Hartbeespoort’s paragliding champion, André Rainsford-Alberts (57), won the South African national championships at the annual Barberton Paragliding Open event.
This elite pilot continues to dominate the local competitive paragliding scene having won every local competition he has attended in the last twenty years or more with an astonishing record number of task wins. He holds two continental speed records.
Rainsford has represented South Africa at numerous World Championship and World Cup events around the globe since 2000. He has attained the podium in World Cup events on three occasions finishing third in Reunion Island (2016), second in Sun Valley, USA (2012), and he won the South African event in 2013. Andre received the coveted Lewis-Lang ‘Pilot of the Year’ Trophy awarded by the Aero Club of South Africa in 2013 after his World Cup victory in South Africa.
Rainsford dominated the South African national championships in Barberton by winning two of the three tasks by huge margins in a hotly contested event.
“I guess you could say winning at Barberton is something of a victory for middle-aged men, but we don’t take it too seriously. I think if you ask my kids about it they might say I am an ageing hippy with a flying habit and great motorcycle and wine collections,” he laughs.