Episode 177- WINNING, with Baptiste Lambert

Baptiste wins in Brazil

In the Macedonia PWC this July, which had a pilot level similar to a Superfinal Baptiste Lambert was 1st or 2nd in 5 of 7 days of racing. He didn’t even need to fly the last day to win the competition! Baptiste also won the PWC in Brazil and the PWC in China last year. But Baptiste does not consider himself a professional pilot, flying is not how he makes a living. He’s not a test pilot. Until literally the day we recorded this podcast he’s been a math teacher (he’s just taken a new job with Ozone designing harnesses). How does he do it? The short answer? There is no secret. Hours, hours and more hours. He ground handled for years as a child before he took his first solo flight. Baptiste is a member of the French team, is an Ozone team pilot, is currently ranked 3rd in the world and is one of those guys sending 300+ km FAI triangles with guys like his good friend Maxime Pinot on a regular basis. We dug deep into the art of winning and what it takes to beat the best in the world in this show. The mental game, using your instruments vs your gut, strong vs weak positions, little things that add up (and don’t), not falling prey to “rash” decisions, trimming your glider, physical training and diet, how closely XC skills and comp skills are related and a lot more. I deeply enjoyed this conversation and hope you do to!

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Baptiste wins in China

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Speaker 1 (0s): Hi there everybody. Welcome to another episode of Cloudbase Mayhem. I apologize again, for being a little late with these last few shows, we will get back on track, have just been super buried lately with this house build and everything that's going on, but have a terrific show for you today. I just literally hung up with Baptiste Lambert. Those of you who don't know him well would have had to have not flunked cops at all the last few years, he's dominating. He's currently third in the world.

He won Macedonia in the last world cup. I went to back in July and he was first or second in five or seven days. He didn't even need to fly the last day to win it. He just got back from the Europeans and he's just taken on a new job as a harness harness designer with ozone. And we talk a lot about comp tactics in this one and strategies and Headspace training. And he comes from a long lineage of pilots and he started flying tandems with his dad and his grandfather when he was three and his twin sister.

And he both have a lot of years and a lot of hours under a wing, spent a lot, many years in reunion and a very cool island out in the Indian and place where they've had tons of comps over the years. But anyway, lot of fun and Baptist was terrific and we just had a blast and that you're going to enjoy it. This show being it's going to come out here immediately after I record this opening and we've got a few, we'll see a little over two weeks until the red rocks wide open.

One of our us nationals events and pre PWC was going to be good letters. We've got a nice field. We're going to go big. And, and that time of year, the base is indefinitely. Going to be way up tall with some good weather and oxygen is recommended and we're not doing short sweet tasks, unless everybody's just exhausted. We're going to try to go big and explore this monumentally cool zone of Utah sandwiched between a whole bunch of national parks, Bryce, dinosaur, and Escalante, and the grand canyon and pretty wild out there.

It's going to be a lot of fun and still got, I think, 10 spots. So if you're interested in coming over, or if you're already here in north America and want to do some very cool racing, it's going to be a great scene. Check it out on air Tribune. Enjoy this really fun. Talk with . Cheers. welcome to the mayhem. It's a good to see you here after we raced together and Macedonia, and then I was very keenly watching the Europeans and we're going to talk all about comps, but let's start off with what we were chatting about before we started recording.

It sounds like you've got a new job and a big new move. What, what have you just done?

Speaker 2 (3m 3s): Yeah, I changed completely my lifestyle because I went from NC to the south of France because I'm joining the R and D development team of ozone. So I will work for ozone now as a designer for harnesses

Speaker 1 (3m 21s): Wicked. And what were you doing before then?

Speaker 2 (3m 24s): Before that? I was a math teacher in ANSYS and yeah, it wasn't totally my thing. And I had this big opportunity at ozone and I couldn't resist. I had to take the job.

Speaker 1 (3m 37s): How long have you been an ozone pilot?

Speaker 2 (3m 40s): I don't know. Yeah. I don't know. I've been flying since Enzo two and yeah. And so to, so when was it? 2012. 13, 12. I don't know.

Speaker 1 (3m 54s): Okay. For those who aren't aware, I mean, you, you're very aware of you if you're a co pilot these days. You're, I think you're ranked last. I checked, you're ranked third in the world and you were dominating and Macedonia. I don't think I've ever seen something so dominating. Is that your first or second five? You didn't even need to fly the last day and you had it, you had it in the bag. That was, that was truly amazing. But take us through your history and, and give us the long version. When, when did you start?

I understand you come from a big family of paragliders.

Speaker 2 (4m 28s): Yeah, yeah, sure. My parents were started paragliding when I wasn't even born. And even my grandfather, he was paragliding still. Yeah. He stopped like two years ago, but he was 80. So, but he, he was 80 when he stopped, but he still, he, she just stopped flying because he thinks it's it's, he's now too old, but yeah, it's a, it's a family's thing. And even my twin sister, she was flying with us tandem fine.

But she was even flying with us and we flew together. When you were like three years old. We, we did a lot of times with both of our parents and we flew like 300 hours of tandem, both, both of us. And we even the few with the, we, yeah, we, we piloted with our parents and we, we did some cross-country already there back then.

Speaker 1 (5m 31s): Wow. It was this all, mostly an Annecy. Are you from Annecy?

Speaker 2 (5m 36s): No, no, it was, we were in the south of France at this time. And it's continued until our ringing in islands

Speaker 1 (5m 46s): Reunion islands. That's a place that I've, I've sailed to. I, I sailed across the Indian ocean many, many years ago and spent some time. In fact, I flew reunion. This was way back when I was very early, was mostly surfing. What is the left? The Lulu right. Is left. You know, that, that famous. Yeah. And, and it was very Sharky when I was there. It was kind of intimidating, but while we could wake at break and, and yeah, I took some of my kind of early, I don't know.

I had just learned how to fly when I was there. I was learning to 20 2004 or five, I guess it was. But

Speaker 2 (6m 23s): Just because it's the place I, I really learned to fly, ring

Speaker 1 (6m 29s): That

Speaker 2 (6m 30s): My history is that's like, yeah, when I was 10, even a little bit earlier, my parents gave me a, an old wing. It was a pink, quick pink one. And I was doing a lots of brown handling and knowing most of the pro pilots who were flying there in tandem, because I was all all day on the takeoff trying to, to try new stuff, just the ground handling, you know, getting used to it. And I did the two years of ground handling and this was in a ring ring in islands.

And when I was 12, I was finally, it was finally legal for me to fly because in France, you are not allowed to fly too early. And when you are 12 year old, you are. So I did my first real flight, like from, from some ins-and-outs and yeah, it was, I was 12 in San Louis. So just like you, my very beginning is in ringing island.

Speaker 1 (7m 28s): Well, yeah, we've got a big age spread, but I'm sure those quite a bit older than you are, but, but yeah, that's a neat, that's a really neat place to learn. So when did you start getting into comps and more professional flying? Was that shortly after or was that way down a load

Speaker 2 (7m 48s): In, in rainy and I, yeah, the first years after my, my, my first flights there, I just tried to, to do some, cross-country try to fly fast because I always liked to fly with a goal, something to improve on. And I started local competitions because in ringing island, there's a competition every weekend. So that school to practice and to compare with friends, and this helped me improve very fast.

I think these competitions that happens every week. So I started these competitions and I had to, to finish my studies to finish a big part of my studies in reunion Ireland. So I said, I stayed there until I was 20. And then I moved to, to France where it is easier to compete because of the price of the airplanes.

Speaker 1 (8m 47s): Yeah, sure. Just what was moving to the Alps? I mean, what did you have, was that a big move psychologically to go from flying XC and reunion? Which I, which I imagine is pretty limited. I mean, it's not, it's not a very big island. I wasn't an XC pilot. When I flew there, I launched and flew down to the LZ. You, I didn't go anywhere, but the, you know, I know you can do some really interesting stuff like you can in Tahiti and you kind of dive back into the deepness and reunion and all those beautiful canyons and stuff, but was going to Alps kind of just mindblowing.

Or was this something you did all the time anyway? And it wasn't, it was no big deal.

Speaker 2 (9m 25s): It was a big deal. It was really a big deal because in ringing island, when you fly conditions are really smooth. Like the big epic terminal is when you have a plus two. So that area tone, you know, when you hear that in France, that people are going like, plus seven also to say, this is not, this is not even possible because for me, I didn't see even like, plus three, maybe at the most, but yeah, it's very smooth in Romanian.

We call it like the it's like the flatlands with a little angle, you know? So, so even the big canyons don't flights that often, like there are secrets insights inside the island. It's the old world kind of who collapsed on itself. And there, I don't fight a lot, but this could be what, more close to what we buy in France. But I flew mostly on the flatlands with a little anger, you know?

Speaker 1 (10m 26s): Right, right, right. Yeah. I think these, these islands, you know, cause I spent a lot of time sailing and Tahiti was like that, you know, if the islands big enough and they're in the trades, you fly in the Lee on the other side of the island, it just kind of wraps around and it's, it's beautiful. It's, it's, it's incredibly consistent too. I understand. Especially about

Speaker 2 (10m 46s): You can fly a lot. You can fly a lots of days during the year because you are in Delhi. And so the conditions are very smooth and you can find very often and there's no winter. So you can fire a lot. And compared to France, it's a very small space because the Leaside side is quite short. Sometimes you, you have only like 30, 40 kilometers to do. And that's all. So when you fly a lot of years in these islands, then you, you, you lack a little bit of space.

You know, you want to do something bigger and that's why moving to France wise, quite our relief paragliding is speaking because I could open my IRA where I wanted to go and visit new places.

Speaker 1 (11m 32s): And were you part of the French program in France when you went to France, did you, did you come up through the juniors program there? And I don't even know what you call that is the juniors team, what Charles Kenzo did and Maxine.

Speaker 2 (11m 46s): Yeah. It's called the pool house. So lots of good pilots came from there, but me, no, I was, when I came to France, I was too old already. I was 20. And this is for when you're in high school, you know, I was in a separate, I was progressing, but on my separate, separate way, you know?

Speaker 1 (12m 9s): Okay. So you were kind of doing it on your own.

Speaker 2 (12m 12s): Yeah, I, with my, with my father, because we, I always fly with the, the goal to improve, to try some, something I never, I rarely fly just to fly and without school, you know, I just liked to improve, to try things, to, to always push, push myself. When, when I fly across country, I am in competition. You know, I, I, I tried to do my best and I was with my father who, who used to fly the same.

And this has helped me a lot to, to compare. And I don't like to fly alone because you don't see how you're doing. So I wasn't in a good structure like pool house, but I was still with good pilots in renewal island because there are lots of good pilots. And the, this helped me a lot.

Speaker 1 (13m 2s): How many hours would you say you get a year? Say since 20, when he moved to the, to France?

Speaker 2 (13m 9s): I depends. It depends on the year because there were two years after I was 18 where I was in an, a school preparing for engineering school and this was quite intense. So I didn't, I didn't fly a lot, but yeah, usually a fly to 200 years, 200 hours a year, I would say.

Speaker 1 (13m 32s): And is your main focus Baptist? Is it ma mainly comps or, you know, I, in researching you a little bit, getting ready for this talk, you know, you do some big XC as well. I know that's part of your, but how, how does that split look? Is it 50 50 or is it 90 10 comps? What's your focus?

Speaker 2 (13m 54s): I would say what's I like both, you know, both are, if it's preference, I like both. It's 50 50 in duration would say a loot. I do a little bit. Yeah. It's 50, 50 everything. In fact, for me, it's a very big part to do. Cross-country, it's the why we fly. It's doing big flights and pushing ourselves and it's, it's a good way to improve even for competitions, you know, it's not, they are very related. Good, good cross country.

Pilots will be a good competitor, will be good in competitions. I think.

Speaker 1 (14m 30s): Hmm. I was going to ask you that because it, it, I have found over the years that it, I totally agree with you, but it doesn't seem very linear to me. And what I mean by that is, you know, there are amazing XC pilots who don't necessarily have the results when they go to comps or whatever, know they haven't maybe linked to the connection there. I mean, obviously to fly comps, well, we have to be XC pilots, but there's, there's a difference there as well.

There, you know, we have, I've seen comp pilots who maybe just don't have the time for chasing a lot of XC in, in their year. They don't have much time off, but they maybe they don't get very many hours, but they can, you know, who I'm talking about too. They, they show up at a company, you know, they're going to do well. And they've kind of just learned the secret of the trade, I guess.

Speaker 2 (15m 28s): I think that that things that are very related, so flying exceeds will help you a lot in a competition, but it will not help you in every aspect of competition. And the other way around finding a lot in competition will help you for some things in your exi, but not entirely. There are, there are things that are really specific to the domain. For instance, when you fly at sea, you, you will fly mostly alone or with one or two other pilots.

So you will lack the notion of control, controlling a group get-go, which is a very tactical thing that doesn't happen in ECC. But on the other hand, you will learn to center the term alone, to fly fast alone, to do, to do all the stuff like attacking. It will improve your way of attacking alone in the competition. So, yeah, it's, there are things that are specific things that are very related and it also, I think, depends on the way you fly exi.

There are people who fly, exceed. I do big flights, but they don't fly like in competition trying to, to do the best to maximize every seconds. They have me when a fly I fly, like in competition, I always almost full speed all the time. I'm, we're trying to maximize and make like, if they are, there's a big, big gaggle behind me and trying to, to go faster than them, you know, I'm always in competition.

Speaker 1 (17m 12s): Did, has, has flying been a profession for you at all? Or is it just now because you're going to work with ozone, but are, was it when you were a math teacher, was it also something that you would call yourself? Have you called yourself in the PA in the past a professional pilot?

Speaker 2 (17m 33s): No, I don't think I'm a professional pilot because in paragliding we don't earn that that much money. So we can, we can live with that. But in France we have advantageous when we, when we do good results. For instance, when you are a math teacher, you only work half of the hours. You, you have a lot of advantageous when you are in a very good placement. So it was very important for me to make good results to have these advantageous, but it was not find it financial advantageous, but more time and location advantageous.

Speaker 1 (18m 15s): That's quite a neat. So you're, you're motivated by results in that you can have more, more time dedicated to it. The, the, this is the French government. Okay. So the French government comes in and reciprocates with

Speaker 2 (18m 29s): That's a specific objective, for instance, now they have short-term needs. So now you have to be top five warrants to have these advantages when you are over 25.

Speaker 1 (18m 46s): Oh wow. That's really cool. That's neat.

Speaker 2 (18m 48s): Five words. You have a big pressure because it's really difficult. Once you lose it, then you can't compete as much. You can't have this money. You can't, you can free your time for competition. So it's very, it's quite important. So I would say I was hard pro because there's a big reason why I want to do a good results, but it's not financial. It's a little bit financial health, but mostly it's a time related.

Speaker 1 (19m 20s): Hm. And Baptist. How old are you now? You moved to France when you were 20. How long have you been at this

Speaker 2 (19m 26s): Now? I'm 26.

Speaker 1 (19m 28s): Okay. I'm going to take you through some questions here that I've been thinking about since Macedonia that are very comp related, but, you know, feel free to just jump off into stories that help elaborate it, or, you know, any, anything that you think would be beneficial to the audience, knowing that our audience, you know, some don't fly any cops, but many do or many are just getting into it. So we'll take this from whatever angle you want. But I thought where we start is advice for comp pilots that are just getting into comps for new people to comps.

You know, I think it can be quite overwhelming and it can also be quite humbling. And so I'm wondering, I'm wondering, you know, to me, there, there seem to be stages that we go through and I'd like to get your feelings on. What if you're new to comps, just, you know, lower regional level stuff, not necessarily world cups, but what should you focus on? What, what should be your goals when you're, you know, your first five, 10 comps kind of thing.

Speaker 2 (20m 35s): So, first thing I would say, try to make the backhoe as, or try to finish the race. Don't focus on speed. Just try to finish race and see what it's like to, to make gold. You know, you know, the first step, the first, the first competitions is just about making goal. And you will be surprised of your results because I think lots of, of newcomers try to, to focus on speed too early and it doesn't work.

So just try to make, go and step by step. You try to improve on some aspects, but first, just try to make goal. Then once you can, you are able to make goal most of the time. And yeah, consistently you can try to improve a few things. The first one I would say is trying to fly with the gaggle. The gaggle is a big tool in, in competition. And without you, you are very like naked.

You know, you can bump out very easily and you need to fly. You need, I, as I say, really, you need to fly with the gaggle to be efficient. So it will help you to go faster and to go to goal more consistently. So always fly with someone, try not to try not, don't try to attack in front when you, when, when you try your best, just try to follow a good guys and try to, to follow the gaggle.

And when you do it, there are certain, certain mistakes that you can do and that you can easily avoid is when you follow the gaggle, don't try to follow a giggle when you are below, what, once you follow your gaggle and you know, maybe you took a bad line and you are a little bit below, then the next time, or you catch, try to stay a little longer in it and take the second group. And if you lost the second group, then take the third group, but don't try to follow the first group if you, if they are going too fast for you.

So this is my first advice. Follow the, get-go try to stay with a group that is okay for you. If they are too fast, try to stay with the signal in the group, but never fly alone.

Speaker 1 (23m 0s): Talk to me about strategy. You know, for example, when you were in Macedonia, what do you, before anything even starts, you know, what are you thinking about before the task, you know, even the night before, or the week before, what are you trying to kind of put in place and then through the various stages before the start? So now you're, you're off the hill, but you're before the start, and then during the task, maybe let's break that into three different things. What are the, what are the headspaces you're trying to get in?

Or what are the things you're trying to think about and maybe not think about.

Speaker 2 (23m 37s): Okay. Okay. So it depends where you are because every task you have at different mindsets, depending on you overall goal, for instance, now, in, in the first task of the competition, I like to play it safe, to make a few points. So, so that I have something to lay on. So I'll do like two to three first task. I like to, to take it slow. So don't, don't, I try not to attack because in case I bomb bouts and it was, I will be a GMO.

My mind won't be at the best if I see that I'm, I'm in the back of, of the competition. So I tried to take it slow at the beginning.

Speaker 1 (24m 26s): And what about mentally, like, tell me about your frame of mind going into Macedonia, because over the years of my comp experience, it's, I can't chalk up, you know, the really good races from the bad races mentally. And in terms of, you know, it seems to be that I do better if I'm more casual and I'm, you know, I'm more focusing on the fun, but you know, maybe not taking it so seriously, but then there's other times where I take it quite seriously and I do well, I, you know, I, I, I've never, I haven't really found that there's a magic place to be, but do you have one that was something, you know, a kind of a mindset that you'd like to go into it, you go into it and I, you know, I'm gonna win this one or do you just, I'm going to go to Macedonia and have some fun.

Speaker 2 (25m 13s): Yeah, I think I'm trying to find a good mindset. I think there's one, but it's really hard to find for Macedonia. I think I just found it right. And, and yeah, it, it was really a good experience, but yeah, there's no, no magical solution needs. It's really a very thin line that you have to find for Macedonia. Yeah. The first time during the training day, I saw that it was very stable.

So I say to myself, I wanted to, to find very safe, to, to, to make a few tasks, very safe in the gaggle. And if there is a very big opportunity that some very I'm very much ahead, then I will try to do some stuff, but I wanted to play safe. And finally, what happened is that when I was in there, I felt very good. I always, I, I often wa was very high in the gaggle.

Sometimes, sometimes I could attack, but I didn't because I told to myself it was stable. And I have, I, I have set this objective that I wanted to stay with the group for the first task. So I did, even if I had a few opportunities to, to try to escape ideals, because I tried to be disciplined, I try to follow my whoops. And it worked out really great. I want this task just by staying the gaggle, trying to make good lines.

And at the ends, we being the highest in the gaggle and just pushing and it's it's, it's, it helped me one, the wind, the three first tasks, but I did not attack in this task. I just, I just followed my wound and in doing so the, the best way possible. So I finished higher in the, in the Goggle, but yeah, it wasn't attacking. It was just following my rules and trying to fly better than the others.

Speaker 1 (27m 25s): How many of your decisions are based on instruments versus gut feel?

Speaker 2 (27m 33s): It depends for the glide to go. I used a lot of my instruments, but during the flights, I don't use it that much. And in the submarine that I had, you couldn't see, I had a bad setup for my instrument, so I couldn't see that much.

Speaker 1 (27m 51s): And when you're, when you say glide to goal, are you near the end of the race? Is that the main thing you're looking at? And is it, are you more focused on glide into speed or glide to goal?

Speaker 2 (28m 5s): It depends if, if it's not stable and I think there are terminal between the end of speed and gold, and I will focus on glide to end of speed. But yeah, during this phase, during this phase, looking at your glide ratio, the right ratio to go is very important. And trying to, trying to take the, the less margin as possible is really a good thing. And you can't do it without your instruments. They're very precise in doing that during the count often, I used to follow the optimized line to, to try to do the short test route, but now I tend to, and this is what I did a lot of in Macedonia.

I tend to follow more the lines to clouds, even if they deviate a lot from the line. It's I think good lines, goods, goods are good. Convergence can, can make you go very fast, even if you are not really on the axis. So yeah, instruments are a good tool, but sometimes you have to trust your guts and trust you, you Skye or reading.

Speaker 1 (29m 19s): How often would you say you make a decision? That's I would, I would classify it as a little bit rash. You know, they're there for me. There are times in a comp where, you know, when you're in a really strong position and you're sitting on top, the decisions are very easy to make, but there are times when you're maybe not in a very strong where, you know, it's very easy to just go, ah, fuck it. I'm gonna, I'm going to press on. Do you try to reign that in totally.

Or are you susceptible to that kind of, I guess that would be an undisciplined act, you know, where you're, you know, because there's times where it's just, this isn't working, I got to keep moving. I got to find something better.

Speaker 2 (30m 6s): Yeah. I completely see what you mean. I think rash decisions are favorite bats. When, when you do these kinds of decisions, most of the times, you know that they are bad, you know, you know it deep inside you and you know it, but you do it. This is fine with their heart. You know, you find with your emotions and, and this is what I tried to do in Macedonia also is not flying with the hearts. You, your heart is, is for the stuffs, but not for flying competition.

You need to fight with your brain and just making rational decisions. And you, you see, I have a very good example is like the task, maybe four or yeah. Or text four or five in Macedonia. I started very late because I had problems with my bladder. So I started 20 minutes before the start. And I did the start in like the last place or something like that. And I was like five to 10 kilometers behind.

And I tried to stay cool to not to make these, these bad decisions, like, okay, all in, let's go. I try to, to catch up like that. And I thought to myself, they are very far ahead. I saw all the, all the gaggle, like little dots, you know, and I thought to myself, okay, if they make a mistake, I may catch up and do something. And if, if they don't stay don't, but I can fly faster that I can, you know, they there's a limit to what I can fly.

And you won't go faster by if I know you, for instance, you, you will go faster by taking a better line or choosing better your terminals, that you, you just have to fly fast. So what I did is that's okay, I'm very far behind, but I take my time. Maybe there will be an opportunity. Maybe they will not, but I'm charged just to fly fast. And in the end, it was an opportunity when we, when the get-go did the, the, the, yeah.

The last point before are going to the speed section, I took that very good coverage, and that was not on the optimized loud routes. And it was really, really great. And I did catch up, but the last year, month to two end to end up first at speed section. So it was very a patience game, but I try to fly with the heads and not with the hearts, or try to make rational decisions and not to go faster than I possibly can.

Speaker 1 (32m 51s): Good advice there, empties there's I hear that, you know, the French team, or maybe even the Swiss teams, they'll practice these little things that are microseconds, or maybe a few seconds, but then over the course of the, of the, the race will really add up, for example, you know, turning before you hit the cylinder. So you just barely get the cylinder, you know, so you're, you know, you're coming off far, maybe a little bit and getting a nice bank and then coming back onto bar.

Yeah. I mean, is that, I was just going to say, is that something you do or are these just stories? Because I don't do that

Speaker 2 (33m 32s): In, in competition. Most of the pilots do it. You, you turn a little bit before and you try to optimize it like that, but there are a few stories where the pilots ends up not doing the, the cylinder. So it's very bad in Italia. I did it and my instruments didn't turn the cylinder. I, and I didn't see it. So for me, it was okay. I did all the task. And just before the end that I saw that I didn't do the, the turn points.

And in the end, it works out with their margin, but it was very, very tight, you know, I was lucky.

Speaker 1 (34m 13s): So this isn't something that's a, that's a big deal. This isn't something that people need to really work on. It's more all the other things. I mean, w

Speaker 2 (34m 23s): You know, being 30 meters behind because you didn't do it once, won't be that bad.

Speaker 1 (34m 30s): Okay. Okay. Tell me about strategy for each day of the race versus the week. You know, there are the of the world that just go for the, the task, win all the time and press, press, press. And then there are the discipline pilots like yourself and Russ who are going for the win of the comp, but how do you adjust your, and I'm not asking you, obviously winning a task is really fun, but how do you adjust your own personal strategy as the days go by?

Is it totally dependent on where you are going in? Or is it more just an overall strategy? Like you're talking about, okay, the first days I'm going to be very disciplined, I'm going to, I'm going to make goal. I'm not going to worry about too much about being fast. And I'll just, you know, grab the opportunity if I can. Does it stay like that all week? Or does it start really changing depending on where you are?

Speaker 2 (35m 26s): Yeah, I did eat depends. If you did a bad results, your you landed twice. Then you will go for the task, wins and have fun. If you are looking for the comp win, then I would say, it's, it's indeed like that. It's you fly the best. You can relatively consistently and try to take a few opportunities. It's a risk versus reward thing, but you try to take your opportunities if you really feel it.

Yeah. And it depends on the discounts you have. If, if you have a discount left, then you can fly a little bit small aggressively. And the more the competition goal goes on, the more aggressive you can fly if you didn't land or didn't do about task. So, yeah. Depends, depends really on your goal and on you, you previous tasks,

Speaker 1 (36m 20s): Talk to me about strong versus weak positions. I think this is something that, you know, as if you do a lot of comps, it starts to really just be naturally makes sense. But I think for, for, especially for early comp pilots, the, the differences is maybe not so concrete. They don't really, it's, it's, it's a hard thing to really understand. Just talk about, you know, like controlling the gaggle versus being in a weak position.

Speaker 2 (36m 46s): Yeah. So controlling the goggles, the rich plus ways to do it, and it's the most efficient way to find consistently. So yeah. Obviously if you are in the front, it's, it's really hard to, to, to take the good lines. You can, you can miss it by 50 meters and you will see when you will see it will, it will be too late. So you control is, is, is a very simple thing to do, because if you are too way too back then you will be, you, you won't have the good timing for the German.

Sometimes it will end up and you won't catch it. So it's a very hard thing to do. It's yeah. There are some formulas to, with angles that you can check on my YouTube channel if you want. I talk a little bit about that, but yeah, controlling a gaggle is very hard for me. The easiest thing to do is being inside together, like a, no, like a fish inside the gaggle, not being on the borders, just inside, not in the front, not in the back, just in the right, in the middle.

And this is the easiest way to find the get-go. Then there's also a good way to fly. It's it's a little bit behind, so you can see all the lines. If there are good lines, bad lines, then you decide to switch from one nine to two and another and, and take the best out of everyone that is in front of you. That's easy, but you don't, you, you need to take care of not to be too, too far away. So not to miss the timings of the Fairmont and the, my, my best way to fly in the gaggle.

It's a control. That is a little bit aggressive is when you are the highest in the gaggle, you can go a little bit ahead. So you are the first on the competition. You would take leading points, but if things go badly, then you can, you have still have the Heights to, to turn around and take the terminals of those who catch out terminal when you don't see it in the back. So this is the way I try to fly in Macedonia, for instance, is being the highest and use my advantage, take leading points.

And if things go bad, then I can, I still, I can still return inside the gaggle because I had an advantage, but this is really a little bit hard to pull off.

Speaker 1 (39m 13s): Yeah. The, you have to be flying very well to do that. The th that's a good transition lead points. This has been something that has caught me out several times this year. I, I, in the past, you know, they're always tweaking it and changing things, but in the, in the past, I hadn't been too concerned with lead points because it didn't seem to really be worth the risk, but that now, you know, several times in Columbia, in Macedonia, you know, I would come in and to speed and really nice position, but my lead points were terrible.

And, and I, and I realized I needed to put some more focus on this because it was, it was killing me in the overall. And so the obvious is, you know, we're, we obviously we're trying to be out front, but how much are you thinking about lead points and as the race, you know, as that day develops, how much is that something that's, that's in your mind thinking about it? Yeah,

Speaker 2 (40m 13s): It's a, it's a very good question. It depends on what I want to do in the competition. If, for, for, for my, for my way of line, if I want to just do, to make a top center, then I won't be that much, that much focused on leading points. I will just try to make a good, a good place at the speed section. And most of the time it will do the job, but I've noticed that now there are very good pilots.

And if you want to take the really top, top, top positions, you have to focus a lot now on leading points, every every point counts. So the, these are 160 points that you can't leave behind, so you need to optimize it. So, so that's a thing that I did in Brazil with maximum Tino, when the worker by one, we, we flew.

And when we were in the advantage, compared to the gaggle, we use our advantage to take leading points. Most of the time we took bad lines because, you know, when you fly alone, you are not efficient. And then we, we went back to the group, try to make our way on top again, and use, always use our advantage to, to transition it into some leading points. And in the end, it's, it did a good job. It, it, it was really nice to have this little advantage of leading points.

So, yeah, it depends on your results. If you want to go top top results, you have to focus a lot and the other, and if you, you want to do a good results, but not, not to the best of the best, then I think you can, you can leave them a little bit behind because doing, doing a good time at speed section is really more important. And if you focus too much on leading points, there is the risk of, of really, of really doing a bad thing, you know,

Speaker 1 (42m 22s): Is your background, or do you think your background in math really helps you with strategy and, you know, understanding the data, the, you know, the algorithms and the understanding FTV do, do you think that matters?

Speaker 2 (42m 39s): That's a funny question, because in the European championships, there were, there was a new scoring system that was not ready yet, and they still used it. And we had to go through every formula to see every burger that was occurring. So we had to see every formula and see the burgs, and finally understand, because I didn't took that much time to, to see all these formulas and, and seeing that it helped me understand when I had to, what I had to do to, for, for instance, for the leading points, what was important to, to score these leading points.

And, yeah, it was really nice to look into these formulas. And of course, with my, with my mathematical background, it's helped a lot. I saw that some, some pilots, feds, a little bit powerless, you know, a little bit frustrated because we saw these burgs and they couldn't. So if we went there, then it would be added to mess, you know, until the, yeah. Until two tasks before the end, there wasn't a final result yet everything was provisional because there were too many mistakes, too many bags.

So yeah, looking into these formulas is quite good sometimes.

Speaker 1 (44m 7s): Is that going to be a system that you think will be widely adopted in the end? Was it a good system?

Speaker 2 (44m 13s): Are you talking about the, define the Dover area now? It's I think it's a very good one because there is life scoring system, which means the, for instance, the coach or French coach could see life, the points, the leading points, everything, the time points. It was really great.

Speaker 1 (44m 35s): Huh. That's cool. I didn't know that that would be,

Speaker 2 (44m 38s): And it's a time to, to be perfect, but now I think it's good.

Speaker 1 (44m 42s): Huh? Are you, this is more a personal question, but you know, so you crushed Macedonia, you one, there you, one Brazil, Europeans, not as successful. Is that something that you know is frustrating to you or is that, and by not successful, still very successful, but you didn't win. It is that, is that something that, you know, are you, are you a kick, your helmet kind of guy when you don't do well? Or you just, it just rolls off your shoulders. No big deal.

Speaker 2 (45m 9s): No, I'm, I'm a little frustrated, but yeah, not that much. I'm, I'm a Canon person, you know, I, I don't take it too, too bad, but I learnt a lot from it. I was very high from Macedonia. I came, I was too confident, I think. And I told the coach, okay. If, if I do, if I take an advantage at the two, three first tasks, then it's okay.

I will be very, very good because if I take an advantage at the beginning of the competition, then I know very well how to keep very consistently my advantage and not lose points. But, but taking this, this little advantage is sometimes difficult. So I wanted to do it from the beginning. And that was a little bit, how do you say cocky? You know, it was, I learned from inside, it was a bad plan.

I tried to force things instead of flying well and taking opportunities. If there are ones like I used to do in Macedonia, I was too, too confidence. And I wanted to, to, to try to win from the beginning and then, okay, now I can chill and stay in the gaggle and just do a good points. It will be sufficient. That's a, no, this is not the it's way too. It doesn't work for me. So I think now I will do my thing.

If I take the advantage at the beginning, it's perfect. It's even easier. But if I don't, then maybe I will take it later, but I don't need to force things to do good. So I, I think it was a bad plan and I don't for, for me, it it's, it's good from time to time to, to, to take a little reminder, like, like this, you know?

Speaker 1 (47m 5s): Yeah. Of course it is. Yeah. You had the recipe in Macedonia, just stick with it, make the pancakes, make the pancakes.

Speaker 2 (47m 11s): Yeah. I, to change it, I just need to, to keep that recipe, it was very good. And like you said, in the beginning, sometimes there is a stage you want to try to find and to keep it because in that state, you are very good and you are, you are flying well. So I think I followed it. I found it a couple of times and now I just need to, to keep, to keep it. It's the, it's the same stage I was in China when the one it's the same one I was in, in Brazil also.

It's I just need to keep that recipe and don't change anything.

Speaker 1 (47m 48s): Have you ever suffered Baptist since, you know, 20 to 26 now and now you're, you're, you're winning these world cups. Have you ever suffered with just lack of motivation or, you know, do you ever come out of these things going at, you know, I don't really know why I'm doing this.

Speaker 2 (48m 5s): I no, never,

Speaker 1 (48m 7s): Never. You, you don't have any trouble with getting all passionate about it and fired up.

Speaker 2 (48m 14s): No, I know flying is, is my life, you know, it's never

Speaker 1 (48m 19s): Fantastic. Good, good answer. What about physical training diet, any of that kind of stuff? Do you, do you, you know, hike and fly or is that, is that part of your regimen at all?

Speaker 2 (48m 32s): I, I have a big deal daily because I used to, to make some workouts, to, to be, to be heavier because a bigger wings by better. So I, I, I did it. So I went from 62 to now I'm 70. And I tried to do that to be in a good spot with, with muscle, but I little bits of fats to be heavy, you know? And now I'm, I have a big dilemma because I started to make hiking flies.

And if I want to be good at hiking flies will have to lose some weight and then it won't be as good for competition. So yeah, it's a, it's a tricky thing to, to, to,

Speaker 1 (49m 18s): To get, right. Yeah. We're all going to have to become actors or something, you know, who famously gain and lose weight for every role they're playing. But you know, it, it's always encouraging to me to, to see, you know, Maxine, who's a pretty little guy, you know, he still does. He's, he's proving that you can still do it on the smaller wings, but, but yeah, that's do I hear a, an X Alps or that kind of thing in your future?

Speaker 2 (49m 43s): No, not, not exert, but I will try to do just for fun, some, some local competitions, but it's still a, it's still a challenge for me because I didn't use to, to hike a lot and now I'm trying, so yeah, maybe I will have to, to change a little bit my diet and yeah, it's, it's quite motivating, but on the other parts I wanted to fly your insights and if I do it, I won't be able to fly the insights.

Speaker 1 (50m 10s): Yeah, sure, sure.

Speaker 2 (50m 12s): I always feel the size and I see there's still a little difference with the M size. Like for instance, Maxim Pino is now facing the M size. Even if he's quite lightweight, he takes a lot of, I can see that it's working well. So I, I want you to do the same, but if I lose weight on the other side, I will be even more balanced for me. So I don't know.

Speaker 1 (50m 39s): But the training and the diet do, do you consider that an important part of success or such as something personal

Speaker 2 (50m 48s): For successful CHRO for the competition and cross-country

Speaker 1 (50m 52s): Yeah. Yeah.

Speaker 2 (50m 56s): I don't think it matters that much. If you don't think it matters that much. It's just, if you want to, to improve a little bit by finding a bigger size than a it's. Okay. But just a thing helps you to fly a long flights. I think it's, it's, it's helps you to get focused and longer time if you are high C, but yeah, it's not that much of a big difference.

Speaker 1 (51m 23s): Let me ask it a totally different kind of question. One of the things that was a little annoying to me in Macedonia was the, the shortness of the tasks. Do you, do you like long tasks or short tasks? To me it's God, those are beautiful days. Let's keep going, you know?

Speaker 2 (51m 40s): Yeah, sure. I'm a XC pilot. If that I can go for 5, 6, 7, 8 hours. I'm very happy with it.

Speaker 1 (51m 48s): Okay. All right. That's good to hear. That's good. I mean, I, I find that often.

Speaker 2 (51m 54s): It's a good question because I wasn't the committee in the pilot's committee in the French open, which took place in, in the band in France. And with there was maximum also with me, which always fly XC with me and we pushed to, to make these big tasks, you know, like a one 70 kilometers triangle, things like that. And when we did, people were not that happy about that because they are, they are people who want to do competition and that they want the competition to be very short and to be a quick race.

And they don't think that competition and the are related. And yeah, there were a lots of people who weren't are happy about that, but I think it's a good thing to mix, you know, XC long flights and the competition. I would love to competitions where, you know, you go a week in a place where you can do big fights and like the competition could be okay. The, the guy who, the person who makes the biggest fights in the week wins or something like that would be amazing.

You know, if you are 100 pilots trying to do cross country, you mentioned what we can achieve.

Speaker 1 (53m 12s): Yeah. We're, I'm running a us nationals and a pre PWC here in a couple of weeks out in Utah. And I re if we get the weather, we're really gonna try to break the, the race to goal distance record. And maybe one day we'll just do an day. That'd be, that'd be really fun, but yeah, we're, we're advertising it as, you know, don't come if you don't want to go big, because it's, it's really high base. And you know, it's a good place to fly with oxygen and we're hoping to go really big. But yeah, this is something I just find can be annoying about the world cup scene, as it's always, you know, an hour and a half, two hours they're short.

I just, I want to go bigger. That's good. That's good. Yeah,

Speaker 2 (53m 56s): For me, my task was in multicolor, Italy in April, and we did a 170 triangle, like in the fire triangle and we flew, we flew longer and faster and H was really good. And now when I see that we ran the European championships and in the same time, there were people in France breaking the FX 300 while we were doing two, two hours tasks.

I was so, ah, I want to go back to France. It's so good. And I think if we can do longer competitions, we won't have that feeling again. You know, we can use all the day to fly. Why are we using on two, two hours? Yeah. I am completely agree with you. It's we should find longer.

Speaker 1 (54m 50s): That was amazing. Those, eh Potel and those guys, when they did that huge FAS, it was, it was kind of, for me, it was a bit of a, oh man, because that's where my race ended in 2019 on that coal and cold is hard or our, I don't know how you say it, but, and it was an amazing flying day. My, my, I had walked all night on bare feet. My my feet were just mangled and I had no interest in flying, but one of my supporters that day took off and had a really nice triangle.

So it's, it's a, it's an amazing potential. And those guys proved it as just it's, you know, it's just, just over the coal from Magnolia.

Speaker 2 (55m 29s): Yeah. I think they, they find the right spot to fights. It's all natural, you know, it's, it's really good.

Speaker 1 (55m 37s): Yeah. It just flows. Yeah. That's, that's amazing

Speaker 2 (55m 41s): With the ozone team, we already designed a longer version of it for the next year and it will be, it will be,

Speaker 1 (55m 48s): It does that. That's a good one. Does big distance record-breaking type stuff, interest you like coming to Texas or Brazil or, you know, that kind of thing.

Speaker 2 (56m 2s): The district flights aren't that much my thing because of the retrieve, you know, it's really long and you can fly two days in a row because the retreat is wrong. I like, but I'm very, very interested in records breaking in out in return, all this stuff I'm very interested in.

Speaker 1 (56m 23s): Hmm. Yeah. That's, that's, that's fun. That's really more my focus these days, too. It's awful nice to come home at the end of the day. It's always really good.

Speaker 2 (56m 33s): And I think because I have a very competition spirit, you know, and I think making your own speeds or on a closed on a closed Packo, when I close way is a, is something else then using the wind and not having the same day. If, if you are, if you, if you, if your distance is closed, then you did your own speed. You know, it's, it's not the same for me.

Speaker 1 (57m 5s): Yeah. I agree. I mean, I, the, the, the record tracing record chasing, you know, downwinders is, you know, there, there's a real endurance side of that. Like you said, it's the, it's the retrieves, but it's when it comes down to what I like it more about triangles, that it's really more pilot ability where as the, you know, the big, and I'm not knocking, I've done tons of the long distance stuff. And it's, it's fantastic. And, you know, the Brazilians have proved how to do it. And, you know, there's, it's really the staying power. It's really, you have to treat it like a job and you're going to do this job.

And because really it's the day, I mean, it, you're, you're going to get the record if the day presents itself. It's not so much the pilot. I mean, on that good of a day, I think there are a lot of pilots in the world, especially these days who could break the record, but they gotta be there and do it. Whereas the FBI, I think, is a lot more ability and that, you know, that's where people get separated.

Speaker 2 (58m 3s): That's why I think, yeah, exactly. The two straight distance is more related on, on the, on the day. Yeah. The conditions you can make. Okay. They, you can make a very, very, very big fin go on that. Okay. They, if you, you do your best. So yeah,

Speaker 1 (58m 25s): I

Speaker 2 (58m 25s): Think that's why I prefer and because of the retrieved, but that's another thing that's, I love about close distances

Speaker 1 (58m 35s): That he's telling me about. Totally switching gears here, but the technical side of things. What about trimming? How close are you watching your wing all the time and how often are you fiddling with it?

Speaker 2 (58m 48s): It changed very recently. I used to check my training trimming like every 40 or 50 hours. I used to check it. And now I just, if my wing is flying straight, I don't check it. And I only use my feeling if my glider isn't turning that well, I will fast. And my tips, if my glider is a little bit, a little bit slow in speed, or is feeling, feeling a little bit slow in terminals also, I will, I will fast on the now I think with experience, I'm, I'm a mess measuring less and just find more was the feeling.

Yeah. Because course you can see differences, but in the end, it's all the feeling that matters.

Speaker 1 (59m 41s): Yeah, sure. I find that too. If it feels good. Oh, I mess with it. Okay. Last one. And I haven't prepared you for this one at all. So if, if you have to take some time to think about it, that that's fine, but craziest thing you've ever seen in flying ever.

Speaker 2 (59m 60s): Hmm. Okay.

Speaker 1 (1h 0m 3s): And crazy. It's defined by you, but you know, the funniest thing or the craziest thing, or the scariest that whatever is, you know, something that just, when you're having a beer with your friends, you go, you tell this story.

Speaker 2 (1h 0m 15s): Ah, yeah. I think for me, craziest, won't be the funniest, but just the more epic, epic feeling, you know, it will be the craziest feeling for me. It will, it's after a big, big, big flights, like 11 hours flights when I have the sunsets and I was with a Maxine and a journal flying and it was so beautiful, the sun was going down.

We were just making it, the blight to Galvez was very tight and I stopped by minutes. I stopped because I'm in very tense competition when I'm flying in exi and I stopped 10 minutes and just looked around. We were very high on the last clouds. There were normal channels, just snow everywhere, and the delights of the red light on the snow. And it was, and we were gliding. And when we went down, we went on the shadow. It was such a good time.

It was really great.

Speaker 1 (1h 1m 19s): I can visualize it. Of course I wasn't there, but oh, that sounds, that sounds beautiful. Nice one and a good place to end that DCE. Thanks, man. I really appreciate it. What a joy and what a joy to watch you fly, man. That was really flown a lot of world cups. And you know, I'm used to watching guys, like honoring, just, you know, do that kind of thing, but man, you were dominating holy smokes. That was just unbelievable. And I was just above you when you bombed out on that last day.

And I thought, man, I would like to be in that position where I don't even have it doesn't matter. I've still got the wind. That was great. I bet you thought I, you know what, I don't need this. I'm going to go have a beer, but a fantastic man. We'll keep crushing and can't wait to see it. The Superfinal and congrats on the new job and the new living accommodations there and Gordon and, and say hi to the crew and yeah, man. See you.

Speaker 2 (1h 2m 21s): Thank you very much, CSN. Appreciate it. Bye-bye bye-bye

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