"2022 Brazilian Pre World Cup - Governador Valadares"
Paragliding World Cup, Baixo Guandu, Brazil, 26th of March to the 2nd of April.
The first competition to be cancelled when the world went dark, back in 2020, was the Baixo Guandu Super Final. So, for many, it was top of their bucket list to go back there, once the sun came out again in beautiful Brazil.
Baixo Guandu conjures up many images, flying over gigantic black, granite domes followed by evenings enjoying all-you-can eat BBQs.
Baixo Guandu is one of the best places for a competition in a country full of amazing places to fly. It has been a favourite World Cup destination since we first headed there back in 2013. Subsequent competitions were held there in 2015, 2018 and a very successful nine task Super Final in 2019.
It has a wide variety of terrain, which provides lots of options for interesting and challenging tasks. The area is mainly flatland with hills, but there are some low mountains as well. The main flying area is separated by the sweet and rather muddy, meandering Rio Doce.
The thermals are relatively big and not too strong, usually 2-3 m/s, and often marked by clouds. All of this adds up to lots of options for the pilot to choose for transitions. Do you go to the right side of the river and take the mountains, or the left side in the flats?
For many, the mythical area to the north, near Pancas, is what paragliding fairy tales are made of. Pilots fly over an amazingly scenic area full of huge granite spires and boulders. Words have never been enough to describe the legendary Pontões Capixabas Natural Monument. Many refer to it as “Jurassic Park”, others just shake their heads and laugh at such an amazing flying experience.
We hope we will take you there again, and bring back photos and memories, along with a podium full of winners.
Keep up with the winners, the commentary, the live tracking and our new team’s leaderboard at: live.pwca.org. In a photographer’s paradise, we will be posting lots of eye candy in the media gallery on www.pwca.org
Whilst we wait for the competition to start, here are some photos to give a taste of Brazil: