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Cross Country

Cross Country November 2017

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
taking off is hard to do

In my mind we’d rock up to the astro-turfed launch at about 7.30am, unroll our borrowed gliders and steal into the sky unnoticed. Then we’d carve down between the hot air balloons as they rose gently from the valley floor. It would be perfect and we’d be back up for 9am, sharing bowls of hot chocolate and laughing about our early morning adventure. Instead we were running late. I got a where-are-you WhatsApp: “Am I in the right place? Takeoff covered in wings. They haven’t laid out the balloons yet.” Hm. Arriving 20 minutes later at the North Launch I saw what he meant. It was literally covered with gliders, with a queue of properly equipped people waiting to get onto the mat. There was a backwind too, and despite my pint-sized colleague…

1 min

Felix Wölk is a longstanding Cross Country photographer. Chief photographer for the Red Bull X-Alps, as an instructor he guides hike-and-fly trips in the Dolomitess and is currently working on a hike-and-fly guide for the South Tirol and the Dolomites. See p82 felixwoelk.com Jérôme Maupoint is another longstanding Cross Country photographer. For this issue he went on a journey through his archive, looking back at more than a decade’s worth of material from exploring the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. His selected highlights start on p64 jeromemaupoint.com James Kiwi Johnston is an author and pilot. Flying for nearly three deacades he has regularly written about his flying in a way that speaks to the pilot in all of us. Recently he has started chasing personal goals again, in India, Mexico and Brazil. Part…

2 min
in the core

Alex Robé, XContest winner The 2017 XC season officially closed at the end of September, and the scores are in for the winners of the hotly-contested XContest. Alexander Robé won the overall competition with a whopping 2,520.4km flown. Scores are your top six flights, 1km = 1point. Alex spent a season in Quixadá and a summer flying triangles in the Alps to put him firmly at the top. He flies an Ozone Zeno. It is the second time he has won XContest – he came out top in 2015 too. The rest of the best XContest has multiple classes, here’s a roll call of winners: Peter Hilger (DE, UP Trango XC3) who won the Sport Class; Bernie Peßl (AT, Nova Mentor 5) won the Standard Class; Joanna Di Grigoli (VE, Gin Gliders) won…

2 min
brazil leads the samba in the sky

Brazil, the country of eternal summer, showed its best face when the Paragliding World Cup showed up for a week’s competition at Pico do Gaviao in September. The weather couldn’t have been better – one French pilot called it “the best competition flying I’ve had for 20 years” – and it meant seven tasks in seven days, from 75.5km to 107.7km. The Brazilians cleaned up – it would have been a little embarrassing if they hadn’t and the French had won – with open distance world record holder Rafael Saladini (Enzo 3), Erico Oliveira (Enzo 3), and Frank Brown (Boomerang 11) on the podium in 1, 2 and 3. It was tight at the top, with just 10 points between first and second – 5,154 and 5,144. In the Women’s class, Silvia…

1 min
the coupe icare

The weather was beautiful at this year’s Coupe Icare in France, with sunshine and little fluffy clouds. Pilots and visitors enjoyed four days of sunshine from 21-24 September, which allowed for relaxed viewing of the famous Masquerade flying parade as well as Parabatix, acro and the rest of the air shows in the great blue sky. In the morning, scores of pilots made the hike up to fly down from the Dent des Crolles; in the evening, the film tent was packed: Antoine Girard’s film, about his amazing flight above the summit of 8,000m Broad Peak, swept the board. Meanwhile, inside the trade tents, all the manufacturers had their wares on show with lots of new releases announced. We round up what we saw over the next few pages.…

1 min

Neo made a big splash with their good-looking pod harnesses. The Suspender (3.85kg, €1,680) and the Stay Up (1.8kg, €1,380) had everyone wondering what they would be prepared to sell to get their sticky mitts on one. Their soul, probably. A new back-protection system called Koroyd, and Neo’s perfect attention to detail shone out. French XC maestro Antoine Boisellier was spotted flying one of the very first Stay Ups, complete with an Ozone Z-Alps – a 6kg high-performance adventure-flying package to dream of... flyneo.com…