Organisation : Sikkim Paragliding Association
Competition Name : First International Sikkim Global Paragliding Competition
Competition Date : December 17 to 21
Website : http://www.sikkimparagliding.org
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Global Paragliding Competition :
** The Sikkim Paragliding Association (SPA) will organise the first international competition in Gangtok from December 17 to 21.
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** About 125 paragliders from the country and abroad are expected to take part in 1st Sikkim Paragliding Red Panda International Accuracy Open Championship, which is a first of its kind in the region, including Kalimpong and Darjeeling, where paragliding is gaining popularity as part of adventure tourism.
** The organisers said the championship had been sanctioned by the Federation Aeronautique International (FAI), and this could go a long way in putting Sikkim on the paragliding map of the world.
** “Our aim is to promote Sikkim as a destination for adventure tourism and put our state on the map of the paragliding world,” said Manoj Kumar Chettri, the SPA spokesman.
** The paragliders will take off from the Anee Gumpa hilltop situated at the height of 1450m and land on the Khel Gaon ground at Reshithang.
** The Khel Gaon complex is about 15km from Gangtok towards Ranka.
** The distance between the take-off point and the landing spot is about 1km as the crow flies.
** Raju Rai, the SPA technical head and an international paraglider himself, said the competitors would be judged on the basis of precision landing.
** “Each participant will be given six tries to land on the designated landing spot.
** They will be judged on the basis of the precision of their landing and consistency,” he said.
The competition will be held under three categories : men, women and team.
** The first three from each category will be awarded trophies and cash prizes.
** SPA president Raj Kumar Subba said the entry was open for 125 paragliders from across the globe, but 75 per cent of the participants must be from India.
** “The entry fee is 150 Euros for every participant and they can register at skpa.org,” he said.
** To add colour to the championship, he said, cultural events and local food stalls will also be set up at the Khel Gaon complex.
** Arjun Rai, another international paraglider from Sikkim, said the championship would encourage the local paragliders to take paragliding as a sport, especially since paragliding is being considered to be included in the Asian Games.
** Earlier in the month, Sikkemese woman Cheden Bhutia had become the first paraglider from the state to win a medal in an international event.
** She had bagged the bronze in the cross-country event at the Open International Paragliding Competition in Nepal