British Columbia

Paragliders from around the globe descend on Okanagan

Paragliders from all over the world are gathering in the North Okanagan this weekend for the first international paragliding accuracy competition held in Western Canada. 

Western Canada’s first international paragliding accuracy competition takes place in Lumby

Paragliders from all over the world are in Lumby, B.C., for an international competition this weekend. (Daniel Vallejo)

Paragliders from all over the world are gathering in the North Okanagan this weekend for the first international paragliding accuracy competition held in Western Canada. 

Lumby, B.C., is home to Freedom Flight Park, a private property used for hang gliding, paragliding and ultralight aircraft, making it a natural fit for an international competition. 

Organizers Daniel Vallejo said the competition is meant to show off paragliding. Participants are judged on their ability to land in a small area. Wind, bright sun and other weather conditions can significantly impact a paraglider's ability to land in a specific spot.

"You have to aim for the best, but it's more of our having fun," he  told Daybreak South guest host Brady Strachan. "If you have fun you look good. Even if you don't [have fun], it's experience and you learn."

The Lumby Open 2019 Accuracy is an official Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) event, which means there must be official FAI judges. Luckily, Vallejo's parents are FAI judges, so they've travelled from their home in Colombia to take part. 

"They're helping us here to promote this event and make it official," Vallejo said. 

Paragliders in Lumby, B.C., will have to land in a circle like this one. (Daniel Vallejo)

Vallejo is also competing in the event along with organizing it. He is representing Canada and says so far 12 other competitors are scheduled to take part.

Daniel Vallejo, competitive paraglider, lands at the World Championships of Paragliding Accuracy in Vrsac, Serbia earlier this month. (Daniel Vallejo)

 

With files from Daybreak South