Taking over the place left by the big biennial meeting of Basse-Ham, which ceased to be held in 2012 after seven successful editions, the town of Blois in the Loire Valley hosted its first "Mondial Air Paramoteur" last weekend. Several manufacturers and pilots from all over the continent were seen in the skies and grounds of the Blois aerodrome.
Between the 19 and 21 of June, the aerodrome of Breuil, about 170 km to the southwest of Paris, was "taken" by over 450 paramotor pilots from different countries, including a number of members of national selections on their way to the 2nd Slalom World Championship that will start in Poland on Saturday 27. [In the picture: the French team. Photo: Karen Skinner]
Hence, there was no shortage of spectacle in the sky, from radical powered acro with helicopters and infinity tumblings by Spain’s Manu Malaguita, displays by the pilots of the only female paramotor team –formed by world champion Coralie Mateos (FR), Karen Skin
ner (ES), Marie Liepmann (FR) and Lydia Jaecques (BE) [in the picture, posing for a photographer] - to European and world champions of recent years, many of them also members of different factory teams, like Pap, Niviuk, ITV, Dudek, etc. Karen told us that it was "a real pleasure to fly with other women" at the MAP, and added that there are many paramotorist women in France "and not only in competitions!”
It was also an opportunity to present new products in the stands that the most important manufacturers of the world had in a great outdoor trade fair dedicated to powered paragliding.
One of the most interesting, perhaps, was the paraglider with digital printing introduced by paraglider manufacturer Paramania [in the picture, captured by Víctor Rodríguez], a technique that allows to print any color photo on the sail, opening amazing possibilities for customization. They have not yet disclosed further details of this technique, developed by Mike Campbell-Jones, but they hope to put it on the market soon along with other new products.
Niviuk displayed several demo gliders of their range suitable for motorized flight, and the one that drew most attention was the Skin, a single surface wing which proved its qualities in the hands of their team pilots: Karen Skinner, Nico Aubert or Ramon Morillas. Nico and Ramon will fly the dedicated wing for slalom, Doberman, in the Worlds of Poland.
Gin Gliders chose this event to officially introduce their new glider for paramotor, the Pegasus, designed in collaboration with French pilot Laurent Salinas and the German manufacturer of engines and trikes, Fresh Breeze. The Pegasus is a safe wing to start in the sport of paramotor and it is the first member of a new paramotor range that the Korean brand will launch this year.
Other new gears seen were the recently launched Thor 80 engine from Polini (which we told you about here), the Dudek Snake XX glider – replacement of the most successful paramotor slalom wing-, and several lesser-known manufacturers, like Simplify, specialized in lightweight paramotors (their lightest unit weighs just 17.5 kg), or Peszke Propellers, Polish manufacturer of propellers. According to visiting pilots, the Organization was good, there were many people participating in the event and good flights were had, with set raids every morning and a great ambiance of paramotor and paratrike pilots, both men and women of all ages. That, even though the wind did not allow to perform some shows in the evenings. For many pilots, it was also a chance to train a little before the Slalom World Championship that started in Legnica on Saturday.