Veteran Gin test pilot, designer, European champion, and multiple-time German team member Torsten Siegel has been racing paragliders for nearly 30 years. He designed for UP Paragliders and then Swing before moving to Gin over a decade ago and has left an indelible mark on the sport since the early 90’s. I spoke with Torsten immediately after this years Superfinal in Disentis, Switzerland to get his thoughts on the first superfinal that’s been held in the mountains and to get his thoughts on all things racing- the risk, the tactics, the equipment and how to be consistent in the ultimate game- racing fabric and string in the sky. We cover a lot of ground- what kind of pilot makes a good test pilot; how have the CCC regulations worked out from the design standpoint; how paragliding can improve our habits and attitudes; why pilots almost always move up to a hotter wing too soon; having doubts and making sure you maintain awareness in a game that sometimes bites hard, and a lot more. Enjoy!
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Working at UP and SWING and then over a decade at Gin
The Superfinal- it was beautiful, it was amazing, and it was scary!
What does a test pilot do? And how are wings designed?
Performance vs control for high end paragliders, and matching wings with the ability of the pilot
Torsten’s favorite wing
The outcome of the CCC class and where we’re headed
Making a living in this sport
Having doubts and maintaining awareness
How paragliding (can) improve your life
How to toss the mistakes and move on
Don’t get grumpy- laugh!
Pimping vs leading and consistency
How even the best often screw it up
What kind of head space to find for comp flying?
Be mentally prepared for the task before you fly- find the balance of relaxed vs serious
Weather during a comp- how important is it?
Identify certain people in comps?
What advice to new world cup pilots? #1- Don’t jump to a hot glider too early! #2- have fun!
FTV and strategy for a good result
Don’t move up on a wing until you’re pushing your wing to 110% with full confidence and without hesitation
Flying an entire task backwards!
Mentioned in this show:
Tim Bollinger, Michael Sigel, Superfinal, World Cup, Gin Paragliders, Charles Cazaux, Aaron Durogati, Stephen Morganthaler, Chrigel Maurer, Pierre Remy, Luc Armont, Martin Scheel, Yassen Savov, Josh Cohn, Manuel Quintanilla, Colin Rathbun, Play Gravity
Speaker 1 (0s): Hi there everybody. Welcome to another episode of the Cloudbase Mayhem don't have any housekeeping for you today. The X red rocks is full. We've got a weightless go there. If you're still keen, it's worth applying because some people will inevitably not be able to make it. And so get yourself on the waitlist it's X red rocks.com, pretty excited that that's all coming together. I think this will be by far the biggest hike and fly event that's ever been thrown in in north America. So Chanel blast, that's coming up. I am off to Turkey for the world cup here in a couple of days, but just recorded this podcast today with Torsten Siegel.
One of my heroes and the comp scene has been a test pilot for many, many years, was with UOP and then swing the UPC back in the nineties and then swinging for five years. And then he spent Jen now for over a decade as a test pilot and designer, very accomplished comp pilot. And we did the math that they, during the shell and the almost 30 years flying comps and just had a really nice result at the superfinal out in Switzerland. So we spent some time talking about his history and designing and his adventures in paragliding and then get pretty specific into comp tactics and strategies and that kind of thing.
So if you're interested in comps or struggling with how to be consistent or do well, or you're a veteran or a beginner at comps, I think you'll really enjoy this. So enjoy the stock with Torsten Siegel. Torsten it's, it's good to see you as it was. I've seen you a bit later and we saw each other at nationals and Chalan and then I followed the superfinal very closely.
I was wishing I was over there with you guys that was just too quick, a turnaround after, after the exiles to get back to Switzerland. But you got a lot of days. You only had a couple, I think the last day and one day in the beginning, and that's pretty remarkable for flying in the Rhine valley. How were the conditions? What was it like?
Speaker 2 (2m 18s): So it was a very special life to say I've been not four times in Disentis and this was the strongest conditions I've ever flew in there,
Speaker 1 (2m 29s): But you said no, no accidents. Nobody had any trouble where there's some close calls or anything, or I heard it a few, a few people that I follow on Instagram. So it was pretty rough if you will just decided to lay on one day, I guess too much.
Speaker 2 (2m 41s): Yeah. We had even like Mike ziegel on the third task, he was a pretty nasty galley, something blowing in to get over to him, Bollinger and Tim got just blown up like crazy. And then Michael definitely decided, no does this, this is too much any lenders, which I, yeah, definitely in disaggregation outside, but it's yeah, definitely some spots where it was was too much.
I mean, it was not so nice. Sometimes when you are high, you don't feel it. Sometimes you don't catch journalists are coming Londale or whatever. So it's a very unique area and there are always some surprises around some corners and the, we had a lot, but like you say, luckily we had no accident or nothing. So there's this quiet for a competition like this.
Speaker 1 (3m 39s): Yeah. I mean, it's a, did I read that it was the first superfinal that's been done and proper mountains, is that correct?
Speaker 2 (3m 48s): Correct. Yeah. I was also surprised because I guess I flew less all despite one. And there was always the dream from sort of form of a chef chief who unfortunately died then doing fly. Like I think it's like seven, eight years ago. There was always this dream to have the simplify, the jobs. And now with the COVID situation, then all of the messed up events, that growth cup Callender, and find that it happens.
Therefore you're more happy than it was so successful that it gets over any task and same racing. And I think it was the most sport meant for competition their departments. I hope
Speaker 1 (4m 36s): Keep doing that. I mean, it's what a spectacular the pictures are. I mean, the Rhine is, you know, I've flown there a bunch with all the races, the XLS and stuff. And it mean like you said, it does bite. There are some snakes and the crawl out of the crawl out of the steep mountains there, but it's beautiful and what an awesome place to race.
Speaker 2 (4m 55s): I don't recreate. Nobody want to, but I would say it's perfect. Have live with your friends and raising, but not the people are under rich. It's definitely not something as they always so nice. I need some space, so no, it's it's yeah, I repeat that.
But it's a unique place when conditions for the high cloud based and everything, but we had a few days then it's really outstanding and I think also really safe and fly, but can be there for them. For me, the most sketchy thing is always spend your IDs, very rough conditions, 2030 fighters. You're just dry in the end of the side, try to apply ball pushes you out.
And you know, it helps videos too. So this is the situation. I, I feel pretty comfortable, but with a lot of pilots that these conditions, this is something I ran out the Buddhist .
Speaker 1 (6m 13s): Yeah, yeah, yeah. Fair enough. Fair enough. How long have you been flying cops?
Speaker 2 (6m 22s): I think it was right after the second world war. I think I started in 94. Okay. And then something 96, the first world cup, since 99. I'm a German national
Speaker 1 (6m 48s): That's 27 years. Torsten I think something like that.
Speaker 2 (6m 52s): Yeah. I think you're counting wrong.
Speaker 1 (6m 59s): Well, you keep, you keep yourself extremely fit. That must, that must help. Yeah. W w what is your exercise regime? What do you, what do you do to stay
Speaker 2 (7m 10s): Drinking beer And then domain at world sports? I have some Italian friends in Toronto. We do a lot of street biking, sorta weekends, or like 8,000 case, like old men style.
And then, yeah, it's mainly, I try to go a little bit German, but the kids, I have two kids. They are like six and eight now. And they, they really enjoyed the kickboxing a little bit. So yeah. Then board has all the, yeah. I try to make each day some sports instead of frigging. Sometimes it goes
Speaker 1 (8m 12s): No wonder. You're such a good pilot.
Speaker 2 (8m 16s): Yes. It's getting, it's getting out of it. You're getting older.
Speaker 1 (8m 21s): Sure, sure. W will you get your kids into flying?
Speaker 2 (8m 26s): Good question. So I flew with them already, for sure. And they loved it. I think my little boy and my girl, she's six years old. She's super adventurous. She always placed me on a different flight. So now when, when we have to travel now, I definitely like to fly with a girl, but honestly, I'm also happy if they are kind surfing or some adults
Speaker 1 (8m 53s): Less, less gravity related
Speaker 2 (8m 56s): As I don't like to become testified that like me, I can fly. And at the a C U I, for sure if they're interested, I would introduce them into the sport, but you could also, I think it's definitely a kind of sport, which you should choose by yourself. And I don't like to push them into this because as a subsidy, they have to find out what video.
Speaker 1 (9m 25s): Yeah. Do you, how long it was, was Jen your introduction to being a test pilot and working in that, in the industry? Or did you work before with somebody else?
Speaker 2 (9m 36s): Yeah. Way before. So actually when I was studying mechanical engineering, I started flying Sherman Deak. And during this time you get there applied, I suppose, was raised through the air from the EG Kaushal from the Japanese. They had some support that they, they were thinking about Vic paragliding, like playing goes, something like this. So to spend a lot of money for this. And I had a lot of new pilots that I was, I became the chief pilot for, I think this was in 96 something.
And then when I used to ride my vegetable teases, I asked U P if they're interested and also not an engineer. So my bachelor thesis suppose about measuring performance of, of paragliders on, on the runway. So it was quite interesting, but I failed also, but nevertheless, I got a category for this, so everyone was really happy.
And I was after this, I was very close to you that you ask, we have untrusted do some test pilots that just for being set everything. And so, yeah, as long as I'm studying, I can prove this. And the next day I got into it, I was starting there as a test pilot competition pilot at that time. And then when I finished studying, I have, we'll see you by the hour or something like this.
Speaker 1 (11m 23s): At the time
Speaker 2 (11m 24s): I wasn't sure I was studying in high point. It's new, a shortcut and just south. And then I moved to the lake of Constance. That's at the border of Switzerland, Austria, Germany, and yeah. And now I'm 52 and it's still, so, yeah, I was like, I think 15 years then together, which was the main designer. So we worked together and then I was for five years that swing.
Oh, okay. And now nearly 10 years fortune. So April next day I booked .
Speaker 1 (12m 10s): And is that, is that your a hundred percent job? I mean, in other words, do you have, do you have other, do you have other sources of,
Speaker 2 (12m 18s): Yeah. In the beginning you can imagine because every boat, everyone thinks that you can fly. So he has funded it's his hobbies, so why should we pay him? Definitely not very well. And so I was at the beginning, I was riding by the lot for where we had more German and I was working also as a photograph of PayPal.
So I, well, I lot of side income there because it was necessary. And then let's say, when I establish myself more and more as a also decide, no, then incomes can better. And also the times less for doing other things. So now I will say like 90% of my, my work is for cheap gliders. And I'm doing besides some sub jobs,
Speaker 1 (13m 23s): Right. In his, most of that role with gin now design, or is there still a lot of test pilot and stuff involved and maybe for the audience? I, you know, I don't know. A lot of people don't really know what test pilot means, what, what is it, what, what do you do? What does it involve and how do you do it, Toronto
Speaker 2 (13m 43s): And Toronto? It's the thing. That's traveling. A lot of the social I'm into run because my wife, she works here and our kids are going to school. So it's easy as a, as a paragliding pilot, it's pretty hard to feed your family. So therefore your wife needs to go to show You, you have to balance things.
And especially when you have family, it's for sure easier when you are, when you're single and just can do what you want, because then you're much more flexible. I'm quite happy to have my two kids and my, my base here, like you mentioned. So in Toronto we do sometimes a little bit of towering and there's some sewing areas, but it's certainly no reasonable line here. So most of the time I think about of course, you know, the Meadows always nearly, always go there or whatever.
So what we are looking for, spend me on making the test sessions to go and some areas where yeah. To 99% sure that you can fly it or you go for two weeks. So expect this,
Speaker 1 (15m 10s): Are you testing the full range of gin? Are you mostly just testing the comp end of things or everything
Speaker 2 (15m 16s): It's, it's born as, depending on the projects and priorities we have and how it goes. So that's it for sure. This, our main design up and he's, he's coming up with all the ideas and I, I support him, but then once we are on record checks, then we split it. Sometimes that I focused on, on one or two being synthesized and yada, yada, but mainly then also be showing each other again, fly, tested
Speaker 1 (15m 52s): How much time they spend in Korea.
Speaker 2 (15m 55s): Yeah. Reasonably not a lot, because for sure when a corporate situation and the prefacing, it's hard. And I was thinking about now, fly to Korea. He still have these two weeks guaranteed. And we try to find a way that I maybe can skip it. It's still tricky. So we decided now to make the next test session again, but our pilots , but yeah, normally on like four times in Korea, it's maybe spring and autumn time, because it's summer, you have the rainy season windows, pretty code seminar, like cannot.
So this case we, we meet some else as quite often then via Bravo, Mexico of Intel. So something from, from December, February, and then March, it starts in Korea again. And then the summertime is quite often than the others.
Speaker 1 (17m 0s): And is your background with mechanical engineering? Was that real critical for becoming a designer with, with paragliding? Or is it something you just picked up working with UPP and over the years?
Speaker 2 (17m 13s): Yes. It's one interesting thing because before I study my dad, he's a tailor and he had a company with 68 employees. And when I was a young guy, I'd like to, I'd like to do anything. And then he say, listen, sod, you don't hang around the street. You work now, I worked there, so I became a tail tool. So I was like two years, two years training. And the nice thing is I, I could make my first flight suits by my own, but then I stopped just because I proposed industrial production of two things.
So this was pretty boring. I said, oh, I will never do this again. But it's very interesting because it came very handy once I said, started to paragliding business and making things. So a lot of the changes I can do myself and the QC also puts you at a pretty good understanding when it comes to suing and producing the wings. So this was, this was quite interesting that it was just by chance that I had this, this knowledge because I never thought I could, I would use it later for paragliding and the fingers fit.
And then Joe, on the, I think mineral study engineering and the, the it's quite intense. And I will say for five years on the, on the high school university, sorry. And the main thing was that you, you had some aerodynamic backgrounds and everything, but it's the main thing is all of your technical understanding and the voltage of this. And then I think it's pretty easy to adapt into fields, which are very similar and does this the main thing, but with aerodynamics also deciding if there are a lot of you have the structural base where mechanical engineering is perfect for this, and you have these aerodynamic components, we have, we have any, we have some support from aerodynamic engineers.
And for myself, I have the basic knowledge with this and IDs and everything, how it goes together,
Speaker 1 (19m 31s): Kind of a pilot makes a good test pilot, you know, in other words, are you, are you basically, you, you take a, a new design, you know, third edition of the X, X, X, whatever it is. And you take it up, are you just stalling? It like crazy. Are you spinning it? I mean, are you doing all the kind of civil testing or, or what, what kind of w or are you just flying it around and kind of getting a feel?
Speaker 2 (19m 56s): Yeah, let's say deposit the most, more like this than it was always pretty hard to pass the certification me and my left to say, since, since I've worked for chin and even before the designs and knowledge is so advanced that normally the things they don't make big problems as we headed into past that you have, you've stored that you have nasty shooting to doing more super dynamic and everything.
All these things are quite rare, for sure. You can have some surprises, but suddenly you openings or whatever, but it's mainly now when, when, when we introducing new designs or making new designs at the beginning, it's definitely more, the flying in general is to be performing in the way is the handling like, like the habit. And now our main point since a few years in is, is it also suitable for the target group?
So is it easy to fly? Is it something, what is, what do you like? But you don't feel stressed out and everything. So it's for sure the higher classes, that performance is something, but I formed this also lasting without cultural. And I think this was also made me think about for me lesson, for example, I think this was a pretty good performing name, but for a lot of pilots to be bonding to the others, I understand enough skills and me, honestly, I love it because it gives you a lot of feedback and the most interesting to fly, but you need a lot of time planned to send you being an empty thing.
And I think this is how stable VR now more aware that most of the pilots, they don't have so much time to fly. They like to have something they are just chomp on and say, yeah, that's easy. I I'm confident through living and everything, and there's not much to learn and to understand again into it. So I think this is a, one of our main points for future designs, big performance, very accessible by the group and order that you feel from the beginning, very confident, the denies and on,
Speaker 1 (22m 21s): I don't want to go too far down the rabbit hole, just cause we have with, with other people on the show in the past with the whole open class and CCC and you know, the Peter heater stuff. And that led to all of that. But do you wish the industry was going in any kind of a different direction than what it is right now? I mean, it seems like the CCC classes is working quite well, but do you wish, do you wish, for example, that we'd done the Robbie whittle stick with a serial class and you know, everybody's kind of wearing the same shoes or how do you feel about all that?
Speaker 2 (22m 56s): Yeah, I think I'm quite happy with the current development, because I think this year, last year we had for one or two years show these big drawbacks when it comes to control C is it's really the same thing for everyone is fly. You ever tried to measure wellbeing and find out differences immediately. You figure out how frustrating this is and it gives for sure, the also then the few let's say, I for better performing dealt with some doubts, some, you know, profiles which nobody can check or whatever it's sub special tension.
So you have all these kind of thoughts. People think it's like the paragliding sport is so small. It's not like a big industry, like a formula one where you have some engineers who are controlling the cost off the roads and checking everything. If it's according to Switzerland checking the, that evening and the cable car station until the clock. And just try to get some main measurements you've ever seen, it's working well.
But we have such a small community as I, I felt that it's used last what's the wrong way, because this should be held for the, for the normal pilots, some kinds of sport pilots, the CCC and the regulations we have, they have a kind of freedom of the side, but we are limiting the most dangerous paths just as extreme food, speech flying, which Truvada set everything.
So I think it's, it's, it's all on there. Pretty good baker. And so sometimes you wish with more freedom to decide, but then also doing something, some kind of phrase you base or borderline, and then you are heavy again that you don't have to fly this in a competition that you can go to your movie. Because I remember the open class times in the past, when you come up and you prototype and it was so sketchy to fly to you say that the old competition, you couldn't enjoy it because we were just focused on the vegan wish.
So now August, I think we have a nice match, no safety. And so also when you speak to all the pilots, I think they're pretty happy with the situation.
Speaker 1 (25m 40s): How did you get into flying 30 years ago?
Speaker 2 (25m 44s): Yeah, it was actually, I think it all started with my dad because he was, as he was the children army. He was a pilot there, but then when his dad died, he'd take over the company. So the business, but he was longer on the airfield if you gave him the same day pilot. So as kids, we were hanging around a long stretch guys on the FES. It was super interesting because it was the playground and everything, but still the idea of flying, flying gliders, sail, there's this little bit different that then, then we have the quota Buster Cooper.
So this is a mountain full of Frank Hood. They just gliding. And then some was one day my brother came to us. So something screen-share chomping this, some parachutes down the Mount, whatever we have to look at this as they are. That sounds fun. So, yeah, I went up with my brother and we had to look and we have to try this. We signed up for a course and then I was riding down the hill, like crazy, so much fun.
I must, I must really, I have my first flight. Peter was always like flying like 10 seconds, 15 seconds, 30 seconds. You recognize it there. So I was very, very efficient during this time because it was just the kind of led do. And this is how everything started. And that say was, was these, I think I felt the law from the lifting your legs and flying.
It was like this childhood dream came true. And then it was for as if a half a year was little bit, I got frustrated with the performance because you always like going through the bushes that , and then I got a little bit by field, but then the next generation of twins arrived at our job before moving to either set, I guess it was.
Yeah. And then suddenly you would climb. This was said to get, it was like, wow. And then you have your first two hours and everything. Yeah. It, then it changed my life. I have to say, because I was definitely kind of a Dick that was somewhere else. What I was missing in my whole life. I was always looking for something, what I could do. I was not so into surfing and then suddenly a fly study in the south of Germany to be able to be closer to the mountains.
And then it became a huge part of my life.
Speaker 1 (28m 47s): Wow. Has there been in that kind of arc of your career and test piloting comps and that kind of thing, have there been, you know, big lulls in your passion or has it just been, you know, has been pretty, pretty exciting from the beginning
Speaker 2 (29m 4s): And I have to say most pretty excited for the beginning. There were two things. What else the sales award was? You should have money at the beginning where you asked to say, yeah, I know I studied so long. And also my dad asked me a few times, like I have a real job now. And if you can let me some money, I really paid it back. So it's not, you know, it's really 6 28 and still begging for money like this, as it is for something, if she would have said I have to do something and yeah, I have this as a hobby and whatever, but yeah, this was definitely a few times that I was writing to some companies and Trump educations, but it didn't like me.
And then this is for sure, all these first times, this, the let's say I've never had a big accident. Actually. I never broke any board or whatever, but lucky, but I have to say I had 1, 2, 3 close calls where to say, okay, this was just super lucky. Now just the fight. That's just by chance, I'm still walking away. I could be an abused wheelchair. I could be dead or whatever. So these are also the things one males for, for one year for us to take this risk or not.
And then I was for sure, when some of your best friends are these, these very sad moments, goddammit. It's like, it's nice. But these competition flying is testing. You see, wouldn't be hiding it. It wouldn't be this enough. Just go off Savelle as a decent tone, there's nine must be central coast to be, I don't eat the I'm extreme, but as it grows to go so far and risk your life.
And because when you see what happens to all of the friends and Levi and it's it's, I have to say too many fish. I know who we, we always say, we always remember you, you often 20 to, yes. I forgot the names. So it's, it's the same. Yeah. Then you always have to question yourself in something you have to think about, you like to take this risk or not, but it's there for sure.
Many times you have doubts. And I think it's supposed to ProQuest yourself to be an, and so obviously if this, the way I understand things can happen to you, do you like the smoothies I'm seeing, I think until the end of my career and just feel the rising and falling and see how I entered this.
Speaker 1 (32m 15s): Is there, is there been anything concrete you've changed about the style or the approach or something you've done with your flying over the years, for example, when you had kids or is there anything you're doing that now in terms of being safer or taking less risks that maybe you wish you would have earlier? Or is it just kind of a natural progression of,
Speaker 2 (32m 37s): I think it's more a natural progression as the, the, the main thing is that the other kids. So my, my relations, therefore change my thoughts that you have to, you need to be honest with yourself and check if you're lacking the risk. And this is more, I, I don't think my family is because anyway, I like to yeah.
Like the suicide games or whatever. So it's, it's something I, I think about a lot. And like you mentioned, it's, it's a natural thing, but then you start folks out there racing into world cup. It's quite funny, like 10 minutes before the race starts, I was really like it. And then restart status. Like, yeah. It's so fun though. The main thing is, I know why I'm doing this because it's for three, four hours, how long the race sticks, you're focused on one specific thing.
And this is so nice. That's the only other things I got. It's just about flying the surfing because he wants to best that dive into something and forget about the rest of your life. But you're moving out suddenly is ,
Speaker 1 (34m 19s): Especially in Chalan when you're gone. Oh, it does. It does though.
Speaker 2 (34m 25s): So this is saying, I think this makes paraplanning goals is so unique, especially as a competition, because it's a, it's a short circle of life. It's like this race, that, and to the end and you have all these up and downs, no one popping out or catch your Lucky's emotional feelings, but you have, then you missed the start. You know, it's like all these things for what happened in your life.
You see having to stay up within followups And you can also not about your whole life is this that you say, well, I'm low now. So this is where you, yeah, I, I think I've, I'm a very patient person and also realize that many things which are more
Speaker 1 (35m 26s): Brutal on you Teaches you a lot of patients.
Speaker 2 (35m 32s): It is also, you cannot change it. You can, you can, you can spray out, but it's not changing. You know, it's just nature has gotten, so you have to be patient. So we will try something else. Maybe it works maybe enough, something many times you're making enemies jokes about this. Especially the five lives you see you. And then what's the third task.
And when we are all like, off the cake lining, it's like, oh no, you can do this stuff. This is the,
Speaker 1 (36m 26s): I've got a bunch of very specific comp questions that we'll get to in a bit. But one of the things we just, I just recorded another show with Wally down in Australia, a couple of days ago, we were talking about comps. And one of the things that is so striking about it, and I guess it's, it's what makes it so wonderful. And also like you said, it can also be so brutal. You know, you look at the results from one comp to another, and there's always the, there are certainly a group of pilots who are very consistent and consistently do well.
But even them, you know, you you'll look at the, you look at the end results and see someone like Charles Kenzo. Who's just a terrific comp pilot in on Serbia. He was almost last, you know, and it happens to everybody, you know, dura, Gotti, you know, he's one of the superfinal twice in, in any given world cup, he could be down in the eighties, you know, it's just, what has your many years of comp experience do after a while? Does that stuff just not bother you?
And it's no big deal cause it happens to everybody or is it still just like, God darn it.
Speaker 2 (37m 41s): Yeah. I think I'd want more nature experience as well as maybe we had to grow the cup a hundred motto speed, and then be for the Sierra Nevada each. And I was like, yeah, I think at five, five and a half thousand meters. And then we had a flat five applied about one hour to the beach and most definitely magic, but I, I make it because it was smaller.
There was one small hill in front of the, in front of the beach and honestly I couldn't pass it. So I had to go left that I landed on the beach nearby and it was a beautiful beach and on people who are come and say, Hey, wow, you are here. And I was so pissed off and so crappy and angry and whatever. And I even don't know why, because I could have the smooth, you know, join myself, have a beer and get ready to go back.
But yeah, it was crappy. And then, then I was thinking when I was driving back and even the next day, as a plus, if you're like this, when you don't make goal or something like this happens, then this will happen again. Like you've mentioned many times as a unit, you are accepting, you're committing the sport is you cannot take it. Then it makes those sense just once I think since then. I'm but I still, for sure, when you go step up, you decide that you're popping out or short of goals like this.
And then, but honestly I start laughing about Bethesda. And so I think , and like you say, there's also the big difference between Charles castle and because Charles customer with the see, like you mentioned is a very unique pilot and he flies alone. You make definitely his own decisions. He has his own use. Why I'm not for this side.
I stick with the crew who worked for me. So you see my resides most of the time, very constant, but also not talk results as it is a subsidy. And if all this works out, I became European champion once because it was just on the average as both like the best decisions for the pilot. But I have to say also that they are a lot of, much more unified. It's like Charles, step up more on Pardot, for example, or to be more as it is, there's a fun show, 50, 20 fighters who fly a very special on their own.
They care about the group, but it's for sure as you have quite a big chance also then to pop out or whatever, and this was the same thing with chars during the Superfinal the was a little bit of say, like you say, and I get Serbia that suddenly his magic was because just this one small thing, which is missing, and then it's much better possibilities. And, but I admire these, these, these, these pilots.
And I think these are real pilots, but it's not always successful. This is the,
Speaker 1 (41m 17s): Is that a personality thing, do you think? Or is it, is it, you know, cause I, I don't have nearly the experience that you guys do when it comes to cops, but it's, you know, it's one of these things where I think I would categorize myself in that category of, like you said, like Charlie doing my own, but I get penalized for it so much that, you know, I try to go, no, no, no, that's not how you fly cop. You, you have to have no original thoughts, stick with the gaggle, you know, do your thing. But it's,
Speaker 2 (41m 45s): I think it's for sure it's a personal thing. It's also something you're looking for. Let's say for me, because also since I cannot fly four or five competitions a year and to be able to qualify for the national team, I just can mess up one more or less. The artist must be good. So this is something where you fly beside oriented. So that means you are looking for in the top 10 and the dis you cannot take these risks that you mess up, like whatever.
And then it's also something about what suits you as I think a lot of files to pointing us from, for example, out of these guys, I was not students. And that was just pushing us then if it works out awesome. But also you both sell it here and there, but you know, it's a kind of, you came to kind of his side and he's not bothering with this. I have to say my not forming out once, twice or three times out, which is very unusual for ear to say, I can look through this, but I don't like to ask now like four costs, it's a little bit too much.
So yeah. And normally these kinds of balancing, this is, this is the nature nature saying perfect. Always the winner of the speed competitions. Yeah. Always the, these, these pilots who did the perfect setup and tree pushing, staying with the group and choose the best tactical decisions for this competition. But it can be also then, like you say, the next call, it can be definitely that group bumps out twice.
And it said was also notice you see it, it works out for one competition for the again, but this is, this is the way yeah. All you have to do now also too. One of the,
Speaker 1 (44m 7s): What have you, have you seen any kind of theme that's run through when you have a successful comp, if you've been able to kind of tie it to other successful comps and come up with any kind of recipe. Okay. This one was, this one was because I had this kind of Headspace or this kind of, you know, I had exercised this way for a year or is it just almost random?
Speaker 2 (44m 35s): Yeah. Yeah. It can be very successful. And I was completely drunk the night before. Yeah. I don't like to go into details, but you want also pass then the next day that I thought maybe he cannot fly. Then he was, then he was very the task. So this is something where you can see how special visual, but I also agree, like you say, there are always more or less the same pilots and what I recognize when I always think now after Switzerland, I have, now I should fly.
So yeah. So I think all is a bit your training or not, and doing cross country flight in India, I think this gives you self-confidence to boss also the situation of they. No, I go there because I don't care about the . I think Vich ma'am can see why they are as good as they are. And this is something I have to say. I'm busy sometimes quite a little bit.
And I, I recognize when I fly a lot, then I'm getting really much better code through the, especially with the food speech line near the cliff or things, this helps, but it's for sure, no guarantee that you've been the next goal. It's it's like when you go to the 100 meter running and you make an intensity that then you always let the competition, you can be at this level, but you just, by chance, you're pulling out from times and you end up.
So there's still is no guarantee. Comparing of sports is totally different. You need to kind of flag situations when you're thinking about your Aesop's flight, for example, it's just, it's always, this magic is born. David just kept pushing it. and you get stuck, like surfing the wave for the and you guys, this is the, by this let's say it's a decisions, but also you have to be much more luck.
It's a big, or
Speaker 1 (47m 24s): When you're in a comp, do you have any kind of mantras? Do you have any kind of, you know, focus things or non-focused things, do you try to get kind of like, let your subconscious do it all and just look around and enjoy the day, you know, do you try to get into kind of a flow state or are you trying to really strategize? And if any of those things, are there any kind of things, are you do where Hey man, wake up or, Hey, let's have some water let's laugh or any of those things kind of thing like that.
Speaker 2 (47m 53s): Yeah. I laughed too much. Don't that is the main thing is I always figured out because for sure I was done with my job pilots around now, when did you, well, for, especially also to the competition, because you have, so I'm wide open district without a pilot spot stuff. I always use where you're flying and equitable credit coldness.
If you go out to shows because this is how thing I I've been so it's not good. It's definitely nice to be focused for, for electricity minutes. The, you mentioned you group out for, to task. We had to fly. That can be the 3d pods steps up into another route. So I have to say, I'm missing this.
I'm aware of this, but it's like, I like to move around a lot and make a lot of jokes. And sometimes I'm not serious enough.
Speaker 2 (49m 11s): It wouldn't sound base, but there's always a butter speed, whatever it is, you get a bet to see better corners. You would approach it different. But now you're like, yeah. So it's like these, these are for sure a few things. We got to try to work on my sales, but otherwise, yeah, it sounds so many years and doing this and I see all of these, these boys, well extreme, full who's stressed out or whatever.
I tried to do it in a way that I have to join ambitious enough and still get and everything. Just try to balance it.
Speaker 1 (50m 4s): You mentioned Martin shield, kind of weather guru and Swiss team, coach and stuff. When I go to a comp, I don't pay attention at all to the weather. I don't look. I mean, I, I listened to, whoever's giving a weather briefing in the morning and that's about it. Do you, do you put much energy into weather to calm?
Speaker 2 (50m 22s): Yeah, I think for descendants it's most will listen because especially as you have a lot of different considerations, I think it was okay to have in this county from the best Medium to moderate strong or whatever. So I think when you fly into flights or when you fly for stocking or whatever, so the most interesting thing is you fly at such a, let's say unique, small as the noise and sometimes spats.
That's more interesting. Yeah. What is the group doing all over now? The two Chapman and then have having transitioned into different ways. I think that your whole dental is not, I agree with you. I don't think it's so important many times, but the centers and in the eyes in some situations definitely can be some tough decisions, especially when you know that evaluate comes. You just can't go load. This was at the second task.
I was really conservative. Just was thinking if I would trust more data forecasts or would be more available then yeah. You just go with direct and push things like this. So I think you have to
Speaker 1 (51m 60s): Torsten. Do you pay any attention when you're at a comp, do you pay attention to who's? Who or is everybody just information? Will you, will you, in other words, we put more weight on an honor in, or you'll Julian or Steve , you know, somebody who knows or maybe somebody that flies similar to you, is it, is it, do you, do you follow people that are more your style maybe,
Speaker 2 (52m 22s): Correct. Yeah. I don't fly as I try to avoid that, but it's, it's it's because, like I mentioned it, I, I mostly move and everything, but you just stick to the right people that you, we added the, that is still pushes to go. So sometimes you will, you are way out out.
Now we have a really nice group of high six pilots with strong pilots. This is actually what I love most because then even for the dramas you're working to you're, you're pushing together. This is very nice to see. So I, I, I definitely take care or, or life like I just fly library constant, but also fast is a subsidy.
I had a lot of fun and bitch, bitch rugs for my flight status.
Speaker 1 (53m 34s): What advice would you give to a newer comp pilot? Somebody kind of getting into the game, maybe, maybe go into their first, you know, so they've done a few lower level comps, but they're going to their first world cup. We've got a whole big us squad going over to Turkey in a few days and a bunch of them, I think, or it's their first world cup ever.
Speaker 2 (53m 56s): Yup. As I, I think main thing is to enjoy it other than this is something I see a lot of new colors. They are somewhat vicious. They are, they are stressed out or whatever, just be relaxed and to be heavy, to be this because also even if it's a world cup or whatever, you, you should be honest with you in your flying skills and what you can do and how much you like to push and everything.
So this should be the same at, at each competition and then proceeding from there or going thrown up. Also what I can see with a lot of pilots that it jumped too early to, to, to competition gliders. I think because still in your clients say no or leopard or the two lighter evenings, I think it's really worse to fly them until you're a hundred percent confident, a lot of racing or whatever, because this will be something that's just for sure, more demanding than on CCU.
And there, you can see that the people that get hesitant to fly to full speed and we use the full potential of the week. So they always see these transitions declining I'm using there. I didn't never see how much they're losing. I don't like full speed by not go really close to the cliff, jumping into release, sliding, aggressive, turning tide and everything. So a few times I was using it role in the title and everything.
So definitely afraid to bank at high, or even you should feel the spin, but it's coming slightly and you can play with us or whatever. So this is something to be a hundred percent confident that you have the skills to fly. This is something most of the pilots let's say don't have, but they would be better if the stay a little bit longer on the, on the up to get all these skills to fly at 110%, add a lot of BB even fraud and fly food stores is at them.
But this experience shopping with CCC, I think it would make the better pilots because I think your chopped early, and then they are always rise up level. But then I'm also afraid. Sometimes we not fly with this big, which is a good thing, but I wasn't tried to trade and get over this to fly it up per se, but it takes a lot of energy and, and time. And I think they, they never reach it, fly these weeks to, to the top performance.
Speaker 1 (57m 5s): How does, how does the FTV scoring and lead points? I mean, there's all the cliche I'm kind of looking for something specific. How does that change your strategy? Do you, do you have any kind of systems, you know, if you blow it the first day or know any kind of, any kind of just ways that you approach that.
Speaker 2 (57m 28s): Yeah. Yeah. Is it something you see, if would my fly before FTB? I was always kind of really cold because I try always to fly constantly try to avoid to have a bump out or something like this for the STB. I have to say, no, I definitely, I like it also. And I think it's fear or about, and I always try to bring it to my sketches, but I always fail because I make a lot of stupid mistake and bummed out that I have any way to discuss some hours.
And quite often I, you can stop. And this cottage, the first task I don't provide and then I have to fly constantly catch up again. But my dream is to use this. the realistic chance from something on my own and try it. And if it works out yet, it's not, I have this car. It's always my dream. But itself is like a quiet Riyadh that I, that I can use it in the way, how it's designed for.
I just have to use it by, by random
Speaker 1 (58m 50s): Torsten I got a question that came in when we were going to do this as kind of a community podcast with you and Josh and Manuel out of Shalane. And we just didn't get an opportunity. Cause it went into party mode. They were pretty quick on that last, last, last day. But I put out on the group on our telegram thing, if anybody had any questions and one came through that, I wanted to ask you, and it's what recommendations do you have for C class pilots in comps, dominated by comp gliders who want to fly safe and make the most of the opportunity to fly and learn from the most more experienced pilot on hotter wings.
So let me translate that a little bit. I think what this part of saying is, you know, if I want to see when I get dropped by the sea guys, the C the comp guys really fast and what we learned, I wasn't there. I don't know if you were, but for the ozone, you know, when everybody was on the Sierra class, you know, it was all the, it was all the names that you would expect flying the sea gliders who still, you know, crushed everybody else. So I think that was really good for the normal C class pilot to see. Okay, well, it's not just the wing, it's obviously skill that's, that's the big tell here, but yeah, I think they're saying, you know, how do I learn from the pilots when I can't keep up with them?
Speaker 2 (1h 0m 3s): Yes. Cos model is to get about, I mentioned you seek glider. You should be able to push it to a hundred percent as it, the main thing is like staying in bar don't release to learn, learn all these things. It's like many times a year. Yeah. I could fly full speed because there are two centimeters of the accelerator rate that should change it. Now you can change it. I think this is, these are all these things to, to, I think a pilot is always a way out as you should be aware of what's what's missing and where your skills are.
I bet you are afraid of. Then on these points, we have to work. You have to see, okay, the artists are doing it definitely better. They are, they are much more flyers. Like just, he can fly very aggressive and you can immediately shopping into the side, but I'll be hesitated or whatever. So it's all these sessions reacting fast and definitely agree with what you can learn to fly aggressive, which means not to others more in a way that, that you always immediately pushing, going.
Even I had a friend, fortunately, the tide always about, you mentioned a competition without a big collapse. You didn't push a button because it's the choice that you are, that you want a chicken salad, but here we go, let's shows you delivered. Isn't it. I don't want to totally agree to this, but it's, it's for sure something we all know about, oh, now I read a two hour flight it's slower, but you will never learn this how stable your wind can be if you don't push further.
And this is, if you make a SIB with your wing, especially , then you are constrained. And then I also think when you are flying like a chill ad, let's say you're flying full speed and you get a fraud. It's not a big thing. If you're react very fast. So you should not be afraid to get, essentially you should get a little bit used to this because then you can fly to a hundred percent. And I think this is the big advantage.
Red vs CCC competition, pilots, that bank on the, on the ceilings, because they are fast. So easy to fly and so safe that we don't mind. If you have outside caught ups, it's just stopping it continuing. And they are not as fast as this is you inside everything. So this is the thing, and this is what they can learn about this. That's about don't jump to a TV, definitely be harder to say confidence who can fly this, this, this being on, on, on a Mesa boom, and a lot of speed and confidence confident with the design of the ended was doing chin wide open.
It was really impressive demos. I think the most through invited on a, on a glider, a triple seven or something like this, and he was flying so aggressive for this VIG. And it was passing out only out of pilots for evening because when they're coming on or which you see like 500 meters before, right. A slow down a bit can, can be bumpy. And this guy just come in, hitting into the trouble of climbing and episodic, for sure yet not a performance like the others, but the slides and flying the swing on the, on, on the Astro in Mexico mode, you can do, you must better than the others.
This was very impressive. You see, as this is the thing, I often think if pilots fly with the NCLB, they could perform better, but they always, everyone is just looking on the other gliding, isn't it, you're playing together. And then you're climbing and then like, ah, now he's better. I need to speak because then I would be the same. It's like, but you don't see as the only other thing what I mentioned,
Speaker 1 (1h 4m 29s): I mean, when you're in a place, I mean, we saw it in Sherlyn, didn't we over and over calling rap and flying as Delta couldn't shake them all day, even in the long tasks, you know? And there were several people on El Pina's that were just you'd turn around and there they were there. They were know. I mean, the only time you really, you know, the, the, the advantage was, was very noticeable as when we were pushing wind, you know, but when you're going downwind, you know, it's pretty hard to shake those guys, you know?
Speaker 2 (1h 4m 58s): Yeah. I know. I know these guys on the leper that I was pushing, pushing, you know, and I like, I should get her April, this guy. Yeah, yeah, no, I think this is a, and you should have, have to find it a giant. Even if you have these disadvantaged and subsidy operations, you should also be aware of the advantages that you are confident that you fly even just really safe and everything.
But it's, it's very interesting that the pilots, most of the pilots only focus on the, on the gliding and Dennis yeah. No chance. And now I need a better week because then I can catch up with them and then a flight to say, but it's not like this.
Speaker 1 (1h 5m 49s): Torsten, we'll wrap things up here pretty soon. Cause I w I would be thinking about your time. I know you've got a bunch of stuff going on there, but I'm going to ask you a few kind of rapid fire questions here at the end. You don't have to answer them fast. They're just, just, they're kind of fun ones. First one, have you had any kind of aha moments recently in your flying career, even at this a long time, but as a brand or any kind of a wow. That that really helped, or that was really cool or that was something you didn't really put much weight into in the past.
Speaker 2 (1h 6m 21s): The honesty was spent when mark a friend of mine notario because he was sick and tired to see the clouds. And there's no mountains here. So he bought himself a . Then one day he asked me he has to come this really cool this guy a long time. So I definitely, and then it was also the really tree times and dessert time.
Then I was like, yeah, I released a little bit earlier because I think this feud was working. It was supposed to be like this less resilient way, like certain meters over the field to have a 0 0 0, 0, 0, 0 5, you know, and then it stopped for EFA. And then I ended up, they can show it. And 3000 meters of a cloud-based was like, he was like, these metrics, things about flying.
I'm like, that was fucking code. So I was like, this was this feeling again, which I had when I was a young boy, just to see this again, you know, to, to, to be in the elements. And then I've also heard you, just, they're cruising of 60 kilometers, make a big, big round lending there again. And just was like this thing. That is a hard moment. Both slack. Yeah.
I know why he goes it's. It's awesome. It's very, it's subsidy on the other thing, 4 million people here in Toronto, and they're just a bunch of, of five or 10 peoples who are doing this. And that's cool
Speaker 1 (1h 8m 17s): Funniest thing you've ever seen in flying recently or ever that's going to, that might take you a while to think about it. We could move. There's a lot of funny ones, but I know you like to joke. So
Speaker 2 (1h 8m 33s): The most impressive thing was pat just wrote Ben. He was flying at a competition or a competition. So he decided it's too boring. Yeah. And yeah. Yeah. The amazing skillsets to say, add, I think you both speak to Steve and Brazil and then you will say, yeah, it's too boring. So he was flying the one house.
Speaker 1 (1h 8m 59s): It's hard to wrap my head around
Speaker 2 (1h 9m 4s): Because you're still at a different phase. So it's, it's, it's pretty for this. Yeah.
Speaker 1 (1h 9m 12s): The play, gravity's one of my favorite movies of all time. It's such a great movie that he did that those guys did fantastic. Yeah. Real lost to the sport. What piece of kit? This is interesting. Considering your background, what piece of kit gear would you like to see that doesn't exist yet?
Speaker 2 (1h 9m 35s): Classes for troubles.
Speaker 1 (1h 9m 38s): Really? You'd like to see that.
Speaker 2 (1h 9m 42s): I think just to see this, one's pretty interesting. Like a F like the animation saints. How, how Eric is in birth. Maybe I'd be so scared that you never fly again.
Speaker 1 (1h 9m 54s): I know. I think it'd be terrifying,
Speaker 2 (1h 9m 58s): But just maybe yeah. Your way. The last day when I say I skipped flight now it's the last day of life is some goggles, which allows you to see everything.
Speaker 1 (1h 10m 11s): I hope, I hope they never invent that. I think it'd be the end, but it also be a lot of people say that one, I think, oh God, I'm in the one hand to be terrified. The other hand would be competent, but then everybody would see the same thing and we'd be weird. Yeah. It'd be too easy to fly for sure. If you could make one more flight, where would you go?
Speaker 2 (1h 10m 31s): And it's the last flight.
Speaker 1 (1h 10m 36s): And I don't mean that in a dark way. I mean, just, you know, the world's going to end tomorrow and you got to, you can go somewhere to fly. Where would it be?
Speaker 2 (1h 10m 45s): I say best thought and the Copa, because I could never come with their problems. So I live there and they're making life distance slides. So it would be nice to come back to the poet. And
Speaker 1 (1h 11m 3s): What was the name of that?
Speaker 2 (1h 11m 5s): Was that a bus full of Frankfurt? It's a pretty famous
Speaker 1 (1h 11m 13s): Okay. Way up north. Yeah. Okay. Gotcha.
Speaker 2 (1h 11m 15s): And the descent health. Germany. Yep. Yep. I think this book is super exciting to be able to twist their big sliders. I'm always dreaming of this.
Speaker 1 (1h 11m 32s): Okay. I'm going to put you on the spot here, considering this as your job, but last question, best and worst wing you've ever flown.
Speaker 2 (1h 11m 40s): Yeah. Best thing for me was, was cost. It will be less. I have to say I loved it. Especially when I won the Canadian nationals was like, if you've ever seen, worked so perfectly yet, I felt so safe. I lost this week. I have to say. Yeah. Especially also bit of safety. And the roast was like, what's the, from flight aside once the seat.
Cause it has like rounds added that's this was pretty tough to fly. And then there was the this was also super dusty. Like this, the dream like shooting and deep stores or the most like, oh my God, I I'm happy to be a hospice stuff.
Speaker 1 (1h 12m 51s): Yeah. We don't really get bad wings anymore from any doughy. It's that? Yeah. Torsten what a pleasure. Thank you so much. I'm glad we were finally able to make this happen. Thank you for your patience and congratulations at Superfinal another great result. You kinda kept crawling up the ranks there and that was fantastic to watch, but good to have you with us. And Chalan and sounds like we've got a world cup there next year. So looking forward to that.
Speaker 2 (1h 13m 20s): Yeah, yeah, yeah. Anyway. So have you been up there doing it?
Speaker 1 (1h 13m 30s): That's a great place to race. Thanks. Torsten
Speaker 2 (1h 13m 33s): Okay. Thank you so much.
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