The likelihood of being blacklisted for competing in South Africa didn't prevent a large international field from entering the South African Masters Hang-Gliding Championships, one of the richest such competitions in the world.
GV PAN Hanggliders taking off from Haartbeespoort Dam. (2 SHOTS)
GV PAN Rich Grigsby (No.4) of USA taking off.
GV Hangliders soaring.
GV J. Lewis of South African coming in for rocky landing.
GV PAN Another glider making heavy landing.
GV PAN World champion Josef Guggenmos of West Germany making smooth landing.
GV PAN Gerard Thevenot of France making solid landing.
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Background: The likelihood of being blacklisted for competing in South Africa didn't prevent a large international field from entering the South African Masters Hang-Gliding Championships, one of the richest such competitions in the world. The flying took place at Haartbeespoort Dam, near Pretoria, with the finals on Sunday (26 April).
SYNOPSIS: Nearly forty competitors took part in the four-day competition, nine of them coming from other countries, including the United States, France, Brazil, Germany and Australia.
American Rich Grigsby, flying a Comet, won the championship on aggregate points taken over the four-day period. Pepe Lopes, for Brazil, finished second, and European champion Gerard Thevenot, was third.
The experts can make hang-gliding look easy, but it is not all plain sailing. Conditions change quickly and an easy take off can be followed by a very rough landing.
Reigning world champion, Josef Guggenmos, of West Germany showed how it should be done. But with varying conditions over the four days of the championships he hadn't been able to score enough points to make it into the top three. Although he made third place, many expected Thevenot to do better also.