SAFA Skysailor Magazine

16 SKY SAILOR January | February 2021 Due to Covid-19 restrictions impacting pilots’ ability to compete in international competitions over the last year, the Australian Paragliding Squad organised a training camp in Corryong in December 2020, to help competition pilots prepare for the upcoming flying season. Run by Gareth Carter and Kari Ellis, the goal of the camp aimed to improve experienced pilots’ skills, and offer them flying time in preparation for the upcoming flying season – particularly for the Corryong Open and Bright Open in February 2021. Australian team member and bronze medallist at the 2019 Paragliding World Championships in Macedonia, Kari Ellis expected the camp to be a great way to get everyone together, simulate a competition environment, and run tasks each day. “Due to the year we’ve had, and the lack of competitions, the camp wanted to help pilots get their ‘race face’ on and get them back into the competition game,” she said. “It offers preparation for the Bright and the Corryong Opens, taking place in February 2021, and a chance for pilots to blow off those cobwebs. The camp has an open invitation – to stay the week or come and go as they like.” Kari said this is also a great opportunity for pilots to be mentored by some of the best paragliding pilots in Australia. “We want to give back to the competition community by providing mentoring and development opportunities to up and coming pilots to build strength and depth in the Australian competition field. In the long run, this will result in a stronger Australian team for future World Championships campaigns. Pilots will walk away from the camp with improved cross-country skills, tactical skills and with completed competition flying tasks. One of the first flying events for the 2021 season will be the Corryong Paragliding Open, located at one of the best Alpine flying sites in Australia, mighty Mt Elliot. For those unfamiliar with the event and area, here is some background: Corryong is located just a few thermal glides from Mt Kosciuszko, the highest mountain in Austra- lia. A lot of history resides here as the very first Australian Paragliding Nationals were hosted not far from Thredbo in 1990. Back then, the first competition task was flown from the top of Mt Kosciuszko at 2200m. Mt Elliot offers amazing views – you can see the western face of the main alpine range and in the spring and autumn seasons, the peaks are often still covered in snow. The Corryong Open is aimed at more experienced inland intermediate to advanced rated pilots as it is a high-level AAA/CAT2 competition with 450 ladder points available. Sanctioned by SAFA, everyone and anyone is encouraged to support the event and those who meet the experience are welcome to come and experience the magic of flying cross-country in Corryong. This is the final AAA event of the Australian season and therefore the last opportunity for pilots to gain ladder and team ladder points. This amazing event will taking place from 7 to 13 February 2021. Australian PG Squad Training Camp 2020