Myrianthe flies high for the UK

A ST JOHN’s woman returned from representing the UK in the World Paragliding Accuracy Championship and declared: “I can’t wait to do it all again.”

FLYING THE FLAG – The UK team at the closing ceremony

Myrianthe Ewington was a member of the five-strong team that finished 14th of the 32 competing nations in Prilep, North Macedonia, last month, a remarkable achievement after taking up the sport barely a year ago.

“If you’d told me this July I would be spending half of October at the world championship I would have laughed at the impossibility of it all.

DOWN TO EARTH – Myrianthe is back on solid ground. Sponsors for the UK team’s kit included local chartered accountants PG Fry & Company

“But with the two months of training, I had the chance to take my first flight from 4,600ft at the European Cup – the week before the world championship. Together with the patience of friends and family to support me so that I could train in every possible minute of good weather, it was an amazing opportunity.

“I was delighted with my score in the second towing round that contributed to the overall team score. As an individual I came 26th out of the 31 women competing.

“It has been a vertical learning curve and an incredibly exciting start to paragliding accuracy. I can’t wait to develop further and do it all again one day.”

Paragliding accuracy involves landing on a target, with the score measured by the number of centimetres a competitor lands away from its the centre. The lowest score is the winner.

ALL WHITE ON THE NIGHT – Krusevo looks magical in the snow

There was a challenging start to the competition as the glorious weather of the previous week gave way to low cloud and rain which kept the competitors grounded until the scheduled fourth day of the event. There was even snow for the competition dinner in Krusevo.

“It was the first time meeting the international paragliding accuracy community and they couldn’t have been a more kind, generous bunch of people, absolutely passionate about their sport,” Myrianthe added.

“We flew to Tirana, in Albania, then travelled on to Prilep, which took about four hours. Prilep is a lovely town and the local food was delicious, fresh and very cheap.

“Unfortunately, a lot of the menus weren’t in English so we often had to use a Phototranslate app to understand them! But I would love to go back.

BLUE SKY THINKING – Andy Shaw lines up his approach to the target

“When it came to the competition It was difficult to know what to expect as COVID had ensured very few people had competed internationally in recent months.

“As it turned out, the Korean team dominated. They took first and third in the individual overall and female categories, and gold as a team. “

As Myrianthe looks at possible European competitions for the remainder of the year, and further ahead to the next World Championships in Sopot, Bulgaria, in October 2023, she can reflect on glowing praise from Andy Shaw, the team’s chief coach.

“I’m extremely proud of the newest team member, who has dedicated the last three months to learn accuracy and has completed three competitions in the last two months.

“I have never seen someone progress so fast. Well done, Myri.”

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