ZINIO logo
Cross Country

Cross Country October 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.

Read More
United Kingdom
XC Media
10 Issues

in this issue

2 min
‘immense, just immense’

It was brilliant talking to Patrick von Känel’s father Fritz earlier this month, as he talked about the earliest days in his flying career. He was 25 and it was 1986 when he first saw paragliders in Kandersteg, Switzerland. Immediately gripped he joined the crew and soon found himself facing his first flight: from 500m above the valley floor! The trick was to look at the opposite side of the valley and ignore the steep cliff below. Then run, hard. Five minutes later they’d be back in the valley bottom. When asked what he thought of how paragliding had developed he simply said, “Immense, just immense.” His son Patrick is one of the few paraglider pilots to have flown more than 500km and has his sights set on hopefully flying even…

1 min

Jeffrey Shapiro is a climber, Team USA hang glider pilot, pioneer wingsuit pilot, falconer and paraglider pilot. Most recently he was in Alaska, where he and friend Cody Tuttle spent three weeks flying in the remote Brooks Range. Jeff writes about that, and pays tribute to his friend, on p54 Kirsten Seeto is a digital business analyst, Australian XC pilot and champion for women in sport. Last year she founded Altitude with Attitude with the aim of getting women together to fly together. “Fly it. Own it.” is the crew’s motto. See how it’s done, p64 Jaimi Joy is an Australian sports photographer based in Sydney. A former elite athlete in triathlon she’s been published by the New York Times and was named Australia’s Top Emerging Sports Photographer. She photographed Australia’s Altitude…

2 min
in the core

Chris Galli After an at-times amazing summer, meteorological autumn arrived on 1 September in the northern hemisphere. Chris Galli stepped off launch at Jupiter Peak, near his home in Salt Lake City, USA and landed 7hr 30min later having flown northeast for an amazing 381km. Flying an Ozone Zeno he averaged 50.8km/h (almost world record speed!), and spent much of his time flying at 4,500m-5,500m. What a way to end summer. xcontest.org Michael Sigel Michael Sigel flew a 278km FAI triangle from Fiesch on 26 August – it was the place to be in the Alps as at least a dozen 200km FAIs were flown from there that day. The flight put Michael at the top of the overall rankings for the 2018/19 season on XContest. Over six flights he has a score…

3 min
mixing it up in sopot

François Ragolski won the first ever Red Bull Acro Cross competition in September. Held over four days in Sopot, Bulgaria, and organised by Veso Ovcharov, this new concept of competition blended acro and XC skills. François, congratulations. Can you explain the concept more? It’s a mix of acro flying and XC. It’s a cross-country competition, just the same as every XC competition, but then you need to fly acro at the take-off, inside the turnpoints and above the landing. So you need to think like an XC pilot, but also an acro pilot, as you must spend altitude to fly acro. Is it just for the top pilots? No, there are different options in the acro. You can decide to make it hard, for example you can fly an acro glider and go for…

2 min
flight of the ospreys

Conservationist and paramotor pilot Sacha Dench is getting ready for another epic flying expedition following the ‘flyways’ of migrating birds – and she’s looking for paramotor pilots in Europe to help her. Famous for following the 5,000km migration route of the endangered Bewick’s Swan in 2016, when she flew from northern Arctic Russia to England, Sacha is now raising awareness about the plight of the osprey. She plans to follow the route of the migrating birds from Europe to West Africa, setting off in autumn next year. “Yes, it is exciting!” she said as she launched the project in August. “The idea of flying more migrations was there from halfway through the last one, when I could see it was working,” she explained. The Bewick’s Swan project caught the imagination of many, and…

1 min
kicking back on sky island

Sky Island is a new paragliding business in Mozambique, close to the South African border at Ponta do Ouro. Billed as an eco lodge that is 50% self-sustained, the resort is designed with the local environment in mind and uses sustainable materials and water systems. They also grow their own vegetables for their restaurant. Crucially, they are located right on top of one of Mozambique’s premier coastal flying sites. Owner Sean Wookey is keen to get the word out to pilots in South Africa, or those who are heading to South Africa for the season and might be looking to get further off the beaten track. “We’ve just been open one year and were very low key while we were under construction,” he explained, “but now we are approaching our first…