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Loma Bola offered good conditions for Saturday's task, with 90 pilots in goal. Photo: Jay Cady
Comps and Events

Paragliding World Championships 2021: T3, 90 in goal

Sunday 7 November, 2021

Good conditions in Loma Bola on Saturday 6 November allowed a 70km task which saw 90 pilots in goal. Russ Ogden (GB) and Yael Margelisch (CH) won the day, with France taking the top Nations spot.

The second task, which was held on Thursday and stopped early due to rough conditions, was retrospectively cancelled following protests, so Saturday’s was the second task to count towards the World Championship scores.

Report from Ruth Jessop and Theo Warden (GB):

Today dawned cloudy once again. However, a beautifully set task saw an incredible 90 pilots complete the 70 km, well-chosen route! The race started with a downwind dash which kept us away from the windswept hills and out into the flats. This gave us a chance to have a relaxed start with enough space to share the thermals comfortably.

Once the start opened the field split with half heading straight along the course line and half deviating towards the foot of the mountains. Although heading back towards the mountain seemed the longer route it turned out to be slightly faster as both groups met at the first turnpoint.

As we flew on towards the plateau the sky closed in and clouded over. It felt like we were in for a change of pace. A few pilots in the lead gaggle got low and were fighting to stay up in broken thermals.

We slowly worked our way from broken thermal to broken thermal until bang, a beautiful +3.5m/s all the way to base. Even though the sky was void of cumulus clouds along the course line we met a smooth +0.5m/s line for about 2-3km which put us higher than the cloud we had just left. Beautiful!

With 20km to go it was time to get back into gear and think about the race. We only needed two more climbs to get into goal. This is where the pace picked back up and it was time for the end game. The first climb was relatively painless but with about 10km to go an orange Boomerang (William Pardis) came out of nowhere and marked a screamer that we all needed to get into goal.

All of the first gaggle were now fighting for every metre. I took a couple more turns and left lower with a few others, as we could see a thermal ahead marked by some more pilots. We got to the thermal just as it petered out, so we were committed to glide the rest of the way to goal. It was nerve racking as the lower pilots were dropping and landing. I got the end of speed with -40 m over goal predicted, so came off bar, tucked my arms in, and held my breath. I made it over the goalfield tree line still thinking I wouldn’t make it, hit a bubble and squeaked over the goal line with 1 metre to spare, staying in my pod and landing downwind! What a great day flying!

The end was a dramatic goal invasion with the first thirty arriving within almost a minute of each other. In all, 90 pilots made goal.

TASK RESULTS

OVERALL

1st Russell Ogden (GB)
2nd Honorin Hamard (FR)
=3rd Julien Wirtz (FR)
=3rd Pierre remy (FR)

WOMEN

1st Yael Margelisch (CH)
2nd Galen Kirkpatrick (US)
3rd Seiko Fukuoka (FR)

NATIONS

1st France
2nd United Kingdom
3rd Switzerland

Top speed points: 01:43:54: Pierre Rémy (36.7km/h average); 01:43:56: Jurij Vidic (SL); 01:43:54: Philipp Haag (DE)

Top leading Points: 156.6: William Pardis (PH); 154.2: Caio Buzzarello (BR); 153.3: Russell Ogden (GB)

All the results are here.

Follow the action live on the web app and at Airtribune.com

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