The tenth Kössen Paragliding Testival is on from 31 May to 3 June 2018.
Last year saw record crowds at the Austrian event, with 4,300 pilots and 7,500 flights flown over four days. It’s rapidly becoming a must-attend for everyone in the paragliding industry.
The idea of the festival is that pilots can turn up, drop off their passport in exchange for a demo wing, and then use the cablecar to swiftly head up for a test fly. Dedicated pilots can fly lots of wings.
El Yelmo International Festival of the Air is back in Segura de la Sierra, Andalucia, Spain, on 1-3 June 2018. Now in its 19th edition, the free-flying festival promises three days of fun in the Spanish sun, with airshows, a trade fair, conferences, a competition and the International Festival of Air Cinema.
Hundreds of paraglider and paramotor pilots are expected, with 20,000 spectators over the weekend.
The flying site is situated in the north of Portugal with high mountains and open valleys, surrounded by vast plains to several directions. The place is perfect and secure for cross-country flights. “Good for 100km triangles”, organisers say!
The Icarus trophy paramotor adventure race will take place in southern Africa in 2018.
“This is the Icarus Trophy on steroids, adventure on a baobab stick”.
The race will be around 1,000 miles long, depending on the actual route chosen by participants. Pilots will start at Hartbeespoort near Johannesburg in South Africa on 25 July, and cross Botswana to finish in Zambia a few days later. Pilots have to land and cross borders on foot, and their passports will be checked for the appropriate stamps! More on the 2018 route here.
This year again there will be an Adventure Division (supported, no race element), and a Race Division (no designated supporter, but pilots can use ‘open access’ support- anything that the average person can access.
“Should they manage to charm total strangers into lending their assistance, that’s kosher. They cannot use help offered by friends, distant relatives, other pilots or the race team to further their progress.
“Probably the key part of any adventure is the adventurous bits. And that means setting out into the world and fending for yourself. Anything else becomes a bit less exciting. It starts to remove all the fun bits, like ‘where the hell will I sleep?’ or ‘what do I do now I’ve run out of fuel?’ And it starts to become a bit of a guided tour.”
All competitors must carry their own food, clothes and sleeping equipment (although if you land near a hotel it’s within the rules to use it) and basic paramotor spares. Competitors are tracked, and are sent regular weather reports. There’s also a support truck following just in case, although, “It will probably take a while to reach you if you land in the middle of the desert, so best pack some sandwiches”.
The Saint-Gervais paragliding club host this festival dedicated to everything lightweight. It’s an opportunity to see and try the latest lightweight kit from a range of manufacturers.
Hike-and-fly group excusrsions are arranged, with a range of options to suit different tastes and abilities, so you can borrow kit and test it out.