#204 – Flying High with Martin Jovanoski

Martin Jovanoski has been flying his entire life. Sailplanes, Hang gliders, Paragliders- in any and all forms. He got started in accuracy, moved into cross country competitions and pretty much does it all when it comes to free-flight. He’s one of the big reasons Krushevo, Macedonia has become such a mecca for competitions, and he instructs, guides, flies tandems, designs wings, consults and more. I’ve been lucky enough to compete with Martin many times in World Cups and hands down Martin is the cream of the crop when it comes to unabashed love for our sport. He’s always got the biggest smile on launch. He’s the pilot who seems to have retained that first flight wonder of flying we all have throughout his long and very storied career.

Read More...

#203- The French Domination with Julien Garcia

The objective is simple- be the best in the world, and win championships. In other words- you can go to University to paraglide! Charles Cazaux, Luc Armont, Pierre Remy, Honorin Hamard, Meryl Delferriere, and Maxime Pinot are all products of the French training program and Julien Garcia, our guest on today’s show is their coach. For years he was the coach of the junior team and is now the coach of maybe the most elite team the world of paragliding has ever seen. 5 of the top 10 pilots in the WPRS ranking are French right now. In last week’s PWC in Targassone, home of the Polisport training center all three top spots went to French pilots. In this episode I grill Julien on the secret sauce of winning.

Read More...

#202- “The Flying Yogi” Jim Mallinson

Jim Mallinson has a lot of titles. Baronet, Sir, Professor, Doctor, Mahant, and of course Pilot. Jim is the world’s leading expert on Hatha yoga and Sanskrit. He has translated texts that go back thousands of years. Jim became fascinated with India on a trip there when he was 18 years old and for every year since other than during Covid he has spent 6 months of every year there living as a Sadhu, or “one who has renounced worldly life”- basically a vagabond, but then during the other 6 months has achieved an unbelievable resume in academia, mostly through Oxford University. He’s the author of nine books and scores of academic articles. Described as “perhaps the only baronet with dreadlocks” Jim is one of the most fascinating individuals in our sport. He

Read More...

Bonus Episode! Leaving the Nest with Calef Letorney

Right after Calef and I recorded the #201 Podcast he reached out to say he thought he’d missed an opportunity to talk about instruction, namely that very fragile time in a pilot’s career when they first get their license and are sent off on their own to figure it out. So here it is, a veritable primer on leaving the nest.

Read More...

#201- Calef Letorney and Community, Confidence, and Cloudwhispering

Calef Letorney was a professional paddler back in the early 2000’s who made the switch to flying and has never looked back. When you think of places to fly in the world you don’t often put the North East US on the list. There’s a lot of trees, cloudbase is low, weather if fickle. But that’s where Calef found himself after learning to fly in the Colorado Rockies and his desire to send meant the first thing that had to happen was to get good at flying, and it’s hard to get good without other good pilots to fly with, so he had to get others up to snuff as well. So Calef became an instructor, then an SIV instructor, then a guide…and the rest fell into place.

Read More...

#200- Going pear shaped in Pakistan

Pilots and friends Pierre Carter, Jeremy Holdcroft, Scott Baker, Richard “Barbs” Barber and legendary mountaineer Andy De Klerk set off this June to attempt to break the altitude record by flying up the Baltoro Glacier to K2 in Pakistan. Everything was going well…until it wasn’t. Andy suffers a heart attack (in the air!), and Scott breaks the rule of not making a tricky situation worse by blowing a landing on the wrong side of the river and suffers a broken ankle and leg, which turns into an epic on its own. A wild story from a wild part of the world and we break it down into everything that went right, everything that went wrong, and lessons we can all take on board to make our community safer and more prepared in the mountains.

Read More...

Episode 199- A story of avoiding inconvenience with Alejandro Barañac

We have a saying in our sport, “never avoid inconvenience.” But it’s easier said than done. An easy field a kilometer away from the train station, or a really tricky field right next to it? Landing in strong wind across a river that means a long walk, or landing in strong wind near a road that will have rotor? In the 21′ Vercofly a number of pilots were injured. Some due to rowdy conditions, but several were just because of pilots making poor decisions. This is one of the latter stories from a first-time hike and fly competitor, Alejandro Barañac.

Read More...

Episode 198- Going Big in…Israel? A flight to remember with Eliya Zemmour

Eliya Zemmour is an Isreali-born climber, endurance athlete, hike and fly guidebook author and…formerly incarcerated conman, but that’s another story to be told soon on the podcast! In this show we take a deep dive into his recent 228km flight from the southern tip of Israel past Jerusalem, which broke the country record.

Read More...

Episode 196- From World Record Skydiving to Paragliding, Reserve Testing, pro repacks with Andrey Kuznetsov

Andrey Kuznetsov has been on the national sky diving team for many years, holds several world records and the genius record (100 way canopy formation record) and has been a long-time test pilot for reserves. He made the transition quite easily from sky diving to paragliding in 2009 and skipped the C class altogether as he found it too slow! He recently flew across Vermont and landed on the beach and owns AirQuest paragliding, a professional reserve packing and line-trimming company. In this episode we talk about his history of sky diving, the transition to XC paragliding, why SO many people don’t pack their reserve correctly, trimming gliders, why it matters and a lot more.

Read More...