04 Aug 2022

PG XC Euro 2022 - France dominating, Czech and North Macedonia catching up

The beginning of the European Paragliding Championships in Nis was initially over-shadowed by the strong wind and rain, but finally, the weather improved and allowed 5 excellent tasks to be flown with optimised distances from 72 to 101 km. The launches were organised from 3 different take-offs, depending on the wind directions. Incredibly, the local international airport agreed to cease or deviate flights on certain dates giving the sky competely to the disposal of paragliders. It is difficult to comprehend the unprecedented level of support for the championship given by the local authorities and the immense work done by the main organiser - National Air Club of Serbia.

Within the competition, in addition to the usual overall, female and national categories, there is now a junior championship - the first time ever in the history of the sport at Category 1 level. There are 10 juniors (8 male and 2 female) in the comp, the youngest being just 20; at least 2 of them are constantly placed in the top ten overall of each task. 

The flying conditions are quite demanding. The flying site is a combination of flatland and mountaneous flying, but still it differs seriously from the conditions in the Alps or in the European flats. In some parts of the tasks, the pilot have had very hard times to survive being low and trying to find lift, whilst in other sections, they just enjoy a perfect cloudstreet and tail winds. 

The penultimate task of the event of 101 km race to goal was by far the most impressive. "It was just beautiful" - said Luc Armarnt FRA upon landing. The winner of the task Slovenian pilot Marko Novak made the distance in just 2 hours and 11 minutes setting an average speed of approximately 45 km/h.

Currently the leaders in overall are Maxime Pinot (FRA) , Luc Armant (FRA) and Honorin Hamard (FRA). The best Females are Meryl Delferriere (FRA),  Yael Margelisch (SUI) and Katalin Juhasz (HUN). The leading teams are France, Czech and North Macedonia. The best juniors are Loïs Goutagny (FRA), Simon Mettetal (FRA),  Meryl Delferriere (FRA).

Tomorrow is the final day. Stay tuned and follow the live tracking, which now has live scoring added.

Watch videos from launches here:

Task 5

Task 4

Task 3

Photo by Dejan Valek