Bir Billing, October 29, 2015: After playing the waiting game for the last two days, paragliding legend, Julian Wirtz, came into his own to claim the top honours in the third task of the AAI Paragliding World Cup here on Thursday. Among the Indians Ajay Kumar from Manali put behind the disappointing show during the second task yesterday to emerge as the top Indian finisher on the fifth day of the championship.
On a day when the weather conditions were near perfect for flying during the first part of the day, 116 pilots attempted to complete the day’s task of 93.33km that included eight turnaround points. During the second half of today’s task, some low clouds after the Dharamshala turnaround made things interesting for the pilots. Out of those who took the start today, 97 pilots completed the third task of the AAI Paragliding world Cup.
“After yesterday, today’s task turned out to be a bit easy. We wanted the pilots to enjoy the task and the conditions were good for flying,” said meet director, Debu Choudhury.
True to his reputation, Wirtz who finished the second task in 12th place (838points) blitzed the speed section of 83.05km in 2hr: 46min 41 sec. A very consistent pilot, Wirtz has been World No. 1 for almost 20 weeks in last seven months. For today’s performance, the French ace pocketed 995 points, pushing his total to 2294 points. He came into the AAI Paragliding World Cup at No. 4, holding a narrow lead over Maxine Pinot in fifth and Jurij Vidic of Slovenia in sixth place in the world rankings. Wirtz finished in second place at the Portugal World Cup earlier this year and was third in the in the 2014 Superfinals in Turkey in 2014.
Matt Senior from New Zealand upped his game considerably performing the third task that saw him taking the second spot with a total of 963 points for the day. Maxime Pinot, who won the first task, but had a bad outing yesterday, staged a great recovery to finish in third place with a haul of 962 points.
Molek, who finished the second task in 15 place, gained a handful of places on the leaderboard after today’s performance that earned him 961 points to claim fourth.
Yesterday’s winner, Xevi Bonet Dalmau, had an off day as he lost some speed in the last part of the speed section. The Spaniard finished way down the order in 18th place with 940 points for the day. But he can draw some solace from the fact that with a total haul of 2344 points from three tasks he leads the overall leaderboard after three tasks.
After the horrors of the second task, the Indian pilots staged a good recovery on the fifth day of the championship. Ajay Kumar finished the day in 48th place with a total time of 2hr 59min 28sec for which he collected 845 points. India’s one of the most experienced pilots, Gurpreet Dhindsa completed the third task in 64th place to take home 750 points. Local pilot, Arvind Paul, who enjoys considerable support in these parts, was third best among Indians. He completed the task in 71st place to add 721points to his kitty.
“It’s was very good day for flying and I am quite happy with today’s performance after what happened yesterday. The first part of the speed section was pretty good, but things got a bit rough in the second part after the Dharamshala turnaround when low clouds made for choppy wind conditions,” said Kumar at the end of the day.
Among the women, Yuki Sato further consolidated her place on the top of the leaderboard with yet another first place finish. She completed the flight course in 3hr 4min 49sec. Petra Slivova from Czech Republic finished the day in second place with a time of 3hr 17min 13sec, while Yael Margelisch came home in third place with a total time of 3hr 22min 42sec.
Julian Writz (FRA)– 995 points
Matt Senior (NZL)--963
Maxime Piont (FRA) –962
Joze Molek (SVN) -- 961
Guy Anderson (GBR) --960
48. Ajay Kumar – 845 points
64. Gurpreet Dhindsa -- 750
71. Arvind Paul -- 721
Yuki Sato (JPN) – 805
Petra Slivova (CZH) -- 722
Yael Margelisch (CHE) -- 696
Task 3 (Day 5)
Window Open: 1110 hrs
Window Close: 1310 hrs
Race start: 1210 hrs
Task distance: 93.33km
Name Leg Distance (in KM) | Total Distance (in KM)
Billing launch --- | ---
Kujur Top .32 | .32
Kujur Top 6.56 | 6.88
Tashijong Ridge 13.56 | 20.44
Dholta Ridge 15.75 | 36.19
Dharamshala 16.61 | 52.8
Second Antenna 30.25 | 83.05
Kujur Top --- | ---
Bir Sunset Landing 10.88 | 93.33