Paraglid­ing world ti­tles

Bright pilot says lo­cal knowl­edge will give him the edge he needs

Alpine Observer - - Front Page - BY TATE SPI­TERI tspi­teri@ne­me­

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 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.

PHOTO: Justin Jen­vey

SKY HIGH: Wally Ar­cidi­a­cono is look­ing for­ward to com­pet­ing in his first Paraglid­ing World Cup event.

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