Episode 148: Red Bull X-Alps 2021, Gavin answers your questions!

This year’s Red Bull X-Alps, if you could put it in a word- scary. We didn’t have a single “standard” day of flying with light wind, nice cumulus, and good base, unless you count the Prologue! We had incredible heat the first three days, low base, wind and stable conditions, then the thunderstorms started, strong Fohn from the South and North, window-breaking hail, severe lightning and really, really strong wind for the remainder of the race. Every athlete I spoke with at the awards at the end had a look of just going to battle. For the first time in my four races, the bad weather got everyone, regardless of where you were on the course, and it didn’t let up. There were times when all 12 pairs of my shoes were soaked. After a good showing in the Prologue and going into the race pretty beat up from a crash at the end of May, and carrying the remainder of a flu into the race, which later turned into some kind of pneumonia (we’re not sure, but it was ugly!) and having a terrifically bad start, Team USA 1 started clawing back.

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Episode 146- Maxime Pinot and turning up the Volume

In this episode we discuss how Maxime approaches training (physical and mental), his thoughts on just making better decisions instead of doing SIV for pilots who don’t have the money or time, how to manage your emotions, how to thermal and glide better, dealing with the “mental pain” that sometimes comes with flying, finding the opportunities from mistakes, the importance of visualization, and we look back at a couple key moves that made all the difference for Chrigel in the 2019 race.

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Niviuk Klimber 2P First Impressions

In all my years of flying I’ve never been so excited for a new wing to arrive. With the 2021 Red Bull X-Alps getting close I’ve been thrilled with what I’ve heard from Niviuk’s test pilots and their lead designer Olivier Nef; and the photos I’ve seen on social media have displayed an extraordinarily profile, but you never know until you have it in your hands and take her for a spin.

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Episode 140- Michael Witschi and Experiencing the Amazing through Competition

Michael Witschi has an extremely impressive flying resumé. He’s won pretty much everything you can in competition paragliding. He’s a 3-time world champion; has won maybe more world cup tasks than anyone; competed in the 2015 Red Bull X-Alps; is a current coach of the X-Alps Academy; and is the mastermind, founder and organizer of the incredible EigerTour, a 4-day hike and fly race in the Bernese Oberalps. Michael is the father of two adorable children and is a very successful businessman and eloquently shares his vast competition experience with us in this engaging, very fun talk.

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Episode 126- An oldie but goodie with the legend Pal Takats

This week we’re doing our first “rerun” as Gavin is in the field deep in remote Nevada on a major SAR effort to find our good friend James “Kiwi” Johnson, who was recently on the show. We will get caught up with new shows on schedule soon. This is our most popular show to date and we’ve cleaned it up for your listening pleasure. Listen and learn!

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Episode 119- Yael Margelisch and building confidence

Yael Margelisch began flying ten years ago at the age of 19. She’s an Ozone and Swiss national team pilot, has been on the podium ten times on the world cup, is the first woman to fly over 500 km and owns the current female distance world record of 531 km as well as the current women’s FAI record (263 km) and is gunning hard for a 2021 Red Bull X-Alps campaign (she supported Michael Witschi in 2015).

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Episode 118- Charles Cazaux and Focus

Charles Cazeaux began flying when he was 15 years old. Shortly after that he became the first person to enter the French juniors program that was created to build exceptional pilots who would represent the country on the world stage. Needless to say the program worked very well indeed for Charles! He’s been on the French team every year since 1998, he won the Superfinal in 2009, won the world championships in 2011, holds multiple world records and instructs SIV and cross country with Seiko Fukuoka for the Airlinks Academy.

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The Flying Gear Post

As 2019 comes to a close I’m trying to wrap up some loose ends. One of them is to fulfill a request from many of our podcast listeners to review and talk about the flying gear I use and why.

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Episode 104- Maxime Bellemin and Performance and Preparation

Maxime Bellemin is a name all veteran competition pilots know well. Not just because of his decades of experience and multiple wins at the national and international level but because of his performance coaching with the French team and his two incredible books dedicated to flying “Performance Paragliding.”

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