Letters to the editor for the week of August 23rd, 2012 

The Flag Stop Festival says thanks!

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A huge thank you to Hugh Fisher who spent hours training the kids five days a week all summer long. Hugh was very successful at the event bringing home five gold medals in a variety of events, including the V-1 Senior Masters category. We would also like to thank Karen Tomlinson who organized the youth paddlers during their training sessions in Pemberton.

The next Worlds are in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, which has got the paddlers talking! Many other events are coming up and the Canoe Club is gearing up to continue training through the fall and developing a five-year plan to ensure that we have strong paddlers ready for the next world championships, as well as regional and national events.

Liz Scroggins,

Pemberton Canoe Association

Competition Complete, Many Tired, Happy Pilots Gone Home

The 2012 Canada Paraglide Nationals are over. It was a fantastic competition that proved our new upper launch in MacKenzie Basin is capable of supporting a world-cup race. Up above, visiting pilots from all over the world were blown away by the powerful, big flying. They loved that you could find yourself orbiting across from bald eagles and turkey vultures working the cliff-front thermals that lead to the ridge tops. They were gobsmacked by the route options including our radical "vol-bivi" opportunities (paraglide alpine bivouacking). Some were intimidated by our gaping valley crossings but they learned to find the bullets that usually get you across. Sunny evenings they discovered our magic lift powered by cool katabatic air slipping downslope under a warm stable valley air mass, lifting the entire body and every wing in it inexorably until dusk. Several pilots reported they got more, better adventure flying here in one week than all year back home. With this competition Pemberton's become a top international free-flying aspiration.

The competition organizers, Jim Orava and I, would like to greatly thank our competitors for coming and for their sportsmanship. Likewise we gratefully thank our 37 volunteers, many of whom came from out of town and abroad to bring their passion, specialized knowledge and experience to the comp. They served as race officials, in logistical support, emergency response, and hospitality. They were dedicated and they sacrificed. They got shirts.

We'd also like to thank, in no preferential order, Pemberton and region's local governments, our public emergency responders, our sponsors, local businesses and media, and of course, our residents and local First Nations. You were all superb and understanding of the unique demands of the competition, of our learning experience in producing the comp for the first time, and of the impact our sport creates in a close community like Pemberton. Loving thanks to the forbearance of our wives and families. Thank-you especially to those local landowners who volunteered their lands for auxiliary goal fields and for emergency landing spots.

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