Sunday, 14 July 2013

Registration & Opening Ceremony - 13 July 2013

 Team SA has settled nicely into our home in Sopot where we’ll be staying for the duration of the 13th FAI World Paraliging Championships… we’re fortunate to have a fabulous pad, a vibrant team and a great manager taking care of our logistics!

This event runs from the 13th July through to the 26th July and tasks can be viewed via live-tracking at A field of 150 pilots represents around 38 countries and we’re hoping for some challenging racing tasks to test the field’s skills.

Here’s a quick run down on the mood in "South Africa House":

“Registration was pretty painless, and the weighing in and admin went smoothly. We have a good and firm meet director who is engaging with the team leaders. I think the task committee is a good one, and am happy that one of our team, Chris, is on the safety committee. Now we just need the good weather to start racing. In terms of the ladies – France, Italy and Russia are looking strong. In terms of the men – I think it’s pretty much an open race.” Jan Minnaar, team manager

“Laurie is the one to watch!” Khobi-Jane Bowden - our woman of few words.

“We unfortunately did not get much flying in during the Ukrainian and Bulgarian Open last week, however the one task we did fly was flown in what I think was one of best flying conditions I’ve ever experienced – I’m looking forward to some more of that! In terms of favorites…after seeing them flying last week, I must say that the Colombians are looking pretty strong. Yassen is fairly bullish… but there is a whole field of talented pilots we’ve not flown with yet, so time will tell.” Nevil Hulett

“The anticipation of flying in this competition has progressively been building since my arrival in Bulgaria on Thursday morning– in particular after my glider caught up with me late on Friday afternoon - it’s much easier to focus if your toys are under the same roof! Who looks good for the World Champ title? Well, apart from yours truly of course, I think the Italians and French look strong… one can speculate, but there are a lot of talented pilots here, let’s see what the first few days of flying bring.” Russell Achterberg

“So many awesome pilots - Luca Donini…or any of the French, any of the Swiss, Jurij from Slovenia… The ladies Nicole, Seiko, and Petra – always a contender!” Andre Rainsford

“I’m in a good positive headspace and I think our whole team has a good chance of doing well. Hopefully the weather plays along and we get some good tasks. This is an awesome site, cool people all around, excellent food, and we have a superbly organised team manager!  Right now, I think Yassen is looking strong- he is brave and pushes ahead. Let’s talk again after a few tasks.” Stef Juncker

 “I am looking forward to these two weeks. Like all of us, I’ve worked so hard to get here and finally it’s happening! I think Luca Donini and Charles Cazaux are two of the most consistent pilots...but there are a few to watch…” Chris van Noord

Let the games begin!

We felt a little like rock-stars, what with the media frenzy around getting this photograph taken...It's pretty clear though that we were upstaged by the three drummies that were part of the official opening proceedings.

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