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Cross Country

Cross Country February - March 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
simply incredible

In 1979 Jean-Marc Boivin, a 28-year-old French alpinist, became the first person to fly a hang glider from the flanks of K2, the second highest mountain in the world. He was part of a siege-style attempt to climb a new line on the mountain. The four-month long expedition was the biggest in the history of K2, with 1,400 porters and 25 tonnes of equipment. It failed 160m from the summit, but Jean-Marc tasted success when on 6 September 1979 he flew his hang glider from Camp IV at 7,600m back down to base camp 2,600m below. The sled-ride took him 13 minutes and was the first free-flight in the region. It won him acclaim around the world, and he was even given a prize for it: the International Award for Valour…

1 min

Olivier Laugero started flying when he was 18. He soon began to draw his plans on a world map, and has been ticking them off since. An accomplished photographer and tandem pilot he was the first tandem to top-land Mont Blanc, with passenger Patrick Hallé on 19 August 2009. Sail away on p66 Stefan Ungemach from Frankfurt, Germany writes regularly for the DHV magazine and Thermik Magazine. A pilot and tech expert he wrote the How to Choose a Vario article this issue. “Live to the fullest. Love. Make a change,” is his motto. We love his work, we’re making that change! Kiwi Johnston has written regularly for the magazine over the years, reporting on events in Peru, the USA and elsewhere. After a break from flying he has been back at…

2 min
in the core

500 Club Several paraglider pilots joined the elite 500 Club during the Brazilian season. Dominik Welti (CH, Ozone Zeno) flew 550km on 7 October – he was flying with Michael Sigel, who flew 551km, as reported last issue. Christian Erne (CH, Ozone Enzo 3) flew 520km on the same day. A month later Aaron Durogati (IT, Gin Boomerang 11) and Primoz Susa (Enzo 3) both flew 509km. All pilots were in the air by 7am, some as early as 6.30am, and flew for 11 hours. All distances are online contest distances, which are always slightly more generous than the official distances for FAI records. For more on how towing is shaking up long-distance flying in Brazil see Insight on p34. Seb Ospina Juan Sebastian Ospina Restrepo (GB, Ozone Enzo 3) had a very…

3 min
meeting marcella

Last year was quite a year for Brazilian pilot Marcella Uchoa. On October 25, she flew 411km from Assu in Rio Grande do Norte on her Enzo 3, breaking three women’s world records. She also recently became female Brazilian champion. Now 30, her paragliding story began in 2010, after a tandem skydive. “Doing more skydiving was too expensive,” she says. “But there were no female paragliders in my home town of Poços de Caldas and so some friends from the local paragliding community offered to teach me for free. I was completely in love from the first time I took off.” But even then, she was no ordinary beginner. “I met former female record holder Kamira Pereira around that time, and I knew that I wanted to break records. That was my…

2 min
slalom ppg worlds 2018

It was a near clean-sweep for France at the third FAI Paramotor Slalom World Championships in Egypt in November last year, with husband-and-wife pair Alex and Marie Mateos both taking home gold medals. Alex Mateos continued his dominance of the competition scene by winning overall gold, just beating his teammate Nico Aubert into silver position. Marie Mateos won the Women’s gold medal, ahead of her teammate Aurelia Halle. Finally, France won the overall Team gold too. Only the solo trike category saw a non-French pilot take gold: Wojtek Bogdal from Poland beat Szymon Winkler (PO) and Boris Tysebaert (FR) into silver and bronze positions. The competition was held over water at Lake Qarun in Egypt, an oasis about 130km south of Cairo. Fifty-one pilots from 13 nations took part. The event was organised…

2 min
scott smashes it

Scott Barrett set a new Australian hang gliding record on 8 December, with a 507km flight from Dalby, west of Brisbane, to Charly in Queensland. He also claimed a new distance-to-goal Aussie record at 500km. Scott launched from the Dalby Hang Gliding Club by tow and was in the air for 10 hours. “I released from tow at 2,000ft (650m) above Dalby airport and made my way alone across the Queensland skies – over the cotton fields, the gas fields, the scrublands and huge cattle stations,” he said. “It’s wide open and dry and perfect for an awesome flight. It gets a little remote but it is beautiful country to fly over. He wasn’t entirely alone. “I had a number of encounters with wedge tailed eagles who made an effort to come and fly…