Episode 159- Visualize the day

This week we’re doing something a little different. It has been proven that our minds don’t know the difference between a real experience and visualizing an experience. Olympic athletes, race car drivers, elite ski racers, golfers- you name it, the best of the best across the sport gamut visualize themselves doing their thing. It takes practice, but the results are proven. Going out and flying to improve is still the best way to get currency, but if you’re hurt, or the weather is bad, or you just don’t have the time to go flying, doing a little visualization is nearly as good as the real thing. In this episode I take you through a very simple 20 minute visualization practice that I hope helps you achieve safer and better flights. Come back to it often and see how training your mind helps you achieve your goals.

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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 157- Jonny Durand: riding Tsunamis, chasing records, comps and learning

Jonny Durand is a long-time Red Bull sponsored hang gliding pilot who’s been ranked #1 in the world multiple times. We’ve all seen the incredible footage of Jonny flying the “tsunami” morning glory phenomenon that sets up in Northern Australia, but Jonny has been chasing the sky crack in many different ways since his early days more than 20 years ago. He’s chased the world distance record in Texas and Brazil and came up just shy of the record from Zapata on that fateful day back in 2012 flying with his friend Dustin Martin, who still has the record at 761 km; he competes in race to goal comps regularly around the world, and has recently taken up paragliding.

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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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Bonus Episode- Joerg Ewald and Going Dark

On August 19, 2020 veteran World Cup pilot Joerg Ewald lost control of his wing very low on the terrain during a World Cup in Disentis, Switzerland and the world went dark. Literally. Joerg has almost no memory of the crash because of the hard blow and is incredibly lucky to have survived the crash. His recovery has been slow and considerably brutal.

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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 154- Going Big against the Odds with Thad Spencer

Thad hails from Minnesota, just sold a successful musical production company and is addicted to flying. The holy grail in the US has been the 200 mile mark, a distance very few pilots have pulled off and Thad has chased it hard for years. His chase has taken him through the full arc of what you have to learn to send, an arc that of course never ends. This spring he pulled it off in the flats of the MidWest with a 228 mile (very cold) beauty. A little while after he pulled it off he sent me an email that I’ve posted here nearly in full because…well because we all need a good laugh now and then and it’s what lead to this show. Thad tells the “and there I was…” story better than anyone. Grab a whiskey and tuck in, you’re in for a treat.

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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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Episode 151- Comps, instructing, learning, and sending with Wally Arcidiacono

I met Wally Arcidiacono on the comp circuit quite a few years back and have been trying to connect with him for awhile now for a show. Wally is a keen comp pilot, started a paragliding school in Bright, Australia back in 2010 and has turned a passion for flying into a way of life. What kind of headspace should we bring to competitions? How can we play this beautiful game with more aplomb? How should we approach the long game? What can we learn from the masters? Why does the local hero never take the trophy?

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