Paragliding Craig on winning streak

PUBLISHED: 18:50 17 June 2008 | UPDATED: 10:45 17 June 2010

FORTUNE has smiled on Sidmouth paraglider Craig Morgan so far this year as he dramatically won the first leg of the British Open last week. This was in Pedro Bernardo, in Spain, and comes after he took the Polish Open Championship in the Dolomites between

FORTUNE has smiled on Sidmouth paraglider Craig Morgan so far this year as he dramatically won the first leg of the British Open last week.This was in Pedro Bernardo, in Spain, and comes after he took the Polish Open Championship in the Dolomites between April 25 and May 3 this year.These successes follow a disastrous 2007 season which ended in Craig crash landing and trekking 5km through gullies and gorges in the foothills of the Pyrenees, carrying his 30kg wing.Craig said this dented his confidence and put him into a psychological low. He said: "The Polish Open was a gauge to see how I did against quality and to see if I still had the mental strength to compete."The contest is made up of four tasks where competitors follow a route programmed into GPS machines which guide and record the flight.After each task entrants hand over the GPSs to judges who check times and routes.Craig won the first task outright against some of the best competition in Europe and did well enough in the others to make him this year's Polish Champion.Early success in the British Open followed a stroke of bad luck in the first task when lack of thermals brought Craig down.He hitched back to base to find himself in 42nd place. He regarded task two as damage limitation but finished in second place, increasing his overall position to 22nd.On the third leg he teamed up with another competitor but broke away through the clouds to win by four minutes.In the final task Craig did well enough to wipe out the effects of the early disappointment and win the leg. He now prepares for the next leg, commencing from Long Mynde Hill, Shropshire, and then for the third leg which is near to where he crashed last year.For Craig this event will be a chance to put old demons finally to rest.

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