XC Media

Cross Country

Cross Country 156 Novemeber - December 2014

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

Some of our best moments are when we fly with birds. “It’s like swimming with dolphins, but in the air” is how I explain it to non-flying friends. Having a bird on the wingtip, or following one to a thermal, leaves an indelible memory that lasts far longer than the feeling of satisfaction (or otherwise) of the flight. I think about flights where I have encountered birds. We used to fly with a kestrel on a soaring site near where I grew up. We’d approach from behind, level, and watch its wings beat as it hovered, watching the ground for movement, seemingly oblivious to us. We weren’t a threat. In Australia I was scratching in zeroes, drifting nowhere, a few hundred feet above a dusty paddock. A family of wedge tailed eagles…

1 min

JAGGED TEETH Flying down from the Tête de Bossetan in the Haute Savoie, on the border of France and Switzerland, during a hike-and-fly. The 2,405m peak is close to the ski resort of Morzine. Photo: Jérôme Maupoint CANAZEI Aljaz Valic enjoys the autumn sunshine in the Dolomites in Italy in September. The summer was a bit of a washout for many in the European Alps, but late season was something special. Photo: Matjaz Klemencic STEPPING OUT Olivier Fritz goes lightweight in the clouds above Treh, in the Vosges mountains, eastern France. The low, rounded hills here are called ‘ballons, by the locals. Photo: Joachim Dieng / Tijoe Photo JUMP THE SHARK Sharknose technology on display at the Coupe Icare this September. The four-day festival saw tens of thousands of visitors watch the famous flying masquerade in St…

2 min
in the core

XContest 2014: Movers and shakers Honorin Hamard (FR, Niviuk Icepeak 6) won the World XContest 2014 (paragliding) when the season closed at the end of September. He racked up six amazing flights, all in Quixadá, Brazil in November last year: 438.42km, 424.77km, 369.1km, 344.7km, 341.87km, 327.15km. That put him at the top of the leaderboard early in the season, and he stayed there. Bernhard Pessl (AT, Nova Mentor 3) was second, and showcased the other way to score well in the contest, completing six big triangles (five FAI, one flat) in the Italian and Austrian Alps. That included his mega 300.65km FAI triangle. Seb Benz (CH, Nova Factor 2) was in third place – he’s been chipping away chasing the 400km mark in Australia for a few seasons now, and last year…

2 min
guschlbauer wins dolomitenmann

Paul Guschlbauer won the flying part of the Red Bull Dolomitenmann event in Austria in September, helping put his team of multi-sport adventure athletes on the podium. Now in its 27th year the Dolomitenmann is one of the toughest one-day relay races out there and comprises mountain running, paragliding, whitewater kayaking and mountain biking. Each athlete has to complete their leg of the race before the next one can start. Starting and finishing in the town of Lienz in eastern Austria the course varies each year but typically takes in a 12km mountain run, two flights with a run in between, a kayak with an ‘alpine start’ featuring a seven-metre drop-in, and then a 27km mountain bike ride uphill. This year over 100 teams started out and the top five teams all finished…

1 min
in brief

Orange Cross Swing’s Orange Cross is a ‘cross’ design reserve: a pull-down apex with outlet ports on the corners which offers good pendulum stability, even in strong or unfavourable wind conditions. Fast opening is combined with a low sink rate and thanks to modern materials and a simplified packing method it packs small and is nice and light, say Swing. www.swing.de Mini Beamer High Adventure have made a small Beamer 3 steerable rescue parachute, certified to 90kg and with an extended weight limit of 100kg for experienced Rogallo users.. The Beamer 3 small is available in standard and lightweight versions and weighs 1.23kg. www.highadventure.ch Coupe Icare online We were out and about with cameras asking questions at the Coupe Icare. Check our YouTube page for gear interviews with Neo, Flytec, Advance, Ozone, Sup’Air (pictured), ASI and Oudie. www.youtube.com/xcmag…

1 min
macpara’s haven

Meanwhile, the Haven is MacPara’s new cocoon harness, offering “excellent glider feedback and comfort for long flights”. The pod is made of a stretchy material that keeps its sleek shape, and the harness adjusters and riser attachments are covered up for a smooth finish. The back fabric is breathable, it has an underseat reserve container and lightweight buckles and a carbon seatplate. The harness weighs 5.45kg including 23cm foam back protection and karabiners, and is available in three sizes. www.macpara.com…