billingBir is a small village in the District of Kangra about 50 kms from Dharmashala and is a part of the Joginder Nagar Valley of the Dhauladhar Range in the foothills of the Himalayas. Unbelievably beautiful, it is a farming village comprising a Tibetan settlement and the local population, students volunteers, foreigners taken in  by the beauty. Most people live in the southern end in a place called Chougan and a field about 14 kms to the north called Billing is a paragliding site at an elevation of about 2400 meters. It has hosted many international events and this year it is hosting the World Championships between the 25th and the 31st October 2015!! It is beautiful to watch the flyers perform tasks as they are rated. There were over 100 pilots from several nationalities competing and  there is a link that was tracking the flights in realtime as it happened.

The team from France has taken the overall winners position flying a contingent of 11 Ozones & one Gin Boomerang 10 and a Niviuk. They were  followed by the UK, Slovenia & Norway. The home team placed 12th with great flights by instructor Gurpreet Dhindsa in his Bommerang 10 and others in the team Ajay Kumar, Jyoti Prakash, Budh Ram, Arvind Paul, Vijay Soni, Prakashchand Thakur and Gautam Nath and their scores below. What is as usual sad is that they have no sponsors and are self funded!!

Rank ID Name Nation Glider Sponsor T5.1 T5.2 T5.3 T5.4 T5.5 Score
12 India 2305 971 2316 512 1874 7978
421 Ajay KUMAR IND Ozone EnZo 2 781 260 845 184 850 2920
365 Gurpreet DHINDSA IND Gin Boomerang 10 PG-Gurukul 753 269 750 175 501 2448
431 Arvind PAUL IND Ozone EnZo 2 nill 701 432 721 153 523 2530
435 Vijay SONI IND Gin Boomerang 10 771 230 149 0 0 1150
430 Prakashcand THAKUR IND Ozone Mantra 6 327 270 569 141 455 1762
433 Gautam NATH IND Ozone Delta 2 nil 231 197 562 122 410 1522
434 Jyoti PRKASH IND Gin Boomerang 10 self 239 262 565 114 476 1656
1701 Budh RAM IND Ozone Delta 2 214 176 111 47 383 931

Not surprisingly there is a also a paragliding school here where Gurpreet’s the instructor and I made a plan to meet him soon. This looks and sounds like stuff that I think I should do and a perfect complement to my scuba experiences – high up in the air from deep down in the sea !!