Lanzarote’s skies will once again host the best hang gliding pilots in the world in the International Canary Islands Open Fai 2, which celebrates 25 years of competitions
Between the 4th – 10th of December, Lanzarote’s skies will be the venue for the 25th edition of the Canary Islands International Hang Gliding Open. This year it celebrates its silver anniversary in the Canary Islands and has been organised by Club de Vuelo Libre Zonzamas Lanzarote under the chairmanship of José Manuel ‘Juaki’ Sánchez García. There are points to fly for this year as the results count towards the world rankings of the World Air Sports Federation’s FAI Category 2 competitions.
For the past two and a half decades, the Canary Islands International Open has featured the best hang gliders in the world. For safety reasons, the competition establishes maximum participation of seventy pilots and this year, at least sixty are expected to sign up for the challenge. Although at the time of going to press numbers were not yet confirmed, organisers expect elite hang gliding pilots to attend, such as thirteen-time world champion in different categories Manfred Rummer, who has just won the HG Class 2 Worlds in Austria. Also, competing will be Blay J. Olmos Quesada, seven-time Spanish champion; French champion Christian Pollet and former fighter pilot and record holder Carlos ‘Formula One’ Puñet.
The Open is divided into three competition categories: Class 1, Class 1 Sport and Class 5, with each race held in six stages, subject to weather conditions (like regattas). Each day, the organisers will determine if the race can go ahead or whether it has to be postponed or cancelled. Depending on the prevailing wind and forecast, the launch area will vary between these options: Famara cliffs (Northwest-West); Mala-Arrieta (Northeast); Órzola-Mirador del Río; Tinajo-El Cuchillo (North) or Mácher (East-Southeast).