Maxime approaches the Titlis Turnpoint, Red Bull X-Alps 2019
Maxime Pinot is a very accomplished world cup competition pilot and French team pilot who came up through the French Juniors team. Maxime has been making big waves in the last few years in the world of serious hike and fly racing. He was second in the 2018 X-Pyr, and second in his first Red Bull X-Alps in 2019, when he gave Chrigel probably his toughest run to date. He just jousted Chrigel for 1st place in this year’s Bornes to Fly in Annecy and he’s already laid down two 300+ flights this season, including an FAI world record for speed over course. In this episode we discuss how Maxime approaches training (physical and mental), his thoughts on just making better decisions instead of doing SIV for pilots who don’t have the money or time, how to manage your emotions, how to thermal and glide better, dealing with the “mental pain” that sometimes comes with flying, finding the opportunities from mistakes, the importance of visualization, and we look back at a couple key moves that made all the difference for Chrigel in the 2019 race. Please enjoy this information-packed episode, there’s a lot here!
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Gavin recounts a low reserve and hard pound this weekend
Maxime and Gavin discuss the difficulties of preparing for this year’s race due to the Covid situation
The new Red Bull X-Alps route
Maxime discusses how he’s changed his training going into this race and specifics for physical training
To scout or not to scout?
Dealing with irrational fear
Thermalling, planning and gliding- get the volume
Have a plan before you get to cloudbase- ie on the way up
How to approach speed to fly in a race like the X-Alps
Learning from the best
Identifying the big days and weather forecasting
The art of finding a thermal low
Dealing with the “mental pain” of flying
Dealing with the emotions of flying
Active dreaming and the importance of visualization
The importance of rest and recovery
Review of a couple of important moves in the 2019 race
Mentioned in the Show:
Malin Lobb, Annecy, Dilan Benedeti, InReach, Garmin, Nate Scales, Willi Canell, Matt Beechinor, Thomas Theirillat, Chrigel Maurer, Robbie Whittall, Nick Greece, Laurent Valbert, Tom Payne, Jon Chambers, Maxime Bellemin, Ayvri
Speaker 1 (0s): Hi there, everybody. Welcome to another episode of the Cloudbase Mayhem. Well, the race barely two weeks away, I thought we should get somebody on in the race. And I reached out, and this is actually several months ago that I reached out to Maxine, but we just recorded this couple of weeks ago. Maxime, Pinot, I think probably gave Kriegel the best run for his money yet of his six wins. And certainly an incredibly talented pilot got second in the expert for the year before he just won the Bourns to fly
Speaker 2 (50s): Last week and actually beat Kriegel. So
Speaker 1 (53s): I think if Kriegel is looking over his shoulder at anybody, it's probably going to be Maxime. There is a lot of talent in the race this year. It always gets faster and faster every time and more and more teams are more polished. And the, the, the depth of, of talent and skill this year, his is deeper than it's ever been. So there are certainly others who could give him a big round for his money too, but Maxime definitely the, I think that top gunner for the first place in one Kriegel is going to be most worried about that.
Kriegel worries about anything. But
Speaker 2 (1m 28s): Anyway, so I reached out to Maxine and it wasn't so much about the ex Alps. I reached out to him because I wanted to talk to him about a blog post that he put up that was circulating on Facebook and stuff that came out just about the same time we did the podcast with Malin law, and that was all about SIV and training maneuvers and that kinda stuff. And this wasn't in response to that. And he just happened to put it out about the same time and it wasn't rebuking anything that Malen talked to that on the show.
They both live in Annecy. Sure. They're friends, but this was basically, you know, yes, SIV training is super important. We should all be doing it, but the reality is very few people can, it's expensive. It's time consuming. A lot of people don't have a place where they can train. That's very convenient to where they typically fly. Especially those of us here in north America. It's pretty hard to find trainings, certainly over the water that you can do SIV training. So yeah, it's expensive. It's tough. It's, you know, the last thing a lot of people want to do when they have their two or three weeks or four weeks off a year and go travel to fly his, spend a week, doing maneuvers over and over again.
So his, the, the right app that he did, I just thought was really good. And that was about, wow, that would be great. But most people can't. So what do we do? How do we still be safe? And it was basically just by making better decisions, keep your glider open and, and make better decisions. So, you know, one of the, one of my real mentors and the guy was flying with this weekend, the scales is been flying for 30 years, has had, I mean, he threw his reserve once and then that one very minor injury to his wrist, but chased it really, really hard for a lawful lot of time.
And he's never done any SIV. So I'm not saying that's the way we should approach it. And I guess I've used very important as we talk about a lot on the show and it's real critical, but it's maybe not for everybody. And some people just can't do it. So this is kind of the response to that, but we also get into how to climb better, how to thermal better he did. And he's already done two, 300 K plus flight's this year one, the big monster FAI back in late April before Europe's been getting pounded by snow since then, but he's had a couple of huge flights this year.
He Maxine came out through the French juniors program, which we've talked about quite a bit on the show, Charles castle and others that we've had on have come through that program, very jealous of that, and over there and France, but, and amazing pilot really fast on the ground. It's going to be fun to race with him, and I'm really looking forward to that. And this is a great show. I think you're going to enjoy that as well. I wouldn't say this as housekeeping, but I have a story for you all. And I think you'll find entertaining this weekend, Saturday, Sunday, and actually today look really epic and the highest spaces we've had here in sun valley.
Well, over 18,000 and light winds and things look pretty good for some big flights. So Saturday I packed up all my bivy gear and oh two and hiked up our, one of our kind of lower launches here, sun peak, and pinged off and had a really nice flight back over to the band and trail Creek. And in top landed back there and with some elk and I just couldn't resist. There's all these elk cruise around and the top landed and hung out for a bid. And then relaunch that was kind of approaching Saturday as an X out of the day to just do some top landing and train and go, go scout.
Some things that I've been wanting to look at for a while and had a really nice day at a nice afternoon flight got really tall and the crews round and the piles and our beautiful mountains and lots of snow still around. And yeah, it was pretty stunning, really cold, but really stunning. And then landed down in a place called copper basin and spent the night in a campground. A couple of people actually gave me a ride in their car to the same campground and had a nice dinner with them and just a very nice evening and really, really cold. And then the next day yesterday, Sunday went up and took me a while to the couple hours defined a good launch that was kind of Southeast facing.
It was maybe just before 11:00 AM and felt really good about the day. Everything looked good. There was a little bit of wind coming over the back that was just kind of katabatic, I think, count coming down off the snowy fields above me, but I had good 30 minutes to assess it out as I was getting ready and kind of double checked everything and just felt really good to go have a good day launched and kind of flew down the Ridge awhile. There was some little bubbles, but not much. I didn't even turn and then had a friction, not in my upper cascades on my brakes.
And Gavin gave me the hard yank and it just popped the line, but it was just one of the little brake lines off the top cascades. So no big deal on a lot with that. So that wasn't too concerned about that and took a hard left turn, kind of crossed this little canyon and the next area was all just Sage and totally wide open a couple of trees all Southeast facing. And I thought, okay, well for sure I'm gonna get a climb up here. And if I don't, I'll just top land slope land and walk up a little bit and relaunch when it's on and so on.
And then I got in some pretty weird sinky air, but moderate, nothing too extreme. I didn't think too much of it just as I was crossing the canyon and then started feeling a little bit more wonky and then took a huge hit, not a frontal district, took a big collapse on the right side of the wing. And at the time I was 38 meters AGL from looking back at the track log. So I was very, very low, barely over a hundred feet off the deck.
And my instant thought was just reserved immediately. And I identified the handle. I have the front mountain and when I had the flying the kolibri and my peak five, and I identified the handle and went to throw it and instantly went into an autorotation. I kind of looked up right before I went to throw it, just to see what was going on. It was one of those hits where you just know it's really bad. And I looked up and the right side was totally curve added, and it was a big one.
And of course, as soon as I looked up and saw that I started and into a pretty, pretty radical autorotation, and because I had just done all this SIV training, well, more accurate draining, but I'd just done for days with Dillon Benedetti out in California, over the water. And that just been doing a ton of stalls out there. I was pretty concerned about throwing the reserve into the wing in an auto rotation. I knew that I had one chance. I knew that I had to get this reserve out and deployed immediately, or I was going to be in bad shape.
And so I stalled the flying side, the left side of the wing pretty much immediately. And it was kind of actively piloting in a kind of a deep stall configuration, but I was still rotating slowly and the next rotation was going to be basically end of the mountain. So I tried to just, and consciously think about keeping my hands low, so it wouldn't restart and hocked. And I hooked it really, really hard. Saw the bag fly off, saw the, the reserve deploy looked down and it was probably one or two pounds.
And I didn't actually even feel the reserve slowing me down if it's a a hundred kg round and I had all my bivy kits. So I was well, the way over that. And those don't bring you down all that slowly anyway, and that's my Xcel stuff. So that would have really liked to have the bigger reserve for sure. And the square for sure. And, you know, looking back, I think when I first took the hit that just instantly, that would have been the place to throw.
And like I said, I'd looked at the handle and I was reaching for it. And then I just didn't like the configuration I was in right after that. But I think if I had just immediately thrown, I would have had probably a much softer landing as it was. I hit incredibly hard on my left side. And the only thing I thought about is, and I was going in was, wow, this seems really fast and keep your arms in. So, you know, break and just kinda, I just kind of tensed up to take the hit. That didn't sound very good.
When I had the, luckily it was mostly dirt, my left hip had a bit of a rock. And so that's just kind of bruised all that. I don't really bruise. You can't see the bruise Ben. And I certainly feel it and was very thankful that I had a proper first aid kid. I took 800 milligrams of ibuprofen pretty much, as soon as I got out of my harness, I laid there for a long time just to let the adrenaline kind of ease off and make sure, you know, okay, I feel your toes do some checks that I could. And when I was coming to the harness kind of balled up the reserve was just flying over my head.
Cause it was pretty thermic and there's some wind coming up to the rich. And so I sat there for quite a long time to just kind of chill out, make sure everything was okay. Crawled out of my harness slowly sat down for another five, 10 minutes, took, took 800 milligrams of ibuprofen, knowing there were some pretty solid pain coming, starting to feel pretty good at the back was okay. It was a bit worried about the pelvis cause that, that took the main hit when I, when I landed, but it wasn't real sure. And then moving around was pretty tough.
And I, so I got out of the inReach and messaged quite a few people, my wife and others, a good doctor, friend of mine, just to let them know. And he's also search and rescue here. So I thought, okay, well I'm pretty confident I can self rescue and walk out of here. It was like a kilometer and a half to get back to the campground from where I was at that point. I was pretty close to it. So not a big deal there and, but I didn't want to carry my gear and really heavy pack. And I didn't want to deal with that. So did a whole bunch of in reaching for awhile, then brought my oxygen back out and started sucking on that just to kind of calm down even more and then went up the reserve a way back the wing away and gotten some shade, but not the tree that was pretty nearby and just waiting for the posse to show up.
And so huge, thanks to Nate and farmer and Willy and Brian for rallying together and coming out and, and, and hiking with me and hiking my stuff out. And then I went immediately to the hospital a couple hours later cause we were on the other side of the pioneers, which here in sun valley is quite a long ways away from town and went into the hospital and just to be safe. They gave me a cat scan and I don't have a scratch on me and super bruised and very, very sore today has been a hard getting around, but all in all, everything went as good as you can possibly hope.
And I just wanted to share the takeaways. I think at least for me were, I think there's three things that really help the outcome. One, all of the training I've been doing, certainly that helps with the durability and helps you be able to balance and take hard hits like that. And hopefully get lucky as, as I did the, the second was having the In-Reach, you know, after the pen and there's no cell service out there that just changed my world. I would have been in totally in a self rescue situation.
I guess I could add the SOS, but it meant I could talk to my doctor and my friend, who's a doctor and I could talk to my wife and through messaging obviously, and then rally the crew. I'd give him my Latin long and position and all that stuff. So that was, that was really terrific to have that. And yeah, having the oxygen certainly helped that was that that helped ease things. And so I guess the sport things and the fourth thing is the SIV training. I've done a ton of it over the years and tons and tons of stalls and stuff.
This was really an Acrow course that I did with Dylan Benedetti. And he is actually who I interview and he'll be on the next show and a couple of weeks just as the race starts, the next one that comes out. But that was really terrific. And I'd like to think I would have done the same things before this training, but it certainly helped me really understand what was going on from a to Z, you know, the whole thing, just the, the height awareness at the time when the, the situation that the lane was in, what it would take to fix it, then knowing I didn't have enough time to do that.
And just reacting, I think for the most part, pretty much the right way. You know, there's obviously more to every accident like this that happens before the incident I've thought a lot about, well, what was my Headspace? And before long, it was four minutes from launch to hitting the deck. You know, I feel pretty confident that, you know, I wasn't tired. I was feeling really good. I was really psyched about it the day. I didn't see any red flags and the sky or the wind or what was happening and pretty, pretty reasonable terrain. It was certainly I think, well, the, my skill level, I think I got a combination of kind of katabatic winds and a real river and was just very low, so wrong place at the wrong time.
I'll keep thinking about that. If I come up with other
Speaker 1 (14m 43s): Something else and then I'll bring it up, but yeah, yeah. Just wanted to share that pretty wild day, pretty short, intense flight and Miranda four minute flight that ended like that, but it all worked out. So, you know, one more, one more coin comes out of the lecture. Let's get into it. Let's enjoy this, enjoy this wonderful talk with a friend of mine and incredible pilot and someone you'll be watching a lot here very shortly in the X ops, Maxime, Pinot
Speaker 0 (15m 25s): Maxime.
Speaker 2 (15m 26s): It's a, it's a real treat to talk to you. I've been following your incredible flights that have made me really jealous. We haven't had whether like that over here and this year, but you guy's got that Magik last week and April. That seems to be the thing the last few years. So congratulations on a couple, three hundreds, you had that wicked one out over the flats and then a big, huge FAI that must've been quite thrilling. I saw your videos and pictures of beautiful and it's that time of year when you've got all of the snow and the mountains.
And so congratulations there and, and thanks for coming on the show. Yeah. Thank you. Hello. That looks, that looks, that looks really fun. I thought Maxime might be kind of a fun place to start is just to talk a little bit about the race coming up. We've been, we've all been yo-yo that all over the place, the last kind of the month and a half with, you know, okay. Is it going to get delayed? Is it going to get canceled until next year? I don't know about you, but I have found that quite hard to adapt to with all these unknowns.
How has your, how has your training been going and how has that been affecting you and your team? Yeah, it was very stringier it was very difficult mostly during the winter because we knew that it will be tricky. It was a very difficult issue, maybe a little less motivations because of being tired or something like this. It was sometimes difficult to push more and maybe it was even more important to have the team behind you because not knowing what will happen is it's really difficult.
Yeah. I have found the same if I do have the same team as you did in 2019, or is it new Jags? Look, I'm really lucky with this because everybody looks really happy with the, with the race again, and they know what to do. So. And what do you think about the route? You know, you're there and in Annecy, you and I had a little quick discussion that, you know, we we'd heard through the grapevine before we, we, we, before we knew the course or at least before I, I knew anything about the course and that it was going to be a big change.
I didn't anticipate this. I, I just thought, you know, maybe a different main way point instead of my block or something, but what do you think about the course? Actually, it was a bit like, yeah, I didn't know what to think about it before we knew the course because it, yeah. And the three is also to go to Monaco, but finally I quite like it quite a lot. I think it's quite interesting. And the, yeah, I'm happy to have done it in 2019 because it was my first time.
I would have been quite disappointed, I think. Yeah. I, I, I have no, no love for Monaco. So I was, I was pretty thrilled to, I know that's not a very sustainable attitude. You want to get there, but w in 2015 I got there and I wasn't very impressed. It's awful hot. It's all a lot of concrete down there. So it's, I quite like that. They're, they're keeping us in the Alps. I think it's going to be really fun. Really. I think it could be very hard if we don't get the good flying weather, it'd be tough, but it's at least that stays in beautiful places the whole time.
Yeah, for sure. For sure. Monaco is not the best place, so yeah, for sure. On this, on this side, it's, it's nicer and the, and I really like it also. And the, but just, yeah, I think just starting in Austria and finishing just right on the scene was that was nice, but for sure, it's the new thing and yeah, it's exciting. I have no problem with the, with the new, yeah, yeah.
Cool Maxime. We did this little, you know, I reached out to a bunch of the athletes and teams right after the last race and I, we, you and I had a nice chat about that. And I believe I asked you this question, cause I kind of asked the same questions with everybody, but I I'd like to ask it again after, you know, you've had almost two years now of pondering and thinking and, and coming back to the race, you were, you were certainly you, you gave, Kriegel a hell of a run there in the last one and coming in as a, as a rookie and you'd done really well in the X pier.
And you're certainly one of the main favorites going into to this one. I'm just wondering after you've had more time to think about it. What has changed if anything, and in your run-up to this race, in terms of physical training or scouting or any of the things you've learned, or maybe the, the, the, the technology, what, you know, in terms of apps you're using, or what has, what has changed for, for team France this time around?
Yeah, quite a lot, actually, because on the physical side, the iReady jig different things. Like I have a new trainer, but yeah, it was key. I kept training during the two the last years. Quite a lot. So yeah. Not to lose any, anything from what we did. And also because I know that I'm quite young and the endurance sports, so giving two more years is, is a lot finally.
So, and in more in the details, I've done quite the same preparation during the autumn. We've a lot of volume, but quite low intensity is just to build a good base. But then it was quite different because I decided to find the new, new training. And I was quite training on my own during autumn. And then I just met with a material Jack Moon, maybe, you know, him is like four times the world champion in, in a schema.
Sure. And he gave me good contact with the trainer and we all really good relationship now with the, his name is EMI new. And the year we, we changed quite a lot of the preparation I'm doing during the winter, we had quite a lot of intensity is also, I'm doing quite a lot of exercise, exercise king. So it's one of the things I'm doing a lot during the winter, which is very good for the shade and I'm, and then we went back more on volume during the February and March and during April, I really, we spoke a lot about it because I wanted quite a lot of time to fly because I know I will mention it's important in the preparation.
So we went back to intensities. So, so I had more time to, and, and, and now the last leg is, is, yeah, we have two, two more weeks of quite high volumes of training and then it will be mostly tampering. Yeah. And do you spend quite a bit of time in the gym? Do you do much strength training as well? I don't so much. I do. Yeah. Maybe mostly core training and also specific training for the legs on the, on the entrees.
So on my bike. So with the low repetition, but I strength. So, so the main things that I'm doing the strength side, because I must say that I don't like it so much to be at the gym. So yeah, I'm doing probably the minimum, but the other hand I'm quite not outside. It's what I like Maxime speak to me a bit about how, how you approach the race and terms of goals.
I had a quite interesting, I've had quite an interesting few years thinking a lot about slow and, you know, you, you, you do a lot of comp flying. I know you were all geared up for the world's, which got canceled. And in may, I was hoping to fly with you there, but, you know, in 2015 things went pretty well for us. And I, I thought, you know, I going into 2015, I really had no idea if I would just be eliminated right off the bat. I just had no idea where I would sit. I hadn't done any big, I'd done a lot of hike and fly and a lot of little bit, but I'd never done anything like the X Alps.
And so, and I wasn't, you know, quote unquote an endurance athlete of any kind. So I, I really had no idea and things went pretty well. Ah, and, and so I really went into 2017 more with too much finishing goals. You know, I want a place here. And I, I, I, in a sense, didn't put enough weight on the process. I still trained really hard, but I think I put too much pressure on myself. And then in the race made a couple of very bad early mistakes that we're all flying related.
Ah, and, and it really, you know, as often happens in the race, the weather gets you in the back of the pack and that was it. And so I working with Thomas there lo Kriegel supporter, I I've learned to change the goals and, and change the process and think differently about things, but how I'm wondering, how I'm trying to get the mindset with you. How do you want, where do you want to be mentally on June 20th and how do you work and how do you see, how are you going to approach each day?
Yeah, well, what, I'm looking back to my best performances most of the time there is the kind of, yeah, I don't, I would say like I'm quite distant from the goal. I feel that I'm prepared cause the preparation is the key, for sure. So I, I give everything in a preparation focused that I like when the evidence is coming to be quite distant from it. It's a bit strange, but if I'm fully focused on it, for sure, I will, I will just do that.
It's quite strange. But if I'm obsessed with it everyday and the Jew until the race, it's not working for me, it's because I have the, most of the time I can put a lot of pressure on myself. So I prefer to know that I'm doing a good preparation, but try to just yeah. Enjoy the Android, that preparation, but don't think about the results because if I do so for sure, it's bad and Maxime, what does your preparation look like in terms of the course?
I, you, you posted something quite awhile back where you were, you were kind of studying the, the, the Valley's and the, the Flo and the valley winds and this kind of thing that I had interesting talk sitting next to Kriegel in 2015, right before that race started, where he, I said, Hey, how has that I'd been over in Europe for a month and a half, almost two months actually, before the race started scouting and learning the course and going around. And I was surprised to hear him say that he doesn't scout at all.
He doesn't, he doesn't like to have a preconceived notion of now, I don't know, I'm talking about in-person scouting. I don't know what he does in terms of Google earth and routes and skyways and X contest and all that kind of thing. But, you know, he didn't, he didn't like to go three weeks before the race and look at one of the term points, for example, because it's very different weather, there's more snow. It's just, it's not what he's going to see on the actual day.
And he doesn't want to have any, any preconceived notions about how to get through an area. He wants to do it on the day that it happens and fly that weather, which I thought was pretty interesting. What what's been your approach to and learning the course. Yeah. I don't go to coding for sure. Yeah. Nothing lasts in 2019. It was the same. And the, I think I'm really more efficient just working on the maps, girls and everything.
Just thinking about all options. Yeah. Just, just, we're trying with my imagination and talking with Jeremy, what we can do and take a diff different scenarios. And we are very much efficient like this and the, and I, I don't see the point to go in person on the places because it's a lot of, yeah, you lose a lot of time for me, the preparation, because it causes also that some money, if you go for one week and, and as you said, like in 2019, now maybe, maybe this year there is even more snow, so it's a complete lose lose of time.
So yeah. I spend quite a lot of time on the maps and I, yeah, I would say that at least two hours a day and just being really, yeah, really like close from the rays, like really friendly with him. And I don't know the, the word that intimate with the race and, and just try to think all of the options.
Yeah. W will you have a, I'm sorry. I have to just, you know, I'm so fascinated with the race and we're going to switch and topics here in a bit, but just a few more about the X apps that do you have, you know, if you're, if you're say if the Han and come to that or any of that doesn't matter, and you're going to the next one, would you have potential routes already preloaded into your phone? You know, it's just to give you reminders when you're in the air or are you just flying the sky just to the next way point?
You don't have any of that in your phone. Yeah, it will. I will all, and I'm really working on it and creating files so I can use them in the air yeah. With, with the all options, but also like some, some trails, some takeoff, every takeoff we can find. So it's on my phone already and they can, yeah. It allows me to take really faster decisions in the air.
So yeah. I like to yeah. To do it before and the, because yeah. You can improvise really well when there is a lot of preparation behind it. And if you are in this guy and just thinking about in terms of that condition, for sure at one moment would not be enough. Hmm. Do you have a weather team? I know a dedicated weather person, you know, sitting behind the computer, feeding you information, we are working on it.
And that last year it was like you, it was long though that was working with us. And yeah, we are still wondering what we will do this year. We don't know yet because it's cool sometimes to delegate some work, but sometimes very cool also to do it yourself because, so, yeah, I'm still at the moment, the weather, I have one or two people in mind and, but I, I'm not sure the moment, but I will do.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Ditto cool. Well, switching gears here a little bit Maxime D I don't know that the timing of this was, was kind of interesting and I'm not even sure you're aware of that, but we did a podcast several months back with Malin law who lives there in the same zone as you do. He's an instructor for fly. Yo and, and you, you circulated a, a blog post kind of thing that, that came out about the same time and it wasn't refuting it all, anything that Malin and said that the advice we heard from Alan was all terrific, but it was, it was kind of the Indus in a sense of the other end of the spectrum, which was, yeah, it would be terrific.
And if, if I'm not paraphrasing this group, right, correct me, but you know, it would be terrific if all of us, you know, had the money and the time and the ability to do a ton of training, you know, a ton of SIV training and the training over the water and learning everything that Madeline talked about that can be so important. But the reality is very, very few actually do you know, unless you're on the French team and you have plenty of time and money, and this is kind of your job, that that's just not the reality for the great majority of pilots in the world.
And so you're, you were saying, you know, the emphasis should be on just better decision-making and keeping your wing open. Can you, can you dive into that a little bit? Yeah. That most fun instructor. So I have a pretty good idea, which I, how much time people have, if flying in now much money also that they can spend for it. So, yeah, when I, when I, I saw like articles just about, yeah. You just have to do grow and do cross country and you do, I can by and everything.
It's the reality, as you said. So, so yeah, for sure. The, I think we, we have to be more practical with people and the, for sure, SIV is a, is a very good tools. That's not a question that I learned like that during the years that that's, the volume of flying is very, very important in quite different conditions. And it gives the pilots like a good feeling with the year. And that's way more important in my, in my opinion, because learning, I think when you are able to, yeah.
To say, okay, this place, it can be tricky. It can be turbulent before you, you just actually get there. You are already in a mode that you are, you're activated. You are like ready to fight if it's not good enough in the zone. So, and you are already in the mode, like if I took the collapse, it's because it's because of this or it's because of that. Yeah. It's more and more important to be comfortable in the year.
And two, two, think about the, the, the places that you will get the thing and just, would it be turbulent or not, and I'm ready to fight if it's not a good place, but yeah, just to do the analyzing, have the condition is the most important for me. Do you have, do you have any kind of tricks or strategies for dealing with irrational fear? And what I mean by that is, you know, we have this, you have this fight or flight response for, for many people that, you know, when you get in a tense situation, how many people just can freeze up or they get really scared.
And we all experience fear. Ah, and certainly in the X, we were usually, all of the last year was, was quite mellow for most. But, you know, usually we're dealing with a lot of wind and we can, like you say, we can get ourselves in spots that are pretty tense. Do you have anything you specifically do for, for dealing with those moments? Yeah, for sure. One, one of the things, the most important for me is the, the volume of flying when I'm not flying enough. Maybe the case before the experience thousand eight, 2018, I was really bad in the year.
And then, yeah, I was feeling very, very bad because I didn't feel enough during the spring. So at the beginning of the, of spring condition, I'm finding quite a lot, like in the April, like I flew like 70 or 80 hours this year. So, so yeah, that's, that's quite a lot for me and that's really the basis for me. It's like building endurance. It's when you are running, if you don't run enough, for sure.
You will not last during long runs, it's the same in flying. So you have to sometimes go flying, even if you will not do 200 cases and a hundred cages go flying 'cause the two or three hours you will do. It will, it will count in your, in your volume at the, at the end, for sure. It will make a big difference. Yeah, for sure. For sure. This is a hard thing, I think for many people to explain, but talk about gliding. You put out, you put out a great video on thermal ING recently.
That was, that was terrific. But I find that teaching someone to glide is his tricky. It's so instinctual, but what, what are you thinking about when you're take, take me through the three parts of, of kind of flying that thermal and gliding and planning it, take me through how you kind of approach each of those aspects. Yeah. That funneling it. It's also quite, for me, it's really related to, to volume because firmly must be really like really not automatical in the end because it's the moment where you plan what you will do next.
So it's, I see really a big difference for myself at the beginning of this season and the middle of the season. I can feel them all without thinking, without thinking in the middle of the season at the beginning, I'm just wondering where is the car and everything. So, so I just need the good volume to, to be really comfortable in thermal. And one of the thing which is very important firmly is to have the eyes everywhere.
So I think to find the right clue for you or for your positioning is really important. And the, for sure, the most important then is to have a plan before you get to Cloudbase or to the top of the firm, because you just eat the cloud-based before, before just you made your client in your plan, you are really late. So, so yeah, I'm trying to collect the information when I'm climbing. So collecting the information for me, the altitude of all of every layer.
So I try to make like the sounding have the mass when I'm fermenting, which, which layer it's the better, which layer is his quiet, the is less cute and I'm also the win and the inversion and everything that I try to have as many, as many parameters as I can. And then I can do a plan before it Cloudbase. And then the gliding mode is of course there is the part where you plan in thermal.
So you try to, you will go to try to, yeah. To draw the line between you and your, and your goal or the next and the, you try to, to find the right placements, regardless the wing, the winner, the clouds, because if you'd just go straight much, most of the time, there's not the most efficient, even if it can work very well, but it's not always to be the more efficient.
And after there is also in the gliding, there is something really important is to be relaxed because most of the people that are just a bit fighting with the wing and they are not completely relaxed in the honest and most of the time that pilot gliding that are very relaxed, they can let the wing just fly. And it's, it makes really use differences in the end. Also choosing the right speed is also very important using your speed bar correctly.
Yeah. And using this feedback and also to control the pitch, but also just having the right speed. I know myself, I'm sometimes a bit too, and I go a bit too fast most of the time. So I try to work on it and after I'm showing the formal to the others, so I tried to also do the right balance it, so yeah, the, the right, the right speed is quite important.
I, I wasn't planning on asking you this, but because you talked about speed. I, I did a podcast recently with Robbie whittle and as we were nearing the end, actually, I'm not even sure this was on the show. It was he and I were having a chat and he said, you know, you know why Kriegel is getting you guys right? And I said, well, you have, for all of the reasons, Robbie, what do you mean there? So there's a lot of reasons they're and he said, no, when it's, when it's on, he's cracking, he's, he's really flying fast when it's that kind of, of a day.
I mean, you have anybody knows how to fly really fast, but I have found it incredibly hard in a race like the XL ops to not be somewhat conservative. Even when I know you shouldn't be, you know, that there are days where you don't have to be that conservative, but the, the penalty for the four bombing out in the XL ops is quite a bit higher than a comp or something where, you know, really, it just doesn't matter that much.
I mean, you might, you're not going to get the score, but you know, comps come and go or his, the X ops is something we work so hard at. Do you have, I don't know if you thought about that, is that something you're, you've changed in terms of training or you're mental approach coming into this one? Yeah, actually I'm quite, I quite like the condition when it's quite bombing and the, the sky is when we have quite a lot of Cumulus. I quite like it because it's what I do quite a lot.
And flying fast, you can learn it only in worker competitions and the what, what I'm saying to the people wants to be performance. And I can play his to do quite a lot of comps because for sure you learn from you learn a lot from the best. And the, what you learn in work for sure is, is a big advantages for the can races. It's, it's very, very important.
So I have no, no big deal with flying fast because it's what, what I like to do. So most of the time, my problem is too quiet and when it needs slowdown and the, it depends on the pilots, because I would say most of the cross country pilots were only doing cross countries that are really like, they will not land for sure.
But yeah, if they're flying like 20 other agents flying 25, 27 average is already good per hour. It's all good. But it's a big, big difference at the end of the day. So for sure if it's bombing and you don't take advantage of this in like three hours, you all 20 K behind. So yeah, it's a, yeah, it's not big, but it's the opposite way, which is more difficult.
That's a good problem to have. I think I'm the, you, you had some big flights this spring. I think it would be wonderful for the audience to hear how you plan. So before, before takeoff rewind us back to, to what, you know, because the last time we were going to try to do this talk, you said, yes, I could do it in the next three days. But one of these days I think is going to be a 300 and then sure enough, that it was Tuesday and Wednesday, you, you did that. So you obviously saw that coming.
That was Friday. It was several days before I think. And I think it would be great for the listener in, in go into detail. What, what websites, what forecasting tools, what are you using to identify the day and then the launch and then execution take us kinda through that. Yeah. Yeah. It's quite a long-term work. 'cause a, the weather forecast is like, it's always difficult.
And now I know my, my players around quite well. So when I see a situation, the situation coming, I can already say, maybe there is something can happen now. So I will be more focused on the, on the focused and the way I'm using my three or four, three or four website, like metal blue and, and also I'm using.
But I would say that the most difficult sometimes is that most of the time, these days, like the, the perfect days in between one or two of the day and the, you have to choose the best one. Okay. You can, you can give a chance to all of them, but it's difficult in term of time. And, and also because sometimes if you fight and hours, but it was, it wasn't good enough.
You are a bit tired. So next day it's bit more difficult, but yeah, after it's two choose the, the right day and the most of the time, it is the first day of this disparate, which is the best. And so we gave it a try. Yeah, it was Friday and it was the good decision, but for sure, we are the lot of, lot of failure before. Like I remember, like I remember one day last year, we, we saw like two very good days coming.
And the first day we decided to just trim the wing for the second day and the second day, which was shit. And the first day was just bombing. So yeah, the weather forecast is, is always difficult. And also that I'm speaking a lot with Jonathan, because he's always in the plans, all that good cross-country plans, and he's a really good pilots and yeah, sometimes we can, we can speak like two or three the day before we all are quite crazy with this in terms of just planning the route and deciding on the launch and where you're going and what you'll do.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. We've may less, last year we made the hundred out and return, and I remember my all day on this, on display, so yeah, it's kind of what I've had both the success and failure in, in that regard in a couple different ways where his last summer, I had a flight where I really had to get back to the truck because it was a very remote part of Utah and in Idaho, hardly any roads and no one on them.
So I retrieve would have been impossible. I didn't have anybody to, to drive retrieve treatment. So I designed an FAI that got me back to the truck that, you know, at times I would have been way over a 24 hour walk to get back. And it all worked out in those that those times are, are brilliant. But other times I have had that when I put so much planning into something and okay, this was the triangle I'm going to fly. And then that's not the day I'm given. It can take my brain a while to switch to flying the day and not my desire, which is a saying, I got from Nick Reese many, many years ago.
Talk to me about adapting and changing the idea that it was, it was this FAI that you guys did. Was it basically what you mapped out? Was it that it go down as planned? Okay. This one was really mapped because it was four. The also for the I record. So just one was that we did also go through all of the turning points. We plan that we went all so a bit further because the conditions were really, really good so that we just took advantage.
I think totally out of the day, we, we go through all of the, all the way to points, but when it's the record, I always do a plan. Even if it's not big crunk, cross country, always doing a plant for the day, because I don't like to be in there. And I have no plans, of course, sometimes for all different flights when you go with friends or anything, but most of the time I'm always having a technical goal or goal or anything, but I don't like to go flying without planning something.
So it depends on the condition, but when it's quiet, good condition like this, I like to stick to the plan as much as possible. But of course, in there, if at one moment that it's not possible, I'm switching, but also having this yeah. This goal in the end, it's giving sometimes you an extra like motivations and the, or, and you can over the past some difficulties.
And it's very, it's a very good training also, because for sure you can plan anything, but if you try to stick to the plan, also, it can bring really high motivation. So yeah, it depends all ways, but yeah, I'd like to do that. The, the, the, the flight you did, I, over the flats, I looked at the, the, the, the track log from that you were really low most of the time that it was that kind of a go to no flight, or was that also planned, is it seemed, seemed kind of low odds, but when made it work well, but was that something that you also planned or was that, Hey, I think we could make this work.
Let's go out there and just see what happens. Yeah. I think just these days, the, the firm, or were quiet far from one another. So, so it was just between, between one, between the thermal that it was like maybe 10 K or more in, in the, in the glide. So I was always going quite good. I was getting low, always, always.
And at the beginning it was very tricky because also it was quiet at the beginning, and then it improved quite a lot in the end, but also at one moment there was an airspace during like 60 or 70 care. I couldn't climb over 1,300 meters. And, and the Cloudbase was one, 1,900.
So for sure it was a, it was big deal. And behind me with the, with the radio, they can call the, the airport, the little, the airport and the, they give them the, the clearance. Well, it's good to, it's good to have those friends that you fly with that yeah. That maybe they were playing like 42 to one hour behind me.
So I nearly, yeah, when I knew that there was no problem with the, we have the space, I was already 10 K before the end of the desk space. So for the bit late, yeah. I actually, it's one of my strengths too, to find the thermals. I know I can, I'm quite good at it. So, so I'm not very stressed in these situations.
Yeah. Can you, can you dive into that a little bit more? What do you, what are you thinking when you're, when you're starting to get low? How do, how have you found success with low saves with w you know, what kind of mind frame do you get in, what are you doing technical technique wise that helps that actually I'm working with the cloud, of course, and the always a edging in the direction of the, the best place regarding, regarding the clouds and after I'm working a lot of the, with the flow.
So out of the year, we'll, we'll flow in this place. So in the flat plans that I know that very much looking too looking the forest, Andy, and the least side of the forest, really working a lot with this. And I'm quite confident in this, so confident enough. But yeah, I would say that it's lots of prospective before I try to, to have different plans for sure.
And the, but really thinking about the wind than the clouds. Not much, we have the, with the color of the fields or anything but very much with we have the window and clouds, for sure. So trying to pick up on, on cloud streets and what's happening down course line well in advance and constantly kind of moving that, that way towards, you know, hopefully a more successful line.
Yeah. And the, some pilots would say, okay, when I'm really low, I'm not looking the clouds anymore. And I think it's a big mistake and the always having an eye on them. So, so I know that some, at least looking the rides. Yeah. I love that. That that's great. What's something, a skill or just something you've learned from another sport. Cause I know you, you know, you do a lot of touring and a lot of cross country and I'm sure biking, all kinds of other stuff, but what have you learned from something else other than flying that's helped you become a better pilot?
Yeah, for sure. I think I'm a big fan of sports and the impact, the lighting. We don't have so much physical pain, but we have the mental pain and, and I think to, to have sports, just all on the spot that combine both, it's also, it's also very interesting because you, you manage different things. And the, but sometimes I read things about the lighting is, is a bitch with mental block because it's like very, it's something very, very, like you don't find it anywhere else.
It's yeah. I don't know. I will to explain to people who don't fry it because sometimes they think, okay, you all just sitting in a harness and you take decisions and the wind, blah, blah, blah that's that's, that's kind of when I'm playing 10 hours or 11 hours, like the, the Friday, two weeks ago for the standard. And the day after I was like, I just left.
Yeah. It's to have sometimes in sports, like different the issues you are more adaptable, but I'm a really big fan of a certain sport, like biathlon sports that connects two activities, like in biathlon that connect shooting and skiing, cross country skiing. And I think we can find a lot of connection with them because they are like trying to like trying to connect to things that are completely different as we are doing also in ITIN flight, we are connecting Andrew and straining or Andrew and sports with flying and the, it requires really different kind of skills.
So it's quite, yeah, it's very, my inspiration is from this kind of sports at the time when, the way I was looking and during the winter, I was looking out the word training. So I'll much time that has been training for the shooting. All Ms. Time's, that we're training. We have the skiing and the, the balance is quite interesting. One of the most valuable pieces of information I got was from Tom Payne. I went and sat down with him, you know, he did the race in 2009 and then supported John Chambers in 11 and 13.
And he told me that, you know, your group needs to have kind of a crisis management program or a, you know, a conflict resolution program. And it was, it was valuable. And that we just, it was fun to think about. And, and our, our resolution was just, okay, we, we identify the mistake, talk about it, let it go and laugh. You know, just, just, you know, the, the, the race has to be fun. It's not worth it if it's not fun. So let's have fun with this. And then this ties into one of my talks I had with Thomas there, alone, this, this winner and the kind of preparation is he said, think about it at some point in the race, you're going to make a mistake.
And imagine in the past one of those, you know, say you bomb out in the middle of the day, and now you've got to hustle to get back up to launch and you're stressing because other pilots are in the air and they're, they're leaving you behind. You need to have a plan for that. You need to have a, you know, you need to make it a game you need to consider, okay. How is this an advantage? How is this an opportunity right now? And it's been interesting to think about that. And I'm wondering if you have, if you've thought about that, or when you think back to the last race, when you've made a mistake, what's your mental approach to too, that going into this one and also just normal flying as well, you know, say on, on the 300 day, you know, if you had bombed out and your friends made it happen, how do you approach that?
Yeah, I've done quite a lot of mental trainings in since 2019, we have a friend of mine, but for during the 2019 race, it was still difficult sometimes to get back from some mistakes or mistakes, or sometimes I would say like different timings. 'cause sometimes the timing really difficult. And yeah, I remember when you are 14 minutes behind Kriegel and then you can catch the new catch to 10.
His tone is a way, and you have one, one day, like behind, after, after this little timing difference. So this moment were very tricky, but also during the day, I'm quite lucky to have the four of my best friends in the team. So they know me really well. And sometime when I'm not happy and I'm being like a bit annoying, they know how to handle me.
So it was still working even if I was not very comfortable with this moment, but become, be completely comfortable with them, for sure. But I learned quite a lot since then, because we, we worked quite a lot on, on managing the emotions because quite I can be quite emotional and I worked quite about this. So that was going to ask you how, and in what way, when you say you're quite emotional, his, that just your up and down the, you you're, you get pissed off and kick your helmet or what, and what kind of emotion do you mean?
It can be that a few of my assignments have some scratches on them. Yeah, I can. Yeah. I would say that in the situation, you, you just start focusing only on the mistake and, and the idea is to, to accept it quite fast and just to, to be able to, to, to look around because most of the time, just, you just keep looking at it and you don't see the opportunities around.
So, so yeah, in this situation managing, okay, you are angry, but you can manage it. You don't go completely mad. It's okay to go angry, but you don't have to go completely mad and still be, and a focus on what you have to do to, to find the opportunities around. And the, that was quite difficult. And it was one of my problems that the, during my, yeah, during the competition, because what is quiet, interesting.
And the competition NORML competition and is that it's long competition because most of the time it's one week and in this week, sometimes you do it. And I, it was very, very difficult for me when I was bombing out the next day to be again, in a good mood and to fly well. So yeah, it was a big work I had to do. Do you, can you, can you give us any specifics of, of how you started figuring that out and were able to kind of turn the corner?
Cause I I've had cops that have not gone that way. You know, it goes good. It goes good. That goes bad. Can't get back to good. You almost like falls apart, just put more and more pressure and more and more pissed off. And yeah, it, and now that I've been able to recover it too, but I'm not sure I can point to anything specific that helped. So yeah, I think it's quite personal for people that make me and my side, we we've worked quite a lot on some auto up IPE gnosis I think we, we do this, we say this.
Yeah. So we, we try to take some, some like good, good moments and we try to make them appear in these difficult situations. And because there are different plans because it depends on the situation, but yeah, there is, there is this way to do it when something is going a bit bad in the mean the, in the air, for sure you change the, the, the emotion by, and also when, when you are back to the ground, when you have a moment, when you can relax, we also worked on just letting the emotion flows and then you can just accept it.
And you, you go, you, you keep going after, because when you don't accept some, some emotion, sometimes it tick in you and, and it's not good. So it was a big word. We did live on the, the police open last year because I had kind of a difficult situation before all situation. And I took all her name is Natasha.
So I talk a lot with her, how to manage it. And I was really happy that the six week comms went really well because we all together, we, we succeeded to just, yeah. Okay. There is something bad, but you can let the emotional slow. And then year you, we have the little tricks you can trick a bit you're mind and it will get better. So, so yeah, it's kind of very interesting. Do you use much visualization in your, in your preparation or in your lead up, in other words, do you, when you think about this year's race, do you imagine flying off the guy's Berg and heading south to walk around and imagining the thermals?
Do, do you do any of that kind of thing? Yeah, I think it's natural. Sometimes you just, you're just thinking about the race and, and the, yeah. Start, start to imagine things. And I think it's very important for the mental motivation, because if you don't dream about it, I would say maybe it's not worth not worth it. So yeah. It's kind of this kind of dream.
Like it's a, it's a strange things, but for me, it's very good situation. I'm sure like my, my art beat his increasing increasing when I think about it. And it's a good city. I think it's a good motivation because if you don't, you don't have these vibes, it's kind of strange. And sometimes the, maybe the goal is not, it's not what you are looking for. Yeah. And there's, there's been quite a bit of recent data there. They've, they've studied this and it it's, it seems that the brain doesn't, isn't very good at differentiating between the two and dreaming is the same as reality to the brain.
And if you actively dream it's that you're actually learning, you know, about this, about a, the piano. Yeah. It was very interesting. Very interesting. And they D they did one of the books I read lately on sports psychology was there were a lot of interviews with Olympic athletes who, whatever reason got hurt or, you know, sustained some kind of injury when at a time period where you don't want to get hurt. You know, it's very physical something, very physical.
And, and then, but they just replaced the physical training with visualization and didn't lose anything that they were in some, in some, sometimes they had the best results they ever had was just be in. And they replaced the training with visualization. Yeah. There is some example of this, that people coming back stronger after some injuries. Like I think about that because he was injured during the, the like two years ago and the came back really fast and stronger.
So, so yeah, I think we, sometimes we, we don't take enough consideration. We don't take enough into consideration the recovery when, when you're pushing all of the ways your body, sometimes the recoveries is the main key. Hmm Hmm. Yeah. I think, I think rest and recovery is his radically important for all of us, especially during this, this phase, this has maybe the, the, the main things I, I learned this year, because like maybe end of January, I was feeling very tired.
And when my coach, we decided to cut, like during the 12 or 13 days, I think was very normal. And the, yeah, after, before it's all of the intensity is his, what? It was only paying. And I said to him, okay, something is wrong, something is very wrong. So we decided to cut. And then after we went back and I was feeling way stronger. So, so yeah, it relaxed me with the idea to rest now, because I know that it allows you to step up.
Yes. Yeah. That that's, that's been our approach as well as you, you, you, you can, you can go really hard to get to another level, but then you've got to let your body, especially, you know, I'm older than you buddy. His, you know, you gotta, you gotta let it recover. It's just, I went to the same thing this winter, where it was just, I'm used to being sore all the time, but this was just, my trainer has been, and he's one of my scores and the race that you met him last year, but I just said, Ben, I'm, I'm exhausted all the time that we don't get the work done, but without a smile, you know, you want to be, you want to be smiling.
But on the calorie front, that when I did a podcast with Maxine bellman, he, he surprised me with his, you know, his research showed that we can burn as much as four to 5,000 calories in a four or five hour flight, you know? So you, you're burning a lot of juice with your brain when you, when you did these three hundreds and you're in the air 10, 11 hours, how do you prepare for that side of it? What have you got on board for food?
How do you approach your food and water intake both before you do the flight and, and during the flight? Yeah. Sometimes it's difficult for me this, this side, because I'm so focused in the air. What I can just lie and forgot to the drink to eat. So in this kind of flights, I just try sometimes too. And also because you're finding really fast most of the time. So it was kind of difficult, but I know that I didn't, I didn't eat enough for sure, because I eat like three or four, like a bar during the flight, but, and yeah, I have some drink in my, in my Camelback.
That is not enough. And the, and it's very, also my coach is not flying and sometimes it's difficult. It's not difficult that because you understand that it's difficult to, to speak with him about the, about the fatigue, the fatigue of a flight. 'cause, it's very, very unusual too. And as the sport, it's something different. Yeah. Its much more about mental, mental fatigue.
Hmm Hmm. Yeah. So I'm quite, I don't have any lot of advice and the side, because most of the time I'm forgetting to it. It can be hard when you're, when you're, when you're, when you've got the throttle to the max and you're know every glider you're using a ton of bar. It's pretty hard to grab a sandwich and have it have a bite to eat. At least, at least for me, I don't have that move very well. But Maxime, you, you're an instructor.
And I know you do, you do you're 10 and pilot as well. Take us to the beginning. What, what do you impress on your students? What should they avoid? What should they focus on when they're, when they're just learning to have to focus on the motivation because everybody's is not looking for the same thing. So, so the most important to be insecurity in this case to, to work on your motivation, why you are here and, and what you want to do with the fog lighting, because it's the first thing.
And then when I'm with people want to go a bit more with performance flying, lots of the time I tell them, okay, the way it's long, but it's nice way, but I'm always most of the time they want just to, just to go quite fast and the progression and the, and that's not the, the right way to do. Even if we've now the way I'm also training and some young guys, and it's a bit different with them, but because are in a structure with the performance and, and everything.
So it's kind of different. But if it's people want to go to performances without, without any structure, it's more about, yeah. Make every step quite correctly because we see a lot of people thinking the tagline is quite easy to finally, and the, after the discover element, how much can be powerful in the year. And, and what I wanted to do with that means to avoid a moment that they are blocked by the mental fear or something like this, of course, in the progression, there is always this kind of finger peering, but I also saw a lot of people just having a bad experience.
It's quitting from our lighting. So I don't want this. Mm. What, what's something that doesn't have to be recent and it doesn't have to be in flying, but what, something that has come up along the way in your progression that has kind of blown your mind, you know, any kind of aha moment or any kind of, you know, coming to Jesus, just holy cow. That was, that was something I, I, I just something big that that happened that has impacted either who you are or, or you're flying for the better.
Yeah. It's an interesting question that I would say for sure. It's when, when I entered my first world cups for the flame side, because it is, and you discover a new world of possibilities and there is a before and an after work, because you think you, you, you start to enter the national console. You think cam I'm not so bad and you arrive in every glide, you are the outlining you or out family and you are everything.
So, so then you have to work quite out to, to, to reach this level. So, so for sure, it's, it's kind of, yeah, it was very strong, a very strong feeling to, to learn from the best, because yeah, I think I thought about the Superfly, my first super final Columbia was the very nice experience. The, there was Griego, there was the, the mini and, and all of the lens legend like this.
And I was thinking, I have a lot of folks. Yeah. It was interesting. I was only like 2020, and it was very, yeah. I have a really good memory of this. Hm. Was that 2000 C was the 2012 years or does that, was that 10,013? And I think Russ got second, I believe, right? Yeah. That, that was the fireflies. Yeah. This one.
Yeah. First that, that was my first super final. I'd only done one world cup before then, but yeah, that was a, that was very humbling. I could stay with the guys one thermal and then bye bye. It was a very new pilot. It was very humbling. Very good. It was very, very nice. Yeah. It was very good experience for sure. Yeah. Great. Oh, fantastic. Maxime. The listeners I'll have to piece this back together.
Cause I don't think the listeners, I mean, a lot of people watch the race of course, but this is something that was, that was quite a went back and pieced together. Avery files for the, for the 2019 Rais to you to, to watch Kriegel and see, cause during the race that you can't see much, ah, what's going on and with the others, other than they're ahead of you or they're behind you, you had a really interesting day, day three, you caught Kriegel. He made a bit of a mistake going into moose. You caught him, you guys hiked up together to the launch that it was kind of blowing up.
You know, I was back kind of crossing the in valley at that moment. And you know, there was big cells your way. So I think this is one of the things that the viewer I can't see and the life track and they need to see the weather that we're dealing with. But you guys had an interesting, you both took off together. You were thermally together, you were flying together and suddenly, you know, just going before, rounding the bend and going up the, I call it the land deck valley because land deck is there. I don't know what that value is actually called, but Kriegel just slow plan and really quick.
And you kept going. And in my mind, what you did was the more logical choice. Cause the valley winds would have been going up to the land and valley. It was late and the day you would've gotten a nice push, but he landed, walked up very, very short distance and he ended up getting, I didn't look at it exactly. But on a five or 10 K on you, what do you do there? That was what, what happened there? Yeah, it was one of the highlights of the race for me.
What happened is the, I I'll climb the email and the other, the takeoff. And I was like maybe a hundred meters Bobby. And, and it was, my decision was to, to go as fast as possible. And the, in the Atlantic 'cause, the sales was coming from the west coast if I remember. And, and it was also, the wind was blowing quite hard, like maybe 25 and the, I didn't, I didn't think about even, yeah, I didn't even think to, to learn because for me it was like a very, very tricky situation where, where you have too.
And also it was late. So there was also the deadline and for me, lending was not an option. And I decided to go in kind of blind mode and after I was fumbling under the side, very strange, strange things, but it was working. And after, when I realized it top and just after went in sewing mode before entering the landing valley, I think it was a very good mood move, but it was very bold.
Sure. And yeah, for me, it was like, I don't even think about it it's and I was working and just passing over on me and the land and maybe like five minutes before the, the front came in and, and it was like five, 10 minutes after, and maybe it wasn't working. So sometimes this kind of decision was a very good decision.
That was so bold. And the yes, till I was thinking about it, I'm still thinking about it, but what I could have done better and probably I would have been the same, so yeah, just different planning and it was working for him for sure. Yeah. I th he, you know, he talks about this. He talks about gambling. And if you, if you gamble eight out of 10 times, as opposed to three out of four, even if you don't get the eight out of 10, you're gonna win, you know, so you, so just gamble all along and not with risk.
He's not talking about safety and risks. He's talking about those kinds of moves. And it was just interesting on, on the Avery. I, I, couldn't, again, not seeing the weather. I couldn't make sense of it, what you did seem to make the most sense. And it was just, I, you know, he does these moves over and over and over again. And it's, it's fascinating that, so the next one I wanted to ask you about is the next day he won the race and my mind. And he, you, so you were both together in the LANDESK valley and you, you walked a bit that morning, you know, west towards Davos, and then you both started going up your own ridges.
Again, he was, you know, five or 10 K ahead of you. I don't have this exact, but he took off, well, you were both at the, basically the same height you were, you had clearly both stopped to get ready to fly. He took off a long time before you did any scraped around scraped around real, very slowly. You didn't make much, but by the, by the time you flew, he had a good jump on you. And I'm wondering again, what, what was the, was it just, you just weren't feeling it, it wasn't on it.
Wasn't you just thought it was too risky? No, no, because we were late on take-off and the takeoff that was really bad. We just found the race and, and we were a bit late. And the, the place we were adding was quite that bad, actually, wasn't the right place and the right take of maybe seven or eight cases and front. And, and I wasn't present when the, the condition kicked off finally, finally landed on the way to the devil's.
So he allowed me, allows me to take back maybe 20 minutes, maybe 20 to 30 minutes when NDN we are. I think what I was looking last time it's was like 45 minutes behind him in devils. So yeah, for sure. It is in the right timing and yeah, this, this one we had to push quite a lot in the morning on the flat and then add to take off for sure.
It was really no, no really good place to take off. And just one was quite tricky. Ah, this is see, this is the thing that the live tracking and the Google earth doesn't, doesn't give you. I knew there were, that had to be some reason I thought Maxime is right there. He could practically see I'm in the air too. Yes, I was so pissed off because we were like, like working in the, in the fucking natal trees, one meters high, but we can try to find the enemy like a good spot to take off.
And it was like this during, yeah. Until 10 30. And, and what you was in the air like nine 50 or just before 10 and I was so pissed off. Yeah. I've had plenty of those. I know exactly what you mean, Maxime, last question. And this is potentially a really hard one or maybe a really easy one. I don't know, but it's very general. Why do you fly? Because I don't find any, the excitement like this elsewhere.
So it's, it's the best feeling in the world. You can't find anything good as the, as this. So I'm trying for this because every time I'm in the air, it's kind of the best thing is in the world and the them, I'm also like very, very interesting and the, in the performance, I want to know what I can achieve and all I can achieve it.
Maxime. It's the treasure, man. I can't wait to see it. And in Austria, I hope this thing is a go I've certainly had my doubts, but it seems like things are moving in the right direction. And so I can't wait to see you and, and race with you and in enjoy the Alps for a couple of weeks, it's a special treat to be able to go do this. I'm very, very grateful. So thanks a lot. And thanks for sharing all this with us and the best of luck with the remainder of your training, stay healthy and yeah, we'll see you in a bit.
Yeah, Thanksgiving. Thanks.
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