Episode 119- Yael Margelisch and building confidence

Yael on final glide in Brazil, breaking the world record (531 km).

Yael Margelisch began flying ten years ago at the age of 19. She’s an Ozone and Swiss national team pilot, has been on the podium ten times on the world cup, is the first woman to fly over 500 km and owns the current female distance world record of 531 km, previously held the women’s FAI record (263 km) and is gunning hard for a 2021 Red Bull X-Alps campaign (she supported Michael Witschi in 2015). Suffice it to say she’s chasing it hard! In this episode we discuss her acro training and a recent accident, working with Thomas Theurillat with OneDay coaching, chasing the world record and the mental game of going big, how to fly “free”, developing the right mindset for a world record, how to focus on the process instead of the numbers, and a lot more. Enjoy!

 

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Show Notes:

  • Corona and flying
  • Throwing a reserve and bouncing off a car
  • Fear and fear injuries
  • Mindset and mental training
  • FLOW and accessing the flow channel
  • X-Alps academy
  • Physical training
  • What’s most worrying about the X-Alps
  • Comp flying approach
  • How to take chances
  • The “book of rules”
  • The pace of the Red Bull X-Alps

Mentioned in this episode:

Ozone, Coronavirus, Clement Latour, Chrigel Maurer, Thomas Theurillat, Aaron Durogati

 

Episode 118- Charles Cazaux and Focus

 

Charles Cazaux began flying when he was 15 years old. Shortly after that he became the first person to enter the French juniors program that was created to build exceptional pilots who would represent the country on the world stage. Needless to say the program worked very well indeed for Charles! He’s been on the French team every year since 1998, he won the Superfinal in 2009, won the world championships in 2011, holds multiple world records and instructs SIV and cross country with Seiko Fukuoka for the Airlinks Academy. In this episode we learn about the French juniors team and how they approach training and a safe progression; how the team identifies pilots with potential; how to train for competitions and the importance of focusing on progression rather than results; tricks to stay in the game (focus); what he’s learned working from Thomas Theurillat; how to become a complete pilot and a lot more. Enjoy!

I spoke with Charles on March 22, just after the lockdown was instigated in France and other countries in Europe banned flying.

Watch the AirLinks Academy SIV videos with Charles and Seiko on YouTube

Follow Charles on Instagram @kzoairlines

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Show Notes:

  • The French Juniors team
  • How to stay focused and efficiency
  • Training with Thomas Theurillat and dealing with pressure
  • Love of the air
  • SIV training and becoming a complete pilot
  • SIV on comp wings? Absolutely- but start slow
  • How much SIV and how often?
  • Pursuing mastery
  • How to be consistent
  • Advice to newer comp pilots- focus on the process
  • How to mentally prepare before a comp and visualization
  • Fitness and flying
  • Finding the routine
  • CALM- be calm
  • Pitfalls to avoid

Mentioned in this episode:

Honorin Hamard, Seiko Fukuoka, Maxime Pinot, Ozone Paragliders, Russ Ogden, Juri Vidic, Maxime Bellemin

 

Bonus Episode! Weather Episode #3 with Gavin Morris

This content is only available to Members of the Cloudbase Mayhem. If you have subscribed to our newsletter or have supported us in the past through PayPal, Patreon or another way you should have an account all set up with us and you can login below (username is typically your email). If you aren't a member, all we've ever asked for is a buck a show so please if you can join now! Can't afford a buck a show? We want all our content to be available to the flying community regardless of your financial position, so just send us an email and we'll sort you out.

Episode 117- Thomas Theurillat and Transformation

Thomas and Chrigel win for the 4th time

In 2008 Chrigel was heading into his first Red Bull X-Alps Campaign, and mountain guide and base jumper Thomas Theurillat was completing a degree in psychology. Thomas was passionate about figuring out how to help people not just change for the better in sport, business, or life; but transform into something better and stay that way. Chrigel wanted to win, but he didn’t really have a plan to make it happen. The two met, Thomas put his wizardry into motion and Chrigel became the best hike and fly competitor and mountain pilot the world has ever seen. Thomas and Chrigel won four consecutive X-Alps campaigns between 2009 and 2015 and several X-Pyr campaigns, a record that will likely stand forever. Thomas is now the head of OneDay coaching, where he and his team combine a full day in nature and a unique coaching system for business leaders, athletes, and industry professionals to hone in on their best possible selves. In this podcast we find out how Thomas and Chrigel found the magic; the different types of goals you should set and what types bear the most fruit; getting into Flow and the dangers that lurk for those who chase it too hard; life in the time of Corona; the power of visualization; using a “time jump”; coming “down” from the X-Alps, focusing on strengths instead of weaknesses; making dreams specific; and a lot more. This was a mindblowing experience for me, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

 

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Show Notes:

  • Meeting Chrigel and taking on the first X-Alps
  • What is OneDay and how does it work?
  • The post X-Alps blues and leaving Flow
  • Goals- which ones bear the most fruit
  • If you can dream it, you can do it, but the dream has to be specific
  • Analyze success- look for patterns
  • Coronavirus and the world as it stands
  • Don’t talk about what you don’t do, talk about what you do
  • Asking questions instead of giving advice
  • Becoming empowered so coaching isn’t needed
  • Ranking goals are crap
  • Performance goals and process goals
  • Big vs small teams
  • Coming down from Flow- exiting the Flow Channel
  • Reality vs expectations
  • The pursuit of happiness
  • You don’t get happy chasing numbers
  • Pursuing mastery
  • How do we deal with weaknesses?
  • The big picture. Take a look at it.
  • Adding fun to your goals

Mentioned in this episode:

Jeff Shapiro, Cross Country Magazine, Hugh Miller, Red Bull X-Alps, Chrigel Maurer, Paul Gushlbauer, Tom De Dorlodot, Yael Margelisch

 

Chrigel and Thomas giving a TedX Talk

Bonus Episode! Weather episode #2 with Jeff Shapiro

This content is only available to Members of the Cloudbase Mayhem. If you have subscribed to our newsletter or have supported us in the past through PayPal, Patreon or another way you should have an account all set up with us and you can login below (username is typically your email). If you aren't a member, all we've ever asked for is a buck a show so please if you can join now! Can't afford a buck a show? We want all our content to be available to the flying community regardless of your financial position, so just send us an email and we'll sort you out.

Episode 116- Chasing Hang Gliding for 47 years with Charlie Baughman

Charlie on his Atos VR glider

Charlie Baughman has been flying hang gliders since 1973. That’s 47 years…and he’s still going strong. In 2011 at the age of 64 Charlie broke the Oregon state record (which still holds) when he flew 218 miles into Idaho, and then did a very styly self retrieve.  We have it on good authority that Charlie was the first person in North American to figure out how to thermal, and possibly the world. Charlie started sky diving in the 60’s at the age of 22, then began hang gliding on Lookout Mountain in Colorado when the very first hang gliders were built. In this episode we talk about the early gliders and the early hang gliding scene in places like Aspen and Telluride, Colorado; the insane number of accidents on gliders like the Chandelle comp; some of his epic retrieves; flying without instruments or a rescue; the “mass migration” to Salt Lake City to fly the Point of the Mountain; and flying in thermal wave. Read that last bit again- thermal wave. Yes, it’s a thing. I got most of my questions for this one from the Dark Prince himself, Larry Tudor. What a riot- enjoy!

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Show Notes:

  • The first person to thermal?
  • The Colorado scene and Lookout mountain- the characters and the craziness
  • The Chandelle Comp
  • The Mass migration to Utah
  • Breaking records, crazy retrieves and the art of chasing it
  • Flying without instruments or a reserve
  • Charlie the “Hawkman”
  • Flying across the Uintahs
  • Breaking the Oregon State record

Mentioned in this episode:

Larry Tudor, Mark Windsheimer, Ken Brown, Bill Moyes, Erik Kaye, Eagles in the Flesh, Dennis Pagen

 

Charlie and his wife Carolyn

 

Episode 115- Sky Camping with Martin (11 yrs) and Honza Rejmanek

Honza and Martin having a most excellent adventure!

Honza Rejmanek competed in the Red Bull X-Alps 5 times. His last was in 2015 but apparently nutty runs in the family and he and his son Martin have been doing incredible 8 day tandem vol-biv adventures for the past three years in the Alps. Their style is pure- no mechanical support is allowed (ie they fly or they walk), food is collected or carried, where they start and end is fixed so if they don’t make it one year they just come back the next! Honza says compared to the X-Alps they move at about one quarter of the speed but with four times the weight and no support crew! This inspiring and fun talk takes you on the inside of 3 years of adventures that not too many people will ever get to experience. My greatest ambition after listening to Martin and Honza is to be this cool of a Dad! In this chaotic time, we could all use something to help us smile and relax. This talk will do it!

Some fun stats:

Longest flight: 50km, 5hr
Longest distance hiked in one day: 25km
Most elevation hiked in one day: 1,700m

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Show Notes:

  • The art of tandem vol biv with Dad
  • How it works, gear, and the style
  • The best, the worst, the hardest
  • The treasures along the way
  • The “skull and crossbones” trail
  • Gear tips for vol biv
  • Single surface wings?
  • Food – what to bring and how to be self reliant
  • Fun contacts and encounters along the way
  • How they’ve adapted each one
  • Conditions that work and don’t work on a tandem

Mentioned in this episode:

Nate Scales, Cross Country Magazine, Red Bull X-Alps

 

The Corona Virus- Critical Choices in a Critical Time

 

This is an emergency episode of the Cloudbase Mayhem that everyone needs to hear. I sat down with two people on the front lines of Covid-19, my sister Lesley McClurg who is a Health and Science reporter for KQED in San Francisco, who has covered the pandemic since early January, when only 6 people had died; and Terry O’Connor, an ER doctor in Ketchum, Idaho- one of the most affected towns in the country (on par per capita with New York, San Francisco, and Seattle). We are in the largest public health crisis of our times. Covid-19 is being compared to the Spanish Influenza in 1918, which killed 50 million people. No one alive has ever seen anything like this before. But for many people it’s not tangible. It’s all data and numbers, and until it impacts a loved one, a neighbor, or someone you know it’s hard to understand. It’s called the “Novel” Corona Virus because it’s new and we know very little about the disease. What are the common misconceptions? Can our medical facilities and health workers handle what’s coming? How many people might die? What are the economic implications? And…what are the silver linings in this incredibly scary time? Birdsong and blue skies have returned to Wuhan for the first time in decades. We are realizing our own fragility. We’re realizing we are not invincible and we’re not in control. We’re suddenly faced with abundant time to evaluate what’s important in our lives. And we’re seeing the Earth’s resilience and how fast she can recover if we slow down. And finally- how should we recreate during this period? How should we approach risk? We need to think about it seriously.

PLEASE- share this with everyone you know.

Resources:

John Hopkins Corona Virus Resource Center: https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html

New York Times article about the Two Women Lesley references: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/03/13/world/asia/coronavirus-death-life.html

A great podcast with Sam Harris and Nicholas Christakis:

https://samharris.org/subscriber-extras/190-respond-coronavirus/

And with Sam Harris and Amesh Adalja:

https://samharris.org/subscriber-extras/191-early-thoughts-pandemic/

Support the Podcast

A buck an episode, that's all we ask

If you like what you hear, please consider becoming a subscriber to ensure our high-quality content continues.

See our donation and subscription options here.

Listen to the Podcast

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Show Notes:

  • Where we’ve gone wrong in our response and what we need to do now, urgently
  • The biggest misconceptions of the Corona Virus
  • What we don’t understand about Covid-19
  • Corona can hit anyone, and YES- it can effect the young and the healthy
  • “Good for you that your healthy, but stop killing the rest of us”
  • There is no treatment, there is no cure
  • What are the numbers?
  • Can our medical infrastructure handle what’s coming?
  • How are our health workers at risk?
  • “At some point we will not be able to manage this”
  • What Covid-19 does to those infected- it’s not pretty
  • The frustrations of our health care providers
  • “This is a beast, and the best wants in”
  • How our culture compares to Italy
  • The importance of modeling good behavior
  • The importance of flattening the curve
  • How should we recreate right now? Getting hurt is NOT an option
  • When should we go get tested?
  • The psychology of a crises
  • We need to win hearts and minds, but doing it with the numbers isn’t going to work.
  • “This is a common problem for humanity right now. If you’re looking for a sense of purpose in your life, it’s here”

Mentioned in this episode:

Sam Harris, Chrigel Maurer, Gary Newsom, Andrew Cuomo, USHPA, Cross Country Magazine, Sun Valley, Ketchum, KQED, NPR, Wuhan, Mountain Express, Terry O’Connor, Lesley McClurg, Sun Valley Resort, Blaine County, Idaho; David Concannon, Marc Hanselman, SHV/FSVL, FFVL, SBSA, Neal Bradshaw, St Lukes Hospital, Paul Slovek, University of Oregon, Nick Streuli

Episode 113- Manu Bonte and Mastering Autonomy

Manu showing the way in Colombia

THIS ONE IS AWESOME! Don’t delay, listen now and put all these practices into your flying- and life! Manu Bonte is an APPI Master Instructor and has been guiding cross country instructional tours around the world for over 10 years. A Mechanical engineer, Manu has worked as a test pilot for 8 years in the development team of the French paraglider brand Nervures. Manu is also a journalist and author of the book Parapente Sauvage. The “Flying Frog” is internationally known for his amazing pictures and adventurous journeys around the globe. Manu is president of the educational committee of the APPI, an international education training program that has more than 10,000 members in 134 countries. In this episode we learn about how Manu approaches building autonomy with his students; the importance of the mental side of the sport; finding the equilibrium between motivation and safety; chasing the aesthetic over personal bests and kilometer counting; how to get pilots in a positive state of mind; teaching people to avoid making stupid mistakes; the extreme risk of social media and external motivation and flying; how to free the unconscious mind; the three things that lead to accidents; switching to “autopilot”; where “happiness” lies in flying and a TON, TON more.

Some great resources from the talk:

An excellent tool to analyze your flights
https://xcanalytics.fr/en/

https://www.fai.org/page/risk-assessment

Here is the major accident analysis over last 12 years (in French)
https://vimeo.com/382900263

 

APPI (Association of Paragliding Pilots and Instructors) is an association based in switzerland that was founded in 2009.
http://appifly.org/
http://www.appifly.org/?What-is-APPI

The main goal of APPI is to offer to pilots and instructors a worldwide united education system. Many pilots travel, and APPI gives them the confidence to find consistent,  quality education in certified APPI schools all around the world. APPI allows those traveling pilots to progress in the same education system wherever they travel.

APPI has 10.000 members in more than 134 countries
http://appifly.org/?APPI-Worldwide&lang=en

APPI quality is based on:

A: a well documented education system

http://appifly.org/?APPI-Education-System&lang=en#education
click on any level to have details

APPI education system also features:
-Pilot manual
-Pilot Logbook where the contents of each level are described. So far this logbook is available in English, Spanish, French, Serbo Croatian, Macedonian, Greek, Persian, Russian, Turkish…. Chinese and Arabic are in progress
-Online theory training with a pool of 500 question carefully elaborated and regularly updated
-Online Theoretical exam virtual room
-Evaluation forms for practical exams
-Instructor manual

The education system is regularly evaluated and updated by a cosmopolitan pool of master instructors: the APPI Pedagogical Committee. This allows the  system to be in perpetual evolution and incorporate the latest knowledge, which is a major issue when we consider the fast evolution in glider design and its impacts on piloting.

B: a network of APPI certified professional pilots:

The network of tandem pilots, instructors and schools provides a consistent and guaranteed level of quality

C: field pedagogic actions:
those actions are performed:
-by APPI instructors inside APPI schools
-by APPI master instructors for experienced pro pilots (tandem, instructors, technicians) seeking validation or updating of their competence in the APPI system. They are evaluated and validated at the level they deserve in the APPI system.

Actions oriented towards Pro pilots are called Pro-workshop, here is the schedule of coming events, as well as a resume of actions that have been held in the past

http://appifly.org/?APPI-Workshops&lang=en

D: a quality control system based on 2 points:

-Each key level (advanced pilot, tandem pilot, instructor) requires validation of two different instructors or master instructors. Name of validators is recorded into the APPI system and they may be held responsible for the actions or behavior of their rated pilots in case it is due to a lack in the education process.

-Each member of APPI, whether he is a simple pilot or a master instructor, can report any incidents or unsafe behaviors he may witness.

The Disciplinary & Safety Committee will investigate and evaluate possible actions to take in these instances.

If the issue indicates action against an individual, the disciplinary committee may take action to bring the individual into compliance with the APPI standards. If those actions are unsuccessful, sanctions may been taken up to expel the individual from APPI.

If the incident suggests a change to the training protocol, the Disciplinary Committee will engage the Pedagogical Committee to have the training protocol be revised and evolve.

System update:

The APPI system is driven by a competent and cosmopolitan pedagogical committee:
14 experts showing different backgrounds.

The diversity of countries and expertise enriches our understanding of global issues. One thing they have in common is that all travel the world for their professional paragliding activity.

This committee also relies on a network of well known and respected specialists who help on specific topics.
APPI Hall of Fame shows Francois Ragolski, Theo De Blic, Tim Alongi, Franck Coupat (Attaka speedriding school), Kari Castle, Charles Cazaux, Seiko Fukuoka, Pablo Lopez, Bruce Goldsmith, David Eyraud, Fabien Blanco, Mendo Veljanovski, Jordi Marquillas, Marko Hrgetik, Dale Covington, Avi Malik… Among others

APPI and National federations:

− The purpose of APPI is to create a consistent high level of training worldwide, and to build bridges with existing national federations.

− At APPI we are convinced that a strong local federation of pilots in a country is critical for paragliding development, and is key for airspace regulation, national competition, and many other issues.

− APPI’s goal is to promote and strenghten paragliding worldwide.
If we can help any federation or local authority with our experience and training program to build a synergy, we do so enthusiastically.

On the field how does it work?

Some countries use the APPI system as their official system. They like the quality of the contents, the fact that its a ready to use solution with documentation and educational support. Also they like the possibility to call external experts to validate the pros levels which eliminates conflicts of interest.

In some countries where an historic educational system exists APPI certifications are recognized besides the local historic system. APPI functions in a supportive role, and is mainly used when local pilots travel abroad, or for an easy integration of incoming foreign pilots.

There are countries that do not recognize APPI yet, and we work on building a trustfull relationship with them.

APPI and FAI

APPI is recognized by FAI as a trustfull entity. FAI asked APPI to work on the renewal of Parapro system (Safe pro 2017), FAI allows APPI to issue FAI IPPI levels in certains countries, standart procedure requires local NAC autorization.

Pilots that are APPI certified have their certification recognized in countries that recognize APPI certification.

Insurance:

We are working on providing worldwide insurance at a decent rate and very good coverage to all our pilots and professional pilots. We have already succeeded for European citizens (even living abroad) and European residents. Our insurance company is working to extend the offer worldwide

Manu Bonte

President of APPI educational committee

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Show Notes:

  • Finding the equilibrium between motivation and safety
  • Becoming autonomous
  • Teaching people to avoid making stupid mistakes
  • Mental, mental, mental- you gotta feel good in the air
  • Identifying behaviors that betray nervousness
  • disconnecting the piloting from the vision- going into autopilot
  • improving technique for thermalling
  • work on strategy- identify the simple rules and follow them- free your unconscious mind!
  • The four cores: Mental, technical, energy, and strategy
  • The three things that lead to problems- 1) external motivation. 2) ego. 3) incorrect vision of progression- exposing yourself to too much risk. Work the technique, improve your mental skills, pound the fundamentals and you will get good, you don’t need to push hard to get good
  • Paragliding is dangerous. Accepting that it is the first step in the right direction.
  • What makes a good paragliding pilot? What makes a great flight?
  • Adapt- manage your level of exposure
  • Connect your happiness to improvement, not numbers
  • Your goal should be to fly safely and making smart decisions.  Fly for the aesthetic. If your stories include tons of low saves and surviving sketchy decisions then that’s not cool. Who’s the better pilot- the pilot who flies all day without a low save, or the pilot who has 5 low saves?
  • The importance of Analyzing your flight to find weaknesses. There are four parts: climbing, transition, the line, and the searching.
  • How to exit a thermal
  • The importance of Margin
  • Are you having fun or are you looking for recognition?
  • Aligning probability with risk and the severity of the consequences
  • APPI and creating a syllabus and education system for the world

Mentioned in this episode:

APPI

 

Episode 112- Nuno Virgílio and Chasing the Flow

Nuno Virgílio began flying when he was 17 and has been chasing it for 23 years and counting. He competed in the 2011 Red Bull X-Alps, won a task in the PWC in Portugal in 2012, has been Portugal champion multiple times and has a plethora of site records. And he remains as hungry as ever to fly. In this episode we dive into how the Portugal team changed their mental game and mindset after getting coaching in sports psychology; the dynamics of Flow and how to enter it; building mental tools; the importance of visualizing; how to relax before launch; how to let instinct and intuition rule in flight; how flying affects our lives and how life affects our flying; how to fly convergence and flatlands tips; the Red Bull X-Alps; the importance of self-assessment and a lot more. Nuno regularly chases distance with his wife, who is also an exceptional pilot and we learn about how she recently got into a cloud suck situation that changed the way she looks at the world. I really, really enjoyed this conversation and I think you will as well.

Nuno also runs an airbnb type website for traveling paragliders called B.Stoked Paragliding. Check it out!

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Show Notes:

  • Nuno and a lifetime of flight and learning from his father at 17
  • Sports psychology and the Portuguese team
  • FLOW
  • How to enter flow more easily
  • Visualization- the key to training
  • How to go on autopilot and let the subconscious do the work
  • “stop flying and let yourself be flown”
  • Observe, observe, observe
  • The importance of shifting gears
  • Flying and life, life and flying
  • Becoming a natural pilot
  • Maintaining the passion
  • The Red Bull X-Alps
  • Assessing the risk and self awareness
  • Ask yourself these questions: Why did you start flying? Why do you continue flying? What’s your greatest fear?
  • Don’t force it
  • A scary cloud suck story….

Mentioned in this episode:

Adel Honti, Flow, Manfred Ruhmer, Reavis Sutphin-Gray, Francis Reina, FlyBubble, Matt Henzi, Airtribune, Chelan, Three Peaks Paragliding, Chikyong Ha, Nate Scales, Cross Country Magazine