Episode 123- Best Towing Practices and Safety

I am convinced that with a good winch and good tow-technician, launching via tow is much safer than foot launching and gives the free flight world access to incredible flying in conditions when terrain flying would be too risky. If you are currently doing any tow launching, or plan to in the future, give this podcast a listen. Towing has risks, but they can all be mitigated with proper techniques, crew, good piloting, and equipment.

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Episode 122- Storytime with James “Kiwi” Oroc

James “Kiwi” Oroc is a journalist, photographer, artist and pilot born in the small South Pacific nation of Aotearoa (New Zealand). Since 1998 he has been pursuing and reporting on the cutting edge of extreme sports in more than 40 countries around the globe and has written three books- the non-fiction cult classic Tryptamine Palace, The New Psychedelic Revolution and the just-published fictional Under the Influence, 20 Tales of Psychedelic Noir and has been flying paragliders since the mid 80’s, when gliders had 7 cells!

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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 120- Lisa Verzella and Understanding XCSkies and Weather Forecasting

Lisa Verzella flew hang gliders for over 20 years (many of those competitively), has been flying paragliders also for over 20 years and is a professional meteorologist based in Salt Lake City, Utah. She competed on the US World’s team in 1998 and 2008 in hang gliding. This show is in two parts. The first is our typical audio podcast that goes into Lisa’s vast and fascinating history of chasing airtime, and the second is a video tutorial of a deep dive into XCSkies and Lisa’s full weather flow (ie all the stuff she uses before she gets to XCSkies to identify good days to go flying).

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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 118- Charles Cazaux and Focus

Charles Cazeaux began flying when he was 15 years old. Shortly after that he became the first person to enter the French juniors program that was created to build exceptional pilots who would represent the country on the world stage. Needless to say the program worked very well indeed for Charles! He’s been on the French team every year since 1998, he won the Superfinal in 2009, won the world championships in 2011, holds multiple world records and instructs SIV and cross country with Seiko Fukuoka for the Airlinks Academy.

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Bonus Episode! Weather Episode #3 with Gavin Morris

Nik Hawks sits down with Australian meteorologist, channel 9 weatherman and paragliding pilot Gavin Morris to talk all things weather, forecasting and identifying good days in this 3rd and final bonus episode in our weather series. Gavin started his weather studies as a surfer in the 80’s then moved into reporting for snow and surf forecasts and is now who many Australians see on TV every day to get their daily weather. Gavin says we can think of ourselves as weather balloons as we soar up through the atmosphere.

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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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Bonus Episode! Weather episode #2 with Jeff Shapiro

Jeff Shapiro returns to the podcast to share his weather forecasting flow in this awesome bonus episode (using various weather tools, figuring out lapse rate, identifying wicked days, etc) and he shares some incredibly valuable information for managing risk and what the sport has taught him over the years. Jeff brings us along with him on his X-Pyr campaign in 2018 where a questionable call turned out ok and reminds us to “never hope for the best or try to get away with it.”

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