Joachim Oberhauser at goal on the last task at the FAI Paragliding World Championships 2019. Photo: FAI / Marcus King
Latest, News

Joachim Oberhauser wins 2019 Paragliding World Championships

Sunday 18 August, 2019

Italy and France finished top at the FAI Paragliding World Championships in Krushevo, with one individual gold medal each and an amazing joint first-place in the teams.

Italy’s Joachim Oberhauser (Ozone, Enzo 3) won the overall championships and is the new FAI Paragliding World Champion.

He came out top after 10 days of intense competition flying, finishing first on the leaderboard ahead of 149 other pilots from 48 different countries.

Meryl Delferriere, 21, from France won gold in the Women’s category and is the new FAI Women’s Paragliding World Champion.

Italy and France meanwhile shared a remarkable equal first-place in the Nations category.

Joachim Oberhauser. Photo: FAI / Marcus King

Joachim Oberhauser. Photo: FAI / Marcus King

Joachim, who had been leading the competition for the final few days, said he was overjoyed with his win, calling it, “A dream come true!”

“The last task was incredible,” he said after he’d landed on the final day, “It was good conditions but you never know what can happen in the air.”

Any one of four pilots could have done enough to win the championship on the last task, so it was essential Oberhauser flew well on the last 96.1km task. In the end he finished 22nd on the day – enough to keep him in the lead overall.

“All the leading pilots were together during the flight, and finally I managed to get to goal as well. So it was a good day,” he said.

He added that he had enjoyed the whole competition. “Macedonia is a super-great place. It’s my first time here, and I think it is one of the best places in the world to race paragliders. Nice conditions, safe flying and strong organisation.”

Oberhauser beat Russia’s Gleb Sukhotskiy into second-place silver and former FAI Paragliding World Champion Honorin Hamard (FRA) into bronze.

Meryl Delferriere. Photo: FAI / Marcus King

Meryl Delferriere. Photo: FAI / Marcus King

In the Women’s category, Meryl Delferriere (Ozone, Enzo 3) from France won gold. One of the strongest female contenders going into the competition, she dominated the Women’s field, winning six out of 10 tasks.

Meryl said: “The last task was difficult but fun. There are many women pilots here, and it’s been a good competition for all the women.”

Widely tipped to do well at the start, Meryl did not disappoint. As well as winning six tasks she placed in the top four in all but one. A mistake in Task 7 saw her miss goal and place 17th for the day. However, it did not affect the final outcome. A total of 21 women took part.

Both winning pilots helped their national teams to an historic equal first-place in the Nations competition. There has never been a joint-first winner in the Nations category in the history of the FAI Paragliding World Championships.

The competition for top spot in the Nations this year was fierce, with France widely tipped to win. However, consistent, high-level flying by the Italian pilots saw the two teams draw neck and neck in the later stages.

Krushevo, Macedonia, the site of this year's Paragliding World Championships. Photo: FAI / Marcus King

Krushevo, Macedonia, the site of this year’s Paragliding World Championships. Photo: FAI / Marcus King

And although France pulled out all the stops on the final day, and managed to clinch the day-win as a team, it wasn’t enough to pull ahead of the Italians. By the end of the competition, France and Italy had both scored 18,821 points over the two weeks – an incredibly tight finish.

Organisers said overall winner and new FAI Paragliding World Champion Joachim Oberhausen was “a truly world-class pilot” and labelled him “Mr Super Consistent” for his performance throughout the competition.

Despite not winning any of the tasks throughout the competition, his strong performance and overall consistency each day meant he gradually rose to the top of the leaderboard.

“He was in the top 10 in six out of the 10 tasks,” organisers said. “He fully merits the title of FAI Paragliding World Champion having conquered the baking hot plains of Macedonia.”

OVERALL
1st Joachim Oberhauser (ITA)
2nd Gleb Sukhotskiy (RUS)
3rd Honorin Hamard (FRA)

WOMENS
1st Meryl Delferriere (FRA)
2nd Yael Margelisch (SUI)
3rd Kari Ellis (AUS)

NATIONS
1st France
1st Italy
3rd Japan

Full results

Never miss an issue

Our subscribers receive 10 issues a year, the annual Travel Guide and exclusive access to competitions and offers

Subscribe today
Back to Latest News
Back to Latest News

Got a story?

If you have news, great images or a story, let us know

Get in touch

Join the family

By subscribing, you support the only worldwide paragliding, paramotoring and hang gliding magazine and you get:

  • Ten issues delivered to your door through the year
  • A 100+ page Travel Guide to the world’s best flying sites delivered with the Feb/March issue each year
  • Plus: Win a paraglider in our annual subscribers’ draw each January
  • Pay annually or monthly with paypal or credit card
Subscribe today

Subscribe and never miss an issue

Digital edition

From
£2.59
per month

  • Ten packed issues delivered via Zinio
  • Travel Guide with the Feb/March issue each year
  • Read offline on iPad, laptop or phone
  • Exactly the same magazines as print

Print edition

From
£4.19
per month

  • Ten packed issues airmailed to you
  • Travel Guide with the Feb/March issue each year
  • Perfect-bound journals, high quality production
  • Chance to win two new wings in exclusive draws

Print and digital

From
£4.79
per month

  • All the benefits of print and digital!
  • Plus exclusive discount vouchers for books and products
News and special offers. No spam ever
SIGN ME UP