13th International Ölüdeniz Airgames – The Photos

Last Friday was the first day of the International Ölüdeniz Air Games. This year’s event was a 5-day affair (the final day being today) and this year, we managed to make it over the hill twice to see what was going on.

13th International Ölüdeniz Air Games 2012

Paragliders At Ölüdeniz Airgames 2012

Just a sky of dancing, colourful chutes

Ölüdeniz is famous for its paragliding and it’s definitely this that takes centre stage throughout the whole event. Friday saw clear skies and no breeze – perfect for the paragliders who had arrived from all over the world to take off from the top of Babadağ before landing along Belcekiz Beach. It’s quite a sight to see hundreds of paragliders descending high above you.

Skydiver Display, Ölüdeniz 2012

And some skydivers, too

We were also treated to a couple of skydivers who made smoke patterns in the air before landing on the beach. We’re sure these guys didn’t jump from as high as Felix Baumgartner did for his recent world record breaking skydive but they were impressive, all the same.

Paramotors At The Ölüdeniz Airgames 2012

And some paramotors

Aside from the lagoon, it’s rare that you get a calm sea in Ölüdeniz. The waves crash against the pebbles and the current is strong. Not on Friday. Never have we seen it so calm – or clear. The waves that roll onto Belcekiz beach are usually a vivid turquoise, crested in brilliant white foam.

Paramotor Formations, Ölüdeniz Airgames 2012

A display by the paramotor team

But Friday’s sea resembled a lake. Perfect for swimming – we enjoyed what will probably our final swim of 2012 – and perfect for the low flying of this Istanbul paramotor team who motored their way up and down Belcekiz Beach, out into the bay and even skimmed along the water at some points.

Ölüdeniz Airgames Scenes

It makes sense that the Turkish Aeronautical Association is represented

A hot air balloon, paramotors and remote control aeroplane was the contribution of the Turkish Aeronautical Association. 

Ölüdeniz Airgames 2012

Scenes from the Airgames

We were surprised how much attention this little remote-control plane commanded. Maybe a bit of little-boys-with-toys syndrome kicking in because it was definitely a higher percentage of males that seemed so captivated by it.

Music At The Ölüdeniz Airgames

Fethiye’s Ottoman Era Band

And then it was Sunday – and things were a bit different. Positive speeches were given about the hopes of making the Fethiye area a 12-month destination. The Ölüdeniz Airgames are a big part of that and certainly extend the traditional season by a couple of weeks. With Ölüdeniz (amongst other places) set to become incorporated into the official Fethiye council borders, we’ll see what happens over the next few years.

Ölüdeniz Airgames 2012

And some people still sunbathe on Belcekiz Beach

An Ottoman Battle Band kicked things off in style on Sunday – we didn’t even know Fethiye had one but would love to see them again – but the sea was the tell-tale sign. The turquoise waves had returned, caused by a stiff breeze. So stiff was the breeze that it was unsafe for the paragliders to take off.

The remote control plane whirred and somersaulted through the air like an over-sized mosquito (that’s a girl thing – again, a lot of the guys looked mightily interested, watching the guy in charge of the controls with envy) and the paramotors and kites took over. As for the local economy, the seafront bars and restaurants were packed and we were happy to make our own little contribution.

Unfortunately, Fethiye’s late October heatwave came to an end with a (literal) bang throughout Sunday night and yesterday. Heavy rain, thunder and lightening hung over us all and no doubt affected the Airgames. Today, so far, is brighter and the air is still. With live music planned for this evening to close proceedings, we’re doing a sunshine dance for Ölüdeniz today.

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  1. Once again amazing photographs Julia! Wish we were still there to have seen that, but we can’t have everything! Enjoy the music. Connie.

  2. @ Connie: Wow, that was a quick comment. A shame about the weather the last few days but the Airgames is a great event and will hopefully get bigger. See you next spring. 🙂

  3. it looks wonderful! i hope the rain stays away!

  4. @Jaz: The rain has come back and gone again. Not too sure what the forecast for Fethiye is this evening…

  5. Anne Mackle says

    I love your photos. Not sure about all theses paragliders being above me but it makes a lovely sight.

  6. We will def. make a date to visit this next year.

  7. @ Anne Mackle: The paragliders are a fab sight aren’t they. The landings are really controlled (mostly) so pedestrians can feel safe. 🙂

    @ BacktoBodrum: Yes do. İt’s a good day out for the end of the season in this part of Turkey.

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