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Photos: Semih Sayır
Colors Flying At Pamukkale
The “2010 Paragliding World Cup Superfinal Competition” will be held in the Denizli Pamukkale region in September. Successful pilots from seven main competitions held throughout the year in different continents will have a chance to soar in this race.
Undoubtedly flying is the biggest past and present dream of mankind. Most people’s imagining themselves flying countless times in their dreams must be a result of this desire. Contrary to the claim that man was not created to fly, these people are able to soar with a grace and talent that would make eagles jealous. While looking down from the clouds and seeing others as ants, what do they think?
Flying holds an important place in the lives of these pilots like a therapy or meditation that distances one from daily problems. With their eyes in the skies and on the mountains when they are not able to fly, these people probably are imagining that they are rising to the clouds and soaring…
With the help of hot air currents and winds in paraglider soaring, long flights can be made. However, in paragliding competition the pilot who flies the predetermined route in the shortest period of time earns more points and takes a place at the top of the list.
Soaring over roads, mountains, lakes and streams under an infinite sky awakens indescribable feelings in a person. It is not uncommon to rise to heights of 4-5 thousands meters in flights that are made at a speed of 40-50 kilometers an hour. Long distance flights that are tied to weather conditions as well as the sportsman’s technical knowledge and experience are called XC or cross-country flights. They can last 5-6 hours and it is even possible to travel more than 200 kilometers.
So what can be the instinct that brings together these people who fly like migratory birds in every continent and in different geographies of the world?
Having been a French and world champion countless of times, French pilot Patrick Berod describes his state while flying in competion like this: “For me paragliding races are a place where pilots with different flying techniques and experience come together. Like birds in nature, each has a different makeup and uniqueness. Pilots have different characteristics like small birds, large-winged birds, fat birds and ferocious birds, and these differences make flying with them special. Close to one-hundred pilots flying for the same purpose on the same route gives a feeling like starting off on a flight with migratory birds. After a while the other pilots become like family to you.
CHAMPIONS ARE AT DENİZLİ
In the Denizli Pamukkale region Küçük Çökelez Mountain at an altitude of 1800 meters and Honaz Mountain at an altitude of 2460 meters are considered by experienced paragliding pilots as among the best flying areas. The World Air Games held in the same region in 1997 confirmed this claim with a big success. Appealing to everyone from 18 to 60 years of age who is physically fit, slope soaring presents an unequaled opportunity to get the taste of freedom.
Successful pilots from seven main competitions held throughout the year in different continents will have a chance to fly in the “Paragliding World Cup Superfinal Competition” which will be held on September 22, 2010 at Pamukkale. In other words, the champion of champions will prove himself in the Denizli skies. The Küçük Çökelez Mountain and skies are silently and impatiently waiting for this race.
If your path falls there around that time, don’t forget to look up at the sky… You can’t even imagine what you might see…