Deano and his GTR win at Slalomania 2013
Paramania's Dean Eldridge has won a podium place with his GTR 20 at the recent Slalomania 2013, held alongside the French Open Championships at Mondreville Aeroclub, south of Paris. Coming second in the first round of the multi-event title, he and his Paramania co-competitors showed what the GTR is capable of.
Over to Deano:
"I'm back in the UK now after a 12 day stint in France for a very well organised classic open competition and subsequent first round of Slalomania 2013. Accompanying me on the trip were Phil Jennings, Ric Womersley and Sussex Paramania dealer Mark Morgan.
"The championships started very well for me with a spot landing and a race around the pylons. Good solid points in these meant I started the competition in 3rd place. However, that's as far up the standings as it got for me, with a bad decision made in a 'declared speed' task and some technical issues with my carburettor and the attached competition fuel container. I dropped to 12th overall and was not able to claw back more points such was the high standard of the other competitors.
"Phil Jennings demonstrated what a great all-round pilot he is and earned a very respectable 5th place. It was Ric's first foreign event and he put in some good solid results and was the only pilot to hit the spot in an extremely difficult spot landing. Unfortunately the marker was slippy and, looking like he had just landed on a banana skin, Ric went over on a knee losing the points; a damn shame!
"After a day of rest we all swapped equipment for Slalomania. I changed my Paramania GTR from a 22 to my trusty 20, Ric changed from a 24 down to my 22, Phil jumped on a GTR18 and transplanted his Polini 200 engine into his Zenith chassis to replace the Top80 and Morgy (Mark Morgan) got his spanking new custom-coloured GTR20 and Zenith Moster out for some action!
"The scoring for Slalomania is immediate but also incurs huge penalties for any mistakes. My brief to the other guys was to start steady rather than charge like a bull at a gate at the first task and risk getting heavily penalised at an early stage. The strategy paid off with us all improving as the tasks went on.
"It was a little frustrating though when some tasks got cancelled due to the wind. The four of us were all on super-solid GTR wings that could have coped with much stronger conditions! Neither did we have any issues with our beautiful Parajet Zeniths which gave great feedback and control in all situations.
"The competition was prematurely ended on the Saturday due to unfavourable weather forecasts ahead - meaning 2nd spot on the podium for me! Phil progressed up through the ranks to take a great 7th and would have pushed on for more as would Ric and Morgy. Ric for instance got 4th place on the last task until it was cancelled.
"A mention must also go out also to local pilot Guillaume Vallance flying a Zenith Polini 200 and Paramania GTR20 taking a superb 6th place on his first slalom competition. Three Parajet/Paramania combos in the top 10 is pretty good, but it's going to be all five of us next time around!"