Sarangani bags hosting of 2015 paragliding world cup

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 1 Dec) – Sarangani province bagged the right to host one of the legs of the Paragliding Accuracy World Cup (PGAWC) next year, a Department of Tourism (DOT) official said.

Nelly Nita Dillera, DOT director for Region 12, thanked the PGAWC organizers for approving the Philippine proposal to host the world cup in Sarangani province’s Maasim town.

“This only proves that our paragliding site is world-class. We are very excited to host the world cup,” she told MindaNews.

The official said hosting the paragliding world cup will help boost the tourism potentials of the region, as many foreigners are expected to join the event.

Dillera said they are set to meet this week here to discuss preparations for the upcoming paragliding accuracy world cup competition.

It is tentatively set within the first half of 2015, she added.

Last August, Sarangani province successfully hosted the Philippines’ 1st International Paragliding Competition (IPAC), which was accredited by the Federation Aeronautique Internationale and has been sanctioned as a pre-world cup status.

Some 40 pilots from 13 countries joined the competition, which was organized by the Air Sports Association of the Philippines (ASAP).

Randell Raymundo, ASAP president, earlier said the chances of Sarangani to host a paragliding accuracy world cup is high, owing to the almost year-round flying condition in the area.

He described Sarangani’s paragliding site as “the best in the Philippines.”

The paragliding site in Maasim town is within the mountain ranch of San Andres Fishing Industry Inc (SAFI) in the village of Siguel, which has a fantastic view of the Sarangani Bay awaiting the pilots as they glide in the air down to the landing site 700 meters below.

Marfenio Tan, SAFI ranch owner and a local tuna tycoon, has already pledged to support the paragliding accuracy world cup next year in his property.

The provincial government of Sarangani and the local government of General Santos City are expected to also support the world cup competition, just like what they did for the IPAC 2014.

Bodhi Suprana, an Indonesian paragliding coach who joined the 2014 IPAC, was bullish over the potentials of paragliding in Sarangani.

“It’s a superb site,” he said in an interview then.

The paragliding adventure in Sarangani province has been included in the tourism circuit of Region 12, which is being promoted as the “12th Paradise” of the Philippines.