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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Thinking about competing in the Red Bull X-Alps? Read this first.

Tomorrow, October 14th the world finds out who’s going to compete in the 10th edition of the Red Bull X-Alps, which kicks off June 20th, 2021. We’ll find out which 33 athletes from around the globe get to spend most of their waking hours over the next 9 months getting physically and mentally prepared for what’s billed as the toughest adventure race on Earth.

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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 54- Dustin Martin and finding the magic

In this wide-ranging and laugh-out-loud episode Dustin Martin takes us through some close calls with tornados (plural!); how to assess a gust front; a brief history of hang gliders; the importance of mentors; how to find good lines; avoiding sink; working light lift; reducing drag; advice for new pilots; chasing world records; sponsorship; being a student and building a foundation; the origins of the Cloudbase Foundation, the dangers of moving to a higher performance wing too fast; what it takes to win; maintaining passion and a TON more. This was one of the most enjoyable discussions we’ve had on the Mayhem, please don’t miss this one!

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