Before the Paragliding World Championships started in Roldanillo we interviewed a few of the pilots in a bid to get to know them better. We’ll be running a few of those interviews here on XCmag.com during the competition.
Here we catch up with Venezuelan pilot Joanna Di Grigoli, 36. Well known on the international comp circuit she’s always simply loved flying.
Any nicknames: No nicknames that I’m aware of… although they called me “toilet police” at the British Open in Italy 2014 because I gave guys a hard time for using the ladies’ toilet at the campsite.
Occupation: Competition pilot and freelance translator
Sponsors: Q’Tanque and Cantv pay for my competitions, and Gin Gliders provides me with gear.
Online: Yes, you can find me on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook @joannaenvuelo and at www.joannaenvuelo.com.
Equipment at the Worlds?
Wing: Gin Gliders Boomerang X-Alps
Harness: Gin Gliders Genie Race 3
Technology: Naviter Oudie, Flytec 6020
Other: Diapers on long tasks
Mascots/Lucky charms: A couple of unlucky crickets inside my glider
Do you fly anything else?
I fly trikes and skydive a bit
How many years have you been flying?
I started in May 2000
Where did you learn?
I learned in Venezuela, I always dreamed of flying.
My first comp was in 2002 in Loma Lisa, Venezuela. I did very bad and didn’t like it, but somehow came back the next year and got addicted
Achievements in paragliding
2nd female Italian Open 2014.
3rd female Belgian Open 2014.
2nd female pre-PWC Nirgua 2013.
Ranked 4th in the world in April, May and June 2013
7th overall Torococo Open 2013, Trujillo, Venezuela
3rd female PWC Krushevo, Macedonia 2012
3rd female Polish and Ukranian Open Krushevo, Macedonia 2012
2nd female Pre-Worlds Sopot, Bulgaria 2012
3rd female Spanish Open 2012
3rd female Rolda Open 2012, Colombia.
2nd place serial Andes Open 2012, Venezuela.
1st female and 22nd overall PrePWC 2011 Mina Clavero, Argentina.
3rd place PWCA American Cup 2011.
PWCA American Champion 2009 y 2010.
1er lugar y 5to general Copa Ruitoque 2010. Bucaramanga, Colombia
2nd female World Leisure Cup Chuncheon 2010, South Korea.
1st female PWC Chelan 2010, United States.
1st female Spanish Ope 2010. Ager, Spain
National female champion 2003 – 2009.
1st female and 25 overall. Slovenian Open 2009.
2nd place serial. Loma Lisa Open 2009.
PWCA Amerian Champion 2009 and 2010.
1st female XC Open Series 2008.
2nd place serial and 7th overall Andradas XC Open 2008. Andradas, Brazil.
2nd female and 40th overall Andradas Cup 2008. Andradas, Brazil
Pan American vice-champion 2008
2nd place serial and 6th overall at the Loma Lisa Open 2008. Venezuela
3rd female Monarca Open 2008 in Valle de Bravo, Mexico.
5th overall Andes Open 2007. Venezuela.
2nd female and 38th overall Nordic Open 2006. Annecy, France.
3rd sport Andes Open 2006. Venezuela.
1st female 3rd round Venezuelan national championship 2005.
1st female Loma Lisa Open 2005. Venezuela.
1st female Pre-PWC 2005. Roldanillo, Colombia.
1st female Andes Open 2005. Venezuela.
2nd serial and 5th overall Loma Lisa Open 2004. Venezuela.
1st female Andes Open 2004. Venezuela.
1st female and 8th overall Loma Lisa Open 2003. Venezuela.
160km in Venezuela, it’s a female open distance record that still stands since 2011.
Making it to the podium on the last task of the PWC in Macedonia 2012
That national record in 2011… I still dream of that flight
My first flight ever! I cried of joy when I landed 🙂
Any low points?
Going over the allowed altitude while flying a task on my birthday and scoring zero for the day… Still had a cake and blew the candles.
Weirdest thing that has ever happened to you in paragliding?
Once, I landed out in a very remote place and got a ride on a horse. There were three guys and they were going to a rooster fight. It was very hot and they needed to stop constantly to bathe the rooster so it’d be fresh for its fight.
And the scariest?
Getting pointed at my face with a shotgun in Argentina for landing at a crazy woman’s property
Who have you got your money on for the Worlds 2015?
It’s hard to tell, I think anyone who’s mentally ready, has a good glider, and healthy has a chance to win
How would you describe yourself as a pilot?
And what would your friends say about you?
Push more bar!
Have you flown in Roldanillo before?
Yes, I have. I love the fact that we can fly many days. I also love the low saves. Don’t like having to wake up so early… I get grumpy!
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