Cross Country September 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
one giant summer

Some seasons things just seem to go up a level. This summer the world record has fallen, Chrigel Maurer has claimed his seventh Red Bull X-Alps win in a row, and pilots have been flying above 8,000m in the Karakoram. The weekend of June 19/20 was a big one. First, Sebastien Kayrouz became the first paraglider pilot ever to fly more than 600km. He set a new open distance world record of 610km – that’s 379 miles. It’s London to Dijon, Paris to Montpelier, Madrid to Tangier, San Francisco to LA, Sydney to Byron Bay – it’s a very, very long way by paraglider! His name is now carved in the sport’s history books forever. And then the next day the Red Bull X-Alps kicked off, provided 12 days of non-stop, heart-racing…

1 min

Michel Ferrer is a French free-flying journalist and editor of France’s Parapente+ magazine. He has been following the X-Alps since the very first edition and has watched the rise of the race and its pilots up close. He was there at the finish this year when Chrigel flew in – read his interviews on p54 Rolf Steinmeier is better known as @rollinstoone (an English play on his name) on Instagram where he is known for his incredible hand-stitched multiple-exposure acro images. Acro photography is his passion, so it was no hardship to head to Italy to shoot the Acro World Championships – see p72 Felix Wölk is better known as an adventure and travel photographer. But with travel recently curtailed he’s had time at home in Italy to start reviewing paragliders, too.…

2 min
oh la, la, coupe icare

The Coupe Icare will go ahead this year, but in a much-reduced format from what had been planned. The world’s biggest free-flight gathering has been curtailed by new French regulations around Covid, and will now be limited to pilots and trade only. The festival will run from Tuesday 14 September to Sunday 19 September but those attending will need to pre-register and show a French health pass to gain entry. The so-called Pass Sanitaire was introduced in France on 21 June and is a QR code that holds information on a person’s vaccination status and latest Covid test result. They are being used to regulate access to many of France’s public spaces where more than 50 people gather, such as theatres, leisure centres and sports events. The Coupe Icare programme now includes…

1 min
antoine girard flies to 8 400m

Antoine Girard flew to 8,407m in Pakistan on Sunday 18 July, setting a new record for flying at extreme altitude in the Karakoram. He repeated his flight of five years ago where he flew at 8,157m above Broad Peak (8,051m). Antoine was in the Karakoram as part of a team of seven pilots including Acro World Champion François Ragolski, who reached 8,225m above Rakaposhi (7,788m) on 6 June. Antoine’s record flight came on the last day of the two-month long expedition. In a post-flight interview with the BBC in Pakistan he said: “When I beat the record and was at 8,400m I thought of nothing, just flying. It was a perfect moment.” The full team included Antoine, François Ragolski, Julien Dusserre, Sébastien Brugalla, Alexandre Jofresa, Fabian Buhl and Guillaume Omont.…

1 min
gold gold gold gold…

Husband and wife Alex and Marie Mateos again dominated the French Paramotor Championships this year. Alex won the overall title of French Paramotor Champion for an incredible 10th time in July. Marie was silver medallist for a fourth consecutive year. The competition saw pilots from four nations competing and 10 valid tasks over the week. Alex said: “We were challenged with more than complicated weather conditions, but the result is there and our equipment did not falter under the pressure of this big deadline.” He added, “Thank you to the FFPLUM, as well as to the volunteers for this championship.”…

1 min
thermal flying

Thermal Flying, the best-selling textbook for paraglider and hang glider pilots by Burkhard Martens, has been republished. The book was a sensation when it first came out in 2005, and it went on to be a worldwide best-seller and published in at least 10 languages. Out of print for several years the English edition has now been thoroughly updated and revised, while still keeping Burki’s original easy style and understandable illustrations and explanations. Burki partnered with our team at Cross Country Magazine to make this new edition a reality. It’s available now through your local free-flight centre.…