Many times world champion, Manfred Ruhmer, won the Hang Gliding Class 2 Pre-Worlds, which finished on 8 August 2016 at Aspres sur Buech, France.
Although a convincing win at the end, Ruhmer was challenged early on, losing the first task to Switzerland’s Roger Ruppert. In second place was Jacques Bott from the host club, Adpul, and in third place was Franz Pacheiner from Austria.
Five closed circuit tasks were flown in the one week competition, ranging from 132km to 289km, with never fewer than half the pilots in goal every day. The last task brought some surprise changes to the expected final ranking as several pilots were penalised for arriving too low at goal. A minimum arrival altitude had been set over the airfield for safety reasons. But a strengthening headwind on the final leg caught out a few, including Ruppert who dropped to 4th place overall.
Although the weather was good overall, it did not deliver the excellent conditions hoped for to set a 300+km task. Ruhmer commented: “The task setting was very good, maximising the flying for the conditions, while staying safe.”
The aerotow event also provided a battleground for the two quite different-looking Class 2 wings, the Swiftlight and the Archeopteryx. Ruhmer and Bott were flying the former while the three-man Swiss team plus Ruhmer’s Austrian team mate, Pacheiner were flying the Archeopteryx.
Live tracking provided good visibility of each day’s task, showing the highs and lows, as the competitors thermalled around the southern Alps, through the length of the Ecrins and back via Sisteron and Laragne.
The dates for next year’s 20th FAI World Hang Gliding Class 2 Championships are: 24 July to 6 August, 2017. The hope is that some record-breaking closed circuit competition tasks will be flown.
Daily task reports and more info at: www.ultralight-glider.fr/en/
Report by Louise Joselyn
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