Twenty-three-year-old Simon Oberrauner from Graz (AT) won the Kössen Bordairline hike-and-fly competition, which ran from the 30-31 May 2015.
The Nova Juniors Team pilot flew a Mentor 3 Light, and finished ahead of former Redbull X-Alps participants Lars Budack and Andy Frötscher.
His Nova mentor and Nova Juniors Team leader, Till Gottbrath, said:
Simon Oberrauner displayed a convincing performance in every way: he flew very well, he walked over a hundred kilometres, and, above all, he made the right tactical decisions.
Simon’s dream is to one day participate in the Red Bull X-Alps, and this is his second Bordairline win – he also came first in the Levico Terme (IT) event in 2014.
Bordairline rules are that pilots have 33 hours in which to gain as much distance from the start, in any direction, and get back again, with penalties for not making it back. They choose their own route. Till Gottbrath writes:
In mixed meteorological conditions, the majority of the athletes decided to head southwards to Pinzgau or along the “thermal highway” southeast to Hochkönig. Only Oberrauner and Budack decided for the Inn river valley (southwest).
Budack took a route on the north side Kaisergebirge, but bombed out on his first flight and had to walk up again.
Oberrauner launched early from Unternberghorn in Kössen and elegantly sneaked around the south-eastern end of the Kaisergebirge. On its steep and rocky south faces he could gain good height and then traversed to the mountains on the south side of the Inn Valley. Simon landed at the edge of Innsbruck Airport control zone and started his walk.
He continued along river Inn before setting his turnpoint in Terfens. Back in Kössen, Oberrauner explained: “I hadn’t planned this, but I liked the idea of reaching Terfens, as it is the home of NOVA, my paraglider sponsor.” This idea got him additional kilometres and finally brought him victory. His lead from the two runners-up was pretty tight.
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