The gaggle at the PWC in Australia, Feb 2017. Photo Jimmy Huang
We’re bringing you a live show from the road this week at the Argentina Nationals. I sat down with veteran comp pilots JP Robert Vandenbegine (Canada and Belgium), Chin Chien Huang (aka Jimmy from the US), and Francisco Mantaras (Argentina) to discuss the A to Z of comps. These guys collectively have decades of competition experience and we dove into pre-race strategies, how to get a good start, gaggle flying, finding good lines and gliding, safety and cautionary tales, tactics for winning a task vs winning the comp, instrument use, speed bar use, hand position and using the B’s, how to get into comps and why and a whole lot more. We’ve been getting a lot of questions from listeners on comps- this should answer a ton of questions. Enjoy!!
Gavin takes us around the world to the best places to fly month by month
The crew discusses strategies before the race starts and their race background
Fitness and flying
How to get a good start
Gliding and finding good lines
Flying with the B’s
Speed bar use, instrument use, tactics
Comp strategy for the day vs for the week
Mentioned in this episode:
Miguel Gutierrez, Alas Del Hombre, Bill Belcourt, Chris Galli, Cody Mittanck, Francisco Mantaras, Chin Chien Huang, JP Vandenbegine, Gareth Carter, Andre Rainsford, Chrigel Maurer, Yassen Savoy, Luc Armont, Russ Ogden
Speaker 0 00:00 .
Speaker 1 00:16 Hi there everybody. Welcome to another episode of cloud-base mayhem. I'm bringing this to you pretty much live from our Argentina. Uh, I am down here in a place, beautiful place called LA Rio OHA for their nationals. We're kind of midweek, halfway through the comp and I thought it'd be really fun to make it and a lot of questions lately about folks heading off to their first comps. Uh, this winter down in rolled Neal and Mexico and stuff. And so I thought it'd be fun to put some really good comp pilots, uh, on, in a little group or this is the first one. The first time we've done this little group talk about, uh, competition. So we talk about gaggle flying and starts and Headspace and safety and wings and finding good lines and strategy and pretty much a to Z of comp. So I think you're gonna really enjoy this.
Speaker 1 01:01 My, uh, my guests are, they're from all over the world trends, excrement terrace, who's, uh, was, has been on the last two worlds team, eh, for Argentina and a really, really good pilot lives in the States right now. But, um, is doing super well here. I think he's in second or third grade now. Overall, uh, the Canadian, but originally from Belgium, a JP band, a vagina. I don't think I'm saying his last name right. But a JP or real bear. A great dude. Awesome. Pilot's been flying since 1998 then in a lot of comps and uh, and lastly, uh, Taiwanese guy, but also living in the States chin chin long. We had called him Jimmy, uh, and has also been flying comps for a long time. So I had just had sat these guys down and I, you'll hear some traffic noise in the back and you'll hear a lot of bugs where at this hotel we're outside.
Speaker 1 01:54 Um, Francisco was packing a reserve and we were doing this. So there's some noise. We are not in the studio as you can tell the noise behind me, but, um, super fun talk a lot of laughs and you're going to enjoy it. And before we get into it, uh, one of the questions that was asked that I didn't get to on that last, uh, last asked me anything show was, uh, one of our Patrion supporters asked if, if I could lay out like the perfect dream year, if I could go anywhere and, uh, to fly every month of the year, where would I go in a little bit of thoughts behind that. So I've put together a little list here. This is just if I had the year off and, uh, plenty of cash and I just wanted to fly my brains out. And these are the places that I would certainly think about going.
Speaker 1 02:40 So month by month, uh, January, which is actually what I'll be doing this year, is I'd go to via to Bravo, pretty hard to beat by. Uh, the comp scene there is awesome. The flying, there's totally reliable. Uh, food's great. It's cheap. Uh, the pilots are awesome and I'm, Miguel runs the best show on earth in my mind. Um, so that's, that'd be where I would go and actually is where I'm going this January and February. Depends on what you'd want to focus on. But uh, you know, a great place to go is rolled in Neo Colombia for nice soft thermals, great flying, great cloud flying. A lot of people have been down there. There's always lots of lots of cops there at that time of year. I'm going to be down there actually this year for the British nationals, which, and I think the February, February 2nd, but February is still really good month.
Speaker 1 03:25 December, January, February, all really good months enrolled in Neal. Um, I'd also think about going to El hero and in the canaries to practice acro, uh, for that's super reliable and a really nice time to be there. Can also, of course, think about New Zealand, Australia, those are good months to be down in either of those zones. Um, March, I've been hearing really good things about Costa Rica, very reliable, flying 60 a hundred K triangles every day. Um, so that would certainly be on my list. I've never flown down in Costa Rica. That'd be pretty fun. Or you can head down to Brazil and do like by Saguan do or uh, any of the number of amazing sites they've got in that huge country. March can be a really good time down there. Now if NAB comps that time of year down there as well, uh, April I would go to beer in India.
Speaker 1 04:12 Uh, right now is the time to be in beer. India in the fall for total reliability, but April is the time for the really big flights, so there's a lot more down days, still a lot more weather than there is in the fall. Um, but that's when you get a lot more instabilities, a lot colder and get by. You can get way tall and push it way back into the deep Himalaya there that that would be a, that would be pretty fun. That's been on my list for a long time. I've flown a beer a couple of times, but always in the fall, which is much narrower seasoned, but very reliable. That's happening right now. Those of you who are watching X contest, you're seeing flights from there every day. That kind of starts early October and goes through about the 10th of November typically. Um, April at also think about the Alps, some of the lower sites and the ops, the higher sites are still too snowy, but places like Annecy and uh, Naranja and airtime, Alps down South can be really good in April.
Speaker 1 05:04 Um, the last few years they've had big flights for like two or three days in a row, but then, you know, there's also a lot of downtime, but I really like spring flying in, in Europe and it doesn't tend to be a great where I live in sun Valley. But another place you can think about going is like the Sierra has started getting pretty good in April, uh, in out in California in may. Uh, again, the outs I have been completely shut down in may and I've had some of the best flights in my life in may, so pretty hit and miss on the weather. Um, the Sierras are pretty reliably producing that time of year. They can also be pretty bad Mays, kind of tough, you know, around the world, the monsoon season. Um, so may is tricky, but, uh, that, that can be a fantastic time to hit the Sierras.
Speaker 1 05:52 And then as we move into June, but also may, you know, that's when I did the Alaska traverse. Um, I would go back to Alaska and heartbeat. That's the time to be there. Any really Northern areas. So, uh, Norway, Sweden, Scotland, uh, those are, that's the months. Those are the months, may and June to be in any of those places. And you know, for me, Scotland or Alaska, pre heartbeat, uh, July I'd be smack dab home in sun Valley. Um, I used to, I used to, would have said, I used to have said probably August in sun Valley, but these days in the West, in the U S it's just the fire season's vicious. It's getting us every year. It used to be like every 10 years, um, you know, say what you will about climate change, but it's hammering us. And so, uh, it's pretty unbreachable often in August at home these days.
Speaker 1 06:42 So, uh, July is when I had the big fight a bunch of years ago. That tends to be when we get our, our biggest air. Um, and so, you know, you, you have a lot of down days, but pretty much anywhere in the Rockies. Uh, July is a pretty magical month. And, uh, the other one I consider to be the caucuses between the black scene of Caspian CA cross Mount Airbus, ice mountain Europe, and uh, that whole range has been very intriguing for a long time. There's some political stuff going on there and some things are maybe not totally safe, uh, from that side, from that standpoint. But that be certainly a place I would take a look at in August. Uh, I'd be up in Canada up in Pemberton or golden. Uh, there's been some amazing flights going down up there last couple of years. August is getting late, certainly by the end of the month.
Speaker 1 07:31 Um, you're not getting long flights. It starts to get pretty stable, but a terrific time to be up there. Again, if the fires aren't too bad, uh, the other place I would certainly consider as Mongolia, Pakistan, uh, those would be a couple of places that would be pretty magical at that time. At that time of year, September, I kind of struggled with this one. September is amazing month at home, but, uh, the big flights have been that they've seen these things really dry out in the, over the, uh, the Wyoming flats, uh, bill Belcourt and coding tank and Chris galley and all those guys that are based out of, uh, salt Lake had been doing huge flights from a couple of different sites. One porcupine and another lab, they fly right down a freeway, so it's pretty tame. Uh, you could fly it in a lot of wind there and they do some huge distance.
Speaker 1 08:22 If they could make that work in July, uh, they would go a really, really, really long way. But typically it just ODS every day, um, through about and August. So, um, September is proving a really nice, not being grounded and had some big downwinders there. Um, in October, like I said earlier, uh, beer, India is pretty hard to beat. You fly almost every day. Um, fantastic triangles there. And just food. I mean the whole scene. There's terrific. Um, the other one I'd consider courses, the Brazil, which I did last year. Uh, Kesha does the most widely known place, but now they're doing these great toes from Keiko and a hat too. And there's a bunch of sites, but that's of course where the current world record stands, um, from to SEMA, which is a really tough place to make work. Uh, hats off to those guys to make that work.
Speaker 1 09:11 But um, that's a lots of big patients game. You're going to be waiting around a lot to fly out to Simo but uh, more reliably go to Q Shittah or go to Pat two or one of the other sites that's further inland and uh, test your, your heavy wind skills and flying over some pretty pretty rock and terrain. Uh, November Chile or Argentina. Now that I'm down in Argentina for this comp, this place is super cool. I've heard great things as well about Chilay. They've got an a, their nationals are next month in November in Santiago. I've heard great things about that. So I would put those on the list. And then, uh, December, yeah, I mean New Zealand, Australia, you can do the flat land thing over to know what, when and the in the towing that is really hot and a lot of flies. Uh, but they do huge distances.
Speaker 1 09:59 They're also really nice time when the flats aren't working. You can head up into bright and do some cool mountain flying or Hill flying really for Australia. But, uh, and then, uh, a couple of, I guess it was two years ago now, I went down and did a race in Sapulpa tech, which is outside of Guadalajara in Mexico, which is really cool. Surrounded by big volcanoes and they're gonna have a PWC there this year. So, uh, if you're, you know, you're done by a lot and you're looking for a new place in Mexico, that would be a topical list. So there you go. 12 months of a, that'd be a pretty Epic year if you could pull all those off or even just a few. So, uh, those are my recommendations that are many, many more wonderful places to fly, but those are the ones that came to the top of my mind, uh, immediately. And, uh, let's get into it. Here's the show. And please enjoy this, this, uh, talk with some really good comp pilots. Uh, live here in Argentina. Apologize for the sound, but what it is. Enjoy it. Okay. Hey guys, SA thanks for joining me here. We're all in Argentina and I'll do a whole
Speaker 2 11:09 pre thing before this or just going to get right into it. But, uh, why don't you just give me your names and a really brief kind of comp history and that'll give the audience a little bit and know how about who you are in your various accent. Okay, so my accent is typically French probably, but in reality it's a bit Belgium. So my name is . I come from bedroom, I'm flying now for Canada because that's where I live. So I've been flying comms for a very, very long time. I think my first comp was 98 or something. By the time we took pictures, but that was quite, I'm not really added, so I stopped competing and I went back. So, uh, I won two times the Belgian championship and this year am the Canadian champion. So it's quite a quite funny for me to be champion of two countries.
Speaker 2 11:59 Uh, and I, I'm, I'm into, uh, some PWC sometimes, but not that much. I have quite a lot of work, so it's a bit difficult for me to, to manage everything and be able to compete a lot. And so from year to year it depends. And you've been in Quebec. How long now? It's been three year and a half now. And the flying is good there. Yeah, flying is super nice. A few days a year early, but, but it's nice when it flies. Nice. It's nice. And what's JP? JPS stands for a and drawbar. But, uh, my, uh, you know my name? My name is Hubba. Okay. Yeah, we go by JP. JPS. Okay. Yeah, I like it. Uh, I'm used to that too, so. No worries. Well, my name is Jimmy. Uh, my real name is actually honked into, um, uh, originally a main Taiwan and recently, uh, exported to the U S about 30 years ago.
Speaker 2 12:51 So I raced kind of on and off. I was racing really seriously from 2009 to 2012. Had a serious accident, so I kind of stopped for five years. So now I'm just kind of coming back to the racing scene since like 2016 and stuff like that. So I do this more recreationally. I'm not as complex or as a robot here, but just try trying to play the game and learn the sport and having fun and good to have you back. Thank you. Hi there. My name is Francisco. I'm from Argentina and uh, I've been flying for a long time, but, uh, competing not for so long, although my first competition was in 2003, and then the second, maybe it was in 2007 or so. And then I got really into it, uh, about, uh, 2011, I think when I bought my first, uh, comboing I could say.
Speaker 2 13:42 And since then, I've been really engaged with this and I enjoy it. And you've, uh, tell us about your world's experience. Was you, you've been on the world's team for Argentina? Yeah, actually I competed the world's two times already. Would the team have been in the team since then? Uh, that was 2015 the first world I did and then the second one you need to leave in 2017 and it was a great experience. And I'm here in Argentina now competing the national championship to try to stay in there in the team as I need to be ranked within the first four of the country. Yeah. Cool. And, and do you call Argentina still home or is the U S home? You know what, uh, both are home I guess because I work in, in the States and I spend a lot of time, but of course my home originally started in Argentina and the, I think my heart is in Argentina, I should say. Yeah. Cool. He's been cooking us up some insane barbecue. I'll have to redo my house now to make a proper Argentine barbecue. Amazing food. Thank you. I'm glad you like it. It's my pleasure. So let's just stick with you.
Speaker 3 14:52 Uh, Francisco. Um, I wanted to get into, we get a lot of questions about people that are just getting into comps and if you could kind of rewind the clock and you know, and share with us a little bit about what you've learned. Um, let's talk about before you launch, you know, like gear head space, you know, I always talk about, and it's not my thing and Nate scales always says, no schoolboy airs. You know, we had a friend of ours forget his instruments today. Like that's the kind of stuff that, uh, I'm looking for here. Like what are the things that you've learned to be relaxed or kind of get into that right frame of mind? Well, I used to actually
Speaker 4 15:28 even write notes for myself that I should read even a few days before starting new comp in those notes were like, stay away from the, from the party gang, you know, stay away from, from drinking, stay away from, uh,
Speaker 3 15:44 staying up late. I don't seem to succeed, but that's the idea.
Speaker 4 15:53 Yeah. At least, and I was serious about it a few years ago. Now I'm starting to relax a little bit more I guess too, because I learn better and I have more experience. So I guess I don't commit so many mistakes as I used to. Those mistakes I've been erasing mistakes by, you know, maybe writing this note. So I used to need to read them every time now, like I think I assimilated them. So.
Speaker 3 16:19 And do you have any kind of like, um, set routines, you know, that you do every time no matter what? Like do you, do you like the launch early, late? Do you, do you have any kind of set routines with your gear charging instruments? You know, just, yeah, you have my own room. Dean's
Speaker 4 16:36 of charging and controlling my equipment before. Um, I can't really remember exactly right now all the routine because it's already so assimilated that I just do it. But, uh, then in terms of taking off early or late or wait for whatever, I just adapt to the day. If I see that day is going to be strong and fast to go up, I guess I'd take off only not, not, I wouldn't say minutes, but maybe half an hour before the start. That supposedly gives me now STI enough time to, to be at the top. But some days are super slow or, or launches complicated. So those days I try to launch earlier. So I just adapt to each day.
Speaker 5 17:22 Yeah. For me, I kind of have a system, you know, I kind of did the same thing every time. I buckle in the same way so I don't forget something. And then right before I take off, I tend to kind of Pat myself, make sure my Honda's on correctly. I always grab my reserve handles three times a, both sides as to know where it has a little muscle memory thing. Just make sure instruments on, everything's ready because once you're an air you kinda game on. You don't want to kind of make these little mistakes, know something you could have
Speaker 2 17:50 solved on the ground. It's one less thing to worry about. That's kind of my system. Uh, yeah. I have different routines and uh, I can, uh, what about take off first? Uh, usually when I go to a country I never visited. Uh, I would take off quite early because I like to, uh, learn the day, you know, as it goes. So to take off early is good. A good thing. Certainly as you entered the competition to understand how the air will evolve during the day. That's one point. Another thing is I listen to music. So I have two different songs. One song for sleep and one song for a to concentrate just to focus, uh, before the start or before the takeoff. So I would, uh, probably get out of the group, uh, listen to some music, my song just to switch my mind to, to the competition and then, uh, I'm ready to go.
Speaker 2 18:46 How did you identify that song? Is it the same song all the time? Uh, it's always the same and it's a song I use when I'm running and it's a song that has a different beats and some powerful beat, four sprints and I like, you know, adrenaline and sprints. And so that's, that's how the flow comes. Okay. Yeah. You just brought up something. And how do you guys approach, um, fitness with flying with, with a, either competitions, you're just XC flying. Is it, is it something you think about? Is it important? Is it, is it is more and more important? I think today, uh, in the past, uh, for me the most important was, uh, to be able to, to stand long flights. Uh, now I'm okay with that. Of course you need to take care of yourself. So drinking, eating and stuff like that.
Speaker 2 19:33 Uh, uh, but still now, uh, I need to prepare myself before going to the camp. So I do some gym and workouts and stuff like that. Uh, as I say, the food is also very important. Uh, so when you come to a new country, uh, maybe switching from one food to the other can be problematic. So you have to make it quite, uh, slowly and adapt your side. So I always come with my food also from, from home, and try to have always the same kind of, uh, of eating. So I eat rice most of the days or something. Real simple, simple Betsy knowledge not going to make you sick and exactly. Okay. Yeah. Interesting. I'm gonna start this next question off with a story. I was just over in Macedonia for the Nordic opens and you guys probably saw the pretty tragic news and the British opens the British nationals, I think it was the last day they had a midair collision and both the pilots died quite unusual. Um, one was a very experienced pilot, uh, and the other was actually not in the competition, um, but it was free flying and, and you know, obviously they get screwed up in the air. And, um, so super
Speaker 3 20:48 sad. Um, but it was, it was quite interesting. The very, the next comp was being run by the same organizer Goren, who you all know. And uh, and he made a comment that I thought was, was, was really interesting that the, the accidents these days, like, you know, back in the Peter, he, today's in the two line of the initial two liners with the RLM and the 10 and stuff. It was like, you know, we were all just hanging on waiting for the blow up and you just don't see these gliders blowing up anymore. Like the, the places for accidents. Uh, you know, especially in a complex, the one we're in here in Argentina where it's not a PWC, everybody's not on two liners. There's a lot of BS, there's a lot of CS. You know, the turning circumference is different. Um, the knowledge is different, the ability level is different. And he was just ramming like, you know, Hey, the dangerous thing here is the goggles. You know, it's, it's, it's at the start and everybody's together. It's like the most dangerous time in the race. And I, I kinda found some new appreciation for that. So I want to ask you guys about how to gaggle fly, but also, you know, what do you think about that and what do you think about, you know, the, the risk of gaggle flying and dude,
Speaker 2 22:00 for me a destiny, the biggest risk I think when I fly, depending on the guy, good of course. But most of the guy, girl I play with or fly with are totally okay. Uh, it depends on the day. So I've been in some gaggles in, in competition, PWC in France where the gaggle was each individual flying by itself, away from each other. And, uh, so yeah, it depends on the day for sure. But, uh, I think flying mountains and you know, lease side stuff are still maybe more, uh, more what I would say more dangerous for me, I think, uh, because, uh, pushing the bar on the, uh, you know, on the lease sites and stuff like that, we still see Pilar doing it and it's a bit weird. Uh, yep.
Speaker 3 22:50 Yeah. And maybe, maybe I should rephrase that. I wasn't, it wasn't saying it was more dangerous for sure, but that was just a risk that maybe some people were under appreciating and, and, and was really, I think what, what, what caught me was that, uh, you know, I, I've really backed off my aggression in, in, in gaggle, especially at the start, because I, there's no point, it doesn't really seem like, you know, that there's not really any point. And like really tiny, you know, turning tighter than everybody else. Cause at the start it's the start, you know. But the point got a lot of res. There
Speaker 2 23:23 is only one place where you want to be is the correct place and the highest. So still the fight is already on I think. Uh, but you're right. So we have to be aware and I agree with you, but it's the same for when we are flying, uh, little groups, uh, whether in the flats or on the mountains. I mean there's no point risk lives of each other, uh, by a collision or whatever or pushing someone outside of the terminal. The funny thing is about paragliding is one of the sport that you have where you have to cooperate with your competitors. In many other sports, you fight with them and here you need them. So just take care of them. Yeah. Yeah. Well let's, okay, so before we get into gaggle flying, um, let's talk about starts. How do you get a good start? What are you thinking about, you know, how are you trying to maneuver? Um, cause the start is super important. It's been really important here and it and they're so fun. I love stars.
Speaker 5 24:22 Yeah. I think it's, it's really about timing and kind of going back a little bit about gaggle flying a little bit kind of before we move on to the start for me, like it's almost like she, you have to share the space and sometimes when you fly with your friends and if you kind of have a relationship with them, you kind of wave him over, you kind of briefly talk to him or like gesture or just do a little head nod or something like that to kind of like indicate or just look at them to let them know you see them and so they're aware and that's what happens, you know, easy in a tight situation. Let's say you have a slow day, like in Australia this year in PWC at the bright, you know, the takeoff was those really we conditioned, there's only really one or two house or more and you have the entire 150 guys and girls, you know, just circling as high as it can and we're free fliers flying through the gag oil is pretty crazy, but at the same time it's, it works out, you know, it's great, but that's, that's where the fun is, you know, that's fun.
Speaker 5 25:13 The sport, you know, your eyes open and you know, you're, you're just doing it. And for me, timing wise, I just try to just relax to skip to the top. And I think with time and experience, you're gonna kind of figure a way how to kind of position yourself in the right place. And I think that's kind of where the magic, the, the flying is for me. Uh, yeah, I would add something. Is that a, maybe for me, at least the last 15 minutes is some very, are some very important minutes for me. I need to be already at the position there. Uh, it's a no way that led the last 15 minutes. I should be moving from one place
Speaker 2 25:49 or whatever. So you've kind of set your, this is where I'm going to be. I'm going to make this work. Yeah. So when I take off, uh, my, my first aim or objective is to really understand where a, it will well to start with happen and how, uh, there was interesting two days before or yesterday. I don't remember that we were drifting with the wind. So there was a tempo and you do it one, two times and then you know how long it takes to, to drift with the turmoil and to get back to your position. And by the time you have to learn it and to understand how it goes, to be just there at the right moment at the right place. So let's, yeah, let's talk about this. You know, how in all these years you've been flying Francisco, you know, how have you learned to climb better, be at the top, be in the right position for a start? Well, uh, back to the Goggle and, and start, uh, I would say the start is the biggest guy goal of the race.
Speaker 4 26:45 So first of all, in terms of security and safety, uh, you need to recognize whoever is around you. So sometimes, uh, I've been in, uh, like in super final goggles, start goggles or any Goggle actually because it's super final and the worlds are super tight and big goggles. Uh, sometimes it's super aggressive, but you know who you, who you have around and those are so professional pilots that you're not afraid of them at all, but sometimes you're not come like, like this one, uh, where you have different levels, then you really need to recognize what's around you and then you need to be more aware or less aware, depending on your surroundings. And, uh, in terms of me positioning at the top, I don't know what I do. I just, um, you know, I, uh, observation for me is, is, is a big thing. Flying gaggle when you're out of the Goggle, you fly in or your own is all about feeling.
Speaker 4 27:44 But, uh, when you're flying the gaggle is observation. And the minute you miss something, you lose a few spots, a few meters for sure. I think you hit on, the thing I was looking for here is that I, I find that the best pilots are, I always think about like Josh Collin with the swivel head. He sees everything. He's got like 10 eyes, you know, and I think that uh, the lower hours pilots are really locked into what's here and the better pilots are. And sorry, audience can see what I'm doing. I'm talking to like tunnel vision versus, you know, looking at really swirling around and seeing everything. Cause it's all those half a meters. It's the little better client that he's getting and she's getting and you gotta move. Exactly. Just a few meters make, make the difference many times. Yeah. Yeah. Let's, before we move on from gaggle flying that, let's stay that for the stay there for a bit as we move down the course.
Speaker 4 28:35 Um, you know, in the beginning when I first started racing, I could hang with the lead gaggle for like two or three climbs and then inevitably I would lose them. And you know, of course it's just practice, but the question I get all the time is how do I stay with that gaggle? And I don't, I don't know that there's just a, well, here's the answer, but I'd like to hear your answer. It seems like it's just hours in practice, but yeah, yeah, you're saying it is practice. But, um, I guess there's two ways of approaching and catching up with the front gaggle. Maybe not the lead gaggle, but at least the front girl, the guy you have in front of you is, one is under the other one is pretty much the same altitude and the other one is above the safer one is always above and hopefully will be the best one and faster too. Because normally the Thermo, as you go higher, sometimes it gets better. And then flying on how your attitude normally is faster. So is the best way for me. But sometimes there's no other way than just pushing low and uh, counting on luck to try to get the thermal before the big gaggle. Maybe you're low, but you catch it before and hopefully you catch
Speaker 5 29:42 up. So it also, it always depends on the day and the way it's working. In my set of rules of my little notebook, um, have different CIP. I say if the day is low, is slow, always catch up, uh, from above. But if today strong maybe you can catch up from under. Hmm. So it really depends on the day you have to adjust.
Speaker 3 30:06 Yeah. Um, the, uh, this was one of the kind of breakthroughs I had at one point was, you know, when, when we're first learning, we're told you top out every climb. Talk about how that really does not apply in racing.
Speaker 5 30:21 Yeah. Sometime when you actually top off, I mean, depending on what type of glide you're flying, when you top off, he's actually spending too much time climbing because as the thermal reached the top, it actually, Peter is that a little bit, um, there's also no thing when, when the Thermo Ossie flow out, you know, you kind of go through the falls and that could actually take all that time times you spent topping off and you just wasted falling out outside of the thermal zone either side of it. So you have something to say there. JPS. Yeah.
Speaker 2 30:49 Also what matters is the, um, the, the lift, if the lift is very strong, maybe it's best to stay in it, not to leave it. Uh, usually it works like that, that uh, even the leaders, they are pushing a bit and they are leaving too early, some terminals and then you simply stay in and you catch up easily. So it, it really depends on the con the conditions I guess. Um, I wanted to say also that you maybe sometimes you don't have to stay with the gaggle. Uh, I would recommend to stay, uh, as much as you can. But even today I had a strange experience when I, I changed the route. So the delete gaggle where on the mountains I crossed the flats and I was way above everybody and I, I reached, I managed to reach a, and uh, getting in touch with the lead gaggle, but I was above them so I could top them, stay on the same terminal with them. And then it was a kind of easy and relaxing.
Speaker 3 31:43 Yeah. I mean, when you have a good idea, don't be a lemming, I think for sure. Right. Yeah. They know. Don't, don't distress your good ideas cause you can't have them. I think there's, it's easy to get locked into the gaggle mentality, but sometimes you can have a good idea like you did today and it really works out. Yeah. I think the, um, the other thing about gaggle fly-in, it seems like is, is a, you know, if there's, if it's a big gaggle and you're, you're at the bottom of it and everybody goes, you know, taking that time to climb to where they were is pointless. Because if everybody's out in front of you, you can use them like ping pong balls. You can see who's getting the lift and you know, by the end of that next glide, you're gonna have caught up. You know, that I think often you don't really need to top it out if you're at the bottom of the gag
Speaker 2 32:26 at a bottom. I think the, well, you have to be really mentally strong to be at the bottom and it works. So, uh, at some point I remember a competition. I was in a petrol Bernardo, uh, everybody was staying at a mountain. Nobody wanted to go to the next Waypoint on the flat because they thought, Oh, it's too early. And I went, of course, I, it took me a bit of time to find a way, the leaf story, and when I catched it, everybody came. They were above me of course, because I lost a lot of altitude to find this. I literally, so the whole camp passing above me. So I say, okay, I'm not grounded yet, so the task is on and I want the task at the end. So yeah, it was amazing. So it's possible. It's always possible. You never know what will happen, uh, in the next, uh, next moves.
Speaker 5 33:17 I really agree with. Um, are you saying that because you never know, there's just so many variables out there as, and there's so many different factors that affect a day. I mean, the league algo might be low, you know, tactical, kind of calculating where they're going to go, seeing who's around them and kind of keeping their place. And maybe they will let some people go, let them sniff out the thermals and while they kind of keep their, you know, competitors more at Bay, you know, that might let other guys, let's go ahead and just kind of sniff things out, you know. So I think that's kind of another play could do. Just kind of use the every pilots out there to kind of gauge, you know, how the days and stuff like that.
Speaker 4 33:56 Well, the only thing I have to say about that is a, there's two different animals in this, in this sport, the comp of the PWC and the professional where, uh, if you leave the gaggle for sure they're going to win against you. You'll never beat the gaggle. But in this kind of small comps, sometimes the single moves are a really, they really pay off. Like the movie, uh, Robert did today. Uh, we were, we were doing some kind of, uh, Goggle flying and all of a sudden he showed up in the Valley higher than everyone. So that was a single move and he'd worked that in PWC, most likely one work. So there's two different things there that you have to recognize. Let's jump to that then. So talk about what you shouldn't do. What are the things that you've learned all these years that like, okay, I didn't need to learn that lesson again like me the first day, you know, I, I, I made a break too early.
Speaker 4 34:52 I'd do it all the time. Uh, in a great position, was in a really good spot to, to, to win the race. And I broke too early and I didn't stay with you guys. I didn't stay with the gaggle. And it's, it's a lie. It's like Russ Ogun calls a discipline. What I think you're talking about, my huge mistake. Oh, you did? Okay. I did it today. Okay. I was leading the whole calm pretty much today. And at the end I was so in this mental aggressive mode that I kept pushing well when I was actually the highest and I could just Tate above everyone too good. Too good to hit the last turn point and make it go first. And instead I was so pushy today that it just left the Goggle on my own once again and uh, thinking that I was doing good and they'd Gogol behind really went up so high that uh, they got me. So, so globally, that's lack of discipline, is that what you're saying? Absolutely. Because if you find yourself on top of everyone, why was, what's the rush? You leaving that place, you know, just stay there, check it out, breathe. You're not relaxed for a moment and say, what's my position, what's next, how far I'm from goal and should I leave or stay? And then you make your decision now today I just didn't think at all. It just pushed big mistake
Speaker 5 36:16 I think. I think Gavin was trying to uh, kind of refer to a situation. Me and him got into the first day of the comp. We were like super psyched and just we're now in charge of the head and it got super low and kind of vice versa today while me and Francisco's out in front, he's waving at me to go and I kind of left him, kind of went to the flats by himself. So he's kind of getting back at me a little bit for that. But you know, as a, as we said before, the day vary so much. He never know what's going to happen. I mean every move counts. I think the best thing to do, just kind of be aware of the situation around you, the people around you, and just fly the best you can. I think for me personally, just flying comp is really just like challenging yourself because pilots, every PI's is different level, especially at this comp. There's beginner pilots, there's, you know, there's world-class pilots here, et cetera, et cetera. Um, but I think if you just compete with yourself and just try your best and learn from your mistake, I think that's part of the best way for me to kind of approach a situation.
Speaker 4 37:11 And you had a really good, um, you know, a lesson that we all need to be reminded of yesterday. Uh, you came in a little bit lower than me. I, I got out in a dust devil and you were like, yeah, I don't, I don't need to do that.
Speaker 5 37:22 So I'm kind of a little, give a little background with the situation. So basically we just tagged last term form. We're going to the end of speed and um, while we're going to end into speed, I see this giant dust devil and I see, I just, I have a big smile on my face, not because I see Gavin just charging for the same uh, dust devil too. This seems just humongous. It's like probably like I would say, what do we think Gavin Lake? Yeah, it was big. It was big. It was gnarly. It was full of trash everywhere and we're just both getting pulled into it, but Gavin's a little higher. He's, he was actually playing with the desktop already is already kind of getting a little lift while I'm approaching it low and we're over like a housing development with power lines. Not many places land the brushes here, it looks like they're really low, but they're probably three or four feet tall. So while, you know, while both of us approaching this dust devil, I just see Gavin's kind of doing thing. Next thing I see, I see his winter skulls disappears. He's actually going up the thermal sideway, you know, I'm like, is this, is this, is this a good thing to do right now? And is this a smart thing to do? And you know, for me, I have a new baby, you know, I have a new family so I, when my direction approach was there's a power line around it to me, I decided just, Hey,
Speaker 2 38:36 it's better to fly tomorrow then, you know, spend the time, the hospital and just, you know, laugh it out, you know. But Gavin took the thermal bias by the horn and made it a goal and while I was left there and in the hot heat of Argentina, just
Speaker 3 38:50 kicking her in. Listen, no, that's okay. I'm okay with it. You, I know the day. And that's what's really all about in my defense audience. I was quite a bit higher. I think it would have been pretty scary for you to go in finding good lines. Like this is a, this is like a science that I find impossible to teach. But I, I, I would like to get your thoughts on it because it's everything isn't it? I mean, I, I find that most people can climb pretty well with enough hours, you know, but it's finding those good lines. It's gliding that is a,
Speaker 2 39:25 that's the ultimate feeling. Uh, it's really tough to, to teach, to learn. Uh, I, uh, it's w flying comms is a good, uh, it's a good school for that because you see all those lines, especially here, I think pilot where a very disciplined that we spread, we don't stick together and everybody's spreads. And so you can see the different lines and it's, it's really interesting. Well, where
Speaker 3 39:53 that more cause some, some of the listeners might not know what you're talking about cause that that's important.
Speaker 2 39:57 Yeah. So we were in the lead gaggle and instead of having all pilots in one file, one after each other, we were all flying on upfront altogether. Uh, and so we, we cover a large area of, uh, of ground flock of birds like gooses and then, uh, and then, uh, there you can see the difference in the air and glider floating a bit better. You being in a, uh, less, less favorable area and then you of course, you have to react. If you don't react, you, you stick to that and you go down and down and down. So you have to change your, uh, your line when it's appropriate. Keep the line when it's good. Uh, when we talking about lines, we were talking about convergence also. So it's good to understand what's a convergence and how to stay on it. Um, sometimes it's not necessary to turn, you just have to go straight and then you climb, climb, climb, climb.
Speaker 2 40:54 Uh, we've had that like in pit raita or there are some known places for that where you just literally can fly. I don't like 10 Ks. Uh, yeah. And you go at that, at that, it's amazing. Uh, but if you're on the wrong side of the convergence, then you go down, down, down, down. So that's the problem. So flying lines is ya mainly practice, practice, practice, practice and trying to understand. So first thing is of course, to be aware that they are aligned. Uh, most of pilots don't even know that. And once you know, you have to look at birds, look at other pilots and try to understand what's happening, the air and, and feel it. Uh, one thing is also flying with a B helps a lot because when you're flying with the brake lines, uh, you don't feel the air as well as when you're flying with bees.
Speaker 2 41:45 And then you can have some micro information that will eventually lead you to the best, uh, the best line. So, so let's drill down a little bit in technique there. What, what are you doing? How much pressure do you have in your hands? What are you doing with your feet on your speed bar? What are you, what's ideally? Yeah, uh, I would say that, uh, for example, when you were on a end of speed, uh, really pushing for the final glide, uh, it does matter much less. Uh, it's more in the course when you're, uh, so if you're fooled by, you don't feel that much most of the time, so you should probably release a bit the bar and it's working quite a lot. So instead of pushing like mad, trying to find the next term or, uh, there are pilots who are flying slower, but, uh, did just float in the air much better.
Speaker 2 42:37 So at the end of the, of the transition, you arrive even sometimes higher than the other. Uh, I had a, a racing while if it was a cross country, a flight with a Delta, so a hang glider. And it was amazing because the guy was pushing hard and I was, uh, trying to stick to the lines and it was way in front of me but super low. So at the end I arrived and we met again. And so that's how I could catch up with him instead of pushing with him and it would be a nonsense. Huh. That's interesting. Yeah. Very cool. That's funny. Funny and interesting,
Speaker 5 43:14 Jamie. Yeah. For for me. Um, I'm kind of impatient so I kind of wanted to get to point a to point B as fast as I can. And we just mash bar like what? Um, Orbera says it's something you don't feel anything and something you actually might fly through quite a bit of thermals. Like for, for example, like the the last task where we weren't sneaking high and then we thought we could make it the goal, but because we're so like into winning and just kind of making the task that we flew through like five thermals and we all of us dirt it, you know, instead of we could just slow down a little bit, just took a few turns. We would have made it, we were like short by a hundred meter. I mean it's crazy but that's where racing comes in that kind of each of the, like Francisco says, discipline, you know, you've got to have discipline and stuff like that.
Speaker 5 43:58 For me personally, I tend to hold onto the BS quite heavily and I'm, I discover that for me sometime I do kind of put most of my weight on it. But right now try to relax and just kind of pull back like a, like a bow and arrow type of scenario. And to me that for me that helped, that works out for me. Um, speed bar wise, my feets is kind of like assume wishing, constant moving, adjusting the pitch of the glider. Um, we can get a hard hit and you know, you kind of want to release the bar really quick. But when I first started I would release and I would actually make the glider pitch up and slow down and then we step on speed bargain. You kind of lose all that momentum and you kind of use all the potential energy you saved to gain that speed again. So now I'm really good at just, once I hit a bump I let go and push it right back. And sometimes that's actually kind of reaffirming to just like push on that bar and feeling that there's a lot of pressure at the front edge of the wing for me, that's comforting. That's like, Oh there's still air in front of me and things are good.
Speaker 4 44:54 And Jimmy, how did, how did you learn how to do that? Is that just been flying in comps and practicing it or are you actually even going out on like sled or days when it's really mellow and do it a bunch of pendulum flying and you know, is there because it's quite, it's intuitive. After a long time, it's not very intuitive. In the beginning we hit a thermal and we come off our speed bars, the dead wrong thing to do. Yeah.
Speaker 5 45:16 Um, for me, I actually don't have a lot of time on my days off. I work and I'm a full time daddy daycare so I only fly comps and this is kind of where I learn. And I think just kind of over time I discovered that you just have to trust your glider. I mean your glider, today's gathers are so strong nowadays and it's so solid. Used to have to kind of test it, you know, for for, for a long time I would leery just don't step on bar. And I was like, why am I'm coming into these races and finishing so slow at discover the speed bar. Like, wow, that's an amazing tool, man. So as I kept pushing, just pushing lemon, challenging myself, challenging the glider and knowing the limits of the glider, you kind of get a feel what it can handle, what it can't handle. And that's kind of how I discovered it. And um, it works for me. It's cool. You have anything add to that?
Speaker 4 46:01 Uh, well what I can say is, uh, there's two different ways of flying. It's uh, one is uh, trying to stay high and finding amazing lines and stuff. And the other one is, um, you know, chasing goggles and pushing their bar. And the way I do it is, uh, when it's a days is strong. So again, it's, is observation and defining what kind of day you're flying. When I see that the day strong normally go from a to B as fast as possible and just try to hit the next door and go up as fast as I can. But if today's soft and not working so great, maybe I don't push that much far. And actually my bar is super, you know, my, my feet are super sensitive and releasing and pushing just to keep my gladder at 12 o'clock right above my head. Try not to pitch up and down and stuff like that.
Speaker 4 46:55 That's the most important. Now in a shitty day, let's call it or a soft day. But um, again, you know, in a, in a strong day, maybe my technique is to hold onto those, those pieces of wood on the, on the B risers and uh, push hard on the, on my feet and uh, whatever happens to the glider, just manage it with my, with my hands and not with my feet. Sometimes the stays is the opposites, you know, when, when I'm trying to gain a better lines, maybe I play more with my feet, but when I try to just go fast and keep the glider above, I used more of my hands and uh, I find it that it really works with a, with the B risers, you can really pull them and you can be maybe full bar on like today approaching to go.
Speaker 4 47:39 I didn't release bar ever since the last Thermo and uh, in my glare sometimes was searching really bad and you know how bumpy there was today. Right. And uh, I just hold onto those, those uh, be risers and, and control it only with the bead risers. Otherwise I would not catch up. And that way I was able to gain a couple of spots in there and to go. Yeah. You guys talk about instruments a little bit. Are you using it, sticking with speed bar and with speed and glide and climbing and everything, but are you using McCready? Are you using polar curves? Are you, you know, how much are you looking versus how much feel? Well, I don't, I don't use the instrument as I could probably cause those instruments are amazing, but I use my feelings and I look at the glide ratio on the, the speed of going down or up and stuff like that and then try to come up with my, my best glide like that. It's not that I really understand my instrument, I have to say I don't understand it as much as I wish to. You know, some people maybe had Josh gone or some of these guys that are really good with instruments, maybe they do better understanding them and they get more out of them for sure.
Speaker 5 48:58 Yeah. I'm not really instrument guy either. You know I was just recently in Australia and one of the pilots, Gareth there was making fun of my dinosaur instruments that I was using. So again, which are go ahead and tell the audience scorecard Garmin and then 60 35 tech. But for me personally, I just, I actually want to look at two things. I look at a glide ratio. So my glider, I know it flies around average on eight to one if I'm not even getting close to that, I just step on it until I get as close as two possible to eight to one because using, we're not gliding well you pint sink anyway, so you step on, you're trying to get, get out of that sink. And for me that's kind of the way I fly. I just kind of look at an angle and just go with the flow.
Speaker 5 49:38 And do you, are you pretty aggressive about changing your direction of flight when you're in sync? Are you just hammering bar? No, I do. I actually use my B risers or weight shift or just even rolling my ankle a little bit to change the speed bar and actually will turn the glider 15 degrees or so. I don't do the 45 degree turn thing. I just do a little 15 degree here and there and just see if the sink rates going up or down and just kind of finding that fine line and this takes time to kind of figure that out. But sometime you just didn't sink. You just have to power through it, you know?
Speaker 4 50:10 Damn. I'm finding the sink here really strong, uh, and, and like big seams of it, which are obviously the other side of, uh, you know, a really nice cause there were some nice convergence lines and stuff, but I was having more luck today with being a lot more aggressive. Like when we do these big, you know, when you guys, uh,
Speaker 3 50:28 I'm sure you've all done these two, like in Brazil, the big downwinders they do up on the, on the sir towel and Kesha de and that kind of thing. I learned there that you can't, if you just stay in the sink and hammer the speed bar because you're going downwind, you're going to stay in it until the ground, you know, you, you homestead to come like 90 degrees off, which was new for me. You know, the, the whole like it's supposed to be 45 degrees. That's what we learned, you know, but uh, that didn't, that's not enough there I'm finding here. And it's also, is that, are you guys finding the same,
Speaker 4 50:56 uh, when the sink is strong, you do 90 degrees for sure. Yeah. Uh, like I said, if the day is strong, maybe you just pushed a bar and a to be as fast as possible. But especially with a soft day, you better do your 90 degree and find a better, better line for sure. And again, back to observation, you have to really look even behind. And see what the guys are doing behind, because behind they can tell you that they're going better on a, on a line, more to the right or the left. So for sure, but, uh, switching directions, I mean, not switching directions but turning 90 degrees. Sometimes you have to do it because like you're saying, otherwise
Speaker 2 51:35 push all the way to the ground. Sometimes it happens that you have even to go back. I mean what you were at Francisco was talking about pilots climbing on the back. Yeah. If it's climbing and you're on the wrong side of the climb, you should go back maybe sometimes. So if you can, yeah, it's an option.
Speaker 3 51:53 This was a, this was something I also learned from Josh, keeping Josh up, Josh blah. But, um, and I, I see it in Kriegel in the ex ops all the time. He's constantly going back.
Speaker 2 52:04 We're a kind of format. It's a incomes. When I learned comms, people go, go, go, go, go. And it's not good. Sometimes you have to think and pose a beta and look around. And so, uh, pilots have a trick to do on tour from time to time just to look around. That's what I do sometimes just, uh, one tour in zero five or something. When you don't lose a much altitude just to check what's going on around you and go back, uh, back to chorus, uh, talking about the instruments. Uh, we were discussing about the lines a bit earlier. Uh, the end, the discussion, uh, instruments are useful for that also because you can feel the air, uh, when you look at your speed. So if you don't touch the bar, of course you will have, uh, also lines with better speeds or, uh, of course you're very, or you have to look at it.
Speaker 2 52:53 So it types for that. Uh, it certainly helps for a distance to next, uh, next way point. Of course, that's what I'm looking at. Uh, and also what's very important to me is to know how high I am above ground, uh, uh, at goal. So then it gives me the trigger to know, okay, now I can push the bar. I have a bit of a, of a buffer and now I can go through. And so yes, it's important to know some instrument does rain or they, they give you a signal or attitude, audio signal to pre to, to inform you that, okay, now you're on glide to go. You can just push the bar and go. Uh, so it's important to read the instrument, but I share, uh, the thoughts of Francisco and Jimmy that, uh, the most important is of course to look around.
Speaker 2 53:43 So, uh, I had the funny story about that, but is looking at instruments. Uh, it was in the , uh, PWC and we had a this way point, but that the way point was on a, on a small shoulder on the mountain. And I was looking at my instrument and I was really getting close to, to the Waypoint, but at the same time I was getting close to the ground and I was going down smoothly, but gently and, and so a few meters before, uh, the Waypoint, I, I understood that I would never make it. So I turned and because I was watching only my instrument, I was so low that doing my turn, I landed. So I took my glider on my shoulder. I went like really 10 meters up and then it takes away point. I took off from there and I was right. It was fine and glad to go to, I did one final glide and it was on goal, but I wasn't Lindy.
Speaker 3 54:39 That's funny. I love it. Um, that just made me think of something else. The, uh, the first day, um, you, you were on final glide and you bombed out and in Jimmy you did yesterday. We all have, we've all bombed out in many, many, many, many times. Um, is there a common theme? Is there a co, you know, is there, is there a, um, when you, when you're on the ground after those is, is it, is, it is a very often the same thing. Like, shit, this is something I, I really shouldn't do anymore because I, you know, or the, of course it's competition. So you have to play the game anyway. Sorry,
Speaker 2 55:20 I don't want to push, maybe you shouldn't join a competition if you don't want to take some risks, if you don't want to to you know, gamble a bit. Uh, your wailing a bit. I say that. Um, well, uh, the, the cool thing with competition nowadays is that you, you have a a day that you can remove from Euro scoring. So you are allowed to do one mistake in most of the comps. Uh, pushing is part of the game. But, uh, one thing is we mentioned it earlier is getting isolated and maybe sometimes in front you, you, you have this feeling that wow, you can do everything and you know, that's your they, while sometimes it is so the, the most difficult part of it is that you have to recognize it. Sometimes you are on the flow and you can really win the task. And I, I won a few tasks in my career, so, and that's really exciting.
Speaker 2 56:16 That's super nice. Uh, it's a nice reward. So I guess that's why the way we, all, most of the pilots fly. Winning a task is a, it's a real nice experience. But besides that, when you land and when you bond out, uh, the difference between the pilot or amongst the pilots is when you have a strong mental, because you have to have this capacity of get rid of that and you know, a raise the board and okay, next day is a new new start and let's move on. Uh, it's difficult. It was difficult yesterday for Jimmy. It was difficult for me the first day we were drinking a lot of beers to forget that, but, uh, it worked
Speaker 3 56:58 right? Jimmy, before we, uh, B I, I want, want to make, maintain that, uh, line of thought for a second. He was talking about, um, going back and one of the things that I've personally learned is that, you know, it, it often seems like the distance to go back is like, Oh my God, you know, I never did it for a while. And now every time I do do it, you're immediately with them. Like the penalty is, is, is zero. I find that the race is never, it's potentially one there. But where I tend to, I think is the penalties higher for when you're turning in crap. You know? Like if it's an obvious climb that's behind you, it seems like it's, the reward is always there to go get them, even though it seems like it's the wrong way. And if you have experience with that. Yeah.
Speaker 5 57:43 All right. I mean, I deal with that all the time because you keep wanting to push forward and you don't want to backtrack and waste time. But at the same time is once you're on the ground, you're on the ground, you're not playing the game anymore. So you kind of have to remind yourself that every time that turning back is a good thing, it's okay to turn back. It's okay to apologize to the Thermo gods, you know, like go back and get a climb regather yourself. And then again, the race is long. You know? It can be very beginning of the day and if you're already low, why not may maybe towards anyone racing. Yeah, take, take some risks here and there. But on that the moral cycle is really a hindering this little answering session, but
Speaker 3 58:22 we've got some very Argentine and sounds in the backgrounds were thrown there. Yeah.
Speaker 2 58:27 Uh, one thing though is, uh, if you remember how, how you went outside the, the last turmoil is also something to keep in mind because if it's, if there was a, you were on the lease side and it was a big sink after the terminal, then it might be not a good option to go back to it. Uh, so it, it really depends. But uh, if there are strong tomos and you know that you're not on the East side of the terminal and that you will be able to catch up when you turn back, then yes, you have to consider, uh, going back to the, to the gaggle. Uh, but for that you have to, the maybe one of the main team is here to be aware of the surroundings. So of course if you push like mad and after 10 minutes you realize that, Oh, maybe I should go back. I will have a look. It's too late. Yeah. So once you leave a terminal and you know that there are people still in the, you should check
Speaker 5 59:22 whether the wing and sometimes they will hit the core at the right moment. You leaving the terminal and then you're definitely not in a good position. So you should go back immediately. So it depends. Yeah, sure. The main thing is be aware of what happens in the, around you and then the surroundings.
Speaker 3 59:39 So we've got a, we've got a, a dinner to go to so I want to be mindful of our time. But uh, one more question then I'm going to ask you guys all so you can plant this as we're talking, but uh, your like your most exciting, cool comp story. But before we get to that, how do you guys approach the overall strategy for the week? Cause you know, we, we now that we have FTV which is super cool and allows us to push a lot harder. Um, you know, Francisco, this is an important con for you. I know you're taking it pretty seriously cause it means, you know, defending your position for the world's team. Rewind to the before the first day, how, how would you generally approach day one versus day three versus the last day? And obviously that depends on where your position is, but talk about just kind of overall strategy. Well,
Speaker 4 00:27 see, I'm bad for this. I'm not a strategic guy, I guess. Um, I'm the guy that pushes everyday, pretty much tried to do my best every day. And uh, I know we have a day that we can discard if we make a mistake. Uh, but you should never count on that day, but just try to do your best every day. And uh, if one day doesn't work, then you can discard it at the same time. That means that you can push it, you can push and maybe you missed, you're mistaken by pushing, but that gives you the opportunity to do it and discarded if you, if you didn't make it. So I guess, uh, trying the best everyday is my only my only pleasure. Yeah. Yup. And uh, again, you know, it's like you count on that. So I think, uh, you can push every day pretty much.
Speaker 3 01:17 Would that, would that change for you at all? Say if you were going into the last day and you were in the lead or you were say securely in second or third, would you, would you be more conservative?
Speaker 4 01:27 Well, it always depends on what type of tasks you did before for sure. So if you're comfortable, you, you have at least five good tasks, uh, you can either push it to try to win and another one, or you can relax and try to just, uh, give, uh, uh, put, put in a, another good task in your list and uh, and just be safe. But, uh, uh, you just heard me, you know, you can push it again. I said, I think, uh, my, my technique is just to push it every day pretty much. Cool.
Speaker 5 01:59 For me, I just kind of approached this as a learning experience in some kind of new, at this again, and for me every day I just trying to learn as much as I can and just kind of get a good feel. I think the best advice ever kind of got worse. Just basically just fly. And then let your body do its natural thing. It's kind of trying to get into a flow. So once you're flying the pair of glove without thinking about it, you're using a brain power to looking at observing what's around you. The birds are doing what the wind's doing. You kind of kind of just get a bigger picture of the situation. I find that really helps for me. For me, safety is number one. You know, I always conserve safety's number one and um, I'd rather land than not fly another day. That's kind of my approach to that situation.
Speaker 3 02:42 Yeah. And when dig into that, just specifically with you, because you, you, and, and maybe compare this to pre accident post cause you were telling some stories the other night about how aggressive you were when you first got into it. You were flying like calm gliders day three and you know, just like you were just full on and then, and um, did the accident, was it literally that that changed it because now you're like, I don't give a shit if I bomb out. Gonna have a good time.
Speaker 5 03:06 It was pretty funny. I actually, when I started paragliding, I got invited to by my friend Paul Donna down to Vida Bravo and I have never flown thermals. He just basically told me to go learn at this coastal soaring site. And then next week meet me at . And then literally like I showed up the week before the 2009 world championship, I saw like all these cool pilots like Lisa , like putting in the French flag on their advanced gliders and these things are so bitch and just going out there flying with them, it's like, wow, you could circle on this stuff. They'll do like 6,000 feet. This is awesome. You know, I came back just, or the wrong size glider or to attic too small, you know, a pod and everything. I was bitching and sign up every single race as possible, discharging learning as much as I could.
Speaker 5 03:51 And literally from 2009 to 2010 I got a wildcard at Chalan workup and I remember meeting Andre Ransford from South Africa and he basically kind of just told me straight up like, Hey, your demographic is most likely get hurt. I guess you just charge and you don't care, you know, you most likely going to get hurt literally within three days through my reserve. So that always stuck to my head and every time I do something stupid, I always kind of have that thought in my head. Um, so yeah, you just have to time and patients, you know, like when I jumped up class, my rules was basically when the class three times before I went up a class and that's what I did. Sorry, one score class three times, one zero class three times. And then when the time I jumped up, that's when the end zone one came out.
Speaker 5 04:38 And that was, I think it was too big a jump for me. I wish I hadn't jumped on something like an ice peak six, something like that. More mellow and then maybe that would have prevented a lot accidents, you know? And I think I, you know, that's lack of experience. Not because the gliders badges, I didn't, I didn't, you just weren't ready. I just wasn't ready for it. And then that took a long time. I mean, it was stupid for us to go fly Owens Valley and Midsummer, first of all, you know, that's how the accident happened. And um, after that, it took a while for me to kind of get back to the sport, you know? And once I'm back, it's, it's kinda like riding a bicycle again. You kind of rediscover the fun of, you know, traveling to foreign places and meeting all your old friends, like seeing Francisco in his home country and checking things out and seeing Gavin and Roberto, you know, like different parts.
Speaker 5 05:23 And it's funny like once you come these copies see the same guys over and over again. It's kind of like reunion in certain ways. And another cool thing about comps is like, you know, you kind of go to places that normally you don't, tourist don't go to no less travel locations and really get to know the people and experience the lifestyles and stuff like that. And I really highly recommend any pilots from any, you know, levels to do comps because I think it's great. I mean, you pay here, how much do we pay for the conflict? Like one 50, whatever. It doesn't matter. It's a very small amount. You get to Pfeiffer's seven days, what meteorological background gives have pilots to talk to, share ideas and just chit chat and just have a good time and learn. I mean that's a great value. You get, you know, minus the expenses of coming here. So JP, what about you? Do you have a kind of a, an overall strategy or do you have, because you've been racing a long time, would you say 92, 90, 90, 98. Do you have kind of a, um, you know, a strategy that that seems to work? Ah,
Speaker 2 06:24 I would say I'm still learning. First of all, I came here was affirming sanction not to use my a discount day. So I did it on the first day. I still have lots of things to do. I knew it. I shouldn't, but anyway, uh, uh, yeah, no, it's just, I mean I, it's a long process. I think. Um, it's also a question of mental. So I realized a few years ago that, uh, it's if you want to win a comp, it's a, there is a different thing between winning tasks and winning comps. And I think those are two different kinds of persons. Uh, all three around the table, we might be more the kind of winning tasks person instead of winning coms. Um, I've seen a lot of people winning comps without winning any task in their entire life. Uh, and it's a different, uh, way of flying.
Speaker 2 07:18 So we didn't mention it today, but, uh, yeah, if you, if you want to win a comm, uh, you have to fly a bit more conservative and there is a way of doing it. Uh, the French have a very good strategy for that. Uh, it's just to put you in the position where you can kind of be dominant and, uh, uh, wait and see what, what's going on and see what are the best opportunities and follow the best ones. Uh, it happens here. Also, we can also detect the pilots were acting or behaving like that. Uh, I wish I would do so when I want to win a calm, which I am on the way to that. Uh, but I'm still more excited about winning a, a task, uh, so far. Yeah, it's fun. It's a lot of fun.
Speaker 5 08:05 JP, keep the mic. Um, can you regale us with, uh, the, the, the, the, the comp story that comes to mind. It could be the most exciting or the most crazy
Speaker 3 08:16 or it doesn't have to be you either. It could be something you saw.
Speaker 2 08:18 Oh yeah. I've been in many, many comps. I have had many stories. I remembered that British open in Santo Andre. Uh, I was talking to Calvo by the time it was was the mid director and, uh, I was announcing all these pilot troll reserve and et cetera. And the funny thing is, next morning he explained to the people, uh, at the meeting, yeah. Uh, announced many reserve. And the last one was in cell phones or the reserve was calling me and saying, well, I'm under the results. So they were, that day there were seven reserve I would say. Now we've had some sad stories. I was in with my family in 2011. And then my kids asking me, why are you doing that sport? I say, why are you asking the question while you could die? And then, yeah, you have this kind of, um, of, uh, feelings.
Speaker 2 09:08 Uh, we, we did this Epic flight in Chelan, which I was lucky enough to be first on, uh, on goal when we did it, the 224 a case. It was super funny. Uh, yeah, so I would say that, uh, it's, it's real adventure. Uh, flying comps is, uh, uh, meeting people is, uh, also, um, living incredibly incredible stories that when you land, you have so many images in your head. So many things to say that it's just impossible to share with anybody but bylaws. And, uh, I have very often the feeling that when I ended up a comp, I, I come back home with a real full adventure. And so yeah, it made my, uh, my day or my holidays. Cool.
Speaker 3 10:06 Jimmy before you tell yours, I'll, uh, it were any of you guys at the super final with the fire flying and Columbia in 2000. It was 2012, but it was 2013. So we were, I don't remember what day it was, but it was the, it was my first year of comps and I got quite lucky cause the PWC was in sun Valley that you're in. And they got really lucky there. And so I made it the super final and uh, and I was just getting trashed at the super final. It was very humbling. But, uh, the, uh, we had the, they, they light the sugarcane on fire and rule the Neo, those of you who've been there, you've seen all these and uh, some of them can get really big and these huge columns and it was quite a stable, slow day. And the lead gaggle was, was trying very hard to get into goal and they, and uh, Kriegel was there and Yassin and uh, and a few of them flew into the column and uh, and Kriegel later posted is his instrument and it was a 20 meter climb and you, Austin went in to this thing like 50 feet off the ground.
Speaker 3 11:06 So Kriegel went in way high and just Kriegel that he went in, lost his glider, full stalled, got his glider back, lost his glider again, full stalled Matt beach and was just circling on the outside of this column and he was that black, you know, it was just a column of black and farmer was like, I'm not going in there. And he just washed just one guy after another go into this thing. It just explode. But you, Austin went in right off the ground and it took them 2000 feet above the top of the column. Like just straight up it, his glider exploded right away. He never got it back together. It twisted up like a rope. He said he definitely had like more than 20 twists. It was literally just a rope over his head and uh, and he went to throw his reserve and he thought, Oh no, no, I can't throw it yet cause I'll land in the fire. So he went to, he just wrote it all the way to the top and you came out the top of the thing and went, okay, now I can throw.
Speaker 3 11:57 Anyway, that was my very Rick club story. But do you have a favorite favorite cop story? Just one thing to add. Uh, the, the January communities. So we had them pyro communities. Totally. This one. Yeah. This one was big. It wasn't a little one. And uh, Luke Armand got up there the next day and uh, and gave a very heartfelt, I don't want to ever see anybody do that again. No, I think you've watched next year there was a, um, a pedometer circling the fires to prevent us to go inside the wow. They set up safety. Yeah. It wasn't you, you set up Jimmy, you got a favorite comp story.
Speaker 5 12:41 Yeah. It's, it's more like a like experience, you know, like when you start the sport you kind of have this dream of doing something amazing and stuff. But you know, to be serious, you know, like this is like ESPN Osho stuff, you know, like not to, not to make fun of the sport or anything, but it's just like, it's such a new growing sport. I kind of described this as like the sport to me kind of reminds me of like in the 70s now where guys are loading up their modal socks and bands and just kinda beg a bombing and just trying their hearts out and there's no money involved. People really do this for their passion and they just truly love the sport. That's what really like about this sport. You know? That's what really kind of drives me and you just get to see people from around the world and get to visit them and stuff. I mean, to me that's kind of the neatest thing. I mean, winning tasks is great and now when your comp is good, but I think just kind of hang out with friends. It's like the favorite parts for me. So I always say no people that most fun ones, the ones the comp, right. You know, even though you could be doing shitty, just don't have the best fun.
Speaker 4 13:37 Well, in terms of stories, uh, have many stories like the fire ones in Brazil also, you know, there's a lot of fires in Brazil and last time, uh, in the PWC there, those are one of these huge comms and all the guys were going in and I said, no, I'm not going to go in there. It's just ugly. And of course I'm the day turn bad for me because the guys weren't super high and I had to scratch all the way to the, to the goal and they made it before me. So that's a bad story for me. Yeah. But I guess, uh, stories about comp, uh, coms are all, you know, just raising and all the flying part is pretty much the same except with different touch-ups. But the good stories are behind the comps. The days you don't fly, which many can be told, many cannot be taught. Those are the best stories. I need a lot of time to tell them, but there's many. All right,
Speaker 3 14:29 well we'll save it for another show. Um, before we close, do you guys have any last bit of advice for the audience? Anything? You know, the, the, the many people who listen that are maybe thinking about doing their first comp or maybe thinking about taking their first trip to VI AA or roll the Neo this winter or here or Chilay um, you know, just any kind of advice for them and what they should be thinking about.
Speaker 4 14:52 Well, the first advice is go as a, as a learning process, so don't, don't think you're going to win the comp that, that makes it safer. Uh, second is, uh, yeah, just go to comps. The way I started is I thought, Hey, I can go fly cross country and I have somebody to retrieve me and have all the safety around me and everything. And experienced pilots just taken me by the hand to long places, long, long flights. So my advice is just, just be as a student to the first comps, but go, go to comps if you can.
Speaker 2 15:29 Yeah, I would, uh, push it even further and in your direction. Keep your glider, don't buy a comm glider for your first comp. Yeah, of course. So make it with your glider, learn to fly. So you should change from glove, tore a another glider. Once you really pushed a bar 100% and you feel comfortable with that, then you can change the bladder as you don't use your Clara, you know, so you just keep it. And of course it's frustrating. You see those calm gliders flying and literally, you know, leaving you. But, uh, that's part of the game. So, uh, I would also recommend people to enjoy and so just remove the pressure and try to make goal as much as you can. And as we all said, safety first. So don't put yourself into trouble. Uh, and don't try to beat a lead Kaggle when you, when you're doing your first dome, it doesn't work
Speaker 3 16:26 there. There, there's a good thing you hinted on there though that I've been thinking about quite a bit lately. The, you know, the, the two liners these days, let's use the Xeno as an example cause it's been a huge hit and tons of people were flying it. Um, I think there's a lot of hidden risk there because it's, it, it's a, it's a super solid glider. The two liners these days are amazing gliders. They're really solid and I think they, they give people a lot of, uh, false confidence. Yeah.
Speaker 2 16:51 Uh, you made a point. Uh, I would recommend any compiler to do SIV before his first comp. That's very important. Uh, go, go to a Lake, whatever, uh, find a school and have a good, uh, reliable, uh, teacher, uh, and, and do HIV. Uh, it's very, very important to know how to recover from different situations and also to learn about your glider and to have the feeling of the glide of your glider. Uh, that's super important. Yeah.
Speaker 5 17:24 I'm glad you said ITV because I think people get a new respect for big spinny gliders when they start stalling them and doing weird stuff to them. And it's there. It's not like learning how to stall a beat,
Speaker 2 17:36 come from a flat country in Belgium. It's very flat. So people used to buy big boys gliders and we had this, uh, championship in Switzerland. Half of the people wouldn't take off because they were frightened by the conditions. And, uh, I respect that. I totally respect it. And that was, I think, a good decision, but it's a bit sad also because if they came with their own glider there, they would have, uh, or, uh, more, uh, you know, adapted glider. They would have flown for sure. And it was a nice day, uh, to fly. So yeah. Uh, sometimes you fly your own, uh, take off on site and you feel calm, confident, and, but chose, just go try your bladder in the Alps or in some rough mountains, and then you'd see, okay, maybe I should practice more before, uh, changing my glider. Uh, I had one person coming.
Speaker 2 18:29 Well, it's, it's very, uh, I have very often a person coming to me. I look, uh, I'm willing to buy Xenu or I'm willing to buy a flow of whatever. Uh, I know I'm really tried to cool them a bit, but I have to say, I have to admit one thing though is, uh, it's also a matter of a feeling. So I started to fly, uh, quite, quite early in my career because I felt more confident under it. So, but it's the behavior of the glider versus the bylaws. So it's not only a matter of skills, but something that, you know, there is a interaction between you and your glider. And if you have a good fit, then why not? But you have to know that you have to remember, uh, remain, stay humble, uh, below the glider. I've never seen a glider field. I've always seen pilots failing. Sure.
Speaker 5 19:26 Yeah. I want to add to that too. I think it's very important to kind of start with those slower glider and then you ha you could have just as much fun. You know, it's, it's a funny feeling when you get these glider, you get a good star, you're crossing the Valley, you know, you're just smashing bar. As I remember the time at the rat race, me and Kiwis crossing the, like the Applegate Valley and just thinking that we were doing this, you don't have to start in next, you know, like five seconds later, you know, these big boys clatters the skinny Ninja wings are flying over us. But that's kind of cool because as you have as much fun as you can with these wings and you gain experience and respect for wings, um, you kind of look back now and laugh at these experiences and how much fun you had.
Speaker 5 20:06 And then of course, flying these wings, you're going to make tons of mistakes and know your limits and stuff. But that's how you learn. You have to make mistakes if you're just go out there and do the best. You never learned the basic. You didn't really set a strong foundation at first. And I, I've truly believed that you have to spend a lot of time flying, spend a lot of time developing that process and then getting into a system and working your way up to, uh, you know, those tiny little skinny complains that everybody wants to fly. But
Speaker 3 20:32 yeah, I mean, look at some of the guys here. I mean there's a, there was a guy on an Arctic today that was just crushing, rushing it out there, you know, I mean it's awesome. And then that's got to be a really good feeling.
Speaker 5 20:44 Yeah. Last year we went to the Canadian nationals in um, Pemberton and these deltas were keeping over the ends of the threes because we can't push as far or close to the cliff. Piskac you just full bar to the areas and then the vantage of the comp letter was really taken away. You know, it's actually better fliers, you know, in the, in the, in the Delta. Yeah. That point, you know,
Speaker 3 21:06 last year at the Menorca Marco, I mean, he's a very talented, great comp pilot, but he won it on the queen, you know, he wanted on a sea glider, you'd beat everybody in the end zone because he could just, he mashed bar through all the convergence. We were always coming off like, Oh God trying to deal. And he just kept going. It was pretty cool.
Speaker 4 21:28 Well, I stayed in the previous conversation. I lost my mind for a bit, but, uh, what I wanted to add to the previous conversation was, uh, uh, don't try to beat your next guy, the guy next to you. So the first time you go to a comp, just go as a learner again and don't try to beat the guy next to you because it doesn't change anything in the results to win a, it requires a full week of good flying. So when you're flying next to a guy and you're like, ah, I want to beat this guy next to me, you don't even probably don't even know who he is, but at that moment you just want to beat whoever is around you. That's a huge mistake everybody makes, especially in the beginnings. And that's when you, when you get yourself into trouble, when you push it more than you need it, just to beat the guy next to you.
Speaker 4 22:16 And that's going to, going to change anything in the copper, salt. Super. So just, uh, you know, keep in mind that to win a comp, it takes seven full, really good flying days from you. Uh, so most likely in the beginning it's not going to happen cause you don't have an experience. So just go to a calm to enjoy every single flight, not winning against your buddy next to you. Just use your body, be the, be a buddy to him and fly with him. That's what, that's what it's going to take you to go. And I'm still mad at you. Yes, I don't, I don't forgive you. So disappointed guys. Great. Thank you so much. I appreciate it. And listeners, I hope you enjoyed that and let's go get some chow. All right. Thank you guys. Thanks guys.
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