Pan American 2022 validated after the 2d task
After the second task, the 5th FAI Pan American Paragliding Championship became a fully valid competition according to FAI rules. But it is too early to speak about any possible outcome - the weather is fine and we expect 5 more great flying days.
The first day of the comp was a bit challenging - all the area around Pico do Ibituruna the take-off mountain of the Governador Valadares flying site was heavily covered by the clouds. The organisers postponed window opening till noon counting on improvement and it panned out well - right at the launch time the clouds started to disappear giving way to thermal conditions. This process was so quick and effective that by the time of the start gate the valley was sunny with small scattered cumuluses. 75 km task was flown in 2h12 m by the fastest pilots. The first six of them crossed ESS within the same minute - Rafael Saladini (BRA), Caio Buzarella (BRA), Lucas Ribas (BRA), Pablo Hernandez (ARG), Gilberto Raposo (BRA) and Juan Carlos Moran (ECU). But the fact that Caio was leading at the beginning, to be more precise at about 15-17 km of the task gave him enough leading points to become the winner of the race. Another pilot from Brazil - Isabella Sales also won in the female category due to the leading points that allowed her to take over Violetta Jimenez (USA) who was the first to cross the ESS. Another US pilotess Galen Kirkpatrick came third on ESS and second in the overall also due to the leading points.
You can watch interviews with Caio and Isabela of CIVL Facebook by this link.
The second day was showing classic Valadared conditions - very low almost zero wind on take-off and great thermals on the route. Launching in nill-wind turned out to be a great challenge for many pilots - there were a lot of interrupted launches but to everyone's relief with no injuries. Some pilots had to launch 3-4 times. Some pilots also had to wait a long time before having any possibility to launch as the zero wind sometimes pretended to become a backwind and that was disturbing. Luckily Pico da Ibituruna gives a possibility to launch on both sides of the slope. Today both take-offs were serving well each of them wide enough for placing 3-4 gliders in a row. The task of 84 km was set and flown in 2h14 min by the fastest pilots. That gives an average speed of about 37 km/h - 5 km faster than the previous day. The first on ESS were Juan Carlos Moran from Ecuador and Rafael Saladini from Brazil - they crossed the line in the same second going head to head. Juan Carlos told us in an interview after the task that the race was fine, they managed to find great thermals and that he went the last leg on full speed bar non-stop. 103 pilots on goal. The task was won by Rafael Saladini who got the right number of leading points to win and remarkable 1000 points in overall scoring. The first female in the second task was Galen Kirkpatrick from the USA.
Rafael and Galen are also leading overall after 2 tasks so far. The leading team is Brazil.
Congratulations to the organizer on achieving the first stage and wish them good luck to have the best flying days afterward.
Stay tuned with all media covering the competition: