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Cross Country

Cross Country September 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
spirit of summer

It has been a packed month in our sports. July started for us on top of the Gaisberg, the mountain that sits just outside Salzburg in Austria. In the worst weather imaginable the 31 Red Bull X-Alps pilots were already soaked to the skin and starting to suffer as they reached the top. But there was no take-off, no glorious 100km, 4,000m flight south to Slovenia – just mud, rain, sweat, tarmac and the slow crawl of pavement pounding at 6km/h. The weather did turn on, but there was no escaping how tough it was this year. A few days later some of us were in Italy enjoying the energy of the Paragliding World Championships. It was flyable every day, and the organisation was excellent. It was what one competing pilot…

1 min

George Steinmetz is the original paramotoring photographer who has been photographing the planet from the sky for 20 years. After 15 years focused on deserts, he’s recently embarked on a project focusing on global food production. We asked him about his work, p54 Sebastian Marko is an Austrian photographer who has been shooting adventure sports for 20 years. One of several photographers who work on the Red Bull X-Alps, Sebastian’s job is to get those sweeping wide shots from the helicopter as the pilots fly through incredible terrain. See p64 Brooke Whatnall has been living and working in Dubai for two years and has also fallen under the spell of the desert. Whether flying at dawn through mist-wreathed dunes, or soaring the skyscrapers on the edge of the Arabian Gulf, his aerial…

1 min
in the core

Jan Sterren Better wings, better forecasting, high ambition and expectation: the ingredients for some seriously big flights in the Alps this season. Biggest of all was what we think is the longest paraglider flight in the Alps ever. Jan Sterren (CH, Enzo 2) flew 354.54km on 5 July. He launched from the Brevent, Chamonix, in France and flew east into Switzerland. His flight lasted 11h19mins and saw him cruising at base at 4,000m. He landed at 9.30pm, having watched the sun set from the air. “With 300km I was happy, but that I went so much further I could not believe!” he said. Three other Swiss pilots flew 300km Alpine flights on the same day: Dominik Welti (323km, Zeno); Philipp Steinger (322km, Zeno); and Marcel Schmid (312km, Zeno). Schmid also flew…

2 min
clear skies at the ozone chabre open

Cloudbase hit 3,000m on several days during this year’s Ozone Chabre Open in Laragne, France. The competition, which is in its 12th year, saw five tasks flown, including both the longest task ever set in this competition, and an out-and-return. With task distances of 30, 50, 80, 62 and 45km, the 125 pilots from 14 nations were given a fantastic view of this beautiful corner of the southern Alps in a stress-free but competitive, friendly learning environment. The competition is run on a class basis with prizes awarded to the top three in all classes. Classes were defined by EN rating and aspect ratio and in a new twist restricted to EN A, B and C gliders. Happily this didn’t discourage the more experienced pilots who arrived on borrowed gliders. Overall winner…

1 min
dudek optic 2

Dudek say the EN-B Optic 2 is for “recreational pilots who want to grow further”. It has an aspect ratio of 5.5 , three risers and 51 cells, and features a sharknose, 3D ballooning and a new riser design. It is lighter than the original Optic, coming in at a smidge over 5kg in the 24m size. Dudek say the Optic 2’s handling is easy, and the performance is very good for its class. It will be available in five sizes for 60-145kg all-up, and comes in the four ‘Elements’ colour schemes. Dudek say a lightweight version will follow soon. dudek.eu…

1 min
mentor 5 light

The lightweight version of Nova’s Mentor 5 is now ready. It’s 25% lighter than the standard version (3.35kg in XXS size) and has a much smaller pack size. Intended for everyday use, it’s as much a cross-country wing as a hike-and-fly companion and it has Nova’s 3-year guarantee. It has a modest aspect ratio of 5.4 and all lines apart from the gallery lines are sheathed. Nova say its glide is at the top of the B-class, and describe it as a comfortable wing with balanced handling and good pasive safety. It is certified EN-B in all 4 sizes for 55-110kg all-up. nova.eu…