Eduardo prepares to launch near Mont Blanc in the 2021 Red Bull X-Alps
Want to listen to some crazy, crazy stories? Eduardo Garza (Team Mex 1) competed in his second Red Bull X-Alps this year. Like all of us, he experienced conditions that weren’t very reasonable. Eduardo has also competed in two X-Pyr’s, and he’s done all of it while working full time in a very intense and demanding engineering job. Most X-Alps pilots are full time, sponsored professional athletes. Their work is flying paragliders. And most of those who do well in the race also live in, and regularly compete in the Alps. How does Eduardo go about finding an edge against the best in the world given limited time and resources? Eduardo takes us well beyond the live tracking so we can see, feel, and hear about some of the madness of the 2021 race. What does it look like to push past your limits? Come along for the ride, this one is a ripper!
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Eduardo discusses training changes between 2019 and 2021 and time constraints
Can you play this game conservatively? The answer is no.
Day 5 of the race- leaving Lermoos
The importance of your team and training
The beauty of the locals
The beauty of the place answers the “why”
Gavin launches off the Castle:
Eduardo discusses what it’s like to fly in the Alps compared to home
Eduardo discusses the difference between going into the 2019 and 2021 races and the pace of the race
Eduardo goes to sleep. In the Air. For a LONG time.
Flying in hail. Strong hail.
Throwing the reserve. Or not. Maybe.
Flying in dicey Foehn and flying FAST
Strategy in the heat of the moment
The disadvantage of not being a local
Advice for pilots thinking about applying to the X-Alps- it’s not what you know from Live Tracking
What’s next- how to fill the hole?
Mentioned in this show:
XCMag, Chrigel, Red Bull X-Alps, Nelson De-Freyman, Ben Abruzzo, Aaron Durogati, Laurie Genovesie, Theo De Blic, Nicola Donini, Skywalk, Yael Margelisch, Robbie Whittall, Jason Wallace, Maxime Pinto, Monarca, Anton Salusky, Calef Latorney, Peter Greis, Bianca Heinrich
Team USA 1 (Gavin McClurg), Team Mex 1 (Eduardo Garza), and Team USA 2 (Cody Mittanck)
Speaker 1 (0s): Hi there everybody. Welcome to another episode of Cloudbase Mayhem. Start this one right off the top with an apology for being so late with this one, I did a whole bunch of recordings back in August and had a bunch laid out for the future. And then I raced directed for the X red rocks and just been buried in this house, build here between Hailey and Ketchum, trying to get my family out of the trailer that we lived in for the last five months, since before the X out, since actually the day after my crash back in may and then X outs, and then back here.
So, and the whole time we haven't had internet or even cell service at the job site. So it's been really tricky to record and set it recording. So I apologize for being late with this one, we will get back on schedule as always. And my guest today is Eduardo Garza, a really good friend of mine team Mexico in the last two X outs. He's had really good races in both and a really, really awesome performance this year. He was kind of hanging tight with the middle of the crew and then had a breakout flight, took a totally different path, went north lake Kriegel, did I think a day or two before him, and really made it work and made it through piss Palu and to come in 14th place.
And we talk a lot about the race, and this is basically dedicated to his thoughts on the race four months, post race, which is fun. I think we all go through a little bit of post race trauma, depending on what's next and what's in the future. And he and I are both pretty firmly in the camp of not doing it again. So I wanted to ask him about that and, but we get into his experience, which was all good and talked a lot about the weather and the land and some of the scary stuff that we had to deal with this year.
And those of you who are fans of the race, I think you'll really enjoy it. Eduardo has got a great attitude. He's an awesome pilot. I think this year was like he was first and the non Europeans, which I've gotten a couple of times in my ex ops. And you know, it's just tough. Go do battle with the euros is there, they're on, they got massive home field advantage. And so we talked about that, but we had a lot of fun with this, a lot of laughs and I think you're going to enjoy it and talked about the training quite a bit as well. He and I both had the same trainer, Ben Brusso.
Who's also supported me and been really integral to my team since the beginning, since the 2015 race. So enjoy this talk with the Eduardo Garza church, Eduardo. Thanks for taking this last minute invite. I know you've been buried in work. I think the last time I saw you were turning circles and Chalan, which sounds like that's a little more fun than, than what's going on in your world right now. What, what do you guys, what are you and Bianca up to what's happening out on the east coast?
Speaker 2 (3m 4s): Well, first of all, Gavin, thank you very much for the bites. This is, this is an honor, really, because I really love what you have been doing with the Podcast. So it's awesome to be here, chatting with you. Thank you. So here the east coast, we're trying to fly as much as possible actually, whether it has not been incorporated that much really lately, but, but yeah, staying in the air as much as possible.
Speaker 1 (3m 29s): Cool. And you're tell the audience what you do cause they there's a lot of people that follow the X app. So obviously know you from that. And you're done the expert a couple of times, and this was your second XL, but what's your, what's your business? What's your background. That's, that's not related to flying. How do you, how do you, how do you pay for flying? I should ask you that.
Speaker 2 (3m 51s): I think that's a very good question. Actually, I'm an engineer, I'm a mechanical electrical engineer and I work for a manufacturing company that makes a fiber optic cables for telecommunications. So this is an office
Speaker 1 (4m 5s): Fiber optic brought to my house. Yes. You make the stuff that made, made this possible. In some ways I haven't had internet for the last five months and I'll tell you it's a, it's a blessing and a curse.
Speaker 2 (4m 16s): Yeah. So, so we build infrastructure exactly for all the Netflixes and videos, et cetera. So it's a very demanding job and trying to marry that with paragliding has really been a struggle I should say.
Speaker 1 (4m 35s): And that was one of the things I wanted to talk to you about is how did the training look this year? It did anything change because we both had the same trainer. We both use Ben Bruzzo, I've used them for all four of mine. And you've been using it for years now and using it for your first X Alps in 2019 and which she did really well at as well, as well as this one. So I wanted to ask you what, what changed, but that, you know, one of the big differences I always think about you and always feel free. You know, in some ways the, when we look at the top 10, this year of the X apps, they're all what I would consider professional pilots.
You know, this is what they do and they get paid to do it and that's their job. And you're, you're one of the few actually in the race who, you know, you have to find the time outside of a full-time job to prepare for the race. And I always feel like I've got a lot of luxury in that. I can just focus on the training going into it. I mean, I still have to, I have my job and my work, but it's not a nine to five. Like you've got an, it must be incredibly hard to find the time. I mean, that's one of the reasons I decided I'm not doing another X ops.
It's not just the risk and everything I put out in that article. It's the, it's the, it's the time. It's the dedication to this, you know, this 12 days that goes into the year in advance, that must be really child from, with what you
Speaker 2 (5m 58s): Totally agree. I couldn't agree more Gavin. That is where the real struggle marrying my professional as an engineer with preparing for something as large and involved as the comes from normally in my day, when I am training for the , you're talking about starting train at six to 7:00 PM. So you work full day, eight hours, then you start training six or 7:00 PM.
And as you know, with Ben is not exactly a walk in the park.
Speaker 1 (6m 38s): No, it's no joke, man.
Speaker 2 (6m 40s): He really tries to destroy your body. Because as a Nelson, I saw, I was talking to Nelson, the Freeman for before my first race. And he said, you either go to war before the race or during the race. So if you go for the race, you're going to enjoy it. Otherwise you're going to be destroyed. So I tried to put in as much effort and time before the race. And this time around, since you asked about the changes, I asked Ben to increase the volume, not substantial because I really cannot afford to be training for two or three hours every single week.
Because in addition, obviously you have the weekends, which are normally six to seven hours. And in addition to that, where I live, there's really no very high mountains. So 70% of the vertical meters that I did in training were done on a 200 meter hill that you fly off.
Speaker 1 (7m 45s): Oh my God, you're just going up, down, up down. You just yo-yoing all day
Speaker 2 (7m 50s): Up and down. You can ask bad for a first all of the tracks. It's just like a, like a scratchy line up and down that incline. I know every single rock, every single tree, even by name.
Speaker 1 (8m 7s): Hello, Fred. Very disappointed to see you.
Speaker 2 (8m 11s): Yeah, so, so he's really, really sharp. We have a taller mountains if I drive between hour and a half, two hours, but that's not something that I can do during weekdays because I'm working. So that's where the,
Speaker 1 (8m 24s): And I feel free. I see your posts. I follow you on Instagram obviously. And I, you know, and I talked to Ben regularly every day and, and I see your posts, you know, snowshoeing in the fog and the ice and you know, and I get to go out and, you know, and ski tour, that's my training is going out and really having fun and getting a lot of vertical and, you know, doing all the hell that he puts us through. But it's, you're in a much more challenging zone to, to get the vertical and to get the I hats off to you, man. I mean, cause you're obviously coming in fit.
Speaker 2 (8m 56s): No thank you. Yes, definitely challenging. And that's why I'm always trying to find a niche. You know, how, how can I compete against some of the best hiking fly athletes in the world with limited time and limited resources in terms of, you know, the vertical and also the fact that we're in America, which is a huge, I think disadvantage just because we are not in tune or flying with the weather conditions or the value systems that are a world of difference when it comes to staying in the air and just making easy kilometers.
For example, we don't have that second like nature knowledge that comes with living in the Alps. So it's definitely challenging, but I have really appreciated that challenging. And that's why every time that we do it, or we finish in a decent position is really rewarding. Mm
Speaker 1 (10m 3s): Yeah. I, that really hit me in 2019, not so much this time. Cause it just seemed like the weather this time was so brutal, man. It was just so bad and all of it was so bad and, and still very fun. And we flew every day. It was, you know, fascinating. I think what, you know, I was just talking to Ben. I told you, I was talking to Ben earlier today. And the, the thing that this is always the time, you know, it's been four months since the end of the race and this is always the time where it really starts to hit me that to not do another one is, is, starts to feel really scary.
I don't know. I don't know. There's not, that's not the right word. It's just that race puts you in places with your team that you're never ever going to be able to replicate. And I don't mean just locations. I don't mean places in terms of that spot on top of that mountain. I mean places, emotionally and physically and, and the beauty, all of it is just, it's the intensity of the experience that I can't replicate.
I know I can't replicate it. You know, if Ben and I got together and went and did a vole bib in the Alps, that's going to be really fun and, and very rewarding, but it's not going to be the same. You're not going to get out of bed and go do the stuff that we do day after day after day. And there's something very special about that. And yeah. So let me turn that into a question that you've had now that you've had this time of reflection, you know, I did see you very briefly at the awards. You had a really bitching end of that race.
You made some awesome moves. You had an incredible move to the north and then that put you nicely and position to get piss Pilou turned point and leapfrogged a bunch of people at a really good end of the race. And so, you know, you like all of us at the end are kind of on a cloud nine at the awards, but also, you know, I saw the same look in your eyes that I did with everybody, which was kind of Jesus. And that was intense. I'm sure it was the same look you saw on me. You know, you're exhausted. You're thrilled that you're excited to be alive or at least I was, but what's what have you had?
You know, what's been the reflection sense. What are the kinds of emotional roller coasters? If you've had any, I know I have since then, you know, what do you kind of go through? And it, cause now you've done it twice. You're a proper veteran. I I'm curious because I think we each have our own unique experiences after the race. And that's always after it's been really tough for me.
Speaker 2 (12m 49s): I agree with you that after a few months pass after the raise, your, you forget about the painful bits and you start thinking all of this will be really cool to do. And certainly after this race, after all the weather and everything that happens, you put it in perspective. But to be honest, I don't regret a thing. And this reminds me a lot about a book I read and, and most likely you're familiar with it.
It's a how to get in flow. And it's written by this now famous person, highly. She says me, hi. And I'm sure I butchered that last. No, that was good. But in this book he has a quote that says the best moments in our lives are not when we are passive or doing nothing, just relaxing. That's not where your best moments is going to be. Your mess. Best moment of your life will happen when your body or your mind, or both are stretched to its limits, trying to accomplish something that is difficult and worthwhile.
So I think that we accomplished that. So this goes down in my experience as something that I'm gonna remember for the rest of my days and is one of the best moments in my lab, just because we, we pushed the limits, we pass the limits and we're still here.
Speaker 1 (14m 29s): Yeah, yeah, yeah. I don't know if you saw that recent article I wrote in a cross country about, I haven't actually seen it, but Ben said, it's out, you know, about this being my last one. You and I talked about it briefly at the awards that night, you know, jeez man, should we, could we do it again? I really felt like the, the risk was absurd this year, you know? And we're all in different places in the course. I mean, I know, you know, Aaron dura Gotti said that he had many times where he thought it was definitely life-threatening, you know, what he was doing was way beyond what even he trains for.
And as you know, you know, he trains, he trains in some awfully nasty stuff because he wants to, you know, he he's pretty fearless, you know, but I felt like, you know, so we all were, we were all in different positions, but you know, I specifically remember the day where Laurie, you know, through her reserve, they didn't put this anywhere on the, in the media. They don't talk about bad stuff and the exit ops, but, you know, she took off basically with you and Cody and a couple others from Larry moose that day.
And about the same time, I, you know, I don't know exactly I got there later that day. And you guys were, you know, in my, from my perspective on the ground at Larry, Most, you know, we're flying in a full-on lightening storm and it was, it was vicious. The sky was insane. I mean, it wasn't Revis was kinda, eh, man. Yeah. I, I think you should, you know, you could probably get up there and make it work. I don't know. I didn't, it might be good time to just walk for a bit. And that was the day that Laurie, you know, went parachute all cause the rain through a reserve to, you know, cause she was coming down on high tension, power lines and, and you were making it work that day in the air, man.
It looked dicey and, and it was just, you know, the next day and the next day and the next day I flew in stuff that looked just like that. It was just over and over and over again, we were in just fishes weather, really traumatizing and, and, but it wasn't, but it's weird. It's not, it would be traumatizing if we were just normally flying, but it w it wasn't, it's not traumatizing cause you're in the race. But what do you think? I mean, is it acceptable? I mean, did you, when you finished the race when you were done, I mean, cause that day at the awards you were kind of, yeah.
I don't know. I don't think I'm going to do this again. I'd be curious. Where are you sitting on it now? Are you still thinking that, are you thinking, oh yeah, they're doing, what's more,
Speaker 2 (16m 53s): You know, I'm still thinking that I don't think I'm doing it again, just because it's, it's just too much time that you need to invest in right now. I don't have the time and I did it twice already. So pretty much check, but not, not a lot about the risk though. It's more about the stress that went into preparing for a race with COVID signs. And again, with that, that was, that was the worst because I didn't have any plane tickets a month prior to the race.
So there was a lot of preparation at the end that had to go through. So the only way that I would do this again is if I live in the ops, there's no other way. So that's, that's a definite now regarding regarding risk, you know, let's as opposed to be truthful, you cannot play conservative and still try to finish in the top 10, top 15, not even top 20, if you play it conservatively, you have to risk it.
You have to fly. If you have 60 kilowatt per hour winds from the north and you're launching south, you have to manage that's, that's something, what you have to do every single day. You mentioned the, they that I feel with Cody, with Theo, Laurie and Nicole actually from Lerma. I remember that day vividly because we were at launch together and Lori launches first and she just goes up like, okay, so it's work is perfect and beautiful at this point, we didn't know if we were going to take the north routes or the south routes or Southwest route through the auric bus.
So I told my team, I'm going to make the decision once I'm in here. So I noticed at the end, because I was missing a cable. So there's four Gladys in the air, everyone getting, getting really tall. So when I launched and I pass the Ruby Stein peak and I see to the north, it's pretty much like you described, it was just nastiness, lower Cloudbase. There was darkness in the valleys.
There was, it was a dark omen on the north south. You know what decision made we're going south. And actually to the Southwest, it was pretty nice for the beginning. It was mellow two meter per second. We're just scratching the peaks I was with at this point, I didn't see Corey, which later I learned that he had taken the north route. So he was, he was going towards the darkness so I could figure that out. But Theo and the color were, were, were seen flying with me.
And so we got to a point in eons that someone flipped a switch it's from mellow conditions to nuclear conditions. So I'm in a thermal, I'm entering this thermal and I'm gladly going up. But I remember that we have airspace on top, right? So Nicola and Theo are around me and they start spiraling. So like, okay, you know, where is that? Where Theo God, his airspace airspace there.
So I searched by on as well, lightly first. And I'm still going up. So now I crammed the spiral even more and I'm still going up. So I'm from 300 meters. Now I'm 200 meters from airspace is like, this is not late enough. So now I have to crank whole spiral full G-Force. And unfortunately I am still going up. So at this point is just so much, so much noise. It was going up for the Vario and, and also now from the airspace alarms that, that I just keep the spiral, but I get to a point where now it gets sucked into the cloud.
So now I don't know where I am. And as you know that the area is big, big everywhere. So I have all this noise around me and I don't know if I'm in airspace and I'm still cranking, probably five GS. And when I think that nothing else can go wrong, I hear a loud snap, but it was more of a crack. I sink into the harness and I feel a sharp pain on my lower back. It was like, now I'm in trouble because something's happening with my heart is now.
And I cannot keep this G-Force going on for so much longer until I fall from the sky. You broke your heart the hardest. Yes, because of the, it was so nasty. The thermal was just bouncing me around and this is, this is not a harmless problem. This is a conditions that I was saying cranking the spiral problem. So probably I was two minutes or it seemed like forever. I think it was more like probably 30 seconds, but I get dumped finally behind the mountain.
So I, I get released from this monster thermal and I know where I am now. Fortunately I didn't, Aspiro into a peak. So now that I see where I am, I pushed forward. And the crazy thing is, and this is what the Excel does to you. You just keep flying. You're probably shaking a little bit. You're, you're scared. You're, you're thinking that, but you're thinking, where can I get my next plan? So I don't have to land and keep the high-key. So, And after that we got down washed in the Arbor class with a Westwind.
So I land middle hill and then we just walked and walked and walked and walked. But, but yeah, that, that day was definitely a scary one. And by the way, I regarded the harness, I thought it was the, the air bladder that had burst. But, but no, it was while the rots in the bag that had broken. So that was, that was just a pretty much sticking out, but it was home, you know, it was still flyable obviously, but obviously it was all wobbly and, and not proper for control.
Speaker 1 (23m 16s): So you were able to just fix that on the fly. Did you have a spare or something?
Speaker 2 (23m 19s): What I did was I shifted my body. So it was not affecting me for too much from flying and in the air, I call my team and said, you know, I guys, I need any of the hardest. So, you know, next flight, that was so sad. That was,
Speaker 1 (23m 37s): And it's, it's funny what we do in the air. And you just, you do all kinds of stuff up there that normally it'd be it's it's I have pretty amazing conversations with rather small I'm cruising around in the, in the chaos and times where the hell am I? Yeah. So when you, when you look back and maybe this was the same at the end of the race or now, but what was the, when you think about the X apps, do you have a standout, you know, what was the best experience that you had in those 12 days during the race,
Speaker 2 (24m 10s): You know, best experience I have, I have many, many really good experiences that you can catalog differently because when you see people go out and greet you and help you and feed you and try to help you in any way they can. And they have a huge smile on their face and you have just walked 80 kilometers and you are devastated physically, but you still find the energy to, you know, what you feed from their energy and now you feel great and nothing bad has happened.
And it's all, you know, it's all amazing. All great. So I had a few experiences like that. I remember in verbiage. So yeah, hometown, I land dot Berbee a little bit lower and this, this guy comes to greet me like, oh, your Excel, I'll show you the way you can just hike here and then you can launch it. You can keep going down the room, like, okay, sounds good. So we keep hiking and then more people start coming. Actually his product stops.
So he's like, okay, I'll take you. I can take it from here. I'm the funerals a relay. So I will go up this, this road here and you'll get to launch in about 30 minutes. I don't think you can do it today, but we'll find you a place to sleep. No worries was like, all right, next thing, I know this person's father. And I believe he is his name. The guy who actually hiked me is, is Joshua. And I'm sorry, that's not the name. But Josh was, father comes out with the biggest, biggest cowbell that I've seen.
And he's cranking it's bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, super excited. And he's given me tea. He's given me food. He's like anything else if your team is not coming, because I think that they are a little bit far away. Cause because they were watching the race and they knew that I had lodged from on blank on the colon club, which I think that's usually from the same one. So Jason had hiked with me and he could have launched because he had crazily.
This is why we call him the meal. His nickname was the meal. He was carrying two backpacks, his wing and, and then another backpack with a winter gear because it was pretty cold and also rain gear because it was thunderstorms rolling through. So he couldn't fly with that. So he had to walk down. So they were like three or four hours behind me. And so I get to the top and we go to this little restaurant and they find us an actual connection for the Tesla because our other car was a Tesla and we just run out of juice.
So they didn't only find that, but they brought us, you know, beer and food. The father actually cooked everything. It was sent some choose. It was a really, really good meal. So I have really, really good memories from that day just because of how the people behave with us. And well, part of the reason why is that no one went through there. It was only mounted. And they were like, moderator came through here, but he was thousand meters above us.
Speaker 1 (27m 31s): A typical story about malware came through here two days ago.
Speaker 2 (27m 37s): Yeah. But they were, they were super cool. They were super cool. So on, on that, let's say category of people, it's, it's always very good stories for the 2019 rays and from the 2021 race, the people are amazing. The OBS they really follow the race. So I love that now from a, from a flying perspective, you know, partly why I do this race is I love those mountains.
I'm constantly impressed by what I see. So in this race I flew or we flew in areas that I had no idea that they were so beautiful, like for example, or after Santis that you fly south and now you have to launch and cross valances in order to get to clouds and bus, just flying that there. I had never seen it before. Like I was impressed. I even did a few, a few turns just to, you know, to gather everything.
It takes some videos, pictures, et cetera. And then I kept going because he was just so beautiful. Same thing happened with the backside of Eastbrook, you know, north of Facebook flying from . So I flew that the end part that didn't take the, let's say the smaller amounts of sun in the north. I was just impressed at this wall. That just appear when I rounded the corner for all the 800 meter high 800 meters high, completely vertical extending for 10 kilometers.
I was just dumbfounded of such beauty, you know? So, so many days like those, just, just looking at the sites, it's just amazing. So that's another category,
Speaker 1 (29m 27s): It's a stunning place to have that kind of event. It really is terrific. I mean, just the, the, the opportunities for top landing inside of the landing and relaunching and, you know, you can, you can just put it down almost at launch anywhere. And, you know, basically if you go up, you're going to find something that works and it's, yeah, it's really, it's a labyrinth to this time when I got to lair moose this year, the, you guys had just gotten in the air and, and, you know, we made the call that it'd probably be better to walk.
And I just started walking down the road that was on the north side of where you were. And that leads to the, the valley that leads up to the Wharf pass, which was what was kind of my plan a, you know, before the race, you know, you look at all the routes and that was kinda what I was planning to go through. And I had no idea until, you know, that night just turned into it, catastrophe of epic fund. It was, it was. And I use catastrophe specifically because it was, you know, I walked and then we tried, you know, I've found this launch in this ski area that was really dicey getting off at a rundown.
It was torn completely cross and all covered around and trees and just a classic X experience was really fun. And then I literally went about a kilometer and, you know, the winds just were totally opposite of what we wanted and, you know, so I spent all this time going uphill and went nowhere, which had been at that point, my race and, you know, just series of bad luck and bad decisions. And, and that, but that put us in this position of launching off the castle. I don't know if you saw that footage. I launched off this castle that night and got a 70 to one glide in this sky.
That was just, you knew it was going to unleash at any moment. And it did, as soon as my feet hit the ground, you know, I just had this insane glide and, you know, covered a bunch of ground and almost caught up with you guys in terms of a distance kind of thing. Laurie was right there. And, you know, so we'd had a pretty good day, even though a lot of it was, was on the ground. And the next day it put us into this worth pass zone. And I had no idea that's where Firebird used to be. And Robbie whittle, you know, cut his teeth there. And he used to say that that was the most complicated, most dangerous place to fly in the Alps and acres.
It's just a super convoluted. It's almost like the Formica Grimble type of scenario where you've got a lot of different passes, a lot of different stuff coming in that's right before the big jump over to Santas. And, and I, it was just fascinating to be up in there. And, you know, I had studied it and studied and studied it on Google earth. And I got in there and literally just couldn't get my head around it. It was, it was just when I, where her view, which way are we going? And, you know, it was but beautiful, stunning, you know, chairlifts all over the place.
And, you know, and it was definitely one of those kinds of days where it wasn't very flyable that day. It was pretty nasty, but it was one of those days where you had to just stop every once in a while and go, this is really neat, really cool zone. I don't know if I'll ever be back here.
Speaker 2 (32m 33s): Exactly. It's just mine, nominally, beautiful, stunning. And by the way, I also got lost. I didn't know exactly where to go. When I go to Albert pass, there were so many little like canyons or valleys that I could go through. It's like, okay, wait a second. I started this. Why can't I figure it out? So you said it's elaborative. That was the perfect description because it was like that. But now I have to say that Oz not be from the Alps, obviously are a little more foreign to all those nuances, but how we try to get through that is not only Google earth or just checking maps, but we also try more on a simulation based.
So with a VR headset and flying a glider in and simulation, wow, we actually Travers the route. I think I did that route two or three times. How do you, how do you do that in Google earth, but with VR or how do you can, you can do it, the Google alerts, however, the app just gets you dizzy. So there is, this piece of software is, is a, it's a simulator really? It's, it's called a condor simulation. They, they, you said a lot for, for sailplanes.
So you're really flying and say, I'll play. So you cannot really learn how to fly an area because also the weather models, you can see it, but you can see it. Exactly. So that topography and the textures used are actually alter realistic. So you can really learn all the nuances, a little spots, little Hills in front that might be triggers, or you fly on the high side and how that connects to the next valley and everything. You can do it on a 2d screen, obviously, but if you really want the immersive experience, you can get like an Oculus headset and just fly, fly with that.
And you're, you're sitting in a cabin, right? You're seeing your glider and you're just flying around doing circles. You know, you still have the thermal, even though the weather model is, is very simplistic. It doesn't have value wins. And you know, you see a flower and you're going up kind of thing. So it's not, it's not that that difficult. Let's say it's a really good tool to learn that topography. And at least in my case, you know, we, we explore the fact that we don't have a lot of big mottoes here. And for me, the psychology aspect of being immersed in only, you know, probably our highest mountain that we fly here is thousand meters.
You know, and 1500 meters is the highest we have in the area that we fly kind of regularly. So you being in front of walls that are thousands of meters high, and then the site or another thousand years, and you're already thousand meters high. So that's psychology. It's, it's, it can be really intimidating for, for someone who is not, not in that world.
So if you use virtual reality, you can get past that threshold where now you feel confident about flying among such a scenery and soldier, you know, big mountains.
Speaker 1 (36m 1s): When you, when you came in to this one, you, you talked a little bit about, you know, increasing the volume on your training, to the extent that you could because you were working, but did you come in? I remember in my first, you know, my going in 2015, I was terrified initially before the race, cause I hadn't done, you know, you had done the X pier twice or once before, twice before the, before the X app. So you had some, some serious I can fly experience. I had none. I was just going in kind of cold.
So I had done all the physical training, but I was just terrified in terms of, you know, am I just going to be totally left in the dust? Am I going to get eliminated it? You know, I had, I really had no idea what to expect. So I'm assuming you came in with a little more confidence than I did because you'd had those experience experiences, but what was the frame of mind difference between the first one and the second one? You know? Cause your, your first one, I can't remember exactly where you placed your 16th.
Speaker 2 (37m 0s): Yeah,
Speaker 1 (37m 2s): Yeah. So it was, it was, you know, you had a really good race and lots of fun, you know, unfortunately you were with me, we were in that gag a little bit, make it to Monaco, but you know, it was, it was a very by comparison standards, insanely tame compared to 2021, you know, we had our, you know, you had that customer for unexperienced, but we had hardly any, when we didn't have any Fern, we didn't have much weather other than the, you know, in the middle of the race, we had a lot of that rain and you know, it wasn't very thermic, but I wouldn't say it was scary, you know, or this one was really scary.
But how did the, how did going into the two races, you know, did you feel a lot more confident? Did you feel different? Did you feel w what were your goals going into this one?
Speaker 2 (37m 46s): I definitely changed the goal. So this 1 20 19, I was more worried about, well, how am I going to be competing against this crowd? And I was a lot, I would call it more uptight or more anxious about how that would play out 20, 21. I knew I was going to be able to keep up, and I knew that pace that everyone had. So that was, I think, one of the big shocks in 2019, I was just surprised about the insane, fast space that everyone had.
There was no weak team. Everyone was pulling at the same speed. So 20, 21, I was, I was prepared for that. And I knew that I was going to be able to keep up. So what I try to do is remove the anxiety and say, you know what, guys let's have fun. Let's try to have fun and do the best we can. That's all we can make us. Obviously, we had a lot more challenges with COVID and everyone was kind of an edge and it will just happen or not.
So I said, you know what, let's take it easy. Let's try to have fun. And that was our, our approach. Obviously, you know, some days were not as fun with all the weather that we actually had and you know, this, the scary situations that we were immersed in, but that was, that was a different approach for sure.
Speaker 1 (39m 18s): What was the scariest situation you had? Was there a standout or, or maybe scariest or worst? I don't know.
Speaker 2 (39m 26s): You know, that's a situation around him. So that was pretty, that was, that was up there, but that was, that was only a part of the flight after that. It was fine before that it was fine and it was not a long flight or something like 50 K where I had a lot more opportunity to get scared was on the flight from Fairview to valley sauna. So we started the day. We knew that the north fund was going to be around seven to eight or even higher into the pastels.
So we knew that it was a risky decision to actually go north, but I felt a lot more confident of taking the north route because I know this CEO valley, and I know that the mountains are high. So as long as we stay high, it shouldn't be much of a problem. What I didn't take into account was that we were going to have 50 kilometer per hour winds from the Northwest and the mountains on the other side of the Rhone valley, let's say the long June fro either Massey from the other side was in my opinion, going to block a lot of that.
They are, well, that definitely didn't happen. So I try to say hi, we did a few hops in the morning. W we started early in this classic flag, hiking fly. It was beautiful. Just practicing that in Switzerland. It's just gorgeous because you launch and now you allow the next rich, you hike up again, another 300 meters. You did that again and keep doing it until conditions get good. And now that you have some altitude, now you can actually go to the south face is on the north side of the button.
But at this point, that was, I was feeling really tired and it was shaded on the south side. So once the sun started hitting me, once I started transitioning to the north side of the Rhone valley with this warmth, I just, I just went to bed. I just fell asleep. And I'm not talking about closing your eyes for five seconds. And then, you know, star just a regain control again. No I'm talking about deep sleep. You know, I was dreaming actually.
I was probably for one minute or minute and a half that I was back in Mexico. And my mother was actually cooking food for me. All of a sudden I started feeling that something is hitting me and I wake up and now I'm close to the, to the actual faces, huge faces. And by that, by this point, I'm in Lloyd and it's hail big hail coming down.
So I covered my instruments because I think that they are going to get broken, but the hail doesn't lit up and it just starts getting louder and louder. Now I look up to my wing and I just hope that this hail is not going to puncture the wing, you know, and I'm going to be falling from the sky. So I just want to get out or get it quickly. And by the way, I'm trembling at this point, because it's just so cold because now I wonder the cloud. So I press bar get out of there as soon as I can.
So after two minutes, hail, just subsides, and now everything's fine, but now I'm heading to this big faces and we have the north fund really acting on at this point, as well as a Northwest wind. So I am heading into, into a big nasty trap, and I don't know about, but I do see an Eagle that is probably a hundred meters in front of the economist in front 50 feet below me.
And then I see this Eagle in seconds, 200 feet above me. I was like, okay, hang on. The rodeo scummy. And the Eagle was out of shape, right? So would like that the Eagle is not really maintaining the wings open. I hope I have good luck on this one. So I hit the thermal and what is just the wing disappears, totally disappears after seconds. It just comes forward, but it has a huge crop at this point.
I think we can call it the crowbar. It was like completely in on the right side. So as you can imagine, it's just stars, whining and whining and whining quake. And I, I don't have much control at this point. So I'm thinking about trying the reserve, but I'm not going to do it with that rotation. So I need to stop the rotation first. So I vary the left brake. I stole the wing. So now I'm falling and I looked down, I still have some altitude to, to play around and try to save it.
So I released hands up, Wayne comes up and now it's only 30% thing. So like, okay, this is more manageable weight shift break on the, on the open side pump the, the outer, and it releases an hour flying again. So I start thermally. And after that, and now I start feeling the effects of the Northwest wind. It was, there was not a second that I could actually stay in the thermal without feeling the texture in the air, huge textures between two meters per second, to form your second.
And then I'm sinking on the, on the next calf of the circle at three meters per second. So every single meter was, was gained with huge lift. And then he was saying, so it was a combination of fun and the Northwest wind and actually was a pretty good last, because I mean, if you see hail, there's a lot of fingers in there, but that the energy is being revolted down, down to the, on the ground. And that nastiness is just coming up and just getting you. So I get in contact with my team because now I'm at FIS and I have to make a decision whether I can stay on the north end routes or sounded months, or I should cross .
So they get back to me and say, weather for tomorrow is definitely better on the south. So now you can cross any, by the way, this is the reason why I decided in the Northern route. I was definitely more confident on the . I knew it, but also I could actually divert at this point without being less efficient, take that south route or keep on the Northern road. If you take the south around, there's no way you can go to the north end.
So you get stuck down there. You pretty much have to traverse all those bodies that are, are south of the mater horn do for spits, et cetera. So now I'm getting towards simpler paths. Well, a little bit to the east of simple paths, but I look at my speed and it's $90 an hour without BARR. So I know that big bounces are coming and yes. So I see this, this huge wall other than there was about, but I was probably 3,200 meters and I'm Jewess cruise in I'm used by, I get to the peak a little bit after, and the Singh starts.
It was not rowdy, but I was going down at the eight meters per second, 4, 6, 8, all the way almost to the ground.
Speaker 1 (47m 6s): So you're, you're on the south side now you've, you've cleared, you've cleared the simple on or wherever you want to cross.
Speaker 2 (47m 13s): I'm from the south side, I'm a little bit north of double Osceola. And I'm looking at crossing that last bridge, you know, that the, the valley, it takes you to Locarno and where Lego majority is. So the, the problem with that, that route is the airspace, the airspace, and normally how you fly it is on the north side. But with this Northwest wind, there was no chance that I can take the north side without pumping to the airspace.
So I have to take the of route, but not after saucering and flying backwards for at least I would say thank you, lovers. Just trying to gain altitude again, after the huge sink. So I was almost almost at the ground, but I'm, saucering when I pointed to the wind, I'm going backwards. Thank you Lawrence for an hour, but he lifts still. And then I go down saucer, saucer, saucer, all the way to the last rich, where now I'm put in this little canyon with only a river.
There were absolutely no land. This was out there for sure. But somehow I wa I was clear in my mind, you know, I, I was, I was not worried. I just wanted to figure out the situation, because now I didn't feel any Northwest because I was low enough. But now I was feeling the wind coming down from on the high amounts of Sunday east. So once I figured that out, I soared the Western face and then got out of there and kept on going, you know, it was, it was one of those situations in the X-Files where, where your brain is so used to flying this conditions that, you know, you're, you're rising.
Exactly. Your body's like, yeah, no, don't worry. We'll just keep on going. So now my team tells me that I need to get to certain high, to cross lag on majority without a problem. I get to that altitude. We cross it. And now it's almost the end of the day. And I paid it to valley sauna on the south side. And as you know, the airspace, and this is the reason why people fly the north side, because the airspace on the south side encroaches you to the mountain.
But Hey, I never flown there. I, I have no clue. So I just keep on going until I noticed that it's a little too late to find the land in some, because the Westwind is pushing me and I'm not penetrating west again, I'm getting towards this trap. This literal trap though, land is so seconds the mountain. So it's, I kept two options, airspace or three. So I just keep on going. I said, you know what, I'll find something. I'll figure something out. So my brain is still trying to figure out,
Speaker 1 (49m 59s): Treat area. I know, I know this part of the world really well. That was Belen zone as a place I've flown a ton. And yeah, the south side is all three.
Speaker 2 (50m 9s): Exactly. So there was no
Speaker 1 (50m 11s): Victories. There's no clarity. There's no openings. There's no,
Speaker 2 (50m 15s): But I didn't know that. So I just kept going to see if the trees were actually blocking a small landing song that I was not seeing from far. I just keep on going. I'm getting, I'm getting lower. And top of the tree, it's like, okay, well, I guess, I guess I'll have to figure it out once I get to the end. So the airspace, I was literally five meters from the SPX. Okay. And I finally see
Speaker 1 (50m 40s): The battle and the one that goes all the way to the ground there there's the wings on
Speaker 2 (50m 46s): PR. So there is, there is one of the wins because the steps actually are a little bit tired. Every single, I think it's two kilometers, three kilometers. So the steps that I got to now that opened up a small gap between the airspace and the tree tops. But the landing that I found was a tiny thing that was below space. So I didn't really know if I was going to be able to just go through the treetops and then screwed in there, the airspace and then land.
So I was like, you know what, this is my only option. So let me try it. And so I park it into the wind. So I'm facing west. My wingtip is five meters from the hearse puzzling because I was, I assumed in my instruments a hole I could, and I could see that any small movement change the line, you know, it's like, oh, okay. So I'm four meters, no three meters. Okay. I don't know the other way. So now I'm thinking on top of the trees, I'm going down to the trees, how you'll see the trees coming up. And I don't see the airspace in my instrument letting off. It's like, you know what might be a three now.
So I just keep going down. And at the last second, literally I probably had 20 meters that I can scoot under the airspace. And then seconds later last,
Speaker 1 (52m 2s): No way. That's awesome. You did. I had that exact flight started in Belen zona in 2015 and ended in worse years, which is right across the fast from verbiage. So you did the reverse. It was. So I know exactly what you're talking about and I didn't take the simple on, I was a little bit north of that kind of between the Simplot and the Newfoundland, but go on the other way. And I was battling a hell of a headwind in 2015, but that was, I've watched you on live tracking a lot that day.
You just had one. When you decided to go north, I thought you made the biggest mistake. I just thought, man, I don't know. That's, you know, Kriegel did it. And he really made it work, but that's what that north Fern coming. I thought you were just, you know, usually north Fern, it's, it's not very flyable on the north side when it's a strong north Vernon, cause it's low Cloudbase and rainy and, and nasty. And that's what got, although that's what got Maxime and all those guys, you know, being on the south in that, in the south Fern day that Kriegel later said he didn't think it was very strong south from, but, you know, I can tell you when I was in the op I was in the same place as he was.
But further north that day when he was having his breakout day, I was trying to get to fish on the, you know, basically backdooring into, Titlist kinda what we did the year before in 2019, because, and, and I could see the south for just dumping in over the Andrew mot and that area. I mean, it sure is, sir certainly looked like Salford to me, it was a nasty day. It was, you know, 50 K plus at the peak tops and really ugly. But, you know, and those guys were on the south side. Whereas, you know, usually when it's south furnace, not very flyable on the south side, cause it's just, you don't have the sun it's rainy.
And so I thought you were putting yourself in a terrible position and you really made it work. That was, that was genius. That was great. And I mean, that's a hundred and you did about 180 K on course line that day, I think right now.
Speaker 2 (53m 55s): Yeah. Something like that. Yeah. I was just drained physically and mentally because, you know, mountains, I know exactly small within a little hops and the little hops means, you know, 800 vert every single time. And then just as a mental drain of, okay, I need to figure out what to do. Right. So I think that was a all in all. It was a good day, although it could have turned bad, really easy, very easy.
Speaker 1 (54m 29s): What a breakout data must have been so exciting and so fantastic. And I would imagine too, you know, that route doesn't lend itself very easy to the chase way out ahead of your team. Were they able to stay up with you because that's so very roundabout it's, it's hard to keep.
Speaker 2 (54m 46s): Yeah. You certainly know what you're talking about because my next time I was going to be, well, my team was three hours behind.
Speaker 1 (54m 55s): Isn't that awesome. Crushing my ID. They can't even keep up.
Speaker 2 (55m 0s): Yeah. When you're thinking, not keep up with you, it was a good day for sure.
Speaker 1 (55m 5s): That's a good day. Yeah. That's a good day. That's a good day. Eduardo. You mentioned, you know, the kind of, this is what really, it didn't hit me so much in the first couple of races, but it really hit me in 2019 was the lack of, you know, I think compared to the Europeans, you and I have have our, sorry, compared to north American pilots. You and I have quite a bit of experience in the Alps, but compared to the Europeans, it's just a joke. And in 2019, it really, it was actually really discouraging. I came out of that race because I really felt like that in a lot of ways was my best race in terms of the decision-making and, and the ground game and the fitness and, and am still, you know, it was, we have one bad day and it just wrecked us in terms of getting a Monaco and stuff.
And the bad day was, was up here. It had nothing to do with the terrain, but it did, you know, there were a number of days before that that really just, it just really came down to local knowledge often. It was just, I just consistently found myself in places where I really didn't know what to do. And you know, there's an argument that that's just piloting skills and, you know, you get better as, as you fly more and you know, you can figure it out on the fly like Kriegel does, but it was also just, it really struck me that year, that man, we are really at a disadvantage, you know, just not having the races there and the time and the just knowing the lay of the land.
Cause it is elaborate. That is a very complicated place. You know, we, you know, flying here in the Rockies, you get up and you go east, you know, and, and there's not, you're not dealing with a lot of Fern. You're not dealing a lot with, you know, the valley winds are very predictable. They're not complicated. And anyway, my is a very long way to ask a simple question, you know, do we have a chance, you know, do the, do the, do the people that are hopefully gonna follow in our footsteps and, you know, join up for races like the X pier and the X Alps from over here in the side of the pond.
Cause I, you know, I think you were the first non-European this year, I've had a couple of those nicknames is always a hard one to battle, but you know, for the most part, it's a Europeans race. And certainly at the top 10, you know, is that discouraging to you, is it encouraging? Does it bother you?
Speaker 2 (57m 27s): You know, it can sound discouraging. We still have our experience and we establish our goals. Based on that perspective. That's, you know, we don't know the area and, you know, being happy with your performance means how close you are to your expectations, right? So you have to tame your expectations, but having always expectation that you're going to be outside the top 10, or it's going to be tough to finish can, can really sound discouraging.
Now, if you go back and I've heard in your podcast, X helps athletes talking about, well, I don't like to scout. I don't, I don't want to scout because I want to fly the day. I want to get to that point and figure it out. And I think that's really valid for people who fly in the Alps, because in my opinion, they already have the database in their subconscious, you know, they've, they've flown around the house a lot, so they can extrapolate the situations that they have already been in and apply it to the particular challenge that they have in, in the routes.
But we don't have that, you know, I don't fly with a value system, so I have to figure it out and, and potentially out at a higher probability than, than them. So I like the scouting. I feel a lot more in karst with the scouting. So answer your questions, I think is going to be very tough for a non Alpine team to actually place stop five. And I'm not saying it's never going to be done, but is going to take definitely more effort than teams that are already in the outs training there and knowing where to fly in where
Speaker 1 (59m 23s): Yeah, I think another, another aspect of it is just flat out hours in that kind of endeavor, you know, until we have, you know, when you look at Kriegel, he went from the X outs to the Iger, to the verical to, I mean, he's done over a half a dozen since the end of the race. I haven't done anything, you know, and it's, it's, I think there's also that aspect of it that, you know, the other side of it is, you know, the young guns that are coming up into this, you know, we didn't have to worry about them too much in 2015, you know, it was an experience thing.
And now, you know, these young guys are really good pilots and they really know this was a uniquely hard year on the rookies. That was interesting. I thought was really interesting, but, but typically, you know, the rookies historically have been able to do pretty well. And anyway, I, I think it's the other, the other thing that's hard for me emotionally or that it, because it only happens every two years, you know, I come out of this with a ton of takeaways and a ton of things that, okay, I would do this differently and I'll change that.
And you know, this year I went in with a ton of mental coaching from Tom Thomas, you know, Kriegel coach and, and, and I, you know, I really tried to rejigger my head around, like you said, expectations and goals and all that kind of things. And then you get to try this and you don't get to try it again for two years. It's, you know, there's, there's a limited time that you can really, anyway, what I'm trying to say is it's hard to improve enough because you've got 30 other people who are improving really well and you know, and they're doing it there and they've got, you know, they've got the Dole media and the borns and the, and just so many events that can help sharpen those skills that, you know, we can just do it visually.
We can't, we, we can train, but we can't train like that. And I, I think that, that was the other thing I did write this in the article. That was the other thing that I'm just finding, you know, it's tough. I was, I was given a little piece of the goods in 2015 and I came away from that. They can, gosh, you know, what's worse, you know, if I really put a lot effort into this, I can hang with these guys, but that has proven correct. Cause it's just, it's, they're getting a lot better too.
Speaker 2 (1h 1m 53s): Yes. And I, and I don't know if it also happens to you going, but the more races you do, your body gets more resilient. Right. So race constantly, and I'm not talking all over the house, but just racing constantly. They are really, really beasts on the crowns. Excited, felt it. You know, my first experience, for example, I walked probably one fourth of what I, during this race. And I was completely destroyed after this race.
I mean, I saw the horse ceremony. I was feeling fine. Actually. I was, I was perfectly fine. I was a little bit tired obviously. But other than that, that was, I was feeling really good.
Speaker 1 (1h 2m 34s): Yeah, no, I mean, I was the same. It was exactly. I didn't have a blisters. I did 590 K on the ground. I just wanted to keep going. Yeah, you, you do get more resistant. You get a lot more durable, you get a lot more resilience.
Speaker 2 (1h 2m 46s): That's on the body side and on the, on the fly, I said, absolutely. I mean, in order to compete against that, you have to be living there. You know, there's, I don't think there's there's any other ways to do it.
Speaker 1 (1h 2m 58s): If you had a different scenario with work and life, would this be something, you know, if you lived in the app, say for example, could you see yourself doing all those and keep doing the XLS? Is this something you'd love to, you know, in an alternate reality, something you'd love to pursue as a, as a profession. There's a lot of these guys do, you know, a lot, like I said, the top 10, you know, most of them were test pilots. Most of them work in the industry. This is what they do.
Speaker 2 (1h 3m 25s): I can definitely see it just because again, I love the mountains and I love the sport. You know, it's, it's really, it's really a passion. You really have to love it in order to keep putting yourself in these situations. So, yes, I think that if I lived there and I had, you know, the, the resources to, to just do it as a living, I think it's a high quality of life.
Speaker 1 (1h 3m 54s): But for those who are listening, who have the XL ops is, you know, maybe aspiration something that they'd like to try to tackle someday, what advice would you have for them? And then let me add to that. And I'm trying to ask shorter questions. I'm doing a very terrible job with you. I'm asking very long ones because I'm so passionate about this subject, but I was, I'm always a little, not surprised. I don't even know what the word would be, but you know, live tracking is phenomenal.
I don't get to watch it that much, but that's what everybody tells me that, you know, you can get in the cockpit and the whole thing, obviously there isn't the weather aspect. People don't see the weather, but you know, I'm a little nervous just to think what people actually think about the XL because when you're not in it and not experiencing it, I think, I think people have pretty radically wrong views about what it is and what it isn't. Do you feel that way? I, I, I run into a lot of people that say, yeah, you know, I just learned how to fly. And I'm thinking about doing the X ops in a couple of years or four years.
And you just think, yeah, you're batshit, you're talking.
Speaker 2 (1h 5m 3s): I think we're the same page there by recommendation. My advice would be know really well what you're getting into. It's not the, you know, there's not a lot more, it's not only the media. You know, there's a lot behind the scenes that needs to happen to prepare for this race. You know, not only from a physical aspect, but you know, flying skills, routes, sponsors, transportation.
If you're not from the ops, you know, you, you have that burden on top of everything. So there's a lot that goes into this. And the problem is that if you go, let's say half half-assed in this case, once you really prepare once you know what you're doing fully, you might not get selected because you already burned your ticket. So just be really, really conscientious about gain all the information you can, you know, through Podcast.
And I don't want to scare anyone by the way, I'm just detailing my experience. I love the experience. And this is something that I'm taking as one of the best moments let's say in my life, because of the adventure, the challenge, the scenery, the camaraderie, the people that you meet. So it's, it's an awesome adventure. Okay. But really know what you're getting into.
Speaker 1 (1h 6m 37s): How are you going to fill the hole? What you, what do you, I haven't figured that out. You know, I think about it a lot. And, and I think about it a lot before the race, knowing that I'm going to be in this, you know, in this place after, you know, I think some of the athletes Kriegel, and you know, they, they have filled it by just constantly training and looking forward to the next one. You know, he talked about, I've talked about this quite a bit on the show, but, you know, he talked about going to a pretty dark place after his first two in 2009 in 2011.
Cause you're at this year, pant, I mean, you are maxed out. You're just, you're having one, whether you're having a bad race, like I did for the first few days and this one or a good race like I did at the end or whatever, we all have these amazing experiences, but you're pegged. And like you said, your chick sent me, hi, you're, you're in, you're in flow for sure. Whether it's good or bad for 12 days, and then it ends. And, and then, you know, you, you go back to the east coast and go back to your work and your job nine to five, and now you guys are trying to find a house.
I mean, it all seems, I'm just, just finished building a place at all. Seems a little less exciting than, you know, than being in that race. How do you, how, w how do you think about the future and what's next?
Speaker 2 (1h 7m 54s): You know, what I've thought about doing is definitely more involved with after seeing all this beautiful senior that I had not known until this race, I want to visit those places again, and, and probably in a, kind of a non hardcore mode, you know, taking trains here and there, buses, et cetera, but, but really going, I want to, and exploring the area. It's, it's just, just huge, you know, and there's many, many places that I have not visited.
So I'm going to take a step back from hiking, fly competitions, just to be able to explore more, you know, be more of my own, you know, camping high and then launching from there and going from, I dunno, to again, doing that kind of trip. Yes, absolutely. But definitely there's some flying involved, you know, it's just, as you, it's our passion. We really love it. We love the scenery.
We love the flying. So that gap is going to be filled with a lot more flying just a little bit, you know, toned down
Speaker 1 (1h 9m 11s): Any, any world cup aspirations and competition type stuff. Cause I know you're quite keen on racing as well.
Speaker 2 (1h 9m 18s): Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. I just came back from pre PWC actually, or Maxine was there. We had a kind of nice chat, so yes, definitely competition competing race to goal heading down to Monaca, which hopefully I'll see you there. But
Speaker 1 (1h 9m 38s): Of course I never missed
Speaker 2 (1h 9m 40s): America. Yeah. That's an awesome place. So we haven't really defined the schedules. You know, I'm not really traveling with Bianca and she's, she's a lot more into a race well competitions than I am, but it's really fun to actually fly together, you know, experience this competitions together. So definitely, you know, be able to see and other ways to go to competitions are, are in our future
Speaker 1 (1h 10m 6s): As well. Yeah. I got to get her on the show one of these days as well, it's gets cool. You're one of the few couples who are really making it work. That's, that's very exciting and she's an awesome pilot. So Hey Eduardo, before we wrap things up completely here, I'm sure you've got some people you want to thank this race is not just about us as it's our teams. And they're so critical. And, but who do you want to put a shout out?
Speaker 2 (1h 10m 31s): Absolutely. Gavin, this is not Eduardo Garza going through the Alps. This is team Mexico. And I know that, you know, websites, et cetera, focus on the name of the person, right? It's the name of the athlete, but this is a team effort as you well know. So I would like to thank my whole team. So we have Jason Wallace AKA the meal. Oh my goodness.
I don't know how he did it, but if psyche will be all the time and always
Speaker 1 (1h 11m 6s): With a smile,
Speaker 2 (1h 11m 8s): Absolutely you don't get from the red frogs. He's an awesome guy. Awesome driving the van, you know, driving, not banning any bad in the opposites is quite a hassle. And that was answered and also cooking Anthem, sellers ski. So a complete appreciation to him as well. Now we also had in the team, Peter Grice, a K a magic cans, don't go into details, a massage therapist.
And he did a really, really amazing job. He actually works in Switzerland in clusters. So I really envy that that part with he was instrumental in, in getting us as far as possible down the chorus line. On the other hand remotely, we actually had Paul value in Hamburg. So he was in our time zone and he was feeding us information so readily, timely and accurate that I was really, really impressed with his work.
So it was that whether you were getting weather stuff from him, whether what the other people were doing hiking routes. So he would send those GPX files for us to, you know, traverse efficiently because sometimes you don't have any signal or you just don't have time to look for it. So, so he was, he was doing that. And while of course, Bianca who has always supported me and in this time, and in this race, she was not there with us because I don't know if you know this, but in 2019, up to that point, she had been four times national us national women's champion.
Right? So she four feet of dead during the 2080 raise just to support me because she missed a couple of one competition that, you know, was the nationals. So I didn't want that to happen again. So I was actually pushing for her to come back to the U S and just help me on the, let's say prologue and that week prior, and then she actually had to go back to the U S so I, I, I definitely owe her a lot of, you know, this, you can call the success that we've had.
She's been a huge part of the team. And she was also helping with weather. And, you know, it was, it was a lot of moral support, you know, sometimes you just need someone to talk to when you're walking endlessly. So, so yes, so I'm very grateful to the whole team. I appreciate everything, everything they did. Oh. And I really want to thank my supporter from such a long time skywalk, because since I started hiking fly competitions, they have always been very supportive of me and my team.
So thank you to Arnie Berlin, who again, has always been supporting me and we'll see what happens in the future.
Speaker 1 (1h 14m 22s): Well, Duardo what a treatment that was fantastic. It was great to catch up with you and see you. And can't wait to see you in Dubai. We didn't talk about Dubai. We've got this crazy race coming up lower in United Arab Emirates. That looks pretty exciting. I just started training two days ago. I think you get a little jump on there, but yeah, jeez, I'm gonna get myself in shape and what three weeks counting years. So, but we'll see you there and then we'll see it. Menorca and that'd be great.
Speaker 2 (1h 14m 49s): Absolutely. Well, Gavin has been a real pleasure seeing you talking to you, and I guess I'll see you soon. See you soon.
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