Himachal is hosting a Pre-World Cup Paragliding Championship at Bir Billing in Himachal Pradesh from March 30 to April 5 with participation of over 100 top pilots from over 25 nations.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports (ABVIMAS) is organizing the event. So far 84 pilots from 24 countries have nominated themselves while the organizers have decided to keep a cap of 100 pilots. Besides the main competitions, Indian National Open Championship will also be organized. The registration process will be held on March 30 and competitions will start from March 31. The closing ceremony will be held on April 5.
ABVIMAS Manali director Colonel Neeraj Rana, who is also the convener of the meet, said ace paraglider Brett Janaway, who holds several records in paragliding, will be the main judge of the championship. “Devu Chaudhary from Himachal will be the safety director while Miss Megdalana has agreed to take responsibility of the scorer,” he said.
The overall winners will get the first, second and third prize for 2,000, 1,500 and 1,000 euros respectively. The overall winners in women category completing at first, second and third place will get a cash prize of 1,500, 1,300 and 1,100 euros respectively.
The first, second and third winners in Indian National Open Championship will get cash prizes of Rs one lakh, Rs 75 thousand and Rs 50 thousand respectively. In sports class mix category, the top three winners will get cash prizes of 1,000, 700 and 500 euros respectively.
Col Neeraj Rana said the preparations to host the championship are underway on a war footing. “The logo and the mascot for the event have been finalized and would be inaugurated by the chief minister. Himachal has established its unique identity as an adventure sports destination. We have mesmerizing paragliding sites. The pre-World Cup has offered us a chance to promote paragliding worldwide. We shall follow international safety standards and rules during the event,” he added.
Bir Billing in Kangra district of Himachal came to spotlight in the world adventure sports calendar in 2015 when the first paragliding world cup was organized here. This paragliding site, according to top pilots from other nations, is among the best sites of the world.