Paragliding world titles
Bright pilot says local knowledge will give him the edge he needs
BRIGHT pilot Wally Arcidiacono hopes his local knowledge will give him a slight edge when he takes on the world’s best in the Paragliding World Cup from Sunday.
One-hundred and twenty pilots from 34 countries will be in Bright for the event which runs through to Saturday, February 24.
It will be just the second time Bright has welcomed a World Cup round after previously hosting a meet in 1998.
While the skies will be foreign to many, Arcidiacono is looking forward to making the most of a ‘home ground’ advantage.
“It’s pretty special (having a World Cup in your backyard), it probably helps a little bit but not a lot,” he said.
“I guess we get to sleep in our own bed where as everyone else will be in a tent.
“And we might know where the thermals are going to work and the best places to go and those types of things.”
Each race will challenge pilots to fly routes at altitudes of up to 3000 metres for distances of over 100 kilometres, in four to five hours of highly competitive racing.
Competitors will launch from local gliding sites including Mystic Hill, Gundowring and Pines.
Arcidiacono who will be racing in his first World Cup event said while he won’t be intimidated by racing against the world’s best he looks forward to learning from them.
“They are going to be pretty fast, so I’ll have to keep up with them,” he said. “It will be a good test.” Arcidiacono’s goal is to finish in the top 20 which would be a major boost for his world ranking which currently sits around 220.
Also racing in the World Cup from Bright are Brian Webb and David Snowden.
Snowden has been racing in New Zealand recently, putting him in good stead for the World Cup while Webb performed well at a recent race in Corryong.
All three have undergone final preparations for the toplevel competition by racing in this week’s Bright Open.
People interested in following the Paragliding World Cup will be able to watch from the ground or follow the races online via pwca.org through live GPS tracking of all pilots.
The event’s opening ceremony will take place at the Sibley Soundshell in Howitt Park this Saturday.
The final presentation evening will be held at the Bright Community Centre on February 24 from 7pm.
SKY HIGH: Wally Arcidiacono is looking forward to competing in his first Paragliding World Cup event.