Episode 138- Nik Hawks and Expectations

Nik Hawks returns to the Mayhem in response to the pilot survey we put out a couple months ago to take on a whole bunch of topics you, our listeners asked for. We broke this wide-ranging show into four main parts- Nik’s answers a bunch of questions about his own sometimes frustrating progression and how he’s had to adjust his own expectations in the sport in order to avoid being a “dangerous pilot”; I answer questions from Nik about a recent interesting discussion he had with a new pilot on launch; we revisit some of the takeaways from the Kiwi SAR effort in Nevada; and finally Nik interviews me about the upcoming Red Bull X-Alps, my own progression choices over the years, what makes a “dangerous” vs a “safe” pilot, gear choices for hike and fly and a lot more.

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Bonus Episode- Ask Me Anything with Gavin, your questions answered!

In this bonus episode I take on listener questions. We talk about coring thermals, Red Bull X-Alps preparation, the dream bivvy line, fear injuries, weather planning tools for bivvy flying, line and glider degradation, what qualifies as “big air”, risk changes when you have children, flying performance under pressure, team flying tips, hydration and energy tips for big flights,  how to not be a “freezer” when anxiety jumps, Flow state and transferable skills from other sports, the “Survivor bias” and more!

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Episode 131- Ferdinand Van Shelven takes on his 5th X-Alps

Ferdinand (aka “Ferdy”) Van Shelven, “The Flying Dutchman” is returning for his 5th Red Bull X-Alps this June. Ferdy has been in the top 7 in all of his previous 4 campaigns from 2011 to 2017. How has a pilot from the flatlands of the Netherlands become so competitive in the toughest race on Earth? We explore his flying philosophy; his approach to risk; the dynamic with his wife Nicole supporting him in the race; the right head-space for something as huge as the X-Alps; how his approach will change in this edition; the good and bad side of ignorance; some of the sketchy situations he’s experienced in the race; how to follow your instincts and a lot more.

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Episode 130- Instruments and chasing beauty with Koni Schafroth

Koni Schafroth has been flying over 30 years, but you’re not going to find him chasing distance and trying to win XContest. Koni pursues free flight for the beauty and tapping into the incredible emotion that flying provides. Soaring over glaciers on a perfect day; midnight flights under the full moon; flying with friends; and coming home safely.

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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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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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Bonus Episode- The 2019 Red Bull X-Alps (Installment 3)

This is the third and final special episode of the Cloudbase Mayhem to give all of the fans of the race a little insight into the greatest game on Earth directly from the perspective of the athletes. Live Tracking is amazing, but it misses a lot of the emotion and the background, and these interviews with the athletes take us behind the curtain. In this final installment we hear from Adrian Keller (SUI 3), Marko Hrgetic Hrga (CZE 1), Willi Canell (USA 2), Maxime Pinot (FRA 1), and yours truly (Gavin McClurg- USA 1).

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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 117- Thomas Theurillat and Transformation

In 2008 Chrigel was heading into his first Red Bull X-Alps Campaign, and mountain guide and base jumper Thomas Theurillat was completing a degree in psychology. Thomas was passionate about figuring out how to help people not just change for the better in sport, business, or life; but transform into something better and stay that way. Chrigel wanted to win, but he didn’t really have a plan to make it happen. The two met, Thomas put his wizardry into motion and Chrigel became the best hike and fly competitor and mountain pilot the world has ever seen.

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Episode 115- Sky Camping with Martin (11 yrs) and Honza Rejmanek

Honza Rejmanek competed in the Red Bull X-Alps 5 times. His last was in 2015 but apparently nutty runs in the family and he and his son Martin have been doing incredible 8 day tandem vol-biv adventures for the past three years in the Alps. Their style is pure- no mechanical support is allowed (ie they fly or they walk), food is collected or carried, where they start and end is fixed so if they don’t make it one year they just come back the next! Honza says compared to the X-Alps they move at about one quarter of the speed but with four times the weight and no support crew!

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