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FAI World Paragliding Championship kicks off today

The event takes place in North Macedonia

The "2019 FAI World Paragliding Championship" starts today, 7 August 2019, in Krushevo, North Macedonia. The competition will last for nearly two weeks, from 7-17 August 2019. The championship will see 150 pilots from 48 Nations battle it out over 12 days for the coveted title of FAI Paragliding World Champions.

Medals are awarded in Overall, Women's and Nations categories. Each national team can be made up of a maximum of four pilots. There are 21 women competing, the rest of the 150 are men.

The official opening ceremony was on Monday 5 August and saw the pilots welcomed to the small nation of North Macedonia, a country in the Balkan Peninsula in southeastern Europe. In recent years the town of Krushevo has established itself as one of the best free-flight competition arenas in the world. It has hosted numerous high-level competitions including the FAI World Hang Gliding Championships and Paragliding World Cup. This is the first time Krushevo has hosted the FAI World Paragliding Championship.

Key dates for the competition include: 7-17 August: Competition flying days; 18 August: Prize-giving and closing ceremony

A maximum of 10 tasks will be flown, with one mandatory rest day. In paragliding competition the pilots launch sometime after noon and fly a pre-set cross country course of anything up to 200km. They must tag turnpoints as they fly -the fastest pilot around the course wins the day. The pilot with the most accumulated points at the end of the competition, wins the overall competition. The daily course is set according to the day's weather, and is subject to change. 

Current FAI Paragliding World Champion Pierre Remy from France is one of the pilots to watch. A member of the strong French national team he will be keen to defend his world championship title. In the Women's category, four-time FAI Women's Paragliding World Champion Seiko Fukuoka Naville (FRA) is not competing this year so will not be able to defend her title. Instead, the one to watch is France's Meryl Delferriere, a very strong contender she is expected to dominate the Women's competition and could earn a place on the Overall podium too. In the Nations, France is the country to beat.

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