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Gadd wins paragliding championship

Dozens of paragliders dotted the skies over Pemberton last weekend, as competitors travelled from all over Canada and the U.S. to compete in the first ever Pemberton-Whistler Championships.


Two out of three races were held, with events delayed on Friday and Sunday, and Saturday’s race cancelled due to high winds. Both competitions were cross-country contests, with flyers covering a set GPS course while the clock ticks. The winner is the pilot who finishes the course with the fastest air speed.

Although there was some confusion about the scoring system and the GPS points system, organizers were happy with the event.

In the end it was Canmore’s Will Gadd who took the win, completing the 30.1 km course on Friday in one hour, 12 minutes and 41 seconds and the 46.9 km course on Sunday in 1:47:31.

Second overall went to Jim Mackelow of the U.S. with 1911 points, finishing second on the first day and third on the second day with times of 1:13:35 and 1:57:10 respectively.

Third place went to Brett Hazlett of North Vancouver, who was third on the first day and fifth on day two with times of 1:15:01 and 2:01:02 respectively.

Nicole McLearn of Vancouver was the top female paraglider, ninth overall on day one and 12 th on day two.

Complete reports and results, as well as a more detailed explanation of the competition can be found on the official Web site at