Russ Ogden (GB) and Yael Margelisch (CH) won Monday’s 55km task, and the United Kingdom now lead the Nations rankings. In what for them was one tough day, France dropped from first place to 12th.
Weak conditions meant more than half the field landed before the first turnpoint, while 39 went on to make goal. This meant it was a high-scoring day, and there was a big difference in points between those who made goal and those who bombed out.
Luc Armant scored 0 having infringed airspace, and only Seiko Fukuoka made goal for the French team. While individual pilots are able to discard their worst score, there are no discards in the nations rankings.
The top five pilots in the individual rankings after four tasks are all either British (Russ Ogden and Seb Ospina in first and third); or French (Honorin Hamard, Luc Armant and Pierre Rémy).
Ruth Jessop reports on Task four, Monday 8 November:
As the pilots took off for today’s 55km task, heading south, there was still cloud on the ridge.
When 80 pilots bombed out before the first turnpoint it looked as if there was zero chance of anyone making it around the course. Instead, today proved to be a good, challenging task which completely threw the scores in the air. It was definitely a day for knowing when to change pace.
It was a slow task where much of it was flown in ‘tourist mode,’ gently and slowly, with plenty of gear changes. A lot of time was spent struggling for survival, concentrating on the sun spots, everyone staying up as best they could, a day where patience was key.
At 13:01 in the Commentary we wrote: Russell Tiger Woods Ogden (GBR) is above us, low but climbing. Possibly wishing he had gone golfing instead today”. Just at that point Russell, in the sky not so far above us, got a low save.
Then the sun came out and the day started to work very slowly. Just after the turnpoint the sky opened up and suddenly the task seemed possible.
Once again, the sky closed in as the 60 pilots still in the air neared goal.
The last 15km were all in shadow with one thermal to get them to goal, which sadly wasn’t enough for some. The best route seemed to be to go
over the town where there was a thermal which made all the difference in getting to goal. The river was sinky, but the town worked.
Russell Ogden was the star of the day, coming back from a low save, 120m above the strawberries, a third of the way from the start to the only
turnpoint in today’s task. He then caught up and played it safe. The other two who were in the top three with him this morning had landed early.
Russell hung back in about 50th place, gaining as much height as he could, climbing to 1787m. He then sat comfortably in his new Ozone submarine harness before going for it, skimming over the goal line first with 2m to spare, proving that today wasn’t a day to go golfing after all!
1st Russell Ogden (GB)
2nd Gilberto Raposo (BR)
3rd Seokchul Oh (KO)
1st Yael Margelisch (CH)
2nd Nanda Walliser (CH)
3rd Klaudia Bulgakow (PO)
Top speed points: 02:45:36 Russell Ogden (16.7km/h average); 02:47:21 Gilberto Raposo (BR); 02:49:54: Magnus Eriksson (SE)
Top leading points: 102.9: Jan Richard Hansen (NO); 99.8: Daniel Tyrkas (DE); 99.5: Lambert Baptiste (FR)