The World Cup is as high as it gets in competition hang gliding and paragliding. For many it is the ultimate goal in cross country flying. But getting an invitation to fly in the world cup isn’t very straightforward. First there are the many organizations- the FAI, CIVL, PWCA, and a nations flying organization (USHPA, BHPA, etc.). What’s the difference between Cat 1 and Cat 2? What is the WPRS and how does it play into selection? What are letters and why are they important? How do you make the World’s team and how is that different from a world cup? The road to a world cup isn’t very straight, but with a little clarification of the acronyms, and an understanding of how it all works together you can navigate the process quite easily.
On June 19th of this year Wills Wing pilot Owen Morse ticked off something he’d been chasing for six years- a new out and back world record. Owen flew an incredible boomer from Walt’s Point in the Owens out off the end of the White’s- AND BACK, flying 222 miles. A huge flight in some of the strongest air on Earth gave us plenty to talk about, but Owen also has maybe the most interesting job of anyone I’ve ever met. He’s a professional juggler (where he holds world records for things like juggling chainsaws) AND he hold several world records in the sport of “Joggling”.
This is an emergency episode of the Cloudbase Mayhem that everyone needs to hear. I sat down with two people on the front lines of Covid-19, my sister Lesley McClurg who is a Health and Science reporter for KQED in San Francisco, who has covered the pandemic since early January, when only 6 people had died; and Terry O’Connor, an ER doctor in Ketchum, Idaho- one of the most affected towns in the country (on par per capita with New York, San Francisco, and Seattle). We are in the largest public health crisis of our times. Covid-19 is being compared to the Spanish Influenza in 1918, which killed 50 million people. No one alive has ever seen anything like this before.
This conversation covers a lot of ground- we discuss risk management; the importance of working on the fundamentals no matter where you are in your progression as a pilot; where the sport typically bites and how you can beat the odds; how you can and should develop mental checklists; how to build a thriving flying community; how to support those who support you; the difference in SIV and the real world and a ton more.
If you go in hard paragliding, hangliding, speedflying or skydiving are you covered? Many, many people find this a very murky subject. Traveling abroad? What about medivac? What if you need a heli rescue? Repatriation to your home country for care? This article should help you out.
The February issue of Hangliding and Paragliding just got delivered with a feature about my X-Alps experience (the first of a two-part series) which is actually an excerpt from a book about the race that has been delivered to my editor and we hope to have published by April of this year. I hope you enjoy it!