The International Himalayan Open Paragliding Championship (Pre-World Cup) 2011-12 started at the world famous Billing (2430 meters) in district Kangra. Irrigation and Public Health Minister Ravinder Singh Ravi inaugurated the adventure sports event after performing the Yajana Ceremony.
As many as 107 pilots took-off from Billing in Himalayan Open Paragliding Championship and Federal Aeronautical International (FAI) Category II, according to Meet Director, Col. B.M. Talwar. He said that task was only assigned to 18 new pilots , who appeared for skill Check and conformity for registration today in FAI category II. The Himalayan National paragliding Championship and International Championship FAI Category II would be held from 18th to 22nd October.
These pilots were assigned the task of covering 53.3 Kilometers and hovering over several points. They flew from take-off site Billing to Red Roof Temple, Small Temple, Train Station, to finally land at Bir and within the 500 meter goal line, said Col Talwar. He said that five tasks would be carried over next five days for Category II pilots with target distance from 80 to 120 kilometers.
The actual competitions would be held from 18th wherein various tasks would be assigned to the pilots. As per safety measures, the GPS trackers and other improvised technical equipments as Walkie-Talkie, Barometer and rescue parachute are being carried by the Pilots.
While talking to the media persons on the occasion Ravinder Ravi said that more such sites were being discovered in the State and the State Government was endeavoured to bring Himachal Pradesh on the world map by promoting adventure Sports activities and indirectly provide opportunities of self employment to the local youth. He said that Himachal Pradesh was promoting religious and adventure tourism in a big way so as to attract the tourists. He said that the State Government was working out for a possibility to opening training institution to train budding Para-gliders.
The minister said that efforts would be made to conduct next World cup Paragliding Championship at Bir-Billing as it was most alluring and perfect site for para-gliders. The minister appreciated the efforts of the Department of Youth Services and Sports, Tourism and Aero Club of India for hosting the championship in the State.
Director Youth Services and Sports Sh.J.R.Katwal disclosed that they were 52 foreign have been registered till the filing of the story. Two women pilots Ms Anna Darchewkova and Ms Karina Sharipova from Russia, Ms Daniela Nladenova Verglova from Bulgaria and Ringzing Doma Bhutia from Sikkim, India were also a part of the team as for today. He said that today apart from skill-check of 18 pilots seventeen Indian Pilots flew in Novice Category, 46 in Tandem Category and 43 in Category II.