Dean Eldridge wins the UK Nationals on a 20m2 GTR
The multi-winning champion at the British Paramotor Championships, Michel Carnet, has finally had his title taken from him, and was taken by a huge margin. Deano was flying his 20m2 Paramania GTR and Polini 200 against Michel, who was on a 31m2 wing with a similar sized engine, both at similar body weights. Doing amazingly well in economy and speed proves that the GTR is also an amazing classic FAI comp style wing as well as the perfect slalom machine!
A tough competition involving some of the best pilots in the world, the British Paramotor Championships has been an annual event since 1997. It takes more than just great skill to win a title like this when competing with pilots who have mastered traditional competitions for a big part of their lives.
I interviewed Deano and this is what he said:
How did you come to win the competition?
I believe it had to do in part with the testing we did at the French competition just before; the best test is a live test. Laurent Salinas and Mike Campbell-Jones came to meet up with me and tweak all our wings for some final experimentation as the worlds are coming up soon, those GTR tweaks proved successful.
How does the GTR compare?
Some people's strategy is to take a large wing, but with the new GTR and the superior efficiency of the MCJ design, we do not have the loss of agility and added weight of a larger wing. The old school way of wing development and flying is becoming more and more outdated as the MCJ technology moves us into a different realm of flight; high efficiency, fast and safe wings. I actually had the greatest speed range recorded at the French comps, as well as a highly competitive speed over distance fuel economy advantage at both events.
How did you use the GTR to your advantage?
Knowing I could cut through what thermal activity there was and stay on course I flew up high to let the thermals soften up a bit for the navigation task, flying fast and straight as an arrow. Also, on day two the conditions were great so they ran the figure of eight. I came in second only to Pascal Vallee and this put me in first in the league for the win. I had the best of all worlds and with my new Polini 200 and Parajet Zenith I could keep up with the GTR's desire to fly.
Yes, you had the tools you needed to complete and win the comps but what about the pilot?
Well yes, the pilot does have a role to play. If you blow a task it is impossible to climb back to the top so strategy is important, doing very well in each task with no penalties. Not to necessarily win every task but squeeze the most out of them with no mistakes.
Thanks for the words Deano, congratulations on your new title!