Pierre Rémy and Seiko Fukuoka Naville from France are Paragliding’s new World Champions!
The 15th FAI Paragliding World Championships was held in Monte Avena, Italy, from 1 to 15 July and saw ten valid tasks scored, ranging in distance from 45.3km to 117.2km.
France dominated the podiums, with the previous World Champion Honorin Hamard finishing in joint-third place with Jurij Vidic of Slovenia, and the French team taking the prize for the top nation.
It was a close-run event, with only 17 points separating the top three places, and pilots bouncing up and down the overall tables as each task unfolded. Honorin Hamard was looking likely to retain his title on the morning of the final task, but Pierre scored 137 points more than him in the final task, enough to take the title from his teammate. Honorin wrote on Facebook, “Happy to hand the title to Pierre Rémy!” Storming into second place by winning the final task was Guy Anderson from Great Britain.
Seiko Fukuoka Naville retains her World Champion title, and she is also the reigning European Champion. Seiko finished 296 points ahead of Kari Ellis from Australia, with Italy’s Silvia Buzzi Ferraris in third. Seiko was able to defend her title, but not to score points for the French team; Laurie Genovese was the team’s female pilot, and helped them take a 716 point win over Slovenia in the team rankings, with Switzerland just 19 points behind, in third place.
The flying took place in varied weather conditions with some tricky tasks, and was sandwiched between very memorable opening and closing ceremonies, and a closing party that rocked the village. Crowds turned out to line the streets for the pilots’ final parade, and then squeezed into the arena for the medals ceremony, which was followed by live music and fireworks with a huge, well-manned bar areas and the kind of hospitality and fun Italians are renowned for.
At the end of the medals ceremony, the FAI flag was folded and handed over to the association’s president Stephane Malbos, who passed it on to the Portuguese team who will be hosting the 2018 European Paragliding Championships in Montalegre, Portugal.
1. Pierre Rémy, FR, Ozone Enzo 3 – 5,829 points
2. Guy Anderson, GB, Ozone Enzo 3 – 5,824 points
=3. Honorin Hamard, FR, Ozone Enzo 3 – 5,812 points
=3. Jurij Vidic, SL, Ozone Enzo 3 – 5,812 points
1. Seiko Fukuoka Naville, FR, Ozone Enzo 3 – 5,523 points
2. Kari Ellis, AU, Ozone Zeno – 5,227 points
3. Silvia Buzzi Ferraris, IT, Ozone Enzo 3 – 4,917 points
1. France (Pierre Rémy, Honorin Hamard, Luc Armant, Julien Wirtz, Laurie Genovese) – 15,037 points
2. Slovenia (Jurij Vidic, Dusan Oroz, Tilen Ceglar, Primoz Susa) – 14,321 points
3. Switzerland (Stephan Morgenthaler, Adrian Hachen, Stefan Wyss, Von Kabel Patrick, Manuelle Zufferey) – 14,302 points
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