INTRODUCTION: The third World Hang gliding championships were held in souther Japan earlier this month (1-11 October).
SV ZOOM TO GV Hang gliders on hillside. (2 SHOTS)
SV Food in lunchbox and people eating. (2 SHOTS)
GV Hang glider taking off. (2 SHOTS)
SCU ZOOM TO SV Hang glider (No.22) taking off, as spectators watch. (2 SHOTS)
Gv Frenchman Gerard Thevenot taking off.
LV Hang glider flying ZOOM OUT TO three hang gliders flying.
GV Hang gliders flying overhead and coming in to land. (2 SHOTS)
LV Hang gliders soaring over spectators during landing approach.
SPORT: HANG GLIDING
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Background: INTRODUCTION: The third World Hang gliding championships were held in souther Japan earlier this month (1-11 October). More than 100 competitors from 16 countries took part, with Britain winning the team title. Competitors from Brazil and the United States took the first and second individual places, with a Britain in third place.
SYNOPSIS: Hang gliding is described by participants as the 'thrill sport'. The say hang gliding is almost like being a bird. One drawback is that it can be quick flight down the hill, but a long climb back.
Large crowds flocked to Beppu City in Kyushu province. There are about 200,000 hang gliding enthusiasts world-wide, with 20,000 in Japan. The 1979 titles, which are staged every second year, were held in France.
Although bad weather upset the competition, with a typhoon ripping through Beppu City, there was still a lot of spectacular flying, such as the display by Eiji Ohira of Japan. Competitors came from North and South America, South East Asia, Australasian and several European countries. This is Gerard Thevenot of France going through his routine. France won the team's event at the previous championships, but it was the eight-man British team which triumphed here.
The kites only weigh around 23 kilograms (50 pounds) and descent can take as little as 30 seconds.
It takes a flyer at least two years to reach competition standard, with much of his training concentrated on safety and emergency procedures. In recent years, there have been attempts to ban the sport, but officials say hang gliding is not dangerous for properly-trained flyers who observe the rules. With new designs and increased skills, the kites are capable of soaring for hours -- taking their pilots on cross-country flights.