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Paragliding Nationals wrap in Pemberton

Canadian Hazlett wins open class

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The 2017 Canadian Paragliding Nationals brought challengers to Pemberton from all over the world, but in the end, Canadians took the top spot in three of the four categories during competition from July 22 to July 28.

In the open class, Canadian Brett Hazlett edged American Tyler Bradford and fellow Canuck Andrew Berkeley, though Bradford captured the serial class title over Berkeley and fellow American Owen Shoemaker. Igor Tolsky led a Canadian sweep of the sport class along with Peter Spear and Mark Parminter while Canadian Nicole McLearn took the women's title over Canadian Claudia Schwab and American Lindsay Holden.

Organizer Guy Herrington of Sea to Sky Paragliding was thrilled with how the first nationals since 2012 went in the community, noting several spectators went all over Pemberton to catch the action.

"I had a lot of positive feedback. People were really happy," he said. "We had people hiking and biking and mountain climbing and kiteboarding — we had pictures from every corner of the sky."

Herrington said he sought to make the event as safe as possible, racing only on days with ideal conditions. One racer was killed in action the last time Pemberton hosted the event in 2012.

Of the seven days that were set aside for racing, three presented conditions that weren't conducive to racing, leaving racers sidelined on July 26, 27 and 29.

"We had four taskable days and there were three days that we called due to stronger winds," Herrington said. "One of those days we probably could have gotten away with, but I was erring on the side of caution to make sure that we had a safe (competition)."

In addition to the races, organizers also held a fundraising dinner at Miller's Farm during the week, raising an estimated $2,500 and $3,000 for the Red Cross' B.C. Fires Appeal.

Complete results are available at canadiannationalspg.weebly.com/results.html.

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