Paraglide pilots from around the world are in Vernon this weekend

Soaring above the Valley

Some of the top paraglide pilots in the world are in the North Okanagan this weekend.

The Vernon P.G.A. Open paragliding event is being held in the King Eddie area near Lavington today and Sunday.

Norm Krcmar, who operates Paraglide Canada out of Coldstream, said 35 pilots are at the nationally sanctioned target-landing event.

The pilots launch off a mountain top in the King Eddie area and then have to land as close to a target as possible in a field next to the King Eddie Forest Service Road.

Scoring is like golf with the lowest score winning. The farther away from the target the pilot lands, the more points he is awarded.

Krcmar said Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI) World Air Sports has events “all over the world” and this weekend, it is in the North Okanagan.

The Lumby and Lavington areas are known to paragliders around the world.

“Paraglide Canada has been here for almost 30 years. This is a world-renowned site,” he said. “We have pilots coming from all over the world to fly here, even when we don't have a competition. On just about every flyable day, there are pilots in the air.”

Over the summer, pilots from Austria, Japan and are far-flung destinations soared above the Okanagan.

Krcmar encourages people to come out to landing zone which is less than one kilometre up King Eddie FSR from Highway 6 between Vernon and Lavington.

“They can bring a lawn chair and watch everyone participating,” Krcmar said.

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