Richard Sheppard reports from France on the final results from the Annecy Mondial 2014
The final results are in for the Annecy Mondial Delta 2014, the multiclass Hang Gliding World Championships.
After the competition’s tragic turn of events with the death of Japanese class 5 pilot, Mazakazu Kobayashi, the atmosphere at the competition was subdued.
The conditions on the last day were tricky with slow climbs and the start times were incrementally delayed in the hope that things would improve but they never did and the organisers had to chop down task lengths to cope with the late starts.
Mazakazu was well on his way into the task when his glider hit a high rock face in the valley leading to Thones with fatal consequences.
The weather on the final day turned to rain and well reflected the mood of the international free-flying fraternity gathered in Doussard.
The closing ceremony of the 2014 hang gliding worlds was held in Annecy on Saturday morning, 5 July.
It’s difficult to mention the word success without sounding flippant when one pilot who came to the competition never made it back home.
Even so, as a well organised and enthusiastically attended event with some great flying, it would take a churlish heart to say that it was not successful in bringing together a whole host of people united by a single passion and who shared some spectacular flying and great comradeship in a most beautiful part of the world.
Over the two weeks a few voices have criticised the organisers; something that angered a good many of the contestants who seemed to hold the large group of volunteers in high regard.
At the ceremony we saw the usual smattering of well-known names on the winners’ rostrums as well as those of upcoming talent.
Most notable of these was of course Japan’s Yoko Isamoto, a popular and deserving winner of the Women’s title.
Tim Grabowski, who looks way younger than his 27 years, took the gold medal for Germany in Class 5.
Sports class saw (relatively) local lad Mario Alonzi with a convincing win and a first and second on the podium for France.
No one was surprised to see Austria’s evergreen Manfred Runner on top spot for class 2 – the man is a legend.
Winning teams for each class were Japan for the Women, Austria for Class 5 and France for Sports class.
Much cheering and the many smiling faces throughout the auditorium seemed to confirm that, actually, this World Championships had been a big success.
The results are as follows:
1 Mario Alonzi, France, Aeros Discus
2 Piero Zin, France, Icaro MastR
3 Balazs Ujheli, Hungary, Aeros Discus
1 Manfred Runner, Austria, Swift Light
2 Andy Hediger, Argentina, Archaeopteryx
3 Steve Cox, Switzerland, Swift.
Tim Grabowski, Germany, Atos VR
2 Norbert Kirchner, Germany, Atos VR
3 Christopher Friedl, Austria, Atos VR
Women’s Class 1
1 Yoko Isomoto, Japan, Moyes Litespeed
2 Francoise Dieuzeide-Banet, France, Moyes Litespeed
3 Corinna Schwiegerhausen, Germany, Moyes Litespeed
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