Wasserkuppe. The world’s best paraglider pilots had an extremely exciting competition this weekend on the Wasserkuppe in the Hessian Rhön. The Rhön Hang Gliding and Paragliding Club welcomed the world’s best precision pilots from 35 countries to the Wasserkuppe for the final in the Accuracy discipline.
Accuracy paragliding is about landing on a digital target with as little deviation as possible.
Ideal conditions on Saturday
On Saturday, the athletes had ideal conditions all day to take off for their precision landings from the take-off site at the Fliegerdenkmal on the Wasserkuppe. After the wind was a bit too strong on Sunday, the organiser declared the competition over at noon with the final score after 6 rounds.
Thus, the multiple World Cup winner Matjaž Sluga from Slovenia was able to decide the final in his favour by a wafer-thin margin of only one centimetre. Sluga had achieved a total deviation of only 6 centimetres in his 6 landings on the target.
Two Rhön pilots on the podiumdest
With 7 centimetres after 6 rounds, Andreas Schubert, flight school director from the Rhön, made it to 2nd place. His son Linus, only 15 years old, newcomer and U-26 champion achieved a sensational 3rd place with only 10 centimetres. He was thus able to fulfil his dream of at least being among the best 5 pilots at the World Cup finals.
Unfortunately, his brother Lennard did not quite manage a place on the podium this time with 11 cm; however, a 5th place in an international competition for which only the world’s best pilots from 35 countries could qualify is also a sensational achievement.
Both brothers are now in the top ten of the FAI world rankings, Linus as the best European pilot in 3rd place and Lennard in 8th place.
Gold for Team Germany, China wins overall ranking
Team Germany, consisting of Matjaz Sluga as well as Andreas, Lennard and Linus Schubert, won the World Cup. Silver went to the team from Serbia, bronze to the Spanish team.
This international competition was not only probably the biggest flying event in Germany this year, but also the final of the 2023 World Cup series. In the overall annual ranking, favourite Yang Chen from China took 1st place with a deviation of only 11cm in a total of 30 flights. Silver for a total of 20cm went to Feng Li (also China) and bronze went to South Korean Chulsoo Lee. The best German pilot was Andreas Schubert in 25th place.
All pilots were enthusiastic about the Wasserkuppe with its ideal infrastructure for aviation sports. In his closing speech, Andreas Schubert thanked his fellow club members, the team of judges and all the helpers for their tireless efforts, which had made this event possible in the first place.
After the German Championships and the Friendship Cup last week, the competition season on the Wasserkuppe now comes to an end with the World Cup finals. However, it will not be any quieter for the Rhön point landers: they are already training for the World Cup, which will take place in Bulgaria in October. For the time being, Germany is in third place internationally.
All results, pictures and live streams from the World Cup can be found at https://accuracy.wasserkuppe.com.