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Paul Bailey wins the 2004 UK Paramotoring Nationals.
The 2004 championship is now over and we have left the Wootton Bros fields in Nordelph to the peace and quiet of normal life.
Holding the event in Nordelph, Downham Market, was a good decision as the landowners couldn't have been more friendly and the neighbours were very tolerant - no complaints! Several came along and sat patiently around waiting to see some action, but perhaps not understanding that paramotoring doesn't necessarily happen at the push of a button like watching the TV - weather plays such a critical part. Over the four days of competition the Saturday and Tuesday were rained off, but the two days between were pretty decent allowing us sufficient time to fit in the requisite number of tasks to make it a valid competition.
With the top UK and Belgium pilots competing we saw some good flying - and some not so good! And just because you were not one of the top pilots didn't mean you couldn't sometimes show the big boys a thing or two - like launching and spot landing! We had several pilots who had never competed before, one who had only been flying a PM for 6 weeks (but is an experienced paraglider). For the second year running the very popular female pilot Jansy Kelly competed and with her neat take offs and flying consistency showed up some of the boys! One newcomer Julian Parkinson, from the Isle of Man, put in a stunning performance and is certainly a pilot to watch in the future.
The predominant wing was of course the Action, and it enabled the pilots to fly safely and fast, when others were perhaps struggling a little. With so many using this wing it was inevitable that they would win the Wing Manufacturers class.
The distribution of engines was a little more interesting. Here there was far more variety from the new Bailey 4 stroke, Bailey 2 strokes, with PAPs, Adventure, and other manufacturers. But with more Bailey motors on the field than anything else again it was no surprise to see them win this category.
Mike Campbell Jones was, for the first time in his varied career in many aspects of the sport, earning his wings as the Competition Director. He put together a variety of tasks across the various aspects of Navigation, Accuracy, Endurance and Economy, including some old favourites and some new and untested combinations of linking tasks in a very demanding and challenging way, testing the pilot’s abilities to the full.
The use of MLRs and amazing new electronic chronograph recorders with inbuilt printers, all kindly on loan from the French FFPLUM, has afforded a huge leap in progress in the ability to set and manage more complex tasks. When the pilots return from a task the information is downloaded to the computers, providing an accurate trace and full data of the precise flight. This irrefutable evidence means the Comp Director eliminates the variables of marshal judgements, there can be no disputes as to whether turn points were achieved, or no-fly zones over flown, or land outs made. The only downside is it is very labour intensive for the ‘systems’ team, and the guys heavily involved in this aspect of the event are to be seriously thanked for all their conscientious hard work and dedication. As pilots themselves it is a very gracious act to spend 4 days in front of a screen while others are flying!
At then end of the four days Mike Campbell Jones and the pilots all said an enormous thank you to the many people who had marshalled, with the effervescent Michel Carnet taking advantage of the opportunity to present the females marshals with flowers and claiming his reward with a kiss!
The full results of the Championship and the individual tasks can be found on this web site under the link RESULTS … soon.
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