Ozone R&D pilot Baptiste Lambert flew a 350.5km FAI triangle from Col de l’Izoard, France on Sunday 20 August 2023, potentially a new World record.
The flight was flown on an Enzo 4 prototype, and a preliminary claim has been submitted to the FAI for a World record. The current record stands with Baptiste’s Ozone colleague Honorin Hamard, for a 329.3km triangle flown in July 2016.
It was not the only big triangle flown from the site that day: Among others, Timo Leonetti flew a 331km triangle, and Edouard Potel’s 325km triangle was his third 300km+ triangle from the site in three days!
Baptiste launched just before 10am and was in the air for 11 hours. The wind was north all day, and “quite strong for the whole flight”. He launched with a backwind of 15km/h, and his first thermals were lee-side rockets, which was “an excellent solidity test of the Enzo 4 prototype I was flying!”
The thermals were “crazy good”, which allowed him to take a fast and direct route to all his turnpoints. Not knowing the area so well, he admitted being “a bit lost” and turning back earlier than his fellow pilots, which meant he flew much of the flight alone. It also meant he was ahead of some of the others. Honorin Hamard, who was a little bit later, found the north wind too strong to battle in the Cheval Blanc area, a little north of Saint André-les-Alpes. “He had a few collapses, and couldn’t find a strong climb that didn’t drift too far, so he decided to fly home”.
Baptiste covered his first 250 kilometres at an average speed of 38 km/h, but the 20km/h headwind made the last leg really challenging and turbulent. Getting to the Embrun valley was “magic!” The thermals were gentle and smooth, and the valley breeze pushed him directly back to the take-off.
“The last thermal was quite tricky, I turned 20 minutes in it while contemplating the sunset in these impressive mountains. This is why I fly!”
See the flight on XContest.org