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Cross Country May 2021

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.

United Kingdom
XC Media
10 Issues

in this issue

2 min
zen and the art

As pilots we spend a lot of time staring at the sky. It’s one of those things we can do when we’re not flying that actually builds us as pilots. To watch cumulus clouds scudding past in a wind-blown sky, clouds overdevelop or hail stones bouncing off the ground – these are all learning experiences for free-flight pilots. Once you have had those first few weather lessons at flying school, or read the Weather and Clouds chapters in the textbooks, you can get hooked. One of my favourite bits of weather lore is about how sailors used to tell that a storm was coming by the change in light and visibility. This, I learned years ago, is a real thing. The approaching storm brings cold, clear air down from above, and…

1 min

Bene Bös is a well-known face on the paramotoring scene, with championship wins at both the UK and German Opens under his belt. A natural communicator, we’re delighted he’s joining us as a regular columnist. This issue he writes about making friends in the flying world. Find him on p50 Andy Busslinger is a regular in these pages, and with good reason. The pro Swiss photographer created this issue’s spectacular cover shot with Michael Maurer, and was also lucky enough to spend three days skiing and flying around Mont Blanc with Fred Souchon and Kari Eisenhut – p54 Joanna Di Grigoli was only too happy to interview Joaquin Stable for us this issue about his big flights in Uruguay. Originally from Venezuela and now based in Europe, when not competing or flying…

3 min
what’s on: april and may

In the spirit of optimism, here’s what should be happening in the free-flying calendar in April/May. The Swiss Cup The Swiss Cup is a series of six to eight weekend cross-country competitions that take place at different locations in Switzerland throughout the Alpine flying season. This year the first is scheduled to take place in Cimetta, from 24-25 April. There is then one every weekend through May and early June. The circuit takes in Grindelwald, Biel, Frutigen, Moléson and Engelberg. International pilots are welcome (you need to create a user account and register), entry fees are relatively low and the scenery is stunning. A breeding ground for future champions, the standard is high. swissleague.ch/comp-league/competitions The PWC There are two Pre World Cups scheduled. The Brazilian Pre World Cup in Governador Valadares is from 24 April…

1 min
in brief

Coupe Icare 2021 Its a long way out, but the Coupe Icare free-flight festival has announced its dates. After being cancelled last year it aims to come back with a bang, and has an eight-day agenda planned out. That includes three days of film festival, a four day try-and-fly testival for pilots (the big new element) and the traditional four-day weekend featuring the expo, carnival, and famous flying masquerade. The dates are 12-19 September 2021. coupe-icare.org Wolfi Retires From Nova Wolfi Lechner has retired from Nova after more than 30 years at the helm. A founding member, Wolfi helped set up Nova in 1989, and ran it as CEO until he handed over the reins to Sissi Eisl in 2018. Wolfi was described as “the soul of Nova” by the rest of the…

1 min
the free fly world tour

Anew high-level cross country competition with a new format aims to shake up the world of XC competition flying. The Free Fly World Tour is the brainchild of a group of pilots including Lucho Jimenez, Felix Rodriguez and world record holder Rafael Saladini. The idea is to promote team flying within XC, and invite some of the best pilots in the world to compete at some of the best long-distance XC venues in the world. “We know some pilots are tired of gaggle flying, so we want to challenge pilots to fly open distance as a team,” Lucho said. “So pilots have to put all their skills to the test and try to cover the greatest possible daily distance together.” Each event will be made up of 10 teams of five pilots, plus…

4 min
the naked pilot joaquín stable

I started paragliding in Punta Ballena, in the east of Uruguay, with Ramón Sierra in 2014. In 2018 I built my first winch and together with my girlfriend Florencian we started to experiment with free flying. My first glider was an Ozone Buzz Z4. When I felt I needed to go faster I bought a secondhand Delta 2, which I flew my first 100km with. In late 2020 I bought my first pod harness, an Advance Lightness 3. The comfort improved considerably and I flew my first 200km. I was looking for a new glider and a friend lent me his new Niviuk Peak 5. I connected with it immediately. He lent it to me again on 7 January and I did my long flight – more than 400km across Uruguay. I…