German pilot wins paragliding meet in Himachal

October 21st, 2008 - 2:49 pm ICT by IANS  

Shimla, Oct 21 (IANS) The five-day Himalayan Paragliding Pre-World Cup has concluded in Himachal Pradesh with a German pilot winning the overall championship, an official said Tuesday.”Andreas Malecki of Germany emerged as the overall champion at the meet concluded at Bir-Billing in Kangra district Monday evening,” an organiser of the championship Vijay Soni told IANS.

Malecki was given a cash award of Rs.100,000 by Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal.

While Torsten Seigel of Germany finished second, Miha Razinger of Slovenia stood third.

Other results are: Indian category: Ajay Sharma 1, Debu Chaudhary 2 and Adie Kumar 3; women category: Svetlana Piskaseva 1, Elena Dmitrievskaya (Russia) 2 and Zdenka Kuntova (Czech Republic) 3; team category: 50-50 team 1, TB and SD team 2 and Russian team 3; and serial category: Robinson Jullian (Britain) 1, Svetlana Piskareya (Russia) 2 and Dmitry Chernyak (Russia) 3.

Eighty-two pilots, including 12 women, participated in the event.

For the first time, five paragliders from Pakistan - Syeed Sajjad Shah, Wajahat Malik, A.B.M. Faisal, Farookh Haroon and Farman Ahmed - also participated.

Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Dhumal said Bir-Billing would be developed from the tourism point of view.

“A sum of Rs.4.28 crore (Rs.428 million) has been sanctioned by the Union Ministry of Tourism under the Destination Bir-Billing, Jogindernagar programme to develop tourism-related infrastructure at Bir-Billing,” he said.

Bir-Billing is considered to be one of the finest aero sports sites and its name has been included in international paragliding circuits.

The take off site at Billing, situated at a height of 2,290 metres, offers an opportunity for high-altitude and cross-country flying in the Bir valley.

The valley, located at a height of 1,480 metres, is surrounded by tea gardens and majestic Dhauladhar hills. The road distance between the two locations is 14 km.

A world record was made at Bir-Billing in 1992 by French pilot Xavier Remond, who flew 130.9 km to set the “out and return world record”.

The Federation Aviation International (FAI) recognises the pre-world cup at Bir-Billing and has granted it a ‘Category-II Status’ in the international ranking.

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