Milica and Pavle Marinković are the medalists of this year’s paragliding contest in the precision landing discipline, which was held last weekend (07-08.) in Vršac. After six rounds, which were held in quite demanding conditions and on a complicated landing field, there was only one pilot with better results than the Marinkovic duo, Ivan Pavlov (AK ‘’Delta’’ – Kanjiža), who won first place.  Milica (AK ‘’Aero-Edu’’ – Belgrade), one of the 30 pilots competing, despite being one of the only two ladies, won third place. Her brother Pavle (KBS ‘’Košava’’ – Belgrade) won the silver medal and showed that he can teach his sister a thing or two, despite being younger than her.

–        We are glad that people from all over Serbia, and even guests from the Republic of Srpska and Montenegro came to the competetion, even though it wasn’t held during the flying season. When someone travels all that distance so they can be a part of your competetion, then you know you’re doing the right thing. The competition is actually part of the CAN project (Cross Border Networking) which is financed by the IPA Adriatic program of the European Union, through which we’ve greatly improved aeronautic sports in Serbia. Among other things, there are also the investments in the form of purchasing airplanes and vehicles for the purpose of search and rescue, as well as the enclosure of the airport ‘’Lisičiji Jarak’’ in Belgrade, which will be finished by the end of this year. Aside from this competetion, within the same project, we also have a parachuting cup next weekend, at this very airport- stated Željko Ovuka, the Secretary General of the Aeronautical Union of Serbia.

VSS1 VSS2 VSS3 VSS4 VSS5 VSS6 VSS7 VSS8In the group competetion, the ‘’Košava’’ aeronautical sports club from Surčin, including Slobodan Miletić – pilot and team leader, Dejan Valek – current European champion, Pavle Marinković and Milan Bujić, had the highest ranking pilots. They had a comprehensive victory with 319 negative points, leaving the ‘’Montenegro’’ team, who had 1.614 negative points at the end of the competetion and who won second place, behind them. The bronze medal, with the result of 2.324 points, somewhat unexpectedly since they had fought on their home ground, went to the team from the ‘’Berkut’’ sports paragliding club, from Vršac.

The organizer of this competetion was the Aeronautical Union of Serbia, with great help from the Ministry of Youth and Sport.

The competetion lasted two days. However, during the first day, the very thick fog and unfavorable wind prevented the start of the competetion. Throughout the whole day, the paraglider pilots from the 11 teams, with great enthusiasm and a lot of faith, waited for the weather to improve at the take-off ‘’Kula’’, over Vršac. However, the weather situation  hadn’t changed during the day and so the pilots from Raška, Kraljevo, Kosovska Mitrovica, Aleksinac, Belgrade, Požarevac, Kanjiža, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro, returned from the take-off without having done their jobs.

Considering the fact that paragliding is a sport in which competetions are usually held far from urban areas, and where, in case of accidents, the pilots are often directed to each other, the Serbian Mountain Rescue Service showed what should be done in emergency situations and how to ask for help of the Service. The theoretical and practical course of self-rescue and first aid was also announced.

On the second day of the competetion, the fog was no longer an obstacle for the pilots, but the wind did condition a change of field for the competetion. More than 180 take-offs and landings were performed from the nearby hill, in the small town of Kuštilj, right on the border with Romania.