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Cross Country

Cross Country November 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
sense of exposure

I found myself helping to brief a relatively new pilot last month. He was very much more qualified than I am, having flown fighter jets in the air force and now with a career as a commercial airline captain. But with less than 25 hours on a paraglider he was listening intently. I explained that the biggest thing about the flight we were about to do, was the sense of exposure. That when he launched and turned left, he would immediately have 1,000m beneath him: cliffs, the alpine pasture and then the valley floor far below. Add in the wisps of cloud and any early morning thermals and it could be intimidating for anyone. His launch was excellent, controlling the glider in the breeze as his feet found their footing on the…

1 min

Stephan Walkowiak, 40, was born and lives in Munich, Germany. A freelance engineer specialising in digital cameras for film, he started paragliding in 2009 and took up paramotoring in 2016. “I’ve done nothing else since!” he said. He tells us about his amazing Hebridean paramotor adventure on p78 Judith Mole has been flying for more than 20 years, first hang gliding then paragliding. A podcaster, writer and professional translator she also runs a guesthouse in Spain. She got into the spirit of the Coupe Icare this year with a fancy dress costume that blue people away. You can’t miss her on p32 Matt Warren was excited to write about a unique but attention-grabbing sub-genre of free flight this issue – the new JetPack men. From crossing the Channel to blowing up on…

2 min
in the core

Big in Brazil Rafael Saladini, Marcelo Prieto and Rafael de Moraes Barros flew 582km in Brazil on 10 October to claim a new paragliding world record. The flight beat the previous WR of 564km, flown by Samuel Nascimento, Rafael Saladini and Donizete Lemos on 13 October 2016. The Brazilian team were visibly elated with their flight, which came as pilots from all over the world had arrived in NE Brazil to chase distance and the magic mark of 600km. The world record was broken just as we were going to press, and the season is still on, so expect more big things from Brazil this year before the wind stops blowing. Michael Sigel (CH, Gin Boomerang 11) kicked off the Brazilian long-distance season in style, with a 501km flight on 1 October from…

3 min
xcontest 2018/19 roundup

The XContest season ended at the end of September. With a total of 15,602 pilots in the international online contest across the categories, competition is fierce in all classes. Here’s a round-up of who won what. Open Class (14,836 pilots) This class includes everyone, from EN A wings to prototypes, CCC, tandem and open class wings. Switzerland’s Michael Sigel (CH, Gin Boomerang 11) won the class and the overall competition. He topped the whole table of 14,835 pilots, with a score of 2,782.39 points. He was just ahead of Primoz Susa in second position and Seb Ospina in third. Michael’s tally of flights in 2018/19 included two 500k flights in Brazil: one near-world record distance of 551km plus one at 516km. His other flights were open distance 440km and 465km and two FAI…

3 min
top of the world!

The women’s open distance paragliding record fell, and fell again in Brazil at the start of October – and it may well have fallen again since we went to press. The record to beat was 411km, flown by Marcella Uchoa on 25 Oct 2018, and Switzerland’s Yael Margelisch (Enzo 3) was first, flying a straight-line distance of 442.9km (FAI) on 4 October, from a tow launch in Caico, northeast Brazil. Less than a week later, Seiko Fukuoka-Naville was in the air and flew further, hitting about 460km. We caught up with Yael as she was literally watching Seiko’s flight on live tracking. Congratulations on your flight Yael Thank you. But I think by tonight I will not be the record woman anymore! Seiko is on her way. I bombed out this morning on…

1 min
nova pilot of the year awards 2019

Six pilots won Nova Pilot of the Year awards at Nova’s annual team meeting in early October. Designed to celebrate sporting achievements and commitment to the sport, the awards are for pilots flying Nova wings who are part of the wide Nova “family”. Tandem pair Uli and Stefan Lauth were first up. They flew their Nova Bion 2 on a 232km FAI triangle – a new world record. They also won the DHV-XC tandem category by the biggest margin of all time and were third placed in the worldwide tandem XC ratings on XContest. Austria’s Chris Feichtl has only been flying for three years but has achieved great things. Flying his Mentor 6 (EN B) he took third place in the XContest Standard Class. Hermann Klein was hailed as an “excellent cross-country and…