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 169- Alex Schweig and not being a passenger to destiny

Alex has a very methodical approach to learning and training which we dove into in this talk. Alex likes to say “flying bags around the sky with grace and tact” is important, style is important, and style isn’t just the physical movements we make under canopy but the holistic approach we take (or should take) to every aspect of flying and life in general.

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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 165- Ryan Leech and navigating the Risk / Reward Spectrum

sport he is a legend. He’s performed stunts in thousands of shows, including Cirque Du Soleil, IMBA World Summit, and Crankworx and has appeared in dozens of films. Ryan has been teaching mountain biking for over 24 years and is an avid explorer of human potential and is a certified Integral Master Coach. In this episode we explore the four types of Flow, the risk of entering flow through risk, developing the mind to increase performance, how a professional athlete has to ride the often very narrow line between risk and reward, making inexpensive mistakes, getting intimate with risk, maintaining a professional athletic career, accurately identifying risk (not inflating it and not ignoring real risk), being at peace with the dangers, and a lot more.

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Episode 162- Clemens Ceipek and Flying Gliders, Seeking Understanding, and playing Chess in the Air

Clemens Ciepek is an Austrian Sailplane pilot who lives in Boulder, Colorado. He’s the president of one of the premiere gliding clubs in the world and runs a website dedicated to spreading knowledge and improving pilot ability called “Chess in the Air” that is filled with fantastic in-depth articles that cover the full gamut of flying. Why do some pilots improve very slowly and others get good really fast? Clemens says it’s in the approach. We cover the value of using the Condor flying simulator, studying theory, understanding forecasting as well as many of the topics Clemens tackles on his website: assessing risk, complacency, using the correct bank angle, thermal entry, identifying triggers and convergence, the most common mistakes that end badly, and a ton more.

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Episode 158- Kirsty Cameron and Stacking the Odds

Kirsty Cameron has been a member of the British team many times. She’s been flying high-end 2 line gliders for over 10 years and put a ton of energy and time into competition flying since she began flying in the late 90’s. This year with travel being difficult and her 4 year old son vying for more her time Kirsty decided to dedicate her flying time to chasing big distance at home in the UK. She nabbed a couple records this year (see below for the links) and has found a new, super fun outlet for getting her flying fix.

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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 155- Back to the beginning with Bill Belcourt

I’ve had my friend and mentor Bill Belcourt on my mind a lot lately. He managed to handily win the US XContest this season with a series of impressive, committing, deep flights in the Intermountain west while juggling two professional jobs and being a father and husband; and he won a task at the XRedRocks hike and fly race last month and nearly took 1st place overall, proving there is no need for a masters category even when races are extremely physical. For this show we went back to the archives to bring you the very first show that kicked off the Cloudbase Mayhem way back in 2014.

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Episode 153- Burkhard Martens and Thermal Flying

Burkhard Martens is one of the most-recognized names in the sport. His seminal work, “Thermal Flying”, first published in 2005 is the world’s best-selling guide to the art of thermalling and XC flying. Cross Country’s team has been hard at work thoroughly revising and updating the text, line by line, and the design and photography has been refreshed to bring it bang up to date. I sat down with Burki a few weeks ago to talk about his new edition, what’s changed since 2005, and the meat of the book- how to climb!

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Episode 152- Torsten Siegel and Playing the Ultimate Game

Veteran Gin test pilot, designer, European champion, and multiple-time German team member Torsten Siegel has been racing paragliders for nearly 30 years. He designed for UP Paragliders and then Swing before moving to Gin over a decade ago and has left an indelible mark on the sport since the early 90’s. I spoke with Torsten immediately after this years Superfinal in Disentis, Switzerland to get his thoughts on the first superfinal that’s been held in the mountains and to get his thoughts on all things racing- the risk, the tactics, the equipment and how to be consistent in the ultimate game- racing fabric and string in the sky.

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