Episode 191- A Walk (and Fly) down memory lane with Gaspard Petiot

Gaspard stylishly launches the Gaisberg, Day 1 2021 Red Bull X-Alps

Gaspard Petiot is a mountain guide and very accomplished pilot who competed successfully in the Red Bull X-Alps in 2015 (5th, Monaco), 2017 (broken wrist, withdrawn after leading day 6) and 2019 (7th, Monaco) despite having very bad knees. In this episode we rewind the clock as we have done with the others in this X-Alps series and hear the behind-the-scenes stories that the fans didn’t see on live tracking. Gaspard was supported by his brother in all three of his campaigns, also a very accomplished pilot and we delve into what made each of their races so unique and so successful. More fun of what goes down behind the veil! Enjoy!

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Speaker 1 (0s): Hi there everybody. Welcome to the Cloudbase Mayhem. This is your host, Gavin McClurg. We're doing another walk and Fly down memory lane this time with Gaspard Patio. He and I both were rookies in 2015. He competed again in 2017 and 2019, so had three great events in 2017. He was actually leading for a pretty short stint, but he was out in front of Kriegel day six into the race, and then unfortunately broke his wrist.

But as with all the others, there's some great stories here. A lot of laughs, and we had a lot of fun with this one. And a tiny bit of housekeeping in this one is that my book, advanced Paragliding, is now available in an e format. So it's available on Cobo, Google Books, Kindle, and you can get it through exi mag.com/shop. You'll find it there. The book is in three different volumes. They're 10 bucks a piece, so cheaper than the real book, and you can take it with you wherever you go.

You've wanting to read Advanced Paragliding or if you just want to have it on your phone, and then that's the way to do it. Again, exi mag.com/shop. Huge thanks to the cross country team for making this all happen. Please enjoy this walk and Fly down memory lane with Gaspard patio. I think he was France. Oh, so many French. I think he was France too. But anyway, incredible pilot, really fun human being, and we'll enjoy it.


Speaker 2 (1m 52s): Gaspard. Awesome to have you on the show, my friend. It's like we were talking about before we started recording, it's been a minute. I haven't seen you in a while. What's, what have you been up to before we get into the Xop stories? What's life been like since the last I saw you in 2019?

Speaker 3 (2m 7s): Well, it's been, I had more time to do some things. I, I wanted to do some things I wanted to try. I spent a lot of time, three, three years sailing and, and also taking more time with my girls because my, my girls are growing now. They're 11 and 12, so they now they can practice sport with me now. And it's, it's different story, but it's, it's fun.

Speaker 2 (2m 36s): Do they fly?

Speaker 3 (2m 39s): Not alone yet, but we usually, we, we fly the three of us on the tendon and we, we, we do a lot of small adventures like rock climbing and then we take off from the summit or we can cross-country ski and then fly together. We do like smaller adventures altogether. It's

Speaker 2 (3m 0s): Neat. And you did a big trip last year to the States, right? Where all did you go?

Speaker 3 (3m 5s): No, not two years ago, three years ago. I've been to, oh, is it that

Speaker 2 (3m 9s): Long ago now?

Speaker 3 (3m 9s): Geez. Yeah, I went to Canada and ah, I, I've done a great trip over there and I flew a lot, but we also hiked a lot with the girls. We saw a bunch of animals and we traveled. It was really fun.

Speaker 2 (3m 24s): Did you get a van? Did you get kind of an rv?

Speaker 3 (3m 28s): Actually, I wasn't really, not really good at preparing the stuff. I rented a big car, but when I got to the airport they gave me like a sport car, like really like a mustang racing car. So we traveled with this sport car. But it was fun though. We, we, we, we went all the way through Canada with this and we had a bike on it. So on the carbon it was a carbon design, you know, sport car, but we put the bike on it and then a paraglider bag and every, every kind of stuff over it.

It was fun.

Speaker 2 (4m 6s): And the, the sailing, where did you go? Three years? Were you, were you sailing around the world? Were you keeping it more local? What were you doing?

Speaker 3 (4m 14s): When I ended 2019, I was kind of tired. Paragliding was all my life for 10 years and I, I wanted to try some, some sailing. So I have a leg just near my house. So I started competition sailing on a small, a-class keara, like a, like a race, race boat. And then at the same time I had a friend who was sailing like long distance races on the ocean, on and on the Mediterranean.

So I've, I've sailed with him for several races, like a tandem, they're like six or seven days races, long distance. And, and also my brother, a really good paragliding pilot that helped me for the three ubs. He traveled from France to crossing the Atlantics and then back. So I had the opportunity to fly a bit with him.

So I mean, cool. I, I made a lot of sailing and it was fun.

Speaker 2 (5m 27s): This is an interesting thing that so many of us are sailors. What do you think, you know, Damien la was doing a big one this last year with his family. Tom Lado, lado has obviously done a lot of sailing. Paul just bought his boat. He's planning on doing a bunch of sailing with his family and there are others. What do you think the, what do you think the connection there is? There's a lot of, you know, I, I get the kite surfing and the foiling, that's very flowy sport, like peric gliding is, but I, you know, sailing was something I didn't, I got into sailing way before I got into flying.

I, I was a sailor for a long time, but it's an interesting connection.

Speaker 3 (6m 7s): Yes. I think the main connection for, for the four of us that you've sited before is that the main difference between sailing and paragliding is that you can bring your family with you and in a paraglider it's not that easy. Yeah. So it's easy to share an adventure. You can bring a lot of gear. You can go on beautiful places and you can share the idea of of, of traveling with the elements, but together as a family. And that's, that's the main difference, I think.

Speaker 2 (6m 37s): Is this something you'd take on as a, as a big family endeavor in the future? Would you go, you know, offshore or maybe do a circum navigation or, you know, live on a boat for a, a period of time?

Speaker 3 (6m 49s): I guess not, because after three years of sailing, I, I decided to stop a little bit for two main reasons. The first one is that it's very complicated to sale. It's very expensive. It's very, it's a lot of gear, a lot of repairs, a lot of logistic. And I'm not really, I don't really like it, I mean that much. The second reason is that my wife is not really fond of it.

Speaker 2 (7m 21s): That's, yeah,

Speaker 3 (7m 22s): That's a big one. The main problem. So we usually, I, I think we will continue to say like, I know several weeks per year, but I'm not, I don't think we, we will travel long distance, I mean long periods because she's not fond of it, so forget it. She's more, she's more into climbing summits and I mean, light climbing and fast climbing, alpine

Speaker 2 (7m 47s): Climbing. Okay. And you are as well?

Speaker 3 (7m 49s): Yes. Before prior lighting, I was an alpan guide, so I was into rock climbing and mountaineering. And I'm kind of coming back to this because I really like it and my, my, my children loves it too. So we're starting to climb again and ski again, and of course paragliding. But we, we do many things and it's, and that's fun.

Speaker 2 (8m 16s): I, in my mind you are, you're always, you've proven in your three xop campaigns because of your knees, you know, you've got worse knees than I do. And you know, I always, I've always tried to be patient with you on the ground, but there are times when we've been together on the tr not many, you're usually out in front in, in front of me, but where I just, I can't, I gotta leave 'em. I, I can't go that slow. And yet you just do so well in the race. And that's, you know, you've proven your, your flying capability.

You've, you've told me privately that a lot of that's your brother. He's very good at kind of routing you through the sky when he is on the ground and, and kind of helping, helping you out with ideas and stuff, which we'll, we'll talk about. But you're not someone that I see, you know, really chasing the world cups and all that stuff. Where, where does the, is it talent? Is it, is it because you are so dedicated privately, where, where does it come from? And, and that's a hot seat question, but

Speaker 3 (9m 16s): I, I, I think I, it comes from the fact that I didn't have a lot of time to, to train and, and I had, my way of training was a family training. I was always, we usually spend the w the summer with my whole family. And my wife is she, she bikes because she practice three. So in the morning she would bike to a path in the ops, and then we would have lunch with the kids at this path.

And I would have to take off there because I had no choice. I mean, I, the only way to fly was to, to take off on any path. It's not the kind of flying, flying where you're free. So it's, it's really similar to the exhausts in a way that you don't really choose your takeoff and you have a, a really accurate timing to fly because we had to meet at four o'clock for, for switching with the kids at the lake. So you have to take off on a special place and you have to land on a special place at the exact time, so you can go wherever you want.

And sometimes I would go on really ugly places, but I knew I had to come back and on a certain timing, and it taught me this idea of make it whatever happens. And this idea of of of being able to respect a certain timing, and this is really helpful later, it helped me a lot because at the Excel it's exactly the same. You don't really choose the takeoff and you need to be on that exact ridge at this timing because if not, I mean the sun won't be at that time or the, the valley wind will be too strong or, and it, and it's, I think this, this way of flying that taught me day after day this, this timing stuff and this, this and, and it, it also taught me that it's, it's not going fast, going fast.

It's not about pushing, about pushing fast. It's most of the time going fast is about thinking and, and taking time when you need to go up to the turmoil, to the top of the turmoil, because this one is really important and glide really well on that one because this one is really important. But maybe the, the next 40 case, you can push hard because it's, it's not really, I mean it won't, it won't bother, it won't make difference. And then while all this, this, thinking about being at the right time at the bright moment, this is what ha what, what really helpful to me, I think because I'm not, I, I've, I've paraag light, I've, I've also practiced woke paraag lighting just for fun.

But I'm not really good at it because it's about flying with others, flying in groups and, and I'm not really used to it. I really, I'm really used to flying alone on dirty places,

Speaker 2 (12m 23s): Dirty places. I like that. And where, where is home?

Speaker 3 (12m 28s): This is another really important question because I moved, I moved several in several towns lately. And so I had the opportunity to fly on different area and different spots. I, I have lived in the really high mountains. I've lived on the pre-ops, I've lived on the north of the Alps, south of the Alps. So I've, I've met really different kind of style and different kind of conditions and this helps too.

And now I live in ex Liba, which is a town between ani and granola. It's just near Ani on the south part on the lake. And it's, it's, it's a soft kind of flying because it's pre-ops, it's, it's not in the high range.

Speaker 2 (13m 17s): Had you done other hike and Fly races before the 2015 race?

Speaker 3 (13m 21s): Yes. This is a really important question because I learned many things in for the ex ops practicing races before ex ops. I've, I've done a really interesting race that called, that is called, that is a race near Bel. And it helped me understand all the tricks, all mistakes that you can do. And, and, and this is why I, I probably didn't make that much mistakes in the app.


Speaker 2 (13m 55s): You said before we started recording again, before we kind of rewind the clock here, but you said before we started recording that each of your three races, 20 15, 20 17, 20 19, which you had great results in, all three were very different. What did you mean by that?

Speaker 3 (14m 11s): Well, on the first Excels, I was here to, to discover I was here to fly a lot, but I wasn't ex I was not expecting any results. My, on my only goal was to reach Monaco and, and do my, the best I could. It worked really well and we had a tremendous ex experience. But it was about, it was not about race. On the second exam on two 17, it was totally different.

The idea was to be efficient and to fight with the best. So the idea was to fight in the front. And so I was more into, I was more accurate, more prepared. I had a really fast wing and really powerful win win wing. And yes, I was, I had prepared everything to be fighting with the, with the first top leaders.

And since in two 17 I, I ended injured at the end of this race. I didn't know if I would come back. I was like, I was kind of, I knew that's after this race, I couldn't do much better than that. I was, it was hard to, to beat the best of the, of the race. And I came back in two 19 to end this experience with, with a race that would, that I would control, that I would, I would be proud of a race that would bring me to Monaco the last time and in the right way.

And not, I was not, I knew I was not the best pilot, but I wanted to do things properly and I wanted to reach Monaco a last time before saying goodbye to this marvelous adventure.

Speaker 2 (16m 14s): So you knew going into 29, and I remember you telling me this before the race, that that was gonna be your last

Speaker 3 (16m 20s): Yes. I, for me, I was, I, I've never thought about doing exiles more than two or three times because I, I didn't want to to be, I I wanted to be a full-time, a full-time investment. I wanted to be fully into it. And I know that if I, I know myself, if I, if it's the project is really long-time project, probably my level would, would not be strong all the time.

I, I'm not committed, like I have plenty of things that I want to do. My girls need me also for other things. So I knew I had few opportunities and I wanted to, I wanted them to be really, really strong. But still in 2021, it was hard for me not to apply.

Speaker 2 (17m 14s): I imagine, you know, I didn't apply this year and I'm starting to get the, you know, I, I'm curious your girls, if I have the math right, were kind of 4, 5, 6, somewhere right in there for the first one. You know, my little girls five now. And that's, that was a big part of my decision to not compete this year and other things, you know, 50 the races getting, I mean, back in 2015 we could make mistakes and still, you know, be in there with the, with the top guys.

And now I don't find that that's the case. You've just, you gotta be be on and it's, it's a different race. It's just faster, which is great. It's, that's super exciting. But, so, but a big part of it was just the time required. It doesn't sound like, you know, it sounds like you're, you had a more relaxed approach because you had to, it was just practical to spend time with your family. So two questions. It seems like that is maybe approach that really helps. I'm sure it, it would help a lot of people, including myself to be maybe not take it so seriously and be more relaxed as I was in 2015.

Cuz I had no, I I, my only objective there was to not get eliminated. I had no idea, you know, and get to Monaco, of course we all have that objective, but, you know, I didn't have any expectations and I think that's a really good thing. But, so that's one question. And the other question is, how has have things changed for you with your daughters getting older from the 2015 race to the 2019 race as they, as they become, became adolescents? How did that affect your approach?

Speaker 3 (18m 52s): Well, for sure during the races, having the girls was always, it was always inside your head when you take some risks and especially when you fly against the wind. So you have to think about it. And then sometimes you are, you are hang, you are hangry about yourself because you, you, you've taken risky decisions. So, so it's, it's kind of, there's, there's like a voice telling you that this is wrong and you should be careful. And then, so this is a kind of small problem that you have to take, take into account.

When there were small, it was easy to, to sh to, to train, because I could share half day with my wife. She would train in the morning, I would train in the afternoon and would switch like this, and I could spend half day with my girls and it would, I mean, it was okay. And the more they grow, the more they want to do things. I mean, they, they can run, they can hike, they can ski. So they want, they want to share the stop. They wanna do things and you want to share things with them.

I mean, I, I, I enjoy, I really enjoy to spend time skiing and to, to, to train climbing. So for me it was clear that the more the older they, they, they would go the, the, the more time I had to to, to give them. And, and that's why I knew that my, my window for the Excel was quite, quite short.

Speaker 2 (20m 26s): What are your goals now for paragliding?

Speaker 3 (20m 30s): My goal in paragliding, I don't have any goal in paragliding. No, I, I have to say that for three years I almost, I didn't fly. Most didn't fly. I, I, I totally, I made a, a big break and now I've sold my boat and I'm, I'm starting to fly again. But, but I'm not expecting. For now I'm not, I don't have any expectations because I'd have, I've, I have, I don't have that much time.

And maybe later when the girls will go away, I'll probably start again. Probably I have, I'll have some more, some more objective, some more targets, some more objectives. But now it's, it's, it's not, I have some small, like, small ideas, but it's, I, I mean, it's not like huge objectives, but it's not my time. It's, it's their time now. I'm, I'm, I'm here for, for them, for the girls.

Speaker 2 (21m 33s): Good for you. Okay, well, let's go back and relive a little bit For the 2015 race. Each race is dictated by the weather, of course, the 2015 race, the route was the iceberg as it always is down to the dine, which we had an amazing first day. It was very hot, but really good flying. And you and I were out in front as I recall. And, and we made it down to the Kimsey. And then from there we went to Lemos and then down to the Brenta, and then up to the Matterhorn, and then around Mont Blanc and to Anea, we had some fun flying into and out of Anea and then down all the way down to pay down to Monaco.

And 2015 was, was dominated by wind. And we had a lot of heat and big storms early in the season from, you know, heat, lightning and heavy, heavy rain at, at night from just being, being so hot, including in the prologue, which I believe 2015 was the first year there was a prologue and then incredible amount of wind. We, there was a lot of injuries, a lot of accidents, a lot of withdrawals was a very, you know, I think for you and I being rookies, it was a good, you know, wow, this is what this is all about because you, you, you just got used to it and you just kept doing it.

But looking back, there was some, there was a lot of wind, a lot of Lee flying and a lot of pushing into wind. We were, we mostly had westerlies and we were, we were heading west, so some pretty dicey stuff. But you and Antoine and Aaron had an amazing battle for, for fourth down at the end. You were, you were just hanging on to Paul and, and Kriegel as I remember. And, and Sebastian Huber, that was his rookie year. And he really had one, I think he got second, didn't he?

So yeah, th there's a little recap of how the race was, but you and I had some fun together early, and then you got out front and I never saw you again, but I see you smiling. What, what was a highlight from that race and what was maybe something you would've liked to change?

Speaker 3 (23m 48s): The, the highlights for me it's, it's, it's like you say, it's, it's weird because on my memories, I only keep the, the good memories.

Speaker 2 (23m 57s): Isn't that funny? Isn't that funny? That's why we keep doing it.

Speaker 3 (24m 1s): That yes, as you said, the wind was, was really strong. And I remember some landings, really scary landings. I remember one of my worst memory of paragliding was on the, on simple path. I was, I, I was thinking as, as a pilot, that if, if the wind was strong, I would, I could, I could be safe landing on the, on the top of a mountain, I would be safer.

So I went on simple on path, and I made this huge mistake because all the, the, the west wind of the Switzerland would, would go in that path. And, and I was just at the right, really the right or the wrong place. I was on the hill and the wind was just, was just pushing me up the mountain, like, like a soaring, but, but, but not soaring, but going backward. And I was like, oh, I'm gonna jump over the mountain and scratch myself in Italy over there.

And I stayed like, like fighting against this wind for about 30 minutes and wondering where I would end this, this, this, this, this very moment. And, and yes, for me, this, this, this is a really strong souvenir. And this, I, I didn't know what to do. I was pushing the bar and couldn't move. And I was looking, turning my head, I was like, oh, no, please, please, please, I need help.

And I don't know, I had, and this for this fortunate thermal that came and helped me to get out this place and save me. Just this was, yeah, I forgot I had forgotten this, this, this moment. But now that you speak about when I can remember the, the hell I was in. And, and it was, and, and I survived this, I survived this, but it, at this very moment, I was really, really scared.

And I, and I remember that when I landed, I was like, oh, I love to walk. I love to walk. And I walked all the night, all the, all the afternoon I walked and I walked and I could probably fly, fly again this day, but I, I, I was mentally destroyed. So yes, it was a hard race and, and it's, the wind was really strong.

Speaker 2 (26m 33s): I believe that was probably the day if you were pushing into the Syon. That was the day I was back with, with Tom and Fury back getting in, trying to get into Bellona. And that was when Tom went in the tree and had to be helicoptered out. And the German pilot, Michael dropped out of the race. And Toma, I believe that same day was the day that he had the terrible accident. Oh yeah, they never published, they never talked about that. But he, he basically had his face ripped off, landing backwards in really strong wind.

And that might even been the same day. Michael Vici went in the lake

Speaker 3 (27m 8s): Now. No, Michael Richie went to the lake. That was before. Yeah, because we landed,

Speaker 2 (27m 12s): That was the day before

Speaker 3 (27m 13s): When Michael Vici landed in the lake. I landed like 500 meters next to him. So we were, ah, we would, I was almost dying. I was, I was flying backward over a wedding, a wedding feast. And the people saw me like going, like the wind threw me over the wedding, and I landed between two, two buildings in the middle of, of a town. And I, I, I survived this again, I didn't know how, but which, which 500 meters in the front land in the lake.

So yes, I had several memories and, and those, those two were really, really bad. But I had also extraordinary memories. For example, one memory, I was fighting with Aaron and we were trying to find a clue to, to, to cross a special point near, near Lake, lake major, major lake.

I, I don't remember the name of the, the place, but we couldn't, we couldn't reach the place because of the breeze. And we didn't know how to do it. And, and we crossed, we saw a paraglider, like a beginner, a small red wing. And the wind was shouting at me like, and I was like, oh, this guy is really happy to see us coming from the iops. And I tried, I tried to cross this, this valley by using the right side, and then I was totally destroyed on this, this, this my, my, my ID was stupid.

And then when I came back, I could see this paraag glider and he was shouting at me and I could hear the voice later. And he was like, follow me, follow me. And then he showed us, me and Aaron, he showed us the way, I mean, he was like, I don't know, he was like, he had like a beginner wing, but he showed us the way, the way to cross. And Aaron had done exactly the same mistake. And at the end, this, this riddle guy show showed us the way to to cross.

So it's like we had magic memories together with Aron because this, without this guy, I think we could, we would've land maybe 10 Ks before or 20 Ks before.

Speaker 2 (29m 37s): That was down in the Maritimes. That was after an when you're pushing south,

Speaker 3 (29m 40s): I assume? No, no, it was, it was before. It was after Zo. I don't, I don't remember the place before coming back north to, to, to, to reach the Swiss Swiss valley. Ah, we were fighting against the, the breeze coming from Lake Majo major Lake. Ah, okay. And, and we didn't know the place at all. And

Speaker 2 (30m 8s): Ah,

Speaker 3 (30m 8s): Lake Majo. Yeah, lake Majure.

Speaker 2 (30m 11s): Ah, okay, okay, gotcha. That's right. We had St Maritz's as a turn point, didn't we? Yeah, yeah, yeah, exactly. Okay, okay. That makes sense. Okay.

Speaker 3 (30m 17s): And he, and, and, and this guy, I mean, he, he totally changed a race and it, it was fun because he was, he was just a normal guy, and I think he enjoyed it. I mean, to sh to share this with us. It was, it was, it was cool. Cool. Wow, cool memory. But I mean, we have plenty of the, of those memory. I remember fighting with Aaron when we flew over the places I knew really well in, in the French shops. And we would, we would share the flight with Aaron and Antoine for 10 hours in a whole, the whole day together.

We flew over and, and, and it was like magic. We were, we were racing, but it was like a, a family, like a, a friend, a friend flight and a and it was, it was magic.

Speaker 2 (31m 8s): I remember sitting on the pass into the west end of the Shay Valley, and you guys were all heading up to the, I believe you all three were together that morning. Maybe one was slightly up, but the going up to the brenta, you know, the top of the gondola or the tram there, and, and, and getting ready to fly. We had, there was a great day to an and it was, you know, the forecast was for crazy strong North Fern. And I was sitting on the pass, Ferdie didn't even try to fly. He just walked off the pass and walked down into Shaman.

And, but you guys were going up and I kept telling Bruce, you know, they see something that we don't, they're, they're going up to fly. It must be okay. And, and he kept going, I don't know, north Fern and Shaman, and Pasi is fine, but in Shaman it's really dangerous. And, and I kept saying, no, but the, the sky looks okay. I think the forecast is wrong. And it was, it was an amazing day. And, but you, I think if you guys hadn't been there, I also would've walked, but I kept saying they know something that we don't, Bruce, let's just, let's just sit here and watch.

And as soon as you guys took off, I took off and, and it it worked. It was great.

Speaker 3 (32m 13s): Yeah.

Speaker 2 (32m 13s): Sometimes, sometimes the forecasts are scary.

Speaker 3 (32m 15s): Yeah. Sometimes the, sometimes you, you, you don't know that it's, that it's dangerous and you take off and you, and it works. Sometimes it's because you're stupid and you don't have the information that you try it and it works, but, and sometimes you'd better have the information once. It was funny in this race, I was, I was before mad before the Brenda, before Maddi gli, we had a really strong storm. I was before Aaron dti and I, we hiked to, to a, a summit and we wanted to glide and to fly to Maddi gli.

And we were here and we had this terrible storm with really strong winds. I was like, we were at the top and it was windy, and we were waiting and waiting. And then Aaron arrived and with his supporter, and, and it was really, really windy. And his supporter that he's competing this, this year, his, and yeah. And he, and he told Aaron, okay, let take off, I mean, I, I propose you to go down lit 50 meters down, and we take off and we're like, those guys are completely crazy.

And they, they start to go down and we were like, those guys are are going kill themselves. And five minutes later they took off like in, in a tu I mean, it was crazy hell, it was crazy. And, and it worked. I mean, and they, they took off and then they, they directly glided on the Lee side of it. I was like, those guys are crazy. And, and it worked. And the, I I had a lot of French guy that were here to, to watch the race, and they're like, sometimes we spend, they were usual paragliders and they say sometimes we spend two, two hours analyzing the conditions before takeoff.

And those guys, they don't care. They just take off.

Speaker 2 (34m 14s): They go.

Speaker 3 (34m 15s): Yeah.

Speaker 2 (34m 16s): Aaron, I mean Andres obviously with all those acro background is, is an amazing pilot and it's gonna be interesting to watch him in the race. Yeah. And I got to see Aaron this year after his exploits in Pakistan, this, this summer, which were extraordinary. He came and did, you know, we have this three day hike and Fly race here called the, the Global Rescue X, red Rocks. And man, he's operating in a high level. I mean, he's always been fast up mountains, you know, he's really a gazelle up going uphill, you know, has knee problems like you and I do.

And so the flats are not his favorite, but wow, he's moving fast right now. It's just extraordinary. I think he's really preparing well. I think he's gonna be one, one watch, you know, the xop has always been, he's done very well, but for him it's not very well. He, he'd like to, you know, obviously he wants to win. He wants to be up there in the top in the podium, and he's had trouble striking that balance. But he's, I think this year he could be very dangerous.

Speaker 3 (35m 17s): Yeah, he has improved a lot. Yeah. I, I saw him two 15 to 17 to 19, and he has improved a lot of his different skills. So he's gonna be, he's, every, every race is better.

Speaker 2 (35m 31s): Yeah. 2017 was marked by a lot of bad weather. I think it was the first time in the race that no one flew. One day. I know Kriegel said that in 20, the first day we all walked up to the iceberg and it was so wet, I ruined my phone and we all walked off the ge iceberg and walked all day, which again, for you and I as pretty hard to do, that was a hard day. And then it was earmarked by the, the, the second day you had an unreal flight and showed what was possible flying in really strong Fern.

I, you and I have talked about this, I watched, you know, I walked all night, which was a mistake. And then I was in that canyon to the south that you all, you know, Kriegel took a different route there, but you launched on the north side, hopped over the, the spine of the Alps, and I watched gliders coming down that canyon, and I got on the phone with the, the safety officer saying, you better get a helicopter in here. Someone's gonna crash. It was wicked dicey, you know, Ben Wall went in the trees and any, but, but some of you had a, had an amazing day and yeah.

And then at one point, I don't wanna spoil 2017, but at one point you were leading the race, well into the race down at the Garda turn point. You were out in front, and then sadly you had a hard landing. So, but the, the race course was, was longer than it had ever been, I believe, and hopped back and forth across the spine of the Alps more than it had ever had. It was a pretty exciting course, and then a lot of wind at the end. But anyway, that, that race was dictated by storms and thunderstorms and rain and gust fronts and quite a bit of wet weather.

Speaker 3 (37m 20s): Well, for me, this race, it was, it was, it was a perfect race for me. The, the, the first day was, was horrible because I couldn't run on the flat. So I ended, I was the last one on the, at the end of the first day I was pointing at the last position. And it was kind of scary. But I knew that ev that a lot of people were making a mistake because I knew that we'll have, we would have a no wind.

And when you have some north wind, it's always better to be before the spine than after the spine. I mean, because the fan is always stronger when he comes down after the, after the, the, the up. So I knew that it, it, if, if, if I could fly the north wind would, would help me to, to come back. And I, you could that I knew that you sh you could not, I mean, you could probably not take off on the south side because of the, the, this down, this down wind coming down.

So actually taking this day, tanking, taking off on the north side was really calm and sweet. We had really tiny conditions on the, on the north side. And, and the idea was to take as much altitude as I could so that when you, you, when you jump over the, the spine, you, you survive the, you know, the wave going down. And, and I knew that 50 Ks from the spine, maybe I could find some normal conditions.

So I had to survive those 50 Ks downwind. And, and it worked ex it worked. I mean luckily it worked perfectly and I had this incredible flight almost to the, to the turn point of Mangar. So it was incredible. It was an incredible way to, to begin the race, to, to, to start from, from last to second, from last second to second. And yeah, and after that, I, I was into the race and I had, luckily I had this chance that every day was flyable, so I could, I could, you know, play the game because if it's ra with my knee, I couldn't, with rainy day, I cannot really play anything.

So with good flyable conditions, I could play the game and the day and like this, I could reach, I could reach Kriel bit by bit, but I, I reached Kriel because he, he was not on the really good timing. And I was on a good timing and coming into Garda. Yeah. And I reached Kriel, but I reached Kriel getting tired. So that explained maybe part of probably the fact that I got injured.

I, I have never been as good as Kriel and I will probably never been as good as he his, but it was fun to, to I, what I realized in two 17 is that I understood the way he played, the way he, he he, he, he thinks the way he, he reads the, the forecast and I understood I could feel things. And that's, this is, was this is, this was really interesting and, and the main difference between two 15 and two 17 is that I could understand the timing is that at the beginning of the day, I could tell my crew at two 15, I will be there at, at at at three o'clock, I'll be there at five o'clock, I will be there.

I could plan the day and I could, and this changed, changed really a a lot of things because when you can plan the, the time when you will be landing and where you will be landing, then you can, it's easy to, to it's better. It's, it's, it's easy to go to go faster. Because if you were, how did you do that?

Speaker 2 (41m 33s): How, how did you, how were you able to map it so well in your mind, how it would happen?

Speaker 3 (41m 38s): Well, two 15 helped me a lot. And, and, and then af after that, when you fly a lot, which was the case in two 15, I, I, I really flew a lot. I, I also competed to the, to the International World Cup in Brazil and in, so I, I really flew a lot on different style. So I was really confident of, of what I could do. And I, so I could, I was able to say, I can fly 30 K per hour, 25 k per hour today, and I think I can reach here, I will land over there and then I can hike this bus and I will take off over there so I could plan my day.

And this was the main difference. And this is why it, it worked pretty well. But I have to say that the end of this race was really tricky and the bad weather was, was horrible. The, the terrain, I mean, the Italian side at the end of this race was horrible. And I, I have to say that if I didn't break my wrist, I, I could never win the race because it was, the end of the race was too tricky.

Not, not too, not as flyable as, as I needed to, to be, to win, to win or to keep going with Kriel. Do you understand what I'm saying? Yeah,

Speaker 2 (42m 60s): That was, yeah, totally. I mean, and just to remind everybody listening, what what was unusual about that race is what, what typically happens is the, the leaders are often, which is Kriegel will get out in front of the bad weather and, and, and we'll have better weather than those in the back. And in this case, I was in the back early and because of it, that terrible mistake early on. And, and then the weather for the liters actually got worse. It not, you know, going through Garda and all that, it was still pretty good.

But once they got up to kind of the Matterhorn, the, the wind was, you know, on the, on the prognosis was purple. Yeah. Which I, you don't very see that often. And it was, it was walk, you had to walk and they were doing a lot of walking and you know, that was where Kriegel famously got blown outta the mountains going a hundred K an hour and had did the land out in the Italian flats and go around the airspace and yeah, he talks about only making 18 K or something that day and still one, but it was, it was pretty brutal at the end.

And where for us, coming into Garda then and, and, and making the turn and heading west was actually really flyable. It was really nice and, and good conditions. And you could make, you could close the gap. You weren't gonna catch anybody, but you could close the gap, which was nice. And it doesn't happen that often,

Speaker 3 (44m 21s): But it, but it, it, people must understand though that the, during those, those phrases, we, we keep flying, landing, flying, lending and flying lending. And when Kriel does that, he flies, he makes a perfect landing, then he, he takes stuff perfectly and then he flies again. When I do that, I fly, then I literally crash, then I hike up, and then I take off as I can and then I crash again. And then I, so at the end of the day, it's, it's hard for me not to get totally destroyed.

You see, it's not, it's not a perfect crile and I mean K Crile, but you can also say Patrick Von Kennel, for example. Those guys did control whatever they do. It's, it's, it's beautiful to watch. Yes. If you could see us at the, at the back, it's not the same. We we're not that precise.

Speaker 2 (45m 16s): Yeah. My, my highlight reel in the 2021 race was just a series of crashes. I, I basically just crashed my way all the way across the Alps. And I thought at the end I thought, but looking back at it, I thought, you know, it's a good thing I'm a wombat because that's unacceptable. This was not pretty at all. I just kept crashing, you know, I started doing the whole, from watching those guys videos of their whole upwind down, down, you know, or sorry, downwind uphill landings, you know, I started seeing in Maxim doing that in anea, oh, I really need to start practicing that.

And thank God the first 50 I did was in the snow because they weren't landings. They were just crashes. And then I started to try to deploy those in the X Alps and ooh,

Speaker 3 (45m 58s): This is, but I, I mean, I can do that when the conditions are okay, but most of the time I land on the lee side and the wind is, is going down when super strong and I'm, I want to land on the rocky and I know I have to land it here because if not the worst, the, the, the, the race is over. So I have to land it right there and it's rocky and the wind is totally strong and it, it's not land, but I have to do it. So I literally crash. I, I'm not precise enough.

And, and with the, when you're tired, it, it's, I mean, you're, you're not as accurate as when you are Sure. Fully recovered.

Speaker 2 (46m 38s): How did you break your wrist? What happened?

Speaker 3 (46m 40s): Well, that's strange because it wasn't on a crash. It was on a really easy landing for the, this is always what happens when you have an accident. It's always on the easy stuff. But I was landing on a small, in a small hill because I wanted to hike up just a little bit. And on this hill, the, we, you had a small road and a house with a little brick wall, like a one meter wall between the garden of the house and the road. And I was landing really smoothly. And just at the moment, I would probably put my feet on the ground, a huge thermal, blew this hill, and it, and it took my, my left side of the wind, the wing, and it just like bubble like a, I don't know how to call that in English, but like a strong little bomb.

And it's just made me fly a little bit. And I swung onto the wall, but it really smoothly. But the wall is kind of strong and, and I brought my wrist like this. Yeah,

Speaker 2 (47m 45s): Well, I

Speaker 3 (47m 46s): Imagine stupid,

Speaker 2 (47m 47s): I imagine that was the low point of the race or not. Was there, was there something else that was lower?

Speaker 3 (47m 53s): Well, it was a low point. No, I had a low point the day before I was, I, I, it's, it was really strange. I got stuck onto a hill because of the breeze when I was leading the race for about five minutes maybe I took a different option. Kriel took right, and I took left and my option didn't work and I didn't, I didn't, I should have land and start, I mean, and to go up, up and, because we had a great inversion, so I, you had to fly really high and I should have learned to keep high, but I wanted to fight a little more.

And I got stuck on, on a hill inside the breeze. So I, it was impossible to go up again because of the wind blowing everything. And I stayed there for probably two or three hours trying to, to pinch this breeze. And it didn't work for the whole day. So this was probably more annoying than the, than the, than the next day. And the next day, well, it was for sure not really fun, but the first thing I I told myself is, okay man, it's just a wrist.

It's, it's not a back or it's not a, it's, it's not a big deal. So just, okay, keep calm and it's okay.

Speaker 2 (49m 16s): Yeah. Well what a, what a race did we, I, I can't remember, did we, was your highlight the day getting down to, to tit lists that, that second day? Or was there something else that we missed? The real high point from the race

Speaker 3 (49m 30s): Now, the high point, the high points of the race and the, it's the high point of all the exiles for me, it's a marvelous flight from limos to, no, from Kime to limos. And it was a flight against west window, so against the wind. And it was really technical. So it was probably my best flight ever technically. And I could reach Lumos at the end of the day with all the, all my friends, all my family.

And it was like the sunset going, I mean, it was a perfect day and I remember it, I will probably remember it for all my, all my, all my life because it's, it, it was, it had everything, the, the fly against the wind, the, the good vibes with the team, the turn point at the end, the, the fact that we were in going into the timing to reach gr. So we had everything. It was incredible.

Speaker 2 (50m 30s): This was, okay, now I'm starting to remember this. You were in the air, was that the year with, you were in the air with Willie, or was that 2019? I'm getting my, no, that was 2019. Okay, we'll come to that because you made a move in 2019.

Speaker 3 (50m 45s): Yeah, that was

Speaker 2 (50m 46s): 2019. That was unbelievable. That was you, you approached Lamos from the south and Yeah, we'll get to that. Okay, so, okay, so yeah, you're in second place, break your wrist and you were, you were fighting at the front man. We were all, that was, I think the whole world led out a sigh of oh no, that day in 2017 you were having an amazing race. And then, okay, so let's jump to 2019. 2019 was, again, weak.

A very was weak. Yes, I know you, you, you're, you're one of your low lights is gonna be your wing choice. I remember that. But it was, yeah, it was, 2019 was incredibly stable and hot at the end. Unbelievable. We of course had the, oh my gosh, I'm the angle engelberg torn point. The, the only one that Kriegel top, he was the only one that top planted. And you hugged the sign that was a highlight.

Yes, yes. And sorry, before I said titla, before I met tree glove. But yeah, so the Titla turn point was, was incredible. And the middle of the, the beginning of the race was, was great weather. The middle of the race had lots of shade and not many thermals, but we had no fern in that race. We had no wind. And it was by far the easiest conditions I had raced in, in, in all my ex ops campaigns, especially compared to 2021. But it was, you could just go up anywhere and launch and, and it wasn't very, I would say 2019 was not very dangerous.

And it had some, but it had this obscenely hot and God that was miserable where you'd hike, you know, 2000 meters and it would be the exact same temperature at the top as it was in the valley bottom. And there just wasn't a burp of a thermal unless you got really tall. That was when people landed on top of, of Mont Blanc, when now that was going down. And I re recall a couple of your flights being just absurdly awesome down through the Maritimes. You had a really good one with Manuel.

You guys, you guys had a really good day together. And then we just had him on the show and he talked about that being very special. You had an amazing one, kind of a, you were, I don't believe you were much up in the front. You were kind of in the back early.

Speaker 3 (53m 11s): I was in the back

Speaker 2 (53m 13s): Oh yes. Incredible flight. And you went from the back to third going into LA Moose. Do I have that right? Yeah,

Speaker 3 (53m 19s): Well on, on this addition, I, it was really hard for me because I'm probably not the best pilot when it's really weak. And I had a wing that was really small, so it was hard to keep up at the beginning. And I probably made mistakes too. So at the beginning I was really at the back and fortunately we had two good days, one really good day for me from, from SBU near Lamos, near near to, we had to go back to the Do Doby and then back up to Lomas.

And, and I was in the good timing to try another, another option on the west side of, of the, of the, I mean, you had two main, you had two options either on the, on the east side. And so it was an, an option really good for the morning, in the morning and you had this option crossing the, the outsole mountains on the west. And since I was really at the back, I I I, I, I like to try other stuff and it was the perfect timing to try it.

So, and I, I remember I was this, I was with your friend with the American Whaley, and I told him, come on, let's go. And he didn't, he didn't wanna come, he

Speaker 2 (54m 50s): Didn't. And he got stuck there for two days. That was the end of his race in some ways. He, he got shin splints and I said, you were with Gaspard and you left him, you idiot. But you know, just to paint the listener a picture. So when we, you know, I was in pretty good position that day, flying from, we'd gotten Kimsey the night before. I was with Paul and, and a bunch of the guys we were, we flew, we had a beautiful day to get over the spine of the Alps in top landed Chrome plats. I was on the ground for less than five minutes.

Relaunched was heading north up to Margan. So I, I took the traditional route. So that's east of Innsbrook, or sorry, Interlochen. No say Innsbrook. Innsbrook, yeah. And as I was heading north and you all were still heading south, the sky was big. I mean, really big, huge, I mean, lightning, thunder, rain, you know, to our, to our east. I mean, it looked really pretty scary. And that's when you were heading the wrong way.

I mean, you were going, we were going kind of in a sense away from it, although it started getting big everywhere. They were getting it up in Lamo and that, you know, so that to, to do what you did took some cajones. I'm just, in terms of weather, I mean just in term, but you were I guess heading west, which was okay.

Speaker 3 (56m 10s): No, because I landed in, I was just on, just before the storms, I, I landed in complex and it, in the Dolomites it was all dark, and then I could take off again. And, and on the west side I could see that the Cloudbase was really high. And it wasn't that it wasn't really dangerous. I mean, it was not going into storm.

So that's why I chose to go west. And I knew that to cross west I needed 4,000 Cloudbase, so I needed to cross over the, over the glaciers. So I needed a lot of, so it was like a, a gamble, but it was, was to try and, and I had worked a lot of maps and of all the, the, the Innsbrook area, which is really tricky with the, with the Airspaces.

And I knew that I had, I had a way to to, to do it on the west. And it was, yes. And I, and I, and I, I remember I was on the turmoil with Will. I said, okay, that's it. Let's try it, let's go. That's, that's, you know, one, one of my favorite pilots in the Xop, my, one of my, my, my mentor, I would say on my, the best pilot I've, I've ever seen on Xop is, is not probably K Crile. The one I like the most is, is Martin Mueller, which is Swiss pilot.

And what I like with Martin is that he tries, he always tries stuff and even if even sometimes he, he waste a lot of time, but he tries and that's, that's what I told myself. Let's, let's do it. Let's, let's do something else. And it was really fun to try this and, and I had a great time.

Speaker 2 (58m 2s): Yeah. So that's, you took basically the, the beginning of the Ansel Well, the second leg of the Anthos, f a i, where you fly down to Sting and up over the glaciers and into the Solden Valley, and then it's just a straight north run. And once you got there, it was fast, and man, you crunched some kilometers. And I looked at it afterwards and it was quite a short way to go. You also, you know, you didn't have to go all the way around the airspace and make the hard move over the, in valley and, and it really made sense and that, that is a route that, you know, we fly it, it works.

And it was, boy that was beautiful. I mean, you, like you said, to make it over the glaciers, you had to have the base, but otherwise you would've gotten kind of stuck up there. But it was, that was a neat move.

Speaker 3 (58m 46s): But then the next day was tricky because we had to do this turn print on the north side of, of, what's the

Speaker 2 (58m 55s): Davos

Speaker 3 (58m 56s): Now on, on the turn point is the summit, the big summit of, I don't remember the name. And you had to, I had to, oh, the

Speaker 2 (59m 8s): Zoo

Speaker 3 (59m 8s): Spits the zoo pizza. I had to go north of it. So I had a technical viera to climb and then a glide just to put a, a way point on the north side of the zoo pizza. And this was a tricky, was a tricky part. And that

Speaker 2 (59m 22s): That's right. It wasn't just getting to La Moose. You had to get around and you were, so you were coming in from incense the wrong side then, but Exactly, yeah. But you went, you went, you got into third, so you're, you're good at those. In, in 2017 you went from last to second and then the Yeah, these big flights, which is really neat because one of my issues, I guess with the, with the xop since 2015 is the, the distances between the way points they've been, they've added a lot more way points and the distances have gotten shorter.

And so it takes away a lot of that ability to do the Martin Mueller nickname, things like that too. Exactly. He just goes into crazy places or what the hell is Nick doing? And sometimes it works and sometimes it's great, but you've proven that you can still, you know, you can still make those kind of moves, which is really nice to see.

Speaker 3 (1h 0m 10s): Well, that's, that's fun for me. I, I totally agree. I think the more way prints you put the less adventure you can try. But, but that's the way it is. And you have to, you have to do, you have to do the best with the rules. But this 2019 race was, was great because it was all a lot into the mountains. Remember Titlis, climbing up to Titlis was just beautiful.

I mean, just nice for the eyes. And we had this beautiful summer summit over there. We, we, we flew, we slept in the restaurant at the top of Tittle. So I have wonderful memories of high mountaineering. We, we also had a, a, one of my best moments sharing a, a, a glacier traverse with Tom Lado and, and I forgot his name, the German guy,

Speaker 2 (1h 1m 16s): Manuel?

Speaker 3 (1h 1m 17s): No, the other one.

Speaker 2 (1h 1m 18s): Oh, the other one. Lacher. No, no, that

Speaker 3 (1h 1m 20s): Wasn't, wasn't his. I forgot. I didn't. Well, but we had a great time together sharing the, the, I mean the, all the, the crampons traverse over the glacier and finding a takeoff and all this sharing, I, as aspect of the races is great. I mean, we, we've shared many days with, with Tom, I've shared beautiful flight with Manuel. So two 19 was more about sharing and having this, you know, taking all the beauty of this race, the beauty of the, of the, the landscapes, but the beauty of the friendship, the beauty of the flights.

So I ended this race with big smile on my face, just having a great time of paraag lighting. And, and it was more than competing. It, it was, it was, and, and even at the end when we landed on the raft with, we landed all the, all the, I mean all the finishers together. And we had this, this moment on the raft sharing and smiling and, and you know, it was really, really a nice friend friendship experience.

And that, I will remember,

Speaker 2 (1h 2m 38s): Your brother has been part of your team all three events. And he, like I said, a really good pilot. I'm curious, when you're, when you're flying, are you talking to him? Has he given you, are you on the phone together? Has he given you, how much is in your own instinct and your own doing your own thing versus getting help from, from your brother?

Speaker 3 (1h 2m 60s): So in two 15 he could fly with me, so we flew Yeah. Part of it together. But he's always on the van and he's really important because at the beginning of this recording, you said that I, I, we, I told you that I had made races before Excels and we've made the races together. And the only rules we applied together was to always land together and to always do the whole race together, which is quite hard.

But we were really good at it flying as a team. And so I know he, he knows me perfectly and I know him perfectly and it's, and we can understand each other really well. So even if in, if in the van and I have an idea, I can feel the way he answers me. I can feel if my idea is good or if it's, if it's stupid. And sometimes is he calms me down because I'm a bit, I'm a bit dynamic, too much dynamic.

I would say I'm a bit speedy. Gonzalez, French, French. And sometimes he, he calms me down. But yes, when I have an idea and he tells me, okay, I think it's, it's a good idea, then it's, it's, for me, it's easier to, to go fully into my idea. It's easier for me to follow my ideas when I know that, that he can, he confirms that that's a good idea. So maybe sometimes I, I probably can I synergy? Yeah. You probably experienced that you have an idea during the subs and you, you're not sure of you sir.

So probably if a pilot cross your roots, you will probably follow him a bit because you're not quite sure about with, with this asset on my team, I could be sure of what I, of my IDs and trust my IDs to the very hand and not, not be, not follow other pilots.

Speaker 2 (1h 5m 3s): The o one theme for a lot of teams seems to be to have a mountain guide on the team. You are a mountain guide. How important is that aspect?

Speaker 3 (1h 5m 13s): Well, I am a mountain guide and one of my supporters also, one, it's important in a, in a sense that I'm a, I don't care about landing anywhere. I don't care about landing on a glacier. I'm not scared about it. So, and I know a bunch of huts, so I know that I can go up to that hut. It's also easier when on the tactics because I know that I can lend at the very end of the valley and then my crew will come with crampons and we can cross with the crampon.

I can. So that helps a lot. And when we shared this, this crossing with the crampons with satoma and, and I forgot his name, I, I called, I called the, the, the race director to tell them that I, I am an al guide and I will take care. We will, we will take care of the whole group. So I could also help the other guys to cross this. This is was nice for us.

Speaker 2 (1h 6m 15s): Marcus. Marcus Anders.

Speaker 3 (1h 6m 16s): Marcus Anders. Exactly. Yeah. Sorry Marcus.

Speaker 2 (1h 6m 19s): Yeah. Who, who, who, who kind of got injured at the end of the 2019 R race. I don't believe we've done a we're gonna wrap things up here. I know you got a hard out, but you, we, we've talked a lot about the good sides in 2019. You had an am amazing race. Was there a bad, was there a down

Speaker 3 (1h 6m 36s): Yes, I was. I like, I had kind of a nervous breakdown at the middle of the race when, well, I made some bad choice in the middle of the race before Shamini and, and people were coming back and I was, I was in too much maybe into competing at that time. And I was, I was, maybe, I was not really nice. I'm not nice enough with my team.

I was bit of an asshole maybe I could say at that time. So that's, that's was really not the, the best moment of this race. Fortunately, just after that we, we, we calmed down and we focused about, about what was reporting the race and, and things went much better. But I had this, this major breakdown, maybe a lot of, I was really tired and I had a lot, it was the first time that many of my plans were not working as, as, as I expected because I'm really used to fly in the up.

So I'm really used to fly in big conditions, in strong conditions. And this, this year nothing would work. I mean the, it was weak everywhere, even at high altitude. So none of my plan would work the way I would plan them. And, and I had this huge break breakdown in the middle of the race. And fortunately bec thanks to my team and then, and my mom was there too. My, my, my sister, my brother, they all, they all helped me a lot to, to to, to stay confident and come back to, to end this race properly.

Speaker 2 (1h 8m 25s): Yeah. And that, that must have worked really well because I remember watching on live tracking, I was walking in some miserable heat somewhere. I had a pretty hard day getting into to Chai. And you were, you were having an epic flight on the east side from Chai down to St. Haler where you really, you spanked a lot of people in front of you. You made a nice move there. That must been

Speaker 3 (1h 8m 51s): Amazing. I, yeah, it was a nice, a nice gamble again in the middle of the mountains rather than in el pre-ops. Another gamble. It didn't work as well as I thought, but it worked a little bit.

Speaker 2 (1h 9m 7s): Yeah, well you were able to stay high. That was the key. That was the key and you kind of pieced it all together. Okay, final question cause I know you gotta go. How hard was it and what can you teach me about not doing it in 2021?

Speaker 3 (1h 9m 25s): Well, did

Speaker 2 (1h 9m 26s): You watch every second or did you just totally ignore it?

Speaker 3 (1h 9m 29s): To be honest, normally after 2017 I wanted to stop and I came back in two 19 because of my injury on two 17. So it was already like an extra, an extra addition for me. And it was clear that I had to stop and I, I wanted to stop in two 19 because it was hard for the family and it was a lot of commitment. So when we, when we stopped in two 19, it was clear and I wanted to try some other stuff too, so it was easy at the beginning, but for my supporter it wasn't that easy because I, I could, my supporter would just, you know, put my computer on the right page at the right moment, just to be sure.

I wouldn't miss the, the reply, you know, on, on on summer at the end of the summer. But, but it was clear on my, it was clear for me that I had to stop and, and, and I had a great time watching the race on the screen two years ago. Yes, two years ago now. And, and I also helped a lot of people on the phone when they came back to France. I was, you know, congrat I was following Maxim and, and Laurie and many French pilot and congratulate them.

I mean, it was, it was, it was not my time anymore. And I'm really proud to see that those guys are super strong and they're doing super well. So it's, it's normal for me to, to move on and then to do other things. I mean, the, the young Lings are, are strong enough to, and probably they will probably probably win and beat Kruk hopefully at

Speaker 2 (1h 11m 16s): Last. I remember you, you telling me in 2019, which I think was maxim's first year, that, that you really thought Maxim was the, was the biggest threat. Who, who is it, I'm putting you on the spot here, but who's the, who do you think's the biggest threat? We saw Maxim gave him a hell of a run for his money, but Kriegel still just slaughtered it at the end. That was an incredible move.

Speaker 3 (1h 11m 35s): Yeah, last year it's, for me, I didn't, I I don't think Kriegel was far ahead. Kriegel had a lot of luck last year and Maxim could have bit him easily. He bited him several days in a row. So I think if Maxim the problem, if Maxim stays strong in his head, that's his main, it's, that's the main issue. If it stays strong, he's, I think he flies better.

I mean he's, I think he can beat him, but I mean there are plenty of great pilots on the list, so it's gonna be fun to watch. And, and, but for sure when I see, you know, old guys just that were fighting with me in two 15 to 17 and two 19, I'm say, I might just tell myself that I will be nice to, to share the race together, but that's it.

We have to, we have to change, we have to do other things.

Speaker 2 (1h 12m 40s): I agreed, agreed, Gaspard, what a delight. It was great connecting with you. And we miss you buddy, and, and, but love what you're doing with your family and I hope to grab some thermals with you here someday. But thanks a lot, appreciate your time and thanks for coming on the show.

Speaker 3 (1h 12m 57s): Yeah, thank you very much. It's been a pleasure. And hopefully we can travel and see you and see your little girl. How old is she? Two years?

Speaker 2 (1h 13m 6s): Five. She's five and a

Speaker 3 (1h 13m 7s): Half. Five years.

Speaker 2 (1h 13m 8s): What? I know, man. Okay. As you know, it goes fast. Yeah.

Speaker 3 (1h 13m 12s): Okay. She's, hopefully we can meet.

Speaker 2 (1h 13m 15s): That'd be great. That'd be great. See you soon.

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