Luc Armant won the 2022 European Paragliding Championships in Niš, Serbia at the weekend – beating French teammate Maxime Pinot into second place by just three points. Honorin Hamard was third, making it an all-French podium.
The competition was nail-bitingly close at the top all the way through. Maxime Pinot was leading until the final day, but finished the last task in 14th. That allowed Luc Armant, who finished third in the final task, to seize the win by the narrowest of margins.
After six tasks Luc scored 4,432 points against Maxime’s 4,429. Both pilots were flying Ozone Enzo 3’s.
In third place Honorin Hamard was flying a serial class Ozone Zeno 2 (EN D), beating more than 120 other pilots flying CCC competition gliders. He scored 4,415 points.
In the women’s competition Méryl Delferrière (Ozone Enzo 3, 4,377 points) stamped her authority on the competition, beating her closest rival by nearly 300 points. Constance Mettetal (FRA, Niviuk Icepeak X-One) scored 4,084 points to finish second. Elisabeth Egger (AUT, Niviuk Icepeak X-One) was third.
In the new Juniors class, for pilots under 25, Loïs Goutagny (FRA, Niviuk Icepeak X-One) won gold, just four points ahead of Simon Mettetal (FRA, Niviuk Icepeak X-One). Méryl Delferrière was third in the Juniors.
The competition saw six tasks over two weeks, from 73-101km.
Afterwards Luc Armant said it was a “very special event” for him. “It is the fourth time I have competed in the European Championships. The first time was in 2010, and I was in a good position but I screwed up at the end. So this time I am very proud to have this victory.”
He added, “The flying was great, this place is fantastic. The flying was really good and the organisation was perfect.”
Reflecting on his second place, Maxime Pinot, who also finished second in the X-Pyr in June, posted afterwards to his Instagram account: “It has been 10 days full focus on the comp. And today I feel quite tired I must say.
“Bassano’s Monte Grappa Trophy, the X-Pyr and the European Championships were the three main events where I wanted to perform best this season. On the one hand I have the sensation to have missed some opportunities to win all three, and in the other hand satisfaction of being quite successful in all three.
“It is the beauty of the sport, and I can’t be more proud than being surrounded by legends of our sport each time, like Luc Armant or Honorin Hamard on this one.”
He added: “I’m now happy to go back home and I will think about the rest of the season as I need some mental freshness and motivation before going back to competition.”
In the Nations competition it was gold, silver, bronze for France, Czech Republic, Italy.