At 16:22 local time today (15:22 BST), 11 days, 4 hours and 22 minutes and 864km after the start of the race in Salzburg, Christian “Chrigel” Maurer touched down for a perfect landing on the float anchored off Monaco to mark his second successive X-Alps victory. He’d flown a superb 65km flight in difficult conditions (headwind, low cloudbase) and had to wait for what seemed like ages at the take-off above Monaco whilst the necessary formalities were made, before he was allowed to take off for his final flight.
Meanwhile, despite Chrigel incurring a 24 hour penalty for infringing airspace by just a few meters during his huge flight across northern Italy six days ago, and sitting out the best part of a day in the rain yesterday, his nearest rival, Toma Coconea from Romania was still 180km north of Monaco. This is a phenomenal achievement, and there’s no doubt in my mind that Chrigel is a true paragliding genius.
Heartfelt congratulations to Chrigel and his teammate Thomas on their stunning victory!
And as for the light at the end of the tunnel, well, now that Chrigel has finished, it means that the race will officially finish at 16:22 on Saturday 28th July, just a day shy of two weeks after it started, and all us X-Alps addicts can get back to a normal life again!
Well at least until the X-West event in the USA next year 🙂