The Live Tracking App is available on Google Play for $3.49.
To give you idea of what it's like to fly in these races, here is a video from a French paragliding team pilot, Teo Bouvard. I've added my best guesses of the time in the video around about where the screenshots were taken during the race. Teo posts video after each race. There is no commentary as as I'm sure editing takes him a long time already, but the videos are perfect to see what it's really like flying at the highest level in paragliding.
Task 2 - Jan 11 2018
Jostling for position at the start. The start line is the red line at the bottom left. Climbs were to 2000 m, the valley floor is at about 920m.The red exclamation marks are pilots where there tracking devices were not working for some reason. Video - 0:56
It's 1pm local time and the race starts! Pilots must fly from within the start circle (red shaded area) outside of it to start, then backtrack to get to the start circle, which is about 5km away to the top right.
The field converges back on the good lift, then dives out over the flats to tag the 1st turnpoint.
Video approx 1:34
Turnpoint one is reached in just a few minutes, and the leaders are already back in the mountains racing south to turnpoint 2. According to online commentary, there is little wind, so they'll be flying between 30 and 55km/hr, depending on whether they are slowing down to thermal, or going straight line on full speed bar. Video approx 3:20
Video approx 5:25
After turnpoint 2, the race returns north, then pilots must cross the valley to turnpoint 3.
After flying back up the mountains along the same route they came down, the leaders head out over the valley. Climbs must be easy and fast, with the leaders up at 2300m, which is probably cloudbase.
At 1hr 40 minutes after the race start, the main gaggle is charging across the sugarcane fields in the valley to Zarzal at about 1200m, just 300m above the valley floor. Other pilots took more direct route across the valley, hoping to save time with the more direct round and gambling that they will find thermals without the main group to show the way.
At turnpoint 3 in the low hills on the east side of the valley, Russel Ogden looks to be in the lead, at about 1900m. There must be lift everywhere for these pilots to fly all the way across the valley barely without stopping to thermal.
The race slows down as commentary says there are fewer clouds in the next section of the course. I can't see that from home desk of course! Pilots gaggle up wherever the lift is working.
Zooming in to one of the groups, you can see how disciplined the worlds best pilots are. Lots of even radius circles, everyone turning the same direction.... The thermals must be fat and wide.
Halfway through the route up the valley to turnpoint 4, it looks like the whole field is pushing hard along the direct line up the low hills to the next turnpoint. The turnpoint is to the north over the flats.
Video approx 6:10
Turnpoint three reached. The pilots that are still high (over 2000m) should be able to just tag the turnpoint and go on final glide to the end of speed (green circle), as it is only 7.5 km from the turnpoint. Anyone else may have to climb again or risk bombing on the race to the finish.
Video approx 7:13
As the field storms to goal at 50+ km/hr on full speedbar, I saw some sink rates up to 3.5m/s. That will probably mean a few pilots will underestimate how much height they need and end up landing a few km or even just few meters short! Video 7:40
The field piles into the goal field. Ulrich Prince crosses the line with just 26m over the ground! That's not a lot of height to spare! These guys are pros and know how to calculate their final glide just perfectly. Video 7:50
Looks like an amazing race from USA pilot Cody Mittacnck, just 15 seconds away and two places from a top ten placing. After a three hour race and 94km, just three minutes separate the top forty pilots! It's amazing that with this live tracking the results are available instantly!
That's all for today, have to get back to work!