Episode 14- Paul Guschlbauer and conquering the Red Bull X-Alps


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Paul Guschlbauer competed in his first Red Bull X-Alps in 2011 with only 5 years of flying under his belt. In his own words his skills were far inferior to most of the other pilots in the race, but fitness and determination and creativity saw this incredible athlete realize a remarkable 3rd place podium finish. The result got him pole-vaulted into the Red Bull family and he hasn’t looked back since. Paul competed in the 2013 and 2015 X-Alps and has competed in other similarly brutal adventure races like the Red Bull Dolomitenmann and the Atomic Waymaker. In 2014/2015 Paul and Tom De Dorlodot completed an 1800 km hike and fly route across the Alps called the “Adriatic Circle”.  Paul has become one of the best adventure cross-country pilots in the world and showed his considerable skills this year in the 2015 X-Alps by coming in 3rd place again and giving Chrigel a hell of a run for his money. In this episode Paul grants us an intimate view of what he’s done right, what he’s done wrong, some hard lessons along the way and a lot more like the pressure of making a living from sponsorship. We discuss the compromise between flying fast and safety, a horrifying crash in 2014 and finding his way back, and how he’s learned to fly safer.  And most importantly- can Chrigel be beaten?  Listen to find out.

For more on Paul, check out http://www.paulguschlbauer.at/

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Show Notes:

  • How Paul plays the sponsorship game
  • How he became a professional pilot
  • Flying in his first X-Alps and learning more in 14 days than in a year of flying
  • How Paul studied paragliding instead of school and how that panned out
  • Paul crashes into a tree on his third thermal flight and realizes some proper training might be in order
  • The pressure of becoming a Red Bull athlete
  • Come to terms with reality
  • The importance of mental confidence in the sport
  • Working with a coach, can Chrigel be beaten?
  • The importance of having the will to win
  • Why Paul feels like competition racing isn’t important to races like the X-Alps
  • How to approach safety and how to survive in the Alps under a wing
  • Having a nearly fatal crash in 2014 and finding his way back, and how he learned to leave the terrain
  • The compromise between flying fast and safety
  • Removing luck as an option and playing the long game

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