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The rule to stop pilots flying low over flames into the thick black smoke is a good one, with ballistic climb rates, you are just a passenger and it was disconcerting seeing a pilot doing an SIV course over the flames. During the briefing when the rule was set, when questioned the committee said that climbing in lift generated by the fire but not in the smoke was OK. It was the stupid climb rates that they wanted to ban and each case would be looked at individually. Nicky and Ulric had a hell of a job to sort out the mess, as there were more than a few pilots who dirted rather than take the lift in the area of the fire, who were screaming for blood. They handled the situation well and credit should be given in applying common sense to the issue. A rule does need to be clarified in time for World Championship bid for 2015.

The last day looked good and we blasted off north along the mountains before heading across the valley and goal in Obando. Russ was 3rd going into the day with local lad Julian in 2nd and Aaron untouchable in 1st. As usual it was wrap the pulleys over every time you fly straight. Decisions varied from should I come off bar in this 4m/s lift or keep ploughing on. Pilots chose varying lines heading north, stunning views to the west over the pacific mountain ranges. The second gaggle caught the first at this turnpoint and we thought to get the jump on them by heading back along the front ridge rather than the deeper line they took. Good idea in theory, but in practice we scattered to the 4 corners arriving low over the windy turnpoint. 

It’s always a struggle keeping a cool head when you make a mistake and watch pilots cruising 1000m overhead. The gamble failed and the 15 lost minutes were not recovered over the rest of the course. Good to see that once again Guy was up front all day. Happy days in goal and you have to see the video of the reception local lad, Julian received at goal, mobbed by hundreds of Colombians, champagne, camera crews, hoisted aloft and carried from the field of battle.

Russ once again showed what a true Jedi he is, keeping in the zone working up from 125th to finish 3rd overall, Legend.
Guy’s spell meditating in the wilds of Idaho has created an inner calm that he’s brought to the game. With the leaders all comp and several top 15 finishes, his 27th overall should send warning signs to all who wish to contest the Brits this year. You’re going to have to get through this west country Gent first.
Mark’s 85th overall shows us little of what Britain’s hardest pilot can do. His task win does. Wagga is God.
I finished 44th after a couple of weak final tasks. Happy.

The party was huge.....

Final thoughts: It was obvious that the Boom 9 was the best here and that not all breeds from the same stable are created equal. The varying speeds were noticeable and eyebrows were raised. Cloud flying is laughable. In a comp where fire thermals became the new phariah an almost blind eye was turned to the constant advantage pilots gained from leaving clouds 100m higher than anyone else. 

There are few places in the world that compare to Colombia. The mix of people and cultures, the beauty of the country and superb flying conditions, make Roldanillo one of the worlds best competition venues. A must on anyone’s list. We’ll all be back.

The final results for the Roldanillo Superfinal can be found here -






Frontiers Paragliding Pvt. Ltd
Halan Chowk, Lakeside, Pokhara, Nepal Tel: +977 (0)61 466044 / 466122

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