Belinda Boulter, representing the Federation Aeronautique International (FAI or World Air Sports Federation), announced yesterday that the 2020 World Hang Gliding Championships will be hosted in Groveland at Wilotree Field. Boulter said the 2019 pre-world competition also will be hosted at the Lake County airport this April.
Boulter is co-organizing the event with her husband, Davis Straub, who has set numerous hang-gliding world records and is publisher and editor of “The Oz Report,” an online publication for hang-gliding enthusiasts.
Boulter and Straub won the bid for four competitions:
• FAI World Hang Gliding Sports Class Championship
• FAI Women’s World Hang Gliding Class 1 Championship
• FAI World Hang Gliding Class 5 and Class 2 Championships
The 2020 world championships will take place from April 19 to May 1, 2020. The 2019 Quest Air National competition, from April 13 – 19, serves as a trial or pre-world competition for the organizers and the for the World Federation. FAI establishes rules and certifies world records for the sport.
“Hang glider pilots from all over the world love to come and fly in the Florida conditions of smooth thermals and long distances over open pastures,” Straub said.
Lake County and the City of Groveland wrote letters of support that helped secure the bid.
“Lake County is proud to add this event to a growing number of sports championships that have found a home here in ‘Real Florida,’” said Lake County Commissioner Tim Sullivan, who also serves as chairman of the Tourist Development Council.
Groveland Mayor Evelyn Wilson said, “The City of Groveland looks forward to welcoming these competitors and fans from around the world.”
Straub said 125 pilots from 20 countries will be represented in the 2019 pre-world competition, including pilots from Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Italy and the United Kingdom.
The Need to know:
Name of the events:
• 2020 World Hang Gliding Championships
• 2019 Pre-World or National Competition
Dates of the events: World (April 19-May 1, 2020) and Pre-World (April 13-19, 2019) Governing body: Federation Aeronautique International (FAI or World Air Sports Federation), Lausanne, Switzerland.
Bragging Rights for the Groveland Airfield:
• East Coast USA record for longest distance set at this airfield.
• Paradise Air Sports at Wilotree Field has the largest collection of Bailey-Moyes Dragonfly