Episode 186- Checking the boxes with Greg Hamerton

A common question we ask on the Mayhem is “what would you do if you could rewind the clock to your 50 hour self?” One of our listeners reached out awhile back and wanted to know what we should tell our zero hour selves. When we first begin we know absolutely nothing other than we want to fly! But getting into the sport is daunting. How do you pick the right instructor? What qualifications or qualities should we look for? Should we consider connecting with a club and mentors BEFORE signing on with an instructor? What are the RIGHT questions new pilot students should be asking so we don’t turn off potential mentors.

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Episode 185- Eli Egger and gearing up for the Ultimate Race

Elizabeth (Eli) Egger is one of the rookies in the 23′ Red Bull X-Alps. She’s also a paragliding instructor, Niviuk team pilot, high-level competition pilot (we sat down after the Superfinal in Mexico to have this chat), has supported Simon Oberrauner (2017) and Aaron Durogati (2019 and 2021) in the X-Alps, and has a very interesting professional background in earth mapping and engineering. In this wide-ranging talk we discuss her training for the upcoming race and what she’s learned from supporting Simon and Aaron, preparing for comps, progression, instruction, and going to bat against the best in the world.

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Episode 184- A Walk (and Fly) down memory lane with Aaron Durogati

We keep the absolutely nutty going this week with 5-time Red Bull X-Alps competitor, 2 X Superfinal champion, and winner of just about everything in our sport, Aaron Durogati. Aaron and I sat down in person on the final day of the Superfinal in Valle De Bravo in Mexico and he had me in stitches from the get-go. Aaron is a fantastic story-teller and his triumphs and beat-downs in the X-Alps are jaw dropping. Enjoy these incredible amazing tales from the edge!

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Episode 183- A walk (and fly) down memory lane with Honza Rejmanek

We’re continuing the theme of radical stories from radical people this week with Honza Rejmanek, who competed in 5 Red Bull X-Alps from 2007 to 2015. Honza begins the storytelling in 2007 with what has to the hardest start in the history of the race after eating some questionable food the night before the event even started, puking (and worse) all night, spending the night on the Dachstein because he could barely move, and then the long fight back. We learn about his podium in 2009 shared with Red Bull X-Alps legends Chrigel Maurer and Alex Hofer…

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Episode 182- A Walk (and Fly) down Memory Lane with Tom De Dorlodot

Tom De Dorlodot has done more Red Bull X-Alps than everyone other than Toma Coconea (who has done them all!). The Belgian explorer extraordinaire started at the tender age of 21 in the 2007 race and hasn’t missed one since. He is currently training for the 2023 event, which will be his 9th! We got together recently to dive into his campaigns just after he and his family moved into their new home on the island of Faial in the Azores. We rewind the clock to a time where teams didn’t have GPS, athletes used paper maps (in the air!) to navigate, and a Russian athlete carried over 20 kg on his back! As we wander through Tom’s highs (getting to Monaco in 2019…) and lows (getting evacuated in 2015…) of his campaigns we tap into all kinds of great advice for pilots dealing with risk (who doesn’t?), family (ditto!), and living life to its fullest.

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Episode 181- A walk (and fly) down memory lane with Chrigel Maurer

With the 2023 Red Bull X-Alps quickly approaching I thought it would be fun to sit down with Chrigel “The Eagle” Maurer to take a walk back through his 7 winning campaigns. No one in our sport has been and continues to be more dominant than Chrigel. He won his first X-Alps in 2009 and hasn’t lost since (2023 will be his 8th campaign). He’s won everything (many at least 3 times)- Bornes to Fly, X-Pyr, Dolomiti Superfly, EigerTour, Dolomitiman, VercoFly (which he won flying tandem too!), and of course dominated for several years on the world cup, is a test pilot for Advance, heads up the X-Alps Academy and is without rival as the best mountain pilot on Earth.

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Episode 179- 119 years of experience to pack in

During a weather day of the Red Rocks Wide Open this week, a US Nationals and Pre- PWC race to goal competition in southern Utah we held an panel discussion with some of our most veteran competition pilots- Evan Bouchier, Matt Beechinor, Josh Cohn, Bill Belcourt and Reavis Sutphin-Gray. Between the five they have 119 years of experience. The opening topic was competition strategy but the talk wandered into all kinds of fascinating areas including strategies for dealing with gust fronts, team flying, planning for going huge and a lot more.

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Episode 173- Exploring the possibilities in Brazil with Leandro Estevam Montoya

Most pilots who think of flying in Brazil think of chasing records across the Sertão or racing in the land of the lost terrain in famous sites like Governador Valadares and Baixo Guandu. But Brazil is massive and the flying possibilities and potential is as big as the smiles that adorn the welcoming people. Leandro Estevam Montoya and a fast-growing group of pilots at all levels in Brazil have been exploring the countries’ vol-biv potential for the past few years and their discoveries are tantalizing. Come along for a fun ride and pack your bags for Brazil!

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Episode 172- Andy Baumelt and the mistakes we make

Andy Baumelt is a Swiss pilot who reached out to me because he loved the show and said that while he would probably never be one of the top ranked pilots or do something big and wild in the sport he loved to fly, was firmly in the throws of intermediate syndrome and had made some mistakes that many pilots make in their journey. Andy’s story is probably one that most pilots can relate to and we had a lot of fun just talking flying- and life.

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Episode 171- Daniel Tyrkas and unlocking the secrets

Daniel Tyrkas is no stranger performing at a high level. He took a passion for gymnastics onto the slopes and soon after competed for Germany in snowboarding in the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics after nearly qualifying for Nagano in 98′ (while going to engineering school!). He sends huge airs in kiteboarding, but his true passion for the last couple decades has been paragliding. He’s commonly ranked in the top 15 in the world, regularly represents Germany on their national team, and very often can be found at the top of XContest on big days in the Alps (in fact he just broke the site record from near his home in Kossen just after we had our talk).

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