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 167- Steve Bramfitt and Disco Dancing with risk

Steve Bramfitt was a rookie in the 2021 Red Bull X-Alps (GBR1) this year and had a phenomenal race, and like everyone this year- experienced plenty of harrowing and wonderful moments. In this episode we talk about his physical and mental preparation, dealing with the unknowns going into such a huge endeavor, how he assembled his team, some of the crazier (and hysterical) moments in the race, his scary accident in the UAE Hike and Fly championships and his rather nasty accident on the last full day of the X-Alps.

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Episode 166- Going Big and dealing with Setback with Serena Ronchi

season Serena won the female XContest and flew OVER 10,000 kilometers in a single season! She quit her job as a teacher and went on an 8 month sabbatical to fly and spent over 3 months in the Sertão of Brazil. Serena takes us back to her time in Brazil and learn about flying in a lot of wind, towing, figuring out the flats and having it all come together. Serena takes us through her journey to become a pilot, the addiction that set in, her dreams and hopes with flying and then the accident that brought it all to a sudden halt and the extraordinary and difficult road she’s undertaken to recover.

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Episode 164- Veso Ovcharov and the Power of Desire

Ovcharov hails from Sofia, Bulgaria who’s background is in acro but he’s about as all-purpose as you can get in the realm of free flight. He’s passionate about wing suit base jumping; he just competed in the UAE Hike and Fly Championships in Dubai; he won the overall XContest this year chasing huge distance in Brazil and around the world; he competed in this year’s World Championships in Argentina and still holds the world record for Infiniti tumbling. We talk in detail about his amazing year, the art of chasing huge distance, the craziness and accidents that happened in Dubai, Chrigel’s continued amazingness, his incredibly forward-thinking 3RS acro harness, how we really can follow our dreams and a ton more.

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Episode 156- Eduardo Garza (Team Mex 1) and into the Crazy

Want to listen to some crazy stories? Eduardo Garza (Team Mex 1) competed in his second Red Bull X-Alps this year. Eduardo has also competed in two X-Pyr’s, and he’s done all of it while working full time in a very intense and demanding engineering job. Most X-Alps pilots are full time, sponsored professional athletes. Their work is flying paragliders. And most of those who do well in the race also live in and regularly compete in the Alps. How does Eduardo go about finding an edge against the best in the world given limited time and resources? Eduardo takes us well beyond the live tracking so we can see, feel, and hear about some of the madness of the 2021 race.

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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 147- Special Red Bull X-Alps Podcast with the Salewa athletes

I sat down for a special edition of the Cloudbase Mayhem directly after the Red Bull X-Alps Prologue yesterday with my Salewa teammates Paul Guschlbauer, Aaron Durogati, Markus Anders, Chrigel Maurer, Simon Oberrauner, and Tommy Friedrich to find out how they are feeling going into the race, what they are most concerned about with the course, how they take care of their body for 12 days of pounding, how they train, what they changed coming into this race, funny stories from previous editions, critical gear choices and a lot more. We all had a blast with this and we hope you enjoy. The race kicks off Sunday, we hope you’ll follow along and cheer us on!

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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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Bonus Episode- Bastienne Wentzel interviews your host!

A few months ago I interviewed Bastienne Wentzel about her book “Paragliding, The Beginner’s Guide” and at the end of the interview Bastienne turned things around and interviewed me for her magazine about the upcoming X-Alps, my history in flying, preparing for this campaign vs previous campaigns, why learning is so addicting, flying and family, making a living through flying (sort of!), the book (Advanced Paragliding), why the X-Alps and flying itself is so addicting (and could it be without the risk?), comparing the Alaska Traverse and the X-Alps, what the spectators miss in the race, the most memorable days, how to eat for the race, dealing with the physical trauma, the wonderful impact of the fans and a lot more.

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