Episode 188- To the Archives!

I’ve got a head cold and hoarse throat this week which makes interviewing pretty hard, so we’re diving back into the archives to bring you a show that was great then, and better now and an excellent tune-up before spring. “Mastering Autonomy” with Manu Bonte. And a couple important topics in the show opener that I’ve been meaning to hit for weeks. Enjoy!

Manu showing the way in Colombia

Manu Bonte is an APPI Master Instructor and has been guiding cross country instructional tours around the world for over 10 years. A Mechanical engineer, Manu has worked as a test pilot for 8 years in the development team of the French paraglider brand Nervures. Manu is also a journalist and author of the book Parapente Sauvage. The “Flying Frog” is internationally known for his amazing pictures and adventurous journeys around the globe. Manu is president of the educational committee of the APPI, an international education training program that has more than 10,000 members in 134 countries. In this episode we learn about how Manu approaches building autonomy with his students; the importance of the mental side of the sport; finding the equilibrium between motivation and safety; chasing the aesthetic over personal bests and kilometer counting; how to get pilots in a positive state of mind; teaching people to avoid making stupid mistakes; the extreme risk of social media and external motivation and flying; how to free the unconscious mind; the three things that lead to accidents; switching to “autopilot”; where “happiness” lies in flying and a TON, TON more.

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Some great resources from the talk:

An excellent tool to analyze your flights


Here is the major accident analysis over last 12 years (in French)

APPI (Association of Paragliding Pilots and Instructors) is an association based in switzerland that was founded in 2009.

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

APPI has 10.000 members in more than 134 countries

APPI quality is based on:

A: a well documented education system

click on any level to have details

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

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

B: a network of APPI certified professional pilots:

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

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

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


D: a quality control system based on 2 points:

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

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

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

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

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

System update:

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

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

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

APPI and National federations:

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

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

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

On the field how does it work?

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

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

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


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

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


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

Manu Bonte

President of APPI educational committee

Show Notes:

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

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Speaker 1 (0s): Hi there everybody. Welcome to another episode of the Cloudbase Mam. As you can tell from my voice, I am a little under the weather and this has been an absolutely nutty week and I have not been able to line up anybody to speak with. I've got a lot in the, in the plans and a whole bunch of good shows coming your way. But we are gonna go To the Archives this week, both because I don't really feel like I could do an interview very well. And I'm gonna have something lined up for you. So I'm gonna let Miles pick this out.

And before we get to the show, I've got a couple things that I think my voice can get through that I've been wanting to talk about. One is cloud flying. Just a couple little things here that I think our community could know more about and hopefully do better with going forward. Going forward. I got an email from a pilot who's a helicopter pilot down in New Zealand. Very well trained in lots of hours in heli in getting into paragliding and has been surprised by the almost encouragement of, you know, launching into cloud and that kind of thing.

He found that pretty wild because of all the training they go through in helicopters to deal with cloud and helicopters. Obviously you, you wouldn't, it's, well anyway, it's very easy to get disoriented in a cloud. This is a, a major thing that comes up at every World Cup I've ever been in is cloud flying. And depending on what part of the world you're in, clouds, you know, down in New Zealand when they're just wispy and you know, really not strong, not nimbus clouds, maybe that's safer, but you all hear stories from, you know, I get a lot of X Alps pilots on the show and you heard Aaron's wild story of launching into cloud and landing in cloud and using his instruments to find a field and a place that had a ton of cables.

Obviously that is next level type stuff and very, very risky even for Aaron and not encouraged. These are just stories for fun, but let's not emulate ex a's pilots. Let's just be smart as pilots. So just wanna put it out there to the community that cloud flying is incredibly disorienting. I went back recently and, and watched my track log from the Alaska trip, some of those flights and, and got, it was pretty humorous watching my flight and I went into the cloud there for, this is in the movie, it's kind of the opening scene.

I flew in a cloud for more than 20 minutes and I looked like a drunken sailor on my track log. I mean I had my compass, I had my instruments and I was clearly just all over the place and my biggest thing was just staying clear of terrain. But when you look at the track log, it's just, I just look like a, yeah, drunken sailor in the sky. So it is incredibly disorienting. Cloud suck is really scary when you're in the white room. You have no idea if your wing is over your head or below your feet.

And, and even if you have a ton of training like this gentleman does down in New Zealand, it can really be tough. And in helicopters they have instruments to help out with all that and we don't. So anyway, just wanted to put it out to the community. Let's not, certainly not encourage cloud flying and you know, surfing up the side of a cloud can be awfully fun, especially in places that don't have big mean clouds like Columbia. But just, yeah, just be careful cuz they can be. And they are causing a lot of mid airs, especially in comps and saw several in the super final.

And these are some of the best pilots in the world. So they do cause problems. They can be really dangerous and let's give 'em some respect. The other is was re I got an email from my friend JK who did the great show on, on threatened error management. And this is a chapter in the book, longtime Air Force and a commercial airline pilot. And they have, you know, all these steps and one of their big things that they go through is checklists. And this is, you know, again in the book and in the show, I won't go into in depth here, but he was standing in line just two spots back and watched the incident that ended up in a pretty bad injury in Shalan two seasons ago.

And the, you know, the, the common when the people who saw that really felt like that was an un you know, there, there were things that could be done as there always are and that that could've stopped that incident from happening. And, and he compared it to with the airlines, you know, they, they know that it's, it's when you're close to the ground is when you need to be way more heads up. And you have all these steps that the, they train to go through. I if they have an engine failure or some kind of catastrophic failure when they're close to the ground and one is on takeoff and it, you know, this are, these are kind of all caps reminders of what you need to do if, and one of the things that's pretty common is, is launching and getting a cravat and, and or just getting a cravat and they can be dealt with really in the same way, but obviously when you're launching, when you're close to the ground, it's a lot more, it can be a lot more extreme.

So just wanna run through cuz the, the main thing, his, his big takeaway was what would I have done in that same situation? So he went back through and took almost a month to kind of review it over and over and over again in his head. You know, what would I have done if I had gotten a similar situation? The, the cravat happened before this pilot left the ground and he was being yelled at by the meat director to abort to board tot. So that was the first mistake he had kind of a soft wing and had a pretty small cravat, manageable and I'm sure the pilot just thought, well I can handle this in the air once he got in the air, rather than getting a good vector on his flight path, which would've been handled by leaning.

And this is always the first thing you should do with a cravat is lean and get, you know, get a straight vector, fly away from the terrain. So rather than trying to deal with the cravat or even getting your harness right away, just lean away from the problem side and, and fly straight. Even really high aspect wings can handle this unless it's a really big cravat. And so you can lean away the, the danger is leaning away and adding a lot of opposite break and that can obviously put you in a stall depending on how bad the cravat is on the non-flying side.

So, but the first thing you wanna do is just, you know, we need terrain clearance and then I'm gonna take you through his kind of, he calls it his clue bag because this is, this is all, this is great, this is so number one, maintain aircraft control, fly away from the train without adding any additional unnecessary drag. This gets us altitude, which buys us time before fixing the cravat. Number two, the biggest threat from a cravat is added drag, which can A, induce a turn toward the terrain or B, induce a spiral and C, reduced stall margins.

Three, A cravat near the ground is super critical. A cravatta altitude is so much more manageable. Four max weight shift prior to using opposite break is super important. If you're turning towards the cravat and you don't have all your weight into the open side of the wing, you're screwing up. Drag is the big threat with a cravat. Adding to that with unnecessary break input exacerbates the situation. This one I'm not sure on, I need to check on this, but it makes sense to me. To increase stall margins, consider 50% or more bar, we do that with bigs.

Why not a cravat? Number six, A cravat can be flagging or cupped. A small cupped cravat can be more dragged than a larger flagged cravat. Seven. If you're handed a cupped cravat, consider pulling a big ear on that side. It could end up being more material folded but could take you from from cup to flag flagged. And we all know that a simple asymmetric big ear is easily manageable with weight shift. You need to assess this and use pilot discretion. It may be a good move but could also make it worse. Eight, after establishing a good vector away from the terrain, work on removing the cravat.

There are multiple options here depending on the severity of the cravat and altitude. In all cases aircraft control is paramount while clearing the cravat turns into terrain. Installs while clearing are, are unsatisfactory at times it may be necessary to fly with one hand on both toggles, et cetera. Okay, this is the good stuff. Number nine, clearing your cravat A, use the brake on that side with short sharp brake applications. Don't stall B, pull this to B. Low line identifying it may be difficult if the lines are slack.

Use the open side to mark the color coating C or just have this memorized and have done it enough and done enough SIV that you know which one your, which line is your stab belo C. Apply a big error to the bad side and then clear that with the stab belo line more slack lines around the cravat and make the stab belo more effective. And clearing it a couple of arm lengths could be required. D, if trained and proficient and with enough altitude, spin it out. Spin entry is all that's required. Pull brake deep on the bad side until the brake line begins to go.

Soft weight shift away from the spin and brake opposite to the to stop rotation E stall it out, which requires even more altitude than a spin entry. Again must be S I v trained to be proficient F land with it as it is. And in this case, this pilot definitely could have done that. This cravat was, was quite small depending on how controllable the wing is. This could be a good option, especially if maneuvering simply fails to get enough altitude to try the above. GE destroy your reserve throughout your flight on a crippled wing and at all times during the clearing process, always be ready to throw your reserve.

If aircraft control is compromised, you can't get it back in time to to avoid uncontrolled flight and into terrain throw. So that's quite a few steps. But the basics are the basics. Get away from the hill, get yourself some margin, be thinking about your reserve cuz they work even low and deal with the cravat. And that comes back to SIV training. My personal favorite is the spin, but that's the more advanced and obviously that's when you have a bigger cravat, but done properly, you lose very little altitude.

But of course you need altitude and you don't wanna be messing around with that when there's the possibility of spinning back into the hill. So understand cravats there, no, nothing to be scared of as long as you have the margin. But these things unfortunately can happen close to the ground and how you react could be the difference between a bad day at the office and and a terrific flight. So good luck and enjoy this show. Cheers. My guest today is Manu Bonte, a legend in the sport and he's been on the show before, this is the second one we've done with him, but I didn't know this.

He was the weather router and one of the supporters for Pierre Remi in the xpe. And he sent me a text right after the race and I was of course walked glued to it for the week. Amazing race. And Pierre was actually out in front going into the end. And then Kriegel and Maxim got 'em. They made a couple really nice moves and of course Kriegel very crazy ending. And Kriegel was able to beat Maxim against all the odds yet again.

So I thought it'd be really fun to talk to a supporter. Usually we talk to the athletes, but talk to a supporter and get their take on the philosophy and the risk and the how it all comes together. This was Pierre's first hike and fly race. He's of course a very famous comp pilot and really big name in the sport, but this was his first foray into hike and fly and he got third against some pretty tough competition. So he had a great race and obviously they had a great team and so this is a story from kind of behind the scenes.

I think you're gonna really enjoy it. Cheers, Manu, good to see you and have you on the show Again, it's wonderful to see your smiling face. It sounds like you guys had quite an adventure in the ex Pierre. So we're gonna be talking a lot about the race, but I thought where would we should start would be to talk about Pierre a little bit for those who don't follow comps very much, who are listening to the show, may not be familiar with Pierre Remi, one of the more famous pilots in the world.

But tell us about Pierre and then we'll get into, I wanna talk to you about what it was like supporting, that's a, you know, it's something I'm going to do for the first time here in, in a month over at the Domii. But yeah, tell me about Pierre and then we'll get into your adventure.

Speaker 2 (13m 8s): Hey Gavin, cool to meet you again on Cloudbase Mayhem. So Pierre is, for people that do not know him, is was a really classic comp champion. He won the f a I awards in 2017 and p WC super final in 2018. And starting from that moment, he started to pay attention to those type of competition, like exile X P and he started to train.

So that was really 2018, he really started to physically train, you know, for this type of comp. And he had, you know, the ambition to participate to the XPE 2020, which was canceled due to covid issues, you know, and here we are, he arrived in 2022 and the xpe, he was physically really ready, but the team was, I would say, kind of improvise.

You know, he called me a few weeks before the comp asking me if I wanted to be support. And then for the two of the guys, you know, it was pretty much the same. so we went there just to see, you know, a little bit. But yeah, finally we had good adventure, good sensation. I know, it was pretty fun.

Speaker 1 (14m 37s): Yeah, and I mean, I was watching the race, I got up at four o'clock in the morning all week to watch it. It was, it was going on during our US nationals, so I was up early anyway, but he made some nice moves, you know, really, you know, the big day, day three where all the leaders got way out in front and, and had some really nice flying, but the, the, the weather at the start was, was tough and he was fast on the ground as well. There was, those first couple days were they looked pretty miserable.

Speaker 2 (15m 7s): Yes. The two two first day were pretty miserable. And I believe Maxim did the best job, you know, from the team. Even if at the end of the second day, Krieger managed to make a move. Yeah. But, but the choice of Maxim, they were little bit better. And the third was the very first day we could fly and looking, looking at the weather forecast at that moment, we believe maybe it would be the only flying day of the comp, you know, but finally it happened that we had some other flying days.

Wow. Yeah. But everybody was like, that day we must be at the right place, you know, at the, at the right moment. And we had a third, you know, a group of leader Yeah. Where we had mainly Maxim and Krieger and also they were together with Noah maybe and si Simon for sure. And so basically we had those leaders, you know, in the front and Pierre was a little bit behind and we made a a a weather forecast and strategy.

And for us it was clear that in the high altitude, the, the, the, the air was quite stable until late and it would be unstable in the lower layer earlier. So this is the reason why we did not follow them, because we arrive a little bit later in KHOU and my plan was to go on the east phase, stay relatively low to benefit, you know, the instability we had.

And finally Pier, I think it took off two hours before the other guys, well they made the first glide, then they climbed again, and then they had to wait for conditions to take off again. And at that moment, you know, Pierre was flying for a while. We had probably, I would say three, four hours. We were three four hours behind at that moment. And during the flight at one moment we passed first and, and then they had a good line and well, in the Penia Mountain we had only six kilometers, you know, we were just six kilometers behind.

But that was definitely a good move we did. And on my opinion, they, you know, in this type of competition, they had no other choice because they wouldn't wait, you know, three hours to take off in the lower layers. So basically they went, they had to go ahead and this is sometimes you're trapped like this. And we had the same situation but reversed. We had to wait, you know, later on and then they cut with us again. You know, that was on day five. But in, in some moment, you know, you just need to do something because the athletes, they say, Hey, I'm not gonna wait.

And so of course, you know, you choose, you know, one option, but you know that later on, you know, in another place would be better. And this is, that was perfect for us because we were late and we arrived exactly at the right moment to take off on the east face low. And they just took off and they climbed, they arrived super high, but it was not in place and they had to wait. And so basically I would say we, we passed them and then, you know, they got a little bit lucky on that because normally when they arrive, when you arrive from the route they took, there is a place where pass it is rather complicated.

And I already believe we would pass in front, but see it, it worked very well for them. And so everybody was kind of surprised around Bronto how they could pass, you know, the national park. But yeah, that's, that's the game. But finally the move was quite good for us. Yeah, for sure. The decision and the way Pierre put it, you know, in into reality was, was quite good. That was kind of tricky, you know, because we know that to pass from the east phase, you know, to the, that would be kind of tricky.

And it was actually, there were two together, you know, to cross. And finally one landed and Pier managed to escape. So it was not, let's say crystal clear, it would be good, but he managed to do it. And then he was clearly in the front. So that was, that was the first move that was not too bad. And then, well then as the guys, they had a good line, he was chasing them till the end and they were putting like a crazy reason and, and that was virtually impossible to catch up with them.

I know he kept the distance, but he couldn't catch up with them. That was very intense flying. Everybody was so motivated and, and yeah, I have something to say also about what happened and in that flight, is that what, what Krieger Simon and, and Maxim did, you know, from Ude to go to the first point of the ex, you know, like Arba is just amazing.

That's root. We hardly, I don't think, I mean I know a little bit what happened in the Es, but maybe I'm, I make a mistake that I don't think anybody ever reached from Maude ABA using that route. They just went, you know, in the mountains under Lee side of Little Hill, they were barely protected and then they managed to catch turmoil, you know, to climb the turmoil and then push into the wind to pass in front of the mountain. They did that four time to reach Abba.

And for me, what they did was just from another ward, probably one part of the xpe, I was so impressed with, with what Maxim Krieger and Simon achieved, you know, in terms of choice of of of who, which, you know, we know it's impossible. They didn't know it's impossible, so they did it, you know, basically. So, but you know, it open eyes, you know, and we were, we were just like, what?

When I saw them, you know, from Maude go in direction of that south face, I just said, okay, they're dead, you know, it's never gonna work, you know, and then, you know, it worked full time. So basically we learn, you know, we learn from those coms for sure.

Speaker 1 (21m 46s): I was gonna ask, you know, because you live in the Piran and, and Pierre lives in, in the Piran, how I've always thought that with the ex Alps, you know, the pilots who live in Europe, you know, have a, have a pretty clear advantage because they just, they know it's a complicated place and they know the different systems and the valley winds and everything, and it's, it's really important to have knowledge of a place. But when I look at the pys, it's, it's even in many ways much more complicated.

You know, the, the roads never go in the direction of the route. And so the walking is, it looks really hard, but how important is it for the athletes to have knowledge of what the flying is like there and the fern and, and all that? What do you, what do you think about that? Because it's, it is interesting that you said, you know, Simon and, and Kriegel, they're, they're doing these things that the locals would go, nah, it's, you don't do that.

Speaker 2 (22m 43s): Yeah, I, on one hand is good to know the place. On the other hand, when you know it, you are limited. So that's basically when you open, we, when you get in a place with fresh eyes and you come with your experience from other places, basically, you know, like the, the famous day triggered took off from, that was on day four. He took off from Pygmy in these conditions, we never fly, nobody flies, you know, in France, like we, we are, we don't fly just, I mean Pierre doesn't fly in this conditions regularly.

And what did Kriel, I looked at the track and that's an amazing understanding of what could be wave flying. Okay. But when you learn paragliding in France for the first thing you learn, you know, in the French pur, you don't fly when it's south wind. And then little by little you learn that when the south wind is not too strong, then you can still do things. And maybe the best days that we always light south wind, but then, you know, when the, the wind is that strong, everybody stays home and take care of the tomatoes in his garden, you know, and basically he just amazed us, you know, there.

But that was just, you know, like a certain type of flying in very specific conditions. It's amazing, it's krieger, but what they did, you know, between more lud and our bus for me is something we could do, but we never do because we don't believe it might work in competition. That truth with the, the strong feeling that it's the best thing to do and actually it works.

So that's on, as I said, you know, on one hand, you know, you know, some stuff or regular conditions, but the, when the conditions are not regular, maybe the guys are able to invent something super special. But even in regular condition, because that day was regular conditions, they able to invent new roots that finally, you know, from the dogma we have, everybody has, you know, more or less dogma, you are not really read in your mind to break the dogma and invent this type of solution to get from one place to another one.

Pretty much they stayed on the line, which was, you know, strategically, well when you, in terms of out of flying in the pur, that was kind of super weird. And they stayed on the line, shortest line, you know, from one point to another one. And finally they, they managed to achieve, you know, the, the task to reach the goal. I mean, the place they wanted to reach and following this line was, for me at least, you know, or really amazing. But Pierre, he did another route more classic and finally got to the place, not so long, I wouldn't say what they did was crazily efficient because finally at the end, Pierre got to our bus just a little bit after them.

And at the Pena he had at least, you know, six kilometers, you know, behind. So I wouldn't say what she did was just mega efficient and then they put everybody, you know, back in the wind. But however it worked, and that already is quite amazing. This is basically my opinion.

Speaker 1 (26m 21s): I don't remember menu if it was day five or six, but I was watching in pretty much, that was the day that was supposed to be 70 kilometers an hour wind at the top of the peaks. Really, really, really strong Southwest. And when I, I just got on and watched a few times and, and everyone was on the ground, Maxim and, and Kriegel were quite close to one another. They had kind of taken a different route the night before, but they were pretty close to one another, hiking up in the Alpine.

And then the next time I refreshed Pierre was in the air and, and got way out in front of those guys. I mean, he just, and I was watching his speeds and they were fast, but the, they weren't too crazy, you know, I was seeing a lot of, you know, 55 k an hour, 60 k an hour. So it seemed like it wasn't too rowdy. But was that a scary flight? Was that because the, the forecast that day looked pretty unf flyable, it looked really, really strong and it, I would've thought it would've been pretty scary.

The nice thing is he had a little bit of tailwind and so, but he made a move there that, that was, was incredible. And, and it looked to me like he was in a position that he could win the race, you know, that at the end it was the very, the end of the day, those guys didn't fly the, at the end of the day. And, and Pierre got, got quite a ways out ahead.

Speaker 2 (27m 43s): Yeah, that's, that day was pretty incredible. The strong win day was the day before. In fact, that day where Kriel took off from, from, from p well Pierre also took off and Maxim took off, but Kriel was the first to take off and it was kind of hairy the, the day after, this is the day we did that special move. And I'm so surprised for me it's just, you know, something I don't understand how Crile did not sit for me.

It's maybe, you know, K kriel doesn't make many mistakes, but I think that they did a mistake for sure. And, and for me it was very sure it wouldn't be flyable around 3000 meter because the forecast, as you say, was 60, 70 kilometer per hour. And the situation for forecasting was not truly comfortable because we had two fronts, you know, passing, you know, the first days it was very unstable.

All the models, they were saying something different and we were spending our time to find the good model for, you know, the day x day, you know, have the good model. And I had to use three different models during the race. I didn't use the same model, you know, for the wind and the same model for the instability because you know, one model was better for instability, another one. And it changed, you know, during the race. So that was really a hard work to be on the good model to make the forecast that day I was pretty sure taking the route trigger took, he wouldn't fly and I was pretty sure going to cast, so we would fly.

And I had absolutely no doubt about it because the day before the wind was stronger and one guy of the ex pire, he passed by, which was really late, you know, he passed by Castran and he flew. And I had also report, you know, from the schools in Castran that the conditions were quite strong. But flyable, I would, I would say not flyable for students of the school, but flyable for athletes, you know, and this is basically one guy I sing, I don't remember his name, maybe a Spanish guy or, but he took off, you know, in Castran and he flew a beach, you know, in direction of Southguard, you know, to come back to France at the moment, you know, the leading the lead of the coms was going the other way.

You know, I, he was trying to go to, I would say our bus and the guys that were coming, you know, from back, you know, from peak community. So basically I was pretty sure it would be flyable. But there is a little very special phenomenon that happens in Castran is that when you have Southwest wind in Castran is southeast not for long, you know, as soon as you fly a little bit, then you are again in the southwest flow. But in the lower layer it was super clear in the air grounds that below 2000 meter the wind was not too strong.

And we have also, I would say a wind, wind central, you know, a wind weather station at 2,400 meter, you know, on top of caste. And I had, you know, the history of that station, I was looking at the history, and I know this weather station is eventuary, so when we have south wind, it always, you know, over rate, you know, the wind. And I knew it, it, it, it was flyable for Pierre, you know, the day before. And so that day, even even more liable because the wind was, was forecasted weaker, but at 3000 meter it was super strong for sure.

And when I saw Krieger going in direction of then I said, wow, that's our chance, you know, and at that moment you, it's always so complicated to take the decision because you have Krieger going one way. You have Maxim following another route, but finally the same strategy. And you say to the guys, okay, we'll do something totally different. And then the guys are like, Hey, are you sure? But yeah, we did it, it worked and at the end of the day we had 33 kilometers.

We were, I would say in the morning we were probably five hours, yes, or six, you know, behind Kriel. And at the end of the day we were 33 kilometer in front of him. And, and he worked crazy. I, I measured what he worked at was like from hell, you know, I think he made more than 4,000 meter, you know, positive and maybe 4,500 meter, you know, going down and, and we work just 2000 meter.

So, and the number of kilo not, not even mentioning the numbers of kilo, kilo kilometers. And at the end of the day when Maxim was more or less catching up with him, I watch and he was still climbing at 1000 meter per hour, you know, after all that long walk. I was just like, what the machine, you know? And Pierre was so happy to do all that, you know, flying and validated, you know, the stuff. And we were so happy to have 33 kilometer to be 33 kilometer in the front, but I was pretty sure it wouldn't last much because they were sleeping high.

The Southwest wind was quite strong, I really believe they could take off early and, and fly in our direction kind of far away. But I never imagined they would get to tore Del that high, you know, I really believe maybe they land, you know, at the foot of Tore Del and maybe they have to walk up 1,700 meter, you know, to get to the takeoff. But actually that was crazy because Kri and Maxim, they manage, you know, to saw the mountain, then there is a big valley to pass.

They arrived on the mountain, they managed to climb a little bit. And then if you look with the glide ratio of 12, you know, from that mountain, you arrive at the foot and they arrived almost at the top, you know, and when they arrive at the place, Pierre was finally, they couldn't climb, they had to land and walk. So it was impossible for Pierre to take off early. If he would have taken off early, he would've bombed out. And then you lose everything, you know? So basically I was kind of happy that he landed at the bottom of that mountain the day before.

So he had to walk up the mountain because if he landed at the top, he would've say, okay, I go, I go, I couldn't have get him here. So that was good to have him, you know, walk a while, not to arrive too early on the top. And when you arrive there, he looked at the condition, he said to me, yeah, you know, it's not too good for the moment. And we knew the guys already took off, they were arriving. I said, okay, let's wait and let's fly with them anyways. If we, if we go along, we just take the race to bomb out.

And anyways, they will catch up with us, you know, later. And it was also the problem of the city, the airspace of , you know, which makes you need to go in the back. So if you don't have a minimum of instability and you cannot go, my focus was the instability was would be good around 10, 30, 11. And in fact they managed to escape at 10, but it was like 30 minutes before.

But they managed, you know, to climb just a little bit playing the game, the tree together, they managed to do it one, one pilot alone, on my opinion, even at 10 would've been super complicated to reach, you know, the mountain ranch in the back and keep on going pass by, you know, on door. And finally they nailed the turn point super early. It was, I don't remember, 1230 or something like this. And that was really amazing.

You know, how they managed to fly so fast between to Del and and

Speaker 1 (36m 6s): Manu. What was the, what were the different roles on your team? It sounds like you were in charge of the weather, but you said there was three supporters, is that right? And how, how did you, because the, it sounds like the team came together kind of late and was improvised, you know, I know how much goes in, you know, there's a lot to do when you're supporting an athlete. How, how did you divvy it up? Who was doing what and, and what would you maybe change if you had the opportunity to do it again?

Speaker 2 (36m 33s): What I would, well the, the team was four people in total with Pierre and three people, two guys. They were on the field with him. Okay? The two guys on the field, they were quite strong, you know, in running and, and working in the mountains on the flat also, one was most specialist of flat and the other one is really comfortable, you know, in the mountains, climbing mountains, you know, is quite strong.

And so basically they would switch, you know, all the time. But Pierre barely got alone, you know, to work. They were, you know, all the time, you know, supporting him on the field. And that was good for the mentor of Pierre to have one guy, you know, running with him almost all the time. My job initially was to provide a weather focus in the morning and another one at night. But finally I was in front of my computer from 5:00 AM to midnight because the situation was so complicated, so unstable that it was really important sometimes to update information during the day.

And finally it happened that I was giving also that was also in the deal at the beginning I had to give my opinion on the strategy. So, and at the beginning I was just, you know, giving an overlook and at the end I was a little bit more, I mean present, you know, on the strategy. But what we would change, I think in terms of team, we would just change nothing because that was excellent.

Team Pierre was super ready, physically, the two guys on the fields, they did an incredible job that's Nicola and mature. And finally I didn't do too bad on the strategy and the weather focusing. so we did quite a good job together. Maybe we could just, you know, like there was some communication problem, you know, localization problem we should work on.

And also I just realized talking with some friends of mine like that they have developed a full set of tools, you know, to figure out what is the best way to take, if it's flyable, just glide down or if it's not flyable, you need to walk all the way, you know, blah, blah blah. And so this would have eased clearly my working load and I, I really believe, you know, like we were absolutely not ready, you know, on this type of mother.

And we have a huge progression on this, on this field. But you know, basically at the end you just realize that everything finally comes sometimes just on look, good luck, bad luck, you know, maybe, I don't think when we went to caste, we had luck, I don't believe this, but probably when on day three we decided to choose the east phase and the fact that Pierre managed to climb again, you know, on the Colorado, this was probably luck, you know, when Krieger and Pier together, they cross the sine and they make a low save, ma'am, 80 meter for Pierre.

So this is sometimes, you know, look and you know, talent of course, you know, but sometimes you're grounded and decision, you are a little bit too much on the right, on the left turn you are grounded. And so basically this is it the fact that, you know, at the end, you know, this epic conclusion we had, you know, with, you know, the three guys, you know, and what happened on the Kenny go and everything. So sometimes you know, you put a lot of things you know together and it relies more on being at the right place at the right moment.

And sometimes it's just a question of look, you know, sometimes you are late and you arrive somewhere and proof it works. And so, and you know, that's, but in terms of improvement, we have a large room of improvement on the tools. I believe the team itself was naturally ready and it worked super well, you know, in the field and they had a super good time together. They enjoy it and me be behind my computer. I had also, you know, a kind of fun. So we enjoyed, you know, the adventure.

There is also the point you mentioned before, yeah, you, you asked me how important is it to know, you know, the mountain ranch. In fact, Pierre doesn't know very well the whole mountain ranch when he flies, he always flies from our valley. Of course, you know, a few weeks before the X Pierre, he flew 200 kilometers, you know, I say a triangle, you know, two, 200 K kilometers in the north face of the Piase, which was never done before.

But he didn't do it with the, he did it with the X one, you know, and with his heavy harness, with his comp gear, you know, so basically the place he knows very well is something like from our place, 50 kilometer to the west and let's say 100 kilometer to or 80 kilometer to the well, 50 to the west. And, and I would say something like 100 to the east, but he hardly flies in Spain maybe had a comp, you know, sometimes in Castran, but that's, that was not really a place he knows.

But something he, maybe a room of improvement, I don't know, I should discuss this with him, is fly more maybe with the specific gear he use. I don't know. Dunno, maybe this could help also, but he had very little flying time, air time with his specific air he used, you know, for this comp. He

Speaker 1 (43m 2s): Flew the, he flew the climber. I understand. And then what, what harness did he fly?

Speaker 2 (43m 7s): It was a specific harness from Cortel Pro Harness for this type of com.

Speaker 1 (43m 12s): Yeah, that's what I used in the last Grace as well. That clean your pro and then will, do you think he'll, he'll, does he have his eyes on the X Alps? Will, will that be something he'll do in the future?

Speaker 2 (43m 25s): We have a meeting Monday to make kind of a debrief of the adventure and discuss a little bit those topic and see, you know, what else. I know he loves the pureness discussing at the end of the race with your other guys. Many of them they say the ex Excels is less demanding, you know, like what we did in this xpe, you know? And so I don't know, we'll see.

I think everything is open, but that was, that was tough, you know, the two first days it was super tough and it impacted a lot, you know, the rest of the race, starting with two days where you barely fly, I mean the second day, I mean they just made maybe one glide and that's, that's kind of tough and it's very specific training you must do on, on the flat, on the on, on the, you know, on the road, which I'm not sure Pierre actually did, you know?

And so basically that was kind of tough, but many guys said, okay, you know, X helps you have, you have to start, you know, one hour earlier you have to end, you know, one hour later that finally you always manage to fly somehow and, and it's less, you know, like this one I don't know, but we'll discuss that for sure. Monday.

Speaker 1 (44m 57s): Did you have, you know, on our first show, you and I talked a lot about all the guiding you do and teaching and you've been at this game an awfully long time. Did you find it personally stressful to see what these guys are are flying in and what they're, you know, in, in the weather conditions they're f flying in? And did you find it, I don't know, did is it, is it nerve-wracking to see because it's a totally different kind of, you know, like you said it, they're flying days that normally you go play pool, you know, you're not, you wouldn't be in the air and they're doing it over and over and over again.

I mean it's, it's, it's quite intense.

Speaker 2 (45m 40s): That was extremely stressful for several reason. The first reason is that you give advices and you don't pay yourself the mistakes. And you have in front of your guys that has been training for three or four years and he's review for that. And if you make a mistake is not too good. So this was one first part. The second reason is stressful is that you need to make a mix between decision you would take for the best flying and decision you take to keep a strategic position in, in the race when you have, I would say Maxim, you are playing the game, you know, with Kriger and Maxim, you don't want to make a move where you will see them, you know, fly away and from the third place maybe you end up 10 or whatever.

So you can, as we did, you know, start at the rank, you know, six or seven and end up first, but you can also start at the place of second and end up 10, you know, so basically this is a big stress about that. And then the third point that was really stressful for me, but it's very personal, is that a month before I was helping a friend to fly an incredible BB flight adventure in Peru.

And unfortunately he had an accident and he died. And so I was kind of nervous to, I, I have, I am very, very confident in peer skills, abilities, it's incredible pilot, but I know that in a race, you know, people can take risks that are, you know, different than what they would do, you know, normally because the pressure, because the team, because they want, you know, to achieve something and all my briefings, they were ending the quiz, okay, keep it safe.

So that was like my primary concern, you know, have fun and keep safe. And of course, you know, the flying day at PIC was a little bit borderline on my opinion, you know, for everybody, you know, that flew. But that's my vision, my vision of, with my level of pilot, and of course I'm not in that place. It's difficult, you know, to judge this. But that was actually giving me, of course, you know, a certain level of pressure also.

So three, three reason why I was kind of nervous and on this, on this race and, and I want to say a big hello to Henry that had, you know, this accident in the, in Peru and yeah, that's like that he didn't make any mistake, he just gotten lucky. And so that's also the bad side of gliding.

Speaker 1 (48m 44s): Yeah, of course. And of course we're, you know, we're, we're talking about Antoine's partner in, in Peru and, and then, you know, another very famous exs pilot, Nick Naans very recently had a, had a terrible accident and he was supposed to be in the ex pier. And it, it is something, a part of this sport that just keeps raining down on us, doesn't it? It's not something you can really escape, but Manu, I, I'd love to talk to you, we're gonna talk about the dramatic end while we still have a hopefully decent connection here, but I also wanted to ask you about philosophy of kind of Pierre and what it was like, you know, in seven days you experienced as an athlete a lot of ups and downs and the physical hardship and everything else.

And you know, we have, I've spent quite a bit of time with Kriegel and with Maxim, and they're very different, their approaches. Kriegel is famously very Swiss. He doesn't get too distraught, he stays pretty positive. He always really looks like he's having a lot of fun, you know, Kriegel just always looks like he's having a good time, whereas Maxim can be, and he, he would be the first to admit this, that he's, he can be pretty emotional and you know, he, he gets, gets pretty upset and, and you know, just a little bit more maybe goes to the extremes more.

And I'd love to just hear what's, what's Pierre like, what, what is the kind of the philosophy of the team? Is it very much, is it really serious? Is it really fun? And what do you think in the end works and what worked for your team? Cuz you did incredibly well

Speaker 2 (50m 27s): On, on Pi you know, pier work that way, you know, at the beginning of a project he just, you know, tried to set up where he wants to arrive, you know, and he will just do what he can do, you know, to arrive there. But it, it's, don't, don't forget that it was the first, first try, you know, it was the very first try. We never trained before. We never went, you know, one weekend, you know, together, you know, to train or do something.

The first day they really did something together was the first day of the camp. So basically we were kind of relaxed and as you, you were talking about philosophy, and this is exactly what I was asking regularly to Pierre, you know, like, what is your philosophy? Because basically in every decision you take, you can either say, okay, I am a gambler and I like to try something and maybe become first, or I am, I want to secure my position.

So basically in terms of strategy, it's really like, what, what is your mood? What do you have in mind? And, and during the race, the mood of Pierre could have changed, you know, a couple of time, you know, in this matter. And so I was always asking him before to propose him some options, you know, in what, what was his, his his mood, you know, like, do you want to try something or do you want to secure your position? Therefore, as it was a first comp like this, I don't think Pierre, he, he had a, a goal to arrive, you know, in the, I would say the five ten first guys, you know.

So basically when he realized he was able to play, you know, in this, in this group, you know, of the ten first guys, he was, he was kind of happy. And then when we made, you know, like a couple of interesting move and finally we were really, you know, in the lead then came the questions, you know, about, you know, what do you wanna do with that? You know, do we want to secure your position and or do you wanna try something? And this is exactly finally what, what happened at the end.

You know, at one moment when we arrived close to ou, I had the strong feeling that we had to let Kriel go alone and walk six, seven kilometers, 800 meters, you know, up to take off on the south side of the mountain. And this was at Mont and Mont little bit before, you know, Kenny go, and actually by chance, you know, it happened that Pierre landed at this call and I was like, at that moment I was really focused on, I should tell him to land here and go past this mountain on foot and takeoff on the other side.

I was not sure it was very takeoff, I was not sure, you know, it would get, you know, super good conditions. However, my soundings were telling me they had, you know, like 500 meter or more ceiling and more, you know, instability on the other side of that mountain than going on the north side of, of the Cango. And at that time you are second, you have triggered just a little bit in front, you have Maxim in the back and it's so hard, you know, to take a decision that would be totally different.

And so that was once again the question, you know, what do you wanna do? And at that time, I think you must be super strong to take this type of decision, believe a lot in, in your, in, in yourself, you know, to try that. And that's, that's the whole difficulty of this type of phrase, you know, and you're convinced of something. It's not the same situation. For instance, when Pierre is in Valk in front, you have Kri and Maxim, the guys in the back there are fairly far away and you take another option, you know, that if it works, you beat everybody.

But if you lose, you don't lose that much. And in this situation you are in second, you know that, you know, maybe you are lucky and you finish first and would you take a specific option, you know, when you have kriger in front of you and the terrain is not the terrain of Kriger, it's not like if he's flying in his garden, but you are not flying in your garden either. Meaning Sadine, we hardly go fly there. I mean, I flew there, you know, long time ago, but this is all the memories I have. Pierre doesn't have a tough knowledge, a strong knowledge of this area and specifically, you know, arriving on the can like this.

Usually when you go flying in Sur and you fly your own form, you don't go, you know that direction too much. So basically this was an unknown terrain. The excellent cross-country pilot regularly go to sere and to the sea. It's not, not so often, but we didn't have the knowledge. And so at that moment we decided, you know, to, to follow, to follow Kriel. And then Maxim arrived, I got a little bit better thermal, arrive a little bit higher, you know, on that switch of the Cango.

And he managed to climb, you know, on this ridge, which ends up in a circus that is totally close with the summits at 2,700 meter. And that was like so early he could pass. And then we saw him climb and pass and we are just like, what? And at that moment, K Quigley had such an incredible decision to land in the such a nasty place, climbed like a goat, you know, super fast.

And Pierre did the same, but he landed a little bit lower. It was a little bit more complicated to escape from the place he was. And he, and yeah, that was the move of trigger was like, he is ready to anything, you know, he has the mi hoarse on, he knows what's, what's going on in his back, you know, and as soon as Maxim picked up altitude, then trigger he knew what he had to do, you know, and what he had to do was pr pretty wide and pureed the same.

And, but he did it. And, and, and that's it. And then at that moment probably I would say Maxim got lucky and then a little bit later he got lucky and Kriel got lucky, but finally, you know, what you need is to be little bit in the front at the moment. You cross the finish line. And that's what Kriel managed to do, I would say as usual. But this time maybe had a little bit more entertainment than than other times because Maximo was really hot and Pierre was hot too, you know, so

Speaker 1 (57m 41s): Yeah, that last day was, was just, it was a rollercoaster, right? You know, Pierre started the day off ahead and then Maxim and Kriegel flew together and they, they caught him up, like you said, and, and, and then it just looked like Maxim had it, you know, it was, it was, the race was over, Maxim won and then, and, and suddenly Kriegel flies over his head and flies within three kilometers of the final turn point and wins the race. And the first thing I said to my friend Ben, who supported me in all my races, was, ah, he's so, it's incredible.

He did it again. It's so lucky. And he said, it's not luck, it's Kriegel. And he does this every time. And, and you know, I, as I understood it, he and Maxim were basically flying together and, and he, like you said, he, he stuffed it into this really tough place and climbed up higher into better air and then, and then jumped him in the air. And, but how do you know to do that? How did he, how did he have that in his mind to, I mean were the, were the signs obvious or was this just Kriegel being an eagle?

Speaker 2 (58m 50s): No, he, he didn't really had better air. What happened is that when they arrived on that ridge of the canu, we all knew that would be cool, you know, to get on the little south face and climb there and pass, you know, like Maxim did, Kriger and Pierre, they were in the front, but they never managed. They worked a while, you know, on this ridge to try to get on the south face. And they knew they need, they, they want to do this, you know, as the other option was to fly around the north face of Canu.

And we know it's possible, but it's wrong. And it's oddly because you, you get low, you know, all the time. It's a little bit complicated, tricky. But that was, you know, the, the option if you cannot climb there. So they arrived there, says, try to climb, it doesn't work. So they say, okay, we start to go on the North face at this moment, Maxim arrives just a little bit higher because he had the chance to have a turbo that climbed a little bit higher before arrive on this ridge, and he climbs directly. Boom. And so at that moment, it was quite obvious that if you go on the top of the mountain and you take off and that south face you will climb also.

Okay, so this is for Kriel. That was crystal clear. So this is what he did. He land, you know, in this nasty place, climbed the mountain, 400 meter takeoff in another nasty place and get, you know, two, 2,700 meters, 650, like did the exactly like, did Maxim and pretty much takes the same route like Maxim. It follows Maxim. Then they had to cross a big valley. So this is the valley of Am Le, which the flying site of sere and Maxim got to sere probably, I would say 20 minutes before a krieger or maybe half an hour.

I don't, I cannot be, you know, exact on this. And when Maxim arrive on Cy, he will climb, he climbed on the mountain, reach one five, and he has the goal at 30 kilometer with a light south wind, you know, against his flying into the wind to get to the goal. And so he's a one five and he knows it's not enough, definitely. So he wait, he walk the place, he gets to 1 5, 1 4, 1 5, 1 4, 1 3, 1 3 50.

And at this moment he says, okay, if I wait more, I will end up at 1000 meter, you know, on the mountain. And he goes, trigger arrive later on in the very same place. Okay? He gets a little bit more altitude when, when Maxim went, you know, finally he finds nothing while he find a little bubble, you know, and he just pass, you know, the highway and he's on the ground and Kriel strategically, he knows that he's behind.

So strategically there is no hurry. Pierre is far in the back. He has Maxim in front of him. Mm. If he goes for Glide, maybe for sure, he gets to Maxim, you know, a little bit behind him. And then he has to race like crazy, maybe beat him, you know, on the running. But Maxim is quite good in running too, you know. So basically it's not sure he will get him, so he wait, he wait, he wait. And then at one moment he goes, he has a little bit more altitude than Maxim. Maybe he has like 200 meter more.

And in my opinion, there is a North wind passing. The, the, where you have the highway that is entering, you know, the south face. And when Maximi went a little bit lower, then he got pretty much caught in this north airflow and, and, and, and Kriel, basically he flew above that tube. This is my understanding, and I discussed this with some, some guys that are specialist of the area, and they quite believe this is what happened is that, you know, k trigger for some look on understanding, I don't know of the situation look, because finally he got, he managed, you know, to to, to leave the mountain higher than, than Maxim.

What could have done Maxim. He could have waited there, you know, he could have waited there, you know, and say, okay, I wait, I wait. But the risk is that finally, you know, he doesn't find the turmoil anymore. You know, it was not super active, you know, that moment. And then he's also landed there. So his, his decision and my opinion was not bad. It's difficult to take another decision when you are half an hour in front of the followers and if you don't make it again to your ceiling and you spend already a while, you know, trying to make it, and you are just like, okay, he's not gonna come again.

I go, you know, before it's too late. So this is the decision. Inuk, obviously he was wrong because when Kruger arrived he managed to climb higher and, and finally he passed above the highway and then he found another one. And that was, the game was over. At that moment, Maxim was underground, Krieger wasting right above his head. The life tracking was pretty much fact at that time.

And so it was not so clear. I was looking at the live tracking and I reported to Pierre, Hey, Maxim and Kriel are landed, you know, on the other side of the highway. And then I looked a little bit more carefully and, and Kriel was 600 meter above the head of Maxim. And I said, reported to Pierre, okay, no, no, no, it's not like that, you know, and unfortunately Pierre did the same move. Finally, he climbed to the mountain, he took off on the south face, he managed to climb to 2, 6 50, you know, like the two other guys.

But a little bit later when he got to sere, he couldn't at all climb. So probably, you know, like trigger arrive at the perfect moment where the conditions, they were just perfect. So he could climb a little bit higher than Maxim did. And Pierre never managed to climb at all, you know, so it was just a window. And, and, and that's it, you know, I mean, he, he got there, so, and he managed to climb higher, and then when he passed in the flat, he got another thermal, and then he landed, you know, close to the finish line.

But yeah, for Pierre, there was, we, we had big projects. I have, I had seen, you know, this movement of air turning around, you know, like the, the little cities they have in the flat. And so I say to Pierre, okay, we will go along the mountain, along the Albe, you know, following the mountain before to go to the finish finish line. so we had, we still had some plan, you know, not to finish first, but maybe to finish a con, but it was not possible for Pier to climb again, the conditions.

They were dead at the time he arrived. But that was just, I would say maybe 40 minutes after Kriel something like this. And it was for him just impossible to climb. So that's, well, as I always say to the guys, you know, they fly that fly in my, in my CrossCountry class. Mm. When a guy got lucky all the time, maybe it's not luck, you know, at the, So maybe in our mind, you know, is luck, but maybe for him it's not luck, you know?

I mean he, that's what, what your, your supporter says. It's true. You know, at the end, K Crile won, you know, so basically we can analyze the stuff and say, okay, they went to the same place. Mike team got little bit lower, Pierre couldn't climb and Crile arrive at the moment between them, and he was able to climb higher, and then it happened. Super good for him. But you know, that's, that's, I don't know.

Yeah, I, I have a doubt, you know, about the luck and stuff like this, maxi would've been even a little bit more late doing the same move. Pierre and Keel would've been further, you know, in the North face, and then there would've been probably no way they catch with him, you know? So it's sometime the point of being

Speaker 1 (1h 7m 23s): Crazy timing

Speaker 2 (1h 7m 25s): At the right place at the right moment. When Maxim arrived on Du Canu, he arrived exactly at the right moment, at the right altitude to climb. And the two other guys, they were not exactly at the good altitude and not certainly at the right moment. So my moment, maybe not, but altitude and then for me, I still have this question in my mind, if we had landed at Mountain and if we had walk, you know, one hour to take off, you know, on the other side what would have happened, you know, and so that's always, you know, a question we want, we will never have, you know, the answer because it'll be impossible virtually to repeat the situation.

Speaker 1 (1h 8m 3s): Yeah, those, those questions live with you forever. There's always the what ifs of all the races I've done in the ex ops, there's always in 2015, if I'd only done that in 20 15, 17, I'd only done that. Yeah. It's, that's just part of the, part of the fun and part of the adventure. Well, Manu, thanks for sharing your story. You guys rocked it. It was very impressive and, and you were even out in the lead there for a while. I thought you guys had it, but nice work and big hug to Pierre and looking forward to racing with him here soon, and congratulations.

But thanks for sharing this, this cool adventure you guys had with us.

Speaker 2 (1h 8m 42s): Thank you Gavin for having me on the show, and that was a pleasure to, to share this. And yeah, we are quite happy to have put, you know, some fun in the, in the race and the fact that finally the last day Simon arrived later and, you know, flew, you know, midday, you know, while Pierre was working, put us enough pressure to be super happy to be served because the same thing could, well, I'm not sure, you know, because the south wind was stronger, but we never know, you know, man, Simon could have, you know, passed above the head of Pierre while he was working on the flat.

so we were definitely all the team super happy to be served, you know, on the podium because that was kind of hot, you know, behind.

Speaker 1 (1h 9m 31s): Yeah, that was that. And, and Simon can never be counted out either. He also had a great race, but yeah, for, for rookies going into such a hard event, you guys really crushed it. Very impressive.

Speaker 2 (1h 9m 42s): Thank you so much. Thanks buddy.

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