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Cross Country

Cross Country April 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
the olympic spirit

Faster, higher, stronger. Anyone who watched any of the Winter Olympics in February could not have failed to be impressed by what those athletes do. The talent, skill and training, not to mention planning, ambition and resources that go into competing at that level, never mind winning a gold medal, are considerable. The network of coaches, nutritionists, sports psychologists, trainers, physiotherapists and the rest that go into putting that one athlete simply on the start line is an industry in itself. Doing that so that the athlete doesn’t injure themselves or burn out before the green-for-go flashes on, is an expert mix of science and art, fuelled by resources. New Zealand’s snowboarding coaches explained they have developed a structure of “push, drill, play” to help their athletes progress. Push days involve days…

1 min

Nicole Holmes was born in Canada in 1973 and bought her first camera aged 12. She loves adventure photography and is a Nikon ambassador. She was in Roldanillo photographing Superfinal mentors and their protégées for our feature starting on p60. She lives in Mexico City. Alexey Druzhinin is no stranger to solo vol-bivouac in remote and extreme places. In 2013 he completed a 400km round-trip through the Indian Himalaya. For his latest adventure he headed to Tajikistan and the Pamir mountains, where he hiked and flew a 600km route over 10 days. See p52 Ollie Chitty worked as a bike technician for five years before moving into a van and devoting everything to hang gliding. The result? He beat the world’s best to win the world’s longest ever competition task –389km set…

2 min
in the core

Antarctic first Juraj Koren and Michal Sabovcik successfully flew from two separate remote peaks on the Antarctic Peninsula in January. The Slovenian pilots, who were featured as Naked Pilots last issue, sailed from Ushuaia in late December and crossed to Antarctica. Arriving after a week at sea they found “fantastic weather” and immediately climbed and flew from a nearby 600m hill (pictured). They then headed further inland where, a few days later, they completed a “fantastic, beautiful” 1,000m climbing route on a previously unclimbed face, before flying from the summit. The pair are travelling the world with the aim of climbing and flying from seven virgin summits on seven continents. Get yourself ready Switzerland’s Thomas Kampfer got the prize for logging the first 100km flight of the European season, with a 100.18km flat…

3 min
going over the back at ben more

Alex Yaschenko smashed the Australian paragliding record and almost broke the 500km mark at the turn of the year, with a 494km flight from a footlaunch site in Victoria. Alex, who lives in nearby Melbourne, was flying with visiting Swiss pilot Joel Debons, who flew 477km. The pair, both flying Gin Boomerang 11s, spent more than 10 hours in the air, launching at 9.30am and landing just before 8pm. Their average speed was 48km/h. Alex, 47, started flying in 2010 and has been chasing flatland distance in southern Australia for some time. “We have spent a few years towing from Deniliquin,” he said. “Switzerland’s Seb Benz was hammering away there for a few years, and showed us what you can do if you don’t worry about retrieves.” He added: “We did decent flights…

1 min
being nico

Lives In a small town called Estepona, Málaga, one of the southernmost regions of Spain. Started flying At 13, but my connection to flying was always there. I was playing with beach kites at three, kite-surfing at seven. My father runs paramotor manufacturer PAP so the inevitable happened and he built me a tiny working paramotor when I was 12. I still remember the detailed flightplan he gave me for my first flight. Family My father is French and my mother is Dutch, I was born in Spain. I speak four languages. Pilot influences Ramón Morillas, Mathieu Rouanet, Alexandre Mateos, and my father. Ramón Morillas has been a very important friend, coach, and mentor. Successes Last year I finished third in the Slalom World Cup. Ambition Becoming a world champion Set-up for 2018 The new Titanox…

1 min
cross country prize draw 2018

Colin Blagdon from England, UK, was the lucky winner of the Cross Country Subscribers’ Prize Draw, which was drawn at 1pm GMT Friday 12 January 2018. He won a paraglider of his choice from either AirDesign, Gin, Nova, Ozone Supair or Triple Seven. Colin was very happy to win the wing, and could barely believe it when we rang him to let him know. “Really? Really?” he said, before laughing and saying he was “absolutely thrilled.” A longtime fan of Nova wings, and currently flying the Nova Triton 2 with a Nova Mentor 4 as back-up, he said he would probably choose the new Nova Sector (EN C), which is being released this season. Colin has been a subscriber for more than a decade, and flies in the southwest of England. As well as…