Yesterday, apart from two withdrawals due to injury, Edoardo Colombo and Fred Juvaux, there were two more withdrawals due to other reasons – José Ignacio Arévalo and Rémi Bourdelle.

Penalties given to other pilots were a 24 hour penalty for airspace infringement for Giuliano Minutella and a 12 hour penalty for Keith Paterson for cloud flying.

Some news from yesterday, reports from the teams.

At the front, Jeremie Lager, Maxime Pinot supporter says:

“It was a pretty good day. 2 flights, first to glide and gain distance in the morning. The second to the turn point and to cross into France. Conditions in Spain were vey nice because cloudbase was high. 3500 max. Tricky on north side because cloudbase was much lower but still possible to cover distance. Total 170 km and eight hours in the air. Easy in the first part, tricky in the second.

Today south wind is not as strong as expected. They will try to fly from Saint Lary Soulan (the ski resort) to the Midi de Bigorre (TP5). They expect strong south wind, so it may be tricky to get back into Spain.

For tomorrow, it will be better in Spain, but with strong south winds. So it may be difficult to fly tomorrow, so they will try to make the most of today.”

Team Chrigel Maurer says: “Chrigel flew 8.5h in total and covered nearly 200km. According to Chrigel conditions didn’t play to his strengths, but as a team with Maxime Pinot they could make the most of it. He then had a really tight landing in a very small field next to a road. The plan for today and onwards: reach TP 6 and back to Spain. It’s not going to be easy, but getting back to Spain is critical.”

Report from James Elliot, team Canada:

“They flew for more than six hours and did 130km. After he landed he didn’t want to hike anymore, so he just hung out in the valley. He said the conditions were pretty insane. It was the first big flight in the Pyrenees and if that was a mellow day, he can’t imagine what a rough day would be like. Thermals were insane where all the valleys meet. He said the flying was wild and the terrain was wild. Flying from Spain into France, the layers of clouds were crazy, he was flying down to base with cumulus below him. Base was so different between the two countries and it was shaded out, so he couldn’t get up again.

Team Canada had a really good day. Objective is TP 4 and 5 and then get back into Spain. He’s feeling strong, but avoiding the road as much possible. He will fly conservatively today to avoid landing and hiking at all costs.”

Team Logan Walters “ Couple of good flights. On the second flight he got caught in the lee side and cloudbase was pretty low. He got flushed in sink. There were not trails where he landed but he managed to climb up, sometimes on his hands and feet some very steep terrain. Relaunched and did good distance. He tagged the TP flying. This morning he hiked high into some alpine terrain NW of Castejon de Sos. He’s currently heading for France. There is a fair amount of SW wind. So we will see.”

Fabian Umbricht has a bad knee and now bad feet. He has chosen mountain paths, rather than asphalt roads. It was a risky move, but it paid off and he managed to fly 70 km to the edge of the National Park. He used the last daylight to get to TP 3, so they are really happy. Conditions were “funky”.

At the back conditions remained tricky. If you didn’t get into Spain, it remained hard going. Nicolas Haynes found the conditions on the border challenging and only flew for about 10 minutes and 5 km. David Liano also did a short 25 km flight to land near TP 2 and then hiked up. Many at the back could not profit from the good weather on the south side.

Currently, at 13:00 on Day 4, Pinot and Maurer are close to TP 5. Ten pilots have passed TP 4 and are heading west to TP 5.

Keep tuned. If you see problems with live tracking, it’s not the web page, but the mobile coverage where the pilots are located.

Without these guys we would not have the race.

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