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Cross Country

Cross Country December 2018 - January 2019

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
perfecting the basics

Being editor of this magazine, one of the questions I get asked the most by other pilots is what I’ve learned from talking to other, better pilots. “What secrets have you learned from the skygods?” is the basic gist of the question. I would always try and make a list, until I realised that there is one unifying thing that always surprises me about the pilots who have been around a long time and who have achieved substantial things in the sport. And that is their continued close attention to small details. I don’t mean details like knowing exactly when to apply 75% bar instead of 80% bar while gliding for the next climb, although I am sure they are busy doing that in the air, I mean the basic details that…

1 min

Sara Weaver is from Lexington, Kentucky, US where she manages an indoor rock climbing facility. She’s been flying for five years, and caught the XC competition bug bad after the Green Swamp Sport Klassic in 2017. Since then, it’s been all about the sport class. Find her on p48 Mads Syndergaard has been flying paragliders since he was the age he is in this long-lost photo. Now all grown up he literally wrote the book on paragliding, Flying Rags for Glory (2010). He’s been around. So when he says something’s awesome, you know it really must be. He’s been in China – see p84 Jess Pradier is a journalist based in the Alps, where she usually writes about personal finance for the UK’s The Sunday Times. Recently she spent some time in…

2 min
in the core

There is no point pretending pilots are special people, or we’re different to anyone else, but we are a community. And when we need to, we more often than not act as one. Here are three amazing moments from recent weeks where pilots have helped to make a difference. Pilots for Palu Brett Janaway from the UK was so shocked at the devastation left by the earthquake and tsunami in Palu, Indonesia in September that he launched a crowdfunder to raise $60,000 to help the families of the seven paraglider pilots who were killed. The Cloudbase Foundation agreed to host it, and pilots from around the world started to donate – one anonymous pilot donated $1,000. Hugely, Ozone Paragliders made a very significant donation of $15,000 – half to go to work…

3 min
welcome to the x-alps of 2019

The Red Bull X-Alps announced its line-up for the 2019 edition with a mix of old and new faces looking to beat the X-Alps legend Chrigel Maurer, who is back for his sixth race. Returning for its ninth edition on 16 June next year – a month earlier than usual – the 32 athletes for the race were revealed on 16 October 2018. The full pilot list includes 14 “rookies”, of which two are women, and 18 pilots who have competed before. Top of the list is Chrigel Maurer (SUI1), who has five race wins under his belt and is still considered a race favourite. Veterans who will be gunning for Chrigel include Paul Guschlbauer (AUT1, competed four times) and Aaron Durogati (ITA1, three times). Romania’s Running Man, Toma Coconea (ROM) will be back for…

2 min
‘like taking off for the first time!’

It’s been a successful season on Kilimanjaro, which is now open to guided hike-and-fly trips from the 5,895m mountain. Paraglide Kilimanjaro (paraglidekilimanjaro.com) ran three trips. The most recent saw six of their pilots successfully fly from the mountain on 10 October, including Poland’s Rafal Cypcar and Formula 1 boat racing driver Anthony Robertson. Chrigel Maurer was also on the mountain in September, acting as a flying guide for Swiss company be-away.ch. Part of a team of 11 pilots who flew from the summit on 24 September, he describes the ascent and subsequent flight down: Monday, 24 September 2018 It was still dark when I reached Uhuru Peak, Kilimanjaro, with two of our group. The ascent, height and cold were hard, but emotionally it was one of the most beautiful things I have ever experienced.…

2 min
in brief

Going for world records in Brazil Michael Sigel (CH, Gin Boomerang 11) flew 551km in Brazil on 7 October and has submitted the flight to the FAI as a new world record for Free distance using up to three turnpoints. The previous record was 476.5km, set in December 2015 by Charles Cazaux in Australia. Michael’s flight was a little shy of the 565km needed to break the overall distance world record. A team of Swiss and Brazilian pilots were in Brazil during October trying to crack the 600km mark by tow-launching early in the morning. They might have done it by now! Still in Brazil, world record número dois Jouni Makkonen (FI, Enzo 3) has submitted a claim for a new FAI wold record for Straight distance to a declared goal. He flew…