The new year of paragliding competitions opened January 4 with a cross-country event for the Monarca Paragliding Open in Valle de Bravo, Mexico. Openings for 150 pilots filled fast at this popular site. Thirty-nine men and four women, from the paragliding competitions participated among the group which represented 26 countries.
High winds cancelled two days of the competitions, leaving only three tasks completed. The Americans captured the four of the first top ten positions in the Sport Class. Roy Morris with his Ozone Alpha 2, took first, followed by Gavin Fridlund in 4th, David Sacher in 5th and Greg Fackrell in 7th. C.J. Brockway placed a respectable 9th in that event, plus taking third in the Female class.
Normally known for producing the world’s most consistent weather for flying, Monarca unfortunately hosted the fall-out from El Nino during the competition. Who knew that “bad boy” would cause so much trouble!
With a changed format, the event offered the open class for C,D and CCC flyers. They restricted the sport class to A and B, and offered a four-pilot team class with the objective to provide training and experience to less experienced flyers. The scrapped flying days were not wasted. High profile flyers such as Josh Cohn and Brad Gunnuscio of the U.S. and Pal Takats from Austria and Luc Armont of France gave talks, seminars and participated in conferences.
The event was an FAI sanctioned category 2 competition. Full results are here.