Those who were in the Chilean Andes during the first week of January may have witnessed a large blue footprint in the sky. That’s because Global Footprint Network was selected among non-profits around the world to be featured on a glider competing during the 3rd World Sailplane Grand Prix Championship. And not just any glider – the winning glider flown by reigning champion Sebastian Kawa of Poland.
Billed as the “sport that celebrates the planet”, Grand Prix Gliding launched its third World Championship event in Santiago, Chile, which included 15 pilots from eight countries. Kawa’s win followed eight races over eight days in the challenging landscape of the Andes, which is the longest mountain formation in the world and includes the highest peak in the Americas: Aconcagua at 6962m, according to the event organizers.
Beyond its breathtaking views, the Andes glaciers were a fitting backdrop for the event as climate change now threatens Chile’s main reserve of freshwater. According to organizers, the sport of Grand Prix Gliding is currently generating interest from companies and organizations dedicated to a sustainable world because of it its ability to “focus attention on some of the planet’s natural treasures,” such as the mountain range that formed the backdrop to the event.