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Published on:
14 Mar 2023

Castelo’s truly stunning landscape with huge granite domes surrounded by mountains and waterfalls, makes it one of the most beautiful places to fly in the world. It’s complex aerology, thanks to the sea breeze, gives added interest, giving a technically challenging arial playground.

The World Cup’s return to Castelo and the Ubá valley is long overdue. Four very successful competitions have already been held here: 2006, 2008, 2012 and 2016. Yann Martail and Emanuelle Zufferey won in 2012. Will it be all change at the top, or more of the same from two of the World’s most consistent and long serving pilots?

Hot off the top spot from the recent Super Final in Mexico in December, Honorin Hamard, will also be competing. Baptiste Lambert, third in the Super Final, with three World Cup wins already could put up a real challenge to Honorin’s bid to win his seventh World Cup. However, for once, this is probably not going to be all about the French. Top Brazilian pilots Rafael Saladini, Luciano Horn and Gilmar Couto are also in with a real chance of landing on the top spot in a place, and with conditions, that they all know very well. Not to mention young Brazilian prodigy, 21-year-old Caio Buzzarello.

The race for the ladies’ podium could well be a French/Brazilian duel too with Meryl Delferriere and Marcella Uchoa obvious favourites. But there are a lot of other very experienced ladies taking part. Violeta Jimenez, third overall in this years’ Monarca Open, will, like Meryl and Marcella be setting her sights on a good overall ranking too! Boys beware!

A lot of respect also has to go to the legendary Pepe Malecki who will be taking part in his 99th World Cup, here in Castelo.

With 18 AA pilots taking part, the only thing that is certain is that it will be a very challenging competition.

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Photos courtesy of PWCA / Ulric Jessop

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