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Cross Country

Cross Country May 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
the taste of flight

The stories behind why people fly are invariably as interesting as what they do or how they do it. Ask any adult free-flight pilot if they dreamt of flying as a kid and I bet you nine times out of 10 they’ll say yes. And I’ve given up being surprised when some new champion or record holder reveals that actually, their love affair with flight started with model planes flown in a field outside their home. Flying brings everyone in and grabs them, wherever they are from. However, I was surprised at the story behind the paramotor expedition to the Maldives that we feature in this issue. In the article, organiser David Hardingham explains how he first fell for the Maldives: he went to school with a young Maldivian boy who,…

1 min

Remko Bolt is from the Netherlands and is well known on the international competition circuit, where he has flown in the PWC and at the World Championships. His globetrotting recently got him thinking, and he’s vowed to take a look at the scene closer to home. Find out more, p44 Charlie King is our new products editor, and a regular reviewer. Usually more at home exploring the mountains with lightweight hike-and-fly kit this issue she spoke to paramotor pilot Lauri Kadakas, who recently set a new paramotor distance world record flying 1,130km across Australia, p68 Xevi Bonet has been competing for more than 20 years – in fact his first international win was in 1998 in Australia. Since then he’s gone on to be one of Spain’s most accomplished pilots, mentoring new…

2 min
in the core

Spring arrives The last week of March saw thousands of pilots submit flights to XContest as spring arrived with a huge flourish on Saturday 23 March. A total of 3,350 pilots headed out as good weather settled across the Alps and Europe. Peter Kleimann (CH, Ozone Enzo 3) and Pascal Bissig (CH, Ozone Zeno) made the most of it, flying 160km FAI triangles in the Swiss Alps east of the Matterhorn to top the day table. Sunday 24 March saw 2,523 flights logged. The next weekend was just as good, if not better, with 2,862 pilots logging flights on Saturday 30 March and 2,302 on the Sunday. Simon Oberrauner (AT, Skywalk X-Alps 4) had a great weekend: flying the first 200km FAI Triangle of the season on the Saturday and flying…

2 min
superfinal superstars

Pierre Rémy proved he is the best of the best in the paragliding competition world at the moment when he won the Paragliding World Cup Superfinal in Brazil in March. The French pilot, who is also the current FAI Paragliding World Champion, won the Superfinal in Baixo Guandu by a mere two points. (The Superfinal is held every year, while the World Championships are held every two years. They are different events.) Afterwards he paid tribute to his team mate Julien Wirtz, who came such a close second. “The value of the opponents makes the greatness of the victory,” he posted online. “Julien was really impressive in this final, without any doubt the most robust opponent of this competition.” Britain’s Russell Ogden was third. Pierre scored 6,351 points over the whole competition,…

3 min
skin in the game

Karen Skinner set a new women’s world record on 23 March, flying a 330km triangle in Spain to claim the Distance in a Closed Circuit paramotoring world record. She smashed it: the previous record was just 130km. Congratulations Karen. What are the stats? I took off from Cervera in Catalonia at 7.10am with 33 litres of fuel. I had 65kg on my back with engine, fuel and equipment. I flew to Caspe, then to Barbastro and landed back at Cervera at 1pm. Who was on your team? Jason Whitehead and Willie Diaz prepped the machine and wing and were ground crew. Rafael Rosa flew with me to the first turnpoint, filming. The right support is so important. You are no stranger to world records. Give us the list! Women’s height at 6,250m (21,000ft). Women’s distance at…

1 min
the azores high

The Azores Paragliding Guide is a new guide to flying the Azores, the archipelago of nine Portuguese islands in the mid-Atlantic. The guide features 32 flying sites across the islands and is written by Paulo Luis Rego Farias and published by the Azores Tourism Office. Here’s our mini guide to flying the Azores. Fly to: São Miguel, the biggest island and home to 14 flying sites. Base yourself in capital Ponta Delgada (PDL) and hire a car to get around. Many sites are in easy reach of where you park the car. The basics: Locals speak Portuguese, the money is euros and the time is GMT-1. There is no mass tourism: it’s all about the outdoors, from surfing to soaring. The Azores Paragliding Festival is in August each year and is recommended. When…