Sonchaux Acro Show - Pal finished 3rd

Last weekend the sky above the Geneva Lake got fully packed with action again! For the second time a new kind of competition was organized, but as the name of the event also says it is more like an exciting show for the public mixed up with all sort of flying demos like airplanes, base jumping, sky-diving, speed-flying, hang-gliding and paragliding acro.
The acro comp consists of the so-called "Battles" which is basically a simple direct elimination system where 2 pilots fly out at the same time and fight against each other.

For each run there are 2 or 3 given compulsory tricks that both pilots have to perform. In the rest of the altitude they are free to perform any tricks (except the very radical ones) so it is absolutely freestyle, however the remaining height is usually not big anymore, just around 200-300 meters. This year there were even 2 big landing platforms on the lake, one for each pilot so they could land safely at the same time. After the run the judges decide immediately after the landing which pilot was better. One of them continues, the other one leaves the competition immediately. The public is also involved in the decision, the pilot with the louder applause is awarded by one more note. The comp is invitational and started with 16 pilots, 12 of the world's leading competitors and 4 slots reserved for the best swiss. First they were randomly split up into 4 groups of 4 pilots where everybody "battled" against the others and afterwards the best 2 of each group passed the qualification. Then followed by a quarter-final with 8, a semi final with 4 pilots and at the end the finals with Hernan Pitocco against Pál Takáts for the third, and Elliot Nochez against Horacio Llorens for the first place. Pál and Horacio won the last battles so the final ranking was:

1st Horacio Llorens (ESP)
2nd Elliot Nochez (FRA)
3rd Pál Takáts (HUN)
4th Hernan Pitocco (ARG)

A total price money of 5000 CHF was given to the best 4! The event was a great success again, the pilots like it too and there are discussions going on about this new public-friendly competition format where most agree that this concept has a great potential of bringing our sport in front of bigger public and into the medias.

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