Wilderness resident and paraglider Khobi-Jane Bowden has won the South African Women’s Paragliding Championships for the second time.
GEORGE NEWS - For the second year in a row, Wilderness resident and fulltime instructor at Cloudbase Paragliding school, Khobi-Jane Bowden took the honours and thus achieved her goal to represent South Africa in the bi-annual Paragliding World Championships which this year will be held in Piedrahita, Spain, from 2 to 18 July.
Selection for the South African team is based on your results in the World Paragliding Ranking System for the two years prior to the World Championships. This international system ranks pilots for each competition they enter, be it national or international.
Khobi-Jane has been paragliding since 2001. After a three year apprenticeship as an assistant instructor, she received her instructor’s rating in November 2005.
Khobi is a passionate competition pilot and was in the running for the South African national team in 2007 and again in 2009, but work commitments ruled her out of making the team.
Khobi-Jane, together with her husband Jan Minnaar, then committed to achieving her goal and entered overseas competitions to get international experience, as well as attending all the rounds of the SA Paragliding Cup in South Africa.
Khobi has done extremely well since her first full year of competition in 2009, winning the SA Paragliding Cup Ladies Championship in 2009 and 2010, placing 2nd in the SAPC Sports Class, winning the international SA Winelands Open in 2009 and 2010 and the Sports class in 2009. At the pre World Championship in Spain last year, where 150 international pilots took part, Khobi was the 3rd lady.
Currently placed 10th overall in South Africa, Khobi is the only lady on the South African National Paragliding team. Her teammates are Russell Achterberg, Andre Rainsford and Henry Schurink from Gau-teng.
Her husband, Jan, who was a team member at the 1993 World Championships in Verbier, Switzerland, and has been a full time instructor since 1992, sits on the management team along with Martin Van Der Merwe and Cyril Mazibuko.