Another action packed day! Some big highs and some lows too. Two pilots have withdrawn - Fons de Loew an Patrick Sieber.
In the morning, Maurer hiked up to TP5 (Midi du Bigorre) as did Maxime Pinot. By the end of the day both had made excellent progress. Maurer flew into Catalunya and past Pedraforca (TP6). Maxime is still on his heels between TP5 and 6.
Garza ended up in third place at the end of the day. He had a long, long flight and tagged TP5 in the air, allowing him to progress across the valley to the Coll de d'Azet. He was able to re-launch just before the land-by time. de Freyman hiked up to the same coll, arriving minutes before the compulsory stop time. Wagner is currently between TP4 & 5. This was a tricky day for many!
Mayer flew a blinder today, pushing from TP 4 to arrive to near TP5 and gaining ground of the leaders. After Keller's amazing day on day 2, he had a long hike, another frustrating wait, but made it past TP5 and into the next valley. He reported extrememly turnbulent conditions. Safety first meant he sacrificed a lot of altitude for a safe landing spot... in this race that means more hiking.
Umbricht had an impressive hike, a challenging flight and the highlight was being reunited with Bramfitt and Grey. Bramfitt had several flights but landed sooner than hoped and although he hiked up to a take-off in the afternoon, conditions did not allow him to make the progress he expected. Grey has a burnt nose, but it fine otherwise. Three bomb outs and then a six hour flight was the story of his day.
Vulpillot gave his friends and family a fright, when his tracker and spot stopped working. He averted a search and rescue when he sprinted to the edge of a ridge to find a signal to report himself safe. Currently in 8th place, he is the competition's top rookie. Ramos was on home turf, flying past his local sites in Jaca. He is going strong and feeling good as he passed TP3 at Midi d'Ossau.
Kernstock's supported had a nightmare with a leaking radiator and this meant he had to fly down to the van to get food and accommodation. Worried about not being able to carry on, the van is now fixed and he is back on track. Another nightmare befell Thoeni. A collapse on launch meant that his harness is destroyed and the team had to verify that his wing was still airworthy. It is and supporter Martin Lifka has supplied a replacement harness. No broken bones, Thoeni is back in the race.
Goksal infringed airspace and is currently serving a 48 hour time penalty. Cannell hiked a few km up to a launch, but wasn't able to stay up but crossed a valley and landed high on the next massif. Later, he had tricky but safe landing and had to detach a stabilo line to get it out of tree. He hiked down to dam at the bottom of a reservoir, and had a cliff scramble around tunnel where he said he "didn't look down". All in all, spirits are high and physically he's holding together really well.
Murch has blisteres and had a bad day where he top landed and his supporters could not reach him, Without water for five hours he had to make the difficult decision to hike down. Seven hours without water left him dehydrated and he has had to take some time to recover. Fellow UK pilot Andrews began the day before TP2 and finished on the way to TP4!
Potel was rescured from the tree on day 2 at 2am, so he had little time to charge his tracker and phone. "Lost" for four hours he was safe and sound. Moreno is tired but motivated and ready to go. Linde had a day complicated by wind. He ended the day walking. Centa is feeling fit and progressing well.
Stay tuned today... Maurer is expected to reach St Helena de Rodes this evening or tomorrow morning first thing!