Organisers bill the Iquique Open as “the most extreme and driest competition in Chile”. Pilots launch on a hill facing the breeze from the Pacific Ocean, then have the Atacama desert as a huge playground to the east.
Airspace restrictions to the south will be relaxed during the event, to allow a corridor of flight in what is usually the no-go around Diego Aracena airport.
Organisers claim flying is possible 360 days a year, and for up to 10 hours a day in October and November. Expect 2-6m/s thermals and winds of 8-25km/h.
Fly with condors in the strong thermals of the Chilean Andes at the Chilean Open 2019, which is also a pre-PWC event.
Base is the flying site of Vizcachas, Santiago. Sign up for “exciting and challenging paragliding”, 8m/s thermals, 100+km flights and memories to last a lifetime!
BGD’s Weightless is back in January 2020, this time in Roldanillo, Colombia.
The competition scores pilots in weight categories, the thinking being to even things out with a handicap system that favours lighter pilots. Organisers say:
“Being big has less of an advantage, and carrying excessive ballast will not help you so much. We want to have a fun week where everyone feels like they have a chance of scoring well, regardless of what they fly, and how heavy they fly“.
Organisers can’t praise the venue enough, listing off attributes including: “grassy launches, colourful valleys, masses of landing options, some of the friendliest people on the planet, sun, flowers, music, good food and loads and loads of good flatland flying which everyone can enjoy”.
The competition precedes the British Open and Colombian Nationals to be held at the same venue, so if you have the time and the inclination there’s the possibility to do all three.