There is a new world record for paragliding accuracy! Romania’s George Cotet won the gold at the FAI World Air Games and set the new world record. He logged 11 consecutive flights less than 5cm.
The first FAI World Paragliding Accuracy Championships was held in the United Kingdom in 2000. There are now about 1,000 pilots from 20 different countries that are recorded on the CIVL Paragliding Accuracy database and WPRS, it continues to grow in popularity. For anyone who is not familiar with the rules, the paraglider sets off either by hill or tow on a certified paraglider. After they launch the paraglider tries to land on a pressure sensitive electronic target pad which is 30cm in diameter. The point where the competitor puts the most pressure is measured and displayed, from 0 to 15cm. Circles are market out at 0.5m, 5m and 10m around the pad. When competitors land off the pad it is marked a ‘fichet’ and then the judges measured manually. The goal is to get the lowest number of points.
George Cotet is 47 years old and has a passion for flying. This competition lasted 12 rounds spanning several days. Halfway through he was tied with two other competitors for third place. There were only five points separating the top four competitors at the start of the final round. Two competitors, Matjaz Feraric and Tomas Lednik both landed off target. Feraric released from the tow very low and ended up well short of the target, dropping him from 1st to 6th. Lednik, who landed 359cm away from the target, dropped from 5th place to 14th. An exciting fly-off between Qiang Ma and Goran Djurkovic decided silver and bronze. Ma took silver after finishing 3cm off, he only beat Djurkovic by one centimeter. Cotet secured gold with his final landing, his 11th within 5cm.
This was a great competition that showcased some impressive talent. This particular paragliding event takes a lot of practice and focus because it is all about hitting the mark. In this entire competition with more than 220 flights, dead center was only hit 11 times. Congratulations George Cotet on your gold medal and new world record!
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