The 18th FAI World Paragliding XC Championships had 9 valid tasks flown in different conditions in the Alps, from Chamoux sur Gelon. In total 647 km were flown, and 2 tasks were stopped due to rain but scored as valid. Pilots from 49 nations took part in the competition. The last task of the Paragliding Worlds was short but very intensive – 53 km in a straight line from Grenoble to Chamoux-sur-Gelon that was decisive for the female podium.

Flying at the Worlds. Photo: Pal Takats / Facebook:

With the victory of Maxime Pinot (flying Ozone Enzo 3/Submarine), the French team becomes the first-ever Paragliding team to have 5 world champion titles – 2 female and 3 male.

For the second time, Meryl Delferriere (Niviuk Icepeak X-One/Submarine) becomes Paragliding XC World Champion among women. Her first world gold medal was won in 2019 in Krushevo, North Macedonia. Honorin Hamard was the world champion in 2015 and Pierre Remy in 2017. Also, the French team becomes the world champion by Nation for the 5th time.

In the overall ranking, the 3 French pilots Maxime Pinot, Honorin Hamard (Ozone Enzo 3/Submarine), and Pierre Remy (Niviuk Icepeak X-One/Submarine) took the 3 top places from the start and never left them. So, the main intrigue in Overall was which French pilot would be the winner – there were 2 of them most often in the top 3 – Maxime Pinot or Honorin Hamard.

Pinot was never on individual podiums of Category 1 events except for the silver medal of the European Championship in 2022 in Serbia. A 32-year-old pilot from Savoie, he was ranked 2nd in the World Pilots ranking since January 2023 leaving first place to more experienced Honorin Hamard, who had 4 World Championship podiums and 2 European including 2 gold medals of Worlds and Europeans in his sport career. Therefore, this championship was also a way for Maxim to climb the World ranking overall. Max Pinot was in the top 3 of 6 tasks, of which he won 1. Honorin Hamard was in the top 3 of 4 tasks of which he won two. Worth mentioning there was another promising French pilot always in the lead: Baptist Lambert was 3 times in the top 3 winners of the task.

The women’s podium was very vague in the first 2 tasks but then Meryl Delferriere, a 25-year-old pilot from Annecy, pulled herself together and never left the first place in Female Overall. The main battle was then going between Constance Mettetal FRA and Nanda Walliser CHE. But Constance got silver finally by being better in the final race.

Summary of the last task by the French Free Flight Federation

With the undoubtful domination of France, the winner in the Teams was also certain. During the first 4 tasks, it also seemed that the nation’s ladder is somewhat solid: France, UK, and the Czech Republic. But then in Task 5 North Macedonia disrupted the podium coming 2nd overall. In task 6 the British pilots managed to regain the leadership returning to second place and never left it since then.

Macedonian pilots managed to keep the third also in Task 7, but lost it in Task 8, when they landed 2-3 km short of the goal. The gap seemed to be too big as they needed more than 280 points to beat the Czech. So, in Task 9, which was also very short, they were racing like crazy – and they did it arriving over 30 min ahead of the rivals. With 2 points of advantage, North Macedonia jumped on the podium and took the bronze of these World Championships by Nations.

Podium overall – FAI Paragliding World Championships

1 Maxime Pinot FRA

2 Honorin Hamard FRA

3 Pierre Remy FRA

Podium women – FAI Paragliding World Championships


1. Meryl Delferriere FRA

2. Constance Mettetal FRA

3. Nanda Walliser SUI


1.  France

Maxime Pinot
Honorin Hamard
Pierre Remy
Meryl Delferriere

2. United Kingdom

Stan Radzikowski
Russell Ogden
Juan-Sebastian Ospina-Restrepo

3.  North Macedonia

Darko Stankovski
Martin Jovanoski
Aleksandar Gacevski

Podium Nations – FAI Paragliding World Championships

Full results:

Photo cover: Jean-Mi Ara / Facebook:

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