point on the other side of the valley.

12:39 Former French champion Jonathan Marin is at the front, currently lying 3rd overall in the competition. He told me he was going to try and be a bit of an opportunist today, but prudent at the same time, it's so important not to get behind or mess up.

12:36 In his own words 'Aujourd'hui Chol is back !!' Definitely one to watch!

12:35 He did a 227 km FAI triangle from Marlens on the 21/04/2018. 3 days later he then did a 237 km FAI triangle from Saint Hilaire. His blog page 'Sur les routes du ciel,' has great photos of his flights in the Alps.

12:35 Bertrand was one of many pilots who made the most of the great conditions on the weekend of the 21st of April 2018 in the Alps, instability, not much wind and high base.

12:35 He is used to flying vol biv and big XCs on his own, so was used to pushing out alone.

12:34 After 7 years of not competing Bertrand decided to take part in the recent 2017 pre world cup in Mexico – and won it! His blog page 'Sur les routes du ciel,' has great photos of the comp and an indepth report of each day's task.

12:34 Bertrand Chol has broken away from the leaders on the ridge.

12:33 The leaders on the ridge are getting the first turn point.

12:32 Armin told me today, ' I have had to get used to flying against the sons of some of my previous competiton rivals! He told me his stratefy today is going to be attack and try and overtake some of the youngsters!

12:30 The first time he won a task was in the 1992 Owens Valley Paragliding World Cup, whilst Honorin Hamard (who won task 3 here in Gemona in 2018) was celebrating his first birthday!

12:29 One of the leaders straight lining it along the ridge today is Armin Eder.

12:26 Racing along the ridge towards them Michele Boschi.

Federico Nevastro
12:25 We've got a lead group who took the lower terrain led by mushroom hunter Federico Nevastro

12:21 There is already a big split, those heading further into the mountains away from the course line and the lead out points and those following the course line.

12:20 This is the point where today's task, and hence in such a close comp with only 50 points separately the top 12 pilots, this whole World Cup, might be won or lost.

12:15 The Start is now open, watch out for the lead out points baggers at this most heavily weighted point in the race.

11:49 Those high up are thermaling up under a cloud providing lots of lift.

11:46 What a stunning sight, a gaggle directly above launch against the blue sky. The rest are spread out across the sky at cloud base.

2018-06-30 - Paragliding World Cup : Gemona, Italy - Day 7 [11:44]

The task is set - todays race is a 95.1 km Race to Goal The window will open at 11:15 Local Time and the Start is at 12:15

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

11:41 Virtually all the pilots have now taken off and are heading to the Start circle shown in red on the PWCA app. They have to cross the Start line, then race round the rest of the course to End of Speed.

11:40 As Andreas Malecki told me, with only 50 points separating the top 12, the first part of the race, just after the Start, where the leadout points are the most heavily weighted, could be the point where today's race is won or lost.

Rémi Bourdelle
11:38 As Rémi Bourdelle told me this morning, going into the mountains will be the quickest route, but it will be furthest from the course line, therefore not the optimum route for lead out points.

11:36 We've got blue sky in front to the south and clouds starting to develope over the mountains behind, north of launch.

11:35 Take off is going well, nearly everyone is off and climbing nicely up behind launch.

11:32 Along with the top 3 from the 2017 Italian Open in Gemona: Marco Busetta, Alessio Voltan and Federico Nevastro.

11:32 Also in the amazing line up today 5 from the top 10 in the World Cup in Gemona in 2016 are competing here once again: Andreas (Pepe) Malecki 1st, Marco Littame 4th, Primoz Susa 5th, Christian Biasi 6th and Yury Mishanin 9th =.

11:30 Unfortunately Aaron Durogati is unable to fly today but after coming 3rd = in the last task whilst flying on crutches, the only pilot ever to have won the Super Final twice, I think I can safely say has nothing to prove.

Alfredo Studer
11:28 16 pilots competing have already won a World Cup (just 2 less than in the Super Final): Honorin HAMARD (3), Alfredo Studer (2), Stephane DROUIN (2), Luc ARMANT (2), Aaron DUROGATI (2), Andreas MALECKI, Stefan WYSS (3), Marco LITTAME, Stephan MORGENTHALER, Michael MAURER, Maxime BELLEMIN, Thomas BRANDLEHNER, Charles CAZAUX, Russell OGDEN, Helmut EICHHOLZER and Torsten SIEGEL.

11:27 3 Super Final winners Aaron Durogati (2), Stefan Wyss, and Charles Cazaux.

11:27 We've had 19 pilots with AA competing here this week!

11:26 The first pilots are off.

11:25 The prize giving tonight, promises to be another great culinary event to finish off this very successful World Cup and will be held in the medieval town of Venzone, one of the most beautiful towns in Italy.

11:25 In this competition we have seen yet another World Cup first, cookery lessons on launch by paragliding pasta maestro, Stefano Gurgone, who works for Prodelta flying school in Poggio Bustone and is also one of Italy's top paragliding retrieve mini bus rally drivers!

11:24 A big thank you to the local organisers for the Goulash party after the first task and pasta party on Thursday evening.

11:24 I think leading lady Seiko FUKUOKA NAVILLE summed up the feeling at this comp: it's a great ambience, everyone eating and drinking together after the task in the beer garden, that's what paragliding is all about!

11:22 The women's competition is very close, especially between the top two ladies, either of whom could win: Seiko FUKUOKA NAVILLE, 1st lady and 10th overall (2161) and Meryl Delferriere (2064).

Durali Karaca
11:20 50 points separate the top twelve pilots, any of whom could win overall: Jurij VIDIC (2204), Torsten SIEGEL (2185), Jonathan MARIN (2179), Durali Karaca (2177), Gareth CARTER (2171), Dusan OROZ and Charles CAZAUX (2169), Luc ARMANT (2164), Yongtae AHN (2162), Seiko FUKUOKA NAVILLE, 1st lady and 10th overall (2161), Russell OGDEN (2159) and in 12th place at the start of today, Ulrich Prinz (2154).

11:17 The pilots are getting ready to take off. The Start in the air will be in an hours time at 12.15

11:16 A 95 km task has been set zig zagging across the mountains and then zig zagging across the plains with a goal out in the flats to avoid the risk of over development in the mountains later on.

11:15 Here we are on the launch above Gemona with excellent conditions for the last task, blue skies and a light southerly wind.

2018-06-30 - Paragliding World Cup : Gemona, Italy - Day 7 [09:12]

The wind is basically southerly and much lighter than previous days so we are heading for the local takeoff in Gemona. Pilots are all on the way up to launch and we expect to get a task today - there's everything to fly for and task news will be along in a couple of hours.

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2018-06-29 - Paragliding World Cup : Gemona, Italy - Day 6 [16:45]

The lack of thermals has forced us to cancel the task so the pilots are free flying back down.

Commentary - Day 6

Nanda Walliser
16:37 Free flying followed by Plan P+P has been decided. For those of you trying to understand technical paragliding terms like Plan P+P, Nanda Walliser has come to my rescue, apparently it means that the day has become flyable too late to set a task so the pilots are free flying followed by Plan P+P, Pizza and Prosecco.

16:24 There is a big debate at the moment, to task or not to task, to free fly or go for Plan P+P.

16:10 The sky has turned blue, the wind dummies are staying up.

16:10 A 45 km task racing back to Gemona has been set.

16:09 The trackers have been given out. Normally the Paragliding World Cup moto is 'no tracker, no score', at this comp it's 'no tracker, no spaghetti'. And, I can confirm, that the food here in Gemona is absolutely stunning.

15:17 However let's be patient and see.

15:17 We now have some blue sky above our heads but there are still no thermals. 'Patience' is going to be the 'Parola del giorno' me thinks, closely followed by 'ploof' and 'bomb out'.

Maxime Bellemin
15:06 The task Committee are still deliberating: Marco Littame, Maxime Bellemin and Denis Soverini.

15:03 The task set should be far enough to validate the nominal distance and nominal time based on the assumption that the fastest pilot will be flying at an average of 40km/h.

15:02 The nominal time is set at the beginning of the competition, here it is 1h 15. If the winner takes less than this to get to ESS, then the task will be devalued.

15:01 The average distance of all the pilots flown must be more than half the nominal distance (50 km here in Meduna/Gemona) for it to score 1000 points. If it is less, then the task will be devalued.

14:59 Whether today can be a fully valid task will depend on whether they can fulful nominal distance (50 km) and nominal time (1h 15 mins).

14:46 Time to pack away the umbrellas and put on the suntan lotion. Apparently there has also just been the sighting of a thermal coming up launch, but it was only felt by those who were betting it would get flyable later on.

14:40 The sun has come out making the meadows around launch, which are full of flowers and butterflies, look absolutely beautiful.

Andreas Malecki
14:33 Andreas Malecki assures me in rather an unsure voice that it will definitely be taskable.

14:30 Torsten Siegel has bet that it won't be possible, however, as all 126 pilots in this competition have already seen, Torsten has a track record of backing the wrong side!

14:27 A short task is being set.

14:27 Are the flats going to dry out in time to produce thermals?

14:26 A blue hole is apparently on its way being blown here by the upper north wind.

Yael Margelisch
14:09 I've just been discussing with Yael Margelisch the chances of getting a fully valid task in when there is no wind coming up launch, a good indicator of no thermals. 'One can always be surprised ' Yael told me. 'But....'

13:41 Just a reminder that the only major change in the rules for this year is that the overall winner of each individual fully valid task in World Cups now qualify automatically for the Super Final, even if they aren't in the top 15 overall at the end of the competition.

13:39 It has stopped raining but we still have 100% cloud cover, but it is definitely clearing. Let's see what happens in the next half hour.

13:33 Talking of the paragliding press, the Paragliding World Cup has featured a lot in the press recently with some excellent reviews and photos in free.aero/voler.info online magazine.

13:31 Just a reminder that the harnesses are also all now in the scores. Being flown in this competition: GR4 (Gin Genie Race 4), Exoceat (Ozone), XR7 (WoodyValley), Kanibal Race 2 (Kortel) and the Genesis (Nearbirds).

13:30 There is also a great review of one of our other partner's harnesses, the Kortel Kanibal Race II harness. written by World Cup pilot, Luke Nicol, in the June 2018, issue 190, of Cross Country magazine.

13:28 Talking of World Cup partners, just a reminder that the Cross Country Magazine Travel Guide is now on sale, packed full of ideas of where to go paragliding around the world.

13:26 Anyone, whether an individual or a business, can become a Paragliding World Cup Partner. 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.

13:26 A big thank you to everyone who followed the Commentary at the Super Final in Roldanillo Colombia, we had nearly 64,000 visits, making the World Cup website THE paragliding place to have your name and logo.

13:25 Just a reminder that if we ever get air borne today you can keep up with all the action, % of lead out points, photos, glide ratio to goal, scores, live Commentary and tracking on the PWCA app if you haven't already got it.

13:19 Meanwhile on launch it has stopped raining and Honorin, wrapped in a shiny gold survival bag, rather resembles a Roman Emperor!

13:15 Tilen continued, 'I initially started flying with sailplanes and the first thought about this glider I had was that it is more similar to a rigid wing than a soft paraglider. We are quite happy with the performance in climbs and the glider doesn't lack speed, which took me some time to realize because I was jumping in front all the time. With this in mind, it is now time to change tactics and use this advantage when it matters the most and not at every given opportunity.'

13:14 Tilen told me the 777 RFC glider has about 130 cells and feels quite different from the other comp gliders due to its rigid internal construction and lots of cells. It took quite some time to get used to higher brake pressure and heavier B-risers control, however now I'm confident that this is one of the most stable gliders I have ever flown.

13:12 Tilen Ceglar is here testing the 777 RFC wing and Christian AMON the MacPara RFC glider.

13:11 Just a note about the RFC wings in the competition.

Tim Rochas
13:06 Tim Rochas has also been working on the Takoo 4, a tandem for professionals, which is very flexible and has great performance.

12:56 Tim Rochas, competing here, would agree with that. He works for Niviuk and has been working on the two new wings they have launched this year. The Artik 5 is a new EN C which has been born from the research done during the development of competition wings. Tim told me 'it's nice to fly and has great performance with surprisingly good behaviour in all conditions.'

12:53 We've just released the Atlas 2 (low B glider). Because of the R&D we did with the Boomerang series, we could greatly improve the 3D shaping and sail tensioning of the glider. This would not have been possible without the work we did with our competition gliders.

12:52 The Word Cup may seem an elitist competition which doesn't have anything to do with your average weekend XC pilot who doesn't fly competitions. However, as Super Final winner Gin pilot Michael Sigel told me:

12:51 The créme de la créme of the parawaiting world are currently playing sardines in the retrieve mini buses on launch and discussing Plan B ie do we go to the Beach or the Bar.

12:45 It is due to clear up later on with a forecast of sunshine, so the parawaiting continues.

11:49 Due to the heavy rain about to hit launch and the lack of Wifi through my umbrella spokes, there might me a slight lack of Commentary for a short period.

11:45 In the Commentary in the last task I asked if anyone had the results for the World Cups in the early nineties. We now have the results and a quick update of our records shows that Stefan Wyss is no longer our top task winner having only 21 tasks wins, compared to Hans Bollinger, who has won a staggering 29 tasks! Well done to both.

11:44 Zapotiltic, Mexico: 30 Nov - 07 Dec

11:44 Pico de Gaviao, Brazil: 07 - 14 September

11:44 Chelan, USA: 20 - 27 July

11:44 Manteigas, Portugal: 29 June to 06 July 2019

11:43 Coeur de Savoie, France: 25 May - 01 June

11:43 Superfinal, Baixo Guandu, Brazil: 05 - 16 March 2019

11:43 The 2019 calendar has now been finalised:

11:42 The Paragliding World Cup is an association of pilots. This year's AGM took place on Thursday afternoon. Members of the PWCA (of which you must be a member to compete in the World Cup) can stand to be on the World Cup Committee. The Committee makes decisions on every aspect of the World Cup throughout the year. This year Honorin Hamard was elected onto the Committee with the support of virtually all the pilots.

11:36 Before the match, Torsten Siegel, Gin's test pilot from Germany, told me he would refuse to go to South Korea for at least a year if South Korea won!!! Worse still for Gin Gliders, Mr Gin, the famous S. Korean manufacturer of the Boomerang 11, offered to buy all the pilots a round if S. Korea won. So a big thank you once again to Mr Gin from 126 happy pilots for his generosity!!!!!

11:31 Apparently, Germany played South Korea in some small, friendly football match on Wednesday afternoon, all the pilots were delighted it was unflyable so that they could watch the match.

11:31 So what have the pilots been up to during the two unflyable days?

11:30 The pwca.org website has had some major changes in the background - events now feature photographs, videos, the entire commentary feed and copies of the taskboards for every task. To find these go to the event and click the relevant tab - to find events start with World Cup Tour at the top of the screen.

11:29 Just a reminder, Philippe Broers has been hard at work over the last few days so there is now some stunning footage of the pilots flying filmed in the air by our Paragliding World Cup TV cameraman which you can find to the left of the Commentary on the front page of the PWCA website.

11:26 Lead out point baggers to keep an eye on so far in this competition: Stephan MORGENTHALER, Alexander SCHALBER, Andreas MALECKI, Jurij VIDIC, Jonathan MARIN, Charles CAZAUX, Honorin HAMARD and Julien WIRTZ

11:25 In overall position: Jurij VIDIC (2204), Torsten SIEGEL (2185), Jonathan MARIN (2179), Durali KARACA (2177), Gareth CARTER (2171), Dusan OROZ and Charles CAZAUX (2169), Luc ARMANT (2164), Yongtae AHN (2162), Seiko FUKUOKA NAVILLE, 1st lady and 10th overall (2161).

11:25 Well done to the task 3 winners: 1st Honorin HAMARD, 2nd Joze MOLEK, 3rd = Julien WIRTZ and Aaron DUROGATI. First lady and 5th overall: Seiko FUKUOKA NAVILLE. Top team: Ozone.

11:24 Just a bit about our last task, task 3.

11:23 Austria and the Dolomites are visible to the north and Slovenia, with its lakes and mountains, is just over the ridge to the east. The Italian plains stretch out to the south of launch, divided into segments by wide river beds.

11:20 We have 100% cloud cover and no thermals, so lets see how the day improves, and it can only improve!

11:18 Here we are on the Meduna launch in N.E. Italy (albeit under an umbrella), ever hopeful of getting a 4th task in.

2018-06-29 - Paragliding World Cup : Gemona, Italy - Day 6 [09:14]

Todays weather is uncertain but we will give it a go. The pilots are on the way to Meduno this morning due to the wind. Its about a 2 hour drive so we are expecting task news at around 1200 - keep watching

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2018-06-28 - Paragliding World Cup : Gemona, Italy - Day 5 [09:35]

We had huge storms yesterday afternoon and, unfortunately, the forecast is similar for today. The day has, therefore, been cancelled. The forecast for tomorrow and Saturday is looking promising so we look forward to two more tasks.

The PWCA General Assembly will be held this afternoon with transports leaving HQ at 15:30. The assembly will be held at the city hall - DIRECTIONS HERE and will begin at 1600.

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2018-06-27 - Paragliding World Cup : Gemona, Italy - Day 4 [09:19]

The forecast this morning is for strong north/north east wind with ground speeds of 30km/h plus. The day is cancelled due to the dangerous conditions.

Tomorrow the briefing will be at 0900 - see you then.

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2018-06-26 - Paragliding World Cup : Gemona, Italy - Day 3 [21:15]

Meduno was a great place to start and, with the goal back here in Gemona, its made for a short journey for those who made goal - unfortunately this was only just over half the field.

71 made goal and that left 55 to retrieve which kept the buses busy.

Everyone is now back and the results are available online.

A reminder that the General Assembly 2018 will take place on Thursday evening - timing will be decided on the day and according to the finish of the task. Meanwhile any pilots carrying proxies for others are asked to contact Laura in HQ as soon as you can.

Finally tomorrow's briefing starts at 0900 see you there...

Commentary - Day 3

19:32 Perhaps the most significant new rule this year is that task winners (whether they are in the top 15 in the competition or not), get an automatic place in the Super Final.

19:30 So Honorin's winning tactic today: On the way to the third turn point the mountains behind were just so massive and stunning that he decided to take a detour. The rock faces were in shade but still worked, he then saw the others on the other side of the hill stuck at the bend in the river and thought bingo and never looked back until he got to goal...Giving Honorin his 7th automatic place in the 2018 Super Final so far this year!

19:00 Everyone has now landed, including the winner of the day, Honorin Hamard, who finally decided to come down and join everyone after a 40 minute lap of honour and a very impressive 103 km task!

18:30 They are just flying over my head in a straight line, they have got ESS and should be in goal any minute.

18:27 It looks as if the final gaggle are making their way to end of speed by taking a wide route to the east of the course line and are just flying over Gemona at the moment: Silvia Buzzi Ferraris, Nelson Pacheco, Méryl Delferriere, Kari Ellis, and Dmytro Balykin.

18:20 And still they keep on coming, another two are just crossing ESS Piergiorgio Camiciottoli and Alexey Bystritskiy.

17:39 It's carnage in the goal field with gliders swooping in from every direction.

Clement Latour
17:36 Clement Latour has just landed in goal grinning, he so didn't think he was going to make it at the end with only weak thermals of max 1m/s.

17:31 Leading lady overall and first lady today, Seiko Fukuoka Naville, has just landed in goal, narrowly missing my head!

17:28 Honorin Hamard is taking his time and crossing the goal line in orbit at 1000 m above the goal field. It's my birthday and I 'll land when I want to being his motto today.

17:25 There is the fluttering sound of nice crinkly new gliders coming in to land.

17:24 The leaders are just crossing the goal line. The sun is shining, the sky is blue, what a great day.

17:23 Also just crossing Ess Julien Wirtz, Seiko Fukuoka Naville first lady, Jurij Vidic, Durali Karaca, Gareth Carter , Stefan Bernhard, Andreas Malecki, Luc Armant and Jacques Fournier

17:21 Aaron Durogati the only pilot to have won the Super Final twice and the only pilot flying on crutches has just got Ess.

17:19 Vintage Honorin, flying virtually the whole way on his own.

17:18 With a 2km advantage and all the lead out points, what a nice birthday present.

17:16 Honorin Hamard has got Ess

17:16 In a group to the west working together Stefan Bernhard, Joze Molek, Charles Cazaux, Julien Wirtz and Seiko Fukuoka Naville

17:13 Honorin Hamard is on 9.5:1 to goal so he should be able to straight line it now. He's on his own to the east of the others

17:11 The leaders are just coming into sight of the goal field above the trees

Stefan Bernhard
17:09 Stefan Bernhard is out in front but lower, which you can seen from his high glide ratio to goal of 28:1 that he'll need to stop to climb, compared to Joze Molek 's glide ratio to goal of 13:1.

17:06 So they can be out in front but not have a good enough glide ratio to goal to make it, so will have to stop to gain height and be overtaken.

17:05 They have the wind behind them now so will be looking to go on final glide with a glide ratio to goal of about 10.

17:03 When you consider Honorin's lead of 2km and his big lead out point advantage, (LO Pts, on the leader board on the PWCA app), such a decisive win, if Honorin makes goal, could make today a discard day for all the others.

17:00 Height wise the two leaders Honorin Hamard and Michele Boschi are a lot lower than those following them, 480m and 237m above the ground

16:55 Gareth Carter's lucky swimming trunks are definately working today, he's speeding towards Ess in 3rd place.

16:54 Aaron Durogati's tracker has come back on line, he's high and in fifth place.

16:51 The next to get the last turn point Gareth Carter, Stefan Bernhard, Seiko Fukuoka Naville, Helmut Eichholzer, Jonathan Marin and Martin Petz

16:51 Current overall comp winner Jurij Vidic's tracker is off line but we think he is with Honorin racing to ESS.

16:49 Andreas Malecki, Michele Boschi, Luc Armant have just got the last turn point.

16:48 So many pilots in this competition are here to earn a place in the Super Final. But Honorin isn't one of them. He has already qualified 6 times this year so far! 3 task wins and 2 top 15 places and as former World Champion, he is also invited. Next, having qualified 4 times so far this year, is Meryl Delferriere: 3 times in the top 3 ladies and a top 10 overall place in the SF.

16:44 Honorin Hamard has just got the last turn point, 14 km to go to end of speed.

16:41 Honorin Hamard and Jurij Vidic are out in front.

16:39 The leaders are about to get the last turn point.

16:28 The others have caught up with Honorin. That's not fair, it's his birthday today, oh and if any one is looking for an idea for a present, a new pair of shorts would be a good idea.

16:25 Scenery wise, they are currently flying over fields of tall lush green sweet corn that the shorter pilots definitely don't want to land in, vineyards and fields of bight yellow sunflowers smiling up at them.

16:20 Jacques was also first in the recent Pre PWC in Passy, France.

16:20 Jacques Fournier is flying really well at the moment. 2nd in the recent Poggio Italian Championships, Aaron Durogati was first.

16:09 The lead gaggle behind Honorin are climbing over the Sequals industrial estate: Charles Cazaux, Seiko Fukuoka Naville, Michele Boschi, Jacques Fournier.

Michele Boschi
16:03 Michele Boschi is with the leaders trying to catch Honorin. He's used to flying big triangles in the Alps so this task should be suiting him.

15:58 The lead gaggle behind Honorin are just leaving the mountains. Let's see how they get on in the flats.

15:54 Honorin Hamard has got a convincing lead of 4 km and is right out in the flats, just crossing the river.

15:51 Flying back out into the flats is going to be difficult. It's stable and pretty hard going.

15:49 They now have to fly back east, then north to a goal literally in the mouth of the Alps.

15:41 They now have to fly back east, then north to a goal literally in the mouth of the Alps.

15:40 The lead gaggle behind Honorin, led by Joachim Oberhauser, have just got the turn point.

Tim Bollinger
15:37 In the group following Honorin Hamard's route: Tim Bollinger,Michael Maurer, Loïs Goutagny and Soheil Barikani.

15:34 There is also a group further back who have decided to take the same route as Honorin took and may also over take the group on the front ridge.

15:32 The group behind Honorin seem to have got rather stuck.

15:30 Honorin is now going to be able to use those coming behind as thermal markers.

15:29 Honorin has got the turn point 2 km ahead of the others.

15:28 Who will get there first? The others are coming round the other side of the mountain.

15:26 Honorin has just crossed from the mountain ridge behind and will now need to get up a spur on the back of the mountain where the turn point is.

15:24 There is quite a bit of cumulus above the turn point causing shade which also won't help.

15:23 It looks as if it is quite windy high up as the clouds look wind sculpted.

15:18 This is neck and neck with Honorin Hamard on the ridge behind and the others on the lower hills in front.

15:17 The mountain they are all flying towards is a long sharp ridge, with the cloud just touching the western end of the ridge.

15:12 At the moment the cloud is just touching the top of the highest rocky mountains.

15:11 It looks as if Honorin Hamard is going back further into the mountains. There were doubts about that route this morning having low cloud making it impossible to get back over the mountains to the front ridge.

15:08 Honorin Hamard is in the lead staying in the mountains, it's his birthday today so...

15:07 Well just at the point when I said they were all following the same line they started to leave the ridge and are now going in all different directions.

15:02 The lead gaggle (which is pretty much every one) are just passing over take off.

15:00 They have gained a lot of height in the few minutes it has taken me to write this so should be able to easily surf their way along the front ridge.

14:58 They have now got clouds above them to help them find the thermals.

14:58 There is a gaggle of about fifty working together to try and gain height on the grassy tree covered ridge.

14:55 They have all come out of the mountains and are surfing the front ridge.

14:53 At the front of the group furthest into the mountains is Baptiste Lambert. Having landed short of goal yesterday he promised me he would fly more conservatively today, which I am sure will be reassuring for Mum and Dad Sandie and Cyril Lambert (both PWC pilots) who will be following Baptiste's every thermal today.

14:48 Yury Mishanin is leading, flying in front of the ridge

14:46 They are now in 2 distinct groups, those deep in the mountains and those surfing the front ridge.

14:29 The base is lifting in the mountains so that gives them a lot of options.

14:24 The leaders are breathing a big sigh of relief as they get the second turn point, with a long leg west in front of them and the possibility of some mountain flying.

14:21 Some of the leaders are thermalling a little ridge by the river, desperately trying to get up.

14:20 The leaders are really low, this is going to be a difficult day.

14:20 They may also be into wind now as the north wind may be blowing out of the mountains.

14:17 Some of the leaders are following the Smoked Tagliatelle river bed which may be causing thermals. As a general rule any change in terrain can work as a thermal trigger.

14:11 Now they need to go northeast back across the flats.

14:11 The leaders are taking the first turn point.

14:10 Just a reminder that if you turn your phone to be horizontal, you can see the % of Lead Out points (LO Pts) on the PWCA app. They are most heavily weighted during this first part of the race.

14:07 The leaders all seem to have quite a bit of height.

14:02 North of the course line the gaggle is led by twice XContest winner Alexander Robé.

14:01 The main gaggle is on the course line led by Primoz Susa

14:00 To the south of the course line. Charles Cazaux, Joachim Torn, Bogdan Bialka, Victor Sibirtsev and Bogdan Bialka

13:59 They are now in 3 groups heading into the flats

13:57 They are already in two clear groups.

13:52 If they get low it will be really difficult to get back up.

13:52 This is the part of the course that the pilots were most worried about as there are no clouds out in the flats to show them the thermals.

13:50 The Start is open and there is a clear stream of gliders heading out into the flats.

13:45 The pilots all look to be high and in a good position to take the Start.

13:45 5 minutes to Start Open

Aaron Durogati
13:38 After missing the first two days of the competition due to knee surgery two weeks ago, Aaron Durogati is now here and flying today. His objective for the rest of the competition is just to win as many tasks as he can, he told me.

13:27 If any paragliding journalists or pilots who were flying the World Cup in the early 1990s are reading the Commentary and have any of the results for the World Cups back then, and the World Cup in Grindelwald in 1996 and Zillertal in 1996, we would love to hear from you. We are particularly interested in competition and task winners so that we can check whether Stefan WYSS really is the task winning maestro that we keep claiming he is!

13:25 The Paragliding World Cup has been featured in a lot in the paragliding press over the last 6 months. A big thank you to: Skywings (UK), Skysailor (Australia), XC mag, Free.aero/voler info (English, French, Italian, German), Parapente mag and Parapente + (both French), Thermik Mag (German), ParaWorld (Japan) and Volo Libero (Italian) for their support.

13:22 After the Start they will then have to go south east to the first turn point so it is very important that where they take the Start puts them in the best possible position to get to the first turn point.

13:20 The climbs are always taking them backwards, then they will have to go forwards to take the start, shown as a red circle on the PWCA app.

13:17 They are all off and already split into two groups, one group thermalling above the higher ground beside launch whilst another group are thermalling out over the flats.

13:14 Tilen Ceglar has just taken off on his 777 RFC glider, which I think I can safely say has got more cells than I have ever seen on a paraglider.

13:10 Honorin Hamard has just taken off almost taking Didier Maturin the French team leader with him.

13:01 It's quite windy on launch but everyone seems to be getting off no problem.

12:59 Today's task gives lots of choices of whether to stick to the mountains or take short cuts across the plains.

12:58 We've got a northerly wind high up and southerly wind low down on the plains.

12:58 Weather wise it is totally blue out in front of launch but there is cloud on the tops of the mountains on either side of launch.

Primoz Susa
12:56 The first comp pilots have taken off Denis Chouraqui and Primoz Susa

12:53 The wind dummies are boating about nicely.

2018-06-26 - Paragliding World Cup : Gemona, Italy - Day 3 [12:45]

The task is set - todays race is a 102.7 km Race to Goal The window will open at 12:50 Local Time and the Start is at 13:50

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

2018-06-26 - Paragliding World Cup : Gemona, Italy - Day 3 [12:39]

The task is set - todays race is a 102.7 km Race to Goal The window will open at 12:50 Local Time and the Start is at 13:50

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

12:39 Triple Seven Innovative gliders by the Valic brothers

12:39 Alas del Hombre The Mexican Mecca for Monarch butterflies and humans with wings

12:39 The top 3 teams are: Ozone: Always innovative, the inventor of the SharkNose and the two-liner.

12:38 Only 1 point separates the first 2 ladies. The top 3 are: Meryl DELFERRIERE (1436), Seiko FUKUOKA NAVILLE (1435) and Yael MARGELISCH (1376).

12:37 The overall top 5 are: Jurij VIDIC (1477), Torsten SIEGEL (1466), Jonathan MARIN (1460), Yongtae AHN (1460) and Russell OGDEN (1459). Only 28 points separate the top 10 so it is still definitely all to fly for.

12:37 Well done to task 2 winners: Jurij VIDIC, Marco BUSETTA, Primoz SUSA. 1st lady: Klaudia BULGAKOW. Top team: Vetor

12:36 We have a north east wind today so Meduno is more sheltered and will have better thermals - we hope.

12:35 A task of 102 km has been set zigzagging in front of launch then with a long leg into the mouth of the Alps.

12:31 Today we are at a different launch, 45 km SW of Gemona. Follow the Alpine arc round towards the west, to Meduno and we are on the big hill above.

2018-06-26 - Paragliding World Cup : Gemona, Italy - Day 3 [09:38]

The briefing is over - the weather today favours flying in the region of Meduno (45km south west of Gemona) so the buses are leaving right away. Its about a 2 hour drive to the Meduno takeoff so we expect task news around 1pm local time.

Task news will be here as soon as it is decided.

2018-06-26 - Paragliding World Cup : Gemona, Italy - Day 3 [08:57]

Day 3 is here and the sky is blue - there is bright sunshine in Gemona and pilots are arriving for the morning briefing.

More details in a few minutes

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2018-06-25 - Paragliding World Cup : Gemona, Italy - Day 2 [19:53]

What started as a probable cancelled day quickly became a pretty epic task - the gaggle stayed quite tight throughout and we saw 108 pilots make the goal.

The pilots are all back and the results are now online

Just a reminder that there is a pilot's social evening tonight starting at 20:30 in the Biergarten next to HQ

We start again at 0900 tomorrow morning

Commentary - Day 2

18:19 'The Paragliding World Cup, irrigating the planet,' has once again lived up to its reputation!

18:18 The final word today has to be to thank the Task Setting Committee for doing an amazing job, fitting in a task between the cloud base on launch this morning and the torrential rain which is falling out of the skies at the moment.

18:11 Jurij told me: climbing in the last thermal 9km from ESS, I found a nice climb, overtook the others and decided to go for it and leave the thermal first. It was a big risk. My glide ratio to goal was 12:1, so I was right on the limit and got to goal with 30m to spare!

Jurij Vidic'
18:08 So, back to today's task and Jurij Vidic's winning tactic.

18:01 Fastest round the course, Gareth CARTER crossed ESS in 01:59:19 and got 468.1 speed points and 148.5 lead out points. The task winner, Stephan MORGENTHALER, passed ESS in 01:59:27 and got 465.9 speed points and 156.7 lead out points. They both got the same distance points of 372. because they were both in goal. Therefore the total scores put Stephan in the lead with 995 and Gareth in second place with 989 points.

18:01 Every day I announce the first pilot across End of Speed (ESS) and then the scores are published and a different person has won the day. Why is the first pilot across ESS not the winner? The reason is generally due to the task winner having more lead out points. The lead out points increased at the start of the 2017 season. Let's look at the results for task 1.

17:52 It seems as if Jurij Vidic was first across Ess today and made goal, but we need to wait for the pilots to report back before we have the final scores.

17:43 Well done to both Soheil and Daria who have both just made goal.

17:40 They have both now come out of Ess and are heading to goal, will they make it?

Daria Krasnova
17:39 For those of you wondering what Daria Krasnova and Soheil Barikani have been doing, well it is really dark now over ESS so they scraped low over end of speed, then literally went for a lap of honour of ESS up to an industrial estate hoping it would give off some thermals to get enough height to get to goal!

17:32 Well done getting to goal Kari and for summing up the day perfectly!

17:31 Kari has just made goal. This morning she told me: With good task setting I think we'll make something of the day.

17:30 Kari was in the Australian team for the 2017 Worlds and came 2nd Woman.

17:29 No pressure on Kari but everyone in Australia has stopped what they are doing and are watching you!

17:28 Kari is less than a km to goal and at 200m above the ground.

17:27 At the PWC in Australia Kari told me 'I'm really getting hooked by comps now.'

17:25 Kari Ellis is just crossing Ess and should make goal.

17:25 We now have 95 pilots who have successfully made it into this lovely lush green goal field.

Méryl Delferriere,
17:19 It looks as if today's first lady is Méryl Delferriere, unfortuately her tracker was off line for the last part of the race but has now come back on line. After her recent Super Final success, coming 10th overall, she is now known as 'numéro dix.'

17:12 Just a recap on the top 10 across ESS today who have landed in goal. Jurij Vidic, Luc Armant, Dušan Orož, Primoz Susa, Torsten Siegel, Marco Busetta, Peter Vyparina, Russell Ogden, Ulrich Prinz, Stephane Drouin.

17:08 For those who remember Linzhou as being a bit like flying in a pingpong ball, that has all now changed and from 3000m there are now stunning views over the gorge behing launch.

17:06 Bill has been doing a lot of work for the World Cup as Official Observer at the Pre World Cups. Here's what he had to say about the recent one in Linzhou, China. 'The local club that helped put on the event has built a fantastic site. The launch area is large and nicely surfaced, and the LZ--which is also their club (and comp) headquarters--is a huge grassy field an easy glide from launch. Right behind launch is the Taihang Grand Canyon scenic area, which provides some fantastic views. This is a really special place to fly.'

17:05 Bill Hughes has just arrived in goal.

17:04 More than 60 pilots have landed in goal.

Yael Margelisch
17:01 First ladies Yael Margelisch and Klaudia Bulgakow crossed Ess within 5 seconds of each other and have now both landed in goal.

16:58 Honorin's motto (taken from the Ozone website): Hold on tight! At 20m above the ground, you're still flying! Unfortunately at 11 m, it meant he was about to land on this occasion.

16:57 This is nail bitting. Honorin Hamard is 11m above the ground.

16:55 Honorin Hamard is taking his time (for once) and climbing above the village of Majano.

Torsten Siegel
16:54 Torsten Siegel has made goal but some of the other leaders are struggling to make goal after Ess.

16:53 After the End of Speed Section (ESS) they can land whenever they want in goal. If they land before goal they only get distance points. If they get to goal they get distance points plus speed points reflecting how long it took them to get round the course to ESS.

16:52 They now have an into wind section to get to goal, this might not be that easy.

16:50 First across Ess Honorin Hamard, Marco Busetta, Julien Wirtz, Primoz Susa, Torsten Siegel, Dušan Orož.

16:49 Honorin Hamard is going to get it

16:49 Less than half a km to go to Ess.

16:49 In a gaggle together about to get Ess, Julien Wirtz, Honorin Hamard, Marco Busetta, Joachim Oberhauser, Torsten Siegel, Ulrich Prinz and Stephane Drouin.

Primoz Susa
16:47 Primoz Susa is following the course line and marginally in front.

16:46 Once again there is a big variation in the % of lead out points amongst the top 10, which will make a big difference in the final scores.

16:45 You can see their glide ratio to goal on the leader board on the PWCA app (LO Pts) along with their % of lead out points.

16:44 Stefan Wyss is lower than the others and on a glide to goal of 15:1, others further behind are on less than 8:1 and so won't have to stop to climb.

16:43 As far as task wins are concerned, Stefan Wyss is way ahead with 21, next Andreas (Pepe) Malecki (8), followed by Luc Armant and Torsten Siegel both on 7.

Stefan Wyss
16:42 However, whilst I was explaining about RFC, Stefan Wyss has pulled ahead.

16:40 Tim Rochas is flying the Niviuk Icepeak Evox. It is no longer the Icepeak RFC as they have certified it so that they can fly it more easily in competitions. This wing is still in the test phase and they are going to use competitions, and obviously World Cups, as a real live testing ground to improve and develop this wing.

Tim Rochas
16:39 Talking of RFC wings, Tim Rochas is right up at the front with Tilen.

16:37 Russell Ogden's first concern about RFC was that it would be a showcase for Ozone and Gin, so it's been great to see lots of other companies using it to test their wings (Advance, Niviuk, MacPara and 777) which shows the system is good.

16:36 We hope to see Flow gliders benefitting from the new system later on this year.

16:36 Secondly, it has been wonderful to welcome back to the World Cup some of our old friends, Advance in Australia, Niviuk in Baixo Guandu and 777 and MacPara here in Gemona.

16:35 Firstly to provide a competition environment for our partner manufacturers to assess the competitivity of their new wings. This worked well for Gin Gliders in Ecuador and Baixo Guandu.

16:34 They have to be compliant with CCC and can't be something ridiculous. This new system for assessing gliders is working well and fulfilling its two main objectives.

16:34 RFC stands for 'Ready For Certification'. To help manufactures with evaluation and assessment of their new gliders in a competition environment the World Cup now allows their partner's test pilots to enter one glider per comp which is ready for CCC certification.

Tilen Ceglar
16:34 Tilen Ceglar is pulling away on his shiny new 777 RFC glider.

16:31 Now they need to fly back east 11 km to End of Speed.

16:30 Those who get the turn point first will be able to use those following as thermal markers.

16:29 In the lead Tilen Ceglar, Semih Sayir, Jonathan Marin, Charles Cazaux, Peter Vyparina and Méryl Delferriere.

16:28 The leaders are doing a 'touch and go' with the last turn point.

16:27 Thanks to the Curse of the Commentator, Jošt Napret's route doesn't seem to have worked so well and he is joining the rest of the gaggle in 40th position.

Semih Sayir
16:25 Semih Sayir is surfing baby blues and the fields just before the last turn point out in front.

16:22 Jošt Napret's route along the ridge to the north of the course line seems to have worked and he is now ahead, but on his own, therefore probably less efficient than the gaggle following the course line.

16:21 The clouds are spreading out, but there is still sunshine on the course line. Unlike the black clouds, getting blacker by the minute, over launch.

16:18 There are thermals everywhere, but not particularly strong. Base is now a bit higher than earlier on.

16:17 Jošt Napret is the only one to choose the higher relief route.

16:17 8 km to the last turn point.

16:15 Stephan Morgenthaler to the south, but I think he is now going north to join the main gaggle.

16:15 A big gaggle of about fifty pilots following the course line.

16:14 They are now split into 3 groups. World out and return record holder, Jošt Napret, to the north.

16:12 Let's hope nobody makes that mistake with this last very tricky turn point.

16:12 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 turn point!

16:11 Shaving the tolerance zone means that in the case of a 50 km cylinder, you only shorten the task by a maximum of 0.2 km.

16:11 With a 50km radius cylinder there's a 200m (in and out) 'tolerance' zone.

16:11 Rather than shaving the cylinder, some pilots advocate shaving the tolerance zone.

16:11 A tolerance of 0.2% of the radius of the cylinder is built into the scoring system to accommodate the differences in measuring which occur between different instruments.

16:10 What do we mean by 'playing with the tolerances'?

16:10 The Cylinder Tolerances have changed for the 2018 season to reduce the benefits of playing with the tolerances.

16:09 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.

16:08 With everyone so close together, how fast they can take this last turn point will be critical.

16:07 The group behind are now overtaking Tim and working together, will they be more efficient than Stephan Morgenthaler, who is still in the lead, but on his own and to the south of the course line?

16:03 Out of the front runners, Christoph Trutmann is the highest, with a comfortable 723m above the ground.

16:02 Tim Bollinger in front following the course line, is in difficulty, 67m above the ground and not climbing.

16:01 Stephan Morgenthaler is pushing ahead south of the course line but will need to watch his height - 390 m above the ground and not climbing.

Marco Littame
16:00 Marco Littame is in the lead gaggle following the course line. Marco was 1st (by a staggering nearly 4 minutes) in the last task in the recent World Cup in Baixo Guando.

15:55 They now need to continue west, to get the last turn point, which is on the other side of the Smoked Tagliatelle River.

15:54 Honorin Hamard is also up with the leaders taking the turn point and hopefully won't lose the other leg of his shorts today.

15:52 Those to the south have taken the turn point. However, this does not necessarily mean that they are in the lead, they have just taken the turn point at a closer point.

15:51 There is a lesson to be learnt there, if you are going to push out in front make sure that those behind are going to follow you and not take a different route and overtake you.

15:49 In the meantime, the group behind have headed south back towards the course line and overtaken them.

15:49 Coming to join him are Klaudia Bulgakow and Marco Busetta.

Charles Cazaux,
15:48 Pulling ahead of the group to the north is former World and Super Final champion, Charles Cazaux, the only pilot ever to have won both competitions.

15:46 Who said that this race wouldn't have many options? They are spread out right across the plain, what an amazing race.

15:45 Just ahead of Armin Eder and also to the south of the course line is yesterday's leader, Stephan Morgenthaler.

15:43 To the south of Kari and Martin in another gaggle is Armin Eder, who has been competing since the dawn of paragliding competition time.

Kari Ellis.
15:41 Martin Petz , who told me recently that he was going to try and fly more conservatively is out in front to the south of the course line with Kari Ellis..

15:37 To the north of the course line Tim Bollinger is breaking away. He's shown in the past he can win a task, could he do it again today?

15:36 Marc's group of about 10 are going north of the course line. However, back at the turn point there is another group taking a more southerly route led by Michael Maurer

15:34 I hope Marc is bearing that in mind at the moment!

15:34 Today's Thought for the Thermal, a piece of advice from an experienced World Cup pilot for those who are just starting out in competitions comes from Marc WENSAUER, 1st in the 2018 Bavarian Open: If you are in front, do not forget to look behind, and if you are behind, make sure you are high enough to witness the mistakes of the guys in front of you.

Marc Wensauer.
15:33 There is a break away gaggle pushing on ahead who all seem to have got a climb. In the middle is Marc Wensauer.

15:28 Why is it easier and more efficient to fly in a gaggle? Paraglider pilots rely on rising currents of air called 'thermals' to climb high before gliding to the next one. The thermals have mobile cores. When you are on your own it is really difficult to find thermals and the core of the thermal. Therefore it is much more efficient to stay with the gaggle and all search together, spreading out en route to the next thermal to increase the chances of finding one.

15:28 You may also be wondering why the pilots all fly so close together.

15:25 You may be wondering about the second turn point which the pilots are clearly just going to fly right through. It's purpose is to keep the pilots away from the mountains.

15:24 It's looking quite dark in towards the mountains.

15:22 The leaders are just getting the first turn point.

15:21 Should there be full lead out points for tasks where nobody gets to goal? This is also an aspect which may change in the future. At the moment there is a maximum of 67.5 lead out points if nobody makes goal, rising to 162 if 90% or more are in goal.

15:21 Second option: Check points during the race, thus giving extra point to the pilots getting to each turn point first.

15:21 This system would encourage pilots to take different routes rather than the shortest line which the current scoring system rewards.

15:20 One option: Real lead out points which would reward pilots who aren't following, but who aren't necessarily in front. It would reward pilots who are leading a second (further back) gaggle, perhaps taking a different route to the lead gaggle. At the moment, they get less than those at the back of the lead gaggle, who are following the leaders.

15:20 Different lead out point systems are currently being discussed.

15:20 Joachim OBERHAUSER (3rd in the 2017 Super Final) feels that there are too many lead out points at the beginning. If you have a problem at the Start you have no chance of winning the day overall.

15:19 During this first part of the competition the lead out points are more heavily weighted.

15:17 Having all got the Start the pilots need to head south to the next turn point.

15:16 Didier Maturin, the French team coach, summed it up nicely: There will be more to lose than to gain today!

15:15 One little mistake and you won't have time to catch up.

15:14 As Jošt Napret told me: This is going to be a short tricky task like yesterday, but taking place 3 hours later. Oh, and he would like to come in 3rd place again!

15:05 The cloud is still touching the tops of the mountains, but out in the flats it looks like a text book flying day. Blue skies dotted with paraglider friendly clouds.

14:59 The Start is open

14:57 2 minutes to the Start

14:57 The wind is south easterly.

14:56 What an amazing day, it's like a typical spring day here. Blue sky and sunshine. It's like a picture postcard.

14:52 Base is at 1300m.

14:51 10 minutes until the Start opens.

14:50 This short and sweet task is already separating the pilots out along the Start line, some are going to take it in the flats, some in the mountains.

14:27 Looks like they should have no problem getting the Start

14:25 There is a massive gaggle thermaling in the distance, little colourful dots under a very friendly looking puffy cloud.

14:20 Just a reminder that cloud flying is strictly forbidden, with a penalty of zero for the day. Lots of pilots fly with cameras. Photos of pilots flying into clouds are easy to identify as each wing has a number on it. It's dangerous and now increasingly easy to be photographed, so…

14:19 Virtually all the pilots are off.

14:19 Base is low but there seem to be thermals everywhere. Who would have bet a bottle of sun tan lotion on them getting a task today?

14:16 45 minutes left until the Start opens at 15h.

14:15 So if you are the first to get there, you will probably be the lowest, because every pilot who comes behind you will look at the lines in front of them and choose the best of 2 options, multiple times... So staying a *little* behind in this phase, just 30 seconds or so, can make a massive difference in these areas, because you will arrive much higher and with a little more push on the speedbar you will be back in the front high, and avoid the frustration of starting superlow and falling behind. It will also reduce the stress of being in the middle of the most gung-ho pilots, and it will avoid the chance of being a bit too early and maybe messing up the start alltogether. This rule really depends on the area and the task though: If the first leg follows a ridge, you should do your best to push as much as you can and trust that you will not sink more than others…

14:15 One small tip I learned over time was that our wonderful instruments allow us to time our arrival at the start-line down to the second. And nowadays you can see a massive group of pilots arriving at this point bang on time. But in many areas e.g. Valle de Bravo and plenty of others, everyone will wait at the same cloud and the Start Cylinder is somewere away from the clouds. Most have no real clue what the best line to get there could be.

2018-06-25 - Paragliding World Cup : Gemona, Italy - Day 2 [14:15]

The task is set - todays race is a 53.63 km Race to Goal The window will open at 14:00 Local Time and the Start is at 15:00

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 2

Ulrich Prinz
14:15 Here's a piece of advice about the Start from Ulrich Prinz.

14:14 So at the moment the pilots are trying to gain as much height as they can (without going into cloud) before they go to the Start cylinder (shown in red on the PWCA app).

14:10 What a beautiful sight, 50 coulourful wings beginning to climb up and away from the green patchwork fields in the plain out in front.

14:08 The sun is out, there are patches of blue out in the flats, Gareth Carter in second place yesterday, has got his lucky swmming truncks on, looks like we may indeed get a good task.

14:04 There is a steady stream of pilots taking off, base has lifted, but they aren't getting much higher than launch.

14:02 Just a reminder that on the PWCA App you can now see photos of the pilots, the % of leadout points for each pilot and their glide ratio to goal.

14:01 Also competing, 3rd and 5th ladies overall in the recent PrePWC in the Pyrenees at Cerdagne Targasonne, Méryl Delferriere and Constance Mettetal.

14:00 2 ladies Super Final winners are competing: Seiko FUKUOKA NAVILLE and Keiko Hiraki.

Joanna Di Grigoli
14:00 As far as the ladies are concerned. 3 XContest winners are competing: Joanna Di Grigoli (2017), Kari Ellis, (2015) and Silvia BUZZI FERRARIS (2012).

13:58 Just a reminder that there is already some stunning footage of the area where the pilots are flying on World Cup TV.

13:56 Lots of the pilots from the European podiums so far this year are here: Joze Molek, Bojan Gabersek, Tadej Krevh, Simon Arnold, Helmut Eichholzer, Joachim Oberhauser, Aaron Durogati, Peter Vyparina, Andreas Malecki, Philipp Haag, Alfredo Studer, Maxime Bellemin, Jošt Napret, Tilen Ceglar, Jacques FOURNIER, Clement LATOUR, Julien WIRTZ, Primoz Susa, Alexander Schalber and Marc WENSAUER.

13:55 6 out of the top 10 from the 2017 Super Final are here: Joachim OBERHAUSER (3rd), Honorin HAMARD (4th), Charles CAZAUX (5th), Luc ARMANT (7th), Ernesto Hinestroza (8th) and Méryl Delferriere (10th).

13:54 Given the incredible high level of competitor here, anything is possible.

13:51 It's worth remembering that as Former French champion, Jonathan Marin, explained, you don't need much sun for it to work here and there be thermals. There is a sea breeze not far away which already gives dynamic lift.

13:50 Two wind dummies have taken off to see whether the conditions are good enough. They are both at base, i.e level with launch.

13:48 However there is sunshine out in the plains and on The Rio Fiume Tagliamento, (for those of you who aren't linguists, that translates as the Smoked Tagliatelle River), a braided river flowing out of the Alps down to the Adriatic Sea, a wide sandy river bed, clearly visible from launch.

13:47 Very appropriately the speakers are pumping out 'The Earth Song' by Michael Jackson with the line 'What about rain?' I think that is the question everyone is asking here!

13:44 Well done to task 1 winners: Stephan MORGENTHALER, Gareth CARTER and Jost NAPRET. 1st lady: Seiko FUKUOKA NAVILLE. Top teams: 1st equal Alas del Hombre and Parapente Mag.

Damien Lacaze
13:43 The pilots are getting ready to launch. There are some concerns about the timing. Damien Lacaze told me he thinks it should be OK.

13:30 The day is brightening and the pilots are entering a 53km task, which takes them on a tour of the flats, into their instruments. Start gate opens at 15 h.

13:00 I think Maxime Bellemin is finding today's weather rather reminiscent of the St Hil Airtour he very courageously took part in a few weeks ago!

13:00 A big thank you to the Pilot Committee: Marco LITTAME, Maxime BELLEMIN and Denis Soverini.

12:58 However, the Task Committee are optimistic so we'll see.

12:56 Unfortunately cloudbase is also on launch!

12:53 We're on launch ready for task 2.

2018-06-25 - Paragliding World Cup : Gemona, Italy - Day 2 [12:02]

The weather is showing a possibility of rain on the takeoff for a short while but then we may have a window for a task after that. The pilots are all on the way to takeoff and we should have more details in a while.

2018-06-25 - Paragliding World Cup : Gemona, Italy - Day 2 [09:18]

The weather is not good this morning - it is raining in Gemona right now. We think there may be a small possibility of a flying window later this afternoon but, for now, we will wait. We will rebrief at 10:30 to make a decision.

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2018-06-24 - Paragliding World Cup : Gemona, Italy - Day 1 [18:16]

In a marked change to our previous comps here in Gemona we actually got a full task today. Unfortunately we have some serious problems with a few (about 30) trackers and this isn't likely to get sorted until Tuesday (though we do have some backup units on the way).

In the end, though, the day worked well and we got 87 pilots in goal - with quite a few landing just a little short.

Everyone is now back at HQ and the results are available online - day 1 is over and we will see what tomorrow has to offer.

Commentary - Day 1

17:56 All the pilots have now reported back so we should have the scores out soon.

17:31 Honorin has just reported back, having had the luckiest of low saves half way round the course, he got so low that he managed to lose the right leg of his shorts, without actually landing!

16:21 Stephan Morgenthaler, also one of the leaders across ESS, told me that it was really important today that if you were going to do your own thing, be really sure that the others will follow, so that you don't get left behind going a different way. Other than that, being really lucky and flying into the best thermal at the last turn point also really helped!

16:17 Gareth Carter's tracker wasn't working today, but it looks as if he was one of the first across ESS. His winning tactic was flying with his swimming trunks under his flying suit as he was convinced that the task would be cancelled and ever the boy scout, he was flying prepared - to go to the beach.

16:13 So what was the winning tactic of those who crossed End of Speed first today?

15:48 Lots of happy pilots are reporting back and a considerable amount of Italian icecream is being consumed and dripped onto the HQ floor.

15:47 We are currently experiencing a lot of problems with the Live tracking but this should be corrected shortly.

14:58 So we now need to wait for the pilots to download their Flymaster live trackers to have the definitive scores for this very close task on the first day of the 2018 Gemona World Cup.

14:51 Therefore the first pilot across ESS isn't necessarily the winner as another pilot may have more lead out point, points they get for pushing out and which are more heavily weighted at the beginning of the race.

14:49 Just a reminder that the pilot's scores are made up of three parts. Distance points which for the leaders who all got to goal will be the same, lead out points and time points.

14:42 The day has now really started to deteriorate with quite a dark sky towards the mountains but there is still a lot of sunshine out in the flats.

14:41 It looks as if it is going to be very close between today's top ladies Constance Mettetal and Klaudia Bulgakow who crossed Ess within seconds of each other.

Luc Armant
14:39 Luc Armant is the first to land in goal.

14:38 Also just crossing Ess is Ulrich Prinz. As you may have read in previous Commentaries, everyday we do a Thought for the Thermal, a piece of advice from an experienced World Cup pilot for those who are just starting out in competitions. Today's Thought for the Thermal comes from Ulrich Prinz: I really recommend Gavin McClurg's Podcast to any new pilot who wants to learn more about our sport! Comp flying, XC, Acro, you name it, Gavin's Guests cover it! https://www.cloudbasemayhem.com/paragliding/podcast/

14:32 The top 20 have crossed ESS within seconds of each other.

14:31 It looks like Stephan Morgenthaler has got ESS but with the delay in the tracking this may change.

14:30 This is so close with Stephan Morgenthaler, Dominik Breitinger, Charles Cazaux, Russell Ogden and Alexey Bystritskiy in the lead.

14:28 The leaders are neck and neck, same glide ratio to goal of 6:1, height 750 m. What an amazing end to a day which looked so poor when we got up this morning.

14:26 Once again we have a race between the leading manufactureres with a mix of Ozone Enzo 3s and Gin Boomerang 11s in the top 10.

14:25 This is neck and neck between Charles Cazaux, Stephan Morgenthaler and Michael Maurer.

14:22 The top 25 are racing to ESS with half a km separating them!

14:18 Their instruments can tell them their height and what the wind speed has been so far, but not the lift or sink in the kilometres left to goal. Those who can judge this best and leave at the lowest point, taking the optimum line to make it, will win. Simple really!

14:17 They also need to take into account the conditions: if the wind is behind them they'll need less height; into wind, they'll need more height.

14:17 The key factors: the glide ratio of their wing (normally 12:1/11:1), their height and the distance remaining to goal. Are they high enough to make it?

14:17 Towards the end of the race the crucial decision is how high to climb before breaking away for the final glide to end of speed and goal. This is the point where the race is won or lost.

14:17 However, they are flying into wind, making it much more difficult.

14:16 As you can see on the leader board on the PWCA App Julien Wirtz has got a glide ratio of 11:1 to goal so could just abouts make it without another climb.

14:15 They have 7 km to go to ESS.

14:12 The top 50 have now got the last turn point. The race for End of Speed is now on.

Joachim Oberhauser
14:11 Joachim Oberhauser is with the leaders and definitely one to watch. He's flying really well at the moment. 1st in the 2018 Alpen Cup, in Tolmin, Slovenia and 3rd in the Zillertal Battle in Mayrhofer, Austria ealier this year. Not to mention his 3rd place in the Super Final in January.

14:09 The leaders are half a km from the last turn point.

14:06 This is such a close race with only half a km separating the top 30. However, as you can see from the LO pts (lead out points) on the leaderboard on the PWCA App, there is quite a difference in the % of Leadout points that the leaders all have.

14:03 Tilen told me this morning it was all going to be about survival today and not making mistakes. The first day is all about getting a good score under your harness (or shiny new glider in his case). He told me he is very happy with the capabilities of his new glider. He was going to concentrate on making good decisions today.

13:59 Also with the leaders is Tilen Ceglar flying the Triple Seven RFC glider.

13:56 The race is really on now, flying east to the last turn point.

Russell Ogdenc
13:54 Talking of which, Russell Ogden is in second place at the moment and about to take the lead. Russell's tactic this morning, apart from some very snappy dressing and telling me he was going to give Honorin a chance, was to be cautious, fly sensibly and not stick his neck out! Well let's see how that goes for the rest of the race.

13:51 However all eyes at the moment are on Honorin Hamard, 227 m above the ground. What was that about promising not to fly too fast today and to let Russell beat you, that you told me in confidence this morning Honorin?

13:49 Tim is definitely one to watch. He was one of only a handfull of pilots to be chosen to fly Gin Glider's hot new flagship, the Boomerang 11, in the 2016 SF and he won day 1 and 2 of that Super Final.

13:47 The next gaggle led by Tim Bollinger are about to get the turn point.

13:45 Honorin Hamard's route to the south has really worked and he has got the 3rd turn point 2km ahead of the others.

13:41 This World Cup is going to be a real battle between the giants of the XC world, who are having to fly faster and faster to cover the incredible distances required for World records these days. At the moment we've got Jost Napret, out and return World record holder, neck and neck with twice winner of XContest, Honoring Hamard. Lex Robé who has also won XContest twice is competing here too.

Honorin Hamard
13:38 Honorin Hamard is taking a more southerly route over Tarcento.

13:36 Stephan Morgenthaler has taken the lead. He told me his tactic today was going to be to 'follow the arrow...oh and the others'. Looks like the arrow won!

13:32 Meantime on their zigzag route across the skies here in Gemona, virtually everyone has got the second turn point and are heading south west across the flats to turn point three.

13:30 It's worth pointing out that hot on the Slovenian's heels, in the south of France, on the same weekend as Jost and co were setting their record, Luc and Honorin flew from Gourdon to nearly Grenoble and back. Honorin did 278 km. The following day Luc completed a 300km O/R whilst Honorin went for 320km but landed short.

13:26 Honorin Hamard is out at the front getting the 2nd turn point with Jost - despite having told me on launch that today his tactic would be not to fly too fast!

13:23 Jost told me that he thought today would be a short, tricky task with rain coming in later, one mistake and you'll be behind for the rest of the task. So far neither the weather or making a mistake seems to be a problem for Jost. There is blue sky and nice little clouds at the moment.

13:20 On the 21st of April 2018, Dusan OROZ, Jost Napret, Bojan Gabrsek and Primoz Susa (who are all competing here) declared and flew a 302.11 km out and return from Slovenia into Italy and back setting a new O/R World record. Well done to all 4.

Jošt Napret
13:19 Jost Napret is leading the mountain men (and women).

13:18 Franz was 4th in task 2 in the World Cup in Gemona in 2016 and 7th in the 2017 Campionato Italiano di Parapendio (Italian Open Gemano) so he's had a lot of comp experience here.

13:17 The group in the flats just passing over Magnano In Riviera is led by Franz Erlacher.

13:15 As I said on lauch today's task is one of choices, at the moment the choice is mountains or flats.

13:13 Gemona is such a dramatic setting. The Alps literally stop here. The mountains rise up out of the flats, making a great arc shaped barrier which the pilots are currently flying along.

13:12 It's great to see Thomas Gury as one of the front flyers today.

13:10 They are now flying along in front of the mountains to get to the second turn point.

Klaudia Bulgakow
13:01 Klaudia Bulgakow has just gone into the lead and is pulling ahead.

12:56 To get to turn point two they now need to fly east across the flats.

12:49 With Semih is Reiner Braun

12:48 Further south still, thermalling on baby blues is Semih Sayir

12:48 However, although they haven't got the turn point yet, they are perhaps in a better position as they are further south, are brothers Stefan and Peter Vyparina.

12:46 The leaders have just got the first turn point.

12:45 Just a reminder that the pilots only have to touch the cylinder to get the turn point, they don't have to go into the centre of the turn point.

12:44 The lead gaggle are climbing above an industrial complex, getting some nice spagetti thermals (well that's what their tracks look like) from the warm air rising from the factories.

12:42 The Vyparina brothers, Peter and Stefan seem to have other ideas.

12:41 Most of the pilots are sticking together but there are a few exceptions.

12:38 The meteo wind is from the north causing down flow in front of the mountains so the idea of today's task is to keep the pilots away from the high mountains where there is big development.

12:34 The weather is constantly improving, out in front of the mountains it is blue skies, cumulus and a steady valley breeze.

12:33 They now need to go south west parallel to the river to the next turn point.

12:30 The Start is open and they are climbing in a thermal just inside the Start cylinder.

12:29 Just after the Start the lead out points are most heavily weighted making this a very tactical part of the race.

12:28 The charge is on for the Start

12:27 The pilots all pretty much decided to stay above launch before making a direct dash for the Start opening at 12.30.

12:01 Today's task is zigzagging south with a goal south of Gemona.

11:52 Everyone is off now, what a sight 120 pilots thermaling up in front and above launch.

11:50 We've got an amazing line up of pilots in this comp, 19 with AA, 2 pilots who have won XContest twice, World distance record holders...

11:48 Use the clouds and follow the birds and the other pilots of course too.

11:46 Today is going to be full of decisions. Stay out in the flats or use the mountains.

11:45 Most of the competitors have now taken off, there is a big gaggle climbing above launch and another group climbing out in front.

11:44 Fields and villages dot the plains in front, the first mountains in the Alpine chain loom behind.

11:42 What a stunning sight, 120 colourful gliders laid out and taking off from this flower filled meadow which is the Gemona launch.

11:40 The Start opens in 45 mins at 12:30.

11:40 Apart from the dark cloud above launch, it looks nice and blue in front with a light southly wind onto launch.

11:38 Today's task is a relatively short zigzag task in front of the mountains.

11:29 The window is now open the wind dummies are boating about nicely.

2018-06-24 - Paragliding World Cup : Gemona, Italy - Day 1 [11:21]

The task is set - todays race is a 61.14 km Race to Goal The window will open at 11:30 Local Time and the Start is at 12:30

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

2018-06-24 - Paragliding World Cup : Gemona, Italy - Day 1 [11:21]

The task is set - todays race is a 61.14 km Race to Goal The window will open at 11:30 Local Time and the Start is at 12:30

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

11:05 Briefing is taking place.

11:00 Despite grey skies first thing this morning, the sky looks much friendlier now and a 60 km task has been set.

10:58 Here we are on launch above Gemona for the first European World Cup of the year.

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The next Paragliding World Cup will take place in Gemona, Italy from the 24th -30th of June.

Gemona is widely recognised as a world class paragliding competition venue, having hosted numerous events. It offers both mountainous alpine flying and flatland racing.

For a preview of some of the stunning scenery tune in to the trailer on World Cup TV: https://vimeo.com/169765726

This World Cup is going to be a real battle between the giants of the XC world, Honorin Hamard and Lex Robé have both won XContest twice. Also competing are the 4 new Out and Return World record holders: Dušan Orož, Jost Napret, Bojan Gabrsek and Promoz Susa. They are used to flying very fast to cover the incredible distances required to claim World records these days.

Battling for podium places we'll also see many of the stars of the paragliding racing circuit.

Virtually all the podium winners from the European competitions so far this year are competing!

The pilot quality in this competition is going to be one of the highest we have ever seen with 19 pilots ranked AA. 3 Super Final winners will also be competing, twice winner Aaron Durogati, Stefan Wyss and Charles Cazaux, putting a total of 16 World Cup winners in the air at the Start line.

Equally impressive is the ladies line up: Super Final winners: Seiko Fukuoka Naville and Keiko Hiraki. XContest winners: Joanna Di Grigoli, Kari Ellis and Silvia Buzzi Ferraris. And in the top 5 Overall in the recent Pre-PWC in the Pyrenees, Méryl Delferriere and Constance Mettetal.

Keep up with all the action on the PWCA App where, in addition to the live Commentary, tracking and scores, you can now see photos of the pilots, the % of leadout points for each pilot and their glide ratio to goal.