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Cross Country

Cross Country February - March 2018

Cross Country is the world’s leading voice for hang gliding, paragliding and paramotoring pilots. Ten times a year, our magazine content reflects our obsession with flying, and we express it by packing each issue with the most imaginative, inspirational photography and writing we can lay our hands on.

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United Kingdom
XC Media
10 Issues

in this issue

2 min
fly with your heart

One of the things I remember being told when I was standing on take-off waiting to launch once was, “Imagine everyone around you is naked! Then you will relax!” A crowd of people was close in, their toes all touching the cells of the inflated paraglider. No matter how many times I asked, they would move an inch or two before quickly shuffling forwards again as the wind rippled through the canopy. I laughed at the advice but I think it did actually work. It turned quite a tense situation with a potentially bad outcome (glider dragging over all the people) into a game. I imagined they were naked, I relaxed, played with the glider a bit, and then up it went (the wing) and off I flew. One of the many interesting…

1 min

Glen Tupper has flown paramotors all around the world, from Machu Picchu in Peru to Angkor Wat in Cambodia. His latest trip saw him exploring the rugged open spaces of Australia’s Great Ocean Road where he achieved one of his lifetime ambitions – to hang out with kangaroos. See p62 Dr Matt Wilkes has worked as an anaesthetist in the UK, New Zealand and Nepal, as a researcher in New York and the Bolivian Andes and as a flight physician in East Africa with the Flying Doctors. He is also hugely passionate about flying paragliders! He founded the Free Flight Physiology Project, p46 Jorge Atramiz is a Venezuelan living in Hawaii who headed to India for his latest adventure hit. His photographic feature on the pilots who explore the Himalaya by paraglider,…

2 min
in the core

Grab 2018 and fly far! Here are five New Year’s resolutions to get you started. In the southern hemisphere? You lucky thing! Get your kit ready If your glider hasn’t had a service in a while, or there’s a problem you know about that should have been fixed, get it done. Re-pack your reserve, give your gear the once-over, download the most recent software, update your maps, upgrade your kit. Get yourself ready Are you fit to fly? Get some exercise! Healthy heart, healthy mind. Keep active during the down season. Read those theory books you bought last August. Think about flying and tune in to what the weather is doing and the changing of the seasons, even if it’s not flyable. If you have flying exams to sit, focus on them and get…

2 min
classic days down south

The Australian free-flying season was in full swing as the clocks chimed 12 and knocked us all into 2018. Rohan Holtkamp broke the Australian hang gliding record on 8 December with an enormous 532.4km straight-line flight. Launching from Ben More in Victoria at 9.30am he spent the whole day and much of the evening on the wing, landing at 8pm. The flight took him from just north west of Melbourne, NNE into New South Wales where he landed near Tullibigeal, which sits about 500km due west of Sydney. Rohan knew he was going places – he actually landed 26km short of his nominated goal at Milby, NSW. He was flying an Airborne C4 (13). His wife Sandra drove 1,500km to make the retrieve, after being forced to navigate around floods. Using the Spot…

1 min
‘a pioneer of the sky’

Francis Heilmann, a French pilot and legend of the Coupe Icare, has sadly died. He passed away on 30 November 2017. Francis was best known for his elaborate and spectacular costumes made each year as the headline event for the Coupe Icare flying masquerade. At first sight it would seem impossible that any of them would ever fly, but they always did. Francis also spent five years recreating NASA scientist David Barish’s original 1960s Sailwing, which is considered the first paraglider. Although Barish had told Francis it was “too dangerous” to recreate, Francis did it anyway, first demonstrating it on the mat at the Coupe Icare in 2005. He later flew it, and even thermalled it – way beyond what Barish had ever done with his “slope soarer” in the mid-60s. “Francis was…

2 min
in brief

Down Mexico Way Bertrand Chol (FR) won the Pre-PWC Zapotiltic in Mexico in December. He beat Brad Gunnuscio (US) and Maurizio Maina (IT) into second and third. All three were on Enzo 3s. Patricia García De Letona (MX) won the Women’s class. The competition saw four tasks of 50-75km. South Africa Italian flair beat French style at the South African Pre-World Cup in Porterville, 10-15 December 2015. Aaron Durogati (IT, Gin Boomerang 11) beat Maxime Pinot (FR, Gin Boomerang 11) by just 31 points over six tasks. Nicole Fedele (IT, Enzo 3) won the Women’s class. Lars Jonsson Sweden’s Lars Jonsson tragically died during the last task of the South African Pre-World Cup. He was on final glide to goal when he was hit by a dust devil when low. Aaron Durogati led the tributes…