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Cross Country

Cross Country September 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 outliers

Martin Morlet and Richard Carter both share stories of their successful flights in this issue. Martin’s account of his 372km epic across France is full of facts and figures as well as fun; Richard’s interview about his 300 is a less analytical, but also full of insight. Martin shared one other figure that was new to me. In analysis he has done of the French XC league, he determined that almost two-thirds of the flights submitted are less than 50km. Some 2,598 pilots submitted flights in the 2017 French league, and 91% of them were less than the (still) magic mark of 100km. Only 89 flights out of 15,579 were 200km or longer. Why look at the really long 300k flights then? Aren’t they just outliers? They have something to tell us all,…

1 min

Tobias Dimmler is a tandem pilot and photographer from Switzerland. He supported Chrigel Maurer in the Red Bull X-Alps in 2017, and in the X-Pyr this year. He helped organise, and photographed, the new Eiger Tour, which Tom Payne reports on – see p22 Tim-Patrick Meyer started paragliding when he was living in Chile in 2010. Since then he has taken his wing on many trips, but usually flies the German flatlands near his home in Frankfurt. This year he did that bravest of things – took his wing on a family holiday to Portugal. He tells us how it went on p82 Kat Cannell is a photographer, “Idaho bred and potato fed”. She’s married to pilot and raft guide Will Cannell, and it was while in Mexico with him that she…

1 min

2 min
in the core

Hang Gliding Champion Italy’s Alex Ploner won the European Hang Gliding Championships in Macedonia in July, making him European Champion for the second time. Alex took first place at the competition, held 10-20 July. Alex is no stranger to gold, having been World Champion twice too. Alex (Icaro 2000 Laminar) finished ahead of Grant Crossingham (GB, Moyes RX 3.5 Pro) and Balazs Ujhelyi (Moyes RX 3.5 Pro) who took home the bronze medal. Corinna Schwiegershausen (DE, Moyes RX 3) was first woman. In the teams, it was Italy, Czech, GB for 1, 2, 3. The comp saw eight good tasks, all more than 100km long, from 102.2km to 165.5km. hgeu2018.mk Lightweight Triangle Triangle-fiend Bernie Pessl took his just-released Nova Ion 5 Light, a lightweight low EN-B wing, for a fly in the Alps…

2 min
new concept, new eiger tour

The Eiger Tour, a new concept in paraglider adventure racing, took place over four days in July around Interlaken in the heart of the Swiss Alps. The unsupported hike-and-fly race required the competitors to fly from mountain hut to mountain hut, top-landing at each one to taking a selfie, possibly wolfing down a coffee and cake, before launching and racing by foot and by sky to the next one. Race creator and X-Alps and Vercofly veteran Michael Witschi combined the best elements of both races in the area where he learned to fly. “Having to land, you get a whole different experience of the Alps switching between bird and human,” he explained. “All these beautiful huts in Switzerland: they provide shelter, food, toilets and even safety if needed. At the end…

1 min
coupe icare china welcomes the world

China held its first Coupe Icare from 12-15 July. “China offers numerous breathtaking paragliding sites to fly high and far,” said local pilot Jenny Zhao. “More and more new take-off sites are being built by passionate local paragliding associations to welcome national and international pilots.” Qingdao Lieying Group, the Qilian local government and the China Air Sport Department developed a new paragliding site in Qilian in order to hold the first Coupe Icare China. Qilian is located in Qinghai province in China’s northwest and is known as the “Switzerland of China” with snow-capped mountains, meadows and “nice thermals”. Coupe Icare China is supported by Coupe Icare France under a 10-year licence granted last year. The idea is the same – to celebrate all things free-flight. This first year saw 200 pilots attend,…