Pal Takats ‘kicks ass’ on day one

It was a big day for Pal Takats (HUN) who took a gamble with some amazing bold flying, which eventually paid off. Pushing out alone early on, he managed to stay ahead of the chasing pack.

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“Pal kicked our asses today,” said Maxime Pinot (FRA1). After touching down at Turnpoint 2 at Wagrain-Kleinarl, the lead groups split with Pal and Markus Anders (GER1) heading west, and Chrigel Maurer (SUI1) and Max Pinot (FRA1) opting to go north.

It seemed like a bad move for Pal and his group. “What a gaggle!” race reporter Gavin McClurg said: “The chasing group that took the second option to launch is now much better positioned. That means Maxime Pinot (FRA1), Tanguy Renaud-Goud (FRA5), and Chrigel Maurer (SUI1) are out front, with Pal Takats (HUN) and Markus Anders (GER1) falling behind again”.

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© zooom / Adi Geisegger

While it looked like a split field, Race Director, Ferdinand Vogel said “You never know at Red Bull X-Alps!” Ferdi’s prediction was right as Pal and Markus managed to grab the lead from Chrigel and Maxime who had to stop and hike, slowly falling behind. 

With 21:00 looming athletes just wanted to glide as far as possible before they had to stop flying. This presented an epic scene in the sky: “It’s really amazing to see the gaggle at 20:10. The armada is still flying - still racing - it's incredible to see.” said race reporter Tarquin Cooper.

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© zooom / Adi Geisegger

Gavin said “We’ve got this epic sunset on the Hochkönig and 11 gliders just launched within seconds of each other, all pushing together past Turnpoint 2 on the way to Turnpoint 3. What a day one and they've still got about 45 minutes to go!”

The evening flight proved a turning point for Pal who steamed ahead. Meanwhile, Markus also caught a thermal and flew over where everyone landed, gaining height. “He might be the only one with a chance of getting close to Pal. What an amazing move, incredible,” said Gavin. 

With the chance of taking the lead, Markus opted to pull a night pass, while the other frontrunners finally grouped back together for a very tight start to day two.

Top image © zooom / Lukas Pilz

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